Are Times Changing?

This week we have been left scratching our heads at the sign of the times here at Mustang Maniac. Do we actually post the following or not, a brave decision was made to be totally transparent about it, so here it is:

News:

It’s no secret that we have moved to an online sales service for an important reason. In the past we had been getting many phone calls regarding how to fit a part, or how to diagnose a problem. Not that we mind that too much if the part was purchased from us, but we draw the line at people who aren’t our customers asking how to fit these parts. They were ordering the parts from elsewhere and then call us wanting our advice and guidance. Lets just put this into perspective for a few scenarios; would a solicitor give you free advice on a legal matter? Would a garden center talk you through how to put up a shed and prepare the ground? Would an electrician talk you through how to install a three way switch in a room? Do you phone amazon asking how to tile a bathroom? The answer is certainly a NO, even more so if you have never been a customer or spoken to them before. So, like mentioned above we said we stopped that service as our time is our money at the end of the day. It was a few that ruined it for the many genuine customers. If you buy the parts from us and want help, email us and we will help you when we get a spare moment.
The situation we find ourselves in is complaints. We can take complaints and we pride ourselves on sorting those rare occasions out very quickly, refunds or replacement parts. We have even replaced parts that the customers have broken at our own expense, just for good customer service.
Complaint 1
We had a customer order some brake parts from us, so we packaged them and sent them out. The next thing we are alerted to is a a social media post of a damaged packaging box, before we were even notified or even had the chance to respond. Here is that post;
The item in question is the Bendix box on the left that has been crushed. Inside is a set of heavy brake shoes that were undamaged, it’s just the box that is damaged. To be fair the the guy didn’t name us to start with, but went on to name us after other posts prompted the guy to post our name. There were others on the post that said, some boxes are not up to the job considering they are shipped from other countries before going into our stock which is true.
Our heavier items are stacked in our large storage at the back of the yard. On a rare occasion a box may get crushed under weight. To stack them individually is not realistic for a company like ours where space is a premium.  Here we have a random few pics of some of our more heavier items stored on racking. The lighter more fragile items are stored carefully in storage trays and bespoke storage boxes and racking depending on the part size of course.
The items are not thrown around, but are racked based on weight. If we don’t care for our stock, in simple terms we can’t sell it, then what is the point of having the stock. We too receive damaged items shipped to us for our own deliveries, some items damaged beyond resale, in those cases it’s cheaper to just throw that part away rather than ship it back for a replacement. That loss of stock is at our cost and our choice of course. We don’t mention this as it’s part of business when dealing with freight. When we have called the suppliers in the past we get told;
‘Are the parts OK? If it’s only the box, then what’s the problem?’
We go to great lengths to make sure our parts are the best they can be, but sometimes through no fault of our own packaging is damaged after travelling thousands of miles from another continent to be with us in the UK. We don’t remember this box being like this when we packaged it up, perhaps it was roughly handled by the courier service we use due to the combined weight of the parts causing the damage? It looks like we will never know. Given the chance we would have just the sent the customer another packaging box, carefully taken apart folded flat and sent out to him. The partsleft without a box we would then use ourselves, it’s not a huge problem at all. It would have been nice to have had the chance to respond to the customer before a social media frenzy starts up.
Note: We will often open deliveries or packaging just to check the contents are complete and we will continue to do so. We also do this on a random basis for our own quality control. Those items will be resealed and are still brand new parts that have never been fitted.
Complaint 2.
A customer ordered a H pipe exhaust part for his car. These parts are made of mild steel and come into us untreated. The customer has complained that there was a little surface rust on end of the pipe and wanted a discount. This was easily solved as the part that was ordered was the wrong part anyway. The customer wanted us to pay for the return of the part. We gave the customer a full refund. If the part was correct, a small surface rub with a wire brush would have solved the problem for him. One the car had seen moisture on the road the rust would have started to show again anyway. It’s these parts by nature are treated to hold cold extremes and often water and moisture from the engine as well. This just wasn’t worth the hassle of arguing about.
We have even had a customer upset that we didn’t deliver their product on the same day after they ordered mid morning after our collections had been taken by our courier. They were more than welcome to collect the same day but declined, but for £9 they wanted a few hours delivery. Sorry we can’t provide that sort of service, unless you want to pay a lot more than £9!
Dilemma;
So, what we have here is a serious change of attitude from Mustang Maniac, We listen to what is being said and move with the times accordingly. So we now have a poll and the outcome of which will determine our thought process.
Unlike the Brexit vote (if you voted leave) you vote will count. We propose that we will charge extra for repackaging in a pristine box the original box and parts. Considering that a young girl on the internet is campaigning about excess global warming and packaging etc  Do you really want that? We try to be as ‘green’ as possible but it appears that if people are complaining about a damaged box, we need to rethink strategies, or do we?  Are we being unreasonable?
We created a poll for your answers. What do you want us to do?

Did you know?

There are millions of parcel journeys each day and the average parcel delivery driver in the UK has 250 deliveries per day.

It stands to reason that one or two parcels will not receive the careful attention it either deserves or that has been paid for by Mustang Maniac.

Mustang Maniac only uses the most appropriate packaging – from an environmental, protection and cost perspective and carriers with a good record of performance, but they cannot plan for events like the above.

We don’t want to criticize the van drivers as they have a tough job to do…so we do our best to work within the situations we are faced with.

Adam has written the following a couple of weeks ago and will be going onto our WebShop shortly which we hope will make things a little clearer for all out customers;

Mustang Maniac Mantra…….how we work

Mustang Maniac has been a passion of mine for many years and has grown out of my personal hobby and into a thriving professionally managed business.

I have learned a lot over the years about the ownership, repair and restoration of all classic Mustangs and Falcons – and I am still learning, but I think it’s really important to set out exactly how we operate here at Mustang Maniac so there can be absolutely no confusion………

We do know best…….. Over the years we have got to fully understand our business of Mustang and Falcon Parts along with our wide range of other services.

We have made the mistakes we always try to prevent you from making….. we’ve used parts that don’t work or are poorly fitting and we always try to help you avoid them…..but that does require you to seek our advice up front – and then listen to it.

We often provide advice for it to be completely ignored… then, frustratingly we get asked to help in solving the issues that arise from not heeding our advice. It drives us mad!

Often the best and most cost effective solution to a Mustang/Falcon problem does not seem to be the easiest/cheapest option…. In many cases there doesn’t seem to be the budget to “do the job properly” but in most cases the money is found to “put a bad job right the second time around”. It drives us mad – do the job once and do it properly!

Quality comes at a price… we do offer a limited range of budget friendly parts, but our priority is to sell good quality, thoroughly tested parts from our list of respected suppliers. While these parts may appear to be more expensive their quality will provide many years of reliable service. We know that because we use those parts on our own Mustangs and Falcons!

We make our own parts… some of the parts needed to restore or repair Mustangs and Falcons are no longer produced or, if they are, they are not to the high quality standards we demand – so we arrange for them to be made here in the UK by local craftsmen and engineers.

Are our parts expensive?…. in some cases they might appear to be, reflecting the efforts, trouble and expense we have gone to to get them and then shipped to parts warehouse. If it’s the cheapest parts around you are looking for it might save you time and trouble to look elsewhere for them.

We carry the parts in stock…. unlike a number of parts suppliers, we carry all all of the parts we sell ‘in stock’ with the latest stock situation featured on our website. If we say we have it then it’s in one of our parts bins waiting for you. All this stock does come at a price and to carry that stock we have had to buy it from our suppliers, ship it to the UK and pay all freight and duties.

We don’t use the cheapest shippers…. like all of our business, quality and reliability is key to how we operate. We select our delivery agents based on performance and reliability first and then try to get the very best deal possible from them. Our parts are properly wrapped and labelled so you get your parts undamaged and when you expect them. It’s quite simple really!

Our advice is free…. yes we are mostly happy to offer our customers advice on all things Mustang and Falcon, but we do ask you to contact us by email. That way we can deal with the queries when we find the time. If it’s just a bit of advice you want but would rather buy your parts at the cheapest store then we probably aren’t that keen to help you. It’s always best when buying cheap parts to discuss them with those experts who are offering them. We do tend to be a bit reluctant to help after those cheap parts have been bought, fitted and failed!

We strongly believe in the truth – tell it how it is… if it’s the facts about a Mustang or Falcon car, part or process you want then we offer it with as few words as we need. If it’s ‘sales speak’ or a ‘heavy sell ‘ you want then it’s best to look elsewhere. We tell you “what’s true” and not “what you want to hear”. It really is the best way!

We don’t offer discounts…. well, if you are restoring a Mustang or Falcon and talk to us at the start, we will happily supply all the quality parts you need (from our vast stock here in the UK), when you need them and we can talk about prices as well. If we have an honest and open discussion at the start of your project we are happy to support you in any way we can. Having that discussion after you have been let down by other suppliers or you are just buying a single part you can’t get elsewhere won’t help either of us!

I have tried to be as open and honest as I can here with the way I do business.

We are honest and helpful people here at Mustang Maniac and will always do our best in whatever we do.

If you have strong issues with any of the above then it’s very likely you might be happier buying your parts elsewhere….if they genuinely have them in stock.

If, like me you like to understand who you are working with and how the business works then I am sure we will get along just fine and we will be very happy to support you with our parts and services.

Adam Longmore

Mustang Maniac


Enough of all that it’s now time for the cars,

Customer Cars:

We were talking about a a car that needed a water pump and an ungraded braking system. We are nearing the end of the project and here is what Yogi has been up to with the Brakes under the hood.

Webshop

The next exciting part supplier we now have on board is the ACP line of products. They produce and supply us with previously unavailable parts for Falcons as well as Mustangs. We are expanding their lines of stock as we speak to offer more choices.

Things like Falcon chrome rear bumpers, radiators and trims. Our first order arrived and Adam opened most of the boxes to examine the products are as good as we hoped.

We listened to the fact that customers wanted more Falcon parts. We sourced and we stocked. Please vote and let us know what you think. Were these complaints justified, do we need to move with the times, or was this just a random example?

We are not here to put people down, far from it. Any tips or hints to improve our service are always considered, we hope you all understand.

About Mustang Maniac

A business dedicated to restoration of Classic Mustangs. We supply parts, service, restoration and custom builds. Anything Mustang we can help.
This entry was posted in Customers' Cars, Mustang, Mustang Maniac, news, Repairs, restoration, sales, Webshop and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Are Times Changing?

  1. John Norris says:

    I’ve bought parts from your company on a number of occasions and also had you work on my ’67 Mustang. On each occasion your service and quality has been excellent.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Guys, nothing is wrong. Surprised that the ‘complaint’ went to social media. It’s only a box. What will he do with it? Throw it away. I have received packages from Amazon with bits missing and totally damaged. It happens. It’s not amazons fault either. Loving the even more suppliers ACP for Falcons. Keep up the good work. Brave to say you got a complaint, as far as I am concerned, they aren’t complaints. The exhaust is simple wrong part ordered, you don’t have to refund it. But you did, that is more than fair play.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gary W says:

    Bought lots of parts from Mustang Maniac and also used some of their other services. Need to be clear that in most cases the other suppliers don’t carry the stock and promise lots and deliver little. Never had the slightest problem with either the parts, shipping or packaging… I really like the bit in this blog on the way MM does it’s business…no bullsh*t and they do what they say they will.
    Keep it up guys!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Gary. Appreciate the comments. We don’t get complaints as a rule, but we thought we would put it out there. Once we give it to the couriers we have no control over what happens. We are certainly not dropping our standards, in fact we are raising the bar for Mustang Restorations. 👍

      Like

    • I totally agree Gary. All the parts I have had delivered none have been a problem from the amazing Mustang Maniac, social media for a damaged box is a joke!

      Like

  4. Boris says:

    What is the world coming to? If the box is damaged and the part is okay then what’s the issue? I know that the Mustang Maniac people quickly replace or refund for things that get damaged in the post. My previous parts supplier regularly sent out damaged substandard parts and then denied all knowledge of the issue when I complained.
    I have voted but keep doing what you are already doing please – great service!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ian Coxshall says:

    Regarding damaged boxes……GET A LIFE PRICK! Would not take my car anywhere else, these guy’s really do know their stuff and parts are spot on.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. mark says:

    People are too quick to go for the camera and post a picture on social media before picking up the phone and talking to someone, it’s now the norm, it’s stupid and these people are idiots but that’s what we are stuck with. I haven’t dealt with you guys yet but would love to in the future.

    Like

  7. Andy H says:

    I can honestly say I have never met anyone in the motor trade business fairer than Adam – and what the MM guys don’t know about their cars isn’t worth knowing… I’ve always found it a pleasure to deal with them, a friendly and encouraging bunch. Who cares about packaging, its whats inside that counts.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. camerapacker says:

    I totally agree with you. I have followed your blog for a while and if I were living in the UK and owned a Mustang, I would definitely use your services.

    Like

  9. I don’t own a Mustang, so, I haven’t bought parts from you guys, but, I do read and follow your blog, because I do share your sight with folks when they are looking to get stuff for their Mustang.
    My only complaint is that you guys are in the U.K. and I can’t just run down the road to go visit your shop and talk with you for a while. (No box going to fix that.)
    Keep up the good work, guys.

    Like

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