You might be familiar with the feeling: you go into a purchase with a plan of exactly what you want to buy. No frills, no fuss, no muss. But then, suddenly, you find you’re shelling out more money than you’d planned, perhaps after encountering some persuasive sales tactics. A passenger rights group says Delta Air Lines is employing shame as a method to get travelers to buy ticket upgrades they might not have wanted initially. [More]
Marketer Of “As Seen On TV” Products To Pay $550K For Allegedly Forcing Customers To Pay For Stuff They Didn’t Order
In 2014, the state of New Jersey accused Telebrands, a company that markets “As Seen on TV” products like the Pocket Hose and Instabulbs, of forcing customers to pay for items they did not want or order. Yesterday, the company agreed to pay more than half a million dollars to settle the lawsuit. [More]
From fast food to high finance, just about anyone involved in any sort of sales to consumers has been trained to upsell the customer on add-ons. And whether it’s the right way to push a super-sized meal or convincing a new car buyer he really wants that TruCoat undercoating for $500, there really is an art to doing it correctly. That’s why we’d like to hear from people who have been taught this special skill. [More]
Are you one of the many people who pops into a Dunkin’ Donuts on your way home from work, not to buy a box of glazed chocolate Munchkins, but to get your caffeine fix? Well, get ready to have cashiers try to suggest you also purchase donuts, sandwiches and other items, because the chain’s CEO says stores aren’t doing enough upselling in the afternoon. [More]
No longer able to make as much money from processing debit card transactions due to new regulations, banks are expected to start increasing their bottom lines by coaxing customers into using prepaid cards and signing up for credit cards. [More]
Bad moviegoers, you haven’t been spending nearly enough on overpriced concessions. Don’t worry though, AMC is going to make you a promise: if they don’t offer you an upsell on your next visit to the concession stand, you’re going to get a free small bag of popcorn. [More]
Anthony wants a ticket to see the Mets host the Yankees at Citi Field, and is annoyed that the Mets will only sell him tickets in groups of five or more. He sent us his email exchange with a CSR: [More]
Dan spotted the pictured address bar as he filed his taxes and the free version of TurboTax propositioned him to download the state version of the software. [More]
Kelly just bought a plastic Baby Bjorn potty seat at Babies R Us. When the cashier rang it up, the system told her to ask Kelly if she’d like to pay another 30% of the purchase price for a service plan.
Something bad has happened to Symantec’s once-good chat service, notes Neil J. Rubenking at PC Mag. In the past, he says, they were helpful and knowledgable; now they pass freeware apps off as their own and attempt to get you to pay $100 fees for their “expert” service when you’re trying to troubleshoot a problem with them. He writes, “My new experiences while evaluating Norton 360 version 3.0 opened my eyes to the magnitude of the problem. Did Symantec switch outsourced support companies? Has the chat support team gone rogue?”
Jeff says the Wendy’s he goes to is getting a little tricky with their upselling, creating the appearance of a universe where the only sizes are medium or large.
Reader John writes in with a story about “upselling” at Best Buy. He saw a TomTom GPS unit for $99.99 on sale at Best Buy, so he headed over to the store to pick one up. What follows is his account of how much trouble it was to actually buy the item. We think we counted 9 times that John had to tell various and sundry Best Buy employees that, yes, he was sure that he didn’t want to buy a slightly more expensive model of the same device.
Postal employees have been ordered to upsell pricey express or priority mail services to anyone sending anything more than a letter, according to an anonymous tipster. The directive comes straight from Washington to help combat the Post Office’s $1.1 billion operating deficit. To avoid the upsell, specifically ask if there is a cheaper way to ship your package. The anonymous tipster’s letter, inside…
Cablevision responded to our post chastising their attempt to force customer to upgrade to digital service by pointing to an unrelated FCC mandate. Cablevision admits that there is no connection between their unilateral business decision to cut channels and the FCC-mandated transition to digital television, but their statement leaves several questions unanswered. Read Cablevision’s statement and our response, after the jump.
Update: Cablevision responds.
We’re curious whether anyone has had to call Dell’s tech support line in the new year—and if so, did they try to upsell you on unnecessary add-ons, devices, accessories, service plans, etc.? Because we got an anonymous email the other day from someone who claims he works as a Dell tech support specialist, and he wrote that “starting after the first of the year… we are now going to be required to sell you items that you don’t need.”
An article due out in the October issue of the Journal of Consumer Research studies a sales technique called “disrupt-then-reframe,” in which the sales person initially tries to confuse the potential customer, then restates the sales pitch in a more familiar way. By reframing the sales pitch in a more familiar way the consumers natural defenses are weakened and the consumer becomes more susceptible to the sales pitch. So, can you be confused into buying something? Yes. And it’s not even very difficult to do.