Phil McArtridge-The Value of Customer Service

Phil McArtridge

Phil McArtridge

CW San Diego is not the only place you can find inexpensive replacements for your printer’s OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) cartridges. On any given day you can search the internet and find literally hundreds of sites offering low-cost refills or compatibles. You can find refilled cartridges at the swap meet, at yard sales and offered on Craigslist. With no overhead to pay for, there are people who refill cartridges in their garage and offer them for sale at prices far below our own. If you feel adventurous you can even buy a refill kit and perform the task yourself.

So what sets us apart from these other refillers? What justifies our pricing?

There are several factors that we believe have contributed to the last two years being the best years in sales for our store.

Unlike the garage refillers and refill kits, we do not use generic inks. One size does not fit all; one ink cannot be used in just any printer. This is also true for toners. Every printer is set up to work with ink and toner of a specific composition. For inkjets, the ink molecules must be the same size as the space in the printhead through which they pass. Too big and no ink can escape the cartridge; too small and the ink runs out of the cartridge like a river. For this reason we have over 75 formulations of black ink alone. In similar fashion laserjet printers are designed to work with a specific formulation of toner. If the molecules of toners are too large the wiper blades will wipe it all off the drum and no image will be put onto the paper; too small and you’ll get a paper covered completely with toner that escaped onto the drum. Each component of a printer from the mechanical parts to the type of toner or ink used are designed to work together to very specific tolerances. By formulating inks and toners that match the qualities of the originals as closely as we legally can, we can assure you of the best experience with your printing. That’s why we feel comfortable guaranteeing your satisfaction with our products. If for any reason you are not pleased with the results you get using our cartridges we urge you to return them for replacement or a refund. You don’t have to hunt us down at the swap meet or fill our RMA forms and pay for shipping. Just come in or give us a call.

Just recently we’ve expanded our basic operations to include offering on-site printer repair and the opportunity to order office supplies on-line through our website. Buy partnering with providers we personally know and trust, we have incorporated these services into our store to save you time and hassle when you need repair work done on your office printers or run out of copy paper or paper clips. In addition, we have always offered free business pick-up and delivery of any order over $50. We reduced that limit from $100 to $50 as a service to our customers who run SOHO (small office/home office) businesses.

There is a term that sums up the reasons we feel we can offer a better experience than all our competitors in this market: Customer Service.

Every factor in our business model, from our pricing to our offer of free delivery, is motivated by a desire to provide superior service to our customers. We can’t offer as low a price as the guy filling cartridges out of his garage, but we can make sure that you get the best value out of what you spend in our store by providing you with service that he cannot. Everything we do every day our door is open is based on a sincere desire to serve our customers any way we can.

Customer service should be the primary factor in any marketing plan. You cannot buy the results you get from providing outstanding customer service. No amount of advertising, no amount of shelf space at retail will return to your business the same bang-for-the-buck as will providing quality customer service. People may not remember your ads but they will remember how well they were treated the last time they entered your store or had an issue with your product and sought a resolution. Character is just as important to a business as it is to an individual. Being willing to provide excellent customer service speaks well of a company’s character.

If you are a customer of our store you may have noticed we aren’t a bunch of stone-faced, dead-serious old grumps. We like to have fun and interact with our customers. We have Cleo, the Cocker Spaniel extraordinaire, as our resident greeter. She loves her job and never complains about being paid in biscuits.


Today we’re introducing Phil McArtridge (see above)(not to be confused with Joe McGrath, the owner of CW San Diego) as our on-line Customer Service representative. His face will appear in posts to our blog that relate to the topic of customer service or that may be in response to questions or comments we have received. Why a cartoon character? To add a bit of humor and whimsy to an otherwise serious topic. We want to stress the importance of customer service, not just in our store but in our postings to fellow businesses as well, but stress it with a smile. Phil will be the “official” on-line ambassador for CW San Diego. Soon you’ll be seeing his handsome mug crop up all around the store.

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