While we all struggle with life’s throwbacks from time to time, it still amazes me that the larger US magic distributors have such an ill regard for their customers. Perhaps the same holds true in other industries, but I can’t believe it is quite as bad as the piss poor service and attitude provided by the sales reps and the owners of these companies.
While I have severed ties with the majority of US Magic Jobbers, there are still one or two that I purchase from when my inventory levels dictate that I need more stock. While most of the time, my systems export and create the necessary data that can be emailed or faxed, I choose at times to call an order in to the distributor. I like a personal touch and sometimes there are questions I need to know that will allow me to modify an order on the spot. I also want to know if the item is in stock. Most magic distributors do not take advantage of today’s technology that allows the customer to know if something they purchased will be included in their order.
This morning’s task was a simple one. 13 everyday items – 24 pieces of each. It would be a simple 5 minute phone call. I started the call by greeting the owner in a friendly and personable manner…as always. I followed this by saying, “I have quick fill-in order for you…about 13 items.” I guess I was foolish to think that any order in today’s magic market of economical woes was to be appreciated. I was asked to email it in. I advised I was not by a computer and asked if an employee was available to take the call. The next words I heard were, “Always something with you!”
Hmmm! The concept of calling to give him money for something he is in business to sell seems to have taken him aback! After 18 years of doing business with him, my call is apparently quite a burden. Perhaps he is disenchanted with me because I returned an expensive item a couple of orders ago that came to me crushed and unsalvageable. Perhaps 24 pieces of everything on my list wasn’t enough! No! I didn’t even give him the order at that point. Maybe rainy days and Mondays always get him down. Nonetheless, it just wasn’t very nice.
Too often, this is what really goes on behind the scenes in the magic industry. Rudeness, arrogance, ignorance, pretentiousness and no concept of even a bare minimum level of customer service. Truly shameful.