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Gadzukes!
03-01-2012, 03:59 AM
http://f.cl.ly/items/282X0M2J1Y2d1G0p1g1h/IMG_2969.JPG

Sent emails to a manufacturer and a store recently, but never got a response. I'm going to have some money to spend on a ukulele soon, but apparently no one wants to take it. :(

Skitzic
03-01-2012, 04:33 AM
I'll take it! :D

How recent is 'recently'? Sometimes it takes a few days for big companies / stores to catch up on emails. I would try calling them. Sometimes that works better.

Good luck! :)

Scott S.
03-01-2012, 04:34 AM
I understand and sometimes share your frustration. While internet commerce can certainly be a benefit to both sellers and buyers, the distance and anonimity can also create problems. I've had several contacts with merchants who do a horrible job of responding to email. I think to myself "don't they know I am a potential (or actual) sale?". Sometimes they fail to respond after I've already placed an order. That's a bad way to do business. When that happens to me, I make a mental note and resolve not to do business with that merchant again. But in the current climate, the demand for ukuleles and associated stuff is very strong, and maybe these merchants don't worry about losing a few customers. I still prefer to walk in to a local merchant and do business face-to-face, but where I live that's not always an option.

ukuraleigh
03-01-2012, 04:51 AM
I'm with ya. Sent an email to a very well respected custom builder and I've not had any reply after a couple of days.

I appreciate you may be busy. I appreciate you may not even want my order. But it takes 30 seconds to reply and tell me either of those. :mad:

allanr
03-01-2012, 06:18 AM
It feels pretty annoying to be ignored, but keep in mind that your email may have been snagged by a spam filter. That vendor may never see it.

Try using a contact form on a website or a PM on a forum. If you have an email address from a generic email provider like Hotmail or Yahoo, and have digits in your address (like billy623@whatever dot com) your messages are almost guaranteed to get tagged as spam.

Ukuleleblues
03-01-2012, 06:47 AM
I usually walk if folks don't respond. Just think how responsive they will be if you have a problem after the sale if they are this bad when you want to give them money.

I was tying to get custom trailer made and called this place at least 5 times and sent one detailed e-mail with the plan. No one ever called back so I called one last time and apologized for bothering them. Finally someone called me back but it was too late. I went with another company that was responsive and acted like they really wanted my business.

OldePhart
03-01-2012, 07:28 AM
I second the motion for contacting through a web site instead of direct e-mail. Many of the smaller luthiers and vendors are small family owned businesses and they do need to go on vacation occasionally, have family emergencies arise with no notice, and so on. At least if you go through the web site then if they are in the middle of planned down time they will probably have put a note to that effect on their web site.

However, as a note to the small businesses - this illustrates why it's important to use technology tools effectively (especially if you are spam filtering). If you set up an inbox and autoresponder on your host's server (instead of on your personal computer) to kick back an automated acknowledgment as soon as mail is recieved then the people contacting you know that their message at least got through. Then you can put a note on your contact page that if they don't get a response within an hour or so (sometimes, not often but sometimes, e-mail lags) that they should check their spam filters and so on to make sure that your reply is not being blocked.

Of course, after you do that, you want to be really good about following up with real live responses as quickly as possible.

If your web site hosting company can't offer you tools like autoresponders at little or no cost then you need to find another host because the one you have is obviously not run by professionals for professionals.

John

Gadzukes!
03-01-2012, 12:04 PM
It was about a week ago that I contacted one of them, the other only a few days (so far). An auto responder would be fine, but as it stands now I just don't know whether to big them again or wait for a response. I'll give it a couple weeks and then try one last time. After that my money will likely go to a different vendor and retailer.

Mim
03-01-2012, 01:23 PM
I have had days where I can respond to e-mails right away. Sitting by my computer setting up ukes and what-not. But then I discovered the other day 2 or 3 e-mails that had gotten "lost" in my e-mail box on a day where I got about 80 important e-mails but was not at my computer to respond. It happens. I would try one more e-mail just in case.

My personal policy too is to take care of orders first before answering e-mails that lead to an order. But that is because I am a one-person show, and I like to be able to send ukes out the next day at the most, so if I take more orders than I can handle I am not doing justice to those who have already paid. Not that it happens often, but a week ago it did. I had to say, "give me a couple days and I will be with you!"

I would shoot them another e-mail.

ukuraleigh
03-01-2012, 02:04 PM
So I decided to call. Got through right away, great! I offered that my email might have got caught in their spam filter, but he said he had received it, but really didn't apologize for not replying. In fact, he said it would be another couple of days before he could return my email with a price quote.

I run a software company with 42,000+ users. I'm pretty sure I'd have to close my business if I had the same customer service.

I'm not going to name the builder, but after reading so much praise for their ukes, I am now very disappointed and may look for someone else. :(

AC Baltimore
03-01-2012, 03:21 PM
This is Why you buy from mim and uke republic :)

itsme
03-01-2012, 03:37 PM
So I decided to call. Got through right away, great! I offered that my email might have got caught in their spam filter, but he said he had received it, but really didn't apologize for not replying. In fact, he said it would be another couple of days before he could return my email with a price quote.

I run a software company with 42,000+ users. I'm pretty sure I'd have to close my business if I had the same customer service.

I'm not going to name the builder, but after reading so much praise for their ukes, I am now very disappointed and may look for someone else. :(
He didn't apologize and said it would take a couple days before he could work up a quote so you're disappointed any may look elsewhere?

No offense, but you sound like you could have the potential to be one of those "customers from hell" who expects to be waited on hand and foot.

A luthier is not a factory and can only build a limited quantity. In the guitar world, renowned luthiers often have waiting lists of several years.

You really can't compare a luthier to a software company in terms of providing "customer service." A luthier doesn't need a customer base of 42K users. Also, many luthiers are solitary entities... they may not be "businessmen" and don't have employees to handle marketing/PR.

If you are not comfortable with this particular luthier's lack of immediate response to you, by all means look elsewhere. I'm sure their feelings won't be hurt.

UKEonomics
03-01-2012, 03:46 PM
I know that folks get busy day to day, but I just think it's bad business practice to not respond quickly to someone that e-mails/contacts you with a question about your product.

What the time frame of a "quick" response is probably varies from business to business depending on the amount of orders they are filling on a daily or weekly basis, but I personally set aside a half an hour each day just to respond to questions, comments, etc. that potential customers might have. In today's internet economy the small business really does have a chance to make a go of it, but I'm inclined to believe that it starts and finishes with good customer service...from the first question to after the item arrives.

Eh...I don't know. Just my two cents.

ukuraleigh
03-01-2012, 03:51 PM
No offense, but you sound like you could have the potential to be one of those "customers from hell" who expects to be waited on hand and foot.

If expecting a reply to my email--someone that's interested in spending money--makes me the customer from hell, then I suspect you don't understand much about business. Even if a builder is not able or interested in my business, not replying is bad form, no matter what your industry. If a business puts their email address on their web site, they should reply to it. Otherwise take it off.

A luthier may not need 42k customers, but it does need customers and some day, not being polite will catch up with them.

And, BTW, the words "no offense" rarely precede anything other than something offensive.

itsme
03-01-2012, 04:17 PM
If expecting a reply to my email--someone that's interested in spending money--makes me the customer from hell, then I suspect you don't understand much about business. Even if a builder is not able or interested in my business, not replying is bad form, no matter what your industry. If a business puts their email address on their web site, they should reply to it. Otherwise take it off.
I'm not saying you are that customer from hell, just recalling a recent thread here where someone slammed a luthier for dumping them after their demands became rather unreasonable.

In your first post in this thread you had said it had been a "couple of days" since you emailed the luthier without a response.

Stuff happens. Sometimes real life takes precedence over replying to an email. Ever had your internet connection go out? Heck, we had a "wind event" a few months ago that knocked our power out for two days, others were without power for over a week. And those are just technical things. There are many reasons why someone may not be able to respond as promptly as you'd have liked. And many of those reasons might be very personal and not something the luthier would disclose to a stranger/potential customer.

ukuraleigh
03-01-2012, 04:20 PM
Stuff happens. Sometimes real life takes precedence over replying to an email. Ever had your internet connection go out? Heck, we had a "wind event" a few months ago that knocked our power out for two days, others were without power for over a week. And those are just technical things. There are many reasons why someone may not be able to respond as promptly as you'd have liked. And many of those reasons might be very personal and not something the luthier would disclose to a stranger/potential customer.

Let's just agree, to disagree.

Mim
03-01-2012, 04:22 PM
To be honest, when I first read this and was thinking it was a vendor, "I sure do hope this was not me!" Haha! I do try, but sometimes if I dont know the answer right away or if it is going to take me awhile to find it I put it off. Especially if I am racing the "trying to get it to the post office by 5pm" clock. And to be completely honest, intricate price quotes are my achilles heel. I am learning to actually stop what I am doing and look them up right away or I will put them off. And if I hastily throw a quote out there, there have been times when I have been too high or too low.

So, maybe I am taking "devils advocate" but... him being a custom builder, he may need a few days to sit down, go over the specs, get out the calculator, and give you the correct price! So I would give him his few days! It may be that once he gets your order you will have his undivided attention, hence the good rep, but for now he has things to finish up. But I see your frustration for sure! I would just love to see if given a few days your impression may be a lot better!

Good luck! Cant wait until you are annoucing "New Custom Uke Day" on the board!

hoosierhiver
03-01-2012, 05:27 PM
Could be life intervened, people have emergencies and such sometimes.

southcoastukes
03-01-2012, 06:06 PM
Could be life intervened, people have emergencies and such sometimes.

Funny thing, I just took a break from replying to e-mails. I am behind at the moment, which is unusual for me. My mother was just diagnosed with terminal cancer, and I have just returned two days ago from out of town, trying to calm her down and coordinate treatment and care. In between e-mails this evening, I've been on the phone with relatives about what we should do. I may need to turn around and go back.

Didn't really have any intention whatsoever of putting this sort of information out here, but I'd just like to try to put a face on what several others have indicated.

I always feel bad about not being able to respond quickly. It almost never happens. Sometimes it's unavoidable.

Scott S.
03-01-2012, 06:31 PM
I always feel bad about not being able to respond quickly. It almost never happens. Sometimes it's unavoidable.

Sorry to hear about your Mother. I would confirm that in my experience, you do an exemplary job of responding to your customers.

TheCraftedCow
03-01-2012, 06:58 PM
There are those of us who read the post and understand the impact upon a buyer even though that was not our intent for not giving a quick response. If you are serious about something and electronically it is not getting you satisfaction, pick up the telephone. You have no idea if there had been something which has disrupted computer or complete electric service. I know one maker whose main business is care giver for his invalid wife.

TCK
03-01-2012, 07:17 PM
Jesus Dirk- I would buy GHS from you even if you didn't respond to my silly emails. God bless you mate, and God Bless the fine woman I am sure your mom is, you are in our thoughts and prayers here in California...where we sleep out every night.
Sorry for the thread jack.
Finest darn strings ever
Yeah- sometimes life intervenes- I tell that to school parents when I don't respond to their senseless emails every night.

Plainsong
03-01-2012, 09:43 PM
Yeah, of course sometimes life intervenes, but the OP said the luthier really wasn't bothered one way or the other. I agree with him that it's an indication of future service. This is the stage where you are giving them business and therefore money. What happens if something goes wrong? It's not about having your ass kissed. Yeah sure there are customers like that, but let's not all just jump to the conclusion that the OP must be one.

Then on the other side of the coin, you'll have people who will defend a luthier with their last dying breath too. The truth of it is somewhere in the middle I think. I'd say that luthier has enough business and really isn't bothered about getting more, ok, fine, his choice, ya know? There are other great ones out there, enough to go around.

But jeez, Dirk, I'm so sorry.

Mim
03-02-2012, 01:46 AM
Could be life intervened, people have emergencies and such sometimes.

So...

... the universe knew we were talking about this... and the universe decided to send me an example bright and early this morning:

Last night I went to sleep with the intention of getting all my uke orders from yesterday and last night out today.

Then my light was turned on at 6:30 in the morning (and I usually sleep in until 8 or 9 because I work until late) by one of my kids and a frantic "Mom! Wake up! Dad has a nail in his foot!"

So though my intention was to set up ukes all day today, the reality quickly turned into:

Get up and unscrew (literally) a 1 1/2 inch screw out of my husbands foot and after getting the kids on the bus and babies to pre-school, off we will go to the doctor for whatever shots he may need when they open at 8:30.

He tripped in the garage knocking over a bucket of nails and screws and he landed full weight on one. By the way... if it is a screw... I learned the hard way... unscrew, dont pull. Oh, and siezures are scary, and google is handy when knowing how to treat shock. I also found out I was not cut out to be a nurse.

Now it all settled down and the foot is elevated with ice on it... I sort of laughed and told Levi, "You know, they were talking on UU about life getting in the way for uke makers and dealers... and look! I have an example!" Haha... so there you have it... life gets in the way! Haha!

I am taking a break... I needed to sit down. Though obviously he is on the worst end of this... I am jittery.

Time to get up now and make lunches! So, if you have an e-mail in to me, I will get to you tonight once as many orders as possible are out and the kids are in bed.

Gadzukes!
03-02-2012, 02:51 AM
Thanks for the comments, everyone!

Just to clarify, I've seen a few people refer to the OP (me) saying things said by others in this thread. Please understand that I have no problems with either of the vendors which I contacted, aside from wishing they would get back to me sooner. I completely understand that life does get in the way sometimes. I remember the day I literally watched my father take his last breath—two hours later I was sitting down to work with a client due to a prior commitment. That client put work before everything else, and taught me a lesson in how not to treat others.

Best wishes to everyone who is going through difficulties!

roxhum
03-02-2012, 03:08 AM
And I would like to add... Gadzukes, good for you to make this an interesting conversation without naming names. You know sometimes too the chemistry just isn't right and go with your gut to move on to another luthier. There are plenty of good ukes out there and many choices.