Sunday, September 13, 2009

Would You Believe...

We need a new washer and dryer. We have simply been in denial about it for a while now. The dogs on the agitator in the washer are shot so that it really doesn't wash as well, and the dryer takes much longer to get things dry than it should. That's OK. The current set was bought 5 or 6 years ago, used, from an ad in the company bulletin. They are not as efficient as new ones, and we'd like to do what we can to make the earth a little happier.

We found a really good deal on a set at one of the local appliance stores. Energy-saver rated, low water usage, off means really off, and so on. Special "while supplies last" pricing, and an additional "percent off" if I put it on my store credit card. (It's always paid off in full.) We looked at alternatives, talked about some of the things we'd seen on the Internet, compared notes and decided to go ahead.

Just as we were making up our minds, the salesperson (who happened to be female in this case) said, "There's an extra 10% off if you are..." and she listed a bunch of things which I am not—police officer, EMT, firefighter, etc. I said, no that's OK, I'm not any of those. She said, "Oh--we'll just say you are anyway--they don't require any proof or anything."

I don't think the salesperson realized what was going through my mind right then:
  1. If you'll lie to the company about my eligibility for a discount, what have you lied to me about?
  2. If everyone gets the extra 10% off, there is no courtesy or honor to the first responders the promotion is supposed to support
From that moment on, the sale was in grave jeopardy. Either that washer and dryer would stand on their own merits, or the deal would fail. Frankly, my first impulse was to run far, far away, but it really was a good deal on its own. We took them, but I would not let her apply the 10% discount at the register. She looked at me like she'd seen a ghost, but I was able to walk out of the store with some integrity—a word with which she seemed not to be familiar.

Maybe in some way the salesperson thought I only cared about the price. She obviously hadn't read my blog about The Sign in the Shoe Store. Price is not everything.

I certainly did not get a good customer service feeling from this purchase. I hope my product judgement proves better than the sales person's judgement of me.

Give it some thought.

Afterword: The delivery of the new washer and dryer was scheduled for Friday. The old dryer stopped working Thursday evening. Sometimes the timing is just right.

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