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2018-02-18 - 4:35 p.m.

I want to tell a couple of stories of things going my way here lately. These are not major life altering victories, but they are small happenings that made me feel good. Usually, things don't go all that right for the little guy. Sometimes things do go my way. Lately, I've been a pretty lucky duck.

First, I'll tell the very small yet very delightful win. I ordered my boo some white chocolate dipped strawberries and 4 caramel and chocolate dipped pretzels for Valentine's Day. (I am my own Valentine) I was thinking since I have no one to surprise me with a delight, I will surprise my damn self. A few days later, I got my package and the berries were perfect but the pretzels were all broken up. They still tasted awesome, so no harm no foul. I would have been disappointed if I sent something as a gift that was broken up though, so when they sent me a survey about my experience, I told them the berries were great, the pretzels tasted great, but they were broken and I think they should know, because they might be able to change the packaging and keep that from happening. They wrote back and said they appreciated my valuable input and they refunded the entire purchase price back! I was very pleasantly surprised. I was not expecting that and my intention was just to give them a heads up that their pretzels were getting shattered in transit. So Shari's Berries were my Valentine this year. I heart them.

Next... is a longer story with a bigger payoff. I'll try to pare it down. I traded in my 2015 loaded SUV for a brand new 2018 same make and model, just as loaded, but with a few new bells and whistles that have been added to this years' model. I got a good deal. My payment is a little more than $100 a month less than the 2015 was costing me, plus all my oil changes and services are going to be free as part of the deal. Bumper to bumper warranty is included and all that jazz. So... I did the trade on December 7 and the dealership made the first payment for me as a part of my deal. On December 20, an autodraft payment came out for my 2015 car that I no longer owned. I called the finance company and they said "Our mistake, we will refund you". Didn't happen. So I called them again and they said that the dealership didn't pay it off when they were supposed to and when they finally did, the additional payment had already been taken so the pay off amount was less. The dealership paid the lesser amount and thought that would fly, apparently. HA. How many people fall for that?

So.. the finance company said the refund would have to come from the dealership. I called the dealership and explained the situation and asked for my money. My second payment was due and I didn't have an account yet and I was beginning to wonder if I should just bring the car back since they didn't complete their end of the deal. So the finance guy got all flustered and in his ferver to convert me back to a happy customer, he said he would pay the 2nd note out of the proceeds. He had dropped the ball in a major way and didn't want it to come to light, I'm assuming. I was driving around in this car that no one was paying for and I could not be blamed because he never set up my account. So upon his offer to pay the 2nd note, I was instantly a happy camper. Yeah... pay my note. That fixes everything. So after a few more minutes of chat, he slides in this comment "If you'd like to pay us back for this payment I'm making today, I will leave it up to you whether you want to pay that or not."

::Insert Wrong Answer buzzer noise here::

Nice man, but WHAT? Who...just WHO is going to voluntarily pay a note if they can avoid it??? He thought I was a nice woman, and therefore a stupid woman, I guess. I didn't say one word back. I just let that lay there like a turd in the punch bowl. Hell naw, I ain't paying that payment. That was money he paid to avoid his huge mistake from coming out. Later on, I called to make the February payment and set up my autodraft. They told me the January payment was not made. So I called Mr. Nice Finance Guy again and he said it was paid, absolutely paid, they would not set up the account without that money. While he had me on the phone, he hit me up for a repayment again. I told him I was still owed $550 so no, I would not be paying anything further until I got my money back and then we will see if I still feel like I'm in the hole. He even attempted to say "I just need to get that payment back from you" and I had to explain to him that he had told me that was up to me to decide whether to pay it or not. He kind of deflated... and said "Yes. That is what I said.". Ultimately, he offered to have my check cut that day and since I was coming by to get my license plates I could come see him and get my check. Giving it one more try, he asked me if I would like him to deduct the payment he had made. I politely declined.

When I got to the dealership to get my plates, there was an envelope rubber banded to the plates and inside was my check!! I just knew he was going to make me come in there and look him in the eye and say "No money for YOU". But he didn't. He might have thought that by giving me the check I would then feel bad and come inside to pay him back, but that is only because he does not know me. So I floated out of there with a big smile on my face. I smiled so much that day my teeth got sunburned. I am pleased as punch that they paid my first 2 payments.

The truth is, I felt at the time of the deal that I didn't negotiate them down far enough. I gave up too quick. So it makes me feel a lot better to have that one payment in my favor. They gave me a better deal than they intended to. They are still better off for having sold it to me, but they didn't clear as much as they planned. I think they are a mad house over there and their crazy lack of taking care of business worked out in my favor. Score!


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