Following on from my own consumer story from yesterday, a friend of mine in Sydney and SU regular named PT sent the following in via email.
He’s summed up a lot of what I was getting at in around 10% of the space 🙂
Enjoyed the ‘consumer’ post although two things were minor disappointments:
1) You shopped at Harvey Norman – I can’t stand anything about that place and will never give them a cent that I’ve earned, and
2) the comments had to be closed (predictably).
I have a similar recent experience, although on a different tangent. I just bought a new bike after about a year of looking. After going through every possible option and a myriad of shops – real & virtual – I bought at pretty much full retail from a shop near my office.
Well they seemed the most committed, knowledgeable and helpful. They had what I wanted, understood what small customisation would be necessary immediately – and into the future – and also threw in enough freebies to make the financial question irrelevant.
I’ve been back once already (due to my own error) and they fixed everything on the spot, no charge.
In a way, I was searching for a shop as much as I was a bike. Actually, the choice of bike itself stemmed from a conversation with Simon at the shop about what he rides and this in turn opened up an angle that I hadn’t thought of – and no other retailer had either. This came about because Simon tolerated me dropping in for months on end, occasionally making small purchases, but essentially kicking the tires and learning about the bikes.
The moral to the story is very similar to the angle you were taking with your post – buying a bike or a saab is about more than it might seem – from both the customer and dealer perspective.
This is particularly relevant in Australia where we essentially have no Saab dealers at the moment and thus the opportunity for change is real. The traditional car dealership is a pretty miserable place, generally – although there are exceptions.
I hope Saab can focus on this & get it right.