by: William G. Handlos, P. E.
Most everybody can relate a story of disappointment at Christmas time as a child. You’ve asked Santa for a specific toy or boot or piece of sporting equipment and you visualize what it will be like to open that gift. Then the moment comes and you open up the package and feel the initial excitement as you realize you’re actually going to get what you asked for.
Then as the wrapping paper is pulled away from the box… you get a sinking feeling. How could this happen? Your list was clear. You supplied details… Specifications… Related exactly what you wanted. But this wasn’t the real thing.
When poor substitutes arrive at a job site, the disappointment can be just as real. But, the stakes are higher. Reputations are at stake and sometimes property damage or public safety can be compromised when poor look-alike products are allowed on the job.
This morning, with the Yuletide just days away, I witnessed the collision of Christmas with the disappointment of a poor substitute product collide in an email string in which I was included. First, overnight I received along with hundreds of other recipients the following email from a Chinese vendor (name partially redacted).
Dear All ,
Here Christmas is coming, I wish you all guys a wonderful Christmas and New Year holidays May the New Year new hope and new promises. Wish you, your family and everyone at your side happy Sparkling New Year of May your New Year be filled with special moment, warmth, peace and happiness
Also thank you for your support in the past year to xxxxxdong Ninxxx Xinxing Chemical Co.,ltd. ….
Lets work together to make 2017 more business and more happiness.
By all outward appearances, a nice holiday message with the typical Chinese grammar and spelling problems… But it’s the holidays and it’s the thought that counts. Or is it?
A couple hours later, early in the morning this reply went out to everybody on the initial email recipient list.
Thank you Amily:
But when will you be paying back the $25000 that you misled us into buying your inferior product that breaks in use, and now you and your directors refuse to correspond with this company.
You have caused great harm to the good name of Chinese companies
The ghost of Christmas disappointments past had struck once again! I am sure that this UK company had made clear their specifications for the product they expected to open up when it arrived at the site. But the problem with specifications is that they mean nothing without reputation and experience.
Here’s hoping that you and yours get what you want and what you deserve for this holiday and for the coming year!