Buy Cheap: Buy Dear – How many phones did you buy?

Our little business has been using the same phone for nearly three years: a base system with two handsets that are wireless. It’s a traditional analogue signal telephone system made by Philips.

Just as we were clearing up for Chinese New Year, the units became less and less functional, and the base unit developed a cable problem: every time someone called, and you grabbed the handset quickly, the cable would fly out. Not good for first impressions.

So, today, I went shopping: I ended up by two separate phone systems for our business: a wireless phone system with an answering service and two handsets for the teachers room, and a small business phone system that could handle two lines. It also contained a ‘hold’ function.

Of course, I chose two Panasonic models: a traditional business type phone with dual lines, speakerphone, a decent memory function for the reception desk; and a pair of digital wireless phones, one with a phone answering machine. For those three phones, I spent nearly US$200 (or NT$5700) but I’m hoping I’ll get more reliable service from each of them, as I didn’t buy cheap models like before.

For some kinds of consumer goods, especially phones and other items that get a lot of abuse, buying cheap really means buying dear. Over the years, I have bought numerous phones from the local hypermarts, wireless and traditional types. But because I never bought expensive ones, I ended up paying a lot more than the $5700 that I originally paid.

Oh, well, let’s see how it goes. How did you guys solve your own business communications problems? Did you make the same mistakes I did?