If a problem crops up with a vendor, a part doesn’t fit or you are unhappy with it’s performance by all means open a dialogue with that vendor. Don’t let emotion rule your tone of voice if it’s on the phone, nor let insulting language happen if it’s the written word. Vendors here are people too. Most are small business owners who also love the same sport as you do. I know several vendors and the public in general can be difficult to deal with at times. Understand that your vendor might be having a bad day. We all have those. Vendors know you are having a bad day because you’re calling them with a problem. Understand too that sometimes employees can be dicks. I cannot tell you how many I’ve gone through because they don’t understand what “customer service” means. I’ve had issues with some of the very large and well known vendors here, and when revisiting a separate issue when I informed them I didn’t want to talk to employee X they often tell me he doesn’t work there any more. It takes a while but bosses can figure out if an employee isn’t working in the best interests of the customer.
Next, and this is important, is those who bypass first contact with a vendor and go off half cocked publicly on these forums. When you post that so and so sold me a broken/faulty/shitty product more often than not one of the first posts will be “Did you speak to the vendor?” If you didn’t, you can expect a whole bunch of us who have had great experiences from that vendor to defend them. Because what it looks like to us is that you are an immature jerk that couldn’t be bothered to handle the situation like an adult, so you went “grade school” and “tattled” to everyone at recess. There’s a time to go public here, and depending on the problem and the customer it can be sooner or later.
When the vendor shows up on the forum thread, and he will because someone will message him and tell him that there’s crying afoot, then discuss the issue like an adult. You have decided to take it public, so you now have to act to a better standard because now you’re being judged by the public. Frankly, I’d like to know I’m damn right before fronting a vendor out here. Additionally, when the vendor posts the first thing that 98% of them do is try to get to the bottom of the problem. Some problems are easy: my door skin doesn’t fit cuz the screw holes are off. Easy fix, send new panel. I’ve seen that exact issue happen. It was taken care of quickly. Not as quickly as doing it in private though. Then there are other issues that have to do with parts breaking and allegations that said part is junk. I won’t go into details, lets just say this happened recently and in that particular case there could be other factors involved, including something out of spec on the complainer’s machine. Said complainer didn’t want to work with the vendor, just wanted a new part. There was a warranty so that very well could have been the case. However, said vendor tried to help customer troubleshoot to make sure there wasn’t a problem with moving parts being out of spec. Because sending another part into the same situation would most likely result in another broken part. This particular vendor is amazing when it comes to customer service. I’ve spent more time on the phone with him than he should have when it came to the cost of the parts I bought from him. But the guy really loves his job and this community so he does it because he understands what customer service is.
Needless to say the thread got heated and ultimately closed. So what did posting publicly actually do, when it was the first response of the customer? Absolutely nothing but piss him off. I know, I got a shitty message from the guy because somehow the thread being closed is my fault. LOL Can’t win with some people. The point I’m trying to make with all of this is just use some common sense, some courtesy and a calm demeanor and you more often than not will get your issue solved expediently. Vendors that have the “F the customer” attitude don’t last long here.