Last week was stressful for me. My wife had sold her car quicker than we planned, which meant we were under the gun to replace it with her desired mini van. As everyone knows, having to go out and talk to car sellers is officially considered worse than waterboarding by the UN. So we looked for our gently used Toyota Sienna on craigslist, cars.com and autotrader.com.
We found a handful that looked good and started to go look at them in person. We ended up driving about 500 miles those few days. Most of the visits were about what you’d expect – not pleasurable.
One of our last stops was out in Greenville, NC at Pleasure Ride Auto. The name had us a bit worried, but the van they had on the lot had us hopeful. They closed at 1pm on Saturday afternoon, and we were running late. My wife called at about 12:45 telling them we were still half an hour out. They said they’d wait for us. When she hung up, we both sighed, thinking there would be nobody there when we pulled in.
We got there and sure enough Brad and his dad were both still there waiting for us to arrive. We took the van for a spin and liked it, but had one more to look at the next day, so we told them we’d call them.
Sunday’s car was terrible, totally misrepresented in the ad. So we decided we’d get the one out in Greenville.
Monday morning I looked for a local mechanic out in Greenville to give the car the once over looking for anything drastic. Once I found one, I called Pleasure Ride Auto and asked if they could drop off the van at his shop. Brad said he would take car of it and drove it right over there by 8:30am.
A while later, I called the mechanic and he said it looked fine. With that, I started the drive out to Greenville.
I picked up the van at the mechanic where he told me about a few small items. I drove it back to Pleasure Auto’s lot where it was now lunch time. I showed Brad the paperwork the mechanic gave me, and he offered to fix the 2 things that were wrong (a brake light was out and a screw in one of the tires). He suggested I grab some lunch and when I got back it would be ready to go.
True to his word, after lunch, everything was fixed. He spent about 10 minutes filling out some paperwork with me. He called my insurance agent to make sure all that was taken care of, attached the temporary license plate and also gave me the packet of documentation I would need to give to the DMV.
I was driving back home shortly after.
I started thinking on the drive home just how unusual that used car dealership was. Clean, professional and honest are not usually associated with buying a used car, but at the Pleasure Ride Auto lot it’s what I found.
What are the words your customers use to describe you and your business?