Thursday, May 6, 2010

Meat: It's NOT What's for Dinner, OR, You Can Call Me "Tenacious See"

Sorry I’ve been AWOL all week. This has been the longest I’ve gone without blogging and I’ve missed you!

We’ve been working on figuring out more details about what’s going on with Molly health-wise. This has involved missed work and medical tests. There have also been some sleepless nights hanging out with her on the couch watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition. I cry every time I watch, do you? None of these sleepless nights has involved my breastfeeding her.

I’ve been meaning to share with you a happy postscript to my meat-buying saga. To refresh your memory, I went from mild-mannered mama to raging carnivore when two shady characters showed up in my driveway at dinnertime offering meaty morsels for me to buy. They used some pretty strong sales tactics. I fell for them, and was soon the not so proud owner of $739.00 “worth” of meat. Yikes.

I am happy to report, that against all odds, I received a full refund from the company, Capital Meats Incorporated!

I put their real name here not to brag about their stellar customer service, but rather because the meat is gone, the refund check has cleared, and I want to help prevent my brothers and sisters in blogland from following in my gullible footsteps. If this shows up on Google, so be it.

The hoops I jumped through to get a refund were numerous, and much of the time I felt hopeless and vulnerable. Certified letters to P.O. boxes in one state, unanswered emails, full voice mailboxes in another state, and out of service phone numbers were commonplace. There were many layers to keep me from ever encountering a real person in management of Capital Meats, Incorporated. I was THIS CLOSE to giving up.

I am convinced that if all of my correspondence had not included the credentials of the man I occasionally sleep with, who has the letters JD after his name, it all would be for naught. I documented every single effort I made, but if they had not eventually given in and picked up the meat, I was out of options. The Better Business Bureau is rife with complaints about this company, but there is no real physical location, and the salespeople are very hard to find.

Since this event, I have talked to others who have been pressured in similar ways. Perhaps it is by the flocks of magazine sellers each spring involved in programs that “turn the lives of youth around.” I heard one “promising” youth call my neighbor a f-ing b* last year when she didn’t buy a magazine. Lovely.

Maybe it’s a tree trimmer

Or it could be my former furnace guy, who told me my furnace was from 1970 and needed replacing when it clearly manufactured in 1996.

I do not mean to disparage those who offer services to make an honest living. I truly respect people who can do the myriad things I can’t.

I guess I just want to remind us to be wary of hard sell practices. If someone needs you to make a decision TODAY, you might want to think twice. If someone says he did work for your neighbors, look into it. Take a deep breath. Sleep on it. It’s your home and your money.

You are the consumer and you have a right to make an informed decision. Don’t feel bad if someone has spent time explaining a product to you and you decide to decline. Reputable salespeople and contractors know that taking the time to talk to potential clients may not pay off in a sale now, but it could bear fruit later.

Be honest when you decline, but don’t provide excuses. An excuse is an invitation to a slick salesperson to pick apart your reasons bit by bit. When the men came to pick up the meat and I was alone I felt intimidated. “Won’t you reconsider? Can't we work this out? We are just going to have to throw all this away!” they said.

I had already chosen my mantra and repeated it calmly. “I changed my mind” was all I said, quietly and firmly. I didn't disparage their products or complain about their tactics. I didn't blame it on my husband, or say it was too expensive. My thought: Keep it simple-- you just can’t argue with a woman changing her mind.

Thanks so much for all your kind words about my crazy meat crisis. Now I’m off to the grocery store—I have an empty freezer to fill.


Kristina P. said...

I like to think I'm assertive and will stand my ground, but it is HARD sometimes!

Nichole@40daysof said...

I hope Molly is going to be okay. And congratulations on your meat victory!

EatPlayLove said...

I've been accosted by the truck driving meat man with the left over meat from my neighbor's broken down freezer. Guess what, I told him I was a vegetarian.

I was back in 1993.

Shana said...

I am so impressed that you got a refund. Yay you. I am inspired to be much less of a quitter next time I am faced with a similar situation. And keeping good health thoughts for your girl and I hope that you figure out what's going on soon so you can get her back in action before you have to start nursing. Because, ew. xox

dearheart said...

You go girl! Love it, that you simply said, "I CHANGED MY MIND." Period. So happy this saga is over for you.

Gretchen said...

SHWEW. That is a relief.

I NEVER buy anything unless it's from someone I know. Like, the neighbor kid across the street, for example.

Even with them, I often say no. And if I say yes, it's because I really want something, not out of pity. Kids are always peddling the fund-raiser crap. I can only say yes so many times, ya know? And I hope other people in the neighborhood do the same for my kids. I don't want them to feel pressured! We're all adults. Just say no if you don't want it.

I know, easy to preach. But really, my husband NEVER buys anything so I consider myself one notch nicer than him. It's not too bad!!!

Unknown said...

Good for you! Perseverance pays off once again. Wish I'd read this before my "friend" from church tried to repay a kindness we'd done her by giving us a puppy! While we love dogs, we don't want to actually own one. After 3 days, we knew we couldn't keep him. Luckily, true friends of ours have an aging Jack Russell and were considering getting another dog. Everybody's happy now (including the puppy!).

L said...

Yay! Score one for Tenacious See! I am happy to hear about the meat resolution, and hope Molly is feeling MUCH better!

TheLab said...

Praise God!!! Seriously, I'm so thankful that He got you your money back! WAY TO BE TENACIOUS!!!

I've had to fight things before - and it's hard. And I'm always this close to giving up, like with our mortgage company last year - the Barkleys against Bank of America... it took SO much work and tears. And eventually, the BBB came through like a knight on a white horse. It was so triumphant!

GREAT JOB, ANNA! And you've also added a new dimension to your personality - a new assertivness to sales tactics. Excellent!

sanjeet said...

congratulations on your meat victory!
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Deidra said...

Just stopping by to say Happy Mothers Day. Enjoy your (meatless) celebration!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I love it. And I pity the next sales weasel to cross your path...

vawriter said...

Yay for you, Anna! Now there's room for ICE CREAM in there!

I hate,hate,hate high pressure sales. When my partner and i were in the antiques business, we would often talk peoplee out of things if we honestly didn't think they would work for them. "Oh, I don't think that table is sturdy enough to hold a TV." No wonder we went belly up.

I CHANGED MY MIND--love this mantra! Can I use it? ;-)

for a different kind of girl said...

I LOATHE those meat truck men! The experiences I've had with them have been nothing but rude, and that doesn't take into account the way I've reacted when they tossed the first rude bomb! I'm thrilled you got your victory!

Now, would you mind taking on a certain door-to-door vacuum company that has darkened my door no less than FOUR times this week alone?! I'm still suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from the first and last experience I had with them more than 8 years ago! Last night's poor victim kept trying to sway me to just listen to his pitch (which he said would last 20 minutes, but slipped up later - LATER! GAH! - and said would take two hours!), but I was shaking so badly by the time I got him and his cohort out the door I wanted to scream or cry!

::deep breath::


All that said, hooray for you! Now, I hope you figure out what's ailing Molly so all is right in your world!

Katherine said...

Anna -- You are my hero! That's awesome that you were able to get a full refund from such a shady company. Kudos to you. You should have been a lawyer! ;)

Heidi said...

Great advice. I have said no to people selling things before. It's tough to say no, but I've realized that not being able to buy something or simply not wanting to is okay. Somehow me telling myself that 'it's okay' has really helped me to stand my ground and there is only a hint of guilt until they leave my driveway and then that guilt disappears.

I hope you get to the bottom of what's going on with Molly soon. All the best to her.

the Hawks said...

I found this, I was so intrigued by your experience:

Well done (no pun intended!).

Christy said...

Bravo to you! BIG CHEER!!!

And, I hope your daughter is feeling better...I'm praying for her to feel 100% again sooner than later - poor thing!

Tracie said...

Woo-hoo! Glad you got your refund. I hope Molly is well soon.

EarthShines Arts said...

I was just scammed by the same company / independent salesmen ! I sent a certified letter right away to the PO Box in Virginia. I'll feel wonderful IF I get a refund, I'm afraid I won't. :(