6 weeks to purchase parts from Schneider?

twistedtreetwistedtree Posts: 102Solar Expert ✭✭
I have an order into Schneider for a replacement part for an XW inverter.  I have bought from them before and it has been slow, but nothing like this.  It's going on 6 weeks now since I sent in the PO and received an acknowledgment.  But still nothing.  I don't think the order has even been processed because they would have called for payment info if it had.  I have sent in inquires twice with no response.

How on earth can I continue to do business with a company that operates like this?

Comments

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 3,901Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    This may or may not make you feel better. They had huge back-logs because they shipped just about everything world wide in to the hurricane areas. They had sales inform people about this but many other companies who sell their product did not inform. I had to use some creative means for my clients to get jobs done.

    So whoever you did business with should have told you about it, but maybe you can think of people living in pretty lousy conditions do a bit better because of what they did.

    You can do business or not do business with anyone you want right? Trump did not do this...
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • MangasMangas Posts: 548Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 18 #3
    I lost one of my Charge Controllers month or so ago.

    Schneider was very apologetic they couldn't immediately send us a warrantied Controller and was forthright with their supply chain back order explanation.

    Fortunately, we found a retail unit and will use the warrantied unit received last week as a spare.  Being off grid, I had planned to have a spare on hand anyway. I'm just built that way.

    I've found Schneider to be very helpful and responsive but understand the unusual situation they found themselves in.

    My dealings with them have been good. Also, good to know their equipment is mainstream and in demand!





    Ranch Off Grid System & Custom Home: 2 x pair stacked Schneider XW 5548+ Plus inverters (4), 2 x Schneider MPPT 80-600 Charge Controllers, 2 Xanbus AGS Generator Start and Air Extraction System Controllers, 64 Trojan L16 REB 6v 375 AH Flooded Cel Batteries w/Water Miser Caps, 44 x 185 Sharp Solar Panels, Cummins Onan RS20 KW Propane Water Cooled Genset, ICF House Construction, all appliances, Central A/C, 2 x High Efficiency Variable Speed three ton Central A/C 220v compressors, 2 x Propane furnaces, 2 x Variable Speed Air Handlers, 2 x HD WiFi HVAC Zoned System Controllers
  • twistedtreetwistedtree Posts: 102Solar Expert ✭✭
    At time of order, the part was in stock (actually a couple of them).  I would have expected some notification of backorder if that were the case.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 3,901Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Who did you order it from as said before? Schneider does not sell small orders. Even I use my dealer vendors and they buy in bulk from Schneider quarterly to get me lower prices. You could have asked here and been told without making this into more than it has to be. It may be easy to blame Schneider but the dealer is the problem.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 3,901Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Hey Mangas, staying dry down there :)  I think this year we are in SW Arizona. Little rain and nice sunny days. 
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • MangasMangas Posts: 548Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Hi Dave.

    Weather has been absolutely beautiful but unfortunately no moisture which we depend upon.

    Fire danger continues high in the mountains and valleys.  Weekend looks promising.

    Glad you're out of the smoke.  Been there done that many times!


    Ranch Off Grid System & Custom Home: 2 x pair stacked Schneider XW 5548+ Plus inverters (4), 2 x Schneider MPPT 80-600 Charge Controllers, 2 Xanbus AGS Generator Start and Air Extraction System Controllers, 64 Trojan L16 REB 6v 375 AH Flooded Cel Batteries w/Water Miser Caps, 44 x 185 Sharp Solar Panels, Cummins Onan RS20 KW Propane Water Cooled Genset, ICF House Construction, all appliances, Central A/C, 2 x High Efficiency Variable Speed three ton Central A/C 220v compressors, 2 x Propane furnaces, 2 x Variable Speed Air Handlers, 2 x HD WiFi HVAC Zoned System Controllers
  • twistedtreetwistedtree Posts: 102Solar Expert ✭✭
    Who did you order it from as said before? Schneider does not sell small orders. Even I use my dealer vendors and they buy in bulk from Schneider quarterly to get me lower prices. You could have asked here and been told without making this into more than it has to be. It may be easy to blame Schneider but the dealer is the problem.

    No dealer is involved.  This is an order directly with Schneider for a repair part.  I'm not sure what I would have asked here to avoid this.  They told me to order the part, sent me the paperwork to submit, and said the part was in stock.  It's the same process I have been through with them before for repair parts.
  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,634Registered Users ✭✭✭✭
    Stuff happens. Just because the computer says a part is in the bin it should be, doesn't mean it actually is. Maybe ask if they know of a stocking dealer?

    Somewhat related, I asked a major ag/contruction equipment (diggers etc) dealer recently how long products were supported by the manufacturer with replacement parts. The answer was that there was no specific timeframe. If they sold 3 parts systemwide in a year, they made more. If not, the part was discontinued. These are pieces of equipment that can run 6-7 figures, and be kept in service for decades in some cases.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 3,901Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Well that is a reasonable answer, thx,  but as Estragon said, stuff happens. It is odd that they did not set-up payment. I never buy directly from them for the reason that my dealers take care of me and want me and my clients to be happy. The store here is excellent with that also!

    The engineering group sends me stuff (they are great) but that is all for testing and gratis.

    Yea! no smoke Mangas! Our Fire people are trying to build fire breaks to protect the town! What concept with the dry brush all around it! The truth is the state fights them on doing this so when there is a fire they send the Dozers out with a free rein to do what they think is best for the future. We are alot like you in that we at least do not have 60 knot fire winds like Socal and parts of Norcal. That is crazy! Have a good sunset and a sundowner for me. I miss south Arizona and hope the border issues are getting better!

     Lots of my old buds there, a few buddettes! :)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • MangasMangas Posts: 548Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    I was watching the fire behavior in your neck of the woods.  Focuses the community on judicious future fire wise planning!

    Stay safe!





    Ranch Off Grid System & Custom Home: 2 x pair stacked Schneider XW 5548+ Plus inverters (4), 2 x Schneider MPPT 80-600 Charge Controllers, 2 Xanbus AGS Generator Start and Air Extraction System Controllers, 64 Trojan L16 REB 6v 375 AH Flooded Cel Batteries w/Water Miser Caps, 44 x 185 Sharp Solar Panels, Cummins Onan RS20 KW Propane Water Cooled Genset, ICF House Construction, all appliances, Central A/C, 2 x High Efficiency Variable Speed three ton Central A/C 220v compressors, 2 x Propane furnaces, 2 x Variable Speed Air Handlers, 2 x HD WiFi HVAC Zoned System Controllers
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 3,901Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    We hit 30F for the first time. Harvested 15 lbs of tomatoes the day before.

    Our county calls it "defensible space". It basically is thinning and limbing up the oaks and keeping pines 200 feet from the home. Along with 100 feet of weed wacking and common sense about yards not being fire ladders to the home. We have survived 3 major fires now but if we had winds like the santa annas or diablos, I would not stay unless they brought me an engine full of fire people.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • twistedtreetwistedtree Posts: 102Solar Expert ✭✭
    It's now been another 3 months and despite several more tries to get a response out of Schneider, including re-submitting a purchase order, they remain completely silent.  It's like I didn't take a bath or something.  So Schneider is dead to me.  F-'em. My business goes elsewhere.  Not bad products, but I won't do business with a company that won't even respond to their customers, let alone respond to an order submitted according their their instruction, and as done successfully in the past.  Business 101: when someone wants to buy something from you, sell it to them.  It is really that freekin'g hard?
  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,634Registered Users ✭✭✭✭
    IMHO, there are any number of reasons for a part being unavailable for long periods of time, or even not at all. Try getting a warranty airbag replacement on an affected vehicle. If you aren't high priority (climate etc) it's a really long wait.

    That said, (unless you've been nasty) they should be upfront about the issue. Even if you've been nasty, going radio silent probably isn't the right way for them to handle things. Personally, I'd have tried to escalate the issue up the food chain a level or two, but I can understand the notion of just saying "f-em" and moving on.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 3,901Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Well said Estie :)

    Being the bad cop, as Don Henley said "People love their dirty laundry"

    I still do not understand why he does not order from the store here? Or a company close to home. 
    When I sell items for my clients to purchase, I am looking out for them and know in a week or 2 if there is an issue.

    When I need an HP printer cartridge, I sure as hell do not buy it from HP. I go to Costco or Staples. Same with Outback unless it is warranty I stay out of corporate. That is really what they want anyway. The people in support are often entry level and reading from scripts. You do get some funny answers. I had one tell me that warranty claims had to approved by someone who was on vacation for 3 weeks? Ask for the manager and move up the chain

    I could pass his name on but I think he might like it the way it is. If this was their fault a second time I would at least try and get something and then say adios!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • twistedtreetwistedtree Posts: 102Solar Expert ✭✭
    Estragon said:
    IMHO, there are any number of reasons for a part being unavailable for long periods of time, or even not at all. Try getting a warranty airbag replacement on an affected vehicle. If you aren't high priority (climate etc) it's a really long wait.

    That said, (unless you've been nasty) they should be upfront about the issue. Even if you've been nasty, going radio silent probably isn't the right way for them to handle things. Personally, I'd have tried to escalate the issue up the food chain a level or two, but I can understand the notion of just saying "f-em" and moving on.
    I completely agree there can be lots of reasons for something to be unavailable or backordered, but I don't think it's asking too much to be told if that's the case rather than radio silence.   I did check on availablity back when I oredered,mand it was in stock.   But Its been a long time now and things migt have changed.

    And no, I haven't gone nasty on them, but I have expressed my frustration at their complete lack of response.   I escallated through support since they helped identify the failed part and told me what to order and how.  Just to be clear, this is a repair part, not a retail product.   I have goen through this exact process through support and then purchasing with Schneider before and although it was slow, it worked and I got the part.

    there is no published phone number for the order group, and nobody will give it to me, only email addresses.   Several of my inquiries have resulted in internal forwarding of the inquiry that I have been copied on, but not result in a response of any form.   When I went back theough support to see what was going on, they sent an inquiry to the order department (I was again copied), but still silence.  I do get automated acknowledgments so I know the mail system is working in both directions.  And the have my phone number too.

    i'm not sure how much more I'm supposed to do.

  • twistedtreetwistedtree Posts: 102Solar Expert ✭✭
    Dave, I would be happy to order from you or anyone else if they can sell me a DSP board for an XW6048.   I did try one of the authorized repair shops and they told me they can repair, but can't sell parts.  Shneider support told me to order it as I have, and as I mentioned earlier, I have successfully ordered replacement boards this way before.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 3,901Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 9 #18
    That inverter is out of support life.

     Schneider sells to a few repair shops, and even if I pulled strings I would have to have a good reason to do this!

    Reasons like this is a really good client in Costa Rico or someone who was a vet and can't get it all going mentally.

    For a typical north american, they need to buy a new unit or buy a junker for spares. I have all the parts for XW 4024 and 6048 but they are for my clients. Same with Outback.

    Time, material and travel for me and you could buy a couple xw6848+ and add some good whiskey :)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • EstragonEstragon Posts: 2,634Registered Users ✭✭✭✭
    My father used to keep boards and other kibbles n bits for products he installed, so he could keep customer systems going long after EOL factory support ended. Mostly he just got bitching about prices and often unpaid invoices for his trouble, and I got to deal with all the obsolete junk when he died. Hopefully, your customers appreciate the effort more!
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Posts: 3,901Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 9 #20
    Estragon said:
    My father used to keep boards and other kibbles n bits for products he installed, so he could keep customer systems going long after EOL factory support ended. Mostly he just got bitching about prices and often unpaid invoices for his trouble, and I got to deal with all the obsolete junk when he died. Hopefully, your customers appreciate the effort more!
    Once I reached critical mass, that is I do not have to work unless I want, I always get a wire to checking before I go anywhere.

    My dad is 95 and I wish he could find peace from the pain. He is the last one from the ship alive. Most died the day the Kamikaze hit.

    The ones up in the national park are the ones I have to watch. They are the Feds and they often do some very dumb things. They closed the roads this weekend because of the new term "atmospheric river". It is just a storm that does not originate from the gulf of Alaska. It used to be called Pineapple express. We had to hike in and the road was fine. All that because some bozo turned off the wrong switch.

    They paid for it but ruined my Saturday night. Should have been home for happy hour....

    I think the old grey box XW's have been on the support warning list at the Schneider web site for 4 years now, maybe longer. They are easy to support but hard to lift:(

    Here is a new one with 13 usable KWH, Just add 6KW of solar and turnkey support for 10 years as of today.


    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

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