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A few years back, my husband and I decided to buy replacement windows for our townhouse. The darned thing was practically made of windows -- 26 of them -- so we were no small account.
We got bids from two local companies and one large chain operation. All good companies, all good reputations, all eager for our business.
Two of the companies sent sales reps to our home. The large chain one in particular had quite the dog-and-pony show, with sample windows and demos to steer us away from their "good" and "better" options toward the "best." I'll never forget the look on Joe's face when their rep got down on his hands and knees on our floor to show us, using a little heater and fan, how airtight that sucker was.
The other company that sent their rep over almost got the sale. In fact, we signed on the dotted line and sent the happy rep on his way. But buyer's remorse set in. Something about the way we were pressured to "buy now" to get his special deal didn’t sit well with us, and so we took advantage of our three-day FTC Cooling Off Rule prerogative and called the next day to cancel.
We went with the third company, and I'll tell you why. They weren't the cheapest (they fell somewhere in the middle) and they weren't the most eager (they didn't send a rep over), but we felt they were the most straightforward. The guy faxed us a sheet explaining all of our options, including all the pricing information. He didn't try to discourage us from buying Models B or C instead of the more expensive Model A, and he didn't try to pressure us into buying now. In other words, he didn't treat us like prospects. He treated us like people ... intelligent people who had a decision to make and simply wanted the info necessary to make that decision.
The windows worked out great, by the way. If you live in Northern Virginia and are in the market, let me know and I'll be happy to pass on the referral.