Last month I got a phone call from a company wanting me to take part in a brief survey about the air quality in my home. I took the survey in the hopes of being able to pull some sort of phone pranks like I did last year but the questions were pretty vanilla and there wasn’t even a sales pitch to go along with it. Two weeks ago I got a phone call from the FiltroPur air purifiication company thanking me for taking part in the survey and offering me a home demonstration of their fine air purification products and in return for my time I’d get a $100 gas card! I liked the idea of getting $100 for an hour’s non-work so I scheduled the demonstration for Monday since I was taking Thanksgiving week off from work.
Meet Sandra, the FiltroPur demo lady and her laser particle counter which told me I had a quarter million particles per cubic foot of air in my house!
The demo was scheduled for 1:00 and at 1:30 I got a call from Sandra the demo lady to let me know that she was at the front door (for inquiring minds, yes I do have a doorbell). I turned off the rerun of Walker, Texas Ranger I was watching and let Sandra and her two large cases in the house. Daisy and Baxter barked and howled for a few minutes at this intrusion but quickly calmed down and settled down to watch the demo with me.
Sandra exchanged some pleasantries with Daisy and Baxter and myself and then got right down to business. She sent up a couple of test balloons by asking if anyone in the house smoked or had allergies which I parried by answering no. Sandra was ready for that and launched into a talk about how the air inside houses is more polluted than the air outside the home. The she plugged in a laser particle counter which told me there were a quarter of a million particles of different kinds in every cubic foot of air in my house. I assumed it was a high number because of the dogs, cats, birds, and rabbits but Sandra said that the number was low and that some of the houses have half a million particles per cubic foot. Sandra started talking about all the different kinds of particles in the house. I must have flinched when she mentioned dust mites because she stopped listing the different particles and mentioned how nasty dust mites were and that morning breath and tired eye were caused by inhaling dust mites overnight and having them land around my eyes and start crawling inside. Dust mites must be a pretty common ‘flinch’ line because Sandra had a picture of dust mites enlarged over 1,000 times and showed off her knowledge of dust mite trivia by telling us that dust mites defecate 20 times a day, a fact which impressed Daisy and Baxter greatly.
I was thoroughly disgusted by the thought of breathing in all these dust mites and having them defecating on my eyeballs while I was sleeping and considering building myself a bubble to live out the rest of my days when Sanda told me that FiltroPur had a solution – The FiltroPur SFS (Sanitizing Filtration System). What looked like a cheap plastic air cleaner that was sold at Wal-Mart for $59 was really a hospital grade FDA approved particle remover that could clean 1000 cubic feet in just a few minutes with a very fancy looking metallic filter and a lifetime warranty that was valid as long as you purchased a $129 filter every year. Sandra proceeded to plug in the laser particle counter again and put it right next to the SFS which registered less than 1000 particles per cubic foot!
I asked how much the SFS cost not so I could buy one but so I could say I couldn’t afford it and get my gas card but Sandra said she couldn’t tell me the price until she showed me two other products. One was the Enviro-Breeze furnace filter that would make the air coming out of my furnace super clean and only cost $149 and never need replacing and the other was the FiltroPur Commercial vacuum cleaner which Sandra demonstrated by vacuuming dirt through a filter using every one of the eight attachments that came with the machine and then pulling out the filter.
Once Sandra had finally finished with all the air purification and vacuuming, it was finally time for the prices. The SFS and the Commercial cost $1899 each BUT I could buy three of the units for the price of two ($3798) and four for the low, low price of $5048 that was good only during Sandra’s visit.
Despite the sales pitch, I still wasn’t buying any air filtration products so Sandra played her final card and showed me the three easy payment options for the $3798 two unit package. There was the ‘Budget’ plan where you pay $4,789 over 3 years, the ‘Economy’ plan where you pay $4,624 over 2 years, and the ‘Executive’ plan which costs $4,348 over 1 year. I noticed that there was no plan that allowed for a cash payment so I offered up the ‘Buffett’ plan where you can pay the full price right away. Sandra said she would bring that idea to her bosses and offered to let me pay the full price right away. I declined and Sandra packed up the SFS, the Enviro-Breeze, and the Commercial and put them all back into her car and returned with my $100 gas card.
Except it wasn’t a $100 gas card. It was a card that had a registration form that I had to fill out and mail in and THEN after 8 to 10 weeks I’ll get a voucher for $10 dollars that I have to mail in with a gas receipt to get a check AND THEN I can mail away for another voucher and EVEN THEN I can only redeem one voucher every 30 days. So it will take over a year to get my $100 in free gas if nothing gets lost in the mail.
When is a $100 gas card not a $100 gas card? When it is a card offering 10 $10 gas vouchers with 19 rules and regulations. It was enough to make these turkeys happy that Thanksgiving was just around the corner.
In this scene from classic movie 'The Punisher', our hero Frank Castle liberates the ill-gotten gains from the company that preys on the innocents that host air-filtration demonstrations in the expectation of getting a $100 gas card only to be given phony instructions for time-wasting vouchers....