Emailing Vendors



Just as an FYI to those who may be starting to gather all the goodies to begin a build or looking for new stuff for their cars: Don't make the same mistake I have made on several occasions when contacting vendors via email. It is fine to email vendors using addresses found on their website or where ever, but don't be to surprised if you don't get a response for a while or at all. Everyone going into business knows they need a website, so they often hire someone to do it. Of course, along with the website comes an email address. Many of these guys are fabricators and/or artists really who don't give the email address another thought.

Like the motorcycle riding instructor my neighbor finally met at Road Atlanta. He had emailed the guy several times with no response. They just happened to meet at the track and my neighbor had his son with him (this is who he wanted lessons for.) So, the guy spent about an hour giving little Christian(5) pointers on riding his new 50cc trail bike. Calvin, my neighbor, asked him as they were about to go on their separate ways, "you know, I emailed you a couple of times to set up lessons for Christian but I never got a response. So, I thought you were too busy to take him on." The instructor, a real prince of a guy, responded "I know! I should check that thing, but I am spending all my time out with my students doing what I love to do and just don't even think about email! If you want to set up some lessons, just give me a call. I'd love to work with your son."

So, before you get all upset that someone is not responding and stick your foot in your mouth - like I have a couple of times - give them a call. I have had to eat crow a couple of times recently and, believe me, it doesn't taste good at all. Once was when Gordon had his fall and, just recently, it turned out that the vendor's brother and nephew in-law had been murdered in South Africa. This was followed within weeks by the mother/grandmother of the two murdered men being mugged coming out of her doctor's office. Don't you know that I felt about 2 inches tall after getting a little testy only to find out about this family tragedy. Talk about feeling low enough to play Sea Hunt in the toilet.

(I really dated myself with the Sea Hunt reference didn't I. You young guys and gals ask someone older about what Lloyd Bridges did before he was in the Airplane movies. If you don't know about the Airplane movies - well never mind.)

Many vendors monitor their email in a very timely manner. And, this is a great way to research and source parts/services for your car. On the flip side, there is a thread on this forum entitled "How long is too long" that discussed vendors who truly are unresponsive; especially when they have already been paid! There does come a time, when ordered parts don't arrive or inquiries go ignored, that you are justified in being assertive. And please post a note here if this happens to you so that others can avoid a similar situation. If it wasn't a fluke, others will verify the unreliability of the supplier.

Hopefully this will help your project be as enjoyable and fulfilling as possible with the fewest frustrations possible. This was Ron's intent when he started this forum and I believe that most of the contributors here share that feeling.
An adendum,

Be sure that you pay with a credit card if possible. You have 60 days to put it in dispute. Be sure to read the back of your monthly sttement and do "exactly" what it tells you. You can get your money back
and the issuer(?) deals with them. They have more clout than you and I will ever have.
Businesses have a tendancy to respond to their wallets when they don't respond to people. If they don't respond to that, they won't be in business very long.