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View Full Version : Issues with Jim Lee, Part 2.


XxMerlinxX
03-10-2010, 09:37 PM
Hey guys, so as you may have noticed, the original thread was deleted due to some members going at each other. I messaged Mr. Wilson and was told the reason, which I think is fair, and was given the go ahead to post up a second thread that is something of an update to the first. Hopefully this thread will stick around, so I'm going to give a very condensed version of the history behind all of this, then I'll make the update.

I originally ordered a cue from Jim Lee 2 years ago, a year of which was simply planning and ironing out details. After getting everything set in stone, Jim gave me a firm completion date of 8 months, stating that in all actuality it would be less than that. After the 8 months were up, I contacted him again and was told that basically no progress had been made and that no firm completion date would be given. I asked for a refund of my deposit, which he agree to, and he said I would receive it shortly as it was his #1 priority. Shortly turned into more than a month and when I contacted him by phone, it sounded like he didn't know what I was talking about, and that he would have to check his funds. This is after selling not only a $4k-$5k lathe, (I can't remember which it was, he edited that thread) but running a sale on wraps that should have produced another $540. I told Jim I was tired of being jerked around and that I would give him a week before going public on the board in search of a resolution. At this point, Jim then threatened me with holding my deposit money hostage if I did post up on the board. Since I felt like I wasn't ever going to get my money back, I did so anyway.

For those of you who saw the original thread, you know that the above is indeed the short of it and that I was much more detailed in what actually transpired. You also saw that one member, smokey, who started to really get into it with another member, actually offered to refund my deposit in Jim's stead. It bothered me that someone would have to do this for what seemed like a reputable seller, but I did indeed take smokey up on his offer in the hopes that his relationship with Jim would net him better results than it had netted me.

Smokey, I'd like to thank you yet again, and say that what you've done is one of the most stand up actions I've ever seen, especially considering it was all done over the internet. I put in a good word with Mr. Wilson and I hope you get to stick around.

To Jim Lee, I cannot believe you would treat one of your customers in such a fashion. Not only had I ordered that cue from you, but I even told you I was looking forward to having a Jump Cue made and having a titlist converted as well once the first cue was finished. I always think it's kind of funny when I hear the phrase, "You should be ashamed of yourself." as it brings back some amusing childhood memories, but I wish that there was a more serious way of conveying that same thought. I won't resort to name calling, but I definitely have a few choice words I could pin on you.

To the rest of the board, thank you for the support and the green rep, I really do appreciate it.

poolplayer2093
03-10-2010, 10:29 PM
i'm sure jim will square up with smokey in due time.

KJ Cues
03-11-2010, 02:30 AM
I had partially composed an opinion to post in the first thread but when I looked to view the thread again for some clarification, the thread was gone.
Most of what I'd written then was relevant then but possibly not now.
I have no interest in defending or prosecuting anyone in this matter, I only want to expand on something that was briefly touched-on in the orig. thread.

What I would hope the cue buying public at large would come to understand is that most every time you ask a cue-builder to give you an ETA, you're asking him to subject himself to a lie. He doesn't WANT to do it but you're asking him to tell you SOMETHING. The problem is, he can no more do that honestly, than he can tell you what you will have for lunch in 3 days. He can't predict the future; nobody can.
He can't tell you what will be coming through his door tomorrow, next week or next month. Any one of those future jobs has the potential to upset his entire schedule for every job in his shop. Events that aren't even cue related can cause delays; sometimes, serious delays.

We tend to be optimistic when quoting a time-line because we want your business and we'll do whatever we can to deliver the goods on time. We're aware of customer service. About the time the CM quotes you a date, he realizes that Murphy is standing right behind him. It happens, I know.

I would like you to consider something else. The CM doesn't take your money without every intention of doing what you are paying him to do. Those that do otherwise aren't in business very long.
When a CM starts getting behind and he's realizing he's getting behind, it triggers guilt. This guilt causes stress. I'm someone who has to have his head in a good place before I can do my best work. If I'm under a lot of stress, it will show in my work and I don't want that, for a lot of reasons.
You are part of this man's journey. Please don't be the source of his stress.

I'm not looking to engage in a lengthy debate on my statement. I just wanted to share a view from the other side of the transaction. No guilt, no innocence.
Just an honest observation from someone who's been there.

Man does not control time, time controls man.

gwjackal
03-11-2010, 04:43 AM
KJ - I commend you on your post!

I don't think jim would have said it any different. I talked to jim and I think there's a lot more to what was said by side A. Some people choose to only see in simple american ways ways of I want it now and I want everything my way. All you have to do is look at our fast food ridden nation to see that. Seems to me that what one man says, if he says it enough, no matter how true or untrue it is, they will believe the lie and proceed to live it. Its only looking in the mirror that truly matters in the end. But all in all, why cry over 250.00? Look at the drinking habits and smoking habits of people, what's even worse, look at how many familys starve but yet one person can say the milk went sour when in all reality it just wasn't what they wanted all along.

Now I did get a chance to read the last post and yes I am a friend of jimmy's. But look at this from a business aspect if nothing else. If your saying he sold a used lathe for 4-5K that it would not even be that much brand new your already making untrue claims. Who's to say if building cues was your only means of income you would not finish a project that you agreed to finish. Granted it takes the customer more than two years to truly come to terms with what they want, how would you feel if you built houses and everything changed because of the customer?

I'm not going to say your wrong and I'm not going to say your right, its not my place but I do have my opinion! The cue game is and will be a tough business to be in. I can say this Jim Lee is one of the most honest americans I know and has gone out of his way to help others for no reason other than just to do it. I'm glad to see that smokey did what he did but he had no reason to do it, not for you and not for jim. But at least you got someones money out of the deal because in the end it didn't matter what really had or had not been done, did it?

Will you ever tell the whole story?

BHQ
03-11-2010, 05:00 AM
KJ - I commend you on your post!

I don't think jim would have said it any different. I talked to jim and I think there's a lot more to what was said by side A. Some people choose to only see in simple american ways ways of I want it now and I want everything my way. All you have to do is look at our fast food ridden nation to see that. Seems to me that what one man says, if he says it enough, no matter how true or untrue it is, they will believe the lie and proceed to live it. Its only looking in the mirror that truly matters in the end. But all in all, why cry over 250.00? Look at the drinking habits and smoking habits of people, what's even worse, look at how many familys starve but yet one person can say the milk went sour when in all reality it just wasn't what they wanted all along.

Now I did get a chance to read the last post and yes I am a friend of jimmy's. But look at this from a business aspect if nothing else. If your saying he sold a used lathe for 4-5K that it would not even be that much brand new your already making untrue claims. Who's to say if building cues was your only means of income you would not finish a project that you agreed to finish. Granted it takes the customer more than two years to truly come to terms with what they want, how would you feel if you built houses and everything changed because of the customer?

I'm not going to say your wrong and I'm not going to say your right, its not my place but I do have my opinion! The cue game is and will be a tough business to be in. I can say this Jim Lee is one of the most honest americans I know and has gone out of his way to help others for no reason other than just to do it. I'm glad to see that smokey did what he did but he had no reason to do it, not for you and not for jim. But at least you got someones money out of the deal because in the end it didn't matter what really had or had not been done, did it?

Will you ever tell the whole story?

GO TO BED!!! :grin:
LOL
nice talking with yesterday,
sorry i had to cut you off like that

jay helfert
03-11-2010, 06:10 AM
It is VERY difficult for me to accept the premise that a cue maker cannot and should not give an expected ETA to a prospective customer. Yes, there is an art to building a custom cue, that can take weeks and months to get just right. But as one who has observed the entire process from beginning to end by some noted builders, it isn't exactly rocket science either. These days with CNC and the other computer tricks of the trade they should know fairly well how long a cue will take from inception to completion. That is, if they follow through on their end, taking all the necessary steps to make it happen.

I think of the building industry when making a comparison with other trades. A contractor on a large project has to give the project owner a date of completion, and if unable to complete the project on schedule could face hefty deductions on their fees. I'm talking about building a large apartment complex from the ground up or an office building that soars fifty or more stories into the sky. Compared to building a single cue, this IS rocket science! And yet they better find a way to get it done on time or face big losses.

My feeling is this. If a cue maker cannot give an estimated time to build a cue, then he should just say so. At least the top builders today let their prospective customers know that it could be years down the road, before they can even begin making a cue for them. The last custom cue I had built for me was by Pete Tascarella. We talked on the phone a couple of times and got everything straight as to what I wanted in the cue regarding the specs etc. He gave me a price and told me to expect it in one year. He DID NOT ask for a deposit. One year later almost to the day, he called me and told my cue would be ready to ship the following week. I sent him the money and the cue was here about one week later. And it was exactly the cue I ordered from him.

I don't think Pete did anything extraordinary, except keep his word to me (and make me a great cue). That is how he does business. I've had similar experiences with Ernie at Ginacue, Tad, Josey and Southwest. I've also had other experiences with cue makers that did not go as well. Not in terms of money, but in terms of getting a timely delivery on what they promised me. These are cue makers who I chose not to do as much (or any) business with in the future.

Just one man's opinion as always.

xianmacx
03-11-2010, 06:22 AM
It is VERY difficult for me to accept the premise that a cue maker cannot and should not give an expected ETA to a prospective customer. Yes, there is an art to building a custom cue, that can take weeks and months to get just right. But as one who has observed the entire process from beginning to end by some noted builders, it isn't exactly rocket science either. These days with CNC and the other computer tricks of the trade they should know fairly well how long a cue will take from inception to completion. That is, if they follow through on their end taking all the necessary steps to make it happen.

I think of the building industry when making a comparison with other trades. A contractor on a large project has to give the project owner a date of completion, and if unable to complete the project on schedule could face hefty deductions on their fees. I'm talking about building a large apartment complex from the ground up or an office building that soars fifty or more stories into the sky. Compared to building a single cue, this IS rocket science! And yet they better find a way to get it done on time or face big losses.

My feeling is this. If a cue maker cannot give an estimated time to build one cue, then he should just say so. At least the top builders today let their prospective customers know that it could be years down the road, before they can even begin making a cue for them. The last custom cue I had built for me was by Pete Tascarella. We talked on the phone a couple of times and got everything straight as to what I wanted in the cue regarding the specs etc. He gave me a price and told me to expect it in one year. He DID NOT ask for a deposit. One year later almost to the day, he called me and told my cue would be ready to ship in a few days. I sent him the money and the cue was here a few days later. And it was exactly the cue I ordered from him.

I don't think Pete did anything extraordinary, except keep his word to me. That is how he does business. I've had similar experiences with Ernie at Ginacue, Tad and Southwest. I've also had other experiences with cue makers that did not go as well. Not in terms of money, but in terms of getting a timely delivery on what they promised me. These are cue makers who I chose not to do as much (or any) business with in the future.

Just one man's opinion as always.


Great post Jay. I had the exact same experience with the Pete's. Quoted 3 yrs... 2yr 11 months go by, I get a call, He wants my exact specs and says the cue will be ready in about a month. 30 days later, I have my cue.

JMW has built me 2 cues and delivered within 2 weeks of quoted time on both.

Maybe Jim Lee should get the same type of watch these guys have.

Ian

Charlie Edwards
03-11-2010, 06:26 AM
An accurate delivery date should be promised and kept, and seldom missed. A lot of good cuemakers nearly always meet that date... so it can be done. Order a cue from Scruggs or Black and many others and the cue will be delivered, on time. IMO, too many makers operate underfunded and always seem to get themselves in a mess.

Hierovision
03-11-2010, 06:28 AM
Being able to competently manage a schedule is one indicator of the quality of a businessman. Being a good businessman is part of being a good cuesmith.

Customer service is another indicator. One bad transaction offsets an average of something like 7-10 good transactions (or more if the internet is involved). It helps to have a >=98% satisfaction rate these days.

Only the honest, hard working, and good business cuesmiths will get my money. Backing out of deals, withholding refunds, and dismissing peer advice are all horrible business practices, so I will definitely not be ordering a J&D custom in my lifetime.

Smokey, thanks for mediating. It's sad that you have to step in, but I'm glad you're here to do it.

Quesports
03-11-2010, 07:10 AM
Rather than quote Jay and take up space, I completely agree with your post.
The quote is for an Estimated Delivery Date. Yes sometimes there may be things that affect the delivery date but should never extend beyond a resonable timeframe. Somehow some cuemakers think that the customer should wait for extended periods of time because of all kinds of reasons. Personally I find that notion absurd and it normally ends up in a not so friendly transaction. In construction I have myself run over on projects because of work order changes, added projects and the like. I have found it best to be upfront and honest with a client regarding your own schedule, their expectations and the schedule of upcoming projects. Many customers forget that you have to keep rescheduling your next project when you extend their project, it is the old catch 22. This also can happen to cuemakers but they too have to keep to reasonable schedules to meet reasonable expectations of their customers as well. The start of the job is just as important as the finish of the job and no one should expect to wait for extended periods of time for completion..
JMO!!!
Dan

Spimp13
03-11-2010, 07:30 AM
Like I said before....pictures pictures pictures.... it is really not that hard to take 1 or 2 pictures and send them. If you do not know how to do this ask. If you do not have time to do this I will say BS because you do have time to do this. If you refuse to do this and keep delaying because of whatever reason, well its just not good business practice or customer service. I am spending X amount of dollars on a product that most likely I will never be able to see it unless I live by the cuemaker until it is done...pictures put peoples mind to ease.

Before I get flamed with these people have families or another job and this is a hobby etc....when you take a deposit for a product that is to be made and delivered to a customer, it is a business transaction. Not everybody has 5-10 cues and they just want another one. Some people have no cue.

I agree that putting a deadline out there puts the added pressure of meeting that deadline, but to the cuemakers that have been doing this for years; they should be able to gauge a decent estimate on this. When outside circumstances delay a cue, just tell your customer what is going on, instead of stringing them along saying this is done, or that is done with no pictures. This is 2010....I know the cuemakers know how to post or send pictures...so do it...it takes 10-20 minutes max.

Props to Smokey for the kind gesture.

GoTulane
03-11-2010, 07:59 AM
Great posts KJ & GW. Always like to hear things from the cuemaker perspective.

And as always, there are 2 sides to any situation. We have only been told one STORY.

Michael

xianmacx
03-11-2010, 08:09 AM
Great posts KJ & GW. Always like to hear things from the cuemaker perspective.

And as always, there are 2 sides to any situation. We have only been told one STORY.

Michael

I agree there are always 2 sides to every story...but regardless of the 2 stories, why would someone allow there name to get slapped around on here over 250 dollars?? I would think that someone rep is worth WAY more than that. Man up, send the guy a refund when he asked 6 months ago and move on. If you have 21 cues waiting, It obvious you have enough work to keep you busy...

Its just business. You every go to walmart and return something? They dont even want to know why. They enjoy your repeat business and therefor don't heckle customers when they want their money back. Its just a cost of doing business.

s'portplayer
03-11-2010, 08:21 AM
It is VERY difficult for me to accept the premise that a cue maker cannot and should not give an expected ETA to a prospective customer. Yes, there is an art to building a custom cue, that can take weeks and months to get just right. But as one who has observed the entire process from beginning to end by some noted builders, it isn't exactly rocket science either. These days with CNC and the other computer tricks of the trade they should know fairly well how long a cue will take from inception to completion. That is, if they follow through on their end, taking all the necessary steps to make it happen.

I think of the building industry when making a comparison with other trades. A contractor on a large project has to give the project owner a date of completion, and if unable to complete the project on schedule could face hefty deductions on their fees. I'm talking about building a large apartment complex from the ground up or an office building that soars fifty or more stories into the sky. Compared to building a single cue, this IS rocket science! And yet they better find a way to get it done on time or face big losses.

My feeling is this. If a cue maker cannot give an estimated time to build a cue, then he should just say so. At least the top builders today let their prospective customers know that it could be years down the road, before they can even begin making a cue for them. The last custom cue I had built for me was by Pete Tascarella. We talked on the phone a couple of times and got everything straight as to what I wanted in the cue regarding the specs etc. He gave me a price and told me to expect it in one year. He DID NOT ask for a deposit. One year later almost to the day, he called me and told my cue would be ready to ship the following week. I sent him the money and the cue was here about one week later. And it was exactly the cue I ordered from him.

I don't think Pete did anything extraordinary, except keep his word to me (and make me a great cue). That is how he does business. I've had similar experiences with Ernie at Ginacue, Tad, Josey and Southwest. I've also had other experiences with cue makers that did not go as well. Not in terms of money, but in terms of getting a timely delivery on what they promised me. These are cue makers who I chose not to do as much (or any) business with in the future.

Just one man's opinion as always.


What he said......

Big Perm
03-11-2010, 08:37 AM
Merlin, I'm glad Smokey made it right for you....

Business 101 - underpromise and overdeliver....simple premise - it's the only way to run a successful business and keep a happy customer base.....Jay, as usual, made a great post, X2 on what he said....

I'd say most people are fairly reasonable....if there is a family event or crisis, we are understanding and have no issues adjusting our timeline expectations.....but for some people, this is an art - we've all worked with this person....the first week, they have a sick child....the next week, it's their water heater.....the next week, they had an issue with the bank....the next week, their dog at the cue :grin:

Threatening to withhold a deposit.....that's sounds more like criminal activity to me.....tell the truth, and you'll never get your money back....definitely not smart, whether in business or in life....

Bigjohn
03-11-2010, 08:45 AM
IMO...Yes there are 2 sides but the lack of the other side is telling. A lack of communication can destroy any relationship.

GoTulane
03-11-2010, 08:54 AM
I just want to say one thing, and then I am done with this thread. Though I will still check it out, because free entertainment is always worth the price of admission.

Does Itrader mean anything anymore?

Michael

Hierovision
03-11-2010, 09:22 AM
iTrader is a good tool to start with. If I were to order from a lesser-known cuesmith on here I would check that first. Second, I would search for the cuesmith's name and certain keywords, for example "issue", "problem", "dishonest", etc.

Then I would ask a few well-respected and veteran members (Jay Helfert, TATE, ShootingArts, etc.) of their opinion/suggestion.

deadstroke7
03-11-2010, 09:41 AM
TAP, TAP, TAP. I agree with Jay's post.

IMO, it's a simple issue of people skills / business accumen.

UNDER PROMISE AND OVER DELIVER.:yeah:

I am in the middle of a 'cue maker story' right now.:embarrassed2: As a customer and pool enthusiast, I don't give a $%&^ about any other issue. I want the cue I want and I am willing to pay for it.:wink2:

JUST DON"T YANK ME AROUND. Say what you will do and do what you say.:idea2:

FWIW.:grin-angelic:

qbilder
03-11-2010, 10:07 AM
Here's a different perspective. In general, the deal was made & deposit given. The builder busts ETA & buyer wants refund. Builder agrees but doesn't get the refund out on the buyer's time. This has all been private from day one, a deal between 2 people. Buyer gets upset & decides to tar & feather the builder in town square, over $250. Not once, but twice he posted a thread to publicly humiliate the builder over a private deal.

Not pointing any fingers at who was right & who was wrong, if I were a prospective builder & seen this I wouldn't touch this buyer with a 10 foot pole. I wouldn't even direct him to Wheatie. The buyer may or may not have been absolutely right the entire time and the builder wrong. But that still doesn't justify the public humiliation. If I were a prospective builder & seen this, it would be red flags of risk & danger and i'd stay away from this buyer. I wouldn't need to know who is right or wrong. I would clearly see what happens if something goes wrong in the deal.

Even in our public court systems, if a defendent doesn't pay his court ordered fines or dues, then he does jail time & once punished doesn't owe a thing. But the OP expects the builder to be punished AND pay. What gives?

Anyway, I got no dog in this fight & couldn't care less. I just wanted to point out another perspective. I don't care one way or the other, nothing to do with me. But as much negative that can be said for cuemakers, there's equally bad that can be said for buyers. Most buyers are good people, cue nuts who just want a cue & understand they are dealing with a person, a human, and things can easily go other than planned. Deal with it as it goes & no big deal. But there are others who expect to be treated like royalty & are demanding, then feel righteous enough to rope up the builder & drag him through the streets for everybody to see that he did wrong when something goes awry in the deal. Some even do it for cheap.

Again, i'm not banging on the OP. I don't know the guy, won't pass judgment. I'm just putting out a different perspective that has been overlooked. I'm not saying he's a bad guy, just looking at the situation through a cuemaker's eyes. I'm sure Jim is feeling like he is being publicly humiliated & mob bashed over $250, and regretting ever agreeing to build a cue for the OP. As bad as the buyer feels over not getting his $250 back in a hurry, how is the cuemaker feeling about losing potentially tens of thousands of dollars in prospective sales? Again, nobody knows who's right or wrong in the deal, or even knows the circumstances behind the truth. But everybody is quick to judge & point fingers & give their opinion of what is right & wrong & how the builder should live his life & conduct his business, as well as pointing towards people should only deal with big shot builders because they don't do this kind of stuff. Well, big shot builders were broke newbies once & somebody had to give them the chance to stretch their legs & run with it, or else they wouldn't exist. I guess i'm saying that the judging can go both ways & neither way is right. The situation should never have been made public.

sengkun108
03-11-2010, 10:10 AM
I agree with all Jay Helfert comment..it's a good post:) a very good one

here is from a consumer prespective :
I have interest with a custom cue, i call the cuemaker, we talk and he promise me that cue will done in 6 month. he ask me to deposit money, let's say for $700, i did it. in the third month i ask him to send me the pic of my cue, he ignore it. so did i ask him again and the cuemaker always have an excuse to escape him from his responsibility. A year later he call me and said that the cue i order from him almost done, and it will take 2 month to deliver to me. So how do you deal with somebody like him. I can do nothing to him, because my money already deposit. if i angry or mad at him, i will lose both my cue and my money. So what do you think about this situation. I believe many customer have this experience. Just my opinion ofcourse

In My country (Indonesia), $700 mean alot, just for some information, our labor sallary for one full month just 125$.

Sorry if my english is not good, but at least you knoe what i mean.

Best
Dedy (New Member):smile:

Spimp13
03-11-2010, 10:18 AM
Here's a different perspective. In general, the deal was made & deposit given. The builder busts ETA & buyer wants refund. Builder agrees but doesn't get the refund out on the buyer's time. This has all been private from day one, a deal between 2 people. Buyer gets upset & decides to tar & feather the builder in town square, over $250. Not once, but twice he posted a thread to publicly humiliate the builder over a private deal.

Not pointing any fingers at who was right & who was wrong, if I were a prospective builder & seen this I wouldn't touch this buyer with a 10 foot pole. I wouldn't even direct him to Wheatie. The buyer may or may not have been absolutely right the entire time and the builder wrong. But that still doesn't justify the public humiliation. If I were a prospective builder & seen this, it would be red flags of risk & danger and i'd stay away from this buyer. I wouldn't need to know who is right or wrong. I would clearly see what happens if something goes wrong in the deal.

Even in our public court systems, if a defendent doesn't pay his court ordered fines or dues, then he does jail time & once punished doesn't owe a thing. But the OP expects the builder to be punished AND pay. What gives?

Anyway, I got no dog in this fight & couldn't care less. I just wanted to point out another perspective. I don't care one way or the other, nothing to do with me. But as much negative that can be said for cuemakers, there's equally bad that can be said for buyers. Most buyers are good people, cue nuts who just want a cue & understand they are dealing with a person, a human, and things can easily go other than planned. Deal with it as it goes & no big deal. But there are others who expect to be treated like royalty & are demanding, then feel righteous enough to rope up the builder & drag him through the streets for everybody to see that he did wrong when something goes awry in the deal. Some even do it for cheap.

Again, i'm not banging on the OP. I don't know the guy, won't pass judgment. I'm just putting out a different perspective that has been overlooked. I'm not saying he's a bad guy, just looking at the situation through a cuemaker's eyes. I'm sure Jim is feeling like he is being publicly humiliated & mob bashed over $250, and regretting ever agreeing to build a cue for the OP. As bad as the buyer feels over not getting his $250 back in a hurry, how is the cuemaker feeling about losing potentially tens of thousands of dollars in prospective sales? Again, nobody knows who's right or wrong in the deal, or even knows the circumstances behind the truth. But everybody is quick to judge & point fingers & give their opinion of what is right & wrong & how the builder should live his life & conduct his business, as well as pointing towards people should only deal with big shot builders because they don't do this kind of stuff. Well, big shot builders were broke newbies once & somebody had to give them the chance to stretch their legs & run with it, or else they wouldn't exist. I guess i'm saying that the judging can go both ways & neither way is right. The situation should never have been made public.

The other thread was deleted so I can't reference it, and the OP can respond on this, but I am pretty sure multiple attempts to keep it private were made with no result. $250 may not be much to you, but it may be to the OP. I believe the OP discussed it with Jim, and mentioned he didn't want to to make it public but would if this would not get resolved in some way, and Jim didn't care if he made it public. It is hard to know the whole story since the other half has been quiet, so who knows the real flip side of this...

qbilder
03-11-2010, 10:22 AM
I agree with all Jay Helfert comment..it's a good post:) a very good one

here is from a consumer prespective :
I have interest with a custom cue, i call the cuemaker, we talk and he promise me that cue will done in 6 month. he ask me to deposit money, let's say for $700, i did it. in the third month i ask him to send me the pic of my cue, he ignore it. so did i ask him again and the cuemaker always have an excuse to escape him from his responsibility. A year later he call me and said that the cue i order from him almost done, and it will take 2 month to deliver to me. So how do you deal with somebody like him. I can do nothing to him, because my money already deposit. if i angry or mad at him, i will lose both my cue and my money. So what do you think about this situation. I believe many customer have this experience. Just my opinion ofcourse

In My country (Indonesia), $700 mean alot, just for some information, our labor sallary for one full month just 125$.

Sorry if my english is not good, but at least you knoe what i mean.

Best
Dedy (New Member):smile:

This is a bad situation. First of all, I personally cannot stand deposits. It is potentially bad for both the buyer and the builder. Your statement clearly defines why it's bad for the buyer. The reason it's bad for the builder is because not only can it get him in trouble & stressed, it gives the buyer leverage to put lots of pressure on him. It would be a much smoother cue world if deposits never existed, IMO.

Another thing I wish buyers would consider is that taking pictures, uploading them & emailing them out takes time that could otherwise be spent in the shop. It's a pain in the ass. I'd rather be working on the cue than taking pictures of it's construction. We all enjoy taking pictures of finished cues. We all enjoy seeing pictures of cues in the works, but you can't fault a builder for not taking pictures of construction if he's busy doing something else.

xianmacx
03-11-2010, 10:23 AM
As bad as the buyer feels over not getting his $250 back in a hurry, how is the cuemaker feeling about losing potentially tens of thousands of dollars in prospective sales?

I don't understand how you can spin this to point the blame on the consumer. Its like saying Toyota should quit selling cars to me because I brought up a recall issue.

Consumers have no reputation to uphold, its the responsibility of the mfg, no matter what the business, to uphold THEIR reputation.

I dont care if the OP is totally lying, If I knew I was risking thousands of dollars in future sales, isn't 250 just a drop in the bucket to be able to wash your hands and keep your reputation??

Spimp13
03-11-2010, 10:34 AM
Another thing I wish buyers would consider is that taking pictures, uploading them & emailing them out takes time that could otherwise be spent in the shop. It's a pain in the ass. I'd rather be working on the cue than taking pictures of it's construction. We all enjoy taking pictures of finished cues. We all enjoy seeing pictures of cues in the works, but you can't fault a builder for not taking pictures of construction if he's busy doing something else.

Gotta disagree here. You don't have to take 20+ pictures 10 different times. 1-2 pictures just once even would have eased the pain in this situation if "this" or "that" have been done with the cue. It's not like this is a requirement for all orders, but with a situation like this, it would be worth it. Take the picture when you are done working in the shop for the day....it really does not take that long to take it, upload it and email it.

xianmacx
03-11-2010, 10:36 AM
Gotta disagree here. You don't have to take 20+ pictures 10 different times. 1-2 pictures just once even would have eased the pain in this situation if "this" or "that" have been done with the cue. It's not like this is a requirement for all orders, but with a situation like this, it would be worth it. Take the picture when you are done working in the shop for the day....it really does not take that long to take it, upload it and email it.

Jerry R does a great job of this...on every cue he builds...Another awesome cuemaker and business person.

Spimp13
03-11-2010, 10:40 AM
Jerry R does a great job of this...on every cue he builds...Another awesome cuemaker and business person.

To me, it shows the extra mile. I am not asking for pictures constantly....but once in a great while...it is exciting to see the cue in progress, not just at the end when it is ready to ship.

Woof Biscuit
03-11-2010, 10:47 AM
I didn't read all of the responses so excuse me if I'm repeating. I did read what Jay wrote and agree with that. In addition, it sounds like most of this could have been avoided if the cue maker would have had good communication with the buyer. At the moment he realized that he couldn't meet the date that he quoted, he should have picked up the phone and called the buyer. At that point, a new date should have been quoted or a refund should have been offered. The customer should not have to chase you down. My time is valuable too.

qbilder
03-11-2010, 10:50 AM
The other thread was deleted so I can't reference it, and the OP can respond on this, but I am pretty sure multiple attempts to keep it private were made with no result. $250 may not be much to you, but it may be to the OP. I believe the OP discussed it with Jim, and mentioned he didn't want to to make it public but would if this would not get resolved in some way, and Jim didn't care if he made it public. It is hard to know the whole story since the other half has been quiet, so who knows the real flip side of this...

Yeah I didn't follow the other thread to the end. But telling Jim to give the refund or else he'd out him in public, is bordering blackmail. That's not the way you bring out the best in people. And Jim's absence may be him attempting to take the high road in all this. Who knows? Nobody but the two involved know the truth. Coming public & being the only one to speak opens the OP up to public scrutiny. And for $250, you are very much correct that it might be a lot of money for the OP. But it's not a lot of money in the subject of cues, especially custom cues. $250 is a bargain, even for a deposit. If he were letting money dictate his decision making, then the old addage, "you get what you pay for", comes into play. $250 is $250 no matter who you are & it's good money. But the time & effort & stress the OP has put into ruining another man's reputation over that $250, he could have picked up $250 of aluminum cans from the roadside.

I don't disagree with you, or anybody else on here. Everybody has valid points. But the truth has yet to be revealed & as such, everything is speculative. The only thing we all know is that a cuemaker's business is going to suffer because of this. That's the only evident truth. Knowing that a guy will be losing lots of money without any actual proof of his fault is kind of saddening to me. It's not right. If he brought it on himself, then by all means he should expect to deal with the consequences. But the fact is nobody but he & the OP know for sure, and the OP's the only one talking. Like any other deal gone south, most likely both parties feel they are in the right. Again, it's just sad to see a guy suffer without justification. I was only offering up another perspective for thought.

qbilder
03-11-2010, 10:56 AM
I don't understand how you can spin this to point the blame on the consumer. Its like saying Toyota should quit selling cars to me because I brought up a recall issue.

Consumers have no reputation to uphold, its the responsibility of the mfg, no matter what the business, to uphold THEIR reputation.

I dont care if the OP is totally lying, If I knew I was risking thousands of dollars in future sales, isn't 250 just a drop in the bucket to be able to wash your hands and keep your reputation??

I'm not turning anything around. Read closely & you'll see that i'm offering a different point of view & I clearly state that I personally have nothing against the OP & won't pass judgment. My post was for conversation purposes only, just to provoke some thought so people could see things aren't always as they appear to be. In this particular situation, it doesn't matter to me as I have no ties to either party. It just seems everybody is mobbing up & jumping on the bangwagon to bash at this cuemaker & they don't even really know why, no truth to validate their actions.

Spimp13
03-11-2010, 11:01 AM
Yeah I didn't follow the other thread to the end. But telling Jim to give the refund or else he'd out him in public, is bordering blackmail. That's not the way you bring out the best in people. And Jim's absence may be him attempting to take the high road in all this. Who knows? Nobody but the two involved know the truth. Coming public & being the only one to speak opens the OP up to public scrutiny. And for $250, you are very much correct that it might be a lot of money for the OP. But it's not a lot of money in the subject of cues, especially custom cues. $250 is a bargain, even for a deposit. If he were letting money dictate his decision making, then the old addage, "you get what you pay for", comes into play. $250 is $250 no matter who you are & it's good money. But the time & effort & stress the OP has put into ruining another man's reputation over that $250, he could have picked up $250 of aluminum cans from the roadside.

I don't disagree with you, or anybody else on here. Everybody has valid points. But the truth has yet to be revealed & as such, everything is speculative. The only thing we all know is that a cuemaker's business is going to suffer because of this. That's the only evident truth. Knowing that a guy will be losing lots of money without any actual proof of his fault is kind of saddening to me. It's not right. If he brought it on himself, then by all means he should expect to deal with the consequences. But the fact is nobody but he & the OP know for sure, and the OP's the only one talking. Like any other deal gone south, most likely both parties feel they are in the right. Again, it's just sad to see a guy suffer without justification. I was only offering up another perspective for thought.

It is nice to see other cuemakers perspectives on this, good post... Potentially looking at legal action privately might be better then posting online here. I dunno...like you said I only see the tails side of the coin, not the heads...he might be taking the high road. In the end, once again props to Smokey for stepping up for his friend on the refund.

qbilder
03-11-2010, 11:03 AM
Gotta disagree here. You don't have to take 20+ pictures 10 different times. 1-2 pictures just once even would have eased the pain in this situation if "this" or "that" have been done with the cue. It's not like this is a requirement for all orders, but with a situation like this, it would be worth it. Take the picture when you are done working in the shop for the day....it really does not take that long to take it, upload it and email it.

Are you buying a cue or are you buying photos? Are you contracting a cuemaker or a photographer? Would pictures dictate your choice in cuemakers? I can totally see your point of view & I agree with you. It still doesn't change the fact that it's time consuming & generally just a pain. For some guys it might be fine. For me, personally, I don't mind taking pics of cues during construction because i'm already at the computer a lot anyway & it's part of the fun for me. But I know several builders who put in very long hours & when they are done, they want to clean up & get some rest. Pictures aren't even part of their schedule.

qbilder
03-11-2010, 11:07 AM
It is nice to see other cuemakers perspectives on this, good post... Potentially looking at legal action privately might be better then posting online here. I dunno...like you said I only see the tails side of the coin, not the heads...he might be taking the high road. In the end, once again props to Smokey for stepping up for his friend on the refund.

Legal action would have been ideal, IMO. It's why we have courts & we pay taxes to keep those courts open. Might as well get something out of our taxes. We pay for the system & should use it. Courts are in place to prevent often faulted vigilante justice.

hangemhigh
03-11-2010, 11:14 AM
I think the issue is settled. From the beginning we knew the cue guy agreed to refund the deposit, he just didn't have the $250 to send him. The refund has been sent by someone who can afford to part with $250, and the cue guy is off the hook.

qbilder
03-11-2010, 11:17 AM
I think the issue is settled. From the beginning we knew the cue guy agreed to refund the deposit, he just didn't have the $250 to send him. The refund has been sent by someone who can afford to part with $250, and the cue guy is off the hook.

Which brings to mind, why the second thread?

gwjackal
03-11-2010, 11:22 AM
Which brings to mind, why the second thread?


Truely shows the age and understanding of some people.....



<----------------- knows jim IS taking the high road, maybe a few posters in this thread no matter the iTrader know more about it also....???

ShootingArts
03-11-2010, 11:25 AM
Everybody agree this is fair? My shop rate is $65 an hour. Isn't it fair for me to bill $65 an hour for talking on the phone when people want progress reports, entertaining customers when they visit, and taking pictures and getting them to the customer? All of these things are above and beyond what I contracted to do and all prevent me from doing what I contracted to do while handling these other things.

Does anyone here object to paying twenty dollars for a picture or two sent to them or a twenty minute phone call getting updates on progress? How about $65 when I stop work for an hour to answer your questions and show you the progress on your cue when you visit my shop?

Remember we aren't talking about one person here, all customers are entitled to the same treatment so that "few minutes" spent here and there has to be multiplied by every customer.

Hu

hangemhigh
03-11-2010, 11:37 AM
Which brings to mind, why the second thread?

I don't know. I do know that one thread where both of us were on the same page about the cue guy mentioned here refunding the customers money and putting it behind him mysteriously dissapeared.

Strange too, it was started by him and every cue maker gave the same advice, but he decided to choose another path. The thread was informative and quite civil, no reason I could see to delete it, but it went the way of the other threads involving him, *poof* and it was gone.

rhncue
03-11-2010, 12:07 PM
For years and years I never collected a deposit on a cue as I have never had any problem selling the finished cue to someone else. I now do not build cues just to sell. All my cues are completely custom built for whom ever ordered the cue. This makes resale to someone else more difficult if the original buyer defaults on the sale. I then must discount the cue slightly as the new buyer is not getting a cue specifically designed for him. I now get a 25 or at most a 50.00 deposit.

I'm getting much older and probably older than most on this forum and morals have changed over the years. When I was growing up the most valuable thing you owned was your reputation. When you give your word there should damn well be a good excuse why you can't keep it. When I give a completion date it is usually a week or two earlier when the cue is completed barring the shop burning down or I'm trapped in a hospital or such. Maybe once in 20 or 30 cues there is unexpected movement in the cue which may add a little time but this certainly should be conveyed to the purchaser.This is the way it should be. I hear people talk about "cue makers time" as if it should be expected and that is dead wrong. There's EST and CST but there's no cue makers time. How can anyone expect, or have the trust in a cue maker to get the attention to detail needed when constructing a cue if he doesn't know his equipment nor his abilities any better than to mis judge completion dates by 2 or 3 time factors. Although it takes time to build a cue letting the cue rest between cuts but there is not an actual lot of hours of work in a cue. The reason that some people put many hours of work into a cue is usually from either lack of experience or lack of equipment.

This tirade is not being made against Jim Lee per say as I really don't know both sides of the problem. It does sound as if trusts and commitments were not fulfilled however. I just feel this should be standard operating procedure in all cue construction contracts. Just why must there be such high deposits to commission a cue to be built? Either the builder is buying his materials from the wrong places or something as there just isn't much money actually tied up in a cue. It's almost all labor. If the builder is operating on that much of a shoe string he's in the wrong business. It's just a vicious circle. the builder is constantly chasing new orders and living off of the deposits instead of completing the orders he already has committed to. Mr. Ed was making a living off of nothing but promises and deposits.

It was also brought up that these problems should not be brought to light in a forum as this but settled undercover or through the courts. I don't agree with this in the least. There is no such thing as binding arbitration when a dispute occurs between a cue maker and a customer and going to court usually means the purchaser will just be throwing good money after bad. Small claims Court is an absolute joke. Even if you win a judgement try collecting any money.

Dick

Spimp13
03-11-2010, 12:11 PM
Everybody agree this is fair? My shop rate is $65 an hour. Isn't it fair for me to bill $65 an hour for talking on the phone when people want progress reports, entertaining customers when they visit, and taking pictures and getting them to the customer? All of these things are above and beyond what I contracted to do and all prevent me from doing what I contracted to do while handling these other things.

Does anyone here object to paying twenty dollars for a picture or two sent to them or a twenty minute phone call getting updates on progress? How about $65 when I stop work for an hour to answer your questions and show you the progress on your cue when you visit my shop?

Remember we aren't talking about one person here, all customers are entitled to the same treatment so that "few minutes" spent here and there has to be multiplied by every customer.

Hu

All customers are entitled to the same treatment, but how many customers ask for pictures, what % out of curiosity (cuemakers chime in here)? I personally would be more then willing to throw an extra $20 on an order for pictures, or progress report etc. Some people may not. That could be an option that cuemakers can offer with the price of the cue that do not have the extra time to send the pictures as a possible median to this. With the pictures I was more referring to this situation of trying to see progress on the delayed order, not necessarily pictures on all orders.

Bigjohn
03-11-2010, 12:27 PM
Yeah I didn't follow the other thread to the end. But telling Jim to give the refund or else he'd out him in public, is bordering blackmail. That's not the way you bring out the best in people. And Jim's absence may be him attempting to take the high road in all this. Who knows? Nobody but the two involved know the truth. Coming public & being the only one to speak opens the OP up to public scrutiny. And for $250, you are very much correct that it might be a lot of money for the OP. But it's not a lot of money in the subject of cues, especially custom cues. $250 is a bargain, even for a deposit. If he were letting money dictate his decision making, then the old addage, "you get what you pay for", comes into play. $250 is $250 no matter who you are & it's good money. But the time & effort & stress the OP has put into ruining another man's reputation over that $250, he could have picked up $250 of aluminum cans from the roadside.

I don't disagree with you, or anybody else on here. Everybody has valid points. But the truth has yet to be revealed & as such, everything is speculative. The only thing we all know is that a cuemaker's business is going to suffer because of this. That's the only evident truth. Knowing that a guy will be losing lots of money without any actual proof of his fault is kind of saddening to me. It's not right. If he brought it on himself, then by all means he should expect to deal with the consequences. But the fact is nobody but he & the OP know for sure, and the OP's the only one talking. Like any other deal gone south, most likely both parties feel they are in the right. Again, it's just sad to see a guy suffer without justification. I was only offering up another perspective for thought.

Taking the "high Road" may lead to Poverty Point.

xianmacx
03-11-2010, 12:38 PM
For years and years I never collected a deposit on a cue as I have never had any problem selling the finished cue to someone else. I now do not build cues just to sell. All my cues are completely custom built for whom ever ordered the cue. This makes resale to someone else more difficult if the original buyer defaults on the sale. I then must discount the cue slightly as the new buyer is not getting a cue specifically designed for him. I now get a 25 or at most a 50.00 deposit.

I'm getting much older and probably older than most on this forum and morals have changed over the years. When I was growing up the most valuable thing you owned was your reputation. When you give your word there should damn well be a good excuse why you can't keep it. When I give a completion date it is usually a week or two earlier when the cue is completed barring the shop burning down or I'm trapped in a hospital or such. Maybe once in 20 or 30 cues there is unexpected movement in the cue which may add a little time but this certainly should be conveyed to the purchaser.This is the way it should be. I hear people talk about "cue makers time" as if it should be expected and that is dead wrong. There's EST and CST but there's no cue makers time. How can anyone expect, or have the trust in a cue maker to get the attention to detail needed when constructing a cue if he doesn't know his equipment nor his abilities any better than to mis judge completion dates by 2 or 3 time factors. Although it takes time to build a cue letting the cue rest between cuts but there is not an actual lot of hours of work in a cue. The reason that some people put many hours of work into a cue is usually from either lack of experience or lack of equipment.

This tirade is not being made against Jim Lee per say as I really don't know both sides of the problem. It does sound as if trusts and commitments were not fulfilled however. I just feel this should be standard operating procedure in all cue construction contracts. Just why must there be such high deposits to commission a cue to be built? Either the builder is buying his materials from the wrong places or something as there just isn't much money actually tied up in a cue. It's almost all labor. If the builder is operating on that much of a shoe string he's in the wrong business. It's just a vicious circle. the builder is constantly chasing new orders and living off of the deposits instead of completing the orders he already has committed to. Mr. Ed was making a living off of nothing but promises and deposits.

It was also brought up that these problems should not be brought to light in a forum as this but settled undercover or through the courts. I don't agree with this in the least. There is no such thing as binding arbitration when a dispute occurs between a cue maker and a customer and going to court usually means the purchaser will just be throwing good money after bad. Small claims Court is an absolute joke. Even if you win a judgement try collecting any money.

Dick

Terrific post Dickie. Your business ethincs are top notch, not to mention the first rate cues you build.
Ian

mikeyfrost
03-11-2010, 12:39 PM
Everybody agree this is fair? My shop rate is $65 an hour. Isn't it fair for me to bill $65 an hour for talking on the phone when people want progress reports, entertaining customers when they visit, and taking pictures and getting them to the customer? All of these things are above and beyond what I contracted to do and all prevent me from doing what I contracted to do while handling these other things.

Does anyone here object to paying twenty dollars for a picture or two sent to them or a twenty minute phone call getting updates on progress? How about $65 when I stop work for an hour to answer your questions and show you the progress on your cue when you visit my shop?

Remember we aren't talking about one person here, all customers are entitled to the same treatment so that "few minutes" spent here and there has to be multiplied by every customer.

Hu

C'mon you know that's unreasonable. I am a project manager for my job. I approach ordering a cue the same way I would building a Sizing Tower at an Ag Facility. In other words, maybe we should have a project schedule. A customer should come up with the specs for his cue and then get bids from several makers right? Then a cuemaker sends them a quotation for pricing and schedule requirements...after this is done the customer should award said contract correct? Then you guessed it, these cuemakers would be in deep doo doo for not meeting milestone dates and showing adequate progress. It's also grounds to penalize them aka pay them less because they could not deliver what they contractually agreed too. It also gives grounds for terminating a contract AND getting a refund on all moneys paid out already.

All I am saying is some out there are smarter than the average bear. Getting a cue should be a simple process. You call, talk about it, they build it, you pay them, then you play.

Now if you think I should have to pay for every phone call I make to you to check to see where you are at with my cue a bit of self reflection is in order. Just think if every month or so you sent out a 2 line email that would take 30 seconds to do with what you have done. That would save you lots of time in phone calls. Also come on now, it takes seconds to take a picture and a minute to post it, there's no labor in that.

It cracks me up when every cuemaker or casemaker that frequents this site is in a rush to post some fancy case or cue they finished in order to stroke their own ego. Yet a customer who's paying good money gets grief for wanting a photo every now and then to prove you are as far as you say you are with the cue. Pretty damn funny if you ask me.

xianmacx
03-11-2010, 12:42 PM
C'mon you know that's unreasonable. I am a project manager for my job. I approach ordering a cue the same way I would building a Sizing Tower at an Ag Facility. In other words, maybe we should have a project schedule. A customer should come up with the specs for his cue and then get bids from several makers right? Then a cuemaker sends them a quotation for pricing and schedule requirements...after this is done the customer should award said contract correct? Then you guessed it, these cuemakers would be in deep doo doo for not meeting milestone dates and showing adequate progress. It's also grounds to penalize them aka pay them less because they could not deliver what they contractually agreed too. It also gives grounds for terminating a contract AND getting a refund on all moneys paid out already.

All I am saying is some out there are smarter than the average bear. Getting a cue should be a simple process. You call, talk about it, they build it, you pay them, then you play.

Now if you think I should have to pay for every phone call I make to you to check to see where you are at with my cue a bit of self reflection is in order. Just think if every month or so you sent out a 2 line email that would take 30 seconds to do with what you have done. That would save you lots of time in phone calls. Also come on now, it takes seconds to take a picture and a minute to post it, there's no labor in that.

It cracks me up when every cuemaker or casemaker that frequents this site is in a rush to post some fancy case or cue they finished in order to stroke their own ego. Yet a customer who's paying good money gets grief for wanting a photo every now and then to prove you are as far as you say you are with the cue. Pretty damn funny if you ask me.



EXACTLY!!

Pad all those phone calls and "wasted" time into your original bid price, just like every other business does.

XxMerlinxX
03-11-2010, 01:20 PM
Yeah I didn't follow the other thread to the end. But telling Jim to give the refund or else he'd out him in public, is bordering blackmail. That's not the way you bring out the best in people. And Jim's absence may be him attempting to take the high road in all this. Who knows? Nobody but the two involved know the truth. Coming public & being the only one to speak opens the OP up to public scrutiny. And for $250, you are very much correct that it might be a lot of money for the OP. But it's not a lot of money in the subject of cues, especially custom cues. $250 is a bargain, even for a deposit. If he were letting money dictate his decision making, then the old addage, "you get what you pay for", comes into play. $250 is $250 no matter who you are & it's good money. But the time & effort & stress the OP has put into ruining another man's reputation over that $250, he could have picked up $250 of aluminum cans from the roadside.

I don't disagree with you, or anybody else on here. Everybody has valid points. But the truth has yet to be revealed & as such, everything is speculative. The only thing we all know is that a cuemaker's business is going to suffer because of this. That's the only evident truth. Knowing that a guy will be losing lots of money without any actual proof of his fault is kind of saddening to me. It's not right. If he brought it on himself, then by all means he should expect to deal with the consequences. But the fact is nobody but he & the OP know for sure, and the OP's the only one talking. Like any other deal gone south, most likely both parties feel they are in the right. Again, it's just sad to see a guy suffer without justification. I was only offering up another perspective for thought.

I'd like to address some points you've made and I'd like to make some of my own. I underlined some of the thoughts in your post that I thought were important to point out. While you've made it clear that you're only trying to provide another point of view, what you've also said could be construed as you basically calling me a liar. I don't know if you simply skimmed over the original post or not but I was very detailed about everything, right down to the dates of the messages, and that's because I still have all of the messages saved. Obviously I can't record telephone conversations legally, so I guess that part is going to have to be believed on faith. I'm not out to ruin anyone, I've given Jim plenty of time and opportunities to make this right, and I've hardly gone through any extra to ruin him.

I originally asked Jim for an ETA. I never said a firm due date, I specifically said ETA because that's what I was looking for, an Estimated Time of Arrival. He himself said 8 months or a bit earlier, and while I wasn't pleased with that answer, I accepted it. But 8 months go by and NOTHING new has been completed? How is that at all acceptable?

Jim also agreed to the refund on the 18th of January. My last conversation with him was March 8th, the same day I posted up the thread. That's nearly two months that I gave him to get the refund back to me, and when I contacted him about it, it was like he didn't have any idea what I was talking about. When I tell him that I'm tired of being jerked around and that I'll post on the board seeking a resolution, his response is to threaten me with holding my deposit hostage.

So yes, I posted up on the board seeking a resolution. What other option did I have? Should I have just let him keep the money? And I hardly see it as trying to ruin his reputation. He's the one who hasn't delivered on anything. He's the one who threatened to keep my deposit if I went public. If his reputation is now ruined it's because of his own actions, not mine.

Edit - I forgot to address why I made this second thread. I think this thread needs to stick around so that when someone searches for Jim's name, they may find it. I don't think any one situation is enough to ruin anyone, but I think someone could still use it to make a decision on which cuemaker to settle with. I also wanted to make it public that Smokey was true to his word and I thought that his actions were phenomenal, regardless of the argument he got into in the other thread.

Hidy Ho
03-11-2010, 01:36 PM
I think the issue is settled. From the beginning we knew the cue guy agreed to refund the deposit, he just didn't have the $250 to send him. The refund has been sent by someone who can afford to part with $250, and the cue guy is off the hook.

Which brings to mind, why the second thread?

Because the first thread got pulled!!!! Probably due to moronic behavior and zillion posts from same posters who have no dog is the fight derailed the thread over the edge.

I hope this thread doesn't head toward the same cliff.

I think hangemhigh summarized the issue (as we know) pretty nicely.

ShootingArts
03-11-2010, 01:50 PM
Mike,

It will never happen but charging each customer for what they get is a lot more reasonable than charging every customer more for what only some get. That is what happens to your customers and mine now.

You and every other customer do pay for all of the "freebies" just like all of the things you do bidding a job and getting it. Nothing is free. A little two man company easily underbid the company I worked for on some projects. They didn't have engineers, sales rep's, office staff and building, warehouse, trucks, equipment, the list goes on and on as you know. When my company bid a job the customer was paying for all of the things listed above and more. Nothing is free, just because someone doesn't see the cost billed in black and white doesn't mean it isn't there.

You say "it takes seconds to take a picture and a minute to post it, there's no labor in that." Describe the project you are working on now and the state of progress and I'll request a few pictures. Then tell me how long it really took to provide the pictures, from the time you stopped what else you were doing on the job site until you got back to work. Since it only takes a minute or two no labor involved go ahead and do this ten times during a day, starting and stopping normal activities with at least thirty minutes between each picture and then tell me how much real time you lost taking pictures and sending them to me. What else did you get accomplished that day? Different story when we are talking about your time isn't it?

I have ran a few largish projects myself, some multi-million dollar projects.The companies I worked for had both cost plus and hard money projects. I almost always handled hard money projects because I delivered them ahead of schedule and under the cost estimates. I didn't do that by talking on the phone or taking pictures when there was work to be done.

I don't support the cue makers that routinely don't deliver on time or the quality expected but I don't support customers with ridiculous demands either. I once had a customer calling for hourly reports on a one day job with the calls starting thirty minutes after I started the job. After the third phone call in less than two hours I gave them two time estimates, the one day I told them to begin with if they didn't make another phone call, two weeks if he made one more phone call!

Hu






C'mon you know that's unreasonable. I am a project manager for my job. I approach ordering a cue the same way I would building a Sizing Tower at an Ag Facility. In other words, maybe we should have a project schedule. A customer should come up with the specs for his cue and then get bids from several makers right? Then a cuemaker sends them a quotation for pricing and schedule requirements...after this is done the customer should award said contract correct? Then you guessed it, these cuemakers would be in deep doo doo for not meeting milestone dates and showing adequate progress. It's also grounds to penalize them aka pay them less because they could not deliver what they contractually agreed too. It also gives grounds for terminating a contract AND getting a refund on all moneys paid out already.

All I am saying is some out there are smarter than the average bear. Getting a cue should be a simple process. You call, talk about it, they build it, you pay them, then you play.

Now if you think I should have to pay for every phone call I make to you to check to see where you are at with my cue a bit of self reflection is in order. Just think if every month or so you sent out a 2 line email that would take 30 seconds to do with what you have done. That would save you lots of time in phone calls. Also come on now, it takes seconds to take a picture and a minute to post it, there's no labor in that.

It cracks me up when every cuemaker or casemaker that frequents this site is in a rush to post some fancy case or cue they finished in order to stroke their own ego. Yet a customer who's paying good money gets grief for wanting a photo every now and then to prove you are as far as you say you are with the cue. Pretty damn funny if you ask me.

larrynj1
03-11-2010, 01:55 PM
my ass itches.

hangemhigh
03-11-2010, 01:57 PM
because the first thread got pulled!!!! Probably due to moronic behavior and zillion posts from same posters who have no dog is the fight derailed the thread over the edge.

I hope this thread doesn't head toward the same cliff.

I think hangemhigh summarized the issue (as we know) pretty nicely.

hi ho hi ho , it's off to po i go....whistleF,whistleU,whistleF,whistleU, hi ho hi ho!

shinobi
03-11-2010, 02:02 PM
When I was growing up the most valuable thing you owned was your reputation.

One's reputation still is, and probably always will be the most valued attribute of a human being. There are many great members of this forum who are respected (deservedly so) for saying what they mean, and doing what they say. Those who don't are eventually outed and relegated to "village idiot" status :grin-square:

"Taking the high road" is when one avoids joining in with negative comments and mudslinging, especially when it is unnecessary. That isn't the case here. In this case Jim's silence just comes across as "I know I made promises and broke them, but whatever, I don't care anymore, please just go away...". I just can't see any upside to Jim's silence here.

I don't mind at all that this thread became public. It gives me (and others) a chance to see how one of the members does business when there is a complaint. Had Jim offered a reasonable rebuttal, perhaps his reputation would be saved or even enhanced. That certainly wasn't the case here.

I spend thousands of dollars on AZ members every year and I prefer to put it in the hands of those who keep their word (and withhold it from those who don't). I don't know how much of a difference I can make as one customer, but it's all I can do and so I do it.

mikeyfrost
03-11-2010, 02:12 PM
Mike,

It will never happen but charging each customer for what they get is a lot more reasonable than charging every customer more for what only some get. That is what happens to your customers and mine now.

You and every other customer do pay for all of the "freebies" just like all of the things you do bidding a job and getting it. Nothing is free. A little two man company easily underbid the company I worked for on some projects. They didn't have engineers, sales rep's, office staff and building, warehouse, trucks, equipment, the list goes on and on as you know. When my company bid a job the customer was paying for all of the things listed above and more. Nothing is free, just because someone doesn't see the cost billed in black and white doesn't mean it isn't there.

You say "it takes seconds to take a picture and a minute to post it, there's no labor in that." Describe the project you are working on now and the state of progress and I'll request a few pictures. Then tell me how long it really took to provide the pictures, from the time you stopped what else you were doing on the job site until you got back to work. Since it only takes a minute or two no labor involved go ahead and do this ten times during a day, starting and stopping normal activities with at least thirty minutes between each picture and then tell me how much real time you lost taking pictures and sending them to me. What else did you get accomplished that day? Different story when we are talking about your time isn't it?

I have ran a few largish projects myself, some multi-million dollar projects.The companies I worked for had both cost plus and hard money projects. I almost always handled hard money projects because I delivered them ahead of schedule and under the cost estimates. I didn't do that by talking on the phone or taking pictures when there was work to be done.

I don't support the cue makers that routinely don't deliver on time or the quality expected but I don't support customers with ridiculous demands either. I once had a customer calling for hourly reports on a one day job with the calls starting thirty minutes after I started the job. After the third phone call in less than two hours I gave them two time estimates, the one day I told them to begin with if they didn't make another phone call, two weeks if he made one more phone call!

Hu

I would absolutely love to give you that info if it was not proprietary but make no mistake I am the customer and my contractors are the vendors. I will tell you this much, never have I asked a question of any of my contractors that was not answered in a timely fashion. You know why? If they didn't answer they already know they won't be getting a job from me again. They like money so they comply with customer requests.

I also am not unreasonable, if I asked you for some updates when you get things done every couple of months, I'm not watching the clock. All I expect is that you take the time to make me feel good as your customer. I don't want to feel like I am gambling by selecting a cuemaker to do work for me. I also do not feel like that makes me their boss. Hu I am a very good businessman and I fully understand the give and take involved in all transactions. If I were to say,"Hu how's the cue coming along shoot me a pic with some progress when you get a chance" I would expect a quick one liner of an email, maybe just one that said No Problem. Then you would be able to provide this pic when the opportunity presented itself.

I almost feel like you are trying to justify the fact this guy has clear issues with workload management. In the real world people don't jump right away most of the time but their is a such thing as professional courtesy. When my schedule gets hectic guess what? I set aside time to do each of my tasks. Whether that is email, site visits, walkthroughs, procurement, whatever it is...I plan my days out. If you have a request made, put it in the queue and respond in a timely fashion. If someone needs me to get them a copy of business ettiquette for dummies I sure can provide that. I had to read that for a graduate course and to this day it's one of the best reads I've had.

The customer is not always right, but part of your job is to make them feel like they are. People who march to a different beat are not the same as those who simply march to their own beat. This makes sense to me and I'm sure it does to you as well.

In a perfect world everything would be charged as time and materials and we would all save a lot of money on everything. You know like I do though that as a society we are not honest enough for that. Frankly, TRUST is not an operative word in business, that's a good word for relationships. I focus on RESULTS, Jim Lee just didn't produce in this instance.

Hidy Ho
03-11-2010, 02:14 PM
I don't mind at all that this thread became public. It gives me (and others) a chance to see how one of the members does business when there is a complaint.

Fvck me ... I'm being moronic with my zillioneth post on the thread but I agree with you.

I can't stand those "we're taking food away from their family" type of argument when they choose to do business here. Gotta take good with the bad, ... and history have shown that some cue maker(s) survive even zillion complaint posts/threads on the board (may have to add case maker to the list in future). Generally, given both side of the story (and all twists along the way) when the dust settles, we can usually figure out if a customer or cue maker who's being unreasonable ..

Hangemhigh, this is For U ... :grin:

BHQ
03-11-2010, 02:15 PM
i can hardly wait for part 3
or maybe the movie
i just joined NETFLIX

XxMerlinxX
03-11-2010, 02:41 PM
i can hardly wait for part 3
or maybe the movie
i just joined NETFLIX

Currently in talks with HBO about a mini-series, I'll keep you posted. :grin:

poolplayer2093
03-11-2010, 02:50 PM
Mike,

It will never happen but charging each customer for what they get is a lot more reasonable than charging every customer more for what only some get. That is what happens to your customers and mine now.

You and every other customer do pay for all of the "freebies" just like all of the things you do bidding a job and getting it. Nothing is free. A little two man company easily underbid the company I worked for on some projects. They didn't have engineers, sales rep's, office staff and building, warehouse, trucks, equipment, the list goes on and on as you know. When my company bid a job the customer was paying for all of the things listed above and more. Nothing is free, just because someone doesn't see the cost billed in black and white doesn't mean it isn't there.

You say "it takes seconds to take a picture and a minute to post it, there's no labor in that." Describe the project you are working on now and the state of progress and I'll request a few pictures. Then tell me how long it really took to provide the pictures, from the time you stopped what else you were doing on the job site until you got back to work. Since it only takes a minute or two no labor involved go ahead and do this ten times during a day, starting and stopping normal activities with at least thirty minutes between each picture and then tell me how much real time you lost taking pictures and sending them to me. What else did you get accomplished that day? Different story when we are talking about your time isn't it?

I have ran a few largish projects myself, some multi-million dollar projects.The companies I worked for had both cost plus and hard money projects. I almost always handled hard money projects because I delivered them ahead of schedule and under the cost estimates. I didn't do that by talking on the phone or taking pictures when there was work to be done.

I don't support the cue makers that routinely don't deliver on time or the quality expected but I don't support customers with ridiculous demands either. I once had a customer calling for hourly reports on a one day job with the calls starting thirty minutes after I started the job. After the third phone call in less than two hours I gave them two time estimates, the one day I told them to begin with if they didn't make another phone call, two weeks if he made one more phone call!

Hu


you can take pictures and email 'em on your spare time. hell you could do it as you get ready for bed. it's that easy

i doubt merlin was calling every day for info. he just wanted to make sure his cash was actually going toward his cue

ShootingArts
03-11-2010, 03:23 PM
Mike,

Your post I'm replying to now is quite a bit more reasonable than pictures aren't any big deal and they should be supplied on demand. I suspect we do business in the same way, I don't make unrealistic demands and I don't choose to do business with those that do. I'm not standing up for the cue builder in this thread in the least, I don't know him. However reading this thread as usual I see people who think that everything should be one-sided, cater to the customer regardless of who is right, and I see people who have decided the cue builder is totally at fault with no information from his direction.

If the story is anything like presented here the cue builder has not performed well. However, there is the issue of when the customer actually finalized the design which we don't know and although it doesn't absolve him of responsibility there is the question of if the cue builder has been ill for several months as was mentioned in the old thread that was deleted. That might not justify the failure to return the deposit but in the real world if might explain why the delay. I shut down a business overnight due to an illness of my own. I owed one supplier thousands for six months due to going from a substantial cash flow to zero overnight.

I'll be getting my one man shop open again in the next month or so. The computer in the shop isn't hooked to the internet and I'm not answering the phone while I'm working. I'll respond to phone calls that I think need brief responses after eating lunch and I'll respond to others that evening or the next morning. I might set up to take photographs once a week, hard to say. I don't do snapshots. Also I'm not sure how much value it will be if I send somebody an image of some wood wrapped in wax paper and surgical rubber and tell them this is their cue. Sometimes there is something to see when a customer wants pictures, sometimes there isn't.

Hu



I would absolutely love to give you that info if it was not proprietary but make no mistake I am the customer and my contractors are the vendors. I will tell you this much, never have I asked a question of any of my contractors that was not answered in a timely fashion. You know why? If they didn't answer they already know they won't be getting a job from me again. They like money so they comply with customer requests.

I also am not unreasonable, if I asked you for some updates when you get things done every couple of months, I'm not watching the clock. All I expect is that you take the time to make me feel good as your customer. I don't want to feel like I am gambling by selecting a cuemaker to do work for me. I also do not feel like that makes me their boss. Hu I am a very good businessman and I fully understand the give and take involved in all transactions. If I were to say,"Hu how's the cue coming along shoot me a pic with some progress when you get a chance" I would expect a quick one liner of an email, maybe just one that said No Problem. Then you would be able to provide this pic when the opportunity presented itself.

I almost feel like you are trying to justify the fact this guy has clear issues with workload management. In the real world people don't jump right away most of the time but their is a such thing as professional courtesy. When my schedule gets hectic guess what? I set aside time to do each of my tasks. Whether that is email, site visits, walkthroughs, procurement, whatever it is...I plan my days out. If you have a request made, put it in the queue and respond in a timely fashion. If someone needs me to get them a copy of business ettiquette for dummies I sure can provide that. I had to read that for a graduate course and to this day it's one of the best reads I've had.

The customer is not always right, but part of your job is to make them feel like they are. People who march to a different beat are not the same as those who simply march to their own beat. This makes sense to me and I'm sure it does to you as well.

In a perfect world everything would be charged as time and materials and we would all save a lot of money on everything. You know like I do though that as a society we are not honest enough for that. Frankly, TRUST is not an operative word in business, that's a good word for relationships. I focus on RESULTS, Jim Lee just didn't produce in this instance.

ftgokie
03-11-2010, 03:33 PM
This is a bad situation. First of all, I personally cannot stand deposits. It is potentially bad for both the buyer and the builder. Your statement clearly defines why it's bad for the buyer. The reason it's bad for the builder is because not only can it get him in trouble & stressed, it gives the buyer leverage to put lots of pressure on him. It would be a much smoother cue world if deposits never existed, IMO.

Another thing I wish buyers would consider is that taking pictures, uploading them & emailing them out takes time that could otherwise be spent in the shop. It's a pain in the ass. I'd rather be working on the cue than taking pictures of it's construction. We all enjoy taking pictures of finished cues. We all enjoy seeing pictures of cues in the works, but you can't fault a builder for not taking pictures of construction if he's busy doing something else.

So your saying your not gonna take pictures of my cue during each minute of the build? Well what the hell....I want my Wheatiebucks Coupon that you said you would Honor back :grin:

mikeyfrost
03-11-2010, 03:36 PM
Mike,

Your post I'm replying to now is quite a bit more reasonable than pictures aren't any big deal and they should be supplied on demand. I suspect we do business in the same way, I don't make unrealistic demands and I don't choose to do business with those that do. I'm not standing up for the cue builder in this thread in the least, I don't know him. However reading this thread as usual I see people who think that everything should be one-sided, cater to the customer regardless of who is right, and I see people who have decided the cue builder is totally at fault with no information from his direction.

If the story is anything like presented here the cue builder has not performed well. However, there is the issue of when the customer actually finalized the design which we don't know and although it doesn't absolve him of responsibility there is the question of if the cue builder has been ill for several months as was mentioned in the old thread that was deleted. That might not justify the failure to return the deposit but in the real world if might explain why the delay. I shut down a business overnight due to an illness of my own. I owed one supplier thousands for six months due to going from a substantial cash flow to zero overnight.

I'll be getting my one man shop open again in the next month or so. The computer in the shop isn't hooked to the internet and I'm not answering the phone while I'm working. I'll respond to phone calls that I think need brief responses after eating lunch and I'll respond to others that evening or the next morning. I might set up to take photographs once a week, hard to say. I don't do snapshots. Also I'm not sure how much value it will be if I send somebody an image of some wood wrapped in wax paper and surgical rubber and tell them this is their cue. Sometimes there is something to see when a customer wants pictures, sometimes there isn't.

Hu

Exactly, I agree with you there. I know as a guy paying for a service I want to be pleasant to deal with so I get the most out of my money. I also know that a vender often depends on the repeat business in order to sustain itself over a long period of time. I work with guys that can not even get certain vendors on the phone anymore because they burned those bridges. I also get emails and calls from vendors who have dropped the ball to tell me they can do better and would like another shot.

End of the day it is all relative. It's a two way street and hopefully everyone on both ends is learning a little something from all of this. As a buyer you should know what you want, how else can you expect to be happy with the end result? As a vendor you should be honest about your capability and services offered, otherwise people will expect you run a 40 person shop with a personal concierge service. Being up front and honest in the beginning often will dictate how the story ends.

So next time Jim Lee gets business I really hope he is prepared to follow through BEFORE he tells a customer anything. It does sound like the whole mess could have been handled better from the beginning but ultimately Jim Lee promised a refund and did not deliver on it. Shame on him!

ShootingArts
03-11-2010, 03:37 PM
you can take pictures and email 'em on your spare time. hell you could do it as you get ready for bed. it's that easy

i doubt merlin was calling every day for info. he just wanted to make sure his cash was actually going toward his cue


I don't take snapshots. If I take pictures I set up lighting and arrange what I want to shoot. Then I capture images in RAW using a DSLR. Next I process them in Photoshop CS adjusting a dozen things and cropping/sizing appropriately. Then I e-mail them. If I don't have time to take and process sharp clean photographs that illustrate what I want to illustrate properly I don't have time to take pictures.

If I have somebody's cash and they don't trust me to be using it appropriately it is time to send their cash back, I'm not taking pictures to reassure them and they aren't getting anything I make from me. I have learned that customers that are headaches are long term headaches, much smarter to get rid of them. They will find something to knock, real or imaginary. I have dealt with the public most of the time since 1968. You learn it is more beneficial to not do business with some people after that long.

Hu

ftgokie
03-11-2010, 03:41 PM
Everybody agree this is fair? My shop rate is $65 an hour. Isn't it fair for me to bill $65 an hour for talking on the phone when people want progress reports, entertaining customers when they visit, and taking pictures and getting them to the customer? All of these things are above and beyond what I contracted to do and all prevent me from doing what I contracted to do while handling these other things.

Does anyone here object to paying twenty dollars for a picture or two sent to them or a twenty minute phone call getting updates on progress? How about $65 when I stop work for an hour to answer your questions and show you the progress on your cue when you visit my shop?

Remember we aren't talking about one person here, all customers are entitled to the same treatment so that "few minutes" spent here and there has to be multiplied by every customer.

Hu


Hu

Id pay 20.00 for a picture of you...it just cant be nekkid :grin:

qbilder
03-11-2010, 03:50 PM
I'd like to address some points you've made and I'd like to make some of my own. I underlined some of the thoughts in your post that I thought were important to point out. While you've made it clear that you're only trying to provide another point of view, what you've also said could be construed as you basically calling me a liar. I don't know if you simply skimmed over the original post or not but I was very detailed about everything, right down to the dates of the messages, and that's because I still have all of the messages saved. Obviously I can't record telephone conversations legally, so I guess that part is going to have to be believed on faith. I'm not out to ruin anyone, I've given Jim plenty of time and opportunities to make this right, and I've hardly gone through any extra to ruin him.

I think you misunderstood my posts(s). I never called you a liar. That's not my cup of tea. I'm not a judge of other people. I basically offered up a different perspective from an angle not seen yet. Personally, I have no feelings on the matter, could care less past the value of conversation. As to you being a liar, it was not said by me. Are you telling the truth? I don't know that any more than I could know if you are lying, which I won't believe either way because it's none of my business. I'm just posting to conversate, not drag anybody around or make excuses for the faulted party.

I don't know you, barely know Jim, have no clue what actually happened between the two of you. All I know is that you posted a complaint on a public forum that I frequent, and it made for interesting conversation. Many times I probe & poke into controversial threads with my own controversial conversation just to see who responds & how. I don't make accusations or point fingers, just bring up hypothetical scenarios to see how people respond & who's responding. I learn a lot about people this way. I'm in this business & it's dang helpful for me to know who's who & how they approach things, as well as know about my competitors. Funny thing is there's always people who do not understand what i'm saying or think i'm stating my personal beliefs & practices as matter of fact, when all i'm doing is trying to open a new perspective as to see things in as many angles as I can. A few get way too caught up in the drama & seem to get emotionally involved with their opinions & finger pointing. As for me, i'm just here to learn, probe, provoke thought, and generally conversate. If we were all sitting at a table having a beer & talking about this in person, there would be no confusion about where everybody stands. But with written words on an internet forum, there's no facial expressions or tone of voice & that leaves a huge vacancy that gets filled with confusion & false impressions.

jrackman
03-11-2010, 04:01 PM
I think you misunderstood my posts(s). I never called you a liar. That's not my cup of tea. I'm not a judge of other people. I basically offered up a different perspective from an angle not seen yet. Personally, I have no feelings on the matter, could care less past the value of conversation. As to you being a liar, it was not said by me. Are you telling the truth? I don't know that any more than I could know if you are lying, which I won't believe either way because it's none of my business. I'm just posting to conversate, not drag anybody around or make excuses for the faulted party.

I don't know you, barely know Jim, have no clue what actually happened between the two of you. All I know is that you posted a complaint on a public forum that I frequent, and it made for interesting conversation. Many times I probe & poke into controversial threads with my own controversial conversation just to see who responds & how. I don't make accusations or point fingers, just bring up hypothetical scenarios to see how people respond & who's responding. I learn a lot about people this way. I'm in this business & it's dang helpful for me to know who's who & how they approach things, as well as know about my competitors. Funny thing is there's always people who do not understand what i'm saying or think i'm stating my personal beliefs & practices as matter of fact, when all i'm doing is trying to open a new perspective as to see things in as many angles as I can. A few get way too caught up in the drama & seem to get emotionally involved with their opinions & finger pointing. As for me, i'm just here to learn, probe, provoke thought, and generally conversate. If we were all sitting at a table having a beer & talking about this in person, there would be no confusion about where everybody stands. But with written words on an internet forum, there's no facial expressions or tone of voice & that leaves a huge vacancy that gets filled with confusion & false impressions.

Oh I get it, your just a ballbuster! is that what your trying to say?

GoTulane
03-11-2010, 04:03 PM
Lots of great advice in your posts. So I give you a Hu Dat!!

I know I said I was done with this thread, but it is just too entertaining.:rotflmao:

As now I am currently unemployed, so when I am not pounding the streets looking for work, it is fun to watch the circus and forget about all of my troubles.
It is just amazing to see how people react to a given situation - Especially when they have one side of the story.

What's the other side of the story? Does it matter? Would you even listen?

WHAT'S THE POINT????

If it was to provide useful information to the next AZB person who wants to buy a cue from Jim - Does it do that? Seriously?

If it was to get Merlin $250 -Then it worked - thank Smokey, and let's end this.

If it was to allow people to vent, feel important, share their wealth of knowledge of how the world should work, and point fingers - Maybe?


What did I get out of this thread?

Showed me who is real, and who I could stand being around, if we ever meet in person in the real world - minus a monitor and keyboard.

And that my friends is priceless.


So continue the rant, since I need to fill my free time, and I hate soap operas on TV.


Michael

ftgokie
03-11-2010, 04:05 PM
So where is this Johnny Archer guy at?

BHQ
03-11-2010, 04:06 PM
I think you misunderstood my posts(s). I never called you a liar. That's not my cup of tea. I'm not a judge of other people. I basically offered up a different perspective from an angle not seen yet. Personally, I have no feelings on the matter, could care less past the value of conversation. As to you being a liar, it was not said by me. Are you telling the truth? I don't know that any more than I could know if you are lying, which I won't believe either way because it's none of my business. I'm just posting to conversate, not drag anybody around or make excuses for the faulted party.

I don't know you, barely know Jim, have no clue what actually happened between the two of you. All I know is that you posted a complaint on a public forum that I frequent, and it made for interesting conversation. Many times I probe & poke into controversial threads with my own controversial conversation just to see who responds & how. I don't make accusations or point fingers, just bring up hypothetical scenarios to see how people respond & who's responding. I learn a lot about people this way. I'm in this business & it's dang helpful for me to know who's who & how they approach things, as well as know about my competitors. Funny thing is there's always people who do not understand what i'm saying or think i'm stating my personal beliefs & practices as matter of fact, when all i'm doing is trying to open a new perspective as to see things in as many angles as I can. A few get way too caught up in the drama & seem to get emotionally involved with their opinions & finger pointing. As for me, i'm just here to learn, probe, provoke thought, and generally conversate. If we were all sitting at a table having a beer & talking about this in person, there would be no confusion about where everybody stands. But with written words on an internet forum, there's no facial expressions or tone of voice & that leaves a huge vacancy that gets filled with confusion & false impressions.

If we were all sitting at a table having a beer & talking about this in person, there would be no confusion about where everybody stands. But with written words on an internet forum, there's no facial expressions or tone of voice & that leaves a huge vacancy that gets filled with confusion & false impressions

that's the best thought of the day
cheers!

maha
03-11-2010, 04:34 PM
simple, if you are a business man, just do what you say and keep your word. if you have a problem with that, consult your customer and let him know. and the customer has every right to a refund if the terms have changed far from reasonable. that is business. and the business person may sometimes have to take a loss for his mistakes, unforseen or not.

for the cue builders, a person getting a custom cue is waiting on the edge of his chair for it to arrive as it is one of his dreams. dont dash that dream because you are too lazy to fulfill your promise.

as for pictures they are not necessary but some customers like them. cuemakers choice here. but when you arent getting the work done the customer asks for a picture to verify that you are indeed telling the truth that you are working on his cue and are just behind schedule and are not lying to him.

when you lie to a customer you are a liar. and why do business with a liar.

Blue Hog ridr
03-11-2010, 04:48 PM
Like you said, if you're sitting on the edge of your chair waiting, a pic or 2 of your cue in progress is exciting. If you browse the Gallery Forum, theres lots of cue makers that are proud to show off their cues in progress. I keep a small camera in the shop and take before and after pics of repair work.
I have them saved to the computer 30 seconds after I plug in the USB cord.
Not really a time consuming task.

cueaddicts
03-11-2010, 05:07 PM
Well, guess there's not much to say but.....:smile:

1pRoscoe
03-11-2010, 05:11 PM
Well, guess there's not much to say but.....:smile:

and what - YOU have experience with deposits gone awry????? :duck:

cueaddicts
03-11-2010, 05:28 PM
and what - YOU have experience with deposits gone awry????? :duck:

Just one of note. Got my schoolin' at the prestigious DTU....Danny Tibbitts University....25% down for nearly ten years. You live, you learn. Anybody that doesn't do proper research on a cuemaker on the front end these days is both crazy and lazy.

poolplayer2093
03-11-2010, 05:29 PM
and what - YOU have experience with deposits gone awry????? :duck:

i did once.............

qbilder
03-11-2010, 05:29 PM
Oh I get it, your just a ballbuster! is that what your trying to say?

No, not trying to bust balls, not in a serious way anyway.

gwjackal
03-11-2010, 06:25 PM
Is what is real funny and sorry at the same time is how most people only see one dimension in life period! But this all comes down to merlin not having a clue what he wanted built until january of this year. Would anyone in there right mind stop everything they are doing just to please one person who would end up changing there mind again in the next few months anyways, but I guess no one can see this or read this. He said it himself just like that! But everything thing is jims fault get off it. If your money was what you really wanted you would have done what I think just about any level headed person would have done and drove to his house and said where my money. But like children we can't take responsibility for our own aaction and love to point the finger at someone else. I guess it makes life easier to live.


Mr. Wilson can we get a video chat set up for part 3.......?

XxMerlinxX
03-11-2010, 06:31 PM
Is what is real funny and sorry at the same time is how most people only see one dimension in life period! But this all comes down to merlin not having a clue what he wanted built until january of this year. Would anyone in there right mind stop everything they are doing just to please one person who would end up changing there mind again in the next few months anyways, but I guess no one can see this or read this. He said it himself just like that! But everything thing is jims fault get off it. If your money was what you really wanted you would have done what I think just about any level headed person would have done and drove to his house and said where my money. But like children we can't take responsibility for our own aaction and love to point the finger at someone else. I guess it makes life easier to live.


Mr. Wilson can we get a video chat set up for part 3.......?

Not sure what you read, but that's not at all what happened or how things transpired. The refund was asked for in January of this year, that's not when the cue design was finalized. As for me driving to Jim's house, that's just ridiculous. I understand that if you're Jim's friend, you want to try and take up for him, but please don't start making things up just to do so.

rayjay
03-11-2010, 06:57 PM
If every cuemaker ran their business as well, built their cues as well, and had morals as high as Mr. Neighbors, there'd be a lot of well-off cuemakers. Joe Callaluca is one...
:p

ShootingArts
03-11-2010, 07:04 PM
Michael,

OK, I'm taking the thread into a left turn for a moment but you playing in or watching at The Big Easy this weekend? I'm not playing for several reasons, mainly because I'm major out of tune on bar tables, but I may pass by if folks are there I want to meet.

Hu


Lots of great advice in your posts. So I give you a Hu Dat!!

I know I said I was done with this thread, but it is just too entertaining.:rotflmao:

As now I am currently unemployed, so when I am not pounding the streets looking for work, it is fun to watch the circus and forget about all of my troubles.
It is just amazing to see how people react to a given situation - Especially when they have one side of the story.

What's the other side of the story? Does it matter? Would you even listen?

WHAT'S THE POINT????

If it was to provide useful information to the next AZB person who wants to buy a cue from Jim - Does it do that? Seriously?

If it was to get Merlin $250 -Then it worked - thank Smokey, and let's end this.

If it was to allow people to vent, feel important, share their wealth of knowledge of how the world should work, and point fingers - Maybe?


What did I get out of this thread?

Showed me who is real, and who I could stand being around, if we ever meet in person in the real world - minus a monitor and keyboard.

And that my friends is priceless.


So continue the rant, since I need to fill my free time, and I hate soap operas on TV.


Michael

ribdoner
03-11-2010, 07:47 PM
Just one of note. Got my schoolin' at the prestigious DTU....Danny Tibbitts University....25% down for nearly ten years. You live, you learn. Anybody that doesn't do proper research on a cuemaker on the front end these days is both crazy and lazy.


Someday ask me what happened to my old friend John Wright...can you say 100% of a LARGE #

gwjackal
03-11-2010, 08:08 PM
I knew about all this pretty close to real time! I know jim and no I don't know you but what I do know is that he is very honest and always has been. There is always more to a story it just depends on the person how much they want to let out. I'm calling or saying anything about you other than there is more to it than what you will ever say and that is all well and good. And I am more than sure everyone can see a person true colors at some point. You see I am a business man and yes I myself have made my fair share of mistakes all of which I hope I have done right by and if not oh well I have tried. So if you want my number is below and I am always willing to discuss things. So feel free to call but I don't expect you will! Cheers on your journey kid your going to need it.

jrackman
03-11-2010, 08:53 PM
Someday ask me what happened to my old friend John Wright...can you say 100% of a LARGE # so what ever happened to John Wright???

ribdoner
03-11-2010, 09:00 PM
so what ever happened to John Wright???

Still sellin cues. Satisfied customers include, but not limited to:

Peter, Michael, John, Paul, the Kid and he's on the verge of closing a deal with the man himself. What we think is thunder is really the man breakin 10B.

crawfish
03-11-2010, 09:13 PM
Some of you guys are just no fun any more. Here I am with all kinds of health problems, and come on here to read, harrass, and enjoy. Can't we just all get along?

Question for you.... Tim Scruggs have these problems? Pete Ohman? Searing? Anybody getting the drift? Professionalism and customer service, baby!

poolplayer2093
03-11-2010, 09:53 PM
Some of you guys are just no fun any more. Here I am with all kinds of health problems, and come on here to read, harrass, and enjoy. Can't we just all get along?

Question for you.... Tim Scruggs have these problems? Pete Ohman? Searing? Anybody getting the drift? Professionalism and customer service, baby!

for sure! hay man when you comig out to cali? what kind of health problems you having?

crawfish
03-11-2010, 09:57 PM
for sure! hay man when you comig out to cali? what kind of health problems you having?

Just opened a carpet store and hired a second salesperson. Bleeding ulcer along with a terrible reflux, an unexplained growth in the lining of my stomach. What else? Oh yes, asthma has increased with the reflux and retention of water. So.... Cali will have to wait. Thanks for asking. I just hope to wake up every morning. We all should be thankful.

gwjackal
03-11-2010, 10:49 PM
Merlin -- good talking to you. Like I told you over the phone I respect you for actually calling me! I still have my side and you and jim have yours but we both know where we are coming from now between us. Good luck and I hope things turn out better for you next time around, and remember like I said if you need anything call me...

Greg

poolplayer2093
03-11-2010, 10:56 PM
Just opened a carpet store and hired a second salesperson. Bleeding ulcer along with a terrible reflux, an unexplained growth in the lining of my stomach. What else? Oh yes, asthma has increased with the reflux and retention of water. So.... Cali will have to wait. Thanks for asking. I just hope to wake up every morning. We all should be thankful.

man that's rough. hope it gets better! stay away from the spicy food!

Danktrees
03-12-2010, 12:00 AM
You say "it takes seconds to take a picture and a minute to post it, there's no labor in that." Describe the project you are working on now and the state of progress and I'll request a few pictures. Then tell me how long it really took to provide the pictures, from the time you stopped what else you were doing on the job site until you got back to work. Since it only takes a minute or two no labor involved go ahead and do this ten times during a day, starting and stopping normal activities with at least thirty minutes between each picture and then tell me how much real time you lost taking pictures and sending them to me. What else did you get accomplished that day? Different story when we are talking about your time isn't it?

I have ran a few largish projects myself, some multi-million dollar projects.The companies I worked for had both cost plus and hard money projects. I almost always handled hard money projects because I delivered them ahead of schedule and under the cost estimates. I didn't do that by talking on the phone or taking pictures when there was work to be done.

Hu

i would like to address this part of your post as this topic seems to have been discussed extensively.

i for one do not believe that a simple request for pictures should go unfulfilled, especially in a situation like this. in my own personal dealings with jim he treated me well and provided pictures without me asking so im not here to bash him or anything. however, for those that say that pics should not be sent because it takes time, thats ludicrous.

taking your post for example, u state that stopping 10 times a day to take and send pictures to customers is tedious and time consuming. i agree, it's also annoying and most importantly, a stupid thing to do. whoever goes and takes pictures on a schedule like that is dumb and that is a not a solution to anything. so really, this example doesnt prove ur point since no one in their right mind would operate like that. im thinking u just used an extreme example like that just to support ur point but i dont see how anyone would consider that to be an effective system. rather, cuemakers should set aside time on a biweekly or monthly basis where they spend an hour or two to take pictures of cues in progress and send pics to their customers. keep in mind that u wouldnt even need to take pics of every cue. if u took a pic of a cue for someone a month ago, it's unlikely that u'll need to take another one next month. so lets consider that the cuemaker has 40 cues going in various stages which i think is a fair amount considering many cuemakers produce less than that per year. with 40 cues going, u would take 10 pics of the ones closest to completion in the first month and send it to their owners. next month u take pics of the next 10 closest cues to completion and so on. so basically u would only need to take 10-30 pics (1-3 pics per cue) a month and send them to their owners. i honestly do not see that taking more than 30-45 minutes. but this keeps ur customers in the loop. they are less likely to call and bug u if they know u r actually doing stuff to the cue rather than just sitting there hoping u r working on their cue. for those that argue taking this time to take pics results in less time spent in the shop, consider that the 30-45 minutes of phototaking and emailing will probably result in less calls and long discussions regarding updates etc. which ends up saving u a lot more time. if a customer sees that work is progressing they will leave u alone (not all, but most will), if he or she has to call u to get reassurance that u're working on their cue then they will do that continually. since they cant see the cue, they call frequently to make sure that u r still working on their cue and that u havent forgotten about them. it sounds stupid but many cuemakers have experienced this. so taking 30-45 minutes out of each month to take a few pics seems more than reasonable.

furthermore, taking a picture here and there to assure the customer that the cue is being made is part of the process so time should be devoted to it. just like the customer has a responsibility to put a deposit on the cue in order to ensure material and labour costs, a cuemaker has a responsibility to send a picture once in a while to assure the customer that his or her money is actually being used towards the materials and that the part of the deposit devoted to partial labour costs are actually producing a semi-completed cue. the customer is responsible for paying the remaining balance for the delivery of the completed cue and the cuemaker is then responsible for delivering the cue.

also, when u go to the for sale section, whenever someone tries to sell a cue without pics he gets bashed to pieces and everyone agrees with it. it's basically the same thing here, except u're buying the cue directly from the cuemaker.

poolplayer2093
03-12-2010, 02:48 AM
I don't take snapshots. If I take pictures I set up lighting and arrange what I want to shoot. Then I capture images in RAW using a DSLR. Next I process them in Photoshop CS adjusting a dozen things and cropping/sizing appropriately. Then I e-mail them. If I don't have time to take and process sharp clean photographs that illustrate what I want to illustrate properly I don't have time to take pictures.

If I have somebody's cash and they don't trust me to be using it appropriately it is time to send their cash back, I'm not taking pictures to reassure them and they aren't getting anything I make from me. I have learned that customers that are headaches are long term headaches, much smarter to get rid of them. They will find something to knock, real or imaginary. I have dealt with the public most of the time since 1968. You learn it is more beneficial to not do business with some people after that long.

Hu

We're not talking about you. if someone throws down some cash and asks for a picture at one point during the building process it shouldn't be a big deal. nobody's saying the guy demanded high grade pro photographer pics just a few snap shots so the guy can get an idea of what's going on.

just because the guy asked for a few pictures doesn't mean he's going to nitpick everything. i've asked for pictures from different cue makers that were building me a cue and they provided 'em without a hitch.

ShootingArts
03-12-2010, 05:45 AM
I tried three times and didn't make it through your big block of text you didn't break down into paragraphs. However if you kept up with the thread you would realize that I was replying to what I quoted of Mike's post. He, you, most everybody realizes that taking photographs is a bit more time consuming than first claimed.

Talking on the phone, taking pictures, handling shop visits, none of these things are too time consuming when talking about one customer. However when you start talking about a dozen or two customers then unless you handle it in an orderly manner production comes to a halt while you accommodate the customers who want updates. Aside from anything else, it wrecks the flow of concentration while trying to do quality work. Try running a few racks while answering questions on the phone, talking to the folks passing by visiting and taking a few pictures of something behind the bar and sending to somebody.

I had a little three or four man shop. I also had customers that wanted status reports on their "babies". There was many a day that I personally didn't do anything towards getting work out until after I closed the gate and quit answering the phone after close of business.

Hu




i would like to address this part of your post as this topic seems to have been discussed extensively.

i for one do not believe that a simple request for pictures should go unfulfilled, especially in a situation like this. in my own personal dealings with jim he treated me well and provided pictures without me asking so im not here to bash him or anything. however, for those that say that pics should not be sent because it takes time, thats ludicrous.

taking your post for example, u state that stopping 10 times a day to take and send pictures to customers is tedious and time consuming. i agree, it's also annoying and most importantly, a stupid thing to do. whoever goes and takes pictures on a schedule like that is dumb and that is a not a solution to anything. so really, this example doesnt prove ur point since no one in their right mind would operate like that. im thinking u just used an extreme example like that just to support ur point but i dont see how anyone would consider that to be an effective system. rather, cuemakers should set aside time on a biweekly or monthly basis where they spend an hour or two to take pictures of cues in progress and send pics to their customers. keep in mind that u wouldnt even need to take pics of every cue. if u took a pic of a cue for someone a month ago, it's unlikely that u'll need to take another one next month. so lets consider that the cuemaker has 40 cues going in various stages which i think is a fair amount considering many cuemakers produce less than that per year. with 40 cues going, u would take 10 pics of the ones closest to completion in the first month and send it to their owners. next month u take pics of the next 10 closest cues to completion and so on. so basically u would only need to take 10-30 pics (1-3 pics per cue) a month and send them to their owners. i honestly do not see that taking more than 30-45 minutes. but this keeps ur customers in the loop. they are less likely to call and bug u if they know u r actually doing stuff to the cue rather than just sitting there hoping u r working on their cue. for those that argue taking this time to take pics results in less time spent in the shop, consider that the 30-45 minutes of phototaking and emailing will probably result in less calls and long discussions regarding updates etc. which ends up saving u a lot more time. if a customer sees that work is progressing they will leave u alone (not all, but most will), if he or she has to call u to get reassurance that u're working on their cue then they will do that continually. since they cant see the cue, they call frequently to make sure that u r still working on their cue and that u havent forgotten about them. it sounds stupid but many cuemakers have experienced this. so taking 30-45 minutes out of each month to take a few pics seems more than reasonable.

furthermore, taking a picture here and there to assure the customer that the cue is being made is part of the process so time should be devoted to it. just like the customer has a responsibility to put a deposit on the cue in order to ensure material and labour costs, a cuemaker has a responsibility to send a picture once in a while to assure the customer that his or her money is actually being used towards the materials and that the part of the deposit devoted to partial labour costs are actually producing a semi-completed cue. the customer is responsible for paying the remaining balance for the delivery of the completed cue and the cuemaker is then responsible for delivering the cue.

also, when u go to the for sale section, whenever someone tries to sell a cue without pics he gets bashed to pieces and everyone agrees with it. it's basically the same thing here, except u're buying the cue directly from the cuemaker.

ShootingArts
03-12-2010, 05:56 AM
We're not talking about you. if someone throws down some cash and asks for a picture at one point during the building process it shouldn't be a big deal. nobody's saying the guy demanded high grade pro photographer pics just a few snap shots so the guy can get an idea of what's going on.

just because the guy asked for a few pictures doesn't mean he's going to nitpick everything. i've asked for pictures from different cue makers that were building me a cue and they provided 'em without a hitch.


Everything you turn out represents your business. Everybody doesn't take photographs at the level I do but anyone that doesn't send out decently lit well positioned photographs without major glare, exposure, or focus issues is making a mistake. First off, the customer can't tell much by crappy pictures, second off, some of these pictures will be shown to other people and the people's first reaction is that doofus can't even take a picture as simple as that is, I don't want him building a cue for me!

Taking pictures of your work is a lot different than taking a snapshot, or it should be.

Hu

Hierovision
03-12-2010, 06:53 AM
With the inexpensive and decent quality point-and-shoots out today there's no excuse for crappy pics. Heck, I knew a professional photographer that used disposables.

The quality of pics is not the issue, it's the proof of progress. He can take a halfway decent picture with a camera phone (they're getting better these days) and I can guarantee that would have satisfied the OP. After all the hiccups that would've been a VERY reasonable request, and well within the capabilities of any warm-blooded upright humanoid.

tomgearhart
03-12-2010, 07:35 AM
I've found, with few exceptions, that there are three sides to every story:

1) The OP's side
2) Jim's side
3) What really happened :p

:thumbup:

ScottR
03-12-2010, 07:46 AM
I'm sure this is a non-sequitar, but I must be one of those weird cue buyers who works with each cue builder according to his business model. I have bought from cue makers who employ varying combinations of the following:

- lock down your specs/design on the phone
- lock down your specs/design in writing
- take a small deposit
- take a decent % deposit
- take no deposit
- put you on their list with no definitive start or delivery time
- put you on their list with a definitive start and delivery time
- lock in prices at the time of order
- tell me that pricing will be at the prevailing rate when the cue is started
- proactively update me on where I stand on the wait list
- provide no update on where I stand on the wait list
- proactively provide updates and pictures during the cue's build
- provide no updates or pictures during the build
- proactively contacted me about proposed design or build changes
- surprised me with a design change that improved my original idea
- answer phone calls or email promptly
- not so quick on answering calls or email
- delivered the cue early
- delivered the cue late, but proactively informed me beforehand of the delay
- delivered the cue late, but not by much
- followed up after delivery to see if I was happy and solicit feedback on the cue
- didn't follow up at all after delivery

I have enjoyed each journey working directly with a cue maker and have gotten the cue that I wanted. I must be the world's easiest cue buyer. :grin:

Scott

sengkun108
03-12-2010, 09:08 AM
Hi Mr Hu

So you said that the cuemaker don't have time to chat and taking Pic of his Customer cue (Which is part of his responsibility) and the cuemaker have time to chat and advertise his work in a forum like this, get real.

I don't think this thread is about Jim lee and Merlin anymore, i think we've got a bigger issue here, the cuemaker vs the customer.

If I am a cue maker, i will do thing as follow.

Lock down the design in writing.
Lock down the price
take some deposit.
Proactively provide updates and pics every months
(Part of the job)

sengkun108
03-12-2010, 09:12 AM
put ETA
answer all the customer mail or phone
delivered the cue on time or delivered the cue late, but proactively informed the customer beforehand of the delay (not by much of course, maybe 1-2 month)

Best :smile:
Dedy (Indonesia)

Danktrees
03-12-2010, 02:53 PM
I tried three times and didn't make it through your big block of text you didn't break down into paragraphs. However if you kept up with the thread you would realize that I was replying to what I quoted of Mike's post. He, you, most everybody realizes that taking photographs is a bit more time consuming than first claimed.

Talking on the phone, taking pictures, handling shop visits, none of these things are too time consuming when talking about one customer. However when you start talking about a dozen or two customers then unless you handle it in an orderly manner production comes to a halt while you accommodate the customers who want updates. Aside from anything else, it wrecks the flow of concentration while trying to do quality work. Try running a few racks while answering questions on the phone, talking to the folks passing by visiting and taking a few pictures of something behind the bar and sending to somebody.

I had a little three or four man shop. I also had customers that wanted status reports on their "babies". There was many a day that I personally didn't do anything towards getting work out until after I closed the gate and quit answering the phone after close of business.

Hu

i know u were responding to mike's post, but u gave an inaccurate example, all he was saying is that it doesnt take much time to take a photo to send to the customer. he never said that u should stop everything that u're doing to take a photo every time someone asks.


all that i was addressing is that ur example is unrealistic and has nothing to do with anything he says since he never proposed that u should stop everything and take pictures whenever they are requested. if u had actually read my post (i've received rep for it so if other people can do it, so can u) then u will see that i was simply refuting ur extreme example and provided a viable yet simple solution to resolve this simple problem.

like i said too, taking photographs is time consuming when u do it in an unorganized manner (such as the example u gave). but then again, everything is troublesome and time consuming if u don't plan it out before u do it. if u dont have a system worked out then u need to develop one quickly.

my solution is simple and takes very little time. also consider that if u r sending pics once a month (like in my solution) then u dont even have to take the pics all at one time so it really doesnt consume too much of ur time to provide these pictures. either way, it is the responsibility for the customer to pay for services rendered, but the cuemaker also has a responsibility to show the customer what his or her money is paying for. just because it's a "hassle" is not an excuse as there are very simple solutions to this most basic problem.

in the end, being able to reassure the customer that his cue is being worked on (by sending a few pics once every 3 months or something) will result in less phone calls and less people bugging u because they know u're actually working on their stuff rather than having to just trust that u're working on their cue. if u tell the customer beforehand that they will get updates once every 3 months and actually do it, then most people will just leave u alone because they have a reason to trust u with their money.

if however no deposit was given then u dont owe anyone anything and pics are not necessary.

JB Cases
03-12-2010, 05:27 PM
It cracks me up when every cuemaker or casemaker that frequents this site is in a rush to post some fancy case or cue they finished in order to stroke their own ego. Yet a customer who's paying good money gets grief for wanting a photo every now and then to prove you are as far as you say you are with the cue. Pretty damn funny if you ask me.

Um, I think I can safely speak for myself and my colleagues that not EVERY case maker, nor every cue maker who frequents this site gives their customers grief for requesting updates.

I will however echo Eric's sentiment that doing updates does take some time and it's not just a "minute" either.

Yesterday I did a video update. It took me two minutes to do the video, 30 minutes to upload it, five minutes to do all the settings. Ten minutes to write the email notifying the customer of the video and additional information.

When I started this business I swore to myself to build in a system to take pictures every day of every project and email that to people every day. Three years later I still don't have that system down but we are closer and do send out progress pix several times a week. This is only possible though because I have an assistant who will take care of this for me. Without her I would do this sporadically at best.

Even when I tell people I will send them pictures I forget to tell my assistant to send pictures.... :-(

Without a good system in place I can't imagine a person who does all the work by themselves doing much in the way of updates with images.

My rule in our shop is that at the end of the day everything gets cleaned up and we take pictures of the work in progress and then later that evening or first thing in the morning the pictures are emailed. We don't always do this every day but we try.

I am however THE WORST at answering email and private messages. If I have one habit I'd like to change then it would be to develop the habit of answering all emails immediately and not putting them off until later.

Well, I really have nothing to add to the thread but I figured this was a cheap way to go to confessional......

Eric - your case is almost done. - will be a surprise.
Greg - Your case isn't even drawn up yet
Lenny - your cases are almost done. Pix sent.
Jim - your case is almost done. Video sent.
Bruce - your case isn't started yet.
Art - your case is almost done.
Murray - on the drawing board.
Gillian - your case is on the drawing board
Mike - almost done
Marcus - it's coming I promise!!!
Christian - I am stuck on the design.
Ross - Halfway done.
Donny - PLEASE send me your address - yours is done.
Vince - We are about to start tooling yours.
Tony - on the drawing board

Who did I miss? Well there are many that I did miss and who I owe cases to. This list is only a partial sample of the people I am having conversations with regarding their orders.

I really need a better system, a better system? I need a system period.

Well, I am really grateful for my customer's patience - thank you all.

XxMerlinxX
03-12-2010, 05:51 PM
Oh man, John I was about to PM you to see how busy you were, but I guess I have my answer, lol. :D

JB Cases
03-12-2010, 06:04 PM
Oh man, John I was about to PM you to see how busy you were, but I guess I have my answer, lol. :D

lol - the best thing I can tell you is to just ask and get the conversation started. We are getting 'most' cases out within four months - some much sooner - some unreasonably later.

JB Cases
03-12-2010, 06:10 PM
One tip I would like to give to all the people who do picture updates is to set your camera's settings to take the pictures in a small format like 400x600 and a lower resolution so that they can then be emailed without any further editing. If you take pictures at the highest resolution and largest size then often they are too big to email and will clog up your email as well as the receiver's box.

I also recommend, although I don't do this as much as I should, that you post the picture s to an online album for the customer and other people to view at their leisure.

Something like this: http://www.jbcases.com/gallery/index.php?g2_itemId=2162

ShootingArts
03-12-2010, 06:48 PM
It is always funny to see what some people think they are entitled to when they order something. When you order something from me you are entitled to what you ordered, when I said it would be ready. There is nothing else that you purchased or that you are entitled to. While I may do more and often do more, not a bit more is owed to a customer. I do understand people calling for quick updates now and then. I also understand people asking if I can send pictures because they are curious what their new baby looks like. I may or may not be able to accommodate them at the moment but I understand the request.

I don't understand the people that call over and over when I have already updated them and they know when to expect the next step completed, I don't understand the people demanding pictures so they can see if their project is actually being worked on. All business relationships rely on a certain amount of trust. I trust every supplier I deal with. I trust my customers to be reasonable people. When there isn't trust on both ends I simply terminate the business relationship. I have found that less than 10% of customers take up 90% of my time spent dealing with customers. Smarter to send those few customers down the road to be somebody else's headache. This makes my days far more productive and the rest of my customers happy.

Hu

JB Cases
03-12-2010, 08:30 PM
It is always funny to see what some people think they are entitled to when they order something. When you order something from me you are entitled to what you ordered, when I said it would be ready. There is nothing else that you purchased or that you are entitled to. While I may do more and often do more, not a bit more is owed to a customer. I do understand people calling for quick updates now and then. I also understand people asking if I can send pictures because they are curious what their new baby looks like. I may or may not be able to accommodate them at the moment but I understand the request.

I don't understand the people that call over and over when I have already updated them and they know when to expect the next step completed, I don't understand the people demanding pictures so they can see if their project is actually being worked on. All business relationships rely on a certain amount of trust. I trust every supplier I deal with. I trust my customers to be reasonable people. When there isn't trust on both ends I simply terminate the business relationship. I have found that less than 10% of customers take up 90% of my time spent dealing with customers. Smarter to send those few customers down the road to be somebody else's headache. This makes my days far more productive and the rest of my customers happy.

Hu

I have never had a customer demand pictures for a progress report. People who order custom things are anxious to get it. They are like kids at Christmas and when the day comes when they were told they would get and they don't it's a big letdown. Then each passing day diminishes that joy just a little more and a little more.

And each time they then ask for progress reports and updates and new delivery times and get put off then it diminishes the excitement even more.

I understand this.

I promise to do better. Many of my customers could put up a thread similar to this and they are gracious enough not to.

It's a really simple proposition. Take the order and give the customer a date you can hit. If you need five months then tell him seven and have it ready in five. If all of us who build custom stuff would do this then a thread like this one would never show up again.

Some of you know that Jack Justis and I have had our issues. Well one thing I admire about Jack is that he gets the cases out on time. He has has his system down cold and he gets it done. He also doesn't spend a lot of time on AZ talking about crap.

None of this is on the customer. Threads like this get started out of nothing more than a person being frustrated with the feeling that they have no where else to go with their complaints.

I have had some conversations with Jim Lee and I think that he is a good guy. I don't know why the customer's order was put off for so long but I do know that anyone who is in business doesn't really want unhappy customers. So I am sure it pains Jim to see this thread. Hopefully it be the catalyst to spur him and others in the business (including me) to reevaluate our respective methods of handling orders and insure that such a thread never comes up again.

poolplayer2093
03-12-2010, 08:36 PM
It is always funny to see what some people think they are entitled to when they order something. When you order something from me you are entitled to what you ordered, when I said it would be ready. There is nothing else that you purchased or that you are entitled to. While I may do more and often do more, not a bit more is owed to a customer. I do understand people calling for quick updates now and then. I also understand people asking if I can send pictures because they are curious what their new baby looks like. I may or may not be able to accommodate them at the moment but I understand the request.

I don't understand the people that call over and over when I have already updated them and they know when to expect the next step completed, I don't understand the people demanding pictures so they can see if their project is actually being worked on. All business relationships rely on a certain amount of trust. I trust every supplier I deal with. I trust my customers to be reasonable people. When there isn't trust on both ends I simply terminate the business relationship. I have found that less than 10% of customers take up 90% of my time spent dealing with customers. Smarter to send those few customers down the road to be somebody else's headache. This makes my days far more productive and the rest of my customers happy.

Hu


i'm betting you're the kind of guy that has stuff done when he says he's going to.

if only everyone was more like you hu

manwon
03-12-2010, 08:46 PM
Hello XxMerlinxX, I am not going to comment on this thread other than to say I understand your feelings, your intent, and your motivation for doing what you have done. The only problem is it is not serving any purpose, because these threads are stored where others can not easily find them. In time this thread will be forgotten by most and when some one else wants to look for answers all they will have to go on is a persons I-trader comments which is next to nothing at all. I personally think the forum should have a place where old threads like this are easily accessed when they are put to bed. This way the seller or buyer who ever was proven right will be vindicated, in my opinion without this being done nothing really matters in the end.

JIMO

Danktrees
03-12-2010, 08:47 PM
It is always funny to see what some people think they are entitled to when they order something. When you order something from me you are entitled to what you ordered, when I said it would be ready. There is nothing else that you purchased or that you are entitled to. While I may do more and often do more, not a bit more is owed to a customer. I do understand people calling for quick updates now and then. I also understand people asking if I can send pictures because they are curious what their new baby looks like. I may or may not be able to accommodate them at the moment but I understand the request.

I don't understand the people that call over and over when I have already updated them and they know when to expect the next step completed, I don't understand the people demanding pictures so they can see if their project is actually being worked on. All business relationships rely on a certain amount of trust. I trust every supplier I deal with. I trust my customers to be reasonable people. When there isn't trust on both ends I simply terminate the business relationship. I have found that less than 10% of customers take up 90% of my time spent dealing with customers. Smarter to send those few customers down the road to be somebody else's headache. This makes my days far more productive and the rest of my customers happy.

Hu


i generally agree with what u say here and i dont know why people constantly call for updates too. i know i dont do it, heck i rarely even ask for updates, if i do it's only to see how much longer i have before i need to get the rest of the money together for the remaining balance.

i think the difference of opinion occurs regarding whether the cuemaker "owes" (for a lack of a better word) the customer pics of the cue's progress or not. i dont think the cuemaker owes constant updates but i do think that at some point the cuemaker should show some of the work done on the cue. trust can only go so far and u cant expect someone to trust u when they dont even know u. they've trusted u enough to give u a deposit upfront, now they have to further trust that their cue is being made when in reality they have no idea what is going on with it.

that is a lot of faith for anyone to put into someone that they dont know. i think u can see why some people dont see it the same way u do. if u're going to ask the customer to trust u and put down a deposit (especially for newer lesser known cuemakers) then at some point u should reciprocate that trust with something to show the progress of the cue whether its a picture or just a simple update saying u've glued the forearm together. if u take the deposit, say u'll work on it then never talk to the guy again, well then u cant be annoyed or find it unreasonable if he calls asking for updates (saying this in general, not directing this at anyone in particular).

it's similar to when u buy a cue, u send the money and are trusting the person to ship the cue. if he takes ur money then never talks to u again, u're going to start freaking out until the cue shows up. some people might not say anything but most people will send a pm asking for tracking number etc. it's the same thing when u commission a cue, u're paying to buy a cue, u put ur money down and if u never hear from the guy again then sooner or later u'll send a request for an update. this might sound a bit blunt but i think its a valid point - just like someone selling a cue is required to show proof of shipment, the cuemaker should be required to show proof of work on the cue.

i think if u're going to ask people to put their trust in u to put down a deposit then u have to show that u're worthy of that trust at some point. even if it's just with a minor update thru a quick email. the whole reason for the deposit is to cover cost of materials and such in case the buyer backs out. well if thats the case and u dont trust the buyer then it's hard to expect him to trust u with a deposit and to just leave u alone completely until u feel like contacting him.

so i think if u require a deposit then u need to reciprocate the trust that the buyer has put in u by giving u money upfront. if however, u dont require a deposit then u dont owe anyone anything.

sengkun108
03-12-2010, 10:56 PM
Good Post JB
Good Post Danktrees

I'm an indonesian, i know many of you don't trust foreigner like me. That's why i always offer to put some deposit (50-100%) upfront, yes 100%, it's mean that i pay my bill upfront. Why i do that, because i want my cuemaker thing that i am a good customer for him, respect me and don't mess up with his work for me. I want him to thing that i'm such an easy to deal with so i must keep him as my customer. I'm his Boss, he is my employee. But i'm a good boss, a patience one. If my employee not work well and he 's got a reasonable excuse, I can take that. But i'm old enough and experience enough to know if my employee lie to me and i don't like a liar or a cheater, nobody do. If my employee is good with his work, i will advertise him to my friend, praise his work and maybe my friend will trust him to do a work for as i do. :)

powerlineman80
03-13-2010, 12:19 AM
I havent read the thread yet but will say the same once again. Jim Lee is a standup guy in my book and always will be. He gave me a discount on a cue and helped me find the woods I wanted in it as it was my first custom cue. He then built my youngest Nephew a custom cue as well. Jim sent NUMEROUS pm's to me showing updates from where it was all in 100 pieces to the finished thing on BOTH cues. He was about 2-3 months behind but that is to be expected IMHO. Shit happens.

I paid $200 deposit which didnt bother me one bit and never will. I expected that as he is no established cue company with the overhead they have to you have to expect that. I remember your story and have heard Jim's side and there is two sides to every story. I'm not going to say anything as it was all in private and will stay that way.

Jim is also building me a 2nd custom cue which is a Titlist Tribute Cue and I cant wait to get it. It is coming up and I have full faith in Jim and his skills and it will get here on time.

So in my book and many others, Jim Lee is a stand up guy all the way. Thats all I'll say.

BTW-Jim also had health problems in this time frame as well. I find it funny some cuemakers have health problems and they are praised and money gets raised but some do it and they are burned at the stake for it.

ShootingArts
03-13-2010, 10:43 AM
i'm betting you're the kind of guy that has stuff done when he says he's going to.

if only everyone was more like you hu

I follow John's recommendation, have for many years before I met John. If it looks like a six month project if everything goes perfectly I tell people nine. If they get it in six months or a few weeks less they are thrilled. If murphy's law came into play and they get it in seven or eight months or even nine they are still happy because I told them nine months to begin with. On the rare occasions I don't deliver when I said I would the customer has the option of a full refund if he wants it or a deep discount if he wants to wait on the project to be finished. I can afford to do this because I very rarely miss a deadline I set myself. I also don't let customers crowd me into their deadline if it forces me to rush anything or leaves no room for minor delays.

Sometimes it isn't possible to set a completion date for a project or there is a huge window due to some factors being outside my control. I tell customers when this is the case too, before either of us commit to the project. The key to happy customers is getting everybody's ducks in a row and making sure you are on the same page to begin with.

Most people building to order are overly optimistic, doesn't matter what they are building. They figure the date if everything goes perfect and give that date or they may even shave some off of that date if they are needing business. Things going perfectly is rare, if we are lucky there are just minor issues. Having to refinish twice extra could cost over a month delay getting something out of my shop and that can happen. It is a minor issue but the wait time between each attempted redo makes it a major delay.

If I start crowding a due date and see the project is likely to not be complete by then I contact the customer well in advance and discuss it with them too. Nobody is blindsided when they come looking for something or are expecting me to ship. I have been the customer many times too and I treat people the way I want to be treated.

Hu

ShootingArts
03-13-2010, 11:18 AM
i generally agree with what u say here and i dont know why people constantly call for updates too. i know i dont do it, heck i rarely even ask for updates, if i do it's only to see how much longer i have before i need to get the rest of the money together for the remaining balance.

(trimmed for length)

so i think if u require a deposit then u need to reciprocate the trust that the buyer has put in u by giving u money upfront. if however, u dont require a deposit then u dont owe anyone anything.


There are times when I am the customer too. I'm as eager as anyone to know what is going on, particularly when I have a horse or dog in training. I want to know if the animal that I have sometimes put years of effort and thousands of dollars into to get to the point of sending them to the trainer is healthy, I want to know what progress is being made, I want to know all the things a person waiting on a cue wants to know and a dozen more. I send the money and sit tight until the trainer has had time to accomplish something or more commonly until he invites me to come see progress. I passed in front of one trainer's barn at least four or five times a week. Tough to not check on my horse. It wasn't fair to the trainer to do it so I drove right on by.

I don't take deposits except when somebody wants something off the wall or out of unusually expensive materials. I think that sengkun108 may be having a little difficulty communicating in english but many people do think that you become their employee when you agree to take on a project for them. These are the ones that make many ridiculous demands and ultimately delay everyone's project. When they waste an hour of my time on the phone, they not only set back their project one hour, they set back every other project in my shop one hour too. Same story when somebody wants photographs. No big deal when they want them on my schedule, a big deal when they think I should rush to get pictures to them.

To repeat what I said earlier, I don't do business with people I don't trust and I don't do business with people that don't trust me. I don't think anyone should do business with someone they don't trust and I certainly don't think they should send someone they don't trust money they can't afford to lose and forget about it.

All a deposit does is cement an agreement. Nobody is owed anything different because they gave a deposit or because they didn't. I give excellent customer service. When somebody tells me I owe these things I often choose to give then I am very apt to explain to them exactly what I owe and exactly what they will receive! :grin: :grin: :grin:

Hu

sengkun108
03-13-2010, 11:25 AM
I think you are a good man Mr Hu:smile: and a good businessman also:smile::smile:

smokey
03-15-2010, 05:24 PM
Hey guys, so as you may have noticed, the original thread was deleted due to some members going at each other. I messaged Mr. Wilson and was told the reason, which I think is fair, and was given the go ahead to post up a second thread that is something of an update to the first. Hopefully this thread will stick around, so I'm going to give a very condensed version of the history behind all of this, then I'll make the update.

I originally ordered a cue from Jim Lee 2 years ago, a year of which was simply planning and ironing out details. After getting everything set in stone, Jim gave me a firm completion date of 8 months, stating that in all actuality it would be less than that. After the 8 months were up, I contacted him again and was told that basically no progress had been made and that no firm completion date would be given. I asked for a refund of my deposit, which he agree to, and he said I would receive it shortly as it was his #1 priority. Shortly turned into more than a month and when I contacted him by phone, it sounded like he didn't know what I was talking about, and that he would have to check his funds. This is after selling not only a $4k-$5k lathe, (I can't remember which it was, he edited that thread) but running a sale on wraps that should have produced another $540. I told Jim I was tired of being jerked around and that I would give him a week before going public on the board in search of a resolution. At this point, Jim then threatened me with holding my deposit money hostage if I did post up on the board. Since I felt like I wasn't ever going to get my money back, I did so anyway.

For those of you who saw the original thread, you know that the above is indeed the short of it and that I was much more detailed in what actually transpired. You also saw that one member, smokey, who started to really get into it with another member, actually offered to refund my deposit in Jim's stead. It bothered me that someone would have to do this for what seemed like a reputable seller, but I did indeed take smokey up on his offer in the hopes that his relationship with Jim would net him better results than it had netted me.

Smokey, I'd like to thank you yet again, and say that what you've done is one of the most stand up actions I've ever seen, especially considering it was all done over the internet. I put in a good word with Mr. Wilson and I hope you get to stick around.

To Jim Lee, I cannot believe you would treat one of your customers in such a fashion. Not only had I ordered that cue from you, but I even told you I was looking forward to having a Jump Cue made and having a titlist converted as well once the first cue was finished. I always think it's kind of funny when I hear the phrase, "You should be ashamed of yourself." as it brings back some amusing childhood memories, but I wish that there was a more serious way of conveying that same thought. I won't resort to name calling, but I definitely have a few choice words I could pin on you.

To the rest of the board, thank you for the support and the green rep, I really do appreciate it.

it is so easy to condemn a man...
be aware

it is so easy to hurt someone...
be aware

it is so easy to ruin a man
be aware

being aware all i can say is...
i have a Great Cue from jim. he is a one man shop like so many here. but not like a showman, or BB. just a MAN. a MAN who loves building cues. he is NOT rich. i am sure he is poor. he just loves building cues.

"think" my friend

in the end, that is all you have - your mind

your attitude

and then; your legacy...

that is all i have to say,
smokey

ShootingArts
03-15-2010, 06:38 PM
it is so easy to condemn a man...
be aware

it is so easy to hurt someone...
be aware

it is so easy to ruin a man
be aware

being aware all i can say is...
i have a Great Cue from jim. he is a one man shop like so many here. but not like a showman, or BB. just a MAN. a MAN who loves building cues. he is NOT rich. i am sure he is poor. he just loves building cues.

"think" my friend

in the end, that is all you have - your mind

your attitude

and then; your legacy...

that is all i have to say,
smokey


I looked at a Jim Lee cue Saturday. It was a beautiful and well made cue with a proud owner. It wasn't for sale. His other cue in the case was a Sugartree, it wasn't for sale either. Some folks just like you to drool all over their stuff so they can say mine, mine, mine! Actually Michael is a nice guy and I was glad to look at the Jim Lee since this thread was going and always happy to see a Sugartree.

Hu

GoTulane
03-15-2010, 07:58 PM
I looked at a Jim Lee cue Saturday. It was a beautiful and well made cue with a proud owner. It wasn't for sale. His other cue in the case was a Sugartree, it wasn't for sale either. Some folks just like you to drool all over their stuff so they can say mine, mine, mine! Actually Michael is a nice guy and I was glad to look at the Jim Lee since this thread was going and always happy to see a Sugartree.

Hu


Yeah, it was great meeting you too. Always nice to meet a fellow AZB'r.

But I didn't tell you the story behind the JL cue - I just got it back at the end of last week after it went missing for about 6 months. Somehow it turned up at my local bar and the bartender called me about it. Missing one of the shafts, but it looks to be in good condition. Gotta love Jim's shafts!!!! I am just happy to have it back in my hands.
I shoulda played the tourney, but you never wanna press your luck!!! My wife said I shoulda played the powerball.

Now I just want to see some of your work, because I bet they play!!!

Hu - Thanks for the compliments. Maybe we can both enter the tourney in June? I either gotta practice a lot more, or I can write it off my taxes as a donation.


Michael

Dave38
04-14-2010, 10:51 PM
quoted from first post "This is after selling not only a $4k-$5k lathe, (I can't remember which it was, he edited that thread"

I'm the person that bought the lathe, I don't know where you got that figure from, as even brandnew, it is alot less than that. I can only comment on my experience with Jim, but for the amount you had at stake, it wasn't crap to what I did. Jim not only delivered greatly, Jim was pleasent to deal with, and very accomodating. It took about a week to get the money together, and He was fine with that. Not like a lot of other impatient people on this forum. He understood my situation. Everything went as planned.
XXmerlinX, I believe if you got your money back, and all is well, then you should be happy and let it go. It seems that this second thread is only so you can punish him further. Most people on this forum see a thread such as this and take the chance to dump on someone they don't know, and have no knowledge of the REAL situation and sound like they are all knowing. Everyone has a Holier than thou approach to the accused Evil cuemaker, but 98% haven't even come close to dealing with a situation like this from the cuemaker's side. There are ALWAYS 3 sides to a story, his, yours, and what really happened, and they rarely ever come close to matching.
I commend Eric/qbuilder on being very good at showing the other side that most here never think about, nor care about. You handled it with class, Eric. Greenie to you:wink: And also bg grenies to Smokey:thumbup:
Just my thoughts...
Dave

smokey
04-17-2010, 01:00 AM
this was sent to me from a fine human being, Jim


I am sorry you feel this way towards me now. I am sure the person who pm'ed you this wonderful information is a friend to you.
I am able to take care of my own. No need for any bail outs on my part.But I do appreciate the kindness.
There is much more to this whole story than I will ever take the time to post.
I have seen this thread as told today thru pm's from valued friends and customers that truly know me and respect me.
I will say this-
Merlin was offered a refund after he rudely canceled a special order cue with me after I had many hours of work into the cue,special dyes and items specific to his cue only.
And last night , while on speaker phone due to I was in the middle of wrapping a cue, he began cursing and threatening in front of my wife and children who were in the room.
This will not be tolerated as I asked him to stop and he f'ed me off and continued.
All in my families ears as I did not even have time to leave the room away from their ear shot
I was sick and in the hospital for almost 4 months during this period of neglect as Merlin calls it. But I will not go into that with you or any one.
So Miles , if this is the way you feel towards me , that is just the way it is.
I do not have time to spend arguing with a forum of people who do not even know me or have never done business with me as is the fact of most of these people.
Now with your source Tommie aka Hangemhigh, he got what he ordered!
Take care,
Jim lee

i have betrayed a trust...

i will never ask for forgiveness for this as i must do my duty as a human being and only answer for my mistakes, but to me this is no mistake, and if i am wrong, i will gladly pay the price, whatever it may be...

here in my hand is another side of the story...

i just wanted the "pain to go away"

it did not really matter to me who caused it, as it still does not now

but in the long ans short of it, i wanted ALL OF YOU TO KNOW;

it was not Jim

i may be old, but rest assured, i am not a fool

best,
smokey lambchop aka miles

SCCues
04-17-2010, 06:16 AM
I had partially composed an opinion to post in the first thread but when I looked to view the thread again for some clarification, the thread was gone.
Most of what I'd written then was relevant then but possibly not now.
I have no interest in defending or prosecuting anyone in this matter, I only want to expand on something that was briefly touched-on in the orig. thread.

What I would hope the cue buying public at large would come to understand is that most every time you ask a cue-builder to give you an ETA, you're asking him to subject himself to a lie. He doesn't WANT to do it but you're asking him to tell you SOMETHING. The problem is, he can no more do that honestly, than he can tell you what you will have for lunch in 3 days. He can't predict the future; nobody can.
He can't tell you what will be coming through his door tomorrow, next week or next month. Any one of those future jobs has the potential to upset his entire schedule for every job in his shop. Events that aren't even cue related can cause delays; sometimes, serious delays.

We tend to be optimistic when quoting a time-line because we want your business and we'll do whatever we can to deliver the goods on time. We're aware of customer service. About the time the CM quotes you a date, he realizes that Murphy is standing right behind him. It happens, I know.

I would like you to consider something else. The CM doesn't take your money without every intention of doing what you are paying him to do. Those that do otherwise aren't in business very long.
When a CM starts getting behind and he's realizing he's getting behind, it triggers guilt. This guilt causes stress. I'm someone who has to have his head in a good place before I can do my best work. If I'm under a lot of stress, it will show in my work and I don't want that, for a lot of reasons.
You are part of this man's journey. Please don't be the source of his stress.

I'm not looking to engage in a lengthy debate on my statement. I just wanted to share a view from the other side of the transaction. No guilt, no innocence.
Just an honest observation from someone who's been there.

Man does not control time, time controls man.
This is a great post KJ and it makes a lot of sense......

James

cubswin
04-17-2010, 08:21 AM
I can't believe I read this whole thread...


All I will say there is a small group of guys I'd give a deposit to. Mike Webb, Bob Dzuricky, Tim Scruggs, Mason, Joey and probably qbilder (and yes, I know he is slow as snails, and know better than to even ask for a eta).

Mason, Joey and Eric don't ask for them, at least not from my experience. Mike and Bob have a very good reputation for delivery on time. Bob from experience is usually ahead of time. Tim is just easy to work with, wish I had brought more cues from him.

New cuemakers usually want them, and also are the worse at being to accurately estimate time periods. That comes with experience, and being able to tell people a time frame they might not like. When you need the orders that is a tough thing to do.

smokey
04-17-2010, 09:15 AM
I can't believe I read this whole thread...


All I will say there is a small group of guys I'd give a deposit to. Mike Webb, Bob Dzuricky, Tim Scruggs, Mason, Joey and probably qbilder (and yes, I know he is slow as snails, and know better than to even ask for a eta).

Mason, Joey and Eric don't ask for them, at least not from my experience. Mike and Bob have a very good reputation for delivery on time. Bob from experience is usually ahead of time. Tim is just easy to work with, wish I had brought more cues from him.

New cuemakers usually want them, and also are the worse at being to accurately estimate time periods. That comes with experience, and being able to tell people a time frame they might not like. When you need the orders that is a tough thing to do.

your post is kind of funny cause the makers you mention don't even need your deposit money

but you have a good attitude for the newer makers i think, and that is great

all the best,
smokey

hangemhigh
04-17-2010, 09:39 AM
your post is kind of funny cause the makers you mention don't even need your deposit money

but you have a good attitude for the newer makers i think, and that is great

all the best,
smokey

Smokey, since you saw fit to bring me into this I will clarify my dealings with Lee.

He asked for the remainder of the cost of a cue he was building for me, said it would be ready in a week. 5 months later I got the cue after being promised that the cue would ship no less that 6 times. He had no record of what we agreed to in the beginning, tried to lie his way out of what he originally agreed to, and did not deliver a quality cue made the way he agreed on initially. Luckily I keep copious records and had our correspondence of the original details as well as every other time we spoke about the cue. I had other cuemakers try and intervene on his behalf explaining how he did not know how to finish over Ivory, had no money for a refund( sound familiar?), and asked me to understand he was in way over his head.

I finally received a sub standard cue from him that was not built to our original agreement, had a butt cap that was .120 oversize to the finished butt on the cue. I could hold the butt upright and put a dime on the ridge between the butt cap and the sleeve and it would rest there without falling off.

I never mentioned any of these facts publicly, and had no intention to until Smokey's post where Lee conveniently left out the details about the cue he delivered. I lost a boat load of money on this deal, as his cues have no resale value, worse than a KC or Tia -can production cue.

I have every fact mentioned well documented, from his scam to get me to send him money when the cue was far from finished, the many times he said the cue was being shipped, to our original order, to the refusal to stand behind his product and refund my money when asked. Ifsomeone did not want my work, I never force them to take it, if that ever happened I would never want to force something on them that I knew they did not want. Lee will take your money, screw you over in several ways, and then refuse to refund you when you are at your wits end with his unethical business practices.

The relation of the facts of my dealings with Lee are irrefutable, there is nothing more to say or add, it is just the way it is and nothing said can explain it or make it better.

cubswin
04-17-2010, 09:40 AM
your post is kind of funny cause the makers you mention don't even need your deposit money

but you have a good attitude for the newer makers i think, and that is great

all the best,
smokey

Bob I know likes to have them, but I also know on the two orders I have done with him he delivers ahead of what he says and is very easy to work with.

smokey
04-17-2010, 10:37 AM
Smokey, since you saw fit to bring me into this I will clarify my dealings with Lee.

He asked for the remainder of the cost of a cue he was building for me, said it would be ready in a week. 5 months later I got the cue after being promised that the cue would ship no less that 6 times. He had no record of what we agreed to in the beginning, tried to lie his way out of what he originally agreed to, and did not deliver a quality cue made the way he agreed on initially. Luckily I keep copious records and had our correspondence of the original details as well as every other time we spoke about the cue. I had other cuemakers try and intervene on his behalf explaining how he did not know how to finish over Ivory, had no money for a refund( sound familiar?), and asked me to understand he was in way over his head.

I finally received a sub standard cue from him that was not built to our original agreement, had a butt cap that was .120 oversize to the finished butt on the cue. I could hold the butt upright and put a dime on the ridge between the butt cap and the sleeve and it would rest there without falling off.

I never mentioned any of these facts publicly, and had no intention to until Smokey's post where Lee conveniently left out the details about the cue he delivered. I lost a boat load of money on this deal, as his cues have no resale value, worse than a KC or Tia -can production cue.

I have every fact mentioned well documented, from his scam to get me to send him money when the cue was far from finished, the many times he said the cue was being shipped, to our original order, to the refusal to stand behind his product and refund my money when asked. Ifsomeone did not want my work, I never force them to take it, if that ever happened I would never want to force something on them that I knew they did not want. Lee will take your money, screw you over in several ways, and then refuse to refund you when you are at your wits end with his unethical business practices.

The relation of the facts of my dealings with Lee are irrefutable, there is nothing more to say or add, it is just the way it is and nothing said can explain it or make it better.

wow..., wow...

i guess i gave you the platform to vent

my bad

and i am sure, 100% sure you have every document to prove your case

that's your experience and i am truly sorry for that

you must know [at least i hope you had in your mind] that what i posted was not ever intended to implicate you, but in good conscience i felt i should not "edit", and truly, i did think about it so if that was an error, i own it

i did what i did to clear a man [as i did what i did to clear merlin]

a man whom i feel is a fine man

you are free to think, you are free to say what you have to say

i as usual can not express my inner thoughts on a web forum, but i can tell you this my friend...

i lost Jim as a friend and i feel sad

and i guess i lost you as a friend and that further saddens me

in after trying to help to alleviate a situation that caused dissatisfaction to one party, i ended up the real loser [to many parties]

i did my best and that is all i ever ask myself [or anybody else] to do

so, you win...

all the best,
smokey

hangemhigh
04-17-2010, 10:45 AM
wow..., wow...

i guess i gave you the platform to vent

my bad

and i am sure, 100% sure you have every document to prove your case

that's your experience and i am truly sorry for that

you must know [at least i hope you had in your mind] that what i posted was not ever intended to implicate you, but in good conscience i felt i should not "edit", and truly, i did think about it so if that was an error, i own it

i did what i did to clear a man [as i did what i did to clear merlin]

a man whom i feel is a fine man

you are free to think, you are free to say what you have to say

i as usual can not express my inner thoughts on a web forum, but i can tell you this my friend...

i lost Jim as a friend and i feel sad

and i guess i lost you as a friend and that further saddens me

in after trying to help to alleviate a situation that caused dissatisfaction to one party, i ended up the real loser [to many parties]

i did my best and that is all i ever ask myself [or anybody else] to do

so, you win...

all the best,
smokey

Smokey, Lee could never come between my friendship with you, ain't gonna happen. He snuck that little lie in at the end of his PM, so I had to call him on it via your post. We both know the deal, you didn't lose nothing ( his "friendship"), even if you felt like you did at one point..

smokey
04-17-2010, 11:04 AM
sri to you if i was out of line...

but also, sri to Jim Lee too if i was out of line

to me, you and Jim and merlin are all good folks that i admire and respect

there are already too many sides to a story, that really can not be deciphered

lets just "let it be"

and for the record, Jim Lee makes a Great Cue!!

peace [please],
smokey

Winne2tough
05-23-2010, 10:43 AM
Hey mr edwards i read that you own a ron haley cue. If so i was just wondering what year is yours and what number was it. I tried to send you a private message but your profile doesnt allow it so i sent you this mssg on your last post. If you could mssg me more about your haley and if you have pics, i love to look at his work. Ok sorry to bother.
Jay