Recently, during a business call, a fellow business owner and I discussed whether or not it was worth paying more to get better quality products or services.
He commented; “Jeff, the thing is, if you get what you paid for, you’ll forget what you paid.”
“Who said that?” It sounded so brilliant I was sure it was a Zig Ziglar or John C. Maxwell quote or something.
“I did,” he smiled, “I said that.”
I stewed on that for quite some time. “If you get what you paid for, you’ll forget what you paid.”
It’s so true, and made me think of the moving company that cost me an arm, a leg, and a firstborn.
When Cheryl and I were moving years ago, we requested quotes from three moving companies. I’ll never forget the one guy who met with us. This really young guy - I mean I had underwear older than this kid – came up the drive and was professionally dressed, sporting a leather portfolio, with attentiveness and confidence told me what they would charge for moving us.
“We won’t be the cheapest, likely the most expensive but,” he handed me the estimate, “our crews don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t swear… they’re clean and professional, and take excellent care of every one of your possessions.”
I nearly had a coronary when I saw the price. The bill was unbelievably high – nearly double what others were charging. I jokingly responded: “How much for a stinky guy who swears?”
We ended up hiring them.
Cheryl and I had nine months until possession. She started diligently packing the moment the deal was made. I waited. I hadn’t even really started packing until a few weeks before moving day. She couldn’t understand why I would put off such a big project, and tried not to nip at me about it.
The day before the move, I realized I had made a colossal mistake assuming I would have time to pack.
That day, that final day when I planned I would finally pack, I unexpectedly had three offers going on three different properties that exact day. I had no choice – I had to run all over for my clients, leaving my things unpacked. Movers were coming the next day.
Here’s the snag: the movers had explicitly told us that they would only move boxes that had been closed and sealed. Mine weren't. The pressure was on and stresses were high. Cheryl was not happy with me.
After dashing from deadline to deadline and pushing papers, papers, and more papers, I finally got home at 2:30am. The movers would arrive in the morning.
I set my alarm for 6:00am, hoping I’d have a bit of time to complete my packing and seal the boxes before the movers came.
Cheryl spent the morning glaring at me and sighing while movers loaded her boxes into their truck, and I spent the morning dragging my tired butt around trying to finish my procrastinated chore.
The movers worked quietly, pretending not to hear our bickering and nattering at each other.
Then it happened.
I was at the end of my patience, jamming stupid things into a stupid box, when Cheryl decided to stand over me, watching. I bristled, prepared to hear those dreaded words, “I told you so”.
“Don’t say a word,” I growled.
She wisely left me to my own devices.
As soon as she left the room, a mover came up to me and asked, “Do you have another tape gun?”
“Let’s go seal up those boxes,” he said, nodding at my pile of undone boxes.
Together, we finished my packing. I filled the boxes, and he taped them and loaded them onto the truck.
I’ll tell you, that alone was worth the price we paid (if not more). The excellent, attentive, proactive service this mover provided diffused a stressful situation. He made it all better just by going that extra mile for us. And he didn’t have to. Actually, he probably wasn’t supposed to! But he did, because he saw we were struggling and had thought of a way to help.
Wow. Now THAT'S service!
It was true – I got what I paid for, so I forgot what I paid. I didn’t care about the higher price – it didn’t matter. Whatever the price had been was worth every golden loony.