I'm going to play devil's advocate on this and probably will get dumped on
First off, I love to find a good vendor who knows what he is doing, what
fits, and will spend the time to help me. It is even great if he has a super
But look at the way the world is going: big full-service department stores
as well as small-town stores with helpful proprietors are all going down the
tubes as people flock to Wal-Mart and such kind of discount stores. I guess
my point is that you should expect to pay more for good service so you get
to choose the lowest price and the service to go with it, or a higher price
and a higher level of service to go with it.
This doesn't apply directly to the discussion because there are apparently
still some of the 'old crowd (not surprising since they are selling to the
'old truck crowd') who believe in giving super service and good value.
I run a business that does direct customer sales and I'll tell you it takes
a lot of patience to deal with customers. It is almost impossible to find
someone with the knowledge, patience, and skill with language to do this
sort of thing. Certainly not at a modest wage. You get burned out after a
while and you don't care if you aren't doing everything possible to grow
So in support of the GSPP owner (whom I've never met) it may just be that he
is too tired to try to get his people to do any better. He may not be a bad
person or be wanting to give poor service, but is too tired of doing it all
himself and hasn't found the crew to do it properly for him.
On a somewhat separate issue: I don't think it is a bad thing (some have
called it stealing or illegal) to charge credit cards before items are
shipped. At least not a couple of days prior. It is considered allowable to
cash checks and wait a week to see if they bounce before shipping the goods.
With a credit card, you want to run it through and make sure it 'takes'
before you do all the paperwork, boxing the product, etc. Then it may take a
couple of days for the box to make it out of the building. For special order
items, we always tell customers they will be charged at inception of the
order. Since we can't reject the items after we order them, we don't allow
the customer to cancel the order either. Best way to do that is to charge it
at inception. But at least we tell them that is our policy.
So, look for the best vendors, and let your buddies know who they are. But
take it easy on guessing the motives and morals of those you have had bad
dealings with. There may be another side to it.