[ale] How NOT to buy/sell a computer.

Ronald Chmara ron at Opus1.COM
Mon Feb 2 00:52:17 EST 2004

On Feb 2, 2004, at 12:23 AM, Robert Coggins wrote:
> What audacity using the tire store analogy.  The tire store would take 
> off the tire and plug it if need be for free, even for labor.  
> Kauffman tire has earned my business for this.  The have replaced the 
> valve stim, one on each of my vehicles, at no cost.  I didn't even buy 
> my tires there.  Next time I probably will though.  Good service goes 
> a long way!
> Benjamin Scherrey wrote:
>> He disappears back in the tech room and finally comes out asking me 
>> to follow him back to the tech room (again) where he will let me 
>> borrow their screw-driver - but only after enduring his anecdote that 
>> had I bought tires at an auto store they wouldn't let me borrow their 
>> tools to install them. He literally held the screw driver away from 
>> me until he finished his story - which took an order of magnitude 
>> longer than the time required for me to remove my drive.

I carry a leatherman tool with me at all times... I keep my tools on me 
(leatherman, flashlight, laptop (for information access, with PCS 
"modem" card). If I was feeling pissy on a parts return, I would have 
also carried a VOA, and maybe even a butane powered solder-iron.... :-)

OTOH, I have sent some vendors 50-200K worth of work for not charging 
me for every damn screw they use for a "free" fix. It's a fine balance. 
There was one vendor who I worked with who had great hardware rates, 
but if you brought a broken part back. Explaining how it was broken was 
the customer's problem (hence the great rates). Other vendors cost much 
more, to pay for the costs of a "no questions asked" policy.

While this particular store does seem semi-lame, keep in mind that mail 
order companies have no tech department to borrow tools from, no 
testing equipment to use, rent, borrow, or cajole. You might have had 
to return 6 parts to six places instead of six parts to one place, 
taking days or weeks instead of hours. *shrug*

Then again, what do I know. My time's worth way too much to me and my 
clients to do hand builds. I prefer to deal with whole-box-swap 
vendors. Sure, it costs more, but I'd rather "outsource" most low-level 
tasks like hardware assembly and testing to other vendors. It's cheaper 
for me.


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