My Mini: On Order!
It's official! Saturday I finally purchased my dream car...after 6 years of yearning!
However the road to my ultimate goal started out pretty rough. First off, for anyone reading this in the LA area I just want to say DON'T EVER BUY A CAR FROM MINI OF UNIVERSAL CITY!!! They are unprofessional, not nearly as knowledgeable as they should be of the primary car they sell (the salesman didn't even know if the car came with a spare tire), and in general are a bunch of schiesters!!
After putting $2,000 down on Thursday so they would hold the one red body/black top Mini they had on the lot, We went back Saturday morning to finish the deal. Turns out they had no intention of budging on the overpriced $30.000 they had marked up. Not in the least! The car cost $24,000 and with tax, title, etc. in should have come in around $26,000. When the deal didn't go to my liking and we were ready to walk, they said I couldn't get my deposit back for a few days. We said, 'I paid cash and I want my money back RIGHT NOW!'
At this point the floor manager had joined in the negotiations with the salesman we were dealing with. The two went into the back office, emerging two minutes later to ask if we would step back to the GM's office to discuss things. I assumed this was an 11th hour tactic to try and appease me.
The GM turned out to be like some Hollywood producer. 'What's the problem? This is the cost of the car', he said firmly. I expected him to be soothing, working with me to find a deal. Nope. He was all, 'am I not clear enough?'. Plus I was informed that they hadn't even run my credit on Thursday. What?! The salesman had told me he ran it, I said. Another lie. At this point we were very pissed off and very done. Give me my money and I'm out of here! He said their financial department was closed on Saturday and I wouldn't be able to get a refund check until Monday.
Back on the sales floor, the floor manager went to write me a promissory note that I'd be given a refund in full on Monday. At this point I noticed a few customers looking in my direction. So being my pissy self I went off a bit more. 'Why can't I get my $2,000 back today, what is the problem! And you guys didn't run my credit?! Why did you tell me that you did?! What the fuck is going on here?!!'. I started sounding like some egotistical Hollywood ass. At this point all heads were turned my way. Aside from being pissed off I was enjoying disrupting their flow. The salesman even tried to shush me a little, to which I loudly replied, 'I don't care how many other customers can hear me!'. I took my promissory note, stormed out the door, went to the car so I could calm down a bit, and left.
Now here's the wonderful and very satisfying part of our story.
From there we drove to Bob Smith BMW and their MINI division, Bob Smith MINI, the dealership I'd originally intended on going to in the first place. Earlier in the week they had informed me that I'd need to order the specific Mini I wanted (package deals, accessories, etc.) and delivery would be 6 - 8 weeks later. This is why I ended up at the other guys because they had one in stock. However that one only had about 75 percent of what I ideally wanted in the car. At Bob Smith I could order the exact specs and get a car that would be built just for me!
And it was like night and day going from one place to the other.
Hillary, the saleswoman at Bob Smith, was very knowledgeable, professional, non pretentious, and very timely in getting me exactly what I wanted...and at a very fair price right out of the box: $26,000+. And all this with zero haggling! ZERO! In fact everyone we dealt with there was wonderful. The dealership itself was so much nicer than the other one as well. All in all I was so, so, so glad I did my business with them instead. But in the long run it was good I did things the way I did. If I'd purchased the car at Bob Smith first, with the 6-8 week waiting period, I probably would have had some nagging voice in my head wondering whether the other guys had what I wanted right on the lot. Yes it's a little more of a wait, but in the end it'll be sooo worth it.
Plus they give you a special code so you can go onto the MINIUSA site to track the building of my Mini in Oxford, England, through test drives and inspections, shipping to the dock, boarding the boat for transport to the US, final prep in the States, and delivery to the dealership for pickup. I LOVE IT!!
BTW, I went back to that other place yesterday and guess what? They pulled my cash out of the safe to return to me. LO-fucking-L! Amazing. I told them I bought the exact car I asked for at Bob Smith for the price I wanted. He just said, 'O.K.'. Yeah fuck you too. Clearly that place is for people who just want to come in and buy a car whatever the price. It is located near Warner Bros. and Disney studios in a high-end area. Me, I represent the rest of America who didn't want to pay the ridiculously overpriced amount.
God bless Bob Smith BMW! Shortly I'll have a counter to tick down the days until my Mini is delivered. Who knows, it could be even sooner depending on the production schedule. We'll see...