Monday, October 20, 2008

I Lost a Talent

I have very few talents. I don't sing, dance, act, or sew. I'm not very crafty and I don't score high on the compassionate scale. I don't draw, paint, or write music. I don't play an instrument and while I played sports in high school, I wasn't amazing (I was good at basketball because I was tall, not because I could jump). But, I do pride myself on knowing how to change a poopy diaper, wipe boogers off my children (and the wall), and clean my house. Apparently, the cleaning house part isn't a talent after all, or so I was told.

Let me see if you can answer this question. What is more annoying than a vacuum salesman?

Any guesses?

Answer: Nothing.

Let me start at the beginning. A company called a few weeks ago and asked me to take a short consumer survey. I agreed and answered several simple questions. The next week, a representative from the same company called to say that because I'd answered the survey, my name was entered into a drawing and I'd won a $500 gift certificate to an online store (with Christmas around the corner, I thought this sounded like a good thing). The rep then told me that in order to redeem said certificate I had to participate in a presentation about an air purifier and share my opinion about the product. I was assured that it involved no sales whatsoever, and all I needed to do was answer some questions about the product after a short 30 minute presentation.

Since we have allergies, I'd considered buying an air purifier and was interested to see what this company produced so I agreed.

The salesman arrived with two large boxes. I asked him to do the presentation in the library but he insisted on going into the living room. Strike one.

He pulled out the "air purifier" that freakishly resembled a vacuum cleaner. Oh, because it was a vacuum cleaner. Now, I don't know about you, but when a company lies to me about the product they're selling, it's a big "no go" for me. Strike two.

He continued on with his presentation telling me multiple times that my house was filthy and nasty and I obviously didn't know how dirty it was. (So, you see, my cleaning talent flew right out the window). He told us how I was putting my family's health in danger and destroying our carpet (well, he did have to change his tactic to include hardwood because we have no carpet on the middle level). After 2 HOURS (sorry, didn't mean to yell, but really, 2 hours, during bedtime, come on) he gave us the high pressure sales technique designed to guilt us into buying a $3000 vacuum cleaner. Seriously. Strike three.

We finally convinced him that though we have several thousands, possibly even millions of dollars lying (or is it laying) around the house, we would prefer to sink that extra money into the Rolls Royce we're planning to purchase. He was visibly unhappy with our choice to pass on this exceptional deal.

He did give us our certificate and, surprise, when we went to redeem it, we found out that, indeed, we must pay a "shipping and handling fee" for each product. Now maybe I was born at night, but it wasn't last night and when the shipping and handling fees far exceed the value of the item, I become ever so slightly suspicious and greatly annoyed.

This company lied to get a salesman in my house. They misrepresented the product. The product seemed to be decent enough, but $3000? With the cost of living so high at the moment? Come on. Then the whole gift certificate was a total sham.

So beware of phone callers who claim to just want to conduct a short consumer survey. Before you know it, you may be subjected to losing your very last talent!


Kristina P. said...

What?!?!? That's crazy? I guess this will teach me to never allow a phone salesman in my home.

Carolyn said...

The surveys are so deceptive. I've found out that they aren't even collecting legitimate data. It's just a way to make you think that you've earned something, that it might be something worth having. Clever ploy, and it worked on you. Don't worry, it's worked on me too.

I'm sure your carpets are fine. That's just a scare tactic. You don't need a fancy new vacuum to exercise your cleaning talent.

Lara said...

lol I SO had this happen to me! Isn't that just insane? Don't they realize you'll go out and tell every person you ever meet?

Lundeen's Life said...

Thanks for the warning. But seeing as how we screen all our calls, I don't have to worry much about it. :)

Paul West said...

Just a note to say Hi. I met you in Seagull a week or so ago. Wish you the best with your books. Maybe someday I'll get there too.

Jamie said...

I just found your blog tonight and I thought you'd enjoy my vacuum salesman story. My husband and I own a carpet cleaning company and so My husband knows a lot about vacuums and carpet and such. He listened politely but was able to counter each of the salesman's points. When he had us vacuum the rug and then HE vacuumed the rug with his supposedly better vacuum and showed us the dirt in the special filter my hubby said I can do the same thing with my vacuum because no vacuum will get 100% of the dirt out and he rigged up a filter on ours, re vacuumed the same spot after our vacuum and then the superduper vacuum and still got dirt in our filter. He had the guy so turned around that he came back later that week and told us he quit and he felt guilty for selling his girlfriends mom one of these high priced vacuums.

anyway... spending a few hundred on a good vacuum is a good idea but they are never worth $3000!

Sorry you had such a bad experience.

Can't wait to peruse the rest of your blog!

Lara said...

I've had those guys in my house twice. The first guy was actually really understanding, and just did the carpet cleaning (the vacuum also did wet cleaning) for me.

The second guy was so high pressure and rude that I wanted to punch him. And I couldn't get him to leave. I will never trust that company again and I'm so glad to read the above comment that it's all a hoax anyway. My vacuum does a great job, and it only cost me 200 dollars. :)

I'm pretty sure you didn't lose your cleaning talent!

The Rookie said...

Scum of the earth. And I'm not talking about your carpet.

SpacemanPack said...

You know, I am sorry that you had a bad experience. It is too bad when salespeople forget their manners and give salespeople in general a bad name. Just think of all the lawyer jokes you can think of. And honestly, not all lawyers are bad - they just have a bad reputation for the poor choices some of them make.