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Elderly neighbour and pushy salesman

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Grandsire, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    An elderly neighbour invited a salesman round to quote for some modifications to her bathroom. The first we knew was when she appeared at our door in some distress, saying that the man 'wouldn't leave'. It turns out he'd been in the house three-and-a-half hours, and quoted way, way more than the work she'd originally intended should cost, and when she said she didn't have that much money, he'd reduced it by £2000, and begun drawing up credit agreements to cover the rest. He nearly got her to sign, even though she was saying she didn't want it and was asking him to leave. Even when we got involved and asked him to leave, he took heavy persuading to get off the premises - he was so determined to make a sale he sat in his car to finish the paperwork to put through her door before he left. He'd asked her to sign something to say she wasn't going to sign the contract. Fortunately, she'd panicked and come to us to get him to leave.

    We'd really like to make a complaint about the salesman's conduct - the neighbour is elderly, and has some signs of memory loss which are being monitored by her GP, and some days she seems confused and anxious. She doesn't want to ask her family for help making decisions and likes to think she can handle things independtly, but this isn't the first time we've found tradesmen in her house giving her the hard sell. The last time, when we mentioned that she had memory problems, the tradesman packed up and left very quickly, but this one practically needed pushing out the door. It's awful to think that companies like this can still take advantage of elderly people. Who am I best to complain to about this salesman's conduct?
     
  2. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    First of all to the customer relations department of the company concerned with a copy to your local Trading Standards. Then to whichever ombudsmen deals with the type of company.
     
  3. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    Thank you - will do.
     
  4. onmyknees

    onmyknees Established commenter

    How lovely that she came to you for help. She's lucky to have such kind neighbours!
     
  5. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Yes, Trading Standards and there is the potential to claim for distress in compensation. This kind of behaviour is unlawful under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regs 2008.

    Here's the relevant information from Citizens Advice:

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/protection-for-the-consumer/unfair-trading/
     
  6. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    I so agree with all of the advice above.

    If only these salesmen showed a bit of humanity there'd be no problem. A friend's husband used to work for a replacement window company and, because he was older than many of the salesmen, he was often given appointments with the older customers. When he got into the house he would tell the customer that he had no wish to spend hours there so he would measure up, give them a price and that would be it. He went to a couple of folks who had neighbours in with them because they were terrified they'd be forced to sign something.

    Because this chap was a bit older and went out of his way to make the customer feel comfortable, they took a bit of a shine to him. Often he'd get home with the contract plus home made cake and wine and biscuits for his dogs. Also, he was always home before 10 and was usually the top salesman for the branch.

    Just by treating folks as he'd want to be treated, everything was easy. Sometimes the folks wouldn't want to sign on the night, so he'd leave them his number and 9 times out of 10 they'd get back to him and sign up later.
     
  7. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    [​IMG]Respect. Not desperation to make a sale. It creates a win win situation.
     
  8. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    That was very much my experience in sales. For most of my life I hated salesmen, so when my boss took me off doing what I was good at and asked me to become a salesman I said "You're having a laugh, ain'tcha?

    Well the truth is, if there weren't salesmen, nobody would be able to buy anything and companies would go bust. I took the view that I could only do the job if I acted like the type of person I'd want to buy something from and it worked well enough for me. Most of my sales came from personal recommendation. How difficult is it to ask why someone wants a product, talk to them about what they are hoping to get from it and steer them to the one that will be best for their needs?

    I was the bane of my competitors lives. They could never work out how I won orders they were hoping to get by undercutting my quotations, but I achieved it through honesty and integrity. Why would anyone want to pay the higher price I asked? Simple. I just sent them the technical spec. of what I was offering and the technical spec of what my competitors had and explain what the difference was in simple language then leave them to work out which was the best for them.

    If I live to be a thousand, I will never understand why the car of choice for the generic salesman is the BMW. Who in their right mind would want a car with a reputation that the indicators don't work?
     

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