The Wire // Paying for Customer Service

This past month has been crazy to say the least. I’m an online kind of person, especially when it comes to my shopping, for multiple reasons. First and foremost, I almost never buy anything without ready any and all reviews on them, yes even clothing items! I’m OCD about that I guess. After I see enough reviews that convince me the item I am purchasing is worth it, my next deciding factor is the investment I’m making… again, even clothing items. When I buy something, I never want to skim on anything just to get a cheaper item. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely a bargain hunter, but by that I mean I shop for deals on the items I want. For example, the first flash I bought was some off-brand cheap flash that worked on Canon cameras, I was desperate when I bought it because I had a shoot coming up and I needed it right away. It lasted literally two shoots before giving out. When I emailed the company about the issue, they said I’d have to pay to send it in and pay to have it repaired, then pay to have it sent back. By that time I’m looking at what I payed for it in the beginning. Ever since that flash, I NEVER skim, on anything. But as I was saying, I do shop for the deals. So let’s say I’m looking for a Canon 580EX ii for my camera, you better believe I’m doing a google search to find the best deal on that flash, New of course.

Aside from what I’m getting out of it, or what the reviews say on the product, the next deciding factor is customer service. The story above, the company of the off-brand flash had terrible customer service, but can you blame them? The flash literally cost a small fraction of a Canon 580, so how could this company afford to provide great customer service or swap out lemon products, if there’s even such thing as a lemon of a cheap junky flash. 🙂 This past month, I ordered a professional photo printer so that I could print some fine art prints, and do some small promotions with it. Well, a good photo printer is not cheap… at all. But again, I knew if I wanted something of great value, I would have to invest some money into it. I received my printer in the mail and got everything set up, Unfortunately, I did receive a lemon. It was upsetting, but I called Canon and told them the situation and they replied with, “It’s no problem, we’ll send you a new one today and we just need you to send back JUST the printer. I didn’t know why she stressed just, but okay. I got the new printer in the mail yesterday, along with the exchange of a new printer, I also got another set of ink cartiridges. The printer takes a handful of cartridges and they run close to $20 a piece. So not only did they provide me a new printer, but I receive over $200 in extra ink. THAT’S great customer service. But I could only get that by investing in the best.

Morale of the story, as we’ve all heard so many times before; “Your get what you pay for.” And how true this quote is. Everything from clothing to photography gear, from your car to the restaurant you eat at, it’s so true. Does this mean that just because something is expensive that it’s the best of the best? Not always, but there’s a reason a Chevrolet Cruze starts at 16,000 and a Mercedes CLS-class starts at 71,000. Sure you’re buying the brand, but what is that brand? Mercedes is known for it’s reliability, longevity, and what? Great customer service. You know when you buy a Mercedes you are going to be treated like family. But that Chevy Cruze, do you really think you’ll be treated the same as you would with that Mercedes? Beyond that, as I’ve talked before, that price also reflects the experience you have shopping there. Compare a Chevrolet dealer and a Mercedes dealer, most Mercedes dealers aren’t loaded with a thousand cars in their lot, in fact a lot of dealers are indoor, where as the Chevy dealer is going to have a range of Chevrolets and a mix of a bunch of other brands that make you question what dealer you arrived at. Get out of your car to look around, you’re then cornered like a rabbit trying to hide from hungry wolves. Back to the Mercedes dealer, again, you’re treated with respect, and like you are family. Not hounded and pressured to go with a car that you specifically said you were interested in. If you’ve ever been car shopping you know what I mean, right? Anyway, something to think about. Have a good Wednesday all! 🙂