Help a KOP supplier - help your team!

Automation Direct has an urgent request:


Our website works a little differently than others - it’s not hard - but you WILL need these instructions:

We want you to have the free parts - but the program is in a bit of jeopardy…

Here’s why I’m asking:

For some reason this year - there is a marked increase in teams that are arriving at our site without the instructions and they can’t figure out how to use their voucher. That’s bad in-and-of-itself - but it gets worse…

These teams then send an e-mail to our sales dept, or our web help-desk, or our marketing dept asking what to do. No big deal if it were just one or two e-mails - but it’s a much larger number - and it is generating negative internal publicity for the program within the company. Then it gets even worse…

Some teams go ahead and place an order without activating their voucher, and then e-mail or call us and ask us to retroactively apply the credit to their credit card. We clearly state (in the instructions) that this is not possible - but our accounting dept is soo nice that they try to do it! And it’s a huge PAIN for them… and there is even more of a black-eye for the program (internally).

So… what are we doing? FIRST OFF, please read and forward the instructions to anyone that needs them - and know that we are working with the KOP folks at FIRST to increase the visibility for the instructions everywhere that we can.

We have also looked into changing the way our website works - but that is not possible right now - it is already as simple as it can be. I hope you can understand.

So please read the instructions (think ‘datasheet for free parts’) - and pass them along. We would really appreciate it!

Obviously, this program works best when it is automated :wink:

We want teams to have the free parts, AND we want to continue the program for many years.



I have passed this along to the powers that be for the teams that I can reach locally. Thank you for taking the time to get the word out and thank you for doing everything you are doing behind the scenes at Automation Direct to support the program!

Definitely passing this along. Operating costs especially in call centers quickly add up, so I feel for you.

Thanks for your continued support!

Same here. Automation Direct is a blessing to those of us in that sweet, sweet 1-day shipping window, and while it would continue to be one without the PDV…hey, $35 is $35! :wink:

Thank you for all you do!

I hear the staff might cheer up if you played them some music. Like on a xylophone or some chimes… #edgyfootnote

Thank you for your support of FIRST Robotics. We really enjoy using our voucher (and then some!) each year, buying quality products at reasonable prices with fast shipping. We’ll do our best to use the code properly and spread the word.

Thanks for the support. You had just what I was looking for. Just placed order with no problems.

I’m going to pass this on to the folks at Minnesota First and ask that they email all of the teams with this info.

You might also ask Frank to blog about this and for FIRST to send out an email. I’d hate to see FRC lose a sponsor.

Chip - have you seen or do you know what the head mentor dashboard looks like? It does not provide any instruction on using the voucher code and clicking on the name takes you directly to the website rather than to the instruction page. I suspect that’s why it’s worse than normal.

Hopefully you can ask FIRST to change where clicking on the name/voucher takes the user