I have a personal policy. When somebody wants to give me some of their money, I make it as easy as I possibly can for them to do so! I mean, I’m a businessman, and if somebody wants to buy something from me, I try to make it as painless as possible for them! Sometimes, in one of my businesses or another, I will realize that something is set up in a way that makes it difficult for people to purchase from me. When that happens, I do my best to fix it, to make the process easier for the customer. I mean, if they want me to have some of their money, who am I to argue with them?
My friend, Dave Starr, and I have been having a little discussion lately about how difficult it is to get a Philippine business to take your money sometimes! Sometimes, it would seem that businesses here will do all they can to make you stop from giving them any cash!
Well, this is just a small example, but about 2 weeks ago I went into a computer store here in Davao. I used to shop in this store very regularly. Like, I went in there 4 or 5 times a week, back in the day. They were the only good computer shop in the City at the time, so although they made shopping difficult, I clinched my fist and tried my best to keep my discomfort from spilling out, but I went there. Well, it had been a while, but I decided to stop in and see if they had anything that I really needed (wanted?). Also, I did have one specific need. I needed a new power supply for my laptop.
I brought my old power supply cable with me to the store, and also I had the model number and manufacturer of my laptop in hand as well. When I went in and said hello to one of the ladies working there – we knew each other quite well, since I used to be a very regular customer – I showed her the old power supply, told him my laptop model number, and asked if they had a new power supply for it.
To say the least, I was disappointed in her answer.
She replied that I needed some number off the back of my laptop. But, I had given her the model number, and had the actual power supply in hand. It’s all no use, though, I had to have that one specific number. I asked if she could not just look in some parts book and let me give her the money for the power supply. Nope, she wouldn’t even take the time to check her catalog. And, this was a dealer for the laptop brand that I was looking for (Compaq).
I left the store feeling kind of bad about it, I had worked in this type of business before, and I know that she should have the ability to check if the power supply was available. On a whim, I went to another computer store on the way home. Did the same thing. I walked out with the part that I needed too. No hassle, no fuss, just 5 minutes and I had what I wanted.
Over the past few weeks, Dave has been telling me of similar experiences that he has been having with an Internet provider in his area. He really wants to upgrade his service, but finds it very hard to get the company to be interested in getting the extra money out of him!
This is so very common here, it’s really unbelievable. Sometimes it seems like businesses here not only don’t go the extra mile to get your business, but when you want to give them business, they actively do anything they possibly can to make you keep your money!
Well, like so many of the ways that I see things, or the ways that I do business, things are different here. I suppose that variety is the spice of life!