Support expectations

If one buys a car and it is clearly understood that it will be serviced at a cost, why should anyone expect that the garage is indebted to you unconditionally for the remainder of the life of the product free of charge? Even if that help is “just asking a question about a technical part of the engine?”

Complaint dept - customer support

Stupid situation isn’t it? People just simply fully understand and expect and are happy enough to pay to get their car fixed. Some garages might even charge a flat daily rate for the car just being on their premises and customers don’t complain too much about this and pay for the service, even if grudgingly. It is simply understood.

So how come some people expect that a company would provide them unlimited free support for buying a gadget for BD100 or 300 or even 5,000? Why do they assume that buying that product also gives them the right to assume that they have actually bought the whole organisation which should be at their beck and call? Why do they get so aggrieved when they are presented with an invoice for services rendered and not only abjectly refuse to pay it, but immediately cut their relationship with your company “because you hurt their feelings and tried to take advantage of them“!

Excuse me?

Listen, when you buy a product there is a specific warranty period, normally limited in that it is the buyer’s responsibility to return the product to the factory to be repaired and returned to them at their expense on completion of fault investigation and repair. If one needs more then that service then an agreement is entered into between the vendor and the customer where terms are agreed as well as charges for the duration of that agreement. There is nothing for free, and services cost money sometimes in excess of the physical value of the product itself.

As much as we strive to help our customers we need to recoup the costs involved in support services at least and also make a profit which may be reapplied within the business to allow it to grow so that these services are upgraded and continue to be rendered in the future. If you do receive that service free of charge occasionally, at least have the humility to say thank you.

Businesses are not charities, support costs money and if you buy a product you do not buy the person or the organisation that sold you that product too.

Deal with it!

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11 Comments
  • Ammar
    24 July 2007

    did that grenade in the photo not work right? can you elaborate more; what are you talking about specifically here.

    But seriously, yes; there is a limit to what sort of service/warranty/guarantee comes with a product.

    I kid you not – true story: I was in the Nissan garage a while ago, and some customer came in with a 1970’s vehicle. The car looked like it was in pretty immaculate condition, to tell you the truth, hardly any rust, paint in good shape, no dents etc. Anyway, this guy has been the sole owner for the past 30 years, and was complaining about engine failure, and expected the garage to fix it for free because he had obviously bought it from them, and expected the best service.

    !

  • mahmood
    24 July 2007

    Just what the piece says Ammar, we have several customers who think that buying a BD180 product gives them shares in my company and they can demand full and unrestricted and free attention from my engineer and myself!

    I’ve put a strict policy in place now – printed on invoices and delivery notes – as to the extent of warranties and expectations of support.

    I’m seriously considering getting one of those 900 numbers and charge those tight-asses 500 fils a minute for support, I bet that that line will be very quiet as it has a cost associated with it now and they will – then – refer to the flippin’ manual and available free support resources on the internet before coming over and having a childish fist-thumping, foot-stomping tantrum which is really ugly to witness coming from 45ish supposedly grown men.

  • CerebralWaste
    24 July 2007

    O Mahmood did you hit a nerve with me with this post.

    I am constantly batting my head up against the wall with customers who seem to think I should not only sell the a bonsai but grow and take care of it for them as well. Don’t get me wrong. I will help anyone and do it with a smile but there comes a point after you have told them the same thing for the umpteenth time that some just don’t get. I have other customers to take of as well, and like your experiences some think I am now their personal bonsai artist and caretaker. All for a $50.00 tree. (btw Mahmood… Your bonsai is looking GREAT! 😆 )

    Thankfully most customers aren’t like this. But enough are and they drive you crazy.

    There is no money to made with these people. Best to cut the strings and move on.

  • barry
    24 July 2007

    Don’t you realize Mahmood, the customer is ALWAYS right no matter what, and you as a business owner are required to give in to any demands they have. That’s terrible to have a limited warranty or charge for service beyond the warranty and initial purchase period. What kind of world do we live in when business owners require their customers to pay for services! :mrgreen:

    Fortunately for you, you can control policies and procedures. I on the other hand at work have to deal with wishy washy application of policies and admin who refuse to put their foot down. No one here wants to make people unhappy, and they’d rather lie down and turn into doormats than dissapoint a few people.

  • Bernie
    25 July 2007

    Hmmm, been suffering an attack of the morons have we Mahmood. :mrgreen:

  • Ammar
    25 July 2007

    So, what kind of ‘servicing’ is required for plants, exactly? Just wondering; I’m not exactly the most plant-experienced person here.

  • CerebralWaste
    25 July 2007

    Ammar

    The plants are called bonsai (“bonsai” roughly means “Tree in shallow pot”)and the care they require is very different from normal houseplants. It isn’t difficult per se but different. Many people just can’t grasp the concept and are intent on doing it “their” way, even though it will kill the tree.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonsai

  • barry
    26 July 2007

    Ammar: Bonsai are potted plants as Cerebral Waste says, but they require more attention than a palm in a pot because they are a work of art which never is finished. The trees grow and change over time. A lot of people assume that bonsai can just be taken home and watered, but they also need to be pruned every so often to direct growth, wiring is usually done (some things don’t need it), and also repotting. It’s very easy to kill them, but my dwarf pomegranate is doing quite well (I’m training it, and recently opened up the branch structure.) Traditionally pines, maples, and other temperate climate trees are used, but I’ve seen good work done with tropicals like Ficus, and even Adenium have been used. Recent work has been done in developing indoor bonsai (using proven houseplants, trained as bonsai, as bonsai usually use plants that must be kept outdoors).

  • Ammar
    26 July 2007

    Thanks guys; sounds good. Maybe i’ll attempt some of my own in the near future. Mahmood, if I buy one and something goes wrong with it, I expect you to fully service or replace it at your own cost.

  • mahmood
    26 July 2007

    Of course Ammar!

  • Bonsaimark
    26 July 2007

    Ammar

    If you need any help with bonsai drop me an email anytime. Bonsai is my lifelblood and I am always ready to help someone who is new to the craft.

    Bahrain has some great pre bonsai material to work with both in natural flora and imported trees and shrubs.

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