Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Erkle tries to sell us a hot tub

Hubby is still hot tub shopping. He's been researching and shopping for several months now, as I wrote a while back. Well, this past weekend, he saw an ad in the newspaper by Chicago Spas for a brand new hot tub for "only $1,900!" He seemed to have forgotten the saying "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is" and he phoned up the place and scheduled an appointment to meet a salesman at the "warehouse" which is more than an hour away from where we live. I was not thrilled about going, but thought we could just go up there and see what it was and then go out shopping and get a bite to eat and make a nice afternoon of it. I knew we weren't going to buy anything because he never buys anything on the first visit and must go home and think it over to make sure it is the right thing to do. This process can take months and months, and sometimes even a couple of years before he comes to a decision, so I don't get all worked up and excited about things until he says he is ready to buy.

Well, we arrived at the place about 15 minutes early and sat in the car till it was almost time. When heading to the front door, we were greeted by a very young and skinny black guy and I immediately thought "ERKLE!" Erkle was going to try to sell us a hot tub. Oh what fun we are in for!

Of course, the $1,900 hot tub was a lead-in crappy-assy, very shallow tub. The shallowest hot tub I have ever seen. It was standing on its side, probably to detract from how shallow it really was. If it was sitting flat the way it is supposed to sit, it would have been no deeper than my knees! There were only two jets in the thing, and nothing else. Erkle explained that everything we wanted could be added, more jets, more features which all add up to more money. But the time we made it deeper, and added in the cost of the jets we wanted and other features, the damn thing totaled to nearly $4,000. And it was still cheap quality.

The kid was very enthusiastic, and very, very "programmed" to drudge through this incredibly long sales spiel. All the other hot tub places we have shopped at gave us information, brochure and explanation in less than a half an hour and we were on our way. Also, those sales people took our name and phone number and get back to us from time to time to check on our decision making progress. They remain cordial and helpful and seem to really be interested in selling us their product.

Not the same with Erkle of Chicago Spas! Erkle would not tell us the price of anything until he was ready. He showed us a PowerPoint presentation of bullcrap we already knew. It was very condescending and insulting, as if we are idiots and blind buyers. My husband informed Erkle that we have been doing our homework and have researched many different brands of hot tubs and have been reading up on all the features and materials they are made of so we have a good idea of what is out there. We just wanted to see what they offered for the $1,900 in the newspaper ad, and see what else they might have at the advertised sale prices.

Erkle continued to ramble. My phone rang at one point and it was my sister, so I took the opportunity to excuse myself to call her back in another room. I told her that we were in a hot tub place being tortured with the longest sales pitch since our driver's licenses were held hostage by a Hyundi dealer years ago when we were car shopping. (NEVER give a car salesman your driver's license if you aren't going to buy that day.) I told my sis that I was really ticked to be tied up this long listening to a bunch of sales baloney when we weren't even going to buy anything, not a chance. Not with this husband of mine! Like I said, he has been looking for a long time, and will be looking for awhile before his mind is made up. I couldn't care less what kind of hot tub it is, as long as it's hot, swirling and relaxing. Actually, I would be glad if he just fixed the metal plug in the bathtub in our main bathroom and I would be just as happy with a hot bath.

Saying goodbye to my sister, I reluctantly headed back to the showroom. Erkle was talking to hubby about materials the hot tubs are made from. He had to backtrack to repeat everything I missed even though I basically told him I didn't give a shit to hear it. (I said that nicely though.)

He then proceeded to talk about how acrylic was crappy and their material was super awesome. He had a square of it and giggled and said this is the part of the sales presentation he likes best. He got out a metal hammer and pounded the hell out of the square piece of material, showing how incredibly strong it was. I was not impressed. Who in their right mind is ever going to take a hammer and pound the shit out of their expensive hot tub?

Erkle then showed us different models of hot tubs, he encouraged us to take off our shoes and climb in. My husband asked him how much...and he wouldn't tell. He asked again, and Erkle kept saying "not yet...I have to finish here...we will get to it"...I was growing unbelievably impatient! I wanted to tell this little dweeb to just shut the hell up and give us the price list!

My husband continued to go along with the game, much to my increasing annoyance and irritation. We went back over to Erkle's desk and he brought out a price list. It had very high prices listed for each of the hot tubs in the place, including the cheapy scam one. He started crossing out prices, asking how much we would expect to pay for each hot tub someplace by one by one. I wanted to say "GET TO THE FREAKIN POINT YOU LITTLE MORON!" But I didn't say anything...just sat there seething inside. Erkle continued his little game of jiggle the figures, and finally came up with "today's" very best, very lowest sale prices which were the lowest being nearly $4,000 and the highest at $6,200.

"Today's" sale price? WTF? What was wrong with my husband? Why is he letting this guy go on like this? About twenty years ago he wouldn't have tolerated this kind of baloney. But he kept playing along. I was so steamed, and could hardly contain myself! Then when my husband finally said that we would have to go think it over, Erkle started getting a shitty attitude. He then pulled out a sheet with some kind of chart on it and had two thirds of it covered up with a piece of cardboard. He read the first question "IF TEN PEOPLE COME IN TO LOOK AT HOT TUBS AND TEN LEAVE SAYING THEY WILL COME BACK LATER, HOW MANY ACTUALLY COME BACK?" I wanted to say "Screw you...and your silly games!" But hubby played along...the answer he said was ZERO. I wanted to say "Awww tooo stinkin bad, Erkle! Have a nice time trying to selling anything with your methods." But then he continued on, and the second example was IF TEN PEOPLE COME IN AND PUT A DEPOSIT DOWN ON A HOT TUB, HOW MANY WILL ACTUALLY FOLLOW THROUGH AND BUY THE HOT TUB?" That answer was 50%. And the last question had something to do with people who have money and are ready to buy a hot tub and come shopping for a hot tub, how many buy...all of them, or something to that effect.

The little shyster, time thief, con-artist in training who stole half our afternoon then tells us that if we walk out the door without buying "today" that the prices go up by $3,000! This would push the prices of these plasticky spas to more than the price of a Jacuzzi brand! My husband laughed and said that if we left and he called back in a few days, that Erkle would sell him the hot tub for the sale price. Erkle said "no, you walk, the deal is forfeited". I said that's why they don't get anyone to come back then!

We finally left, and we won't be going back there even if we have to pay more someplace else. I smell a con at Chicago Spas. Erkle better go find another job because with the way they do things, they won't be in business very long.

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