For a very long time, I’ve not been into an actual shop and bought an expensive appliance, my TV came from, my fridge from Kitchen Science, my Amplifier from Richer Sounds, etc.. My Mum and her partner wanted a new TV, and they are a bit old fashioned, and wanted to see the TV in the flesh, and buy it from a shop, as they are both, admittedly, clueless about technology. They asked if I could come along and help them buy one, and I’m bloody glad I did. We went to Bennetts, Chelmsford,

I bought my DV Camcorder and DVD player from them years ago, and found them to be really nice and helpful etc, so remembering my past experience we chose there. They had a massive selection of LCD’s and Plasmas, all probably a bit more than you’d get online, but it was nice to see them running etc. After some uhmming and arrrring, they picked a lovely 40″ Sony LCD, we collared a salesman, and then it sorta went a bit down hill from there..

Gray – ‘Do you have this one in stock?’
SM – ‘Let me check…’ *wanders off for 2 mins*.. ‘yes sir we have 3 in stock.’
Gray – ‘Great, we’ll take one now then!’
SM- ‘Okay, I just need to check this is the right TV for you… What kind of TV do you have at the moment?’
Gray – ‘A very old one’
SM – ‘Ahhh right, have you had any trouble with it? Is it still going?’
Gray – *Puzzled* ‘No, no trouble with it – it’s fine’
SM – ‘Well – have you ever heard of ‘Power Monster’?’
*Salesman then looks at me*
Me – ‘Uhm.. Is it a brand of cables?’
SM – *Looks Patronising* ‘No, it’s Power Surge Protection – come and let me show you’ *Ushers us over*
Me –  *Looks at Gray* ‘I really don’t think you need Power Surge  Protection, I’m certain the electrics in your house are pretty stable’
*Gray Nods*
SM – *Annoyed* ‘Well what happens if there is a surge, one dead pixel on a screen is okay, but you might have lots of them after a surge, and your home insurance wouldn’t cover for surges, you’d face a very big bill if it went wrong.’
Me – ‘No really, they don’t need a ‘Power Monster”

The salesman seemed a bit put out we didn’t want his ‘Power Monster’, we moved over to the till, and he asked for payment, just as Gray had his wallet out, the Salesman said..

SM – ‘Right, now we need to talk about guarantee’s’
*Me, Gray and Mum collectively roll eyes*
Gray – ‘Well it’s okay as this model comes with a 5 Year Parts and Labour Guarantee’
SM – ‘Ahhh well, but what about call out charges, accidental damages, replacements, I can give you that with our extended warranty..’
Me – ‘So how much is that?’
SM – ‘Let me check’
*Taps on calculator and then gives a price which is almost the same cost of the television*
Gray – Uhm.. No.
SM – Well I can do you accidental damage cover for three years for £49.
Me – *Looks at Mum* – Do you think you won’t damage it accidentally in three years?
SM – ‘Well you never know when you might damage something accidently…’
Gray – It’s fine, it’d be covered on my home insurance…
SM – ‘Right.. well do you need any cables? Obviously the better the cables you have, the better the picture and sound quality…’
Me – ‘No, we’re fine, can we just buy it please?…’

I know salesmen are meant to up-sell, it’s part of the job, but really give me a fucking break, we all had lots to do, we just wanted the telly, I didn’t want any surge protection, insurance, cables etc, just the fucking telly. We came out after 20 mins and felt worn out by the battering we’d got on up-selling . This is why I hate buying in shops, I don’t want to be told bollocks about how a surge will give me dead pixels, or how their overpriced cables will improve my viewing experience.

Just give me my goods and fuck off.

Don’t patronise me, or try and scare me, just let me buy it please! Mum and Gray wanted a Freesat HD box to go with their new telly, so we drove to Argos, selected one, paid, and collected, no up-selling, no bollocks, in and out in five minutes, PERFECT. It’s not just electrical retailers guilty of this, you even get it in GAME now.. ‘Do you need any Microsoft Points?’ ‘Do you have any games to trade?’ ‘Did you want a GAME store card?’ ‘Do you want X-Box Live membership?’ –  NO! JUST FUCK OFF, I’M NOT AN IMBECILE – If I wanted any of that, I’m more than capable of sorting it out – LEAVE ME ALONE! Think I’ll get my games from Amazon in future – a few clicks and you’re done..

3 thoughts on “Can we just buy it please? A story of up-selling.

  1. paulfp says:

    Maplin are awful for it too… “Can I have your postcode so we can send you crap in the post?” “No.” “Would you like a little screwdriver as well?” “No.” “How about some batteries? Or a chocolate bar?” “NOOOOOO!!!!!”

    • Kip Hakes says:

      Yeah.. You get that a lot in WHSmiths.. ‘We have a selection of things here for just £1.. Do you want any of them?’ – I’ve been standing looking at them if I wanted them I’d PICK ONE UP!

  2. Rachel says:

    And the Comets, Jessops and HMVs of this world were actually stupid enough to wonder why they went bust. It was because their constant, relentless, aggressive upselling made their stores extremely unpleasant places to shop.

    Every time I hear some self-appointed marketing “guru” (read: ‘idiot’) talk about upselling and cross-selling, it makes me roll my eyes. They usually have the cheek to insist that “it works” even though they recognise it is an annoying and appalling way for companies to behave towards potential repeat customers. Sometimes they add “it works, *because* it’s annoying” as if sharing some arcane knowledge. As if irritating your potential future customers was somehow good business practice. They usually cite McDonalds’ supposed millions of profits increase when they started asking “do you want fries with that” as an example of this practice “working”. For most medium-sized retailers “working” actually means not getting punched in the face 99% of the time they try it on. And making a sale maybe one time in 500 (whilst alienating every single other customer, who will never come back). And, by the way, whilst we’re at it, those “millions” of extra profits that McDonalds’ allegedly made means about £10 per store per year across hundreds of thousands of stores globally . So if that’s what “working” means, I’ll happily pass.

    The above behaviour is why online business are killing the high street, even though you need to wait for the goods to arrive when you order them that way and don’t get to inspect them in advance. If they ever work out a way to vend hamburgers and hot coffee via the internet, McDonalds and Starbucks will simply wink out of existence too. And for exactly the same reasons as Comet, Jessops et al.

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