It wasn’t that long ago when the only reliable yet annoying upsell was, “Would you like an apple or cherry turnover with that?” Some bean counter discovered if every cashier was forced to annoy 100 people, maybe 5 would agree to the turnover. I won’t get into why it’s a bad idea to piss off your other 95 customers, but suffice it to say many business owners have jumped on the upsell bandwagon. And the wares they are hawking are far more annoying than a bite of hot cherry ooziness that burns the roof of your mouth.
When I bought four tires at Goodyear I spent two minutes selecting (I had researched models from Consumer Reports and Car & Driver) the tires and the next 20 minutes deflecting the never ending list of products the lady shoved in my face. No, I don’t want to put it on a Goodyear credit card nor do I want to buy road hazard insurance (I like how they toss in words like “hazard” with the intent of making it sound like you’re declining something that will save your life) When I explained that I only insure items that would be a financial burden to replace (Like my house. If I blow a tire, I’m out maybe 150 bucks?) she looked at me like I was was a bigger tightwad than Al Bundy.
Two days ago we took two of our kids to get haircuts and the selling didn’t stop till we walked out the door 45 minutes later. They tried to talk us into getting our oldest daughter’s hair cut and even went so far to ask my my kids, “Should we make mom look pretty too?” in an attempt get Kim in the chair. I doubt Kim would have enjoyed sitting in the fire truck, or on the tractor or purple dinosaur while while watching Dora the Explorer during the ordeal. What made this experience especially annoying was the fact she wouldn’t take no for an answer and kept at us till we left. We won’t be going back.
And today I went to Kit’s Cameras to purchase a Nikon flash. I called the store to ask about the specific model (Nikon SB400) to confirm it was in stock. I showed up to the store 30 minutes later and spoke with the same guy I talked to on the phone. Yet, he’s decided he knows what’s best for me and tries to upsell two more expensive models. I told him I’d done my homework on the internet, which clearly went in one ear and out the other. I wanted to yell, “SHUT UP! I know what I NEED!!” After turning down the opportunity of a lifetime to purchase a customer card, extended warranty, extra batteries and several lenses, I made it out of the store in one piece.
No wonder I look to purchase more products on the internet from companies like Amazon and New Egg than ever before. Even if I don’t save much money I end up not having to deal with idiots who feel they know what’s best for me. I generally research most everything I buy and I don’t show up to the store in a clueless daze relying on the salesperson to guide me to the products he/she thinks are right for me.
Why do some companies continue to pester the majority of their customers in search of the small percentage who can’t say no to the cherry turnover? I want to support local businesses, but anytime a website provides better customer service than your employees, you’re not going to be around long.