I’m sure there is a lesson in the following story but I’m not sure what it is.
When I worked for E. Leitz in Rockleigh, New Jersey we had a reception area where customers could drop off repairs or if they insisted, pick up new cameras for which they had pre-paid at a Leica dealer. There wasn’t much to see at Leitz Rockleigh and the two things that might have been of interest, the stock room and repair shop, were off-limits to the public.
Nonetheless, people made the pilgrimage. Staff members took turns manning the reception desk and on my first day’s front desk duty, a gentleman came to pick up his new R3 camera.
A very pleasant guy (a doctor, if I recall) showed me his paid-in-advance receipt and I went and got the camera. The customer carefully examined the camera with a loupe and said he thought something wasn’t quite right. A rough screw head, perhaps. Did I agree? My eyesight was a lot better then, but I didn’t see anything amiss.
I went and got a second camera. And then a third. Each time, the gentleman thought he spotted an imperfection.
Each rejected camera had to be returned to the repair shop for cleaning and examination before it could go back to stock. On my third trip in the repair room, Vince, the chief technician, gave me some advice. He said to take the first camera the customer had rejected and offer it to the customer again, this time saying it was a special camera that had been handpicked for the most discerning customers.
This seemed slightly disingenuous. Then again, there really wasn’t anything wrong with the camera. Sure enough, the customer loved the specially handpicked camera and even pointed out some of the subtleties that made it superior. And as everyone knows, the customer is always right!