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Wednesday, 20 January 2010

AAARRGGHH!!!! I Hate Salesmen!!

Last night I had a phone call from a national home improvement company who did some work for us a few years ago. They regularly ring up trying to sell us something or other. Usually I'd just make a polite excuse and hangup. Yesterday however they caught me off guard with an "Existing Customer" discount. I was assured that the man, who was "currently in the area", would not be a salesman. That was my big mistake.

He arrived half an hour late, having driven 60 miles from 2 counties away, just before we were going to sit down for dinner. Mmm, not working round the corner then! I showed him what we wanted (new guttering & facias), so he could workout his price while we ate. I even told him the measurements. He sat there and waited instead.

After dinner he showed me sample, told me how good their finance deal was and even showed me a DVD of how the work is done. All very nice, but HOW MUCH?

"Just need to measure up" said he.

Then he kindly explained that he needed to call his boss to find out what my banding would be. I think he waited on the phone 15 mins. And the price? That'll be £5945. For 15 metres of gutting! You have got to be joking!

That's where the "Existing Customer" discount comes in. I'll give you a discount for this, that and the other. That brings the cost down to £3900. I informed him that that was also far too much and I never sign on the day as I wish to get other quotes first.

"I need to let my boss know that you won't sign and he can put your discount back in the pot for others to use". Whatever, said I. "I'll packup your gear while you do that then!".

His call went along the lines of , "Oh. I see. That's interesting. Really?". I half expected to be asked to speak to his boss. Fortunatly I wasn't. He hung up, scribbled something on his pad and told me that they had had "a poor night" and could offer me a one off, never to be repeated price of £2600. It was a bargain, apparently!

By this time he'd been with us for 2 hours to do something that would have taken a builder about 10 minutes. In fact, after I'd showed him the door, I made a call to a builder I know who, made a few calculations and said it should be under about £2000. That took him about 5 minutes. I should have called him first.

When will I learn not to let these people over my door step?

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