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Author Topic: Texas Towers  (Read 4818 times)
N9BC
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« on: January 09, 2002, 12:59:00 PM »

My experience with Texas Towers out of Plano, TX

Hello all. My Name is Brent and my call is N9BC. I would like to tell everyone about my experience with Texas Towers. On Monday 10/15/2001 I decide to buy an ICOM 706mk2g. After scouring the net I found that Texas
Towers seem to beat everyone by about 30 bucks. So I went and gave them a call mid afternoon to place the order. Someone picks up I believe his name
was Brian. He was very pleasant to talk deal with. The deal they advertised was $869 with free shipping sounded like a good deal so I opped for the over
night shipping for an extra $33 still not a bad deal! So I finished up the order and hung up.

All night and a good part of the next morning I was all excited about getting the rig. About 9:30am it gets here WHA HOO!! Open the box up start taking out the parts to the radio. So far so good next the rig. Take it out of the plastic what do I see a BIG black bloch across the LCD.  I was horrified! I couldn't believe it. After a few choice words out loud. I alled Texas Towers to let them know. They asked if the box was damaged it wasn't so they said it must of happened at the factory. So he said ship it back and they will ship me a new one. I said I guess so. So I hung up.

I sat there looking at the broken radio and decide to call them back to see if they would overnight me a new radio if I overnight this thing back. Got Brian back on the phone he said he needs to talk to the boss. 2 sec later he said sorry no can do. I'm like what? You are kidding me! Nope if you would like it shipped back to you overnight you will have to pay for it. So I said
ok thanks and hung up.

Off to UPS I go. I get there and ship the thing back to them overnight. So that is another $33. I get to work a few min later. Sitting at my desk festering about the whole deal.  I call them back and ask for the manager. He gets on the phone. I tell him the whole story and he said no sir we can't do it we don't make very much on the radio that is why we are the cheapest on the net. I said if you ship it back to me overnight I will do business with you again in fact I will place an order of $400 today with you. Still
he wouldn't do it. So I do the good ol' saying I will never do business with you again. And hung up the phone. Boy was I mad! Now it is Friday and still
no radio and I really wanted it for the weekend. So I broke down and told them to ship it to me overnight with Sat delivery another $45 for shipping. Got it on Sat as I was on my way down to AES to get the rest of the order. I sure wish I would have just bought it from AES to begin with.

Anyways I would never recommend TEXAS TOWERS to anyone. So beware they have no customer service what so ever! CS is very important to a business apparently they don't believe so.

Thanks for reading,
Brent
N9BC
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K5IQ
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2002, 11:51:09 AM »

Brent--

Take a peek at some of the other Texas Towers reviews here on this forum.  Some folks swear by 'em, but lots swear AT 'em!  TT's prices are among the best around and their product line appears extensive, but I, too will never order from them again--also because of customer service issues and irrational behavior on the part of management.

73 de Bob, K5IQ
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N2BSD
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2002, 01:12:27 AM »

I'm not sure what you expected from Texas Towers in this case.  It wasn't their fault the radio was damaged.  Shipping costs money, and if you buy from a discounter who draws business by undercutting everyone's price that's what you should expect.  When you started complaining about them, I thought you were going to say they wouldn't take the rig back, or something horrible like that!

At least they were nice enough to swap it out for you.

It's a disappointment to wait, I know.  I simply would have returned the rig (if possible) and gone somewhere local to buy one I had seen first.
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KC0IWV
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2002, 12:57:08 AM »

I agree that shipping costs money - but customer service isn't about just "making money".  It's about repeat business and customer referrals.  It's amazing to me how many retailers just "don't get it".  Let's do a little math on this one should we - and let's just see how Texas Towers makes out in this situation.  

Assume that Texas Towers bit the bullet and spent the $30.00 to ship him a new radio overnight. (In short - good service)  Imagine how happy this Ham would have been with the service.  He would have told at least 10 other Hams what great service Texas Towers provides when &*^% happens.  (And it does happen to everyone and every retailer)  Assume that 2 of those people buy their next rig from Texas towers due to the good publicity.  They tell 4 others - who tell 4 more Hams about Texas Towers good service reputation.  

Sounds like Texas Towers would have come out ahead in my business book.  Instead they tick this guy off - (and I don't blame him for being mad - I would be as well), and now he never buys from them again.  He then tells quite a few other people on some forum - (like this one) and they don't buy from Texas Towers either.  This is called "opportunity cost".    

I'm sorry but this math doesn't compute.  It's bad business service - plain and simple - no excuses for it.  Oh - did I mention - I will never buy from them either?  And I've never done business with them before - I never will either!

Yes there is a difference between price and value.  Sounds to me like Texas towers is a good price and a bad value based upon this example of customer service.

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WA4DOU
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2002, 01:20:45 PM »

I read this thread with a great deal of amusement. Here we have several hams lamenting the fact that TT doesn't know anything about customer service, yet they never discern that they don't know where the line is drawn and where their expectations exceed reason.
  Lets get one thing straight. Many hams have absolutely no loyalty as customers, they'll buy from anyone who is a nickel cheaper. Look around, how many ham suppliers are still in business? How old are they? Just how much profit do you think the entire ham market represents? These guys operate on very slim profit margins and they have to be very efficient to survive there.
  I have no doubt that Gerald at TT would love to bend over backwards to "make right" every perceived "wrong" that a customer might complain about. However, hams have overwhelmingly elected to "forgo" customer service in the interest of cheaper prices.
  Lets look at this situation with a clear head. When the IC706 MK II G was unpacked and it was discovered that the LCD display was defective, a call to TT prompted them to be willing to take the unit back and replace it. That IS customer service. The fact that you were so impatient that you had to have it at their expense, overnight, is not a bad reflection on them but on your own impatience. Then you decided that you'd get on the Internet and badmouth them to "fix them" for not catering to your imaturity and impatience and exaggerated sense of self importance.
  Meanwhile AES and HRO and any other ham dealers left out there are contending with their own versions of customers who are just like you and who are "leaving" them for lots of reasons, some of which are just like yours. And these customers go around and come around, and the world turns.
  I've done business repeatedly with Texas Towers. I've found them to be courteous, knowledgable and forthright and it has been a pleasure  to deal with them. They have always held up their end of the bargain and I'm old enough to know where my end is. I don't know exactly how old TT is, but I do know that if they weren't doing something right, they'd have been gone long ago.
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N9BC
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2002, 09:02:39 PM »

 First off. WA4DOU glad to here you've had good luck with TT. Second.. N2BSD You are right it was not their fault that the radio was damaged. But it sure the hell was their responsiblity to make it right! And as for returning the radio for a refund good luck they only give store credit.. Ha what fricken joke.

 As for repeat business AES gets that now. Since the TT thing. I've spent over $2000 with them. TT would have gotten that business if they would of just met me half way on the shipping. Anyways...I'm also glad to here others will not do business with them either.

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WB2WIK
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2002, 01:02:03 PM »

I tend to agree with WA4DOU.  Hams are a pretty witless bunch.  It's a genuine occasion when I meet a fellow ham who could pass Business 101 with a "C-" grade.

Consider this: If indeed the new rig had a defect (and I'm not even convinced it did, from the description), the company at fault was the manufacturer (Icom), not the distributor (Texas Towers).  The manufacturer offers a warranty to cover defects including cosmetic, electrical, mechanical, DOAs and operational failures.  The distributor's only obligation is to ship the equipment purchased.  A defect is covered by the manufacturer's warranty.

The very fact that the distributor was willing to replace the rig at all indicates considerable customer service, as far as I'm concerned.  They don't really have to do this.  What if the one shipped was the last one in stock, and the dealer had no unit to replace the defective one with?  Would the buyer have become completely unglued?

Although I couldn't care less who anyone buys anything from, and I'm not in this business at all, these kind of stories are annoying and just reinforce what I already knew: Most hams have little common sense.  A pity.

WB2WIK/6
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NG3J
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2002, 07:07:07 PM »

Well, after reading some of the replies, I've noticed a couple of hams stating how "stupid" hams can be when it comes to business 101. Here's my "stupid" overview of what I've just read here and with the pea brain I have, here's my "stupid business" conclusion.

Texas Towers did not fork over $30 and go "above and beyond" what was expected.

Result:

 - Loss of at least $2000 in purchases from N9BC.

 - Loss of present or future customers in N9BC, K5IQ, KC0IWV, and myself NG3J because of this review. What is the average cost of a new HF rig? How about the average of a new VHF/UHF rig w/accessories? Hmmm, multiply that by 4 or more (who knows how many read this review and decided not to deal with TT).

Now WHAT IF TT went "above and beyond" what was expected and PAID the $30?

Result:

 - TT would have sold N9BC an additional $2000 worth of ham gear.

 - TT would have potential customers in KC0IWV, K5IQ, myself NG3J, and those who may have seen this review who decided not to deal with TT.

 - THIS REVIEW WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN POSTED!

Ok, please remember, I'm a stupid ham when it comes to business and also have no common sense. But could someone tell me if TT made money by NOT forking over the extra $30 or did they LOSE money by keeping the $30 in their pocket? Does anyone have a calculator??

Oh, as a consultant, I get to visit many different companies/firms. One thing I've noticed that most of them have in common. I would always see in either their company vision statement or posted on walls, memos, etc, is something along the lines of this:

"Strive to go above and beyond what is expected of you"

"Go the extra 2 miles if you have to"

I think you'll find this kind of thinking in many, if not all of the fortune 500 companies out there.

BOTTOM LINE IS WHAT COUNTS - THAT'S BUSINESS!!

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K4PDM
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2002, 12:49:54 PM »

I agree that TT really was not obligated exchange the rig, BUT...it would seem a nice gesture to open the (unsealed) box before shipping a purchase to make sure everything looks OK! It would have saved TT a lot of trouble to have not sold a rig with a visible defect in the first place!
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2002, 06:21:51 PM »

The last two posts jump to conclusions without a safety net.

First, I wouldn't want to do business with people having little common sense, and I'd recommend all of them should double their money by folding it in half and sticking it back in their pockets.  And then, go buy your goods elsewhere.  As much as customers have "qualified vendor lists," smart vendors have "qualified customer lists."  Any customer who lands on the non-qualified customer list should receive little future heed of any kind.  Smart business practicioners already know this.

Second, the original posting party who commenced this discussion has seemingly backed into the woodwork, so we still don't know if he's satisfied.  Some people never are.

Third, that party complained about a "big black blotch across the LCD," without going into any detail as to what was meant by that.  It seemed, though, from the original post, that he never even turned the little rig on.  Pity.  LCD's are known to create their own big black blotches after being exposed to heat or cold extremes, as indeed there are liquid crystals contained within that can freeze in a single grain orientation that makes them appear as big, black blotches.  Until power is applied, at which time operating bias reorients the crystals and everything works normally.  If the party didn't even plug the rig in before he flew off the handle: Pity.

WB2WIK/6
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W0FM
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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2002, 12:23:42 PM »

There is a saying in the business world:

      *HIGHEST QUALITY
      *LOWEST PRICE
      *BEST SERVICE

"Feel free to pick any TWO!"

If it is low price you are looking for, you can probably also expect EITHER quality OR service, but (usually) not BOTH. The vendor cannot afford to provide all three and remain profitable and competitive.

Appears to me that this vendor chose to provide a QUALITY product at the LOWEST PRICE and, as a result, there was insufficient profit on the sale to provide anything beyond simply GOOD service.  Terry, WØFM





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N1GMV
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« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2002, 10:18:28 AM »

In case you are not aware of this. I too had a similar problem but not as drastic with Texas Towers. They were more or less respectable on the return.

I ordered an FT-100 that worked for about 4 hours. I called them and they advised me to return it. I took it to a friends company and shipped the product back to them UPS Next Day Air (RED). To do this was abt $22.

I asked them to send me one with the latest serial number back to me UPS Red.

They shipped me a new one and they billed me a shipping charge of $55. I bet you it cost them $22 as it did me to send it out!

UPS/Fedex and other companies contribute to the scam. There is a list price and then an actual price. The companies pay the actual (discounted Rate) but bill the customer full list. Since most of these companies do not include a handling charge, their shipping should be the actual cost but in most cases is not. This does not seem ethical or legal to me.

Yes my friends, companies are making a profit on the shipping. If they say shipping and handling they can charge whatever they want. If they say "Shipping" it must be the actual shipping charge.

Is there anyone here that would like to purchase a Yaesu FT-847 from me for only $5.00? Buyer pays $1400 shipping and handling! If not completely satisfied I will refund the $5 but no refunds on shipping and handling!! Tongue

This is done on TV all the time, especially when you see Lifetime warranty so beware and watch of the scams!

One last comment.
I would like to say that we should also understand the cost involved in running a "Retail" store. Should the cost be a little more try and support your local shop. It is not fair for us to go to a store, play with a product and then order it online.

If we don't support the local shops, they may not be there when we need them!

73


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WB2WIK
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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2002, 04:44:29 PM »

It may be a "scam," as you say, but it's actually standard and respected business practice.  If you expect to pay only the shipping fee (UPS, FedEx or whoever) and not a penny more, order for shipment with "shipping charges collect."  Period.  You will then pay the carrier exactly what they charge, the person making the shipment will charge (and pay)nothing.  Easy stuff.

Also, it's impossible to predict what anyone making routine shipments via UPS (or any other common carrier) is paying for the service.  In the corporate world, these are negotiated rates, often negotiated on blanket agreements annually, and the best negotiators, often having very high volumes, get the best rates.  Not everybody does.  $22 to ship something the size of an FT100D overnight sounds like an extremely good rate -- it's much less than I've paid directly to UPS, by bringing my stuff to their depot.  Sounds like wherever you made this shipment from has a very good contract rate.  Texas Towers may not.

WB2WIK/6
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NG3J
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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2002, 08:27:46 PM »


Standard business practice in todays world? - maybe

Respected? NEVER....

It's a scam.....
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2002, 11:29:16 AM »

Call it what you want.  If you don't like the practice, always order stuff "freight collect," and pay the carrier directly.  That option is always available from any reputable business entity.  It is not available from "QVC" and similar "TV stores," but they make no bones about the fact that their charges are "shipping and handling," not just shipping.

Most people who take issue with this have zero experience in actual business.  Remember that when anyone ships anything, there's more cost involved than simply paying the UPS bill.  There's the packing materials (the ICOM box or whatever is not a shipping container, it's a product carton -- it is not intended to be used as an outside container for shipping product; the factory does not ship this way, nor should domestic dealers, or you, or I), and the time it takes to pack, cut a packing slip, and transfer to the carrier.  Time is money.  In my business, the average cost to pack and ship virtually anything is about $15, before any freight charges apply.

WB2WIK/6
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