Bluepoint are constantly badgering me to buy more stuff from them. I buy a fair bit of computery stuff, and I've used them in the past, but I had to threaten them (with no more sales) unless they stopped phoning me. They still email me more than I like, but at least I'm not being dragged out of the bath by a sales call. Or called while several feet up a tree in the middle of Hampshire and have to climb down the tree just to tell a Bluepoint salesdroid that "No, I don't have any requirements just now."
Yesterday, one of my servers suddenly died. Not a big problem, I just switched to the backup server, but it means I need to replace the dead one. And I decided to replace it with two the same. That means I need 12 4-terabyte drives, costing around £115 each, plus VAT, and a few other bits and bobs. I checked my usual sources, and Aria came up cheapest, so I phone Bluepoint and gave them the opportunity to beat Aria's published price, which they did. So I ordered from Bluepoint. About £1600-worth of goods.
You'd think that there would be rejoicing in the hallowed halls of Milton Keynes at this. But it's not so simple. I got an email back telling me that, as I hadn't ordered from them for a year, and as it was over £1000, I'd have to fill in an application to be a trade customer. And, of course, they didn't enclose the relevant form. Not that it mattered. Hey, guys, I've been doing business with you for 15 years now, and I always pay up on time.
So I phoned my contact there, Janine, who I rather think is the only person there with a head on her shoulders, and if she ever leaves, they'll be in big trouble. I explained it to her. She was about as surprised as I was, and said she'd sort it out. Which, I think, she did. I'll know for sure when the goods arrive.
If they don't arrive, if that order isn't fulfilled, then I think Bluepoint will have just become too much trouble to deal with. Because I tend to do one big order about once per year or so, when I'm building or upgrading a batch of servers, and if I have to fill in their forms each time - well, I know that Aria are keen to be my regular supplier.