Outdoor Distributors — Delays, part out of stock, bad customer service
I should have done some homework on these turkeys before I placed the order for some replacement parts for my Tecumseh lawnmower engine. I followed the instructions in the order confirmation e-mail, giving them "7 working days" to receive my parts. After nine business days and no parts, I tried calling their toll-free number, and got repeated busy signals or endless ringing. Same with the direct line. An e-mail got me no response. Later I decided to try the phone again, and after a few attempts someone answered and immediately put me on hold. As the minutes ticked by, I twice heard someone pick up my line and say coarsely, "Thanks for holding, you're next." Then half-way through saying "I'd like to check on my order... " I heard the hold music return. Finally, after being on hold for 20 minutes, I was able to speak to someone and have them check on my order. Came to find out it was out of stock, they were waiting to get it from their "other warehouse", and it hadn't even shipped yet. Since I had seen the very same parts available from other online retailers, I asked to cancel the order and get a refund. They said the refund would be processed on my credit card within one week... another unreasonable delay, but I'll just have to keep a close eye on it.
In an age where technology enables a superior level of communication and order-status feedback with customers, and where retailers distinguish themselves less by pricing and more by good customer service, this is one of the worst companies I have encountered in a long time. I doubt it will be long before they dry up and blow away.
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