Cheapskate customers...

Another day in the ongoing saga of Drach and his computer shop.

Customer calls up all excited and all in a hurry that he needs a new gaming machine…now now now now! On sunday, my one day off.

Did I mention now?

So I drag my ass out of bed, apply clothing, and head for the shop.

Customer arrives, has lists of parts he is interested in I make a few reccomendations, we spec him out a box. He writes me a check for the full amount ($1427.38). I post parts orders for the things I need. Tell him it should be ready wed.

Today 3:38pm (my guess as long as he could hide it from his wife)

CC: I need to cancel my order
Me: Um, sir, those parts are already on the truck shipped overnight to be here Tue.
CC: Well I am feeling kinda ripped off. (he paid about an extra hundred in shipping, sadly thats about what it cost me)
Me: How so?
CC: Well I did a bit of digging around online and I found a few of the parts you sold me for cheaper online.
Me: could you give me an example?
CC: Well this RAM you quoted me is $7 a stick cheaper on site X. ($51 vs $58 my price on 4GB DDR3)
Me: and what is overnight shipping?
CC: why do I care, shipping costs are your problem
Me: Yes they are, that doesent mean I do not pass those costs on to the customer.
CC: Well I Found the Video card for $50 cheaper at site XY
Me: and the shipping costs on that…
CC: Why do you guys all try to screw people like this.
Me: because some of our parts may be slightly more expensive than the cheapest you can find scouring the internet?
CC: yes
Me: Like most businesses we have preferred vendors we deal with, simplifying our parts supply needs and making it much easier to figure out who to RMA a DOA part to. They may not have the same deals and promotions as any other given source, but they provide a consistent level of service I need to fill parts needs promptly and at a reasonable price. Businesses also tend to charge more for the part than they paid for it. When you buy a $58 stick of ram, I paid a bit less, helping to cover my time, shipping costs, the occasional return shipping charge, etc.
CC: So you will not give me the computer for the cost of all the parts I found for less?
Me: There are assembly labor charges as well
CC: so you make money on the parts AND charge me to put it together
Me: Yes sir
CC: I don’t think thats fair.
Me: its actually a very common thing sir.
CC: Well I would feel alot less ripped off if not for the fact I found all the parts totalling up to $600 and I think you are gouging me badly?
Me: well let me do a little poking around and I will call you back.

So I go google shopping on each part
I come up with $1,009. I actually paid my wholesaler around $880 for the parts. all in all the biz will net about $300 markup and labor after sales tax, shipping charges, etc. So I am not exactly feeling like the dread pirate Drachillix here.

I also spot check a few of the places other items were cheaper.

I call the customer back

CC: did you find the parts cheaper?
Me: My research came up with $1,009 not $600
CC: What about the place with the video card for $50 cheaper.
Me: They are out of stock with no projected restock date
CC: oh
CC: and the Blu-Ray drive, $160 was way too much. What about this one at site XYZ
Me: You specified what brand/model you wanted, and (checking site) thats not a Blu-Ray burner, thats a Blu-Ray player/DVD burner and its a different brand.
CC: No its not
Me: Yes sir it is, its still gonna be a while before we see $59 Blu-Ray burners.
CC: Well you guys should be able to get this stuff cheaper so you can get me a better deal.
Me: I did everything the way you asked me sir.
CC: Well yeah but you are still screwing me out of like $700.
Me: Sir we already covered that, half of those parts you cited are not in stock at those prices and you are not including relevant sales taxes or shipping
CC: shipping should be free
Me: You and I both wish sir, unfortunately UPS and fedex employees gotta eat too.
CC: You guys have excuses for everything, I guess I am just screwed.
Me: I am sorry you feel that way sir.

This is the abbreviated for removal of many, many, parroted requests version of the 3 phone calls I recived from this guy.

Oh, and he is a referral from a friend. :smack:

He did dial down the vitriol quite a bit after calling him out on the $600 vs $1,009 on retail parts availability. I have never seen a more whiny case of buyers remorse in my life.

If he’s doing that much price shopping, why the heck isn’t he building the system himself? Isn’t the whole concept of paying someone else assuming you don’t have the time or the ability?

Yeah, but, see, your expertise and experience and help should be free because he can look shit up on the internet.

Where does he think every other thing he buys comes from?

Because then he would have no one else to blame if something goes wrong.

That’s my favourite part right there.
I too agree that shipping stuff from halfway across the globe oughta be free.

I hope the check clears before you hand over the machine.

You responded reasonably to a customer who conflated unreasonableness with shrewd negotiating, which is good customer service even if the customer doesn’t realize it.

“Shipping should be free. That’s your problem.”

“Shall I let the factory know you’ll be flying to China to pick it up then? No? Then I guess you’ll be paying for the shipping.”

I’d probably also tell my friend the story.

I totally feel for the guy. I went to a furniture store to buy a dining room set, and then I found out I could get a whole shitload of lumber for a lot less. Boy, did I feel ripped off!


Dear Customer…

Please remember who it is you’re going to call at 7AM on Sunday morning when your computer doesn’t boot. I’m easier to reach than the guy in China who offered to ship you the parts for free via sampan. Besides, he’s probably driving a taxi now because cheap numbnuts customers like you put him out of business.

Wait a minute. I think I’m going to go bitch off Amazon, those bastards have the nerve to charge me shipping on the stuff I buy. Crap, eBay does too. Drach, this is all your fault.

Cuntomers, can’t live with them , but your not alowed to shoot them.

I always like when they re-negotiate the price after they have giving the go-ahead and ordered the PC/Laptop.

I lol’d pretty hard at $925 on $600 in parts in that thread. I didn’t say anything then 'cause I didn’t really care but you gotta expect people to get annoyed once they find out you’re charging like $100/hr to play a fancy game of LEGO.

Building PCs isn’t Legos. Bust a pin while inserting a CPU (and it’s easy to do) and you’re out a few hundred bucks. Connect a power supply using the wrong voltage and you’ll ruin the whole MoBo - a few hundred bucks.

Don’t criticize those who earn their living by knowing how to do things you don’t know how to do.

Palooka would likely say: “Gee - this looks like it plugs in here… so it must be the right spot!”

Years ago there was a tongue-in-cheek “What Do You Think” segment in The Onion regarding ATM fees banks were charging. One of the faux-respondents’ opinion:

“I don’t think it’s fair for a business to charge a fee for a service it provides.”


No, it pretty much is.

In fairness, it’s probably more likely “I know how to do this, and I’ve done it enough that I’ve forgotten that 95% of the world either is terrified of the internals of computers or can’t be arsed to have learned.”

And don’t get me started on Ikea! But the wrong size bolt into the wrong hole and your king size bed turns into a bear trap. If you don’t properly fit the pneumatic lifter thingy on your office chair, it will literally shoot up your ass, travel vertically through your spine, and rocket out the top of your head. God forbid you start assembling one of those halogen light systems, and suddenly have an urge to stick a fork into a wall outlet, because you will light up like a pinball machine and people will be able to see your bones and organs like an x-ray machine.

Not only that, any of these catastrophes will mean $29.95 (which is really only like $6 of formica and particle board, wholesale) down the drain!

But seriously, I respect the knowledge and expertise of computer builders. Installing software and getting things configured is a challenge, but snapping pieces together isn’t exactly rocket science.

Building a PC is pretty easy nowadays but having the knowledge and spare parts to troubleshoot DoA components, which does happen, adds to that bill.

When a customer orders a custom built computer they’re buying the expertise that promises a fully working computer on delivery, plus a certain amount of after market support.

What does building a PC have to do with a cheap ass customer? He (the cheap ass customer) wanted a pro to build, configure and deliver a turn-key system. He needed advice and suggestions on the latest hardware and options. He should have to pay for these services. He probably wanted the builder to stand behind the computer, and he should have to pay for that too. My point being that there is more to building a computer than assembling parts and plugging it in.

Edit. Seems I said what AC just said.