We are planning on upgrading our retail software. We told the VAR this in the middle of February, and that we were also planning on adding some additional stores to our license. Before we proceeded with this, I wanted to do the upgrade in a dev/test environment before we committed to adding onto our license. We already bought and paid for an upgrade for our existing store as part of our annual support contract, so I wanted to get that here so I could work with it.
I sent all of this in an email to person A at our software reseller, and told him to please send us our upgrade CD so we could test it.
Person A forwarded this on to person B. It was now the end of February.
I then emailed and talked to person B and told them the same thing.
Person B forwarded this on to person C. Now it's the beginning of March.
I then dealt with person C and told them the same thing. They sent me the estimate for our upgrade, but since we had already paid for it with our maintenance contract, the upgrade was free. They just needed to put it in a box and ship it out. The zero-cost estimate was just a matter of maintaining a paper trail.
I signed and returned the estimate the same day I received it, the morning of March 4.
Ten days pass, and still no software. We has now been 30 days since I started this ball rolling, and are now a little over a month from our scheduled upgrade date, and what was a nice cushion before we had to do this was now a tight schedule.
Lo and behold, I receive an email from person D, who apparently didn't talk to persons A, B, or C. She sent me a support renewal contract.
The contract is due on the day after we have scheduled our upgrade.
OK, time to put on the black hat.
I write a succinct email, including A, B, C, and D in the address list, and tell them that we are still waiting for our software. Since they seem to be having such problems with our existing license, we're not sure if they can be trusted to get us the software for our new stores in a timely fashion. Oh, and by the way, since our support contract is due to expire anyway, we may just drop them and go to a different reseller.
In the course of 30 minutes, I received 3 emails and
Little do they know that we were planning on leaving them anyway, and going with another reseller that's closer to us (literally a 3 minute drive from our office to theirs). They know from past experience that I have no compunctions about driving to their door and sitting in their waiting room until I get what I need. They may also be willing to do a deal with us for a better price. That other shoe will drop next month.
I really get a certain smug satisfaction out of this. For a month, they won't give me the time of day, but mention that you're thinking of taking your business elsewhere, and they fall all over themselves.
EDIT: 03/14/2008 1:30pm
Well, I received a FedEx package from our VAR today.
It had a packing slip. OK.
It had the license keys. Wonderful.
It had a software install CD...for the wrong product.
I called them and told them that they goofed.
The line went silent for a second, and then I heard the account manager mutter "Oh, shit."
And it's one, two, three strikes, you're out of the old ball game.