Sunday, April 23, 2017

Buyer's Remorse

We've seen a lot of complaints that suggest The Sliding Door Company's customers are sorry they purchased a product from them.  Many warn people to "avoid" this company.

As their R&D manager at one time, I had to sometimes deal with customer complaints.  One that I was asked to handle was the inspiration for this blog post which discusses the issue of high heels getting trapped in The Sliding Door Company's bottom tracks.   

Case Study

This is a picture of the 10" wide track that was installed in an upscale restaurant in Los Angeles.  
The reason for the wide track is that The Sliding Door Company does not have the appropriate door design to handle this type of situation.  Somebody sold this system as if it was appropriate for this application.  The picture (right) shows the long expanse that required multiple doors to bridge.  In the sales person's mind, this just means widening the track until it can accommodate as many doors as necessary.  In this application, people are seated literally inches from the track - it isn't an obvious threshold.

It wasn't long before TSDC received a complaint that a client stepped on the track and their (very expensive) high heel shoe had become trapped (and ruined).  
As I said above, I was asked to handle the complaint.  I produced "covers" for the track so that people could walk on the cover rather than on the problematic (unsafe) track.  While it was a "solution" to the problem, I'm not sure the customer was very satisfied.  Why would they be - there are many better solutions for separating large spaces.  I wouldn't be surprised to find out they didn't realize what they were purchasing might be a safety hazard.

So, was there a better solution available?

Anyone who has ever been to a hotel banquet room knows they are able to divide up large rooms without creating a safety hazard.  How do they do it?  Bi-fold doors.  Here's a picture of the type of doors used in banquet rooms around the world.  

Notice there is no wide track to step over?  That's because all the doors are on a single track.  

This is something The Sliding Door Company does not offer.  An ethical company would have referred this client to someone who could provide a safe system for this application.  The Sliding Door Company sales person instead decided to sell their own unsafe product to this customer.  Why?  

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