Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Typewriter, anyone?

Does anyone still use typewriters? I haven't used one in probably a decade, other than for art projects when I want the look of typewritten pages on something. In that case I have this wonderful old behemoth that a lovely volunteer gave me years ago. The thing weighs about 500 pounds, but it gives you that typewritten look. I know there are fonts for the computer that do that, but they don't give you the impression a typewriter does. If it doesn't have that indentation of each little letter it's not the same.

OK... so... where was I?

Oh yes... I got rid of TWO typewriters today. When I took my job five years ago we had two typewriters. I couldn't imagine why we still had them, but we did. I have moved them through four office moves, wanting to just throw them in the trash each time, but not being able to bring myself to do it. My mother lives on - there's no point in wasting anything. I'm not sure how them sitting on the floor in my office is "not wasting" them but it made more sense to me than them being in the landfill.

A few weeks ago I asked my predecessor if she had any use for them at the agency she runs. She said yes and I was thilled. I asked if I could give her both of them and she agreed, saying they sometimes have to type forms. Today I got around to dropping them off. Obviously, she has some use for them and I no longer have to move them or look at them. It's the quintessential win-win.

Fast forward from that "ancient" technology, to modern technology. I finally decided on the phone I wanted, only to find out that the pricing they had on the webpage was not really straightforward and it was going to cost about $150 more than what I had assumed. I'm just not ready to chunk that out. I've been their customer for many, many, many years. I'm not under contract. There are other companies.

Tomorrow I will call them and see if they're willing to cut me a deal on the phone I want. If not, it may be time to look at other services.

This is something companies just don't grasp - I have no loyalty to you - why should I - you have none to me. You offer all the great deals and perks to your new customers. So what do I get for being a loyal customer? Nada. Zilch. Squat. So why should I be a loyal customer?

Years ago when long distance companies were in so much competition I chose the company that had the perk I wanted - miles on a particular airline. That airline changed companies and so did I. The first company called and wanted to know what they could do to get me back. I said, give me the perk I want. They started telling me why their company was so much better. I said... please... it's all the same to me. I pick up my phone, I call, it rings, I talk, end of story. I went with you because you had the perk I wanted. Now Company B has the perk and I'm with them. Simple.

But, tomorrow this company will have the chance to make me a very happy customer and lock me in for another two years. If they make me a happy customer, you'll hear about it here. If they don't, well... you'll hear about it here.

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