We F*cked Up
Unfortunately, we’re not all perfect. We do the best we can to ensure that the wheels that we build and ship out are exactly what the customer expects. For the wheels we build, we take a transparent approach in sending photos to our customer every step of the way. When their set of wheels arrive, they know exactly what to expect (defaults included!).
Last month we sold a used set of HRE 890R wheels for a customer, Nick, with a Mk IV Toyota Supra. These wheels were reconditioned and built by us for to work with a Supra using a mix of new and used parts. After unboxing the wheels, Nick noticed there was a repair (weld) on one the inner barrels—something that we had failed to see.
In the community of three-piece wheels, welding an inner barrel to repair a crack is a semi-common fix. If done properly, this can be an adequate solution to fixing a hairline crack. However, by not knowing who did the work or how it was done, it is difficult to put any confidence in the quality of the repair.
The wheels we build are free of welds or cracks so that we (and our customers!) have confidence in our products. We have a stockpile of welded parts that have been welded that we choose to never use due to liability concerns.
Most welds are done in a vertical direction and are simple to spot. This weld was done in the opposite direction (in a very unusual place) and was hidden by someone sand blasting the barrel.
So what did we do? I have a significant amount of experience running businesses in various fields along with coaching entrepreneurs. We did what was right for the customer and can sleep well at night knowing we run an ethical business that people can trust.
1) Admit you fucked up.
2) Apologize for fucking up.
3) Work to with customer to find a reasonable solution.
4) Lay out the steps involved with the resolution.
5) Manage expectations with timeline and end results.
6) Follow up, and ensure your customer is happy.
We had Nick ship the wheel back to us and we reimbursed him the cost of shipping. We sourced an HRE barrel that we inspected countless times. We dropped everything else and performed the repair and turned around the wheel within two business days to our customer. This was our priority. This was more important than marketing or acquiring new customers.
Making a mistake and dealing it with it immediately can be used as a method to gain confidence in our business. We certainly hope that the way we dealt with this has helped to build and solidify our reputation as a company that is backs the products it sells and has a bigger picture in mind than making short-term profit.
We appreciate the learning opportunity, and value the opportunity to make this right. This is a constant reminder to always be better and run a better business.
Did we lose money? Yes.
Would we do it differently? Not a chance.