Tvsforsale hero
21 November 2014

Opinion: A tale of two pitches

Consumer's CEO has a cringeworthy shopping story.

Our bach was broken into last week. The only physical damage was a broken window and a nicked (oldish) TV. In the rush to get the TV out the window, the burglar forgot the remote. So if a Sony Bravia 32-inch turns up on Trade Me sans remote, you’ll know where it came from!

Never one to let bad news get to me, I decided there was nothing for it but to buy a new, much bigger TV. I consulted our recommendations, listed what we should look at and set forth.

A nice young man at Noel Leeming’s talked us into a 60-inch Samsung. Despite the fact he sat me in a massage chair to do the pitch, I took my own advice and before capitulating shopped around.

Next stop was Harvey Norman. A slicker young man tried to sell us a Panasonic. I know the brand makes good TVs, but thought I’d check out our own recommendations on mobile. This Panasonic was not cheap (the young man was happy to give us a deal). However, it didn’t rate well with Consumer. I pointed this out. Our salesman told me to disregard our ratings. Consumer was not very good on TVs, he said. I responded that I found that hard to believe, but he pushed on. I felt bound to stop him and tell him I was the CEO of Consumer.

He apologised, I accepted. Think no more about it I said as I determined we weren’t buying our tv there. He offered to sell the Samsung to us cheaper than the Noel Leeming price but we decided no. Then he completed his folly. He tried to sell us an expensive HDMI cable with talk of speed and quality. I didn’t even need to refer to my phone. I remember the photoshoot for the magazine when we rated HDMI cables. We used an expensive cable in the shape of a snake. That’s because our advice is not to be pressured into expensive cables as there is little to no difference between them and a cheap one.

The salesman’s job was complete. We bought our TV at Noel Leeming. We’ve been happy viewers for a week.

About the author:

Sue Chetwin has been our Chief Executive since April 2007 after more than 25 years in print journalism. She was formerly the Editor of Sunday News, Sunday Star Times and the Herald on Sunday. She says there are strong parallels between consumer advocacy and journalism.

Sue oversees all of Consumer’s operations and is also the public face of the organisation. Sue is a director of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, an alternate on the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commission and a member of the Electricity Authority Retail Advisory group.

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