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Decency among retailers

Ulrich Spranger
Ulrich Spranger
Jarltech is successful if we are able to enter into a true partnership of equals with our vendors. In such a partnership we can stockpile the right products for our partners, find solutions, ensure for a good price from the vendor in projects together, and even tinker with creative project financing here and there.

On average, our resellers are real pros. Some of them sell 10,000 mobile devices per year, others only seven POS systems. Since we all treat each other fairly, this makes no difference to us.

I have never complained about a customer using this platform, but two cases have brought the volcano to eruption, and I simply have to release my frustration. Thankfully, these things hardly ever happen, but when we feel we are being blackmailed, then we are angry through and through. In these two cases the people obviously could never get enough, and are of the opinion their »power« as »King Customer« is unlimited.

Case #1: We send a customer four printers instead of just one. Since our packing error rate is sensationally low, this is truly an exception. While checking the serial numbers we should have found the mistake ourselves after a few days. But the customer is honest, well, since he never could have used this type of printer again in the future. And there is no real market on ebay for them. An attempt at evasion would not have resulted in extra money, on the contrary, the customer would have had a disposal problem.

The customer contacted us and requested the printers be picked up by UPS. »For our honesty we would like to receive a complimentary bottle of champagne.« Asking for presents is rather tasteless, but our sales team thought it was a fair request, and, of course, the champagne was immediately dispatched.

Unfortunately, the printer pick-up also went wrong. When we called the reseller he honestly said to us: »Thank you for the champagne. But we feel that you could also throw in an iPad for our honesty. And then you can pick up the goods.«

Growing audacity? No, after a jaw-dropping moment, we simply reported the three surplus printers to the police as being stolen. Perhaps they will be fortunate enough to merely pick them up without having to give anything in return.

Case #2: A never-ending story, abbreviated. The customer has no right to return a certain article. He placed the wrong order (which can happen) but only realized it half a year later. That's truly annoying. Yet we provide credit as a gesture of goodwill and remind him that the device needs to be packaged in its original box, plus then in outer packaging when returning it to us, so that we can resell it.

The system was returned to us, but with all kinds of software installed on it, plus it had scratches. It was carelessly tossed into the next available box, and there were even stickers on it. Since the reseller is no shipping pro, the display was also broken. So, we rejected the credit, since this was not part of the deal.

The reseller says: »Ok, then we won't buy anything else from you. The end customer never paid for the 500 euro system. We simply collected it. It should be Jarltech's problem.« Aha, so the customer knew ahead of time that he wanted to dump unmarketable junk into our lap. He simply thought that we wouldn't say anything, because he appears to be such a good reseller. And that he can lie to us as he pleases.
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