Brian Ho (brianho) wrote,
Brian Ho

Clueless in Indianapolis

A couple weeks back I receieved a settlement check to cover repairing the damage that occurred to the Pump It Up cabinet in transit. After negotiating with the shipping company, I didn't get all the money I asked for, but I did at least get enough to cover the cost of the replacement parts I'll need. This doesn't really leave me with much to cover more labor-based repairs, but I was planning on doing as much as I could myself anyway. Brandon and yourcarsucks have agreed to help me out with the tasks (electronic and woodworking repectively) I can't handle alone.

Yesterday I called Shaffer Distributing to get pricing on a couple more parts in preparation of placing an order. There were a couple of spare parts (not related to the shipping damage) I was considering adding to my order if it was going to be inexpensive to do so. But, here's where it gets a little ridiculous...

While speaking to the parts guy at Shaffer I had to explain what Pump It Up was. I had to tell him what company (Andamiro) makes it. I had to tell him his company is the distributor for Andamiro. I had to spell Andamiro. I had to look up Andamiro's phone number for him so he could call them.

Ok, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that Shaffer probably deals with a lot of different companies and he may not personally be aware of each and every one...except that I had pretty much this exact same conversation with the same guy about a month or so ago when I first called to get parts pricing so I could provide the shipping company with a repair estimate. Amazing...

So I contact Andamiro to find out my distributor. Andamiro will not sell to me directly nor give me pricing information. But in order to get pricing I have to contact Andamiro myself to find the part numbers for the parts I need. Then I give these part numbers to Shaffer. But the guy at Shaffer just calls Andamiro--at the number I gave him to get pricing that he then passes on to me.

This manufacturer/distributor model makes no sense to me. I fail to see any value added service from the distributor--who must not have a huge interest in such distribution anyway considering the representative doesn't even know he is the distributor.

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