Saturday, September 24, 2011

Don't Let This Happen To You

I hate salespeople.

Whenever I go shopping anywhere that involves a salesperson--car dealership, retail stores where employees work on commission--I always try to fly in and out under the radar to avoid any unneccesary contact with these people. If they come to my door, I pretend I'm not home. If they call on the phone, I screen the call. Why? The same reason 95% of the rest of the world's population does the same thing: the fact that I feel like I'm being conned.

If you've ever had the same reaction to something and felt as though you were being a bit paranoid or overreacting, have I got a story that will cure you of that but quick:

We have been in the market for a new computer, and visited a local branch of a big box electronics store, which shall remain nameless, within the last few weeks to look at the computer Hubby has been eyeballing. We had been there for no more than .046 seconds when--you guessed it--the manager walked over to see if we needed any "help."

Within the first three minutes of the conversation, this guy talked us out of a sale. He did it by trying to talk us into buying something else in addition to the computer: the extended warranty the store offers. His sales pitch? He told us that he had the same machine we were looking at, and the hard drive had fried after only a year's time.

I immediately felt conned. We had done some research prior to coming in, and hadn't heard of anything like this ever happening with this particular computer. Plus, what this guy didn't know was that Hubby used to work for this very same big box electronics store, and was well aware of their policy to give incentives to their managers for selling as many of these extended warranties as possible. Once, Hubby watched his own boss get a weekend trip to Las Vegas because he and his employees sold enough sound systems (that's right, the employees under the manager don't get rewarded for their sales--they all get lumped under the manager's numbers, and the manager is the only one who gets the reward).

I quickly came to loathe this manager. I decided there was no way was he getting credit for anything we bought. Ever. So I encouraged Hubby to leave. He did, even though he really wanted the computer. I felt like a bad wife, but was still determined not to buy anything from that man.

Fast forward to this week. Hubby's co-worker, also in the market for a new computer, goes to the same branch of this big box electronics store and is helped by the same guy. He gives her the same schpeel about his hard drive frying within the first year of his owning the machine, and encourages her to get the extended warranty. Instead of walking out of the store like we did, however, she bought the warranty. It added almost $500 onto her purchase price.

A different employee rang up her purchases. As they were chatting while the transaction was being processed, Hubby's co-worker mentioned something about the schpeel the manager had given her, which had influenced her to buy the extended warranty. The other employee rolled her eyes and said:

"That guy's such a jerk. He's got five computers, and, like, three of them he's won from here because he sells so many of these warranties."

So take heart friends! It's okay to say no to the pushy salespeople. There is a reason they are pushy, and it isn't because they have your best interests at heart.