It takes a lot more than a million-dollar smile and a fancy suit to be a successful salesman. Some people are born good at meeting the needs of consumers, but other salespeople fumble over their words, so they resort to the one way people lose their trust in them. A little white lie can lead to horrible consequences for the customer and the salesmen. These customers have their own tales of just how disgruntling it is when salesmen fib just to get closer to their quotas.
All stories have been edited for clarity.
Too Good To Be True
“My refrigerator died, so I went to Lowe’s to purchase a new one. My wife and I found a model we liked, and started talking to the floor rep about it. We ended up buying the fridge, but the salesman was still spouting at the mouth because he was trying up-sell the warranty.
One of the features of the warranty was that if the fridge died, Lowe’s would compensate us for up to two-hundred bucks worth of food. At the time, the salesman’s claims sounded like a pretty good deal because my daughter has severe food allergies. We often shop at Whole Foods, so our grocery bills get expensive.
I was very intrigued by the warranty and asked what would happen if the entire neighborhood lost power for a few days.
‘Oh, Lowe’s will still compensate you,’ the salesman said with a huge grin.
‘So you’re telling me that the fridge still works fine, but the power lines are down, or something and Lowe’s will still compensate me for up to two hundred bucks?’ I repeated.
‘Yup.’ The salesman said with the same grin on his face, unblinking.
‘Even though the fridge itself didn’t break and it was the fault of the power company?’ I persisted.
‘Yup! It’s a good deal, right?’ the salesman winked.
‘That is a good deal. I’ll take the warranty.’ I said.
A year later, we had a snowstorm, and the power was out for three days. When I called Lowe’s to make a claim, they refused to compensate us. My wife and I spent several hours on the phone with the service reps. In the end, they said our claim was not part of the warranty, and that the sales reps know better than to say something like that.
We called the original store and were told the exact same thing.
After that, I never bought from Lowe’s again.”
“When I was ten, my dad took the family to go buy a new vehicle. When we were on the lot, the salesman showed us a nice truck. My dad expressed his interest in the truck while my siblings and I continued checking it out.
After my dad and the salesman spent some time conversing, the salesman chipped up and said he could get my dad to drive off the lot in the truck for twenty-six thousand bucks.
I remember my dad looking extremely excited. I had guessed at the time, it was a killer deal.
The salesman brought us inside and motioned to a desk for us to have a seat. A few minutes went by before the salesman came back.
‘Okay, it looks like we can get you this for forty-two grand,’ the salesman announced with no emotion.
My dad’s eyebrows skyrocketed before he said, ‘What happened to the twenty-six thousand you offered me?’ That’s like more than double!’
I kid you not, the salesman said, ‘That was just to get you to sit down.’ Then he smirked.
My dad stood up, and told all of us we were leaving. He walked right out of the dealership without saying another word to the salesman.
We ended up getting a Mercury Mountaineer for just under ten thousand bucks at a different dealership altogether. It still runs smoothly today!”
“I’ve been a drummer for over seven years, so I know my stuff when it comes to drums.
At Guitar Center, some of the teenage drummers try to lie to me all the time because they think I’m just another novice drummer who doesn’t know a flam from a floor tom.
One time I was in looking for a new drum set because I was upgrading from my starter set and wanted a quality set. While I was looking around, one of the salesmen asked if he could help.
‘No, I’m good man,’ I said while checking out the prices.
The salesman shrugged and sauntered off. He left me alone for a good ten minutes before he came up again and started looking over my shoulder to see what had caught my attention. At that moment I was admiring a Gretch Renown set made of maple wood.
After a second, the salesman whistled as if he was impressed by my choice and said, ‘Yeah, maple is good wood, but honestly the wood doesn’t matter. I like birch because it doesn’t warp as bad when you spill water on it and has a more rich natural sound.’
I literally walked out after hearing his outrageous statement and have never been back.
There were so many things wrong with that statement. I could no longer support a place that hired people to spew crap like that kid was.”
“One time I booked a room in Chicago using Travelocity.
The salesman told me the room had a balcony, the hotel had breakfast included, smoking was allowed, and parking was included in the price.
‘I can only guarantee all of this if you booked with me right now!’ the salesman urged.
While the offer was tempting, I said no because I needed to talk it over with my girlfriend first. The salesman then said if I booked with him immediately, he would upgrade the room to a suite for the same price.
The deal sounded too good to pass up, so I gave him my card numbers.
Boy were we surprised when we showed up at our reservation.
The entire hotel didn’t have a single balcony, breakfast was not served, and to our surprise, no building in Chicago is allowed to be smoked in according to the front desk attendant. On top of that, I had to cough up an extra sixty-five dollars for parking because the hotel has never included parking in their price.
When the receptionist pulled up the reservation, she regretfully informed me that I didn’t even have a suite. Our room turned out to be a plain one-bedroom room. Seeing the disappointment on our faces struck the hotel receptionist. They knew we had been swindled, so they upgraded our room for free.
I am incredibly thankful for her kindness that day. Travelodge in downtown Chicago, thanks for helping us out, and making our trip a little better.”