Supplier Customer Service issues

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by mozilla, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. mozilla

    mozilla Squier-Meister

    303
    Jun 10, 2020
    Austin Texas
    Hey all,
    many of you may know I love getting good deals...and try to pass along info on suppliers that take good care of us and have sales.

    I've tried a few lately...and have run into two that blatantly didn't want to back up their products or services. It should be said....I don't get rude or outrageous with anyone about customer service....that's just not me. I try and respect people...but, do ask for a fair and responsible company effort.

    The two poor results are from Philadelphia Luthier and Bostac flashlights.

    Bostac makes good flashlights (in China), but, their packaging and descriptions of items within the packaging differ from what is sent. Instead of sending the missing pieces...they want you to ship the flashlight back to them on your own dime....then they will send you a less expensive model for the exchange. So, you lose out on shipping and you lose out on the value of the original product. Not a good deal by my math. After many emails....they still refused to help in any other way. Not too cool in my book.

    My most recent issue was with Philadelphia Luthier. I bought $55 worth of parts and pieces...and received their 4th of July 10% discount and free shipping for spending over $50. The order was placed on Saturday....didn't ship till Monday following. As per the tracking from USPS....the package was never fully accepted by the post office and sat in Philly. Now, that has happened in the past to stuff being shipped and usually isn't a big deal...since, as soon as the package hits the next stop...it will be scanned and show up again on tracking. But.....it never was scanned again, and still isn't scanned over two weeks later. I sent PL a message that first week...and they told me the package was sent and on its way...not to worry. I kept in contact with PL and updated that the package still wasn't moving in the system about every two days or so. Was told that if it wasn't delivered by July 21st that they would resend my goods. Well, I haven't been a jerk or sent unkind emails....so, i feel i have been pretty patient about this 2 week wait. ....I asked Kenny, the owner, for a bump in my discount or 2 switchcraft input/output jacks for my trouble. The owner flat out refused to do anything for me what so ever and blamed the USPS and the fact that the package wasn't insured and he is losing money to replace the order. Both the decisions to use USPS and not insuring packages are his own decisions.

    Now a bump in discount would cost him $4.40....2 switchcraft jacks would probably run him 2 to 4 dollars. When he acted like that was too much for me to ask for...I also added in...he could just cancel my order and lose my business for life.....if that was too much for him to shell out. So, he decided to cancel my order and lose my business.

    Hard for me to believe that a store would rather lose a customer plus a $44 order over less than $5 dollars of compensation. Can't really see how someone could stay in business with such poor customer service and business decisions.

    I don't recommend Philadelphia Luthier or BosTac for customer service.

    The other side of the coin....
    Ordered some stuff off of Amazon from some Chinese companies....
    One set of concentric knobs didn't fit....was probably my fault for not measuring better or looking harder at the dimensions of the unit. But, when I asked for a refund....they not only refunded me...but, didn't even ask for the product to be sent back.
    Second one....tools were pretty good, but, had some sharp edges to the metal of the unit. Still worked well...and after some light sanding....worked and felt perfect. So, in all pretty happy. But, after writing a review...about the experience and how easy it was to fix the problem....the company sent me a completely new set of tools for free.

    So, why are the Chinese taking better care of the US buyers than the US companies do?? Most of the items are made in China either way....but, the Chinese will go out of their way to keep us satisfied. Strange!
     
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  2. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    As a guy who ships products to customers daily, I can see both sides of your problems. COVID has caused big shipping delays to my overseas customers. When this first started happening I was not aware that it would so I didn't warn my customers, and a couple of them waited 6 or 8 weeks for their delivery. They apparently blamed me and forced me to issue refunds. One item eventually got there and I was paid for it, minus two PayPal fees. That guy questioned the shipping cost before he paid me, asking "but you got a refund on the shipping, didn't you?". I had to explain to him that not only had I not been refunded by the Post Office, they hadn't even responded to my inquiry about the late package. The other customer didn't want it when it got there and refused delivery. That one hasn't gotten back to me yet, and may never, so I'm out $50 in parts and a couple hours of labor.

    It does seem like the seller always gets the blame for delivery problems and is expected to absorb all the cost. I understand that point of view, but if a customer asked for perks on top of that it might make me a bit short with him too.

    Now if I forgot to ship an order and the delay was my fault, I'd probably volunteer some sort of compensation to keep a good relationship with my customer.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
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  3. Ken Rose

    Ken Rose Squier-holic

    Sep 23, 2010
    Northern California
    Its tough going, especially right now. I have had many issues with USPS but their prices are still better than UPS and FedEx so I have to take the gamble. USPS' local annex is an absolute PIA, and they dont care when they process. So I have to hear it from my customers and I can't do anything about it. Some want free stuff, most are VERY understanding. Some threaten to never use my pickups again because I can't simply eat the cost while I know their pickup will show up at some point that is out of my hands. With that being said. I have suppliers mostly here in the States, including Philly Luthier and have had zero issue with them. Even bigger sites like Mojo and Rochester haven't been too bad when I need them for a some parts.
     
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  4. mozilla

    mozilla Squier-Meister

    303
    Jun 10, 2020
    Austin Texas
    Ken at Philly Luth never got short...and I never got short with him. We were both calm and cool. So, that part is good.
    I didn't blame him personally for the issue....but, do feel that if he has seen issues...that he may need to change services to one that would guarantee delivery and refund charges on lost packages. That is his responsibility. Or, he should be insuring the packages if he is having issues with the USPS. In regards to that...I would be in the dark and wouldn't know of this issues on the front end.

    I think we can all agree that a customer deserves their products, right?
    I ordered parts from Dragon in Oregon about 4 days after my order with Philly Luth. and received those items over a week ago. So, it is hard for me to gauge what exactly the problem is with the USPS.

    I respect the sides of the story y'all shared...and it sounds like there have been problems happening with shipping. If Ken at Philly Luth had some idea that this might happen...I would expect him to put a notice on his site...or just switch over to a different shipper for the short term. At the very least....update the consumer and give options to help...on the front end.
     
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  5. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    All shippers make it difficult to get refunds for lost or damaged packages. You have to spend so much time making phone calls, sending photos, and proving you really have a problem that's their fault, that it tends to make you take the risk yourself, rather than pay what is a fairly high charge for this "insurance", and then have to fight to get reimbursed. A friend used to make his living parting out vintage drum sets. One time I was around when UPS had damaged something he shipped. He had to tell a UPS phone rep that he was going to keep bothering them until the matter was resolved, no matter how long it took. He got it resolved, but that's the kind of persistence that's needed.

    Overall I have had excellent service from the USPS for the last 12 years I've been using them for my business shipping. But now they and many other companies are having trouble adapting to the current problems.
     
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  6. Ken Rose

    Ken Rose Squier-holic

    Sep 23, 2010
    Northern California
    Totally understand. I'm learning this myself. I have gotten some good suggestions from Customers about when and how to mass email those who have ordered to let them know what is happening and not leave them wondering, Im trying to figure out a mass email option on Square Space but I am not finding this option. I've been letting customers know every 9 orders or so that they are in process, but that doesn't mean too much if suppliers are lagging on their end. I think there is some comfort and extra time given by the customer as long as they are in the loop. And YES, a customer definitely deserves full cooperation as well as their product or a refund. Outside of that, it would be hard to eat more cost. I have a customer in Europe and his pickup simply havent left Customs yet, for a couple of weeks now. I feel bad but I can't really do anything from my end. USPS insurance is non existent, and of course he hasnt received his parts yet. It's lose lose for the seller, and possibly win win for the customer. It sucks sometimes.
     
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  7. Ken Rose

    Ken Rose Squier-holic

    Sep 23, 2010
    Northern California
    This is all factual for me. Everything is just harder right now, for everyone. I don't even follow up on claims, because truth be told, it it's not getting resolved through USPS..EVER. At the very least, as the customer, if through paypal, you can file your claim and it will automatically deduct that money for the customer. This is how I used to get scammed from 1 countrys' folks in particular, since through Paypal, the merchant is guilty until proved innocent. And that's why international shipping is expensive for Rose now, as it makes it harder to file fraudulent claims with a tracking number, and not just a Customs 1st class tracking number.
     
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  8. mozilla

    mozilla Squier-Meister

    303
    Jun 10, 2020
    Austin Texas
    I wasn't aware of the insurance problem with shipping.

    If the USPS is having many issues right now....I would certainly appreciate knowing this as I search the website of the seller. And, it would help me make a decision on changing the shipping method. And...if the seller knows ahead of time that the USPS is having more trouble than normal...how about pulling them from the options even if it costs more for a different method? ...just a few ideas to help ease the situation and avoid customer unrealistic expectations.

    How long should a customer wait on an expected package? When should that customer contact the seller? And after contacting....how long should the customer give for the items to arrive?

    Thanks to all of you for discussing this.
     
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  9. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    That's happening daily for me. The package sits in customs at the receiving country for weeks... sometimes many weeks. Customers ask me to "see if I can do something from my end". I've been told by the USPS that once a package gets to customs in the other country, it is totally out of their hands and is considered to be delivered! Remember that if you pay for something like Express Mail that's guaranteed to be delivered in a certain time. For shipping outside the US that means it's guaranteed to get to the customs office in that time!
     
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  10. SoundDesign

    SoundDesign Squier-holic

    As a customer, I've had packages go into "the system" and bounce around awhile. It's unfortunate but there's not a lot you can do. The wait period to reship reflects the reality that often times, these missing packages do get where they're going safe and sound.

    Looking at this from "the other side of the fence", you bought $50 worth of stuff that ran into a shipping issue. You emailed him every other day about it. When he reached the date he committed to and was ready to eat the first $50 and send you another $50 package (eating the shipping again) you asked for another $4 and threatened to end your "relationship" with him permanently. Is that about right?
     
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  11. mozilla

    mozilla Squier-Meister

    303
    Jun 10, 2020
    Austin Texas
    After the original email that tracking wasn't working....I waited a bit for the package to arrive. Then, would update with an email...simply stating that nothing had arrived yet. I waited patiently for the date that Ken asked for me to wait for without emailing him again(4-5 days)....Not having any idea that there were existing delivery issues, since other packages were arriving on time.
    Then yes, I asked for a small discount or $3-4 in parts for my patients.
    He deferred the problem to the USPS....and never mentioned that he was having any issues with any other deliveries.
    I am not a seller....and didn't know of any USPS problems.
    I didn't feel like Ken was taking this problem seriously.
    It wasn't my choice to use the USPS.
    Ken had a sale...and offered free shipping to those who spent a certain amount. To which I fulfilled my end of the deal. Should I not expect my package in the normal amount of time I normally get my deliveries? If it is really late or doesn't show up at all....Am I not allowed to ask for something to appease my sense of right and wrong?

    edit:
    I worked food and beverage for many years. If someones food shows up really late or there is even the slightest thing wrong with it....it was comp'd without question. When I worked retail clothing....if there was a blemish on an item....it would always be discounted. When I worked in the furniture biz....orders that didn't show up to the store on time....were often discounted if the customer asked. That's the kind of customer service I am used to. It is not uncommon.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
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  12. SoundDesign

    SoundDesign Squier-holic

    You are and you did.
     
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  13. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Squier-Meister

    Age:
    38
    176
    Jan 28, 2020
    Shreveport, LA
    No one has guaranteed delivery dates right now. Even my 2 day Amazon packages have taken 3 and 4 days sometimes.

    Asking for compensation was too much, IMO. You should've been on USPS about that. Not him. Nothing in that, was his fault. He fulfilled his end. He gave you free shipping and a discount that he advertised.


    Has something similar happen with Musician's Friend. All I asked was that they resend the order because it was obviously lost after being missing for 2 weeks. So they did. I got it the day after the first order arrived. Which was about 6 days after the 2nd order was sent out. At this point it had been 20 days since the 1dt package was sent. It arrived on day 21. Package 2 arrived on day 22(or day 6 of its trip from MF. Sent out on a Thursday and I got it the next Wednesday)

    So I call MF to ask how to ship back the 1st, cancelled order and they said keep it. It was only a $15 cable but still.

    That wasn't their fault. They fulfilled their end. And I shouldnt expect anything extra from them because USPS screwed up. Thinking anything else is just plain illogical.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020 at 3:45 AM
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  14. DougMen

    DougMen Squier-holic

    Age:
    66
    Jun 8, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    I get great service from MF. As you all know, I'm often complaining about being gouged for shipping because I'm in Hawaii, and I know for a fact that any company that ships a lot gets bulk rates that are much lower than you and I get as individuals. I've bought 3 low end Squiers from MF lately, and on all of them I got UPS two day air for $32! That's a lot less than any other dealer would charge me, including SW, who would charge me more for slower service. And, now that Amazon is an actual Fender/Squier dealer, not just a sales agent for third party Fender dealers, I could get free shipping on any guitar or amp that they have in stock, since they offer free shipping on anything over $25, but it wouldn't get to me nearly as quickly.
     
  15. mozilla

    mozilla Squier-Meister

    303
    Jun 10, 2020
    Austin Texas
    I appreciate your opinion, but I disagree.
    I feel the seller knew in advance he was having issues with the USPS. And, if he knew in advance....he shouldn't be using their services till things get fixed.
    Still after a month...there is no movement in the tracking of this package.
    Other packages I have ordered....that used USPS arrived on time.
    My request for appeasement was under $5. I don't feel that was too much to ask. You received a $15 appeasement....and that didn't seem to bother you.
     
  16. drewcp

    drewcp Squier-holic

    Age:
    36
    Dec 14, 2018
    Saint Paul, MN
    I don't think it is the responsibility of the merchant to keep track of carrier shipping issues and delays. Advertising any such potential problems could deter sales.

    Almost everything from everywhere is shipping slower right now. If I am ordering anything that will be shipped via 3rd party, I always adjust my expectations accordingly.

    Using USPS as an example, I almost never expect my delivery in less than two weeks. Because of the world right now, I try to not expect anything for 3 weeks from the post office.

    I also don't blame the merchant or contact them about delays before I have contacted the carrier.
     
  17. DougMen

    DougMen Squier-holic

    Age:
    66
    Jun 8, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    This may get me in trouble, or even get me banned, but I don't care. USPS is suffering right now, and it's all being done intentionally. I can't say any more than that, because it's too political, but that's the truth of the matter.
     
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