I hate most large corporate stores. I don’t like that they think they can manipulate me to buy crap I don’t want or need. I don’t like that to them I am a walking $ and not a person, and I don’t like that they put marketing ahead of producing a quality product. Not ALL of them are like that, but I would say MOST of them are. Now before you start thinking I’m some smelly hippy, I'm not, I’m a realist, and my evidence shows that corporations make decisions based on what gets them more $ not what is best for their consumers.
A few years ago I called Microsoft (a shining example of what not to do). They had recently made it so you HAD to call them to cancel Xbox Live (by this point I had gone through literally 5 360s, and been on and off Live since Xbox 1 so I was very familiar with the process.) You used to be able to cancel online (even though they made that a pain too) but “market research” shows the harder it is to op out, the less people do. (How many times have you heard, “I hate calling them, my credit card expires soon, so I’ll just wait”?
So I say to the guy with the foreign accent: “Look, I know you have to follow a script, but I’ve been through this 5 or 6 times now, so can we please just move it along. I love Live, it’s a great service but I’ve moved onto MMORPGs (hell yeah) and am no longer utilizing Xbox live so I’d like to cancel it. I’m sure I’ll be back someday, and I have nothing but good things to say about your service.”
He was stuttering, he had a melt down and tried to pretend I didn’t say anything! He tries to go back into the freaken script! I repeat myself, he asks me to hold. A manager picks up, I say to him: “Look, I know you're not Microsoft and I know you’ve never even seen a Microsoft building, you're an outsourced guy with a script that (according to market research) will get 99% of people who listen to it to stay subbed to Live, I am the 1%, I have no problem with Live, I simply moved onto a different game genre, can we please just move this along”.
He apologized but said they had to do the script or they could get in trouble. I thanked him for being honest and said I wanted to make sure the first guy didn’t get in trouble because he was doing a great job, he just happened to get a pain in the ass customer. I begrudgingly listened to the rehearsed schtick, I followed up with a 3 page email to Microsoft about how I didn’t appreciate them removing the cancel online option to try frustrating people into staying subbed, I got a scripted reply lol.
I prefer going to smaller local businesses. It’s like that TV show about that bar and that alcoholic guy that never left his stool http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KtAgAMzaeg I never understood why that intro had 0 to do with the actual show, but I loved it....Anyway, I like smaller businesses because it’s nice to walk into a place and they know you, you know them, and you have a weird quasi friendship. You get treated like a person instead of a $ sign.
Recently I was at a local art supply store. I saw they had some fancy new liquid graphite pencil for $8. Thats an expensive pencil! So I asked the owner/till worker about the pen. She says “yeah, I just got those in. They sounded neat but a lot of people don’t like how they write, so you probably want to try it first.” She slid me a piece of paper, I tried it, hated it, thanked her for giving me a heads up and bought some paint (paint is expensive btw). If it was a corporate art store they would have told me the damn pencil adds %15 to drawing skills then tried to sell me on the special eraser, holder, battery charger, and insurance plan that comes with it!
Don’t confuse my perspective on the customer. THE CUSTOMER IS RARELY RIGHT! Most of the time the customer is wrong. I mean, you live that business right? So naturally you know more about it than them, that's why it’s your job to INFORM the customer so they come to the right conclusion, the conclusion that they trust you made in their best interest. Thats a helluva concept isn’t it? It’s almost unheard of these days.
I’ve been MMOing since 03, wanna know how many company heads I’ve talked to, 1, Mark Jacobs, on the Kiskstarter comments section. Let's expand that, I am a consumer, have been shopping for a long time now, wanna know how many company owners I’ve had a conversation with? A handful, and they all have stores on Main Street, and they are all decent people that do what they do because they love it. Do they make money? Yeah, some more, some less, but even the ones that don’t make a lot keep doing it, because they love it.
What does all of that have to do with anything? Well, that depends on how you like to be treated.