Here comes a true story about how a door-to-door salesman was able to pitch me into a sale. It was the first and the last time that has ever happened!
It was the hottest part of the summer and I was the smart one that decided to build a fence. In order to save about $1,500, I recruited a few friends and bought some lumber. We put up the fence “bones” over a weekend, and then I worked each night after work to put up the slates. Each day was about 100+ degrees and I was losing my mind slowly.
After I put the fence up, I realized I had some extra lumber, so I decided to build a sweet dog house for our two dogs. I went in the front yard and started putting it together. About an hour into the build, I was approached by a door-to-door salesman. Oh, crap!
I have never been a fan of door-to-door salesman. I realize that they are trying to make a living, but I have just never been a fan. I will usually allow someone to pitch me, but I have never bitten. That was the truth until this day.
Hello, Mr. Alarm Salesman
The salesman was an alarm company salesman. He had been hitting up the neighborhood for quite some time and finally got to my house. My wife and I were actually looking to get an alarm system because of the crime that was happening in our neighborhood. Most of the home in our neighborhood have alarm systems, so I was in the market for one. The biggest issue was that we didn’t have a landline phone. This was back in the day when most alarm companies didn’t have packages for homes that were only relying on a mobile connection. This made our choice much harder to make. Well, enter Mr. Alarm Salesman.
He approached me with a smirk and a suave tongue. He told me about their technology and I was intrigued. He walked me through how it would be setup and how much it would cost. This was the time that I was in massive debt, so why not add another monthly cost. I was naive about my money and where it was going, so why not? I wanted my family to be safe and an alarm system was what we were looking for.
Hooked by the Pitch
After about 30 minutes talking with Mr. Alarm Salesman, I was hooked. I had let my guard down and I think it was due to the issue of my mind melting out of my head and that his product “fit” my need. He showed me the contract and we worked it out. He missed a few terms and when I was on the phone with their head office to get the final approval, I was notified that I could only get the “deal” that he was offering if I allowed them to auto-draft my bank account. NOPE! I don’t do that for anyone, so this was not going to happen. I talked my way into the deal by allowing me to send them a check.
Anyway, after I signed the contract (which I didn’t read), they had an installation team in my house in 10 minutes. It was overwhelming. They setup our system and showed us how to use it and were out by 8pm. What a whirlwind!
Anyway, the service worked well for the first year, but then it started having problems. I had a severe case of buyer’s remorse because of this “adventure” and I wasn’t happy. The big problem is that they had me in an iron-clad agreement without a cancel anytime clause. Stupid Lawyers. I was trying hard to find a way out of that contract.
My way came one night when our alarm went off with an attempted burglary. As our alarm went off, I had my wife call the police. Right before the police got to the house, the alarm company called to ask about the alarm. What the Hell? It had been 20 minutes since the alarm went off. How is that response time? Well, after the night was over, I realized that I had my way out. Breach of contract! HAHAHAHA!!!!! A simple call to the headquarters and I was out and done.
This experience taught me a lot. If you are not paying attention, a salesman can pull the wool over your eyes. It happened to me and I didn’t even realize it. I have vowed since that moment to not let it happen again. If a salesman comes by with something intriguing, then I will take my time to research it. Sometimes you learn the best lessons by failing. I failed on this one, but I have rebound since. A salesman caused me to bite on his pitch and I won’t fall for that again!
Has a salesperson every caused your to bite on their pitch? If so, I want to hear your story.
Photo via FrontPoint Security