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« Country Ham | Main | Traffic Improvement? »

May 20, 2005

Comments

Sean Pecor

After having a relatively new Kenmore washer fail on me twice, I bought the Bosch Nexxt series washer and dryer units. I've remained a Bosch power tool fan for years due to their reliability and durability. To date I haven't had a Bosch product let me down, so I'm a loyal customer. The same goes for Miele. You know, the makers of the $2,000 coffee maker that currently resides in the kitchen of my dreams ;)

I too have been frustrated by big box stores. They draw their customers with a large inventory and somewhat lower prices. But in my experience, this discount is offset by the time I've wasted when the product or service purchased fails to perform as advertised. So when I can I buy products from smaller dealers.

I'm an audio/electronics enthusiast, and I try to avoid buying electronics from the big box stores. Often they'll negotiate a deal with a major manufacturer to receive their own special model with a unique designation. This unique model gets "dumbed down" electronics (example: a cheaper lower quality digital comb filter in a TV) so the unit cost is less. Since the typical consumer can't distinguish a Widget TV Model KP46 from a Model KP46A, the two appear identical and the consumer's perception is that the big box store has a lower price on the same product. The added bonus for the box store is that their unique model number, on a highly desirable product that may face stiff competition from smaller dealers, cannot be offered at a lower price by anyone else (forcing them to have to match it) because they are the only shop in town with that model. Genius!

I look at the slightly higher cost of buying from a smaller dealer as peace of mind insurance. First, I help the local economy, and next, when things go wrong, I have one vendor contact who will go the extra mile to solve my problem.

Sean.

ocracokewaves

We've been very successful finding smaller dealers here in Roanoke. I think the problem gets worse when you live in fast growing places like Northern Virginia and Charlotte. Most of the smaller dealers are squeezed out as the big box stores compete for the big pieces of the pie. As the areas mature there is a chance for better service providers to work their way back into the mix.

The confusing model numbers work on everything form mattresses to televisions. Sometimes it is even impossible to compare using Consumer Reports because of all the weird unique products.

We have actually had pretty good luck on standard washer and dryers. I think it would be a major victory for us all if they would design these things to be repaired instead of junked. We looked an impressive washer and dryer from New Zealand that used magnets instead of belts but decided the cost was too high.

I'll look forward to trying a cup of coffee from that $2,000 coffee maker.

John H

I am having the identical experience with Maytag and Home Depot indifference and buckpassing. My Admiral washer has a wobble in the basket (cheap plastic basket). A repairman from Maytag came out and looked at it and said it worked better than most and that I should just use it. It shakes so much that it can only be used at the slowest speed. The only way I can return it to Home Depot is to hire a mover for $240 (quoted price) they (HD) refuse to come and pick up their junk and refund my money. I am writing and calling every corporate and local source I can find. No luck yet.

Don Wenzel

Year after year the Home Depot sends out a press release on how they are going to spend millions of dollars on customer service. I have a news flash for the Home Depot "It is not working" When I signed my contract on 9-14-05 the Home Depot was full of promises and now they can not seem to keep them. Now almost 14 months later and problems still are not corrected you can see the Home Depot just does not care about its customers. They will lose one customer at a time and end up like the old HQ. You can visit my web site at http://www.freewebs.com/myroof to see the destruction.

kris

I to bought a maytag dryer from home depot after 5 months use it quit working so I call maytag they send me to their repair people here on maui and won't service my dryer at my house, I live in lahaina 22 miles away and they won't do it and they never tell you that upon purchase. home depot sucks so bad but here we have only them and lowes and they both suck. aloha kris

JL Ames

The fact of the matter is that the alternative products you mention like Bosch or any other European products are going to put cheap American crap like Maytag to shame. They're built with product precision and personal pride because to Europeans, product loyalty still means something.

I still remember when my parents were "Ford People". They were "Ford People" because my grandparents were "Ford People". And when I turned 16 and got my driver's license, I was, yes, you got it, a "Ford People." Of course my first Ford was a '69 Mustang Mach I, a muscle car compared to other cars, except of course the Chevy Camaro in which case it became semi-muscle car which is why the Ford engine and tranny came our along with the rear end and when it all went back together, I was still a "Ford People" but I was also an Edelbrock People, a Holly People, an Accel People, a Centerline People, an Isky Racing Cam People, an M&H RaceMaster People and the list goes on. The point is as American products went downhill, new after-market product companies were born to capitalize on a new market. That has become the American way. CEOs build crap, sell them to the masses, make millions in salary and bonuses then invest in the aftermarket companies and make more money. Needless to say, I am, thanks to alot of hard work and sacrifices, no longer a Ford People. I'm a Porsche People because I sat down one day and calculated what it took to make American crap reliable through aftermarket products, figured in the aggravation similar to what all of us have been through, the cost of phone calls, warranty service, down time and on and on and on and when I was finished, it came out to be about what I paid for my Porsche that's dependable because it's built with personal care and quality and pride because they know the value of product loyalty. So now I'm a Porsche Person...and a Bosch washer and dryer People and, well, on and on and on. And I'm extremely loyal... to Bosch and Porsche and a few others (coffee maker not included!) And I'm extremely American. I just refuse to be thought of as an idiot, American or otherwise. And, thankfully, I see I'm not alone.

JL Ames

The fact of the matter is that the alternative products you mention like Bosch or any other European products are going to put cheap American crap like Maytag to shame. They're built with product precision and personal pride because to Europeans, product loyalty still means something.

I still remember when my parents were "Ford People". They were "Ford People" because my grandparents were "Ford People". And when I turned 16 and got my driver's license, I was, yes, you got it, a "Ford People." Of course my first Ford was a '69 Mustang Mach I, a muscle car compared to other cars, except of course the Chevy Camaro in which case it became semi-muscle car which is why the Ford engine and tranny came our along with the rear end and when it all went back together, I was still a "Ford People" but I was also an Edelbrock People, a Holly People, an Accel People, a Centerline People, an Isky Racing Cam People, an M&H RaceMaster People and the list goes on. The point is as American products went downhill, new after-market product companies were born to capitalize on a new market. That has become the American way. CEOs build crap, sell them to the masses, make millions in salary and bonuses then invest in the aftermarket companies and make more money. Needless to say, I am, thanks to alot of hard work and sacrifices, no longer a Ford People. I'm a Porsche People because I sat down one day and calculated what it took to make American crap reliable through aftermarket products, figured in the aggravation similar to what all of us have been through, the cost of phone calls, warranty service, down time and on and on and on and when I was finished, it came out to be about what I paid for my Porsche that's dependable because it's built with personal care and quality and pride because they know the value of product loyalty. So now I'm a Porsche Person...and a Bosch washer and dryer People and, well, on and on and on. And I'm extremely loyal... to Bosch and Porsche and a few others (coffee maker not included!) And I'm extremely American. I just refuse to be thought of as an idiot, American or otherwise. And, thankfully, I see I'm not alone.

hanamint

The perception in the marketplace, according to research, is that customer service is declining. Whether consumer expectations have increased or services have declined over the last few years is debatable. The fact is, perception is truth, in the consumersÂ’ eyes.

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