Frequently Asked Questions about Problems with Your Order
Although we often strive for perfection here at Pelican Parts, sometimes
mistakes do happen. We have designed this section to help answer some of your
questions about uncommon "messups" with your order, and how we resolve them.
The answers to these questions have been compiled in response to comments and
questions posed to us on our
online survey. We hope that this section will help to answer some of
your questions when things just don't happen to go 100% correctly.
When Pelican Parts was started, we decided to implement a method of
inventory management called Just-In-Time delivery or JIT. The advantage of
using this method is that we do not have to keep a large stock of parts on hand
in our warehouse. This keeps our costs down (which we pass on to you), and also
allows us to offer a huge selection of products to our customers. The
downside is that very rarely, regularly available parts are found to be
out-of-stock at our suppliers. Since we don't have the part on hand in our
warehouse, we have to hunt for it to complete your order. This often results in
a delay to the order.
We decided early on to distinguish ourselves with lower prices and a vast
selection. The trade-off is that we are not able to guarantee speedy, same-day
shipping. Through the use of technology, we are working to improve the
turn-around time for shipping out orders, and we are also beginning to maintain
a larger warehouse of common parts. In addition, we will be installing a new
system in the 1st quarter of 2005 that will automatically inform our
customers of delays to their order, and give them the chance to divide
their order into multiple shipments.
In keeping with our theme of offering a very large selection of products,
we have listed many dealer-only parts for both Porsches and BMWs. We believe
that offering these obscure parts in addition to the common parts adds
value to the customer by making Pelican a one-stop source for all your needs.
Example: while many other vendors may sell just clutch packages, we
additionally offer pressure plate bolts, shifter clips, and other obscure parts
that would have normally required a trip to the dealer. Unfortunately, since
some of these parts sometimes need to be ordered from far away (remote
warehouses, or even Germany), their delivery time is somewhat unpredictable.
Some of our customers have complained that we are much slower at shipping than
our competitors, however, 99% of the time their order is held up due to one or
more of these special order parts which our competitors won't even bother with.
Again, we have made the conscious decision to offer these hard-to-find parts at
the sacrifice of quick, same-day shipping.
We currently allow only packages 5 lbs and under to be shipping using USPS
Priority Mail. The way that the pricing structure is setup with the US Postal
Service means that any package over 5 lbs begins to get costly, and shipping
costs begin to vary quite a bit with respect to location and zip code. We have
found that it is best to keep the weight limit below 5 lbs, and use USPS
shipping for small orders. We do make exceptions for APO boxes and other
areas that FedEx and UPS don't service. If you have a special request, please
put that in the comments field of your on-line order.
We believe in offering low prices to everyone. Our prices are typically
much less than our paper catalog-based competitors. We could raise our prices
up to their level and then give everyone the discount, but we thought that
would be inappropriate. Before shopping at one of our competitors with a paper
catalog, we suggest you compare prices item-to-item.
We normally answer all email received at Pelican Parts within 24 hours,
Monday thru Friday. If you haven't heard back from us, it's because either we
didn't receive your email message, or you didn't receive ours. Spam has just
about killed the effectiveness of email as a tool for communicating with
customers. Spam filters installed at ISPs around the country constantly
remove and kill off our responses to our customers - leaving them with a bad
experience because they feel that their email was "ignored." In Q4 2004, we
will be moving towards a web-based trouble-ticket system that will replace all
forms of email, for communicating with our customers. This will ensure that we
will receive all questions, comments, and complaints from 100% of our
customers. Customers will be able to log into the site, and see our responses
all in one place.
Listing many special-order parts means that sometimes one or more of them
will be backordered or permanently unavailable. In Q1/Q2 of 2005, we will be
installing a new backorder tracking system that will allow our customers to
interact with our ordering systems and manage their backorder status. Right
now, if an item is backordered we label it as "Backordered" on the invoice, and
then give the customer a phone call if and when the part ever comes into stock.
Like many phone centers, we try to staff at levels to support the needs of
our customers at all times. Unfortunately, the phone queues can be very busy -
at unpredictable times. Other times, the phone salesreps sit at their desks
waiting for customers to call. It's very difficult to predict. We ask that if
you are on hold for too long to simply leave a message in our general mailbox,
or call back a little later. Sometimes there are many people in the phone
queue, and then five minutes later, there's none. We try to offer the best
customer support to all of our customers, so we do not typically rush phone