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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » A tangled web we weave... » » Two dealers -- a contrast in customer relations (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bill Palmer
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Profile of Bill Palmer
I used to do a lot of business by phone. I still do. Now I tend to do more business via the internet. And that is where this tale starts.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine gave me a reel to repair. I made a big mistake and while I had the reel dismantled, I carelessly knocked the case off the table. Later, I stepped on it, and squashed it. So I placed an order with Tannen's, who had been the source of the original reel. I figured that I would replace it.

I got an acknowledgement of the order (via e-mail) and waited for the reel to arrive. A week later, I didn't have a reel, so I called them -- "We have an order in to our machinist. We should have some of those reels someday soon."

Okay, my bad. I should have asked if they had them in stock. I didn't. But they did have my phone number and my e-mail address. The least they could have done was send me a back order notification.

A little over a week ago, I ordered a set of silver shells from School for Scoundrels. Chef Anton, hisself, called me back to let me know the shells were in stock, and took them down to the post office himself. They didn't show up. So, last Friday, I e-mailed him about it. He has a tracer on the original shipment. Meanwhile, he sent out a second shipment with a number "2" on the mailing label so I would know which one it was. It got here today. That's very fast.

After I received the shells, I called Tannen's again. I had managed to repair the squashed case of the reel, and now it is fully functional. So I cancelled the order. They apparently had no plans to get any more reels for a while. "We don't get those in very often." So why do you have them on your web site?

I'll admit that sometimes I neglect my own web site, and I occasionally leave things up there that I am out of. But I immediately tell people who want these items what the status of my inventory is, and whether I will be reordering things.

My prediction -- Tannen's will continue to die a slow, miserable death. They are not really conveniently located, and they basically have no customer service. I'm sure the magicians of NYC will support them. But they aren't the place they used to be. There are far better magic dealers around.

School for Scoundrels, on the other hand, will flourish. They take care of their customers.

I do know how hard that can be sometimes.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
CardMaker
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Ludwigsburg/GERMANY
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Quote:
On 2005-08-29 16:15, Bill Palmer wrote:
...REMOVED to THE ESSENTIALS: They take care of their customers.

I do know how hard that can be sometimes.




Yes, that's it!
I wish these not-taking-care-of-customers do not die slow .... but immediately!
CardMaker/Bernd Maucksch
Finest gaffed cards for magicians
Bill Palmer
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Profile of Bill Palmer
Bernd:

That is it in a nutshell, so to speak!
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Ron Reid
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Phoenix, Arizona
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A few years ago, the new owner came onto another magic forum and promised big changes in Tannens concerning their treatment of customers. Since that time, I have waited to see if the company has changed since the Spina days. Sadly, it hasn't at all. They still have items on their website that haven't been in stock for years.

Ron
jondark445
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Profile of jondark445
If I might add my own drama....

I live in New York City...but do most of my business with either Hank Lee or Denny Haney via mail order. Give em a ring and I get my stuff. It's easy. They usually have what I want quickly, whereas whenever I went into Tannen's they never had what I wanted.

So, one day, I find I'm in a bind because I'm desperately in need of flash cotton for a show. So I decide to drop into Tannen's. This was AFTER they were under new ownership, and JUST BEFORE they moved to their new location.

So I ask the gentleman behind the counter if they have flash cotton. He says he'll check, but before he does he shows me three rooms with boxes of stuff they're looking to sell quickly before the move. It's all crap, and it's all being sold cheaply. I'm told that I can browse while he checks for the cotton.

I find myself browsing, not finding very much of interest...and realise 20 minutes have gone by and the guy didn't return. I head out to the show room and he's helping another customer. I ask him if he has the cotton. He looks at my hands, sees I have nothing in them from the room, and apologies, tells me if I want to browse some more he'll check in a second. I told him I was done browsing, and he said, and this is a quote "IN THAT CASE, WE'RE ALL OUT OF FLASH COTTON."

ARRRRRRRGH!

I wanted to lob his head off, I'll tell ya!

--Jon
Danny Diamond
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Connecticut
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Profile of Danny Diamond
I live about 55 miles outside the City, and I regularly make it in to catch lectures at Tannens. It's sad to hear all of these reports of bad service. I never have any problems with bad service, but maybe because I am usually there for a lecture and have already paid for my ticket, the service is friendlier? Not sure about that, just a thought.

I never understood what was so hard about improving customer service, in any industry. It seems so easy - just have some manners! Just be nicer! Just care about your customers! Yet some places just never learn or don't care. If all of these Tannens stories are legit, then do you think they realize how bad their customer service is, or are they just oblivious to the problem?

Like I said, when I am there, it is stricly to catch a lecture, so I have never run into a personal bad customer service situation yet. Do you think it would help to talk to Steve or someone else there about this issue? Or do you think they would be defensive and take offense at the fact that I would even bring up the issue? Any thoughts on that?
You don't drown by falling in the water;

you drown by staying there.



- Edwin Louis Cole
Bill Palmer
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Profile of Bill Palmer
I'll give you another example of Tannen's inability to relate to customers. I decided to purchase one of those junky "Frank Garcia" cup sets for the museum. I went on line and found the item listed. The listing stated that the cups came with a drawstring bag and a booklet. I got the cups. There were no balls. There was no bag. There was no booklet. So I called. I get an answer that "Well, the bags have been discontinued. I'll send you the booklet. You must provide your own balls." Well, the balls were not listed anyway, so that's not a big problem, but the "discontinued bags thing" was really kind of lame.

Here are the last two lines of the listing as it now appears on their site:

The Garcia Cups come in a drawstring bag, with Tom Osborne’s book on “Cups and Balls” a five dollar value at no charge.

It has been about a year. They still haven't changed the listing.

I have never liked the attitude they have over the phone. If you aren't a New Yorker, then they really don't want to bother with you. Lou and Irv were never like that.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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