The Upsell is Ticking Me Off

53853949c74cb236cae412a229775635I want to live in a world where you can get your oil changed and aren’t subjected to a five-minute upsell on various fluid replacements and the granddaddy of them all – new air filters. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but I’m beginning to believe that each oil change shop has one all-purpose grimy, Darth Vader black, air filter that they keep behind the counter to convince you that you do indeed need to spend upwards of $100 on new ones. And because I was having an annoying morning I floated that idea to the oil change guy.

I told him the air filter he was showing me looked like I daily drove my car into the belly of a coal mine. There was no way that was my filter. Mainly because I just had my filters changed last time. Dropping that bomb got the guy to back off on the upsell which was a good move on his part. There was some bad mojo happening inside my brain and I felt like I was about to lose my mind. I had the tag lines for all the Real Housewives of Atlanta stuck in my head (which FYI is a million times worse than having a song on cranial auto loop) and it’s was making me super cranky.

If you’re right now going huh over the whole tag line thing here’s a quick Real Housewives primer. The opening of every Real Housewives show features the “ladies” (Yep quotes around ladies because the women who are featured as “housewives” don’t demonstrate even remotely the gentle graces of that appellation. If there was truth in tilting all the shows would be called the Real Shrews of Insert City of Your Choice Here.) saying some ridiculous one liner about their lives. For instance on the Real Housewives of New York one unemployed woman, getting a divorce for the last decade, and quite possibly suffering from some sort of Botox poisoning that has led to delayed cognitive skills says “I have a taste for luxury, and luxury has a taste for me.”

When the oil change guy was berating/scaring me about my filter I was this close to belting out Atlanta housewife Kandi Burruss’s tag line from 2015 “I’m not about the drama. Don’t start none, won’t be none” which would have been muy embarrassing. Plus, I know it’s not the oil change employee’s fault he’s aggressively trying to upsell. It’s part of the 21st century retail experience.

There’s not a store I can think of you where you can complete your transaction without some sort of upsell or continued invasion of your privacy. It’s gotten so bad when I check out at Target I immediately look the cashier in the eye and politely state that, “No I do not want a Red card in either debit or credit form.” Even worse are all those stores with point systems and now some retail conglomerates have grown greedy tentacles and created point octopuses. This is where you can sign up for points at say a clothing store and also get gas points at a convenience store that’s not even in your time zone.

It’s so confusing that to use all those points you would need at least a Bachelor of Science in forensic retailing. Forget about the reality TV show Extreme Couponing that’s for amateurs. Clipping coupons and digging through dumpsters for newspaper circulars is downright remedial. The real drama would be watching someone track, sort, and use all their shopping points.

Enter the RPI – Retail Point Investigator. (Think of it as a CSI combined with the shopping acumen of Black Friday groupie.) This breed of scientist would look at your points and determine their DNA (ie what store they really came from), if there’s any cross contamination between retail establishment thus rendering your points invalid, use the latest in mass spectrometry to find important clues like if  your points have been combined with your husband’s or if there were cast off points and if there’s trace evidence to suggest if you should be receiving double or bonus points. I can’t be the only one who thinks this would be must watch television. If there’s a CSI:Cyber there’s no reason why there can’t be a CSI: Retail Points Investigator.

Plus imagine the viewing audience it would pull in. Thankfully most of us have lives that aren’t touched by a murder, but all of us have retail points. I’ve already got a great idea for the pilot. A woman walks into an oil change shop and just as the guy is trying to sell her a new filter she whips out a points card. Does the woman buy the new filter with points? Does the oil change guy declare that they no longer honor those points? Is there a throw down? Is it time to call in the Retail Point Investigator? Stay tuned.

 

6 thoughts on “The Upsell is Ticking Me Off

  1. Terri Rains O'Bryan says:

    YEAH! What you said! I’m totally laughing about “point octopus” and “forensic retailing” and the whole dang thing. And now you’ve made me think about another point-related thing which could possibly land me in jail within the hour. It’s a conspiracy! I’m talking about the great grocery store keychain-card-for-cents-off scam, because NOW there is a local chain where the checkers demand (and in the most demanding way) your card before they touch an item. I think their ‘new computer system’ is secretly charging *more* for something…it is a conspiracy. And I cannot keep up with speedy checkers to watch the scanning action! And how are you even going to know or have the energy to care once you leave? On my way to the grocery now, and the plan is to lose my car keys somewhere in my purse, thereby forcing the checkout to begin without card. Thanks for inspiring me to get into my standoff mood; I love your humor!

  2. DonnaDon says:

    The hubs and I usually go see family for various holidays. Said family lives 3 or 4 states away. This past Thanksgiving MIL, SIL and I were out shopping on Black Friday. We stopped into one of those regional department stores. The gal at the check offered me a credit card. When I said no, she started on all the benefits of said credit card. I said I don’t live in this state so it would do me no good to get it. The stunned look on her face was priceless.

  3. Gail says:

    The points thing is so confusing! I just can’t keep up with it all. I also feel the same about the air filter and car service stuff. I used to have anxiety attacks on the way to have my car serviced because they would always tell me I needed something else done on my car or should do this or that. It was very high pressure! Then I got mad and just did what you did. There is no way my car needs all of this…..I melted down right there and let them have it. After that they only did what I asked for and they started suggesting instead of demanding. It’s tough being a woman sometimes….right ladies?

  4. Teresa Cobb says:

    My husband and I used to own a car service repair business. We would advise people of their current and future service needs. One time, my husband took a grimy rectangular air filter into a gentleman and told him he needed to buy one right away. If not from us, at least from an auto parts store. The customer bristled up, got really angry at my husband and told him that he was trying to cheat him, his filter was round and he had replaced it during his last service appointment at a quick change shop. My husband escorted him into the shop and showed him where the filter belonged in his car; a place where only a rectangular filter would fit! We won a loyal customer from that point forward.

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