Phoneless

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2009-04-11 I've made the decision, at least for now, to get rid of all phone lines officially dedicated to vbz.net.

There are several reasons for this:

  • Orders are very slow right now (this is not so much due to the recession as due my dropping all advertising while I rewrite the store's order management system)
  • I am phone phobic, and have a really hard time answering customer calls -- much less returning voicemail message
  • We are trying to cut expenses here at hypertwin central; we just recently transferred our Verizon phone number ($50+/month) over to Vonage (~$18/mo) and reduced DirecTV from $60/mo to $30/mo.
  • Having a phone number which is almost never answered (and whose messages are seldom returned) is misleading; it implies that people can call the number and expect to communicate, which does not reliably happen. (Note: where possible, I reply by email to voicemail... but of course there are many times when I don't know the caller's email address.)
  • It is in keeping with vbz's practice of embracing and experimenting with new ways of doing business.

This is something I've been thinking of doing for several years, but it was our recent cost-cutting which finally made it seem like a legitimate thing to do (although I think it would have been legitimate earlier).

This may not be permanent, however; I will probably get a phone line again if:

  • we expand and take on staff who can answer the phone
  • the lack of a phone line seems to be causing major problems for customers

Note that Amazon.com does not have a phone number either, and they are certainly adequately staffed. Note also that Amazon does not have a wiki that anyone can edit (including posting complaints about customer service); vbz.net does.

Please feel free to add your comments about this change -- is it a good idea? A bad idea? Why?

Thanks. --Woozle 16:41, 11 April 2009 (UTC)