Tuesday, November 16, 2010

An Encounter

A while ago, I was in Megamall to shop for some gift when suddenly I remember a friend’s experience who was lured to listen to a 45-minute discussion about saving money.

I made them lure me also just so I can observe their marketing strategy. Here are my observations.

1. The inviter initially asked me if I use credit card. I said, no. Then he followed the question, “How about an ATM?” I said, yes!

Having a credit card or an ATM is a must! For their promotion they say.

2. The inviter told me I am qualified to win their raffle promo. He made me sign a piece of paper and asked some few questions and then discussed the mechanics.

He was a fast talker. I hardly understand what he was saying. I made him repeat.

3. He made me understand that he will not sell insurance to me. He will just give me a chance to win a brand new car!

The car was placed in front of their office. I wonder if anybody had won the contest already. To win the car one must play a slot machine type of game matching 8 numbers.

4. I told him I was not interested about the promo but I want to know more about their company. He made me enter an office.

They are always talking about their promotion. They are not there to sell insurance but to enlist me for their promo. And they will give me a freebie as part of their promotion provided that I have a minimum balance of 20,000php in my account at that moment.

5. Since I don’t own a credit card they want to know if I have more than 20,000php in my savings account. They want me to hand them my receipt which I forbid.

Nobody, over my dead body, should know how much I have in my ATM. I was furious about the idea. They want me to check my account balance right there and then and then show them my receipt. My boyfriend doesn’t even know how much I have in my account. They kept on insisting but I refused.

Funny thing was, one lady (who is wearing the same uniform as the others) heard about the commotion and kept signaling me not to let them see my account. She kept on shaking her head. Even their co-worker disagree about the idea.

6. A certain Roland discusses to me about the company. He showed me their business permits, the owner of the company and boasted about their superbrand award.

Any business can have a business permit. Don’t boast about it. I don’t know the “Superbrand” award. I’m sorry.

7. Roland discussed to me the importance of saving money. But he was certain that their product may not make you rich but at least you’ll have a fallback.

I’m glad he was honest that their product will not make me rich. That was an honest answer from an agent.

8. Roland finished the one-hour presentation with their endowment product. The only product they offer.

The insurance company has been in the industry for 47years. I wonder what their actuaries are doing? They only have one(1) product and it is way way over priced. Imagine, you will pay almost 1Million pesos to be covered with 1.5Million pesos only? If I were the client I would have invested 1M in stock market and let it grow at 12% interest giving me more.

Other observations:

Roland kept on congratulating me as if I won a contest. He also tapped me several times to attract my attention. I was distracted by the client on the other table. The presenter was almost howling at the man because he was not paying attention. I even told Roland about it. He simply said "That's the way she talks." When he noticed that I was really distracted, he transfered me to another table away from the distraction.

Towards the end of the discussion I found out that Roland is afraid of my ball pen because I write on his paper. His gesture sent a negative message to me. Was he forbidding me to write on his paper? Was he forbidding me to compute? FYI, I computed his product in front of him. He doesn't even know the total amount of his product when he was telling me that it's a model product. When I asked him what is his plan, he boasted about his 175K worth of insurance. My jaw dropped in amazement because earlier he told me he is the bread winner of the family. He just ended the conversation with, "At least there is something!"

I did not get any freebie nor i was able to play the slot machine. But at the end of the day I made two souls realize the importance of financial education.

~till then

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