Saturday, June 20, 2009

Are You Kidding?

Most of the day yesterday - I struggled to stay awake, and desperately longed for a pillow and a blanket. Because things never workout as I would hope - I curled up on the couch...and about 10 minutes later... a knock at the door. We had been working with the warranty people with our home builder, so John went ahead and answered the door in case it was one of them. (If we would have thought about it - our warranty people DO NOT wear ties...)

It was our friendly Kirby vacuum salesman, Don. He chatted John up and seduced him with the promise of cleaning our floors... bleh. So John agrees - after confirming that it is a FREE demonstration about 12 times.

The kid leaves, and comes back with his supplies and boss - I think the boss's name was Pat. If you've ever been through one of these demonstrations - it's like no other experience I've ever had. Of course the only thing I have to compare it to is the water purification people that came out the day we moved in the house... John signed up for that so that we'd get a free gift card... I'm pretty sure the gift card never came.

I should also mention that the short time between the talk at the door and Don's return with the stuff - John had prepared several areas that he wanted them to clean... like a kid in a candy store - he was going to put them to the test.

So, he proceeds to start showing us all the features -the whole thing started at around 6:45ish. (maybe slightly earlier)

He vacuums with our machine, and swiffers the tile floors... then goes back over it with the Kirby to show us what our machines missed. LOTS of other tests... and we start seeing these lining our entry way.

Because it looks disgusting - I must tell you that the darker ones on the row on the far right of the picture are from the top of our kitchen cabinets - so I think that the grease that might be up there from cooking makes it look worse. The others on the left that look horrid... are from the couch - which is new and a dark brown... so a lot of that was just fuzz coming off the fabric.
The grossest thing by far though was the demonstration of them using the Kirby on our mattress. THAT is disgusting! (For the money they wanted for the Kirby though - I'll just go buy a new bed!)
At several points during the demonstration - Don had to call into the office - which if you've never been through one of these - they totally talk on the phone with someone acting like they're making you a special deal... when they start to talk to you about what the deal is - they set the phone down on the table so that the person on the other end can hear exactly what you're saying. (This will become important later.)
I about choked when they asked me what I thought the vacuum was worth, and I said "$500" which is about the most that I'd EVER even try to justify to myself for a machine like that. Don replied, "That's a nice down payment." Great, at this point - I knew it was going to be a struggle to get these people out of our house.
We do more trials and tests with the machine to show us more about how it works and the things that it can do. Pat comes back to the house shortly before each phone call to check on Don and put in his little bit of information to help make the sale.
Second phone call, ya'll at this point - I'm getting delirious because I haven't eaten and I'm exhausted... so I literally wanted to cry just to get them to leave... but I didn't have the energy. Anyway, they come down to a price around $1,600 this time. John goes into a little about how we're doing fertility treatments - and that the price is now half of a month's worth of treatment.
Don, the salesman, gets off the phone and launches into a story about how he was kicked by a horse in the "man parts" and may never be able to have children. I wonder if that is true... but if it's not - he's really quick on his feet!
More demo... ending with the shampooing of our carpet in the living room. I don't know if we can truly tell a difference, but this morning as I write this - it does still smell nice and lavendery. So just as he finishes the shampooing, his boss -Pat comes back. Pours the stuff from the Kirby into a glass to show us what was washed out of our carpet.
Then they launch into the hard sell. At which time, I figure out what's happening with the phone calls... because Pat immediately is like "so, I understand you're doing fertility treatments." Lovely...
From there, Pat tells us about his story of being 40 and his wife is 39 and they are "starting" (seriously?) to think about having children and he thinks they'll have some problems. Ok, at 39 - even if you were perfectly healthy - chances are it's not going to be easy to get pregnant... but whatever - he was just trying to chat us up and get us to buy the machine.
After chatting for a bit - he makes a big production of giving us a "special" deal because of our fertility treatments and all. The whole time they'd been offering us financing... and monthly payments - which we said over and over again that we wouldn't finance anything much less a vacuum cleaner.
So, before Pat gives us the final number... in a moment of brilliance... this conversation happens:
Pat: "Since you're having some financial issues with the fertility treatments, I'm going to give you a special price - but I ask that you keep this to yourself because we've sold some machines to your neighbors tonight and we don't want them to know about your special deal."
Kim: "We don't know any of our neighbors."
Pat: "This deal will hopefully fit in your budget and help Don win his trip to San Antonio. We of course also have the interest free financing option available as well."
Kim: "Have you ever heard of Dave Ramsey?"
Pat: "Are you kidding me?! Man, Don... pack it up - we're done."
Kim: Laughter
Pat: "I wish I could strangle that man sometimes! You know that Dave Ramsey isn't going to come clean your carpet, right?"
Kim: Laughter
Pat: "I have listened to some of his CD's to know what we're up against with some customers."
Kim: "It has worked well for us."
Pat: "Here is our offer."
John: "Can we have a minute to discuss this?"
Pat: "Sure, we'll wait outside."
At which time, I am able to tell John about one of his A&M Buddies that responded to my Facebook post about the salesman being in the house... Leland told me about buying one - having the wheel fall off - and no one being willing to fix it. Knowing where Leland lives - which is where these guys are based - we opted to NOT purchase.
Seriously - $1,000 for a vacuum... it better do all of those nifty cleaning tasks FOR me - and serve me a drink at the same time!
So, they come in and pack their stuff up. The literally walked out the door at about 10:30... GEEZ - the sales pitch that never ends! I can't even imagine what would have happened if they went in a house with kids - I mean who can deal with a 3 and a half hour sales pitch with kids?! I barely dealt with it...
Moral of the story? We will NEVER open the door again to anyone knocking that we're not expecting. If they are wearing a tie - they are either a religious person knocking on doors or a sales man.... neither of which am I truly prepared or equipped to deal with. Otherwise - it will be someone we're expecting... and John is not allowed to go to the door. He somehow loses his senses of reality when someone starts talking about something being free...