Sorry, Skyline Customers

This blog is an open apology to customers of Skyline displays, particularly those who own one of their banner stands. For those who aren’t familiar with Skyline, they have locations with showrooms all over the US, even in other countries, and they sell exclusively from those showrooms. They market that as an advantage, and I suppose if you live in a city with a showroom, there is some advantage to that. I know our customers in the Salt Lake City area like that they can come to our showroom and see our displays, pick up orders, or have any problems resolved without having to ship anything. However, the main reason we can offer such excellent pricing, aside from the large volume of business we do, is that we only have one location. Having over 70 showrooms, staffed with sales people, support staff, and all the other related expenses that come with that, makes for a great deal of overhead that is passed on in Skyline's pricing, no matter how they try to make it sound like an advantage.

Skyline doesn’t offer much of a selection of banner stands. They seem to push more elaborate, higher priced displays, but they do have a few models to choose from. The problem is that they’ve set up their products to make it nearly impossible for anyone else to provide graphics for their displays. It’s not uncommon to find small sign shops who only sell displays with graphics, but it’s hard to think of another so-called display manufacturer who won’t sell just the hardware to their customers. The reason for this is pretty simple. They are overcharging for the graphics and they don’t want to give up such a huge profit center. Not having purchased a banner stand from Skyline, I can’t say for certain that they don’t let their customers know they are being trapped into purchasing low quality, overpriced graphics for the life of the display, but judging from the phone calls we receive, and the fact that they don’t sell their hardware without graphics, it’s a pretty safe bet that they keep that info to themselves. The fact that they once threatened to sue us for trying to help one of their customers with replacement graphics should tell you all you need to know about their intent.

As a company that sells brand name displays, as well as manufacturing our own, I can say that we would always prefer to provide the graphics with our displays. Not only do we appreciate the larger sale, but we can also be sure our customers are getting the very best quality, and that the graphics are appropriate for the display, fit correctly, and operate properly once installed. Most customers prefer to purchase the graphics with the display for convenience as well. For those who want to print their own graphics, we offer instructions and templates to our customers to try and ensure that our displays work great regardless of where the graphics are produced. Any company that tries to force customers to return by rigging their displays so the customer is forced to come back to them, rather than by offering quality products and services at a good price so that the customers will want to return, isn’t very confident of their quality, pricing or service.

So, the first part of this apology is to say sorry for Skyline’s behavior. They leave a bad taste in the mouths of customers who have found out after the fact that the quality and price of the graphics they're paying for is unreasonable. It makes everyone in the industry look bad when a company has business practices like this, and since they aren’t likely to apologize, we’re doing it for them.

The second part is to say we’re sorry for not doing a better job of marketing our products and services, so that you would have known you had better options before you purchased a banner stand from Skyline. It’s true that unless you live in our area, you’d have to purchase our displays online without seeing them in person. That’s why we go to such great lengths to provide high res photography, instructions, templates and ratings for each of the hundreds of products we offer, and are always available to help via phone, e-mail or chat. We want to make sure you’re comfortable with every aspect of a banner stand or display before you purchase it. We also offer free printed samples by mail so customers can see the different banner materials up close and in person before making a purchase. Yes, Skyline customers, we offer multiple material options for most display so you can pick what suits your needs, taste and budget the best.

We also wanted to say sorry to all the Skyline customers who call looking for us to help them with replacement graphics only to be told that there isn’t much we can do for them. We never like to tell customers who call us that we can’t help, so that leaves a particularly bad taste in our mouth, which is what prompted this apology.

As a way to make it up to all the Skyline customers we failed to reach in time, or couldn’t help after the fact, we’ve decided to offer a special promotion. Originally, the plan was to lower the price of our most popular model, the Quicksilver Pro 36, so that Skyline customers could trade in their old banner stands for a new QuickSilver with a standard Curl Free banner for the same price that they would have to pay just for the replacement graphics from Skyline. The problem is that the Quicksilver with standard banner is already less expensive. Yes, Skyline customers, you read that correctly. The Quicksilver Pro 36 with it’s deluxe travel bag, premium telescopic pole, adjustable tension and easy banner changes with even our most expensive banner option, is still less expensive than just a replacement banner from Skyline. So, we decided to offer an additional 10% off the purchase of any Quicksilver banner stand with banner if you trade in a Skyline banner stand. We’ll recycle the aluminum and any other parts we can to prevent it from ending up in landfill, so there’s no impact on the environment. You’ll end up with fully featured banner stand that gives you options. Of course, when the time comes, you can order replacement graphics from us and we’ll offer free installation of those graphics for life if you choose to send your stand back to us to install them. You can also have those replacement graphics shipped to you and install them yourself. It’s easy to do, we have instructions and videos online, and we’ll even help you over the phone if you need it. Additionally, you’re not required to purchase the replacement graphics from us at all. If the Quicksilver doesn’t suit your needs, give us a call and we’ll work out a discount on any banner stand with banner that we offer with your trade in. If you don’t own a Skyline banner stand, be sure to tell any friends you know who might before they make the mistake of overpaying for any more graphics. They’ll be sure to thank you for it and then we won’t have to apologize to them later.

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