Most Consumerist readers consider themselves savvy and resistant to marketing messages and sales pitches. Even then, be cautious when accepting free stuff or cash in exchange for sitting through a time-share presentation. One couple received such an offer while shopping in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. They say that they were offered $450 to attend a 90-minute presentation, and after 8 hours of sales pitches signed up for a timeshare that they didn’t want. [More]
Aggressive sales pitches are a delicate balance between selling customers on what you have to offer and pissing them off so much that they never return. When AMC theaters recently changed their loyalty program from free to paid, employees began to sell memberships too aggressively for AgentG2’s taste. He found the experience off-putting enough that he doesn’t plan to return to AMC. He wonders: did he overreact? [More]
Eric writes that he wanted to upgrade the phone that he uses on his T-Mobile prepaid plan. He decided on a T-Mobile Comet, and found a great price on it at Radio Shack. The crack sales team at The Shack had the phone in stock, and would be very happy to sell it to him along with a two-year contract. This being the reason why Eric has a prepaid plan, he declined.
The salesman insisted that this was a policy that came straight from the district manager, and “called” to confirm it. When Eric asked for the manager’s number so he could discuss the problem himself, the manager turned out to be a fax machine. When Eric insisted on being given the real number, that’s when the salesman threatened to call mall security.
Ryun writes that his long search for the perfect eyeglass frames led him to Lenscrafters, but the store’s sales tactics left him confused, embarrassed, and without the frames of his dreams. Was he wrong to walk out on the chain when they pulled out sales tactics he wasn’t comfortable with? [More]
John Tedesco of the San Antonio Express-News was badgered last week by a telemarketer who wouldn’t take no for an answer. He decided to keep her talking for a while to see how many ways she’d try to get him to hand over his credit card number for a “free” cruise. Here were all the tricks she used during her sales pitch. [More]
State Farm is powerless to stop its representatives from filling up your mailbox with unwanted solicitations! Terry has contacted one of the agents listed in the 16 mailings he’s received over the past month and was told, “Sorry, it’s from corporate.” He then lodged a complaint with the corporate office and received a response from their “Internet Support Representative” who basically told him he’s out of luck. We’re not sure what State Farm’s sales strategy is here; maybe they’re just betting on wearing him down through sheer volume?
Elysse was told by an optometrist to consider “vision therapy” as a treatment for her child’s strabismus (crossed eyes), but the business she was sent to—Children’s Vision and Learning in Versailles, Kentucky—turned out to be one of those places where selling is their top priority, and medical care simply the product being sold. After being lied to about the cost, given a hard sell during the first appointment, and even being asked, “Don’t you care about your child’s vision?”, Elysse decided to look elsewhere. Now, four months after the experience, the business is billing her $50 for a “penciled in” appointment she never agreed to keep in the first place.