Monday, November 8, 2010

Waiting Like You... On Purpose

"Everyone is equal.  But, Some are more equal than others"
 George Orwell, "Animal House"

One of the things that first sold me on the eCraft was their reputed reputation for listening and responding to customers.

Because I, myself, am not an actual user in the traditional sense, I have focused on things not normally reviewed in craft circles. At first, I was sympathetic toward Craftwell because I knew that it was, effectively, a startup.  This was true even if the manufacturing company behind it might actually be enormous.

But, as time has gone on, I am less and less inclined to have a favorable opinion of the commitment of management of Craftwell to its user base.  And, that lagging optimism has everything to do with their almost utter lack of communication.

I can pick up the phone at any time to talk directly with the management at Craftwell.  But, I am not because it is not fair to all those that CANNOT get through.  I do NOT subscribe to the "Everyone is equal; but, Some are more equal than other's" view of users.

I will learn about what is going on when YOU learn what is going on.  And, I will respond the way I think is best for YOU.

But, I want to make this clear.  I am NOT upset that we are having to wait for the software.  It's free and we get it when we get it.  What is killing my enthusiasm for the eCraft is the fact that even as they have built up their staff, they have not dedicated anyone on that staff to be their consistent voice to hurting customers.  That's right.  HURTING customers.

People make a purchase for a purpose.  And, they have high hopes when they finally bite the bullet and buy.  When a vendor delivers less than promised it is MORE than simply a mild nuisance for some of those users.  It can be traumatic for some.  And, a management that seems to be callous to that reality is NOT a management that can hold my respect for long.

Communication, to be real communication, cannot simply be a one-way vehicle for good news whenever it's convenient.  It has to be a two-way dialog that continues in tough times as well as good times.  When I go up to Craftwell's Facebook Page, and see people pleading for help with no response, it does not encourage me to try to do Craftwell's job for them any longer.  And, that is the primary reason I have not participated in discussions about the eCraft for the last month.

I have one eCraft set up and unused right now.  I have another in a box, unopened.  I am NOT going to subject my daughter to unnecessary frustrations as long as Craftwell remains 95% silent leaving users in limbo.

I don't hold grudges.  So, the situation could change at any minute if and when Craftwell decides that customers truly are important enough to talk to publicly.  Let's hope that is soon.  In the meantime, I will not be calling them.  When you find out, I will find out.