On 10/28/15 we took possession of our 2nd Kia Soul, but this was by no means a typical car buying experience. The car belongs to my son who has Asperger Syndrome. He spends most of his time in his room with headphones on to cope with it. He is 29 and hates leaving the house but is a very good driver. When I started having health issues and couldn't drive anymore he started taking me to all of my appointments and running errands and such. He only drives when he has to and hates going on the highway. His first two vehicles were family hand me downs which he hated because they had mechanical issues due to their age. When we could afford it we helped him buy a NEW car. He decided on a Kia Soul for all the right reasons, visibility, handling, safety features and reliability all very important because of his AS. We live in St. Johnsbury and he does great around town but refuses to go on the highway unless there is no back road he can use. This is where the extraordinary car buying experience we had with Berlin City Kia comes in. He decided a long time ago that his next car was also going to be a Kia Soul. At first he wasn't interested in trading the old one, until he saw the Caribbean Blue Kia in a commercial. He loved how it looked and said that was what he wanted. The only problem, it was a 2015 limited edition and the color was not being repeated for 2016. Finding a new left over limited edition with that color was going to be impossible I thought. I'm 63 and old school so when I wanted to buy a car I went to the dealer and drove half a dozen different ones, kicked the tires and spend 3 or 4 hours arguing with the salesman and then with his manager to get by best price. Well my son said let’s look online and see if we can find one. Well they had exactly what we wanted at Berlin City in Williston, VT. We do a live chat on the Berlin City site (imagine that) and verify it's still there and the live chat says a salesman will call. Next problem, he hates driving the highway remember. There is no way I'm getting him to drive to Burlington. This is where our hero comes in to save the day. Jim Adams, salesman of the year as far as I'm concerned. Now I've been buying vehicles for 40 some years and I never bought one over the phone. Jim was very knowledgeable, very personable and answered all my questions. Keep in mind we have a trade and I had checked with the bank and knew the Blue Book value and what I wanted for it. Now I tell Jim about my sons issue with driving to Burlington. So Super salesman says no problem if we have to we'll send someone to check it out. Then he says we're looking for 2 or 3 year old Kia anyway because of the high demand. He asked me all kinds of questions about our car, color, mileage, options, any scratches and so on. Let me check with our appraiser and I'll call you back in a little while. I tell my son, don't get your hopes up because without me up in their faces for an hour or so we'll never get what your car is worth. Well I was wrong, sight unseen based on what I told Jim about the car I got what I wanted for it. Now I may not be that computer savvy but I'm no Luddite either. I did my research (with my sons help) and knew what the original sticker price was on the new car, how much Kia Corporate was offering in incentives, how much it would depreciate when driven off the lot and what I was willing to pay. This is where they separate the boys from the men in car negotiations. You got to start real low and dig in for the long haul. I tell Jim what my first figure is expecting to hear him laughing on the other end. Instead he tells me politely, that's kind of low but let me see what we can do. Half hour later Jim calls back and says it's not doable but how about this number. Better than I expect but not what I wanted. Now I'm waiting for the old let me talk to my manager trick and I'm ready. I can't get up in his face but I can sure yell. Well Superman, I mean Jim says how about we meet half way. I'm in mid-yell when I realize that's a good deal and pretend I was coughing. Jim says let me put it all together and call you back in a bit. While waiting for Jim to call back I check with our bank to see what their interest rate and monthly payment would be. Everything was going well until Jim calls back. I got everything I wanted so far but the monthly payment was a little too high. Less than what I could get at our bank but higher than I wanted. Jim says let me have Art our finance guy give you a call, if we can get the payment where you want it I can still get it delivered tonight. After I pick my jaw up off the floor I said what about all the paperwork? Jim the super salesman says oh, we'll send it along for the ride. Well now it's close to dinner time and they're staying late. It's pouring down rain outside and I'm thinking no way is this going to happen. About that time Art (the finance guy) calls and gives me a better monthly payment but still not what I want. Okay, the deal has to be dead by now, right? Turns out they have a super finance guy also. Art asked what does the monthly payment have to be? I tell him, again expecting laughter on the other end. Turns out he's been taking lessons from Jim on phone etiquette. Art said, let me check other banks we work with and call you back. So while they're both staying late working hard to make the deal happen I sit down and enjoy my dinner. Now I'm sure we won't see the car for another day. Wrong again, Art calls back and beats the number I gave him. Same terms just a better interest rate. It's going on 6:00, it's dark and it's raining hard and I say, so I guess you'll send the car down tomorrow. Art says; let me put Jim on the phone. Jim comes on and says, so you happy with what Art could do? I said sure but I know it's late, it's raining and it's a 2 hour drive during the day and good weather. Jim says that's okay, I've got a guy. So with the help of Batman and Robin I made my first car deal, without ever leaving my living room, except when I ate dinner. Two hours later Bob (Jim's guy) shows up with our new car. While I read each piece of paperwork before signing it (yes that's right) Bob politely stands there with a cheery smile, patiently waiting, knowing he has to switch the plates in the pouring rain. I figure I can at least hold a flashlight for him (I stayed under the house overhang) but I think he could see okay, he never complained anyway. So Aquaman leaves and here we are with a new car, in the middle of the night and it's pouring down rain. We waited until the next day to go for a drive. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen at the Super Store, Berlin City Kia pulled off the best car buying experience this old man's ever had. Except one time in 1970; she may have been the first car "saleslady". I fondly remember her as WONDER Woman.
Thank you Mr.Chitko for hiring such super people. (Jim, Art & Bob)