|Excuse me are you listening? 6-21
Sunday, November 11, 2007
There are so many things that are necessary to talk about and misleading advertising is one of them. I try to read the Lansing State Journal almost every day. I consider them as one of my co-existers.
In the newspaper industry, some of the companies that I co-exist with peacefully are the Lansing State Journal and The City Pulse. I have met really wonderful people at both places. I appreciate journalism in all forms and most of the local industry has been supportive of me.
So this in no way is a knock towards a particular newspaper but I wanted to express my opinion about a particular advertisement that I read in the Lansing State Journal.
It was my fault, really. I should have known that when I read $49.99 that it had to be a scam but I needed my heat ducts cleaned. My office/home is over 100 years old and the heat ducts were cleaned about 3 years ago. I was desperate.
The top of the ad said “Rake in the Savings”. I need a savings. I mean bees are dying at an alarming rate. Which means that there are less bees to pollinate flowers, by the way, fruit and vegetables have flowers and that is only way they bear fruit.
Anyway, I'm trying to eat healthy and the fruit and vegetable prices are about to rise along with the gas prices, so I'm was attempting to rake in the savings.
I 'd seen the ad size of the ad grow from the Environmental Restoration & Cleaning company . With each passing month it got larger and larger. In my estimation, it meant that they were working and therefore could afford a bigger ad.
The ad showed what an unhealthy and dirty air duct looked like. The duct looked like the inside of a mining cave. It was pretty nasty looking. The thought of air blowing through your ducts with that level of dust stuck on the side was sure to have parents all over America distributing dust masks before and after the first time you turned on the heat. They showed a picture of the pristine cleaned duct afterward and it made you want to call them right away.
Couple that with the tagline “Musty odors when heat or A/C is running? Excess dust? Allergies? Asthma? Breathing problems?”
After reading that. I became a hypochondriac. I was seeing dust everywhere. There was dust on things I'd already dusted. The featured star of the ad was a dust mite magnified almost 300 times.
Even though dust mites cannot be seen by the naked eye. I tell you as you can see from the photo they look pretty ominous. Lined up side by side they could make a grown man shudder. The average bed could be the home of over 1 million dust mites.
The thought made my want to reach for my Colorox clean ups. It was grossing me out
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, dust mites are tiny insects that are invisible to the naked eye. Every home has dust mites. They feed on human skin flakes and are found in mattresses, pillows, carpets, upholstered furniture, bedcovers, clothes, stuffed toys and fabric and fabric-covered items.
Every time I looked at a picture of the dust mite, my face would contort as though I were eating brussel sprouts ( I really don't like brussel sprouts). My mental state was in a frenzy over the dust mites. The microscopic enemy was messing with my mental.
I had to do something. So I called Environmental Restoration & Cleaning. I had no other choice. I was totally freaking out. As most of you would do, I made the call. The appointment setter was cordial and I smiled because I could get the perfect appointment, which was the next day. I mean my house was being invaded by dust mites and I needs to cleanse my soul and my house of course.
Promptly, the next morning my appointment and my guys were there right on time. I had dreams about the dust mites as one would have after watching the movie “The Blob”.
If you have never seen it, I suggest that you rent it. Or as a matter of fact just buy the movie, it is the best scary movie of all time. Set in 1958 but it was the best. It is a cult classic.
All right, yes, I'm a little over the top but what do you expect after you have seen a microscopic dust mite that has been amplified a hundred times. If I were a screenwriter, I would have done a movie entitled “The Dust Mite”.
So after a night of being paranoid about the dust mite invasion, I woke up with the satisfaction that I would be worry free. I would rake in the savings, because I had less than 8 vents and yes, I had a single family home.
The as also said that I would have protective coverings (I still don't know who or what was supposed to be covered), high powered HEPA filtered cleaning units, trained and certified technicians and a knowledgeable staff. I was batting a thousand.
Two representatives came to the front door, they had driven in an unmarked van which gave me a sense of “who are these people” and guy in the front had the “I think you're dumber than a box of rocks” look on his face as he told me how young I looked. I thought that line is not going to work. The guy in the back of him had the “I just work here” look on his face.
Take a class in body language and no one needs to open their mouth. My office became a stage for a sales opportunity. My sales person was sort of rude but in a nice way. Basically, he was trying to scare me into the “whole package” be he couldn't start the process without me signing the paperwork. I thought, “Wow, that was quick.” To make a long story short, he went from $49.99 to over $500.00. How could a company come into your home offering a $49.99 service knowing that most homes have more than 1 return or main. In really small print at the bottom it says that mains are $50.00 extra and returns $15.00. I supposedly had more mains and returns than the normal house.
My head was swimming and I called my husband, Frank and informed him of what was going on. The service guy was moving papers off of my couch to park his behind. I did not originally offer him a seat.
Frank was on the phone asking me how they came up with the figure, the blowers from the machine were shaking, I had a client in my office and I was about to pull my hair out.
The other representative was busy doing the $49.99 part, which just consists of vacuuming. He said that he would be upset to if someone did that to him but that he just started working there.
When I told them to hit the door. I felt my self breathing a little better. I was still in shock from the attempt to sell me a $500.00 package from people who could barely complete the $49.99 job.
I was cured of my dust mite anxiety. I was so angry. But at least I’m not dreaming about dust mites today.
Please pray for my family in New York. I again would like to thank all of the people who supported us in our time of need. We have learned a lot about ourselves, our father and most of all you. Thank you.