KARST SPORTS

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KARST SPORTS

Postby laurieadams » Oct 4, 2011 10:06 am

I can't believe I'm having to warn the caving community about the total lack of respect and professionalism shown to me by the company Karst Sports. I had read an earlier complaint about their shipping practices but i figured that was a fluke. IT IS NOT! I tried to order a headlamp online from them, but their website would not accept my perfectly good credit card. So i called them up and placed my order online. I spent 5 full minutes explaining to the lady that it had to be shipped right away so i would get it in time for an upcoming trip. She assured me there would be no problem getting it to me on time. The next day i recieved an e-mail from them stating it would be mailed out on Friday the 27th, and would arrive no later than 4 days later. So, i go to my credit card today and notice that the funds had not been taken out. I called Karst Sports and the lady calmy said that it would be at least 2 WEEKS before they would have the item!!! She didn't even check when i called them to see if they had the item! If I hadn't called them, i would have never known anything, they sure didn't contact me! She acted like this was standard operating procedure for them if they don't have something in stock. Well that sucks! They should have told me right away they didn't have the item, especially after I had explained the urgency of getting it right away. And they should never have sent a lying e-mail to me stating it would be mailed on Friday. Now I am screwed. Onrope1 is trying their best to get the item to me in time, we'll see.
Last edited by laurieadams on Oct 4, 2011 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NEVER, NEVER ORDER ANYTHING FROM KARST SPORTS!!!

Postby jeffkruse » Oct 4, 2011 10:21 am

Did you order a magic light that no one else has? :tonguecheek: I can't imagine someone else on the trip not having a light you could borrow, I am sure if you ask someone they will have one. I have ordered from Karst Sports before and will again but it does suck that they told you that.
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Re: NEVER, NEVER ORDER ANYTHING FROM KARST SPORTS!!!

Postby self-deleted_user » Oct 4, 2011 11:28 am

Yeah the same thing happened to me from Karst Sports earlier this year.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=12019

I love OR1 and they've always been amazingly helpful and professional and friendly! Heck at Speleofest I hung out at their vendor tent a lot to just talk (and ask Bruce questions haha) when they weren't busy with customers! I usually don't get vendor-picky for things but OR1 is definitely my pick for caving.
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Re: NEVER, NEVER ORDER ANYTHING FROM KARST SPORTS!!!

Postby trogman » Oct 4, 2011 12:18 pm

I have had nothing but positive experiences dealing with Karst Sports on a number of occasions. Frankly, I think just because you had one negative experience with them is no reason to publically trash them like this. Perhaps you should reconsider this course of action. I could get on here and air complaints about other vendors, but I won't do it because I don't want to damage their business because of one bad experience I had with them. If it had happened repeatedly to a number of people, I could understand it being posted on here. Otherwise, it is just your own personal sour grapes.

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Re: NEVER, NEVER ORDER ANYTHING FROM KARST SPORTS!!!

Postby caveflower » Oct 4, 2011 12:49 pm

I have aways had good repore with Karts Sports. I have ordered stuff from them many times with no problems at all. Heck they even gave me a deep discount on gear I needed for a local cave cleanup a few years ago. Guano happens and some times they might be out of a item. Sounds like maybe a little more pre planning on your part was in order. Heck if the light was over $40 the shipping was free. What more can you ask. Bashing them here is not the best way to do things when there are many cavers who love Karst Spots. IMO and Onrope both very good vendors too. They all have something to offer. I have bought from all three.
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Re: NEVER, NEVER ORDER ANYTHING FROM KARST SPORTS!!!

Postby laurieadams » Oct 4, 2011 1:38 pm

`I realize it sounds like an over-reaction on my part, but I have found that in order to implement changes in this world you have to speak up. If this were just a one time thing it would be more understandable, but I'm aware of 4 such instances with this vendor. I know that the people at KS are good people, that they did not intentionally try to screw me. But I also know that because of me they will be making double sure that from now on they will check to see if they have something in stock when someone orders it, and to contact the customer right away if they don't. It is just common sense and good business practice to communicate with your customers, and my rant may have helped to crystallize in their minds the need to do that more dilligently. They have admitted their mistake and apologized profusely for it. Good enough! If I had just let it go, or not aired my concerns publicly, then I would probably be shrugged off as a disgruntled customer and that would be the end of it. But when something threatens the bottom line, it tends to precipitate real change. Hopefully this will be the case in this instance.
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Re: NEVER, NEVER ORDER ANYTHING FROM KARST SPORTS!!!

Postby Phil Winkler » Oct 4, 2011 1:42 pm

Poor service should always be commented on or it will never improve.

I can't think of a single business that would not want to know what is going on.
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Re: NEVER, NEVER ORDER ANYTHING FROM KARST SPORTS!!!

Postby self-deleted_user » Oct 4, 2011 2:13 pm

Exactly, Laurie and Phil.

The issue isn't with planning more in advance the what we want, or even not having the product in stock - this happens and everyone is aware of it. The issue is the total lack of communication and delays when if they had just said "sorry it's out of stock" we could say "oh, okay" and if need be move to a different vendor for the purchase if time was an issue. This is just simple good business and respecting the customer. Whereas what Laurie and I both experienced was basically, being lied to about an item being in stock, and poor or no communication subsequently leaving the customer completely hanging trying to figure out what is going on. That's...not okay, for any business.

It could be an easily solved issue to on the side of Karst Sports. Just about *every* backend now for online business have this little "stock" feature. When stock comes in, it gets recorded. As it sells online, it automatically pulls it out of the stock available. A phone order is imputed into the same backend system, and again, pulls the stock of the item down accordingly to the number purchased. And, this can even be easily synched with the front end (aka website storefront) to display so even the customer before purchasing knows the stock count and if it's on backorder. Of course, sometimes orders come in quickly before the system updates (say order submited before the person refreshes, so it still shows there is one item left) however, then upon receiving the order that just came in on top of the one before, a quick email and/or call to the customer notifying them the same day the order was placed is not that much to ask for and really rather standard.

It's a bad problem, with a really easy fix. So...no excuse for continued issues in my opinion.
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Re: NEVER, NEVER ORDER ANYTHING FROM KARST SPORTS!!!

Postby Phil Winkler » Oct 4, 2011 2:27 pm

Amy, actually, unless something has changed dramatically in the software business, very, very few, if any, online sales programs on the web maintain real-time inventory. It just doesn't happen. Anymore then your deposits and withdrawals from your bank account happen in real-time.

However, the person on the phone ought to have real-time access to the real inventory software.
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Re: NEVER, NEVER ORDER ANYTHING FROM KARST SPORTS!!!

Postby self-deleted_user » Oct 4, 2011 2:38 pm

All backend systems I've worked with at companies as soon as the orders came through the available stock number changed...huh. Then again these weren't boxed backend sets like is common for simple online sales on seeminly every hosting service now, they were designed. So maybe I shouldn't have said *every* in my prior post as my sample size is small, my bad. I know it is out there though, and companies do make good use of it. Yeah you get some delays as mentioned but at least it would be a lot more accurate? *shrugs* just trying to make suggestions to help them not upset their customers by waiting days before saying "oh lolz sowwryz it's out of stock" ;) (heee lolcat speak works well there)
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Re: NEVER, NEVER ORDER ANYTHING FROM KARST SPORTS!!!

Postby KeyserSoze » Oct 4, 2011 5:16 pm

I've ordered from Karst Sports a few times and never had an issue.
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Re: NEVER, NEVER ORDER ANYTHING FROM KARST SPORTS!!!

Postby WVCaver2011 » Oct 4, 2011 5:31 pm

I have ordered from Karst Sports many times in the past and I have never had any issues from them. They give discounts and free shipping for orders over $40.00 (I believe).

I motion that we change the title of this thread to something like "Karst Sports ordering issues" or something. By presenting a thread title like this you are cutting out some business opportunities for Karst Sports.

I agree that they need to get their stuff together but you also have to realize that they are in the process of moving inventory from one location to another so it's probable that they wouldnt be able to keep track of a lot of things at the moment.
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Re: NEVER, NEVER ORDER ANYTHING FROM KARST SPORTS!!!

Postby Extremeophile » Oct 4, 2011 5:40 pm

I've made purchases from Karst Sports, IMO, On Rope 1, Bob & Bob, Howies, B&C, Lost Creek, Speleobooks, Cave Books, NSS Bookstore and AMCS. Probably a few others I'm forgetting. I've had relatively minor customer service concerns with many of them at one point or another. Making a mistake on whether an item was in stock and then taking a few days to communicate that information I think falls into the category of a "minor" issue. I think the reaction is out of proportion to the problem. Making a post titled "NEVER, NEVER ..." all in caps with no less than 3 exclamation points is not a constructive means of helping them improve their customer service.

Probably my biggest concern was with On Rope 1 when a cave suit I ordered didn't fit. The dimensions of the suit were very far off from the fitting chart information on the website. I had to pay shipping in both directions and was offered a replacement if I paid shipping a third time. I emailed my concerns but got no response. I no longer order clothing items over the web. There are good people working at all these vendors, and none of them do much volume, so I cut them a little slack. I still buy from On Rope 1 and from Karst Sports, and will continue to do so in spite of the warning in this thread.
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Re: NEVER, NEVER ORDER ANYTHING FROM KARST SPORTS!!!

Postby rlboyce » Oct 4, 2011 6:02 pm

Yeah, it seems a tad harsh, IMHO. I've had bad experiences with online purchasing before, but it has never incited me to publicly shame those companies, especially after just a single experience. What if it's just one bad employee? Does that mean the whole company is worthless? I guess we all have the free will to do whatever we please though. Personally, I don't see much benefit to anyone concerned from advertising in a thread's title to never order from a company. I think such an approach does much more harm to a small company than good, no matter the reasoning behind it. Seems more to do with venting steam to me, but again, I guess this is everyone's right.

:shrug:

Mark me down for a +1 satisfied customer who hasn't ordered at the last minute, who received his items before the projected delivery date, and who got a hell of a good discount to boot. I'd order from them again in a heartbeat, and will continue to recommend them to anyone who is looking for a place to buy caving equipment.
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Re: KARST SPORTS

Postby laurieadams » Oct 4, 2011 7:35 pm

I've removed the title from my original post , but I can't remove it from others posts. I would delete the whole thread if I could, as I now seem to be the problem. Lots of good points made on here, but the idea that I"ordered at the last minute" is not one of them. I ordered the lamp nearly 2 weeks before the trip, and the ordering date has nothing whatsoever to do with the promises made. Rlboyce is right, I was venting steam.
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