Featured Fridays

Price vs Quality

After I graduated College back in 2005, I was offered a gig working at Dell. As a budding, wet-behind-the-ears Marketer, I had to earn my stripes on the sales floor before I was entrusted to manage an online marketing campaign.  I mean it makes sense right? How am I going to truly understand the product and consumer if I’ve never been on the front lines?  So I gladly accepted the challenge.  For 9 grueling, stressful, and over-time riddled months, I sold computers to the cheapest of people on this Earth.  I used to think to myself, “Why the hell would you call me KNOWING it costs X amount and then you DEMAND me to lower the price?!” But it doesn’t stop there. The real fun begins when you have a customer who feels it necessary to express their true sentiments towards Dell’s choice of employees in their many Customer Service call centers.  (Spoiler alert, Dell uses outsourcing)

Dell marketed low-priced computers to “get you into the door” just to be up-sold on products you really didn’t need to make a profit. Not to mention if your product happens to break, you were forced to deal with someone in another country with a thick accent named Srinivas (but says his name is Tom).  I used to laugh in my head to customers when they would yell, “I DON’T WANT TO TALK TO NO AKBAR IN INDIA! WE LIVE IN AMERICA!” or “WHY WOULD DELL HIRE FOLKS FROM OVERSEAS TO HELP ME?! YOU’RE JUST TRYING TO MAKE MORE MONEY BY NOT PAYING AMERICANS!”

Being in the position I was I obviously couldn’t tell him my real feelings, but seeing as how I no longer work for Dell or in the sales industry, I can finally express my true sentiments.  To all the God-fearing, red-blooded Americans who think businesses outsource their support purely out of greed is sadly mistaken.  YOU are the reason why companies do this.  YOU are the reason why the quality of products have diminished over the past few decades.  We live in a world where quality plays second fiddle to the  price.  I’d like to give a big shout out to Wally World for that one.  Thanks for Sanduskying (too soon?) the game.  People have been socialized into thinking they can pay dirt cheap prices for a quality product. Well, if you’re so gung ho on paying 100 bucks for a 900 dollar computer, something has to give.  Do you realize that by selling a product at extremely low costs forces the hand for these companies to find ways to stay in the black?  So they have to outsource. An outsourced agent makes, on average, less than a dollar an hour compared to the US average of about $12 an hour.

I know what some of you are thinking, the economy is bad and you don’t have the extra money to spend to purchase a quality product at suggest retail price. Well let’s look at what happens when you don’t spend.

– People complain prices are too high in bad economy

– Companies slash prices on goods to increase consumer spending

– Companies have to cut costs on quality of consumer goods to be able to afford to sell at lower prices

– People buy products, and are mad that products suck

– Companies increase quality of products but raise prices

– People complain prices are too high in bad economy

– Companies slash….well you get the picture.

It’s a vicious cycle that really has no end.  I also forgot to throw in people getting laid off (i.e Me) during the whole process.  In my opinion, it’s time to make a conscience decision about what we really want as consumers.  Quality or price, because ultimately we can’t have both.

Before I sign out, I want to remind everyone to be careful next Friday if you’re dumb enough to stand in those long ass lines. That feeble looking Grandma can and WILL give you a forearm shiver to get that cheap ass TV.

As always folks, stay classy…

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6 thoughts on “Price vs Quality

  1. Pingback: Price vs Quality (#TheWriterzBlock Post) « Ant's Thoughts

  2. From one former salesmen to another….if anybody in the world feels ya, I do. I sold cars for almost 5 years, so consumer habits are just the same, except they REALLY feel like car dealers are trying to win on em, no matter what you show them.

    • Man, I hear ya club. I remember working at K-Mart in high school and a guy tried to haggle me on the price of a disposable camera on Easter. Like for real Bro?! People have an innate greed to pay pennies for their goods and look at you side ways when you don’t comply.

  3. This is a great post MAB. I sold Insurance for a year and investment plans right after college (needless to say i was miserable lol) So i know sales and boy does it suck. People really don’t understand that they have the ability to control the quality of the product they get. We want cheaper prices so companies like Walmart put the squeeze on suppliers to get it. This of course forces suppliers to cut corners so that they can still make a profit too. Its crazy that people don’t think of this.

    • Exactly MAB! And people complain about a piece of shit product they receive, but turn right about around and buy it all over again! Just because it was on sale and they haggled the price down even lower.

  4. Pingback: R.I.P. Due Process « The Writerz Block

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