What is customary?
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  1. #1
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    Default What is customary?

    Disclaimer: I'm not a shop owner or manager but would like the opinions of shop owners on how things are normally handled.

    I took a few personal parts to a company to be type III anodized(hard coat). Gave them the alloy type and all the info they asked. They did tell me they only needed the series of alloy which was 6000 (6082 to be exact and I gave them that).

    They call me this morning and told me the parts started to burn up and are un-usable. UGH!!!!

    Now I'm pissed but I keep my cool and figure I'll get further by staying cool. He did tell me they will work with me on getting replacements and to send him quotes. Did all that and called to verify he received the quotes ($500.) He said to give him a few days and he has to go through corporate. Also said it's not their policy to pay replacement costs but he feels bad and is going to do something to help me out. None of this disclaimer was mentioned to me before hand. I was basically a walk-in and gave all the necessary info they needed.

    So my question: is that common practice for a plater or any other shop to not pay replacement costs if they screw up the customers parts? I know things happen but I feel they should cover the cost of replacements. Very frustrating situation and the thought almost makes me sick to shell out my money to cover their screw up.

  2. #2
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    No not that I have seen. Had 17000 worth of parts that where wrote up by my shipper as plate/rack plate and they tumbled the heat treated parts and chipped them all to shit. Was basically told your sol.

  3. #3
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    In most states they are only legally obligated to pay for the cost of material, which in your case is the value of how many pounds of aluminum your parts were made from. Most anodizers will pay no more than that unless you are a large repeat customer and they don't want to lose your business.

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    Yes its customary that they screw up batches all too often, owning up to it or offering to cover anything, not so customary. Some even expect to be paid for their hard work screwing things up, seen that happen with shops who made a bunch of scrap parts too.

    These are details that need to be discussed ahead of time, same with customer supplied material or customer supplied parts to modify. Scrap does happen, ideally not the entire batch... but out of 100's of parts, there's almost always a few to expect could go bad. If customer wants to "save" on material by supplying it, there needs to be the same allowance that the rest of us would have bought extra.
    Maybe 2-3 years ago I was asked to modify this "rush" thing/unit, I said about $200 but I don't guarantee anything( I hate this type of work). I hear the don't screw it up its a $1000unit, ok well how about $1200 for the mod then? $200 was ok....

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  7. #5
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    Hell, I had a plater lose a pallet load of $2500 worth of aluminum parts and in so many words was told too bad. I figured they got delivered to another larger company and the receiving dept. not knowing what they were just shoved them in a corner and forgot about them. They're probably still there for all I know.

    BTW, I was a good customer doing $4000-$6000 a month with them.

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    There is a shop here on the West Coast called Anodizer's Inc (Redwood City, CA)that would insure replacement cost on your parts if they were lost it in anodizing. I don't know if they still do it but it was a 25% fee for the insurance charged above their normal charge as I recall. I gladly paid it but never had to collect and their normal charges were high to begin with when compared to everyone else. I thought it was well worth the extra for the insurance.

    If I recall right, Sentry Insurance would cover that in their policy along with shipping lost if you make sure the shipping was paid on your account number. We have them as our insurance carrier.

    Doesn't help the poster though, as most plater's do not cover distroying your product.

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    Most platers refuse to return your phone calls then give you a 'screw you' if you do accidentally get through to someone with authority. Some will redo the job a second time for free AFTER you pay for the first screwed up job. I've never had one offer even to pay for material, and I've been through quite a few. Doing lots of careful homework on the platers available to you and then crossing your fingers is about all you can do.

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  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild West View Post
    Hell, I had a plater lose a pallet load of $2500 worth of aluminum parts and in so many words was told too bad. I figured they got delivered to another larger company and the receiving dept. not knowing what they were just shoved them in a corner and forgot about them. They're probably still there for all I know.

    BTW, I was a good customer doing $4000-$6000 a month with them.
    They only legally owe material costs on destroyed parts, wonder what the legal situation would be on parts that they lost? If it was someone local to you I think I would have filed a small claims court case just for the hell of it.

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    why did they burn? It should be the designer that specs material and processes and if you are subbing out there's a responsibility on you to make sure they are competent and understand the instructions - i.e. if they burned because of the alloy, not sure that isn't on the person who picked the alloy

    As for legal? imo in a commercial setting, your only option to being told to pound sand is to sue. That's hardly going to happen for $500 so people get told to start pounding. It costs them in reputation and your business so a better approach, which it sounds like they are taking, would be to work out something with you. Bottom line unless warrantied something to you or its worth suing, work out some compromise with them

  13. #10
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    There seems to be many ways to screw up anodizing, temperature, wrong power settings, bad contact, minimum wage workers with about 3 brain cells left racking/dropping/masking/packing parts. Seen parts come back all eaten away and some had completely dissolved in the tank, maybe they just left them all in the cleaning solution over night and went home or put the leads on backwards, who knows. Either way, seen and heard enough of it to try to avoid anything to do with secondary processes.
    Another customer couldn't get anyone to put the right amount of powder coat on anything, 1/32" clearance on parts and still couldn't fit them together after powder coat.


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