Scamming Car Salesmen, Part the Second

There are two kinds of car-selling scammers in this world: those who try to sell you a car when you’re perfectly happy with the one you’ve got, and the worse kind, the kind who try to make you perfectly happy with the one THEY’VE got – that just so happens to be trashed.

I ran into the latter tonight.

NORTH HILLS AUTO MALL. Just thought I’d name the culprits ahead of time. Unlike the last time, I’m naming them. And saying beware.

They had a car for sale. A hyundai Accent, to be exact, and only 5 years old. A/C, CD Player, Power locks, power windows, even power mirrors! And a tilt wheel… and tinted windows….

I spoke with them over the phone, asking for the EXACT mileage. So it wasn’t exACTly 100,000.. more like 90-something. All fine. I asked for ALL the details.

A strange thing happened. Over the phone, the CD Player and power windows disappeared. That was ok, it was still a pretty awesome price for a 5-year-old car. We negotiated over the price, and off I went.

An hour and a half later, I arrived. I found a lot of cars, mostly foreign, on a small gravel lot with a trailer on it as the office. As I walked toward the office, I recognized the grille of a 2003 Hyundai Accent. I didn’t like the rest of the package (the looks) from the get-go. Hoping it was my need for a bathroom talking, I asked an employee where I could find one.

“There’s a giant eagle down the street -”

“I’ll just borrow the back side of your trailer.” The world looked much better after I had relieved myself. And from the back, so did the Hyundai. Except for the black spot on the back. And the tiny dent on the hatch. And the dirt. And the other scratches where the black fiberglass showed through.

The dealer, a bald man with glasses and a Joe Cool attitude, walked over with the keys. We talked, and I checked the trunk for water and under the hood for rust and malformities. No worse than usual. He pulled it out.

Funny thing happened. The hatchback bounced. I thought it strange, so I got out to shut it. It shut. But it didn’t stay shut. It just refused to latch. My good buddy the bald dealer took care of it. He locked the hatch.

It was then that I realized the absence of power ANYTHING. Mirrors, windows, or locks. And a poorly-installed tape player instead of the promised CD player. Suspicion was building, but Mr. Bald Cool Guy told me to chill, relax.. it’s a good car. And those dents? normal wear and tear, dude.. relax, you’re strung too tight.

Whatever.

So off we drove. It didn’t accelerate fast.. in fact, it kinda struggled, and sputtered. But that was only because it was almost out of gas.

Back we went to fill it up again.

And off I went again – this time with a much quieter passenger from the dealership. He let me accelerate, and he gave me time to think about did I really want this car? By the time I got it back, I realized the answer was no. Too many lies, and… if this was what a 2003 was like, I’ll keep my comfy, roomy, cd-player-sporting, higher-horse-power, reliable, high-mileage, beat-up 1993 Honda Accord. That’s how bad the ’03 Hyundai Accent was. And how bad the NORTH HILLS AUTO MALL is. And how really good a ’93 Honda Accord is. And how good God is, for helping me avoid the Hyundai… and giving me a really good Accord.

Posted 3/27/2008 12:37 AM – 5 Views – 0 eProps – 0 comments

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