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Old 02-03-2018, 14:17   #16
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

I use AMAZON PRIME. Check I t out.
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Old 02-03-2018, 14:19   #17
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

I use AMAZON PRIME. Check it out.
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Old 02-03-2018, 14:44   #18
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

Never had a problem with Defender or Jamestown or even a couple of the flakier sounding ones. Ordered three-strand nylon from a small (probably one-man operation) shipped free but got a size smaller that I ordered. Took a picture of what he sent next to the actual 5/8 and my calipers opened to 5/8. Called him and emailed him the picture. He immediately sent the right stuff and told me to keep the wrong order as well.

If they don't ship free I only deal with companies that will ship US Postal Service Priority. Many larger outfits have negotiated rates with FedEx and UPS but charge you the rack rate and keep the difference. I also don't do business who make me joint their customer club with a password and logon ID. I don't have time for that crap. All they are doing is archiving your personal info so they can sell their customer lists for fun and profit.
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Old 02-03-2018, 14:51   #19
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by klawrence View Post
So I am new to buying marine stuff and have heard that service in general is lacking in this industry. I just had my first bad experience with an online shop.. just trying to get some rope and a fid kit.. I follow their policy and order two hours before their stated cutoff. They don't ship and have the gall to tell me I ordered two hours later than I did (pretty obvious if the guy would have just looked at the timestamp on the email I forwarded).

Where can I get expedient service, same day shipping, and fair shipping prices? This other one was about double what it should have been for USPS flat rate. As an owner of an online business, it really ticks me off when some behemoth established brand that supposedly has existed for EIGHTY YEARS doesn't have it's **** together and calls me a liar. Who deserves my money?
I always start with amazon and usually end there.
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Old 02-03-2018, 14:51   #20
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by klawrence View Post
So I am new to buying marine stuff and have heard that service in general is lacking in this industry. I just had my first bad experience with an online shop.. just trying to get some rope and a fid kit.. I follow their policy and order two hours before their stated cutoff. They don't ship and have the gall to tell me I ordered two hours later than I did (pretty obvious if the guy would have just looked at the timestamp on the email I forwarded).

Where can I get expedient service, same day shipping, and fair shipping prices? This other one was about double what it should have been for USPS flat rate. As an owner of an online business, it really ticks me off when some behemoth established brand that supposedly has existed for EIGHTY YEARS doesn't have it's **** together and calls me a liar. Who deserves my money?

To borrow from Lewis Black: “The Rant is Due”!

You are correct. Customer service in the marine industry in general is horrific.

In the past, I have bought a great deal of equipment at Defender and their stock availability, pricing and shipping were generally quite good.

However, their return policy and customer service have proven abysmal, for me at least, so much that they have pushed me back to West Marine. They are the “You bought it, you got it” option.

Comversely, I get free shipping to any WM store I am near to and they will take back any item at any time for any reason. I don't abuse that, but the couple of times I had a product failure they cheerfully took them back and I didnt have to fight with the manufacturer. Kudos!

At Defender last year, despite my careful questioning, I got what turned out to be really bad advice from the Simrad reps on site at their annual March sale. I took their advice and tried to corroborate it with the Defender electronics staff, but then NO one at Defender could be bothered to help me double check their recommendation. When the products didn't work and I had to spend hundreds on a different part, they didnt have my back and clearly showed they didn't care. Zero. Nothing but attitude.

Ok, I know how to play that game, And I am comfident I can play it a whole lot better than them!

Since they wouldn't help me out for a few hundred bucks for a bad purchase I made at their store dependent on the advice from the reps there, I moved $11k+ in purchases I would have certainly spent with Defender over to West. I buy almost nothing at Defender now and then only simple things that I wont possibly need any customer support for.

And Simrad is off my list as well.

All that said, I really try to support the smaller guys. Newport Nautical is great as is Ships Store and Rigging, both in RI. Not online catalog type ordering, but if you call them they are responsive and will get you almost anything at fair prices. Bacon Sails in Annapolis is great as well for
Sails and more.

Rant complete! Now back to the Blizzard here in Dublin!
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Old 02-03-2018, 15:34   #21
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

I just bought some fuel hoses from Discount Marine Supplies. The price was so low I thought it was a typo and the shipping fee was really reasonable. If they've got what you need you'll save a ton of money.

Discount Marine Supplies offers quality boating supplies & marine supplies for boaters and sailboat owners.
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:52   #22
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

Jeeze, sorry you had such a bad experience with Defender. I'm here in upstate NY and if I order on a Monday it's here by Wednesday with regular shipping. I've had a couple of returns over the years with no hassles. And no, I don't work for Defender. I felt West Marine priced themselves right out of the market back when they opened all their retail outlets.
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Old 05-03-2018, 08:56   #23
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

Thanks for the suggestions. So Vela screwed up too. told me it would ship on Friday when I placed the order at 10 AM (their time). Lo and Behold.. they did not ship on friday because they didn't have the fids in stock. Yet it was orderable with no "backordered" status. So they have no inventory control. Multiple warehouses and "some things ship from the manufacturer". What a mess.. I can understand why things are complicated, but if you allow yourself to grow bigger than your britches, through taking on debt or whatever else (making an assumption.. since that's how a lot of these places do it), that's your own damned fault.

Also, hah, I just placed the fids order on amazon :/ going to check out the other places mentioned for the rope. Well this has been a learning experience for sure.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:27   #24
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Lightbulb Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

From what I read here, I am reassured that no company can satisfy every need of every shopper, with unlimited inventory, at light-speed, with unlimited knowledge, daily technology updates, free shipping, with a smile and the ability to make strangers happy.

Amazon comes closest to this impossibility, but will NEVER be able to please EVERY requirement of EVERY personality.

Solution?
1) Order 1 of every replaceable part on your boat.
2) Build a warehouse to catalog and store these parts. (Insured)
3) Scratch your head , wondering if you paid tax, or shipping, or got pissed off by someone who didn't see in their crystal ball that you were having a bad day.
4) Wow! Find a sweet deal on a new boat! (Bought a new boat-no need for parts)
5) Sell all parts and warehouse online with upcharged price, tax, shipping, and take your sweet time fulfilling orders, because you're out sailing in your new boat.
6) Stage accidental fire that destroys warehouse. You just can't understand why your sales are nonexistant. (Maybe because you're a pain in the @$$ on the phone, and your website looks and acts like a sailor built it.)
7) Collect insurance payout.
8) Scratch your head , wondering if you'll ever be imprisoned for arson.
9) Sell your new boat. (need money for attorney, plus, you've found a sweet deal on a new boat) (Nah! Now all this crap has you disinterested in sailing altogether.)

Moral of the story: Choose your battles wisely, and for Pete's Sake, JUST SAIL!

Aarrrgh!
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:09   #25
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Re: Fast/reliable vendors that honor their shipping policy?

kl-
Even Amazon, with billions in technology, routinely screws up their shipping these days. It is an intentional failure as often as it is accidental. A lot of these systems are designed to be cost effective and the only way to do that is to say up front "On xx days every year we expect to be hopelessly overloaded and we will fail on that many days." And that's an acceptable target for them, pretty much all.

So you ask around, get recommendations, short lists of vendors who go the extra mile, and stick with the folks who try harder. Even though that frequently will mean paying more or having another compromise.

With shopping malls they talk about the "third worst case" for their parking lots. They want enough empty spots to accommodate customers almost all the time, but the expect that on two days (Thanksgiving and Xmas) they will simply not be able to handle the crowds, so they don't even try to have enough spots for those two days.

In some shops, whatever gets packed by "Pickup Time" ships. Others will pull employees off other tasks to meet that deadline, not everyone can or will. Some will stay late--and drop off the rest at a depot, even if that means someone has to make an overtime run. It all comes down to what they think will be most profitable in the long or short run.
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