Customer Service, part of the purchase decision?

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Oldglide

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Hello to all, this is my first post on an RR forum but I am not new to any of this stuff. So here's my dilemma; should customer service from the company your thinking of purchasing a product from be a consideration as well as price, features etc. After having the phone stuck in my ear for over 30 years listening to people complain about, "Where's my unit"?, "How come you don't have the parts"?, "It's going to cost how much"?. A benefit of working in service management for a multi-national consumer electronics company? I know that when your timely, accurate and helpful the customers come back. If you take too long, not knowledgeable and have attitude the customers remember, tell everyone and will go some place else. The problem becomes you don't know how good the support is until after you purchase the product. Yeah, you could ask a few general questions before you buy, but...... My experience with 2 companies in this category: one was awful with and the other was great, both selling basically the same product. Your comments...... Thanks in advance to all.
 

gmclam

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Welcome to RadioReference.com

The answer to your question depends on you, and what you are buying. I do not worry too much about customer service for many things because I do my own repairs and maintenance. Those extended warranties and such that they try to sell you are cash cows for the businesses selling them. When someone asks me to buy one and I say no, they then tell me all the things that might go wrong with their product. And my reply then is that if their product has that many issues I shouldn't buy it at all.

It seems the three most popular brands of scanners we talk about here on RR are Uniden, Radio Shack and GRE. Most of the PRO-xx scanners at RS are made by these two companies anyway. But lately the "service" from RS is so slow or non-existant, that you are better off buying directly from the company that made it. If you look for sales, you can get the lower price and better service from the same company.
 

Oldglide

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Just trying to see how others approach it

I agree absolutely about service contracts, I used to have to make the employees push them. I, like you, also do all my own service and repairs. Just trying to see how others approach it.
 

rmiller818

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But lately the "service" from RS is so slow or non-existant, that you are better off buying directly from the company that made it. If you look for sales, you can get the lower price and better service from the same company.
In what way? If your still talking about the delay in the firmware update, big deal (how many times has that happened?)

If your talking about a physical repair, I would respectfully disagree as every time I send something off for RS to repair, it gets back to me in 1-2 weeks. From the experiences I have read in the Uniden forum that sounds comparable if not better. Don't know about GRE though. From what I read GRE has a $60 flat fee plus shipping and parts and that sounds a bit more than what I have had to pay with RS.
 

Oldglide

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The whole customer service experience

I guess my original post wasn't worded exactly right. I wasn't talking about repairs, my interest was the whole experience. When you asked a question, did you get the correct answer? How long did it take to get a response? If you talked to someone were they courteous or did they act like you were a pain? When you go to the web-site was it easy to navigate? If you call were you put on hold forever? When you order something was the order taken OK?, did it take forever to get it? Along with the repair and or parts issue, these are the things that I wonder if anybody thinks about or has bad customer service just become the norm and it's what we expect. BTW I've never had an issue with RS, because I refuse to patronize their stores. Enough said?
 

rmiller818

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I guess my original post wasn't worded exactly right. I wasn't talking about repairs, my interest was the whole experience. When you asked a question, did you get the correct answer? How long did it take to get a response? If you talked to someone were they courteous or did they act like you were a pain? When you go to the web-site was it easy to navigate? If you call were you put on hold forever? When you order something was the order taken OK?, did it take forever to get it? Along with the repair and or parts issue, these are the things that I wonder if anybody thinks about or has bad customer service just become the norm and it's what we expect. BTW I've never had an issue with RS, because I refuse to patronize their stores. Enough said?
Ah, yea in that case I would agree that Radio Shack is clueless. Then again, if I had ANY questions at all about any scanner, I wouldn't go to any of the manufacturers I would just come here and ask in the forums or read the info in the Wiki. I would get a response quicker and it would probably be correct.
 

mciupa

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Customer Service, part of the purchase decision?
No, I'm motivated mostly by the cost of the unit.

After I buy it, I hope I never have to see them again. :)
 

gmclam

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Customer Service, part of the purchase decision? ... I guess my original post wasn't worded exactly right....
Well if you put it that way, I'd say no.

mciupa said:
No, I'm motivated mostly by the cost of the unit.
Certainly a low price can "motivate" people, but if that's your main criterion, you'll end up with mostly junk. The last thing I want to know is the price. Then I'll base my purchase decision on "price performance ratio".
 

mciupa

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Certainly a low price can "motivate" people, but if that's your main criterion, you'll end up with mostly junk.
Then I consider myself fortunate to have avoided buying junk by your definition. :p

As far as customer service, I try and patronize businesses with solid reputations and I've never encountered a " Let me speak to the manager ! situation.:)
 

PFalconflyer

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Well if you put it that way, I'd say no.

Certainly a low price can "motivate" people, but if that's your main criterion, you'll end up with mostly junk. The last thing I want to know is the price. Then I'll base my purchase decision on "price performance ratio".


But we are discussing "where" to buy a particular product, not "what" to buy. I assume buying a GRE500 from the lowest price retailer does not make that radio more "junk" than if I buy it from a higher priced retailer that happens to have better customer service...
 

gmclam

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But we are discussing "where" to buy a particular product, not "what" to buy. I assume buying a GRE500 from the lowest price retailer does not make that radio more "junk" than if I buy it from a higher priced retailer that happens to have better customer service...
FIRST you decide WHAT to buy, without knowing the price. Then you decide who has THAT item at the lowest price.

"Selecting" an item based on price alone is ... - also known as a business man's dream. "They'll buy any kind of junk if the price is right".
 

DPD1

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I guess my original post wasn't worded exactly right. I wasn't talking about repairs, my interest was the whole experience. When you asked a question, did you get the correct answer? How long did it take to get a response? If you talked to someone were they courteous or did they act like you were a pain? When you go to the web-site was it easy to navigate? If you call were you put on hold forever? When you order something was the order taken OK?, did it take forever to get it? Along with the repair and or parts issue, these are the things that I wonder if anybody thinks about or has bad customer service just become the norm and it's what we expect. BTW I've never had an issue with RS, because I refuse to patronize their stores. Enough said?
When just dealing with businesses as a whole... I'm buying materials, parts... all kinds of stuff each week. And I'm always looking for new people to deal with, new materials/parts to work with, better ways to do things and so on... In this supposed terrible economy that everybody keeps talking about, I am constantly amazed at the terrible business practices that most places have. On sites where they come right out and tell you to "feel free to contact us"... you can contact them and ask about a material or product... tell them you're a business... never even say how much you might order... and on average you will get a response maybe 10% of the time. The rest completely ignored. They could be looking at thousands of dollars of materials sold for all they know, but no response. Or if you do actually talk to someone, they give you some primitive little answer that you get the impression somebody typed it out with one had while they were eating their lunch or something.

I just bought a piece of tooling off an eBay biz the other day... Two questions before I purchased went unanswered. After I did buy it, I tried two more times with the same question... both went unanswered. Finally they emailed me a question of their own and acted like I never sent the other emails.

I sent a big order to a gov distributor the other day. These people were so messed up it was almost laughable. I had to talk to them like 10 times before they finally figured out what was going on. They asked for an invoice 4 separate times, even though the box had one right in there, and I emailed copies the other times as well. And each time they had a problem, I would call them at various times of the day, and their phone just said they were at lunch, so "call back". And of course any email I sent went unanswered. And this isn't one guy working out of his house... This is a huge biz.

I could go on and on, but in my experience, that's the overall treatment you get from a majority of biz's out there, and I honestly have no idea how they continue to exist.
 
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