Our family has been in the Swimming Pool Business for 60 years and in that time we have seen many changes both good & bad. We have built almost every type pool construction there is, both In-Ground & Above Ground and pioneered many innovations in the industry. That being said, there are some things that never seem to change. One of those is the “Bait & Switch”.
What is the Bait & Switch strategy?
The ‘Bait & Switch” is and has been used in the pool industry for as long as we can remember, and is not the only industry that uses some variation for the same purpose.
A bait and switch strategy is when a company advertises a pool (or other product / service ) for a very low price and then switches to a more expensive price once a customer demonstrates an interest to purchase. It’s a commonly understood as an unethical practice.
Typically, when the salesperson comes and the presentation begins, the low price option that you called on is not available or they tell you it is not a good pool and proceed to offer another option. That option is usually 10 to 40 times more expensive than the one you inquired about in the ad. This is where the “Bait & Switch” gets its name, “Bait” you with the low advertised price and then “Switch” you to the expensive option.
How the bait and switch tactic has evolved
This is most likely not the end of the deception, there is more to follow. The next gimmick usually goes something like this “Being that you are our first customer in the area, we are going to give you and additional discount if you will agree to showcase your pool”. The discount is usually several thousand dollars, which appears to be a bargain and is accompanied with a low down payment with the balance being financed.
This most likely sounds very attractive, but don’t fall for it.
More times than not, the great deal “discounted” price is still more than you would pay for a similar product from a reputable local company. We have heard this scenario endless times and after hearing it again last week, decided we would write a blog to help educate & warn potential pool buyers of this practice so they could avoid making this common mistake.
Fortunately, the person found our website and liked what they saw and contacted us to see what the price of our pool was in comparison to what they had purchased. Upon hearing the price, they told us it was the last day of their 3 day cancelation clause and they were going to cancel the contract. Then they explained the whole “Bait & Switch” story of how a $399.00 pool advertisement turned into an over $12,000.00 quote with a sleezy “Showcase Discount”.
Look for a customer-centric pool company
My parent’s original business is still going strong and is now owned by my brother. They built their company on the principals of treating customers like they would like to be treated and always strived to provide the best product at a fair price. They never used misleading tactics to lure people in and then switch them into a more expensive sale. They built a company name that has endured 60 years by being honest and respecting their customers knowing they could purchase a pool elsewhere and the best way of long term success is Happy Customers!
Crestwood Pools, Inc. is an offshoot of our parents’ long standing presence in the pool industry. Please read “The Crestwood Story” on our website with the same philosophy. Crestwood has become the leader in high quality, attractive & affordable Above Ground Pools with some of the most innovative options that were only available on much higher priced In-Ground Pools. Crestwood’s unique solid wood construction coupled with our In-Ground knowledge and “Think Outside the Box” ability has produced the Ultimate On Ground Pool. We have been providing families around the World with unsurpassed quality and innovation for over 30 years. Although we have been copied, we are never duplicated in Product Quality, Workmanship, Innovation, Manufacturing Technology, Guarantee/Warranty or Customer Service.
Crestwood Pool’s goal is and always will be to educate a potential customer with truth & facts so they can compare and make an educated buying decision, even if that means not purchasing our product. We will never use ‘Bait & Switch“ tactics to lure people in and then take advantage of them. Our products speak for themselves and our Happy Customers speak for our company!
Final thoughts on buying a swimming pool
A pool can be major investment and should be treated as such. Like any major purchase, our goal should always be to get the best quality and long term value for our hard earned dollar. Don’t be fooled or pressured by BS Salesmanship or fictitious sales.
When it comes to purchasing a pool, remember that although it may already be hot and the kids are driving Mom crazy and Mom is driving Dad crazy, this is an investment that should bring years of fun & pleasure to the entire family and doing your homework and not “Jumping In” pun intended, is the smart choice. If you have to wait a little longer for a better product that will provide the best long term value, the wait is worth it. Being hasty can lead to a situation you may regret, which can be avoided by waiting a few more weeks or waiting another year to make the best buying decision.
Ask yourself, how long have we not had a pool and is it that important to have one right now, without really doing your research and rushing into it?
We don’t think so and hope this article has brought some clarity into your pool shopping endeavor and are happy to answer any questions. Call us at 607-786-0010.