Wednesday, May 23, 2007

the trials and tribulations of shopkeeping

Be prepared, I'm going to rant! But hear me out, there's good stuff, too.
Well, I'm scooting through day seven (7) without a shop phone. While I intellectually understand it's been a conspiracy of Vonage and DHL to keep me from having productive days (tongue waaaaaay inside of cheek . . .)--I can't help but wonder if Bellsouth, excuse me "The New AT&T," doesn't somehow have a hand or DSL modem in this!
After much research (asking fellow shopkeepers what they use) and wringing of hands, I decided to dump Bellsouth/AT&T and their $185 phone bill in exchange for Vonage and their $60 charge. It's simple math, right? Wrong--first I had to factor in the charges for breaking my contract with B/AT&T. I figured out rather quickly that the savings would pay for itself in one month! No brainer. What I failed to figure in was the hours of lost time while trying to get my Vonage system to work--time is money! Then the enormous cell phone bill for the hours of communication with the Vonage technical assistants--thank goodness that call to Monrovia is transparent--except for the minutes used! (186 of them to be exact!)
Well, Vonage did their part--they got a new "device" on it's way to me within 24 hours. This is where DHL enters the picture. They failed to deliver within 2 business days. Then when they decided to attempt delivery Monday (but Paige, aren't you closed on Mondays? Why yes I am--thank you for reading the posted hours) and found me closed, the driver decided it would be fine to just leave my expensive Vonage device by my door! Guess what wasn't by my door when I came into the shop Tuesday morning?
Well, I wish I could say that Vonage is distraught over my troubles, but at least I've convinced them to send another device and credit me for the down time. I gave Josh--customer service, Level II--a lesson in why he should NEVER use the word "irrelevant" when communicating with a dissatisfied customer. I also told him that I look forward to a long, happy, money saving relationship with his company . . . if I can ever get and stay connected to the outside world!
Just a taste of some of the issues that shopkeepers face in their daily operations--going to market, fun; working with customers, great; dealing with phone companies, no thanks--you do it! Truly, however, the good WAY outweighs the bad.
I know there are many of you who hope and dream of running your own shop. If you have questions, want to discuss your ideas or want help figuring out where to start, please contact me. If there's one other thing I enjoy about what I do, it's hearing about your dreams--if I can help . . . all the better!

1 comment:

Kate said...

Damn Vonage - Damn them! Though, hey, I was able to get through to you yesterday! Does that mean you are wired for sound again? Hope it sticks.

Just caught up on reading the blog - Love it! It's like a nice daily chat with Paige. Now I have to go work on my own blog! Thanks for the inspiration - and keep writing!

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