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Re: filmscanners: A Good Epson Customer Service Story

Jeffrey Goggin wrote:

>> Some of us disagree.  No matter what you pay for a product or service $1 or
>> $1,000 the buyer is entitled to expect and indeed demand the level of
>> quality, performance, and service that the company has advertised  for that
>> product and/or service.
> This is nice in theory but where in Epson's (to cite the specific matter at
> issue) advertising or promotional materials have they ever spelled out in
> detail exactly what level of "quality, performance, and service" they
> intend to provide, other than overnight exchanges on some printer models?
> In today's litigious society, it's _very_ rare that a manufacturer of _any_
> item will make specific, guaranteed claims about its products or the manner
> in which they intend to address the problems that will inevitably surface.
> Besides, as a professional negoiator (well, in a past life anyway), I
> personally prefer such claims be left vague since it gives me some
> manuevering room when it comes to resolving a problem.  ;^)

Besides the legislation on merchantibility that exists in each 
state/province or country, there is an implied quality that the law 
usually upholds.  Beyond that, advertising claims do exist.  Sometimes 
its as simple as they show a result of a product (a scan result, a print 
result), or a qualifier, such as "photographic quality".  Sometimes it 
is done via a comparison, "with the other brands you see the fruit, with 
Ebzone you see the fruit flies".  This campaign implies the product is 
superior to others of a similar class or market niche.

> Agreed in principle but common sense shouldn't be ignored, either.  If you
> pay $300 for an item offering similar performance to items that cost far
> more money, common sense suggests that compromises were made somewhere in
> the design and/or manufacturing and marketing processes.  To expect the
> same degree of customer service from Bazooka regarding a non-performing
> piece of bubble gum as from Epson regarding a $300 printer (or potentially,
> a $10,000 printer) is IMO, unrealistic. 

Arguably, Bazooka is more likely, per value, to give you a better deal. 
  Write them about stale gum, and likely they won't just send you one 
pack of gum, but a nice box full, or a coupon good for a couple dozen. 
Write Epson about a clogged printer head, and they might exchange it 
with one, and pay the shipping, but I don't think it is likely they will 
send you a shipping crate full of them.

By the way, from my experience with Kraft, I can tell you they will send 
you one pack of gum (figuratively)... they sent a coupon to me (after 
two emails) for one pack of butterscotch candies after I got a stale and 
defectively packaged pack.

> In my experience, I'd rather rely upon the company's goodwill and
> reputation than a written policy stating their (self-imposed) customer
> service obligations any day.  When you start thinking in terms of
> contracts, explicit or implied, the battle has already been lost regardless
> of the outcome...

There is a reason people ask others to "put it down in writing".  Verbal 
agreements, implication, and even just general "nice people-ness" is all 
well and good, but I've been to court enough to know what counts when 
all those things fall apart.  You only need a will when a person dies, 
and you only need a contract when there is disagreement.

> On a more general note, though, what's wrong with saying "thank you" or
> publicizing a good deed?  

Nothing is wrong, IMHO, I agree, and I do.



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