Tuesday, February 07, 2006

How to Irritate Salesmen

I finally went dishwasher shopping yesterday, so Friday I will have a new dishwasher after only two and a half months and two major holidays of washing dishes by hand. My dad mentioned this was probably character-building -- he thinks anything old-fashioned is character-building -- and I responded it was also marriage destroying because one of us (the one with a Y chromosome) stacks dishes in the WRONG SIDE OF THE SINK.

I was approached by no less than three salesmen. The first one came up, asked if he could help, and I said, "I'm looking and thinking right now, I'll call you when I'm ready," and he laughed and said, "In other words, give you space." He proceeded to do just that. (Ergo HE got my commission, nice boy.) The other two kept trying to hover over me like bees over a field of really pollen-y clover, and would not go away merely because I told them I didn't want help. One of them my tone got all the way to "snapping" before she took the hint and buggered off.

Conveniently for me as a procrastinator, the February issue of Consumer Reports had a feature on dishwashers, so I was looking at different models and comparing them to the ratings in CR. (Just imagine, if I hadn't put off shopping for dishwashers for so long, I would have had slightly out-of-date dishwasher data!) The first salesman (the one who got my commission) looked at CR with me, told me what he thought about their ratings, which dishwasher his grandma had, etc. Nice boy.

There were these two ladies also looking at dishwashers and asking a different salesman which one was the quietest. He was pointing them towards a top-of-the-line, $1200 Bosch. They kept asking if there were any others that were quiet, and he kept insisting the Bosch was what they wanted if they wanted quiet. I said, "Oh! You can look at my Consumer Reports if you want! They have noise ratings on them!" The ladies were delighted and started perusing the ratings, while the salesman stared daggers at me. I think he actually wanted to throw me out.

He said, "It does say the Bosch is the quietest, right?"

"Well, it says the Bosch is one of the quiet ones," I replied, "but it says it has terrible and expensive repair problems."

If retail murder were legal, he probably would have killed me right then, when the women moved on to a nicely quiet and far less-expensive Amana. (I probably should not go back to that store for a while.) Just more proof that capitalism actually hates informed consumers. What advantage do inferior manufacturers and salesmen have if consumers know things about the product and aren't brainwashed by marketing??? How is it fair to ask them to make quality products and sell them at a reasonable price while being truthful about their features?

But regardless of angry lying salesman-man, whom I appear to have cost a large commission, I've got a Whirlpool with adjustable racks (adjustable racks!) arriving on Friday. My marriage is saved!

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