I Gave up on Coastaletech today... BAD Service..

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Accessories & Modifications' started by georgekessel, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. georgekessel

    georgekessel Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    182
    8
    1
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    I bought the Speed Door Lock and the EV mode kits from Coastal. Unfortunately they sold me a defective Speed Door Lock module.

    So, once it became clear it was defective (it would lock the doors immediately rather then at 15km, reinstalled twice including one time with a licensed auto mechanic).

    I called them, got their machine, left message, no call back.
    I repeated this exercise 13 times - all at various days and times.
    I emailed them 8 times.
    I posted on this board about how I needed their help and had a problem

    I got zero replies - nothing - nada - zip.

    Note that I was extremely nice and courteous on the phone, so that they would not be 'afraid' to call me back. In the end I begged and pleaded for a simple call back.

    Then, I went so far as to order another speed door lock kit from them. I thought it would arrive, we would instal it and then we would send back the defective one. I figured I'd lose the shipping costs but no big deal.

    Guess what happened - well since they WERE getting my messages and saw my posts, they didn't ship it.

    This means that not only is their customer service terrible, but they purposefully don't call you back and have a policy of problem-avoidance. Ie, once you call with a problem they pretty much blacklist you rather then try to help you.

    They make some really cool products (in theory - because they seem cool but might not work). However no matter how cool a product is, with this type of service it's just not worth buying from them. I was going to order the lock pick from them, but now of course that is out of the question.

    Today I shipped back the speed door lock and the EV kit, and initiated a chargeback to them via American Express.

    It really left me quite displeased.

    Be carefull with them, and don't expect any help if you have a problem.
     
  2. hycamguy07

    hycamguy07 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    2,707
    2
    0
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Ecojosh @ Sep 21 2006, 09:44 AM) [snapback]322771[/snapback]</div>
    Well, I would guess they are a small business.. Most mom & pop businesses have a don't call you back for defective products & have a policy for problem-avoidance. :lol:

    Although they could have been on vacation... :unsure:

    Be sure to paste your post under any Coastal product topic thread. this way the warning doesnt go un-noticed heck you may even find others who have had a bad time with them also.

    Try Sigma, Good Luck!
     
  3. georgekessel

    georgekessel Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    182
    8
    1
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(priusguy04 @ Sep 21 2006, 06:52 AM) [snapback]322779[/snapback]</div>
    I don't need to sue them, the Amex chargeback will get me my money back. It wasn't a lot of money but it was a lot of wasted and lost time :(

    And of course a lot of frustration :(
     
  4. aaf709

    aaf709 Ravenpaw of ThunderClan

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2005
    3,841
    6
    0
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    This has been a common complaint with Coastal, unfortunately. The customer service isn't good. If they'd just hire someone part-time to answer emails and the phone it would go far.

    I have their EV mod, door lock mod and NAV kit (back when it was called the "NAV Enhancement Kit"). All work, but it took from April '05 to September '05 to get the lock, and from April '05 to January '06 to get the NAV kit. Only 2 weeks for the EV mod.

    When I posted that I didn't get the door lock on one of the Yahoo groups I did get a reply from them. I think they monitor that site. I even got a complaint from Coastal Dave himself when their site was down in March '05. I said that I hoped they weren't the kind of company that took your money for airware and ran, and that I'd be reluctant to order from them until items were shipped. You should've seen the responses against me, wow.
     
  5. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    40,462
    12,036
    41
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    Yeah, we're well aware of their lack of response. I eventually got my EV kit and it works well, I just wish they were more communicative.
     
  6. SoopahMan

    SoopahMan Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
    118
    2
    0
    Inventing a cool idea is fun and exciting. Getting that cool idea installed is kind of tedious, but it's fun to see your idea making it out into the world. Dealing with Customer Service phone calls, everyone of which you must be suspect because even the most knowledgable-sounding caller can turn out to have no idea what they're talking about, is absolutely terrible, and can make you wish you never tried this cool idea in the first place.

    Not that I have any experience with this sort of thing ;o)
     
  7. peakfinder

    peakfinder New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    41
    0
    0
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(SoopahMan @ Sep 22 2006, 04:51 AM) [snapback]323295[/snapback]</div>

    Since the door lock kit is really so inexpensive, is it possable to make one yourself? Has anyone taken it apart to see what makes it work? I know the always-on power outlet kit is not much more than just bypassing a circuit.

    Joe
     
  8. CMonster

    CMonster Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    115
    0
    0
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(PeakFinder @ Sep 22 2006, 09:47 AM) [snapback]323329[/snapback]</div>
    Check this out. I'm thinking about trying it too.
     
  9. BMcGraw

    BMcGraw Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    230
    2
    0
    Location:
    Southern California
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Ecojosh @ Sep 21 2006, 06:44 AM) [snapback]322771[/snapback]</div>
    -Being CAREFUL with them- are words to live by.... I posted this TRUE STORY several times approximately a year ago and I quote:

    >
    I actually talked to Coastal Dave on the phone March 25th (2005) who informed me that the ViewTech 2005 units were finally on their way from Europe (where they were being assembled) to Florida. They were passing through California -as we spoke-. I jokingly said, -Too bad they couldn't drop one off at my house on the way through.- He laughed... He then told me it would be shipping in about two weeks.

    I of course believed him and purchased a JVC KD-DV5100 GigaMp3 DVD player to attach to the ViewTech. At this rate it will be out of warranty before I find out if it is even compatible.

    I proceeded to talk to Kelley (Dave's wife) almost everyday for the next few months to find out WHEN is it shipping REALLY. She told me in early June that it would be two weeks or less. (She has since told me that she was just trying to keep my -hopes up-.)

    I've been told more than once that I'm the first one on the list. I feel so much better knowing that.
    <
    (Unquote)


    To continue:

    THEY apparently read and responded to IT at least - by eliminating me from their Customer List! Did I mention every word was TRUE? Does the truth hurt Dave? Then fix it!

    Of course now they've removed the Viewtech from their site altogether and substituted the -LOCKPICK- series. I attempted to order the UNIVERSAL about two months ago. Got no product; no reply; nada. Now when I attempt to purchase ANYTHING from their site, a webpage pops up telling me I have -NO PERMISSION- to access their order page. >THEY ACTUALLY BANNED ME FROM PURCHASING ANYTHING FROM THEM< (a blessing in disguise I'm sure).

    After the lies they told (back when they used to answer the phone) and the greef they put me through, they've got the NERVE to eliminate me from their customer list.

    Did I mention, BE CAREFUL when dealing with these folks. They're not right in the head. I guess that's allowed when you have close to a monopoly on any particular product. Thank God for SoundGate and the like.

    By the way, THANKS DAVE & KELLY for being such sweet people - NOT!
     
  10. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    40,462
    12,036
    41
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
  11. hycamguy07

    hycamguy07 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    2,707
    2
    0
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Someone needs to change the thread title to Coastal Tech Complaints & Horror Stories.. ;)

    Again they sound like the mom & pop Citizens Band radio shops of the 70's & 80's. They would offer radio kits to boost the radio watts (some kits worked some didn't) If you called to complain they would screen their calls and wouldnt call you back.. Everyone would say thats bad business! But they kept a following of new customer by word of mouth, because again some kits worked some didnt. :mellow:

    Its good that people post their warnings, service problems & horror stories so that others can be warned.
    Any store thats going to lie to you, to keep you interested in a non exsistant part and let you buy a possible compatible item just to make some money sure sounds shady to me. :angry:
     
  12. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    19,886
    1,157
    9
    Location:
    Nixa, MO
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I met Dave & Kelly shortly after getting my Prius in '03. Nice folks, we got along famously and my wife spent the better part of 2 hours talking with Kelly, they've called us with questions about their kids (my wife's a pediatrician). I've purchased several items from them and even got a nice free door lock kit when our daughter was born.

    I have every reason to like them....and as people I do.

    But as business people I, too, am pretty much fed up and would search diligently for alternatives before buying from them again. I was an early pre-orderer for the same NAV and BT defeat thing that everyone else waited forever for. I also was promised the Engine on indicator/brake indicator that they've had as "coming soon" on the web site for over 2 years now and never recieved it.

    Back when the customer service problems were starting to steam-roll I wrote a personal e-mail to them as an 'outsider' just trying to give an objective view of how their company was being percieved by the Prius forums and such...never a word back.

    Since then the lack of customer service has remained terrible. I remember a very brief period where it seemed they had someone helping by answering e-mails and such, but then even that stopped.

    The number of people who've been 'ripped off' is very small (judging by the reports) b/c they don't charge credit cards until the product is shipped (one decent business decision anyway). But the number of people disgruntled by the lack of communication when they do try to purchase has gotten worse if anything.

    I no longer recommend them though I do still mention that they sell certain products that are not available elsewhere.

    As much as the Prius has grown in popularity I have to think that Coastal has really missed the boat by not trying to address this growing population in a much more aggressive and customer friendly way. It's a shame for the Prius community and a shame for Dave and Kelly.
     
  13. picadog

    picadog New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    8
    0
    0
    I had good customer service from Coastaletech.

    I ordered a tow hitch and EV-mode kit from Coastaletech a couple months ago. I received the the package with a large hole in the box (UPS). When I opened it, there was no EV-mode. Kelley emailed me back the next day and told me the EV-mode kit should be with the instructions. I replied back that I looked everywhere and did not find the EV-mode kit. Kelley replied the same day that they were going to send another one out to me. It was shipped that same day.
     
  14. Presto

    Presto Has his homepage set to PC

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2005
    1,326
    20
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    It's kinda sad that customer service has taken a backseat for a lot of businesses. It's critical for the small business because nothing can make/break your business like word of mouth.

    I've been doing the customer service gig since starting in retail 10 years ago. I did my own business, as well, for a little while selling currency in Everquest. I would say 50% of my business was repeat business. They came back because of my service. There were tons of other people selling currency for a bit less, but my excellent service is what brought them back again and again. Keeping the client up to date is something that doesn't take much effort. If I had crap service, I would imagine that my earnings would not even be half of what it was.

    I can't read a thread about Coastal Tech without a post pointing out their crappy service. How much potential business has been lost because of this? Get on the ball, Dave.
     
  15. Inthewind

    Inthewind New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    141
    0
    0
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Presto @ Sep 25 2006, 05:55 PM) [snapback]324945[/snapback]</div>
    The only thing that turns around crappy cust. service is reduced sales from an organized effort on the part of the consumer. If people keep buying regardless of bad press then cust. service stays status quo. I personally won't even consider spending my money there unless I see some better posts on them. Maybe we should start a poll and see what others think. Polls are easy and don't take up time vs. typing out a post. Just a thought...

    Later,
    ITW
     
  16. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    4,089
    457
    0
    Location:
    Bahstahn
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Polls won't garner any larger quantity of answers than simply letting
    people comment on this thread [and the many others like it].
    .
    Dave had a booth at Hybridfest last summer, where he actually came
    out and appeared in public. Did anyone go up and ASK him what
    was up? [I didn't, I haven't bought anything from him.] If you want
    to see what he looks like, search back near the end of last July
    for the pic I posted.
    .
    _H*
     
  17. randreed

    randreed Same as it ever was . . .

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    605
    1
    0
    Location:
    West Milford, NJ
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    II
    They were OK by me - no problems at all.
     
  18. seanyob

    seanyob New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    14
    0
    0
    Here's a copy of an email from July:






    If I ever get an email back from these guys, it goes like this, and then the site is never updated.
     
  19. VinceDee

    VinceDee Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    198
    0
    0
    I am really bummed to read all these horror stories. One of the things I was excited about when we bought our Prius last Saturday was some of the add-ons that Coastal tech has. I was interested in the tow hitch, the EV mode, power adapter, and the viewtech thingy. I wish I'd seen these complaint threads beforehand so I'd have known that I have to find some of these items elsewhere... :(

    You guys have definitely scared me off of using Coastal for anything. Months delayed for shipping? Deliberately not answering phones, email, etc? That's just not acceptable, and being a pretty consciencious consumer, I just can't justify even taking the chance.

    On that sad note, can somebody at least tell me what the alternatives are for getting:

    1. A tow hitch
    2. EV mode
    3. Always on power plugs

    Thanks,

    Vince
     
  20. Pinto Girl

    Pinto Girl New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    3,093
    349
    0
    Location:
    California
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(VinceDee @ Oct 4 2006, 07:18 PM) [snapback]328188[/snapback]</div>
    You might want to do a search about this...the reason I mention it is that I recall some people were having problems with an aftermarket hitch (I think it was this one). A support bar passes really close to the exhaust outlet, deflects the hot gasses toward the bumper, and melts the black piece at the bottom.

    Wish I could tell you more more conclusively, but at least this might be a starting point.
     
Loading...