left Xtraordinary Living At Its Best: Isn't it ironic?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

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Isn't it ironic?

“You get what you pay for.” “The best things in life are free.” Which of these statements is true? Both and neither.

If you’ve been around me, you know how much I dislike doing business with the airlines. I never thought I would find another industry that would trigger as many negative emotions in me as the airlines. But I have. My recent experiences with my cellular company are right up there in my Hall of Shame for lousy customer service. Why don’t I change companies, you ask. That would be because the reason I changed to the current cellular company was the lousy service I got with my last one. I also get the benefit of listening to my wife and daughter’s stories about their cellular company.

On the other hand, I love the Internet. Not only has it given me more options and more power, but it is also a great vehicle for cooperation. There is plenty of value in FREE on the Net.

I find it very ironic that companies where I pay thousands of dollars every year treat me so poorly while people who I’ve never met and stand to gain nothing financially from interacting with me treat me so well.

Take this blog for example. It is being hosted for free by a subsidiary of Google – a US company. I’m using a free template developed by an individual in the Netherlands. There is additional code developed by another programmer on the East Coast that allows me to customize it to my needs that is also free. In the past two weeks, I’ve asked questions to all these entities and received prompt, relevant and courteous responses from all of them – for free. Try that with the airline or your cellular provider.

On the other hand, I recently bought a road bike – see my Portugal post – at my local bike shop. The reason I decided to go there as opposed to buying it online or at a place like Wal-Mart, is because I wanted to get an education and I wanted to get great service. I got both. Yes I paid more, but it was definitely worth it

I have a favor to ask you: if PL&L EVER does something that you would consider bad customer service, please let me know. I don’t want you to ever feel about my company the way I feel about the airlines or the cellular companies.