Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sanity check please!

Most of you probably know the Otto Frei Shop, one of the main watch tools and parts seller on the internet. What you probably don´t know, is what they have to say about customers questions. Read it and take you own conclusions...

"Email is such a pain and I have great frustration in it. Phone calls are 100% better, faster, real time answers. Now international calls are a problem and sometimes the connection can be bad so I understand email can have its place. However, I have no interest in free email for watch parts nothing in this world is free. The frustration is with email in whole as a drain on resources and the wasted exchanges with no orders. Multiple emails are quite common, then when you get the order is it worth all the time you spent? No, it is not. If you want me to treat you as a professional then you better order like a professional. So if you don't want to pay the phone company to call us 510-832-0355 you can pay for my time spent answering your email. We Do Not Offer Stock Checks On Watch & Clock Movements Parts By Email For Free [written in BIG RED LETTERS]. Go ahead send your request to us. Then, I will send you to this page and will tell you which stock check you need to purchase.

$15.00 A Simple 5 Minute Stock On Watch Parts Via Email
If I can read your email, check stock and with a reply all in five minutes or less of my time the charge is $15.00
My goal is to make $124,800 dollars a year. If I work 8 hours a day, 5 day a week, 52 weeks a year the would be 124,800 minutes worth of working. I would have to be paid $1.00 per minute or $60.00 a hour. In order to be paid $1.00 per minute, I would have to be bring in much more than that per minute. If any of your are business owners or have a mind for busines you know that you are very lucky to make after cost two to ten cents from every dollar you take in. I consider the rate of $3.00 per minute to be more than a fair exchange for my time.

$30.00 A 10 Minute Stock On Watch Parts Via Email
If I can read your email, check stock and with a reply all in ten minutes the charge is $30.00"

Hard to believe?? I know!!! Check it at

My goal is also to make at least 124.800 dollars a year, however, if you are going to charge people for inquiries, I think it is better to move on to another business. I wonder if he realized that this inquiry stuff is bothering all shop owners.. (comment and title by Robert-Jan, fratellowatches, with whom i fully agree!)


Quantum said...

I understand the owner wants to be paid for his time - we all do. But this guy is a dinosaur and needs to plant both feet firmly into the 21st century.

No one is going to spend $30 for this fool to go check stock for ten minutes! Get REAL! Talk about an over-inflated sense of entitlement married to a cranky attitude! Time to retire, perhaps?

The reason his emailing doesn't often result in sales is because he clearly has a very negative attitude about it to begin with which reflects in how he deals with people (those sentiments he posted on his website are absurd!). And more than likely, he doesn't consistently answer peoples' emailed questions thoroughly or accurately the first time around (his grammar is atrocious, if that's any sign). Or maybe he's the type of person who isn't very proficient with computers and doesn't like them, but sees them as a necessary evil. I mean, look at his website - amateurishly designed, at best. Can you say, "Much needed overhaul"?

We all know - well, except for this guy, apparently - that email (and messaging, for that matter) is the most prolific method in which people communicate these days (and have been communicating for many years). Having to deal with phone calls often results in "phone tag" or multiple calls that aren't answered or returned (both of which are a REAL waste of time), or demands being tied up on hold while you sit and wait for answers over the phone when you have more important things to do. And since when did phone calls mean always getting the answers you need the first time around?

By emailing, you can send your inquiry whenever you wish, and then go do something else while you await someone's answer. It allows people to communicate without interruption, and ensures that questions and concerns can be sent, read, and responded to when it's convenient for both parties to do so (even if it's in the middle of the night), with a reduction in time spent "chasing" one another or waiting on hold. It allows for better time management.

As a business person, you can't have this guy's attitude in this day and age and reach your potential. Some people just continue to fade and eventually go out of business completely because their attitude turned too many people off.

Maybe what he needs to do is hire someone who does nothing but deal with his email. THAT would be a much smarter, wiser way for him to deal with it. Every business and individual has to deal with email. It's a part of our highly connected world, and it's here to stay. So I'd tell anyone, grow up and deal with it. How do the Marines put it? "Learn to adapt, or get out of the way."

Besides, what makes him think that anyone couldn't call him up, talk to him for five or ten minutes, and not buy a thing? Therefore, in that regard, dealing with email is no worse or different than dealing with the phone or voice mail.

Attitude is everything.

vman said...

This is crazy indeed. I am glad that I read this post before asking these guys for some parts. We live in the 21st century and while all of us would like to get paid, we should not forget customer service.

I deal with customers who spends hundreds of thousands, if not millions, USD on the products that my company produces and I am simply outraged by the fact that somebody demands $30 for a parts check. Make a sale to make some money; make a friend to make a fortune.

GuidoMuldoon said...

I've dealt with Otto Frei Company many times. When I've had questions I have called. The phone was quickly answered by real humans and I got real answers quickly and courteously. Beats waiting on emails any day.