In the Club

Santa is hooking me up with a new mobile communications device. Always willing to help my elders, I figured I’d go pick it up myself and save the old guy the trouble.

I went to my neighborhood mobile communications device vendor. It was a relatively uneventful purchase. It was simply an equipment upgrade. There would be no change in my mobile service, and since I knew what device I wanted, there really wasn’t much left for the sales professional to do beyond a few administrative tasks – or so I thought.

Toward the end of the transaction came time for the cross sell (Cross sell is just a fancy marketing term for suggesting related items to someone who is considering buying something – Do you want fries with that burger?)

First she started by asking if I needed any accessories. Knowing I could get cases and cords a lot cheaper at that online retailer named after a river in South America, I politely declined. Her next attempt at (getting a commission) meeting my needs as a customer came when she offered to register me for a service that would allow me to upgrade my device every two weeks or some such ridiculous period of time.

Of course, I’m kidding when I say the upgrade period was every two weeks. I guess not everyone keeps their electronics until the buttons fall off like I do, and I do see the value in a service that allows customers to upgrade to the latest and greatest shiny object to emerge from Cupertino – it’s just not for me. Besides, my mobile communications bill is high enough without any additional add-ons.

Not content with my negative response, the sales professional went on to tell me about how she benefited from this service. She said that one night she was out partying with her girls, and she lost her device at the club. Thanks to this service, she was able to easily replace the unit.

Here is when things got entertaining!

She then said if something similar happened to me, I would be able to replace my unit. Feeling frisky, I asked her if she meant that if my unit was lost in the club, I could easily get it replaced. She responded – with a look that said that commission is all mine – “yes, when you go out, and if you lose your unit, we’ll replace it…”

My unit hasn’t been “in the club” since the first Bush administration!

Disco Ball What would make this sales professional think an old fart like me would hang out in the club, let alone lose his unit (or anything else) there?

Had she been more observant, she would have noticed that shiny piece of jewelry on my left ring finger, the gray on my chin. Maybe she would have noticed my sensible shoes, my conservative neckwear (which we’ve discussed), my buttoned down Van Heusen or the sliver of AARP card sticking out of the wallet that was on the counter ready to close a sale that should have gone a lot faster.

If she had simply said the service allows customers to upgrade their devices if they’re lost, she might have had a better chance of moving me to buy. But I was so amused with visions in my head of my old Carlton-like dancing, Hall and Oates loving, can’t stay awake past 10 o’clock, 0ne glass of red for my heart self in the club, I was pretty much tuned out to what remained of her very aggressive sales pitch.

Sadly, I burst her bubble and declined her offer.

I have since given that sales professional a decent review on the survey that quickly landed in my inbox following the sale. After all, she did her best, and I’m sure she is either very heavily incented or heavily pressured to sell as many add-ons as possible.

As for me, I better make sure my mobile communications device doesn’t go flying out of the pocket of my Dockers when I’m dropping it like it’s hot (Is that still a relevant reference?) in the club this weekend.


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