So, last night I got a call from a young woman wanting to talk to Ashley. This is not an unusual occurrence so I handed the phone over to her thinking it was one of her friends. It wasn’t. It was a sales call from a place called Sorenson Senior Portraits, they are located here in Portland and have sent us several mailings about their services.
About two minuets into the phone call Ash started looking really confused. She said something like, “I think you really want to be talking to my mom.” Then she handed the phone to me. The girl on the phone identified herself — which she hadn’t when I first answered the phone . Apparently this company calls teens, tells them all about their “portrait program” and then (once the teen is excited about this) talks to the parents to close the deal. This is the absolutely slimiest sales practice I can imagine. It is akin to a car deal calling and getting my teen all excited about the “first car” program and then expecting me to foot the bill.
I explained to the sales girl that I think selling a service to a minor who is not paying for that service is a really scummy business practice. She obviously didn’t get this, she said twice “Well, I wasn’t meaning to offend you.” NO… really?? I thought she had called obviously to offend me. *eye roll* No, I get that she wasn’t trying to offend me she was trying to sell their “photography program”. That wording seemed a bit confusing to me. I asked what was their “program” was, thinking maybe they had a special program for student photographers who worked with them… no, no, no it was just their sales package, the typical “no sitting fee” thing. I also thought it was fishy that the girl on the phone kept mentioning that someone at Ashley’s school had “referred” her name to them as someone who would be really a great person for them to take pictures of. Now I am familiar with the business practice of asking for referrals. I have done it myself, but I willing to bet that most teens don’t think in terms of business referrals, but instead are thinking that a friend recommends this company. The wording felt sort of deceptive, not that I was in a mind to cut them any slack at that point.
Well, at least I know one place I can cross off my list when looking for senior portraits for Ashley.