Author Topic: What's the worst thing anyone has said to you when trying to sell you something?  (Read 42836 times)

jinga nation

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1619
  • Location: 'Murica's Johnson
  • Left, Right, Peddlin' Shite
[xkcd comic snip]
I had to go find the comic so I wouldn't miss the rollover text
"Son, don't try to play 'make you feel bad' with the Michael Jordon of making you feel bad"

thank you for posting the alt-text.
https://xkcd.com/1027/

clarkfan1979

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2177
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Pueblo West, CO
I had two very unprofessional conversations when declining the insurance on a rental car. I was early 20's and I had a woman yelling at me (not screaming, but yelling) because I wouldn't buy the insurance. About 2 years ago I declined the gas tank option on the rental car. The counter guy started making fun of me because I declined everything and said, "I guess you don't like saving money." I replied, "I guess not."

I had a bank teller offer me a credit card when I was in my mid to late 20's. I declined. He replied with something like, "I guess you aren't very good at managing money."


Gremlin

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 315
I had two very unprofessional conversations when declining the insurance on a rental car. I was early 20's and I had a woman yelling at me (not screaming, but yelling) because I wouldn't buy the insurance. About 2 years ago I declined the gas tank option on the rental car. The counter guy started making fun of me because I declined everything and said, "I guess you don't like saving money." I replied, "I guess not."

I had a bank teller offer me a credit card when I was in my mid to late 20's. I declined. He replied with something like, "I guess you aren't very good at managing money."

I had someone at the bank throw the same line at me in a very similar situation.  I replied, "I guess you aren't very good at cross-selling."  The look on the guy's face was priceless!

Travis

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3294
  • Location: South Korea
I had two very unprofessional conversations when declining the insurance on a rental car. I was early 20's and I had a woman yelling at me (not screaming, but yelling) because I wouldn't buy the insurance. About 2 years ago I declined the gas tank option on the rental car. The counter guy started making fun of me because I declined everything and said, "I guess you don't like saving money." I replied, "I guess not."

I had a bank teller offer me a credit card when I was in my mid to late 20's. I declined. He replied with something like, "I guess you aren't very good at managing money."

I had someone at the bank throw the same line at me in a very similar situation.  I replied, "I guess you aren't very good at cross-selling."  The look on the guy's face was priceless!

That was my thought as well. You're a banker. If you think I need help managing my money, you should be upselling the shit out of your bank's services to me. Also, didn't you just look at my balance a second ago?

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2349
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
This didn't happen to me, but to a young colleague of mine who had just landed his first job as an engineer. He was at a car rental place and the fellow behind the counter was trying to up-sell him on the loss damage waiver (when his company had a contract that provided LDW coverage for all vehicles rented). My friend politely turned down the extra coverage.

The salesman said, sarcastically: "I thought you were smart."

My young friend, always savvy, replied: "Would you like to compare paychecks?"

Hadilly

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
I accidentally negged my now partner early on in our dating life by telling him that it was good his looks made up for his intellectual shortcomings. He took it as a compliment to his attractiveness because anyone who gets a Science paper while motoring through their MD-PhD has no doubts as to their smarts.

The worst thing anyone has said to me when trying to sell was a Clinique saleswoman who suggested I buy her products because of my aging skin. I told her I was almost 22 and walked away.

markbike528CBX

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1445
  • Location: the Everbrown part of the Evergreen State (WA)
Good coronavirus news:

There is no time, inclination for a bank upsell.

Scenario:
Me, taking backup hard drive to/from safety deposit box.  An appointment is required.
At the appointed time, employees unlock the front door, I get into/out of my safe deposit box.
Even with masks all around, no one attempts small talk/ upsell. 

I had a stimulus check that I had  tried to deposit via ATM, but it didn't work (Donald J. Trump, President, credit not good at ATM).  But I got it done anyway, via teller/door opener.

Irrelevant side note: I was riding the bike whose engine is my avatar pic.

ysette9

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7112
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
    • The Best Is Yet To Come
I accidentally negged my now partner early on in our dating life by telling him that it was good his looks made up for his intellectual shortcomings. He took it as a compliment to his attractiveness because anyone who gets a Science paper while motoring through their MD-PhD has no doubts as to their smarts.

The worst thing anyone has said to me when trying to sell was a Clinique saleswoman who suggested I buy her products because of my aging skin. I told her I was almost 22 and walked away.
I tell my husband all the time that I married him for his beauty!

jfer_rose

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 476
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Urban Dweller
Posting to follow. I can't believe some of these stories!

AnnaGrowsAMustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1941
  • Location: Noo Zilind
Today no one was trying to sell me anything, but I was trying to buy something. The guy behind the counter and a woman in front of it were having a lengthy social conversation. I waited five minutes and then decided to butt in, which I did politely by saying excuse me a couple of times. After the third time, the guy snapped at me to just wait patiently! Pretty pleased with my response here, because I'm not usually so quick off the mark. I said very loudly so the other staff at the back of the store could hear 'You know what? How about YOU wait patiently for me to bother trying to spend money here again??" and put my would -be purchase on the counter in front of him.... and left. I won't be going back there :)

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2349
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
Today no one was trying to sell me anything, but I was trying to buy something. The guy behind the counter and a woman in front of it were having a lengthy social conversation. I waited five minutes and then decided to butt in, which I did politely by saying excuse me a couple of times. After the third time, the guy snapped at me to just wait patiently! Pretty pleased with my response here, because I'm not usually so quick off the mark. I said very loudly so the other staff at the back of the store could hear 'You know what? How about YOU wait patiently for me to bother trying to spend money here again??" and put my would -be purchase on the counter in front of him.... and left. I won't be going back there :)

You'd think that, in the middle of a global pandemic when so many businesses are failing, the people at the counter would be very happy and excited to sell something. I do believe there are people who WANT to be out of work and business owners who WANT to go bankrupt because it's preferable to actually doing business. Then the people who did not want to do business bitch and moan because the rent or the utility bill is due and they can't pay it. Hefty unemployment benefits and COVID-19 payouts won't last forever.

projekt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
Today no one was trying to sell me anything, but I was trying to buy something. The guy behind the counter and a woman in front of it were having a lengthy social conversation. I waited five minutes and then decided to butt in, which I did politely by saying excuse me a couple of times. After the third time, the guy snapped at me to just wait patiently! Pretty pleased with my response here, because I'm not usually so quick off the mark. I said very loudly so the other staff at the back of the store could hear 'You know what? How about YOU wait patiently for me to bother trying to spend money here again??" and put my would -be purchase on the counter in front of him.... and left. I won't be going back there :)
These stories rarely happen "just because" in the US, probably because of the inane customer service focus. But if it *does* happen, it's probably because the people behind the counter actually don't like you. They're racist, or they don't think you're cool enough to shop there, or whatever.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14099
  • Age: 62
  • Location: NorCal
Today no one was trying to sell me anything, but I was trying to buy something. The guy behind the counter and a woman in front of it were having a lengthy social conversation. I waited five minutes and then decided to butt in, which I did politely by saying excuse me a couple of times. After the third time, the guy snapped at me to just wait patiently! Pretty pleased with my response here, because I'm not usually so quick off the mark. I said very loudly so the other staff at the back of the store could hear 'You know what? How about YOU wait patiently for me to bother trying to spend money here again??" and put my would -be purchase on the counter in front of him.... and left. I won't be going back there :)
These stories rarely happen "just because" in the US, probably because of the inane customer service focus. But if it *does* happen, it's probably because the people behind the counter actually don't like you. They're racist, or they don't think you're cool enough to shop there, or whatever.
I respectfully and completely disagree with your conclusions, @projekt. However, in Anna's situation, I would have asked for the owner or manager. Well, knowing me, I would have just gone and found them myself. Absent one, or if this idiot was the manager, I would have called or emailed HQ as soon as I had left the store. The jerk at the counter doesn't give a shit if you buy something or not. Frankly, a photograph of the offender sent to HQ or, as a last resort, posted on Social Media would be the ideal resolution, IMO.

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2349
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
Today no one was trying to sell me anything, but I was trying to buy something. The guy behind the counter and a woman in front of it were having a lengthy social conversation. I waited five minutes and then decided to butt in, which I did politely by saying excuse me a couple of times. After the third time, the guy snapped at me to just wait patiently! Pretty pleased with my response here, because I'm not usually so quick off the mark. I said very loudly so the other staff at the back of the store could hear 'You know what? How about YOU wait patiently for me to bother trying to spend money here again??" and put my would -be purchase on the counter in front of him.... and left. I won't be going back there :)
These stories rarely happen "just because" in the US, probably because of the inane customer service focus. But if it *does* happen, it's probably because the people behind the counter actually don't like you. They're racist, or they don't think you're cool enough to shop there, or whatever.

It may depend on where you are in the US, and what kind of business it is. Mall shops, for example, are notorious for pretending to offer a commission but tricking employees into working only minimum wage, or less once mandatory fees such as uniform rentals or purchases are factored in.

It's because in the fine print there's a statement saying that minimum wage is guaranteed but the sales are commission based. It's possible to exceed minimum wage IF you get high-traffic hours, IF you are actually out on the sales floor, and IF your manager isn't a commission-stealer. In practice, most retail managers stand at the register and skim the cream during the high-traffic times of the day. The high-traffic hours go to the managers, the assistant managers, and people they like. During these times, if other employees are present they are sent to the back to do inventory and only allowed to work the desk when it's slow. The same thing happens if an employee is in the process of making a big sale: the boss will come over and order the employee to do something else so that he or she can "finish ringing it up". The result is that the commission gets credited to the manager even though the employee did the work. This is how most "high-achieving" managers win regional and national awards for sales: they steal commissions. If the employees don't like it-- tough luck! They cannot quit and pursue employment with a similar retailer (to take advantage of their experience) because as a condition of employment they signed a non-compete contract. Originally intended to protect the intellectual property and customer base of established businesses by making it hard to take source code or other IP to a competitor, non-compete agreements are now used to keep entry-level employees from quitting in response to abuse or low pay. Much of the time, although it's usually illegal, they are required to work off the clock or "bank" overtime hours (and yes, they are required to sign an agreement to do this as a condition of employment.

The end result of all the employee abuse is that there's no incentive to actually make sales. Sears, for example, was notorious for having staff that didn't care whether they sold product. Overall, the only people who benefit from chain stores tend to be the billionaires and hedge fund managers. If a business is good for the shareholding investors, it's generally because it's bad for the front-line workers, bad for the customers, and bad for pretty much everyone except the top echelon whose main purpose in life is to gut the company by selling off everything of value, create maximum inflation of the share price for at least a brief period of time, long enough for the insiders to benefit while staying at least nominally within the laws related to insider trading, and then dump the shell (and the employees and customers).

AnnaGrowsAMustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1941
  • Location: Noo Zilind
Today no one was trying to sell me anything, but I was trying to buy something. The guy behind the counter and a woman in front of it were having a lengthy social conversation. I waited five minutes and then decided to butt in, which I did politely by saying excuse me a couple of times. After the third time, the guy snapped at me to just wait patiently! Pretty pleased with my response here, because I'm not usually so quick off the mark. I said very loudly so the other staff at the back of the store could hear 'You know what? How about YOU wait patiently for me to bother trying to spend money here again??" and put my would -be purchase on the counter in front of him.... and left. I won't be going back there :)
These stories rarely happen "just because" in the US, probably because of the inane customer service focus. But if it *does* happen, it's probably because the people behind the counter actually don't like you. They're racist, or they don't think you're cool enough to shop there, or whatever.

Well, I'm not in the US. I've been in the US, and I wasn't that impressed with the general customer service...

Anyway, in this case, the counter guy was just more interested in chatting than serving customers. I didn't know them, I'm not from any ethnicity, and it was a hardware store that presumably has few limits on the coolness or otherwise of it's customers.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1941
  • Location: Noo Zilind
Today no one was trying to sell me anything, but I was trying to buy something. The guy behind the counter and a woman in front of it were having a lengthy social conversation. I waited five minutes and then decided to butt in, which I did politely by saying excuse me a couple of times. After the third time, the guy snapped at me to just wait patiently! Pretty pleased with my response here, because I'm not usually so quick off the mark. I said very loudly so the other staff at the back of the store could hear 'You know what? How about YOU wait patiently for me to bother trying to spend money here again??" and put my would -be purchase on the counter in front of him.... and left. I won't be going back there :)
These stories rarely happen "just because" in the US, probably because of the inane customer service focus. But if it *does* happen, it's probably because the people behind the counter actually don't like you. They're racist, or they don't think you're cool enough to shop there, or whatever.
I respectfully and completely disagree with your conclusions, @projekt. However, in Anna's situation, I would have asked for the owner or manager. Well, knowing me, I would have just gone and found them myself. Absent one, or if this idiot was the manager, I would have called or emailed HQ as soon as I had left the store. The jerk at the counter doesn't give a shit if you buy something or not. Frankly, a photograph of the offender sent to HQ or, as a last resort, posted on Social Media would be the ideal resolution, IMO.

I've spoken to managers in the past. Couldn't be bothered this time, and I'm also fairly sure the owner was in the back. Small local hardware store. Convenient but not the cheapest, not the best stocked, and plenty of other places not that far away. No great loss to me.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14099
  • Age: 62
  • Location: NorCal
Today no one was trying to sell me anything, but I was trying to buy something. The guy behind the counter and a woman in front of it were having a lengthy social conversation. I waited five minutes and then decided to butt in, which I did politely by saying excuse me a couple of times. After the third time, the guy snapped at me to just wait patiently! Pretty pleased with my response here, because I'm not usually so quick off the mark. I said very loudly so the other staff at the back of the store could hear 'You know what? How about YOU wait patiently for me to bother trying to spend money here again??" and put my would -be purchase on the counter in front of him.... and left. I won't be going back there :)
These stories rarely happen "just because" in the US, probably because of the inane customer service focus. But if it *does* happen, it's probably because the people behind the counter actually don't like you. They're racist, or they don't think you're cool enough to shop there, or whatever.
I respectfully and completely disagree with your conclusions, @projekt. However, in Anna's situation, I would have asked for the owner or manager. Well, knowing me, I would have just gone and found them myself. Absent one, or if this idiot was the manager, I would have called or emailed HQ as soon as I had left the store. The jerk at the counter doesn't give a shit if you buy something or not. Frankly, a photograph of the offender sent to HQ or, as a last resort, posted on Social Media would be the ideal resolution, IMO.

I've spoken to managers in the past. Couldn't be bothered this time, and I'm also fairly sure the owner was in the back. Small local hardware store. Convenient but not the cheapest, not the best stocked, and plenty of other places not that far away. No great loss to me.
Still frustrating to be treated so rudely.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1941
  • Location: Noo Zilind
Today no one was trying to sell me anything, but I was trying to buy something. The guy behind the counter and a woman in front of it were having a lengthy social conversation. I waited five minutes and then decided to butt in, which I did politely by saying excuse me a couple of times. After the third time, the guy snapped at me to just wait patiently! Pretty pleased with my response here, because I'm not usually so quick off the mark. I said very loudly so the other staff at the back of the store could hear 'You know what? How about YOU wait patiently for me to bother trying to spend money here again??" and put my would -be purchase on the counter in front of him.... and left. I won't be going back there :)
These stories rarely happen "just because" in the US, probably because of the inane customer service focus. But if it *does* happen, it's probably because the people behind the counter actually don't like you. They're racist, or they don't think you're cool enough to shop there, or whatever.
I respectfully and completely disagree with your conclusions, @projekt. However, in Anna's situation, I would have asked for the owner or manager. Well, knowing me, I would have just gone and found them myself. Absent one, or if this idiot was the manager, I would have called or emailed HQ as soon as I had left the store. The jerk at the counter doesn't give a shit if you buy something or not. Frankly, a photograph of the offender sent to HQ or, as a last resort, posted on Social Media would be the ideal resolution, IMO.

I've spoken to managers in the past. Couldn't be bothered this time, and I'm also fairly sure the owner was in the back. Small local hardware store. Convenient but not the cheapest, not the best stocked, and plenty of other places not that far away. No great loss to me.
Still frustrating to be treated so rudely.

And yet wonderfully satisfying to feel I responded well!

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14099
  • Age: 62
  • Location: NorCal
Today no one was trying to sell me anything, but I was trying to buy something. The guy behind the counter and a woman in front of it were having a lengthy social conversation. I waited five minutes and then decided to butt in, which I did politely by saying excuse me a couple of times. After the third time, the guy snapped at me to just wait patiently! Pretty pleased with my response here, because I'm not usually so quick off the mark. I said very loudly so the other staff at the back of the store could hear 'You know what? How about YOU wait patiently for me to bother trying to spend money here again??" and put my would -be purchase on the counter in front of him.... and left. I won't be going back there :)
These stories rarely happen "just because" in the US, probably because of the inane customer service focus. But if it *does* happen, it's probably because the people behind the counter actually don't like you. They're racist, or they don't think you're cool enough to shop there, or whatever.
I respectfully and completely disagree with your conclusions, @projekt. However, in Anna's situation, I would have asked for the owner or manager. Well, knowing me, I would have just gone and found them myself. Absent one, or if this idiot was the manager, I would have called or emailed HQ as soon as I had left the store. The jerk at the counter doesn't give a shit if you buy something or not. Frankly, a photograph of the offender sent to HQ or, as a last resort, posted on Social Media would be the ideal resolution, IMO.

I've spoken to managers in the past. Couldn't be bothered this time, and I'm also fairly sure the owner was in the back. Small local hardware store. Convenient but not the cheapest, not the best stocked, and plenty of other places not that far away. No great loss to me.
Still frustrating to be treated so rudely.

And yet wonderfully satisfying to feel I responded well!
To be clear, my response was mostly triggered by projekt's off the wall (IMO) assumptions. I can fully appreciate the thrill of coming up with a solid comeback on the spot. Believe me, i grok how hard it is to do, especially when someone has royally pissed you off!

projekt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
Today no one was trying to sell me anything, but I was trying to buy something. The guy behind the counter and a woman in front of it were having a lengthy social conversation. I waited five minutes and then decided to butt in, which I did politely by saying excuse me a couple of times. After the third time, the guy snapped at me to just wait patiently! Pretty pleased with my response here, because I'm not usually so quick off the mark. I said very loudly so the other staff at the back of the store could hear 'You know what? How about YOU wait patiently for me to bother trying to spend money here again??" and put my would -be purchase on the counter in front of him.... and left. I won't be going back there :)
These stories rarely happen "just because" in the US, probably because of the inane customer service focus. But if it *does* happen, it's probably because the people behind the counter actually don't like you. They're racist, or they don't think you're cool enough to shop there, or whatever.
I respectfully and completely disagree with your conclusions, @projekt. However, in Anna's situation, I would have asked for the owner or manager. Well, knowing me, I would have just gone and found them myself. Absent one, or if this idiot was the manager, I would have called or emailed HQ as soon as I had left the store. The jerk at the counter doesn't give a shit if you buy something or not. Frankly, a photograph of the offender sent to HQ or, as a last resort, posted on Social Media would be the ideal resolution, IMO.

I've spoken to managers in the past. Couldn't be bothered this time, and I'm also fairly sure the owner was in the back. Small local hardware store. Convenient but not the cheapest, not the best stocked, and plenty of other places not that far away. No great loss to me.
Still frustrating to be treated so rudely.

And yet wonderfully satisfying to feel I responded well!
To be clear, my response was mostly triggered by projekt's off the wall (IMO) assumptions. I can fully appreciate the thrill of coming up with a solid comeback on the spot. Believe me, i grok how hard it is to do, especially when someone has royally pissed you off!
Wow, that escalated.  I was really saying I'm used to poor customer service outside of the US where often the staff seem to have "other priorities". In the US it usually seems that they have some sort of problem with me.  To me that is.  I can only speak of my own experience.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14099
  • Age: 62
  • Location: NorCal
I'm not going to quote ^that^ whole thing. I'm just going to share some personal experience. I worked at Nordstrom for a decade. We were 100% commission. It was incumbent on us to help everybody, while making each person feel like they were the center of the universe. (Never let'em see you juggle.) Early on in my sales career I'd had a couple of experiences where people who didn't seem to have much to spend actually did, so I never let looks deceive me. I used to train my staff that it was easy to stuff a credit card or wad of cash in a really inconspicuous place (shoe, sock, pocket, waistband, money belt, bra - seen 'em all) and to always assume that's what each person they encountered in our store had.

Most times when someone complained about poor treatment, they tended blame it on how they were dressed. News Flash: We don't GAF what you're wearing. If you fought traffic, got a parking space and found your way here, you must need something. More likely, the complainer was the person who felt less confident about their appearance or was somehow personally intimidated by the general environment. @project, your assumptions in the quote below were really triggering for me, hence my response. Why the fuck would you think a salesperson/clerk etc. wouldn't like you? They don't even know you!

However, you have since indicated that you're basing your response on the norms of another country, and mine was based on ten years of the Nordstrom environment, which had to be about the most extreme retail customer experience there was, at least in those days.

Projekt Pro Tip: If you're feeling like a fish out of water, pretend you have a thousand bucks in your pocket and full discretion as to whether or not you will choose to spend it. Look the salesperson straight in the eye. Say hello and smile. I suspect you will be amazed at the way their treatment of you improves. Great salespeople can smell confidence, no matter how you're dressed.

But if it *does* happen, it's probably because the people behind the counter actually don't like you. They're racist, or they don't think you're cool enough to shop there, or whatever.

ysette9

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7112
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
    • The Best Is Yet To Come
I'm not going to quote ^that^ whole thing. I'm just going to share some personal experience. I worked at Nordstrom for a decade. We were 100% commission. It was incumbent on us to help everybody, while making each person feel like they were the center of the universe. (Never let'em see you juggle.) Early on in my sales career I'd had a couple of experiences where people who didn't seem to have much to spend actually did, so I never let looks deceive me. I used to train my staff that it was easy to stuff a credit card or wad of cash in a really inconspicuous place (shoe, sock, pocket, waistband, money belt, bra - seen 'em all) and to always assume that's what each person they encountered in our store had.

Most times when someone complained about poor treatment, they tended blame it on how they were dressed. News Flash: We don't GAF what you're wearing. If you fought traffic, got a parking space and found your way here, you must need something. More likely, the complainer was the person who felt less confident about their appearance or was somehow personally intimidated by the general environment. @project, your assumptions in the quote below were really triggering for me, hence my response. Why the fuck would you think a salesperson/clerk etc. wouldn't like you? They don't even know you!

However, you have since indicated that you're basing your response on the norms of another country, and mine was based on ten years of the Nordstrom environment, which had to be about the most extreme retail customer experience there was, at least in those days.

Projekt Pro Tip: If you're feeling like a fish out of water, pretend you have a thousand bucks in your pocket and full discretion as to whether or not you will choose to spend it. Look the salesperson straight in the eye. Say hello and smile. I suspect you will be amazed at the way their treatment of you improves. Great salespeople can smell confidence, no matter how you're dressed.

But if it *does* happen, it's probably because the people behind the counter actually don't like you. They're racist, or they don't think you're cool enough to shop there, or whatever.
Iím curious, if you worked that long at Nordstromís then presumably you had some combo of enjoying it and being good at it. What did you like about it? I always think of customer-facing jobs as being difficult, or at least having the potential to be so.

Psychstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1065
I'm not going to quote ^that^ whole thing. I'm just going to share some personal experience. I worked at Nordstrom for a decade. We were 100% commission. It was incumbent on us to help everybody, while making each person feel like they were the center of the universe. (Never let'em see you juggle.) Early on in my sales career I'd had a couple of experiences where people who didn't seem to have much to spend actually did, so I never let looks deceive me. I used to train my staff that it was easy to stuff a credit card or wad of cash in a really inconspicuous place (shoe, sock, pocket, waistband, money belt, bra - seen 'em all) and to always assume that's what each person they encountered in our store had.

Most times when someone complained about poor treatment, they tended blame it on how they were dressed. News Flash: We don't GAF what you're wearing. If you fought traffic, got a parking space and found your way here, you must need something. More likely, the complainer was the person who felt less confident about their appearance or was somehow personally intimidated by the general environment. @project, your assumptions in the quote below were really triggering for me, hence my response. Why the fuck would you think a salesperson/clerk etc. wouldn't like you? They don't even know you!

However, you have since indicated that you're basing your response on the norms of another country, and mine was based on ten years of the Nordstrom environment, which had to be about the most extreme retail customer experience there was, at least in those days.

Projekt Pro Tip: If you're feeling like a fish out of water, pretend you have a thousand bucks in your pocket and full discretion as to whether or not you will choose to spend it. Look the salesperson straight in the eye. Say hello and smile. I suspect you will be amazed at the way their treatment of you improves. Great salespeople can smell confidence, no matter how you're dressed.

But if it *does* happen, it's probably because the people behind the counter actually don't like you. They're racist, or they don't think you're cool enough to shop there, or whatever.
As a counter-point, I worked at Nordstrom for 2 years while i was in grad school, and I DEFINITELY had co-workers who treated people differently based on the way they were dressed/how they looked. It was by no means the majority of my coworkers, but it's unrealistic to say that just because someone if 100% commission based consumer facing they have become immune to bias and prejudice.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 04:31:55 PM by Psychstache »

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14099
  • Age: 62
  • Location: NorCal
.
Iím curious, if you worked that long at Nordstromís then presumably you had some combo of enjoying it and being good at it. What did you like about it? I always think of customer-facing jobs as being difficult, or at least having the potential to be so.
[/quote]
I'm going to cogitate on this and I'll post it in my journal. Part of the reason was their excellent profit sharing and 401k programs. I'm pretty sure when I left, I'd managed to amass about two year's salary. That was the nut that grew into my FIRE fund. I'll ping you when I've written it up. Definitely will be a couple of days.

ysette9

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7112
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
    • The Best Is Yet To Come
.
Iím curious, if you worked that long at Nordstromís then presumably you had some combo of enjoying it and being good at it. What did you like about it? I always think of customer-facing jobs as being difficult, or at least having the potential to be so.
I'm going to cogitate on this and I'll post it in my journal. Part of the reason was their excellent profit sharing and 401k programs. I'm pretty sure when I left, I'd managed to amass about two year's salary. That was the nut that grew into my FIRE fund. I'll ping you when I've written it up. Definitely will be a couple of days.
[/quote]
Ah.. that journal that I started, lost my place, and am still something like two years behind? :)

That will give me the nudge I need to catch up finally

eyesonthehorizon

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 168
  • Location: Texas
It may depend on where you are in the US, and what kind of business it is. Mall shops, for example ... in the fine print there's a statement saying that minimum wage is guaranteed but the sales are commission based. ... In practice, most retail managers stand at the register and skim the cream during the high-traffic times of the day. ... If the employees don't like it-- tough luck! They cannot quit and pursue employment with a similar retailer (to take advantage of their experience) because as a condition of employment they signed a non-compete contract ... used to keep entry-level employees from quitting in response to abuse or low pay. Much of the time, although it's usually illegal, they are required to work off the clock or "bank" overtime hours (and yes, they are required to sign an agreement to do this as a condition of employment.

The end result of all the employee abuse is that there's no incentive to actually make sales. Sears, for example, was notorious for having staff that didn't care whether they sold product. Overall, the only people who benefit from chain stores tend to be the billionaires and hedge fund managers. If a business is good for the shareholding investors, it's generally because it's bad for the front-line workers, bad for the customers, and bad for pretty much everyone except the top echelon whose main purpose in life is to gut the company by selling off everything of value, create maximum inflation of the share price for at least a brief period of time, long enough for the insiders to benefit while staying at least nominally within the laws related to insider trading, and then dump the shell (and the employees and customers).

I had EXACTLY this experience in a retail job and despite high performance was barely scraping my theoretical wage (it was an assistant manager, however, and not the manager, who would salesjack me. Everyone, including the manager, had to clock a bunch of unpaid OT to accomplish assigned tasks.) The amount of time it took to even get that gig during the great recession meant I was not eager to try my luck elsewhere, and yes, true to form that company ended up a casualty of the stock market not long after.

A huge swath of publicly-traded companies don't start this way, but become only nominally involved in their purported actual business and function primarily as a wealth transfer system to the c-suite. I see this accelerating as businesses take on business-people as leadership rather than promoting from within, from people involved with the actual industry, creating an ugly race to the bottom in terms of quality. It's phenomenally wasteful, as it vaporizes 'soft' wealth at a spectacularly inefficient rate to get those results; in the short run we get a bunch of crappy business experiences, and in the long run the financial bill is going to come due. They can't repeat this process forever and I often wonder what effect that's going to have on our index funds long-term.

To tie back to the original theme, the assistant manager commissions-thief above had a habit of chummily establishing relationship status and then telling women that even if they were already in a relationship, it would be unwise to let their appearance slip (thus they should be buying ___). Ugh.

One other thing - inability to see a stranger's pocket-depth at a glance is true on both sides of the counter. The person getting "social" attention might not look like anyone special, but you have no way of knowing that they aren't the shop's most reliable and profitable customer; management may have made it clear how that person is to be treated. It's not exactly fair, and discrimination is also certainly real and possible, but assuming malice when there's so much you can't know is rarely fruitful.

projekt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
I had a top notch experience at Nordstrom when I went in wearing slightly sweaty summer clothes and said I needed a suit in 3 hours. I had a great suit in less than 3 hours and there was a happy salesperson. Definitely not the most mustachian suit purchase, but I continued to wear it for 10 years.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14099
  • Age: 62
  • Location: NorCal
.
Iím curious, if you worked that long at Nordstromís then presumably you had some combo of enjoying it and being good at it. What did you like about it? I always think of customer-facing jobs as being difficult, or at least having the potential to be so.
I'm going to cogitate on this and I'll post it in my journal. Part of the reason was their excellent profit sharing and 401k programs. I'm pretty sure when I left, I'd managed to amass about two year's salary. That was the nut that grew into my FIRE fund. I'll ping you when I've written it up. Definitely will be a couple of days.
Ah.. that journal that I started, lost my place, and am still something like two years behind? :)

That will give me the nudge I need to catch up finally
[/quote]
Don't rush. It's still full of half-told stories, same as it ever was.

LibrarianFuzz

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 80
Hyundai dealership, on me turning down the extended/extra/expensive warranty program on the new car (which I had just purchased with cash): "Awwww, honey, I thought you were smarter than that."

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2349
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
Hyundai dealership, on me turning down the extended/extra/expensive warranty program on the new car (which I had just purchased with cash): "Awwww, honey, I thought you were smarter than that."

It's unfortunate that they didn't start with the derogatory name-calling before the sale when you still had an opportunity to cancel it.

Smokystache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 408
I had two very unprofessional conversations when declining the insurance on a rental car. I was early 20's and I had a woman yelling at me (not screaming, but yelling) because I wouldn't buy the insurance. About 2 years ago I declined the gas tank option on the rental car. The counter guy started making fun of me because I declined everything and said, "I guess you don't like saving money." I replied, "I guess not."

I had a bank teller offer me a credit card when I was in my mid to late 20's. I declined. He replied with something like, "I guess you aren't very good at managing money."

I had someone at the bank throw the same line at me in a very similar situation.  I replied, "I guess you aren't very good at cross-selling."  The look on the guy's face was priceless!

I can't wait to pull this one out when someone is being a jerk. What a perfect comeback.

clarkfan1979

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2177
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Pueblo West, CO
I think I also had around $20,000 in my checking account at the time. I was getting ready to spend it on grad school. I think I was around 24-25 and the bank teller was 22-23. I gave no response, which I think was the best response.

By the River

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
Maybe not the worst ever, but this week's worst.  I'm refinancing so have been shopping around.  One lender had a great rate but high fees ($10K).  Tried to justify the fees by saying "you'll skip a payment or two during the refinancing so that means the fees will only be like 6 or 8K."   No, I'm not skipping any payments but moving it from now to later which has nothing to do with reducing your fees.   I'm financially literate enough to compare total cost of the loan not just the stated rate.   

Just Joe

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4223
  • Age: 125
  • Location: Just past the red barn on the left.
  • Here to learn.
Today no one was trying to sell me anything, but I was trying to buy something. The guy behind the counter and a woman in front of it were having a lengthy social conversation. I waited five minutes and then decided to butt in, which I did politely by saying excuse me a couple of times. After the third time, the guy snapped at me to just wait patiently! Pretty pleased with my response here, because I'm not usually so quick off the mark. I said very loudly so the other staff at the back of the store could hear 'You know what? How about YOU wait patiently for me to bother trying to spend money here again??" and put my would -be purchase on the counter in front of him.... and left. I won't be going back there :)
These stories rarely happen "just because" in the US, probably because of the inane customer service focus. But if it *does* happen, it's probably because the people behind the counter actually don't like you. They're racist, or they don't think you're cool enough to shop there, or whatever.

Well, I'm not in the US. I've been in the US, and I wasn't that impressed with the general customer service...

Anyway, in this case, the counter guy was just more interested in chatting than serving customers. I didn't know them, I'm not from any ethnicity, and it was a hardware store that presumably has few limits on the coolness or otherwise of it's customers.

Isn't this one of the ways online shopping got a foothold?

I'm not an eager shopper anyhow but American retail is no fun most of the time. Given the chance I'd buy my car and take deliver of it from the factory door. Retail stores can be overpriced, have odd hours, have odd sales staff I'd rather not deal with, small selection, etc. Online shopping has corrected a little of that. I'd rather shop locally and help my town prosper. 
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 01:40:21 PM by Just Joe »

Neuroman

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
I unfortunately got into a car accident (my fault, to spare you my pain, if you are in the intersection trying to make a left hand turn and the signal turns red, just wait if someone is trying to beat the light or make a right hand turn into the lane you are turning to...if you collide it is your fault).

Anyways, when I went to the car dealership, the salesperson asked innocuously "So why are you are you looking for a new car?" Naively I let him know about my accident.

The salesperson then ended up using that fact to put pressure on me, "Oh, you got in an ACCIDENT so you NEED to buy a car right away."

I was so angry having that used as leverage against me, I just left after that. I ended up calling around some more and just asking if other dealerships could beat the other's rate, confirmed no extras and then went to the further dealership and bought my car.

Indexer

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1463
I got a call from a telemarketer trying to sell me an extended warranty on my, at that time, 8 year old Hyundia. I should have hung up immediately, but sometimes I answer calls like this to have fun with them.

He explains my old warranty had run out and this warranty would cover everything.

Me: Hyundias have a 10 year 100,000 mile warranty on the powertrain.
Him: This covers bumper to bumper.
Me: Cost?
Him: $3,000.
Me: What could break that would cost $3,000 to repair?!?!?
Him: The engine or transmission...
Me: [I cut him off] which are still covered by the manufacturer warranty. Besides the powertrain, what could cost $3,000 to fix on a Hyundai?
Him: If it's a money issue you can make monthly payments.
Me: No, I have more than $3,000 in the bank... specifically because I don't waste it on crap like this. [disconnect]

Mike in NH

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 63
  • Age: 40
  • Location: NH...Obviously
So this wasn't "said" to me, but there was an annuity/life insurance guy from my hometown who was trying to sell me some of his junk a while back via email. I'm laughing my way through the pitch, which was bad but not very memorable, then I get to the end and almost snort water out my nose. The signoff on his email is "See you at the top"

I wouldn't buy a cheeseburger from someone who talks like that, let alone trust him with my retirement. Also wondering if he might actually be thorstach haha.

Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3699
Friend just bought a car and relayed her story.  She sat in a car and, being very short, found the seat uncomfortable.  She couldn't safely reach the pedals and said that no, the car wouldn't work.  Salesguy then said basically, "Shouldn't you check with your husband and let him decide?  He's the one paying for the car."  She was actually the one paying, and knew she didn't need her husband's approval, regardless of finances, to not buy a car that was uncomfortable and probably unsafe.

ysette9

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7112
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
    • The Best Is Yet To Come
Friend just bought a car and relayed her story.  She sat in a car and, being very short, found the seat uncomfortable.  She couldn't safely reach the pedals and said that no, the car wouldn't work.  Salesguy then said basically, "Shouldn't you check with your husband and let him decide?  He's the one paying for the car."  She was actually the one paying, and knew she didn't need her husband's approval, regardless of finances, to not buy a car that was uncomfortable and probably unsafe.
I am (naively?) shocked that such misogyny still can be found out in the wild.

StachingforLife

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Age: 25
  • Location: Maryland
Last year, a salesman from ADT came to our door trying to sell us a home security system- multiple times actually- but the last time he came, he had a conversation with my husband who politely refused to buy anything and the guy ended the conversation with "Well it would be a shame if anything were to happen to your wife or your dogs without protection from us." I wish we could've recorded that. It disgusts me when scare tactics are used.

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2349
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
Last year, a salesman from ADT came to our door trying to sell us a home security system- multiple times actually- but the last time he came, he had a conversation with my husband who politely refused to buy anything and the guy ended the conversation with "Well it would be a shame if anything were to happen to your wife or your dogs without protection from us." I wish we could've recorded that. It disgusts me when scare tactics are used.

Who does he think he is: the Mob?

An appropriate response might have been: "It would be a shame if anyone from your company tried to harm my wife or my dogs as retaliation for not paying you for protection, the way you're suggesting, because my wife and dogs would send them home in a box."

chouchouu

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 340
I was at a volkswagon dealership, checking out the polo. I'm a average size adult and was with my 3 year old daughters. I was sitting in the back seat to see the size. As a full grown adult there was plenty of room. The salesman keeps telling me I'd need a bigger car because my kids would grow, my 3 year old kids who would take at least 12 more years to grow to adult size and would probably be the same size as me, therefore with more than enough room...

Travis

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3294
  • Location: South Korea
Last year, a salesman from ADT came to our door trying to sell us a home security system- multiple times actually- but the last time he came, he had a conversation with my husband who politely refused to buy anything and the guy ended the conversation with "Well it would be a shame if anything were to happen to your wife or your dogs without protection from us." I wish we could've recorded that. It disgusts me when scare tactics are used.

Who does he think he is: the Mob?

An appropriate response might have been: "It would be a shame if anyone from your company tried to harm my wife or my dogs as retaliation for not paying you for protection, the way you're suggesting, because my wife and dogs would send them home in a box."

Yeah, I think that's when you pick up the phone and report the company for making threats.

ixtap

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2556
There are a few ad campaigns that piss me off for many of the same reasons:

"You, only better." Well, fuck you, too.

Or those Christmas ads encouraging you to surprise your spouse with a car.

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13739
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
I was at a volkswagon dealership, checking out the polo. I'm a average size adult and was with my 3 year old daughters. I was sitting in the back seat to see the size. As a full grown adult there was plenty of room. The salesman keeps telling me I'd need a bigger car because my kids would grow, my 3 year old kids who would take at least 12 more years to grow to adult size and would probably be the same size as me, therefore with more than enough room...

There was a thread on here a year or so ago where a poster wanted advice on what car to purchase for their family of 3, which might one day grow to 4 (no pregnancy yet).  The poster was really concerned about getting a car big enough for a teenager.  IIRC the kid was 2 years old.

ADvice boiled down to: get the car that works for you now, then sell it in 6 or 8 or 10 years and get one that will work for your lives then.  If it changes that much.  Which it might now.

chouchouu

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 340
I was at a volkswagon dealership, checking out the polo. I'm a average size adult and was with my 3 year old daughters. I was sitting in the back seat to see the size. As a full grown adult there was plenty of room. The salesman keeps telling me I'd need a bigger car because my kids would grow, my 3 year old kids who would take at least 12 more years to grow to adult size and would probably be the same size as me, therefore with more than enough room...

There was a thread on here a year or so ago where a poster wanted advice on what car to purchase for their family of 3, which might one day grow to 4 (no pregnancy yet).  The poster was really concerned about getting a car big enough for a teenager.  IIRC the kid was 2 years old.

ADvice boiled down to: get the car that works for you now, then sell it in 6 or 8 or 10 years and get one that will work for your lives then.  If it changes that much.  Which it might now.

It's bizarre isn't it? People hold their cars here for about 7 years according to the data. 

ysette9

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7112
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
    • The Best Is Yet To Come
I never understood the big car for kids thing. Even with car seats they are still smaller than adults.

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13739
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
I never understood the big car for kids thing. Even with car seats they are still smaller than adults.

Me either.  For some the idea that you need a big car for kids has been burned into their psyche. 
We have a compact and when my spouse was pregnant several people asked us if we were going to buy a bigger car.  After she was born my father even wanted to swtich cars with us "while we looked around for another vehicle" (he knows how deliberate and methodical I can be about purchases, though we weren't considering ditching our car).  He basically forced us to try his large SUV for a week.  We hated it!  It was way too big to comfortably get in and around tight parkinglots, and it was actually **harder** to put the kid in the carseat.  While driving I couldn't reach back to check on our kiddo or pick up a toy she had dropped because the vehicle was too damn big.  And of coruse the 18 gallon fuel tank rank out way too fast and cost way too much to fill.  It was a huge step down.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14099
  • Age: 62
  • Location: NorCal
I never understood the big car for kids thing. Even with car seats they are still smaller than adults.
I suspect it's for kids plus their gear. Strollers, pack'n plays, diaper bags and all the other paraphernalia are pretty bulky. Especially if you buy one of those ginormous strollers for multiple kids.

StachingforLife

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Age: 25
  • Location: Maryland
Last year, a salesman from ADT came to our door trying to sell us a home security system- multiple times actually- but the last time he came, he had a conversation with my husband who politely refused to buy anything and the guy ended the conversation with "Well it would be a shame if anything were to happen to your wife or your dogs without protection from us." I wish we could've recorded that. It disgusts me when scare tactics are used.

Who does he think he is: the Mob?

An appropriate response might have been: "It would be a shame if anyone from your company tried to harm my wife or my dogs as retaliation for not paying you for protection, the way you're suggesting, because my wife and dogs would send them home in a box."

Lol I know! I couldn't believe he said that. Salespeople say the craziest things to get to your money.