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When the wheels come off

David Bannister
Negotiation Wheels Come Off [Converted]

My step-daughter and her husband, who is one of our Scotwork alumni, are busy people and they lease their cars, which they use every day for work, for three years and then change them. They have been Volkswagen drivers for some time. When the time came to get new cars, my step-daughter ordered a Polo which was delivered as arranged in October last year. My son-in-law ordered a Tiguan five-seater and that did not arrive due to production difficulties. He was asked to keep his previous car and to continue paying the monthly lease payments. The new car was eventually promised for May 20th. When he thought he was getting a call to arrange the delivery of his shiny new wheels, he received a call from the supplier to “arrange reviews to check the progress of his new car”. Pressed on the matter, the supplier told him that the car had not yet been built and the factory producing it (or not producing it) was closed due to “supply difficulties”.

The supplier had made a fundamental error – not managing expectations - and discovered from my son-in-law’s reaction that bad news is not like good wine – it doesn’t improve when kept for a while. Armed with the facts that he had been paying for eight months for a car that should have been replaced in October and also that he had been poorly managed by the supplier, he, like any good Scotworker, realised that the balance of power was in his favour. He had a legitimate grievance – time to set out his conditions for a remedy. He took the initiative and, with his wife, drafted a list of the conditions under which he would still be a customer. 

Long story short as they say, he will next week take delivery of a 7-seater Tiguan which happened to be in UK stock. He will pay less for the car than he would have paid for the five-seater. It will have luxury mats, free servicing and a tow bar fitted for their horse trailer.

Who was the first person they rang to tell about this negotiating triumph? You guessed it! What did I say?  “This stuff really works!”

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