The tyranny of low cost...

If you buy from a low cost supplier you can find that what you save in cash is made up for in frustration and anger, as you try and get accurate information about the progress of your order from an unresponsive and equally frustrated customer service team (or person - they don't all have teams!)

Anyone who loves gadgets can tell this story. You scour the Internet for reviews, you make your decision. You then look around for the cheapest prices, and try and decide who you can trust to deliver. The range of prices is usually breathtaking. An item that you can get for £630 in one place is available in other online stores for £800 or even £900. You explain to your spouse why it's incredibly important that you have this particular thing. You get excited, you start looking forward to playing with your new gadget.

Then you order it, they take your money, and nothing happens. You e-mail, you try and phone, you wait on hold for hours, and when you finally get through, all that they can do is tell you when the computer says you're getting it. If you cancel the order then you'll just have to go through it all again with someone else, and it'll cost more! You've already suffered the delay and the pain, and there's always the feeling that they might be just about to dispatch it. These companies know there's nothing you can do - that they have all the power, and you have none. Furthermore, there's usually nothing that the customer service operator can do either.

The problem for these suppliers is this. People hate having their nose rubbed in their own powerlessness. They hate the companies that do it to them.

They'll go somewhere else next time.

And if it doesn't come very soon, I'll be naming names! :)

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