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-   -   Shops & Vendors; Choosing one, working with one, and dealing with issues. (https://www.evoxforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60029)

hollywood_X 03-05-2012 04:55 AM

Shops & Vendors; Choosing one, working with one, and dealing with issues.
So in recent light of a few threads I have read in the past few months I figured it may be time to put something together and maybe help people from making some future mistakes they may regret. I also aim to help some of our supporting shops and vendors by keeping the outrageous expectations curbed a bit.

Now a lot of this will be based on my personal opinion and experiences so if you don't agree post up your feelings and why you don't. It would be a sad world if we all had the same opinions so I do welcome a different view. Now with that said lets keep names of shops and vendors out of this, it isn't a review thread. Lets stick to how to choose and work with a business as a general concept please.

Step 1) Do your homework and be diligent - Now this should be an easy task for a good experienced forum user but sometimes people can fall into traps. Now we have all read bad reviews, I think every good shop has a few bad reviews. If a shop / vendor doesn't have a bad review, cross them off your list they haven't been around long enough to work with. Now when you do your research read all the good and bad threads looking for the highlights.

You'll start to see patterns of truth. Some shops you'll see a bunch of negative feedback but when you read through the threads you'll notice the issue is just bad communication because they don't answer their phones which is the root cause for their other issues. On the flip side you may be reading through a bunch of good thumbs up threads where people are having mechanical issues yet they are praising the shop for lightning fast communication. Read enough and sort out the truth will surface through the crap. You'll see the different pros and cons for every shop come out, it just becomes a matter of what your willing to deal with. Cheap pricing / Slow turnaround - Great communication / Bad product - Fantastic product / never calls back - Parts you have to fit with a hammer / Shop owner makes you feel like family - You get the picture :innocent:

Step 2) Establishing a relationship - Now that you decided on a shop / vendor it's time to enter into your verbal / written agreements or contracts. This is real life so lets keep it real, money talks and BS walks. This is a business for these guys, they don't have hours to spend communicating with you about a couple hundred dollars in parts. If you think just because you spent $500 on a 3 port and a tune your shop is obligated to answer every random tuning question that crosses your mind your delusional. Also a sure fire way to kick off a piss poor relationship with a shop is to spend hours messaging, and calling them to get an established parts list and labor quote from them. Then show up for your tune / install with everything and tell them you got it off eBay because it's 25% cheaper :duh:

Now when you start talking to a shop about what you what whether it's a tune, built motor, suspension work, or all of these BE VERY CLEAR about what you want and what you expect from them. Use emails if possible, they seem to keep shops honest and it gives them something to reference back to. Just like an order at McDonalds, before you proceed make sure everything is repeated back and on the order list. This is extremely important to those people who have to travel to get work done. Nothing sucks worse than getting to your appointment and not having something due to a communication error.

Now to add to that if you have communicated to a shop what you want and what you expect, and have it captured in an email and they are somehow unprepared. WALK THE FUCK AWAY! I can not stress this enough! As an example if you discuss getting your car tuned, and you have a 3 port boost solenoid and a AccessPort you want to use. Then they say "Sure we do it all" and you show up with your gear ready to go only to be met with "We don't use 3 ports, you'll need to buy our MBC. Also the AP takes special software we don't have but we include open source with the price of your tune" Just leave, don't fall into the bait and switch. If you paid a deposit on a credit card and they don't refund just turn it in as a fraudulent charge.

Step 3) Continuing your relationship - If your a person who will hop from one shop to another to save 10% or just because the other place won last weeks drag race your just hurting yourself. If a shop has done right by you, do right by them. If you don't you'll find out real quick none of them will stand by you when something goes wrong. Now the flip-side if you have a single shop selling you parts, doing the labor, and tuning; if they don't stand behind you it's time to move on. The important thing focus on here is your relationship is first and foremost business, just because they treat you like a well liked cousin it doesn't mean your not a customer.

Now I mention this because I have seen these lines blurred a few times. If you pay for a product and don't receive it or the "business" drops off the face of the earth for a couple of weeks with no communication due to personal issues it's not your problem. To put it in perspective if they sent you the product first and you told them "Sorry I have some personal issues to attend to first" how do you think they would respond to you? Business is business try to leave the personal baggage at the door on both sides.

Step 4) Resolving failures - When I say failures it can be a number of things. Business relationships fall prey to the same problems romantic relationships do. Communication breaks down and one person feels slightly more fucked than the other and not in a good way. The key to keeping it healthy is making sure those lines of communication are open and you are receptive to what they have to say. Honesty is next on the list, and this is one often overlooked by those who fucked up. You know what I mean, you know you blew your motor up but just like when you got caught cheating it was a series of "It wasn't me" even though you got caught. If you did fuck up, be honest with your shop / vendor they will probably be more sympathetic to help. If you come at them with pointed fingers and an attitude threatening suit or public humiliation all your going to get is one finger back and a reputation as "That guy"

Now I'm not saying you shouldn't ever post a bad review of a company but lets exhaust all other resources before strolling down that road. Too many times have I seen threads posted and after two pages of bashing we come to find out the only communication was a phone call on a Saturday and a PM on a Sunday yet the shop was at fault for not communicating. Drop and email, leave a message, don't use the forum as your outlet. A bad review on a forum should be a last resort. Now I say this because out of all the bad reviews I can't think of any shops that aren't doing business. We have diluted the bad reviews so much that it's difficult to sort out the actual shit.

Now one last thing I want to get across in this thread :shades:
These are shops not charities, they don't work for free. If you bring your car in for a tune and it's sporting a bunch or random mismatched parts your "Friend" installed that the tuner has to repair it takes time from your tune. Rule of thumb for shop or tune time is $75-100 an hour. If you pay $400 for a tune and they have to spend 2 of the 4 hours fixing your vacuum lines of fueling issue you may not get every drop of power out. Everyone deserves to be paid for their time, tuning is a job remember that.

Discus :nerd:



EVLEVO 03-05-2012 05:07 AM

Great write-up. I think the motto "Treat others was you would want them to treat you" applies in general to this sort of thing. Overall, I agree with absolutely everything you said. Which doesn't make for very interesting banter on a forum. But hey, it is what it is. :thumbup:

chetrickerman 03-05-2012 05:27 AM

Amazing write up. Definitely something everyone needs to read

nlp187 03-05-2012 05:48 AM

Great write up and well said.

BakaUnchi 03-05-2012 05:52 AM


hotstix 03-05-2012 06:03 AM


hollywood_X 03-06-2012 07:47 PM

Any other input? Vendors? Customers?

PocketsonPicasso 03-08-2012 05:22 AM

i like your thoughts on this. i recently had a relationship fail with a very reputable shop. im in the move on phase...looking for a new shop that can suit my needs. problem is i live in a weird spot so im not so close to any good shops at all. closest is hours away.

next time my mom asks me why i travel so far to get my car worked on im going to say "beacause race car"

ZeroCooll21 03-21-2012 04:49 PM

Nice Write up Hollywood, deff a good start. You going to keep updating the first post?

Maybe add in some examples of pitfalls when reading the forums? Cite some examples / links to threads? Just a thought, not saying you need to go do that :p

fishstix 03-21-2012 05:12 PM

When doing research contact local people. I lol when I see people from across the country recommending shops that they haven't even been to.

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