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McGill Reporter
January 16, 2003 - Volume 35 Number 08
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To the editor:

Last semester I went to MACES Computer Lab, open for all students at McGill Continuing Education.

We all pay a small amount with our tuition fee to get access to their services. So, being loyal, this seemed to be the best solution for my mission.

I had to print 18 overhead slides in colour for a class presentation two days later. I got there at 6 pm and a service-minded person gave me the price of a $1.50 per slide.

I loaded the slides on the PC and started to print one page. The printer took three minutes to complete this task. Times 18 this meant I would spend the next hour printing, difficult during rush hour.

I offered to come in later the next day. Since the price was right and I had another day to get this done, we agreed to let other people take over the PC.

I arrived the following day at 5:40 pm and the employee explained that it should not be a problem.

Until I double-checked the pricing. Suddenly the $1.50 had increased to $2.50 per slide! Yes, there was a mistake the day before and the management checked to make sure the right price had been charged.

I remained calm and hoped the previous price would be honoured before following the management guidelines. Nope -- impossible.

I tried to go through the price list displayed on the wall with the employee and if we followed "their" logic the price should be $1.50 + $2.00 = $3.50 per slide... and the employee said: "Yes, it is $3.50. I am only doing my job."

What can I say. As a former customer service manager who had been in the employee's shoes many times, I gave up since there was no way my classmates would accept a bill of $63 plus taxes.

My solution? Go to Copie Express on 680 Sherbrooke West. Their employee listened to me and even suggested to prepare a PowerPoint presentation, rent a laptop and projector at the McGill Library for one day in order to save money!

He printed my 18 slides in less than 15 minutes, giving me a special price of $2.25 per slide instead of $2.50.

Also, he was interested in the subject we were going to present and gave us some suggestions for future presentations.

All this for $44 including taxes! Now correct me if I am wrong. We pay to obtain access to the MACES Computer Lab -- a service based on student needs and budgets.

My understanding is that either we adjust our pricing and service levels at MACES or investigate the substantial cost savings we can obtain by launching a partnership with Copie Express.

What do you think?

Martin Wiedenhoff
Continuing Education
Certificate in Management

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