in the Web Without Written Warranty
My Latest Internet Beef
by Peggy Ferguson
I was taken off guard by a fellow in Missouri who ordered a ProBead biofilter from us then returned it. His reasoning was that, since the unit wasnt labeled with a professional ProBead label, he didnt feel secure about the products warranty. Most of you come in often, see us once or twice a month. You know who we are, where you can always find us and that we stand behind our product. We know many of your ponds. I took this kind of customer loyalty for granted. He bought through the internet. How would he know that we are a "for real" business with roots in the community? Labeling has never been a priority for us. You guys just pick it up here. If you have a problem you give us a call. Its kind of old fashioned but we like it that way.
Then I started looking at some of the "companies" that sell pond products over the internet. Some of them are not businesses like ours. Many of them sell from their home. Many of them do not keep stock and advertise "drop ship programs" like its something special when, in reality, they must ship via drop ship because they have no intention of tying up their money in stock. These are the same companies that advertise "wholesale prices" or "well beat any price anywhere" campaigns.
One thing I learned in the business world, "BP" Before Ponds was that a company cannot offer discounted merchandise unless that company intends not to make a profit or is selling inferior product. Its simple mathematics. A company that sells without profit is a company that goes out of business within a couple of years. What good is a warranty or fancy labeling if there is no company to back it up?
Unfortunately for small business owners like us the internet provides shelter for these "backyard businesses" that have no overhead. They have no store, very little labor, no inventory and NO RESPONSIBILITY to the customer. Since they carry no inventory they are, in reality, simply shipping someone elses product and receiving commissions. Who would you turn to if the product didnt work or if you had problems?
We never pretend to sell a product at reduced prices unless we get a reduced price from our manufacturers. I assure you that these backyard businesses get no deals from the manufacturers because they are not stocking distributors. Again it comes back to "how do you know that the seller will back up his merchandise?".
My money would be on the company that has a store front that I could visit. Dont get me wrong. The internet is a cool way to shop and we place products for sale on our website too. But the internet is littered with fly-by-nights that do more harm to small businesses like ours by offering "deals" because they have no overhead. The consumer should know who he or she is purchasing from and that the company will be around when it is needed.
As for my fellow in Missouri, I hope he successfully gets his bead filter from whoever he feels is a professional company. Ive learned a lesson from him. Weve changed a little made warranty cards for those who want them and for the units sold through the internet. But, after all, isnt a warranty only worth the price of the paper its on if the company is not around to honor it?
|Online Catalog||Links||Clearance Center|
|Shipping Policy||Returns||Order Inquiry|
|Peggy's Personalized Products||Pond Doc's Home and Garden|
© copyright 1997 - 2012 by PondDoc.com. All Rights Reserved.