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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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:

WATCH THIS VIDEO!

http://www.thatvideomagazine.com/newyork/autos/vinny-ten-racing
 

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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:
 

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aka jeremy.england
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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"
 

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[Detailing Moderator], [Local Team Mod], [Bone Clo
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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.
I'd like to re-emphasize this point, as a mod on EvoX and other boards in the past, when a vendor wants to sign up a lot of time the mods do a very, VERY exhaustive search of the web for other similar forums where they've been reviewed. It's a fairly common practice.

By posting a negative review, especially that later gets cleared up, you are putting that business's future business in jeopardy. Think long and hard before you do so, and please work with the forum mods and vendor as much as possible before doing so.

At one point or another we all have a sour experience (regardless of it being car-related or not) and at the very least in the EvoX world remember that you have a whole community to talk to, and Mods to consult, who will walk you through best practices and the proper course of action, before you post a negative review. This should only be a last resort.
 

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[Drag Racing Mod], [Sales Mod], [Local Team Member
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I'd like to re-emphasize this point, as a mod on EvoX and other boards in the past, when a vendor wants to sign up a lot of time the mods do a very, VERY exhaustive search of the web for other similar forums where they've been reviewed. It's a fairly common practice.

By posting a negative review, especially that later gets cleared up, you are putting that business's future business in jeopardy. Think long and hard before you do so, and please work with the forum mods and vendor as much as possible before doing so.

At one point or another we all have a sour experience (regardless of it being car-related or not) and at the very least in the EvoX world remember that you have a whole community to talk to, and Mods to consult, who will walk you through best practices and the proper course of action, before you post a negative review. This should only be a last resort.
Thanks for the work you guys do, but in the end if a member have a complain about a vendor theres nothing we can do. However if a vendor complain about a member, then member is fucked.
 

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As a rule I will offten talk to customers first before I read a shops review. Face to face contact is a great way to get a feel for a shop. If I have a question part of my homework faze is to toss up a post on a forum if there is no topic available for the part or services I am looking for. Sure your gonna get people who will praise the shop or part but you will also find that one person who wants to talk "about" the part or service they recieved. This is were you can get a feel for the shop/part you are looking to use. HOMEWORK will save you thousands of dollars and frustration in the long run.
 

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[NEEvo President]
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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.
I've never been to AMS yet I would vouch for them (see what I did there :p).

In all seriousness that is a good point, just couldn't help my self.
 

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aka ityn
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Fantastic thread! I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone going to a shop just because they "heard" they were great. Take the time to know a shop, it's not something you should just jump into. Visit the shops you are interested in, if local, and ALWAYS ask for a tour of the back of the shop.

This "tour" will tell you alot, especially if they are hesitant to show you around their work areas. With this said, don't pick a shop just b/c they have fancy new tools and equipment that you saw on the tour.
 

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You don't really have to visit a shop before going there. What's key is getting experiences from existing and former customers. Get the bad and the good. Listen to the details. Some people are fanbois and you should be able to filter those people out.

Some people are extremely jaded, and while their negative experience should weigh in a little more, you have to also consider that people generally don't tell you both sides of the argument.

Also a lot of customers just get really simple shit done and go all bonkers.
"OMG this shop installed my exhaust and they're awesome!" LOL.
 

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[X Performance Mod], [Racing Mod], [Local Team Mem
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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"
I hate it when that happens. No option but the shitty option next door.
 

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[X Performance Mod], [Racing Mod], [Local Team Mem
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A few points for shops:

1) If you think you cannot do a job, be honest with the customer and direct them to a shop that knows their shit for that particular job. Don't try to do things you don't know how to and screw up what could have been a great relationship with your customer.

2) If you are going to give time-lines to customers, stick to them. If you cannot meet it, reschedule only once. Don't make it a daily/weekly thing to postpone because you decided to accept business you could not fulfill on time. If you don't know how much work is involved, see point (1) above.

3) Do your research before you give sub-optimal options to your customer. You are running a business and your biggest advertisement is word-of-mouth and forums. If you are unsure of options to present, see point (1).

4) When a customer accepts all your quotes without question, it means the customer is placing a lot of trust in your experience and work quality/ethic. Do not betray this trust. These are also the customers that will help you succeed as a business. Remember, you need them just as much as they need you.

5) Provide discounted rates to customers who are willing to pay by cash. ;) a personal wishlist item, ha ha. Also treat repeat customers with utmost respect and stick by your promises/estimates. If a customer is coming back, its not time to rest back on your laurels, its time to do even more than the last time to make them happy.

I'm sure I can think of some more, but most if not all of these suggestions stem from my personal experience with the thousands and thousands of dollars I've spent.
 

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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"
Try living in bum fuck Omaha where we don't even have one awd dynos and as for shops, theres only one I trust and its about 40 minutes from me. :(
 
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