I am thinking that to be as good at sales prevention as some companies are, and still exist, it is because they have a monopoly or near monopoly, or their entire competitor base operates the same way.
Today’s sales prevention example, which is stunning in so many ways, is Comcast.
I recently needed to add Comcast service at a new address. I am not currently a Comcast customer. Being thoroughly up to date, I went to the comcast.com web site to see how to get new service. Turns out you can’t. Their website apparently is focused only on existing customers, or people looking for a store. I finally decided to chat with someone and they were able to give me a phone # to call.
That person was quite helpful and told me I could have their 1G service at the new address. That was awesome since AT&T was offering 18MB at the same location. (I am thinking that is just a bit over dial-up speed). Got all signed up.
The next day, late in the day I got a vm message telling me they had a question about the address, and I needed to call. I did, pushed 1 for service since that was the instruction if they had called you. Phone went silent for over a minute. Hung up, tried again. Same result.
Next call I tried acting as if I was a new customer, thinking they might actually care about that (despite how difficult it is to find a # to call them if you actually are a new customer). Got a great young woman on the phone who proceeded to tell me I had no order in their system and that clearly I had talked to a 3rd party provider who had not entered my order correctly. I told her that wasn’t actually possible since I had an email from them. Anyway she decided to re-enter my order and advised that 1G service was not available at the address but I could have 250MB (400MB also not available). Disappointed was I, but still better than 18MB, she signed me up, gave me the same appointment I had before from the fake Comcast person, sent me my confirmation emails; and all done.
Today, I decided to go online and look at my account and see what was going on. Can’t access my online account. No reason given, just can’t. So I decided maybe it wasn’t set up yet so I tried to set one up. I end up in a loop asking me to create a password, that never seems to take but does not give me a message about why.
So, I call them (I have a # now). Talk to a guy on the phone who advises that you can’t set up an account without actual Comcast equipment, which I won’t have until installation.
Seriously, if these people actually had to compete with a real competitor they’d be all done. But they don’t, so they aren’t.
Do you have that luxury? I doubt it, so make sure your “sales prevention department” is not in action.