IEWC Post Vendor Blues
After (2) weeks of trying to Salvage this relationship since 1999... I finally had to pull the plug on this vendor. Up until Now, this vendor had an unblemished record of service supporting our needs. But something changed drastically in April of 2006 that Erased all that Good Service History forever.
Before I discharged this vendor, I had to first receive what was due to deliver in order for me to service my customers. Therefore, I felt compelled to inform my top (2) customers waiting on their orders and this is what I wrote on May 6, 2006...
On Monday, April the 24th, I was expecting (2) shipments of wire to be at my door... it never came. Over the weekend prior, I had released your shipments because they only lacked (1) panel wire to be completed. Later that Monday late afternoon when I found still nothing at my door, I contacted my sales representative with one simple question, "Wassup?".
My Rep replied, "Ahhh... we have a problem from our Accounting Dept...". Prior to this conversation, I have placed (2) separate orders and I had been waiting (2) weeks for delivery. The week of April 17th I placed my second order and inquired about my first order. My Rep told me he thought that he had made a mistake and not checked off a box on his computer screen. Forgiven, I waited over the weekend for both orders to arrive together on the following Monday, April the 24th.
After waiting patiently that Monday for my UPS delivery man that never came... it was time to turn up the pressure.
According to my Reps story, an order I had placed & received (4) weeks prior failed EFT to my Debit Card and the Accounting Dept put a hold on my account until the issue was resolved. Sounds proper-- no more orders until this order is paid, right? Wrong, remember I had placed (2) additional orders and that my Rep never knew there was a problem with my account status; therefore, neither did I. Plus, my orders were sitting ready for shipping on the floor of the warehouse with a Big Red tag on them, "Don't Ship!".
At this point, I am perturbed-- "this is no way to run a Railroad"... as we used to say in Management 101. Somebody had dropped the Ball with the Customer and I was determined to find out Who & What You are going to Do About It. So, I took in all the information my Rep told me and told him to hang tight... that I would get back to him later.
I then proceeded to research my vendor on the Net... tell me who are the mgmt players and I made a series of calls.
Call #1 was to the Sales Mgr-- not in. Call #2 was to the VP of Sales-- not in either. My final & last call was to the #1 man on the scene... the President-- not in, but left a message anyway. While I was out running errands, I missed his call and tried to get back in touch with him-- not in, left another message and waited. He called me the next morning.
We started off with a cordial conversation as expected and finally got into the issue. I got him to agree that he had procedural problems and I would appreciate it if he would allow me to pay & release my account and that he would look into the matter and come up with some recommendations. He gave me the Accounting Mgrs direct phone and that he would assist me with my payment. I called him and he took my information over the phone and assured me that the payment would be posted by mid afternoon that day. I also, took the opportunity to ask his side of the story which he admantly stood his ground and said that it wasn't his problem. Fine, "Goodbye.".
Next, I called my Rep and asked him if he had been interviewed by the President and said he had and he thought I was after his neck. I carefully informed him that that wasn't the case and educated him on what my intentions were. He felt much better and I relayed to him what the accounting Mgr had told me-- that he didn't like at all. So, I suggested that he contact his Sales Mgr and find out if he was comfortable that his Dept was gonna wear this one. A Complete day wasted and no notification about my account status.
The next morning, which was this last Friday, I contacted my Rep to check on the status. He told me all was well and the accounting dept had cleared my account status earlier that morning-- I must not have ben on their priority list yesterday... I thought to myself. Oh, well...
Anyway, I said to him I expect that that (1) critical wire I needed be shipped 2nd day air to complete your orders. He told me, "Taken care of". It's Saturday morning and lets keep our fingers crossed.
Once I receive the rest of my orders, I plan on crafting a nice email to the President with my thoughts... and maybe your thoughts as well. Last week I wanted to replace them. This morning I'm not sure if that is prudent at this time.
What's your thoughts on the keeping or replacing this vendor? ... I do have a competitor replacement waiting in the wings :-)
I'm Sorry about the Wait, but I wanted to inform you of the facts.
And the Saga continues with this Update I sent on May 10, 2006...
I have been promised, once again, delivery of my wire by IEWC today, Wednesday 10, 2006. This past Saturday, Sunday, Monday, & Tuesday-- have been 4 days wasted. When & If this delivery happens I will make a formal announcement on our Website that we have replaced IEWC with their competitor (& former Salesman) down the road at Allied Wire & Cable.
Please visit their website at www.awcwire.com... and hopefully, they will continue to meet our future expectations.
Additionally, our Sales contact is the Manager there South Carolina, and Craig was our original 'wire guy' back in 2002 when my father started this as a Hobby. Craig Smith is also a recent customer of AAW. Craig owns a 1971 Spitfire Mark IV.
Craig looks forward to our expansion efforts & he is excited to help us get there anyway he can. I look forward to working with Craig very soon.
On Wednesday 10th it was 4th Down & 1 Yard on the Goal Line. They Ran the Ball and Fumbled... that UPS Express 2nd day air shipment I asked for the prior Saturday shows up at my door. I Cheered & Jump along the sidelines! Then I opened the box to examine the contents which is when I discovered the fumble... 16 gauge black--- not 14 gauge Purple/Yellow. I just left it on the floor and walked away... it would be another day or two of waiting.
The next morning one of my top customers that I will call "Bennie" inquired about the current status of his order and I relay this much to him,
How about this week, if I get the rest today or tomorrow? Morons... I received (1) box today & the wrong box of wire. I wanted Purple/Yellow sent 2nd day air -- instead I got Black sent 2nd day air... hopeless. They must have a Elmer's glue problem over there.
I attached the email I sent this morning about our vendor issue ;-)
(send attachment due to the fact his office email was different from his order email)
Sure enough the next day, Thursday 11th, I received a bunch of heavy wire spools. I located my Purple/Yellow spool and haul it downstairs to the basement laboratory, pulled (2) runs, & continued the Production Line.
Friday morning I emailed Bennie this,
Is that Cell # good?
The Wire came in... I will have your order done today. What's your schedule today or tomorrow to hand deliver your kit to you?
Bad to worse... morons charged my order to the wrong bank account & blew it up... I'm getting tired of babysitting these folks.
So now, I'm forced to jump hoops & hurdles-- just trying to catch up... Somewhere.
Bennie takes off work early and I'm testing & doing this and that-- waiting for my Son's school bus to arrive at around 3pm. I call Bennie a couple of times to update my ETA. I'm shooting for 4pm to meet with Bennie 30-45 minutes away at best... and Brave the Friday Rush Hour across the Pond over to another Busy Pond for my Son's soccer practice at 5:30pm. Do you think it's gonna work?
Four becomes 4:30pm and I call Bennie to see if we can reschedule... Bennie tells me the "Heck with It, Just throw it in the Mail", and lets me off the hook. Thanks, Bennie :p)
It only gets better from here on...
The first of the week I work on the 2nd top Customer's order on the FIFO list and get that out the door too... and then I discovered some more bad news: the other spools of wire were mixed up & (2) duplicated-- I now have 2,000 feet of Light Green/Red instead of 1,000 feet of that plus 1,000 of Green/Red. Where's my 8 gauge Yellow wire? Oh No!!!!
On Friday the 19th I learned something that I would not care to learn: It cost them a $109 to 2nd day air my special request. How do I know that? They Charged that Too on my already Blown-up Bank Account. I dreaded to pick up the phone and hear that Static on the other End... But I did.
I instructed the salesman to contact their Accounts Receivable Gal that posts the Credit Card orders to perform this very simple feat: Reverse the charges from the Blown-up Bank account and apply ONLY the proper charge minus the $109 to my PayPal account and I could live with that. Oh, not a problem-- I'll call you right back! He never called back...
More to Come.