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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Problem with Good-Win-Racing: sort of a double post and I apologize for it...

...but I really want to see what people think about this situation, and my build thread is not the most visited place on here. So here goes:

I will never deal with Good-Win-Racing again...

...ever. This is a little long, but I need to get some of this off my chest. I've been patient, I've been polite, but now I'm pissed off. I hope you'll take a moment and read it.

On April 6, after checking and consulting on many options, I order a SpeedSport SL1 clutch with steel flywheel from Good-Win-Racing at a price of $895; no small sum, but I thought it was the best option for my needs. And I'll freely admit: Brian Goodwin helped me reach my decision with good, and timely information. At the same time, because I'd been meaning to get around to it, I ordered a set of headrest speakers to replace my blown out units.

Shortly, there was an order confirmation in my inbox and then a shipping confirmation and tracking number; no word in either email that I wasn't getting everything I ordered. So I was delighted when a few days later, I got word from TSB Shipping that my package from Good-Win-Racing had arrived, since the rate determining step (at that point) to getting my 1990 back on the road was having a clutch to install on my new bottom end and I could deliver it to my car guy to have him start putting things back together.

So I took time out of my day to drive 45 minutes down and across the border (in my gas-guzzling Dodge pickup tow vehicle)... ...and discovered that all that arrived were the headrest speakers.

A quick call to Good-Win from the mail house led me to discover (for the first time) that the clutch was a build-to-order item and that it should ship "in about 10 days". And lo-and-behold, when I checked the webpage for the clutch, it had suddenly sprung language to that effect.

OK, fair enough. A bit of a misunderstanding. 90 minutes of my day and gas. No biggie.

But 10 days came and went and when the time stretched to two weeks, I sent (as it was specifically mentioned that I should) a quick email asking "Update please". Now, that was a Sunday, and I was pleased to see a reply from Brian saying he would check with SpeedSport on Monday.

But Monday came and went, and half of Tuesday, and I still hadn't heard. So I emailed again. It wasn't until Wednesday that I was informed that SpeedSport "expected" to ship my clutch on Friday.

At the time I received that message, I had been waiting 17 days for a product that was supposed to be "made and shipped in about 10 days" (big surprise! The language on the page now reads: "allow at least 10 days to make and ship") So I asked very politely if Good-Win might consider using a faster shipping method to help me get my car back together.

My exact words:

"A quick check with UPS shows that going from ground shipping to 2-day air is probably going to cost an additional $60. I hope that you and SpeedSport can help me out to that extent."​

And here was Brian's reply:

"Just say the word and we can cancel and refund that right now."​

And in that same email, a smarmy:

IF you don't agree, let's just cancel and refund it now and the next guy in line behind you will be thrilled that his shipped faster than expected.​

I very nearly told him right then and there to go ahead and cancel and then I would have written this post yesterday, but I talked it over with a couple of people I know and trust, and I decided to say nothing more and just wait.

Then I got a slightly more conciliatory email from Brian that said:

"Sorry that has taken so long, it's a ONE-man show building those and in peak season (which is now) that one man is doing the best he can."​

OK, I GET one man shows. Hell, I'M a one man show. But part of being in business (one man show or not) is making good on your promises. So I sent back a fairly light email that said:

"I do appreciate that, but if he’s building that many clutches then he could probably afford to cut me a little break in time on a more expedited shipping."

And I finished my email with:

"I do like the product and the supporting info you’ve provided, but I hope you can see my side of this.

Thanks for staying on top of it."​

And here's what Brian just sent me:

"Actually, I don't see you side of it at all.

I waited a year to get the first of these in my car. I was patient an entire year because that's how long it took to make this unique product right.

Your clutch order is cancelled and refunded, figure your bank will show the funds back within about 24 to 48 hours."​

I don't know what you call this, but I don't call it customer service. How long he waited to get a prototype product designed and right is IRRELEVANT. This was a product proffered for sale by Good-Win-Racing, not a one-off being made just for me.

I gave Brian Goodwin my $900 (plus shipping!) in good faith, only to discover that the product represented on his website no differently than other products he could actually ship then and there would take "about 10 days", then more than 14 days, more than 17 days, "expected" to take 19 days... ...and all I asked for was a little give and take. I didn't demand he drive it up to me personally or ship it overnight. Just maybe make $30 bucks less each (he and SpeedSport) to help a repeat customer get his car back on the road after waiting nearly twice as long as his information (after the fact) implied it was going to take.

And he comes back with the money will be off my Visa in 24-48 hours...
 

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Thread moved... Are you also going to copy/paste post Brian's reply from the forum you originally posted this on? This situation has already been answered and I'm struggling a bit to see the point of posting it here as well. Unless the point is to try and damage his business. In that case, I don't think you'll have much luck in doing so.
 

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I'm not here to badmouth Brian, but I've seen it before in my own experiences.

When things have gone smoothly, everything is top notch. As soon as something went wrong, the tone of emails changed and he suggested every scenario that could show that the product wasn't, in fact, defective. It was a strange about face... Emails were IMMEDIATELY replied to when they were inquiring about products before a purchase. I was thrilled to expect rapid responses to my messages and then have that come true.

As soon as things went south communication dropped off a cliff.

I probably wouldn't even bring this back up except for the fact that a friend of mine is dealing with a similar situation as we speak. I've read their correspondence and level-headed requests and inquiries are being met with the same kind of tone from Brian that you've cited here. It's unfortunate and I hope that you get this resolved and eventually get the parts you need.

I don't have some vendetta against Goodwin Racing, but my past experiences have lead me to different vendors. You don't see many issues like this posted online, but I struggle to believe that yours, mine and my friend's experiences are isolated. It's going to result in them leaking customers and have an impact over time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thread moved... Are you also going to copy/paste post Brian's reply from the forum you originally posted this on? This situation has already been answered and I'm struggling a bit to see the point of posting it here as well. Unless the point is to try and damage his business. In that case, I don't think you'll have much luck in doing so.
I think I have a right to be heard, Stoly.

I placed an order in good faith, waited patiently, asked for and was denied a small compensation, and was waiting for my order to ship when Brian reopened the discussion.

Here's the entire thing:

First there was a phone call I made to GWR from the shipping depot I use across the border. I simply thought that the clutch might have gotten lost in transit. That's when I first learned that the clutch would ship later ("in about 10 days" and the product page on GWR was changed to reflect that same info).

14 days after my order (a Sunday, I admit), I sent him this (as his order confirmation email suggested):

Update please…


Alan

So I was pleased that on Sunday, I got back from him:

Hi Alan

We will check Monday with Speedsport on the clutch status.

Brian Goodwin

Monday came and went, so on Tuesday, I sent:

Brian,

Any update?

Alan

And on Tuesday, I got back:

Hi Alan

Didn't get answer yet....trying again.

Brian

So I replied:
Thanks, Brian.

I appreciate it. Until I get the clutch, I can’t get my Miata put back together…

Alan

On Wednesday, Brian sent:

Hi Alan

Speedsport expects to ship yours Friday

And at that point, with shipping now nearly double what I was initially told on the phone, I replied with this:

Brian,

Thanks for that info, but in light of the time to ship being 19 days and not the 10 your website (now) promises, do you think you could get them to ship it at a more expedited pace?

I understand the problems of small businesses and inventory, etc, but I ask you to look at this as if you were the customer.

I ordered and paid for my order on April 6, was told my products had shipped (or at least, it wasn’t actually mentioned in the order confirmation that anything hadn't; I guess if I’d read the fine print on the tracking confirmation, I could have gleaned the info from the weight it showed).

Then I was told it ships in 10 days, and now I discover that they “expect” it to ship…

…19 days after I ordered it.

If this were you purchasing something for YOUR car, wouldn’t you feel a little let down by your supplier? Because that’s how I feel.

You’ve got my money. You’ve had it for more than two weeks, and my product is now “expected” to ship in a couple more days.

A quick check with UPS shows that going from ground shipping to 2-day air is probably going to cost an additional $60. I hope that you and Speedsport can help me out to that extent.

Regards,

Alan

And Brian's reply is this (still Wednesday):

Hi Alan

Just say the word and we can cancel and refund that right now....but I have zero power to make the very small maker of this item move faster. Website does NOT promise it will ship in 10 days and rather resent the twisting of the product description otherwise.....it states a mere approximation of "about 10 days". It's a unique and very special item we are proud to offer, that we spent massive time in helping make available to Miata customers while all our competitors give you the same mass produced heavy pedal choices.... and the time it takes to get them made is well worth the wait. IF you don't agree, let's just cancel and refund it now and the next guy in line behind you will be thrilled that his shipped faster than expected.

Brian Goodwin

At that point, I didn't reply. I didn't "say the word".

He then came back to me with this (remember: I'm now just waiting for Friday to arrive to see if my clutch ships):

Sorry that has taken so long, it's a ONE-man show building those and in peak season (which is now) that one man is doing the best he can.

Brian

So I replied:

Brian,

I do appreciate that, but if he’s building that many clutches then he could probably afford to cut me a little break in time on a more expedited shipping. I checked a little bit, and upgrading from standard ground to 2-day air shipping would probably cost about $60. (Assuming a shipping weight of about 30lbs at 12x12x6 (IIRC).

Is $30 from him and $30 from you really that much to keep a customer happy?

I do like the product and the supporting info you’ve provided, but I hope you can see my side of this.

Thanks for staying on top of it.

Cheers,

Alan

And I got back this:

Actually, I don't see you side of it at all.

I waited a year to get the first of these in my car. I was patient an entire year because that's how long it took to make this unique product right.

Your clutch order is cancelled and refunded, figure your bank will show the funds back within about 24 to 48 hours.


Brian Goodwin

Now what exactly did I say in my last email that deserved that? If he can reply again, can I not ask again?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm not here to badmouth Brian, but I've seen it before in my own experiences.

When things have gone smoothly, everything is top notch. As soon as something went wrong, the tone of emails changed and he suggested every scenario that could show that the product wasn't, in fact, defective. It was a strange about face... Emails were IMMEDIATELY replied to when they were inquiring about products before a purchase. I was thrilled to expect rapid responses to my messages and then have that come true.

As soon as things went south communication dropped off a cliff.

I probably wouldn't even bring this back up except for the fact that a friend of mine is dealing with a similar situation as we speak. I've read their correspondence and level-headed requests and inquiries are being met with the same kind of tone from Brian that you've cited here. It's unfortunate and I hope that you get this resolved and eventually get the parts you need.

I don't have some vendetta against Goodwin Racing, but my past experiences have lead me to different vendors. You don't see many issues like this posted online, but I struggle to believe that yours, mine and my friend's experiences are isolated. It's going to result in them leaking customers and have an impact over time.
Thank you for telling me about it.

I didn't want to do any of this, but what was I left with? Brian had cancelled my order for daring to ask to be treated to a small consideration in light of the problems HIS lack of timely information created?

I'd much rather have had my clutch as was paid for and agreed to by Good-Win-Racing, but I'm not the one who prevented that from happening.
 

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Alan, thanks for posting the full emails and not the clips this time around.

That said, It seems that you don't have a full understanding of how the custom fabrication business really works. Many Miata specific vendors receive the same complaints during the race season, especially Emilio, Savington, Brian, and Shiakh. Custom work/parts takes time, and you are often at the mercy of your suppliers. There may be a back-order on a special screw used during assembly. Remember that while you are waiting on your parts to be created and shipped, they are waiting on the parts themselves.

It's always a trade off. If you want to assemble the car right away, your far better off getting an off-the-shelf kit. If you want the best, your just going to have to wait. It is often worth it.

For the record, I don't think you were completely out of line, and I do think it was rushed in cancelling your order. However, lead times of 2-3 times the original quote is not unexpected, especially during the race season.

You should see the reactions I get sometimes when we inform customers that lead time is well over 14 months.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Alan, thanks for posting the full emails and not the clips this time around.

That said, It seems that you don't have a full understanding of how the custom fabrication business really works. Many Miata specific vendors receive the same complaints during the race season, especially Emilio, Savington, Brian, and Shiakh. Custom work/parts takes time, and you are often at the mercy of your suppliers. There may be a back-order on a special screw used during assembly. Remember that while you are waiting on your parts to be created and shipped, they are waiting on the parts themselves.

It's always a trade off. If you want to assemble the car right away, your far better off getting an off-the-shelf kit. If you want the best, your just going to have to wait. It is often worth it.

For the record, I don't think you were completely out of line, and I do think it was rushed in cancelling your order. However, lead times of 2-3 times the original quote is not unexpected, especially during the race season.

You should see the reactions I get sometimes when we inform customers that lead time is well over 14 months.
But that's the point: he didn't inform me; not when I was buying the product, not after he had my money. The first I learned of it was when I went down to the shipping depot (90 minutes round trip in a gas-guzzling Dodge pickup) and my clutch wasn't there: the one thing I'd really made the trip to get.

It was only at that point that a phone call to GWR produced the information that this was a build-to-order item. At that point, I was told it was "about 10 days", and when FOURTEEN days had past I made a mild inquiry as to how things were going... ...and didn't get an actual answer until another THREE days had passed.

Now, if you're not told of a delay at first, then told 10 days, then told 19 ("expects to ship")...

...wouldn't you feel a little led on?

When you've got a 14 month lead time on a product, do you charge the customer full pop and tell him after you've got his money how long it will be?
 

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From my perspective, I don't particularly find anything out of the ordinary with the delay. I'm not saying it's right, but I'm not startled by it.

It's the tone of the emails and manner of dealing with a concerned customer that is offputting to me. Kind of sad that I read your quotes and could have guessed who it was in a hypothetical blind "quote test." Beyond that, I don't feel like you're going to find any real resolution to this... that's just how I'm reading this situation, anyway.
 

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When you've got a 14 month lead time on a product, do you charge the customer full pop and tell him after you've got his money how long it will be?
Absolutely. It's the nature of the business. And let me tell you, when someone gives you in excess of several million dollars up front, they want their stuff NOW.

But that's not how it works. Suppliers have issues, fabricators have issues, engineers have issues, and terms and conditions are always being negotiated. It takes as long as it takes. We've pushed customer orders off for up to 18 moths at times. If you don't feel that we are doing our best to get you exactly what you want, affordably and built to spec than you are more that welcome to go to one of our competitors. And after you realize that they are in the same boat we are, you'll be back. Granted, my line of work is a bit of an extreme case (we build boilers for reactors and refineries) but the principle is the same.

You have to expect this when you are ordering specialty items. These days we are very spoiled on having mass-produced Chinese parts. You can have any number of clutches delivered to you next day air from a number of manufacturers. Just like you can have a set of racelands to your door in a week. You're not going to get that with a custom shock setup from FCM. It's going to take time. There will be delays. I understand the waiting game, and it sucks especially after you have given them money but it really is the nature of the game.
 

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I can understand your aggravation for the shipping time based on the information on the website and the fact that Brian didn't handle the situation "professionally" per-se, but at the time you were purchasing said clutch did you know it was custom made to order part?

I understand that you were in a hurry to get your car back together, but if you did know that the part was made to order would you have chosen a different off-the-shelf clutch?

I feel like if you weren't in need of the clutch for race season you would have been more patient about it, especially since it's custom
 

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1) The very first email sent of "update please..." is somewhat rude in itself.

2) Unless the website specifically says "Your special made-to-order part will ship in EXACTLY 10 days," it's an approximation, and asking the reseller to absorb the cost of rush shipping to "help" smooth over a misunderstanding that the customer had, is well... dumb.

3) Brian's tone isn't great as it goes down.

4) #3 is because you attempted to do all this via email, and we all know that reading tone sucks on the internet, and it was a downhill slope with the very first email you sent, barking orders like a drill sargent without even acknowledging whom you're communicating with.


I can't say i would have reacted much differently than Brian did, and can't blame him. I also can't blame you for the questions you were asking, but being a hell of a wordsmith, i would have written your emails ENTIRELY different. Your choice of words on the other sites where you state that Brian has "completely screwed" you just serve further to hammer that point home. He didn't "completely screw" you. Get real.



Lesson everyone learns here? USE THE DAMN PHONE.


I can understand your aggravation for the shipping time based on the information on the website and the fact that Brian didn't handle the situation "professionally" per-se, but at the time you were purchasing said clutch did you know it was custom made to order part?

I understand that you were in a hurry to get your car back together, but if you did know that the part was made to order would you have chosen a different off-the-shelf clutch?

I feel like if you weren't in need of the clutch for race season you would have been more patient about it, especially since it's custom

It has always said on the website that they were made-to-order. With that knowledge in mind, assuming that one actually reads the description, the logical conclusion is to take any shipping time estimates with a grain of salt, as the reseller OBVIOUSLY can't guarantee delivery date, since they aren't the one making them.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
From my perspective, I don't particularly find anything out of the ordinary with the delay. I'm not saying it's right, but I'm not startled by it.

It's the tone of the emails and manner of dealing with a concerned customer that is offputting to me. Kind of sad that I read your quotes and could have guessed who it was in a hypothetical blind "quote test." Beyond that, I don't feel like you're going to find any real resolution to this... that's just how I'm reading this situation, anyway.
Sadly, that's pretty much how I read it.

What I don't get is what Brian wanted me to say to him when he emailed me back the second time unprompted. I'm beginning to suspect that I was just being primed to be told of even MORE delays.

I'm not saying for certain, but if I had known from the beginning that the real shipping time was more like three weeks than the immediate shipment that was implied on the site at the time I bought, I probably would have chosen a different product. My car is off the road until I get a clutch, and it never occurred to me that this one would be any different in shipping than any of the other clutches offered on the same page. And that's on GWR and dealing honestly.

It has now happened to me three times that a web page for a product of theirs has been changed after I purchased to reflect a new reality. This one changed twice:

From no special information on shipping times.

To "about 10 days to make and ship".

To "allow at least 10 days to make and ship!"

(And if you doubt that, run on over there now and you can see the difference in text between the race version of the clutch and the street version).

The other time was when I purchased some 6ULs in 7.5x15... ...only to discover that they wouldn't work over big brake kits. And that text was only added to the product page after the fact as well.

So I guess, "fool me once...", etc. :)
 

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^concealer, yea that was pretty much my point. It's not like he ripped you off either, he refunded you. I feel like you're complaining about a fairly poor execution of transaction on both of your parts. Alan not realizing that it's a special made part and Brian for lacking a "professional" attitude.

Alan, you're at fault for trying to rush something that is custom and takes time and lacking patients
Brian is at fault for not carrying himself as a professional, he's a vendor to the public, it's not like this is some "exclusive" business for members.

You both were in the wrong to some degree, now get over it
 

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Discussion Starter #16
1) The very first email sent of "update please..." is somewhat rude in itself.
Um... ...this is from Brian's boilerplate in the order confirmation:

If you have not received an email with
tracking after three days and want an update, please EMAIL rather than call
so we can look into status for you (simply hit 'reply' to this emailed
receipt and type 'update please' and we will be happy to chase down the
status for you).

2) Unless the website specifically says "Your special made-to-order part will ship in EXACTLY 10 days," it's an approximation, and asking the reseller to absorb the cost of rush shipping to "help" smooth over a misunderstanding that the customer had, is well... dumb.
"About 10 days" can be more or less. It started out without any special info on shipping time, became "about 10", then became "expect 19"...

3) Brian's tone isn't great as it goes down.

4) #3 is because you attempted to do all this via email, and we all know that reading tone sucks on the internet, and it was a downhill slope with the very first email you sent, barking orders like a drill sargent without even acknowledging whom you're communicating with.
What orders did I bark: the "Update please"? That is precisely what I was told to send as I've already explained.


I can't say i would have reacted much differently than Brian did, and can't blame him. I also can't blame you for the questions you were asking, but being a hell of a wordsmith, i would have written your emails ENTIRELY different. Your choice of words on the other sites where you state that Brian has "completely screwed" you just serve further to hammer that point home. He didn't "completely screw" you. Get real.
He made an implicit promise to ship a product immediately. He broke that.

I had a legitimate agreement with him for the product as it was supposedly going to be shipped; paid for and still agreed to. He broke that.

Now, I'm out the 19 days since I placed the order in getting my car back on the road.

How is that not being screwed?

Lesson everyone learns here? USE THE DAMN PHONE.
As I pointed out above, this started in email because Brian explicitly asked that it should ("please EMAIL rather than call").

And then I'd have what to back up what I claimed happened? Unlike Brian, I don't regard my calls for quality assurance. :)

It has always said on the website that they were made-to-order. With that knowledge in mind, assuming that one actually reads the description, the logical conclusion is to take any shipping time estimates with a grain of salt, as the reseller OBVIOUSLY can't guarantee delivery date, since they aren't the one making them.
I'm sorry, but it didn't say that they day I bought the product. And you might want to ask yourself why it is that the two different versions of the clutch currently say two different things about the shipping ("about 10 days" for the race version, "at least 10 days" for the street); that is, if you can check it out before Brian changes it again. ;)

I've got to go and make a few of my clients happy for a while. I hope you see that while I can disagree, I can do it without being disagreeable. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
^concealer, yea that was pretty much my point. It's not like he ripped you off either, he refunded you. I feel like you're complaining about a fairly poor execution of transaction on both of your parts. Alan not realizing that it's a special made part and Brian for lacking a "professional" attitude.

Alan, you're at fault for trying to rush something that is custom and takes time and lacking patients
Brian is at fault for not carrying himself as a professional, he's a vendor to the public, it's not like this is some "exclusive" business for members.

You both were in the wrong to some degree, now get over it
You and I will have to agree to disagree on this.

I was not informed that there was anything special order about this when I ordered it. Otherwise, why would I be bothering to make a trip down across the border to pick up a part I wasn't going to be getting?

My complaint is that I didn't "say the word" to cancel my order. I had a legitimate order I'd paid for cancelled because I ASKED for consideration of the delay. Not demanded: just asked.

I've really got to go for now.
 

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It has always said on the website that they were made-to-order. With that knowledge in mind, assuming that one actually reads the description, the logical conclusion is to take any shipping time estimates with a grain of salt, as the reseller OBVIOUSLY can't guarantee delivery date, since they aren't the one making them.
Allow me to add fuel to this fire, I have some marshmallows that need roasting.

Here is the screenshot of the description from March 20th 2014 obtained via google cache:



I'm not saying either of these guys were right, but it really didn't say anything about being custom made to order (or estimated wait times) when alangbaker ordered. If he spoke to the seller and it was implied that it would be shipped quickly and then the seller went back to cover his tracks, that is a little shady to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I can understand your aggravation for the shipping time based on the information on the website and the fact that Brian didn't handle the situation "professionally" per-se, but at the time you were purchasing said clutch did you know it was custom made to order part?

I understand that you were in a hurry to get your car back together, but if you did know that the part was made to order would you have chosen a different off-the-shelf clutch?

I feel like if you weren't in need of the clutch for race season you would have been more patient about it, especially since it's custom
This wasn't for the race season: this is my DD. And yes, if I had known this clutch was going to be as long, I probably would have gone with a different solution. But remember, I didn't ask for this order to be cancelled.

Without it, it's costing me a lot in gas because I'm driving my tow vehicle (my race car is a Formula Ford; no good on the street ;) )
 
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