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What's up with RS FAB?
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Abscate
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:26 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

Quote:
Recently, I went through a couple of years of serious business growth pains which just happened to coincide with multiple personal challenges and disasters that made keeping my head above water incredibly difficult. All in a couple of year period, I had two heart attacks, went through a not-so-kind divorce that broke me both financially and emotionally, had a daughter move off to college, had to care for my 70's mother through a broken shoulder, breast cancer, surgery for a twisted bowel, and an intestinal hernia (yes, all of that within a couple of years for her), lost my house and my shop, lost four dogs to sickness and/or old age, and I have a special needs son to care for all the while. All of that on top of trying to keep a business afloat to try to make a living and survive.


Sweet Jesus, My thoughts and prayers to you. Chris, it can only go up from there.
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:27 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

While I didn't mean my comments to make this thread about me, I do appreciate the support and understanding. There have also been many great moments in my life along with those lows points. I do my best to look for the good in things and compared to many, and despite those challenges, my life is a good one.

I made the comments that I did in an effort to help people understand that when they choose to do business with a micro business (like mine, like RS Fab, and many others in this niche Vanagon world) you are choosing to be involved in that person's life to some degree. As hard as a micro business owner may try to keep the personal life from affecting their business, it's a near impossible task. When you consider that most of these teeny, tiny businesses operate on a miniscule budget and often with a single person responsible for sales, customer service, shipping, receiving, accounting, and oftentimes manufacturing and production, it's easy to see how even a small issue cropping up can derail things. While some may not agree with me, I will reiterate the point that, like it or not, when you choose to do business with a company like this, you are choosing (willingly or unwillingly) to ride many of the same waves that come along with being a micro business owner because there isn't extra money, additional employees, huge inventory of parts, etc. to buffer you from those waves. Yes, the micro business owner can, and should, do their best to help be a buffer between you and those waves, but it's a near impossible task to guard you against all of them.

And please don't read those words as support or condoning poor business practices. That's a completely separate subject that may or may not be in play here in this thread. I'm simply asking people to consider "the other side of the coin" when they choose to do business with the smallest of the small businesses.
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Last edited by Christopher Schimke on Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Abscate
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:31 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

When I read the 'just hire help' post, I, as well as every SMB owner, cringed.

Ive had restaurant owners tell me if only 1 out of 4 employees steal from the till, its a good year.

Managing employees will age you exponentially, unless you have mine, who are awesome.
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T3TRIS
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:05 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

Christopher Schimke wrote:
I'm sharing all of that because when you look at a person or a micro-business from the outside, you have no way of knowing what is going on in their lives that may be causing delays in shipping, delays in communication, etc. That's definitely not to say that there's an excuse for bad behavior. If the cause is pure laziness, lack of caring, or lack of attention, that's a whole different story. But when you experience a delay in shipping, what feels like poor communication, or your parts take a while to get there, please consider that there may be more to the story than meets the eye.


Dang Chris! I feel for you and want to thank you again for having filled our order promptly, clearly and having taken the time to answer my questions when creating and refining the order for parts. In today's world of Amazon giants, it is sometimes hard for us customers to remind ourselves that not every business can do same-day-prime-shipping with free returns.

Praises to you and other micro businesses for working so hard to provide great parts and service for this antique beloved vehicle! You can be assured that if you sell something we need, we'll give you our business! We are all blessed that others like you love the same vans we do AND have the skills to fabricate parts to keep them on the road. Good luck to you!
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Tristar Eric
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:33 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

Well written Christopher.
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Jake de Villiers
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:16 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

Christopher Schimke wrote:
jimf909 wrote:

Iíve slowly come to understand variable service levels from our niche vendors and hope theyíre spending some quality time with their family after a hectic day chasing down orders of obscure parts while feeling slightly bad about not responding to the dozen e-mails from eager customers they receved that day. I havenít always had this view. Maybe Iím getting soft. Very Happy


I, for one, can sincerely appreciate this attitude. I don't know Ray and I have no clue about anything in his life, but I can tell that you running a thriving, growing small business all alone is extremely difficult. I don't share a whole lot of personal information here, but today, because of this thread, I will.

Recently, I went through a couple of years of serious business growth pains which just happened to coincide with multiple personal challenges and disasters that made keeping my head above water incredibly difficult. All in a couple of year period, I had two heart attacks, went through a not-so-kind divorce that broke me both financially and emotionally, had a daughter move off to college, had to care for my 70's mother through a broken shoulder, breast cancer, surgery for a twisted bowel, and an intestinal hernia (yes, all of that within a couple of years for her), lost my house and my shop, lost four dogs to sickness and/or old age, and I have a special needs son to care for all the while. All of that on top of trying to keep a business afloat to try to make a living and survive.

I'm sharing all of that because when you look at a person or a micro-business from the outside, you have no way of knowing what is going on in their lives that may be causing delays in shipping, delays in communication, etc. That's definitely not to say that there's an excuse for bad behavior. If the cause is pure laziness, lack of caring, or lack of attention, that's a whole different story. But when you experience a delay in shipping, what feels like poor communication, or your parts take a while to get there, please consider that there may be more to the story than meets the eye.

Jesus, Chris, I'm gonna come down there and give you a hug!!!

Hang tough, my friend.
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Jake de Villiers
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:22 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

Christopher Schimke wrote:
While I didn't mean my comments to make this thread about me, I do appreciate the support and understanding. There have also been many great moments in my life along with those lows points. I do my best to look for the good in things and compared to many, and despite those challenges, my life is a good one.

I made the comments that I did in an effort to help people understand that when they choose to do business with a micro business (like mine, like RS Fab, and many others in this niche Vanagon world) you are choosing to be involved in that person's life to some degree. As hard as a micro business owner may try to keep the personal life from affecting their business, it's a near impossible task. When you consider that most of these teeny, tiny businesses operate on a miniscule budget and often with a single person responsible for sales, customer service, shipping, receiving, accounting, and oftentimes manufacturing and production, it's easy to see how even a small issue cropping up can derail things. While some may not agree with me, I will reiterate the point that, like it or not, when you choose to do business with a company like this, you are choosing (willingly or unwillingly) to ride many of the same waves that come along with being a micro business owner because there isn't extra money, additional employees, huge inventory of parts, etc. to buffer you from those waves. Yes, the micro business owner can, and should, do their best to help be a buffer between you and those waves, but it's a near impossible task to guard you against all of them.

And please don't read those words as support or condoning poor business practices. That's a completely separate subject that may or may not be in play here in this thread. I'm simply asking people to consider "the other side of the coin" when they choose to do business with the smallest of the small businesses.

Well put, Chris.

I'm in the same boat - as the sole proprietor of an instrument repair business. If the current bigger restoration takes a detour (and believe me, the instrument is ALWAYS in charge!) then I'm bound to follow it even if it pisses off the people who are next in line.

Telling the client that I'd do the same for them works with double bass players, not so much with guitar players. Rolling Eyes
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E1
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:51 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

bobbyblack wrote:
Christopher Schimke wrote:
... there may be more to the story than meets the eye.


Gads, ChrisToph3r!! Hang in there, we're all pulling for you. Thanks for your wisdom over the years, and thanks for sharing your story. I've had enough of those same issues to have had to 'grow up' and face my own circumstance and mortality. Family First. We can be patient! I am glad you are here, still among us.

-bobby

There's no way to improve on this, and no surprise it coming from Bobby. Love you, Man.

Hang in there, Chris. I think I know just how you feel, meaning "I do know" but none of us fully can. But you have our support if there's ever anything we can do. Keep trying, and I hope you're not second-guessing opening up here like I know I have. We're only human after all, and the best in us is giving a damn.

It bewilders me that good people get so much of the bad, while the truly bad seem to carry off all the goods. All any of us needs is Peace and Happiness.

Means little now, but your work is awesome and we're all lucky to have it.
Be good to yourself and hang in there, we hope for far better days ahead for you.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:59 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

Well, as a SBO myself, I am somewhat understanding of the difficulties/challenges/etc of owning a small business.
That being said:
I placed on order for a kit that was in stock on 15/16 July.
Money was removed from my account same time period.
Iíve tried calling twice and emailing twice, to no avail.
My project is all done except for the RSFab stuff, and will be missing out on several events.
At this point, unless heís incapacitated, thereís no excuse for this utter lack of customer service/support.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:35 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

Christopher--You were kind enough to send me many unnecessary emails to bring a 14" wheel guy into the 21st century and shipped my items on an extremely timely basis. Your personal travails are staggering and I'm sure I speak for all of us in congratulating you on how you must have suffered and dealt with your slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and treated all of us wonderfully and without a whimper. Thank you and may the gods look upon your coming journey with favor.

Best wishes, Duncan
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:16 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

I am currently 1 month out from an order that has been paid for. I have left multiple voicemails and at least one email and have heard nothing back. I do not expect Amazon speed shipping, however, any acknowledgment that you have sat on my $550 for a month would be nice. I guess I file a dispute through PayPal... I really just want the part, but no word after 1 month is unexceptable.
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drj434343
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:44 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

It seems like the only way to deal with this is with our wallets. Perhaps if all his orders ceased, he would pop up wondering what was going on?

I know I have deliberately put off two shifter purchases based solely on the stories here, and it sounds like I might have to do without this upgrade forever...
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:11 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

I nearly bought a RS big shot shifter from Campervan culture in England ,I heard about bad reviews and then I came across Ian Holman (Holman Engineering) based in England or 025 motorsport which you can find on FB .
Ian has designed a great product which can fit all Vanagons 4 speed or 5 speed 2WD and 4WD drive and he'll ship them out overseas .
He is a small business but communication is great with him, he usually makes up a batch at a time and I think reserve orders go first and then all others on a first come basis .
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:33 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

Hereís s few pictures of the 025 shifter the first pic the shifter is pointed the wrong way round .
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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rpureber
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:10 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

I already have a Big Shot... I didn't realize there were other options. I got mine through Rocky Mountain Westy so there was no direct ordering/contact with RS Fab.

My current order is for the shift linkage rod for my Syncro since my tabs are busted. My 4th gear just blew out so I have to get it rebuilt... I'm really hoping I can have the linkage rod by the time the transmission goes back in, but I'm not very optimistic.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:38 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

I got one of the first runs of 025 shifters and really like mine. I'd like it more if the factory boot fit over top of it, but having it exposed is also cool. I think a trim ring to finish out the carpet around the shift base would be all it would take to bring it to the next level.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:27 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

I have a diesel 5 speed Westy and the factory boot fits over the top of it no problem. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:33 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

Called again.....aaaaand nothing.
Will have to file a dispute at this point.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:26 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

rpureber wrote:
I didn't realize there were other options.



Another option is this $50 kit offered by T3 Technique. It shortens the throw while keeping the stock lever. I havenít used it but itís on my list.

http://www.t3technique.com/suspension-and-drivetra...t-kit.html

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:58 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

jimf909 wrote:
rpureber wrote:
I didn't realize there were other options.



Another option is this $50 kit offered by T3 Technique. It shortens the throw while keeping the stock lever. I havenít used it but itís on my list.

http://www.t3technique.com/suspension-and-drivetra...t-kit.html

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



Really inferior. I bought one years ago from the classifieds and never installed. You have to drill a hole in the shift lever making a weak point that has been often reported to break causing the owner to weld the shifter or find another one. I have the shifter kit still in my garage and I'll sell it cheap (shipping) but I wouldnt install it in my van.
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