Unfiltered Story #219089

, , | Unfiltered | December 23, 2020

(This didn’t happen to me but to one of my coworkers. It is should be noted that we work for a company that sells wireless equipment – the kind of stuff you’d buy if you wanted to add WiFi to an exhibition hall or hotel, for example – and my coworker is our Technical Manager with almost 20 years’ worth experience installing the very products we are selling. This conversation takes place over the phone.)

Customer: [School] has hired me to update their network and wants to have WiFi access available in all the classrooms. I’ve had a look and I think [range from Manufacturer 1] will do it. What do I need and where should I place it to give them the best coverage?

Coworker: Based on what you’re trying to achieve, I’d recommend [cheaper range from Manufacturer 2]. I’ve used them for all of my school installations and they do a better job in those types of environments than [range from Manufacturer 1].

Customer: I don’t know…

(They go back and forth for almost an hour, with my coworker finally persuading the customer to follow his recommendation.)

Customer: Well I’ll need to demonstrate to the school that your suggestion will give them everything they want.

Coworker: Not a problem. We have an evaluation kit that you can use.

Customer: What does it cost?

Coworker: You pay the cost for the delivery upfront and we give you the kit on 30-day payment terms. If you keep the kit for longer than 30 days, then you are obligated to pay for the cost of the kit.

Customer: But what if [school] wants to keep it?

Coworker: Then you would need to pay for it.

Customer: But the school’s keeping it, not me.

Coworker: Yes, but you’re our customer. Therefore it would be your responsibility to pay.

Customer: But what if [school] wants to keep it?

(It continues in this vain for another 30 minutes before my coworker is finally able to get the customer to accept that he will be responsible for any costs. The customer asks to be sent a quote for the cost of delivering the evaluation kit and a few other items he wants to add to the school’s network, which my coworker does. Later that day, the customer emails the following to my coworker’s manager who, as we are a very small company, happens to also be one of the owners.)

Customer: Your employee, [Coworker], is an idiot. He sent me a quote for [range from Manufacturer 1] when I asked for a [range from Manufacturer 2].

(My coworker got an extra break and an afternoon off from dealing with customers over the phone. As far as I know, the owner ended up having the exact same conversation. Not sure whether the customer actually bought anything in the end.)