Thursday, October 06, 2005

The prop saga...

I was disappointed that I didn't see a package from UPS on the porch last night when I got home from work. I have been expecting it for some time. I ordered the prop from Phantom Aeronautics, which is a reseller of the Powerfin line. Getting Erik from Phantom on the phone is sometimes hit-or-miss and I had been missing lately, so on Tuesday, I decided to call Powerfin Inc., to check on the status. I assume I spoke to the owner, but I didn't get a name. He was not cooperative at all. He didn't want to give me any information about the status of the prop. His line of reasoning was that I ordered the prop from Phantom, so I needed to be speaking to Phantom about the status. Because I knew that the prop was going to be shipped from the factory to my house, I couldn't buy his line of reasoning. I could understand completely if I were trying to settle a financial dispute, but this was not the case. After restating my position and why I was calling, twice, he was still uncooperative. I didn't get terribly rude with the guy, but I'm sure he was hearing my impatience through my vocal inflections. After I realized I wasn't going to get a delivery status or tracking number, I kindly said good-bye to the man.

So, yesterday when I got home the prop wasn't there waiting for me. I started working on the instrument panel for my Phantom, sanding and fitting and cutting out holes for the instruments. I worked past twilight and had to turn on the porch floodlight to continue seeing. As I was returning back to the router, I see my neighbor walking towards me with a box in her hand. She said, "I think this is yours..." to which I replied, "Does it say Powerfin on it?" "Yep, it sure does". I took the box and thanked her profusely for bringing it to me. I set it inside the house and quickly cleaned up my tools so I could go inspect my prop.

Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and reached in and felt three propeller blades. I guess this would be normal, except for the fact that I had ordered a two-bladed propeller. I did this because the three-bladed prop was $150 more and I didn't see the value, but they really look good when compared to the plain old two-bladed variety. After I unpacked the blades, I reached in for the hub, hoping to find a three blade hub, but it wasn't going to be. There, in my hands, were two beautifully machined, beautifully anodized, aluminum two-blade propeller hubs. I was really puzzled about the third blade and at the time, I was very tempted to keep it. After the haze settled, I realized that I need to send the blade back. I'm going to call Powerfin today and see if he wants me to send the blade back to Phantom or to him. At $125 a blade, I'm sure the guy will be happy to deal with me now!

Moral of the story, if you are the manufacturer of a product, when you are speaking to the end user of your product, regardless of who you purchased it from, it would be wise to be overly helpful and cooperative. This is especially true if your product is a low-volume, specialty product. I'm going to have fun talking to Mr. Powerfin on the phone. In his defense, he was never impolite on the phone, but he wasn't helpful either.


Post a Comment

<< Home