Thursday, February 17, 2011

Another Deceptive Practice Centered Around Extended Warranty Plans!


Here is a deceitful practice that occurred in my district in Oregon many years ago.  In sales lingo, silence means consent.  Because the pressure is so intense to sell these plans it's only human nature to devise ways to make it happen.  As mentioned before, it means one's job if the sales goals do not exceed expectation.

Here’s the gist of this elaborate ruse.  In the nineties couples were buying their first computer set up. During the presentation the salesperson would quickly tell the customer that an extended warranty plan covers their 'investment' for three or five years.  This is not the time for a high-pressure close because the customer could say no. You’ll see why this cannot happen if this tactic is to work

During the salesperson's pitch of the plan, if the customer remained silent then the salesperson can assume that silence means consent!  This is important to complete the deceitful plan. Now it's time to ring up the entire sale. The monitor, scanner, printer, cable, ink, paper, and the rest of the accessories are all rung up. Then the mail-in rebates are factored in with any coupons to add to the confusion. With this total, the extended warranty plan, without the customer's 'verbal' consent, is now part of the mix.  During this time, the salesperson and the cashier, who is in on it, hope the customer loses track of what the final total should be.

 Most of the time this tactic worked!  If the customer does spot the plan without his or her consent the salesperson just says that he 'assumed' they wanted this plan to protect their investment.  A well trained salesperson can make a customer look dumb at this point so sometimes the customer just kept it.

At home, a curious customer might look at the receipt then return to the store for a refund.  Again the pressure was on to talk the customer into keeping it.  But more times than not, the customer did not even realize they had an extended warranty plan added to their purchase.  It's shameful!

Let me make it clear the company did not condone or encourage this practice. The store manager, while the District Manager looked the other way, urged it locally.  It just goes to show how much pressure there is to sell an extended warranty plan and how disrespectful of the buying public retail can be.

So, the key is to inspect your receipt and not wind up feeling like a chump!  Next time we'll look at how these plans did some good.

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The definition of a chump:
a gullible person, a sucker; someone easily taken advantage of, the target of a scam.

Learn from a former salesperson and trainer how salespeople drive sales. Learn how to keep more money in your pocket where it belongs! There are two ends of every sales stick!  One end cries 'chump.'  The other end boasts 'champ.'  I know which end of the stick I want to be.  How about you?


  1. Wow, really pays off to look at the receipt before leaving the store than huh? That may seem like a "duh" thing but too often we don't want to offend by checking it in front of the cashier. How silly, if I don't pay attention to my money why should they?
    Thanks for this post, i look forward to learning more ways to avoid feeling like a chump.

  2. Thanks Joy. No one takes better care of your money than you! Too bad we even have to check our receipt because this stuff goes on!

  3. Wow.... WOW!!! Soooo helpful...!!! ~Madison