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Don't fall prey to scare tactics

October 29, 2015

“What if it breaks? Can you really afford to buy a new one right away?”

“Isn’t it important to you? It’s your sole communication for friends, family and business.”

“How would you manage even a few days without it?”

“Your life is on that phone. Your pictures, your contacts list. Think about it.”

These are sales-pitch scare tactics. Blood-red flags, purposely exaggerated and preying upon your emotions in order to close a sale and make money off you. At Upsie, we’re working to change the warranty industry for the better, and this type of sales pitch is yet another facet that we think needs a revamp.

Scare tactics are a type of fear-based advertising used to manipulate you into buying coverage you may not even need. These exaggerations are often repeated throughout the sales pitch in different forms to heighten your fears and influence you into making a decision based in emotions rather than solid reasoning.

I find this particularly repellent and unethical because our smartphones, electronics and appliances are often really big-ticket purchases for us. They’re crazy expensive. We’ve worked hard to afford them, and here someone is threatening our feelings of security with the idea it could all be torn away. It’s blatant manipulation, and your decisions should be something you feel informed and empowered about making, not something based in the negative emotions of fear just to close the deal. Plus, it turns what should have been an exciting purchase into a stressful situation.

I want to encourage you all to watch for these tactics in sales. Recognize them and realize that this person is attempting to scare you into a decision likely because what they’re offering you doesn’t have real value (and is likely overpriced). If it did, they would just provide you with rational, positive points that clearly demonstrate why it’s a good decision. And once we’re all wise to these tactics, we can collectively say “enough!” and hopefully eliminate this behavior in the industry.

How to resist:

• Be informed from the get-go. Be aware of scare tactics and sales pitches.
• Take time to think it over. Depending on the product you’re purchasing, you have between 30-60 days to make a decision. In some cases, like with Upsie, you have up to 9 months for smartphones.
• Review competitive pricing. Keep all the info on hand. Use your waiting period to check competitor offerings and prices. For reference, we keep a chart of current pricing for our and other warranty providers on the homepage of our website.
• Read the fine print. Always review the terms and conditions provided to you. Know when you have the right to cancel and how long you have to cancel coverage.

The bottom line? It doesn’t have to be a scary or stressful experience. Because we should all be able to afford protection for the stuff that’s important to us, and the process should be simple and fun.

Clarence Bethea, CEO


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