Wednesday, February 22, 2017

McNichols : How-I-Was-Made-(W)HOLE) > a Revised Opinion

In my efforts to steer, influence and provide Intelligent, "fully vetted" Resources to my readers,
I've set up this blog to identify excellent Resources for those in the fields related to Design & Architecture.

I'd posted in January 2017,  about a truly unsettling Customer Service experience in dealing with an Industrial Supplier, that I've purchased from for many years.

In the course of a very short period of time, after my encounter with McNichols- I was pleasantly shocked and amazed to receive an email, and a follow-up phone call from
someone with the same last name-McNichols-
as the Company that I'd had the Customer Service issue (or failure thereof) with.
The dialog that followed, provided me an insight, into how the 3rd generation President-
Scott McNichols, truly cares, about each and every Customer's experience.

To start, I have to say- I've met & talked to many CEO's and President's of Corporations,
both big and small, in my lifetime- yet- my conversations with Scott McNichols truly created
a whole-'nother-level-of-respect for him as an Owner, and the Company he leads.

It's not often that when someone- anyone-
is wrong- that they'll listen - not argue, & they'll acknowledge the concerns
that made you feel aggrieved enough to contact a Customer Service Sales Manager,
and later create a blog post ,
without ever defending their Company (or making any excuses).
With Scott McNichols - the Buck-Does-Stop -   There.
He "owned" the issues that screwed up my order-
and went above and beyond to rectify the situation.

I could go on to describe in full detail, all the things that Scott said (and did) to fix the problem-
( I won't bore you with the details....)
to make me a HAPPY CUSTOMER-
who will forever speak about McNichols- as a Company that
truly- "gets it".

BTW- any doubts, about my encounter with Scott McNichols.... just read the comment he left on my blog-

Holenole said...
Mr. Kramer,

I am truly sorry for your experience and sincerely apologize that we did not meet your service expectations. We certainly do strive to serve each customer with everything we have and that clearly did not happen according to your personal testimony. We are celebrating our 65th anniversary this year and are much better than you have truthfully described.

I will be sure to mark your account so that you do not receive the Scripture messages on your paperwork should you choose to give us another chance to serve you.

I want to thank you for your honesty. We will use it to improve because that is what all of our customers deserve.

Once again, I am truly sorry for the unfortunate experience you had with McNichols.


Scott McNichols

McNichols- a class act!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

McNichols -Truly The "Hole" Story......

I'm working on a new project- a really unique Custom Fireplace Screen for a home next to The Drake Hotel in Chicago's Gold Coast. 

The Architect (& his client) like the minimalism of Piet Mondrian's paintings- so the design of the Fireplace Screen's predicated on Mondrian's geometry.(see below)
Mondrian-esque Fireplace Screen Design
Of course- a Fireplace Screen- isn't a Fireplace Screen unless there's some "screen" involved...which in The Steel Industry is called-"Wire Cloth". Note, this please....for if you ever need to purchase any "mesh" or "screen"- you will not get what you want as easily if you specifically search for WIRECLOTH.
OK- Lesson in specifying is complete for today.

There used to be a plethora ($10.00-word meaning a whole bunch of sumpin') of WireCloth Distributors in and around Chicago. 
Sadly, one of my all-time favorite places to visit- F.P. Smith WireCloth is no more- they closed about 8 years ago- absorbed by a place I used to buy from called McNichols. Attentive readers will note I say- "used to buy from"- and if you know me, at all there's a reason for that....either poor customer-service, or a basic lack of respect from the Vendor, for accepting my hard earned dough in exchange for what they sell.....or smoother reason- in this case it was all of the above.

Now- I like Religion. I mean- as a inner-spiritual belief system, I'm all for any human "believing" in something- be it G_d, Budda, or Jesus or Mohammed or whatever- just like your snot and spit- keep it to yourself. So, when McNichols would send invoices with Scripture (from The New Testament- a knock-off of The Torah) and have a variety of Religious messages on their statements- I got annoyed.
Mentioning it to them, seemed to get me no-where.
Add in being treated as if my "small orders" didn't matter- making me wait- when I was told my materials would be cut wrapped and ready- left me feeling not so warm-and-fuzzy about these guys as a Vendor.
Which brings me to this past Tuesday in January.

I'd begun, by getting pricing via their website.
Seems easy enough- fill out the specifications > Wires per inch + wire diameter + material (Steel, Stainless, Copper, etc) and Square footage or size of the cut piece.
OK....waiting for a reply meant, that The Weekend + The Martin Luther King Holiday may delay my getting a Price Quote. Fair nuff. 
So, I call on Monday, anyway- and, they say "they have my Quote"?
That's nice that YOU DO- but how come I don't? 
So, after getting a Price-I chose to pass on the $ 28.00 Shipping charge- and asked to pick up my order from their suburban Chicago location.

OK- is the response- wait till tomorrow- after noon-and- your order will be ready for PICK-UP!

So- I drive the next day to their warehouse in the Chicago suburb of DesPlaines, on a road that's tough to get to- since they closed off the way own- from Route 83.
I pull up- where Id gone in the past to pick-up wire cloth for other Fireplace Screens, and, strangely- its dead.
No Trucks. No workers cars.
Looks like they closed up?
So- I call their 800# only to discover that they MOVED over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Funny- I never got that Memo.
Nor- did the order taker in Atlanta, GA.- think that I may need that information. 
So, now burnin'-up with the wasted time- 
I drove the 6 miles to their new spot in Elk Grove Village.
Went to Customer Service,  and was told she couldn't find my order.
Lots of waiting.
Finally- "Anna" comes out to tell me- Yes, they "have"my order- but- it's in PHOENIX ARIZONA- and in the Chicago location- they don't have what I want.
And- to make matters worse- don't offer me a viable substitute.

McNichols "new" warehouse in suburban Elk Grove Village,IL
So, my question is this- How Can a Vendor screw up any worse that these THREE errors in handling an order.......I'll tell ya- when I call top complain to a very nice Customer Service Manager @ McNichols- he agrees to supply my material for no charge- great.
Then, another person calls me- after I see that they've already "Charged" my Visa for the wire cloth- I didn't get to pick say- that the REFUND will take up to 14 Days!
So- if you are looking for a WireCloth Vendor- be sure- to do your best- NOT to use McNichols.

Over & Out.