I’ll Just Have What I Asked For, Thanks

A few weeks ago I had to phone up to renew my car insurance.  I’d received the quote, I’d checked online to see if there was a better deal out there; if there is I couldn’t find it, so I’d decided to simply have the same again.

This proved to be quite a difficult thing to do; first I had to face down a concerted effort on the part of the person on the other end of the telephone to sell me an upgraded level of cover.

Did I want a recovery service cover? Did I want increase my personal injury cover?  Did I want to increase legal expenses cover?

No. No matter how many times I said that I’d simply like to renew according to the letter they had sent me, she wasn’t listening; she had to go through what I presume was the script on her screen.  Only after she’d been through it all, and I’d turned everything down, was I allowed to have the same again.

It seems to happen all over the place now, someone trying to sell you more than you asked for.

Last week a friend and I were both highly amused and ever more determined to resist  a waitress and her relentless attempts to get us to order more stuff.

It started with her suggesting champagne after we asked for a glass of water each.  She moved on to supplementary bread and olives; all declined.

It was when I ordered a glass of Chilean sauvignon blanc and she suggested the French one, at twice the price, that I began to take note of her pushiness.  She wanted us to order extra side dishes with the meal, more bread with the starters, a dessert and more wine when just under half was remaining in the glass

At each stage we began speculating on what she would be pushing next time she came to the table.

It must be a successful strategy in some circumstances; there are probably customer serivce training courses on the very subject.

In fact, there are probably many occasions on which I have been subjected to the same approach, but more subtly implemented, and have given in; when I’d  meant to ask for the small glass and changed my mind when asked if I wouldn’t prefer the big glass.  Or when I leave it up to fate: in the coffee shop when I tell myself that I can only have the almond croissant if the person behind the counter asks me if I want something to go with my coffee.

Unfortunately,( or fortunately) fate seems to have been trained in the art of selling too these days…..

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