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  1. #1
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    prowheelbuilder.com turn around time

    Ordered a set of wheels from prowheelbuilder.com on Dec 16th, said they would be ready to ship by Dec 31st. It's past the due date and still no update to the order. I understand that it is around the holidays and orders can get delayed. Sent 3 emails with questions and still no response. I didn't expect them to be done by the 31st, but an update would be nice or least return my emails.

    Found this article that was posted up on Dec 30th. The guy who posted the article said that prowheelbuilder had his wheels built in 1 day. WTF? So online orders are the least priority and get built when there is free time? Seems like a lot of people who ordered online had an average wait time of 28 days, even though when you order it only says 2 weeks. And then this guy walks in and gets it done in 1 day?

    Anyone else had similar experience? Seems like bad customer service to me.

  2. #2
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    I guess they are waiting on the Hub to arrive and that is why it is taking so long. I called Mike Hadley to see if there was a delay in shipping the Hubs and he said there was.
    Last edited by mcgong; 01-04-2011 at 01:53 PM.

  3. #3
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    it happens
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

  4. #4
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    yeah I accept the fact that it happens, but I wish that I received some sort of an update. It's past the original estimated completion date and usually one would give the customer an update if they can't deliver on the date as promised.

  5. #5
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    Just and update...got a response from Rich today and it appeared my emails were getting sent to the SPAM box. Just wanted to update this thread and clear things up.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcgong
    Just and update...got a response from Rich today and it appeared my emails were getting sent to the SPAM box. Just wanted to update this thread and clear things up.
    good for you for following up.
    i didn't mean to minimize your frustration or say it was unjustified, btw.
    i hope you get your new wheels soon.
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

  7. #7
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    Thank you.

    I try to review all the post made about PWB. This is where I find the most honest feedback. We stock about 20% of what is offered on the website. We have a better re pour with the manufactures than most bike shops (due to volume). We try to communicate with all our customers if there is going to be any significant delay due to any parts back orders, however not all our manufacturers let us know when there is going to be a delay. All that said, we are always trying and hope to get better in the coming months as we hope to move to a larger space. This will accommodate more inventory and a couple more employee's.

    Thank you for the insight and the business. Hope the wheels are treating you well.

  8. #8
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    Dont buy from prowheelbuilder.com

    I am extremely disappointed with prowheelbuilder.com service. They were unresponsive to calls and emails. They were quick to reply when I requested that they cancel my order, only to tell me they were going to keep over $50 to cancel.

  9. #9
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    Regarding shaggy55555 's post. The customer placed the order on December 17th. He left a voice mail on the same day regarding color match concerns between hubs and spokes which was towards the end of the day. We emailed the customer the morning of the 18th in response to his color match concerns expressed previously. He emailed us at the end of the day on the 18th and wanted to cancel his order. We responded with by email explaining that we normally do not allow for order cancellations, especially after product had already been ordered. However we did issue a refund and charged only 6% (which ranges between 6 to 15% depending on how far along an order is). Please note that before the refund was issued we called the customer on the 19th to discuss the matter. This order was in no way late (as we allow 15 business days to complete any custom wheel order) and we responded within 24 hours of all communications. I am unclear on how we were unjustified in our actions?

  10. #10
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    Man, it is not your day on mtbr or roadbikereview.com, sorry.

  11. #11
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    So just wondering but if you are allowed 24hrs to respond shouldnt he? As well as since you kept his 6% for something that was order I imagine that your supplier that you ordered from also charged you $50 bucks since it cant be a retail/ whole sale match in percentage wise or did you just pocket it for making a few phone calls?
    Something stinks here I am just trying to find out what. There is his side and your side and somewhere in between there is the truth. I am just trying to find out because I was doing some research before ordering up a set of custom wheels.

  12. #12
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    I totally agree and you should decide on whether you should use someones service based on the full story. My post was all my opinion so here are the facts:

    Order placed on December 17, 2012 1:32:09 AM PST
    In my order I had dependencies and needed to discuss with them before they made any orders so I called them on December 17, 2012 12:19 PM PST
    Because there was radio silence I sent an email on December 18, 2012 8:26 PM PST requesting they cancel my order since I had not heard back and I was nervous based on what I read on the forums that they are unresponsive and I didn't want them ordering the wrong part.
    They replied on Dec 18 9:59:17 PM PST that they already ordered the hubs and that they, "do not allow for cancellation once an order has been placed."
    They called me on Dec 19 at 3:31 PM PST to follow up on the email. I explained that I needed to cancel the order. They said they would be charging 6%.

    My Opinion:
    Based on my experience and what I read online, I do not believe I would have received a reply if I didn't request cancellation of my order.

    By comparison, I emailed Chris at Roaring Mouse in San Francisco and got everything all handled and confirmed in 1 hour. I was willing to eat that money to go to someone else and get better service.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaggy55555 View Post
    My Opinion:
    Based on my experience and what I read online, I do not believe I would have received a reply if I didn't request cancellation of my order.

    By comparison, I emailed Chris at Roaring Mouse in San Francisco and got everything all handled and confirmed in 1 hour. I was willing to eat that money to go to someone else and get better service.
    I'm just curious why you would place an order with a high-volume shop that likely has automated processes in place as well as a stated no-cancellation policy, then try to work out details. Seems like you'd have more luck working out the details before you order, like you did with the second vendor.
    No skin in the game, just observation. I hope you get a nice wheelset that works for you.
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

  14. #14
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    The 6% we charged does not begin to cover the total loss. First off, the CC processor gets there's coming and going i.e. 2.9% at the time of purchase and 2.9% at the time of refund. Next the customer ordered Mango CK hubs. These are hardly a popular color which means will be sitting on the product for a bit (not to mention CK products have a very low margin of profit to begin with so when sold they will already be at a loss compared to other products). The CK order was placed and shipped on the 17th, the customer cancelled the order late on the 18th (leaving me no opportunity to cancel the order with CK). Finally, we do not allow for refunds (this was an exception). I strongly suggest that customers do not go into the process lightly as we are in the business of building wheels not negotiating returns for half hearted purchasers.

    Please note that all our wheels are hand built. We build between 2800 to 3200 wheels a year. That may not sound like alot however we are a three person operation not some huge automated service as some would paint us. Up until just last year we owned ProCyclery in Las Vegas since 1994 (so we have worked both sides of retail). Our apparent lack of response was not due to intentional neglect but three people trying to offer the best customer service we can to each customer who gets a hold of us. Example: you call and get me on the phone, I will spend what ever amount of time it will take to answer your questions while ignoring possible 2, 5 or possibly even 10 phone calls. If there is a break in the work load I will return those calls ASAP. So what might come across to some as bad customer service is simply not the case (i.e. intentional neglect). Instead I spend several hours after our posted hours almost every evening responding to customers via email. Please keep in mind this all while also building wheels, boxing wheels, dealing with shipping issues and working with our site designer 24/7 to maintain the website. There are plenty of areas that we have to improve on and I fully except those criticisms and do my very best to resolve and fix them as responsibly as possible.

  15. #15
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    I would like to offer some positive feedback with PWB.

    I was interested in some arch ex wheels and had some questions that i emailed pwb. I did not hear from them for about two days then i got a response with a suggested build.

    i placed my order in the evening and then the next morning i had an email from them asking if it was a 29 or 27.5 wheel.

    I am now waiting for a quality built stan's arch ex wheel with WI m16 hub and dt-swiss spokes with brass hubs.

    Plus they have a nice discount until 12/31!


    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2

  16. #16
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    Offering customized wheels is a crazy hard gig. Doesn't matter if you're a small or big operation. Understandably, by the time a customer places an order, they've probably already have been interested in their about to be future wheel set for a long time. So the months of their anticipation, once the money's been exchanged, turns into a 'can't have 'em soon enough' scenario. I'm not picking on our own customers, maybe I think people are like that because that's me. I'm exactly that person. I'll research something for months, then when I buy it I can hardly wait.

    But, when it comes to building and selling custom wheels, I'd be lying if I said we've only had a few customers call to change nipple color, or hub set, or even rim choice the day we were trying to ship their order. That turns into virtually dead inventory. It's really hard to find the next person out there willing to pay a reasonable sum for Brand X rim, hub, spoke color, nipple color, etc. And no one likes paying for something that they just decided they didn't want.

    And by the way, if you're running a business that offers that level of wheel customization, you've got your hands full keeping the ship afloat even excluding the most important part, wheel building. To offer impeccable customer service, prompt replies, all that stuff, and be price competitive on the internet, wow. It's, ahem, a lot. Anyone remember Ligero's posting on RBR about a year or two ago?

    And at the end of the day, there's that expression, "the customer's always right." A problem easily manifests though when there's no right or wrong, due to rapidly changing personal preferences. I don't know the exact particulars of this exchange, but from the little I've been exposed to, the customer places a heavy emphasis on customer service, yet was unwilling to qualify their chosen vendor ahead of time to see if that vendor meets their personal standards. At some point after having placed their order, the customer decided the vendor was not on par with their expectations, and essentially asked for their money back. Meanwhile, the vendor has already exposed their interests to loss in the form of potentially sunk inventory that continues to loss value over time.

    If you search BWW's customer service, you're bound to find similar threads. We've unfortunately managed to upset some probably very decent people out there. But we've also sold many thousand of finely built wheel sets over the years to others. I believe people are more likely motivated into action when they feel like they've been wronged, as compared to when things turn out like they should. (i.e., getting poor customer service Vs. getting a great price on a customized, well built wheel set).

    Maybe the customer is right, maybe they're wrong. Maybe ProWheelBuilder is bending over backwards to only take a small fee, when they've lost so much more than what they should have. But what I do know is that these threads are chronicled in the annals of the Internet, instantaneously referenced by Google or any other search provider. Whatever hit ProWheelBuilder takes in immediate inventory devaluation/loss pales in comparison to the negative stigma that will be associated with their brand with search results that are rapidly generated by these types of threads.

    Over the years, BWW has had to accumulate a lot of inventory ahead of our customer's needs. What we have on our website is available for order. It takes us a few days to build a set of wheels, and sometimes we'll take a day or two even to confirm a super customized wheel set, but that's the only way we know how to make this work. We're still not good at answering our phones. Evidence to the fact that I'm posting this late in the evening means we have a tough time managing our time during the day.

    Did I mention that selling custom wheels is a crazy hard gig?

  17. #17
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    Chris, thank you very much for bringing to light the challenges with both share in this industry.

    But you know the really frustrating part about this whole situation was that the customer immediately went to the worse case scenario in what was a really short period of time i.e. he thought I was going to screw him (how short sited would that be of me???) I do understand the got have now mentality in retail however this is not normal retail it is custom. I am sure custom frame manufacturers such as Seven or Independent Fabrication don't give in to the anxious whims of there customers and I am sure those customers have longed for those possessions equally as much so as a pair of custom wheels. I guess the real difference is that there is only one IF or Seven however there are about a dozen of us willing to make the same wheels for our customers.

    Ironically after reading his last post he mentioned that out of three attempts to reach us that there was only one communication from us however when I forwarded the 1st email I sent him (that apparently got lost in cyber space) the customers tone was much less abrasive (see below). Such a fine line between happy customer and pissed off customer????

    (I checked all my folders including my junk folder and no such email was received. Its unfortunate because I would have gone through with the order if I received that email or you called me the 18th. Now I am out that 6% and we are discussing it in a public forum.)

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