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    35-year-old mother of two, wife of one, instructor at a university and free-lance writer, editor, researcher. I promise, I'm more fascinating than this "about me" and my favorites.

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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Repositioning

Ever noticed sometimes things get new names, but other than that new name almost NOTHING has changed? Here are some examples:

The end of late fees: As explained by the friendly Blockbuster employee: We still have due dates, but now we have an extra week to return them (which raises the question: why not just make the due date seven days beyond what it currently is?). If you don't return the movie that week, Blockbuster will charge your credit card the entire amount for the movie (1. I'm guessing there's no pre-viewed discount there. 2. When exactly did they get and store my credit card number for these no-late-fee occasions? Lucky for me, I'm guessing the card I signed up with years ago isn't active anymore!). Apparently, you have a window of opportunity to still return the movie, at which point you are charged a "restocking" fee. So, the ads should really read: The end of late fees, the beginning of restocking fees.

No-haggle car dealerships: We went to one (I won't name names, but it happens to have the same name as a great Hall of Fame QB) Saturday trying to deal on a Nissan. On their window stickers they have their "no-haggle price," which is a little less than the MSRP (but not nearly as close to invoice as you can haggle for at traditional dealerships). The salesman didn't seem to understand what no-haggle meant. Because, of course, we haggled a lot on the value of our trade-in, and he even uttered these words: "We can work on the price on our car too, because we are here to sell cars."

Sure enough, it felt like every other car-buying experience I've ever had. Sitting at his desk while he runs the sheets to the sales manager behind the glass (instead of solid walls, this one was like a fishbowl and we could at least watch them while they pretended to act in our best interest discussing the prices). He came back with a monthly payment that made our jaw drop -- nearly $200 over what we said was doable. He says, "If we get it to this price will you do the deal?" I say, "Sure." He makes me sign my initials to that price. (I should check and see if they get that number if I'm legally bound by my initials to buy.) He comes back, looking glum. Can't get it to that number. B and I say, "OK, we're outta here." (The whole time he was gone the second time, we had a conversation about what complete BS the no-haggle premise is and that we should have just left before he ran off to the fishbowl again.) He says, "Oh wait, do you have five more minutes?" Me, being hungry and grumpy and only about 7 minutes away from the best (if not only) Jewish deli in the state, said, "No."

We could have gone on for hours just nickel-and-diming over the car(s). When the time is right to buy a car, I will not go back to a place that is build on a BS premise. I'd rather do the deal with a car dealer who embraces their sleazy, undermining ways.

posted by Laura at 1:23 PM |

2 Comments:

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