Back to my own experience.
I like to think of myself as an aggressive, confident, well-informed and well-paid consumer. Quite a few years back I decided to surprise my husband for an important birthday with a car he had always wanted: a Corvette convertible. Red. Tan interior. Black top.
I went to my local Chevy dealer and learned the car would have to be special ordered. I negotiated a price, put down a deposit and ordered the car. We agreed I would pick it up in six weeks. So far, so good.
A month later I called the salesman to confirm all was on track and was assured that, yes, the car was going to be delivered on time.
A few days before my husband's birthday, I called back to finalize payment and set up a time to get the car. The salesman suddenly notified me that the car had not been manufactured and would not arrive on time. Somehow, somewhere, the paperwork had gotten "lost". He didn't seem to think a short delay would matter, but it mattered a lot to me. I wanted to surprise my husband with the car on his birthday, not a week later.
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Fuming, I went to the dealer and got back my deposit. I frantically searched for another red Corvette in Southern California which I could get my hands on. I found one with a tan interior and a tan top (standard at the time). The dealer was willing to switch out the top for a black one. At this point, the clock was ticking, and I had very little leverage on price. I didn't waste much time haggling, and we settled. The salesman was going to make a nice commission, and I was going to get the car I wanted on time.
I went to the dealer, paid for the car, signed the paperwork and made an appointment with the salesman to return in two days to pick up the Corvette.
Two days later, I showed up ... and the salesman was nowhere to be found. He had taken the day off without notifying anyone of my appointment. Making matters worse, no one knew I had purchased the car. It was still on the lot, ready to be test driven, and dusty.
Now, let me remind you—this was a brand-new Corvette I was buying, not a used Impala. I did not expect to be treated this way.
I remember standing in the car lot that moment, ready to have a heart attack. My face was redder than the sports car I had purchased. Fortunately, I had all the paperwork with me, and another salesman took pity on me and helped (he also saw an opportunity to score at least part of the commission). An hour later, I finally drove off the lot in my new car, furious on a day which should have brought me so much joy.
I never bought another car on my own again.