No right to buy
Say I’m selling something and you want it. Do you have some kind of right to buy the thing? I don’t think so. I think most people, at least ones who understand what’s supposed to happen in a free market, would say that I’ve got the right to set whatever terms and conditions on the sale that I like (and are legal) from the asking price to what’s included to the kind of person I want to sell it to. Potential buyers have the right to negotiate or tell me I’m dreaming or, if they’re happy with all those things, to cough up the readies and make the buy. There is no more a right to buy something than there is to have a buyer on your terms for something you wish to sell – transactions are about finding what suits both parties in the exchange, and now and again that means a deal doesn’t go through at all.
Say it was a classic car that I want a certain price for, but don’t want to include the CDs in the glove box and do want to ensure goes to someone who I don’t think will take it onto some outback highway and rape it. Obviously I can’t do anything once the deal’s done and the keys and money handed in opposite directions, but I can say that I don’t want to sell it to some kid with no belt and a hat on back to front who rocks up in another classic car that appears to have been first heavily modified and then crashed. Or I can bullshit him about having given some middle aged enthusiast who came in this morning first refusal and then hope that some middle aged enthusiast really turns up. People might think it’s a bit dickish of me but I think most would shrug and say something about how much I actually want to sell the thing. before forgetting all about it.
So I’m struggling to understand why it is that Nissan has attracted some press attention for vetting potential customers for it’s new Leaf electric car (I will not call anything that runs on power generated from burning brown coal a zero emissions vehicle).
Some customers have “failed” a Nissan test to see if they were suitable for the new Leaf electric car.
Nissan has knocked back some customers interested in purchasing its first electric car, the Leaf, because they have been deemed “unsuitable” for ownership.
The plug-in electric vehicle officially hits the market on June 1, but interested customers need to pass a two-stage approval test before being issued with a certificate that will allow them to purchase the $51,500 car from one of Nissan’s special EV dealerships.
The test involves answering five questions about their intended usage for the car, followed by a visit from Nissan’s electrical supplier Origin Energy for an assessment of the suitability of the customer’s home electrical network.
Some intending customers have also been declined. “If you answered that you regularly drive from Melbourne to Sydney, then we might have politely informed the customer that this is not the car for them,” Staveley says.
“The majority of customers we have declined have been because they don’t have off-street parking available to them, which we consider essential for a safe and convenient recharging environment.”
Whaaaat? How dare Nissan try to prevent future criticism for selling people a product that’s unsuitable for their needs by checking out it’s suitability for individuals beforehand, the corporate monsters! The Age’s Drive section empathises and asks:
Has Nissan rejected your application to buy a Leaf? Tell us about it here
Yes! I told them I do the occasional road trip to Adelaide and Canberra and that I planned to park in the side road and chuck the extension lead over the back fence, and they said to me… <sniff> … they said: “Sorry, mate, but you need a proper car.”
How am I ever going to get over it?