Dear Home Depot: I Do Not Want To Hear About Your Special Promotion For Home Owners

Reader G writes in to let Home Depot know that he’s really, really tired of hearing about their “special promotion for home owners” while he’s trying to shop.

I wanted to share a recent annoyance at 2 Home Depot locations. The first occurrence I was actually a little surprised when an HD associate approached me, I assumed with would be the usual “Finding everything”. But it was an attempt to interest me in the special promotion for home owners they’re running. Apparently its some service with Trane to inspect your home air conditioning. Fortunately there was a sucker beside of me who spoke up and I moved along. A few minutes later and a few asile away who do i see coming but the promotion guy. Again I get the “did you hear about our new promotion”. Wow, yes and still not interested. Even though I was quite annoyed I didn’t think that much about it until at a second store a few days later same sales pitch. That’s enough for me, I’m not going to shop where I’m going to be bothered with these pitches.

Submitted to HD’s customer support form:
Over the last week I’ve had the occasion to be in 2 different stores in the Charlotte area several times(Steele Creek #3662 and S Boulevard Charlotte #3646). At each location while I was trying to find my items and continue with my daily life I was approached by an HD representative who wanted to tell me bout the special promotion for Home Owners. Apparently this is some attempt to sale AC services with Trane. I have to say how annoying this is that I can’t simply shop at your stores in peace, I’m going to be accosted for hard sales of services. This is not acceptable to me and will make me hesitant to return to a Home Depot store in the future. Regards.

We suspect that stores like Home Depot underestimate how annoying these sales pitches can be. Has a store ever lost your business because their sales force pestered you to sign up for membership cards, credit cards, or special promotions too often? Who are the worst offenders? Let us know in the comments and we’ll round up the best stories in another post.

(Photo: Den-Mod )


Edit Your Comment

  1. ryan89 says:

    How about Best Buy and their “8 Free Issues of Sports Illustrated or Entertainment Weekly” scam. The cashier 99% of the time forgets to say “8 RISK Free Issues” as in you can cancel anytime, but if you don’t you get charged for the subscription (including the 8 RISK free ones).

  2. simplegreen says:

    I’m a fan of Lowes, seems less pushy and it seems less about the contractors and more about home owners. I’ve found that the prices are just slightly higher… but I’ve never been asked to take advantage of any promotions..

  3. SaveMeJeebus says:

    At my part time job, the young attractive “sales associates” have to carry a clipboard with a credit application around. It is funny to hear them try to explain how credit cards work when they aren’t even old enough to apply for one.

  4. You can’t beat car dealers in this regard. Fortunately, cars last a long time, so it will be several years before I have to subject myself to that sort of abuse again. FWIW, I still remember my previous experience with said dealer, so when it came time to trade in the other car, I switched brands (Toyota, FTW) so I wouldn’t have to deal with them again.

    I can’t remember, but I did have one such experience at a Home Depot years ago. Seems they let a ADT sales rep loose in the store to annoy customers. I told him the day I need ADT is the day I move to another neighborhood, then went to Lowes for whatever it was I needed. As I recall, that didn’t last very long either – a single weekend, I think.

  5. Antediluvian says:

    Stores will continue to do this as long as it brings in more money than they lose. To the higher-ups, it’s simple math. They don’t get the quality of the shopping experience and the other intangibles that come from enjoying your visit (eg, stay longer, spend more money, tell people about your good experience).

    That’s because THEY don’t have to shop at their own stores and have to deal with this crap.

  6. rmz says:

    I think a lot of the problem would go away if membership cards / credit cards / promotions weren’t tied into employees’ performance reviews and/or used to push someone out of the schedule.

    Unfortunately, in the meantime we get to deal with unethical employees double-scanning your credit card to sign you up for memberships and the like.

  7. Brie says:

    I wouldn’t say they’ve entirely lost my business, but Banana Republic would definitely get more of my money if they didn’t push the credit card, and I’ve told them that.

  8. IphtashuFitz says:

    At the HD in Reading, MA I’m accosted almost every time I go in the front door by a guy in an HD smock trying to pimp free estimates for doors, windows, siding, furnaces, or whatever they felt like pushing at the time. I live in a condo, so things like siding, windows, etc. are basically meaningless to me. I also work at a theater in the area so I go there on a fairly regular basis to buy all sorts of odds & ends needed to build sets, rewire lights, etc. so I get accosted by these mooks on a regular basis. At first I just started ignoring the guy and after his little spiel to try to get my attention he’d always say “Thank you” in a pretty loud voice. So now I always go into the building through the contractors entrance rather than the main entrance so I can avoid this or any other annoyances that the HD folks might set up there. There’s also a Lowes a few exits down the highway from the HD and I’ve started going there more in part because of this, despite the fact that the parking situation at the Lowes is horrendous compared to the HD…

  9. bohemian says:

    Best Buy
    Radio Shack
    Linens & Things

    I hate having to run these stupid marketing gauntlets in order to buy something.

    If people in a store want to sell me something how about helping sell me what I came in there for. I find Home Depots walking commercials really obnoxious considering you can’t get someone to help you locate large box products or find the location of what your after. They have lost the sale of a generator and a scroll saw because they couldn’t be bothered helping me get a box down out of extra stock.

  10. Meisterjager says:

    A simple ‘No Thank-you’ isn’t too much effort really, is it?

    I hate to be playing the role of the usual cynical Consumerist, but I hardly think these particular actions on the part of HD call for a boycott of their stores, the strength of your arguement deoen’t justify this for me. I’m sure there are plenty of other reasons to avoid the place (heck, I’m POSITIVE there are), I just don’t think this can be taken into account.

    Slow news day?

  11. maier_m says:

    In my case, it’s Las Vegas hotels. The Rio used to be my favorite–until Harrah’s (now Bally’s) bought them up and placed a timeshare sales boot in the lobby–I got sick of being pounced on every time I walked into or out of the hotel, so I never stayed there again. Planet Hollywood joined Rio at the bottom of my list when, after an 18 hour flight (that should have been 6), I was pounced on by a timeshare dealer as I was trying to get to the check-in desk…

  12. SonicMan says:

    I would not mind this if they tied it to something. Like get 10% off your purchase today if you agree to a trane inspection.

    Sme thing with Credit cards. Give me 10% off if I apply. I do this often, and just pay it off before the bill even arrives.

  13. hexychick says:

    THAT is what will drive you away from a store? Seriously? I’ll give you the same advice my best friend gave me over something equally stupid: “Build a bridge and get over it.”

  14. jayrwasdf says:

    I’m not even sure if these guys work for HD.
    I once asked one where something was, and he mentioned that he doesn’t know, since he’s not really a HD employee.
    So I suspect they’re on commission for sales, as opposed to a salaried HD employee.
    Annoying, but the least of my complaints about HD.

  15. Me - now with more humidity says:

    I just tell them I rent. They go away.

  16. KlausKinsky says:

    The most annoying thing besides these pushers are the constant beep beep beep of the forklifts or whatever they are when they are in opperation. It is so loud that I will avoid going into HD at all costs. Here is yet another reason.

  17. mgy says:

    Not sales pitches, per se, but I would more at a few local restaurants if they would clear the homeless out from in front of the door.

  18. celticgina says:

    My husband (who is quite large) just keeps walking. LOL they tend get out of his way!!

    I usually just ignore them. If they really start ticking me off, I talk AT them really fast about whatever it is I’m shopping for….that makes them run!

    As for the “caniintrestyouinsavingX%onourcreditcardtoday”
    speech, a NO will usually do. If they go past that, I give them my best “NUN” voice (yes, I attended Catholic schools till I was 22) and ask what part of no they didn’t understand?

  19. mgy says:

    @mgy: eat more*

  20. balthisar says:

    Funny, I’ve never, ever had this happen to me in a Home Depot. There are four of them that I frequent, plus a Lowes. Granted, there are often tables with some promotion of the month set up, but they invariably wait for me to linger. Heck, I think Sam’s Club is worse in this regard, in fact. They, too, often have one of these information tables set up, and it’s about 50-50 whether they they wait for me to linger before giving a pitch. Just the other day an ambulatory salesperson tried to give me a pitch, now that I think about it. It didn’t cross my mind to boycott Sam’s, but I’ll wait and see if it gets annoying.

  21. bluemarble says:

    I stopped shopping at the closest grocery store (Shoprite) after they installed flatscreen tv sets in the check out lanes. The shopping experience was mediocre to begin with, but I could not handle the endless product pitches and crazy noise. My complaints got me no where and I let the mgr know that I wouldn’t be shopping there again.

  22. waybaker says:

    I interviewed for the company that does these promotions. These “sales reps” are actually employees of a marketing group. Here in Grand Rapids, they are pushing “Free Water Analysis”. The pitch is that they would send out a company to analyze the water and then give you the results. Of course, since the company also sold water treatment services, they could then customize a plan for them on the spot.

    When I went for the interview, I was under the impression that I was being interviewed for an outside sales management position. They called me back for a second interview and we proceeded to go to Home Depot and walk around all day asking people if they “had heard about the latest promotion”. If you got someone to agree to the free water test, you got $25. That was the only way you got paid.

  23. humphrmi says:

    @Meisterjager: But why do you have to say “No Thank You” 3, 4, or 5 times just because they decided to “blanket” the stores with these people?

    I have no problem with putting all their marketing upsell sucker crap at the front of the store, then let me shop in peace. But I agree with the OP, when they come up to you three times in one shopping trip, it’s annoying and unneccessary.

  24. Me - now with more humidity says:

    The beeping is so no one gets flattened by a fork lift. As the parent of a small child, I appreciate the warning noise.

  25. IphtashuFitz says:

    @Meisterjager: Why should I have to say “No thank you” EVERY SINGLE TIME I walk into a store?

    Not only do I find it annoying, but I find it downright rude when somebody in a Home Depot apron tries to talk up free roofing/siding/window estimates as I walk into the store when it simply does NOT apply to me. I live in a condo so I couldn’t possibly make use of the services that they’re pushing on me. If I ignore them they say “Thank you” in a loud condescending voice, but I’m not about to waste my time telling them every single time “Thanks but no thanks, I live in a condo so I can’t use these services.” Instead I simply go to their competition, Lowes, where they don’t try to foist those services on me. I can guarantee that HD has lost a lot of business from me in part thanks to this practice.

  26. bravo369 says:

    I walk out of stores if i get badgered by employees before I even get a chance to look around. How do i know if i need help if i haven’t had a chance to look yet? Bed, bath and beyond does it best. The employees always just smile and say ‘how are you?’. it’s friendly without being overbearing and gives me a chance to ask you for something if i need it.

  27. Buran says:

    @IphtashuFitz: I am actually in need of a new storm door right now but I’m buying it at Lowe’s, in part due to HD conduct/horror stories, in part because the Lowe’s is cleaner, and in part because my parents had the same door installed on their house (different color) and the installer did a great job and it seems there were no problems.

  28. darkrose says:

    I tend to stay away from Home Depot due to a disastrous vinyl fence install my parents encountered through one of their ‘preferred contractors’. Home Depot did little to resolve the problem at the local level, we had to go regional to get someone to even talk to us about the problem.

    Since then, everyone in my family goes to Lowe’s or an independent hardware store. I buy most of my things from the independent, but Lowe’s is open later so in a pinch, it’s off to Lowe’s.

  29. katya0303 says:

    Anyone try to buy a friggin bra at Victoria’s Secret? Their lip glossed, over-perfumed drones bombard you with panty sales info the minute you walk into that pink disaster of a store. If you linger in said store for more than 2 minutes, they come looking for you…asking you if you want your cans measured with the omnipressent measuring tape boa around their little necks. Between that and the constant shilling of body lotion and credit cards, I wind up leaving the store pissed and bra-less. Very Sexy indeed.

  30. Underpants Gnome says:

    I’d just be happy if the Menard’s by my house wouldn’t play their “Save Big Money At Menards” commercial on a continuous loop over their loudspeakers 24-7. I can deal with brushing off a salesman, but menards makes me want to put an icepick in my eardrums.

  31. Buran says:

    @Meisterjager: I wouldn’t call being harassed TWICE in the SAME VISIT unworthy of being posted. It’s intrusive, it’s annoying, it’s not prefixed with any kind of “do you need help?”, the first words are “will you give us money?”.

    No, this is not a slow news day. It’s getting tiring when people who think a story is beneath them is somehow unworthy of everyone else, and the tired SND line pops out. Slow news day would be random kittens.

  32. woodenturkey says:


    I think it’s because we are already in the store, and we don’t feel like being subjected to more advertising. I thing most everyone in the US is sick of ads being shoved up their ass 24/7. Hell you can’t even watch a Collage Bowl game without it being the DominoPapaJohnsTropicana Bowl at CompuGlobalHypermegaMart field

  33. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Last time I was at Costco, they had associates roaming up and down the checkout lines asking customers if they wanted to sign up for AMEX card or something.

    I suspect that these in-store sales pitches will be more common in more retail establishments.

  34. MoCo says:

    This article is a tip in disguise. Now when I can’t get anyone to help me at Home Depot, I’ll just go to the promotion guy or girl and ask for help.

  35. MissPeacock says:

    A friend and I went in Rooms To Go when it opened in our neighborhood just to look around. We were immediately accosted by a salesman (fine, that’s their job) who would NOT leave us alone. He followed us around the entire store and when he would see us lingering around an item, would start talking it up. We finally had to tell him firmly that we were just looking and to please go away. We never went back.

  36. dveight says:

    @KlausKinsky: Those constant beep are for safety and are pretty much built into any type of forklifts. Whether you are at HD or Lowes, you will hear one if they are being used. You may as well complain about fire engines, ambulances, and police car while you are at it.

  37. Nighthawke says:

    Just go into the store with “If you even speak to me outside of saying hello, I’m going to use your head for a mop and your butt as a broom” look. That is if the moron can read body posture or facial expressions.

  38. PinkBox says:

    The worse around here is Barnes and Noble. NO, I don’t want to pay $25 for your member card when other book stores offer them for free. I can’t buy a book or coffee without being asked this every time, and of course after you say no, they continue to try convincing you. NO!

    I feel the same about people taking money for charities, or selling things outside of grocery stores. If I want to donate or purchase something, I’ll go to them (and I often do).

    This reminds me of the strikes they had in front of grocery stores in Los Angeles a couple of years ago. Sorry, but I wanted to shop at the closest grocer – not one 10+ miles away in heavy traffic. The strikers were amazingly rude, and even chased an elderly woman as she was leaving the store, screaming at her. Come ON. :P

  39. fluiddruid says:

    This is one of the reasons I avoid places like Best Buy and Home Depot. If I can get the same item someplace else, I do. I prefer going into an Ace Hardware or similar as they leave me alone and have staff that are actually knowledgeable about what they sell.

  40. Nighthawke says:

    @woodenturkey: That can be dealt with by calling your city manager and complaining. Oh, and a noise complaint filed with the police goes a long way too. Failing that, contact the local public advocate at the local newsie.

  41. NightElfMohawk says:

    I got the HD guy with the homeowner pitch a weekend or so back when buying a lawnmower, but it wasn’t for A/C, it was for them to come in and take a look at your kitchen and give you a free quote on what some sort of improvements to it would be. Quickly cut him off and let him in that I’m a renter and can’t just go remodeling kitchens at will.

    I guess the upsale that annoys me the most is Target, since I shop there pretty often. Every single time they ask if I want to sign up for the card and save 10%. No. Every time, no. And sometimes they really keep trying to push it on me. I know it’s their bosses putting them up to it, but damnit, tag my debit card or something with the “I already said ‘no’ 80-billion times” badge. I don’t need another credit card, thankyouverymuch.

  42. chrisjames says:

    If we’re including checkout pitches, then that would be every national chain I’ve been to. I don’t mind it so much, since I’m on my way out and already being pestered to complete the sale. I still don’t appreciate the hard sell, though. “If you do this/buy that you can get…”, “Would you like one of our…”, and the absolute worst, the “Have you heard about…” pitch. That one actually pisses me off. I know it’s something I won’t want, but I don’t like lying, so I’ll be forced into a “No, but no thank you,” which can loop a few times before they realize they aren’t making a sale.

    I despise Barnes & Noble because of it. I’m buying one book for $6. I don’t want to be a member of your Please-Mail-Me-Shit Club. No one does. I’ll pay you extra not to put my information in your system. Looking at it that way, it’s almost de facto extortion. Borders has a softer approach: the “do you have your rewards card” line. It’s a much easier “No,” and I can stomach that just fine.

  43. Streyeder says:

    Nothing sucks like a Trane… ;)

  44. friendlynerd says:

    I was once harassed about vinyl siding while shopping in the mens clothing section of Sears. Vinyl siding. For my 14-foot wide rowhome. That’ll look great.

  45. tsurikomi says:

    I decided, a long time ago, that it’s way more fun to turn these situations around and have some fun with the solicitor. My favorite one (the favorite of my two young sons) was when I was approached in Sam’s club by a guy who extended his hand while offering a leaflet and simply said “Sunroom?”. I acted like I didn’t understand the word and kept him going for 5 mins with responses like “I’m sorry. I just don’t understand”. My sons were cracking up. Eventually, he walked off in frustration and we laughed all the way out of the store.

  46. .Trenchant. says:

    I didn’t walk into a Canadian Tire for a good two years until I absolutely had to since I couldn’t get more than 15 feet past the door without being harassed by the same woman time after time after time to get their stupid Canadian Tire Credit Card.

    The last time I did it was when I walked in, she asked if I had the CT Card yet, I said yes to get past her, then she asked if I had the red or the blue one, and started offering to upgrade me from the red to the blue if I just gave her 5 minutes of my time to fill out a form. How ’bout letting me take the 2 minutes I needed to come in here, grab some new windshield wipers, and get the hell out?

  47. Cogito Ergo Bibo says:

    Ah, yes. The furniture salesguy who will not let you browse in peace. I know him well. Ask for his card and say that you’ll make sure to find him, if you end up interested in actually buying anything. If you are approached by anyone else after that, flash the first guy’s card. I so hate anyone following me around while I’m shopping. Grrr!

  48. ChrisMike624 says:

    I love this blog, but sometimes posts like this get me a little peeved. I mean Home Depot is a business, you want quality service and people to cater to your every need, but you don’t want them to try and SELL you things?? Please, it’s a part of life in a capitalistic society, get over yourselves.

    My ultimate peeve is people who equate a sales pitch with “harassment.” These are people with obviously little business acumen and probably don’t have to sell anything for their careers.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like being bothered while I’m out shopping either, especially when I go furniture shopping, they’re on you like flies on sh!t. But, I can appreciate the fact that they’re trying to feed their families, and contribute like everyone else is, just in a different way. Most people can’t go day to day, selling, always trying to meet quote. It’s very stressful as it is.

    So the next time you’re approached in a store, try and smile and say no thank you. Or even listen to what they have to say, because maybe, just maybe you’re helping somebody make a living. It’s not always about you.

  49. el_smurfo says:

    My father got so tired of Wells Fargo employees trying to talk him out of the teller line to “teach” him how to use the ATM, he switched banks. I wonder how much shorter the lines would have been if that kind gentleman opened a teller window instead of pestering customers?

  50. IphtashuFitz says:

    @chrisjames: That’s one reason why I actually like the self-checkouts at HD, Lowes, etc. No checkout person to harass you about a 10% discount for a card. Now if the little computer display started popping a similar ad followed by a bunch of “Are you sure?” messages when I pound on NO then I’d probably be forced to take a sledgehammer to the darned thing…

  51. dragonfire81 says:

    @rmz: This is exactly. I used to work at a store and we were required to sell a certain number of “rewards” cards each and every week. If we missed quota too often, we could be fired.

  52. @Buran: “Slow news day would be random kittens.”

    But at least it would be a CUTE news day!

    I dislike but tolerate the cash register pitches. They’re obnoxious, and I shop more at places that don’t use them, but I get they’re part of the corporate landscape now. Roamers and floaters, though, piss the hell out of me. Either help me, or go away, don’t try to sell me financial products while I’m trying to buy bath towels. My attention span is the length of a gnat and now I’ve forgotten which friggin’ towels I was trying to compare.

    I quit shopping at Limited ages ago because of a constant “hard sell” at the register. “Do you want our card?” “No.” “No, really, you should want it! It’s aweseome.” “No.” “But it makes rainbows shoot out from our fundament!” “NO NO NO NO NO.” And they won’t finish your transaction until they’ve upsold you five times. Those places I never go back to.

  53. No one here has mentioned Victoria’s Secret. For over ten years of shopping at their stores, perfect strangers ask to measure my bra size every ten steps AND ask if I want to sign up for their card. They ask again when I try something on in the dressing room. And the double credit card ask when I make my purchase (“Are you SURE you don’t want to take advantage of our 10% savings?” “Okay, but you’re missing a great deal.”). They lost my business a long time ago but every holiday season, it’s a mandatory shopping pit stop (Try to name a better competitor). And it’s also a mandatory headache afterwards.

  54. Zanorfes says:

    Best Buy has annoyed me plenty with their Extended warranty service or Geek Squad. How many times, and in how many ways do I have to say no? No means no!

  55. Froggmann says:

    Hey at least they are marketing to the writer in english. The one by me all the overheads are in spanish.

  56. P_Smith says:

    My technique for dealing with such whoring is simple, effective, and not rude: ask them “Did I ask you for/about that?” Interrupt their spiel as often as necessary until they answer the question. They will eventually get the point unless they’re completely braindead.

    If I’m in a bad mood, I will resort to a less pleasant followup, especially if they were overboard about it or stopping in front of me to block my path as I walk.

  57. amyschiff says:

    Victoria’s secret asks me every time if I want their card. Floor associates as well as cashiers ask without fail. The cashiers are usually pretty nice about it though and say something like “will you be using your Angel card today?” instead of just doing a straight pitch.

    I must not look like the typical VS shopper because they seem surprised that I have their card. I use it for the points that get me coupons etc. and never carry a balance from month to month.

  58. cyborg5001 says:

    aka. The Dirty Dixie

    They had decent prices if you were willing to overlook the store’s overall cleanliness. That is until they decided to raise their prices slowly over about 3 months, and then offer their customer loyalty card. The card only lowered the prices back to their previous level, when the particular item was on sale. Otherwise you paid a 5-10% premium on your grocery bill.
    Their big push to get the customers to sign up was some gift card deal that was going to be an on going thing for the foreseeable future. Well that foreseeable future was only about a month. The program was replaced with subsequently less rewarding offers until the entire program was essentially nerffed.
    Before I signed up for the card I received zero junk mail addressed to me. Sure I got the “Postal Customer” and “Resident” junk, but nothing specifically to me. After the card it started to show up, and hasn’t stopped since. I quit the Dirty Dixie about a year after the card (5-6 years ago) and became a Publix customer. No problems, no price gouging to offer a “Sale” and no junk mail.

  59. chrisjames says:

    @IphtashuFitz: It’s been done. It’s called the “Carwash: Yes/No” tactic. The only gas station around here that still pulls that crap is Shell. It’s pretty scammy since it pops up right after the “Receipt: Yes/No.” I’m always worried the Yes button will register twice (it happens with me since my hands shake). I figure the checkout pitch is a similar idea, and the Reservation Rewards scam is really just a lateral move from the concept.

  60. amyschiff says:

    @cyborg5001: sigh Publix. Makes me miss Florida. We don’t have those here.

  61. thufir_hawat says:

    Cash register pitches (for warranty, magazines, or charity) don’t bother me so much, but I quit going to a Kroger’s grocery store which is otherwise convenient afer I got hit on the way in by four different vendors (newspaper subscription, bank, samples of local wine, and some kind of continuing ed program), and a homeless guy on the way out. It just seemed like more of a gauntlet than necessary of get milk and produce.

    I wonder about the “if they didn’t work the stores wouldn’t do them” argument because I suspect it does not account for type-II errors, counting subscriptions and bonuses but not customers who leave early or don’t come back. Surely there is some kind of metric.

  62. MrGrimes says:

    Every place asks if I have a store card when im checking out, and when I say no they ask if I want to sign up. That gets pretty old.

  63. Carabell says:

    I used to get harassed by the vinyl siding woman every time I walked into the store, which was often as my high school boyfriend worked there.
    Every time I had to remind her that I didn’t own a house, and also, I was in high school. Every. Time.
    Eventually she disappeared.
    A few years later I went to a BJ’s and guess who was standing at the door with a clipboard and vinyl siding brochures.
    I literally turned around and ran out of the store.

  64. HighontheHill says:

    Just say NO! It’s simply really and the more forceful they are the ruder I am. My time is valuable, to me, and I won’t waste it with BS… Oh, and I frequent my local independently owned hardware store or lumber yard for 90% of what I need. Sure I pay a bit more but I receive better service and am supporting a local business. The big box stores are an unsustainable business model they just won’t admit it yet…

  65. Kounji says:

    Some guy at home depot corporate to a Store Manager at HD in Charlotte : Great, I just want to tell you that 2 of your associates are doing a good job promoting our service for Trane, keep up the good work.

    Seriously they aren’t going to stop now, you just let them know its effective and now that you blogged about it. It is super effective

  66. Kounji says:

    @thufir_hawat: wonder about the “if they didn’t work the stores wouldn’t do them” argument because I suspect it does not account for type-II errors, counting subscriptions and bonuses but not customers who leave early or don’t come back. Surely there is some kind of metric.

    Seriously they need to. I think that actually would be a very important metric for the stores to have. Unfortunately the only metric you have is complaints to corporate and customer traffic based on customers who purchased something.

    When I worked at lowe’s One of the things they wanted the specialist to do is keep track of all of their interactions with customers that day and state if they purchased a product.

  67. Buran says:

    @chrisjames: Those do shut up if you say “no”, though, and it’s just a machine asking a simple question, unlike a human that can get nasty at you if you say no to the pitch. And enough people do buy carwashes with gas that I can’t see a problem with the prompt as it keeps you from having to walk in to pay separately for the wash.

  68. Buran says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: I wear a hearing aid. I sometimes pretend not to hear them (and sometimes actually don’t hear people who are trying to get my attention and don’t find out til they run into me again later… this usually happens when it’s someone I actually wan to talk to, grr).

    And now I actually want kittens. :p

  69. mk3 says:

    I need to let you all know that as a vendor for the HD, that guy is probably one of the independent contractors that they hire to do installations, just like the cabinets, flooring, or anything else that is installed. They are under so much pressure from regional and national managers to get sales right now that they are forced to do just about anything they can to get at least an appointment. With the economy the way it is and sales down, not just in HD, the numbers are coming in very low. HD puts the pressure on the independent contractor to get creative and show a commitment to the team. It is bad that this one seemed to be a little over the top because most of the contractors are good at what they do, they are just doing their best to appease their biggest customer in most cases and more importantly, get sales which are lagging at the moment.

  70. Serpephone says:

    I let them pitch my husband.

  71. I have been practicing my “look-over-the-top-of-my-eyeglasses-stare” with “mad-face”.

    On more than one occassion the “sales associate” has just tucked tail and walked away with a look of total dejection.

    What I hate is the purfume sprayers in the front of department stores. Yea, we still got a store doing that stupid offensive marketing of purfumes.

  72. post_break says:

    Cellphones… grab it from your pocket, put it up to your head, they wont bother you. If they do then you have a perfect reason to snap at them. Everytime I enter a store like that Im like a gun slinger with my cell phone to keep this to a minimum.

  73. What’s preventing you from giving them a completely fictional address for the appointment?

  74. Burgandy says:

    I just play dumb and stubborn.
    Sales person: “Can I interest you in blahblahblah”
    Me: “Oh good, can you take me to the whateverIamreallylooking for”
    Sales person: “I don’t really work here, I am here as a rep for blahblah”
    Me:”So you can’t help me find whatever, you just going to try and sell me something I’m not here for? F*ing worthless, where’s a manager ” Walk away b*tching to myself. They have never once followed me.

  75. e.varden says:

    @chrisjames: @chrisjames:

    What did you say?

  76. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    my favorite thing when anyone tries to sell me something not related to my purchase is to respond to whatever they said with ‘yes, i am looking for dried bats. can you help me with that?’
    they are never sure they heard me right and they don’t want to find out if that’s what i really said. generally i get a blank stare and a jaw drop before i walk away, smiling. no one has EVER followed me to try again

  77. magic8ball says:

    @bluemarble: Agreed. Those things drive me nuts.

  78. magic8ball says:

    @post_break: iPod earbuds are also useful in that regard. You don’t even have to have an actual iPod attached to them – just stick the end of the wire in your pocket.

  79. RvLeshrac says:


    The problem is that you’re usually *harrassed* with these pitches.

    The last time I went into Circuit City to buy something, I was asked if I wanted to buy a service plan no less than five times between picking an item off the shelf and leaving the store.

    There are right ways to do this and wrong ways. Stores almost universally pick the wrong ways.

    It doesn’t help that the stores always tell employees to “address the customer’s concerns regarding , but don’t pressure them,” and then turn right around and tell the employees that they must make an X% sales quota or be fired.

  80. V-effekt says:

    My local bar has a TV that blares Fox news very loudly. It gets switched off (automatically) when you put money in the Juke box.
    Weird and annoying? yes. effective? for sure.

  81. vladthepaler says:

    Here’s a story for your round-up. I went into VCS, I needed batteries. As it happened, they had Duracells on sale, 8-packs of the sizes I needed were only about $1 more than 4-packs. I took them to the counter & the cashier rang them up, but not at the sale price. So I told her about the sale and she said I needed to have (whatever they call their Big Brother card, I don’t remember) and asked if I wanted to sign up for it. I said no & left the store.

    I walked 1 block to the Jewel/Osco, figuring they’re all in collusion with their sales anyway so batteries are probably on sale at Jewel too. And it turned out, yes, Jewel had the same deal except on Energizers instead of Duracells. When I took them to the register, the cashier asked if I had their Big Brother card, I said no, and she typed a number into the register for me so I got the sale price.

    It’s ok if CVS doesn’t want my business, there are plenty of other stores nearby.

  82. vladthepaler says:


    Er, that’s CVS, not VCS. Sorry.

  83. RvLeshrac says:


    I hate the “discount cards” that places offer as much as the next guy – the discounts you get are not a fair exchange on the value of your personal information – but calling them “Big Brother cards” just makes you sound like a wacko conspiracy nut.

  84. TwoScoopsRice says:

    My hate is reserved for the pushy people at those rolling kiosks at the malls. You know, the ones who shout “Hey you!”…. Wearing shades and iPod earbuds usually helps.

    @vladthepaler: I had to chuckle over your name for the affinity cards. I’ve got ones for 4 different stores on my keyring (2 of those chains not located in my state, btw). Call me cheap for enjoying the member savings, but they add up. Any merchant e-mail pushed by these programs is not a hassle because it goes to a tertiary e-mail address I set up, including “Happy Birthday” wishes and coupons sent on my fictional birthday, which was strategically chosen for pre-holiday shopping convenience.

    Ah, you say … what about the capture of your personal information if the keys are lost/stolen? All they’d get assuming they could guess my name is a mailing address, not a physical one.