Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

My experiences with Mountain Tools dot com

Minimally moderated forum for climbing related hearsay, misinformation, and lies.
 

My experiences with Mountain Tools dot com

Postby HeyItsBen » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:44 pm

I’m not stating my opinion, just saying…

Experience #1, 2005 - Bought a pair of the LS Nuptse boots from Mountain Tools, they fit great, I wore them to Aconcagua in December of 2005, they performed well although both boots started to tear on the inside of the outer boot. I sent them to Mountain Tools after my trip (in mid-January, I can't remember why they didn't go directly to the manufacturer) where they were supposedly sent to LS for repair, and I gave a need-by date of early March for an ice climbing clinic. After a month went by, I made concerned phone calls to Mountain Tools about the date, and the boots finally arrived the day I had to leave. Instead of being repaired the boots had been replaced, the design had been changed (admitted by LS), and they were now too small (really). I used them for the weekend because I had no choice and was not absolutely sure of the fit, after which La Sportiva sent me to a bootfitter who helped to mold the inner boot (at my cost), but still, the boots are small and can only be worn with one thin sock. I still use the boots to this day with good results, but they certainly cannot be used for extended trips.

Experience #2, 2010 - Heading to Denali, and I decide to try out the Millet Everest boots. Two vendors I look at: Mtntools, and Everestgear.com.

Early March - MTN tools price - $799+shipping, Everestgear.com price - $640 shipped.

Email to Mtn tools – “Will you price match Everestgear.com?” Response - "Yes, thanks for staying loyal to Mountain Tools." Soon after, a price change on Mountain Tools website- boots drop to $628.

A week goes by with sporadic discussion between myself and Mountain Tools about correct size. (They were very helpful). I finally make the decision to buy the boots, call and place the order with another MT employee, then email the original helpful employee saying “Thanks for your help, I went ahead and ordered the boots.” Email response 2 days later - "Did you order the boots from us (MT)?" To which I responded, “Yes, thank you.”

1 week goes by after the order, no boots arrive. I send an email about timing of the boots, stating that I need them by a certain date (in 1.5 weeks, 2.5 weeks from original order placement).I mention I'll need to cancel the order if I don't receive the boots by then. I have extensive travel plans and expect to need time to properly fit the boots. I'm assured that the boots will arrive in time, which they do, the very last possible day, with a surprise - I was charged $648 for the boots ($20 higher than what their website said, and $8 higher than what was supposed to be price-matched, and.....$42 for shipping! Mountain tools received the boots the day before I needed them, next day'd them to me, and charged me for it. $42 for shipping when it took 2.5 weeks to get the boots. (My friend ordered his boots from Everestgear and had them in 4 days.) I had been wiling to pay CA taxes for the boots to stay loyal to Mountain Tools, but now that loyalty was costing me over $100 more and significantly more time.

I sent an email inquiring about the shipping charges and price of the boots, and state that I would like to send the boots back. No response. I call several times over 2 days, finally getting a hold of someone on the 3rd day. “ I don't feel I'm responsible for $42 shipping when it took me 2.5 weeks to get the boots, with no notification that the boots were not in stock or would be delayed," I say, to which Mountain Tools replies “We'll try to be more clear with future customers, you're free to shop somewhere else." Ugh.

After some digging online, I saw a post online eluding to the failure of Mountain Tools to keep these boots in stock and not informing the customer.

The boots will be refunded, but I'm now tempted to stop payment on the credit card for the shipping.

Thoughts?
User Avatar
HeyItsBen

 
Posts: 355
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 3:22 am
Location: San Diego, California, United States
Thanked: 7 times in 7 posts

Re: My experiences with Mountain Tools dot com

Postby simonov » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:18 pm

benjamingray wrote:Thoughts?


Here's a thought, but I don't think you'll like it.

I'm a businessman, and I have a commitment to all my vendors: I will never, ever ask them to arbitrarily make less money selling to me. In other words, I don't ask them to match prices, or to arbitrarily reduce the price they are charging me.

I ask them for the best price they can give me. If another vendor can beat their price (and all other things being equal), they lose the business. If I think the price should be lower to meet my requirements, I work together with the vendor to see if there are any changes on my side that we can make to reduce the cost.

I do this because I don't ever want to be the guy the vendor doesn't want to do business with, the guy the vendor resents, the guy whose phone calls don't get returned.

And I don't haggle with my own customers either.

I really would not expect great service from any merchant from whom I just extracted an arbitrary 22% discount.

Not really commenting on this particular case, but those are some more general thoughts that might provide an insight into what was happening.
User Avatar
simonov

 
Posts: 1369
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:07 pm
Location: Costa Mesa, California, United States
Thanked: 466 times in 269 posts

Re: My experiences with Mountain Tools dot com

Postby HeyItsBen » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:41 pm

redneck wrote:
benjamingray wrote:Thoughts?


Here's a thought, but I don't think you'll like it.

I'm a businessman, and I have a commitment to all my vendors: I will never, ever ask them to arbitrarily make less money selling to me. In other words, I don't ask them to match prices, or to arbitrarily reduce the price they are charging me.

I ask them for the best price they can give me. If another vendor can beat their price (and all other things being equal), they lose the business. If I think the price should be lower to meet my requirements, I work together with the vendor to see if there are any changes on my side that we can make to reduce the cost.

I do this because I don't ever want to be the guy the vendor doesn't want to do business with, the guy the vendor resents, the guy whose phone calls don't get returned.

And I don't haggle with my own customers either.

I really would not expect great service from any merchant from whom I just extracted an arbitrary 22% discount.

Not really commenting on this particular case, but those are some more general thoughts that might provide an insight into what was happening.


Makes perfect sense. I certainly do not want to receive an item if the dealer is going to suffer for it. But, I felt I was giving MT the oppurtunity to make a sale they wouldnt' have made. A smaller profit margin, sure, but still a profit. They could easily have said no and I would have gone elsewhere. My problem is that I was told they would price match, then they didn't, and in fact I was charged more for the boots than what was listed on their website! It also seems to me, that they are trying to save money by not keeping the boots in stock. I paid $42 for overnight shipping when it took 2.5 weeks for me to receive them, with no indication of the timing or the added cost. 2.5 weeks is plenty of time for ground shipping... which I would have gladly paid for. Its also fairly obvious that they didn't order the boots for at least several days after I placed the order - which is why I ended up having to pay the $42 for overnight delivery. Really, maybe I'm totally wrong here, but I feel cheated big time...
User Avatar
HeyItsBen

 
Posts: 355
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 3:22 am
Location: San Diego, California, United States
Thanked: 7 times in 7 posts

Postby HeyItsBen » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:14 pm

Really, the bottom line to me is...

I told MT, I need the boots in 2.5 weeks. I never said I was willing to pay overnight shipping in order for that to happen, and who would have ever guessed you'd have to pay overnight shipping for 2.5 week delivery!
User Avatar
HeyItsBen

 
Posts: 355
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 3:22 am
Location: San Diego, California, United States
Thanked: 7 times in 7 posts

Re: My experiences with Mountain Tools dot com

Postby simonov » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:18 pm

benjamingray wrote:Really, maybe I'm totally wrong here, but I feel cheated big time...


Oh, I think you got screwed around badly. But I always cringe a little when I hear about merchants matching prices, and am never surprised when I subsequently learn the merchants provided crappy service.
User Avatar
simonov

 
Posts: 1369
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:07 pm
Location: Costa Mesa, California, United States
Thanked: 466 times in 269 posts

Re: My experiences with Mountain Tools dot com

Postby HeyItsBen » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:15 pm

redneck wrote:
benjamingray wrote:Really, maybe I'm totally wrong here, but I feel cheated big time...


Oh, I think you got screwed around badly. But I always cringe a little when I hear about merchants matching prices, and am never surprised when I subsequently learn the merchants provided crappy service.


Agreed. But, by the time I made the purchase, they didn't have to price match, they had lowered their price on the website to $628. Yet still charged me $648...+$42...
User Avatar
HeyItsBen

 
Posts: 355
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 3:22 am
Location: San Diego, California, United States
Thanked: 7 times in 7 posts

Postby Buz Groshong » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:55 pm

Do you want the best service or do you want the best price? You can't have both so decide which it is that you want!
User Avatar
Buz Groshong

 
Posts: 2834
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States
Thanked: 682 times in 479 posts

Postby Buz Groshong » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:33 pm

DMT wrote:

Reverse auctions, using one vendor to screw another, having the manufacturer undercut a partner's sales efforts with a lower direct bid... this is all STANDARD business practice in the IT world.


Sounds like the construction industry. General contractors routinely "bid shop" the subcontractors. When the subcontractor buys the job too low, invariably there's going to be trouble getting them to do the job right and possibly to finish the job.

The lesson to be learned is that if you screw someone down on price, don't expect great service or a friendly attitude.
User Avatar
Buz Groshong

 
Posts: 2834
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States
Thanked: 682 times in 479 posts

Postby HeyItsBen » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:00 pm

Buz Groshong wrote:Do you want the best service or do you want the best price? You can't have both so decide which it is that you want!


My friend who went to the "other guys" got both. I wasn't necesarily interested in the best price, service was more important. I was already okay with paying the CA taxes to stick with MountainTools, over $50 so not trivial. Mtntools could have said, "hey, we can't match that price, but we can offer you better service," and I would have bought from them. The dishonesty is what put me off, not the extra $$.
User Avatar
HeyItsBen

 
Posts: 355
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 3:22 am
Location: San Diego, California, United States
Thanked: 7 times in 7 posts

Postby rhyang » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:31 pm

I've only had a couple of experiences with MtnTools.com -

2006
Bought a pair of Grivel Rambo 3 crampons on sale. Called ahead to make sure they were still in stock. No hassle, no problem.

2009
Sent in a cam for reslinging. Initially I wanted a type of replacement sling that probably wouldn't have worked out, so they called me up on the phone to discuss it. Fast work, no complaints. The dude I talked to sounded pretty knowledgable.

Your mileage may vary ..
User Avatar
rhyang

 
Posts: 8963
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: San Jose, California, United States
Thanked: 59 times in 38 posts


Return to Ethics, Spray, and Slander

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.