How do we take care of our customers? Sometimes, the hard way.

At the beginning of the year, we were approached by one of our regular customers to make a funky little pipette with a small borosilicate tube and SVL 15 threaded top attached to it. We had made one for him in the past, so it wasn’t new territory. For that initial order, we had purchased ten 1ml pipettes. Out of the ten, nine were made of borosilicate with a 5.1 thermal expansion coefficient and therefore would not seal to the side tube. Of all the borosilicate glass pipettes in the world, we had to get nine made of soft glass, not from this continent, or made of soda glass from this continent, all with a coefficient of about 3.25. So, for that initial order, we only managed to make the one unit, and had no spare. Sigh!

Like the previous one, the pipette for this new order had to be 1ml and graduated every 0.10ml. Since the customer only wanted one pipette, there was no sense for us to purchase a bag of 200 or a box of 400. Again, we went online to check out one of those auction sites; let’s call it ebay.  Sure enough, we found a seller in Alaska who had what we wanted. She had zero feedback, but we thought we’d give her a try anyway. Haven’t we all started life with zero feedback?

The transaction went through, and there’s rarely a problem to send money away. That was on January 17th. We waited and waited, then finally contacted the seller, ‘cause there was no pipette to be found at our door. Sure enough, no response from the seller. So, on February 17th, we opened a “case” to get the pipettes, or our money back. We did receive a refund of the purchase price of $21, but not the labor expense to deal with this bad seller. Ah, the cost of doing business.

On the 19th of February, we found another seller online and ordered 4 pipettes at a cost of $30.  We received them in the first week of March. However, when we ordered them, we thought that they were 1ml pipettes. But when they arrived, they were 10ml, so they were of no use to our client.

We ordered a final batch of 25 pipettes on March 10th. That cost $50. It turns out that they were disposable pipettes, therefore with an OD much smaller than reusable pipettes. Richard managed to manufacture the custom-made pipette despite the fact that the glass was much thinner. It’s a good thing this unit was a spare for our client, as we ended up shipping the finished product on March 31st. We were committed to providing our client with a custom-made item he had ordered, and we delivered.

Our Cost for material and labour: $200 (conservative estimate)

Billed to client: $62 (+ tax)

Ensuring Customer satisfaction: Priceless


Psst: Wanna buy some cheap disposable pipettes? No feedback required.