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But it’s a free demonstration!!

Sometimes it’s like talking to a wall. A young woman called our office from a metal restoration company. She wanted to know if we’d be interested in a free demonstration.

I told her we’d already awarded the contract for the next two years, so there’d be no point. I suggested that she send information or call us again in a year and a half to see if they could do a demonstration and make a proposal.

She said (really slowly) “But…its…a…free….dem-on-stra-tion.” It’s hard to explain–maybe how people except a person who doesn’t speak their language at all to understand if they talk slowly and loudly.

I said, “But you see, it wouldn’t be worth our time or yours, since we won’t sign a contract with you. We can’t get out of our contract.” (actually, we can but it’s a real headache.)

She replied, “We don’t want you to get out of your contract, it’s…a…free…dem-on-stra-tion.”

So I finally said, “I’m sorry we’re not interested” and hung up.

It’s not a free demonstration at all. It costs us time to watch. It costs her company time and materials for a contract they won’t get. Free isn’t free. What’s sad is that she probably didn’t understand my point and she won’t bother to send us the information now or later.

Has anyone else had weird reactions when they turned down free stuff?


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda November 30, 2007 at 9:25 pm

I once invited a vacuum cleaner salesman in for a free demonstration. It was the coolest vacuum I’d ever seen. And then of course you see the price tag and I thought, “I’m not spending more on a vacuum than my car is worth….”

And so I said, “No,” and then kinda felt bad, so I told myself, well, the practice was good for him. πŸ™‚

It was an amazing vacuum. πŸ™‚

Christine November 30, 2007 at 10:30 pm

Turn down free stuff? What is this of which you speak?

mrsmicah December 1, 2007 at 11:24 am

He knew what he was getting into by being a salesman. Expensive vacuums are awesome, but not on my list either. πŸ˜‰

Yes Christine. I know it’s a foreign concept to Canucks *ducks* πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

Curtis December 1, 2007 at 12:33 pm

Having worked in purchasing for many years, I can’t tell you how many “free” magazine subscriptions I’ve turned down. Sorry, but I just don’t have or the inclination to read 25 free magazines a month! I’d rather have them save the paper!

mrsmicah December 1, 2007 at 12:42 pm

Indeed, Curtis.

I remember reading a blog post by someone who turned down a free newspaper subscription because he wouldn’t read it and thought it was environmentally irresponsible.

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