Monday, January 7, 2008

If you pay him enough, maybe he'll do it for free

One of the things I harp on is the use of the word "free" and how it's used, especially by various commercial enterprises.

Last year, on my trip to Miami, I stayed in a hotel that offered:
- Complimentary high-speed internet
- Complimentary access to the fitness spa
- Complimentary use of pool towels and other pool accessories

...all for $12 a day.

This was called a "resort fee" on the bill. I'm not sure what was complimentary about it. Basically what that suggests is "Normally, we'd just charge you $12 for the hell of it and you'd get nothing, zero, zip, nada, zilch. But in our case, you actually get these items for your $12, so in effect, we're giving them to you for free!" Does that make sense? Can I get a resounding "NO!"

I went shopping for clothes. I spent around $130, but beneath that line it had another line item that said "You saved $124!" No I didn't! I spent $130. I didn't save a thing. If I wanted to save, I wouldn't have spent the $130 in the first place. Then they could've given me a receipt that said "You saved $130!" That would be true.

Bought a new washer/dryer combo from a store a month ago. The salesperson tried to entice me to upgrade my choice of models. I had chosen a package for $1,300 on sale (originally $1,700). He wanted to show me a combo worth $1,800 on sale (originally $2,700).

He started off by saying "...but if you choose this model over here, you save $900!"
I said to him: "No, I'm spending $500 more than the ones I've chosen."
He looked at me like he had me: "Yes, this is true, but you're not saving $900."
Me: "Based on your logic, I have to spend $500 more to save $900. Maybe I should spend $10,000 and you can save me $1,000. That would be the best, right?!"

He stopped talking.

General rule of thumb: If you have to spend money in order to save money, you didn't save a thing.

As I've said in the past: If you pay him enough, maybe he'll do it for free.

1 comment:

Adriana said...

lol I thought this was funny and is kind of like the preying mantis.
Salesmen prey on unsuspecting shoppers trying to get them to upgrade using tactics to try and get them to believe they are saving when really they are spending more money for an appliance that does virtually the same thing and who knows could break before the one you had orginally chosen.

The more $ spent on stuff like appliances, the more commission that guy gets.

Fortunally for us we see through that stuff.