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my experience at tampa hondaland

I received a letter in the mail addressed to "current resident" that Tampa Hondaland was offering 0% for 60-month financing, stimulus assistance, and better help in with a trade-in value. Furthermore, the ad said they would give a $250 certificate just for stopping by with no purchase necessary for Wal-Mart, Publix, Home Depot, Sam's Club or NASCAR Racing Store - your choice.

My '05 GMC Canyon at this point is worth 10k on trade. It was worth 8k only two years ago, but because of huge auto industry sales slump, it's now worth 10. I knew this before even going to the dealership.

What happened was this:

All the Civics were overpriced and there was no way I could get one.

The Fit on the other hand is in my price range, but they don't have a sunroof option at all.

There was only one Fit that suited me, but unfortunately it was black and had 60k miles on it. And I hate black cars because they're a nightmare to keep clean.

I test drove the Fit, and to be honest I really liked it. It was a manual transmission (which I wanted) that shifted smoothly, had a good ride and felt great when driving.

I almost bought the car.

So why didn't I?

Here's why:

I said that I'd be willing to pay $310 a month - but only if a sunroof was installed, included in the final price and the final price of the car was to my liking.

It was all downhill from there.

No matter how many times I asked for the price of the car, nobody would tell me. The answer was, "we're working on it" each time. Not cool. At that point I was ticked off. No more $310 a month for you. It's $300 a month or nothing now since you're so unwilling to tell me the price of the stupid car - which I never found out by the way.

They offered $320 a month. NO.

Then they wanted a down payment to lower the monthly. NO.

Then at one point a sales manager asked me if I'd be willing to give a down payment from my credit card. WHAT? Are you NUTS? NO.

Back and forth the sales guy went. Sat down at the desk with me. Asked for a down payment. NO. Went to the sales room. Came back. Asked again for a down payment. NO. Went back to the sales room again. Came back again and asked for a down payment. NO, NO and oh yeah, by the way, NO.

I swear, I sounded like David Spade:

At 2:58pm I looked at my cell phone while, of course, waiting for the sales guy to come back.

What the hell.. I've been here for two hours. Somebody better start making some sense or I'm out o' here.

At 3pm almost on the dot he comes back, and the sales guy starts spinning again with his sales jive trying to convince me to pay more than I should.

I said, rather loudly, "With that said, FUGGIT", got up and stormed out.

The guy chased me outside. I said NO again, walked to my truck, and left.

Oh, and that $250 certificate? I was told it was only for the NASCAR racing store "that week". In other words, worthless.

After I got home I did some research and looked up the true value of that particular car with 60k miles on it. Put simply, it's not worth even $300 a month.

I give credit to the sales staff at Tampa Hondaland because they fought for my business tooth and nail. They tried. But unfortunately they screwed up royally, because nobody should be in a car dealership for two hours just to get the price of a car, which is what ultimately led me to storming out of there.

There is a silver lining to all this however. I did get to test drive a Fit. I really liked it and know that it would serve very well as my next car.

But if I do buy one, I certainly won't be buying it from Tampa Hondaland. No. Way.

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