Saturday, May 30, 2009

Irrational response

It's interesting to discover what elicits responses. My tale of dealing with a door-to-door cable television salesman got more than anything I've written in awhile. Rather than put my reply in the comments, where it is likely to go unread, I thought I'd follow up with a proper entry.

I didn't mention the cable provider, but I don't have a problem saying that I have Time Warner Cable and was being visited by one of their representatives. Whether the person who knocked on my door is an actual employee or a contractor, I don't know. He gave me a telephone number that comes back with a Time Warner listing in the reverse telephone directory, for what it's worth.

I was visited by an AT&T U-Verse rep in the fall and, in a move out of character, agreed to schedule a switch to them. I canceled the next day when I noticed that they didn't carry Fox Sports Ohio HD and are IPTV rather than cable.

I have encountered the problem of one person quoting a price and a phone representative not confirming it. In this particular instance I believe the door-to-door salesman overstated by three times what I'm paying for the movie package with IFC and Sundance, so the "deal" he was going to give me to lower that along with signing on for their phone service wasn't as good as advertised.

The fact that I wrote quite a bit about the experience that night and am following up on it again should tell you how aggravated it made me. I probably spent a good twenty minutes talking to this guy and trying to explain why I wasn't interested, even if it didn't make sense to him. Next time I just need to make it clear that I am not interested at all in adding or switching any services on my account. If they would like to lower my rate as a gesture of thanks for being a longtime customer--I've been a cable subscriber since 1995--then I'll gladly accept. Otherwise, have a good night.

I know that I said this less forcefully to the salesman, but he heard this as, "I'd like to pay less even if it means switching to Time Warner digital cable, even though I say I don't want it."

My reaction to the situation reminds me that I don't like being sold to and am inherently suspicious of such tactics. I repeatedly mentioned that I was happy with Vonage and had not had any problems during the several years I've been a customer, yet the TW salesman kept speaking negatively of their services compared to those his company offers. Running down the competition in terms contrary to my experience is not going to persuade me.

I'm a little surprised to find the commenters in agreement with me regarding my irrationality in this matter. My brothers certainly wouldn't see it this way.

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