Is it just me, or does it seem that things were built and tested better back in the old days?
Yesterday I had to return to the grocery store because I found that the bread I had bought the day before had gone moldy. The sell by date was the day that I returned it. Lest you think this is a single incident, you would be wrong. It was the second time that I had bread turn moldy from the store. I won’t say the name of the store because they made it right with me, but it was a nationally recognizable chain.
Don’t even get me started with cell phones. They have to be the worst service that is available to consumers. I started with a cell phone in 99 for business reasons, and it seems that time has only made the service worse. I have lived in crowded markets like Chicago, Portland, NYC and the rule is that service is barely functional. How can this be? How can cell phone companies charge almost $100 on average from customers, and have such poor networks? Why do we stand for this? I am thinking of ditching the cell phone and just using a land-line.
How about restaurants? Sometimes my friends will take me out and most places are just junk. How can they be serious to a customer that something is worth $18 and it is tasteless, hard and cold? I went to a Zagat rated place and ordered something and it was worse than frozen dinners I have had. I told the manager what exactly was wrong with the dish and that I would only pay half for it. I don’t feel its fair to expect free food no matter how bad it is. I have had to do that often in the last few years when I find the food is unpalatable.
Now lets turn to sandals. I bought a pair of sandals for $40 in Chicago 2 years ago and wear them infrequently. They are torn up and look terrible. Based on the use of them, I don’t feel that should have happened. They are a combination of plastic and rubber and they should have held together better. When I was a kid I had a pair of cheap rubber thongs, and they lasted years and in much better condition than these $40 pair did.
Oh how about water bottles? I bought a Nathan water bottle because I often travel with my backpack and get thirsty. So less than a month later, with very light usage the top breaks. The same thing happened to my friend who also bought one at the same time. When I contacted the company they told me to MAIL it back to them and they would refund my money. Well who wants to pay $10 to mail something back to the vendor when it is defective? Then I would be out that money as well for something that wasn’t my fault. I took it back to the store and the store refunded my money. These were not cheap either $24, and they were the most expensive water bottles in the store.
I could go on, but I think I have made my point. Listen I understand that it seems better to just put stuff out in the world and refund people when it doesn’t work. However this strategy ultimately hurts your brand. I will never buy any NATHAN product, I will never buy that stores variety of bread, I will steer everyone away from that restaurant, cell phone and sandal manufacture company. There are customers who don’t forget, and I am one of them.