I Want To Testdrive The Leather

Dear Fry’s Electronics,

I’m totally stoked that my iPad3 arrived. I told my wife on the morning it was scheduled to be delivered at my office that I couldn’t remember being this excited to go to work. I actually had something to look forward to!

When it comes to buying cases and accessories, feeling the quality and textures is something you can’t really do online. So I went to the Apple Store because I thought they carried iPad cases. However, the store I visited was too small and only carried the iPad Smart Cover. The guy wearing blue tried hard to sell me on the Apple case, but I wanted something to cover the back too because that gets scratched to hell. Nice high energy, low touch sales pitch Apple.

Then I went to your store with my wife tonight. From previous sojourns to Fry’s I knew you had lots of iPad cases, and I knew most of them were remaining inventory that nobody wanted. Sure enough, the shelves were littered with opened packaging and unwanted cases. It looks like a black Friday storm had hit, and then they returned all the bad stuff.

From previous sojourns my wife knew I was just going to buy something on Amazon, so she said, “Okay, so let’s go. Otherwise you’re just going to stand her looking at them and we both know you’re not going to buy anything. So let’s just wander around like last time. That was fun.”

We walked over to the iPad display area hoping to see more cases, but we only found unlabeled and mislabled Apple products. Was that a Thunderbolt display or a new version of the iMac? I guess we’ll never know. What I do know is that the Mac Pro was not a MacBook Pro, even though the sign said so.

Eventually we stumbled upon the alternate iPad case displays, but they were nowhere near anything relevant. In fact we only found them because we were kind of intrigued by that weird corner of the store that is dimly lit and separated by the store by a half-wall. I think there was product for sale back there, but I only remember a blaring TV and seeing the bankers boxes full of what I imagined were customer complaints, in triplicate. As we turned to go we were confronted with iPad cases. I bought one, but I really didn’t want to. I went home to check the price on Amazon, but somehow you were cheaper. You won this round.

I still have questions, though. Why don’t you stock the items that customers actually buy? You have an amazing inventory control system from 1992 that can tell me what stores have a specific product in stock. Why don’t you just tell your buyers that you’re out of stock at my store? Why do I have to go on a treasure hunt before giving you money? When did you stop caring, and did you ever care?

My Printer Doesn’t Work

Dear Coldstone Creamery,

You send me one of those two-for-one coupons that are awesome because my wife likes fruit in her ice cream and I don’t. It’s not that I don’t like sharing. My wife is welcome to eat my awesome KitKat-Carmel-Birthdaycake deliciousness. I just don’t want to share her strawberry-peach-lemonchellow craziness.

We had finished dinner at Kirk’s Steakburgers and had a hankerin’ for something sweet. The cupcake store was closed, you were open. Before entering your store, my wife and I had the following conversation in the car:

Wife: “I think I have a coupon for Coldstone.”
Me: “Yeah, me too. Let me check my phone.”
Wife: “I think mine is expired.”
Me: “I found one, let’s go.”

So we walked in and I held my phone up to the guy and had this conversation:

Me: “Is this coupon still good?”
You: “Oooh, that’s not a coupon. You have to print it out.”
Me: “My printer doesn’t work, so I can’t print it out. Why do you need me to print it out?”
You: “I have to staple it to the receipt.”
Me: Buh bye.

So we went home and ate the chocolate cream pie in our fridge. So my questions for you are these: Why didn’t you want my money? Why are you forcing your franchisees to jump through hoops to make money in this economy? We aren’t in 2003 anymore, why are your coupons?

How To Start An Old Company

One of the most important corporate tools is credit. Credit is what allows companies to buy capital equipment, expand into new or larger locations, and grow their product line and production capacity.

Unfortunately, credit is also the modern day equivalent of the chicken-and-the-egg riddle. How does a new company get credit when they have no credit history?

There are ways to buy old companies that have already established credit lines and filed tax returns. A recent article at MSNBC painted one such company in a negative light because of the fraud attributed to some of their customers. But for ethical business operators this may be one way to jumpstart a business.