Disappointed in my expensive SAF purchase

General Discussion about almost anything Teardrop or camping related

Disappointed in my expensive SAF purchase

Postby LMarsh » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:01 am

My anodized sheets arrived all banged up. The photos don't do it justice but for the money I spent I was hoping for better. See the attached photos for only some of the damage. The anodizing has some crazing in it and even if I pound the edges flat it will be hard to slip into a panel trim piece.
I'm not happy. :x


My order arrived from Southern Aluminum Finishing (SAF) on Monday. I have been working with a particular person in sales who has been mediocre in getting back to me or answering questions, but when I call about anything they always make me talk to this guy since he started my quote. Anyway, I bought 3 sheets of anodized 5'x12', a 5'x10', a couple pieces of their largest unequal leg anodized extrusion, and a whole bunch of mill extrusions. I dropped way more money on this than I really wanted to and to save at least a little cash, and to make things easier, I borrowed a loading dock at a commercial business address where my father works. I had to set it up and time the delivery. I'll list all the problems I've encountered so far:

1) The SAF online calculator gives better prices than the sales guy. Seems backwards to me and I had to specifically ask for those better prices.
2) In order to get the volume by weight discount on both extrusions and sheets you have to get two separate quotes and this can't be done together online. Actually the sales guy couldn't do it either, he had to add 200lbs of filler items on two quotes just to get the right numbers. It was confusing and I received a half dozen quotes before it was right.
3) AFTER I paid-in-full on my credit card, for the completed final quoted price, for the whole order, I received a bill for another $50 with tax. I contacted both my sales guy and their AR department who sent me the bill but I never received a response from either. That's fine cause I'm not paying it.
4) They have my name wrong on every quote, bill, form, shipping invoice, etc. I've told them multiple times my name is NOT Thomas, its Lucas. I can't get them to change it.
5) I informed them the loading dock would be closed and I needed to be called an hour ahead of time to meet the truck and have my father unlock the loading dock. The trucking company called me the day before and I reiterated this. Both SAF and the trucking company said this was not a problem. Well then of course the driver only calls after he arrives and he had to wait a half an hour for us to get there. I know this isn't SAF's fault but its still aggravating.
6) The final and worst thing is the sheets were damaged. The driver unloaded the almost 400 lbs of stuff, 2 enormous skids and 2 boxes, then left. My father arrived before me and had opened the dock.I never signed anything or got to inspect the order, neither of us did. Upon opening the skids my two 5'x12' bronze anodized sheets were dented. All the sheets were damaged at the edges from the strapping being way over tightened.

Now this seems to be a combination of the shipper damaging the goods and also poor packing from SAF. I paid a $50 skid charge and the only protection the sheets had was carboard. I've ordered plywood and FRP from my local building supplier with way better protection. Usually a sacrificial piece of something is placed underneath for protection from forklifts and such. With a malleable metal like aluminum it should have been protected better and not strapped so tightly the edges were bent and the skids are too small to properly protect the edges.


On the positive side I called SAF and they will replace the sheets upon picking up the damaged ones and then sending new ones after receiving the originals back. Or give me a small partial refund. The partial refund is ridiculous because these sheets look like garbage and they offered "25%" but didn't say off of what. And the number they threw at me made no sense however you do the math. Returning will be a huge, huge hassle. I have no strapping, the skid is the same size as the sheets so I can't tack down any boards to hold them, and I'll have to arrange to use the dock again, or twice more with the delivery of the replacements. Its been 3 days now and this sales guy hasn't called me back as promised to figure this all out.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Last edited by LMarsh on Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:08 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
LMarsh
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 154
Images: 114
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:09 am
Location: Rochester NY

Re: Disappointed in my expensive SAF purchase

Postby Wildfire » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:01 pm

Thin sheet is extremely hard to ship LTL freight without some sort of damage. You have a freight claim against the carrier, but file it quickly and be firm. They will likely deny it, saying it was insufficient packaging.

Generally, I won't ship sheet like this without a hefty packaging charge to build a crate. The LTL guys shove the stuff with forklifts without much concern for damage. Its just real hard to do...
Wildfire
Teardrop Builder
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:09 am

Re: Disappointed in my expensive SAF purchase

Postby LMarsh » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:04 am

I've arranged to have two new sheets delivered to the commercial address I'm borrowing, but I asked SAF to pick up the material from my house and cover the additional lift gate service. Fortunately they agreed and besides a temporary charge for the material and then a credit back, I should be good to go with not too much more work on my end. This time they will cover the top and bottom of the sheets with plywood for extra protection. Overall a very good outcome and as long as I don't find out about any additional fees, or receive more damaged sheets, I will most likely recommend SAF to other builders. This will set me back 2-3 weeks and some of the other smaller issues are still annoying but the salesman did work everything out to my satisfaction. Its aggravating to have something so expensive arrive damaged and unusable but I do try to cool off before taking action in situations like this and then be calm and reasonable with whoever I need to speak with. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I hope this post will help someone in a similar situation or if you're on the fence about ordering from SAF. Feel free to PM me too.
User avatar
LMarsh
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 154
Images: 114
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:09 am
Location: Rochester NY
Top


Return to General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: jondbar628 and 3 guests