Dealing with Bad Salesmen
Every once in a while we are encountered in a situation when we have to deal with sales people with their sweeter than honey talk, and promises to be available round the clock in case you need them.
I encountered on such sales person who made a cold call to our apartment on a Saturday morning. Now since I started my career in sales I have a lot of respect for the front line sales people. Alas some of them do not deserve it.
Coming back to our Mr. Sales man, let us call him Mr. S. Mr. S had come to know that we are using 20 Liter water bottles for our drinking needs and wanted to help us save some money. He works for Eureka Forbes and wanted to help us pick the best water filter for our kitchen. Since I have heard a lot about the Reverse Osmosis water filter I wanted to buy one of those. But Mr. S being the good smartian he mentioned that since our building gets municipality water we need not spend money for the Reverse Osmosis water filter and we can go for a normal water filter which was only 9990 as compared to 16000/- for the RO model. He also promised that he will give us 2 discount coupons worth 600/- each that can be exchanged for the cartridge of the filter that will bring down the cost of the filter further to only Rs- 8790/- only. I thought this was a good deal and decided to buy the filter. But I wanted to think a little and asked Mr. S to come next week. I received 15 calls during this week from Mr. S informing me that if I do not purchase the filter within next 10 days the discount coupons and life time warranty offer from the filter will be withdrawn by the company.
Now since I like to keep a record of my purchases and get a bill I did not wanted to pay cash to Mr.S so he promised to come with the credit card machine and swipe the same.
As promised he came next day the filter was installed and the machine was swiped for Rs. 9990/-.
Now begins the bad part. Mr. S had no bill for the filter and no discount coupons. But he promised sweetly that the bill as well as the discount coupons will be delivered to my home within next 15 days. This was in middle of August. In first week of September I started to call Mr. S for the bill and the discount coupon. Initially for the first few days he picked up my phone and each time informed that he will call me in 15 minutes and update me of the status. After about a week he stopped picking my calls, once or twice he picked up the phone as I called from a land line and not from my mobile, on realizing it was me he started speaking in Telgu pretending to be some body else. This really pissed me off and I wrote an SMS to him that I expect a call from him otherwise I will escalate the matters. So much for the friendly man from Eureka Forbes as shown on TV.
Now I started calling the Eureka Forbes call center. I had to call about 7 times before I got the bill from Eureka Forbes in post. It had the name of sales person as some body else and not Mr. S. I am not sure if Mr. S gave me his correct name or not. Still there is no news on the discount coupons. To Eureka Forbes credit till date they have not denied giving me the discount coupons but they have not been delivered also.
As far as Mr. S goes I am sure he is making a fool of some body else but he will not be able to do in our building as I have informed the building security to not let him in and also informed the society members how he is making false promises and then vanishing so nobody in our building in entertaining him.
In hind site this is what I should have done:
- Made the payment only on receipt of the bill and warranty card.
- Checked his ID card and talked to a client of his where he has supplied the water filter.
- Made him only part payment and withheld an amount equal to the discount coupon. This I should have asked him to pay from his pocket which I will give to him once the discount coupons are delivered. This would have kept him on toes and he would have been chasing me rather than me writing this blog.
- Should have verified with the office of the sales man if this discount offer is a genuine one or the sales man is making a fool of me just to get the order.
Let me wait for some more time and then I will start writing emails to Eureka Forbes head office in Mumbai.
The learning in this whole episode is that if any freebies are being promised to you by any sales man please be careful and ensure that you do keep some payment pending so that you don’t have to chase him once the sales have been closed. I am wondering if he was a bad sales man or I am a bad customer who was not smart enough to protect himself?
Thanks for reading do leave a comment.