West Bend tactics

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by hydrangea, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. hydrangea


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    Former Chef
    I know there is an old thread on this site about waterless cookware from West Bend, but I must share my recent experience.  I am a former chef and as such, was not interested in 'waterless' cooking'. I'm more inclined towards making perfect springrolls and pates than I am toward gimmic cookware.

    I also had been in sales early in my life, but I've never ever seen anything like the West Bend home sales tactics I experienced.

    I was somewhat cornered into a home sales demo. It would have been very awkward to refuse the invitation and the hostess was thinking about selling this stuff.  We sat thru 2 hours of sales pitch with no mention of cost.  On top of it, the presentation was full of ridiculous statements like 'if it isn't surgical steel you're being poisoned by your cookware".  Your cast iron - which I adore for a blazing sear on a steak or for seared scallops - is giving you iron that causes arthritis.  Furthermore, you don't care about your health if you don't use this cookware because even olive oil is dangerous, 'it changes when exposed to heat and gives you more cholesterol than other fats."  What????

    The sales person wanted to come to my home the very next day.  I was to be elsewhere and she was insistant.  She'd come after I got home.  I held firm and 2 days later she arrived with the hostess in tow for another sales job. Cooking stuff and having me do the same an insisting mine tasted different which flatly wasn't true - I have high quality stainless steel cookware.  Finally the cost.  Seven grand for the whole set, 5k and 3k for respective smaller collections.  I said no but I like the handy stainless electric cooker with a temp dial.  That was $850.  Not a chance, that's just insane - it better make me a drink for that kind of money. 

    On to getting names from me.  I refused.  She asked where I used to live and wanted names of former friends.  I refused more insistantly.  I finally bought a saute pan for $275 to get this woman out of my kitchen and it's terrible.  The handle gets blazing hot, it smokes and can't be cleaned.  It's the worst pan I own.

    What really kills me is that the hostess was so completely played by these people.  She's a cancer survivor and fell for the threat of every toxin this salesperson could scare her with.  That's just criminal.

    If someone invites you to a cool cooking demo at which you'll eat fabulous food, run.  Just run.
  2. michaelga


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    Retired Chef
    There are sadly several companies that spew this crap.   All of them the same - our steel is blah, blah blah...

    I'm less than polite when it comes to BS - I simply turned off the stove and said it's time for you to leave.

    They looked stunned... asked what was wrong, tried every sympathy game in the book.

    I refused to engage in any conversation and repeated cheerfully it's time for you to leave!

    The company was Saladmaster in my case... never heard such a crock of BS in my life.

    Amazingly they must catch a fair number of people - or else they'd be out of business.