I bought [something] from [a DSM vendor], and I wasn't treated very nicely. What should I do?

[Note: the information discussed below defines a 'DSM vendor' as an established legal business that sells parts or services for DSM cars, and not private individuals selling parts or services.]

Complaints about poor service from dealers, shops and speciality vendors are commonplace on the Digest, for the same reason that complaints about problems are commonplace - it is natural for people to write more about the occasional bad thing than the everyday good things that happen to them.

Having said this, some of the smaller DSM specialists are sometimes credited with less-than-stellar customer service. The reasons for this are many, and stem from the fact that these operations are usually consist of 1-3 dedicated DSM racers who sell parts to pay the bills. Please note this is an explanation, not an excuse.

In those cases where you have been treated inconsiderately by a vendor, examine the circumstances. Vendors often take a day or two to return calls - this is not a slight, it is a fact of life. If you called outside of normal business hours, accept that the vendor is doing you a favour by answering and forgive them any percieved rudeness.

In other cases, you are voting with your dollars. If you purchase a part from a vendor that you think is rude, ask yourself why. If it's because of part quality, vendor reputation or price, admit to yourself that you are prepared to pay for these advantages by putting up with less-than-stellar customer service. You can still encourage the vendor to improve their service by pointing out (nicely, mind you) that their business could be made that much better by it.

If you don't buy from the vendor solely because of poor customer service (and not because of price - be honest with yourself) let them know - things start being more important when they affect the bottom line. Don't expect an overnight turnaround, though. You're only one customer - smaller vendors are going crazy trying to keep up with the customers they do have, while larger vendors might be able to afford to ignore you. Be sure to put in your $0.02, though, because if enough customers do so, it will add up fast and make even the largest, busiest vendor think twice.

There are also situations where the vendor was nice prior to a purchase, and not so responsive when problems show up. In these cases, make every effort to work things out with the vendor. Sometimes inevitable circumstances create situations percieved by customers as rude even though nothing of the sort was intended by the vendor. Be patient and accept that it might take some time to resolve problems.

While writing into the Digest with this type of information is not forbidden, it is discouraged. This is because 'bad' behaviour is in the eye of the beholder, and there are usually as any different opinions as there are writers. Reports of poor business practice, incompetence and generally stupid behaviour are encouraged, but please consider that a vendor may simply have been having a bad day before writing about rude behavior.

If you feel that you have been unfairly treated by a vendor - that is, a victim of bad business practice and not just bad manners - be sure to read the next few answers in this file.

The Last Word: Support for DSMs has become virtually nonexistent, even at previously well respected vendors, due to lack of demand. Be prepared for lengthy delays, and discuss availability with the vendor before ordering.

QA #430

Last Updated:
2016-06-05 08:57

Cam Dorland | 95 Eagle Talon

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