I've been trying to call there most of the day and the phone is always busy.
Never mind I got through after trying for 3 hours. Dave says business is thriving!
Royce; Unfortunately that's not uncommon.
I really like Dave and Glenn, but if you want quick shipping and delivery, and for the phone to be answered (not busy) most of the time, Snyder's and Lang's has them beat hands down. I hate to say that; I live less then 2 hours from Chaffin's and I know if the items get out the day I order I will receive the next day by noon. Unfortunately the last few times I ordered from them (just a few small items I needed to finish a job I was stuck on) it took 3 or 4 days to get my parts. The delay was simply because Dave cannot keep up with the phone, the counter, repair work, answer questions, and pack and ship the orders by himself. I like them both very much, but I rarely order from them any more because of the inconsistancy.
You gotta wonder how many calls they miss out on. I just placed a pretty large order. I've been there and seen Dave in action. He definitely earns his keep.
Royce, Gary; That is my experience also. One time it was over a week to get an over-nite shipment that I needed now.
On the flip side.... I was fitting my top bows and sockets on Saturday the 19th, using a laminated bow set. I finished the first taper and promptly snapped it off flush with the socket... not a good way to get a car ready to tour. I've fit bows before, always steam bent, and never had a problem. Anyway, I was able to locate another single laminated bow and I had a line on a single used bow, but I decided to go with a complete set of steam bent oak bows. I called Snyder's and Don happened to be in... and answering the phone on Saturday morning. He dug around that morning and found a set, verified they were the right dimensions and had them ready to go out first thing Monday morning.
That was great service! but it gets better.
I received the new bow set Friday evening. I ran into a problem with the new set when I opened them early Saturday morning. I sent an email and tried calling (06:30 Pacific Time). Again the phone was answered, and again my problem was addressed by Don in time for the item to go out Monday morning, and I had a detailed email reply as well.
You just can't beat customer service like that. Nobody gets everything right the first time, but fast and dedicated service builds loyalty every time.
Thank you, Don!
I've spoken with Dave at Chaffin's several times over the past year and he's been very helpful. In fact, the conversations have been fairly lengthy. Maybe I'm one of the guys tying up Dave and his phone...oops!
The best are always busy! Whether we are trying to get in to see the best dentist, best orthopaedic surgeon etc. we all have to wait a bit. One needs to look at the principle of simply selling a lot of product and pushing it out the door fast versus getting a proper well- made part and good service. I am in sales/marketing. There is a time proven saying that you can not have all 3 of these at the same time: lowest price, fastest service, best product. These can not co-exist for more than a very very brief period of time at best. ...Personally, I am quite fine with waiting a bit. This wonderful hobby has taught me to develop a lot of patience. I have had to wait sometimes years for certain rare parts, so waiting a few extra days or even a week or two extra for some basic things is no big deal. If someone like the Chaffins are difficult to get reach, I will just keep trying, understanding that they are doing the best job they can and there is only so many hours in a day. ...Just my 25 cents input.
No. I disagree. The way Chaffin's has treated me is unacceptable for any reputable company. How do they expect to stay in business if they don't reply to e-mails time after time. I have made a major order from New Zealand and have recieved most of it, but it has taken month after month of ignored e-mails and faxes. Even simple things like asking if they recieved the payment I had sent took e-mail after e-mail. I am still waiting for parts I ordered in November (and these were pre-paid and to be sent to a US address). Dealing with Chaffin's is an exercise in frustration and I am offended by their constant lack of communication.
Granted, Glen has an international reputation for his quality parts,knowledge and his posts on this forum have been helpful...but when my friend sends an order to Snyders and has the parts here in New Zealand in less than a week, you have to ask yourself what is wrong with Chaffins?
I say don't deal with them.
Our Model T cars are unique, that they are still roadworthy & parts are available. But...... the local car parts store usually can't help us. I've resigned myself not to be an alarmist, or panic myself because I cannot get a part off the shelf. A phone call followed by payment & shipping & waiting for the delivery is the norm for most of us. Even with my Amazon orders, tracking info is sent via e-mail, approximate dates for delivery are suggested.....I'm still waiting for a package that was supposed to be delivered over a week ago...which as happened to a few orders in the past.
Parts dealers are individuals. Some work part - time, some full time by themselves, some with one or two part-timers, some as a full time business by themselves and some as full time with a few employees. Varied, you bet.
I bought my parts 10 years ago from a "company" that consisted of a husband & wife. Good service & better communication & technical advise. Can't remember exactly, but he was still working at his full time job then responding & answering the phone after "work". Order picking & shipping was done in reasonable time. Due to life's changes, he still has Model T interests but not as a parts dealer as before. We still keep in touch & value his friendship.
I may be incorrect, I believe Chaffins Garage to be run by Mr. Chaffin & David Little. Not only into parts, original & repro, but also manufacture Ruckstell parts & I'm sure other parts as well.
A two person company to do all they can to help us.
Patience is a virtue, this world is not about you.... is what I learned early on.... and helps with the blood pressure.
""Granted, Glen has an international reputation for his quality parts,knowledge and his posts on this forum have been helpful...but when my friend sends an order to Snyders and has the parts here in New Zealand in less than a week, you have to ask yourself what is wrong with Chaffins?""...........
International orders are subject to customs inspection that delay delivery........ correct ??
Maybe Glenn needs to hire someone to answer the phone and emails????
I mostly use Lang's because I appreciate him dragging his parts trailer to all the MTFCI International tours. The hassle and the fuel costs must outweigh the profit but he's there just the same. The only friendly criticism I have of Lang's is that they seem to have very poor inventory control. When placing a phone order they have no idea if a given part number is in stock or not without physically having to walk to the "bin" and check it out. I hope they get this solved some day.
I must apoligize to those we have failed to please. Dave works 9 hours a day, 6 days a week. I work 24 hours a day, 7 days a wheek and it apparently is not enough. But I do not wish to make excuses. We try our best to please everyone but sometimes fail. We have tried to find more help but no one wants to work like we do. Dave and I both spend a lot of time answering questions and helping people with their problems because we feel this is just as important as filling orders, but it does not pay the bills and does cause a delay in shipping. Please bear with us and we will try to do better.
Thank you Glen for explaining your situation. I have ordered parts from you in the past and have been very greatful that you have been there to help with my projects.
I think that one thing we all forget at times is that we are working on machines that have been out of production since 1928 and that the original manufacturer has not provided support for at least 5 decades. If you want frustration, try working on a 1920's Rolls Royce or any of the hundreds of other cars that had low production and where the mother company is long gone from business. When you wait years to get a new cylinder head manufactured for your 1928 Rolls Royce and it costs you $18,000 to purchase, waiting a few weeks for Model T parts will seem like a dream come true. Mind you, I don't own the Rolls Royce I just worked on it and had it in my two car garage for two and a half years while helping a friend out as he had no place to work on the car. But the experience sure did make me appreciate all of the great Model T parts vendors!!!!!
I will now deplane from my soap box and again say Thank You Glen and thank you to all of the great parts folks mentioned in this thread.
Spring is about sprung....Happy T Motoring!!!!
Nevin, We show one order received from you on 07/07/07. This order was shipped on 09/20/07 in full after waiting for back ordered parts. We apoligize for the delay. Please contact us direct if you did not receive this order or have any future problems. Thank you. Glen
I have ordered the majority of my parts from Chaffin's over the past two years. I'm lucky to live in San Diego and Corona is only a 90 minute to two hours trip up the road from me. I usually call on Friday to see if the parts are available and if they are I drive up the following morning. Mr. Chaffin and Dave have been fantastic in every situation be it parts or advice. They are always upbeat and take the time to explain to a then "newbie" about this great hobby. Many thanks to them both!
As I mentioned before, Glen and Dave are both great people and very dedicated to the hobby and their customers. I appreciate the parts they develop, as well as the information and expertise they share. The ruckstell is a great example, and the work Glenn's son is doing on the Rajo is also a great effort. If I'm in the area and need parts durring normal hours (not often everything matches up) stopping by and picking up parts would be my first choice. Unfortunately for me all of those stars only line up once every couple of years. We've got a number of great vendors for us, I'm gratefull for it, and I use all of the 'Big Three'.
Glenn; You probably don't get direct feedback from us and that's something we customers should give you. It would be worth considering hiring someone for a few hours a day to pack and ship orders, if you can find someone to do it. I've heard rumblings from others who were frustrated with the time it takes to ship small orders, and of course if small orders don't get shipped timely you slip from the 'top of the list' of vendors to call for larger orders. The parts you sell and the services you do are great, my only frustration was waiting for orders to ship, and that's the only negative I've heard from others. I do know you guys do all you can between you.
I must say that the reason that the phone is so busy at Chaffins is that Dave is an extremely nice guy that will take all the time necessary to completely explain the answers to any questions posed to him; especially from dummies like me!
A second phone line might help, though!
Glen, I understand you are busy, and that you offer help and advice....but what do you do with the e-mails that you don't reply to. Delete them? My e-mails stay in my inbox until I either deal with them or delete them. I am not an impatient person, and am prepared to wait for a good product...but am not prepared to wait for a reply that doesn't come. Even a reply that states you are flat out and will reply later would be preferable to no reply.
The good advice you provide to people could be at the expense of you customers. Clearly you need to employ someone, and there is someone out there who fits the bill. You need to find that person and fast.
Bob, NZ customs only hold orders over several hundred dollars until you pay some duty. Smaller orders go straight through.Major orders could be held up for a week.
I got a crazy quote here in NZ for a Toyota head set, so got a set sent out from LA. Four days later, I had it and saved many hundreds of $.The e-mails from the supplier were polite and helpful.It was shipped UPS priority and I was advised by e-mail exactly where it was each day.
Evan, point taken. We are lucky to have Model T vendors. I wish my 1914 Buick had a parts source like my Model T...but the reality is that there are a number of Model T vendors competing for market share.Even in New Zealand there are vendors competing against one another, as well as against US vendors. Service and price will determine who gets market share.
Nevin, I agree with you, we do need help. Are you available? Wish you were. Dave is over worked and under appreciated. He is very knowledgeable and customer friendly. We have tried to find someone who can follow in his foot steps but without success. Most people who express an interest can take orders but can't tell a horn from a radiator and certainly can't answer customer questions like Dave. I keep buisy full time with accounting and production management of the many parts we manufacture. I apoligize for not responding to your e-mail but I believe it arrived about the time our computer crashed. We still haven't fully recovered from that. Please understand that you are important to us, as are all of our customers, and we appreciate your business. There is a lot of competition in this business and several good dealers. None of us are perfect and all of us have some faults. But please remember, there is not a lot of profit in selling Model T Ford parts and most of us are doing it not to get rich but to help or customers and the hobby. So please bear with us as we struggle to achieve that goal. Thank you for the constructive criticism. That is the only kind that is justified and appreciated. We will try to do better.
I would love to work for you, but it's a bit far to commute! Perhaps there is someone out there in this forum who would enjoy the challenge of working with Model T parts?
Ok, as a rookie, I've both purchased Chaffin's products and benefitted from Dave's generous advice. I've been more than pleased with both. I run a single-handed computer support business, and I know how easily demand can exceed supply on any given day. With computers, it's easy to call in backup support. With Model T's, it's not so easy. These gentlemen deserve a bit of slack. My 2¢ is that their expertise is more than worth the extra patience to get through either by phone or email.
It seems to me that modern technology - computers and flush toilets - are wonderful devices that are difficult to live without.
However, when the toilet plugs up - or worse yet, when the discharge line underground ceases to function, and all the sewage from upstairs floods the cellar, it's a real pain! So too, when the computer crashes...mine has, and unfortunately, I never knew what incoming e-mails I lost.
Technology, like everything else, is great when it works.
To the Chaffin's:
Kudos and thanks for all your work on so many parts - all that time on the brake lugs, especially!
Glen, I have a 19-year-old who seems to be having trouble finding a job. Maybe I could ship him out to you and you could teach him a few things, work 'im til he drops and I'll give him to you for room and board. (grin) He isn't really fond of Minnesota winters either.
Thank you all for your understanding but we will try to do better. Our goal has always been to be the best, provide and manufacture quality parts, and to please our customers. We will not settle for less.
Warren, We'll take him. Dave started out as a customer that wanted to learn about the Model T and look what happined to him! Guess I did something right there!
I thought about this email all evening, and need to add my 2 cents. I have called Dave numerous times for advice and ALWAYS get as much time and detail as I need. I also purchase parts from Chaffin's but I am not sure the time both Dave and Glen have spent giving me help has been returned in what I have been able to purchase from them. I called in Saturday morning and got some more advice from Glen, then placed a small order. I had a part break on me Saturday night so I called their number Sunday when they are not open, and Glen answered the phone, found my package and added the parts I needed. That is service!!! I just want them to know how much I appreciate their help and their dedication to our hobby. They are fantastic folks in my opinion.
Thank you for the positive note Wes!!! It's wonderful to hear!!
I have done a little business with you from time to time & spent lots of time on the phone seeking help & advice & have always been amazed & pleased with your generous help. It may be the case that some of your customers don't understand that you also make some of the items you vend, which of course complicates your day to day operations. Keep up the good work & take time to enjoy the California sunshine !!
Edward R. Levy
We just hired someone to help Dave answer the phones. He is extremely well versed in the Model T and can answer ALL the technical questions you may have.
BEAUTIFUL ! !
One of the delights of taking a trip to San Diego was the side trip taken to Chaffins.
I got lost looking for a big sign and ended up calling Dave to tell me where I was at.
Just seeing the parts, and meeting Dave and Glen made the trip worth it.
Thanks so much Dave and Glen for the help, parts, and super fast service. From LA to the northern Oregon coast usually takes no more then three days.
Ill second that Paul their service has been nothing other than outstanding for me. Mike
Mark, does your new help qualify for the $5 daily wage?
Yes. He gets paid the SAME as Dave. LOL
Sorry folks, Old Henry had some memory lapses and really couldn't handle the pressure of the job. He was also having difficulty adjusting to the California sunshine, so we had to let him go. We certainly will give him credit for trying.