Contractors are banging on homeowners doors, promising huge savings for installing solar panels on their roofs. But after they’re installed and the customer has paid out big money, the panels have failed to produce a single kilowatt of energy and the salesmen have evaporated.
Effective car salesmen have a sizable bag of tricks from which to draw when moving in for the kill. To avoid falling prey to the ruses, you need to know how to spot them.
One of our readers works sales in an insurance telemarketing operation. He’s stepped forward to give us the skinny on how he gets commission, the real reasons that drive some of their tactics, and what personal information you should never give over the phone to a telemarketer.
Sarah says that last night an ADT sales rep came to her door trying to sell her an alarm system. He said that there were two break-ins “last week” and that whenever these occur ADT sends out a rep to “give away” two “free” alarm systems.
Has RadioShack gone too far with its sales quotas? Allison wrote us to say that when she tried to upgrade her phone recently, the employee had to add accessories to the transaction before the system would approve it. She said he canceled some, and she ended up paying $2 for “two plastic covers for phones I don’t own.” But she says her mom had an even more bizarre experience at a RadioShack, where the assistant actually paid for the accessories herself.
Kole McRae is a writer in Toronto who says he worked for two days as a door-to-door salesman for an unnamed company. The sales pitch involved asking people who answered the door whether they were happy with their current service, so I’m guessing the company sold something something related to phone, cable, or utilities.
The sales team at the LA Fitness in
Floral Park New Hyde Park, Long Island, were so pushy to a prospective customer that they basically forced her to take her business elsewhere. Apparently if they actually let a customer redeem one of their free passes, the gym will be sucked into a vortex of non-commission, so they have to deny you access.
A couple of years ago, the New York Times did a piece on the poor treatment of teens hired to travel the country and sell magazine subscriptions door-to-door, but they’re not the only ones getting the raw end of the deal.
Thomas says his wife was approached by a belligerent salesman the other day regarding the windows on their home. He tried to get her to agree to an instant estimate and promised a huge discount for being a “model home” for the window upgrades, but when she refused to make an instant decision, Thomas says he “snatched the card out of her hand” and “yelled at her.”
Not to be outdone by all the negative publicity Office Depot is getting over their “not in stock” lies, Best Buy stores in the New York area have been uncovered refusing to price match TV prices in accordance with their official policy. When pressed, the sales associates said that the TVs weren’t covered due to imaginary exclusions that aren’t included in the official policy language. An employee at one of the stores gave in, but then made up a new imaginary policy that said free delivery would cost $100.
Update: company co-founder Matt addresses some of the accusations in a comment below. Why are there so many complaints online about Silicon Solar? One customer, Dennis, told us how he was lied to by a salesman, then strung along by a woman in customer support until the 14-day return period had expired. A quick Google search turns up dozens of similar stories about being treated badly by customer service, receiving products that don’t work as advertised, and never being given the RMAs necessary to send items back. Writes one reviewer on DavesGarden.com, “I can’t express the anger and frustration I felt when dealing with this company.”
Jeff and his wife bought a couch, chair, and armoire from Basset Furniture in Rockville, Maryland this weekend, and while the actual experience was rather pleasant, they might not be going back. It wasn’t because their salesperson was rude, but rather because another employee they’d never dealt with pulled them aside at the last minute to warn them that there was “something wrong” with the woman who’d been helping them. What? What the hell does that mean? Did she sell them haunted furniture? Was she really a robber who was pretending to sell furniture to get the customers out of the store so she could finish her robbery? Was she a replicant?
I’ve been approached by a friend to join up with MonaVie acai juice—it’s a “superfood” juice that’s sold through “network marketing.” I actually do like the product, and this is a friend I trust, but my alarm bells are still going off. I don’t want to get sucked into a scam, obviously. There’s nothing about this company on your site, so I thought I’d drop you a line and see if you had any advice.