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Old 11-06-2013, 12:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Dealing with difficult vendors

So I have had, in the past, a couple of instances where a vendor who I was working with became difficult to reach or unresponsive. I fear that I might be in another similar spot. What is the best option in such cases? I don't want to burn bridges, as I may need to work with them in the future and by most accounts this behavior is not normal for this vendor. That said, I have a project that is being held up while I wait on a part that was supposed to have shipped nearly a week ago.

All communication at this point has been electronic, but I am 99% sure that I've tracked down their work number. I just don'tknow that I want to play that card yet, as I feel it's sort of a last resort.
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I encounter this pretty often, if you have a way to call them just do so letting them know you just want to "follow" up with them on the subject. The trick is to use passive wording when contacting them. Typically works pretty good.
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My hesitation is that they do work (machinist) on the side. I have tracked down their normal employer's number, so I'd be calling them at work about personal projects unrelated to their day job.
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ahhh, I see. Yeah that's a tough one there.
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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For something so important that a week late is causing you trouble, you should already have their personal phone number.
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordkyleofearth View Post
My hesitation is that they do work (machinist) on the side. I have tracked down their normal employer's number, so I'd be calling them at work about personal projects unrelated to their day job.
i have no experience with vendors but that sounds scummy...

i think the polite thing to do is just contact them using your regular means, let them know about this deadline, let them know you prefer to work with them but if there is no response past a date that you chose that you deem appropriate you will have to cover yourself by finding someone else?
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lordkyleofearth View Post
My hesitation is that they do work (machinist) on the side. I have tracked down their normal employer's number, so I'd be calling them at work about personal projects unrelated to their day job.
Keep up the email..request a phone call after hours.

Ask if you can contact them during the day.

And next time...pay the extra to have someone who is a machinist during the day do your work as a customer of theirs...you can hold them much more accountable than otherwise. Specially if it is important or time sensitive.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Likely scenario :

The guy is now busy at work. Tis the season depending on what he is machining.


Likely that the machines he had previously been doing some government work on are now occupied. Email, inquire, ask for suitable contact info

Do not call the shop.
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My question. Is it personal or business? I.e. are you waiting for someone you make you a bobble for a personal project or is it something you are waiting on for your business? If personal, relax and continue to contact the person through the regular channels. Assuming the guy is either doing work a regular shop doesn't want to touch or he's cutting you a stellar deal because he is using someone else equipment. When you deal on the side, you have to deal with delays or special issues. If it's business, by all means contact the person in any way you need.
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone. I'll see if I can catch him over email/messaging again. The phone route will be my 'nuclear option'. It's just frustrating because the last time we communicated (a week ago) he told me the parts were ready to go on the lathe. Since then I've not heard from him, but I see from his FB pages that he's been working. While the project cannot progress without the part he is making, I had to send an original part for him to copy. So now I cannot take my marker back to it's original form either.

I'm fine with it taking longer than expected (I totally understand that life happens) I just need better communication so I know what my options are.

Brother_Jerry, he does run a private shop, but I believe that he does his personal work after hours on his main employer's machines (as side jobs). At least that is what my eStalking/iSleuth skills have led me to believe.
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