I wasn’t going to blog about my car saga until I had gone a little further down the line of buying the car, but I’m so frustrated tonight that it has to be written down. And it’s Part 1 because this is not ending here… there will be installments until I actually get a new car.

Please note that I haven’t even mentioned the make of car yet. Weird, you may say, but I have had my heart set on one particular vehicle, but after my experiences in the last 2 weeks, I’m beginning to wonder whether I’ve made the wrong choice.

If you follow me on Twitter you’ll probably remember the endless tweets towards the end of last year pondering which car I was going to get next.And after driving a few, and chatting to a few people online like F1Sasha and a couple of other car guys on Twitter and some car loving colleagues, I decided to buy a new Kia Sportage 2l 2WD Auto.

Now, I’ve had a lot of cars in my lifetime. In fact, it was a bit of a standing joke amongst my friends at one stage because I bought new cars so often (in fact I owned a new Citroen C3 for 4 months before selling it again).  So buying cars is something I’m quite familiar with.  I’ve been frustrated in the past too, especially with dealerships that don’t take you seriously when you’re female.

But I’ve never had an experience like this one.

Two weeks ago I went to the Kia dealership in Northcliff with Lance.  I had made my decision.  I wanted to order the car.  So I speak to the sales dude who adds my details to the system and tells me that’s enough detail… and I’ve apparently ordered the car.  I tell him that I’m not that fussy with colour because I know there’s a long waiting list.  I just don’t want orange or yellow… but any of the silvers, or the white will do… even the black for that matter.  He tells me sure thing… he couldn’t give me a timeline, but said that he’d be getting the allocation list for the month during the next week, and that he’d phone me by Friday (last week that is) to tell me how long it would take.

And so I left it at that.

Friday came, and Friday went.  No phone call.

So on Monday I decide to try and phone the dealership.  The receptionist answers… and then the phone promptly goes dead as she transfers the call.  So I try again a few minutes later… and realised that the phone wasn’t actually going dead when she transferred… they’ve just got a shocking phone system that doesn’t let you know you’re on hold.  Eventually someone on the sales floor picks up the phone and I have to leave the sales dude a message because they can’t find him.

And I wait… no phone call. So on Monday evening Lance gets fed up with me because I haven’t followed up enough (like I have the time), and he sends Kia a message on their site.

Anyhoo, this blog post is getting too long, so fast forward to this afternoon (after one of my tweets yesterday eventually got Kia’s Head Office to get hold of someone at the dealership to help me).

I get a phone call from Shahid at Kia Northcliff.  He still apparently doesn’t have an allocation sheet.  He takes down my colour preferences again… WTF happened to our previous conversation?  He has no idea yet how long it’s going to take for me to get the car.  And to top it off, he gives me his mobile number, and tells me that he wants me to phone him every Friday to find out when it’s going to come.

WTF?!!

I have a few issues with this now…

  1. Don’t Kia need my business?  I know that the Sportage’s are selling like hot cakes at the moment, but don’t they need my business?
  2. I don’t have the time to phone the dude every Friday.  It’s his job surely.  Why should I pay him commission if I’m doing all the running around?
  3. I’ve never ever heard of a car manufacturer that doesn’t know how many cars are coming in the next few months.  When I test drove the Hyundai ix35 in November the guy told me exactly when I could get the car, and he had a board with all the orders… it was organised.  Every other time I’ve bought a car they could tell me roughly what the waiting list was, if there was any at all.  This makes me question Kia’s processes.
  4. Is this just Northcliff?  Or all dealerships?  Should I even bother trying to go to another dealership?
  5. If I’m having this much hassle getting the car, what’s the after sales service going to be like?
  6. The main reason I chose Kia over Hyundai was the gear lever (I’m not too partial to the way the automatic gear lever works in the Hyundai)… maybe I can live with the Hyundai gear lever, at least I’ll be able to plan my life!!

Anyhoo, I’ll let you all know what happens.