Thursday, April 30, 2009

Have You Been Helped?

Do you remember when salespeople used to be helpful?

Why is it that these days, there seems to be nobody around when you need help but the moment you hunt-down what you're looking for yourself they ooze out of the shelving units, the merchandise stands, and spring forth out of nowhere. They practically fall over each other to be "helpful."

"You finding everything you need?" I heard for the third time in the five minutes since I had actually found what I was looking for.

"Yeah. Fine, thanks." I replied.

Why is it that nobody is around until after you find what you want and then everyone wants to help you? Is there some conspiracy that prevents shop assistants from assisting you? Or is it, perhaps, that they are trying to empower you to do things for yourself? No... it was probably that first thing.

Wherever you are today, I hope you have a wonderful day!

Don Bergquist - April 30, 2009 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA


Anonymous said...

In the past I have often noticed the same sort of thing that you were talking about when I was shopping for stuff. I would be left alone and sales people would sometimes treat me like I was being rude if I asked for help. I learned how to just do my best and make my purchases without the help of the sales people.

Last summer I was feeling very pleased with myself when I went into my local Computer City to get some sort of Bluetooth adapter or some such thing for the Vista laptop I had purchased at that store a couple of months earlier. I was pleased because I found the item I needed without assistance from the sales people and made my way to the cashiers counter without feeling defensive about the fact that the sales people were not treating me a nice way.

Unfortunately, they still were able to get the best of me and were able to make me feel unhappy about the experience when I left the store. As I was waiting in the cashiers line a sales person walked over to me like a bouncer might walk up to someone in a night club and he said something to the effect of "what are you doing here", to which I answered that I was making a purchase. He made me feel like I was not welcome to even purchase an item in "his" store even though I had picked out the item myself without help from the sales staff (but he did walk away and did allow the cashier to ring up my purchase).

Laughs on them, though. They closed their outlet in my home town a couple of months ago due to financial problems. I'm going to Best Buy for my electonics now and so far no bouncers have approached me.


Don Bergquist said...

Dear Anonymous Reader,

Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment on what you've seen here.

Actually Best Buy was the store I was in! It wasn't so much that I was feeling bullied in the store… it was the darn up-selling! I hate that! They wait for you to make your own (unaided) decision and then swoop in not with advice but with " helpful" suggestions on how you might spend more of your money.

It is like McDonald's! I just want to scream at them some times: "If I had wanted fries with that I would have ordered fries with that!"

Thanks again for reading my blog!


Anonymous said...

Actually I remember now that it wasn't a Computer City store I was in when I almost got kicked out of the store last summer but it was the former national chain Curcuit City (I did go to a Computer City a few years back but that company went out of business too). For a little background on the situation with Circuit City, it is possible that they were uncomfortable with me in the store because on weekends (when I shop), I don't shave and I don't always wear my best jeans.

I'm not sure why sales people through the years have become colder (maybe they think it makes their company look more important if they don't act like they are begging for your business). Years ago that was a good trick (you would think to yourself "wow, there is something different about this place"), but it's getting old now that almost every company has sales people who act like the company does not really need your business.

Upselling product doesn't bother me as much as the stupid programs they try to get you to sign up for (if I only went to one store that might be a good idea but I don't want to carry value cards for every store I go to). I buy print cartidges for my computer's printer every few months (I don't print very often) and every time I purchase one, the Staples rep makes me feel like I'm stupid if I don't sign up for their Value Card (or something like that). I do not want to spend time filling out their forms, getting their spam, and carrying another card. But when I say no I immediately feel foolish because they tell me how much money I will be wasting.

It's Saturday morning and I'm getting ready for a shopping trip that I'm about to embark on. I know that somebody is going to try to destroy my ego today while I'm making my purchases but I'll just have to be tough, go out there anyway, and force them to take my money.


Don Bergquist said...

Dear Anonymous Reader,

Some of those programs can save you money. But you are right about the spam. My solution: I give false addresses.

I get the benefits of the card and not the drawbacks.

I hope your Saturday errands went well. Due to the cold, wet weather, I am spending the day at home doing housework.