What's wrong with these people (salesmen)?

Posted On: Saturday - February 11th 2017 7:44AM MST
In Topics: 
  Salesmen  Curmudgeonry  Economics

After all the political stupidity that could take 100 bloggers working 24/7/365/multiple millenia to keep up with, let's take a break for just a few more days from this. Here's the story about salemen as a follow-up from this post from way back last year. Sure, it's nothing really profound, but it does kind of make us wonder "what's wrong with these people?"

Even though the quick story about the cable salesmen was to display my disdain for TV in particular and also how to get rid of these guys, another point left out was the guy's refusal to either believe me, or refusal to give up when I told him what I wanted to buy (just internet service). Next about these window salesman of the 1990's.

The windows in the old house were going to have to be replaced sometime, and while watching TV (back when I did) there appeared an ad for replacement windows with an 800 number (again, this is way back, so no internet at my house). It wasn't like I even had the money at this point for this, but I figured I may as well get an idea of what was coming so I could take care of it in the next few years. I don't think one waited on hold much or went through voice recognition systems back then, so I got a guy from whom I really tried to get a quote - simple really, easy layout, 20 or so windows - all the same size except for the smaller bathroom one (I had measured them already). After a while I realized he was not going to give me any idea of a price, which was all I wanted. It was important, he insisted, for some people to come by.

OK, so a lady salesman and her trainee salesman showed up in the evening as I and one roommate were have a beer or two. It started out fine; I gave them the numbers. Yeah, OK, but there are lots of options, they were going on about. How about the simplest plastic framed double-paned and so forth - I gave them every detail they wanted. "What's the price estimate?" "Well, there's a lot to it, prices go up and down." "OK, what are they at now?" "Well ... it's tough to ...."

**************** INTERMISSION ****************
"Rrrrowwwwww!" We heard my tomcat in a fight (or big argument) with another feline right outside and we had to check this out. Cat fights are pretty amazing. These guys were so pissed off at each other, staring each other down from 3 feet away, and standing on two legs for a coupla minutes (they'll never do that for you, even for ice cream!). They don't care what the humans have to say at this point - you're just a bystander and have no say in this. All of us watched the cats from the front porch for about 10 minutes until I chased them across the street....
**************** INTERMISSION ****************

OK, where were we? "Yeah, well you know that plastic is made of oil and all, and with the situation in the Middle East (this could be any time in last 1/2 century, right?) that's unstable, so you know ... " "How much money's worth of oil could possibly be in the pound or two of plastic in each window." "Oh, it's hard to tell....." There was some additional bullcrap out of the salemen's mouths about the engineering of the windows, and my roomate got some good smart-ass remarks in, but finally, after an hour and a damn half had gone by (not including the catfight),

"Man, I really can't buy anything without having an estimate, at least, of the price." The salesmen's smiles went away, and the lady goes "I'm sorry then, I guess we'll get going." and they both got up off the couch with their sad faces and were saying goodbye. After getting no idea still how much it would eventually cost to put new windows on my house, and a coupla' hours wasted, I still didn't want to be rude: "Well, you did a pretty good job, I told the trainee guy." "No, I guess not" he said "we didn't make any sale."

"How could I buy something without knowing the price?!" I finally had had enough. "What is wrong with these people?", I wondered later on. Really, when you get to thinking about it, they wouldn't be doing the same sales technique if it didn't work. "What is wrong with people?", is the real question, as idiots will sign on some dotted line without knowing the price. These people are voting for congressmen who put our whole land in debt; that's what comes out of this.

Wednesday - May 6th 2020 12:18PM MST
PS: I do remember that line about the Middle East, Adam. Yes, you can't go wrong with that one.

I'll say, on websites and login screens all around, it's pretty hard to make time to read their lists of stipulations. Now, when I'm gonna spend my own cash on something bigger than a pack of gum, I sure as hell want to know the price first.
Adam Smith
Wednesday - May 6th 2020 7:16AM MST
PS: Noam Chomsky once wrote...

For some time, I’ve been compelled to arrange speaking engagements long in advance. Sometimes a title is requested for a talk scheduled several years ahead. There is, I’ve found, one title that always works: “The current crisis in the Middle East.”

"How could I buy something without knowing the price?!"

I'm often amazed at what people will sign without reading or comprehension. Sometimes these things are fairly complicated contracts. They don't even try to read it. It's like they've been trained since kindergarten to sign and date any piece of paper they are presented.

What is wrong with people?

Don't they know how dangerous it can be to sign a contract they do not understand?

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