What It Means To Be A Small Business When No One Cares...
This has been a tough week (or three). We've had delays, largely due to FedEx damage on an absurdly broad scale (how do they break 70% of what they pack and ship?!?!), but I've also got some personal challenges with family (kids back to school, freshly ex'd-wife, moving her out of my house and me back in, etc...) tugging on my pants leg, which makes everything challenging with a side of chainsaw welding maniacs.
You know what I was reminded this week, in crystal clear and no-uncertain terms?
No. One. Gives. A. Shit.
Sure, people care when they sing me a sad song about how they can't afford an asking price because [INSERT BULLSHIT REASON FOR NEEDING A FEW HUNDRED DOLLAR DISCOUNT TO DRESS UP YOUR $100,000 CAR], but when the swinging door of understanding needs to come back the other way, I'm forced back to the realities of being the big-bad owner of a mega corporation. (Um... no...) As a small business, we live the realities of two phrases better than most.
Those phrases are: "Hand-To-Mouth" and "Face Of The Business".
Understandably, the owner of any small business should strive to become the face of the business. It allows our clients to have a name and a face to go along with the money they're sending off into outer space and when something goes astray. (you know: an unexpected production delay, the wrong product accidentally gets shipped, FedEx plays kickball with your $4000 front splitter...)
You've got a name (mine), you've got a face (mine), and you've got a number (mine) to call in case you need a quick update.
Maybe it's just me, but I take this very personally when someone turns on me as if we've never had a conversation and I haven't consistently responded to each and every piece of correspondence faster than literally ANY other business with whom you deal, etc....
As a business, we oftentimes see clients take a "little old me vs. big bad you" position in the formation of the relationship. You know, the one where they assume you've got unlimited cash reserves, you have a 400000% markup in the product, and you sell 10,000 per day...
As a matter of good-faith dealing, I'm expected to keep my word, but when times get tough, and I've got to put in more effort to make sure you're not receiving junk when you open that box... well, to quote an actual client who filed an unannounced charge-back after a 2 week delay due to shipping damage, "Now it's your problem..."
Every dollar that comes through the door is already spent... rent, payroll, materials, advertising, misc. overhead, kids in college, et. al., so when you decide to "teach us a lesson", all it does is reinforce the negatives of being a client facing and supporting business.
It also forces me to strengthen the defenses against unreasonable people, which is also going to force upon the folks who DO support us in everything we do to have to deal with it, too.
Unintended consequences are often unintended.
So, with that having been said, I want to take a second to remind everyone we have a clear written refunds policy that basically reads "no refunds, for any purpose, at any time, unless you talk to me first and I authorize it as a matter of exception." (Attached to the Terms and Conditions at check out in our e-store.)
So, there it is.
Any person trying to file an unannounced charge back is going to be met with a stone wall of "sorry, it's against our company policy".
To date, I've denied exactly ONE refund request, so thanks for making me have to be a jerk, folks.
You call it "being a jerk".
I call it "staying in business".
Emails to Sales@G3Carbon.Com if you've got questions, comments, or snide remarks.
Your Main Man Vowelz