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Old 08-02-2020, 19:33   #1
Rampant
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My bizarre experience with an internet trader

I want to share a story that has amused me and amazed me in equal measure. The story of an internet trader who is quite simply an aspiring hornswoggle.

The story begins with me looking for number plates - something quite specific, but I imagined I'd find it on the internet reasonably easily anyway, and I'd actually bought something similar from a certain supplier for my previous Evo:

Jap import size plates; motorcycle sized lettering; lettering in domed carbon gel; lettering placed in one line in the centre of the plate.

Shouldn't be that hard to find with the plethora of number plate suppliers online, right?

Actually, not as easy as I'd thought. However, there *is* one supplier that has designs so close to what I want that they could probably make me something close to what I'm after. If I ask nicely enough? And also mention that they'd helped me in the past...

On their website, their plate designer doesn't show motorcycle sized domed carbon gel any more, even though they'd done them for me in the past. SoI sent them a message and asked if they could still do that size carbon gel.

This is the response I got:

***

Hi Mark

Thanks for your email.

I am sorry but this isn’t something we can offer.

Best Regards
Sales Team

***


I found this quite surprising. No offer of what they *could* provide as an alternative in the attempt to capture some business anyway...

So I responded:

***

Hello again

Thanks for the response to my sales enquiry.

Is this something that you can’t do because you don’t have the carbon gel in motorbike sized lettering, or is it for some other reason?

I’m surprised that you haven’t suggested any alternatives that you would able to offer, because I still need to buy new plates...

Would you be able to do a set of 13” x 6” sized plates with standard laminated motorbike lettering and put the lettering for registration E6 VRM on the same line – in the centre of the plate – with roughly equal spacing from the top and bottom edges of the plate? This would be the same legal lettering layout as the 13” x 3.5” that can be ordered from your web designer...

Many thanks in advance,

Mark H

***


Their web designer, when you type the registration number E6 VRM in and select a 13" x 3.5" plate - it obviously all gets put on one line, but bizarrely if you then select a 13" x 6" plate, it gets split into 2 lines of text with E6 on the top line and VRM on the bottom line.


I was looking forward to a positive response from my second message.

Here's what the response was:

***

Hi

Yes correct, we only have gel and laser in one size which is full car size im afraid.

Best Regards
Sales Team


***




I thought I'd entered an alternative reality.
There was no comment on whether they could make the plates I'd described?

I was now wondering whether they want any business or not?


Not to be dissuaded, I tried again:

***

Thanks - I guessed that was the case.

Would you be able to make the plates I've outlined in my previous email?
Standard small lettering. E6 VRM on one line vertically centred on a 13" x 6" plate?

***


The response this time was slightly more positive, so now I think I'm getting somewhere :

***

Hi

Yes we can, could you send an illustration to demonstrate please?
Thanks

Best Regards
Sales Team

***


This time I'm encouraged enough to go ahead and spend a few minutes taking screenshots of their own website number plate designer and making the adjustments as clear as possible for them. I even include an image that is as unambiguous as I can make with standard windows software:

***

Hello again

Thanks for the reply, that’s great if you can make these up for me.

As requested, below is an illustration of what I’m looking for. I need 13” x 6” sized plates for both front and rear (the 13” x 3.5” plate in the illustration is just to illustrate the standard spacing/layout in your website designer).

Specifics of what I’m looking for:

1. 64mm road legal lettering;
2. roughly equal spacing of the lettering from the top and bottom edges of the plate;
3. legal details included, and finally;
4. a script added to the bottom centre of the plate – EVOLUTION VI GSR PLUS – in dark grey FACE font as per your website plate designer.

I should be grateful if you would let me know the cost for these delivered to Lincoln and how you would like me to order and pay for them.

Many thanks in advance

Mark H



***


So I was hoping they'd come back with a speedy response and a decent price.

As a baseline for price, their website designer gives the following:

For a set of two 13" x 3.5" plates in the exact design I'd asked for, with a custom logo at the bottom = £35.98 plus postage.

For a set of two 13" x 6" plates in the exact design I'd asked for, with a custom logo at the bottom = £33.98 plus postage.


So bearing that in mind, I'd be happy to pay around £40 or so, plus postage, just or their trouble in making up something that isn't on their standard website designer.

(Even though it was *me* who took the time to make the design!)



contd...
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Je cherche l'orgasme d'auto
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//// Do as you OUGHT, not as you WANT ////

Last edited by Rampant; 08-02-2020 at 19:38..
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Old 08-02-2020, 19:37   #2
Rampant
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At this point, I'll pause the story and ask if anyone has any thoughts on what they might come back to me with?

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Je cherche l'orgasme d'auto
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C'est une evo VI bleu par le Rountree

***Go soothingly on the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon***
//// Do as you OUGHT, not as you WANT ////
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Old 08-02-2020, 20:23   #3
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I think you've taken them past their capability/patience threshold. Doesn't Neverneverman still do number plates?
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Old 08-02-2020, 21:49   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plip1953 View Post
I think you've taken them past their capability/patience threshold. Doesn't Neverneverman still do number plates?
Definitely beyond some kind of threshold.

I was thinking maybe a *competence* threshold, where the simple messages I sent just flew straight over their heads?


I have plates already - from different sources - and there's more stories to tell with those as well, but for now, hazard me a guess at the price they quoted for making up some 13" x 6" plates with all the lettering on one line instead of two lines...
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Je cherche l'orgasme d'auto
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***Go soothingly on the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon***
//// Do as you OUGHT, not as you WANT ////
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Old 08-02-2020, 22:11   #5
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Sorry no longer do plates due to legal requirements. No not worth the hassle.
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Old 09-02-2020, 08:55   #6
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By the way, what is a "GSR Plus"?
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Old 09-02-2020, 09:31   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plip1953 View Post
By the way, what is a "GSR Plus"?
I was going to ask that as well There are far less companies around now that will get involved with number plates, there used to be too many to choose from!
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Old 09-02-2020, 10:11   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neverneverman View Post
Sorry no longer do plates due to legal requirements. No not worth the hassle.
i think thats the issue ,YES they can make them ,but they just knock people back at the first chance they get i suppose digging a wee bit often turns up what you want ,btu id be suprised if they come back with the legal guff on the bottom as they will do them as show plates that arnt offically legal and land themselves in the doings
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Old 09-02-2020, 10:17   #9
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I find this to be quite common place with most businesses these days. Very rare for emails to be read properly and all queries answered. Often if I phone a trader the phone is answered with "Hello" rather than "Hello 'company name' how can I help?". I end up thinking did I call the company or dial the wrong number and end up speaking to a random bloke?
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Old 09-02-2020, 10:33   #10
Rampant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plip1953 View Post
By the way, what is a "GSR Plus"?
You know exactly what that is, plip.

Courtesy of our mutual friend.


("Plus" a bit of my own work, too)
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Je cherche l'orgasme d'auto
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C'est une evo VI bleu par le Rountree

***Go soothingly on the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon***
//// Do as you OUGHT, not as you WANT ////
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Old 09-02-2020, 10:44   #11
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So here's the rest of the email conversation, for your amusement... starting with their response on their price for them to subtly, and legally, alter the lettering position, on a plate they can make up, legally, in the first place, the basic price of the base plate being altered being £33.98:

***

Hi Mark,

Ok we can do this for £65 plus postage.

See below to proceed:

Lead time is 3-5 working days

https://www.paypal.me/********/72.99GBP

Thanks

Best Regards
Sales Team


***

Did anyone see that coming?

I didn't. So I responded politely to hopefully strike a bargain:

***

Hello again

Oh wow,

Is that really the price?

Your website designer offers 13” x 3.5” like this:


{insert screenshot from their own website}


Which is exactly the design I’m after – for £35.98.

Your website also offers 13” x 6” like this:


{insert screenshot from their own website}


For only £33.98, which is the size I’m after, but simply would like the same lettering to be moved onto a single line.

Bearing this in mind, I’d be happy to pay £40 for them (plus postage), particularly since it was me that did all the legwork and took my time to provide you with a design – I’d understand if the design had been done by yourselves, and gladly pay for your time accordingly, but £65 is a bit too much, I’d say.

I should be grateful if you’d let me know if we have a deal. I guess it depends on whether you’d like the business.

Many thanks

Mark H


***

To which they responded, and it has to be said, very courteously, so props to them for being polite:

***

Hi
Thanks for your reply.

I am sorry but unfortunately that is the best price we cna offer at present.

Thanks for your interest.

Best Regards
Sales Team


***


And that is the story of how online retailers often shoot themselves in the foot and miss out on sales that were rightfully theirs for the taking in the first place.

After I regailed this story to a couple of mates, who had a damn good laugh about it, it thought I'd share on here and hopefully somebody has had some amusement out of it.

All the best

Mark H
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Je cherche l'orgasme d'auto
J'ai trouve l'orgasme d'auto
C'est une evo VI bleu par le Rountree

***Go soothingly on the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon***
//// Do as you OUGHT, not as you WANT ////

Last edited by Rampant; 09-02-2020 at 10:45..
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Old 12-02-2020, 19:30   #12
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Ugh, reminds me of a recent experience I had. I needed new license plates made up in old import\motorcycle style with the letters on a single line (my plate aint long, it's not a problem). So I find this website and don't find what I want on it, so instead of looking for a website that does offer what I want I sent them an email saying I was looking for UK licence plates (white\yellow) in road legal font, 13"x7", and could they do that. This is all I got in response;

"Thanks for your email, but sadly we can't do that."

So I sent them an email back asking what the problem was, was it the font? The size? The regulations? I dug out the PDF from the DVLA's website and sent it to them just to make sure they understood what I meant by "road legal". The useless tw*ts replied with this;

"Sir, we sell wedding dresses".

No wonder the high street is going down the tubes. I have good money to spend and no-one wants it! So I reply saying that I know they make wedding dresses, but if they just stitched six or seven sheets of fabric together it would probably be sturdy enough, then they just need to lacquer it and put on the letters. What's the problem?

"Sir, we don't think this would work, sorry but we can't help you."

These people! All I'm doing is repeatedly badgering someone to do something they clearly don't do. What's wrong with that?

So I bought a sewing machine and a few yards of white fabric, I went on a sewing course to learn how to use the machine, then a sewed together strips of fabric until they were half an inch thick. I went to Halfords to buy some white paint, glue, and clamps. I glued the fabric sheets for extra stability, clamped them and left them over night. In the morning I painted over it all with white paint and it was fairly decent. I'm sure the professionals at this wedding dress firm could do an even better job. So I took some photographs and emailed them to them saying this was what I was after and it was perfectly possible, why are they being so obstructive and what is their best price (I won't go over £4.99)?

Can you believe it....they never replied.

https://www.fancyplates.com/buy-plates/uk-show-plates/
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Old 13-02-2020, 09:04   #13
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Cool story, bro.

I dunno if this is what you intended? -> But that fancyplates.com website doesn't offer what I was after either - I guess you might not have tested it properly before posting?

Of course you could email them to ask? If you felt so inclined? Explaining that their website doesn't offer a legal, single line of text, 5-digit, import 330mm x 165mm plate; and asking them if they could actually support your request? They are a number plate supplier, after all, so they ought to be able to grasp that simple description of your requirements quite easily... I would've thought?

You might even get a decent email response from that supplier.
Which would serve well to emphasise my own experience as bizarre?

Thanks for trying, anyway, but I'm all sorted now, having had a good laugh in the process.
Actually, make that 2 good laughs, now

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Je cherche l'orgasme d'auto
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C'est une evo VI bleu par le Rountree

***Go soothingly on the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon***
//// Do as you OUGHT, not as you WANT ////
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