Friday, February 19, 2021

It would seem that door-to-door salesmen (salespersons) are alive & well

This past Tuesday, I got this email from my apartment building’s management:    

Dear Steiner Realty Neighbors, 

Please be aware that you will receive a knock on your door sometime tomorrow, Wednesday, February 17th, by a Verizon representative.  Your building has been chosen by Verizon for an exclusive $50 promotion for all residents, on top of any current national offers!  

We understand you may be reluctant to answer your door at this time.  The Verizon marketing sales reps will have badges and will be following social distancing guidelines and wearing masks. 

Sincerely, Steiner Realty Inc.       

To say I was fit to be tied would be an understatement.  Excuse me??  Some weeks ago, we got various pleas from management to PLEASE quarantine, DON’T ALLOW anyone inside the building except the mailman & emergency personnel.  So I couldn’t have family or friends visiting, but Verizon salesmen had free rein?  I smelled a kickback.  I called my landlord and said I didn’t want anyone knocking on my door and trying to sell me stuff. 

Stacey said “Aw, we’re sorry to hear that Douglas!  Well, you should hang a ‘Do not disturb’ sign on your front door for tomorrow!”   I said “You mean, like a hotel?”  She said “Right, exactly!”  

I’ll be goddam—skip it, I’ll hang a note on my door.

Wednesday, I had no visitors or door-to-door salespersons at my front door.  At 11:30pm I went downstairs to mail something, and took the DO NOT DISTURB sign off my front door before I went to bed.

Thursday afternoon, I’m sitting here watching MSNBC and trying to decide if I want spaghetti or tuna salad for my early dinner (I like to eat by 4pm) when I get a knock.  What is wrong with me?  No alarm bells went off in my head as I got up to answer it.

There were 2 young people standing there, mid-twenties, a black male and Latino female.  They were wearing black pullovers with FIOS logos on their sleeve and Verizon on their front pockets.  They looked like they just stepped out of a tv commercial.

  • HER: Hi good afternoon!!  (Looking at her clipboard)  I’m sorry, your name is…?
  • ME:  Uh… Douglas?  Doug.  Listen, I thought you guys--
  • HIM:  Hi Douglas, I’m Charlie, this is Dexie.  How are you today? 
  • HER:  Douglas I’m going to ask you how to spell your last name in a minute.  So you have the traditional set-up right?  Landline phone, internet, cable?
  • HIM:  What do you watch on tv, I mean, how many channels do you think you watch?
  • ME:  I pretty much just watch MSNBC and some local news & Netflix.  Guys, I--
  • HIM:  My man!  Netflix, yep me too.  What shows do you like on there?
  • ME:   Uh… “Rake”, a legal drama.
  • HER:  Aw is that the one with the little cartoon animals at the bottom of the screen?  I’ve seen clips of it, is it any good?
  • ME:  There’s no cartoon animals, it’s an Australian barrister who--
  • HIM:  Ah, so she owns a coffee shop or just works in one? 
  • ME:  I said “Barrister”, not barista.  It’s a courtroom show.   Hey guys--
  • HER:  Douglas could I ask you 2 things?  How much do you pay Comcast for the services they provide?   And is that a tablet you’re holding?  Can I check out your internet download speed?  I promise I won’t download or install anything.

I foolishly hand her my tablet and say I pay around $200 a month for my internet, phone & cable.  Charlie and Dexie’s eyes widen in feigned surprise. 

  • HER:  Douglas I have it all figured up.  We’re going to save you around $100 a month.  Charlie can you check my figures and confirm I’m right?
  • HIM:  Let’s see, yep—$105.00 a month for Verizon phone service and internet.
  • ME:  What about TV?
  • HIM:  You already said you only watch Netflix.  You don’t need channels.
  • ME:  I said I watch MSNBC.
  • HIM:  Dude—Douglas—that’s NEWS.  You can get that on the internet anytime you want!
  • HER:  Doug, here’s your tablet back.  You just need to open this email, enter your credit card number and hit the confirm button.

I look down at my tablet screen and see this image with Click below to confirm.

I said “Alright, enough.”   Dexie said “Is there a problem?  We’re happy to answer any questions you have Douglas.  That’s why we’re here today.” 

Charlie said “Great news!  I just confirmed your apartment is wired for FIOS.  The technician will be here tomorrow and have you set up in… 15 minutes.”

I said “I don’t appreciate the hard sell, guys.  I never invited you here, I never said I wanted to change my phone & internet service.  I don’t want to give up my TV either.”

Charlie said “We can add TV to your package if you like, but then you’ll need a set-top box.  And a dvr too, there go your savings and then some.

Dexie said “Douglas you must have a GREAT job if you don’t want to save a hundred bucks a month!  Wow!”

I said I didn’t have a great job, I was retired.  And I wasn’t looking to save any money on my tv/internet/phone let alone spend more.  They finally left in a phony confused huff.

(The truth is, I HAVE been looking!  I’ve been looking at streaming services like Philo and Sling Blue for a couple weeks now.)  

But one thing’s for certain, I’ll never go to Verizon.  This little stunt was TOO SHADY for me.   And Steiner Realty, I’m not impressed with YOU either.  The End!