Thursday, July 24, 2014

Low Expectations and Testing

What are the essentials of a Marcus and Agata's Purchasing mentality?  In four words

Low Expectations and Testing !

  • We do extensive Internet Research on the product
  • We research where we can buy it from a reputable supplier
  • We understand that discounts are rarely free and often hide something, for example: product obsolescence or poor design.

In particular:

  1. Never assume it is going to work, just because it is from manufacturer X
  2. Never assume the setup will be easy
  3. Never assume I can return the item

Of course in some countries there is another way:  Sue!

In this methodology your stupidity, ignorance, lack of gile is never questioned.  The culprit is the supplier for selling you something that is substandard.

Now of course /fitness for purpose/ is an important legal entity and products and services should be so, however in the Technology Space we would argue

  • Products claims are often exaggerated
  • Ease of use depends almost entirely on the user

Note: Disclaimer Culture
The rush to take legal action against suppliers based on bad faith, a certainty that's one own incompetence or laziness is not in question has led manufacturers to fight back with all encompassing disclaimers

(I was to textually include the terms here at this font pitch but they are literally hundreds of lines long, check the link)

Consideration CounterPoint
When I studied UK law at University you will be taught about the principle of Consideration.

For me [however] consideration should be morally adequate.  I know it is not legally so.  In other words, I would argue that if you pay almost nothing for a service or product you can only expect a similar value in return.

Trivial Example: I bought a race belt from China for less than 3GBP including postage!  It has performed well over 20 times already.  But should it fail within the next month I am not going to angrily write to the supplier for a refund.  Especially when the UK supplied, branded equivalent is over 20GBP  (almost 700% of the price)

Testing Now
When you buy something, test that it works!  The classic example is the computer backup product.  After years of backing up you find that after a computer crash the restore is inadequate or flawed. Did you actually ever test a restore?

In Summary
When you buy goods or service bear in mind how much you are paying for the item(s).  An almost zero cost gives you less right to complain and moan should the item have minor imperfections.

Items should however be fit for purpose and if there is a major disconnect between an product/ service claim and reality then of course make a stand.

But before you do, you did read the manual?,  did you ask a friend to also check it out?

And test: Don't assume a complex or even simple product or service actually works.  Test it out.  Test and Test and Test.