Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Note to all customers requesting exchange before their board has arrived for service

It is hard to please everyone.

Wait, I take that back.

It is impossible to please everyone.

Customers who send in boards for repair frequently email us after purchase asking that we send them already serviced boards back before their arrive. Some of them want it because they want to watch the Sunday game others want it because they have customers on their own who want to watch the Sunday game.

But there's also a third kind : those who want to get rid of their trashed board and want to get a replacement before we see that it's been trashed.

This week alone I had to deal with two of these. It takes a lot of time, it is annoying and it inevitably results in recording a loss - financial and emotional.

I am not making this up. Currently there is a case escalated to eBay to resolve a claim by user aguilar35domingo against CoppellTVRepair because we did not sent them a different board than the one that they sent. It was the dirtiest board I have ever seen and if there is anything that I am sorry for it is that I took the challenge and restored it in the first place. So after restoring it, testing it and sending it back, CoppellTVRepair received positive feedback and then - guess what - an open case.

And yesterday another claim was opened by user jgul1717 complaining he hasn't received a board just yet when his own was on its way. Today the board arrived and I may post a picture of it later on, even though I am not sure I'll be able to catch what is needed. Long story short, someone with a VERY BIG and VERY HOT solder iron has re-soldered most joints under the board, resulting in a complete mess and several burned tracks.

Those are two cases which - for the time being - Bay counts against our TopRated rating even though we have made it very clear in the listings (and it is very untuitive) that we are not wiling to exchange good serviced boards for tempered ones.

Also this week a customer from Jersey asked that I send him a board in advance. We have spoken on the phone earlier in the week and I stated our policy, but he kept on pressing so I eventually said "OK, send me a tracking number and I'll see what I can do". I know I said that because I was very clearly aware I did not want to make a firm promise that I might not be able to fulfil.
Anyway, today customer called and was upset the board wasn't yet sent. Truth is it wasn't because I had to deal with cases practically identical with his one.

The difference is in the sender - this NJ cusomer is most likely a decent and honest person, maybe just as you are - but the case under which we operate is practically the same.

You see, we can't judge people unless we kno them very well. And, take it from me, even then when money are involved. But that's another story.

What I am trying to say is that when there is uncertainty and very objective considerations in place then the best way to go is to stick by the rules that a deal has been signed over.

That would result in slower, but more reliable business. We may lose the NJ customer because they may feel we did not make an extra leap for them. Even though I had to - and did - rush today to get the cutoff time for UPS to send their particular board so that it leaves today and not tomorrow.

If that's the way then so be it. We'll fulful the deal arrangement at least as good as it was listed and if you are unhappy then please refrain from doing a business with us for the future.

If you've already placed an order call us and if possible we will stop it and refund you.

To some long-time customers we will make exceptions, of course. And assume the risk.
Please do not be offended if  you are not considered a long time customer on your second order.
It is exceptions we are talking about here, not rules for long-time customers.

One popular and simple approach to receiving a board in advance is to pay a purchase (and not service) price for a board, then send the core in and receive credit when it arrives and passes inspection that it hasn't been tempered with.

We did that a few times and haven't had problems this far. I'd be interested to hear if you like the approach, but I can immediately point a few drawbacks:
- it requires supply of cores that can be serviced and turned into boards to sell. Not everyone will be sending in their core and not every returned core will pass the inspection
- selling full price board has disadvantages for placing in search engines

In conclusion...we are here to help you, our customer.
And even though it may seem contrary at first, keeping the rules that build the foundation of the business is more important than groing the business.


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