October 22, 2014

Why some aftermarket retailers don't deserve our business

4wdNewz has commented from time to time on the slack attitude of some 4WD aftermarket product retailers when dealing with internet customers. Others, hopefully many, are great. Why some companies even have an internet presence if they can't be bothered servicing customers properly remains a mystery; it's like they want us to cut out the local guy and buy from overseas. A while ago, a person well known in the 4WD community wrote this account of his online experience supporting a New Zealand company. It has been slightly shortened:

"I decided to invest in a proper lift kit with all the right bits to replace the mishmash that I had. I even decided that rather than import them myself as I have in the past I would do the right thing and order from a well known New Zealand 4x4 accessories supplier. That way I would get a warranty and also support a local business. Having owned several businesses I know how important local community support is. Sadly this has been a disappointing experience. As soon as I ordered, the full amount was charged to my credit card and I was told there would be a four week delay for the kit. Disappointed that the kit, which was on the NZ website, was not in stock I decided to wait. After four weeks I emailed for an update, to be told that it was delayed. When I queried why the delay I received a somewhat terse email saying they could not control manufacturing delays. Not a hint of an apology.

"The kit arrived nine weeks after I ordered it but my relief quickly turned to disappointment. The springs were not marked as front or rear and no instructions were supplied. After checking with the supplier on the correct way to fit the springs (and got different advice from that of every experienced 4x4 modifier I asked) I have a larger lift at the rear than the front. (It is not because I have a heavy winch on the front, the winch is mounted behind the passenger’s seat) and the front shocks bottom out well before the bump stops touch. Two emails to the supplier over the last week have not been answered.

"I have dealt with this supplier in the past and was reasonably happy; what a shame my experience this time has been so disappointing. Don’t they realise that they are competing with overseas suppliers who are very much on the ball? Next time I might take the cheaper option and buy from overseas. For what I paid I could almost have flown to Sydney and brought the parts back with me. Pity it couldn’t be a better outcome."


  1. I don't know that it's an internet matter; overseas companies can also give bad advice/supply the wrong stuff. You might find that a company that deals with internet customers poorly deals with walk-in or phone-in customers just as poorly. I'm not doubting the information in the post, but I have found some brilliant suppliers and I'd sooner pay a bit more to enjoy their advice and competence than just hunt for the lowest price.

  2. If you dont want to be screwed go to an actual shop, speak to actual people, see the actual products. Dont pay more than a deposit if something has to be ordered. There are plenty of other ways to waste $ 4WDing than with incompetant and lazy companys who as you say shouldnt be allowed to have a website.