Registered: May 2004
Originally posted by Fluffybear
We need the HR10-250 s/n on the receipt so please re-send me your receipt
with the s/n once you receive it.
I need the s/n for 2 reasons. First, DIRECTV will let me cancel my
commitment to purchase your HR10-250 with positive proof of purchase and in
many cases orders were not shipped and customers with canceled orders wanted
to reinstate the orders. It takes time and bank fees to credit and
re-charge, so I recommend you receive your order before we cancel it.
If you don't want to are unable to provide a receipt with the unit s/n we
can give you a store credit for the $100.00. Of course, we would prefer for
you to use your deposit to purchase a discounted accessory, but your
ultimate satisfaction is my primary goal.
Wow. I mean, Wow. After lurking here for several months I guess this is the first post that I just couldn't resist replying to.
First, an introduction is in order. I worked in the retail industry for over 15 years, and was a general manager at three different retail stores. I'm not going to to lie to you, the customer isn't "always right" like they say, but most of the time you want the customer to come back to the store on his own volition. When you make a mistake it's easy to think you'll be able to paper over it, but trust me, honesty is always the best policy because customers never forget, and they'll tell 10 of their friends to avoid your store if you leave them with the feeling they were wronged.
Having managed several "big box" stores, I have been following this Value Electronics pre-order story with great interest. The idea that the "little guy" can still make a living selling electronics out of his garage at high margin is alluring, if not overly quaint. In the beginning, things were good; communication channels were open, and most customers seemed quite pleased with their purchases. As time went on, though, the "little guy's" customer service department grew complacent; they stopped answering questions, stopped posting order status, and so far have racked up about 8 weeks of unexplained delays. Okay, supply problems happen with new products; you can't please everyone. This would have been a good time to publicly explain the delays (as best possible under the agreement with the distributor), offer a revised, accurate delivery schedule, and grant full unconditional refunds to anybody who was disappointed.
However, it looks as though the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction. Value Electronics instead has taken the hard-line approach of demanding "proof" in the form of a serialized receipt which most customers will not have, and putting the squeeze on customers to spend their hard-earned money on other items at the same store. Robert - this is not how you generate goodwill! The $50 profit you make off their $100 purchase (hint: your prices are nowhere near the competition) is the last revenue you'll ever see from all but the most die-hard customers. I realize you hate to part with their money, but it was never yours in the first place. If you counted your chickens before they hatched, admit it and move on. Credit is cheap; if you blew the pre-order money in Atlantic City, take out a loan and repay what you owe. Is your integrity worth $100?
I urge anybody reading this to take it from me, this is not how the retail business works. Most stores, big or small, will conduct themselves in an honest, forthright manner, because we managers do appreciate your business and won't sell you out for a small profit today. A few customers at each of the large chains are inevitably going to have problems with a transaction or two, but by and large most stores will accomodate you as well as they can. Value Electronics is unfortunately an exception to that rule, but I sincerely hope that through community pressure (or the realities of cutthroat competition) they can be brought into line with superior vendors such as Circuit City and Tweeter.
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