$0 per month? Why, you're overpaying!



  • Minor WTF and not computer-related, but still, here it is.

    My house (me and five other college students or people who until quite recently were known as college students) does not have any TV service. We constantly get flyers in the mail from TV providers trying to get us to purchase service from them.

    Today we got a flyer informing us that we were paying too much for our TV service and could save as much as $35 a month by switching to their company. Deep down inside, I felt like calling them to get service hooked up and then acting surprised when I find out they won't pay us to have their TV service. After all, according to my junk mail, they could save us $35 per month over the $0 per month we currently pay.



  •  Do it!


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @mott555 said:

    and could save as much as $35 a month
    $0 could be included in "up to" (as indeed could negative amounts.)

    @mott555 said:

    After all, according to my junk mail, they could save us $35 per month over the $0 per month we currently pay.
    I think you need to start reading the small print.



  • Similar... Before I adopted the "Don't F-with-me glare" each time I'd go into a Radio Shack for some pidly part I didn't feel like ordering I got the cell sales pitch... Two different times, two different stores the following played out at checkout...

    "Are you interested in a cellular phone today?"
    "No."
    "We can save you a lot of money!"
    "No, thank you. My employer provides my phone."
    "We can still save you a lot of money!"
    "No...my employer provides my phone. I don't pay anything for it."
    (confused expression) "Don't you want to save money?"
    "Look, are you going to pay me to take the phone? If not there's no possible way for you to save me money. Please finish the transaction so I can leave."



  •  Too many stores these days won't let you complete an ordinary transaction of any sort without bugging you with sales pitches to try to get you to join their Loyalty Card Program, or sign up for a Branded MasterCard/Visa Credit Card, or some other gimmick or other; they also want your phone number and email address.



  • @dtobias said:

     Too many stores these days won't let you complete an ordinary transaction of any sort without bugging you with sales pitches to try to get you to join their Loyalty Card Program, or sign up for a Branded MasterCard/Visa Credit Card, or some other gimmick or other; they also want your phone number and email address.

     

    I'm pretty sure that these days Best Buy requires a DNA sample in exchange for delcining the extended warrantee.



  • @lincolnjkc said:

    Similar... Before I adopted the "Don't F-with-me glare" each time I'd go into a Radio Shack for some pidly part I didn't feel like ordering I got the cell sales pitch... Two different times, two different stores the following played out at checkout...

    "Are you interested in a cellular phone today?"
    "No."
    "We can save you a lot of money!"
    "No, thank you. My employer provides my phone."
    "We can still save you a lot of money!"
    "No...my employer provides my phone. I don't pay anything for it."
    (confused expression) "Don't you want to save money?"
    "Look, are you going to pay me to take the phone? If not there's no possible way for you to save me money. Please finish the transaction so I can leave."

    Reminds me of a run-in I had at a Bell Store (Canadian company offering Cell, Satellite TV and internet access) a while back. Girlfriend was looking for a new cell phone, but we were just browsing. We go to leave, and the sales monkey turns to me and asks if he could help me with anything:

    Sees my Blackberry on my hip - "Could I interest you in showing you our cell service offerings"
    "Thanks, but my phone is employer-provided"
    "How about Internet Access"
    "Also employer-compensated, and I'm happy with my current provider"
    "What about Satellite TV?"
    "Unless you can launch a new satellite to allow reception on my north facing apartment patio, no thanks"
    <Blank stare>
    "Have a good day" and we walk out.

    Did feel bad for the kid - he was just trying to do his job.



  • @Nexzus said:

    Did feel bad for the kid - he was just trying to do his job.
     

    That's the annoying bit, you'd like to slap the CEO with a wet brick and all you have is an 18yo kid making $3 an hour. I think proper Customer Service would allow the opportunity to shout or hurl projectiles at the managers responsible for this shit.



  • @b_redeker said:

    @Nexzus said:

    Did feel bad for the kid - he was just trying to do his job.
     

    That's the annoying bit, you'd like to slap the CEO with a wet brick and all you have is an 18yo kid making $3 an hour. I think proper Customer Service would allow the opportunity to shout or hurl projectiles at the managers responsible for this shit.

     

    Why limit yourself to just one or the other?



  • @b_redeker said:

    @Nexzus said:

    Did feel bad for the kid - he was just trying to do his job.
     

    That's the annoying bit, you'd like to slap the CEO with a wet brick and all you have is an 18yo kid making $3 an hour. I think proper Customer Service would allow the opportunity to shout or hurl projectiles at the managers responsible for this shit.






    a few shack stories:



    I tried going to "the shack" with some sympathy for the sales clerk for a while. I would smile, and play along and answer questions about my phone and why I don't need one of theirs, all done with a hint of I know you have to do this so I'm trying to help you help me. Then once, the girl wouldn't drop it, after repeatedly telling her I wasn't interested she continued to probe me with questions until after 6 or 7 she arrived at "aren't you tired of your old phone and ready to upgrade to a new email phone (or something asinine like that)" to which i replied "I just bought an iPhone 3gs (released a week prior to this event) so unless you can get me a deal on an iPhone 4gs (iphone 4 not revealed yet) i think ill have to pass." I shit you not, she said, "i think we have one of those left, let me ask my manager..."



    I went in a few weeks later to get a switch for a project i was working and some protoboard. I couldn't find the protoboard so i asked if they had any. The guy found it and proceeded to ring me up. He then informed me that protoboard required batteries to work. I decided to go along with it and see how far it would go, so i asked him what kind. He went and got some high dollar specialty battery that i had never seen in my life. I said "oh i have one already!" and left. I called later and spoke to his manager to complain about his dishonest (yeah im that guy) and he seemed unphased. I'm sure he'll get a medal or something.



    I went in again (i know im a glutton for pain) and overheard a guy looking fro a replacement relay for an R/C car. He was trying to nail down which one he would need, and asked the radioshack guy what the difference between AC and DC were. Radioshack guy responded "DC is like AC but its grounded so you cant get shocked or hurt using it." So, i got involved and told the guy shopping that AC and DC were so vastly different that i couldn't explain it all in one evening but to say that DC cant kill you is idiotic b/c Lightning is DC (i know thats not entirely true) and last time i checked that would kill you, furthermore the "little numbers" next to ac and dc did matter and that he should go home, get the car, bring it up here, and find one that matches exactly. Also no matter what happens, don't listen to this ass-clown (the employee) ever again. Needless to say i was not offered a "hook up" on my cell phone at checkout time.



    i have since then moved closer to a real electronics store and no longer have to haunt the shack, my blood pressure is improving as well!



  • "Radio shack" used to have guys that actually knew their shit. "The Shack," however....

    "Well, serial and parallel are the same thing."

    --"The Shack" salestard, when we went in looking for a USB-parallel adapter to connect some old development interface to a newer computer.



  • @Sir Twist said:

    when we went in looking for a USB-parallel adapter to connect some old development interface to a newer computer.

     

    Did you ever find one. I never could find one that should show up as LPT, always a bridge (which of course doesn't work with the software).



  •  I guess I'm lucky. Our local RadioShack is friendly and they never hit you with annoying sales pitches.



  • @chikinpotpi said:

    @b_redeker said:

    @Nexzus said:

    Did feel bad for the kid - he was just trying to do his job.
     

    That's the annoying bit, you'd like to slap the CEO with a wet brick and all you have is an 18yo kid making $3 an hour. I think proper Customer Service would allow the opportunity to shout or hurl projectiles at the managers responsible for this shit.




    a few shack stories:

    I tried going to "the shack" with some sympathy for the sales clerk for a while. I would smile, and play along and answer questions about my phone and why I don't need one of theirs, all done with a hint of I know you have to do this so I'm trying to help you help me. Then once, the girl wouldn't drop it, after repeatedly telling her I wasn't interested she continued to probe me with questions until after 6 or 7 she arrived at "aren't you tired of your old phone and ready to upgrade to a new email phone (or something asinine like that)" to which i replied "I just bought an iPhone 3gs (released a week prior to this event) so unless you can get me a deal on an iPhone 4gs (iphone 4 not revealed yet) i think ill have to pass." I shit you not, she said, "i think we have one of those left, let me ask my manager..."

    I went in a few weeks later to get a switch for a project i was working and some protoboard. I couldn't find the protoboard so i asked if they had any. The guy found it and proceeded to ring me up. He then informed me that protoboard required batteries to work. I decided to go along with it and see how far it would go, so i asked him what kind. He went and got some high dollar specialty battery that i had never seen in my life. I said "oh i have one already!" and left. I called later and spoke to his manager to complain about his dishonest (yeah im that guy) and he seemed unphased. I'm sure he'll get a medal or something.

    I went in again (i know im a glutton for pain) and overheard a guy looking fro a replacement relay for an R/C car. He was trying to nail down which one he would need, and asked the radioshack guy what the difference between AC and DC were. Radioshack guy responded "DC is like AC but its grounded so you cant get shocked or hurt using it." So, i got involved and told the guy shopping that AC and DC were so vastly different that i couldn't explain it all in one evening but to say that DC cant kill you is idiotic b/c Lightning is DC (i know thats not entirely true) and last time i checked that would kill you, furthermore the "little numbers" next to ac and dc did matter and that he should go home, get the car, bring it up here, and find one that matches exactly. Also no matter what happens, don't listen to this ass-clown (the employee) ever again. Needless to say i was not offered a "hook up" on my cell phone at checkout time.

    i have since then moved closer to a real electronics store and no longer have to haunt the shack, my blood pressure is improving as well!

    To be fair, those employees that you are complaining about get paid about as much as a McDonald's employee, so you shouldn't really expect much from them in the way of knowledge. The fact that they work so hard to get what usually ends up being an extra $5 per paycheck when they could just slack off and get fired and move to the next dead-end job that paid about as much is beyond me.



  • @rad131304 said:

    To be fair, those employees that you are complaining about get paid about as much as a McDonald's employee, so you shouldn't really expect much from them in the way of knowledge. The fact that they work so hard to get what usually ends up being an extra $5 per paycheck when they could just slack off and get fired and move to the next dead-end job that paid about as much is beyond me.
     

    At McDonalds this works fine; I won't ask them how many watts or dpi a cheeseburger has vs a quarterpounder. But at certain stores like Best Buy or Radio Shack, I need a certain level of knowledge, exactly because I don't have it (and don't care about acquiring that level). By making their employees try to squeeze out a couple lousy bucks on every sale, they chase away their best employees, who can get a job without the bullshit; and they chase away me, who prefer to buy expensive shit without the bullshit.

    So to my mind they make 2 essential mistakes:

    • they don't care about their employees, which really are much more important than they seem to think
    • they don't care about their customers. Ditto.

    Eventually this will kill them. I hope. Really.

    Also, you don't see this as much in Europe. I worked in a Hifi store, and also worked with young kids who really did care about the things they sold/installed. They were just as cheap as far as pay was concerned, but they made a lot more money for the store, I think.



  • @mott555 said:

     I guess I'm lucky. Our local RadioShack is friendly and they never hit you with annoying sales pitches.

     

    Likewise.  Ours (also in the mall even) is full of very nice folks, most of which do know plenty to do their job, and if they don't they just get someone who does instead of sitting there looking stupid. Plus, the manager, who I'm practically on a first name basis with, is always interested in hearing what I'm building with all the miscellaneous electronic crap I buy there (LEDs, motors, etc.)  



  • @b_redeker said:

    So to my mind they make 2 essential mistakes:

    • they don't care about their employees, which really are much more important than they seem to think
    • they don't care about their customers. Ditto.

    I wholeheartedly agree with your first point. Remember the big stink at the now defunct Circuit City about how they were "paying their employees more than average in the industry" so they fired all of their employees and rehired them at a lower pay? About 6 months before that, RadioShack instituted a massive commission pay scale change that was incredibly complex. The end result was that I ended up having employees that went from about $20/hr on Dec 31 to $9/hr on Jan 1 despite making the same level of sales. They quickly lost the most knowledgeable employess. It was a massive failure on RS' part.

    @b_redeker said:

    Eventually this will kill them. I hope. Really.

    Sadly, it will not; in all of those little towns in middle America where Best Buy won't go there's a Radio Shack or RS franchise that is the only chain consumer electronics retailer within 100+ miles of people. They are the best at the small box electronics store model (despite sucking at it in recent years) and although they will be displaced in major suburbs eventually, there's not enough of a market in rural America to warrant a Best Buy in many of those places.

    (I managed a RadioShack for 2 years right out of college)



  • @b_redeker said:

    Eventually this will kill them. I hope. Really.

    A good example is Circuit City. Back in 2006, they fired 5000 of their top performing sales personnel, offering to hire them back at "fair wages". Employees that, while they made a lot of money compared to the monkeys, they earned their stores a lot more money, and instilled confidence (and probably trust) in their customers. Seeing a 1 quarter increase in profits (or even perhaps a lower loss in a quarter) doesn't mean squat if your multi-billion company folds three years later, losing 40,000 people their jobs.

    I wish large companies could understand intangible aspects of their business, like trust, and why it should be worth it to them.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.