Adult Content Warning

This community may contain adult content that is not suitable for minors. By closing this dialog box or continuing to navigate this site, you certify that you are 18 years of age and consent to view adult content.

United Breaks Guitars

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Revengeofthenerds, May 19, 2014.

  1. Revengeofthenerds

    Revengeofthenerds
    Expand Collapse
    ER Frequent Flyer Platinum Member

    Reputation:
    1,052
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    13,058


    We've done customer service threads, we've done airport horror story threads. What we haven't done, though, is thread about buying habits and what role customer reviews play into that. This video came around at a time when customer reviews were really starting to gain traction. Now, they're almost ubiquitous. "United Breaks Guitars" caused United Airlines stock to drop almost 10%. It's obviously an extreme example, but it's still a funny way to start a thread. Now about that thread....


    The vast majority of things I buy are online. With the exception of groceries, and things which require that I pick them up in person -- such as light bulbs, beer, propane, hookers, etc. -- I rarely, if ever, will get up off my ass to do any more than order on amazon. With my prime account giving me free second day shipping, it's just more convenient. And usually it's cheaper on there too.

    The main reason I buy online, though, is for the reviews (specifically Amazon, though I won't buy a product from any website without reading the reviews first; if it doesn't have any reviews, I'm not getting it period). And if I am buying something in a store, like light bulbs or fertilizer from Lowes or even a new brand of alcohol, you know damn well I'm checking the reviews on my phone while I'm in the store.

    Do I know that companies frequently use the system to their advantage and write fake (positive) reviews for themselves, and occasionally negative ones for their competitors? Well, yeah. Do I realize that people are more likely to write a negative review than a positive one? Certainly. Am I confused as to how certain products on amazon get hundreds of reviews because who the everloving hell has time to write three paragraphs expounding the pleasure of stainless steel nipple clamps? Mystery to me.

    But do I still rely heavily upon those reviews when making -- sometimes expensive -- purchases? Abso-fucking-lutely.


    Focus: How much of your purchasing is online? How much do "customer" reviews factor into your decision?

    Alt. Focus: What do you think about the current system of customer reviews? Like I mentioned about all the fake "reviews" out there, think there should be a better verification system to see if someone is an actual customer? Or do you think the onus is on the customer to figure that out themselves?
     
    #1 Revengeofthenerds, May 19, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  2. The Village Idiot

    The Village Idiot
    Expand Collapse
    Porn Worthy, Bitches

    Reputation:
    274
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,267
    Location:
    Where angels never dare
    I've started to buy more things online. My wife does buy quite a few things online now. At our old apartment, it was impossible to get deliveries at our building, so that nixed the idea of more purchases online.

    Now that we can actually get deliveries and stuff doesn't get stolen, we'll do this a lot more now.

    As far as online reviews: I love them. Having worked in the service industry, I used to see quite a few Yelp reviews of the place I worked at, as well as others in the area. Overall, I think they were very good. I used to think that only pissed off people would bother to write such reviews, but given how much of our lives are online now, I think you get a lot of great viewpoints.

    When we looking at buying a Dyson, we looked at a ton of reviews. My wife also signed us up on Consumer Reports which I have found incredibly helpful. Were there a couple of below average reviews? Sure, but overall, the reviews have clearly reflected the reality of that item. It performs as people said it would, and the few downsides we were more than prepared for.

    I think the current system is fine. I'd rather see everything, especially now that my bias that 'only pissed off people' write reviews. There is a great deal of valuable information online about items that I wish to purchase.

    I also buy coins online. I really like the customer review section on Ebay, and I have to say every experience (I've bought well over 60 coins on Ebay) has matched, if not exceeded the customer reviews. I always make sure the seller has a lot of reviews, so I know that it isn't some new seller. To be fair, for large purchases - expensive coins, guitars, etc. I will read reviews, but I will not purchase that stuff online, because so much of it is dependent on me actually seeing/playing the item.
     
  3. xrayvision

    xrayvision
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    515
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    6,328
    Location:
    Hyewston
    Focus: I buy nearly everything online that is not a short lived consumable item like food or certain household products and most clothing. The review system has proven invaluable to me because I think it gives a more honest depiction of whats really going on. I can sort through them to find someone who had the same concerns as me as answered questions that I know the manufacturer would probably lie about.

    The downside to places like Amazon, is that its made me more indecisive when it comes to large purchases. I now have access to so many more options than ever before that I spend more time thinking about it and doing research than making a decision. This is especially true when it came to digital cameras.

    Alt. Focus: I think Yelp and Google have forced businesses to become better or fail. Someone can just go on yelp, talk about the bad service or the crappy food and then damage the business. I will be honest, if a place doesn't have a lot of reviews, I typically won't go. And if its 3 stars or less, I won't go. But its very important to read what people say when they give a bad review. A lot of times, its some bitchy chick who was already in a bad mood and placing an unreasonable standard on the wait staff. Best to really pay attention to what people say when they are upset. I saw a review for a basic pub that wasn't known for food at all and this person reviewed them terribly because the menu sucked. Well no shit asshole.

    Yes, people typically only complain when they are upset, but if you have a large enough sampling of upset people, that means even more people were pissed off but didn't care enough to say something.


    In our office, the company we work for had patient satisfaction surveys sent to each patient, but only a handful actually responded. We have 3 doctors in our office and 2 of them scored 90% or better out of 100. And the 3rd doctor got an average of 60%. The further breakdown showed that his staff scored in the 90's but his personal scores were 10% or less when it came to direct patient dealings. We always felt like he was an asshole and now we have empirical data to prove it. You can bet the higher ups in the company were livid considering they brought him down here from Virginia, paid him a disgustingly high salary and now hes upsetting the patients. 1/3 of this patients said they would not recommend friends and family to him. That's a big fucking deal.
     
  4. fleafly

    fleafly
    Expand Collapse
    Disturbed

    Reputation:
    6
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Messages:
    479
    Focus: Unless I have a gift card, need instant gratification, or need a hands on appraisal I'll buy pretty much everything on-line. Although the reviews aren't the greatest it's still going to be better than a dumb ass sales-person bothering you.

    Alt. Focus: The sites I buy stuff from (Amazon, Newegg, denniskirk) I've never felt like I've been reading a fake review. Even if there are fake reviews I usually only pay close attention to the bad reviews.
     
  5. Hoosiermess

    Hoosiermess
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    65
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Messages:
    893
    Location:
    Indiana
    Echoing the comments above, I buy pretty much everything I can online.

    The convenience factor of going online, reading reviews, and having it delivered is just too much of a savings over going to the store to purchase everything. Hell Amazon's stock probably rose once I decided on my cutlery set, dishes, glasses, and 30-40 other small items that they delivered to me.

    The reviews are extremely helpful. For instance, looking for my cutlery set I probably changed my mind 10 times just because of some negative reviews and what they said about the knives rusting after a couple uses. Even if they were misused I don't want to think about rusty knives or sets that look good but have a cheap feel. I spent a bit more but I'm very happy with what I ended up with.
     
  6. xrayvision

    xrayvision
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    515
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    6,328
    Location:
    Hyewston
    This. This is huge for me. I've learned that if I am at least a little informed about what I'm shopping for, I've pretty much exceeded the sales person's knowledge. This doesn't necessarily apply to all places, like guitar stores and specialty shops. But say cell phones for instance. I refuse to go into any cell phone store because every single person working in one is a fucking ghetto piece of shit that tries to lie to me or doesn't know anything at all about what they are selling. I don't even bother asking questions anymore.
     
  7. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal
    Expand Collapse
    Just call me Topher

    Reputation:
    954
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Messages:
    22,774
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    How to be a good salesperson:

    "This is the thing you asked it about. It does (so-and-so). It's price is (so-and-so). I will now give you some space as if you have dignity and a mind of your own, feel free to ask for further help."
     
  8. NatCH

    NatCH
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    450
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,091
    Location:
    Absolute center of the continental US
    As a manager at a guitar store, I can say that you have to be able to read the customers, and the successful salesman are the ones who do this well. Most times, I do basically what Crown is saying.

    This is my usual way of helping:

    Me: Hey, how are you doing today? Is there anything I can help you find?
    Customer: No, we're just looking, thanks.
    Me: Cool. If you do have any questions, my name is NatCH, I'll be happy to help you out.

    At that point, I give them their space and follow a food-service style rule of every 5-10 minutes or so, walking over and asking "Are you still doing alright," maybe make a quick statement on what their looking at, and pimp away.

    Now, does this always work? No. In fact, the "we're just looking" is now a defense response, so I get this a lot.

    Me: Hey man, how are you today?
    Customer: I'M JUST LOOKING.
    Me: Cool, my name's NatCH if you need help.
    Customer (as I walk away): Can you help me with this amp?

    Then there's customers who have no idea what they're looking for, and you do need to know your shit about what you're selling. You just need to know who you're talking to, and be able to read the situation the right way. Too much, and your reviews will be "these guys are commission-hungry assholes." Too little, and your reviews are "I went in and waited for somebody to help me for ages, they didn't even acknowledge me." You have to walk the line between both - always acknowledge a customer's presence, but then figure out how much of a presence YOU need to be for them.
     
  9. xrayvision

    xrayvision
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    515
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    6,328
    Location:
    Hyewston
    Do you find that its pretty obvious in determining what type of customer someone will be? I've been playing guitar since I was 13 so I almost always go straight to the Taylor/Martin room in the back and require very little sales person help. But also don't want to come across as rude if I refuse assistance.
     
  10. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal
    Expand Collapse
    Just call me Topher

    Reputation:
    954
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Messages:
    22,774
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    People who walk brisk, still have their car keys in hand, or dart their head around upon entering usually are looking to buy if you have what they need. People with their hands in their pockets, shuffling, have their headphones strapped on, etc. usually are browsing or don't like being bothered. If I approached somebody and they start looking at me from the corner of their eye without turning their head they almost always DONT want you in their circle. So, I'd hit the breaks and ask from a distance if they need any help.

    When I see a salesperson pull that "My boss says I can get you 5% off but only if you buy right now" I want to go to the morgue and beat up dead people. Douche-a-palooza. Pressure is for the birds.
     
  11. dewercs

    dewercs
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    170
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,262
    Location:
    phoenix, arizona
    If I need help, I ask, otherwise do not breach my perimeter. I do not like to be sold.

    Focus If I can't find it online, I can find it at Costco. I love shopping online because it feels like Christmas when you get to open stuff all the time. Fishing reel parts, line, lures, clothes, shoes, hats, sun glasses, gun parts I get it all online. Most of the things I buy are pretty specific to things I already know about so customer reviews rarely influence my choices, the exception is meat grinders and vacuum packers, after burning so many up I learned my lesson and read the reviews and it has been worth it.
     
  12. The Village Idiot

    The Village Idiot
    Expand Collapse
    Porn Worthy, Bitches

    Reputation:
    274
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,267
    Location:
    Where angels never dare
    I had a great salesperson the at Best Buy about 6 weeks ago.

    My wife and I decided it was time for a new tv, our first flat screen. My wife liked the one our friends have (it was a 47") - but I got my friend to, uh, magnify the size and told her it was a 52". So I looked online at a bunch of different tv's, read different reviews, and talked to a couple of knowledgeable friends. For what we wanted, we decided on the Samsung 50+ inch LED. So we get to the store, find a few we like, and ask the salesperson about it.

    He told us the differences (we were looking at a 'regular' led vs a 'smart' tv - both 55". He asked some pointed questions, like 'do you skype, use netflix, stream stuff off computer' etc. When we said 'no' - he told us we were better off with the 'non smart' tv, because as he put it 'if you're not going to use it, you're essentially paying $500 for extras you'll never use.'

    I really appreciated that and gave him good feedback on the online review questionnaire from the receipt.

    Funny enough, however, Best Buy fucked up the delivery time 3 times on 2 different days. I was furious (as we were moving and had comcast scheduled for a specific day, and well, if you've dealt with cockcast, you know what they're like). FINALLY, they get the tv delivered. I look over the tv, the invoice, the delivery sheet, sign off, tell the guys to bring it up, tip them, they leave.

    Then I notice the box. It was a smart TV. I was shocked. I called to tell them about the mix up, and they insisted we received the right tv... ...so, ok. Ended up with the more expensive tv. And you know what? The guy was right, after setting up the smart tv stuff, we don't use it. Other than the delivery fiasco, the sales experience was one of my better ones.
     
  13. toddamus

    toddamus
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    396
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    5,312
    Location:
    Somewhere west of New York
    If I need to buy something, I'll try to do it online. I always do my research first. That research means talking to family and friends, and going into the stores and looking at products for myself. I really don't trust online reviews. This is because of some experiences I've had with Yelp. I know some people will disagree with me on this, but yelp will take down negative reviews if they are paid to do it. As well, I don't trust google reviews or site reviews. I don't know the person doing the review, and I don't know their biases/leanings.

    Seeing as how I'm a mechanic at a sporting good store right now, I know dam well most the people on the floor will lie to you to get you to buy something. This is mostly because they get some nominal reward for doing so, say like 1.00 per item, its not much, but its enough to motivate a lot of these retards. For this carrot, they will say dam near anything.

    The worst sales scam is insurance policies. The place I work for offers insurance plans for various items, and people will willingly throw out an extra 30/60 dollars for these things that they will never use and are essentially worthless when they do use them. If any store offers an extra insurance policy, its almost always a scam.
     
  14. NatCH

    NatCH
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    450
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,091
    Location:
    Absolute center of the continental US
    It's not obvious - the answer is in how they respond to your first question. If I did not see you walk into the store, I'll ask if you're already being helped (so I don't get in the way of another salesman). If I know I'm the first to talk to you, I'll ask if you need any help. Then the way you respond after that, I can usually tell if you're needing my help.
    If you don't want to seem rude, the best answer to give is something like, "Hey, man, I'm just looking and playing around, but what's your name? If I do need help, I'll ask for you." And if you really do need help, make sure to keep your word and ask that guy.

    I will always talk to a customer first. It's not because I want to jump on you and tag you as "my customer." It's because I want you to know that "Hey, I saw you, I know you're here, and I will help you if you need help."
    If I greet a customer, and they end up getting all their questions answered by another salesman and decide to buy - that's their sale. But as a manager, I made sure the customer was being taken care of.

    What really annoys me is when a customer flat out ignores me. Look, I understand you don't want me to bother you. But you're in my store, and my job, aside from sales, is customer service. I've walked up to customers, said "Hey, how are you doing today?" And they've looked up at the wall and turned their back to me without a word. At least tell me you're doing fine and don't need help, and I'll leave you alone. But as long as you're in my store, I will make sure you're doing alright, because that's my job.

    Yeah, I hate it when I hear co-workers say that. It's a douche move, and a lie. The only time I say that a price is "only good for today" is if it's a coupon code that literally won't scan the next day.
    I approach those situations from a different angle, and if you really care that much about it, you can PM me.
     
  15. Omegaham

    Omegaham
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    3
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Oregon
    I buy online stuff a fair amount, for the following reasons:

    1. I hate dealing with salesmen. I'm often completely ignorant regarding what I'm going to buy, and a salesman is willing to bullshit me in order to make some more money off of me. People laugh all the time about the poor idiot who bought one of those gold-plated anti-virus HDMI cables to go with his Smart TV at Best Buy. I can laugh about it because I know about computers. But cars? Furniture? Mattresses? I don't have in-depth knowledge of the subject, so I'm at the salesman's mercy.

    If I shop online, I am forced to do my research, and it always causes me to get a better product.

    2. There are more options. If you go to a brick-and-mortar store, they have a limited supply available. Sure, they can order stuff for you, but in that case you're better off getting it online anyway!

    3. Markup is lower. Much lower. The reason is simple - at a brick-and-mortar store, just by driving to the store and walking around, you are investing your time and money in making a purchase. Unless is the markup is absolutely insane, you're better off just buying it. Meanwhile, if you buy from an online store, looking at alternatives is a Google search away.
     
  16. downndirty

    downndirty
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    484
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,409
    This. I will read you fuckers, reddit, forums and to a lesser extent, Amazon, to help me decide what's worth my cash. Online reviews are very often fake or full of shit, but reading them gives some valuable insight as to whether or not people are happy with their purchases if you look hard enough. When I'm buying something in a store, it's because I need it right the fuck now (like the laptop charger I bought yesterday), it can't be shipped safely(food, computers, tv's), or because I am shopping as an activity, not out of a need.

    One thing I am intensely going to miss about Korea is the online shopping: everything is 2 day shipping, and they even can ship frozen fish in a foam container and it'll arrive at your door before the fucking ice melts.
     
  17. bewildered

    bewildered
    Expand Collapse
    Deeply satisfied pooper

    Reputation:
    1,234
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    11,015
    I buy almost exclusively online, or at a minimum shop online for reviews and price points before going into a store and buying it in person.

    I have an Amazon prime membership. This is awesome because I really don't have to wait very long for my items, I get free shipping, and most importantly, free returns. I erroneously purchased something on Newegg and their return process is a joke. Paying for shipping across the country on an item that was on sale for $30 and had free shipping to begin with is stupid. I am stuck with some hardware I don't need because paying $15 shipping on a $30 item, plus a restocking fee (I complained and got that waived, but ended up not shipping it back anyway), makes me stay the fuck away from Newegg.

    I still buy most groceries in person. I can get good local deals on in season produce, marked down meat, and clearance items. I like to peruse Amazon for some of my more specialty items like chia seed or coconut flour. I really love their reviews. Even if there is only one bad review, reading through many of them back to back shows trends on problems, issues, or things that are unexpected based on the item's description and picture.

    The one bad thing: we've noticed that Amazon Prime items that have very high reviews will cash in on this and drop their quality after earning their 4.5-5 stars. Making sure I sort their reviews by date to notice if a lot of the recent reviews complain about the quality being shitty is the best way to combat this.