I decided to start a podcast as one part of my social media outreach. Seemed like a good idea at the time. I was writing the scripts anyway and making up a podcast was only going to take a few extra minutes. A quick bit of online research and the primary bit of advice was to get a good microphone. Apparently you can record on almost any bit of software and it will work but the mic is the keystone to the entire affair.
Off the research microphones I go. Ran through a lot of options and quality measurements (some of which were clearly out of my price and quality range) It became clear I needed a dynamic mic and that was the route I then pursued with specific recommendations and reviews.
Found the one (a Rode Podcaster). The reviews were good, the price was a bit of a stretch but I’ve always bought the best bit of equipment I can for the job (learned that lesson in the nursery).
Naturally, I did it on Amazon. Went to my local camera shop (Henry’s) and checked the price. Not that much different and for the difference, I decided to support a local business. I’ve dealt with them before – cameras, SLRs and video, some lenses and filters and other equipment over the years. It’s always been my policy to support local whenever possible even if it costs a few extra bucks to do so. That’s not just with plants but also with other things such as this three-hundred dollar mic.
Comparable. The only difference was that I would have to go to the mainland store to pick it up while Amazon would deliver via post office.
We’re used to combining chores and maintain shopping lists for this kind of day. Got an extra hour? Pick up these extra things. Only those who live on islands where the shopping is off-island can appreciate the efficiency of our planning. Heck, when it takes almost an hour via ferry and car (each way) to shop, you tend to group your purchases. And when I go in, I pick up stuff for M. and vice versa.
My better half was going into town and she agreed to pick up the parcel for me. I called Henry’s and said I wanted to pay with my business card but my wife was coming in to pick it up.
We don’t take credit cards over the phone. No exceptions.
OK. Will you take a cheque? I can give my wife a business cheque?
We don’t take cheques unless the person has identification in the store.
How do I get my business to pay for this then?
You come in.
You understand your company is making it difficult to do business with.
In other words, I’d have to take 2 hours non-billable time to go to the store and pick up a mic. Or I could wait until I go in again (which is not scheduled for another two weeks.)
My Other Option: Amazon
My other option, and the one I’ll likely use next time, is to order it from Amazon. If I order it using my own affiliate code, I’ll get a further discount. And it will come to my door in a few days and I won’t have any hassle of which card to use.
It’s all part of the message of shopping in an Internet age and how local business has to compete with the online world. I’m sure Henry’s has a perfectly good reason for not taking credit cards over the Net. But in this case, whatever that reason, and for the record, I really don’t care what it is. It just cost them a future customer.
I’m so used to companies that want my business and work very hard to destroy barriers to making the sale that when I run into one that has erected them, I all too quickly look elsewhere.
The Only Message Here
The only message here is one for myself about how I can get out of the way between a reader and my books. How I need to focus on ensuring my readers have a smooth and enjoyable transaction. I need a good reader experience unlike the one I just had. I want my reader to remember me in a positive way.
Not the way I will remember Henry’s every time I fire up that microphone.
My wife went into the shop this afternoon and picked up the microphone. On my behalf, expressed my disappointment to a young man behind the counter. His response was that they were protecting my card by not taking it over the phone. (Henry’s has probably been burned by stolen cards used over the phone, product picked up and then the charge denied by the rightful card owner. Henry’s is on the hook for the missing product.) But that wasn’t the true story, it was “protecting the consumer” story that was given.
Companies should recognize there are true stories and there are protect-your-ass stories and when other companies willingly take your card data over the phone, not to do so isn’t protecting consumers, it’s protecting the company. And will be seen that way. Marketing is about telling true stories – now more so than ever.
Mayo then said I’d chosen to deal with a local company but probably would shop online next time because it was easier and cheaper. The young man shrugged.
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