I’m car shopping. It’s not fun, and I’m bitter about it, but my first couple trips to dealers were actually pretty nice. The sales people were pretty good at their jobs and had me feeling better about the whole ordeal. I enjoy working with sales people who are good at their jobs. And I am, admittedly, very short on patience for sales people who aren’t. I’m glad the first couple experiences were positive, because things started going downhill with the fourth dealer I visited. And then they went completely off the rails.
After my first non-awesome experience, I found out Costco has an affiliate program. Awesome! I love Costco, largely because they’re so good at customer service. So I sent out requests to all the types of dealers I still needed to visit. This included Ford. And, apparently, their nearest affiliated Ford dealership is EVS Ford Random Lake. A nice guy named Jason called me. He actually qualified me (asked me questions to figure out what I need) before pitching a car. He asked me about my budget and time lines on the decision. The part where he really impressed me was when he was mentioning a manufacturer’s rebate that expired at the end of the month, then specified that for them, the end of the month isn’t until June 3. (There are schools of sales that say he should have sat on that and pulled it out as a hero card later. They’re bad schools.) I got off the phone pretty enthusiastic about trying out the car he suggested. He sent along a follow up email with the information we’d talked about, which was awesome. This was May 9, a week ago.
May 11 brings a phone call from Jason. He never asked me how I wanted him to follow up. This is a problem, because I didn’t want him to follow up. And if he had asked I’d have told him that email is much, much preferable to phone. I hadn’t gotten out of bed yet and only answered the phone in case it was a client or something else actually important. It was just Jason, being insecure and clingy. He wants me to know about another thing that might work for me. “Email it to me. Do not call me,” I say. I feel a little bad for being short with him when I hang up. I was short with him, and he didn’t know that calling me at 11am on a Saturday was nearly the most obnoxious thing he could have done until he did it.
Car dealerships are not open on Sundays in Wisconsin. By law. Sunday was blessedly quiet.
Monday brought an email. Subject: Dealerships must be contacting you! I quote it below.
We spoke last week regarding an interest in a vehicle. I’m not here to hound you as I could tell your demeanor changed drastically the second time I called. Other dealerships must be filling your cell phone with messages and calls.
I appreciate your interest and I’m here as a tool for you to get what you want…A VEHICLE! Let me know how to help so I can take the load off your shoulders. That way you can focus on work and life while I get the necessary information to make the best informed decision for you.
Thank you for your time,
The bolding is mine, because it’s more or less the line that makes both this email and everything that follows utterly unhinged. Yes, I was short with him, he can tell I’m getting fed up, so he deals with that by…contacting me again. Some more. Since my complete non-response to his email on Saturday was clearly a cry for more attention. Or something.
But wait, it gets better.
I ignore Monday’s email. I have an infinite capacity for ignoring email. Since it didn’t have any information I wanted, it was probably in my inbox less than a minute total. And Jason must have realized that, because he changed tactics.
My phone does it’s hiccough-beep thing while I’m using it for work on Tuesday. When I finish with the call I check to see which notification got choked. It’s a text message!
Still looking for a vehicle? Jason from EvS Ford…I know your busy plz keep me in the loop!
Because text is totally a communication medium you should employ without consent from the person you’re communicating with. It’s not like those ever cost people money to receive or anything. (I have a text package. But I also never assume my clients do. Because that’s how professionals behave)
If it hadn’t been Tuesday, I might have just continued to ignore him. But Tuesdays are more or less the worst days ever, and this one was special. Also, despite still being in bed at 11am on Saturday, I’m kinda fuzzy on when the last time I took a day off was. In short, I had no patience left with which to swallow my wrath. Jason got a not very polite email.
I have gotten both your emails, and now your text. When I said I’d be making a decision at some point in the next month, it was because I was planning to spend most of the month doing my research and pondering the decision. I am well and truly fed up with your aggressive follow up, which you know because you acknowledged noticing my “change in demeanor” in one of the emails.
If I want to talk to you, I will contact you. Until then, leave me alone. You’ve pretty well talked me out of doing business with you at this point just because I’m reluctant for you to see any kind of positive return on your sales style.
I also went ahead and filled out the survey Costco sent me about my experience with the program. I only filled it out for this dealership since I’m not finished with the others yet, so don’t yet know everything I might want to say. I am, at this point, very done with EVS Ford. One of their questions is about whether I need somebody to contact me about my experience. I say no because I know that this isn’t Costco’s fault and I’ll probably just cuss at whoever calls me.
I think I must have accidentally started dating Jason or something, though, because he was deep into bad boyfriend territory. Somehow a curt email telling him, essentially, to fuck off and die, warrants the following response a few hours later.
Since I was unaware of your timeframe that helps out a lot. I appreciate the communication and that’s the reason for the 2 e-mails and text. I will wait to hear from you and have a wonderful day!
Thank you for your time,
I’ve been told that sometimes I’m too subtle with my exposition in stories. I have never been accused of being too subtle while irritated. Well, not until this email. This email is full of, “What? I didn’t hear your frothy rage. I am a clueless twit who will not be deterred! Love me, please!!!”
At least that’s the end of it, right? He’s going to wait to hear from me. Who cares if he missed the point, I have achieved my goal. Right? Right???
Situations like these leave me wondering whether I have an optimist buried deep down under my cynical shell. Those sorts of thoughts distress me.
I get a form-ish email from Costco. They have their Member Advocate looking into the issue. They take their member’s feedback seriously and will have a response for me within a few business days. Here’s how I can contact them if I like, and I shouldn’t hesitate to. Costco, I still love you because you know what? I lied when I said I didn’t want you to contact me about this. I didn’t realize it, but this is exactly what I wanted you to do. Good on you for seeing that. Love and cuddles to Costco, I feel better about the whole situation. Which I am shut of. Because I’m living in delusional optimist land.
Wednesday. Six days after first contact. The only day of peace was the one LEGALLY MANDATED. But I’ve been rude. I’ve sicced Costco on them. I’m leaving the house for evening showings and not a peep from EVS Ford. Victory!
Guess what came in about the time I’m unlocking the first house?
Hello [redacted], My name is Curt Miller and I am the General sales manager at EVS Ford Random lake.I hope during your last contact with us you were able to get all the information you were looking for.Did you?
Is there anything I can help you with? Are there any questions I can answer?
I’d be happy to help. Just reply or call me at 920-994-4376.
Thanks for your time.
I didn’t actually check this until after my showings, which is good because that particular client hasn’t signed paperwork committing to me yet and dissolving into a spewing pile of frothy, cussing wrath might have sent them running. Justifiably. My clients expect a particular brand of crazy from me, and that’s not it.
There is one question you can answer for me: Since stating explicitly the last time I communicated with EVS Ford Random Lake that I wanted to be left alone and this is the second contact from you since then, what exactly do I need to do to get you to stop checking in with me? In six days I’ve had two phone calls, five emails and a text message. At no point past the initial phone call did I invite further contact.
But just in case I was somehow unclear in my prior communication, allow me to paste it below. This time I’ve bolded bits that were really important. If I buried the important part in too many words, I apologize and hope I have now clearly communicated my displeasure.
I bolded the “well and truly fed up” clause and the “leave me alone.”
I suspect a reasonable, patient person would wait to see what happens from here before letting loose on a public blog. But you know what? Fuck that. And Fuck EVS Ford. This is absurd, and I don’t really care how apologetic, penitent, whatever they wind up being. This has been absurd and the entire world should be warned: Do not let these people get your contact information. Do not talk to them. Don’t make eye contact or sudden movements near them.