Adagio is inflexible.


We're always open to a little constructive criticism.

Adagio is inflexible.

Postby guest » Sep 12th, '05, 18:05

Adagio is inflexible.

It would seem that a company that sells tea and teaware would be interested in cultivating a new customer who is new to making tea.

Not so. I have made two attempts to purchase equipment and have been turned off by Adagio's inflexibility. The first time, I searched the internet again and found something else from another company and purchased it. I am pleased with this purchase.

This time I was interested in an expensive piece of equipment and noticed that they were offering free samples for first time buyers. I did not like the those teas which would have been a waste. Looking over the samples and their prices, I listed several others that I wished to try instead. Remember, sampling is the best way to sell. I was simply asking for equivalent value.

Now I realize that those free sample teas do not have any value. They are probably old overstock or poor selling tea that this company wants to get rid of and hoping that somebody out there would have a taste for it. If I had asked to purchase several samplers, there would have been no problem including them in my order.

If a company throws off a potential customer for a few dollars, or the inability to handle small variances, can it be trusted to stand behind any warrenty of its expensive equipment? I am concerned especially if I am unable to find what I want and did have to make a purchase from Adagio.

I am disappointed that this company has no real interest in its customers.
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Postby ilya » Sep 12th, '05, 18:34

Sorry to hear that we were unable to make you a happy customer. The reason we do not allow substitutions is quite simple. In order to run a successful e-commerce site, you need to streamline the process as much as possible. As odd as it sounds, it's faster to pack/ship 3 standard orders than 1 made with substitutions. In order to make a change to an order, you need to catch someone online who will wait for an order to be placed, then they need to attach a note to the order, the packers need to be notified, and finally we need to digitally attach the change to your order.

We have no problem going out of our way for good customers that have been with us for a while, but as you can imagine, there is a certain segment of the populace that will nickel and dime you to death.

As for your accusation of our sample teas being old, i encourage you to look at the samples we were offering. All of them are 2005 holiday teas that we create for a few months every year.

I hope this reply allows you to see our perspective.
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Postby Dronak » Sep 12th, '05, 18:51

A prompt response from a representative, so I guess I don't have to say much now. But I would suggest discussing your problems with Adagio directly rather than here on the board. As for the special offers, if you don't like the current one, wait a week and see what's up then. I've only been around here for a couple of weeks and I've seen three different special offers so far. If you're not in any rush, wait for an offer that appeals to you more.
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Postby chris » Sep 13th, '05, 11:33

Adagio is inflexible.


I can quite easily touch my toes.

Handling small variances,

Chris
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Adagio is inflexible.

Postby guest » Sep 13th, '05, 23:17

I am getting the teaware from another company. Now two pieces of teaware were purchased elsewhere. I was a potential Adagio customer in need of tea and teaware and ready to order.

You are “always open for constructive criticism” but do you really want to hear it?

I do understand that the process has to be streamlined. But if the company is so narrowly rigid and inflexible, perhaps priorities should be reset. Money and time are spent for this forum and the newsletter, but not any for a potential customer. This is all about customer satisfaction Profitability is based on customer satisfaction.

“We have no problem going out of our way for good customers that have been for us a while…”
What makes for a “good” customer? When does that happen? Maybe potential customer, customer, good customer, in that order?

This is not about money. I was asking for a replacement of the four teas for even just one tea. If I had ordered a $2.00 sample it would have been billed to me. So, why couldn’t this be credited, perhaps in the form of a coupon even for the next order? It would have been a gracious gesture. That would have given me a good feeling about this company. But---- I should not have asked -----and you could have been more gracious.

Thank you Dronak and LadyArden. Those kind words are what I should have heard from the site administrator. As to writing to the company, they didn’t even bother answering my second inquiry.

I look to see how a company treats its customers and potential customers. That’s how I know how they will treat me.

So I will drink my tea, made with my new teaware, and perhaps in time…....
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Re: Adagio is inflexible.

Postby jzero » Sep 14th, '05, 10:33

guest wrote: I was a potential Adagio customer in need of tea and teaware and ready to order.


A potential customer, but also a potentially costly customer. Perpetually unsatisfied customers often incur more costs than they contribute. You were interested in what you describe as an "expensive piece of equipment," but just having what we can presume to be the item you wanted a price you felt was acceptable was not good enough - they had to throw in some tea for free, AND it has to be the tea that you want (even though you aren't paying for it).

Also, if you're so new to making tea, how do you know you don't like those teas that were offered?

But the true question is:
This other company that you bought this expensive teaware from....did they throw in free tea? Were they willing to let you pick and choose them?

Free is free. It certainly doesn't hurt to ask for a substitution, but it's not like you suffered some loss or damage when they said no.
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Postby chris » Sep 14th, '05, 11:33

Thanks for the insightful and very applicable reply, JZero.

Unfortunately, though, it seems that our anonymous guest is correct -- we should all try to spend our time more effectively.

From now on, I pledge to try not to answer any more posts from people complaining about free samples. After all, they are free. (oops, did that get posted?)

Not looking gift horses in their holiday-sample sized mouths,

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Postby PeteVu » Sep 14th, '05, 21:48

If a company throws off a potential customer for a few dollars


trust us, adagio is not the type of company to care about a few dollars. any regular here will tell you we've gotten special bonus sample surprises. and its not just the bottom of the barrel tea either, i actually recieved a good quality and well thought out surprise sample with my last order.

Its sad for me to say that tea seems to be such a fad. i'd say about 60% of the people who i have the pleasure of introducing loose leaf tea too get excited and order tea... then simply cast it asside after their 5 day shipping period gave the novelty time to wear off. I know it would be terrible PR for adagio themselves to say it, but frankly i think youre just following a fad, and is just another person trying to get something for nothing. suck it up, it was free. Maybe one of your guests will like it. I keep plenty of tea on stock that i cant stand but my guests love. Theres plenty of things u can do with your tea. its not utterly valueless, although... it was free.
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Postby Dronak » Sep 14th, '05, 22:58

I'm new and I've already seen evidence of them not worrying about a few dollars here and there. The most obvious one is the free sample(s) for first-time orders which is visible on the main page when not logged in. After ordering, I found that reviewing teas you did order will get you $1 off per review (up to $5) on the order currently in your cart/basket. They also allow existing customers to send out $5 gift certificates to new customers. Besides that, when I did the link rewards thing, I put the link on two pages of mine (old school account and new site after graduating), eligible for different rewards; I let Adagio choose which to give me and they picked the better, higher priced one when they could have easily justified giving the lower level one. I'm glad they gave me the better one because the ingenuiTEA pot is cool and makes using loose tea much easier than it used to be. Also, from what I've read in posts around here, Adagio tries to make reasonable compromises with customers; look at other complaint threads for info. About surprises for existing customers, I ordered so much tea this time (about 30 samplers) that unless I want to grab a couple more flavors/types just because, I probably won't order again too soon. Point? I can't verify PeteVu's statement about this because I haven't gotten any surprise freebies and probably won't for some time. I'm sure others can verify it though.

Maybe tea is a fad for some people. I don't know. I know that my interests wax and wane, often with no specific pattern. Tea is on the rise again at the moment, but even if it drops and I'm not so active around here, I'll always like it and be interested in it at some level. Having the web board here may help keep my interest up though, which would be good. I did the link rewards thing partly because I already had the link up when I saw the offer and partly to get some free tea. But it wasn't just for that, it was also to see what the loose tea offered was like because it had been a while since I had some loose tea. I know loose is typically better than bagged, for various reasons, and wanted to have some better quality tea again. I liked the samples I got, so I ordered a bunch more this weekend, and got it today. I like the variety available and that the variety isn't too overwhelming (I looked at Upton's catalog and they have way too many choices for me right now).

As PeteVu said, if you don't like a tea you got, you can keep it around for guests who may like it. You could also give it away to someone who likes it. I've read about cooking with tea; maybe you could find a way to use it in a recipe where you'd like the taste of it better. As a last point, I'll second PeteVu's comment that you shouldn't be complaining that much about something that's free. Adagio doesn't have to give anything away, but they do. You may not like the freebie they give you, but since you aren't paying for it, I don't think you can really complain about it.

Sorry if this is long, I do tend to write like that.

Random aside: does anyone else find it odd that someone actually registered the user name "guest"?
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adagio is unflexable

Postby Guest » Sep 26th, '05, 09:55

This will probably be tossed off the message board, but if you're interested, I know a site where you can get a sampler of 6 bagged teas (your choice) for $1.50 with no shipping.

Email me at mmcsmom@aol.com for more info.
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Postby Guest » Sep 26th, '05, 11:24

Hey Chris, site admin:

I know you're trying to be funny, but you come of as kind of a jerk. someone came to you with a complaint and you treated that person like dirt.

I don't think I'd buy anything from you.
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tossed off the board

Postby ilya » Sep 26th, '05, 11:29

Not only will your comment not be removed, but we invite you to post the URL for this offer. Heck, for $1.50, we'll order some as well :)
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Postby klemptor » Sep 26th, '05, 11:59

I know you're trying to be funny, but you come of as kind of a jerk. someone came to you with a complaint and you treated that person like dirt.


Ilya answered this guest's complaint promptly and professionally. "Guest" was being unreasonable and was jumping to conclusions as to why the free samples were being offered. Guest overreacted to Adagio's response - sure, it never hurts to ask a company to do a favor for a client, but Guest should've been reasonable enough to understand that it would be a significant inconvenience for Adagio.

It's also very telling (and Guest should realize this) that so many Adagio customers belong to TeaChat and actively defend the company. We like the fact that Chris and Ilya take their time to chat with us. Speaking strictly for myself, I never feel like I'm dealing with an inaccessible company, but rather with a really nice group of people that happen to sell tea. They're friendly, informative, and funny. They're quite willing to listen to constructive criticism and answer questions readily. I don't feel that they should take scathing, reactionary comments (such as Guest's initial post) to heart as Guest's opinions surely represent only a small percentage of all customers' (potential and otherwise).

Chris wouldn't have made light of Guest's post if he or Ilya hadn't already replied. Chris' reply was not rude; he didn't say anything derisive or defensive to Guest. Neither Chris nor Ilya treated Guest like dirt. Everybody that replied to this post pointed out the obvious: free samples are free and should be received in the nature they're given.

That said, I think we've all spent entirely too much time on this thread. I love Adagio and think it's sad that Guest didn't give them the chance they deserve. End of story.
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Postby Guest » Sep 26th, '05, 23:09

I was talking about Chris, not Ilya.
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