I wrote this helpful message to Big Motoring World in Wrotham’s Facebook page, but it looks like they must have accidentally deleted it. Can’t imagine why. I’ll be helpful and repost it here for them to see (and will even add in the pictures I mention in it too).
Hi Simon. I have no idea if your name is actually Simon or not, but that’s the name of the first car salesman I ever met, so to make my life easier I’ll use the same name for you – I do hope you don’t mind.
Well, Simon, I wanted to let you know how incredibly happy I am with my new car. I wanted to share a photo or two with you, but you don’t seem to let people share photos on your Facebook page and I can’t track down an e-mail address, so instead I’ll have to describe it.
Picture a brand new, Silver Seat Alhambra. Now add 15 years travel, wear and tear to it. Don’t forget to include 176,000 miles, Simon; it was a real workhorse. That’s what I drove to your showroom in just a few weeks ago. I didn’t know at the time what I wanted to replace it with, but I knew I needed something better than that. It had done us great service, but I had a brand new job and wanted to treat my kids and wife to something a lot nicer, with a working radio and everything. I’m really ambitious like that, Simon; can you imagine it, a radio unit with a broken tape deck being its best feature. I needed something better, and knew just where to go.
Well, my new car is everything I dreamed of and more. It’s blue. I mention that as every other bloody car I’ve had has been silver. Not that I particularly like silver, mind you, but until now beggars can’t be choosers. Not only is it blue, it’s a brand new VW Sharan. When I pulled up at Big Motoring World in Wrotham and pulled up behind two Sharans – one silver and one blue – I knew which of the two I wanted.
Not only is it a blue Sharan, it has a digital stereo. Simon – I’ve got music in my car again! Admittedly I rarely get control of the dial when the family is in with me, but as long as we avoid anything Bieber related I can live with it. And when I say dial, it’s actually a touch screen, with sat nav and loads of other digital goodness. I feel like I’m living in Star Trek. On top of that it parks itself too – very modern. I’ve never been as happy parting with so much money.
Do you know how much I ended up actually spending Simon? I don’t normally share these things as it’s a little crude to talk pound signs on most occasions, but I want to share it with you as I’m sure you’ll be interested. I don’t have buckets of cash laying around as I’m sure you’ll appreciate; every spare penny gets sucked up with paying the bills and replacing children’s trainers after they leave them in the garden overnight for the foxes to eat. Yep, that happened this week.
No, for me it was the finance route. The drive-away price of my lovely, brand spanking new blue Sharan was £24k. £24,000, Simon! I’ve never paid anything like that much for anything; not even if you added up every piece of clothing I’ve ever owned would it come to that much (although I have my suspicions about my wife’s shoe collection).
Once you factor in finance repayments – a necessary evil I’m sure you’ll agree – the total cost will be something like £31k over four years or so. That’s a lot of money, Simon, and I’m not entirely sure I appreciated at the time how big that would look if you stacked it up in front of me in pound coins. I’d like to think it would look like a scene from Scrooge McDuck, though admittedly I probably wouldn’t need quite as big a vault.
And do you know why I wanted to share this all with you, Simon? It’s because I just wanted to let you know how much a single, short conversation with one of your sales reps cost Big Motoring World. You see, despite me pulling up behind two – TWO – VW Sharans with stickers in the window (each for less than the amount I ended up paying I’ll add, so I’d probably have been a prime target for upgrades!) I was told by the young sales assistant there that you don’t do people carriers.
Yep, my eyes had deceived me. Those two out front (and perhaps more out back) were a figment of my imagination. It was quite a surprise, I don’t mind admitting, to know that I was seeing things. For a moment I wondered whether or not my 18 year relationship and four children had equally been made up, or perhaps were an elaborate Truman Show style fiction. But no; it turns out it was only the fact that you didn’t want to sell me a people carrier.
It’s a shame really, though it did mean I got to go to the VW showroom directly and met a wonderful, friendly salesman who not only knew what I wanted after I told him but had some in stock and knew that fact! A salesman who knows what cars he has available and who doesn’t tell customers that they are wrong when they disagree – you would do well to steal him from VW if you get the chance.
I don’t suppose there’s much that can be done for me now, Simon; as I said, I’m very, very happy with my new car and have been merrily whizzing around the South East for a fortnight now. I just wanted to let you know that you missed out on a £30k sales opportunity all because your salesman effectively said I was lying. I don’t like being told I’m wrong when I’m not. It might be worth you having a little word with your team. And perhaps my wife. She disagrees with me too sometimes.
For me it was one sale, but who knows how many you’re missing out on. I like supporting local businesses like yours and want to see you doing well; please sort this out soon Simon otherwise I fear for you in this scary post-Brexit world. Having to change your name to Little Motoring World would be a bit humiliating. Funny, yes, but humiliating.
Have a wonderful day, Simon, and if you do want to see those photos of my new car or the other two I pulled up behind do let me know and I’ll zip them over right away. If you want more cars like them, I certainly know a dealership with some in stock!
Your friend (and almost customer),