Using a large account to favor?

Welp, I got assigned a task here at work (USAF)

We had run into a problem, I can't get into details at all. But, basically, we ordered $$$ amount of system, and we were promised compatiablity. The first ones that came in were compatible, and thus, making us assured that it was okay to order the next batch. As it turns out, the next batch had something incompatible with what we are doing. Its a hard drive quick release tab / cage problem.

Basically, what it comes down too, I found the part number, but I found out that its going to cost us some money, alot that my shops account could do with out. My thing is, I personally believe since we have such a large account with CDW-G being the Air Force and all, that we would have a lot of power in getting the problem resolved and having CDW-G either, compenstating us on the money we will have to spend, or get the part from HP and shipped directly to us at no cost. The last option if that doesn't work is to see if CDW can work out something with HP to get the part at a lower price.

This is my first "real" assignment at work that I jumped on because of my experience in tech support and I know it can be done.

Any advice, or do you think that with the large account and knowing how to escalate without anger should be enough for resolution?


and also, if you think this would be against OPSEC (if you a military) so I can delete this as soon as possible.

I think you have a good chance of getting it done. Remind them that you were promised compatibility, and the first batch was compatible. Can you return the parts and get replacements? That seems like the best thing to do.

Reading your plan, I think you are ready to cave too quickly. Remember that you are the one with the money. That is the first step: believing you are wronged, that it is their fault. You need to convey in crystal clear terms that you are right and they are wrong. You can be nice about it, but don't apologize for them being wrong. They may be the ones who offer you the "alternate" plans. Even though you may only speak for your division, they may not know this. "USAF" seems like a gigantic customer.

Remember Michael Corleone from Godfather II. This is business, not personal. It is easy to get mad and make a rash decision.

Sometimes it can help to play good cop, bad cop. That is, "Well I like CDW, but my supervisor, he is all pissed as helland wants to buy from (blah blah)". Be aware that they may play a form of this with you also.

Also, sometimes you may not succeed no matter how much you complain. IN this case, you are better off with a different vendor. If you are a large purchaser, a vendor that does not respond when you are angry is not a good vendor. Of all the vendors I have worked with and had some problem (HP, Dell, Microway, Koutech systems, Cisco, EMC), only Dell has not responded when I got angry.

GOod luck!

Well, I wish we could return the parts, but it is an entire computer system with the simple incompatibilty. We were assured since they were the same model number, everything would be exactly the same, but I already did a little research and found out they have different build codes.

Should this be approached to the person that the government account was formed with, or should I just address it to someone in Cust Relations?

i don't understand why they don't just right the problem.

you're an e3? do you think that they'll listen to you in customer relations? sounds like that you're going to do all the homework and a higher rank will get the credit.

hell, you could write your congressman if it gets really hairy.

sounds like this is a company that has gotten too comfortable with its fat gov contract.

Gotta build my brand some how, there is cool shit to work with in that shop, and I am going to show that I will put my all in the projects that we have working with NORMAL modern age computer systems.

And, yea, I get a free dinner out of this :)

you should have no problems solving this.

as an example. was at my bank today to submit more papers for a 150k+ mortgage. earlier in the day, i was hit with a $10 service charge for excessive debits out of my savings account.

told my mortgage girl that the bank makes way too much money off my money, and gives me very little for it. then said that i'd have no problem going elsewhere for a house loan, if they didn't reverse that $10 charge.

she talked to the assistant manager, who looked peeved that i was asking for this. although it was reversed, she looked put out.


Doesn't matter that you're not high ranking. A good vendor will solve problems when things are wrong. I cannot stress that enough. This will be good practice for you.

Doesn't really matter who you talk to, the person you talk to should direct you to the correct person.

Take a lesson from ZeStephen's story - you should really BELIEVE that they messed up and that THEY should solve the problem. Because in this case it's true.