Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Erin Meets the Stupid Sales Guy

This is a real conversation held with a clothing catalog company over the phone last week.

Stupid Sales Guy (SSG): We have 3 pairs of pants for you today, Miss McBride. Did you know that today for just $6.95 a month you can get rejuvenating eye cream that will improve appearance and take years off your face? This amazing anti-aging cream sells in stores for over $100. But with your purchase of $6.95 today, plus $15 for shipping and handling...."

Me: No, thank you. I don't need any anti-aging cream.

SSG: Well, maam, we can all use a little something to turn back the years. This miracle cream...

Me: Sir, i have the face of a 14 yr old. I really don't need anti aging cream.

SSG: Well, maam, you may say that now, but its never too soon to start. You will see the effects start immediately.

Me: Trust me, I really don't want anti-aging cream

SSG: (very annoyed with me) Well then today for just $49.95 you can get the sweater on page 46 to go with your charcoal pants.

Me: No thank you. I ordered what I want!(But glancing through catalog to page 46 anyway) I'm going to Miami. I don't need a boiled wool sweater.

SSG: Well if you will just look at page 3, there is a lovely red...

Me: (interrupting rudely, getting very irritated): What's my total?

SSG: (ignoring everything i say) Its fitted, with frog clasp...

Me: (very loudly): What is my total?


Me: (very loudly): What is my total?

SSG: $160

Me: Wow, that is $40 too much. What did you add on?

SSG: I see you have ordered 3 pairs of pants, and today for just $39.99 you can have a lovely handbag from a top french designer.

Um... did I say anything about wanting a lovely handbag from a top french designer? UH NO>

Me: Sir, I'm going to cancel this order if you don't knock it off right now. No handbag, no sweaters, no creams. Just my real total.

Silence. Irritated grunts.

SSG: $120

Me: Thanks, that's better

SSG: Bye

Me: Oh, no not yet. You didn't ask what kind of shipping I want. I want express. Add that in and give me my total.

Another prolonged irritated silence.

SSG: Express shipping has been added. Goodbye.

No total, no "thank you for shopping with us," no "your package will arrive on Wednesday", NADA. After such an experience, I will NEVER shop with this company again. I realize that the SSG was only doing what he's paid to do, and its not such a bad marketing trick to suggest matching clothing for items the customer has purchased. But come on! Only one offer is enough. To keep pushing it, and to not take no for an answer, it going way too far. And then to try and slide things in on the total is just plain wrong. If my package ever arrives, if there is one item in there that I did not expressly order, I will be calling this company back with 'a piece of my mind.'


  1. Anonymous1:48 AM

    Stupid sales GUYS?...You have to know that there is a world of difference between a telephone order taker and a real professional sales person. Telephone order takers have to work in a script, and have to spew anything that they are told. A sales professional will offer a suggestion, only after performing a true needs assessment.

    Thank you for your order today, and by the way, we have a few really awesome handbags that would go perfect with those pants you just ordered, take a look at page 14 to see them and they are on sale today! Most people who order those same pants, also like to get the handbag to go with them......

    See the difference?

    You would have bought the handbag, sweater and facial cream from me. Want to know why?

    2 reasons...
    1- I am Very Good.
    2- You like to shop.

    But then again no matter what the contributing factors are,it usually is always the sales persons fault.

  2. First of all, Anonymous, I know exactly who you are. :-) Don't think signing your name as Anonymous is going to hide your identity. You've managed to sell me on other things (such as hand grenades and aliens)so I don't doubt you could sell me something else. Second, I completely agree. Your approach probably would have sold me at least the matching sweater. But come on- I'll never buy anti-aging cream! Not until I at least pass for 21 anyway.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Exactly how much does it cost to send "A piece of your mind" via postage?

    Ben O.

  5. Anonymous12:16 PM

    First of all...I am not me, so you don't know who I am. So your counter -stalker- super secret- spy thing will not reveal my true identify...perhaps I have stolen this IP.

  6. Jules- I accidentally removed your previous comment. Feel free to repost said comments. I think Anonymous may be itching for a blog war. Not that I know who Anonymous is or care what he thinks. After all, he's just an SSG.

  7. Whew! Thought I pissed off one of your friends or something.

    Anonymous: close your High Pressure Sales Tactics for Losers manual and listen to your consumer for once. No one wants your line. No one wants the pressure. When the average person walks into a store or orders from a catalog, they know exactly what they want. When I call the same unnamed company, I want what I want: I don't want you to give me more ideas. You have no idea who I am or how I look. How can you possibly know that the green sweater will look good on ME? I have no need for the matching toaster oven that goes with the dishwasher I just got. Believe it or not, my goal in visiting your show room or calling was NOT to give you a higher commission.

    When you give me the high pressure sales pitch, I just lost my desire to shop with you ever again.

    I should add here that there are many educated sales professionals who are trained to do certain work and earn a commission for their efforts, and they deserve what they get. Many more are useless people who happened to score a job in the cell kiosk at the mall to save them from being promoted from burger flipper to drive-up order taker. Livin' large on the commission, baby! Dare to dream!

  8. I disagree J! I think Anonymous' approach could have possibly worked on me. But then again, maybe not. I still don't need a handbag, sweater, or antiaging cream. But at least I wouldn't have hated him or the company at the end of the phone call. The real SSG not only didn't make the sale with me, he lost his company a life long customer (actually 2- since you used to be a life long customer of theirs too).


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