Thursday, June 12, 2008

An Hour Later

It happened last night. You know the feeling -- there went an hour of our lives that we'll never get back. A few days earlier, we had gotten a survey in the mail from a water filtration company, so we filled it out, thinking we were being helpful to their study of the water quality in our area. The next day, we got a phone call from that company asking if 'the guys' could come out and test our water on Wednesday, the night Elena goes to FPU; the times offered were between 5 and 5:30 (prime time for dinner) and between 7:30 and 8:00, when the girls are asleep. So, I took the 5:00 shift, thinking they'd be in and out after collecting a bit of our tap water for their study. WRONG!

We always eat early on Wednesday so Elena has time to eat and help me get things ready for the rest of the night with the girls, so as we were eating dinner, a bit before 5:00, the doorbell rings, and it's ________ from the Illini Water Systems to run the test (or so we thought). He begins unpacking his various bags, full of test tubes, and promotional materials -- a HUGE binder full of biased "research" and slanted propaganda. He began his sales pitch, when we were thinking he'd be taking some water and leave. We were entirely mislead, and no matter how many times I asked him for the price of the water system, to get him to stop his pitch and leave, he kept on going, stating that he just had a bit left and would get to that. The girls were antsy, getting bored by the pitch, as were we, our dinner was still sitting on the table, uneaten, and he kept talking! Finally, I told him that we had too much to do and couldn't listen to any more, so I wanted to price. This 'great' system could be ours for a mere $150 a month for the next seven!!! years. What a waste of time, a crooked sales pitch, and an hour of our lives, we'll never see again. Lesson learned -- no more surveys!

1 comment:

John said...

It's too bad that companies operate this way. I hate this kind of stuff. We were at one of the garden shows a couple years ago and wanted to check on getting some gutter toppers for our gutters. We scheduled a time for an estimate. The guy showed up, spent less than a minute looking at the house. Then he said, "Can we just step inside and I'll get this written up?" As soon as he got inside, I couldn't get him to leave. I told him that I couldn't make a decision without my wife's input, and that we just wanted to get the estimate done. He just kept pushing and pushing for me to buy the toppers right then and there.

After I got him to leave, I decided I'd never buy anything from him or his company. Then the phone calls started. He'd call back every day. He even stopped at the house on two separate occasions and left flyers on our front door. It was a nightmare.

I've heard that those water filtration surveys are bad news. I've been lucky enough to never fill one out.

It's too bad because sometimes companies really do want to use surveys for good purposes. Places like this give surveys a bad name.