That Price Is Phone-y

, , , , | Working | November 11, 2019

(The smartphone brand I have has just released a new model. Usually when this happens, my cell phone carrier drops the price of all of the older models. The day before this story, my mom had just gotten one of the older models for herself. I had been interested in the same one she got, and she tells me it is only costing her $15 per month, so I decide I will go get one for myself. I go to the store that is closest to her house, which is, to my knowledge, the store she always goes to.)

Me: “Hi, I’m interested in getting a [phone model]. My phone number is [number].”

Salesperson #1: “Okay, let me pull up your account… Great! It looks like you are eligible for a new phone today. Can I ask you why you are interested in the [phone model] specifically?”

Me: “Honestly, the price is my biggest motivation, and I just found out that it is the same size as my current phone, so I don’t have to buy a new case.”

Salesperson #1: “That’s definitely a bonus; however, I don’t actually have any more [phone model] in stock. They have been on backorder for weeks. I could get you a [newer phone model] for only $5 more per month, though. It has a lot more features and will last you longer before losing software support.”

Me: “Hmm… I’m not really interested in that. Are you sure you don’t have any more? My mom was actually just in here yesterday and got one for herself.”

Salesperson #1: “Yeah, we’re definitely out. She must have gotten it at a different store, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re out now, too. They’re going fast.”

Me: *sigh* “Okay… So, the [newer phone model] is $20 per month?”

Salesperson #1: “No, it’s $25. $5 more than [phone model].”

Me: “What? That’s odd, because my mom said she is paying $15 for hers…”

Salesperson #1: “That’s not possible. The price has been the same for over six months. Unless there was some sort of store-specific promotion at the location she got it, I have no idea how she could have gotten one cheaper.”

Me: “As far as I know, she got it here. This is the closest store to her house and I’ve never heard that she has gone anywhere else.”

Salesperson #1: “It definitely wasn’t here. We have not changed our prices and there is no scheduled price drop coming up, either. What’s her phone number? Let me look up her account…”

(I give her the number)

Salesperson #1: “Oh… She is paying $15 for it. That is very strange and I have no idea how it happened. But I can see it definitely wasn’t here; I have no record for her at all at this location. I guess all I can tell you is to find out which store she went to and see if they still have that sale going on.”

(I leave the store and text my mom.)

Me: “Where did you get your phone?”

Mom: “[Store I am at]. It’s the only one I go to. Why?”

Me: “They told me they have no record of you ever being here and have no idea how you got your phone so cheap because they are supposed to be $20 per month.”

Mom: “What the f***?”

(The next day I call the next closest store I can find)

Me: “Hi. I was wondering if you have any [phone model] in stock.”

Salesperson #2: “Yes, we have quite a few! Which color were you looking for?”

Me: “Oh, that doesn’t really matter to me. But, before I go further, can I confirm with you the price for that one?”

Salesperson #2: “The [phone model] is currently $15 per month.”

Me: “Great! That’s what I thought, but…”

(I tell him about my interaction at the other store the day before)

Salesperson #2: “Well, she was right in saying that the price was that much for the past few months, but the [newest phone model] just came out, so of course, the price of all the older phones dropped! That is what always happens. I have no idea how she didn’t know that.”

(To her credit, the first salesperson didn’t feel overly pushy or like she was lying to me just to get me to buy a more expensive phone, but I didn’t think she was particularly new or inexperienced, either. The fact that she was so adamant about not only the wrong price, but also about my mom never having been in the store, is what baffles me! I am now enjoying my new phone just fine, and my mom has decided to start doing business with the store slightly further away.)

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