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Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up

Discussion in 'Jason Stoddard' started by jason stoddard, Jan 23, 2014.
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  1. BournePerfect
    It's prolly me. I did complain loudest about the first Asgard lol. Just didn't sit right with my K702-then Jason revised it a bit. Then about the MJ/HD800 (which actually sounds amazing if it weren't for those pesky highs). But then he made everything right in the world from that point on. So...who knows.
     
    I kinda hope it's me. Either way Jason will never reveal his id I bet-but the culprit better come forward after the fact for the public flogging and hilarity that would ensue.
     
    My .02.
     
    -Daniel
     
    gelocks likes this.
  2. Anavel0
    I'm betting the worst Schiit customer ever is someone outside of the head-fi/audiophile community. Probably someone that has no idea why they need a headphone amp or DAC. Everyone knows the Asgard/AKG K702 story by now, and most Head-Fiers know Tdock's personality. So, I don't think it will be either Tdock or Bourne. [​IMG]
     
  3. valiant66
     
    We're not going from a CD discman through an ADC to a computer back to a DAC to an amp, we're going from analog to digital. There's no "lossy, signal-changing conversion that could have been avoided" whatsoever because if you want it digital, it can't be avoided. Try carrying your Linn record player around with you on the bus. If you want to trigger an audionut's OCD, just suggest playing a record on a turntable that's not solidly mounted to something. (True story: when my friend built his new house he poured a concrete pillar that was footed into the basement foundation and went up through a hole in the living room floor to hold his turntable. That way there was no way someone walking on the floor could transfer mechanical vibrations to his record player. Sadly his taste in music trends towards Faust and Amon Düül, but oh well... :)
     

     
    Hmm. No insult intended, but from your comment I assume you're a younger person. For those of us "of a certain age" we have a pile of records that never made it across the digital divide. And there are others that sincerely believe their 180 gr. Japanese pressing of -whatever- sounds better than the crappy rushed CD release that came out later. To be able to digitize your records your way, put them into your music server, sync them with your portable device and listen to them on the go is a bit of a holy grail. And we know that while a Sony Walkman was a great thing, staying all-analog (i.e. lp-preamp-cassette) is lossier than a good digital copy, however much some decry digital (I am not one).
     
    I don't want an ADC because I think I can (re?)master a record better than EMI or Deutsche Grammophon, I want it because I have obscure stuff on vinyl that never got released on CD. I also have a bunch of live bootlegs that I made in the '80's that I'd like to get onto my computer - bands like D.O.A. and the Barenaked Ladies. Playing those original cassettes just to listen to them triggers my OCD worries about wearing out the tape.
     
    That's my use case. As others on this thread have mentioned, there's also recording live events/rehearsals/whatever - the semi-pro, prosumer and pro uses.
     
    Argo Duck, RCBinTN and Turdski like this.
  4. marcoarment
    I've been slightly afraid the "worst customer ever" might be me. I didn't know schiit about schiit last fall when I asked them to lend me a Lyr for this article. They did, it had some issues (partly related to the Lyr 1 being a poor match for very sensitive headphones, which I didn't know at the time), I bugged them with questions about this free loaner, and then wrote that I couldn't hear any differences between any amps and DACs, which I now know was partly the sensitive headphones and my small headphone sample set at the time. (I later bought myself an Asgard 2 and Bifrost Uber and had much better results.)
     
    Then I emailed them again two months ago asking if I could buy one of the first Ragnaroks for review (at full price, just possibly jumping the queue), which I realize now was both extremely poorly timed and comically out of touch given their workload and my site's relative insignificance.
     
    I now regret both of those. I just assume that there HAS to be someone worse. I'm probably in the running for "one of the annoying ones" at worst, I hope (and not a pattern I intend to continue any further).
     
    Argo Duck likes this.
  5. valiant66
     
    Interesting product. It's $1900 however, which using Jason's direct sales vs. commission sales formula means it's a $600-800 product sold direct. For what it does (ADC to hi-rez PCM or DSD plus pure analog phono preamp) that actually seems like a reasonable price if it was sold direct.
     
    But I already have a decent analog phono preamp (several, actually). Just the ADC portion, please. In the Loki-Bifrost price range :wink:. And I don't expect DSD from Schiit.
     
  6. kimbo
     


    I'm with you on this....I have hundreds of cassettes made on my Nakamichi some decades ago that are not available any other way, (obscure Aussie bands etc.) that I plan on converting and dumping onto my NAS, so I would certainly also be interested in a good quality A/D at a reasonable price.
     
  7. Ableza

    Well I've not done any market research so I'm pretty much talking out of my a... err, off the top of my head, but since people who still use analog sources like turntables are a niche (and tapes?  an even smaller niche) and knowing what I do know about the audiophile community that many if not most in the turntable niche would not be caught dead using a digital source, I think the percentage of turntable users who would use a product to digitize a vinyl collection is very small : smaller than the turntable niche.  I used to be one of those vinyl junkies, with over $50K in my turntable and multiple thousands of vinyl albums consuming half my living room, and even though pro-level ADCs were available when I decided to abandon all things analog, I simply sold or gave away everything and rebuilt the parts of my collection that I cared about from CDs.  Are there people who would use an ADC?  Certainly.  Are they likely to be a sufficient quantity of people to justify a consumer product development?  I would be very surprised.
     
  8. 1adam12
     
    Coming at it from that angle I certainly understand your argument. However, what twinkle and I are talking about is a device whose primary use is for musicians to digitize their music. "Audio interface" is the more ubiquitous term. A lot of these are swiss army knife devices with XLR inputs with phantom power for certain mics, instrument inputs, as well as DACs for low latency output to multiple monitoring speakers/headphones/tape.
     
    Does a Schiit product need all that? I don't really know. I just think there's a bigger market outside digitizing vinyl.
     
  9. Mark-sf
    This speculation has been an interesting read and I believe you guys are closer to the mark. I don't believe Schiit would branch out to simply add another SKU to their already existing market. One branches out to bring in an entirely new set of customers who would also have an interest in the current product line. Quite frankly those would not be audiophiles nor typical head-fi members but media content creators. Also, there are not a lot of choices of quality under $1000 that also have a complimentary DAC reputation, ala Schiit.  Just my two cents...
     
  10. jacal01
     
    I'm so confused...  who's moving heaven and earth, and who's showing who?  Batch File Leerer #1 (you), Batch Leerer #2 (John), or Mystery Leerer #3 (Dave)?
     
  11. valiant66

    And I'll bet a lot of these musicians use headphones, and would appreciate a good headphone amp, and have yet to hear of this gear, and would get a tag line of "This is Great Schiit". A good review of an ADC in a music gear mag could easily lead to sales of amps as well. A gateway drug, if you will, for people who don’t blink at a product called a "Pig Nose" and regularly drop hundreds/thousands of dollars on gear.
     
  12. Jason Stoddard
    Chapter 29:
    Worst. Customer. Ever.
     
    Okay. This’ll be interesting. I’m about to embark on something that’s probably akin to a soldier mooning a sniper, a politician shaking a baby on national TV, or a sports coach making racist remarks on YouTube.
     
    Because, well, you know, The Customer Is Always Right.
     
    Yes. In title case and with italics for emphasis. Because this is what we’re taught. The customer is god. The customer has all the power. The customer, no matter what, is always right. Always. Without exception. No debate allowed.
     
    So, if I start talking about less-than-ideal customers, I’m grabbing a third rail. I can hear the shrill panic of politically-correct sales managers everywhere, echoing around in the back of my mind: Nooooo! Don’t go there! Never insult the customers! You don’t know who they know! It’s Armageddon, end of days, the heat death of the universe!
     
    But this is an important discussion. Because, if you’re going to get into business selling product direct to customers, you need to know two things:
     
    • You’re gonna get some buttheads.
    • You’re not gonna make everyone happy.
     
    Note: the above two rules apply even if you are giving away free Ferraris with sales and use tax prepaid, or a free magic rejuvenation pill that takes 20 years off your age with no side effects, or free 6000 square foot homes in Malibu. It’ll be too hard to drive to the store, or your young visage will make you less respected at work, or the home will be too ostentatious and the wrong color.
     
    So what do you do? Well, I think the poster set above Alex’s desk sums it up perfectly. It reads:
     
    We bend over backwards for our customers.
    But we won’t be bent forwards.
     
     
    Love (Most Of) The Customers
     
    Okay, now, let’s be clear, though: no business selling direct can be successful without loving and caring for their customers. Period. If you are so cynical that every interaction with a customer is a war, don’t bother starting a business selling direct.
     
    And we do really enjoy the vast majority of the customers that contact us. Many of them use the same humor we do—Schiit puns, jokes, etc. Many of them are very complimentary regarding pricing or performance, or the made-in-USA aspect. Many of them just need a simple question answered—something we may have forgot to cover, or were unclear about.
     
    Aside: if they’re asking about something that’s unclear, make sure you fix it right away. If they’re confused, lots of other people are confused, too. Remember Amazon’s rule of customer service: If you have to contact us, we’ve failed.
     
    And that brings us to some business-y stuff we should get into, before we go into the Worst Customer Ever. Business-y stuff like, “How do you maintain a high standard of customer service?”
     
    Well, that’s a bigger question. Because it gets into things like:
     
    1. How do you architect customer service to help ensure satisfaction?
    2. What do your customers consider a high standard of service?
    3. How will your customers contact you to get service?
     
    Let’s break these down:
     
    Architecting Customer Service. Wait, what? Some of you are saying. How can you architect customer service? Isn’t it just, people ask questions, and you answer them? They have problems, and you fix them?
     
    In general, yes, but you can do a whole lot of things architect your customer service so that you can offer much faster response—and minimize the personnel and time you need to give great customer service.
     
    Note: Yeah, I know, “minimizing personnel and time,” may seem like, well, not the most customer-centric thing you can do. But, in actuality, it is. The smaller the customer service team, the more consistent and high-level answers you can give. And the less time spent on each inquiry means that your response rate can get really, really small.
     
    So what can you do to architect the customer service experience to make it better for both you and the customer? Several things:
     
    • Prohibit the “hard sell.” If your customer service team has a dual duty of solving problems and selling product—especially if they are measured and rewarded on their sales—you’re in deep, deep trouble. This encourages the typical “audio fellatio” with promises that you’re going to hear god without drugs, or be transported into a magical land of unicorns and DSD—and, of course, the more you spend, the more magical it gets. This gets in the way of honest answers, it makes promises that may not be paid off, and it takes a ton of time to do, especially if you’re talking about expensive gear.
     
    • Ban discussion of other manufacturers’ products. Same deal. If your customer service team is expected to give value judgements on other manufacturers’ products, and upsell, wow…now, not only have you opened the gates to infinite time and unfulfillable promises, you now have started building a reputation for trash-talking other people’s gear. Yes, I know, lots of companies do it, but it doesn’t mean it’s right.
     
    • Don’t do promos, points, or sales. Want to really open the floodgates on customer service? Start doing promos, customer loyalty points, or sales. Then you’ll get to hear nonstop about things like, “Hey, I just bought this yesterday, now it’s on sale,” or “When’s your next sale, I’m waiting for that,” or “I can’t figure out this points thing, how does it work?” This will absolutely eat your customer service alive—it will become all they do.
     
    This is why, almost from the start, we put into place three policies that really, really simplify customer service. These are:
     
    1. No sales
    2. No hard-sell/audio fellatio
    3. No talking about other manufacturers’ products
     
    About 15% of our emails are of the “can I get a better price” variety.
     
    With no sales, no promos, no discounts, no loyalty program, the answer is easy.
     
    In addition, we don’t have to have any staff to manage the sales, promos, discounts, loyalty program, and the resulting refunds, exchanges, special deals, stacked offers, etc. that go with it. The result is simple: less complexity, less staff, and lower prices for everyone.
     
    Wait a sec? Lower prices? You’re asking. What about the sale prices?
     
    Yeah, and what about the necessarily higher price you need as a baseline if you’re going to do sales? Or the necessarily higher price you need for the staff you need to deal with sales, promos, and loyalty programs? Lowest complexity equals lowest price for everyone—and nobody thinking they got screwed because they missed the sale. That’s a win-win—lower cost and higher customer satisfaction.
     
    Aside: with respect to sales, I can’t say this more strongly: DON’T. EVER. Or you’ll become addicted to them. They will never end.
     
    We get more emails about “will I hear a difference from my receiver/computer/etc” or “how does this compare with the Arglebargle XYZ?”
     
    Again, our policies make the answer really simple. We don’t know how you hear, or if you think the difference is meaningful. And we never discuss other manufacturers’ products.
     
    Which is really interesting. While we look at this being an honest, upstanding manufacturer, this policy really lights some people on fire. They really really really want to be sold, and they get majorly pissed when we won’t engage in the usual circle-jerk about how our stuff is the greatest thing on the planet.
     
    But…ask yourself two things:
     
    • Do you really think we’ve heard everything on the planet?
    • Do you really think we have the same sonic preferences you do?
     
    Fact is, we probably can’t make a lot of those comparisons you’re so eager to hear our opinion on. Ask us about what amp we think best for, say, LCD-2s and K701s, sure—we can answer that. But comparing and contrasting our amps with products we’ve never heard before…um, no.
     
    Maintaining a high standard of customer service. Okay, this is where we have to get subjective. Because we don’t have all the answers. We haven’t done extensive customer satisfaction studies, and we haven’t tested a system architected from those studies.
     
    But, we think that a “high standard” can be defined relatively simply.
     
    Why? Because we have ample examples of what people hate. When was the last time you talked to your cable company? Or your cell service provider? Yeah. Endless trouble-trees going through all the stuff you already told them and email responses that stretch into days. Nobody likes that. It says, loud and clear: we don’t care. You’re not important. You’re part of the little people.
     
    So, a high standard of customer service starts by inverting their model.
     
    Which is what we try to do. Here it is, in one sentence: put enough information up about the product so most people can make their own decisions, but when they contact us, make the answers fast and simple.
     
    Read that again. Fast and simple.
     
    Read it again, stopping at the first word. Fast.
     
    I can’t stress this enough. Fast response to customer questions is key. Many businesses promise 24-48 hour response to email. This is woefully inadequate. There’s no way someone can make a decision, much less troubleshoot a product with a 24-48 hour response time. It’s like getting customer support from Pluto.
     
    During regular business days, 24-48 minutes is more like it. Or even 2.4-4.8 minutes. We aim to keep this as snappy as possible. Which is why you’re usually looking at minutes for an email reply during the week, and we check email at least 2-4 times over the weekend on non-business days as well.
     
    Is this the full answer? Probably not. But it seems to make most people very happy.
     
    Choosing contact options. And, with this, it’s a good time to talk about the kinds of customer contact options you have. Because, if you’re starting a business, you have a ton of options these days. Which means that most companies start off by checking every box on the options list:
     
    1. Email
    2. Chat
    3. Phone
    4. Skype
    5. Facebook
    6. Twitter
    7. Mail
     
    Congrats. You just screwed yourself. Who’s going to be immediately available for chats? Who picks up the phone? Shouldn’t they be making something? Skype rings on which computer? Why are you paying attention to Facebook if the rest of your customer service is working? Twitter, are you kidding? Mail? This is the 21st century, what are you going to do, send out brochures?
     
    Here’s what we chose to do as an experiment, when we started Schiit:
     
    1. Be really fast at email
    2. Never pick up the phone, but call back in 48 hours or so
    3. Add additional services if this didn’t work
     
    We’ve never added additional services. Why? Because email response is so fast.
     
    I was talking to the owner of another audio company when the subject of customer service came up.
     
    “How many phone calls a day do you get?” he asked.
     
    “Um…average?” I asked. “Maybe 1. Maybe 2.”
     
    “What the hell?” he exclaimed. “How do you keep it so low? I got three people working full time on the phones.”
     
    I grinned. “Easy. We tell people not to call us.”
     
    The other audio company owner’s eyes bugged out. “You…what?”
     
    “It says right on the website: email us, we’re really fast. Call us, and we may get to it eventually.”
     
    He shook his head. “And that works?”
     
    “Apparently.”
     
    And it does work. It’s called, in corp-speak, setting expectations. Expect fast email response. Expect really, really slow phone response. Which do you choose? There you go.
     
    But I want to call, some people are saying now.
     
    Yep. Got it. Want to pay 25% more for your products?
     
    Thought not.
     
    Fact is, phone support—that is, good phone support, from a real audio guy who can really help you with your question or problem—ain’t cheap. It eats up pretty much a person’s entire day, because the guy answering the phone doesn’t know if he’s going to get tied up on a one-hour call covering the life story and audio adventures of someone, say, interested in maybe buying a Magni.
     
    (Even on email, it gets interesting. How about 73 emails with 85 questions from one person…on Magni and Modi. Not kidding.)
     
    If we invited phone calls…if we were good at phone service…we’d probably have at least 2-3 more salaried staff working full time on it. Nick can handle all the email we get in a day—questions, support, etc—while still being a tech.
     
    Wait, wait, wait! Some of you are crying. Are you essentially saying your support options are pretty much email-only? How the hell do you get away with that?
     
    Simple. With fast answers. If our ran our email like Comcast, well…things would be very different.
     
     
    So How Bad Was the Worst Customer?
     
    Okay, so was the worst customer someone who didn’t like our products?
     
    No. There are plenty of people who don’t like our stuff. That’s perfectly fine. Send it back, get a refund, no harm, no foul.
     
    Or someone who expected 10-minute response on a holiday weekend, and sent 12 emails complete with onomatopoeic descriptions of what his product was doing?
     
    Again, no. Maybe we should be more clear that we don’t work weekends, nor on holidays, so our fast email response may be, er, a little slower during that time period.
     
    Was it the guy who got a new Magni and Modi, threw a temper tantrum when they didn’t work (or he couldn’t get them to work), so he beat the crap out of the product and sent an email photo of it in his trash can?
     
    Again, no. Though perhaps some anger management is in order there.
     
    Was it the guy who sent 73 emails with 85 questions asking about Magni and Modi?
     
    Again, you guessed it, nope. He never bought them.
     
    Aside: although we haven’t done big customer satisfaction research, we have run some statistics that are very interesting. One of them is that anyone who emails us before purchasing is 8x more likely to return the order. 2+ emails takes it up to 30x. But again, are these bad people? Not at all. Merely indecisive.
     
    No. The worst customer ever wasn’t just bad. He was criminally bad.
     
    Here’s what happened.
     
    After work on Friday evening, I decided to check the customer service email. Until December 2013, I was the primary guy who answered customer service email, so this in itself wasn’t an unusual event.
     
    What I found was disturbing, though—an email from a very, very irate customer who had ordered a B-stock Mjolnir. Back in those days, we sold B-stock manually, by individual inquiry. If someone wanted B-stock, they had to email us, we told them the price, and if they were interested, we sent them a PayPal invoice.
     
    Aside: today, all B-stock is sold through Amazon.
     
    Apparently I’d sent them an invoice, and they’d paid for it. However, we didn’t ship the Mjolnir the same day, as requested. This also isn’t unusual, since we quote a 1-3 business day shipping time on in-stock items that aren’t ordered with expedited shipping.
     
    But that didn’t matter to this guy. He was livid. I mean, full-boat, cartoon-steam-whistle-out-the-ears, screaming red-faced rage. In acidic sentences strung in all-caps, he told us what a terrible company we were for not shipping it right away, expressed his extreme displeasure with our customer service, questioned our competence in an overall manner, and made various other personal assertions relating to our lack of professionalism and discipline.
     
    And, to top it all off, he told me that Alex was the worst person in the universe, he didn’t care about him as a customer, and had never returned the emails he’d sent earlier in the day.
     
    In a perfect, algorithmic, Mr. Spock-driven world, I would have tweaked an eyebrow and said, “Curious,” then investigated this incident in a dispassionate manner.
     
    Humans don’t work this way, though. I was pissed. I’d been called an incompetent idiot. Alex had been called much, much worse.
     
    So, I bit back my first response and emailed Alex, asking if he’d replied to the guy’s emails.
     
    Alex sent me a long string of increasingly irate emails, beginning at 10 that morning—all responded to in less than 10 minutes by Alex.
     
    Okay. That’s all I needed to know. Screw Spock and dispassionate logic. This guy was a butthead of the first caliber. What could we do?
     
    I called Alex. “What can we do about this guy?”
     
    “If it were me, I’d give him a refund and invite him never to be a customer again.”
     
    “Can we do that?” I asked.
     
    “I can have FedEx re-route his shipment back to us.”
     
    I only had to think for about a millisecond. “Do it. I’ll refund his money, then he’s a non-customer.”
     
    “Done,” Alex said, and went off to do what he does with shipping. He came back a few minutes later via email. “Done and done.”
     
    Cool. I went into PayPal and refunded all of his money. We’d be out the shipping and rerouting fees, of course, but that was a small price to pay to be rid of him.
     
    Aside: seriously, I am saving your mind by not posting the emails here. They were seriously, pathologically disturbed. This guy was, no crap, going to lose his mind because his amp shipped a day late.
     
    There we go. Package rerouted, money refunded, done. Right?
     
    Wrong.
     
    The guy came back to me about 10 minutes later on email, even more livid than before. He’d noticed that we refunded his money, and wanted to know what was going on. (But with about 10000x more expletives and rage.)
     
    I sent him a pleasant email in return, saying something like:
     
    Dear Butthead (actually his real name),
     
    We have refunded your purchase in full and re-routed the shipment of your B-stock Mjolnir. We have done this because you are so disappointed with our service to date. If you are this unhappy now, we have no confidence that we will ever be able to make you happy. We believe this parting is for the best, and wish you luck in finding the perfect component to meet your needs.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Jason, etc.
     
    Oh, boy, was he ever pissed. After four or five more irate emails, Alex and I seriously wondered if we’d meet a guy with a lead pipe at the office on Monday morning.
     
    But Saturday was quiet—no emails.
     
    And Sunday was the same.
     
    And nobody was waiting to jump us on Monday.
     
    So, end of story, right?
     
    Oh no.
     
    About a week later, Alex starts wondering where that Mjolnir went. It had never come back to us. And it had only been shipping within California, so it should have come back quickly.
     
    He checked the shipping record, and quickly found the problem: the guy we’d shipped it to had called FedEx himself and rerouted it to a FedEx office, then picked it up.
     
    Yes, the guy we refunded and finalized the transaction, so we couldn’t charge against his card again.
     
    “What do you want me to do?” Alex asked me, his eyes dark and murderous.
     
    “Whatever you want,” I said.
     
    Luckily, Alex is very good at internet forensics. Through this guy’s multiple email addresses, he was able to track down his LinkedIn, his business website (yes, he had his own business), and his Facebook page. On his Facebook page, in plain view, was a photo of the Mjolnir.
     
    Alex sent an email (and a registered letter) to the guy’s main business address, demanding payment for the Mjolnir within 72 hours—or a visit from the sheriff’s department.
     
    He tried to play it off: “Thank you for the gift of the Mjolnir, in compensation for your poor customer service,” the smug bastard emailed.
     
    We reiterated that it was clearly not a gift, and repeated the timetable. Pay, or see how having a criminal record for grand theft felt.
     
    Over the next few days, we endured various emails about what terrible people we were, our relationship with our mothers, how we had small body parts, etc. None were responded to, save to remind him of the time ticking away.
     
    I really thought we’d have to get the police involved, but on the last day, he blinked. He paid for the Mjolnir.
     
    And that, really, was that.
     
    However—if he ever orders anything else, it won’t be shipped. If that Mjolnir comes in for service, he will be getting a check for full value in return, and we’re keeping the amp. We don’t need customers like that. Ever. For any reason.
     
    Starting a business? Working with customers? Repeat after me: not every customer is worth having.
     
     
    Bonus: How to Get Great Customer Service From Humans
     
    One of the problems with customer service these days is that most of it has become by-the-book and algorithmic. Choose from these available options so we can route it to the right department. That problem wasn’t found. I’m sorry you’re having trouble we value your business, your expected wait time is 50 minutes.
     
    Yep. Endless trouble-trees, backed by least-experienced customer service personnel who ignore the long list of troubleshooting you’ve already done. Four hundred words of boilerplate about what a special customer you are to them, and how they’re truly so sorry they’re going to self-immolate. Ticket systems that promise transparency and continuity, but don’t deliver when shared by a team of 150 people.
     
    The result? Everyone knows that when a big company says, “We value you as a customer,” it’s 195% BS.
     
    Which means it’s open season, guys. Get out the 12-gauge! Give them both barrels! Let ‘em have it! Because they aren’t really human, and they’re not telling the truth!
     
    Is it any wonder that yelling and screaming at large company customer support personnel is almost, well, accepted?
     
    Because if you make enough noise, you might get somewhere. You might trigger the Rage.2.Uplift and get someone who knows more about what they’re doing. Or you might trigger the PITA.Refund.1.1 and get your money back.
     
    Big companies are making a very prickly bed with this combo. When nothing but anger works, they’re going to get nothing but anger. And then it doesn’t work.
     
    Companies like Schiit are a little different. Hell, I bet most audio companies are a little different. Hell, most small companies, period.
     
    Which means if you come in, guns blazing, things may end up very, very differently than you expected.
     
    Why?
     
    At Schiit (and companies like us), you’re talking to humans.
     
    And humans have emotions. They are not slaves to a script or to a corporate customer service code of What Can And Cannot Be Done.
     
    Not only that, at Schiit, you’re talking to fully empowered humans. Nick, Laura, and Alex all have carte blanche to give you anything they want—or nothing at all.
     
    Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to suck up to them. In fact, that can be just as irritating, or more so, than anger. But you should be aware that you are talking to humans that can—and do—bend over backwards. But if you come in hot, that willingness to bend over backwards diminishes.
     
    Instead, if you come to us:
     
    1. In a concise manner (we do not need Your Life Story With Audio)
    2. With clear questions (you’d be amazed how many emails we get where we ask, “Was there a question here?”)
    3. Using complete sentences at least some of the time (no kidding—and phone autocorrect is the worst)
     
    You’d be surprised at the fast, helpful answers you’ll get. And you’ll be shocked at how much we’ll bend over backwards to make you happy.
     
    Aaaanddd...I’ll bet any other company with human-powered customer service will work exactly the same way.
     
    Remember, you’re talking to people, not machines.
     
    Don’t be the next Worst. Customer. Ever.
     
    Schiit Audio Stay updated on Schiit Audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com/Schiit/ http://www.schiit.com/
  13. judmarc
     
    Agree with you about copyright - you don't have to file (register) for copyright protection to apply, but it's cheap ($85 per "work" in the US) and does provide advantages, particularly re documentation.  Patents, I'd have to say it depends on whether there is prior art and how quickly reverse-engineerable your tech is.  If it's not quickly reverse-engineerable, keeping it secret may be a better idea (e.g., the formula for Coke).  For audio filters, I'd say most in my experience are rapidly reverse-engineerable, so patent could be a good idea; on the other hand there is (for most audio filters up to this point) sufficient prior art that a patent may not be granted.
     
  14. Joriarty
     
    You guys should put this as the official slogan of your website. And sell t-shirts.
     
    ScubaMan2017 likes this.
  15. judmarc
    Fast.  Simple.  Human.
     
    Amazing how easy this can be, isn't it?  And at the same time so hard for 95% of the businesses out there to understand.
     
    I think this fast, simple, human type of thinking comes easier when you're a straight-ahead sort of person yourself.  Far too many businesspeople aren't, and configure complex customer service mazes for other rats like themselves.
     
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