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I was told I'm a scammer...
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Posted by Chadwick [Email] (#569) [Profile/Gallery] (more from Chadwick) on Tue, 19 Jun 2012 16:07:42 Share Post by Email
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Let me preface this post by saying that the current SAAB parts situation has been very stressful on me and every other shop owner I know. You can read through the forums and see individual posts and cases of vehicles being down for parts that are not available, but it's not until you're trying to keep over 200 cars on the road that you realize the true scope of it all. I'm not talking about a piece of trim or an accessory set of floor mats, I'm talking about hard mechanical and electrical parts that are necessary to vehicle operation.

CIM modules, transponders, key fobs, brake lines, body panels, headlights, taillights, rear bumpers, front bumpers, coil springs, spark plugs, neutral safety switches, direct ignition cassettes, brake booster lines, brake vacuum pumps, xenon control modules, ignition switches, windshield wiper motors, EVAP purge valves, gas tank straps, and fuel pump assemblies to name a few.

As a shop owner, you have to take the time to find every part on the list and all the other ones I cannot recall off of the top of my head just to keep vehicles on the road. If they're not available from SAAB directly (which mostly they haven't been since even before the bankruptcy), you have to take the time to attempt to find them from the OEM supplier if they make it available. If it's not, you have to contact dealers and beg, borrow, and steal to see if they will even sell it to you off of their shelf, and of course you will not be getting a discount on list price. If you cannot source anything domestically, you have to start looking internationally. This brings with it higher phone bills, higher shipping, and import tax and duty.

This means to make a margin, you may have to charge over list. I spend more hours of my day doing this part of the job to keep my customers going rather than actually turning wrenches anymore. The conundrum of billing for this time spent leads to higher final invoices, but I can't give it all away and still keep the doors open. Keys that list at $38 dollars were being sold on ebay for $600, and CIM modules that listed at 400 are on there for $800 or more. Supply and demand economics.

So, ladies and mostly gentlemen of the SAAB community, it is without further hesitation that I inform you what I was informed today that I, Chad Lowers, am a scammer.

I often reply to posts on this forum and others where I see people who are asking about a specific part they need for their vehicle. Last week, I saw three separate posts of three separate forums and blogs asking about a Secondary Air Injection pump for a 9-3SS. PN12791957. List price $358.33. Current SAAB backorder quantity: 11.

From these posts I received three separate calls last week. I quoted the pump at $425. Yesterday I received a call from a gentleman who was a friend of one of the people who called last week about the pump, as it turned out it was actually for his car. I quoted him $450 shipped for the pump and he agreed without much hesitation. We did discuss that it was higher than SAAB list and I believe I said "I just cannot give it away." He also told me his car has been sitting for some time as the repairer it was at was unable to source the parts to repair his SAI system. I take payment, box it up, and make a trip to the UPS store after work and drop it off to be on its way.

This morning, I received a call from the gentlemen accusing me of scamming him and ripping him off on the part he had just purchased from me. He requested a refund, to which I declined. We went back and forth for a while about it, and after being accused of lying, cheating, being dishonest, and scamming, I lost my cool a bit and hung up. Admittedly, I erred here. I can usually keep my calm and cool through almost anything, but being accused of all these things after what I've gone through in the past six months to keep happy customers just put me over the edge. I was wasting time that could be used fixing all the cars I had lined up for the day.

The gentleman calls back a bit later, requesting tracking info which I provide, and then tells me he will be complaining about my business throughout the internet and will be calling his credit card company to cancel the transaction. At this point, I'm confused on how to feel. My company has 100% positive reviews through Google, and I hate to ruin that, but I just haven't done anything wrong here.

Now his friend who uses this site is emailing and also threatening the same digital mudthrowing. In fact, here's the first email:

"Chad:

I spoke with you last week concerning a friend of mine, Anil Singh, who needed a secondary air injection pump for a 2003 9-3. Apparently after telling me you would sell him the part for $425, you changed your mind and sold it to him for $450. He is yet to learn when the part will arrive. Now that Saab Parts has been bought by the Swedish government, Saab parts is making parts available and he can get the part from our local dealer, Saab of Memphis, for $311 (total price) at dealer's cost and $350 for non dealer's price. You told him that you were charging so much because these parts were not available. You were dead wrong. You would have been right a week ago but you were wrong when he called you. A dealer he talked to in Chicago told him he could get the part there as well.

As a person who has owned 15 Saabs, and presently owns six, and is on SaabsUnited nearly every day and who used to be on Saabnet every day, I am pissed about this and about making a recommendation to a good friend of mine who relied on me.

So here is what I am going to do. You have a day to call him back and work something out. Anil's number is XXXXXXXXX. If you and he can agree on something, then this will be the end of it. If not look for me to put scam alerts on SaabsUnited and Saabnet. We will both tell our stories. I will also start looking at other Saab websites and put scam alerts there.

Sincerely,

XXXXXX"

To which I replied:

"Two parties came to an agree upon price based on supply and demad, then completed a transaction. No foul. I made about $85 after shipping. I provided tracking info this am. Part was shipped same day as discussed. My business has completed 100% of its responsibility in this transaction."

I also debated to myself for awhile what I could do that would be fair to both parties involved. I decided to dump all the profit and then some:

"Also. After some consideration, what I have decided to do is make a 100 dollar donation to the charity of you or your friends choice and will gladly provide reciept for doing so. I will then officially lose money on this transaction.

Hopefully this will demonstrate that my standing on this matter is not about the money involved, but the principal of upholding an agreed upon business transaction which two parties happily entered.

Best,
-Chad"

To which I received a reply:

"it doesn't mean it was right. You simply were wrong about whether this part was available or not and your misrepresentation induced Anil into a purchase he would not have otherwise made. In fact, the dealership in Chicago did the right thing and did not try to sell him something he could have got here for cheaper.

If you want to be hardnosed about it, it is your right. But it is also our right to complain about what we think was unfair. And then the court of public opinion can decide.

But since you say you only made $85 on the sale, perhaps you didn't get a good price when you bought it. Maybe they are cheaper now. But if you paid more than what they are selling for now because they were scarce when you bought it and you had to pay a premium, you should have told him."

I sent one more reply a few minutes ago.

"If gas is ten dollars/gal today and you buy a gallon, but you find it for five dollars tomorrow, you do not go to the previous station and ask for your money back. You had a need for a commodity, the station provided. You willingly paid what the station asked. The station is just a provider.

This is exactly what has occurred here. I have already been slandered by Anil on my google page which had nothing but perfect reviews from four years of business, and I no longer have any motivation to discuss this issue. Please provide a charity you would like the donation made to. This is the only appeasement I will offer.

Best,
-Chad"

I am curious about honest opinions on this entire transaction from those who use this and other forums. Am I wrong? Am I right?

I guess my biggest fear about taking something back like that is it sets a precedent for future business that I'm not comfortable having. I wanted to lay this whole thing out as it happened for everyone before things get said about myself or my shop that are not true. The 200 customers you've kept happy don't seem to matter when only the upset one seems to yelp.

I'm going to get back to work since I spent so much time dealing with this today I didn't get nearly as much done as I needed to.

My shop: https://plus.google.com/105316604950616168280/about?hl=en

Best,
-Chad


->Posting last edited on Tue, 19 Jun 2012 16:13:19.


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