Soooo. Last January I bumped into a sales rep for a locally made product. At his urging I brought it into my store. It should be noted that the distributer that they use is not one I was currently working with, so he sent a sales person from that distributer in. I ordered his product as well as others (which are his competitors). A few months later I was checking out their website and noticed that they have a map for where you can find their product. Next to the map was a spot to enter your info to be added to it. I filled it out and hit submit. I checked over the next week or so but I was never added to the map. About a month or so later, I filled it out again, same deal, a month after that I did it one more time. Still wasn’t added. Figuring somthing was wrong with that page, I dug up an email address and emailed someone explaining that I would like to be added to the map, I tried via their web page interface but it didn’t work and could they please add me. Several weeks go by and I never heard back, nor was I added. Then I found the email address of their ‘web designer’. I sent basically the same email to him, no response, not added. After that I found the email of the owner of the company, I emailed him again explaining how I’ve tried and received no response at all. At this point I decided, in my mind, to stop ordering their products (and fill the space with their other local competitors) unless I received a GREAT explination as to why I wasn’t added (for example, some places won’t add you to their maps unless you carry the product for a certain length of time or some such, but even then it would have been nice to be filled in on that, anyways…) A full week after that I receive an email back from someone that I haven’t heard of yet. It appears to be a response to one of my older emails. This bugs me to a point, it proves that he received the older email and must have chosen to ignore it and probably just replied at the owners encourgement, why didn’t the owner reply to me. Either way, here is what it said…
“Thank you for choosing to sell ___________ products in your store. We think of all our customers as vital customers. Also, thank you for notifying us about a problem with our map, and I apologize for not responding earlier. Your problem is being addressed at the moment, and we hope to arrive at a solution soon. I will personally let you know when your location is added to the map. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
Here was my response
*"You actually don’t have to bother with that anymore. I’ve asked 9 times now, 3 times via the web interface, 3 times via the [another] map web interface [for one of their other products], 1 email to someone that I don’t remember, 1 email to [web designer] and one to [owner]. I’ve been doing this since January. NINE MONTHS and this is the first time I’ve received any kind of response at all. Due to that I’ve decided to pull the your [product] out of the store. I have a very limited amount of space in my store for [type of product] and I work very hard to sell it. I need to work with companies that work hard to help me sell their products (this applies to all of our products, not just [type of product]). Since it seems [company name] doesn’t have time to even respond to my emails or add me to your maps, I don’t have time to sell your [product]. It’s too bad the way it worked out, but I really feel I did everything I could do.
Seriously, 9 emails over 9 months and ONE response. That’s not very good customer service. I have a lot of patience and understanding, but not that much."*
[edited to remove identifying names, if you’re really curious PM me]
I haven’t heard back, I don’t really expect to. After the email to the owner, I was really hoping/assuming the owner would call and let me know what’s going on, actually I was hoping he personally would make sure my name was added to the map and then call me. If he really wanted to be a good guy, he could have stopped by my store in person (with a case or two of free product) and apoligized for not getting this taken care of months ago. (The place is only 10 minutes from my store).
Anyways, I emailed one of his other competitors, I was added to the map less then 24 hours later. Like I said in the email, if they arn’t going to help me sell their products, I’ll work with people who will.
So, was discontinuing their product and over reaction or was it justified. I don’t think my email was jerkish, but if it was that doesn’t really bother me, sometimes being jerkish is part of running a business. I’m just curious about if it was an over reaction. BTW I won’t bring their product in any time soon. I’m going to give their competitors a year or so of having more shelf space and see if they pick up the slack, which I’m sure they will.