One reason I keep what I do very vague in my life: People always think I can get them a deal. Friends of friends, or a friend of a family will try to get a hold of me and think I can hook them up. And not like, HELP them; like straight up give them shit. How about no.

I have helped family... in fact I’m installing next week at my sister’s. But that was approved by two bosses, and they still had to pay but got a family discount. Because they’re like... my actual family.

I have neighbors up the road whom I’ve never met but see often when I walk my dog. Can’t recall them ever waving. Anyway: One day, the main office line rings and I happen to pick up. After getting their information, I quickly determined that I can see them from my home-office window. “ooooooh we’re neighbors!”

So I go there, do the talk, they want this, we can do this, yadda yadda. They wanted a very specific design/product/whatever. They are happy with the proposal and want to order right away, they say. So the next day I compile a formal bid. And the bid was not cheap, but that’s what happens when they choose a not-cheap product. But they just bought a new loaded XC60, so they’re not on food stamps.

Days later, I get a voicemail. 75% of it is drumming up the whole “neighbor” thing. Remember, I never had any interaction with these people until I went to their home for work. And that still stands today. Also the tone is very familiar in that voicemail. It was no different that when people drum up that their dad’s nephew’s deaf dog used to build homes in the 70's. Or something about how low the budget it after building a 5 million dollar home. Or some pressing personal health issues (it happens A LOT). Anyway, she ends the voicemail with: “It’s more than we were hoping (it was 2600 bucks total). We were hoping to spend maybe 15-to-1800. Is there any way we can do that?”

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Hey, can you knock 30-40% off that price for us? Thaaaaaaaaaaanks.

I’m gonna try that out at Rodland Toyota. “That 2019 Corolla hatchback XSE... Can we do $14,500 on that?”

Now listen: I’ll have people play it a little more... correctly. “We really want to use you, but this competitor was a little cheaper. Can we come down to match?” Then I gotta see the quote, because often the price is lower but the products are not quite the same, and it’s cheaper for a reason.

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Back to the story, sorry: the worst part is she said that a competitor was actually more expensive. Ma’am. Please. If I quoted you 2600, and the other guy quoted you 2900, maybe just maybe it’ll never be 1500 from anyone, anywhere, ever. Also, I don’t have ass-pull prices. I have strict parameters given by my boss I have to follow, and “sweethearting” is — and has been — grounds for dismissing or extreme financial penalty. Chopping prices cuts out of profits, drops pay for installers, and undermines your coworkers who didn’t land sales because they stuck to their price. TEAMWORK, PEOPLE.

So, I explain why their product costs 2600, exhaustively. Part by part. I stopped short of the whole capitalism thing. Then, I sent a quote a product that actually costs 1875, as that would be the only way to get the “any way we can come down to 1800" thing. Haven’t heard from them in a week. She also did not pick up or reply to my follow-up call.

... FORTY PERCENT OFF, FOR GOODNESS SAKE!