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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,190

    Default Compassionate Consumers

    I hear and understand the frustration being expressed in Threads this season. Having ones expectations unfulfilled is very disappointing and discouraging. You made an order and plans and your credit card got charged and you didn't get what you ordered or it didn't come when you wanted it or something. It's tuff and it just shouldn't be that way. Not in todays world of instant everything.

    But it is that way. It does happen. When have plans dependent on time factors, geographic factors and other people, not to mention Tornadoes, ever gone the way one planned? I always think of the joke I heard. "If you want to make GOD laugh, tell me what you are going to do tomorrow.".

    Consumers deserve alot of understanding and solutions and education and answers to why and when and such. But, they also need to understand certain realities of life and business and how weather impacts our industry and personal lives.

    If we are in this for the long haul, being beekeepers, we need to build personal relationships w/ those we do business with. Those businesses aren't just computers and mailboxes, but people just like you and me who go thru all the same things you and I go thru and do the best they came, usually, under all sorts of circumstances.

    I don't begrudge anyone their right to kvetch/complain or rant, but, as we have seen in some cases, there is alot more to the story than ones' own perspective.

    Keep in mind that it's a two way street. Be nice and polite and understanding on the way up and people will treat you the same on your way down.

    Respectfully yours,
    Mark Berninghausen
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Bay Minette, AL
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Compassionate Consumers

    I think what some consumers of bee equipment don't understand is this is not a huge market. A lot of times you might be dealing with a smaller company that is run out of someone's home. They don't have a huge staff to cater to your every whim. They might not have a technical support staff to determine immediately why you were charged incorrectly. Patience goes a long way, give them a chance to correct the mistake before you start the bashing. If they can't or won't "make it right" then bash on, but I don't understand bashing a company before you even give them a chance.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Anthony, New Mexico USA
    Posts
    414

    Default Re: Compassionate Consumers

    Mark;

    I bought (paid 1/2 in advance) a lot of wood ware last year, to be delivered by thanksgiving, as of yesterday, I just got the word that my order was finished. I also paid for some queens since January, and due to many things, I still do not have what I paid for.
    On the other hand, while having the need for queens, I called someone with a queen order; he shipped and sent me the invoice -same that I happily paid the following days.
    When the supplier accepts payment, that payment, entails the responsibility to comply with the contractual moral obligation as promised while he advertised his product.
    After all, he is a supplier by choice.
    I have not compliant about my 2 suppliers on this story, for I believe they mean well, but God knows I have wanted to do and say many things.
    This is my "consumer" side of this story.
    Last edited by MichaBees; 06-09-2011 at 06:03 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,190

    Default Re: Compassionate Consumers

    I feel your pain. And that isn't a glib retort. I do. And you deserve commendation for your patience and maturity.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  5. #5

    Default Re: Compassionate Consumers

    The difficulty with the 'consumer report' forum is that is comprised, mostly of complaints. I'm not being critical. I understand. When a supplier meets or exceeds our expectations, we go about our business. When one falls short, we voice our frustration and often try to warn others.
    The long and short, in my opinion, is that reading this forum might make one suspicious of suppliers in general. I would just remind folks that the vast majority never find their names here....or on the occasion that they do, it is the exception, not the rule in their customer service.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake County Illinois
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: Compassionate Consumers

    @ saltcreep

    I am a one man business working from home. I offer the same services as the big guys, so customers expect the same. If I gave any less, I would not be in business.

    Small or large business, does not matter, you better be able to handle it!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake County Illinois
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: Compassionate Consumers

    Divide the forum. Good feedback, bad feedback.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,910

    Default Re: Compassionate Consumers

    One of my favorite vendors almost always tells me that he probably won't be able to do what I want when I want it - but then he usually does, and he's a hero. Under promise, over deliver. It sounds so simple, but it's so contrary to our human nature.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Simpsonville, SC, USA
    Posts
    213

    Default Re: Compassionate Consumers

    My policy has been to properly set customer expectations. If I'm going to be late I call them to let them know. They are "in the know" and don't hold it against me. Everyone knows that stuff happens and you've got to adjust when the inevitable happens. But to take a customer's check, cash it, and then never call them or even follow up on their multiple voice-mails to tell them that their order will be 6 months late and counting? At some point compassion turns into regret and distrust. At some point the eternal optimism and faith in your fellow man turns into a sinking feeling that "He won't even call me back and it's been 6 months since I should have got what I paid for. This guy took my money and is never going to send me anything, is he?" Moral of this post... If you're the type who doesn't like reaching out to your customers to tell them that you're running behind you probably shouldn't cash their check till their order is in the mail.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: Compassionate Consumers

    I have noticed there are a lot of complaints on the Consumer Report. For me a lot depends on the person making the complaint. If it is a newbee (like me) making the complaint, it may not hold as much water so-to-speak as compared to someone that has been a beekeep for a few years and has a few hundred/or thousand post on this forum. I have noticed that some newbeek's tend to jump to bad conclusions and are very quick to post negative experiences as opposed to the seasoned beekeep that lets it play out a while before posting a negative response.

    ON THE OTHER HAND: I have also noticed a few beekeeps that have posted good and positive experiences they have had with various suppliers. To these, I also take note and write the names of these businesses that appear to be taking care of their customers. When I see repeat positive comments over a period of time from a variety of posters about a handful of suppliers, guess what businesses I will be making purchases from for next year?

    Jim

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,314

    Default Re: Compassionate Consumers

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Keep in mind that it's a two way street.
    Even though the Consumer Report Forum is far from perfect, it is a much needed avenue for consumers to be able to "get the word out" about suppliers/vendors business practices. Without a place for consumers to have a voice, it really is a one way street. Knowing how well or bad a company deals with its customers is of great interest to me. I will always support the business that places the customer first and is very aggressive about communicating with them. The forum is not the place to discuss how it is organized and run (moderated). That is why this thread got moved here.
    Regards, Barry

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,190

    Default Re: Compassionate Consumers

    It was not my intention to discuss how the Forum was Moderated. I know that is no to be done. I did figfure that this Thread would be moved to its' proper place. Thank you.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

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