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Re: Smart parts purchasing problems.

4/21/2000 11:22 PM
Tom Wendlandt Smart Parts
Re: Smart parts purchasing problems.
Dear Mr. Abbot and anyone else reading this message:  
The Blonde Bassman 2x12 cabinet has not been made for over 20 years, and unfortunately is not part of the current Fender reissue line. The screws we sent Mr. Abbot are the only ones currently available from Fender and fit many of the older cabinets. Unfortunately, some versions have a larger screw with a ring washer which has not been available for many years. Apparently there was a miscommunication during the initial order, as we certainly try to send our many customers the right parts the first time.  
We have communicated with Mr. Abbot regarding our search for the screws he is looking for, but to this point we have not found them. Even the two companies which build vintage reproduction cabinets use the screw we sent Mr. Abbot since they can't find the less common larger screw with ring washer either.  
Since it appears that we are being publicly criticized for not responding fast ennough in our search for this item, I offer Mr. Abbot a refund in full for the incorrect screws, he can keep the worng screws, and we'll contact him IF AND WHEN we locate the item he is looking for. This is certainly not "Lip service at best". I have been in this business for over 25 years and I work 55-65 hours a week trying to please our customers.  
Unfortunately, we constantly run into situations where customers fail to understand that, when it comes to older discontinued products, there are often undocumented variations within the same models and there are ALWAYS going to be parts which are simply not available after 20-plus years.  
I did not personally handle Mr. Abbots order originally, so if he did indeed send a us a diagram in advance I hereby publicly apologize for a human error and again offer him a refund in full for the wrong parts AND he can keep them. We really do try to get customers the correct parts and take a great deal of pride in our work.  
Tom Wendlandt  
Smart Parts
And now, a word from our sponsors:

4/22/2000 2:41 AM
Steve Slick

I understand that two parties can have problems and see them differently. Sounds like you've made a couple of mistakes that you're trying to correct. I also know for a fact that a company can have a lot of satisfied customers and a few bad experiences seems to wipe out all the good work.  
But, I'll give you credit for coming on here and trying to straighten things out. There are other companies (Aspen... naaaaw, I know you're not listening), where people tell endless stories where they got cheated and those companies seem to care less.  
Good job, dude.  
Steve Slick
4/22/2000 3:12 AM
Tom Wendlandt Smart Parts

Thank you for your vote of confidence.... we take care of hundreds of satisfied customers every week, but after 25-plus years of doing this, I've come to understand a couple of things that will never change:  
1) Some mistakes will be made no matter how hard you try.  
2) Some customers will NEVER be satisfied and wil hold you personally responsible for that 1961 part that hasn't been made for 25 years or that backordered item you would love to have on your shelf because you sell it all the time.  
3) The old addage that 95% of your happy customers never tell anyone else but more than 75% of your unhappy customers do....... why is that, anyway??  
Anyway, its 10:00 at night, I've been at this since 8:00am and I'm going home now.... and again I thank you for your input.  
4/22/2000 6:24 AM

I'll be the 5%. I've bought a couple times from SP and both times shipping was prompt and I got for a great price what none of the other amp part guys had immediately available.  
Much appreciated!  
4/22/2000 3:26 PM
Tom Wendlandt Smart Parts

Thank you for your response...its always nice to hear from the "5%"  
4/22/2000 5:58 PM
Steve A.

3) The old addage that 95% of your happy customers never tell anyone else but more than 75% of your unhappy customers do....... why is that, anyway??  
    I think that the answer to that is that bad news travels better than good news... Just look at the newspapersó the stories that capture everybody's attention are generally the negative ones, not the positive one.  
    I will judge a company primarily by the way that they handle the problems! If everything goes smoothly (as it does 75+% of the time) you really don't know how a company will respond when things get screwed up as they often will. Your coming on line here and offering to make amends says a lot of things about Smart Parts (mostly good!)  
    I deal with customer complaints a lot in my job, and the bottom line is "what do we need to do to correct the situation?" Making excuses and assigning blame is a rather useless endeavor. In most cases it seems like the problem was a breakdown in communications and both parties could have tried better to insure that there were no misunderstandings. In placing an order the customer should have the clerk read it back to them to make sure that it is correct; and the clerk should have read the order back without having to be asked. Fax machines are a great invention and when I order parts on the phone I will usually request a faxed confirmation after they have checked stock and prices, and I will staple that to the back of the purchase order for future reference.  
Steve Ahola  
P.S. UPS allows customers to track shipments through their web site: if the UPS tracking number is not available, the company's reference number for the shipment (as printed on the label) along with the destination zip code will allow UPS to locate the package in their system. That sure beats making a half dozen phone calls!
4/22/2000 7:22 AM
the problems mentioned here do sound like mistakes that are inevitable, and having dealt with aspen and gang, i can truly say that this doesn't even come close to that kind of highway robbery. and thats a vast understatement. having done guitar repair off and on for years, i know what it's like to have 1 dis-satisfied customer out of 100, and watching him do his best to spread the word. theres always gonna be problems that are hard to rectify, but it's the people like GT who knowingly and willfully screw people who really need to be singled out. why don't we start a thread about those scumbags? *S* [sorry, but no pulled punches where they're deserved]  

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