Last week I looked on my Discover card online account and found a few $100 charges (four of them) to an online processing company. I also saw three $100 credits.
Confused, I called the company. I found out that someone was using my credit card to purchase credits at an online casino (I promise Mom, I don’t have a gambling problem). The service rep I talked to indicated that there were 19 total attempts to buy from this online casino and 15 of them were voided before they hit my card. The company recognized that they were fraud.
This company was very nice to work with. I got my last $100 back with no problems or headache. But, I decided to report fraud to Discover Card to be safe.
There were two recurring charges on my credit card that were pretty important to be continued. One was our hosting package from Aplus.net for all the sites that we host… 150+ sites on two servers. We pay good money to keep these sites functioning, backed up and updated. We have had the servers with Aplus.net for sometime now and I wanted to make sure that there were no problems with my service.
Well, this is where the story gets interesting. continue reading...
Two weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to try an air card so that I wouldn't have to find a wi-fi hotspot for my internet needs. I was going out of town on a couple of trips, so it made sense. I talked with the sales guy at AT&T and Sprint.
I decided to go with Sprint. They have a location about 1 1/2 miles from my house. Prices were the same as AT&T, but Sprint was where I ended up. When I was at Sprint, they said they didn't have a card in stock and I would have to go downtown to pick it up... about 10 miles away.
No problem... I was actually going right past the location about 15 minutes later.
I picked up the card and for the most part, it worked fine.
There was one area on my travels it didn't work (I am pretty sure the AT&T card works) so I decided to take them up on the offer of returning the card within their 30 day time return policy. continue reading...
I mentioned that I was in Las Vegas. I stayed at Mandalay Bay. I found it very interesting that my first experience there was to wait in line for better than 30 minutes. I was only the 7th person in line.
I looked around and found something interesting about my situation. If you will notice in the image below, there are a lot of people waiting. There are a total of 26 lines where people can check in. Only 10 of them were manned (or womanned... as the case might be). At the point of taking my first picture, there were approximately 8 people in each line. It may look like there are more, but many people wait in line together. But still, that is about 80 people waiting to check into the hotel if you don't count their associates.
After I was done checking in, I decided to step back and take another picture. As far as I could tell, the lines doubled in length during that 30 minutes. continue reading...
I just left Las Vegas and left my hotel room 1 hour and 30 minutes before my flight. I went outside the hotel to the taxi stand. There was no doorman so I went to the taxi stand myself and called for a cab. Since I didn't have any cash, I asked if he accepted credit cards.
The driver was a little disappointed and said, "No."
I waited a couple of minutes for another cab to show up and asked the same question.
"Sorry, there is only one cab company in the area that accepts credit cards," came the response.
So, I looked for a doorman to help me with finding the right cab company, but there were none to be found.
I decided to go to the back of the hotel where I knew there was another taxi stand.
I would have just gotten cash from the ATM on the way to the back taxi stand, but I didn't have a debit card with me. continue reading...
I am a pretty demanding customer. I think that there are many people out there who are willing to accept less from their vendors. In some cases, I think they are willing to accept less because they are pleased with the low cost. However, I think that most people don't expect better service because they have been conditioned to accept mediocrity.
While I don't believe in a "customer bill of rights" because I think that it is an easy thing to say and forget, I believe in good customer service policies that positively affect the customer experience. continue reading...
Get ready, this is a long one, but I think it will be worth the read.
I also have mentioned that I was giving them a second chance. I thought I would share the experience of the second chance.
During my initial conversation, I was told that to get the price to the $25 that I wanted, they couldn't help me given the structure of their system. However, a few hours after my post, I received a quote that indicated the pricing could be had.
Here is the quote as I received it. (You may need to save rather than open... it is a .xls file)
My first thought, "Okay, I thought we could come to an agreement!" continue reading...
I flew into Honolulu last night on a much needed vacation... but the mind of a blogger never rests. My wife and I were waiting at carousel D6 for our bags.
After we had been waiting for about 15 minutes... marveling that so many bags go unclaimed while so many people stand and wait for their bags to appear, we heard an interesting announcement.
"For your convenience, passengers on flight 1865 can pick up their bags on either carousel D6 or D7."
Did I get that right? Now, I am responsible to check two different carousels? How do I know which to check? How is that convenient for me?
So, I walked over to D6 and my wife stayed at D7. continue reading...
I had to buy new tires the other day. I was asked if I wanted to wait or if I was going to come back later.
One look at the "fancy" waiting area told me what my decision was going to be.
If you are going to ask people to wait, it might not be a bad idea to give them an area that is at least kind of nice. A TV with a screen larger than 13 inches and a couple of comfortable chairs shouldn't be too much to ask for. continue reading...
Two weeks ago I determined that I want a new, smaller truck. I need a truck because of my hobbies, but I want a smaller truck because of gas prices.
I went to the dealership and in about 15 minutes I had my truck picked out. I gave the sales rep my bottom line price - $325 per month. He told me that if we do business, he could meet that price.
I called him about an hour later and said I was ready.
The price came back to $367. Yup... he wanted a lot more. And he didn't even see it as a problem that I was already quoted almost $50 less.
I then called two other dealerships. This time I didn't tell them where I wanted to be but that if they could give me their best price for the truck and it fit my budget, I would buy before the end of the week. They never called me back.
Sale lost. continue reading...
If price isn't the determining factor in the purchase of something, but just a contributing factor, can we say that there is one, single, determining factor? I believe that the answer to this is a resounding "yes."
I think that one, determining factor is the value that a consumer places on a product or service. Value is the culmination of product, price, place and promotion. Value is the worth the customer places on a product as compared to the cost. When I say cost here, I don't necessarily mean monetary cost. I mean cost in terms of time, effort, money and energy. I mean cost in terms of what it actually takes for you to buy something.
How do you increase the value of the product you sell? How do you establish a greater worth to your "commodity?"
Is it by adding more, differentiated products?
I don't think so, I think that it is about providing the best customer experience.