Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Up Sell and When Does It Stop?

There are times when I hesitate to go into a retail store. It isn't that it retail stores are bad. Most are run quite well. It isn't that there is bad service or that the floor staff is being extra observant of me being in the store. My frustration level rises when I approach the counter with my goods and I am asked do I have the store's loyalty card?


"Would I like one? "

"No thank you."

"It will only take a minute?"

I'm not mad at the clerk. I know the manager is listening for the pitch and the effort to get us dumb ass clucks to sign up. For what? A few cents off on items that are overpriced if I don't pledge fidelity?

I love bookstores. Yet I try as hard as hell to stay out of Barnes and Noble. I know they are hurting.  I feel bad for them. However, every dang time I'm at the counter I get asked to plunk down $25 for the loyalty card. I don't want the card and I don't want the Nook.

When I come to think of it, we as consumers get the up sell all day long. Do you want fries with that? Can I interest you in our product protection plan? Would you like to sign up for our frequent buyer newsletter where we can sell you more stuff?

I'm not anti-capitalism. I'm not even anti-making a sale if done with a smidgin of class.

I am against sales harassment in all forms. Which is why The Verge's Comcast Confessions post has me shaking my damn head in what passes for corporate though now days. Comcast has a monopoly in many markets. Customers cannot go to the competition because there isn't any.

Shaking the Dead Money Tree

There is a finite amount of money that can be generated in a certain market. So in the current idiocy  that passes for management you short sheet your users on customer and tech services. You make unhappy customers that much more unhappy by "sales retention."Then you fight like hell not to let anybody go.

I keep hoping that Google Internet will spread but it doesn't look like it will anytime soon. I'm hoping that an alternate form of connection will be invented that will bypass the former phone and cable companies. That will happen but not as soon as I need it which is right now.

In the meantime, we will have to be resolute in our power of the No.

It will not be easy. Comcast will double down on their staff to ride out this wave of bad publicity. To be fair it isn't just Comcast. Pick a major corporation that deals directly with the public and you can find pockets of sales harassment and up selling as a corporate birthright.

Stay the course and keep saying no, "I don't want it." "No, I don't need it." No to the super sizing, no to the extended warranty plan and "No I don't want your store card!"

Collectively we can induce change if we are willing to turn off the money spigot. 

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