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How To Lose Business

I went into a local office store for rubber bands and a couple other small items.  I ended up looking at laptops.  I’ve been putting off buying one for a long time.  I’m currently writing on a $300 model that we bought 4-5 years ago.  It’s been remarkable, but you can imagine that it’s pretty much out of date at this time.  More after the jump.


So I accidentally tripped across a laptop that had pretty much all the specs I needed.  I had the kid look up the graphics card and everything checked out really well.  The price was listed as $799 plus $100 instant savings and $50 rebate.  I had the kid go get me one and he told me all he had was the floor model.  So he looks all the stuff up and tells me , good news, I looked it up it’s only $699.00 out the door (which is the same as $799.00 plus the $100 rebate).  The kid then sells me a $200 two year warranty.  I ordinarily don’t buy warranties, but I’ve found them really useful with computers.

So I wait while the unscrew the computer for display. I wait while they hunt up the box.  Everything is just becoming a tiny bit of a pain in the rear.  The guy also brings the computer to me and tells me the cover is scratched up, but I say ‘it’s cool’ let’s still do this.    I finally get to the front of the line  and they start entering all the information into the computer for the manufacturers warranty, the store warranty, the warranty warranty and so on.  Then the computer and the warranty and a ten dollar game ring up to over $1100.00.  The manager gets called over to fix the problem with a price match over ride or something, and I’m waiting, and I’m waiting and she finally tells me that the computer I got, that had five of those ‘take this to the register’ slips in front of it, wasn’t the right computer.  I just looked at the kid who was cowering behind his manager and said, ‘Dude, you’re a good employee, but this is total bull’ and I left.

I’m still a little peeved. For a company that ‘price matches’ to not even ‘match’ the price that is listed in front of the product is b.s.  I don’t really blame the manager, but she should have stepped up and done the right thing.

So I come home, I enter the computers name and specs in and it’s for sale, refurbished on the net for $499.00.  Fortunately this Office store cooled my computer fever off enough to make me go home and shop.

I think the lesson here is, if you put a price in front of something, you should be prepared to sell it for that price.  You have to take advantage of a customer willing to make a deal.  You can find almost everything cheaper on the internet (but usually the shipping evens it out).  It’s the customer service that makes the difference and keeps business local.  I could just as easily be writing this about a great experience, but they tried ‘upselling’ me at the register and I wasn’t having it.  I gave a local business (even though it’s a chain) the chance to make a deal and they blew it.  The business owners and their managers need to realize that these days we don’t have to take it, we have options.

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