It’s OK to tell

user-gravatar Headshot

Let’s face it. There are a lot of crappy products sold in truck stops. To be fair, there are a lot of crappy products sold everywhere anymore, because most people would rather pay less for crappy things on the front end, even though they end up having to buy more of those crappy things on the back end. They don’t care because the stuff is cheap, and for all intents and purposes, the word “cheap” has been fully employed here.

We use our Facebook page to gather information from the actual consumers about products a lot. We get some really good feedback, and great information on which products hold up best under what conditions. That being said, we are talking about a group of truckers here, so often we get 150 different answers to the same question, and at least one inevitable slam of the product entirely.

The point is, we’re all generating information from a “boots on the ground” perspective, so even though the information isn’t always all the same, or even pertinent, it’s given by people who have used the products in the same capacity we’re going to. (Side note: I could not in good conscience leave the remark blaming Obama for 12 volt Coleman cooler plugs being cheap posted on the page. I’m sorry, I just won’t go that far. I’m all about free speech, but that’s just silly. Let’s keep it on topic.)

One thing I’ve noticed is that not a lot of people return things when they’re broken.

George Parker saves receipts for shop towels, but that’s just him.George Parker saves receipts for shop towels, but that’s just him.

I often find I learn a lot from people who disagree with me, so the remarks about people being entirely unhappy about a product I’ve used and liked always intrigue me. The first thing I ask is if they returned the item for whatever reason they were unhappy about. I most often get the response that they didn’t because they don’t have the receipt from the purchase point, which I can’t understand, because all that stuff is a write off, and George Parker saves receipts for shop towels. Anyway, my next question is if they got in touch with the manufacturer of the product, and again, most often, the answer is no.

Let me share with you that in my personal experience, most of the manufacturers really do want to hear why you don’t like their product. Let me also say that it’s a hassle consumers shouldn’t have to go through, but how else do you expect them to make the product better?

It’s OK to tell. Really. It doesn’t make you an a-hole, it makes you an asset – provided that you do it in a civil, non-threatening manner. I’m a huge advocate of using customer satisfaction surveys and hotlines â€” I am not an advocate of calling some poor schmuck who works at a call center for a company 10,000 miles away and screaming at him incoherently for 15 minutes because your lunchbox warmer won’t bake a potato. Do it right, please.