While I heard a cable salesman talking to a downstairs neighbor, I slipped out to get some evening exercise. I figured it was my cable company's competition trying to get new sign-ups and switches, and I didn't want to deal with it. I was gone for about 45 minutes and assumed I had dodged this door-to-door seller, but within a few minutes of returning home I heard a knock on my door. Surely it wasn't the same guy I'd observed pitching someone else in my building three-quarters of an hour before.
Oh, but it was.
Turns out that he is employed by my cable company. He was checking to see if I'm satisfied with my service, although I'm sure that was a pretext for trying to get me to add additional services. I was a little put off by the quasi-stalking behavior--obviously he noticed I'd left and waited until I returned-- but I figured that I might be able to get a lower rate out of the situation.
When asked how I felt about their product, I said that I was satisfied but that of course I would appreciate a lower rate. Granted, this was a way for him to start selling. He started talking about their turbo speed internet, but I brushed it off by saying that faster would be nice but that I could live with what I currently have.
Then he transitioned to talking about a package of cable, phone, and internet. I told him that I use Vonage
, have been satisfied with it for the five years I've had it, and know that the cable company cannot beat the price as I've talked about this with their telemarketing salesman several times. (In brief, my plan gives me 500 minutes per month with free long distance, and I come nowhere close to using this time. On average I probably use ten to twenty percent.)
Undeterred, he offered a package of all three that would slightly lower my cable bill and eliminate my Vonage bill. A rational person would probably acknowledge this and accept the deal. Maybe this person would push for a better offer, but I'm guessing he would switch.
For whatever reason, I am irrational, especially on this topic. I am not interested in the cable company's landline digital phone service. I have not had any difficulties with Vonage other than being unable to use it when the power is out, but in those rare instances I have a cell phone that can ably fill in.
The salesman tried finding other places where he could save me money, such as adding some free months of movie channels. I explained that I do film criticism and see those movies in the theater, thus giving me little to no need for HBO and the like. He pointed out that I do have an Encore movie package, which I kept for Sundance and IFC, but frankly his bringing it up reminded me that I probably ought to cancel it for as infrequently as I watch them. I said as much except that I pointed out it might be necessary to keep them because when I did cancel HBO my monthly rate was raised. It sounds insane but is true. He told me that such a policy is no longer in place.
And then we were back to adding phone service. He tried and tried, saying that I had mentioned wanting to save money and that I could do that with switching. I responded that I would like to spend less but that I'm also satisfied with my provider and thus uninterested in switching. He asked what he could offer that would get me to change to their digital phone. I told him that I didn't know what there was, if anything.
Here's the thing: he's right, I could save money under this proposition, although I wonder if that's while the introductory period (the first year) is in place only. He tried like mad to find a way to convert me. Here's the other thing, one that he couldn't understand: I was being completely irrational and stubborn.
To give myself a smidgen of credit, something I probably don't deserve here, I didn't want the hassle of needing to set up an appointment to be at home for them to do whatever they need to do. In regard to the free movie channels that could be added onto what I already have with no charge, I don't want the burden of needing to cancel them before that time expired. (I've fallen into that trap once before.)
I really think he didn't know what to do with me because he was making no headway and was stupefied by my resistance to the logical choice. Or to put it more succinctly:
"Hey, switch your phone service to us and you will save some money each month per your statement that you wish to do so."
"No, I'm not interested in switching telephone service."
"Sorry, no thanks."
"Does not compute."