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General question about "problem parts"..

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  • Other: General question about "problem parts"..

    Why is it, that when a "part or parts" (new or old) go bad, or seem to be bad, the car owner gets on the nearest website and asks the world what's wrong with his/, engine, electrical problem, mechanical problem, transmission, brakes, tail lights, etc., etc.

    Why doesn't the car owner contact the "manufacturer" or at least the "seller" of said part or parts to try to figure out the problem ? Afterall, these people will most probably have better, quicker, more accurate answers than "anyone" else.

    Maybe even get a..."send it back and we'll make it right" on the first contact. rather than wait on the web boards for 72 people to give 85 different answers...and NOW...the person is really out in left field as far as a good answer..! And he/she has waited for 4 or 5 days to get all these odd answers...when a single phone call or e-mail to the manufacturer "could" have had the ball rolling right away to a fixed problem or part..?!

    Save time, (normally) hassle, head ach's folks...go to the manufacturer to fix your problems, they ARE the experts in that field.

    Now..of course, I do understand, that even the manuf. can be a bit of a pain, but if you are polite and explain the problem in a nonconfrontational voice, manor...most things get handled pretty quickly, at least in my experience..


  • #2
    DITTO ...your thoughts and suggestions!!!

    If you don't take it back ...or at the very least notify the source you obtained the problem "part or parts" from can they know there even is "A" problem. "Customer Feedback" is the lifeblood of any business that plans to be in business very long nowadays.


    • #3
      I deal with this at my company all the time. We have a very good support department - we even have a 24/7 phone number to call and talk to a live person at any time. And people still post to newsgroups looking for answers instead of calling us and using our resources. It's frustrating. I don't know why people behave this way.

      Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" |


      • #4
        A lot of auto parts stores won't take returns on electrical parts, their concern is that something "burned up" the original part, so if you just stick a new one in and it fails, it's your fault. Mechanical parts are usually easy to do a post mortem on because you can see what broke. Also, I can't imagine anybody in my local Auto Zombies store would have any idea what could have caused a problem with the parts they sell.


        • #5
          Mike you might want to check post #6 here:


          I will agree that the FIRST place to ask is the MFG. or Seller rather than spread unfounded "ISSUES" all over the World Wide Web, but in this case it did finally, actually work.
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner


          • #6
            I surf and lurk several forums and recognize the OP's observation of people going straight to boards for answers.
            I'm even guilty of the very behavior.
            I think there are several reasons that can all be primary or secondary motivators depending on the individual.
            Past bad experience with tech support.
            General Impatience (either 'Naturally Born' or the 'resists Social Change' acquired will do.)
            Ipad/pod dependency (again either 'Born with it' or the BoomerAcquired is likely to be present...)
            The stated above reason (Validated by years of comparative experience) that you shouldn't trust an 'unproven' counter person.
            Someone who is new to the WWW and still believes that everyone in any given forum at any given moment is likely to be 'An Expert' (so obviously "I" can go ask 20 or 30 experts instead...)
            and naturally just like when you walk into a bar and ask for a drink, they get an answer. Thereby reinforcing their motivation to do it again.....

            I find it just as interesting that instead of taking the time to search through the threads of their given interest using the 'Search' function they go straight to asking the question.

            Of course the fact that people now use the web for quick immediate answers to nearly anything they can think of from "Who was that guy who played in the movie with..." to "What is the surface area of a bolt so I can figure out voltage for electroplating..." to obsolete cars probably wouldn't play much into it.


            • #7
              R1 -

     bring up the other good question.......does no one (or few) understand the way the "search" function works ?

              Not lately, but I have gone on a hunt myself...when people say they've tried the "search" function and "didn't" find anything....I wonder when I type in the "code" words of that persons question...up pops 10 or 15 (sometimes more) things to read..!?

              Granted, on a board or two, I have found that the search function to be a real pain in the buttox, and/or only partially helpfull, but is still there with somewhat of an answer..

              Others -

              And yea, I fully understand the "no electrical returns" policy...BUT, that's not the question here..! Finding the problem, not just for returns. And the manufacturer rather than the seller in most cases is MUCH better to speak with. My seller comment mostly revolves around speed or hot rod parts, where a lot of the time...they actually understand about the parts they sell.



              • #8
                Ya know Mike I was all kewl and everything with this thread and your posts until you went and wrote that last line...
                Talk about breakin the code... Man that was cold! How dare you let secrets like that out in public forums???? DUUUUUuuuude WTF?????
                Thats REAL information that could prove subversive to internet society. Get A GrIP!


                • #9
                  If you use google and the forum name for searches, you should have excellent results. I always do...


                  • #10
                    I suspect it’s a combination of factors. Younger people tend to rely on the Web for almost everything, even though the info they receive is not authoritative. But I also agree that many of us have had really bad experiences with technical support help lines. Of course, that shouldn’t mean that ALL tech support is bad, but it can color our thinking. I had really poor performance from the H-P computer tech support, and five trips to the store failed to solve the problem, either. We eventually returned the computer for a refund.

                    But my most frustrating experience with Mr Goodwrench (or whatever GM was calling their Web-based help line at the time). The dealer-installed, GM-built (optional) alarm system would run my battery down in a week or so, and all I wanted to do was disable it. It could not be turned off, but remained alive even in the standby mode. It was a 10-year old used car, and came with the alarm system already installed. Removing the fuses powering the alarm system also disabled the starter. The answer I got from Mr Goodwrench was to take the car to my local Chevy dealer. Wiring diagrams for the unit were not releasable to the public (yeah, there might be a car theft ring somewhere that was just waiting for the info so they could start stealing $2000 GM used cars). A call to my local dealer got the same answer – I would have to bring the car in, prove I was the legal owner, and only then would they deign to work on it. They could not provide any help over the phone.

                    A posting on a Camaro Web forum got me an answer in ten minutes: Remove one of the two fuses powering the alarm, cut the yellow wire, and short the blue and red wires together. Problem solved.
                    Skip Lackie


                    • #11
                      i think it is more the issue (especially with old cars) that general people often don't know what you are asking, for instance if you need a master cylinder for a 63 wagonaire and you go to AZ they just look at you and go "huh"-cause if it ain't in the computer they have no idea how to look it up. Little better if you go to NAPA at least they know what a Stude is, but now the problme arises that they have a number for the part but it is no longer available. So now you go to the web and forums asking the questions, and somebody who has been there done that says yeah, if you have them look up a 76 ambassador it is the same part- so now you go back to the parts store ask the question get the part and compare it and bingo you've got it! but if it had not been for the web and forums it would be so much harder and take longer because you would be reduced to junkyarding for a part and older (70's and below) cars are few and far between here in columbus, OH and surrounding areas at the junk yards. That is why I think people go to forums and ask the questions because they think the people answering at least are trying to help them...just my opionion


                      • #12
                        Interesting thread....(feeling chatty here)

                        I have spent my entire career in the parts industry and have lived through the changes firsthand.
                        Watched the parts industry go from paper to computer to Internet, and Cloud....
                        The one constant in all of this change was.....time.
                        In the 'good ol' days' we used to write down things.
                        We'd write down what we wanted on a list on paper.
                        Then we'd go to the store and hand the paper list to a guy behind the counter.
                        He'd open up his paper catalog (using the Waverly filing system if he was really good), find his part number, and write it down on paper.
                        Then he would look that part number up on a hard paper inventory card (to find the location and quantity on hand, whether it was in stock, on order, on back order, superseded, or obsolete).
                        If the card told him it was in stock, he would go and get the part. Then he would look up the price in a paper price sheet.
                        And there were a lot of paper price sheets....All with their own color..(List, trade, fleet, major fleet, national fleet, jobber, warehouse distributor)
                        Once your order was filled, he wrote (longhand) all your part numbers, quantities, and descriptions on a multi part paper sales form.
                        Then he would run the extended quantities on an adding machine and compare his writings to the paper adding machine strip.
                        Then he would look up on a paper card to see what the sales tax would be on the sub total, and add that to the hand written invoice.
                        Then he would verbally tell you what all these transactions will cost you, and....
                        (A) You would gladly pay in cash (paper money)
                        (B) Complain that you could get it for less down the street at the other store.
                        (C) Hand him a credit card.

                        Choice (A) was the easiest. He would take your paper money, deduce in his head what the correct amount of 'change' you were due (to make the monetary transaction complete) and audit the fund transferal back to you.

                        Choice (B) started a sub negotiation. Sometimes this negotiation started way back at the time you handed him the list in the first place.
                        But if you did that, unless it was a large transaction, the early handing over of the paper want list just brought out a estimate.
                        A verbal estimate.
                        Sometimes, if it was a large purchase, that estimate might be in writing, on another piece of paper.

                        Choice (c) was usually only used if there was not enough paper currency readily at hand to complete the transaction.

                        Now, choice (A) and choice (C) both brought post transaction paper manipulation.
                        At the end of the business day, those multi part paper sales slips, were separated into their respective function (cash, accounts receivable, inventory, etc),
                        and placed in the proper paper receptacle.
                        The pink paper was then collated and sent to the inventory control person (who could be the same person that processed the original transaction).
                        That person would take the paper sales slip, and look up each item and search the card file (Acme Visual is a brand name that comes to mind).
                        Then, he would find the brand, and the part number, and manually write the date, the invoice number, and the quantity on the card, reducing the 'on-hand' quantity with a deft mental calculation.
                        Then that person would replace the paper card in the card tray/tub, orienting it so that the on-hand status reflects the inventory status (qty OK, to be ordered, on order, on back order, etc)..
                        Weekly, the inventory paper cards would be reviewed, usually on a brand by brand basis, and a stock order would be crated and written down on paper.
                        Depending on the owner, this paper list may well have to be priced and extended, using those paper price lists and paper adding machine tapes.
                        Then, when the WD salesman came in (He would come in one day a week like clockwork) he would take your paper list(s) on a product line by product line basis and write your order down on his own paper order pad.
                        The WD salesman would turn in his paper order pad and the whole process would happen again at the warehouse distributor level.
                        And the WD would do the same process and place paper pad orders with the manufacturer level...
                        And so on and so on.... All of those functions take time....(and paper)

                        The point of all of this is/was....
                        The knowledge needed to function at the consumer level, where the guy walks up to the counter with his widget, or paper list....
                        That knowledge was needed to start, process, and complete the transaction...all took time.
                        Today, almost all of that product knowledge, as well all of the inventory control knowledge, financial transaction knowledge, and all of the record keeping...The time factor has been reduced to milliseconds.
                        All of that has been replaced by electronic information management.
                        Notice I did not say knowledge was not replaced by electronics.
                        Knowledge is still needed, but only for the 'old' stuff, and the only knowledge needed is for manipulating the electronics.
                        Information retrieval knowledge is all that has to be retained these days.
                        The F1 through F12 keys are the only thing a parts, or customer service person needs to remember these days.
                        The scripted question and response interaction with the consumer is all pre-planned and programmed.

                        There is little true retained knowledge any more.
                        Just a programmed response to the inputted question.
                        And that is sad, and socially destructive.
                        We need that interaction. It is part of the emotional process of completing the transaction.

                        That is why we roll our eyes when the person inputting your info de-jour asks you whether your Mustang has 2 or 4 doors.
                        You cringe and wonder, sometimes out loud, "who in their right minds writes this stuff down"?
                        Truth is... Nobody any more.
                        Writing, especially cursive, is fast becoming a lost art.
                        We are digressing back in our development.
                        The wonderful dexterity we developed over the millenia to communicate by manipulating our digits and putting information down on paper (or cave walls) is being lost to just needing thumbs to text (or an index finger for you older folks).
                        The electronic information world, while wonderful in its speed, is going to reduce our societies into verbal and visual pudding.
                        We see it now when we try to fix out 'old' things.
                        The modern electronic information system has downgraded the ability to fix anything.
                        Just replace your gizmo with a new gizmo.
                        Click here to complete your electronic transaction, and track your shipment in real time...Right here.
                        The time factor has been reduced to milliseconds.
                        And paper. What paper? Who has time for paper?
                        Face to face contact to participate in the transaction process... Who needs that any more?
                        They say that the Sears Roebuck catalog changed the way we shop without going to the store.
                        It sure did (way back then), but so has the computer, the Internet, and the cloud today.
                        It replaced the paper.
                        Nowadays, all the paper is used for is a backup to the 'Cloud'...
                        And that is sad.
                        HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)


                        Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

                        Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)


                        • #13
                          Jeff, I have to agree with your post 100%. I learned how to read parts books at an AMC dealer where I worked part time for two years while in college. The parts manager, Frank L, always had a pad by the phone when filling phone requests. That man taught me a great deal about the automotive business.
                          1957 Studebaker Champion 2 door. Staten Island, New York.

                          "Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think." -Albert Einstein


                          • #14
                            Back to the OP question....often the question forms in folks minds when they are not otherwise occupied with things So how easy is it to call a parts supplier at night or on weekends?
                            Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.


                            • #15
                              I miss the good old days when all one needed was to find was a good "parts man". Every time I moved (did that a lot in the military) I'd find one or two parts stores (usually mom& pop) where they: knew what a Studebaker was; spoke parts language, and often even offered good advice on choice or substitution. But those places & people have all but gone over the years.

                              Lately, I have gravitated to a local AutoZone, since they are close, cheap, their computer lists Stude, and they recognize me (Studebaker guy"). However, computer listings for Stude sometimes don't exist, but same part number can be found under another vehicle, i.e. lifters for 56J (same as early MOPAR 318). Many times the part is for a Stude conversion, i.e. a 60 amp, GM, one-wire alternator. I find it helpful to research part numbers myself, then go there with AZ part number in hand. It saves time and, if its the wrong part, I can only blame myself. In the old days, I coulda just told the guy at the counter what I was trying to do with an alternator and he'd have taken it from there. Or I coulda brought an old 56J lifter; he'd have looked at it a minute, muttered something like, "looks like a MOPAR" and took it from there.

                              Id be remiss if I did not say, thank goodness for our Stude vendors, who are only a phone call away. Also, thanks for those folks who rebuild some Stude parts, i.e. "DelcoJoe" in Wisconsin who has rebuilt a few heater control valves for me in the past and recently. Also, several traditional, annual Stude gatherings are great fellowship as well as source of parts (still trying to fit York in the schedule this year, though I don't need anything).
                              Yep. This is the good old days, when it comes to Stude parts, but we just need to "think out of the box" more and more, I guess.