I have more business cards than I know what to do with. But that’s ok – I didn’t pay for most of them. Once you’ve read this, you’ll either be terrified of ordering your next batch of cards from Moo, or be ready to place your order immediately. Or you might just be indifferent about it altogether. I’m not a mind reader.
Are you a glass half-full or half-empty person?
What the hell am I talking about?
My business cards elicit some interesting reactions. Most of them involve laughter. I assume it’s because most people don’t expect a business card to greet them with such a facial expression. But that’s exactly what I’m going for when I give you a card. I want you to remember me, after all.
When I ordered a new run of cards from Moo.com, I uploaded a new custom design (created for me by Petra Cuschieri, graphic designer extraordinaire) to their design tool, and placed the order. Two weeks later, they arrived.
To my dismay, there was a white stripe across the top of each card.
Bad news first, right?
There was a problem with the bleed on the first run of 100 cards, resulting in a white stripe on the top of each card. After one of Moo’s support representatives attempted to fix the problem, the second batch I received had no stripe, but the design was zoomed in and misaligned.
A third replacement batch arrived, and the alignment issue had been corrected, but now there was a stripe across the bottom of the cards. It took 300 free cards before someone identified the issue and instructed me correctly on how to resolve it.
Don’t worry, there’s good news!
Moo’s support department is stellar. Their people were quick to send me reprints, and didn’t even ask for proof of the problems with the bad batches.
Despite the fact that I had to wait a few extra weeks, due to all the bad batches, I was never given a hard time, and each of my emails was responded to quickly. These people are really nice.
Bottom Line (No Pun Intended)
I have 400 cards for the price of 100. 300 of those are slightly messed up, but they’re still usable in many situations, and I’m still a satisfied customer.
Customer service like this is what truly sets a company like Moo apart from its competitors. They messed up again and again, but they didn’t stop trying to make it right until I was happy again. And they did it politely, and with style. I can think of at least one company who would do well to heed Moo’s example (See: Customer Retention – You’re Doing It Wrong).
So, ideas on what to do with 300 bum business cards? I was thinking about hauling a giant fan up to the top of the CN Tower…What do you think? Leave a comment!
“Dropbox like it’s hot?” Really, Tristan? I’m so lame sometimes. Good thing Dropbox isn’t (I swear, I didn’t get paid to say that).
Dudehead’s been telling me about this online file sharing service for 62 years (give or take a few), but I only just got around to trying it for myself. I’ve been using it for about a week now, and I’m impressed with how easy it is to use, how seamlessly it works and how useful it really is. So with that said, let this review commence!
What, exactly, is Dropbox for, anyway?
Dropbox is an online service that lets you do two things: Synchronize files between two or more computers, and share files with others. I’m assuming that if you’ve read this far, then you already know why one would want to do one of these things. But how?
Dropbox sets up a folder on your hard drive that it watches. As you add data to that folder, a small software application uploads it to your Dropbox account online. Delete something from your Dropbox folder, and it gets deleted from your online account. Everything you do in that folder gets synchronized with your online Dropbox account. And it does all of this quietly, automatically and in the background.
How easy? So easy.
You visit the Dropbox web site and download a small program that you install on your computer. If you haven’t already created an account on the web, you can do so in the software installer. The process takes less than a minute, after which it asks you if you want to specify where to place the Dropbox folder. If you don’t, it puts it in a default location (for example, ‘My Documents’ if you’re using Windows).
That’s it. Start dumping stuff into that folder, and it synchronizes. You can install the app on as many computers as you want, and any files you add on one computer will be automatically downloaded to all the others as soon as they’re added. It makes syncing files between multiple computers so easy.
The Dropbox software itself is small, and contains relatively few settings or options. It’s clear that they designed it to be simple to set up and use, and simple it is.
You can also access your files from any web browser by logging into the Dropbox web site. The web interface lets you do anything with your files that you would be able to do on your computer.
Here, you can also set up folders to share with other users. Any files you place in a shared folder will automatically synchronize to the Dropbox users they’re shared with. What you share is your business, but this lets you do it pretty easily.
The Technical Stuff (Hooyah)
One thing to be aware of when using an online service like Dropbox is the impact it will have on your internet connection. If your service provider places on limits on how much data you can download and upload every month, just be careful when placing large files in your Dropbox folder. And naturally, synchronizing larger files will take time, depending on the speed of your connection. So be patient.
If you’re syncing between computers that are on the same local network, there’s good news. Dropbox has a feature called “LAN Sync” that performs the sync over your network, if it can, instead of going out to the internet. It still requires an internet connection to get information from your account, but your files themselves will transfer within your network. This has the virtue of, not only being faster, but also not using your monthly bandwidth.
Lastly, how secure is your data as it’s being transmitted over the internet? The Dropbox Help site offers a fairly detailed answer to this question (click here). But allow me to make a long story short (I know, completely out of character): According to Dropbox, your data is encrypted as it’s sent, and once it’s on their servers, it’s stored securely using robust technology. They also assure you that even Dropbox employees are unable to open users’ files and view their contents.
Go Try It
Dropbox gives you 2 GB of online storage for free, so go try it out. And I’ll tell you right now that if you click that link, I get an extra 250 MB of storage for the referral. You do too, if you refer your friends.
If you need more than 2 GB, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid account, but $10/month for 50 GB doesn’t seem unreasonable to me, given the level of convenience the service offers. And did I mention the software works on Windows, Mac OS and Linux? They even have mobile apps for syncing files to and from your Android phone, iPhone, iPad and Blackberry (coming soon). Wicked cool.
How many coconuts can you buy with $10, anyway? Forget everything I just said. Go spend your money on coconuts, instead.4 people have commented. What do you think?
Once upon a time, in the happy land of Canada (a very large country with a very low population density), there existed an evil telecommunications company. We’ll call this company “Big Red.”
There was a distinct lack of solid competition in the varying markets of which Big Red was a part. Accordingly (take a deep breath before you read this), it saw fit to (pardon my French) screw its customers royally by charging exorbitant prices, and offering what would sometimes amount to (again, kindly pardon my French) “bubkis.”
I’ve been a customer of Big Red for quite some time now. Given my apparent disdain for this company, it may seem somewhat hypocritical to willingly give them business while holding such harsh opinions of them. But when there are so few other service providers offering what you need, what you crave, sometimes you’re forced to settle for what’s available.
Cell phone plans. TV packages. You want high-speed internet? Sure, we can hook you up, but you might want to start emptying your RRSP. What, residents of other countries (even other provinces in the same country) get speeds 15x faster for 1/4 the price? We don’t care. Look somewhere else, then. But you’ll be back. We know this, because you have no choice.
You want voicemail with that cell plan? That’ll be $16,238.23, please. A data plan? Hold still, we’ll need your kidney. Hey, at least we said please. You can’t fault us for not being polite.
After enduring aeons of horrid customer service, constant over-charges, and policy changes without even being notified ahead of time, another provider finally offered a comparable service, built on reliable technology, for a better price. We’ll call them “Ding Dong.” Ah, the sweet smell of renewed competition. So I switched.
Even when faced with the imminent loss of a long-time customer, their best offer was to give me an upgraded plan for the same price for the next six months. But then charge me almost the same amount I would be saving, in extra modem rental fees.
Customer retention – you’re doing it wrong, Red.
My phone call to Big Red informing them of my cancellation of their service should have been as delicious as pie, and as satisfying as… Well, pie. But even then, I was patronized by the seemingly polite, yet condescending, service representative. She tested my patience as she asked me my reason for cancelling, and then told me repeatedly that I was mistaken in my accusations – that Big Red would never make a hidden policy change, and then over-charge their customers as a result to make a buck.
She even brought her personal life into the conversation, claiming that she didn’t get paid to sit there and tell me things that weren’t true. She tried to guilt me into backing down by telling me of her poor children at home. Did this somehow give her the right to defend a company that, even now, was treating me like an idiot? Did it make it ok for her to treat me the same way?
Customer retention – yeah, you know where I’m going with this, Red.
So why is it that in order to get an unlimited data plan in this country, I have to sign over my soul and that of my future first born child? Why is it that it doesn’t get much better if I switch over to another provider?
There isn’t enough threat to Big Red’s bottom line from other companies, so they don’t feel the need to acquiesce to their customers. You know, customers – the ones who buy their products, the reason they’re still in business.
It’s a little better in the United States. Although many would still complain about the service from such companies, they still have access to better plans, better options. And because there are more companies more than willing to snatch a customer out from under the nose of a competitor, they will work that much harder to please the people who pay their bills and retain their business.
Here’s hoping that Ding Dong has learned a few lessons from their own mistakes, and those of Big Red. It’s taken this long, but it looks like new players are finally entering the market here in the happy land of Canada (that magical place where lumberjack and beaver chop wood in peaceful unity). Here’s hoping that things get really nasty between them, so that we as consumers can reap some real benefit.4 people have commented. What do you think?