Wednesday, March 21, 2018

My TEVO Tornado experience Video

Hmm. I either need a higher table in the shed, or a lower chair. And if you don't know why... good. Good.

I got a request to tone back the March MadMess shout. Let me know if it's missed.

I've had the same conversation with TEVO owners over and over. It goes "TEVO machines are great", then after they calm down they follow it up with "Well, yeah, I had to upgrade ti a bunch before I could actually use it, but now it runs great", and eventually "Yeah, if I didn't haveaccess to another 3D printer, I'd never be able to get this one to run. Want some help upgrading yours?" Is there a name for people defending a thing as better than it is after they've spent too much time and or money on a thing? Because I know I was that way about Simplify3D.

So #TEVOgate. For most of my us in the same circles on twitter, the whole thing came from a single voice, the one who had received the... let's just call it what it was, the bribe. Fortunately, he was a big enough person to refuse it, and then very publicly rebuked TEVO for it. Personally, I would have taken a different tact, taking their money, donating it to charity, and given what would have pretty much been the same review I did here, but sooner, and with a side note that they tried to bribe me to give a positive review. At least that's what I'd like to think I'd do, but I didn't have a $1000 windfall just for being awesome on YouTube enter my bank account, so who knows.

The thing is, from the perspective from TEVO, they didn't do anything wrong. Because,as I pointed out before, when dealing with overseas businesses, to them business is business. And that grates against the west where business ethics is a thing. I'm hesitant to use the words "higher standard", mostly because I don't want to offend my friends overseas by insinuating that they're lower than us. And the truth is, places willing to do whatever it takes in business is why we can have our high minded ideas while enjoying affordable consumer goods. It's hypocritical to use my computer with components made overseas to condemn the actions that made it affordable to me.

This is the sort of deep and sometimes haunting thoughts that come with cheap consumer electronics.

I'm not defending unethical business practices. I do wish they would go away. But more, I think I'm condemning us for not being strong enough to stand up to them unethical business practices. I heard once that Wal-Mart managed to lower their prices by negotiating directly with Asian suppliers, and when they offered a bribe or extravagant spending on their behalf, their buyers refused and instead insisted that the cost of that compensation come off the cost they were going to sell to them. And that's Wal-Mart taking the moral high ground. The point is, its a complicated world we live in, and it only gets more complicated, the wider our view of it gets.

I believe TEVO screwed up in sending a bribe to a reviewer. I believe they screwed up when they didn't immediately try to save face with an apology. I believe they screwed up when they responded to complaints about their behavior by claiming that all they need to do is throw a weekend discount and they'll see where people's loyalties lie. I don't think they were wrong about that, but they shouldn't have said it. All they needed to say was "We sent an excessive payment in error" and express appreciation for the reviewer for not keeping it. Even if they did it on purpose and felt that he was worth the payoff, sending it to him was an error giving them the leeway to express it in this way and make the whole thing blow over. Instead they stood their ground, insisted that they were the wronged party, and belittled their consumers for the sin of being their consumers.

Maybe it's a question of subtly of language that prevented things from going this way. And maybe that means we should cut them some slack for being unable to express things tactfully in a language that wasn't their own.

In the end, TEVOgate hurt a number of people's feelings very deeply. Did it do anything to slow or curb TEVO's success or to change Eastern business practices? I cannot say. The involved parties were pretty small, the effect was pretty brief, and since they're still providing people what they want at a price they can afford, I'm doubtful it had any lasting effect.

March MadMess continues.

Gearbest is also having a huge event for it's 4th Anniversary. Check it out:

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