I was wondering if there is anyone on the forum that lives near Howells sheet metal that would be able to assist us?
Last year we ordered some repair panels for a 1926 coupe from them. We had a bit of e mail correspondence with them at the time but we have not had much luck following up this year. The panels were ordered around October last year and paid via Paypal. Last correspondence had assurances that it was going to be shipped the next day (November) but we have not been able to get any more contact with them since then (time zones make it around 3am when we try to call him at a useful time).
Would anyone be in a position / prepared to visit and assist with getting the parts shipped?
Glen, I cannot assist as you are asking, but I had the same issue 6 months ago and forced a refund for my direct order. I then gambled and reordered through langs and it was delivered several weeks later. I could rant about pathetic service as I was disappointed with the time it took to do what they really are set up to do but it appears going direct is not the most effective way to deal unless you are close enough to walk in. Just my recent experience and solution. Good luck ts
This is nothing new. I've been reading stories like this for years. It's amazing that these guys are still in business.
Glen its 8;05 AM here in Texas and I just called Howell's sheet metal and left a message concerning your situation.
I live around 200 miles from their location in Beaumont.
The last time I bought some sheet metal parts from them was about 3 years ago. It took about 3 months to get the panels.
I called them several times and they finally answered the phone and the parts arrived 4 weeks later.
Unfortunately this is the way they handle their business. I didn't go to Chickasha this year so I don't know if they were there.
I would suggest you should order from Langs the next time (if you do!).
Hopefully they will get the message I left this morning.
Maybe others on the forum can at least call and tell them of Glen's situation.
I think Howells sell their parts to the vendors (Lang's, Mac's, etc) and would rather fill those orders than sell direct to consumers. Not sure why this is their model, but it is. I think the reason they are still in business is because there's nobody else making and selling parts on the scale that they are. It's kind of a captured market, and until someone else can compete we're stuck with what we have.
They don't care. They are the only game in town. This has been going on for well over 10 years. I have ordered from them before, same story, took months. Others receive theirs in short order. I agree they fill the vendors orders first it seems. Going there in person doesn't solve anything either. They will get to it when they get to it is their attitude. It is a crapshoot. Even on the phone they will blow smoke up your skirt, and still take their sweet time.
Glen - Contact your credit card company, file a dispute to get your money back, and then place an order through your preferred Model T parts vendor.
The longer these things play out, the more difficult it gets. Just cut your losses (which will only be your time once you get your money back) and move on.
Howells doesn't ship to their dealers either. They prefer to sell on Ebay. I hear you get a good response if you order from their Ebay store.
10 years?? Back in 1970 I ordered a model A rumble seat pan and was assured it could be mailed. NOPE, it was freighted, and the freight bill was more than the cost of the metal. But, I guess I did get my metal. Today, I would probably try to restore the original piece (which I think I still have, so might do that someday anyways, as that's the only repro part on the car.
Glen, I did put payment in dispute through PayPal and Howells did refund my money. That was fine though I was still in the designated window to dispute it if I recall. It may not matter, I am guessing they will refund your money. Again they shipped when I ran it through langs. I realize they direct shipped to me but they did ship where as they did not when I went direct. Ebay may produce the same results and get you what you want. Just a recent success in an otherwise challenging transaction. TS
I can't help but we all have had some issues with their slow delivery. I only order from them on EBay. You never get a return email. I order early when I am starting a project and hope for the best. Tim
I wouldn't buy anything from him. Very undependable.
Ordered a set of running board cans. About 2 yrs later, I got them.
Richard, that has got to be the record!
I ordered 2 fenders from them. 2 1/2 months later, I filed a dispute with My credit card company and got my money back. I then ordered the fenders from Rootlieb and they came promptly. Try Rootlieb. They are great.
Hi guys, thank you for the suggestions. We are currently having a go at contacting PayPal to see if they can reverse payment for us.
Thank you John for going the extra and having a go at calling them, it is all very much appreciated.
I have bought from them through e bay without any problems. KGB
They only sell stuff that's on their shelves at ebay. Other parts may be pictured in their catalog, but I think maybe they wait for a certain number of orders until they set up to actually make many of the slower sellers.
Bad business practice to accept payment and not being up front about the uncertainty when they actually will be made..