The aforementioned price is a cumulative amount of money missed out on by companies due to my emails being either completely ignored by whomever was checking the MIL/LE or sales rep address, or phone ringing off the hook
The list of companies and approximate order values cancelled or missed is not a comprehensive one as I only recently started to calculate just how much money companies have missed out on.
The majority of these missed orders were due to my emails being either completely ignored by whomever was checking the MIL/LE or sales rep address, or phones ringing off the hook.
A portion of these emails were even sent with a read receipt, so I know for a fact that my emails were being read and not responded to.
I am in no way saying these companies produce poor products. If anything I’m reaffirming the common knowledge that their products are very desirable. What is the point of a good product however, if I can’t have any of my questions answered or receive any interaction whatsoever.
I realize the plain fact though. That is the fact that my last name isn’t fbo.gov and therefore I should promptly fornicate myself with an iron stick. Is it a practical business plan to completely ignore individual buyers? Yes, absolutely, some companies have operated since their foundation with out interfacing with individual sales at all. Ethically there’s not really anything wrong with that. It just is unfortunate to be on that end and it smarts with a little bit of hypocrisy when they use slogans in perpetuum which allege that they [insert company name here] serve the individual warfighter and it’s all about soldier, not about profits.
While I have no issue putting up my own money to ensure I have some of the best equipment available, I also like knowing that if I have a problem, or that piece of equipment fails, I can go back to that manufacturer or dealer and have a meaningful conversation about my experience or troubleshoot the product with the designers. This obviously can’t happen with a company that is unable to answer their emails or phones in a remotely reliable fashion.
Bottom line it comes down to what you find important, which values drives your company. I started my career out in counter insurgency warfare. I’ve always tended to look at things at a very micro level. Changing the situation, one molecule at a time, to shift an overall effect. That’s obviously not always the case with these companies that are often beholden to massive holding corporations with a diversified portfolio. Unless you’re actually really exceptional, you have to choose, macro or micro.
I think the most common reaction to this article would be something along the lines of “what makes you so special Virgil? Why do you think you deserve interaction with said God company?”. I’ve been issued stuff like Crye Precision before. It’s not special to me. I also don’t think consumers of any industry should be quick to normalize a de-emphasis or marginalization of the individual customer. I think the companies themselves will naturally do that with their obligations to their shareholders. I think we should always advocate for strong personal relationships with companies, especially those who produce gear that potentially goes into harms way or may be depended upon to actually save a life.