First, please let me first state that this isn't in regard to any thread in particular, but rather a response to what I perceive as a proliferation of customers who, at the first hint of adversity, go straight to the internet with photos and grievances, prior to contacting the company or manufacturer to give them the opportunity to make the situation right.
I'm accustomed to seeing this elsewhere, but it seems like a troubling trend here on the FOG, and for my needs it unnecessarily clutters up the feed, and ultimately makes me less and less likely to check in.
Personally, I sometimes get calls from past customers who need adjustments to work I have performed for them previously, for instance a door installed in the Winter might swell a bit in the Spring time and need a slight tweak to operate properly. No big deal, a phone call or e-mail from the customer and 20 minutes of my time is usually all it takes to resolves these types of issues. I don't advertise, and rely on repeat customers and referrals, which has worked out very well for me thus far. Customers contacting me directly saves everybody time and results in the issue being resolved rapidly, usually within 48 hours.
Now, imagine if a customer, noting that a door I installed in the Winter (dry) started to rub a bit in the Spring (humid), rather than contacting me, went straight to Yelp or Angie's List to post photographs and a detailed description, and ask the world if this is normal and what to do about it? Now the customer has to wait, potentially for days, getting wildly differing opinions from people who did not install the door in question, and ultimately after all of the internet activity, the door is still rubbing and my reputation would be scuffed as well.
While there have been a few threads that have detailed a legitimate issue, it occurs to me that many topics could have been avoided by a simple phone call to either Festool, or the dealer through whom the tool was originally purchased. Also, frequently these threads ultimately end with "I called Festool and everything is being taken care of".
In our current day and age, what is proper etiquette? Is it the "New Norm" to skip a call to the service department and go directly to the Internet to crowdsource a solution?
This is NOT meant as an inflammatory thread, rather a discussion about the future of customer service, and the potential damage these threads could be doing to the overall health of a forum?
Would we be better off with a separate forum for issues so we're not cluttering up the main forum?
Or, do we go to a model of a "Festool for Pros" forum and a "Festool for Hobbyists" forum?