Door-to-Door Salesjerk Rant

Apparently today is just one of those days!

So I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we’re seriously considering switching from cable over to Verizon FiOS again – Bright House has already given us their “best offer” (much like Progressive did?!), so now it’s really just waiting for the best time for us to make the switch.

That said, we had one of those FiOS door-to-door pushers come through the neighborhood today. I didn’t really want to talk to her because I’ve done a lot of research and I figured I could already get the best deal online anyways, but Sara noted that maybe we can get a little something extra through a special door-to-door promotion like a free gift card or something, so I decided to give her the time of day anyways.

What. A Waste. Of Time.

Even though I already knew what Verizon’s lowest online price was that I was interested in, I decided to just hold back and let this lady try to haggle with my current Bright House bill, knowing that with determination she could’ve beaten it by a healthy margin. But instead, she proceeded to try and sell me the biggest triple-play package that Verizon has, running through every stupid marketing buzz term in their repertoire that I really don’t give two shits about.

400+ channels? I’ll never touch 3/4 of them.

30,000 movies on demand? Netflix offered 20k streaming and most of them were garbage.

Free phone?! a) I already have a VOIP line that I prepaid 2 years in advance for dirt cheap, and b) it’s not free – I know how bundles work.

The kicker was eventually I even tried to throw her a bone and just tell her what I really wanted – a two-play combo instead of three, with just their lowest tier digital cable package, the full movie pack, and 25 Mbps Internet. But she didn’t want to sell it to me because she thought that I needed more! She showed me the channel lineup and gestured at how insignificant the lowest package was to the others – I’d hardly get anything at all – despite that I had already done the exercise online and confirmed that the lowest package would basically give us everything we were satisfied with from Bright House plus a little extra. Her response was that the website was probably wrong, and that she was the expert so she had more accurate information than the website would. That’s why she was going door-to-door – to help make sure that I understood everything!

It wasn’t until after she left that I noticed the date on her channel lineup – effective June 2011.

It was also later that Sara and I sat down with the lineup, literally went through it line by line, and singled out all of the actually differences between the base package and the one that she wanted to up-sell us…

Sure, the difference was about 75 channels, but they were almost all sports channels and international channels and other random obscure crap that we had just recently dropped from our Bright House package! At a quick glance, yes – the lineup makes it look like the bigger package is better because it’s bigger, but that’s an issue that a lot of people face with TV lately – they really only watch a handful of the channels and they’re getting tired of having to pay bundled pricing for hundreds of channels of crap that they’ll never in a million years actually watch! It may be neat to have 540 channels, but if I can save a few bucks by dropping back to half of that and not even miss them anyways, then who’s cooler – the guy with a butt-load of channels or the guy who doesn’t pay for something that he’s never even going to use?!

Anyways, there’s another customer service moral for you today – give the customer what they want, not what you think that they need. Maybe that overselling crap works for some people, but for the guy who’s done his research and doesn’t really give a shit if the commission goes to you or, it might actually be worth hearing what they have to say instead of going into mildly informed saleslady speak that a technophobe like myself can see through a mile away.

This could’ve been a really easy sale for that lady had she just not gone all overkill on us.

Also, one more thing – just a quick note: If you work for a telephone company but don’t actually know what VOIP is, you’re not allowed to call yourself an expert.


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