Member Since: November 26, 2009

Country: United States

  • Bard:
    I do agree with that, this DIY bubble isn't going to last forever, and a time will come when poor customer service will be much more detrimental to a companies bottom line than when there's loads of revenue. And concerning with putting your dollars where they will do the most good; I prefer to put mine in businesses that at least appreciate my money, however small it may be in comparison to other customers. Call me a stickler for good service, but as having worked in the area, and having a time of figuring out how to do it properly, I learned that people like to be treated at least pleasantly while parting with their hard-earned money. And so, I consider that important in making my own purchasing choices, as I'd like to be treated at least a little nicely while I'm helping them keep their lights on and business going.

  • Linux:
    Well, it's the very least I can do.. it's a horrid feeling. I've just gotten more 'no' than 'yes' concerning dealings with the commerce side of SFE. And that makes for poor customer service- Smart-alec replies to inquiries, higher prices (which I'd gladly pay if the customer service were there.) and a few other negative aspects I'd rather skip over.
    And last year, Oh! I planned for so long, had a wonderful list, was ready well before time, Figuring I had all my ducks in a row. But then there's this server load thing, which I really don't recall hearing of first. And so begins two hours, nearly fustrated to tears, and ending up sad and dissapointed. I just didn't want others to feel the same. It truly doesn't matter in the long run, and in this sense, quitting can be winning, if you stop pounding refresh the moment you get that bad feeling.
    And thank you for thinking of me as uplifting. I've been out of work for two years now, I work seven days a week sending out resumes and trolling about for anything. Unemployment won't last more than a month, now. Can't get a painful cavity filled, there's no resources here. I'm in a county with 10+ percent unemployment, and it's already not much a center of commerce. One of four houses foreclosed on. Of the three neighbors I have, two are out of work, and they have families. But you've got to keep a good attitude- I used to think that was such crap, but being able to face the most dire of circumstances with a smile, and to take on that day with a winning attitude, you will eventually prevail. It'll keep you going when you can't give up. And sometimes, it's all you have.
    Best, Chris

  • I'm happy that you were able to be one of the lucky ones last year. Did it work out as well for you this year? I hope so. I'm just trying to give a little advice to the many people who are going to try for hours to get something, and wind up making themselves unhappy, and ruining their days. There's just such a slim chance of even getting though to answer the quiz, it's so very frustrating to many.
    As far as SFE as a company, in my personal experience, I've received very poor customer service a number of times. I'll pay a premium for good service, as one would tip well for a great meal, but I just don't get it here. I get more 'no's than 'yes'. And as someone whom has worked in customer service, and other people-oriented jobs, I'm trained to just say yes. Make the customer happy. It's very easy, too easy not to do. It's also about being good to your fellow man. And as a recent example, I had a prescription for an illness that was making me very ill just the other day. I went to two major chain pharmacies, and was told to wait a day for them to spill 30 tablets in a bottle and do a little paperwork. I said I urgently needed this medication, and I'd be happy to wait half an hour, but no- Just 'come back tomorrow', which when you're hurting, isn't an option. And the only reason I went to these two places (and they were ten miles apart, as well.)was that I had a discount card with considerable savings.
    I ended up so frustrated, I went to a new independent pharmacy. I paid an extra 25 dollars, more than double than the other place, but I got what I needed within five minutes, and got smiles from the employees, a little small talk, and they were very happy for my buisiness. And that made the extra 25 dollars well spent in my opinion. It got me back in bed, where I belonged, and all was well.
    Good customer service goes a very long way. Do people like going places where they are treated like they're an idiot, or a bother? Hopefully, not twice.

  • To all those disappointed by the amazing amount of frustration freeday caused, I'm sorry. I was in your shoes last year. This year, knowing that it would be a replay of last year, and as I have a strong feeling that SF hasn't the most customer friendly of attitudes, once you get down to interacting with them. You can ask the community, and it's wonderful, but if you point out a possible flaw, or ask a question that reveals a flaw in a product, you're ignored, deleted, etc. It seems that they'd rather just slip it by you.
    Per example, I asked if the conductive ribbon has insulation. That's important, cloth does overlap and fold in the course of wearing it, and it'd be awfully easy to get a short. I asked, and was told that the product "was made to sew into clothing, not overlap". Which, for me, reduces usefulness to a rating of 'very little'. So, I feel it's a pretty much a cop-out of answer.
    Yesterday, I posted a comment suggesting to other to simply quit at the first sign of fustration. The odds simply aren't with you, and the quiz addition seemed to just make a hard thing harder. So I didn't bother this year. Sparkfun doesn't care about me for a customer. So I no longer give them money. Adafruit's getting into breakout boards, SF's original contribution, and I've got a Jameco catalog that's lots cheaper, I feel my business is appreciated, and so; I give them my money. And hey, if I need a breakout, it's not real hard to make yr own. Just a little practice. But I don't think that the SF attitude of fostering building with only their products is a hindrance to the community, rather than a boon.
    And most importantly, because you're not going to get it elsewhere, I will apologize to you for your frustration. I know you tried really hard, and got very first in line, and normally, that would be good, but the concept of 'fair' doesn't exist outside of people with proper manners and games. Take it as a life lesson. And please, go get some air, get yourself a tasty snack, relax. Forget about this mess. It's not worth it- Your happiness over some electronic trinkets? I could have used some as well, I'm unemployed and broke, and yearning to build; but it's not worth the upset. Go hit up one of the usual suppliers and make a little order for yourself, what you can afford. Maybe harvest your pile of junk electronics for some parts. And build something- You don't need this negativity, you need to create and do what you love.
    My best,
    (add guire at gmail behind my initials to contact me directly, I care not to wade through these comments.)

  • To all those already planning what they'd like to get for free: Don't. Just, don't. Don't get up insanely early and interrupt your sleep. Your health is more important. When the webpages start to fall, and you feel your blood pressure rise, walk away. You win through quitting. Because, in all likelihood, you are not going to get a thing. It's very much not worth the frustration- And something like this can do that in spades. It's a gamble, and the odds aren't on your side. Just look back on last year's numbers- How many got something, while others didn't? And so, please do keep in mind that you likely won't get something. And it's not worth ruining your day over. Don't get worked up and make clever little lists of what you'd like, you're just getting excited over something that won't pay off for you. I do hate to be negative, especially in light of a charitable contribution on SF's part, but there's simply not enough bandwidth, server capacity, and of course, merchandise and money, to assure that every person gets their wish. It's not democratic; and as SF has tried to assuage that via this quiz, but; with such a pounding on servers, will this quiz even be fully functional at that point? Point is, there will be more wildly disappointed people than happy winners. And especially these days, money's so tight, we'd all love to have some new parts to make something with. But again, the odds aren't with you. Don't get too excited.
    And please do not think of this as an effort to 'thin out the competition'. The numbers don't lie- As a customer whom has been told 'no' much more than 'yes' and had communications with SF selectively answered and misconstrued, almost purposely, I'm rather loathe to drink the SF kool-aid. It's a brand, a clever niche business. These parts are available elsewhere, cheaper, and really, the custom manufacture products are SF's unique market offering. But these can be made yourself or elsewhere, it's just a matter of practice. And along the 'niche' guideline, SF is really kind of a 'Tiffany's' of the EE component world. You pay a premium to feel like you're a part of something you wish to be a part of, and like Tiffany's signature teal box, you wait anxiously for that red box to arrive. It's okay. People have been doing it for millennia. So please- temper your excitement with common sense. At the first moment you clench your jaw, feel frustration well up inside you, just walk away. Go take your significant other out to a special lunch for no reason, have a walk in the part, enjoy something outside the workbench. It's truly not worth it- is being kind to yourself and keeping your dignity intact worth a few shiny baubles?
    (and add guire at gmail behind my initials if you'd like to talk. I don't think I'll make much an effort to revisit this post. It's been nice surfing lately.)

  • May I have official confirmation on if these guys are insulated or not? Kinda limits the applications if you can't overlap or not worry how the end product folds and moves.

  • OddOne, it really seems as if you're the one behaving like a child here. Sparkfun needs to know their failures as well as their successes in order to make things work as a company. We're offering our opinions over here at the grown-up table, care to join us?

  • Thanks, Com! I really have to agree with you. And this one's for sparkfun- completely free of charge.. a promo item of an extremely cool nature would have been a lot nicer. How about that oscope kit you have, with a big SF logo screened on the front panel, sold at cost? You'd have outfitted a lot more than 1000 people, not upset anyone, and gotten your name out there, and would have been thought of pleasantly every time that o'scope fixed up a project, and saved the day. Cheaper and not as frustrating to so many as this havoc.

  • .. And this is exactly the sort of scolding that I'm talking about. This is what will keep me and a lot of other people away from DIY and open source projects- I know that I'd be catering to an ungrateful audience, so why post code or instructions on how to do something? It's just more effort to me to deal with that.
    But meanwhile, I still stick to my original statement. This wasn't 'free day' it was 'perhaps your lucky day'. Playing it as "fill up your shopping cart!" is really giving the wrong impression and really bad customer service. A little caution is needed in order not to alienate your client base, which has been done.
    And above all, it's not the 100 bucks anymore- it's the disrespect shown to total strangers.

  • Thanks, Madsci1016. It's appreciated. This was a contest? I didn't know that 'till I was scolded about it later on.