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post #1 of 39 Old 01-16-2012 Thread Starter
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Customer Service??????

This past weekend I purchased a real nice Autohelm 1000 (Raymarine) at a garage sale. Got it back to my garage and it tested out A-OK. Of course it was missing the pin and socket to install it on my boat, but I figured no problemo, I'll just pick them up at the local West Marine Store.

So today I looked up the parts in the W.M. catolog (page 40), and it says the pins are 5 to a package at $10 and the sockets are also five to a pack for $20. Wow- I'm thinking $30. Now, anybody that has ever installed a tillerpilot knows that it only takes 1 pin and 1 socket--right? So I figure there must be a mistake in the WM catolog, I'll run down to the local WM and buy 1 pin and 1 socket. WRONG!!! I must buy 5 of each and pay freight! I told the " associate" I would have to think this over, and he kind of gave me the, " What a cheapskate look".

I drove home and figured I'll call WM and solve this problem. I got the sales dept. and was told " Yep 5 to a package" Transfered to the CUSTOMER SERVICE DEPT. and was told " Yep 5 to a pack" --- but if I want a special order they would sell me 1 pin and 1 socket, but it would be more than the price of buying 5 and 5!! because they can't make money selling one at a time. I said Thank You, but no---and could I please talk to your Product Marketing guy, and I was told the marketing guys "don't talk to customers".

I worked in sales and marketing for 25 years, and had my own business for 15 years and can't imagine ever saying "I don't talk to customers".

Anyway, there is my rant and I guess I'll go to ACE Hardware and spend $3 on pipe a nipple and a SS screw. Problem solved!! WM and Raymarine won't get anymore of my $$$.
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post #2 of 39 Old 01-16-2012
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I have similar kind of story, only we screwed up. A customer called looking for a battery for one of my products. They cost us five bucks, but they were special and hard to find, and we only mark them up a little. We were out of them in the off season, and I told him we'd send it out as soon as they came in. Somehow it didn't happen, and when the season rolled around again he called and was desperate. So they sent him the five dollar battery by FedEx overnight, and charged him a $25 expediting fee on top!

When I found out I was livid. I got everyone together and explained what had happened. I asked what everyone thought we should have done. A couple of people actually thought we did the right thing! I explained that the way I wanted a case like this to be handled was real simple.
Think about the fact that virtually all of our profit comes from repeat orders. Put yourself in the customers shoes for a moment, then do what you would want us to do for you. Yes apologizing profusely, sending 3 or 4 batteries overnight for free would be completely appropriate!
I found that this was the way that Landfall Navigation handled an order that was screwed up, and it wasn't even their fault! A vendor put the wrong product in a package. They not only replaced it without waiting for the return, then sent it over night when I indicated that I had planned on using it offshore on Saturday, when today was Thursday. So yes there still are a few companies that get it. Unfortunately I don't currently work for one!
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post #3 of 39 Old 01-16-2012
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Considering the Raymarine sale to WM, probably pennies on the dollar; the packaging, header cards, inventory, payments to the supplier etc., makes it more cost effective to bundle these products as insane as it sounds!
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post #4 of 39 Old 01-16-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor50 View Post
Considering the Raymarine sale to WM, probably pennies on the dollar; the packaging, header cards, inventory, payments to the supplier etc., makes it more cost effective to bundle these products as insane as it sounds!
So after you gouge the customer by selling him more than he needs, how much additional profit do you make on the next sale you won't get?

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post #5 of 39 Old 01-16-2012
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Ok, would you feel comfortable paying $10.00 for one pin and $20.00 for the mating socket? The price would be the same!

If WM were to repackage their purchase from Raymarine, they would have even more employee overhead, insurance, product liability rider, etc.

I know it sound audacious, but it is about margins - no, I don't work for WM.
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post #6 of 39 Old 01-16-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by algee View Post
because they can't make money selling one at a time.
DING DING DING.... That's your answer. They probably don't even make money on the bundled items.

I have a customer that calls me out for every little item that goes wrong on her property. Last one was for a tenant who "smelled smoke" in their office. Went out, she pointed to where the smoke smell was....right around the coffee maker and the microwave with a fresh bag of cooked popcorn. Of course I looked above the ceilings, everywhere, but knew the source.

Yep, charged them. Full hour plus trip charge, cust. didn't like it but they know I need to make money. The little things aren't free, someone always pays.

And, Yes, I would rather they not call me on these items, I don't make money on them but I am catering to their needs.

Sounds to me that's what WM and Raymarine are doing when they sell you the pins.

On a side note, doesn't sound like they are losing much business from you anyway. Buying items at garage sales and complaining that you can't get replacement parts cheap. Wow, they missed out on what you wanted to spend. $10. Ouch.

Here's a smiley face....
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post #7 of 39 Old 01-16-2012 Thread Starter
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Scusse me Ding Dong. I think there is a difference between being cheap, and being totally ripped off.

There are hundreds of items in the WM catalog priced under $5 and you don't have to buy 5 at a time! If you feel OK paying for 5 items, and throwing 4 away thats fine with me.

PS-- I spent $8,000 with WM and Raymarine outfitting a trawler a couple years ago and this year I am doing another, but I may be looking elsewhere because I'm cheap.
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post #8 of 39 Old 01-16-2012
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If you were a bit more clever you would have walked around your dock and talked to your mates about these pins. I'll bet somebody had 4 "extras" laying around....
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post #9 of 39 Old 01-17-2012
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Scusse me Ding Dong. I think there is a difference between being cheap, and being ripped off.
As I said in my post above. They probably don't want that sale. They dont make money on it. Being "ripped off" isn't necessisarily the case. Maybe they're just trying to cover costs. BTW I think WM charges way too much for many items and don't buy anything there I can get from Home Depot or elsewhere. However, when I need something I know they carry, I'll head down and pick it up. Call it convenience . If you/I willingly pay for something that we could get elsewhere, are we really getting "ripped off", or are we paying for the convenience? If you didnt buy it, you didn't get "ripped off". So....this whole thread is stupid

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post #10 of 39 Old 01-17-2012
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I don't find buying quantity at resonable price being riped off. As Sailor mentioned they could of charged $10.00 for one pin. My son periodically meets up with us on the sailboat with our personal water craft. This year I had an issue with the flywheel bolt on our Arctic cat PWC and went to the dealer to get a new one. They told me it was going to cost $56.00. Folks this was $56.00 for a 1 and a half inch stanless bolt. I told them they were out of there minds. I picked the same one up at the fastening store for $1.50. On the last run of the year my starter failed on my PWC and back I went to the dealer. I had checked the price of an aftermarket one on line before I went and found I could get one for $60.00. They wanted $649.00. NOW THATS WHAT I DEFINE AS GETTING RIPPED OFF
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