Lesson for Vendors - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2001, 10:46 AM
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Lesson for Vendors

Let me start by stating that I believe this is a good forum for opinions on Zuk equipment suppliers. When I have a good experience with one of them, I will tell you, same with the bad. I pull no punches and will state the story exactly as it happened for both experiences.
I have bought stuff from Tim at NCO and DaveAZ at AAPA and I am extremely happy with their service before, during and after the sale. They have also helped me several times when I didn't buy anything, just needed some help or advice. Top notch suppliers of equipment in my book!
Sadly, I have recently been part of a sales experience with two companies that have possibly turned me against using them for anything ever again. Here is the story:
My future sister in law ordered a piece of equipment toward the end of February, a cage for the protection of their children. The order was placed early so its arrival would coincide with my little brother’s suprise birthday party, March 17th. She was assured it would be there on time, so she bought nothing else. The morn of the 17th, I called the company she ordered it from and was told that the supplier of the item had problems with his welder, and the item had not been sent out, but he was pretty sure it would be sent out the following Monday, March 19th and that he had talked the supplier into knocking $50 off the price ( a nice gesture ). I called March 29th to check the status because I thought it was an awfully long time for an item to be shipped across the US. It was supposed to arrive the next week because it was shipped out that week (March 26-30), and was on the way. Thursday April 6th my brother and I got in touch with the companies involved and found the item sitting at Fed Ex in our area with the wrong delivery address it had been there only 2 days. I checked the tracking number and found it was shipped on April 3rd from the supplier. Finally Monday the 7th of April my brother got his cage delivered which leaves him less than two weeks to finish assembling it and have it welded in, in time for Zuwharrie on the 20th. The supplier informed us he had been waiting on the correct address from the company the item was ordered from. The address was sent with the original order, and never asked for again. The company had our phone numbers, email addresses for both my future sister in law and myself and the address is the same one associated with the credit card number that was sent. The original company's owner also knows I am an active member (not just a lurker where I would be hard to find) of one of the list he is on.
My main problem with all this is: Why did WE, the customers have to do all the calling, why did the companies NEVER call us to explain what was going on? The original plan was supposed to take 2-2.5 weeks from order to arrival at the delivery address. I can understand problems with equipment, but poor customer service I cannot abide by. Suppliers, please take this experience as a lesson about how not to lose customers, if you have a problem, CONTACT THE CUSTOMER!! It is their money, you know...
If you think it doesn't cost to upset one customer, think of this...my family owns 5 zuks, I have about 5 more friends in my immediate area who own them, several more in the surrounding area, will be at a run with 30+ zuks in two weeks, and am a member of one email list and 3 bulletin boards with well over 500 owners on some of them. It's true I might not make a huge difference in your capitol flow, my family not buying from you might not make any difference in your overall profit, but... I just spent over $600 in parts from a great company, my brother spent nearly a $1000 recently with another great company that's $1600 in one month that went to companies that had the same products as yours may have, but we were willing to even pay more, if we had too, to get the customer service these companies offered. I cannot in good conscience send someone to suppliers whose customer service is lacking, but I will not hesitate to send them to the people who excel at service.

I have made it a point to try not to identify any companies in this message, because I don't want to start list wars, I will however privately inform anyone wishing to know who they were, if asked. I have nothing to hide or lie about, and hope these suppliers will take some constructive criticism and correct their shortcomings.
Sorry for the long winded post, but needed to get it off my chest!
R/T


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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2001, 10:51 AM
 
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Re: Lesson for Vendors

Thanks for the information. I hope it lands on listening ears.

-Farther
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2001, 11:16 AM
 
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Re: Lesson for Vendors

This is good info. First hand experiences are always welcome good and bad. Don't mind using names in cases like this - Most manufactures have reps that cruise these lists, they have the opportunity to respond. (but most times it turns into a irrelevant shouting match)

Soloman
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2001, 12:28 PM
 
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Re: Lesson for Vendors

I have also mail ordered almost $1000 in parts the last 4 weeks. These were from 3 different vendors. Two were not Suzuki only type vendors. I received my parts from those two within 1 week of the order, a baseplate to hook my tow bar to, and a tube bumper. I ordered an engine rebuild kit and a tranny rebuild kit from one of the two vendors stated above that were good to work with. I had already ordered parts from Tim at NCO, and got great service. You figure the one I'm talking about. He promised me over a week ago that my parts were shipped. Now all of the vendors are in Moab and unavailable. I did receive a set of rings?? sent to the wrong address. Needless to say, I'm very frustrated.

Larry Robertson
88.5 Samurai-Under construction-always
90 Samurai-Under construction-always
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2001, 12:35 PM
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Re: Lesson for Vendors

It's true about shouting matches...I'm new to this list, but have been around other list for some time now and I know how things erupt. I have no interest in argueing with a vendor on the lists or boards. Anyone with common sense will see that any vendor who comes on a public forum and treats the people there badly, or gets into a shouting match has something to hide...the customer gains nothing by stating a scenario, and as long as he is truthful, there is nothing to argue about. If the vendor wants to defend him/herself, and has nothing to hide, then a civil response on line in the forum will do much more good to "restore" peoles fith in them than degrading the poster or getting into a shouting match. You get more flies with sugar than vinegar!
The vendors involved know who they are, and I do not know if they are on this list or not, if so they can respond if they want...they are not huge companies, and they were nice to knock some money off, they just need to work on communications with each other, and the customer. I want nothing more than to see the small companies prosper, maybe they can teach the older, bigger companies that the price gouging and bad customer service will not work any longer. We have choices now that we didn't have a few years ago, so get with the program, or suffer the consequences.
R/T

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2001, 01:03 PM
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Re: Lesson for Vendors

I also ordered a rebuild kit from Dave last week, but was told before hand that it probably wouldn't get out until he came back from Moab. He said he would try, but he doubted it would happen. I'm ok with that because I was informed before hand..I didn't have to call and ask him why I was waiting, I already knew. He was very helpful in my picking the route to go with my engine too. That's what's good about this forum, everyone can share experiences and everyone else can decide for themselves. Just think, if not for people sharing experiences, Ford and Firestone would still be killing people on the highways!
R/T

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2001, 01:22 PM
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Re: Lesson for Vendors

I am not new to wheeling but I am new to Zuki's, and I am interested in knowing who is giving bad service and who is giving good service. Please E-mail me offline and let me know. Thanks. I have 1 Zuki ready to wheel and will be building another before the year is out, and this may only be the beginning. Nothing I hate worse than getting taken or given crappy service.

I have ordered items from Tennessee Off-Road, not sure if they do Zuki stuff, and their springs were lost in shipment from Australia. They kept me informed all the time, which is all anyone could ask for. So while the springs did arrive late, I'd still recommend them to anyone, they're very nice. They've even contacted me after the sale to see how the springs worked and if I liked them. Very positive experience and I'll be buying from them again. Problems do happen from time to time, but there is no excuse for poor communication.

JEEPN
Winter Harbor, Maine
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2001, 03:49 PM
 
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Re: Lesson for Vendors

Well.......I ordered my rebuild kits on 3/15/01. When I called back on 3/26, he said he was going to ship on 3/27. Then when I sent him an email, he said that he'd forgot, but that he had shipped it. It has now been almost a month (will be this weekend) and still no kit, except for the rings that I got. I was understanding when he said his warehouse had moved the week that I ordered, and was now several miles away, I was ok with that. But he told me in his email that he had shipped the stuff before he went to Moab. I still don't have it.
I ordered from him because he is highly regarded by members of this group, and he is a small business, and I also believe that we should support them. However, the "big" guys that I ordered from, got my parts to me in less than a week.

Larry Robertson
88.5 Samurai-Under construction-always
90 Samurai-Under construction-always
Way too much horsepower is barely enough!
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2001, 05:15 PM
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Re: Lesson for Vendors

I had similar experience with a computer chip manufacture for a mustang that I was doing some on for a customer. We ordered a custom chip for this particular vehicle. After we received the chip and installed it, and completed the work, the car would not idle at all.
We called the chip company and asked them for some voltage values so that we could troubleshoot the computer. They asked us to send the chip back and they would test it. While on the phone with them they lookup our info and find out on the build sheet that they forgot to setup the idle circuits in that chip. They said that they would send us another chip next day air. While they waited for us to return the bad chip we would have to purchase the second chip and they would credit the our credit card after they received the bad chip. No problem, right!
So two days go by and no new chip, so we call them to find out where the new chip is. They ended up transposing our credit card number. Do you think they could have called to tell us? No! They had our phone number, when the hell were they going to call us? What if we didn't call them? Would they have ever called?
They knew that they transposed the number but didn't think to call. Duh!


Wayne


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post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-12-2001, 05:27 PM
mike shannon
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Re: Lesson for Vendors

i have built most everything on my zuk but i have delt with brent at trail tough. straight up guy and would do it again in a heart beat. i have also used tim at nco good guy with good prices. i have heard some horror stories about only one or two vendors i wont name them because they do offer a lot to this list. but i can vouch for the two i have used later mike

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