12 Jan 2011

Surprise, another vendor rant!

12/01/10: Ordered the amber taillights, dome light, and a couple white interior lights, and was told by the owner, “These’ll go out today.” I did not ask when they’d ship, he volunteered the information.
12/20/10: Receiving nothing, and their website showed it hadn’t shipped, wrote polite e-mail requesting status.
12/31/10: No product or e-mail received, wrote another polite e-mail requesting status.
01/05/11: Received nothing, wrote <em>another</em> polite e-mail requesting status.
01/07/11; Received nothing, left voice message.
01/09/11; Received nothing, left another voice message.
01/11/11; Heard nothing, left voice message saying if I heard nothing, I’d cancel order via credit card.
01/12/11; Received nothing, heard nothing, called again, owner picks up phone.
Me: Hi, I’d like to know my order status please. I’ve sent three e-mails and several voice messages.
Him: I don’t have any record of your e-mails or messages, but we just got these in and they’ll go out today.
Me: When I ordered these back on December 1, that’s exactly what you said then, that they’ll “go out today.”
Him: Well, I have them in stock and they’ll go out today. I need your credit card info again because our server deletes it after 30 days.
Me: When were you planning to call and ask for my credit card information?
Him: Well I have your information now so these can go out today.
Me: So when I check your website for order status this evening, I’ll see the UPS tracking number, correct?
Him: Yes.

I’ll give this until 8 pm (two hours from now) before I call my credit card company. Canceling this is going to suck because I really wanted the clear-lens look for all the taillights, but I’m not sure which is worse, being blatantly lied to or never receiving anything. He doesn’t even have the excuse of not knowing status or not knowing what the boss/owner is doing – he <em>is</em> the owner. This reminds me of a car salesman who asks what color car you want and you say “black”, and then he says, “we have an orange one here…” Are you not hearing me? On the other hand, the passive/aggressive part of me would take a bit of pleasure in knowing he’ll be screwed out of profiting off me with that behavior if he ship’s later than when he promised.

Is it really that hard to be a good business owner – real life says yes it is. Why is it so very rare to find a business that’s on the ball, straight forward, honest, and up-front? Do these people go into business with the best of intentions, then have their morals and ethics worn down over time, ending up like this guy? Or do they go into business with this weasel attitude right from the start? I don’t know, but an awful lot of businesses operate just like this bozo, stringing customers along by saying whatever it takes until the parts eventually come in. I didn’t demand that the parts ship now, I simply wanted to know an estimate of when they’ll ship. This is extremely frustrating, and it was hard to not lose my temper with him, but that wouldn’t solve anything. There’s a saying that goes something like, “It’s not what people do to you that’s important, but how you react that matters.”  I’ll just have to find what I’m looking for elsewhere.