If a customer cannot get your product working, it’s your problem to solve
Hour ago I went to a local store that sells DVDs, televisions, computers and other products like that. I went there to return a movie that was not working: our DVD player could not play the sounds correctly. As a dedicated Terence Hill & Bud Spencer fan I had tried replacing the movie to a new disc (same movie though) about a week ago.
I went to the store and explained that I had bought the DVD couple of weeks ago, and that my DVD player could not play the sounds. I also told them that they had tested the DVD with me in the store last week and it worked fine here. The problem seemed to be that for some reason my DVD player could not play this specific movie properly (and for the record: I had purchased several other Terence Hill & Bud Spencer movies from this store in the past, and all those worked fine). I asked if I could change this DVD to some other movie.
The answer was ‘No’.
The saleswoman started explaining something about company policies and whatever and I interrupted her. I said “Let me get this straight… I have bought a wide screen television and the DVD player from you, and also about 50 DVDs in the past – all have worked fine. And now, last week I came here and we tested the DVD and it worked fine here, but it still was not working properly in my set. And now I cannot get my money back or a new DVD. For heavens sake… the DVD costs only $5 bucks.”
She ‘kindly’ said that “We can test the DVD here to see if it works okay”. I told her that I’m aware that it works okay here, but I told that they could come to our house to watch the DVD and see that it’s not working. Then she continued by saying “I can give you a new copy of that movie”. Then I must admit that my philosophy of “speaking ill of no man” was getting challenged. I stayed calm and explained that we had already tried replacing this copy with a new one – that happened last week. I really cannot spend hours for trying to get $5 movie replaced!
Their bottom line was something like “we have no-return policy for DVDs – you cannot return them just if you don’t like them”. So basically they weren’t trusting me. From my point-of-view, the process went like this:
1. I buy a DVD player from them
2. I buy an expensive television from them
3. I buy a DVD from them
4. The DVD I bought from them is not working in the DVD player I bought from them
5. I go to replace the DVD with a new one (same movie though), the new one doesn’t work either
6. I want to get a new movie, because the certain movie seems not to work.
7. They say no.
So… basically I’m betting $5-25 each time I buy a DVD from them. If the movie works, I can watch it. If the movie does not work… well then ‘tough for me’ since I cannot return it.
See the whole elephant, not just the tail
I dropped the DVD to the desk and said “I have bought a wide screen television, DVD player, at least 50 movies from you in the past couple of years. I’ve probably spent over thousand dollars in your place, but you can rest assured that I won’t be putting any money in your products in the future. You can keep the DVD, I have no use for it. Bye.”
I left the store, and left the DVD on their desk.
They seem to have the same problem that this pizza delivery guy had. I cannot but be amazed how some stores don’t “see the whole elephant… only the tail of it”. In this case because of $5 movie they were willing to get rid of customer worth $1000 (or quite likely much more, because I have liked their services in the past). I mean, think about this. It’s not like they are the only DVD store in town. There’s plenty of them to choose from. They have been my favorite store for no reason… I’ve just happened to like buying from them.
Their policy was to make sure that ‘dishonest’ nor ‘honest’ customers would rip them off. While that might work short-term ($5), it certainly work for long-term ($1000 or more). I had legally bought everything from them and tried to get their product working. Since the products I bought from them were not working properly they chose to give punish me – their customer – for that.
What kind of logic is that?