a moral question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ted Lee, Jul 9, 2001.

  1. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    so here's my rant and my dilema - it's kinda long, so you may want to skim through it...
    i went to best buy yesterday and was browsing around the ht-gear section (first mistake). i ran into a salesperson who was talking with four earnest-looking shoppers. it was clear they (the customers) did not know a lot about audio gear.
    you can already guess the story, but here's what happened...
    the salesperson was pitching some sony htb system. i know how we all feel about those, but set that aside for the moment - let's assume for a beginner it's not a bad way to go.
    so here he is going on and on about the system, expounding the virtues of the subwoofer and how many watts per channel and how accurate the satellites are, and how they'll get "more accurate highs and lower lows" (he used that phrase at least 4 times in the 10 minutes i was standing there) blah, blah, blah. that wasn't so bad to me - while i stood there, my heart actually started beating harder, i was getting so irritated. but, i held my silence.
    here comes the kicker...
    all of a sudden he shifts gears and starts talking about how they'll have to spend over 200 dollars on cables and buy the extended warranty!!! i couldn't believe it! the customers were clearly already confused, then before they could even ask any questions, the salesperson started pitching more product! it was also very clear that the fact that they would have to spend 200 dollars on extra cable was a BIG turn-off for the customers.
    AAARRGGGHHHH!!!! yet...i still held my tongue.
    later, i saw one of the couples somewhere else. i quietly pulled them aside and gave them a very-quick explanation of what the sales guy was saying and what he did wrong. i especially told them not to let the cable issue be a consideration. i told them they could get less expensive cable that would probably do just as well. i also told them they should compare cables to see if they hear a difference. then they could make an informed decision.
    my concerns:
    1. the sales guy only half knew what he was talking about.
    2. he never very clearly explained anything
    3. he had a somewhat condescending attitude
    4. HE NEVER SHOWED ANY OTHER OPTIONS - DIDN'T EVEN GO NEAR THE COMPONENT SECTION
    5. he frightened the customers
    6. he insinuated it would be difficult to set the system up
    7. i can't remember the rest, but i know there were more
    so, finally, my question to you all:
    should i have stepped in? heaven knows i wanted to so bad, but i just didn't feel it was my place. i feel partially better because i saw the other couple & talked to them, but still...
    should i have?
    ------------------
    You step in the stream,
    But the water has moved on.
    This page is not here.
     
  2. Thomas_A

    Thomas_A Second Unit

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    Personaly..I think you did the right thing- As much as I hate to say that. Probably the only thing you may have been able to do is to maybe interrupt and ask some questions to clear things up...but pretend your in the same boat as the other customers.
    I have interrupted before with bad sales people..and so far has worked out great...but at first I acted like I was in the same boat...and have actualy made sales for workers... even being told I should work there..lol
    All in all..I think you did right and would not ponder too long on the subject..cause I'm sure..it will happen again
    Thomas
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    So far, So good, So what
    http://members.cardomain.com/bugers
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  3. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    I think you did the right thing. Sometimes you just need to step in and correct the unknowing salesperson.
     
  4. Brian Shannon

    Brian Shannon Stunt Coordinator

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    This is actually funny and sad at the same time.
    All from the store that repeatedly tells me everytime I am in there that they are "non-commission".
    If the salesperson walked off I would have said something. I did so last Christmas and helped a very nice couple get a CD-ROM burner. After speaking to a blue shirt they were so confused I don't think they were going to buy anything.
    Perhaps I should be on commission at Best Buy!
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    ya know brian - that's something i forgot. he kept saying he doesn't work on comission too...but then why would he push the cables & warranty so hard?
    i remember when i worked at cc & gg, that monster often had promotional campaigns where you earned extra money for selling their cables. i think we were able to make as much as 10-bucks off of a 50-foot spool of speaker wire...
    and the warranty? [​IMG] forget about it...that stuff is like crack-cocaine to cc & gg management...
    ------------------
    You step in the stream,
    But the water has moved on.
    This page is not here.
     
  6. Sean Laughter

    Sean Laughter Screenwriter

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    As many times as Best Buy employees have found it necessary to tell me that they are "non-commission" I think I've decided that they get paid a commission based on how many customers they inform that they are "non-commission."
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Ted: here is the mantra I use in such situations:
    "I am not the technology cop"
    "I am not the technology cop"
    "I am not the technology cop"
    I think you did the right thing. Wait until later and then have a quiet word with one of the mis-informed customers.
    Such restraint shows you have class.
     
  8. Sean M

    Sean M Stunt Coordinator

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    Ahhh, Best Buy, I remember those days with a fond...er, well never mind. Since I am a former employee, whenever I go to a Best Buy (or a CC) I butt in freely to offer a better explanation than the sales guy (I usually wait till he walks away for something before pouncing on people at Circuit). If he says anything, I just look at him and say, "What do you care? You're not on commission." Telling people that I'm a former employee buys me a lot of credibility (for whatever reason, Best Buy employees don't really know anything, in general that is), even though everything I know I learned elsewhere. If I'm just looking around the store, people I used to work with will bring customers up to me if they have questions that they can't answer, and I explain it to them, since I love talking about this stuff anyway.
    I think in your case, you did the right thing. There's no sense in letting someone get ripped off when they don't have to be, the guys at Best Buy aren't on commission, just whipped like hounds by the managers (who do get bonused on Accessory and Service Plan sales) to push those items. You are actually lauded for piling on high dollar cable and warranties to a sale where the system wasn't that expensive (high margin, which Best Buy needs in the worst way).
    ------------------
    "Experience is the one thing you can't get for nothing." - Oscar Wilde
     
  9. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hmmmm...thanks all for reaffirming my decsion!
    "a gentle calm has settled over me and i feel fine..."
    [​IMG]
    ------------------
    You step in the stream,
    But the water has moved on.
    This page is not here.
     
  10. Mike Lenthol

    Mike Lenthol Second Unit

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    thought #1: If you want to combat the 'evils' in this world, there are better places to start [​IMG]
    thought #2: Salespeople are humans too! [​IMG]
     
  11. Nathan Hamstra

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    About the no-commision BB salespeople and extended warranties, I'm pretty sure that they do get extra money, or bonuses, or something, for the extended warranties they sell.
     
  12. Kevin Potts

    Kevin Potts Second Unit

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    I too have had this happen to me at BB. I've also been told that I should be working there by a prospective customer. I personally don't have a problem with correcting a salesperson in front of a customer. If it's done in a respectful and courteous manner so as not to come off like a no-it-all jerk, I don't think most of the sales staff will be offended. Most of the time it seems as though they are just misinformed, and if I were in their position I wouldn't mind as long as it wasn't done in an embarrasing manner. People need to know what it is they're about to spend their money on and if I can help someone make an informed and sound decision by sharing information with them, then I feel that I've done the right thing.
    ------------------
    [​IMG] "See the world on the wings of rock and roll"
     
  13. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hey mike -
    about salespeople being human too...i agree with you 100 percent. [​IMG]
    but...i was an audio salesperson for about 3 years. i especially considered it important to professionally and knowledgeably present the information. i mean, after all...it was my job.
    oh well...good point!
    [​IMG]
    ------------------
    You step in the stream,
    But the water has moved on.
    This page is not here.
     
  14. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    I had a Ultimate Electronics salesman tell me that I was way out of line. That's why my e-mail address is mailto:eek:[email protected]
     
  15. Deane Johnson

    Deane Johnson Supporting Actor

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    Ted:
    You did the right thing.
    Deane
     
  16. Dan A

    Dan A Agent

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    A slightly different slant on the story occurred while I was shopping for a MD player. The first stores to have the newest import models were some of the small NYC electronics stores that prey on tourists. These stores also carried the MD players you could buy at the chains, but these guys were way overpriced. More than a few times I wanted to step in and tell a uninformed customer that they could do much better elsewhere. Sometimes I explained the technology and ended up helping to make a sale, but I held back on talking about prices because these sales guys can get pretty nasty when you come between them and a buck.
     
  17. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    You did not do anything wrong. If you want to see more horror stories just go towww.bestbuysux.org.
     
  18. Alex-C

    Alex-C Screenwriter

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  19. JohnFR

    JohnFR Stunt Coordinator

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    Sounds like you did the right thing. An ethical, knowledgeable salesperson won't exaggerate and try to sell a customer more than they need. A good salesperson will assess the needs and application of the customer and recommend the appropriate system. You may have encountered someone who was poorly trained and just not very knowledgeable.
     

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