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How to (not) keep your customers

Most of the time it’s all about photography on the blog, but I know you guys also love some business tips in between.
Let me start by stating that both me and Annewiek have been running our own companies for over 25 years so we definitely know how running a business works.

Customer care and happiness 
One of the most important things is keeping customers happy and giving them the feeling they were treated fairly. This doesn’t always mean the customer is right, it means that in the end the customer understands the solution and in most cases is happy with it. Let’s be clear, some customers you can never satisfy and they will try to get the utmost out of a situation and even don’t feel any shame to threaten with courts even if they are 100% not right, in all cases they will actually not push through but at that point for us as a company the trust and willingness to work for a customer is also gone, so always be careful how far you push a well willing shop/company

let’s give you a recent example and als the reason I think it’s important to write this as a business tip.
It’s no secret I love playing guitar and recording music. So during the pandemic we build a nice small studio setup at home, which we also use for the digital classroom episodes that stream from our home (something we couldn’t do before and now half of the streams are done via this setup)

The heart of a setup like this is the console
I bought a second hand console which worked like a charm but due to my switch to the M1 macs I needed to upgrade it and the choice was a behringer x32, the problem…… it was out of stock everywhere and when calling around delivery times of June this year would be expected (this was November last year)
To my surprise a huge music store in Germany did claim they had stock, even 2, so I immediately ordered the console and because the next digital classroom was 10 days later I expected it all to work out great, however my order didn’t update to shipped, at first I tried some emails and when I got an answer it was always the same “I see it in the storage and it will be send out tomorrow” now in the Netherlands a day is 24 hours and unless I missed something major it should also be in Germany. In the mean time we were almost 5 days further and the weekend was approaching so I tried to call them to hear the same, delivery on Saturday was absolutely no problem, it was on stock as they have been telling me from the start, they were actually surprised I asked because the site said stock…. Somehow they didn’t seem to understand that if I order something on Sunday that’s on stock I expect it to be shipped the latest on Tuesday. But we were now already on Friday.

via a friend of us we found another x32 that was offered via Amazon and decided to order that one also because mails and telephone calls to were very problematic with vague answers and more an attitude like “we send stuff out when we think it’s time and now stop asking”

the next day my x32 from Amazon came in and much to my surprise on Monday the x32 from the German store, because the other one was already installed we immediately send the x32 back to the German store unopened and the next day we got it in, of course we did mail them about it and because they have a 30 days money back option we didn’t expect any problems. Also because on their website the x32 still was not send out so although I did receive it there was no tracking number etc. If this was the case I have some understanding of what happens next.

much to our surprise we did not get our money back, in fact we got the message after asking a few times that we had store credit and that they did this manual, so I had to order for 1699 products and mail them and they will then handle that. This was the moment I started to protest and feel uncomfortable a lot.

Finding excuses to not pay up
excuse me…. Why do I need to buy 1699 in products (which I don’t need)?

Their response was pretty shocking and shows little to no customer support
According to the product I ordered COULD be used for a commercial product and send back, and their rules are simple, if you order something that could be used for a concert or event and send back they never give money back……

This is a bit like saying, we sell clothing and have a 30 days money back if you don’t like it,  but if it’s a product that could be worn for a day you don’t get your money back.

For people that don’t get this….
Almost 100% of music products that are being sold could be labeled like that.
You could use an effects unit for a show, a guitar, speakers for a mix, mics to record etc.  The only thing you can’t really send back of course are strings. So in essence they claim they can decide if they feel like giving money back or not and for us it was the end of the line, we had to spend 1699 otherwise there was no option, we even offered to pay restocking or for shipping, but no…. 1699 in credit.

now luckily we still have income during the pandemic but also for us this is boatload of money that just disappears now and can’t be used for food, mortgage etc. I can imagine for people that save for a year to be able to buy a product from will get into financial problems for the simple reason 1699 for most people (including us) is not the kind of amount you just spend for fun

but if you think it ends there….. no way
I decided to order 3 products which in essence I might have bought in the next 1-2 years. So my Xmas and birthday presents came early for the next 2 years.

Two products were in stock when I ordered, one not
It took us at least 4 hours calling to get everything in order, of course you never get a call back, and waiting times can be huge while another time you get someone within 10 minutes. But hey its a lot of money.

by the time we had the store credit it was another week after my order, and now…. One of the products was sold out but because I ordered it I expected to get it anyway (when we take orders the products are locked to that customer, even with backorders they are delivered in order of the order time)but no such luck, after a few mails demanding they deliver at least what’s on stock I never got an answer but the first product did came in.

after 4 weeks we saw that product 2 was on stock and I expected to see it delivered…. No luck so after a week (we are not unreasonable) started mailing again, no responses, so tried different mail addresses, no response, after a more demanding mail we still didn’t get an answer but two days later the product…. So it seems that keep pounding at the door does seem to help.

we are now months later and my third product also came in, so that was the time to write this article (first wanted to make sure it all was in) Now for us, the bizarre thing is that they claim that my mistake was not cancelling my order, the story that I did call them several times and also mailed them I would send it back a day after receipt because someone else did deliver out of stock all doesn’t count according to them….

so what is the learning part?
First of all…

Listen to your customer
without customers your company doesn’t make money, and customers have to come back, also mouth to mouth is the best advertising you can have, one angry customer can do more damage than 100 happy customers. So listen to your customer

reply emails
We have a rule of 24 hours, if you mail us we respond asap, even if we don’t have the answer.

Keep your client updated
This can be done via your site and order system, or just answer their mails when they ask about orders

service also beyond
You can always mail or call us about the products we distribute. Even if you didn’t buy them from us, we stand behind our company and if someone is unhappy about a product a dealer delivers and doesn’t have the answer this could be negative for our products while in real life 99% of the problems are easily solved. So we always try to work seamlessly with our dealers. Which helps the reputation of them, our products and our company, for the simple reason they trust us to also get other products from us.

the customer is almost always right
As mentioned before not all customers are equal but in our book the customer is always right unless it’s 110% sure he/she is not. But even if we find the customer not to be right we will try to find a solution he/she is happy with even if it means we have to take a hit financial (to a certain extend)


What could they have done better?
Well they broke almost every rule
We didn’t feel taken serious because we were treated like a nagging child waiting for it’s gift while in essence we were waiting for an expensive piece of gear that I clearly told them had to be in before Saturday.

when they didn’t deliver due to their mistakes in communication or transport we were held responsible for the costs and had to buy other products which they again messed up in their communication and even when the site said stock it took us several mails pointing them towards that fact before they send it out, all without a response from them by the way. So ok we didn’t cancel the order via the website, but this is like we make 10 mistakes and we don’t give a f7ck but you don’t mail us to cancel so bad news for you……

So how to make the customer happy?
Simple. First of all, just deliver what you promise, stock means we send it out today or tomorrow or the first working day. When you have a customer that is not happy mark that customer and make sure that someone in customer support picks up that customer and makes sure from that point on everything does go smooth.

the most bizarre part,… my x32 on my customer page is still…. In transit…..

Conclusion is huge, they have a very nice site and what I can see store, but this was my first and last experience with them, we regularly order gear from Baxstore, KeyMusic and Thomann and never ever had problems with returns or customer support, in fact all three call you up and when there is a problem all three are super easy with returns, and that way they will always see me back and I send a lot of friends to them. lost us as a customer but did gave me the perfect example on how not to do business…


feel free to add your ideas or experiences

Saving and earning money

This blogpost is something I’ve never talked about before, mainly because I was a bit suspicious about it, but also because I like to keep the blog photography related. However during the lockdowns I’ve been overthinking a lot of things and this was one of them, so I decided it was time to write this blogpost and share my 100% personal experience and how I think this can help absolutely everyone by earning/saving some money but also get a lot of extra benefits..

Travel and shopping
When the world returns back to semi normal we will of course start to travel again and visit more stores. Now as you know over time our cash money will disappear and we will start to work more and more with debit/credit cards and our smartphones and watches. This all sounds great, but for me it never really worked on my Garmin watch, and also online you have to create several payment methods, add to this loyalty cards which needs another app again and you can probably see that like the older MacBooks needed dongles we need some apps and different cards to make it work. But what if you don’t want this?

Enter the topic of todays blogpost.
The Curve
Now believe me, up until a few months ago I never heard about curve but while using it I became so enthusiastic about it I decided to for once write a piece that had no direct connection to photography.

As mentioned before we use different apps, cards etc.
This also means that keeping track of everything can be a mix and match and sometimes we pay something with the business card that was supposed to be private etc. Now wouldn’t it be nice to have solution that would make all of this easier?

Well that’s Curve
You can get Curve for free online and right from the start you can install the app and use the virtual card for online shopping and using it for your phone and watch, the real card will arrive a few days later and can be used in shops etc.

So what’s all the fuzz about.
Well, Curve itself is not really a card, yes you have a balance on the card, but the main thing about Curve is that you can connect most of your other Visa and Mastercard cards and give them the right names and select which card to use. Indeed you read that right, if you have 3 cards you just connect them all to Curve in the app and you pay in the shop/online with the Curve card and it will deduct if from the card you selected for the payment. And the cool thing… if by accident you paid with the business card, you can easily just change the card later in the app. And if you hit a limit on a card… no problem there is the anti embarrassing mode which will automatically switch to a card that does work.

During the month you get a really overview of your spendings per card and you can label each purchase with labels which makes it super easy to track your spending and see where most money is going (sorry guys)

But there is more.
You can also add your loyalty cards and use the app to show them in the store, you can use ATM machines and also abroad there are some nice benefits making life easier. And this is all for the FREE card.

We personally only use the free version, but when you select one of the paid options you can get a 1% cashback from 3-6 stores, insurance for your phone and valuables, travel insurance and access to airport lounges. As mentioned we use the free version at the moment but the moment we start travelling again we will immediately start using the subscription option.

The Curve card is a must have for everyone that runs a business and has to juggle with different accounts and doesn’t want the hassle of figuring out what was what and when. Add to this a 1% cashback, insurance and airport lounges for the paid version and Curve is something I think really everyone should get, at least the free version.

The free version made it for me finally possible to use my Garmin watch now with Garmin pay, and there is more…. but let me first conclude this review.

You can get the Curve card via this link.

If you follow the link you will get 10 euros and 1 month 1% cashback on every purchase, after a month the card keeps all it’s perks of course except the 1% cashback.




As mentioned there is more.
Since the pandemic I also started to work with crypto, and please don’t stop reading, don’t worry I’m not going to push the next memecoin, I’m 100% not into that and for sure don’t want it on my blog, however the real reason for Curve was exactly this.

Earning passive income
You’ve heard the term, and to be honest I’m getting sick and tired of it, unrealistic promises, blah blah, overnight millionaire etc. yes sure. I’m more of a realistic kind of guy, but the whole crypto thing did intrigue me. But I decided to do it slightly differently. Instead of going into the crazy world of trading I decided to start working with a so called crypto card. Let me explain.

We all use cards to pay stuff in stores and online right?
And I think we all see that life is getting more and more expensive right?
So wouldn’t it be nice if you get some discounts on 99% if your expenses?

Well this is how our journey started that ended up with Curve.
I will make this one really short, and for more information I will give a website link.

After a tip from a website we ended up with a Crypto debit card from, al very large player in this market which I’m pretty sure will not be gone in the foreseeable future. Now putting a lot of your own money in Crypto is not something I would advise, but I can’t deny that there is a lot of profit to be made, but also to be lost. So I would love to do it but not with money that I worked for… sounds bizar right, but read on.

With the card you get a debit card which you can top up with your credit card or via the bank for free. This is a VISA card so everywhere where they accept visa you can pay (also online of course). So far so good if you don’t do anything else with it.. well that’s it, you just top up and spend and top up and spend. No crypto is mentioned or used. But behind the scenes something cool happens.

When you start using the card you did create an account at which is a so called exchange. So you could by and sell crypto there, they actually have some really cool things like supercharger and earn programs but as mentioned I won’t go into the details, just how we use it for our business/life.

Now if you opted for the free card, 99% of the purchases you make you immediately get a 1% cashback in CRO (the native token from you don’t have to do anything for that, and my advise is in fact… don’t touch it, we’ve been using the card since a few months and the CRO token has risen over 80% in that time, this is 100% passive income, you don’t spend money on the card itself or subscriptions, you just top up and live your life like you normally do, now look back in a year and you have a great piggybank filled with CRO tokens.

Now if that sounds great I would HIGHLY recommend looking at the Ruby Red or Green versions. They give you 2-3% cashbacks on every purchase PLUS free Spotify and Netflix, which you pay like you normally do but get back in Cashbacks in CRO tokes, which again add to your piggy bank.

Again this sounds like the many “get rich soon” commercials but I really want to stress this is not meant that way, in fact I’ve been talking with friends and attendees of the workshops about this for quite some time and most are just over the moon with the ease of Curve and the cashbacks. It’s no where near a get rich soon thing, you “only” get a few % cashback, but it’s actually shocking how fast it all adds up, we bought an Apple MacBook Pro and that was a discount of 90 euros, something Apple doesn’t give you and as mentioned the CRO token has rissen quite a bit so that 90 euros is now 125…. you won’t hear me complain if it goes down by the way, for us it’s a piggy bank, we don’t touch it for at least 4-5 years and I think by than it will be a nice vintage guitar 😀

Now you probably also get the idea of Curve.We are using the card (we upgraded to the green one in fact) for literally everything so it was pretty frustrating that the card didn’t work in most stores we visit, now with the Curve (which the card is connected to) we can pay in almost every store.

Use my referral link to sign up for and we both get $25 USD 🙂

Overall conclusion
The world is changing and will probably never go back to what it was, how much we want it to. A fact of life is that we all have to pay for the costs of the pandemic, and this means inflation, by using free cards and getting 1% cashbacks on ALL your spending is a way to earn some of that inflation back. If you can spare to stake 350 or 3500 euros for 6 months I would HIGHLY recommend taking a look at the RED and GREEN cards from

Although this has nothing to do with photography, it has everything to do with making sure we at least get some passive income by just living our lives and getting a whole lot of benefits in ease of use from the Curve.

I hope you guys appreciated this little sidestep.
I’m always willing to talk about Crypto or these solutions online or via Email but for the blog this was a one time deal, it was just too good not to share.


5 day deal

YES it’s that time again.

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You’ll love it.

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It would help us out a lot when you use our link and share the link.

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