My Confession

Confessions: A nuisance customer and a sign of trouble

Time 6:45 am, July 22, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 10.39.15HAVE you ever really wanted to tell a particular customer what you honestly thought of them? Of course you have! And so have I…

Let me tell you about ‘Mr Smith’. A man who thought his car was worth four times the trade-in, wanted 25 per cent off his new vehicle and took great pleasure in telling me how full of s*** car salesmen are.

On and on he went about how we all lie and that we all get paid way too much for what we do. Over the course of four weeks, he would come in regularly just to ‘check he was right about something’.

Eventually he actually bought a car from me. We lost money on the deal in the end but my boss was just glad to see the back of him.

Our former receptionist was a kindly young lady called Laura. She’d always offer to put out an A4 sign with the customer’s name on it for a handover. ‘Makes them feel special don’t it?’ she’d say in her native Essex accent.

Anyway, the day came for ‘Mr Smith’ to pick up his car. Laura rang me and said ‘Your man’s comin’ in today ain’t he? Give me his name and I’ll do a sign for ya.’ Trying to be funny, I said, ‘Ah thanks Laura, his name is Mr I Knowitall’. Before I could stop giggling, Laura gave a quick ‘all right, luv’ and hung up.

On the way over to the front desk to make sure she knew I was joking, I got a little waylaid with a pretty lady looking at a 4×4. There was an hour before ‘Mr Smith’ was due in so I wasn’t too worried and took my time explaining the benefits of the car to her.

I took her details and we went for a test drive.

She was very inquisitive about the car and I didn’t want to seem rude so the test drive took a little while longer than expected as we continued chatting.

Of course, by the time I got back, ‘Mr Smith’ had arrived and was standing in front of his shiny new car with a sign which read, ‘Here is your new car, Mr Knowitall’. Laura wasn’t the sharpest tool in the box and didn’t pick up on my comedy attempt with his name.

We didn’t see ‘Mr Smith’ at the dealership very often after that, as you can imagine.

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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