Have you not considered getting someone part time to help with admin etc.
even an hour a day would have a massive difference.
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I think I've found the OP.
Will check the time difference and phone him tonight.
OK. Last post from me for now as I HAVE to get some work done.
I just wish customers don't have to resort to public forums to get a response. As indicated, the OP lives abroad and email is the most sensible option of contact. I hope this medium of communication isn't overlooked, especially if your target customer base is worldwide. Also, it's best to mention on the website which is the best medium of communication.
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Personally speaking, six months would be way over what I'd expect to wait for a hand-built pair of speakers. If the OP is unhappy and PayPal won't help, which they probably won't, then contact your bank and file an indemnity claim if you can't get a reply from EB or your money refunded. State the reason for the claim and they'll look into it. Not sure how they sit with goods ordered six months ago, but you can always give them a try if getting your money back is a bit of an issue. Once you've requested it, the money should be back in your account by 6pm on the same working day, or the next morning if there's a cutoff time for these things to go through.
And EB really need to sort out their admin side - a good product being let down by limited staffing resources. Not what the customer wants.
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Agree with RS in the main.
I do feel for Richard in some ways as I have my own small business. I do everything (contacting suppliers, costings, marketing, deliveries, making the tea...) and it's bloody hard. My only criticism is you need to know your business and personal limitations.
I'm currently turning work away because I can't fulfill the additional work coming in. The alternatives are renting out a lock-up or small warehouse, but that means extra staff. Can I justify taking on staff and training and still make a profit? maybe. But at what cost to my own wellbeing.
Six months is far too long IMO. The flipside is their speakers are hand-made, which should be applauded, as opposed to mass produced rubbish you can see in high streets. That's the balancing act.
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Could I be so bold as to offer a bit of advice?
You seem like a genuine person who is producing some good products and I have much respect for you for starting your own business. However this type of thread seems to be a reoccurring theme on this forum and it's a real shame for you to keep getting this bad customer service advertising.
IME most people don't mind if there are delays so long as they know what's happening. But giving people no information at all is just unacceptable for a business. Maybe you could check your emails and answerphone more often or maybe even employ someone for a couple of hours a week to help out with these things?
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I think this forum thread has been very supportive of Richard/EB Acoustics.
Lets hope this support leads to improved customer communication for eveyones sake.
To be honest if I lived closer I would offer to help for free - well maybe for a pair of speakers in exchange
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IMO, this forum has been way too supportive of Richard/EB Acoustics and that is perhaps why these issues persist. Richard has received all of this same advice in several prior threads from EB customers (complaining about lack of communication and/or worrying about whether they have lost their money). Suggestions of hiring additional production staff or at least admin staff have been made numerous times and clearly been rejected. If I remember my forum history correctly, the EB2 failed to win a product of the year award after its review because Richard had no interest in expanding.
It seems clear to me that Richard wishes to continue as a small operation, regardless of the affect on customer wait times. Good luck to him, but I certainly wouldn't be buying speakers with such a long and uncertain wait time + poor communication.
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Right. 1st of all, OP mailed, not phoned. Hope I got the right guy.
2nd. As regards Ajanis comments, sorry, but that's what I am. A small individual speaker manufacturer with each pair made by hand. I can't expand because the workforce isn't available in K'minster. Have you been here Ajani??. The average IQ of youngsters supposedly looking for work is slightly higher than a cotton reel and older qualified people exaggerate their worth. Neither scenario helps the product. One hasn't got a clue and the other is unaffordable. I know because I've already looked.
To give you an example. One guy came to see me. Winding coils was clearly beneath him. Sure, he had all the theory but didn't want to do the menial tasks like winding coils. Had a good pair of ears though but that wasn't what I was looking for.
I'm not trying to be insulting but that's the way it is here. Maybe with the benefits cap a few more might surface to have a look at.
Have you tried offering an apprenticeship with government support. Not all the kids can be dumb and lazy, but they also said that about my generation and so on and so on.
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No, I'm sure there are some gooduns out there. Thing is I'm not sure if there are the right schemes around here for them. This town still, after all these years thinks that the core trade is carpets!!. And that's not the case anymore. Most of em that want to work end up at Tesco stacking shelves and the likes of me don't get a sniff of the good ones. The really good ones don't even stay round here. they go to uni and move away to work.
I'm not trying to do a disservice to the youngsters round here but the one thing they seem to lack is maths. A crucial element in what I do here. Now I'm not saying it's unique to K'minster but this is the only area I can afford to think about.
I think I'm destined to remain a bespoke made to order company due to the way things are made here. Not my choice but the only option available to me at the moment but, things could change. ( I hope ).
I know where you are coming from as regards to finding useful reliable staff that can be trusted not to mess things up . But what people are suggesting here is that you find someone who can help you with the administration . You are not trying to tell us that there aren't people in the Kiddy area that can't type emails , sort invoices out , make the tea , field telephone calls etc. etc. ? It is the sort of job that would suit young mothers with kids at school or older ladies who no longer want to work full time but could do with some extra money for little luxuries , like food .
If you have to increase the cost of the speakers to cover the wages then so be it . That is better than losing potential sales through bad press .
But you know all this .
Once again the great EB debate goes on.
Whilst I agree that Richard is at fault for creating a website that is not frequently updated regards current waiting time for a product, which is after all what this is all about, he can be congratulated on producing some brilliant ones at a cost much cheaper than the opposition.
If you are not prepared to wait for a pair of his hand-built speakers then go and buy some ATC's from elsewhere. Its as simple as that.
He is no longer taking all the money up-front requiring only a deposit.
I think anyone prepared to wait the stated time in this 'want it now' society deserves my respect but having to wait some time longer is it really a big deal for a quality product. I didn't think so and I paid all upfront.
More fool me some might say but I did what I felt best and like to support the excellent hi-fi loners we have in this country.
We produce some amazing products, it's just that some are not so good at marketing. I would suggest Richard makes some effort to update his website with a more accurate expected wait time, irrespective of him taking on more admin staff.
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I disagree Alears. This is nothing to do with the "I want it now" society, a lead time of several months isn't "I want it now". I can sympathise with any small business owner going through the mill, but EB have to some extent suffered thanks to the glowing review, some time ago.
The business either needs to expand and that might be finding a suitable admin assistant. I'm not massively convinced that Kidderminster is wholly bereft of the skills needed to get some of the work done that EB urgently requires, although I guess if Richard hasn't got the time to get the orders out the door or answer customer enquiries (very legitimate ones at that), then I doubt he's going to have the time to organise this kind of thing. This is as much time management as it is product management.
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