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An issue from the buyers point of view



11:59 pm on Sep 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I've done business with a certain vendor for numerous parts for years now. Not sure how much they've gotten from me, but it's multiple thousands. So the other day I order about 150 parts... The same stuff I've ordered many times before. I don't go trough their site, as they typically are missing some of the stuff that I need. So I just call them and have them drop ship it all from the manufacturer.

So a few days go by... I get the order just like I'm supposed to. I look at my email in the morning, and they sent me the invoice like always. Except this time, I just about choked... It was a third more than it was supposed to be. Hundreds of dollars. I look at the unit prices and realize that they have marked up virtually everything, 20-40% since the last time I ordered just a few months ago. None of this was mentioned to me. I call them up and ask what the deal is... The sales guy acted like he didn't even know what I was talking about. He says to email him the old prices compared to the new, and he'll "run it by his boss and see what he can do". So I email that and just explain politely that I really think this is not cool. At the very least I should get the old prices for this order, then we can go from there.

Well, that was three days ago and no response. And I know what that means... No response means... gee, maybe if we ignore this guy, he'll go away.

So I have to ask... Am I the one being unreasonable? Seriously, I think raising your prices that much, and not so much as mentioning it to a long time customer that buys those exact same things over and over, is unethical. Who in their right mind would just p**s away a customer that they would make thousands off in the future, just to make a few hundred extra on one order?


9:00 am on Sep 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

There are too many factors that we don't know here.
If parts or materials are imported from a country with a stronger currency then prices will have gone up.
There are several commodities that are in shortage internationally at the moment.

It is poor business not to advise you of such a substantial price change and an explanation should have been provided but in the current economic conditions I wouldn't dismiss it as profiteering on their part. I took a hit on printing (I am a magazine editor) earlier this year because the weak pound affected the wholesale price of paper but my printer was very apologetic and explained fully.


10:47 am on Sep 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

It could it have been a geneuine mistake.

I always like to check pricing when I order as sometimes, prices have gone down as well as up.


10:10 am on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

So I have to ask... Am I the one being unreasonable?

Not unreasonable to want some answers from them no, and if they have got any sense then they would try to retain you as a customer and keep you happy. Ignoring you is obviously not going to do this.

Of course as piatkow stated there are alot of factors here we don't know but unfortunately though I think the fundamental error here was on your part in not checking the price of the order. To be honest I don't really think the supplier was really in the wrong at the time of ordering. Price changes will always occur (admittedly this is a big change) but you can't expect the person you spoke to to be familiar with your account and purchase history. I would never place an order without confirming the price first. Never, not matter how small.

That said nothing excuses poor customer service and if I was you I would try my luck to get something back. If you don't get anywhere you may have to accept the loss and vote with your feet.


After writing the above and thinking about it, did their website reflect the price change? If not then i'm sure you have every right to demand the old price as advertised - if they do then they are pretty well covered.


5:23 pm on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rocknbil is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

My wife does this all the time because most of her suppliers' web sites are Internet train wrecks . . . when you called they didn't give you an order summary? That, I think, is the worse part of it. When she calls in her orders it's always how the conversation ends before verbally accepting the order.


7:27 pm on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Am I the one being unreasonable?

I think it's unreasonable to think that prices remain static over several years. It would seem resonable to ask for "price and availibility" for your list of items, to see if there are pricing changes or out-of-stock items. Then you can check the prices, substitute for out-of-stock's and approve the quote.

It would also be good business practice for your supplier to email their customers each month or so with all pricing changes.

Seems like lack of communication on both sides. I think you might deserve a partial credit, but if you go "by the book", they didn't do anything wrong.

I hate phone orders for this exact reason. Always leads to he-said-she-said. Get anything having to do with money or property transfer in writing (email).


8:31 pm on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I don't expect prices to stay static over years. I do expect prices not to almost double overnight. I was giving 20-40%, but now that I think about it, it's higher than that. A couple things more than doubled. How many people here doubled the prices of their products overnight? I know I sure haven't.

I hate phone orders too, because most people don't pay attention and they get it wrong. But these guys are always out of something, so I have to go direct from the factory through them.

I'm still trying to talk to them. The sales guy has been trying to ignore me. This guy has taken my order many times... He knows me, he knows what I order. This isn't a huge place. And I seriously doubt a sales person wouldn't know that they decided to raise the prices of a line of products a huge percentage overnight. The fact that he's trying to ignore me tells me that they told him to not give me any credit. Which is just astounding... I can't believe that a company would blow off a customer that has, and would continue to spend, thousands of dollars... just so they could keep a few hundred now... which just a little while ago, they wouldn't have made in the first place anyway.


2:59 am on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Best advise I can give you is tell them the prices are not acceptable and that you want a return number to send them back. I have been doing ecommerce 11 years now and would never do that to a customer especially a regular one.
If they won't give you one then tell them your sending it back and doing a chargeback.
Sounds like to me they are close to closing.


7:26 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

That crossed my mind. But they just moved to a bigger place. So, I don't know.

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