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Woody MegaDork
10/15/19 12:16 p.m.


"Name three businesses that are making it hard for me to give them my money."


*Special note to the people at Honda:

Yesterday was Columbus Day, and both the wife and I had the whole day off. Doesn't happen often. Her low mileage Accord is clean and paid off. I contacted you through two different routes on your website. You had all day to call me back.  You really dropped the ball.

Woody MegaDork
10/15/19 12:23 p.m.

I have been waiting a month to hear back from four different places that claim to sell car lifts. I used the "Contact Us" links on their web pages.

Woody MegaDork
10/15/19 12:28 p.m.

Me to multiple places that sell firefighting boots:


"I currently have to wear these $400 boots for work, but I'm thinking about getting these other $400 boots. Do you have any in stock that I can try on?"


"No. They are all special order."

"How long will it take?"

"Seven weeks."

"What happens if I order them and they don't fit?"

"There is a 30% restocking fee."



1988RedT2 UltimaDork
10/15/19 1:20 p.m.


NickD PowerDork
10/15/19 1:52 p.m.

I've been considering making a thread I was going to call "Why don't businesses want to do business?" about a similar subject, because myself and my family have had these kinds of issues.

Example 1: I really need better seats and harnesses in my Miata, and I really liked the Car Make Corn's seats because they are designed to fit a Miata and seem less likely to destroy my spine than Kirkeys. But they are out of stock. I've sent multiple e-mails over the course of 3 months trying to know when or if they will be out of stock. I have nver gotten a single response, not even a "We don't know" or an automated "Thank you for contacting us, we'll respond in 3-5 business days." Sorry that I'm trying to give you money, won't happen again.

Example 2: My parents need a couch for their house, and have an old Harden's couch that has some really ugly upholstery that is worn out, so they wanted it reupholstered. A guy has an article in the newspaper, where he worked for Harden's until their implosion a year ago and has started his own upholstery business. They contact him by e-mail, he's psyched to work on an old Harden's frame, and wants to know when they can bring it over to look at fabrics and get an estimate. My father replies back asking if, say, next Thursday is good. The guy never responds, he has sent several more e-mails and tried to call and gotten no response. Okay, guess you don't want your business to take off.

Example 3: My sister and her husband needed a new septic system installed, because the leech fields were all screwed up. They had a blueprint made up in advance and e-mailed it to several different septic companies and most would never answer back to even say "Sorry, we're too busy" or "That's too far away for us" or "That doesn't look like a project we want to take on." One said "We need to come out and make a blueprint, that'll cost $300", to which they responded "The town made a blueprint and we sent it in our first e-mail." and never got a reply. Another acted interested, said they would send somebody out in September (this was in July) to look the site over firsthand. Nobody ever came and every time they called or e-mailed they never got a response. Finally someone did accept the job and show up and do it like they were supposed to, but they must have burned through a dozen companies before hand.

nutherjrfan UberDork
10/15/19 2:11 p.m.

Detroit axle.  Fine.  I'll buy hubs from SKF then.  no

bmw88rider UltraDork
10/15/19 2:21 p.m.

Most contractors. They will come over and take the time to talk to you and get your information and then never send the estimate. 

I once had a Mazda dealer go out take us on a test drive for a Mazda 6. My wife was giving all of the buying signals and we really enjoyed the car. Got back to the dealership and I was ready to work up a deal. The sales guy just walked away and left us standing next to the car. After a few minutes of just waiting there, We left. Went down to the ford dealer and ended up with a Fusion that afternoon. 

Woody MegaDork
10/15/19 2:23 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

When I was building my house, I needed to present all my expected costs to the bank in order to get the construction mortgage and buy the land. There was a guy who was a year older than me who lived a quarter mile from the site. I went to high school with both he and his wife and he was just starting his own excavation business. I gave her a set of blueprints during the winter and asked her to have him give me an estimate to do the foundation and septic system. I waited and waited, but never heard back, even after a few follow up calls. Nothing. I signed a contract with someone else and submitted it to the bank for my mortgage. Just before we were about to break ground, I finally got an estimate in the mail. It was a fair price, but it was too late.

What he didn't know was that I wasn't even going to shop him on the price. He was a young guy that I knew, who was trying to establish a business in our hometown. I was just going to hand him the job. But he took forever to get back to me and I had to do something else.

I ran into his wife a couple of years later. I explained the situation and said that I hope that they didn't just think that I had them do all that work (the estimate) and then just blew them off, but I needed to get the project moving.

It was a $28,000 job and would have taken him three weeks. He could have walked to the job site from his house.

She said that he had been snowmobiling all winter.

dculberson MegaDork
10/15/19 3:56 p.m.

So, so many similar experiences. The only reasonable conclusion I can come to is: some people just don't like to make money.

grover HalfDork
10/15/19 4:01 p.m.

This stuff drives me nuts.  My wife and I have had a business for more than 10 years, and it's been successful.  I'm not great at seo and we're more expensive than most, and yet we've thrived.  The industry booking average is somewhere around 1%, we've consistently been around 25%.  Why? Because I generally answer emails in an hour and I call people back.  It's not that difficult.  Hire someone for $10 an hour just to respond to your emails! 

Ok, I'm getting off my soapbox now.  

JimS Reader
10/15/19 4:20 p.m.

Bought a new Q5. First thing in morning called to make an appointment  for first oil change. Receptionist said lines busy she would leave call back message. At end of day I had to call them because they never called back. Guy says sorry didn't get message. Not unusual. 

New PCA member tells me he does tree work in my area. Decide to give him some business so we call to have him check out all our trees. Leave messages and send emails and get no response. Few weeks later see him at a meeting and he says nothing so I don't say anything either. Don't understand how these guys survive. 

Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
10/15/19 4:28 p.m.
grover said:

Because I generally answer emails in an hour and I call people back. 

I sometimes train younger sales guys.  

Answer your phone.  

Show up.

Quickly reply to what the customer needs. 

Have a sense of urgency.

I'm bragging some but a division of Caterpillar awarded our location a "Most Responsive Vendor" award a few years ago.  Me being hyper helped my income a lot. 

ShawnG PowerDork
10/15/19 4:30 p.m.

My first boss: "If three people in one day come in here asking to buy dog crap, guess what I'll start selling the next day?"

My third boss: "Never, EVER make it difficult for someone to give you money." 

wearymicrobe UberDork
10/15/19 4:56 p.m.

Just spent almost a month getting a tech out to do a 11K repair on an instrument that cost them travel and 700$ in parts. I had them complain that I was being to much trouble because I wanted them out ASAP. Its a 11K repair get your tech in a truck and get your butt down here and fix this thing. 

mad_machine MegaDork
10/15/19 5:03 p.m.

I went through this with my 14 foot sailboat. Being built in 1964 she had a lot of bronze on her. Trying to get the few companies out there that work in marine bronze to even respond to an email or a phone call would make me pull out what hair I have left.  The guy who got the work done took two months because he was so overloaded with work.. I wonder why?

einy HalfDork
10/15/19 5:03 p.m.

What is a 11k repair?

Knurled. MegaDork
10/15/19 6:13 p.m.
einy said:

What is a 11k repair?

Replacing the engine in a Subaru Baja, apparently, if you are steadfast in insisting on only replacing assemblies.  And used EJ255s simply do not exist, let alone used EJ255s with a warranty.   So, reman engine, new turbocharger, new oil cooler, new oil pan, etc.  Don't take the chance of reusing those from an engine that looks like a glitterbomb went off inside.


We can get a new shortblock from Subaru, new heads from Subaru, and a gasket kit/head bolts, for less than the rebuilders want for a warrantied reman engine.  I am pushing for this route because I have had bad luck with remans in the past, and worse luck with getting warranty claims dealt with, and new may mean Never Ever Worked but in this case, I'll take the chance.

irish44j MegaDork
10/15/19 7:10 p.m.

Sounds like a good quarter of the people selling cars on CL or Marketplace. Send a message asking a few basic questions, no response. Follow up a week later, no response. Car still listed. Do they really not want to sell it so much that they won't answer basic questions like "is it manual or automatic?" Why even bother posting it if you're not going to reply. If you're checking my FB profile to see if I look sketchy, I don't look sketchy and I'm clearly not a scammer. IDK, I don't get some people. i list somthing and get 6 emails, I answer all 6 in order, as soon as I see them........

AnthonyGS Dork
10/15/19 9:19 p.m.

I always walk away from these businesses and go elsewhere.  This is exactly why Amazon got so much marketshare so fast.  The best customer service I've recieved in a long time was from GRM.    

wearymicrobe UberDork
10/15/19 9:54 p.m.
einy said:

What is a 11k repair?

Ultracentrofuge repair. Not exactly in the mood to repair something that spins up to around 100,000g.

Cotton PowerDork
10/15/19 10:58 p.m.

In reply to Woody :

I bought my Bendpack four post from auto body toolmart.  Really great communication.  I'm thinking about buying two more for additional parking and will use them again.

DirtyBird222 UberDork
10/15/19 11:29 p.m.

All Honda dealers seem like they don't want to take your money. It's surprises me how so many of them do business. 

neverdone New Reader
10/15/19 11:44 p.m.

In reply to Woody :

You need a different vendor.  Ours brings the boots to the station for fitting.

Woody MegaDork
10/16/19 4:50 a.m.
neverdone said:

In reply to Woody :

You need a different vendor.  Ours brings the boots to the station for fitting.

That only happens one day each year, right in the middle of prime vacation time, and they don't bring everything in every size. My current boots (eight years old) just seemed to fail very rapidly, like within a week or two.

MrChaos Dork
10/16/19 5:46 a.m.
DirtyBird222 said:

All Honda dealers seem like they don't want to take your money. It's surprises me how so many of them do business. 

the local honda dealer here is the same way.  The Combo Acura/Mazda dealer in a larger city near us sees so much business from our city they are amazed.

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