Writing, publishing, geekdom, and errata.

When the hard sell gets stupid

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A little over a year ago, I made the mistake of inviting a window salesman inside my home. The guy was from ImproveIt! Home Remodeling; this particular branch is based out of Columbus Ohio. He was just supposed to show us the product. I said, up front, that I did not want to buy anything that day. That I just wanted to see the product and then comparison shop.

All the sales tactics I observed when I documented my experience at a multilevel marketer occurred - and I fell for them. I signed stuff, and it wasn't until later that I added things up and realized the windows would cost more than a third the value of the house. That was something that I simply could not afford at the time.

Further, I was upset that I'd fallen for the sales pitch. I did not want them to come back out and subject me to that again. I wanted to take the information, comparison shop, and determine if it really was the best deal. If the product was as great as the salesman thought, then it should hold up when I comparison shopped.

It's worth noting that I still thought the windows were okay at that time. I simply realized I couldn't afford them. (My opinion has since changed, see below.)

Luckily, Ohio has a provision that you can renounce, within three days, a sale of this kind if you sign it in your home. I filled out that form, and sent it with a letter saying "I'm still interested, but I will contact you when I'm ready to buy". I rather specifically said at that time that I was not interested in them contacting me for follow up.

Which they did, contrary to my instructions. They called my wife, and tried to pressure her to make a decision while I was at work. She did not, and at that point I sent them a legal document forbidding them to contact me or any other member of my family. They were not to come to my property, call, or do anything besides return the deposit check.

Which the company did, but in person, and then tried to talk me back into buying the windows.

And then called nine months later.

And now they're e-mailing me again, asking why I got so upset.

Maybe it's because they keep contacting me after I specifically told them to never contact me again.

As a side note, to my (admittedly layman) eye, there were equivalent windows available at Lowe's for a third to half the price, and it was possible to install them two at a time, instead of doing the whole house at once and making extra payments on a loan like this company wanted me to.

Because of their sales practices, I would recommend staying away from ImproveIT! Home Remodeling. Even if their product is significantly better (something I am not convinced of any more), their inability to understand a simple instruction to leave me alone makes me question their entire business model. I'm not alone - take a look at the BBB page for the Columbus, OH branch of the company that I dealt with.

When the customer tells you to bugger off, maybe you should stop trying to sell your product. Just saying.

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