Saturday, September 12, 2009

Niagara Massage Chairs

I went to the Royal Adelaide Show yesterday, a fun event where people go and check out new products, see animals, try things out, go on rides, do educational things, eat free samples, buy products, and watch entertainment shows.
It was a fantastic day, except for one nasty experience with a sales man at the display from Niagara chairs. He was incredibly rude and intimidating, and it is yet another example of discrimination against young people. Here is the letter I sent to the company a few minutes ago. I find it bizarre as all other displays in the whole exhibition always encourage interaction with the products, and most, even if you're a teenager unless you're being disruptive or it might hurt you.

Why are massage chair people the rudest people at the Adelaide Show? I met so many fantastic people there yesterday. Thanks to the Chutney guy, the Kyneton lamington woman, the nail art lady, the wobbly exercise machine woman, and soooo many more.

Note: This may just have been this one guy, not the whole company, but I've experienced rudeness in a similar vein before.

My boyfriend and I attended the Royal Adelaide Show on Sunday the 13th of September and experienced some rudeness by your staff in your stall. We are young looking, but we are 22 and 24 years old. I realise that there is often a 'no under 18s on the massage chairs' policy at the Royal Adelaide Show.

My boyfriend had been talking about getting a massage chair, and my Dad had been talking about getting one, so when we saw them we thought we'd go in to have a look.

We were immediately greeted by a man (I wish I'd got his name) in a very rude fashion, asking us what we were doing in his stall, as if we had no right to be there. My boyfriend, nervous at times, mumbled something about 'just interested in looking at your chairs'.
Your sales person then bluntly said that 'They're $9,000. How many do *you* want?'. My boyfriend thought he was joking on the last point, and said he'd take three. The salesman then demanded to see my boyfriend's credit card. He then told us that these chairs are only for 'old people', and that we couldn't use them, and that he only wanted to talk to 'old people', who would be coming in soon.
We left without looking at any chairs.
This whole exchange took less than a minute, and we were made very unwelcome.

We understand that teenagers often want to go in and 'try' the chairs with no intention of buying one. We also cannot afford a $9,000 chair right now, but we did not know how much they cost until we were 'informed' of this. This assumption that we were teenagers, or without money, and the rude manner that we were dealt with, means that we will be sure to not buy your products in future, even if we did have $9,000 to spend on a chair, and I will not be recommending Niagara chairs to my father.

I believe that this is very bad practice, and though I have been asked if I'm over 18 before at massage chair stalls, this goes far beyond that in terms of rudeness and assumptions.

I would suggest that your representatives be trained to try different techniques as to how to deal with potential 'time wasters'.
Thankfully the exercise equipment people (Whose products cost over $2,000) took me seriously and I now have their contact details to share with my parents who
were looking for options. They seemed to have no trouble accepting us as potential customers or influencers of parents and 'hype' to the general community.

I hope to receive a response soon.

My boyfriend also wrote them an email.

I went to see the display at the royal adelaide show yesterday. My experiences were quite offputting. I was immediately swooped upon and my purpose for being there was challenged. I am a younger person, so perhaps not the usual sales target. However, at 22, and my friend, 24, it's certainly not unreasonable that we could be genuine customers, or even just to be treated with respect and given some information about how they work.

It happens that I actually am interested in buying a massage chair, or a massage cover that slips over a chair. I didn't know the price range of the chairs, or if you sell the cheaper slip over ones, and, I still don't know this, for reasons that will become clear. So, after having my intentions challenged, I was then aburptly told that the chairs are $9000, with a sarcastic and hostile question "how many would *you* like to buy?". Now, the salesperson is probably correct. I can't afford that much. However, clearly I could not have known this previously, and therefore his rude attitude is entirely inappropriate. It should also not be ignored that there are 22 year olds who can afford such an amount.

So, assuming that he's not just being a jerk, I tried to make light of his comment by stating that I'll take 3, in a joking way. Perhaps he can give me a quick description of its mechanics, health benefits, suggest something more affordable, or politely apologise that they only cater to that particular price range with a thankyou for my interest in their product? However this was met with the demand that I show him my credit card, followed by a remark that these chairs are meant for elderly people, with a very pronounced implication that I am not welcome. At this point I was very confused and felt no other option but to move on, confused as to why I had such hostility directed at me, and having learnt nothing of the product except that they (all chairs? some chairs? most expensive? cheapest?) cost $9000, the salespeople are rude, and that I must be at least 25 in order to buy one.

There are certainly situations where a younger person could be disrupting enough to warrant this kind of rudeness. However, in this case I did nothing more than walk into this display area before this was directed at me. I was left with a sour feeling and certainly the affirmation that I will avoid this company, and, although I will have rare opportunity, I will discourage anyone from buying from this company given the topic arises.

I'm giving this feedback only because I don't think that it's right at all that a person should be treated in such a way merely because they don't fit the targeted market. I also understand that a salesperson can have a bad day, as can anyone. However, there are certainly ways of dealing with a bad day, and that certainly does not include taking it out on an unlikely customer.

Another point of view. I discussed this on a forum, and one of the responses was:

From what I've read, it sounds like he was definitely rude but I also think it's understandable. Though, understandable and excusable are two different things.

To be honest, though, I do think you both look like teenagers. Or at least could pass as teens. I'd completely understand how someone would peg you off as another teenager who isn't serious about buying a chair and only wants to try them.

Considering that, also remember that your presence there may not have just seen by the salesperson as a waste of his time but as a discouraging presence among a target group. Remember that these rules of marketing were not simply created by the people who sell such products but by the consumers, themselves. Rich people don't want to shop where poor people shop, stuff like that. The salesperson may have wanted you out of there in case more serious shoppers wouldn't want to approach the vendor with you there.

1 comment:

  1. I am sorry to hear about your rude salesman. I have had similar things happen to me in the past. One person call really ruin the way you look at a company in the future. Please keep us updated when the company writes you back!

    Erik Bledsoe


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