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Author Topic: Beware Idiom Press!!  (Read 71368 times)
K0OD
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Posts: 2558




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« Reply #45 on: August 07, 2010, 10:42:10 AM »

Quote
Idiom Press has probably grown to the point that they probably need additional employees

Unlikely.

Is anyone (but me) buying outboard keyers anymore? Newer radios usually have keyers, often very sophisticated memory ones,  built in.

Plus, I'm surprised at the number of experienced CW ops I hear using keyboards nowadays. As I get older and work less CW I'm getting worse at sending, but my typing skills are improving thanks to computing and web surfing. I'm thinking of retiring the Logikeyer and paddles. Less clutter, less dusting. Meanwhile my keyboard (attached to the Flex) is a necessity on the desk.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2010, 10:44:00 AM by Jeff » Logged
KI4SDY
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« Reply #46 on: August 07, 2010, 08:35:07 PM »

"Unlikely."

I don't understand the point of this last post. The poster questions whether anyone is using outboard keyers anymore and then, in the same sentence, states he is. Idiom Press makes more products than just key clacking equipment anyway and ham radio is growing! The company is either getting smaller or expanding. If it is getting smaller (I doubt it) then the owner needs to assess what is wrong and fix it. If he can't, he needs to turn it over to someone else in the family or sell it before he destroys it. Many of us like his products, but when something goes wrong we want it fixed! Shocked

If the last poster had read the all complaints; they revolve around bad customer service that is refuted by others who have had good experiences with the company owner acting in that position. As a matter of fact, he has responded on this site and commented concerning the complaints, which I consider commendable. Would the CEO or owners of Yaesu, Icom, Kenwood or even Alinco do that? No!

So what is the problem? It is obvious to me (having owned and operated several businesses myself) that in the see saw process of profit, expansion, profit, expansion, there are times when customer service falls to the wayside to make time for more important and immediate tasks. When this happens, complaints materialize along with negative word of mouth to the community of customers as a result of insufficient response. This is the point to incorporate the paid services of a family member (tax deductible) to lighten the load and increase efficiency. If there is no one in the immediate household or extended family to help, then you need to hire a part-time, temporary or full-time outside employee, as the need dictates. Again, some owners of small business just are too cheap to hire someone and in the end they suffer financially for it. It is false economy. I would be interested to know how many employees Idiom Press has and how many of those employees are exclusively customer service employees, but I think we all know the answer to that. Wink
« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 02:00:28 AM by Guy "Vern" Wells » Logged
K0OD
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« Reply #47 on: August 08, 2010, 06:12:03 AM »

Quote
If the last poster had read the all complaints;...

Actually I have. I even criticized Idiom myself. I've owned two logikeyers: one of the earliest models from the 1980s and a CMOS-4 bought about 2-3 years ago. There is no excuse for the poor service and communication I received from them. (Idiom had already been turned over to "junior' by then)

Do you really think many suppliers are growing? I had thought you might be kidding about that. I can think of two or three majors who MIGHT be seeing a bit of growth. Many have closed recently and most of those left are close to doing so. You don't seem to realize how dreadful times are for ham suppliers.

We can have compassion for the struggling victims of The Great Recession. But that doesn't seem to be Idiom's problem.
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KI4SDY
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« Reply #48 on: August 08, 2010, 11:44:29 AM »

If the last poster had read all the complaints..."Actually I have."

If you read it, you did not comprehend what was being said by the company owner. As is reprinted below, he can't keep up with business. Why? Probably because he is too cheap to hire help and or order sufficient inventory. So what was your point?

"Do you really think many suppliers are growing?"

Yes I do! Ham radio is growing and as a result there is a need for more gear. Pretty simple really. There are more licensed hams today than there were 5 years ago. Wink

"I would have thought you might be kidding about that. I can think of two or three majors who MIGHT be seeing a bit of growth. Many have closed recently and most of those left are close to doing so." 

I would like a list of the "many that have closed recently" and the ones that are "close to doing so," I have not observed a mass exodus from the market. A few incompetent or dishonest business people have closed. They are the ones that "check out" in a bad economy and that is a good thing! Grin

"You don't seem to realize how dreadful times are for ham suppliers."

The Owner of Idiom Press; "I made the mistake of not having enough inventory at Dayton this year, and I've been dealing with a backlog ever since. I have been working like crazy to catch up, and I should be caught up by the end of the week. Once I am caught up, then customer service will be much more prompt. In the meantime I'm doing the best that I can."

Does that sound like a ham supplier that is having "dreadful times?" No, it sounds like someone who needs to hire some help so he can provide the basic customer service that hams expect. He is trying to do everything by himself on the cheap and it is not working. Embarrassed

"We can have compassion for the struggling victims of The Great Recession (actually we are in a depression). But that doesn't seem to be Idiom's problem."

That is correct and it was entirely my point, but the statement conflicts with half of what you have posted so again I am going to ask, what is your point? Roll Eyes

 
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MAZZ1232002
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Posts: 205




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« Reply #49 on: August 08, 2010, 02:58:09 PM »

  I am not sure where K0OD is getting his information from but I am a ham supplier and I am not even close to closing or considering it. As a matter of fact 2010 has been a great year for sales to date. Times are dreadful for ham suppliers? I cannot speak for anyone else but I have zero debt on both my personal and business balance sheets so if times are dreadful I can imagine what good times will bring!
  This afternoon I spent much time researching quick action cam vises that are used for rapid vising of parts on milling machines and drill presses. Need to replace the vise on the tapping and threading machine with a much faster vise. Eventually I plan to replace at least one vise with an air powered vise made by the Heinrich Company of Racine, Wisconsin. A proximity sensor will be fixed near the vises that will detect the presence of the part and then the entire vising, drilling and releasing of the part will be automatic and controlled by a PLC. So as you can see we have some expansion plans as opposed to closing down.

        73's
        Pete
        WB4CAA
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STAYVERTICAL
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« Reply #50 on: August 08, 2010, 04:18:26 PM »

Ah, the flames are starting to warm this thread nicely, time to roast the nuts.

The world is simply slowly winding down business wise, the reason is peak oil , yes thats right, the taps are fully open, and the rate is as fast as its going to get. This means energy gets more expensive, money cannot simply be created with the expectation that cheap energy will mean more growth to catch up with the money supply.
So, expect big businesses to cannibalize smaller businesses on succeeding crises, and money to contract indefinitely.
Credit will never be as easy to get as it was before peak oil, and you better make sure you have your house in order or you will sink.
How does that apply to this thread?
Idiom may be aware of the trend and trying to keep their overheads and debt low ( they are after all called Idiom not Idiot), so that they can stay in business. That is prudent, but they must balance that with the loss of reputation and eventual drop in sales.
Ham radio businesses are always failing, and MFJ is an example of a bigger business acquiring struggling ham businesses of substantial size.
I in no way excuse poor customer service, and will always avoid a company who does not understand that a reputation is easily lost and seldom regained. Having worked in a service environment for many years, I can relate many stories about customers requesting a person service their account who was technically inferior but socially adept over another of superior technical ability.
The idea is always to leave the customer with a pleasant experience, and your company problems are of no interest or concern to the customer who is slighted, nor should they be.

As to those business owners who are living in a patch of sunny sky, remember the ants, they harvest during the summer for the cold days ahead. Unfortunately many people do the reverse, and spend all summer and starve in winter.
Ants are smart.
 
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K0OD
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« Reply #51 on: August 08, 2010, 08:21:54 PM »

Okay, okay. You win. The hobby is a gold mine.  How did I not know?

Pictured below is the sprawling "radio row" in Fort Wayne Indiana  Grin

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/dz986/philshamradiostore.jpg
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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 875




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« Reply #52 on: August 09, 2010, 01:03:23 AM »

Okay, okay. You win. The hobby is a gold mine.  How did I not know?

Pictured below is the sprawling "radio row" in Fort Wayne Indiana  Grin

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/dz986/philshamradiostore.jpg

Let me guess, it's really a TARDIS (Dr Who's time machine) and is the size of a football field inside. Cunning these hams.
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KI4SDY
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Posts: 1452




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« Reply #53 on: August 09, 2010, 06:21:29 AM »

There comes a time (too frequent these days on eHam.net) when the rambling comments of others are so illogical and off point that the only thing you can do to keep your sanity is push the ignore button. Roll Eyes Goodby K0OD and STAYVERTICAL! Grin

By the way, I usually do not respond to posters that do not use their call signs, if they have one. If I want get into that, there are plenty of CB sites to choose from. However, the following comment was so "outer space" I have no choice:

"The world is simply winding down business wise, the reason is peak oil, yes that's right the taps are fully open, and the rate is as fast as its going to get. This means energy gets more expensive, money cannot simply be created with the expectation that cheap energy will mean more growth to catch up with the money supply."

Idiom Press is not complaining of increased costs for materials and their prices for products have not increased for a long time. Their customers are not complaining about price. The issue is customer service and ensuring you have the human resources to provide the level of service expected by ham radio customers. Very simple really. How you wander into the International Economy fueled by "Peak Oil" leaves me wondering what you are smoking. I am not surprised that you have remained in customer service for "many years." Maybe some day, when your head clears, you will be able to see things in a simpler light and figure out how to start your own business. Wink      
« Last Edit: January 11, 2011, 05:36:59 PM by KI4SDY » Logged
N3QE
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Posts: 2288




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« Reply #54 on: August 09, 2010, 07:39:24 AM »


Do you really think many suppliers are growing? I had thought you might be kidding about that. I can think of two or three majors who MIGHT be seeing a bit of growth. Many have closed recently and most of those left are close to doing so. You don't seem to realize how dreadful times are for ham suppliers.


As always in ham radio the upstarts with innovative and solidly performing products are giving tough competition to the stodgy old out of touch companies that have too many layers in their distribution chain.

And the companies that themselves were not producers, but unnecessary layers in the distribution chain, providing no actual value? They get hit toughest of all.

It was a shame when the mail order places that provided no value came along, and drove out the local shops who actually provided value, but that was 40 years ago. No point fighting that battle again.

Tim.


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STAYVERTICAL
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« Reply #55 on: August 09, 2010, 02:25:25 PM »

Quote
"The world is simply winding down business wise, the reason is peak oil, yes that's right the taps are fully open, and the rate is as fast as its going to get. This means energy gets more expensive, money cannot simply be created with the expectation that cheap energy will mean more growth to catch up with the money supply."

Idiom Press is not complaining of increased costs for materials and their prices for products have not increased for a long time. Their customers are not complaining about price. The issue is customer service and ensuring you have the human resources to provide the level of service expected by ham radio customers. Very simple really. How you wander into the International Economy fueled by "Peak Oil" leaves me wondering what you are smoking. I am not surprise that you have remained in customer service for "many years." Maybe some day, when your head clears, you will be able to see things in a simpler light and figure out how to start your own business. Wink       

I appreciate the critique, but I should clear up a few matters.
Rather than give a glib comment without any background to why companies may be taking a particular course of action, I prefer to set the scene to what, in my opinion, is perhaps motivating company policies.
If you consider "peak oil" to be an off planet idea then that is your choice - I have long ago learned that trying to give unpalatable information to those who don't wish to know only leads to grief.
Lets just say that I have organised my life around this concept and have ridden the resulting crises to my advantage.
This is not a new concept having first come to my attention seven years ago, if you ignore it you will never know the real reason why the economy will never recover.
Despite the barb directed at my being in customer service I consider this as being a time of service to others where my knowledge was able to, in a small way, grease the cogs which kept industry humming smoothly.
Without getting too biblical, being in service has a long tradition.
As to starting my own business, although I would be honored to be in a position of being a shopkeeper, my life has been organised to be independent of this burden.
I am thankful for Idiom and all the other small "shopkeepers" who face a complaining clientele daily hoping to eke out a living, but have no desire to join their decimated ranks.
73s

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WB2WIK
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« Reply #56 on: August 10, 2010, 01:53:08 PM »

All it takes to provide excellent customer service is communications.  It costs about nothing and goes a long way towards reputation building.

If I'm a vendor (manufacturer or reseller, it really doesn't matter) and get an order I cannot immediately fill, it is incumbent on me to immediately contact the customer and simply let him know:  "Sorry, we're flooded right now and catching up with a 3-week backlog.  If you don't mind waiting, we'll ship your order on September 3.  If you would rather cancel than wait, please advise and we'll cancel your order at no cost to you."

Canned statement.  Costs nothing to write it, nothing to send it, but lets the customer know what's happening.  Worth a million dollars in review comments.

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KI4SDY
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« Reply #57 on: August 11, 2010, 06:02:51 AM »

You have to pay someone to do that if you are busy running the rest of the company, so it does cost money. That is why it is not being done. Very simple really. Wink
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KB4MB
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« Reply #58 on: August 15, 2010, 02:33:45 PM »

I ordered a year in dx book and it came signed within the week.  No problems here with customer service... (Just one counter voice  Smiley )
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KBERGPHD
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« Reply #59 on: August 25, 2010, 09:13:51 AM »

I have also ordered products from Idiom Press and have received excellent service.  The issue, for me, is now I have been waiting for a product that was promised for May 29th.  I waited until mid July assuming Rod was busy with post Dayton activities.  I have not received a reply to the dozen or so emails, several phone calls and one fax for a month and a half now.  It is now August 25th.  So now my customer experience is not so good.    There have been suggestions the company is too busy and should hire extra help, and those that say it cant because it would ruin their profit margin, to respond to emails with canned statements, etc.  An easier solution would be a website statement about what is going on!!!! One statement to all of us who have enjoyed and wish to continue the use of Idiom Press Products.  In the meantime, I would like to know if anyone has gotten products from Idiom Press since April, 2010, or have gotten responses from Rob since end of May?

September 3rd, Another week without response to my emails, or calls from Idiom Press about my order!!! 

September 12th, still no response from Idiom Press about my order!!!


Kent
KC9LIF
« Last Edit: September 12, 2010, 08:28:51 AM by Kent E. Berglund » Logged
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