Case study pushy salespeople

Victor resists the hard sell

Father and son writing on paper Victor is stopped at his local shopping centre by a man promoting a competition for parents to win a computer for their child. Victor enters the competition and fills out the form saying he has two school-aged kids. 

A few days later he gets a call from a salesperson asking him if he would like a demonstration for some maths learning software that could help his kids.  Victor agrees to a home visit by the salesman.

At his home, the salesman bombards Victor with statistics about the software's popularity and testimonials from happy parents.

He then does a test with Victor's children and says the results demonstrate that they are missing some maths concepts. After the demonstration, the salesman says he will give Victor a special price as a 'one-time only' offer - but only if he signs up right now.

When Victor hesitates, the salesman tells him his own children used to have learning problems, but after they started using the software, their grades improved dramatically. 'Don't you want the same benefits for your children?' he asks Victor.

Victor says of course he does, but the software is too expensive and he cannot afford it. Then the salesman offers him a finance package, where Victor is given a loan that he pays back over a few years. He is pressured to sign up straight away.

As much as Victor wants the software for his children, he decides he needs more time to think about his decision. He thanks the salesman for his time, takes down his details and says he will be in touch.

Over the next 2 weeks, Victor receives many phone calls from the salesman asking him if he wants to buy the software. But Victor has done his sums and found out that the cost of borrowing money would be much more than buying the software outright. Each time the salesman calls, Victor politely and firmly tells him thanks but no thanks.

He also wonders if his kids will be motivated enough to use the software. He talks to his kids' teachers to find out what else he can do to help them with their school work.

Read NSW Fair Trading's tips on choosing tutoring for your child.

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Last updated: 23 Oct 2018