Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Upselling sucks

I hate being up-sold. I'm an educated consumer and I know what I want. In many cases, I know more than the person trying to sell me something so why should I believe you when you tell me I need this additional product or I should go for a bit more? If you're a bit confused, here's the upsell.

You go to buy something; goods or services, it takes both kinds. When checking out or discussing what you're purchasing, the person hawking the goods or services tries to get you buy additional items or have you change your initial order, like getting the same computer but adding more RAM or a faster processor.

I understand it's their job but do they have to be so GD persistent? Recently, I was victim to unwanted and annoying as hell upselling at the following 2 locations on the same day. Lovely.

1. The car wash
Car wash guy: How ya doing today?
Me: Great; nice day, need to wash the car
CWG: I hear ya, boss! What can we do for you today?
Me: Just need the standard wash, and that's all
CWG: Can I get you some wheel & tire dressing? Wax?
Me: No. Just the standard wash, and that's all
CWG: You sure? The wax will protect your paint and the tire/wheel dressing will really clean up these wheels; they're pretty dirty. I mean, you really should do it.
Me: No, thank you. I still just want the standard wash, like when I first got here (said with a little laugh that was condescending enough to make him put the pen behind his ear and begrudgingly accept defeat)
CWG: Well, it's your call, boss...
Me: I know. Thanks for trying

2. Dentist
I'll spare you the transcript for it wasn't nearly as exciting and would be much longer than I care to type. In a nutshell, the dentist is the undisputed king of the upsell. When I was a kid, you got your teeth cleaned with no hassel. Go in and get x-rays, if cavities show up they tell you and they fix them; no options, no upsell, nothing. Now, I go in and apparently have a cavity that requires work. She informs me that the dentist is recommending that I not go with a standard filling but instead go for a partial crown. Cost to me: $687 and that's after insurance; $850+ before insurance. I ask the woman why the dentist is not recommending a filling and she informs me that the crown is a better, safer, longer-lasting--and most importantly in her opinion--more attractive alternative. I told her the only reason she wants me to do it is because it's 5-times more expensive than the regular filling alternative that was on the comparison chart, probably because insurance companies require they place an alternative, and that there would never be a time that was right for a filling in their eyes.

I asked about a guarantee on this crown and future damage and such. Not surprising, but there is no guarantee; if it breaks a week later, guess who's back for another $687 procedure. But, such cases were "very rare" and fillings not only wear out after some time but don't look nearly as nice as the crown does and having beautiful teeth is very important in today's society.

Then, I tell her I'm getting rather frustrated and annoyed and that she's wasting her time by trying to sell a useless and frivolous treatment to me. She then gives me a "well, whatever; they're your teeth, not mine..." which went a long ways towards ensuring that I would not be going back to them. She also informs me that the dentist is recommending scaling (deep cleaning) on my teeth instead of a regular cleaning. This now means that the dentist appointment that was to be free, per the insurance I have, will now cost me $55; no negotiating. However, it only cost me $55 because I declined the $60 anti-bacterial rinse they recommend when doing this procedure. What a bunch of bullsh*t. I'm wondering if the cost of the procedures performed is in any way correlated to the overhead and staff they have on hand? In my 2 hour visit, I was attended to by no less than 5 people: receptionist, x-ray girl, hygenist, dentist and upsell girl.

I'm not joking: all that woman did was wear nice clothes and walk from room to room with a clipboard informing people of the treatments they required and upselling her way to a bonus. I'm doubting she had any knowledge of dentistry, whatsoever, and could rather easily transition from this job to one at a best buy, a landscaping company, auto repair facility or car wash.

So, to wrap it up, don't upsell me. I hate it.

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