Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Business Decisions can be tough!

It can sometimes be hard to say no to people. But business is business, and sometimes one must do the difficult thing.

When a game comes out it has only about a 30-day shelf life and then most people have bought all of it that they’re going to buy. And the first few days it comes out are the biggest sales days. So, if a store that sells games doesn’t get the product the first day it comes out, they have a good right to be mad, right? Doesn’t the store owner have the right to tell the guy who sold the games and delivered them late that the store isn’t buying from them any more?

Here’s the situation… recently Magic: The Gathering had a new card set come out. We were supposed to get our first order on a Friday, via UPS, which usually stops in by 1:30 pm. This particular Friday 2 pm came and went and still no boxes of the new Magic cards. Frustrated, I called the distributor from whom we purchased the boxes, and I was told to leave a message. After an hour of not hearing back, I had Craig get on the phone to find out what happened to the cards. The manager told him that he was going to call our sales rep, who was on the road doing deliveries, and we had to wait until he heard back from the rep. The rep, we’ll call him Joe, finally gave us a call, handing Craig one excuse after another for why we didn’t get our cards. He did not offer to come out with them (from Chicago) when he finished the rest of his deliveries. But, he said he’d have them sent UPS Saturday delivery so that we’d get them the very next day.

Now before you say, “hey, the guy’s company made a mistake, give him some slack,” let me ad that the card set one prior to this set ALSO was not shipped to us as it should have been. So, this was the second time, in a row, that they failed to get us our cards on time. Also keep in mind that many people play Friday Night Magic, and so they want the new cards before they go off to play an evenings worth of Magic. When they came in to buy packs from Neptune, we had to apologize and let them know we’d have them sometime on Saturday. Well, that was too late, as most of them did not come back that next day – probably buying the cards from another store who had a distributor who could get them the product on time.

So, when Joe called me to place a pre-order for the next Magic: the Gathering set, I told him that we would not be pre-ordering from them anymore. We would be glad to place ongoing orders as we sold out of product, but no more pre-orders. He just could not understand why I made that decision. He insisted that it was some clerical issue – both times – and that he talked to his boss and he would be doing the paperwork on his own from now on, so that it would not happen again. MORE EXCUSES…. Well, it WON’T happen to us again because we’re not going to pre-order Magic from Joe. It’s a business decision. Unlike with comics, there are many distribution channels for us to purchase games from, so it only makes sense to not only shop for price, but also for service. And if a company, twice in a row, can’t deliver on-time, it only seems fair to cut them loose – at least for this particular product. I felt bad, and he calls us every week, so it’s an ongoing discussion about how he hopes to earn our business on Magic in the future.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am not mad at you. I would not order from them either. I am a firm believer in customer service, and if a business does not produce what I expect from them, they have lost my business forever. I have done it with a comic book store chain in Milwaukee, Best Buy, and Applebee's just to name a few. I REFUSE to spend my money there.

Yes, like yourself, I usually give a place of business 2 chances. One mistake can just be that, a mistake. But if it happens time nad time again, I have no hard feelings about not returning to their business.

I would not do business with them. Shop around. Find someone who fits your needs. Even if you have to travel a little further or spend a little more money, but you get what you want, when you want, it makes it all worth it.