Unfortunately the Disney Magic had to come to an end and, six days after my wreck, the insurance company finally decided to send someone out to look at my car. Once they actually started doing something, the claim was pretty much settled in 4 hours. Unfortunately the Element was totaled so I went to the body shop to say my goodbyes, get my light saber (it’s been in every car that I’ve owned since I was 16), and pull the radio out of the dash.
I had been half-heartedly looking at a new Civic or Fit, but my heart was in the Element so I searched for literally hundreds of miles and found a 2011 Element at Honda Morristown just outside of Knoxville, TN. Actually I found one in Orlando with 18,000 miles for 18,000 dollars that I was going to enlist my father-in-law to do the heavy lifting on until I read the Carfax on it. If it seems too good to be true…
My plan was to buy the Element from TN over the phone, have a car shipper pick it up and deliver it, and hope that everything checked out with the car once I got it home. I contacted the internet sales guy, Jimmy Clark, and he was super helpful and friendly and we made the deal extremely quickly. I’ve bought a few cars in my lifetime and have never felt like I’ve been treated as fairly and honestly as with the folks at Honda Morristown.
I was going to get a shipper to deliver the car to me (what with the 225 mile distance between The Creek and Morristown), which I was nervous about because the car shipping industry seems a bit skeezy. Long story short, there were a couple hiccups with the paperwork and Jimmy called me to apologize and to tell me that, because of the hiccups, he would personally deliver the car to me free of charge – 225 miles away. I was absolutely floored. I called off the shipper* that I contacted, who hung up on me – twice, and got the car a couple of days later.
For those of you who think customer service is dead, give Jimmy a call. I’m a Honda guy and I intend for all my future cars to be Hondas. Honda Morristown is 4 hours away, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing business with them again.
And that, my friends, is the Saga of the Element.
*The “shippers” that give you quotes (and you’ll get a lot of them if you put your info into an online form) are actually brokers who post your information and what they are willing to pay on a bulletin board system.
People with trucks then go on that bulletin board and pick and choose which jobs they want to do. That means that if the person who gives you a quote doesn’t pick the correct price out of the hat, your job could be sitting on the boards for a long time. There are no guaranteed pick up or delivery dates.