So in my last post about my new car, I mentioned some of the unfortunate aspects of my car leasing experience. Not with the car itself, but with the dealership and the salesperson. I have updates.
After it became clear that the salesperson who sold me the car was not going to be able to “make things right” and I would be sticking with the 2013 LEAF that lacked the Quick Charge port, I went ahead and filled out the online survey the dealership had sent out. Some of my review contained some of the language from that blog post, tweaked for the different audience. I was pretty specific about how the experience had gone well and how it had gone pear-shaped. It was, overall, not a flattering review.
So Friday afternoon of last week, I get a call from a different person at the dealership. He doesn’t mention the survey but asks about the “deal” the salesperson had been working on with me, to find out where things stood with it. This is the same deal – to switch out my 2013 LEAF for a 2014 one that had both charging ports – that I had been told by the salesperson was dead in the water. Fast forward to a few phone conversations later, and suddenly I can in fact have the 2014 upper-tier model, with the fancy packages on it, and both charging ports, the Levels 1 and 2 and the Quick Charge. It even comes in red. And I could have it for the price I wanted. They will take that pesky 2013 model off my hands, give me some new paperwork to sign, and let me drive away with the super awesome new car, and they’ll do it right away.
Oh. How nice!
Long story short, I let them redeem themselves.
When I got to the dealership, they were waiting to open the door for me as I walked up. All the people I’d worked with two weeks earlier were standing around waiting to help me, as well as the new guy who’d initiated this episode with his phone call in the first place. He assured me that this had nothing to do with my survey, which he had, incidentally, “just seen,” and that it had everything to do with making sure the customer was satisfied. The original salesperson walked out to the new car with us, chamois cloth in his hand, and started buffing out smudges while we were inspecting the car, making sure it was in tip-top shape.
When we were handling the odds and ends, going over the features of the new car, etc., the salesperson I’d worked with before commented, pleasantly, on how my survey had really caused a stir. “I’m really not used to getting feedback like that,” he said.
“Ah,” I said.
“So anyway, they’re going to send you another survey…”
I smiled pleasantly. “I’ll be sure to remark on how nice this experience today has been.”
“Okay, thank you.”
The finance guy – the same one as two weeks before – commented when I was in his office signing everything, that he had seen the survey, too. “Boy, that was really something to read. We aren’t used to getting feedback like that.”
“No, I imagine not,” I said.
“Well, you know, there’s going to be another survey—”
“Oh, no worries.” I smiled. “You’ve all been so helpful today.”
Every aspect of this experience, from my arrival to my driving away in my awesome new LEAF, took about thirty-five minutes. And everyone I spoke with the whole time asked me repeatedly if I was happy, if there was anything else they could do, if I had everything I needed. I assured them it was all good.
I considered, before agreeing to go to the dealership to see the new car, that I wasn’t sure whether I really needed the upgrade. I’d been adjusting to the electric car pretty well and enjoying it. I still felt like I could find a way to make everything work, even once school starts again, without the Quick Charge port.
But my decision boiled down to a few things: first, having the Quick Charge port was going to make having an electric car more practical in my very big city where I put 18,000 miles on my car each year just driving around town; second, I liked the idea of having a new new car with almost no miles on it already; third, there was the principle of all this nonsense. I know it probably sounds like a bit of a rationalization to say I wanted to let the dealership folks redeem themselves for their previous bad behavior, but to be fair, I do love a good redemption story.
So I now have a newer new Red Ninja. (In fact, I considered naming this post “The New Red Ninja,” but since my husband thinks the car color matches one of my favorite nail polishes, we’re going with “Fingernails That Shine Like Justice” instead.)
And how do I like my new car? I love it.
To read the entire Electric Car Diaries series, in which you can experience vicariously the sometimes astounding and sometimes entertaining story of how I ended up with this car in the first place, what its features are (from a practical standpoint), and what it’s like to drive it, please click on the links below.