ECS Tuning, you screwed up
I placed an order for some 5spd swap parts about a month ago and had a mostly positive experience. It took ECS 5 business days to ship everything out. No big deal since I had plenty of things to disassemble before I could even install those parts. Everything arrived nicely packaged and in good condition, with the exception of the covering plate that goes between the engine and transmission, which was bent. Again, no big deal, since it flattens out pretty easily.
I placed another order on 12/8 for some transmission parts, as I documented in this thread: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=809427
ECS's site says those parts ship in 1-3 days. Awesome. Well, not really. 12/9, 12/10, and 12/13 go by and they still haven't shipped.
I call on 12/13, I'm told there's "no lapsed ETA" and the CSR is "pretty sure" the ETA on the parts is 12/14, and if they come in, "oh yeah, definitely" should have the parts by Thursday.
I try again on 12/15, nope, no parts yet. I have them bump shipping from 2-Day to next day at my expense so I can have the parts before the weekend and I'm told to check back then next day.
I call today, 12/16, and they still don't have the parts, which are still scheduled to arrive today, but they probably won't make it through inventory and ship out today. How about a shipping upgrade at their cost so I don't have to wait until Monday? Nope. I try to reason with the CSR, pointing out that each of those parts said "Ships in 1-3 days" on the site. Reponse? "I don't make the web site." Really, ECS? Can I talk to someone who can upgrade shipping? Nope, there's no one else who can do that. Split shipping? Ok, but I'm told to check back tomorrow to make sure they have the parts.
Just when I thought I had found a new favorite parts site. :(
Update: I spoke to Tom at ECS again today. Tom was the original CSR who helped me upgrade shipping on 12/13.
His system today showed that the ETA for the parts was tomorrow and didn't inform him that the ETA had passed a couple of times already. When I told him that, he called up the BMW parts purchasing manager and was able to get the facts. The parts are on backorder from Germany. The realistic ETA? Late January.
Kudos to Tom for digging into the problem. It's obvious, though that something is broken behind the scenes. I hope ECS can provide confirmation that they've corrected it soon. Until then, I'll be sourcing parts elsewhere.
Update: The parts arrived on 12/24, far ahead of the late January ETA and I was able to return the car I was working on before leaving to visit family for the holidays.
I followed up with Jeff @ ECS today to find out what happened. Jeff was courteous, but he didn't have any specifics on why there had been a delay in the first place, nor did he know why the parts came in early. In any case, thanks to whomever made it happen. The parts were still delayed, but at least not by a ridiculous amount of time.
I asked Jeff how to prevent something like this in the future and he informed me that they go by the ETAs that are given to them by ECS's suppliers and as the fine print states, ETAs aren't guaranteed. His advice is that next time I place an order online I should call ahead to see if the parts are in stock. Not a great solution for items that aren't normally stocked, but apparently there's no good solution to this problem, at least for ECS.
That doesn't inspire much confidence in ECS's ability to deliver special order parts in a timely fashion, but as I've had reasonable experiences with stocked parts, I can't fault them completely. YMMV.
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