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Rock Auto return problem - are they trying to rob me?


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I bought an air filter for my 1962 Buick Skylark from Rock Auto.  Surprise, it didn't fit.  I started the return process on their web site, the return screens are very confusing.  When I got to the question that asked if I installed the part on the car, I pressed "yes" when I meant to press "no".  When I went back to the return screen to try again, the status of the order said "not returnable".  I searched the web site for a way to correct the mistake, but there is none.  There's also no customer service telephone line.  It appears that I'm stuck with a part I can't use and unable to get a refund because I pressed the wrong key on a very confusing web site screen.  I didn't install the part on the car, all I did was to check to see if it would fit, which it didn't, it was way too big.  Has anyone had this problem with Rock Auto before.  If so, how did you correct it?  To me, it looks like their return screens are designed to make it difficult if not impossible to return items.  The lack of a customer service line makes me suspicious about this company.  I doubt I'll buy anything from them in the future.

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They probably have a policy that you can't return parts once you have installed them. Good luck getting a refund.

 

When I need an air filter for an old car I look up the part number online and then go to a local auto parts store or Walmart WITH THE OLD FILTER so I can make sure that the new one is the same size as the old one. Try that next time.

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I run into this with a variety of vendors. If it's no longer like new and they can't sell it to someone else, then they don't want it back. I've bought five master cylinders for Melanie's Chrysler wagon in the past three or four weeks, they have ALL leaked, and two of the vendors refused to take it back because I put brake fluid in it.

 

While a defective part really shouldn't cause this situation (like my master cylinders), simply ordering the wrong part shouldn't necessarily exclude you unless you've installed it or filled it with fluid or run the engine on it. It's not new anymore. I guess it depends on what the part is and how used it was. I think calling someone and taking to them is the right path just so you can explain that you made a mistake, the part is still like new, and maybe they'll change their mind.

 

I suspect they also have a significant problem with people ordering parts and returning the wrong stuff or the used part in an attempt to game the system. Try to look at it from their point of view as well--everyone is always trying to steal from them so they have to be careful. See what a person says on the phone.

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A quick Google:

 

While 866-762-5288 is Rockauto's best toll-free number, there are 3 total ways to get in touch with them. The next best way to talk to their customer support team, according to other Rockauto customers, is by calling their 608-661-1376 phone number for their International Customer Service department.

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You  can also use the Report a Problem With an Order or Shipment screen under Order Status and Returns on their website to explain your problem and get a response.  I've successfully ordered many times from RockAuto and did have a couple of screwed up items (half of a points set missing, etc.), but they always made things right when I contacted them. 

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I called both phone numbers Frank listed above.  The same recording answered at both numbers and explained that Rockauto doesn't do customer service by telephone.  I pressed "3" to speak to a receptionist and got a recording saying no one was available to take my call.  I understand their office may be closed due to Covid 19, but I've been able to reach other companies via telephone during the shutdown.  I didn't install the part, just checked to see if it fit.  It looks like I may be a victim of a data entry error on their confusing return screens on their web site.

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Sal, Joe or Steve at my local NAPA store don't have return buttons and yet they cheerfully make it right even if every now and then it's my screw up. Even though I'm not big customer I'm on their "best net price schedule". If it's not in stock it's usually there early next AM.

Good guys, good local store, and no annoying TV commercials.

Your results may vary...............Bob

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From what I have read on other sites, it's almost impossible to return something to Rock Auto. I had a defective muffler made by Walker. I purchased two, as my car has dual exhaust. One of the mufflers was made completely backwards. The offsets and hangers were reversed. I called Walker and talked to one of their service rep's and he confirmed that it was somehow reversed and believe it or not, I was told by him that it has happened before. After spending hours trying to get thru to them on the phone, Rock Auto didn't want to hear it and I had to eat the cost of another muffler.

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Earlier this year I had some defective items (yes, am sure they were defective). Heavy/expensive. Wound up costing about $75 to send it back. Then got nickled and dimed on the refund (each item in a package).

 

Is simple I won't deal with RA again. Plenty of other sources with similar prices and often free shipping.

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1 hour ago, JetSmooth61 said:

To me, it looks like their return screens are designed to make it difficult if not impossible to return items.  The lack of a customer service line makes me suspicious about this company. 

 

Their return process will easily give you a headache. I would wait a day and try again. Recently I have been buying a fair amount from them as they offer good, better and best plus OEM parts for newer vehicles. They sent me the wrong rear brake shoes for a Pontiac and after filling out the return process online they sent me the correct ones in a few days and told me to keep the incorrect ones.

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Whenever I buy anything online or otherwise, I charge it on Discover or PayPal (which in turn is charged to Discover).  Fortunately, I've had few problems.  When I have, I refused to pay and filed disputes with Discover (and PayPal and eBay, if applicable).  Always got a satisfactory resolution.

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2 hours ago, gwells said:

Some years ago, I was told by someone in a postion to know that NAPA store often see a 20% level of returns.

 

Suggestion, Gwells.  In all fairness to Rock Auto and you being an Administrator on this forum you could send an e-mail bringing this thread to their attention to hopefully receive a response or explanation.  If successful this whole issue could be resolved.  It has always been  against forum rules to use the AACA forum as the media for complaints  between a customer and supplier.  Try it.

 

Regards, 

 

Peter J.

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I believe most of these companies are using Covid as an excuse not to be helpful. I’m in a pissing match with a buyer on eBay that feels the nos 50+ year old part is not nos enough. Calling eBay they will not answer but direct to a chat room help center. So they ask ?s and it takes a while to type an answer. Meanwhile they are sending a text of “since u are not answering, this conversation will end soon”. So then u just hit send to hold them and type incomplete sentences to keep from being cut off. I asked how is it they can sit there and “work” by collecting my info over 30 minutes of bs texting back and forth when speaking they could get this info in a 1/3 of the time. Response is CA Covid rules prohibit this. I asked is the virus communicable over the internet or just over the phone. No answer. Morons

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Didn't say anything critical, just said I would not use and recounted an experience. Wasn't an opinion.

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Jetsmooth61, sorry to hear you are having troubles. I have purchased many items from Rock Auto and have had nothing but good dealings with them. I  would say their web site is kind of hard to navigate. I don't have any interest with Rock Auto and I will say I always use a credit card on any site that wont accept PayPal. I know their are many who don't like PayPal but believe me, your interest is their top priority. Hope you get things worked out.

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Just call your credit card company. Tell them that you have been trying to return the item that doesn’t fit and you can’t get a response from the vendor. They will start a dispute on your behalf and either get a return started for you or give you a refund and do a charge back to the vendor. Remember your credit card company works for you and they have a process for this exact scenario.

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I brought a part from them, that was total wrong.  I sent it back and I think they charged me a restocking fee.  I think the fact that you hit the wrong button and said you used it, is  why they will not take it back.

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Good news, I emailed a complaint to them and they reset the screen so I could return the part and get a refund.  I just completed the refund screens and printed the return label.  The bad news is they charge for the return shipping, so I won't receive a full refund.

 

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Many online parts houses get you on shipping. Just because the price is good does not mean it is. Have to be very careful what you click.

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I have purchased probably hundreds of parts from Rock Auto over the years and I have never had an issue with them.

My water heater is almost completely covered by RA magnets and I used to throw most of them away before I started putting them on the water heater.

 

I have sent back countless cores and even some parts that were the wrong fitment with nary and issue.

Even when I ordered some struts and a previous customer had returned another strut using the wrong box, the box I got was correct but the part inside the box was not even close, they processed the return quickly and painlessly.

RA does not always have the lowest prices, it's best to shop around, but they often do have great prices compared to what I can get locally.

Then again, when I lookup parts on sites like NAPA, if I use a zip code from back east the prices are always lower than those for Calif.

Yet another bonus for living in Calif.

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19 minutes ago, zepher said:

Then again, when I lookup parts on sites like NAPA, if I use a zip code from back east the prices are always lower than those for Calif.

Yet another bonus for living in Calif.

 

Ah, nostalgia,    "Prices Slightly Higher West of the Rockies"!😉

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On ‎5‎/‎28‎/‎2020 at 12:59 PM, Bhigdog said:

Sal, Joe or Steve at my local NAPA store don't have return buttons and yet they cheerfully make it right even if every now and then it's my screw up. Even though I'm not big customer I'm on their "best net price schedule". If it's not in stock it's usually there early next AM.

Good guys, good local store, and no annoying TV commercials.

Your results may vary...............Bob

 

I have had an open account with my local NAPA for about 45 years. Two owner changes.

The outfit that owns it now is a local family that I know fairly well. They own about ten stores.

 I have NEVER been late paying my monthly bill with them

The son runs it all now. He's around thirty years old I would guess.

I have never really price shopped them until recently when I needed some brake drums that they didn't have.

The relatively new Auto Zone did have them and for about half of the money.

I had AZ check some other prices only to find out that I am not getting a very good deal from NAPA.
I brought that up with the NAPA owner and was told that I don't spend enough money with them to get the good deals.

So I asked if they would take better care of a long time customer with a good pay record.

Cant do it, you don't spend enough here.

My reply was "isn't part of something better that all of nothing?"

A fairly good retired friends cocky dick head son wonders why his numbers are down.

I rarely shop at NAPA any more as I don't spend enough for them to match what Auto Zone offers EVERYBODY.

I do use the subject site if I can wait for parts. Which is about half of the time.

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I'm guessing every store sets their own pricing policy and "net price" schedule. I'm friendly with my store's second generation owners. Even though I'm not a big spender they seem to value my business. They are flanked by an Auto Zone, an Advance Auto, and a WalMart. that might have something to do with it.

Your results may vary...............Bob

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On 5/28/2020 at 6:03 PM, Peter J.Heizmann said:

 

Suggestion, Gwells.  In all fairness to Rock Auto and you being an Administrator on this forum you could send an e-mail bringing this thread to their attention to hopefully receive a response or explanation.  If successful this whole issue could be resolved.  It has always been  against forum rules to use the AACA forum as the media for complaints  between a customer and supplier.  Try it.

 

Regards, 

 

Peter J.

The shipping is likely more than the air filter. Just sayin'

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I hate seeing respectable longstanding companies being sullied on here, there are usually too many "bandwagoners". I've used Rock Auto for years for many makes, and service has been excellent always, great prices, fast shipping, any hitch's attended to quickly. As someone mentioned, usually if a part is not correct and value is not high, they simply send you the right one and tell you to ditch the other one. They are a big operation, and dealing with returns is likely not worth the effort of paying return postage, re-examining part, cleaning it, re-packaging it etc. As I see it, the original problem is with the poster telling RA he put part on car. Now how to put the toothpaste back in the tube, it was your mistake as much as theirs so be patient and maybe you will get somewhere. And others, please stop jumping on a retailer who is not on this site able to defend himself. I agree that moderators should try to screen out this stuff. AACA is not a complaints department.

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2 hours ago, Gunsmoke said:

I hate seeing respectable longstanding companies being sullied on here, there are usually too many "bandwagoners". I've used Rock Auto for years for many makes, and service has been excellent always, great prices, fast shipping, any hitch's attended to quickly. As someone mentioned, usually if a part is not correct and value is not high, they simply send you the right one and tell you to ditch the other one. They are a big operation, and dealing with returns is likely not worth the effort of paying return postage, re-examining part, cleaning it, re-packaging it etc. As I see it, the original problem is with the poster telling RA he put part on car. Now how to put the toothpaste back in the tube, it was your mistake as much as theirs so be patient and maybe you will get somewhere. And others, please stop jumping on a retailer who is not on this site able to defend himself. I agree that moderators should try to screen out this stuff. AACA is not a complaints department.

This above right here is the answer!

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Jack M- Similar issue with a smaller parts store chain that carries more things for older cars. Through my employer I get 25% off at Advanced Auto.  Asked the manager if he could give me a discount as I did a fair amount of business and would do much more with the discount. Was told I was a "retail" customer, not a "commercial" customer, so no additional discounts. I explained my volume of parts would be close to some of his smaller commercial accounts. Didn't matter. No "achy breaky heart" for me if they close up.

 

As for Rock Auto, no problems with returns and on a few occasion they told me to keep the wrong parts. Last time was on some drive belts for my Lebaron. Needed 2 for a double pulley (A/C and alternator) and although they sent the same part number and manufacturer, the packaging was different as if from a different year or lot codes. They were close to the same size but not the same and one was smooth and the other had "ribs".  Why the guy/gal packaging for shipment didn't notice this, I don't know. Rock Auto said they would sent out a new one, match it to what I already had, and keep the other  one as a spare. 

 

 

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I think that if they were trying to rob you, they might go for more than the price of an air filter.  My experience with Rock Auto, including returns and replacements for parts that were not the right match, has been nothing but top notch all the way.

 

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I recently ordered some parts from Rock Auto, but one set was incorrect.  I went to their on line site in an attempt to contact them, but could not find any contact  information on their website.  I think that from now on, I'll stick with folks like Summit who are easy to contact and are knowledgeable and courteous.

 

NAPA is great, but their prices tend to be pretty high.

 

Cheers,

Grog

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Have a choice of vendors. Some have free shipping and returns (and say so), others don't. Prices are comparable. Your choice.

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I have returned two items that I bought from Rockauto over the years and had no issues.  One was a defective wheel bearing/hub assembly that failed in a few thousand miles, the other, more recently, was a catalytic converter that was missing a (welded on) bracket.  They paid for return shipping on that one since it was obviously a QA problem with their supplier.  So I can't complain.

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