: Verge of business closure and loss of the stud repair system



97EldoCoupe
12-14-10, 11:51 AM
That three week supplier shortage has nearly driven me out of business. Almost everyone that had to wait wants their kit shipped express at my cost and I am doing so and this is killing me @ over $100 extra per kit- I owe UPS $1800 and at $2000 they will suspend my account. I'm getting angry phone calls and it's a full time job just answering them and trying to calm people down.

Stud kits are on hold until further notice, and will not be sold. It costs me over $100 to ship to Alaska and Hawaii and I cannot do this for free! My card processor issued a chargeback of over $1300 to a customer who bought an engine in Alaska because UPS took two weeks for delivery, and they hit my account without advance notice. There went the profit.

To all who wished failure on me, all who have threatened me, you just may get your Christmas wish -

to all others I apologize, unless I shift into overdrive and get some cars done, I will be DONE financially. Mentally I think I lost it on Sunday with that wonderful phone call- I can't work and answer phones, so I will be unavailable until I can see my way through to paying off these accumulated debts. I have to survive this-

All orders WILL be shipped but no further orders will be taken in for right now. I'm sorry I just can't.

THIS IS NOT an invitation to anybody to take over the stud repair system - I paid over $10k to get that into protected status and if I do come out of this, I will go after any infringers-

Lately everything has been damned if you do, damned if you don't.

97EldoCoupe
12-14-10, 12:06 PM
If Nemesis motorsports would pay their account with me that would help me a great deal.

Pete1996
12-14-10, 12:13 PM
People really, seriously need to recognize that you are a small specialty business - there will be ups and downs, delays etc. and you do not have the infinite funding of a giant like GM. Isn't it ironic that a giant like GM gets bailed out by tax payer dollars, even when their products have design defects, yet there is nothing for the little guy who is genuinly trying with an excellent product. We live in an upside down world, pathetic! You should raise your price so that if anyone demands expedited shipping it will already be covered and if not you get a bit more profit. I say raise your price by $200 for the kit and do not take credit card orders for anything over $1000 - bank wire transfer, certified check, etc. only. People are so quick to hit you back that sometimes in these times you have to do this sort of thing.
Do you have a legal statement on your site regarding you not being responsible for shipment delays outside of your control - provide an approximate time to ship for product that you have in stock and not for out of stock items.
Obviously, if they do not give you some consideration it will be a loss for everyone who needs your product - demanding customers need to open their eyes to this if they are so narrow minded as not to see it.

vincentm
12-14-10, 12:37 PM
Best of luck Jake, if there's anything i can do let me know, not able to do much, but whatever business i can provide, let me know.

ejguillot
12-14-10, 12:39 PM
Damn Jake, sorry to hear of this! Wish I was in a position to help...

97EldoCoupe
12-14-10, 01:03 PM
Thank you guys. I have solutions to the problems but it is going to involve adjusting my schedule to get caught up rather than meeting current customer demands. Right now I have to put my business first, so that I can provide for future customers.

97EldoCoupe
12-14-10, 01:06 PM
These drives back and forth to Ontario are costing me roughly $700 round trip - it makes no sense go back to finish one car - I'm going back to finish all cars. Then I can come back here and focus on the business again. Hopefully that income from those cars will pay my supplier bills. I can't ship without a working UPS account.

I'm in a real bind and 2011 will hopefully be better but if I can't make it through December there won't be a Northstar Performance in 2011.

hueterm
12-14-10, 01:40 PM
I've looked and can't find a lead up to this thread, regarding problems, so I don't see any background...but:

If your supplier has a backlog on kits, then I don't see why you should have to pay out for UPS air. If the customer wants it, then charge them for it -- but it's beyond your control.

It's good that you're concentrating on shutting down your old location. In the time it takes you to go back and forth, you can do a stud job, and you're losing all of your profit on travel costs.

Good luck!

97EldoCoupe
12-14-10, 02:03 PM
The kits are assembled wherever I am - I have about 8 different suppliers supplying various parts of the kit, many of whom are replaceable if they can't do what I need them to do - but the one supplies the best quality studs I have ever seen, at a price that still allows a bit of room for profit. The first quote I ever received was out of this world. These guys have decent pricing.

In the end, supplier shortage, the customers nail me - regardless who's fault it is - I ordered well ahead of time, I kept getting different dates all the time as to when my studs would be ready for pickup. My nut supplier was supposed to ALWAYS have stock ready for me on the shelf of no less than 1000 nuts at a time. When I bought that thousand, I'd tell them to re-order. I went in the other day to pick up 1000 nuts "since we heard you were moving we don't keep stock anymore" - :insert angry emoticon here of your choice: and I was leaving for Manitoba that day. I had to call a new supplier in Manitoba to order nuts, and ship the kits from here, setting me another 3-4 days behind - and when these customers have engines open, ready for a stud kit, especially when they're former employees of Delphi, and also repair shop owners, they're anything but patient and understanding. I don't really blame them either - but yelling at me doesn't speed anything up-

I don't have the finances right now to have $50,000 worth of stud kit stock lying around, and my current stud supplier can't even meet current demand let alone help me build inventory- In a better situation; I'd have at least 20 on the shelf ready to go at any given time -

My former tap supplier screwed up big and shipped me faulty taps (made in China, now they're all USA made) that didn't have the flutes ground in deep enough. They wouldn't cut at all. Luckily I caught that before any got sent out. That's delay #3 -

If I survive this I will try to save up enough $$ to keep lots of my own stock and hopefully get that thread rolling machine.

97EldoCoupe
12-14-10, 02:09 PM
I've put my heart and soul into this business as well as every last dollar to my name. Big multi-million dollar company? - maybe someday- then I can afford express shipping for everyone without jacking up prices - but until then, that free express shipping was my mortgage payment.

98eldo32v
12-14-10, 03:21 PM
You'll survive this.....Just breathe.....

You should get in contact with the supplier that had the delay and explain to them, that unforunately your shortage is costing me money. Either they want a working relationship with you and will work this out with you, or you have to get rid of them.

Yet, to express mail the item when it was not fault of your own Jake, that wasn't a good move.

I know you want to hold up your end of the bargain with everyone and stay in good graces. Yet ,you can't hold your end of the bargain when no one else is holding up theirs. There are too many links in the fence where things can "slip" through. You just can't be liable for the shortcomings of others.

Anyone who has a vehicle that needs a major repair such as this and thinks that "everything" is going to run smooth and there won't be any delays is fooling themselves. This isn't an oil change. Even with oil changes, bolts get stripped or overtightened, problems arise. This isn't any different. Yet, this is a lot more complicated work.

Knowing at present time there are FEW people to actually repair this motor correctly, you should be a bit more patient and understanding. YOU SHOULD BE GLAD THAT THERE IS AN ACTUAL REPAIR THAT WORKS, SO THAT YOU CAN CONTINUE ENJOYING YOUR CAR INSTEAD OF JUNKING IT.

TO ALL THOSE THAT HAVE NO PATIENCE WHILE THEIR CAR IS BEING REPAIRED, I ASK YOU THIS?

WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING WITH THE CAR IF THERE WASN'T ANY STUD REPAIR SYSTEM THAT YOU FELT WOULD SOLVE THE PROBLEM?

HMMM,
NOT DRIVING IT?
SELLING IT?
SCRAPPING IT?
PARTING IT OUT?
WATCHING IT RUST IN YOUR DRIVEWAY?
WATCH IT TAKE UP SPACE IN YOUR GARAGE?

AT PRESENT TIME THIS IS A ONE MAN SHOW. IF ANYONE HAS HAD TO DO MULTIPLE THINGS AT A JOB IN LIFE, YOU KNOW DOING IT "ALL" CAN BE FRUSTRATING AND DRAINING.

IN SHORT, SORRY FOR THE DELAY, BUT I NEVER MEANT FOR THIS TO TAKE PLACE, SOMETHINGS ARE OUT OF MY HANDS. THANKS FOR UNDERSTANDING......

If no one understands that, then you're not an "understanding" or "compassionate" individual.

98eldo32v
12-14-10, 03:28 PM
Jake did you get my pm? I know right now, that is the least of your worries. Contact me when you have some "free" time.

JoeTahoe
12-14-10, 04:02 PM
This is the worst news i have herd in a long, long time. Jake I really hope you can pull this off if it wasnt for you the 01 ETC would have been crushed and so would its owners. Now i am in a tough spot being I bought the 99 STS with headbolt issues knowing they were bad. The only reason I bought it was because I new you and Northstar Perfomance had the best and only one fix that I was 100% confident useing. I am only one person and I know you have helped many Northstar engines from doomsday. If I could i would to any thing to help you. You sir are a true car guru. I hope you can return back too normal Business soon.

ThumperPup
12-14-10, 04:06 PM
sometimes ppl cutomsers jsut have to wait
if they choose they want to rush you tell them no do you have a return policy in afect ? i havent looked at your website in a few months but if you dont or even if you do might want to cahgne it to say returns except with in 2 weeks of item shipping
at a 20% rectocking free customer pays shipping or something liekt aht
if they wana go with a cehaper fix that will get it doen faster but less quality so be it you dont need them if thats the case
but if they except u to ship it expidited at your cost just tell them no let them know its costing you alot these things going on right now and well if u ship it liek then there is a chance ur gona loose your busienss so where will they be in what ever situtation like say the suplier has a bad mold or something qulity might not be the best say 1 stud in every 1000 might go threw the ringer and not be so great well say a year goes buy and sometrhing happens what happens when there is not warranty to cover it not saying it will be just what if tell them no u want it shiped that way they have to pay it

97EldoCoupe
12-14-10, 04:20 PM
Ron - I haven't gotten any PMs from you since I sent mine responding to yours regarding the shop in Florida -

Thanks guys I'm doing some UPS drop-offs - I have to leave for Winnipeg in a few minutes because I believe I missed the drop-off 8 miles from me today- below is the cost of your average 15 lb stud kit, sent express to the 48 lower US states:

http://www.northstarperformance.com/upscharges002.jpg

When I get back I'll take a few minutes and carefully read some responses because y'all have great ideas-

97EldoCoupe
12-14-10, 04:21 PM
If you can pull the image up in big-screen format that is $185.48 Canadian dollars. This one's going to Missouri.

98eldo32v
12-14-10, 05:04 PM
Jake check to see if the pm went through. I resent a new message.

97EldoCoupe
12-15-10, 10:37 AM
My long term plan with this business from the start was to offer a guaranteed repair that someone could actually stand behind and use in confidence. And also to make sure that it becomes the most widely used method of repair- because unlike car companies, I want customers' vehicles to last as long as possible. I make enough $ off of each car that if I can help it, I'd prefer to fix it once and never see the car again - 10 years down the road if I get a call from a customer "Hey Jake, remember my Caddy that you fixed for me back in 2010? It's still running great!" - I would be really happy to hear this-

The other side of the business was performance modifications, tuning, and developing the aftermarket that these cars need so very much. This was on the back burner for the most part. What good are performance modifications if the car doesn't work to begin with?

The move was supposed to be beneficial as well. The plans I had for this shop have never been fully disclosed. I am in dead-center of Canada and 10 minutes from one of the largest border crossings between the USA and Canada. I think it eventually will be beneficial. I'm getting more and more calls from the States around me, and Western Canada -

I have a couple of vehicle pick-ups this week, that should put me back in a position to make supplier payments and pay off my UPS bill - but the $500/month cell phone bills have to stop -

Without a good receptionist I won't get anywhere so I'll have to go through the stack of resumes and find someone good. I thought I had my old receptionist back for a while but she has other plans for now -

Somehow I will make it all work. My customers in Ontario are going to get taken care of first right now because they've been waiting too long already. They need their vehicles back and it will be a load off my mind. My Ferguson tractor has a starter problem so that's getting fixed first to clear the snow. The major freeways in Ontario are in bad shape right now, lots of accidents and snow.

My promise to everyone is that if I come out of this, I won't stop with development on the repair systems, and I'll try to put more effort into the performance stuff. Luckily my truck's rear diff is ok to use. Still don't fully trust it.

Ranger
12-15-10, 11:41 AM
Jake if you manage to come out of this, and I truly hope you do, SLOW DOWN. Build up a cash reserve and grow at a slower pace. Don't out run your headlights.

97EldoCoupe
12-15-10, 02:25 PM
Thanks Ranger - would you mind PM'ing your phone # if you have time for a guy to stop in and say hi? I'll be in the area soon and I've been meaning to meet you for a while -

My headlights are running on a 6 volt battery right now it seems -

Here's the good news. Demand is there. As long as I can meet demand, and ship out on time without supplier issues I'll be ok - but I will be cutting costs in certain areas. My $500/month cell phone may soon be at the bottom of the 19 foot deep pond in my back yard. I specially had a USA calling plan added on because of the travelling and something with their billing isn't adding up-

I paid my UPS freight account yesterday so I can ship engines to/from again.

I received a call from PupfromCleveland's mechanic today and he is completely sold on the stud system. I think I may have an installer for life there -

jimsbox
12-15-10, 04:03 PM
Outstanding, you hang in there and good things come to good hard working people. Sounds like a stupid pep talk but seriously, I am glad it is turning around for you.

Submariner409
12-15-10, 04:41 PM
Hang in there, Jake - Rome wasn't built ...... ....

jimsbox, Empty your PM mailbox.

97EldoCoupe
12-15-10, 05:10 PM
Will do Jim. Someday, hopefully as a summer project, I'll be doing a few mods to that 455 of mine. That Delta seems completely gutless, but I think the rear gears may be the cause. Feels like around a 2.41:1 ratio or lower. Lots of low end torque but hardly any pick-up at speed. I have the timing advanced as far as possible without the hard start (haven't checked it with my timing light) and still.... I might turn to you for some advice and maybe some parts/services to make that 455 go- (business expenses come first though). The heater core is blown, that I know for sure.

Jimsbox - words can be incredibly powerful. If it wasn't for all the forum members who've supported me from day one, I'd be in another line of business right now that wouldn't satisfy me. I always have, and always will love the work I do. My friend Ian, a 50 year old service tech told me "if you're doing something you love, it's no longer a job".

hueterm
12-15-10, 06:28 PM
We all want you to succeed -- considering what we drive, we'll most likely need your services one day!

drewsdeville
12-15-10, 07:38 PM
^^^That begs me to ask a question that I've been wondering for a while now.

Say in the future, if/when this is all running smoothly and efficiently...have you ever thought about wandering outside of the Northstar realm? The Northstar isn't the only aluminum blocked engine with problems like this, and there may be benefit from applying your developments elsewhere, further expanding your customer base.

You could always specialize in Northstars if you wanted, but it seems to me that once you get your methods refined with great results, it wouldn't take much effort or cost to apply what you've developed to other engines.

97EldoCoupe
12-15-10, 08:00 PM
I had a Jaguar 4.0 engine on the way to me but my UPS freight account being past due stepped in the way of that. I lost that customer- that's ok, Northstars first. But I do agree - there are other aluminum engines that have the same issues and the only other way to repair them is the time serts and heli coils- which IMO are just not a good enough repair.

Anyone in Canada, if you're going to get a cell phone, forget Rogers - they charged me $300 for data roaming in the USA - that was when I was on the forums defending myself against loosheads - my current outstanding cell phone bill is $1100 for two months. That 519-550-0056 cell number of mine will no longer be valid as of tonight. I won't rip customers off like this, and I won't take it from cell phone companies either.

Anyone know of a really good U.S. cell phone company? Good rates? There's a cell tower in the USA that I can see from my backyard- I'd consider dealing with a USA phone company at this point-

hueterm
12-15-10, 08:22 PM
No...

ATT is the suck.

I like Sprint, but I'm sure they don't have coverage in your area....probably the same for T-Mobile.

Never used Verizon.

Why don't you try a prepaid from a U.S. Walmart and see how that works.... I'd lay off the cellular data, and get DSL or something....unless you can pull off of the US network from home.

The nearest Walmart to you is in Grand Forks.....but for $1100 it would be worth a drive.... Their coverage finder says that it will work in Neche, ND...

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Straight-Talk-Unlimited-Text-Talk-and-Web-Access-30-Day-Service-Card-Email-Delivery/15443344?findingMethod=rr

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Straight-Talk-Samsung-SGH-T401G-ST-Mobile-Phone/14698982

Then at least if it doesn't work, you'll only be out $100. Also, it looks like this is a GSM phone, so ATT would likely be the towers it's pulling off of.

Stingroo
12-15-10, 08:38 PM
MetroPCS if they're in your area. $50 a month, unlimited EVERYTHING.

ga_etc
12-15-10, 08:53 PM
I really hope everything works out for you Jake. I would truly hate to know that the man working hardest for us N* owners was forced out of business by stupid circumstances. I look forward to the day that Northstar Performance is as widely known and as well respected everywhere as it is here on the Forum!

And the Straight Talk phones from Walmart work very well down here in the states. Just check into it and make sure you wouldn't have any issues using it in Canada. Straight Talk runs off of Verizon's towers and TracFone's service if I understand things correctly. My parents both have ST phones as well as a few friends. They haven't had any troubles out of them.

hueterm
12-15-10, 08:55 PM
He's literally like 9 miles from the US border....not sure how far cell towers reach, though... But no, if they don't pick up a US tower, you won't be able to pull a CN tower...and you probably couldn't roam, which would cost a fortune anyway.

97EldoCoupe
12-15-10, 09:29 PM
Yesterday on my UPS run to Winnipeg my Rogers wireless iPhone picked up a US tower (turning onto highway 75 North) and it said across the display on my phone "USA extended network" whatever that means - T-Mobile I sometimes pick up driving through North Dakota -

I called Rogers and told them I paid the $10 in advance so I'd have data at no extra cost in the USA - I used 9.7 Megabytes in the USA - not much- and oddly enough, Rogers said they made a mistake and took $297 off my bill. Good. That's a start.

ga_etc - as long as I'm running this business things are going to be fair and square- no matter how big it becomes or how small it remains. I charge a set price for HG repair, and unless I have to, I don't throw "extras" on the bill - nobody likes surprises like my recent cell phone bill - and I will never do that to anyone. The problem with companies like Rogers Wireless - they get to be such a large company, nobody matters to them anymore, they charge whatever they want and they get away with it!

$1100 is nothing to a company that made $4.1 billion dollars off Canadian cell phone customers last year! Yet to people like us, there's a week or more pay for the use of a cell phone - Now it's back to $800, good, but that would be better off going to suppliers - Rogers can wait a while. I just got a call from a friend of mine - Virgin Mobile - $80/month, unlimited calling across the USA and Canada. Now that's more like it. When your cell bill is the size of your mortgage payment there's something wrong - and I already use it as little as possible - just what I need for business- and sure, that's a tax deduction, but you can only spend and deduct so much before you realize "hey where did the profits go-"

97EldoCoupe
12-15-10, 09:31 PM
Hueterm - direct line-of-sight, across farm fields, I'd say no more than 5 miles from the USA - I'm thinking of letting my dog Bandit dig a tunnel- that'll give a whole new meaning to "free trade"........ :D lol

97EldoCoupe
12-15-10, 09:35 PM
A second cell phone running off US towers would be great- if I drive into the USA, turn one cell off, turn the other on, no roaming charges.... I'll check Wal-Mart out soon in the USA for a cheap phone.

Oddly enough, I have access to great internet now for $40/month. There's a wireless antenna on my roof that picks up sort of like a wi-fi signal, great speed, unlimited bandwidth, couldn't be happier- beats the satellite internet (HughesNet) I had in Ontario - 200 megs/day @$68/month.

hueterm
12-15-10, 09:49 PM
That Virgin deal sounds good for US and Canada...

RippyPartsDept
12-15-10, 10:02 PM
well i'm kind of glad that i didn't see this thread when it was originally posted... it did give me quite the sinking feeling reading it just now, but it sounds like things are a lot better than they were just a few days ago.

jake, you know we're behind you 100% ... more if that were possible

and that international roaming 'scam' is very common. i've heard of a lot of carriers doing it. i think they do it to see who will just pay it and not fight it out

again, keep your head up and don't let the naysayers bring you down

vincentm
12-15-10, 10:28 PM
Ron - I haven't gotten any PMs from you since I sent mine responding to yours regarding the shop in Florida -

Thanks guys I'm doing some UPS drop-offs - I have to leave for Winnipeg in a few minutes because I believe I missed the drop-off 8 miles from me today- below is the cost of your average 15 lb stud kit, sent express to the 48 lower US states:

http://www.northstarperformance.com/upscharges002.jpg

When I get back I'll take a few minutes and carefully read some responses because y'all have great ideas-

Son of a biscuit, i hope you have alot of RAM on that machine, because your system tray has more icons than china has people...plus that's Vista, ew..is it running slow?

drewsdeville
12-15-10, 10:37 PM
Nothing wrong with that. Unused hardware resources are wasted resources.

Always makes me wonder why everyone whined when Vista introduced Superfetch, which caches most used data to ram so the system isn't bottlenecked by your HD (the slowest component of any computer). Even better, now everyone suddenly loves it since it's been rebadged to "7"!

Buying a system with a large amount of ram and then striving to use the least amount possible baffles me. It's there, use it!

Ranger
12-15-10, 11:14 PM
PM sent Jake. Looking forward to meeting you.

tigers2007
12-16-10, 12:53 AM
Consider getting your main phone number ported to Vonage and then have it "Simulring" to ALL phones (your main cell, prepaids, etc.). Of course there are many VoIP options. You just need something that you can remotely command from your iPhone (like if you forget to have it forward calls to your cell, you can do it via the internet...).

I have a friend of mine who rapes Nextel with their OLD Free Incoming Calls cell plan. Any inbound calls to his phone are free. Period. He runs his multi-million dollar business through that stupid phone all for like $60/month.

RippyPartsDept
12-16-10, 01:08 AM
better option than the vonage is a google voice account... you give out your google voice number to everyone and have it ring the phone you want (or send it straight to voicemail) based on who is calling (unknown, family, work, whatever lists you make of your phonebook)

one great thing about it is that when someone calls you can listen in on their voicemail live and pickup if you want to... like back in the old days of home voicemail recorders (we used to always let the phone ring during dinner and pickup if it was an important call)

the voicemails get auto-transcribed and sent to your email where you can read the transcription and listen along (sometimes funny transcriptions... okay many times funny, but that tech will only get better)

there's a lot more to it, but the put it simply your google voice number will never change so you'll never have to update your phone number again, no matter how many phones or phone companies you switch to/from

.... one caveat - i'm not sure if it's available to canadians and how it would work sending calls to a canadian phone... that might be a problem

tigers2007
12-16-10, 01:11 AM
Oh Jake, I forgot to add --- I can take the VIA rail from Windsor to come get the car (black '99 Deville). Can you meet me at the nearest VIA station? What would be the closest? St Thomas, Ingersoll, or Woodstock?

97EldoCoupe
12-16-10, 01:35 AM
Hey Tigers2007 - St. Thomas is closest - for both of us - I will keep you posted on my progress back to Ontario -

I just got back with my new cell phone - Blackberry Curve, didn't pay a dime, no contract, + $75 in store credit for anything at The Source (Radio Shack) and 10% from each monthly bill goes to paying off this $350 phone - unlimited evenings and weekends and 2000 minutes during the day per month, across Canada and the USA. I thought it was unlimited, but hey, 2000 minutes isn't the worst. $130/month with all of this, unlimited around the world text messaging, and 500 megs data / month. That'll save me.....$400/month? + better service-

I'm actually signed up with My1Voice, a division of MyFax. That's who hosts my toll free number. Easy enough, and yeah it rings my cell phone and both Ontario and Manitoba offices at the same time- if I don't answer a customer's call it means I'm in a tight spot with a wrench or I'm doing something that's incredibly noisy-

Vincent - I've had this PC in my office for about a year and a half now (Gateway DX something or other) 4 gigs ram, Vista, never once been slow- this is maybe the one computer that has never let me down - I use it for design work and cad stuff too-

Virgin Mobile is definitely the company to go with right now. Not too many people walk into a store before, gotten a new cell phone, a great plan without a contract, and on top of that walk out with $75 worth of stuff for free-

I'm stuck with my rogers contract for a while but I'll downgrade it to the lowest possible plan $25/mo and keep it in the glovebox of a second vehicle or something - maybe sell of my iphone and the contract with it (for free!).

I'm going to miss the iPhone but I won't miss these rediculous bills - no point in working if at the end of the month, you pay your bills, and there's virtually nothing left. I need to bail myself out before I reach the point of no return - this will help a lot. The moving is done, I just recently paid for the last truck load so I'm in the clear with the trucking company now. Other than the cars in Ontario, and some of the equipment I am going to keep there for warranty (and vacation!) purposes, I am settled in in Manitoba. Ontario customers, no matter what, I will look after you and live up to my promises and do my best work on your Northstars.

And thanks Chris!

I'm gonna love being able to dial out again without thinking "what is this call gonna cost me".
I did check, "USA Extended Network" - whatever that is, I have full service at my shop here - so if I find a better deal in North Dakota, I'll get a U.S. phone -

97EldoCoupe
12-16-10, 02:01 AM
Here's two new email I just received -


WHAT THE HELL IS THE DEAL? YOU ADVERT5ISE THIS PRODUCT AND CANT PRODUCE ONE? PLEASE CONTACT ME ASAP I NEED THIS PRODUCT

Oh great - I'm expected to lose ALL money received for one stud kit - another customer who wants everything for free:


I pasted it on this email, did you not see it. It also gives the guarantee for the fix, if it does not work I guess we will just have to see you in court. In fact, I think I will dispute the whole charge since you are now not going to guarantee it, which was not the case at the time of purchase. You are not going bankrupt because of customers like me, I am only holding you to your word and what your website says you cover. I did not post it on your website, you did. I am sorry you feel you can rail road your customers and not provide the service you say you will. That Jake is why you are losing your business. At this point, with this email, I will dispute the full charge as you have taken away the guarantee and did not cover the shipping.

It's messages like the one above that makes me want to scream, makes me wish I never created the stud system - makes me want to put a closed sign on the door and walk away. All because this woman couldn't understand how I can't cover $108 for shipping to Alaska out of my own pocket.

How can people be so different? Some appreciate your hard work and efforts so much! I gave one man a stud kit for free (just the cost of shipping) because he managed to land me a contract with a Cadillac dealership and since he heard the issues I'm having, offered to pay full price for the kit that's already installed in his car- and now this woman who's engine is now being saved thanks to these studs, my time, effort, sweat and blood, would sooner take away the money that she's already paid me for the kit because she thinks she has a good enough excuse-

I ask again- how can people be so different?

Because of the principal of it, I'd sooner take that woman to the highest court regardless of cost, rather than go back on my word and collect $500 for a kit I promised at no charge. Good people deserve a break once in a while. People that expect the world to be handed to them on a silver platter and us all to bow before them, deserve nothing.

Edit: I never said I would not guarantee her studs - but at this point, I'd sooner have her return the kit unused and give her a full refund and be done with it. Also I did as she asked and shipped to her contact in Tennessee, at no charge. For $50 more to help cover the additional shipping to Alaska, she would have received it directly -

97EldoCoupe
12-16-10, 02:23 AM
The sad part is that too many customers like this, I start to lose my ambition and motivation. There's a hundred other things I could do for a living. I think I'll go have a few cold ones.

Again thank you to all who have supported me. You've helped me to retain my sanity and keep moving forward.

Too much of this B.S. and I may sell the stud repair system to the highest bidder, all supplier contracts, all tooling and such, to the highest bidder- or I'll contact RockAuto again and take them up on their offer to distribute the stud kits. The thing is I don't want pricing to go up.

98eldo32v
12-16-10, 03:01 AM
The only thing left for free is oxygen. I bet someone is sitting around trying to figure out a way to charge us even for that.

Jake stop jumping through these rings of fire for some losers.

If you start dealing with a person and the CONVERSATION/EMAILS turn into a problem, you think the money transaction won't? Sometimes you have to say I can't help you. JUST TO AVOID PROBLEMS. Some people are just surrounded by them.

Life is a compromise. Like 50-50. Not 70-30, 80-20, 90-10. Just reading what you're putting up with, make me laugh but irrates me at the same time.....

Some people believe in one way....their way or no way.

When I have to deal with someone like that, it's no way.

97EldoCoupe
12-16-10, 03:30 AM
That is IT. That woman in Alaska has just replied with this:


There is nothing incredibly special in there Jake, nothing that a machine shop up here could not duplicate.

Tomorrow morning she will be getting a phone call from my lawyer/patent attorney in New York. I am a tolerant person but only to a point. She just crossed the line.

The law firm I deal with is one of New York's best. They are prompt, they are extremely good, and they are expensive. They don't play around. And neither do I.

98eldo32v
12-16-10, 03:40 AM
Jake are you kidding?!

This is what I would do. I'd have her send the kit back and tell her have her machine shop make them then. She's trying to piss you off and succeeding in doing so. I'd laugh at her. You should have told her if it wasn't so special send the kit back.......

97EldoCoupe
12-16-10, 04:12 AM
Actually Ron I think I just had a very clear moment of thought -

1: - I created this repair for good honest people who need a permanent, bulletproof fix. I didn't create it for unappreciative selfish _____(obsene word here)__
2: - To let a &%^#$ like her ruin a great repair for everyone else would be WRONG.
3: - And to argue with someone like that isn't worth the oxygen required to do so
4: - No matter what I do for a living, I'll always have to tolerate @$$holes. I don't work this hard for them. I do this for everyone else.

If paypal does give her her money back, without first returning the kit, that will be the last time I ever accept paypal. Paypal is bad for that.

I take things too hard sometimes. I realize that. It's sometimes hard not to - But letting someone like this woman anger me is simply letting them win- and I don't want that.

RippyPartsDept said "for every 1 person that is against you, there's 10 or 100 who appreciate all you do" (or something similar)
98Eldo32V said "the only reason you're getting all of this bad attention is because you are successful".

Things are starting to make sense to me. I have a job to do, whether some people like it or not. My job, is to supply, continuously improve, and promote the stud repair system to help everyone drive their Cadillacs for as long as possible- and to hopefully develop a good aftermarket for these beautiful cars.

If some people don't like it, great- that's their entitlement - just don't deal with me then, and don't say anything that you can't back up.

But my lawyer told me, go after any and all infringers and treat every threat seriously. I will take sound advice.

I have to make everything work and I cannot let people like "Ms. Woman from AK" stand in the way.

My promise to all who are and have been standing behind me: I will not become selfish and greedy and arrogant. No matter how successful (or unsuccessful) Northstar Performance becomes I will remember the great forum members who have been very helpful and very supportive. Someday, I will somehow repay you and hopefully help you in some way.

Sometimes you have to simply look at things from another perspective.

ejguillot
12-16-10, 10:26 AM
Jake, remember that us grateful customers are behind you (if it wasn't for your kit, I would have gotten rid of my 2000 STS last year at a loss). Can't wait to see what you come up with performance wise...

As to the woman in AK, definitely sic the lawyer on her - and a few preemptive calls to the machine shops in her area might not hurt either (check with your lawyer first).

JoeTahoe
12-16-10, 01:57 PM
Jake thanks for the chat last nite and keep your chin high. There are a more satisfied people behind you and your commitment to the vehicle owners and there cars. Piss on the rest. Its the world we live in. They all want it now and cheap.

98eldo32v
12-16-10, 04:06 PM
Jake has finally made it out of the fog folks.......It's all going to be ok....... back to fixing the northstars.

Jake in the world of supply and demand, you have to deal with plus and minus. Good and the bad (at times). NEVER should it get to a point you have to tolerate sheer stupidity and ignorance.

You have to treat your business like a restaurant. If the customers get too rowdy or out of control, you don't serve them and throw them out. After all, your studs aren't anything special, so what the hell are you doing at my door?! You can get ANYBODY to make these, geez what could possible make these so special.

In paypal's defense though, I've documented everything I've ever had a problem with a transaction and sent it to paypal. That includes emails, times, dates, everything. I noted whether the transaction was late, communication was poor etc. If you document everything, you usually never have a problem. Yet, anything can happen.

If the Alaskan hineyhole gets over, chalk it up. Yes, it sucks but chalk it up. Why, because NOTHING good ever happens to hineyholes. They might get over in one area only to lose in the next. So, she might get some free studs, yet she sounds so stupid she's probably running straight water in her engine block, so let it split in half, she'll be alright. If it's not that, something is going to comeback and bite her for her terrible behavior and lack of respect for what you have to offer.

Again, if your studs weren't the fix, why is she buying them?

Let paypal know that......

spin
12-16-10, 06:48 PM
Jake, I bought a kit from you almost 2 years ago and its great. Take a step back for a minute. If things are out of your control you shouldn't be paying for the overnight freight. If the customer wants/needs it that bad they can pay for it.

As far as the woman in Alaska, there's people in this world like that. Have her send the kit back and be done with her. Also, I didn't think paypal would do a charge back unless the item was bought through ebay.

edb150
12-16-10, 11:25 PM
Jake, we are doing 2 stud kit installs right now and a guy just dropped a 99 off from wisconsin with a stud kit you sent him. so 3 in a row which will bring the total to 45 cars saved. If I can help in any way by shipping from illinois like we spoke about let me know. Dont let anyone or anything bring you down its just not worth it. give me a call 847 878 5676, Joe @ midwest cadillac repair

97EldoCoupe
12-17-10, 01:25 AM
Thank you Joe, Ron, Spin, and Joe -

Joe I got a call from an 815 number name was Dave I believe I sent him over to you, '01 Caddy I believe- told him you know these Caddys well. Hope this helps both the customer and yourself as well. Do me a favor- any referrals I send you, install studs :) I will be talking to you soon regarding the distributorship - a lot is up in the air right now but it's all falling into place once again.

Spin I'm glad to hear your 99 is running strong. Considering the rest of the Northstar is almost indestructible, these engines and the beautiful cars they power are worth the money and effort to correctly repair.

Ron - I did throw a customer out about a year ago. Ranger actually brought his ranting to my attention; it hit the forums (Caddyinfo) - Two hours after I had an order placed, a customer called 6 times for a tracking # - and he ordered standard shipping. I told him with his level of impatience he would be best off to upgrade to express and give us time to process the order and print the label- he refused and got mad so I refunded his money within like 3 hours from receiving payment and he was mad he couldn't do business with us- Within a two hour time span from the time of order, 6 calls for a tracking #. I used common sense at that point and realized, even if I can satisfy this guy on shipping time, he'll find something else to complain about and cause trouble.

I am replenishing stock and inventory and will from this point on, keep a buffer of kits on the shelf. I have 50 taps on order, 300 fixture plates ready for pick up, 300 boxes waiting for me, lots of other stock now..... As the reliability of the repair system, ease of installation, and word-of-mouth spreads, I'm realizing what I need to do. Be prepared for an increase in demand. I have an order of 50 engines worth of studs waiting for pickup again, a back-up thread rolling shop on stand-by in case my main supplier cannot come through for me.

My ad in Engine Builder will be out for now until I get caught up financially (it sure isn't cheap) but that advertising is working incredibly well and once I'm back on track, I believe it's paying off. As long as Sal has these forums I will be a continued supporter.

When things smooth out I will be expanding the INNRS system to include distributors, on-site stud installers, and repair shops who you can bring your vehicle to. I did a few on-site install in Ontario after the time-sert installer asked me to take over the Cadillac side of his business because time-serts were pulling out and he no longer could stand behind the product he was forced to use by the dealers-

I hope I can help Caddy owners for many years to come.

98eldo32v
12-17-10, 04:34 AM
Glad to hear that you "sound" more sane again. Just hang in there.

Never feel that you're alone in this. You've got your little nothstar family here and we'll help the best way we can.

Never feel bashful to ask on what to do with a particular situation either. Sometimes a different perspective will give you a better perspective.....

Stay strong Jake.

Prevail.

Submariner409
12-17-10, 08:05 AM
Jake, One of your big problems is the direct dealing with customers phone calls. You NEED a secretary/receptionist who has a pleasant voice and phone manners, but (especially if the person is female) also has a set of steel balls. There's nothing like a good insulator. When you do a coffee break, enjoy it; don't work.

"Hi, Mary - This is Jim down in Maryland. Is Jake around ?" ....... "Sure, but he's under a car right now. May I have him call you ?"

"Hey, lady - This is Bitchalot from Alaska. Jake owes me free shipping and other stuff." ....... "Tell me your story. He's out of the office."

97EldoCoupe
12-17-10, 11:10 AM
Jim you are absolutely correct. I interviewed a lady a short time ago and she wanted references on me.... so I'm going back to the resume pile as soon as I get the Ontario vehicles back in the owners' hands-

When Charity was in the office, and I remember you have spoken to her in the past - she did a pretty good job of that sort of thing - great with people; knows vehicles fairly well for a female (believe me I know some women are car experts, just not most), and she knew how to put her foot down when it was needed.

I had my sister in the office for a little while and I had one customer who almost drove her to cry so that wasn't going to work-

ponyboyt
12-18-10, 06:27 PM
couple things:

Google Voice. Get a US phone number. You can call anywhere in NA for free. Just need a computer to do it. Canadians cant get an incoming number, but if you have a US address you can get one. I use my netbook to run it.

Magic Jack: again needs a computer, $25 a year to call cross canada, maybe the US too. They both work great.

oh and, i have cash here for you ;)

97EldoCoupe
12-19-10, 01:41 PM
Hey Mason - I'm back and back to work. I have a new cell #, great plan, all the incoming for free and 1.5 hours during business hours at no added cost, unlimited evenings and weekends across NA -

I may try Magic Jack yet - cheap enough!

I will text you my new number a bit later -

the recluse
12-19-10, 10:17 PM
After reading this entire thread, it's good to see your morale much improved. The joys and sorrows of being a business owner...

I haven't had a use for your stud kit (knock wood), but will more than likely be interested in a rebuilt N* when my '02 sees a need for a new one.

take it as easy as you can...