Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A non-response response

Some notes: Rugged Ridge is an importer of Chinese-manufactured Jeep parts. Bushwacker is an American company that claims you should buy their product because they're made in America. So who gives better customer service? Well, let's see: > ________________________________________
> From: Badtux
> Sent: Sunday, October 16, 2011 10:52 PM
> To: Customer Care
> Subject: Replacement of a single damaged component
> I have a LJ and flat flares. I ran the passenger front flare into a tree
> while offroading and crumpled it. No big deal, it's a Jeep, I just
> straightened it back out and screwed it back on with a bigger washer
> where the screw pulled through the flare and all is well. Except now I
> want to sell this Jeep and that flare looks wrinkled. Is there any way I
> can buy just that piece (the flat C-shaped piece)? Your retailers don't
> stock components, just whole sets, so they're no help here...

On Oct 17, 2011, at 9:21 AM, Customer Care wrote:

> Hi Badtux, Thank you for contacting Bushwacker. You can purchase a front pair from your local retailer. This is much better then purchasing a complete set of 4 flares.
> The part should be 10055-07 >

> Sincerely, >

> (redacted)
> Customer Care
> Bushwacker, Inc.
> Due to the large volumes of email we receive, please reply to all with history and keep your responses at the top of the email.

To: Bushwacker Customer Care:

Hello, thank you for your non-responsive response. I remembered that I had three members of a set of Rugged Ridge 7" oversize flares in storage and purchased the missing flare (ironically the same one -- passenger front) from Rugged Ridge via their vendor Quadratec, and am replacing your flares with the Rugged Ridge flares. Again, thank you for your lack of service.


BTW, the fender flare came in today -- the day after I ordered it, drop-shipped from Rugged Ridge. Yeppers, appears that the Chinese have better customer service than the Americans. So I should support the American company... why?

-- Badtux the Wrenchin' Penguin


  1. For me, I just have a bias towards things made in the USA. I think it is worth it to pay a little bit extra to get them. However, I don't think that buying inferior goods or buying from companies with bad customer service just because they are in the USA does anyone any favors either. The sad thing though is that it is likely that the American company may have decided to cut back on customer service in order to compete better on price. It is a fools game though. I watched that happen at a large company where I used to work and it was the nail in their coffin because they were never going to be able to compete price wise so the only thing they had going for them was really good customer service. Once that was gone, there was no reason to shop at their stores. They've gone bankrupt of course and are totally out of business.

  2. The company in question doesn't even attempt to compete on price, they compete by offering unique items that the Chinese don't make (the Chinese just make upsized versions of the OEM items). But anyhow, I know why they don't sell onesies. It's about inventory control. Keeping onesies around for collision repair takes up warehouse space and causes inventory control issues. Believe me, I work for a manufacturing company. I've seen the pallets of onesies in our warehouse where we've gutted sets in order to send a singleton out to a customer who needed one. It's an inventory nightmare.

    But that's just a cost of doing business. We do it, because in this economy, even the fact that we have a product that does things the competition's doesn't do isn't enough to keep us in business if we got a reputation for poor customer service. I expect the same level of customer service from the people I deal with, and when I don't get it, it pisses me off -- especially since I'm willing to pay for it. The singleton for the Chinese set costed *almost* as much as a pair of the Chinese product would have cost, albeit less than 1/3rd what a pair of the American ones would have cost because the American product was *not* cheap to begin with.

    So anyhow, they choose not to provide customer service. I choose not to send them more money. So it goes. It's sort of like those small-town businesses that Wal-Mart drove out of business. The majority of them *needed* to be driven out of business because they had been the only store in town for so long that they'd quit stocking inventory that people wanted and opened the hours *they* wanted instead of the hours convenient to their customers, because what were you going to do, shop at their (non-existent) competitor? Then they're shocked, shocked I say, when all their customers desert them for Wal-Mart when Wal-Mart comes to town! Bah humbug. There is *never* an excuse for poor customer service and if a business loses customers to the Chinese due to it, no great loss. Just sayin'.

    - Badtux the Service Penguin

  3. I work in customer service so I understand how important it is. I am lucky because my employer has decided to make customer service very important so I have the resources to do a good job. It is nice being told every day by our customers how awesome I am :) It is even nicer when they go out of their way to tell my boss.

    But I am not sure about Walmart putting anyone out of business because of customer service issues. Maybe that's happened elsewhere but around here, people can be really price sensitive and they do things like go to the small mom and pop store and talk to the staff about what to buy and then they'll leave and go to Walmart because it is a few dollars cheaper. It is frustrating for me because then the good local store with the good customer service closes and I don't have anywhere to go to ask knowledgeable staff questions about the things I need to buy. Because the Walmart near my house has the worst customer service I have ever seen. It is really terrible.


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