The kind of money we spend generally means we get listened to in the industry, at least where there's competition, such as with distributors. They court us, generally treat us well, offer us special deals like secret discounts and free stuff. In other words, they show a little respect, much as game stores do their valued customers. It's just common sense.
So it still blows my mind when a vendor won't give me the time of day. Landlords are notorious for this. My current landlord made me go through an interview process to prove to him I knew what I was doing. His property manager confided in me last month that they really didn't expect us to make it to the end of our lease. Our original move location was in Pleasant Hill. After calls to the landlord over many months, they still haven't called us back. Luckily we're moving to a new place where the landlord is as eager to have us as we are to move in.
My current problem is with the purveyors of corn based fizzy drinks. With a large game center, we need to stock a large selection of snacks and drinks. Our arcane vending machine, with its constant user support and ability to be disabled with a nickel, just won't cut it anymore. So we need to talk with the big boys, Coke and Pepsi.
Pepsi won't return my calls. What can I say. I've called them repeatedly and their sales people won't call me back.
My Coke rep finally showed up today, kinda. I called them four times over six weeks. They completely blew off one appointment, not even calling to apologize. Then this morning they blew me off again. My rep called hours later to tell me that, basically, he was busy with a more important client. He showed up this afternoon (5 hours late).
The conversation went something like this:
Coke guy: We've never really dealt with a business like yours before. How exactly does this whole thing work?
Me: Thirsty gamers in large game room here (pointing to the map)
Coke guy: Hmmm, ok.
Me: Also, Mountain Dew is my top selling drink now. I know it's from Pepsi, but can I stock it in your cooler?
Coke guy: Absolutely not. It's not allowed.
Me: Err, what? Never heard of them. Hmmm, let me explain it a different way. As you can see on this diagram, next to your cooler is the Pepsi cooler. I'm only getting Pepsi for the Mountain Dew and I would hate to have to sell all the other Pepsi products too.
Anyway, he says it will take a week to get back to me with a simple quote. Still ridiculous and I'm sure I'll have to stay on top of him just to get that.
Meanwhile Pepsi can bite me.