Blogs

Why Don't Consumer Companies Sell Replacement Parts?

I really hate companies that don't sell replacement parts for their products on their websites. Granted, selling directly from the manufacturer to the consumer might bypass the the  distributors. But that shouldn't prevent the consumer from getting parts directly. At the very least, if the manufacturer wants to push people to get spares from "authorized resellers", at least make it easy to get schematics and parts data.

 

The latest case for me is a less technical one. In fact, I'm looking for a replacement watch band for my Seiko Coutura. Seiko: your website as useful as a wheelchair at Disneyland. It's next to useless.

Why don't you sell replacement watch bands directly? Or at least list which part/model number watchband goes with which watch. Then I can find it elsewhere.

It's important to maintain a long term relationship with your customers. And that entails what happens after the sale. The product itself is one thing. But a customer who enjoys the product will stick with the company. He'll buy accessories, upgrades, etc. In my case, the watch is a beautiful watch. It really is. Make no mistake about it. Despite my gripe about Seiko's incompetent website, I do like their products.
Contrast WatchBands.com with Seiko:

http://www.watchbands.com/ProductInfo.aspx,,productid,,AU00027N

The site has loads of product info, model numbers, specs, etc. Not only that, but the guy running it has a YouTube video of the actual product. He recorded a product info video of a watch band! Out of all the bands he must have in stock, this is amazing.
Seiko, why can't I do this on your website:

Select my watch model -> See compatible watch bands -> Buy

What an idea!

Use reCAPTCHA To Reduce Comment Spam

After viewing my comment moderation queue for the first time in a year, I was shocked by the volume of spam. I'm used to moderating spam on other sites, but didn't expect a similar volume here. Needless to say, the open source power of Drupal makes reCAPTCHA available for use as an installable module. After a few months I'll revisit the moderation queue and post the difference in volume I'm hoping for.

 

Personal Goals For 2010

Most people have new year's "resolutions", but in my opinion these tend to be shallow and short lived. Being the goal oriented individual that I am, here are my goals for 2010. These are not "resolutions" and no, I'm not resolving to lose 10 pounds, eat less chocolate, or watch less tv. Either way, I don't even have cable.

Why the SmartBrief Service is Outdated (A Review)

1999 just called, and SmartBrief answered the phone. Here's an outdated service which aggregates site content, then emails it to subscribers.

The premise behind SmartBrief is simple: there’s too much information
out there and too little time in the day to read it all. Our editors
hand-pick the most relevant and important news from all over, summarize
it, link to the original sources and deliver it -- for FREE -- in
one-stop-shop e-newsletters.
http://corp.smartbrief.com/about/

Learn To Create Web 2.0 Buttons

Every month I challenge myself to learn or experience something I've never done before. This runs the gamut from the minor to the life changing. And on a weekly basis I strive to learn something minor.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund

 

 

Someone needs to notify the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. I love them, and it's a great cause. But if you're going to play off peoples' patriotism, don't give them gifts made in China.

 

Open Position @ BlueCross BlueShield

Job Title: Finance Systems Support Analyst

Business Area: Finance

Location: Boston-Landmark Center


 Position Summary

What's a DPFE Sensor?


Image by Axon

The other day my check engine light came on. I took the car in over
the weekend while I went camping. They called me and told me I had a
faulty DPFE sensor and it'd cost $400 parts+labor so I said yes. It was
the weekend and I just wanted my car back for the coming week.

Now I'm researching what this is and it's a $40 or $80 part (depending on year). Two small
hoses go into it plus an electrical plug. And according to the Ford Focus photos in the links below, it's right in the engine
bay. Nothing special. I paid the dealership $80 parts + $300 labor!

Normally when the dealership diagnoses a problem and calls me with the proposed solution I decide if I want
to do it myself or not. Most of the time I can man up no problem and fix my car myself. But since I never heard of this part I agreed to the
work. It probably took them 15 minutes to replace. That is unless it's harder
on my car than for those Focus guys in the links below. Their sensor is right up against the firewall. That's where my IAC (Idle Air Controller) resides and that was a simple bolt-on job I performed myself.

With my manual transmission the effects were especially pronounced. Once the CEL (Check Engine Light) came on, I should've known what it'd be related to:
"Drivers complaints usually include a bucking or trailer hitching condition
during shifting or initial off-idle acceleration as part of the
driveability complaint, which can be especially noticeable on manual
transmission equipped vehicles. EGR valve replacement is the recommended
service."
http://www.niehoff.com/techtips/n_sen.html

  • EGR means "Exhaust Gas
    Recirculation", the process of sucking exhaust gases back into the
    engine to re-burn them. It is a technique that reduces the pollutants
    emitted by the engine.
  • DPFE means "Delta Pressure Feedback of EGR", Delta means
    "difference" or "change", so the DPFE Sensor reads changes in the
    pressure of the EGR system.
  • http://www.focushacks.com/?modid=80&ht=DPFE%20Sensor%20and%20EGR%20Information

    Breaking Up Site Maintenance Chores

    In James' latest ProBlogger post, he writes about how to breakup your site maintenance tasks to make them more manageable. I agree that taking on a single task for an entire evening is daunting.

     

    6 Tasks to Breakup

    Installing Windows 7 on VirtualBox in Linux

    Today I'm installing Windows 7 within the VirtualBox virtual machine software on a Linux host OS. Thanks to the open source community for making this possible. As great as VMWare is, it's never been quite the fit for my needs. After reading through some reviews, I'm optimistic about what VirtualBox can do.

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