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What's going on..

May 23rd, 2013 at 01:21 am

So, last I checked, the $500 deposit at Colonial Ford has NOT been returned. Credit card company said it could take 3 to 5 days, which would bring me to Friday, so I’m just trying to sit tight and be patient. I don’t see why they would say they would refund it and then not do so because it would just make the customer (me) more irate. It would be playing games when there was no benefit to them to do so, unless they actually thought they could keep the $500.

Anyhoo……I’m collecting prices from a half dozen area Honda dealers. The prices are all in the same ballpark with not much more than a $400 difference between them. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that all this effort on my end is pretty much a wasted exercise since when I finally go in to test a 2013 Civic, when the dealer learns that I will NOT be financing the car, they will likely try to make up the lost profit from financing by low-balling me on the trade-in value.

I could go in to test drive the new Civic anytime this week, but I applied for THREE bonus/rewards credit cards last Sunday after someone commenting on my blog reminded me I could pay for the car that way and easily stack up some nice rewards. However, while I know I could use a card for the deposit, they may not let you pay for the whole thing with a credit card. The purchase agreement I had for the Colonial Ford car said in big letters that you had to pay with cash or a cashier’s check.

So of the 3 credit cards I applied for, I was immediately approved for 2; the other indicated the approval would take longer and they’d respond back via mail. Not sure what the problem was there; perhaps my self-employed status? I didn’t like the idea of disclosing my new employer’s name and phone number…too invasive, so I just said I was self-employed, which I am. I applied for all 3 cards on the same day so that credit checks done for 1 or 2 wouldn’t affect the 3rd. I don’t know if I’ll be able to use them for the car, but I’ll have them next week, so that’s why I was thinking of delaying the next step in the process until then.

I noticed that Executive Honda, the dealer with the lowest price, has 40 reviews listed on Yelp, and every single one of those 40 reviews gives them 5 stars. Now I'm sorry, I don't believe these were made by legitimate customers; I'm quite sure the dealership has employees make up comments like this. Many of them list the sales rep by name and use words like "magnificent" and "fantastic" to describe their experience. Yeah, like, umm, I don't think so.

This morning I had an appointment to have a test done to see if I have asthma. You have to keep breathing in this substance which basically narrows your air passages so if you did have asthma, you’d have trouble breathing. The machine has to register at least a 20 to indicate you have asthma. I only registered a 9. So I don’t have asthma.

My dad decided on impulse to come up for a visit from Jersey. 3 hour drive. He took a wrong turn after going over the Bear Mountain Bridge and ended up getting lost for a while, but he got here around 2 pm. He showed up in his new Kia Soul, which is cute, and he let me drive it as we went to my sister’s to drop off some plants for her (he brought me a dozen tomato seedlings he’d grown from seed) and then we went to the diner for lunch. We hung out at my house afterwards for a bit, but then he left around 4 pm to drive all the way back there!! I keep saying stay the night, and I don’t know how you do it, but he doesn’t seem to think it’s a biggie. I’m sure he hit rush hour traffic on the way home, too.

After he left, I drove up to my neighbor’s behind me to return some milk and tea bags Stephen left behind at my place when he come over the other day for a long visit. Ended up gabbing with his wife for an hour or so. They are like the best neighbors you’d ever want to have. Their house is listed and they had a realtor’s open house a few days ago (the reason for Stephen’s visit….he had to vacate the house).

After that, I went back home and mowed the lawn (still not done). Also planted half the cherry tomatoes.

I offered some of them to my friend The Author in return for a bunch of carpet remnants she offered me. She’s been working at a carpeting/tile store and they’re getting rid of tons of discontinued remnants which she said make great bath mats. Any other uses you can see for these things? I want to get some but not sure what I’d use them for.

I picked off 2 adults tickets off me as I was planting my tomato seedlings. Not sure where the heck they came from.

Today was the perfect kind of day and a great example of why I love my unstructured time so much, which is only possible when you don’t work full-time. I didn’t have any of the things I did today on my “agenda,” but all in all, it was an enjoyable and pleasant day.
So this one Honda dealer has offered me the lowest price of all on the Civic HF. It’s actually the dealer invoice price, and all they’re adding to the “out the door” price is sales tax, registration fees and $400 conveyance fee. The only place where I see them making any money is the conveyance fee. Consumer Report lists this as one of their “unavoidable” fees but said you should question the charge if it’s higher than $300.

The other fee is registration fees - varies between $118 and $188 depending on if you are transferring plates or registering new. But according to Consumer Reports, the conveyance fee is for processing documents that establish your title and registration. So why would they charge for that twice? Hmm.

Oh, yeah. So after I met my friend the recruiter at Starbucks this past Monday night to sign all the paperwork for the new job, I gave my notice to my p/t proofreading $12/hr job. I explained that my new employer wanted me to start right away (day after Memorial Day next week) and that since work was so slow, I'd like to not have to give notice since I'm car shopping.

I learned through A., who shares my job and cubicle there with me, that my immediate manager L. was taking it personally and didn't like that I hadn't come in to tell them I was leaving. I suppose I could have but in truth i had a feeling L. would react badly to it, like a personal affront

I knew everyone would be asking for all the details about where I was going. There are some people there I was pretty friendly with. It would be awkward to put those people off with vague answers about where I was going, but if i told 1 or 2 people, it would be like telling them all. And call me paranoid but I wouldn't feel comfortable letting L. know where I was going in case she wanted to badmouth me.

So while J., L.'s manager, wrote me a brief, one-line email saying good luck with the new job, I never did hear a word back from L.

My neighbor Stephen said don't worry about it. You have to worry about yourself, not them. I felt all along this employer was taking advantage of me due to the low rate of pay, and while I allowed that to happen, becus i needed the money, I guess i never felt i owed them much respect, becus in that regard, I felt they disrespected me. Employers will boot you out the same day they lay you off, but somehow they still expect 2 weeks notice if you're leaving them.

I think L. considers herself a likable boss, but in truth I really resented the way she treated me when I gently declined to make any more sales calls. If they want someone to make sales calls, then hire someone to do it; don't make me do every single grunt job wherever there's a labor commission offered to boot.

She was positively badgering me to do it and for some ungodly reason she had to bring the whole thing up and rehash it all the following week after I thought we'd put it behind us. She seemed to find it remarkable that an employee would "just say no" to work they requested you do. While I would be careful when I said no in a full-time position that I actually cared about and paid decently, this job was so low-paying that I felt there wasn't much risk of being fired, and really not much to lose. They know that my counterpart and I are way overqualified and doing a much better job than they've experienced in the past when they filled these positions with summer interns.

6 Responses to “What's going on..”

  1. Another Reader Says:

    If I were in your shoes, I would not buy a new car until I was sure the job was going to work out. That's a lot of money for a probationary employee to be putting out. In your case, a car is a big percentage of your paper net worth. I know you need one eventually, but my strategy would be to have the job situation stabilized first. I'm older than you and fully retired, so I am cautious about large expenditures.

    The Civic is no longer all that popular - the disaster of the bad Consumer Reports review of the 2012 model has made the car less desirable. The dealer may offer below market financing - 0.9 or even zero percent financing. Here in Northern California, the manufacturer's offer is 0.9 percent, and several dealers are openly offering 10 percent off the MSRP on top of that. Don't be too quick to turn the financing down (don't discuss financing until after you have negotiated the price of the car). You can check the Honda website for financing offers in your area.

    Here the "doc" fee is around $100. I would try to get that pre-printed conveyance fee reduced, although that's probably where most of the profit is, so they may resist.

    I think you made a wise decision about the Fiesta. I understand it is not the same car as the European namesake and is not terribly reliable or durable.

    Good luck with the car and the new job!

  2. snafu Says:

    In the hope of helping..

    I suggest Googling MSRP. You'll likely find it is merely a 'Blue Sky'number the dealership uses as 'Sticker Price' which is also a made up starting point number. From there the dealership adds whatever they think you can be persuaded to pay. The real number is the Dealer Invoice , pay for licence and tags which are pro rated year, manufacturer, model. All done and out in 15 minutes.

  3. snafu Says:

    So sorry, my Mac Air is dropping sentences into cyberspace making what I attempt to explain into mush. The edit feature seems inoperable. appologies

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    In the day and age of instant "pending transactions" on credit card purchases, I always find it disconcerting that refunds can often take 5 days to show up. That's just how refunds are. It might be helpful to ask dealership for a receipt or something in writing, while you wait for final confirmation.

  5. Another Reader Says:

    To be a littler clearer, the Consumer Reports review was of the redesigned 2012 model. Honda hurried up the mid-generation refresh, solving some of the issues for 2013. The prices and financing cited are for the 2013 models.

    Dealer invoice is not a reliable number either. You can print any number you want on a sheet of paper and label it dealer invoice. There are manufacturer's incentives to the dealers that can make selling the car to you at "dealer invoice" quite profitable. You are wise to shop the dealers against each other. You should be able to get this car below "invoice" from one of them because they are sitting on dealer lots.

  6. PatientSaver Says:

    Your comments are most helpful, especially yours, Another Reader. I hadn't been aware of the bad 2012 Consumer Reports critique. It looks like they corrected many of those shortcomings in the 2013 model.

    Thanks for the info about manuf. mentioned in my post, a few of the quotes i got were at dealer invoice, so i was puzzled how they could sell the car at that price unless they did a bait and switch with me when i showed up at the dealership.

    And yes, it appears that many HXs are available on the dealer lot. They are also offering the same 0.9% financing deals in my area, too.

    Consumer Reports has an article about dealer fees, and they say that while paying a conveyance/doc fee is "unavoidable" that they generally fall between $!50 and $300 and that you should question any fee over $300.

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