Shiny & New

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been chipping away at changing to a direct supplier for electricity, finding a new POS (Point of Sale) platform, and switching phone/internet providers in an effort to reduce costs while improving the level of customer service. I’ve also examined food suppliers and trash removal companies. It blows my mind how long it takes to research and then implement something that should be simplistic and a minor admin to-do. To be fair, one of these has been a snap, which was signing up with a direct energy company, but that was thanks to doing business with my friend Nick Gerome who works in the energy industry.

Sometimes macro conditions lead to changes in the micro (soft) level, errr something like that. Microsoft recently discontinued support for Windows XP, and my current POS vendor used this situation as an opportunity to jack me with a ridiculously expensive quote to purchase all new equipment  instead of making an affordable software patch available.  So I’m using this situation as an opportunity to change POS vendors. I’m in the process of getting set up with TouchBistro‘s POS solution and Paypal’s credit card processing and going all new fangled like with an Ipad. Its a really exciting, savvy platform, and I’m excited to launch it. With a little luck, we’ll roll out the system early next week.

I wish I had inspiring news to share about my switch from Verizon to Time Warner for Small Business phone/internet. Alas that process, which began in January and finally made it over the installation finish line last Friday (nearly 4 months later with a lot of high maintenance intervention), was fraught with epic fails by Time Warner at every step. They waited until I called them in March inquiring about the install date to let me know they were reneging on the signed contract since it was supposedly going to cost them more than $5K to do the install. This was highly suspect since 30 residential units in my building have their service. They repeatedly misspelled my husband’s name on the contract and in correspondence. Generally speaking, a lack of attention to details is not a good sign, but most definitely a sign of things to come. When we finally got a Time Warner sales rep to meet with us at Sweet Revenge a couple of weeks ago, we were promised their guys would ensure a smooth setup on the day of install. This promise was re-iterated by the installation scheduling rep over the phone, who assured me we would not have any service interruptions during the install. EPIC FAIL for Time Warner. We had no working phone for several hours, and the tech rep explained that it wasn’t his responsibility to set us up on their system. We had no way to process credit cards, had no internet or wifi, and our ADT and camera security systems went down. When we called the rep who had visited us, he completely punted, even telling his technician to re-install Verizon. Shocking. The on-site tech rep explained he saw the “oversell” happen all the time just so contracts got signed. Needless to say I could not be more underwhelmed or less impressed by my first and all subsequent impressions of Time Warner. They’re lucky their internet speed is an upgrade to Verizon’s and they’re cheaper.

A funny thing happened on the way to change. I turned at the corner of black & blue and went on the Say Whaaaaat Roundabout. But would you look at that  – there’s light there yonder. I’m really looking forward to seeing these shiny & new relationships turn into bedazzling bottom line results.

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” (Lao Tzu)

Cheers to change,

Marlo