Tech

Missing Link: No more going to a store! What speaks for the mail order business

Readers who invest emotionally in products are often bothered by the term “faulty design” in product tests. The meme has prevailed that technical progress has done something like this very rarely. The opposite is true. Advances in production are overshadowed by excessive complexity that leads to more accidental misconstruction than ever in history. Tesla built a center console that, in three years, corrupted the flash memory without any need or even any recognizable sense. Volkswagen offers a lane guidance system that immediately drives into the ditch if you let it be done, and only by driving wildly back and forth can be convinced that you are really driving in the middle of the lane, which it recognizes so badly that it is prefers to brake for vehicles on other lanes. Amazon’s multi-reader device Kindle Oasis wants to be charged more often than an Android TFT tablet, despite the e-ink display and model update. The world is full of bad designs. People make a lot of mistakes. That is why it is so important that end customers find reliable trading partners.



What is missing: In the fast-paced world of technology, there is often the time to rearrange the many news and backgrounds. At the weekend we want to take it, follow the side paths away from the current, try different perspectives and make nuances audible.

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So that customers can try out goods like in retail stores, they are guaranteed by law in Europe that they can return everything without giving a reason. This law has its limits, which are, however, not all that interesting, because the mail order business usually goes far beyond the legal requirements in its goodwill. Yes, Amazon is an anti-democratic exploiter, that is the social point of view, that is the point of view of the employee there. But from the customer’s point of view, Amazon behaves as an extremely reliable business partner. That is what makes the company so successful.

By reviewing the data, Amazon understood more than 20 years ago: It costs much less to be accommodating than to lose regular customers after a dispute with high personnel costs. If I buy from Amazon, it’s not because it’s cheapest there. On the contrary, I find almost all goods cheaper elsewhere. No, I shop there because a fault – no matter who caused it – is not my problem alone. Most of the time I don’t have to experience it as a big problem, because the Amazon bot just sends me a replacement or my money back. If we look around the mail order landscape, we see that every mail order company that has been operating successfully over the long term has understood this lesson, be it through their own learning experiences or from those Amazons. Otto is still around. Source not. Despite all of this, many stationary retailers still believe that they operate according to different rules in the market, yes: a higher moral value.

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