Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Company Policy

Don't you just love that term? "Company Policy". It's the corporate world's version of zombie like, "Zero Tolerance".

Yesterday I called a company to come and give me a quotation for putting up storm doors and a lanai like structure over our deck. (Shira is allergic to mosquito bites and summer can become quite miserable for her). This company advertises in the "Moneyclip", an advertising brochure that is dropped into our mailbox with alarming regularity. We normally just toss it in the recycle bin, but for some reason, this weekend, Marc paged through it and saw ESE's advertisement. It was fortuitous that I had been bugging Marc the previous week about our need for storm doors along one side of our house because we're bleeding heating and cooling through all our french doors.

I called to make an appointment for a salesperson to come to see me and I was informed that "company policy" dictated that both husband and wife are present when the sales person calls.

Red flags started waving frantically. If both husband and wife have to be present, it probably means that this company is overpriced.

The poor corporate drone received a tongue lashing from me. I informed her that Marc was on call and may or may not be present, but that the sales person could speak to me as I was collecting the information and quotes and once I have narrowed the field, Marc and I would make the final decision.

She was adamant. Company policy was that either both spouses were present or no salesman appeared. What am I missing here? I am telling them that I want to spend money and perhaps I want to spend it with their company. All they have to do is show up, show me their wares and give me a price. It's as easy as that. Instead they spend half an hour refusing to deal with me unless I am combined with my other (better?) half.

They would rather miss a sales opportunity than see just the wife. Great policy guys.

I must admit that I suspect that they are similar to time share salespeople in that they are probably selling over priced wares, with lots of incentives, their own financing and ultra high pressure sales people. This place reeks of con job.

This reminds me of how Chrysler lost a van sale in 2001 because of how the salesperson treated me. I had infant twins and needed a van. Off I went to look at van. At this time, the Sienna and Honda did not have long wheel bases and the only one that did, was the Town and Country. I test drove it, found out all the specs and then asked the salesman for a price. He told me not to worry my pretty little head over it, he'd call my husband and discuss price with him. WTF?

I walked out and went to the next Chrysler dealership. This one gave me a written quotation. Two days later, Marc and I went to sign on the dotted line. The only problem was that the purchase agreement was $4000 greater than the quotation. When we queried it, the salesman's response was, "I told my manager that you would probably see the price difference", and then he proceeded to try to complete the deal.

Marc and I arose and left. We made do with our sedan until 2004 when Toyota redesigned the Sienna. It never fails to amaze me how hard companies work to put willing and able customers off buying their products.

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