18 August 2014

What part of the word "requirement" do you not understand?

I find myself in a position I never thought I'd ever find myself.  I'm in the market for a "new" (to me) car.

In 30+ years driving, and buying/driving half a dozen cars or so, they've always been "pre-owned" AKA "used".  Some would qualify as "very used".  At least one qualified as a "historic vehicle" in my home state of Arizona.  I have never before purchased a new car, nor did I think I'd every be in a position to do so.  But here I am due to my own tight fiscal policies.

So while investigating used car prices, it seemed appropriate to check out new car prices.  To that end followed through the TrueCar website which in turn forwarded my contact info (uninvited) to several local dealers.

I explained to each of them "here are my requirements:  crew cab, manual transmission and air conditioning".

TWO reps came back asking "are you at all flexible on your transmission choice"  My first reaction was to berate them with "JUST WHAT PART OF THE WORD REQUIREMENT DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND"?   But that wouldn't be helpful.  Instead  I replied with re-iterating my requirements: crew cab, manual transmission and air conditioning*.

I take their "are you flexible on this REQUIREMENT(my emphasis)" response to mean " I have several crew cabs models  with AC on our lot  that I need to move, but they all are automatic transmissions."

If I were to purchase a vehicle without any of these three REQUIREMENTS I would be PO'd and disgusted that I'd settled for less than what I wanted.  Even if you gave me the car, I'd be still disappointed every single trip.

A little help for  these dealers, from Websters, here's the definition of REQUIREMENT:

 noun \-ˈkwī(-ə)r-mənt\: something that is needed or that must be done

Sidebar....thirty-ish years ago a sailing rag called latitude 38 (wonderful folk and I'm a long time happy reader) ran a story about a Santa Cruz boat builder.  He made the point that rings true today.  (paraphrasing)
I promise a boat delivery on a certain date but if I have to cut corners to make the delivery, the owner will likely be PO'd every time he steps foot on the boat.  But if I take an extra week or two to make sure it's done right, he'll curse me for two weeks, then thank me every day thereafter,
I think that's sage advice and that's where I am... I have three requirements, you know what they are.

One dealer has come back saying "the factory never manufactured that combination", which I know is factually untrue.  So they are off the list, thank you for playing our game.  You may pick up the home version on your way out of the studio. LOOOOOSER!

Friendly tip, when I use the word "requirement" I mean "I WILL NOT BUY ANYTHING LACKING THESE FEATURES".  Capitol letters implying shouting intended.

I have the advantage that time is on my side.  I do not have to purchase a vehicle by any particular date, So I can wait for the right deal.

* I should have probably added "no black paint" as a requirement, though I'm more flexible on color than on the power train.  Black paint absorbs all solar radiation while other colors do not.  Color is not a specific requirement,  but black is out. Who TF buys a black car  in the desert?  I need a lighter color like white or silver.

** BTW, you have a small sized pickup meeting these REQUIREMENTS :  2005-2010 crew cab PU with manual transmission & air conditioning,  Make is less important:  Nissan Frontier is what we are looking at.   I think I saw a Ford "explorer-ish" size wise but with a bed but I don't find a similar model on the website,  If you have something that might fill the bill, lets talk!,  Crew cab Air conditioned, manual transmission.  Black paint is a minus,  I'm open to offers in AZ and adjacent states,


Ed said...

"I'm more flexible on color than on the power train."

As in "anything positive and non-zero is greater than zero"?

I believe that what we have here is low differentiation between "requirements" and "preferences" by some. A salesman by training takes a list of "requirements" and attempts to meet as many of them as possible with the products and services he has available to sell, and asks whether what is stated as a "requirement" may actually be a "preference". Even when he does not have a 100% match of "requirements", the salesman knows that there may be no 100% match available from other vendors and that he should offer what product or service best matches the "requirements".

So, what is more objectionable to you - best matches available to your "requirements" that you are free to accept or reject, or no response at all? I would prefer the "best matches" response.

Old NFO said...

Good luck with that... You're probably talking special order... Unless you get lucky!

danno said...

I realize several details were glossed over prior but I did my homework. By choosing "crew cab" and "manual transmission", that only is available in a particular engine (not my 1st, but those two options supercede the engine selection) & trim option. Hence, specifying the cab and transmission presupposed the engine type (and I could accept that option).

I'd rather have them tell me the truth... We don't have that option in stock and right now we are looking to blow out 2014 inventory, here is what have and we are looking to deal.

Instead I got "nope, what you want doesn't exist, never has. (thanks for playing our game)"

But again there is that homework thing to contradict ;-)


NotClauswitz said...

I never bought a new car either, always used, and some VERY used. And then I quit buying cars when I bought a truck - but the "crew-cab" requirement doesn't strike me as very car-like!

My off-road injury experience however makes me choose an automatic when buying a truck. Dealing with a manual truck-clutch AND a set of broken ribs or other personal damage is a non-starter.

My new vehicle requirement is *NO* "On-Star" or anything .Gov like it.

Also Latitude 38 is a bitchin' magazine.