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Old 11-21-2019, 06:23 AM
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The latest in slimy saleshole tactics. Have you encountered any new sales trickery?


Yesterday someone knocked on the door and on the security cam I saw an apparent utility worker. Some type of uniform, hard hat, and a hi-visibility vest. Normally I ignore anyone at the door, but decided it might be important as I'd seen city construction workers down the street.

He was selling siding. Once I realized it was just a sales spiel I ignored him and shut the door. Never said a word to the asshole, since this type of crap doesn't deserve civility.

Anyway, dressing up as a city worker is a new one for me. Got any stories to share? New tactics the bottom feeders have tried on you?
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Old 11-21-2019, 06:35 AM
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The moment I note that anyone is trying a "tactic" on me is the moment they lose the sale. There's never anything on offer that can't be bought elsewhere so I just make my excuses and leave, actually I wouldn't even make an excuse, I'd just say "I won't bother" and leave.
In cases where the product is bought already (like car hire) any attempt to up-sell is met with a terse "no thank you" and no further explanation offered other than I don't want it or need it.

In the situation you described I'd be reporting them to trading standards, that's bullshit and deserves to be called out. There has also been a tendency recently to ask for email details etc. when buying electronics. I refuse all of it and just tell them that I don't give out that information. Someone did push back on that a couple of years ago when I was at the cashdesk with a laptop. They said they couldn't sell it to me until I gave them my email address. I said "fine" left it on the desk, walked out and bought it elsewhere.
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Old 11-21-2019, 07:35 AM
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There has also been a tendency recently to ask for email details etc. when buying electronics. I refuse all of it and just tell them that I don't give out that information. Someone did push back on that a couple of years ago when I was at the cashdesk with a laptop. They said they couldn't sell it to me until I gave them my email address. I said "fine" left it on the desk, walked out and bought it elsewhere.
I had that one too a while back - buying a printer and they said they couldn't possibly sell it to me unless I gave my email address. I just gazed into the middle distance and said (as if to myself) "I wonder if [competitor store] has such a weird limitation". Oddly, they suddenly found a way to sell me the item without needing my email address.
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Old 11-21-2019, 07:42 AM
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In terms of new, slimy techniques, one that's fairly new to me is:

Someone finds me on Linkedin and sends me a connection request (which I recognise as commercial and ignore)
They manage to figure out my work email address and send me an email asking if there's a convenient day next week when they can visit and sell me shit. I junk the email.
They phone through to the company and try to get someone else to remind me that I have agreed to a meeting with them on Wednesday. Usually at this point, they are told to go away.
On one or two occasions: they turn up as if I had agreed to a meeting with them and I get called down to reception, whereupon they try to make smalltalk chat as if we're old friends, until we get to the point where I have to say "Uh, sorry, who are you and why are you here?", then send them away with a flea in their ear.
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Old 11-21-2019, 08:35 AM
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Dang. I thought of another one that happened this week as well.

Found an official looking warning in the mailbox about the upcoming R-22 refrigerant phase-out. It contained a bunch of scare words with dire warnings about the effects on my A/C should I not call the "official" number to schedule an inspection. Obviously a scam with the "This is your last warning!" bullshit. I wonder if anyone actually falls for this stuff? And if they do, why would they give their business to scammers once they realize it's BS?

I just can't believe this stuff actually works.

Last edited by pullin; 11-21-2019 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 11-21-2019, 08:39 AM
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Here's one I've encountered recently -- furniture stores with "free" delivery. Free delivery means they will drive the truck to your house and unload the furniture on the curb. If you want them to actually bring it into the house, they want to tack on a $40 or $50 surcharge.
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Old 11-21-2019, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by pullin View Post
Yesterday someone knocked on the door and on the security cam I saw an apparent utility worker. Some type of uniform, hard hat, and a hi-visibility vest.
We had someone come to our door recently wearing one of those vests and resembling a utility worker. Turns out he was going around advertising his tree trimming/removal service (Mrs. J. was hanging over my shoulder sighing loudly during his spiel, impatient for me to cut him off).

Yes, a slimeoid sales tactic.

I've also learned that if an "official"-looking piece of mail shows up in your mailbox with a warning emblazoned on the front ("Do Not Destroy This"), it's desirable to tear it up immediately.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 11-21-2019 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 11-21-2019, 08:59 AM
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A somewhat different area of sales: supermarkets

I have noticed a trend over the past decade where they don't show the real price of anything, they just put "3 for 5.99" or "5 for 15.99" or whatever.

Sales are also affected by this: "Now get 4 for 9.99!" and sometimes you don't need to buy 4 and other times you need to buy 4. Sometimes it's written "...must buy 4" and sometimes it isn't.

The only more annoying behavior was at a major pharmacy, where they had *everything* plastered with nice low prices that had "with card" on them. I always found those to be insulting in a "You're a chump if you don't give us all of your personal information for our tracking card!" way.
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Old 11-21-2019, 10:01 AM
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I got a very official-looking letter in the mail yesterday.
It was from “Domain Listings” and they wanted me to sign up for a $228 service to list my domain on their Internet Directory.
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Old 11-21-2019, 10:18 AM
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My wife’s birthday was coming up; occasionally at Xmas time we’ll tell each other what we might like using our Amazon Wish List or Shopping List. So when I got an email with a link to her Wish List, I clicked, and ordered her the watercolor markers. And was happy to only spend $30 on her gift.

It turned out the email was from Amazon and sent without her knowledge. The watercolor markers had been on the list since last Xmas, and she really wasn’t interested in them anymore. I was able to cancel before delivery, but was pretty pissed at Amazon — enough so that I went out and bought what she actually wanted at a local store! It did cost 6x more than the markers.
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Old 11-21-2019, 10:23 AM
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I had that one too a while back - buying a printer and they said they couldn't possibly sell it to me unless I gave my email address. I just gazed into the middle distance and said (as if to myself) "I wonder if [competitor store] has such a weird limitation". Oddly, they suddenly found a way to sell me the item without needing my email address.
I’m less forgiving than you. No way they’d get my money after that.
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Old 11-21-2019, 10:41 AM
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Some scumbag local car dealer (independent, ie "Fly-By-Night") goes on TV with his little kid, and says all the cars he sells come with 'Lifetime Warranties' and that this kid will be around to honor them.

Right. That place will be gone in 6 months. And that piece of shit you bought from him will be dead in 7.
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Old 11-21-2019, 10:59 AM
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I’m less forgiving than you. No way they’d get my money after that.
They were cheaper than their competitor, and I had already carried the box to the checkout
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:22 AM
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I had that one too a while back - buying a printer and they said they couldn't possibly sell it to me unless I gave my email address. I just gazed into the middle distance and said (as if to myself) "I wonder if [competitor store] has such a weird limitation". Oddly, they suddenly found a way to sell me the item without needing my email address.
Shortly before they closed permanently, I was at CompUSA buying a desktop computer. I was at the register paying and the cashier asked me if I wanted the extended warranty. I told him no, definitely not.

When he asked me a second time I looked him in the eye and calmly told him I'd already answered that question and I was offended that he was asking me again. When he very nervously suggested that the extended warranty was actually a bargain, I told him I'd buy a computer elsewhere, and walked out.
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:33 AM
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...I was able to cancel before delivery, but was pretty pissed at Amazon — enough so that I went out and bought what she actually wanted at a local store! It did cost 6x more than the markers.
I am surprised that Amazon did that. I would fall for it, too. Until now. Thanks!
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:34 AM
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They were cheaper than their competitor, and I had already carried the box to the checkout
I know the feeling, they've pissed you off and you can't let them know you are going to blink if pushed so you need to break out the acting skills and turn up the offence.

When I walked out I knew it was exactly the same price elsewhere and I didn't need it right then so I could afford to not give a toss and expend zero energy in having a bit of fun with them.
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:34 AM
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I guess not new but i'm currently pissed about it. Bought a new car, got Sirius XM for 3 months. After that, they gave me a good deal at $70 for a year so I took it. All this done on computer. The year is now up. I got an automatic renewal notice with the shiny new price of $21 a month. Doesn't sound like it should be allowable to have an automatic renewal at almost 4X the price. But the thing that is really steaming my buns is that when you go online to cancel, there is only a phone number. There should be a law that if you can set up an account completely online, you should be able to cancel it the same way. A friend of mine told me she had the same thing and it took her an hour on the phone to get it cancelled. Yay.
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:35 AM
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The last car I bought the salesman had a ridiculous, over-the-top reaction when I declined various upsell attempts.

He literally widened his eyes, exhaled softly, put his head down, shook it side-to-side while whispering "wowwww".

It made me smile. Almost made me LOL.
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:43 AM
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I guess not new but i'm currently pissed about it. Bought a new car, got Sirius XM for 3 months. After that, they gave me a good deal at $70 for a year so I took it. All this done on computer. The year is now up. I got an automatic renewal notice with the shiny new price of $21 a month. Doesn't sound like it should be allowable to have an automatic renewal at almost 4X the price. But the thing that is really steaming my buns is that when you go online to cancel, there is only a phone number. There should be a law that if you can set up an account completely online, you should be able to cancel it the same way. A friend of mine told me she had the same thing and it took her an hour on the phone to get it cancelled. Yay.
Former (and never ever again) Sirius customer here. Got the same thing with my new truck, but after spending so much effort to cancel several years ago, I've refused all the offers to continue it. I checked, and there are over 100 emails from them so far. Never read a single one, but I'm saving them out of curiosity (when will they actually give up?).

Weird thing is, I actually like the service. But I refuse to get trapped in their constant renewal web again.

Last edited by pullin; 11-21-2019 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:47 AM
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Shortly before they closed permanently, I was at CompUSA buying a desktop computer. I was at the register paying and the cashier asked me if I wanted the extended warranty. I told him no, definitely not.

When he asked me a second time I looked him in the eye and calmly told him I'd already answered that question and I was offended that he was asking me again. When he very nervously suggested that the extended warranty was actually a bargain, I told him I'd buy a computer elsewhere, and walked out.
When I get that, I say, "Wait a minute. Are you saying that this thing is so cheaply made that it'll break down so quickly? Never mind. I'll buy something else."
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:48 AM
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I guess not new but i'm currently pissed about it. Bought a new car, got Sirius XM for 3 months. After that, they gave me a good deal at $70 for a year so I took it. All this done on computer. The year is now up. I got an automatic renewal notice with the shiny new price of $21 a month. Doesn't sound like it should be allowable to have an automatic renewal at almost 4X the price. But the thing that is really steaming my buns is that when you go online to cancel, there is only a phone number. There should be a law that if you can set up an account completely online, you should be able to cancel it the same way. A friend of mine told me she had the same thing and it took her an hour on the phone to get it cancelled. Yay.
My wife just renewed her Sirius radio. She did cancel and waited two months and got an offer in the mail for a discounted price. She called and negotiated a price of $5.00 per month for 6 months.

Call the number and negotiate. You will get a better price.
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:50 AM
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I guess not new but i'm currently pissed about it. Bought a new car, got Sirius XM for 3 months. After that, they gave me a good deal at $70 for a year so I took it. All this done on computer. The year is now up. I got an automatic renewal notice with the shiny new price of $21 a month. Doesn't sound like it should be allowable to have an automatic renewal at almost 4X the price. But the thing that is really steaming my buns is that when you go online to cancel, there is only a phone number. There should be a law that if you can set up an account completely online, you should be able to cancel it the same way. A friend of mine told me she had the same thing and it took her an hour on the phone to get it cancelled. Yay.
That is there tactic for sure. You call to cancel because of the price hike and they somehow manage to find an offer for you to get another year at the lower price. I renew that way every year. Xfinity used to do the same thing.

My complaint is that someone calls my work phone about once a week saying they are going to send me a free report about my industry, they just need my e-mail address. I always refuse saying if you found my phone number, you can find my e-mail address. Still have no idea what they are trying to sell me, but they call every single week.
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:55 AM
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Dang. I thought of another one that happened this week as well.

Found an official looking warning in the mailbox about the upcoming R-22 refrigerant phase-out. It contained a bunch of scare words with dire warnings about the effects on my A/C should I not call the "official" number to schedule an inspection. Obviously a scam with the "This is your last warning!" bullshit. I wonder if anyone actually falls for this stuff? And if they do, why would they give their business to scammers once they realize it's BS?

I just can't believe this stuff actually works.
It absolutely works. Just watch the consumer protection spot on your local news. It's filled with people falling for this kind of thing.

At work we'll get mail that looks official and will appear to be a bill. It'll have a due date to get it sent in, an amount of money to send* and an explanation of what will happen if you miss the deadline. For many people, myself included, we know it's a scam. I know that my website's domain hosting isn't about to expire and even if it was, it's not through them. Similarly, I know that I don't need to sign this random paper that just showed up to continue processing credit cards. In both those cases, closer inspection reveals that it's not a bill, it has nothing to do with our current hosting/credit card processing and it's actually a contract to sign up with a new company.

In any case, every.single.time, I get one of these, I report it to the FTC and the BBB. Generally, there's already a ton of complaints on the BBB and google from everyone else complaining about how underhanded it is.
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:56 AM
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The last time I bought a new vehicle, doing the paperwork with the salesman. He mentioned the extended warranty, road hazard tire coverage, and gap insurance. Never asked if I wanted them, just mentioned them.

When he printed out the paperwork with all the details, the bottom line was quite a bit higher than my mental math had estimated so I closely reviewed the line items. I would have reviewed them in any case, but I was extra critical in that instance.

There they were, warranty, coverage, and insurance. He wasn't thrilled when I had him remove them.

Of course, this isn't any new or improved tactic, just something to be expected from car salespeople.

Last edited by Projammer; 11-21-2019 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 11-21-2019, 12:03 PM
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I've also learned that if an "official"-looking piece of mail shows up in your mailbox with a warning emblazoned on the front ("Do Not Destroy This"), it's desirable to tear it up immediately.
A friend of mine once said 'the more important a piece of mail looks, the more likely it is to be junk'. The mail that comes in the yellow envelope with with blue lines around the perimeter and URGENT written in bold red is more likely to be for an extended car warranty or lawn fertilizing service than it is to be test results from your doctor.
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Old 11-21-2019, 12:48 PM
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A friend of mine once said 'the more important a piece of mail looks, the more likely it is to be junk'. The mail that comes in the yellow envelope with with blue lines around the perimeter and URGENT written in bold red is more likely to be for an extended car warranty or lawn fertilizing service than it is to be test results from your doctor.
I taught my adult children exactly that, along with "The really important stuff comes in a plain white envelope, possibly with a government agency or attorney's name on it somewhere"

I received a particularly cool piece of junk mail yesterday...

It was some kind of glossy flier about siding or windows, but it had a short paragraph written in ink addressed to me by name and signed off as "Kristen". I have seen many things like this one in the past, but this one was different.

Why was this one so interesting to me? Because of the effort the sleazy advertisers had gone through to make it look like it really was hand-written.
At first I had looked at my wife and said "Poor Kristen, that must be a miserable job writing short notes all day long..."

Then I got out a magnifier and saw that the blue pen ink really was printed by ink jet or something.
The thing that had made it so convincing was that the letters were all different and it was a rather sloppy looping feminine hand, looking very much like some broke college student really did write it.

It was only on close inspection that I realized that the font they used had three different variations of each hand-written letter.
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Old 11-21-2019, 01:47 PM
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I am surprised that Amazon did that. I would fall for it, too. Until now. Thanks!
The email was titled “Birthday reminder for {my wife’s name}” It arrived two weeks before her birthday, and had pictures of the items on her list, along with purchase links.

Presumably she’s provided Amazon with her birthday at some point, and probably she entered my email as someone who could view her non-public shopping list. But she certainly didn’t request that I get a buying reminder shortly before her birthday.
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Old 11-21-2019, 02:46 PM
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I got a $100 Visa cash card for signing up for an internet provider. It took two months to arrive, which wasn't a surprise. What was a surprise is that activating the card is apparently impossible. The website fields to activate the card are formatted to be incompatible with the card number, the field simply isn't large enough to input all of the numbers. It is a third party service, so the ISP says it can't help, and the customer service of the third party is a circular phone-menu that also won't accept the card number.

It all smells fishily deliberate.
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Old 11-21-2019, 03:07 PM
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The last time I bought a new vehicle, doing the paperwork with the salesman. He mentioned the extended warranty, road hazard tire coverage, and gap insurance. Never asked if I wanted them, just mentioned them.

When he printed out the paperwork with all the details, the bottom line was quite a bit higher than my mental math had estimated so I closely reviewed the line items. I would have reviewed them in any case, but I was extra critical in that instance.

There they were, warranty, coverage, and insurance. He wasn't thrilled when I had him remove them.

Of course, this isn't any new or improved tactic, just something to be expected from car salespeople.
I had a similar thing happen with my last car. It should first be noted that when I started talking to the dealer I mentioned (just in casual conversation) and issue I had the last time I got a car. He told me that they're now under new ownership and everything they do is totally transparent and honest. In fact, that was mentioned so many times I assume they had sales meetings where they were told to say it. In any case, everything was going smoothly until I started signing papers. When I got to the actual agreement I noticed that, like you, the price was quite a bit higher than I expected. Luckily, I had taken a picture of 'our' notes from a few days earlier when we settled on all that stuff. I checked my pictures and sure enough, something changed. Upon picking through what they were going to have me sign, they added about $800 to the total price. It was broken down into a $100 gift card that I could use for anything and a $700 'all weather package' that included all weather floor mats, mud guards and a trunk liner.
I told the person I was working with that I didn't ask for any of that and didn't want any of it. She got her manager and we had the same discussion. He got his manager, same discussion. I should have called them out when they said 'we do that to all the cars, we have to protect our investment (it's a lease)'. I should have said 'that's fine, but then you pay for it'.
They flat out refused to remove any of those items I didn't want. And, it's just fucking insulting that they add a hundred dollars to the price of the car to give me a gift card, to their dealership. And, that gift card couldn't be applied to the car, though I could use it on the next one.

Anyway, they could clearly tell I was getting ready to walk out on the deal, and suddenly raised the price of my trade in by $1000. So, in the end, I came out ahead.
  #30  
Old 11-21-2019, 03:09 PM
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I got a $100 Visa cash card for signing up for an internet provider. It took two months to arrive, which wasn't a surprise. What was a surprise is that activating the card is apparently impossible. The website fields to activate the card are formatted to be incompatible with the card number, the field simply isn't large enough to input all of the numbers. It is a third party service, so the ISP says it can't help, and the customer service of the third party is a circular phone-menu that also won't accept the card number.

It all smells fishily deliberate.
If this was at all recent and/or you still have the card, you could try calling visa and see what they have to say about it.
Also, I'd report them to the BBB (which does tend to get results) and maybe the FTC and/or their state's AG. Report it as a scam.
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Old 11-21-2019, 03:15 PM
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I guess not new but i'm currently pissed about it. Bought a new car, got Sirius XM for 3 months. After that, they gave me a good deal at $70 for a year so I took it. All this done on computer. The year is now up. I got an automatic renewal notice with the shiny new price of $21 a month. Doesn't sound like it should be allowable to have an automatic renewal at almost 4X the price. But the thing that is really steaming my buns is that when you go online to cancel, there is only a phone number. There should be a law that if you can set up an account completely online, you should be able to cancel it the same way. A friend of mine told me she had the same thing and it took her an hour on the phone to get it cancelled. Yay.
About a year ago, I set up a couple of CDs at the Citibank website. And then when one came up for renewal after six months, I couldn't renew it online, but instead had to make an appointment and sit with a bank manager to do so. Now it and the other CD expire in the first week in December, so I'm going to have to go in again to renew them. I don't understand why I can't renew the CDs online, especially since I bought them online. I think it's something to do with banking regulations but it is silly.
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Old 11-21-2019, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by purple cow View Post
I guess not new but i'm currently pissed about it. Bought a new car, got Sirius XM for 3 months. After that, they gave me a good deal at $70 for a year so I took it. All this done on computer. The year is now up. I got an automatic renewal notice with the shiny new price of $21 a month. Doesn't sound like it should be allowable to have an automatic renewal at almost 4X the price. But the thing that is really steaming my buns is that when you go online to cancel, there is only a phone number. There should be a law that if you can set up an account completely online, you should be able to cancel it the same way. A friend of mine told me she had the same thing and it took her an hour on the phone to get it cancelled. Yay.
XM's customer service and pricing are horrible. Here's what you have to do.
Call and tell them it's too expensive, they'll give you a lower price. Tell them it's still too high and ask to cancel, again, they'll give you a lower price. You usually have to threaten to cancel 3 times before they'll magically find an even better deal. You should typically be able to get it down to around $6-$8/month for either 6 months or a year.
Make a note somewhere of the amount and date it expires and call back a day or two before that. Tell them you want to renew, they'll tell you it's $25 a month and then threaten to cancel 3 times to get your original price back (and don't let them talk you into a different package).

I've been saying, for the 15ish years I've had XM, that they could get rid of half their customer service reps and bring in a lot more customers if they'd stop playing that game. Give it a reasonable price, say $10 a month. More people will sign up and less people will cancel (because $250/year is a lot of money for radio) and stop with the games.

Also, the nice thing about threatening to cancel is that if they do actually cancel you, you'll get a ton of 'we want you back' mail from them with codes on them 3 months for free or a year at $5/mo or something along those lines.

But, yeah, I like XM, but they can be a real nightmare.
  #33  
Old 11-21-2019, 03:55 PM
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I needed a little cheaie calculator. I didn't need trigonometric functions, or natural logarithms, just a plain four funtion jobbie. I went to a big name office supply store and cheapest was, I think, $5.99.

I take it to the register, the checker rings it up, and then they are so trained, the words automatically came out of her mouth: "Would you like a warranty plan with that?"

I started cracking up. I couldn't even function to get the mo ey out of my purse! The guy behind me was laughing too.

The checker had a question mark over her head. I wiped my eyes and tried to straighten up. I said, "It's a crummy little six dollar calculator!"

She said, "Ooohhh..."


~VOW
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Last edited by VOW; 11-21-2019 at 03:57 PM.
  #34  
Old 11-21-2019, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
Here's one I've encountered recently -- furniture stores with "free" delivery. Free delivery means they will drive the truck to your house and unload the furniture on the curb. If you want them to actually bring it into the house, they want to tack on a $40 or $50 surcharge.
Not new, I'm afraid; though that may be a new twist on it.

Back in approximately 1970, I wanted a used mini refrigerator for my dorm room. There was, as far as I could tell, one place in town that sold such a thing. They advertised "no delivery charge!" I went down there, found one that would do, asked the price.

"That's $x, or the delivered price is $x + y".

"Your ad says "no delivery charges."

"That's right. There's no delivery charge."

"You just said there is one. You said the price is $x if not delivered, and x + y if delivered. I don't mind paying a delivery charge if there is one, that's fair, but you shouldn't be saying that there isn't one if there is."

"No, that's not a delivery charge. It's two different prices, one for the refrigerator if you pick it up, the other for the refrigerator if we deliver it. That's not a delivery charge."

-- we went around and around about eight times. I kept saying it was OK with me if there was a delivery charge but they ought to call it one. They kept refusing to call it a delivery charge. I figured my only choice was to deal with them or not get a fridge, and the amount was actually reasonable. I wound up paying it, and got on with my life.

But if something reminds me of it -- do you know, I'm still ticked off.


Quote:
Originally Posted by minor7flat5 View Post
I taught my adult children exactly that, along with "The really important stuff comes in a plain white envelope, possibly with a government agency or attorney's name on it somewhere".
I think they're on to that one. I've had junk mail arrive in a plain white envelope, sometimes with a return address carefully calculated to look just enough like a government agency to get it opened, but not quite enough to get make it illegal.
  #35  
Old 11-21-2019, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I've had junk mail arrive in a plain white envelope, sometimes with a return address carefully calculated to look just enough like a government agency to get it opened, but not quite enough to get make it illegal.

I've had Mr VOW say, "This looks important!" As he hands me some official-looking mail.

"It's garbage."

"How do you know without opening it?"

"Look at the stamp. If it says 'bulk rate,' it's crap. If it's something REALLY important, they'll pay for a stamp!"


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  #36  
Old 11-21-2019, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by minor7flat5 View Post
It was some kind of glossy flier about siding or windows, but it had a short paragraph written in ink addressed to me by name and signed off as "Kristen". I have seen many things like this one in the past, but this one was different.
I once got a flier in the mail that had the appearance of a photocopy, with "handwritten" notes on it in blue ink. Something like "Hey, this is a really great deal! I thought you might be interested" or something along those lines, and the price circled with the note "Wow, this could really save you some money!." The envelope it came was addressed to "Our Neighbor at [my address]", with the address printed in the same fake handwritten font. But like your flier upon closer inspection those parts were just printed on. They were apparently trying to trick me (and all the other people they sent it to) into thinking one of my neighbors photocopied this flier and personally mailed it to me.
  #37  
Old 11-21-2019, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Baal Houtham View Post
The email was titled “Birthday reminder for {my wife’s name}” It arrived two weeks before her birthday, and had pictures of the items on her list, along with purchase links.

Presumably she’s provided Amazon with her birthday at some point, and probably she entered my email as someone who could view her non-public shopping list. But she certainly didn’t request that I get a buying reminder shortly before her birthday.
I will take the other side and say that this doesn't seem particularly slimy to me.

If Amazon sent something like that to me, it might be a really useful reminder that I should really get on buying a gift and, hey, here's a thing she said she wanted! It's not that I'd forget my wife's birthday, but I easily get stuck in gift-choice paralysis and until like the actual day before, it's not an urgent issue, so it often gets postponed, etc.

To me, such an email would obviously be an auto-generated thing, not initiated by her.

A similar sort of thing, but in person: the jeweler who made our wedding rings calls me a month or so before my wife's birthday and our anniversary and says "hey, do you want to give your wife a piece of jewelry? I've got some ideas that I think she'd like." I'm sure my wife never told her to do this, she just has that info and knows that that's when I'm likely to buy my wife some jewelry. It's not slimy. It's just sales.
  #38  
Old 11-21-2019, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I think they're on to that one. I've had junk mail arrive in a plain white envelope, sometimes with a return address carefully calculated to look just enough like a government agency to get it opened, but not quite enough to get make it illegal.
They are, but there are still enough "tells" on junk mail that a seasoned junk mail recipient is rarely fooled.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VOW View Post
I've had Mr VOW say, "This looks important!" As he hands me some official-looking mail.

"It's garbage."

"How do you know without opening it?"

"Look at the stamp. If it says 'bulk rate,' it's crap. If it's something REALLY important, they'll pay for a stamp!"


~VOW
See? "Tells" like that one.

"car rt presort" (mail pre-sorted for the carrier's route for a cheaper rate) is another tipoff, thought that could be legit, it usually it is junk.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
I once got a flier in the mail that had the appearance of a photocopy, with "handwritten" notes on it in blue ink. Something like "Hey, this is a really great deal! I thought you might be interested" or something along those lines, and the price circled with the note "Wow, this could really save you some money!." The envelope it came was addressed to "Our Neighbor at [my address]", with the address printed in the same fake handwritten font. But like your flier upon closer inspection those parts were just printed on. They were apparently trying to trick me (and all the other people they sent it to) into thinking one of my neighbors photocopied this flier and personally mailed it to me.
Those have been going around for quite some time, but this one was personalized and had context in it, so it was written differently for each home, and made to look messy and non machine-like. I actually stood there for quite some time admiring their handiwork. The ink was far better than what was used in the old-school "I thought you would be interested in this" sticky note technique. That's why I had to get out a loupe to look at it close up.
  #39  
Old 11-21-2019, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
They were cheaper than their competitor, and I had already carried the box to the checkout
Just give them a fake and extremely rude email address. It's what I do.
  #40  
Old 11-21-2019, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
About a year ago, I set up a couple of CDs at the Citibank website. And then when one came up for renewal after six months, I couldn't renew it online, but instead had to make an appointment and sit with a bank manager to do so. Now it and the other CD expire in the first week in December, so I'm going to have to go in again to renew them. I don't understand why I can't renew the CDs online, especially since I bought them online. I think it's something to do with banking regulations but it is silly.
That is strange, because my CD with a local credit union renews automatically by default. If I just want to renew it without making any changes I don't have to do anything at all. If I do want to make changes, or not renew it and just withdraw the money, I can do that over the phone. I don't think I can do it online, which would be nice. So I don't think you having to go in has anything to do with banking regulations unless those regulations are specific to your state.
  #41  
Old 11-22-2019, 03:33 AM
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Not a slimy saleshole tactic as such, but some of these bring to mind something that's kind of amusing, at least to me:

I get a lot of cards from flippers* that have the usual spiel about wanting to buy my house for cash, no closing costs, fast payout, blahblahblah (curiously omitting the fact that they want to pay maybe 20-30% of market value). For some reason — probably having to do with my last name containing an apostrophe — a parcel search based on address doesn't return a name. So their pathetic attempt at personalization looks like "Dear *Name not found in database*" or somesuch.

At least they're cards, so I'm relieved of even the minute temptation to open them.

*I used to joke about "flipping season" coinciding the first robin of spring, but now it appears to be a year-round activity.
  #42  
Old 11-22-2019, 08:15 AM
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i remeber my experience with angies list ..... i had a plumbing emergency and found out the place id used for years had dissolved and people were suing each other and id see this new thing called Angie's list signed up and found a list of plumbers

Picked one that was in the area of what we could pay for and even used the onsite coupon which didn't get recognized by the guys i called

Well come to find out most of the people on the "list" weren't there voluntarily ... they just grabbed a phone book tossed everyone in town on it and once people started using it attempted to shakedown the business for advertising and listing fees because they made them "popular"

after the work was done and paid for he gave me a card for 20-40 percent off if I called them directly ...they were giving one to everyone in the hopes they'ed quit using "the list"
  #43  
Old 11-22-2019, 01:29 PM
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I have been getting phone calls, a recording that announces something about Bank of America <muffled> Chinese <muffled> Start recording now then segues into something in spoken Chinese ... at which time I tend to hang up.

No idea what they are wanting, I don't happen to speak Chinese.

I also had an odd happening on my phone, something in Russian appeared on my calendar, 2 different 'appointments' everyday, one at 0200 and the other at 0400 - again, no idea how it got there [I don't do email or go to any random internet sites, I have 2 that I regularly go to and I will occasionally google for directions] but I was able to decline all instances and get it off my calendar.
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  #44  
Old 11-22-2019, 01:37 PM
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The Chinese-language robocalls are, from what I've read, claiming to be from the Chinese embassy or the Chinese government saying that you need to pay money to them or face arrest. As you can guess, they're aimed mostly at Chinese people living in the US. And that tells you just how cheap these calls must be, given that only a tiny fraction of the people in the US are the target and yet they're calling numbers seemingly at random.
  #45  
Old 11-22-2019, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
The Chinese-language robocalls are, from what I've read, claiming to be from the Chinese embassy or the Chinese government saying that you need to pay money to them or face arrest. As you can guess, they're aimed mostly at Chinese people living in the US. And that tells you just how cheap these calls must be, given that only a tiny fraction of the people in the US are the target and yet they're calling numbers seemingly at random.
My wife is from China and we got one of these calls on our answering machine. In the message, they stated that the Chinese embassy was holding a package for us and to call them back at the number provided. Our assumption was that they would require some kind of delivery fee and then disappear, but we never did call the number so we don't know how the scam would have proceeded from there.
  #46  
Old 11-22-2019, 02:12 PM
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I needed a new picture window and a window salesman just happened to be walking by. When I asked him for a price he told me he didn't know, his job was to set up appointments for the real salesman. Ok, so I started setting up an appointment. Then he asked for a time when both my wife and I could be there, so I told him I wasn't married (I'm married). Two days before the scheduled appointment I get a phone call saying that they looked up my house and discovered I was married and I needed to schedule an appointment for when both my wife and I would be available. Needless to say I cancelled my appointment using a lot of foul language.
First off, Could you imaging if it was my wife that made the appointment and they told her she needed her husband there to make a purchase? That shit would not fly.
Second, What kind of a low down, piece of shit, company needs to work spouses off each other to make a sale? Do they hold training courses in identifying the weak spouse and driving a wedge in their marriage?
  #47  
Old 11-22-2019, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
I've been saying, for the 15ish years I've had XM, that they could get rid of half their customer service reps and bring in a lot more customers if they'd stop playing that game. Give it a reasonable price, say $10 a month. More people will sign up and less people will cancel (because $250/year is a lot of money for radio) and stop with the games.

Also, the nice thing about threatening to cancel is that if they do actually cancel you, you'll get a ton of 'we want you back' mail from them with codes on them 3 months for free or a year at $5/mo or something along those lines.

But, yeah, I like XM, but they can be a real nightmare.
I've only been on about 1.5 years so far, but yeah that's exactly what I thought too. Best I can figure is they have enough people paying whatever jacked-up price is asked at the end of the promotional price that they can afford to play the games with those of us who won't put up with it.
  #48  
Old 11-22-2019, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightshadea View Post
Well come to find out most of the people on the "list" weren't there voluntarily ... they just grabbed a phone book tossed everyone in town on it and once people started using it attempted to shakedown the business for advertising and listing fees because they made them "popular"
Seems about the same as the BBB and to greater extent, yelp. Everyone is on yelp, anyone can write reviews. But as a business, as soon as you 'claim' your yelp page you start getting sales calls and emails from them on a week basis (or more). Pay money to place ads around the site, pay money to show up when they search for a competitor, pay money so your ad shows up ON a competitors page, pay money so those things don't happen to you. Goes on and on and on. We never gave them a dime and ended up blocking their number and using an email filter to delete their emails before they even get to us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sitchensis View Post
Second, What kind of a low down, piece of shit, company needs to work spouses off each other to make a sale? Do they hold training courses in identifying the weak spouse and driving a wedge in their marriage?
My WAG, and I'm not condoning it, is that they don't want one spouse agreeing to it and then cancelling a few days later when their S.O. decides against it. But still, put a clause in the contract to prevent that like a non-refundable deposit. On top of all that, poking around online, finding (what could be) unreliable information that you're married and calling you out on it is just bizarre. You should have told him your wife passed away or left you just a few days ago and sarcastically thanked him for reminding you as you cancel the appointment.
  #49  
Old 11-22-2019, 04:11 PM
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They are, but there are still enough "tells" on junk mail that a seasoned junk mail recipient is rarely fooled.
I know someone who threw away an actual notice from the IRS because she thought it was a scam.
  #50  
Old 11-22-2019, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sitchensis View Post
I needed a new picture window and a window salesman just happened to be walking by. When I asked him for a price he told me he didn't know, his job was to set up appointments for the real salesman. Ok, so I started setting up an appointment. Then he asked for a time when both my wife and I could be there, so I told him I wasn't married (I'm married). Two days before the scheduled appointment I get a phone call saying that they looked up my house and discovered I was married and I needed to schedule an appointment for when both my wife and I would be available. Needless to say I cancelled my appointment using a lot of foul language.
First off, Could you imaging if it was my wife that made the appointment and they told her she needed her husband there to make a purchase? That shit would not fly.
Second, What kind of a low down, piece of shit, company needs to work spouses off each other to make a sale? Do they hold training courses in identifying the weak spouse and driving a wedge in their marriage?
They had no interest in selling you a single picture window. They wanted to replace all the windows in your house. And yes, they absolutely have training in how to identify which spouse is leaning towards the purchase and working that.
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