Monday, June 08, 2009

An Internet Search Story

When did TV remote units start controlling functions on your set that you can’t do without the remote? Lose the original and you will need a universal remote that costs more than the TV is worth – and pray that one of the programming codes works for your TV brand and model - to get all your functionality back.

Or, even better (and cheaper), you can search the internet for a replacement of the original remote. How clever I am is that? Find the model number (how do they come up with those – TVR45620pdq8pie4U?), enter it into Google and go get the remote.

We’re not sure if there is a strange trend rippling through the TV remote control corner of the web, but they could use a few lessons in web design. It makes the problem of choosing from unknown online suppliers much worse.

Credibility symbols - BBB, Verisign, etc., - are scarce, they only want online orders, so you won’t find phone numbers, and addresses are hard to come by too. Faced with an absence of the usual measures of trust, you need to find other means of choosing the right online supplier - even if it means checking out the dreaded “About Us” or “FAQ” page.

Sometimes “About Us” and “FAQs” are a waste of your time. Will “About Us” ever say anything other than how incredibly customer driven the company is? FAQs are hard to wade through, even with search functions, and are often filled with trite bits like “Do You Sell Remotes for TVs?”.

However, in situations where customers are unsure of what they are buying, or with whom they are dealing, “About Us” and “FAQs” can win them over.

Check out the “FAQ” at The plain straightforward language (no marketing speak), in response to exactly the sorts of questions a user might have, shows that this company probably does what it says. won the purchase, even though their remote was more expensive.

By Stephen Da Cambra

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