Today I will take the opportunity to have a little rant. Having attended the Royal Highland show, we were doing very well and business was good. A lot of people, as usual, came along to say that they already use our dog beds for their dogs and that they love them. It is the nicest thing when our existing customers take the trouble to come along to say “Hi, nice to see you are here, we LOVE our Tuffie bed”.
So Tuffies is popular, everyone is happy except the card payment machine. Imagine this, you have just served a customer, who is delighted to have made the right choice for him or her in picking one of the many luxury dog beds and he or she is ready to pay. So out comes the card machine, you put the amount in, you put the credit card in and then you wait, and wait. Nothing happens. The machine runs on the same network as the mobile phones and because more and more people have network demanding smart phones, the bandwidth is being overloaded. Well, this is really clever when you have just paid nearly £1000 for a stand along with all the other stand holders, and the show organisers are not prepared to sort out this problem. You might be excused for thinking that this is one of the highest priorities that needs to be put in place.
It seems to be a similar problem with most shows. The more primitive the organisation is, the more problematic it becomes to take payment for our beautiful dog beds. You would kind of expect that a show like Royal Highland Show with over 160,000 visitors would have got its act together and found out how to boost the mobile network….
When we go to CRUFTS where there are exactly the same number of visitors, there is absolutely no problem with the card machines. The NEC knows what they are doing and the many people who come to Crufts to have a look and who have Tuffies written on their shopping list have no problem at all getting the one out of our selection of dog beds that best suits them. The pick, the pay and they go home really happy.
At the disorganised shows where the mobile network has been swamped and overloaded, we need to use the old swipe thing with a paper voucher, which of course make customers a little bit edgy. With all the security that we are constantly told to keep an eye on, it’s a little disconcerting to give up your card number to someone who takes it away on a piece of paper.
But never mind. We still made many people happy and lots of customers went home with one of our many stylish dog beds.