I think my days selling ham radio clever products are over. I’ve even added little notes to my ebay sales ads saying please don’t buy this radio if you are not comfy with computers, or have a Mac. People still buy them and seem unable to do anything for themselves. Yesterday my phone rang. It’s Barry from Dorset. Er, hello Barry. Can you send me new links so I can download the proper software for the radio I bought last month. Bells rang, did you not get the files I sent the links to? I think I’ve already sent them three times? Yes but they don’t work. Oh dear, what happens. The Norton says they dangerous, I need safe ones. Ah, one is an exe file, virus protection might be set so you cannot install an executable file from the internet unless you disable it. I know that is safe because I tested it on my own computer that has AVG on it, and AVG sent it for examination and a few minutes later said it was safe and installed it. I don’t understand any of that, just send me one that works. He hung up. I then got an email a few mins later saying the same thing. Send me the files, so at home on a Saturday, I sent him a link to the exe file plus a zip file containing the same file and some codeplug examples. It got rejected. Unknown address his email was email@example.com.
Clearly that was wrong, so as his phone number was on the email I called him. He started to rant. I interrupted and said I want to send the files, I just need your correct email. He said bravo, alpha, Romeo, Romeo, Yankee, then started yelling I can’t do this, I can’t do this and hung up again.
He called back half an hour later and had calmed down. I asked him if he had any local ham friends? No. Any local computer friends? No. There is no way in the world this man can cope with a handheld dmr radio which is what he bought over a month ago. I’ve been yelled at, had two slam downs of the phone and before anyone says I should be nice to the elderly, my callsign is older than his. I’m not selling therapy, or social services, I made £17 by selling him a DMR radio on ebay. Clearly he will call me back during the week and expect me to talk him through installing the cps. Even if I succeed, what next? I think he could be Ill or on medication, or be just eratic. I don’t get this from business customers, or even the leisure boaters, who are often very er, unusual, but as I’m older, I can say this - elderly hams are a real pain. Looking at call signs, which they always put on emails, all the issues with clever radios and computers are from buyers licenced before 1990. Perhaps I should add a test question to the adverts. Please supply your digital ID so I can test the radio before dispatch. Or Please confirm the colour code for your local repeater before dispatch, or ask a question about the type of virus protection on the PC? I don’t need to know, but if they email back and say they don’t know, then I don’t sell to them. It was mildly annoying and cost me a fair bit in return postage and returns, but after being yelled at, I’m thinking hams and DMR is just bad news. A shame for the normal buyers who are great people, but these dinosaur hams are making it uneconomic. The profit wiped out by physical returns and my wasted time. Oddly, my direct sales via my website rarely generate issues, just ebay, so maybe just sell direct to hams and NOT via ebay? What do the hams think of this? Am I being unfair or practical.