I saw this cool Tablet PC pen by Cross and I knew I had to have one.
Now, you'ld think that in these days of click and buy this would have been an easy process, but come with me my friend and I will tell you a different tale. A tale of woe and disappointment.
A few weeks ago I went to the Cross website in search of the Penabled Cross Executive Pen
Cool their website is running on asp.net. This will be easy.
I find the pen I want - it's the one with the cap
I see I can buy online - perfect!
Well, not so perfect. Turns out that only US and Candian citizens can buy online. What The??
So I search the site for contact information and fire off a blistering note. (Still havent heard back from them)
I track down their Asia Pacific office which is based in Hong Kong. They have their own website too.
No online ordering capabilities. What The? It's 2005 for goodness sake.
Next, I find an email address for a contact in Hong Kong, so I send off a nice email asking how I can buy one of their products..
After few days, I get a reply::
Dear Frank, Thank you for your email and your interest in the Cross Penabled Pen. The way to do it is to let us know the registered account no. of a courier company -- FedEx, UPS, DHL etc and we will send the pen to you freight collect through this account. This will ensure the courier company that the receiver will pay. The price that we sell in HK is HK$440. You can either send us a money order payable to AT Cross (Asia Pacific) Ltd. Please do not TT as the handling charges will be high for such a small amount of money. Or is there any chance that some friends of yours will come by HK and will be able to pay and handcarry it back for you to Australia. Regards, Jeremy
What The? I cant use my credit card? I need to use a courier and a registered account number? Not likely. And it seems a bit pricey don't you thnk??
I fire back a reply and wait. At this stage I'm feeling grumpy.
Then I get an email from a local Australian distributor
Dear Frank, Royal Selangor are the distributors of Cross Writing Instruments in Australia and your recent email sent to Cross HK has been forwarded on to us. The Penabled pen has only recently been available outside of the US and as we have experienced a number of enquiries for it, we have brought in a few units which have already sold. The RRP in Australia for this pen is $199.00, and we are expecting to have more stock at the end of January. If you wish to purchase one, please contact our offices on 03 9720 7199, we will be happy to assist you. Kind regards LYN ROGERS ROYAL SELANGOR (AUST) PTY LTD
What The ! It will cost me 200 bucks!! for something that is $50 in the states. Even with the exchange rate it would be no more than $70 here locally. Now I am all for people making money and all that, but even to me that is a 200% markup for a pen!
I just want one f those pens. Come one Cross - what a missed opportunity you have here. I told these guys I work at Microsoft. Don't they realize who I am?? I am the Nerd God King. What better spokesperson for your product than me. I bet this wouldn't happen to Scoble, but then again he does live in the US, so he could order it online couldn't he. So, this wouldn't happen to him.
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