Welcome, Boyfriend! The insane journey to acquiring a new vehicle after sixteen years, and a sweaty exercise in learning to trust – Part III

Heather SkompHow to Get What You Want in Life

So I left you last week with that cliffhanger of having to go back to the dealership in Scottsdale a second time, now that the financial side had been sorted. And I won’t keep you hanging on there, it was sorted. I didn’t go down there again only to be blindsided with some hogwash about making mistakes, and being pushed to buy something stupid to fit their monetary desires. Nope, they were straight up with all that.

But the story doesn’t end there, smoothly and painlessly. Nope. Of course it doesn’t!

Wednesday opened as normal. But oddly, the same guy who called me about the loan the previous day, called me again at 9.30am Wednesday morning. I was scheduled to appear at the car dealership at noon, so I couldn’t figure why he was calling. To make sure I would show up? After the call I wasn’t much the wiser. He didn’t really tell me anything. Actually, he told me nothing. So I assumed I was right – he was just making sure I would show up.

And show up I did after another hour and a quarter drive – during which I unabashedly cried the entire way, knowing that this was going to be my last journey with Gorgeous – only to find out that the truck I was intending to buy and had gnashed teeth over financing for was not available after all. Er… what?

Nope. I suspect this was the reason for the 9.30am phone call, but the guy funked it. Apparently that particular truck had long been sold as a part of a fleet purchase by a business in town. Okay, so why the eff did I get to drive it if it was never technically available? From what I understand, the boys at the dealership had hoped to convince the business who bought it (and who as yet have still to pick it up along with the other trucks in the fleet) to let me have it and they would order another one for them. But alas, the business would not release it, so no truck for Heather. At least, not that one.

Which was fine, because it was white. My heart wasn’t broken.

Plus, the boys had come up with another option that they thought I would prefer; they had just neglected to mention any of this on the phone before I came in. I had a feeling this might turn into a loooooong day.

The alternative did at first appear to be more in alignment with what I wanted, and – bonus! – it had four-wheel drive. I had regretfully let go of the option of 4×4 since I didn’t really need it (when it came down to it, I only drove on sand once in 16 years), and it cost an extra $3500 that put me outside of my budget. Not to mention (and I found this very hard to believe) there were very few brand new 4×4 trucks available for sale in the state that included the options that I required, but that also came even remotely close to my budget. It seemed that 4x4s were reserved only for people willing to pay for four doors (an extra $3500 as well) that I didn’t want.

On top of that, the truck was dark grey! Whoo hoo! No white! So I agreed to drive it. It was only after I got into the vehicle that I was told the engine wasn’t what I had requested, that it was a 2.7L Ecoboost and not the 3.5L Ecoboost. Guys…. this kind of matters. When the whole point of buying a truck is to get enough power and strength to pull heavy RV trailers, the right engine is a leettle important. Considering the whole reason I was there was because Gorgeous had blown her engine the previous year… well… you can see my irritation.

The boys tried to convince me that the engine wasn’t what was important when pulling a trailer, it was the tow package. Okay, for all you guys and gals out there who know about trucks… how ridiculous does that sound? Did they really expect me to fall for that? Of course the engine matters. You can’t just slap a tow package on a Prius and believe it will pull a 10,000lb trailer up the Rockies. If that were the case, they’d never sell V8s or diesels, and I wouldn’t have been sitting there in the first place.

So, much to everyone’s annoyance, I told them I couldn’t possibly buy that truck. I loved everything else about it, mind you, but I couldn’t buy it. Not with that engine. At first they argued with me, and I actually had to get out the towing tables to prove it to them – the difference in towing capacity was over 3900lbs – but eventually they accepted that the 4×4 wasn’t rolling off the lot with me in it.

Back to the computers. This launched two more hours of searching for something that had my requirements, was available, and within my financial capacity. I give these guys a ton of credit – they certainly worked hard for me! They looked at all the inventory at all the dealerships in Arizona. Let’s see… what did we find…

Well, the next one we found looked promising. It was at another dealership, so it meant the boys were going to have to trade one of their cars for that one. They contacted the other dealership to verify it was available and hash out a transfer, and the deal was made. I wouldn’t be able to see or drive the new truck until it got to the lot, but we looked at the criteria and everything seemed okay. However, of course it was more expensive than the ones I had looked at hitherto. 😉 I told them that while I absolutely appreciated all their efforts, my budget hadn’t changed. I mean, we had talked financing and we had agreed on terms, but those were specific to the budget I had stated. No more. So if they were interested in selling me a more expensive vehicle, they’d have to work it out amongst themselves.

And so they did. Feverish discussions ensued behind closed cubicles. After some time passed, they returned with a new deal. It was not quite as good as the original one, but it was within the boundaries of my budget so signatures were penned and smiles radiated all around. My guy Dan went back to the powers that be to finalize the transfer.

About fifteen minutes later, he came back, again looking sheepish. What now?

“Er… Heather, I’m so sorry about this, and this almost never happens, but apparently that truck was just sold at the other dealership during the time we agreed to transfer it and this very second.”

Silence.

More silence.

Some shuffling of feet.

Finally, I sighed heavily and said, “okay, so what else do we have to work with?”

“Well, I can search the databases again and see what we’ve got. I’m sure I can find something for you.”

More sighing. “Okay, let’s try.”

By now I had been there for four hours, and we were no further to getting me a new vehicle. However, in for a penny, in for a pound. We kept looking.

Truth is, we didn’t find much. Apparently my unwillingness to accept a truck with four doors was what was really stymying all of us. I guess there simply wasn’t that much demand in the area for two-door trucks with massive towing capacities. 😉 However, we soldiered on.

After a little while, Dan perked up. He didn’t tell me what he found, but he asked me to wait a bit and then he disappeared. I was intrigued.

When he came back, he was all smiles. WhatwhatWHAT??

“I’ve got a truck for you. Now it’s a Lariat, but I think it fits all your needs. Two door, towing package, 3.5L engine! AND, it’s in your Blue Jeans paint!!”

Waaaaaaaait a minute, buddy. This all sounded utterly blissful, but there was yet another problem. I’m no fool – the Lariat is the most expensive model of Ford F150 in the two-door range. A dream truck, no doubt. But WAY out of my budget capacity.

“Dan, I really appreciate you finding something that fits my needs, but whatever you do, do NOT try to seduce me into a Lariat. You know those are far beyond my budget range, and I’m not going to be fooled into some ten-year payment plan. No way, dude. I have a fixed dollar amount with a non-negotiable interest rate; I don’t care what the payments might be fiddled to look like or how delectable that blue color is. Thanks, but no thanks.”

However… the dealership was evidently willing to take a dive on the price. They were so anxious to get me a truck that I could be happy with, that they were willing to lower the price to match the XLT version that was within my budget. OMG! Now THIS was worth waiting for!!! I couldn’t believe my luck. We were five hours in and things were starting finally to be going my way. Wahoo!!

And oh this truck was beautiful. All the trimmings, leather seating that I have never been willing to pay for, lots of fancy stuff that I normally bypass. And they were going to let me have it for a song. I was getting EXCITED!!

Then they brought me the sticker. I checked out all the equipment…. and was crestfallen. Nope, this one wasn’t going to work either. Why, you ask? Was I crazy? Was I just being difficult?

Sadly, no. This beautiful truck wasn’t going to be mine either, because although it had the capacity to pull many thousands of pounds, it wasn’t actually equipped to do so. The boys made the mistake of thinking that just because it had the right engine and a trailer hitch on it, that it could pull what I needed it to. Alas, no. This is where their original belief about the towing package mattered – and this one didn’t have it. It had a hitch, but not the whole package. In spite of its beautiful engine and trailer hitch, it still was only cleared to pull 5000lbs – no better than my lovely old Gorgeous. In order to get the max towing that I wanted, I had to have both the right engine, and the right towing package.

Needless to say, these guys were pissed. They couldn’t believe I wasn’t going to buy this truck! I couldn’t believe I wasn’t going to buy this truck. I nearly cried.

strangling-me

Out came the towing tables again. Out came Nick, the guy who knows everything about towing. We argued and wrestled and researched and eventually called Ford, just to be sure. Even I was starting to doubt what I thought I knew, and believe it or not, no one, not even Ford, could say for certain whether I was right or not. But it simply wasn’t a risk I was willing to take. I had to turn it down.

We were all exhausted by this point. I was ready to go home. They were ready to go home. It was pushing six o’clock by now and I’d been there since noon. But Dan would NOT give up!

He’s so awesome. 😉

And so we kept looking. At this point, price didn’t seem even to matter anymore; we were obsessed with finding a vehicle that actually had everything I needed on it. Who gave a damn! Did this thing even exist???

Nick finally found one. It had the engine, it had the towing package, it had the two-doors. And apparently no other stuff that I didn’t care about that could escalate the price beyond reason. How had we not seen this one all day? I still don’t know the answer to that one, but they let me look at the computer listing so I could verify that we weren’t all just hallucinating.

And there it was – the deal-breaker. Of course there was a deal-breaker! You know what it was? Color. And no, it wasn’t white. It was “Blue Flame”. The worst possible color in the entire range. I could have stomached “Caribou”, and maybe – maybe – even “Bronze Fire”, but the two I couldn’t cope with without gagging were “Blue Flame” and “Race Red”. Ugh. Really, Universe? I even considered buying it and having it repainted, but then… no. I know after all this it seems silly to be persnickety about color, and believe me when I say I’m typically not. But this one was just too stupid. I couldn’t imagine driving around in a “Blue Flame” for the next twenty years. I just couldn’t do it.

I wanted to go home. I was so tired, and completely disillusioned. They had worked so hard, and yet I couldn’t give them what they wanted, which was a sale. I promised them I would wait and come back to them when another vehicle became available, but I just couldn’t keep going. I was done.

And then… gasp! Out of seemingly nowhere, Boyfriend showed up. You know how they show up when you quit looking? 😉

Even though I was packing up my things, Nick and Dan apparently hadn’t been ready to give up just yet. Crikey. Have you ever had car salespeople go this far for you? I sure hadn’t. I was amazed. They gave it one more go, and at last hit paydirt.

I’m pretty sure at this point they had removed all price parameters on their searches, because if they hadn’t, I couldn’t fathom how we had not seen this truck in the six hours we had been looking prior to now. But there it was.

It was an XLT Sport two-door, dark grey, 3.5L Ecoboost engine, max trailer package – perfect. I didn’t even ask what the price was, but I did say that my budget remained the same. Don’t get me all hot and bothered again, boys.

Nick was the one at the computer, and he turned to Dan and said,

“I found the truck, now you handle the rest.” And he skedaddled away with a wink.

Dan showed me the window sticker, so I could verify that it had everything I needed on it. Oh, it sure did. And a whole bunch of other beautiful things like extended range fuel tank, spray-on bedliner, tailgate step, center console with power equipment group (yay for all my computers!), 110V power outlet, heated seats, remote start, oh this list goes on, that, as you already know, I wouldn’t pay for. And my eyes rolled back in my head at the price. But Dan didn’t even waver – he already told me they were going to let me have it for the price I needed. Gulp – really? Wow. Universe… you did gooooooood.

After all this work, it was still more important that they got me a truck I could be happy with. Now THAT’s a good dealership.

AUTONATION SCOTTSDALE FORD, people! Dan Jensen!

For a brief moment I considered contacting my astrologer to see what she had to say…. and then I thought… maybe not. We’d all been through quite enough. 😉

Now I can’t tell you what I paid because I promised I wouldn’t, but know that I got an AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL truck for oh so much less then I could have ever dreamed I would. OMG! Just incredible.

Trust.

It did take another two hours for the truck to arrive at the lot (it was another transfer from a different dealership) and get all the paperwork completed. The entire time I bit my fingernails to the quick, because nothing at this point, not even signed contracts, was certain until my truck rolled on to the lot and I got to sit my heinie in it and claim it as my own.

Ohhhhhhh…. but when I did…..


It was eight o’clock in the evening by now, dark outside. The place was practically deserted, except for me and Dan and a few janitors. I couldn’t believe it was done. I cleared out Gorgeous with tears in my eyes, but knew that I had done the right thing, and it was soooo worth all the agony and waiting.

When Dan and I finally bade each other goodbye, I was kind of sad. It was such an unusual experience. I thanked him gratefully for all his hard work and told him how dazzled I was by the effort he and his crew made on my behalf, and how happy I was with my purchase. I was convinced he would be thrilled to see the back of me. But do you know what he said?

“Thank you Heather, for making this day so much fun. I’ve never had such a good time talking to someone.”

Ha! Who knew?!

And so now the Era of Gorgeous has passed, and a new Era of Boyfriend has begun. Change can be good. I LOVE my new truck. It is beyond ravishing. It drives like a dream, and in another month I’ll be towing with it.

I can’t WAIT.

gorgeousandboyfriend