Lowest Price Guaranteed!

Chair and Lush Carpet
So I bought a really comfy chair–everyone wants one of these. 



(Note: Pictured here is not the actual chair or store from my story today.)



Anyway, I was so happy thinking about how lush the sitting experience would be. 



Yes, the “retail price” seemed high, but I got the “Veterans Day discount” and then bargained some more. 



So I thought I probably did okay on the negotiation, especially since I was dealing with a major national brand.



Also, the contract/invoice had in writing a “lowest price guarantee“–so that if within 30 days, I found the chair for cheaper, the company “would gladly refund the difference in full”!



Sounds good, right?



But something wasn’t feeling right and when I went home I had trouble sleeping–something seemed off with this purchase and this merchant. 



So in the morning, I checked online and found the exact same chair for almost $300 less!



Well, I headed straight to the store with a printout of the lower price I had found and promptly presented it to the store manager for the refund of the difference as promised.



But instead of the glad refund, I got stonewalled and the dumbest look on the store manager’s face I have ever seen. 



He started the million excuses why he wouldn’t refund the difference in price as promised. 



First he said, oh, the chair I found was a different color–I showed him the chair online and the one in his showroom, and they were the identical color and everything. 



Then, he goes for a second attempt, saying, uh the price guarantee doesn’t apply to prices found at outlets, and I said where does the price I found say outlet anywhere? He couldn’t find anything like that. 



So he tries a third time to get rid of me, and says, the merchandise has to be advertised under “the same terms and conditions,” and it wasn’t.  I said what terms and conditions weren’t the same?  He said, well, they just weren’t the same. 



At which point, he told me plain and simple that he wasn’t going to refund the difference and that I should get out of the store. 



I won’t tell you all the (legal) details how, but let’s just say this guy was sorry for trying to do that…and I walked out with the price difference refunded. 



Buyer beware–lot’s of crooks out there trying to take your money and giving guarantees that are complete b.s. 



This is probably especially the case with many brick and mortar retailers who are having serious problems competing with their significantly lower overhead online brethren. 



Beware–Beware–Beware!!! 



I learned again today and taught my daughter to stand up for what is rightfully yours and don’t let anyone take advantage of you!  



You work for your money too and no one should cheat you out of it. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Do You Really Want As-Is?

Do You Really Want As-Is?

Classic enterprise architecture is figuring out how to move from the current/as-is state to the target/to-be state.

Generally, anything “as-is” is viewed as legacy, old hat, probably not in the best condition anymore–and it’s going without any implied warranties or guarantees as to it’s condition.

Hence, at the local IKEA store, when I saw the “as-is” section for 50% off, I was like hey that’s right, the “as-is” is good if we want a bargain, but there is usually something wrong with it, and that’s why “all sales are final”.

If we want “the good stuff,” you don’t generally go to the “as-is,” but you want to buy stuff for the “to-be,” the target state, that you want your place to look like or what you really want to have–and guess what–that is full price!

You can architect your enterprise, yourself, or society for the momentary as-is–but is doesn’t last long, because it’s outdated, shabby, worn, and maybe even missing some critical parts already.

That’s why you want to architect for the future–for the to-be–with all the working parts, new and shinny, and geared to tackle the market conditions with innovation, functional strength and a design that is ready to turn heads.

You can save money staying with the as-is, but you’ll be getting what you paid for and will be falling behind for another cycle–if you survive. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Murderous Customer Service

This is a funny video about some really bad customer service experiences.

– From Seinfeld who goes to the trouble of making a reservation, which the company doesn’t hold.

– To Steve Martin who waits and waits for customer service, but the attendant keeps yapping obnoxiously on a personal phone call.

– To Michael Douglas who just wants breakfast, but the order taker will only serve him lunch.

– To Rod Farva who can’t order a burger without the threat of the fry cook spitting in it.

– To Judge Reinhold who refuses to give a customer’s money back, despite the 100% money back guarantee hanging prominently overhead.

Wow, we’ve all been there…”mad as hell and not going to take it anymore,” but just when you think it can’t get any worse, the customer service rep disconnects you and you have to start all over again. 😉

100% Burglar Proof–Tell Me Another One

Burgler_proof

So I saw this advertisement for a “100% burglar proof” system and I was just bewildered.

Does anyone really think we can be 100% sure of anything–let alone security?

Everyday thieves rob the safest banks, cyber criminals hack the most secure systems, and crooks break into the most secure sites.

Everything we do comes down to risk management–assessing and classifying risk, selecting controls to mitigate risk, and monitoring those for effectiveness and necessary modifications.

For children, maybe things are basic black and white–it’s simpler that way “good guys” and “bad guys” and so on, but for adults we know there are at least “50 shades of grey” and that means that there are no certainties in life–whether security, sure financial bets, or perfect opportunities–everything is a gamble in some respects.

I remember someone once joked about even marriage being somewhat chancy, since “you never really know the person until you wake up with them in the morning every day.”

With 20-20 hindsight, all the pundits seem brilliant, but only the prophets can predict the future with accuracy.

As to any product or vendor that markets itself as having a 100% success rate, you better get yourself a money back guarantee on it, because you will definitely need it! 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)