Friday, June 6, 2008

I've been on hold for 1 hour

Boy, is this really apparent in almost every situation or what?

I consider myself a pretty savvy consumer although my wife just calls me cheap. Sometimes it's good to be cheap, but you have to know when to pay more for quality and service.

For instance, all of the printed materials we ordered in the past came from the same company. They were by far the most inexpensive of all the online printing companies.

I put up with jobs that were slightly misaligned and somewhat damaged. When I finally couldn't take it anymore I switched to another company. While this company charged slightly more than the original company, my 2,000 printed materials all had a light blue watermark on the bottom of each.

A quick call to customer service should fix it right?

When I called I was placed on hold as #16. 60 min, 48 sec later (yes, that's over an hour on hold) I'm told I'm next in line.

Paying more for good quality would have been good advice in this case and many others. For instance:

- Don't skimp in quality when you buy a parachute.
- Don't pay less for new brakes on your car because the mechanic is new.
- Don't pay less for an electrician (plumber, contractor, etc.) who doesn't have a license.

You may need to evaluate this in your business. Do people really value what you offer or do they only patronage you because your prices are the lowest?

Remember that you almost always get what you pay for.

The price may be higher sometimes, but the quality and service must make up for it.

Years ago we decided to be different and offer 6 months of unlimited financial coaching, something most of the other companies didn't offer. We were actually able to do this and only raise prices slightly. It's much easier to explain price once than to apologize for quality and service over and over.

The end of the story... I don't know. They hung up on me when I was caller #1. I called back and now am #2 again. Total time on hold so far: 1 hour, 33 minutes.

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