We had someone in Home Depot ask us if we wanted to get our water tested, and we were curious, so we said yes. The person in Home Depot said it was a company affiliated with Home Depot doing the water testing, not Home Depot themselves. The company that came to our house was Tri-State Water, Power, and Air, and they came tonight.
They said the test would take about an hour to do. They ran through a bunch of different things, like showing us how soft/hard the water is, the impurities in it, etc. She talked about all the products that are used to deal with all the impurities (fabric softener, laundry detergent, lotion, conditioner, etc.), and how those are not needed anymore if you have the right kind of water.
So after about a 2 hour demonstration of all this (along with showing us the system they have, and how it is much better), we were convinced that we should get something like it. Then she starts talking about their product, which is called RainSoft Solution. It’s around this point in time that I realized it was going to be one of those “buy it now to get this great deal” type of sales pitches. But I thought this was a good product, and was willing to pay a reasonable price for it. This was different to me than most of those sales pitches. She worked with us to estimate how much we spend on all those products listed above that would no longer be needed, and it came out to about $30/mo (which fits right in line with how much I budget for them every month).
Then it comes to the price of their product. $6400 to buy the product and get it installed. Oh, but they would give us a 6 year supply of a better, organic version of all those products listed above, which she claimed to be an $81/mo value (don’t ask me how it’s so much different from what we’re currently paying for the same stuff). But we’d only get the free household products if we purchased it tonight. Yeah, a $6400 decision is fully expected to be made within a 2 1/2 hour timeframe.
So I was totally honest with her. I told her that I think they have a great product, but I can’t make a $6400 decision in one night. I said something like this: “So I think you have a great product, but I can’t make a decision that involves this much money in one night. I like to research everything that costs that much before I buy it. I mean, how do I know that there’s not a competitor of yours that does not have the overhead costs of going from home to home that sells the product for $3000?”
I think it was at this point that she realized we were smarter than her average household, because she started packing her things up. She realized we weren’t going to be buying tonight, and explained that we could always purchase it later at the same price, but we wouldn’t get the free 6 year supply of cleaning products. So she packed everything up and started heading out the door when I asked her if she had any information about the company she worked for (because she didn’t leave us a way to get back in touch with her). She said she didn’t have anything other than a business card, which she gave to me at that point in time. The business card had her first name on it (no last name) and was printed on a home computer.
So, like any budget-minded person would do, I immediately went to Google after she left, and looked for “RainSoft water reviews.” Guess what I found. A lot of unhappy customers. I read review after review about how they are pushy to try to make a sale, how they do anything possible to not let you return it once you say you want it, and every once in a while a good comment about how it’s a great system but way overpriced. Almost everyone said you could find something just as good but much cheaper, which was my gut feeling as well.
Never make a major purchase decision on the spot. It is almost always a bad idea. Anything that is semi-major of a purchase (let alone $6400) requires research and patience. If you feel pressured into buying something, just say no. You’ll almost always regret it later if you don’t.
I am convinced that we should do something to get better water, but I know it’s not going to be using RainSoft’s products. We learned some stuff from her, but will find something that is a little more practical (and won’t pressure us into buying it). Oh well, at least we got a $20 gift card to Home Depot.
Update: We ended up getting a Whirlpool water softener from Lowes for $400, and installed it ourselves. It works great, and uses very little salt. We’ve had it for a little over a year now. We probably add a bag of salt every 2-3 months.