Monday, March 13, 2006

Very nice people

In amongst the mud and pyrites of retail park warehouses and the bored resignation of sub-continental help desks and rip-off 08700 numbers stand two lodes of genuine 24 carat retail virtue. They have kept alive my faith that there are indeed people out there who are not only after your business but genuinely want to help you, don't want to rip you off and moreover, know what they're talking about. I think they call it old-fashioned service.

If you have read my previous post you will know that I'm juiceless following the death of my laptop's power brick on Saturday morning and that I was to be thrown to the mercy of the people who took over Tiny's (don't laugh) service and warranty operation. This was a matter of some urgency as my whole life and work is tied up on the pooter and this one is Sharon's and she's got a life on here that she needs to access occasionally.

Over the weekend I did some research and found out that the part I need is just about as non-standard as you can get. Time and Tiny had a habit of using non-standard bits to try and tie you in to their warranty agreements, their built-in obsolescence being of a high standard. I never take up these offers as I refuse to be ripped off. More of that later. I called Total Care or, whoever they are, a bit earlier in a hopeful mood because they had been quite decent when they called me a couple of weeks ago. What I didn't realise at that time is that they were just on a fishing expedition for new business as my warranty had completely expired. Today I was passed between two departments who kept giving me each other's 08700 numbers to call and it rapidly became obvious that I wasn't going to be able to get any service unless I took out a new plan. Sod that.

Over the weekend I found a site that looked promising, Laptop-chargers. Today I re-visited them and had a good read. They really do know what they're talking about and the information on there about adaptors and power supplies is extensive and is clearly laid out in a humorous and easy to read style. They provided advice about the one I needed whereas Maplins just laughed at me. I called them today and they were superb. The guy knew the part immediately, talked to me about it, said they were in stock and we had a laugh. That's right, a laugh with a guy who's providing a service. Ever tried that with a call centre in Chennai? They have promised delivery by 1 pm tomorrow for no extra charge. That's service. Here's some more about them. They obviously mean business.

The other company is one that's been around for 20 years or so but that I'd never ever used before for some reason, although I'd always been tempted. It's Richer Sounds, home of pile it high hi-fi bulk buy. A couple of weeks ago and tempted by their ads and that long standing promise to go, I went to aarghh Stoke again and bought my Christmas and birthday present from last year, a Samsung DVD recorder. The staff in there couldn't have been more helpful. They advised on which model was best bangs for my bucks and didn't try and steer me towards the most expensive one, which they pretty much dissed as being a dead cert for a return anyway. Whether they really did know as much as they gave out, I don't know, but they certainly had the confidence and air of people you could trust. What really impressed me though was when the inevitable extended warranty was offered. Not only was it cheap, about £15 a year for three years, if I didn't need to invoke the warranty, I'd get my money back. Eh? You read it correctly; you get your money back. All of it. That's a big company honestly buying your loyalty. And that's cool by me and why I'll be going there again when I've got some money to burn. If only they'd sell laptops.

Coda:
I received the adaptor at 11 am this morning. That's less than 24 hours start to finish. And they've already replied to the congratulatory email I sent them. It's so easy.

1 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Sharon J said...

Err... your Christmas and birthday present? I seem to remember that some of my Christmas money went to that too, thank you very much!

~Sharon

2:02 am  

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