Pushy salespeople are more likely to make me scream than open my purse, especially when I’m fed cheesy lies. Scottish & Southern Energy is the latest to be rapped – would you switch energy deals on the doorstep?
Few things make me more uncomfortable than strangers who come and sell things at my door. Perhaps I’m a wuss, but it makes me feel vulnerable.
Why have you come to my house? Why are you being so pushy? No, you can’t come in for two minutes… It makes me wish I had a water pistol to fend them off.
If I could just have a minute…
So I’m quite pleased to discover that my frustration is justified. Last week we found that some of their sales tactics are more than just ‘annoying’ or ‘pushy’ – they’re illegal.
On May 13, Scottish & Southern Energy were found guilty of mis-selling energy tariffs on the doorstep. Their salespeople would knock on doors and tell people that they had “received a printout” about customers who were paying too much for their energy. And – would you believe it – the person who answered the door was apparently one of them.
You’ve been specially selected!
Of course, the fact that there was no such printout didn’t stop them. Unsurprisingly, the court ruled that particular sections of the script were misleading. They’ll be fined later on this month, but until then the laughably cheesy script provides a bit of entertainment:
‘The thing is, most of the customers in this area have managed to get themselves off these expensive tariffs, but there’s always one or two we have to chase up, (laughing) ‘cos we reckoned you’d probably want to get off the expensive tariffs as well (nod head), yeah? So can you just spare me two minutes…..is that OK? (Nod head and wipe your feet)’
It’s not just the stage directions that made me laugh, but the fact I can picture just how it works.
So you don’t want to save money then?
I once spent a day working for a company (who will remain nameless) selling home improvements door to door. Part of our spiel involved telling people that they’d get a ‘free home survey’ if they signed up. They didn’t of course – the ‘survey’ consisted of one of our sales reps having a look round their house and telling them how much money we’d like. Can you guess why I left?
And I’ve been on the receiving end of dodgy sales pitches too – a double glazing salesman once called me a liar because I told him I’d had another quote (I had) for less than half what he was quoting (again, true). Funny in hindsight, but intimidating at the time, and also clearly not a great way to prise open my wallet.
So come on, to celebrate the quashing of one awful door-to-door sales tactic, let’s hear the best cheesy sales lines you’ve ever been fed, whether from energy companies or double-glazers. What have salespeople said to entice you to buy? And, the million dollar question: did you buy it?
Door-to-door salespeople - what do you think?
I'd rather they didn't come to my house at all (95%, 958 Votes)
It depends on what they're selling and how pushy they are (4%, 45 Votes)
I like them - it's nice to chat face to face (1%, 9 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,010