Bing Crosby uttered the famous phrase, “Everybody’s got an angle” in the movie, “White Christmas” and it’s true for the most part.
Everyone is out to protect themselves and if they can, they will take money or something else from you whether that’s done consciously or unconsciously.
Most people aren’t out to simply rip others off to get what the want but, there’s little in Life that hasn’t become a business of some type or another. If they can, they are going to try to get you to spend money and put it into their pockets. That goes for doctors and vets too.
Have you ever noticed that even if you have health insurance or are lucky enough to live in a country where your medical costs are covered for the most part if not wholly that there’s an angle that a doctor or veterinarian, even a mechanic will come at you from that causes more money to float into their pockets?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that any professionally educated service provider is simply out to grab money from your pockets but, for them, it’s business and business means that they have overhead and expenses to pay before they, themselves can take a salary. Everyone has to make a living somehow and few service providers are out to make what we’ll call an honest buck for lack of a better term even if they believe that what they are doing is what is right for you or your loved one. There’s cost involved for them and following that, for you. There’s no getting around that point.
What I have trouble with are what I’ve termed as the “up-sellers”. These are the professionals that may or may not truly believe that they are helping you but, will try to guilt you into buying or paying for every service, product or top-of-the-line service that you’ll pay for from them. These are the ones that have an angle and they’re going to use it to their advantage by selling you unnecessary services or products that aren’t necessary. While most of us want only the best for ourselves, our homes, our cars, our children or pets, that’s where these types of businesses will get you. They prey on your guilt strings which will cause you to even hesitantly, pull out your wallet or plastic credit card.
Is it necessary though?
This is a question that I cannot answer for you as there are so many variables and scenarios that I don’t have enough information and do get caught up into it like everyone else. However, one thing that I’ve become aware of is that I need a few things to make a decision. These tips might help you as well.
- Take some time to think about it. If you don’t have a day or two or more to think about it, take time to go have a coffee somewhere, telling the service provider that you need time to think about it and will be back in an hour or a few days. Don’t Impulsively React.
- Ask yourself if what is being proposed is really needed. Of course, there will be times when it’s a life or death situation and a “call” has to be made right away and without having time to really think about it much. In those situations, you have nothing to do but to trust whomever your service provider is. These are more often than not, healthcare related emergencies. Ask questions, be informed but, you’re going to have to simply trust that person at that moment in time but, for the most part, everything is negotiable and doesn’t require an immediate decision.
- If you’re feeling torn as I often do about what to do or not do, don’t be pressured into taking whatever is offered no matter how great a salesperson they may be. Again, take some time and think it through first or do some research if you can. These types of people are banking on you making a split second or on the spot decision. If they allow you to walk away and think about it, they often know that they’re going to lose your money. If you can, walk away for a bit and think about it.
- Beware of anyone who wants you to sign on the dotted line right there and then or the offer expires or whatever else they can come up with to get you signed on. These are likely either business owners or they get a commission for everyone they get signed up for a service or product. Ask them to leave you literature and tell them you’ll call them when you’ve talked it over with someone else or thought about it. If they tell you (no matter how convincing they may sound) that they cannot leave or give you printed information or estimates for whatever the reason they come up with, end it there. They are pressuring you and that’s tell tale of someone who is on commission or who owns the business and wants your money right then.
- Do research. Shop around. Ask questions. Find out what friends, neighbours or co-workers have experienced in whatever arena you’re dealing with at the time. You may be surprised to hear some real horror stories or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, great experiences that make up your mind for you if you can afford it. You might even find the same thing at a lower rate, elsewhere for the same thing. Be sure though that it is the same thing.
- Take advantage of the “grace period/buyer’s remorse” time frames if you’re not happy with something and go ahead with getting their services or products. Most reputable companies will offer you anywhere from 15 to 30 days time to back out. If that clause isn’t included in any contract you may sign, walk away and look elsewhere.
- Use your own gut feelings. Everyone has them. Don’t be afraid to take 10 giant steps back from something or someone if your gut feeling is nagging at you that this isn’t the right thing for you even if only for an hour or less. Take a break and really think it through. Remember that most professionals are trained in spiels and while they, themselves may have come to believe it, if it’s not sitting well with your gut, walk away or take time to think about it. Your head will clear and you’ll think straighter when you haven’t got a trained sales person (even doctors can be salesmen) yapping canned speeches in your ear while tugging at your guilt strings. You may even want a second, third or fifth opinion first. Don’t be ashamed, embarrassed or feel guilty because you didn’t leap at their sales pitches if it doesn’t feel right for you. Get other opinions first. It’s ok. Any honest and trust-worthy service provider will understand. If they don’t then, you have reason to suspect them as not being for you and move onto another.
- If you can’t afford Gucci or Prada, it’s ok to spend whatever you can afford. Don’t let names or even other’s recommendations who can afford those name brands, goad you into feeling guilty for taking a lesser known name brand. Remember you are paying for the name, location, beautiful showroom, office or whatever they have a higher overhead for. There are great independent providers in lesser fancy surroundings that cost less but, provide equal or better service or products. Gucci and Prada are not the only games in town. Search them out but, remember that if you find a provider that is way below most others in that industry, it’s likely that they’re cutting corners. Be aware of that too and ask questions as to what they provide and how etc.. Do your homework because you may pay less but, also be getting less too. Like wise, there are service or product providers that charge an arm and a leg while doing so in rather cruddy surroundings. Question that as well. That profit is going straight into their pockets. Use your own ability to think, your gut and anything else that you can throw at it, first. I’ll end with a short analogy of something that happened to me to teach me a lesson.
I had a big name service provider for my home phone, internet, television service and 3 cellphone packages. I trusted them because I’d been with them for nearly 3 decades for my home phone. Things were great until I decided to take a package that included bundling my services from them. It involved a 2 year contract but, at substantial savings by doing so. It made sense and I trusted them.
Into the second year of my contract with them, problems began to happen with all 3 services. I called them and each time, they sent out a technician. After 13 visits, appointments cancelled or time off of work to be home for them to enter the premises, the bottom line came down to the fact that the services weren’t being sent over wiring that was meant to deliver the services properly. The provider refused to do the necessary repairs, citing that there weren’t enough customers in the area.
When I begged and pleaded for them to do what was right or I’d stop paying my bills each month for services that I wasn’t getting properly, I was told that I’d be sued and taken to court. I was well past my buyer’s remorse time and not out of contract with them. I didn’t relish months of being in courts or lawyer’s offices even when I mentioned not casually that they had already breached our contract by not providing me with suitable services that was agreed upon by both ends and was paying my bills.
Finally, after several more technician visits, I gave up and waited out my contract. One last try with them told me that I “had to do what I had to do” so, I left and signed on with another provider.
Amazingly, once the new provider served the first one with notice that I was leaving them within a week, the first provider started calling me to keep me on board. They offered me unbelievable deals. The day before the services were to end from them and start with the new provider, they offered me a package that was over $100/month below what I had been paying monthly and $50 less than the new provider. That left me wondering how and why they could give me such a deal when I had been paying well over that for 2 years already. I nearly accepted except, they couldn’t guarantee me that the issues I had been facing would be looked after, repaired or changed. That was a deal breaker right there yet, they wanted me to sign up to stop the change-over right there and then, without that guarantee. I refused it and went with the new provider. I get a little less but, I pay a lot less too. Not that there aren’t problems with this company too but, slick marketing skills talked me into taking it and staying, as did yet another contract with them.
Since that time, the first provider has apparently rectified the issue that I was facing with the problems in their wiring to the houses. Perhaps, they took to heart that I had said that it was little wonder they had so few customers when their service was so poor and they were refusing to fix it. I was truly stuck between a rock and a hard place at that point though because there are only 2 providers for these services available in our area and they do compete with one another. In all honesty, I’m not happy with this current provider either but, I’m stuck into their contract as problems (of course) didn’t surface until my “Buyer’s Remorse” period had ended.
What can you take away from this now?
Take my advice from above into your consideration and unless it’s a life or death situation, walk away, take some time, do some research, ask questions, think about it all first. Don’t leap head first into anything unless you are really at a standstill and need to make a decision. Take your time. Everyone has an angle. At least, that’s how I’ve found Life to be from my little corner of life.
Be well. Blessings, Love and Light.
Have a great day or evening.