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Complaint about my experience with the iboats store

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  • Complaint about my experience with the iboats store

    The purpose of this post is to notify iboats as to a complaint about my experience with the iboats store. As detailed further below, I requested to be contacted by a customer service manager about my experience, however no manager has reached out to me. As a result, I feel it is necessary to share my experiences. I like others make a substantial effort on these forums to direct other members, new and old, to the iboats store as often as possible. However, I've lost my confidence in being able to recommend anyone to make purchases here. Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, but I believe that customer service after the sale is suffering in this case. Although I don't always purchase from this site, I try to. Over the last our years I've made 5 fairly large purchases and I've not had a problem until now. I was also the Vice President of Sales for a dental supply company for several years and if I knew my customers were treated like this, I would want to know about it so that I could address it and prevent other customers from having similar experiences.

    If there is a more preferred platform for this message, then please accept my apologies and kindly direct me elsewhere. My email correspondence with the iboats employee referenced below was not sufficient to address the issue.

    On March 25, 2017, I placed an order (order # 3861595) for service items for my boat. The items shipped between March 29th and March 30th. One item, part number 18-5352, was supposed to be a distributor for my 8 cylinder VP 5.0 GLPWTR. The box arrived with the correct part number listed on the box however the distributor was clearly for a 6 cylinder.

    As a result, I used the online return feature on the iboats website and took the time to provide a lengthy explanation as to what I received - someone put the wrong item in the box which did have the correct part number. I ensured I ordered the request part # by verifying on several websites - 18-5352 is for a 8 cylinder VP 5.0 GLPWTR engine not a 6 cylinder.

    On Monday April 24th, I received a very non-personal email from iboats indicating that iboats had received my request to return an item(s) and further stated that I would receive a separate email with instructions on how to return the items within 1-2 business days. This email also included warnings that the item must be in new, unopened and resalable condition with all packaging intact. Further more it stated the item(s) must also be returned with all original parts and packaging intact and will be subjected to manufacturer's warranty and testing. Nowhere in this email was there an apology for sending me the wrong item and causing a delay in the work being done on my boat. The email was written to clearly communicate that the onus was on the customer and that if the customer wants a return, they had better follow these instructions or else....This email was from an iboats employee.

    On Friday April 28th, I received the instruction email, referenced in the paragraph above, which was supposed to have come within 1-2 business days. My first thought was that hey, iboats puts all these requirements on the customer to do this and do that, but here they are not even doing what they said they would do! This 2nd email again was very non-personal and provided me warnings that the items must be in "CLEAN, new and resalable condition", that it must be in the original packaging, that I was to place the RA# clearly on the OUTSIDE of the box, and ship the return with a service which provides a tracking number. Again, no apology for sending me the wrong part and no acceptance of responsibility that iboats had made the error. This email was from the same iboats employee.

    On that same day, I replied to the same iboats employee as I was quite irritated about the pompous perspective from which the emails were written, the fact that it took an entire business week for the same iboats employee to respond when it should have been within 1-2 days as stated in the April 24th email, and the fact that I was expected to pay for return shipping when I was not at fault. My response to the same iboats employee on April 28th is as follows:

    I ordered the correct part number, but you all put the wrong part in the box, therefore how am I responsible for paying for return shipping on your mistake? Had someone actually read the details that I included in the RMA return, you would have known this. You will need to be responsible for paying for the return shipping. Additionally, not once has anybody from iboats actually apologized for sending the wrong part and delaying my repair. Lastly I have been a member of the forums for many years and have directed countless individuals to purchase their parts from iboats. I'm not sure I feel comfortable directing people to your company any longer if this is how you handle customer service. Please email me a copy of the return shipping label and I will gladly put it the box in the mail to you.

    On Monday May 1st, 2017, I received an email response from an iboats employee. The email read:

    I apologize for the misunderstanding. Is there a part number on the incorrect part that was sent? So I can let the warehouse know so they can double check their stock. Do you want us to send a replacement of part#18-5352 or would you like a credit?

    On the same day I responded with the following email:

    A replacement of the part is fine along with a return label please for the incorrect distributor cap. There are no markings on the distributor cap that I can tell but it is clearly for a 6 cylinder if you just count the spark plug connections. A 6 cylinder cap will have 7 connections (the plus one is for the coil) while an 8 cylinder cap will have 9 connections. It is very clearly the wrong cap.
    I have an 8 cylinder 1999 Volvo Penta 5.0 GLPWTR for reference. It takes either Sierra part 18-5352 or VP 3853815.
    I appreciate iboats getting me this replacement part by Friday since this whole process has been taking so long.


    (For reference, Friday would have been May 5th.)

    On Monday May 1st, 2017, the same iboats employee replied with:

    Thank you for that information. I have let our warehouse know what you have told me. They will double check their stock and get the correct part out to you before Friday.

    On Sunday, May 7th, I had still not received the replacement distributor. Keep in mind the original order was placed March 25th 2017. I sent the following email to the same iboats employee:

    On monday [you] told me my distributor would arrive by Friday. Well Friday came and went without my distributor nor even an email. How long is this process going to take? I'm feeling that iboats doesn't care much for customer support after the sale. Very disappointing. I'd like to hear from a manager.

    On Monday, May 8th, the same iboats employee responded with an email which read:

    I apologize for the delay. I am not sure what caused it. The replacement is on its way to you. Tracking number is 1Z6Y394W0303466998 It should arrive by tomorrow end of day.

    Ultimately the $20.23 distributor cap arrived on May 9th. A $20 replacement part took 16 days to reach the customer, measured from when iboats sent the first email to me indicating they acknowledged the return process until the day it arrived. Additionally, there was no return label in the box which I could use to ship back this incorrect part.

    I still have not been contacted by a customer service manager and today is Saturday May 13th - hence the reason for this post.

    I would enjoy hearing from a manager about this - I do not want any sort of compensation, rather just a person who is in a position to do something about it, to tell me that they acknowledge the issue related to the coarseness of the emails, the fact that information provided by a customer in the automated online return process was not even reviewed, resolution as to the poor handling of the situation by the iboats employee, and that they are taking steps to prevent something like this from happening to another customer.

    Augoose
    Last edited by Augoose; May 13th, 2017, 11:33 AM.
    1999 Chris Craft 200 BR
    Volvo Penta 5.0 / SX

  • #2
    iboats_tim
    Money spent @ Boat Restoration should be measured in Smiles & Pride SHOP IBOATS-BOAT SPECS-FORUM HELP-REPAIR/RESTO

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    • #3
      Thank you!
      1999 Chris Craft 200 BR
      Volvo Penta 5.0 / SX

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Augoose View Post
        Thank you!
        Your welcome

        I've sent messages to our CS contact and our Admin as well

        Hope its resolved quickly.

        Thank you
        Money spent @ Boat Restoration should be measured in Smiles & Pride SHOP IBOATS-BOAT SPECS-FORUM HELP-REPAIR/RESTO

        Comment


        • #5
          Hopefully all will be good and iBoats will do right by you. FWIW, I have had similar experiences with other online vendors sending the wrong parts, etc. Return processes can be methodical. . .

          I will say that I had one supplier overnight me a replacement part because they were so taken back by my sorrow and utter dismay over the shipment error.
          Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

          Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
          Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
          Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

          My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

          Member of the Month - February 2013

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          • #6
            For the sake of transparency, I will share the message I sent to Augoose. This was a situation we handled poorly and we need to do better:

            Hi Augoose,

            First off, I would like to apologize for the wrong part being sent to you and the ensuing runaround you got about returning the item and receiving your replacement. The way you have handled this situation is exactly how I would have approached it had I been in your position and would certainly feel the same way you do now.

            You are completely right that this situation was handled poorly. We failed you in sending the wrong part and again failed you when we didn't make the process to return the item as easy as possible. We sent you the wrong part and the onus should be on us to make it right. I don't believe the emails you received adequately addressed the issue at hand and the amount of time it took to resolve the issue is simply unacceptable.

            I am going to make sure this message gets in front of our customer service manager as well as some of the executives here at iBoats. We need to do better in situations like these and I am sorry that you had to experience this in order for this problem to come to my attention.

            As you may or may not know, iBoats has come under new ownership and we have been working on improving the online experience for our customers and forum users. We expect to have major improvements to all aspects of the site in the very near future and I hope you will bear with us as we continue to improve.

            I will have our customer service team reach out to you Monday morning to make sure this matter has been handled to your satisfaction. Again, I apologize for the hassle we put you through and thank you so much for your loyalty to iBoats.

            Comment


            • #7
              Another help source is iboats_help

              Hope this is taken care of soon, Augoose.
              BOAT SPECS FORUM HELP STARCRAFT FORUM SHOP iboats
              Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
              That is what the forums are for.
              Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

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              • #8
                I received a very nice PM from Tim earlier today, referenced above. I'm confident that the issues are being resolved and I believe customers will have positive experiences going forward. I look forward to continuing to promote both the iBoats store and forums as tremendous resources.

                Thanks to all who took the time to read this thread and post responses!
                1999 Chris Craft 200 BR
                Volvo Penta 5.0 / SX

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                • #9
                  Sign up today
                  Things happen, imagine if it had been an International Order.....

                  Happy Boating
                  Sea Rider 320, 380 Sibs, 450 Rib, 2 Strokes Tohatsu 5,18 & 30 HP Proud Smokers

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