• Al Knoch Report Card (warning long rant)
  • Al Knoch Report Card (warning long rant)
  • Al Knoch Report Card (warning long rant)
  • Al Knoch Report Card (warning long rant)

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  1. #1
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    Default Al Knoch Report Card (warning long rant)

    Al Knoch Report Card

    Quality = A+
    Customer Service = Fail

    I recently ordered some custom leather covers on new foam from AK knowing ahead of time they can be slow after contacting other buyers. Since I was not in a hurry and more interested in quality and stitching detail it seemed a better option than one of the Vette specialty stores.

    The process started out a little shaky, guess I should have taken the hint. First I filled out the Special Order form on their web site describing the custom covers I wanted, shortly afterward I received an e-mail reply suggesting I call instead…..okay, got to wonder what the purpose of that form is don’t you?

    Oh well, I call and talk to a sales person, as soon as they find out I want something custom they suggest we communicate by e-mail. Now I’m really confused, but hang in there and feel better when they explain they will fax a seat diagram for me to fill out. Great, with visual reference I feel way more confident they will get the order correct! They just need to know if I have regular or sport seats in my 93 so I get the correct diagram, I explain the seats are standard. You guessed it, when the diagram arrives it is for a sport seat, but another call gets the correct diagram faxed back to me.

    I fill out the diagram and in the blank space on the side also describe verbally what I want; fax it back with instructions to call me with a quote so I can make my buying decision. The sales person replies very quickly with a quote but can not tell me how much shipping will cost to my zip code…. WTF, these people are in the business of selling Corvette seats to people all over the country, I don’t get it. Anyway I am not going to place the order without knowing shipping cost fearing some ridiculous amount so I tell them to figure it out and call me back. Three days pass with no reply; finally I bite my lip and call them AGAIN. The sales person can still not quote me on shipping but promises to call back later after consulting with the shipping department. Fortunately this time they do reply and the order is placed, they indicate my custom order should arrive in about 3 weeks.

    Three weeks to the day UPS delivers two large boxes marked Al Knoch Corvette Interiors, hooooray….. you guys know the joy of getting new Vette stuff! The joy fizzled quickly when I opened the boxes…..inside are very nice quality completely stock seats for a 93…. damn it! Okay, calm down and call them back, the sales person is shocked when I explain the seats are not correct. I ask if perhaps they misplaced the seat diagram? After some checking I am told the seats were custom made to my specifications but the shipping department put the wrong ones in the box by mistake. They apologize and promise to ship the correct seats out that same day and will include return shipping labels for the incorrect order. I’m not thrilled but mistakes happen and this seems to be the best I can hope for so I wait.

    Normally a UPS delivery from AK’s Texas location to my home in Florida takes 3 to 5 days, 10 days later the seats have not arrived, when my wife returns from work that day she informs me AK charged our Amex card a second time 5 days earlier, now a total approaching $2400! When I called my sales representative was not available so some other unfortunate soul got to hear my tirade, plus instructions to have the sales person call me when they got in. I did get a UPS tracking number and quickly determined the seats had been shipped the same day the credit card took hit number two, which proves to me the sales person lied when they told me the seats were complete and would be shipped the same day.

    The seats arrived later that day before I got a return call and the second set was correct and the quality is excellent so I was pacified by the time the sales person called back. When I asked about the second hit to the credit card I was told I would get a credit once the “wrong” set was returned. While that might sound fair on first thought consider that when you give your credit card information and place your order you trust the seller to actually deliver the goods, yet they do not trust me to return something they shipped by mistake! I find that insulting, in addition consider that due to billing cycle I will need to pay the $2400 in full long before the seat return credit or incur interest charges on the Amex card.

    Sorry this got so long but this was a very annoying experience, sadly when dealing with a company highly regarded in the Vette community. For the record I sent AK an e-mail very similar to this first and gave them several days to respond before electing to post this, they did not even reply. Thanks for listening to my rant, consider it when you are ready for those new seats. One other warning, if you visit other Vette forums you will see this again, so spare yourself the long read, it is the only way I know to make my point.

  2. #2
    Moderator Toms007's Avatar
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    Yea, that just stinks. I have heard this about AK before. The charging of your CC the second time seems to be about on par with the way businesses run these days, not your fault they screwed up, but you are the one left holding the bag, it just su*ks.

  3. #3
    Al Knoch Report Card (warning long rant) Red Vette's Avatar
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    I am planning on new seat covers and foam this year for the 94 and was seriously thinking about AK, but now I am really going to look at other sources, I do not need this headache at all. Tom was correct, I have not heard good things about AK's service, but the product is high quality. Thanks for the post, I appreciate it.
    Barrett

  4. #4
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    I think I would of returned the first seat of covers to get my credit going thru, then asked that the second set be shipped on their expense, but who would of thought it would of taken so long to get them the second time.

  5. #5
    Member Randys88Vette's Avatar
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    Default Similar ordeal with 88 Door panels

    I had a similar ordeal with new door panels for my 88 from AK. This is my first Vette and I am in the process of replacing some items. She is mechnaically sound, has a new paint job, and is my daily driver.

    About a year ago I ordered new door panels (Deluxe w/carpet) from Mid America. In about 3 weeks I got the door panels (and the joy of new parts!!) and had some new parts waiting to go on it. I test fitted the door panel to the door and it seemed to fit quite well. I had had all the weatherstripping replaced just 2 weeks prior, so I thought I was set.
    I cut the opening for the door speaker, tried to put the trim pieces on but then spent a couple hours cutting and trimming the panel to make everything fit. For parts that are "made to factory specs" I should not have had to cut and trim as much as I did. I also found that there were several mount holes that were not present on the new panel that the old panel had. Now what i thought. After a complete day (6-8 hours) of trying to rework the panel and make things fit, it finally got put on. Lots of cussing and sputtering, but it is on. So, now I figure I am going to have the same problem with the passenger side and do a complete test fit to the door. Guess what!!! The panel is about a half inch to small!! It doesnt even fit the door! Again, how can something that is made to "factory specs" be off so much?
    So I called AK. You guessed it. They were shocked. They sent me another panel-3 weeks later it arrives. I send back the first panel with their shipping label, and sure enough, they charge me with the shipping! Several phone calls and emails later, it finally gets refunded. What a hassle.

    Now I am looking to do the seats. I am looking for somewhere other than any of the Vette parts places (Corvette Central, Mid America,Ecklers, etc) as I know most of their stuff comes from AK. I can imagine what kind of problems I am going to have if they come form AK and they arent right or dont fit. I dotn wnat to deal with the problems or potential issues I could have. I am doing most of the work on my Vette myself and have a few friends with skills that help when needed. But I definitely dont want anything from AK anymore!!

  6. #6
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    I bought a set of al knoch mounted leather seat covers for my c4 several years ago. They looked really nice when I put them in, three months later the drivers side bolster was worn through. I've never seen such poor workmanship or cheap leather in my life. I have a 20-year-old black leather sofa in my living room that has had pets on it, people sleeping on it, stuff spilled on it, etc and it still looks pretty good.

    That was my first and last experience as a customer of al knoch.

  7. #7
    Member yellowsubmarine's Avatar
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    I, for one, appreciate the detailed report - thoughtfully prepared and you didn't draw conclusions that weren't apparent to readers. My belief is that if a company is doing business, they should be prepared to eat any costs that result from their own screw-ups. As a customer, I shouldn't pay a dime more than what I originally agreed to, and that includes an extra charge riding on my credit card. Especially, when the product isn't delivered on time or to specifications. Thanks for sharing.

  8. #8
    Member PAULIE B's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by toptechx6 View Post
    Al Knoch Report Card

    Quality = A+
    Customer Service = Fail

    I recently ordered some custom leather covers on new foam from AK knowing ahead of time they can be slow after contacting other buyers. Since I was not in a hurry and more interested in quality and stitching detail it seemed a better option than one of the Vette specialty stores.

    The process started out a little shaky, guess I should have taken the hint. First I filled out the Special Order form on their web site describing the custom covers I wanted, shortly afterward I received an e-mail reply suggesting I call instead…..okay, got to wonder what the purpose of that form is don’t you?

    Oh well, I call and talk to a sales person, as soon as they find out I want something custom they suggest we communicate by e-mail. Now I’m really confused, but hang in there and feel better when they explain they will fax a seat diagram for me to fill out. Great, with visual reference I feel way more confident they will get the order correct! They just need to know if I have regular or sport seats in my 93 so I get the correct diagram, I explain the seats are standard. You guessed it, when the diagram arrives it is for a sport seat, but another call gets the correct diagram faxed back to me.

    I fill out the diagram and in the blank space on the side also describe verbally what I want; fax it back with instructions to call me with a quote so I can make my buying decision. The sales person replies very quickly with a quote but can not tell me how much shipping will cost to my zip code…. WTF, these people are in the business of selling Corvette seats to people all over the country, I don’t get it. Anyway I am not going to place the order without knowing shipping cost fearing some ridiculous amount so I tell them to figure it out and call me back. Three days pass with no reply; finally I bite my lip and call them AGAIN. The sales person can still not quote me on shipping but promises to call back later after consulting with the shipping department. Fortunately this time they do reply and the order is placed, they indicate my custom order should arrive in about 3 weeks.

    Three weeks to the day UPS delivers two large boxes marked Al Knoch Corvette Interiors, hooooray….. you guys know the joy of getting new Vette stuff! The joy fizzled quickly when I opened the boxes…..inside are very nice quality completely stock seats for a 93…. damn it! Okay, calm down and call them back, the sales person is shocked when I explain the seats are not correct. I ask if perhaps they misplaced the seat diagram? After some checking I am told the seats were custom made to my specifications but the shipping department put the wrong ones in the box by mistake. They apologize and promise to ship the correct seats out that same day and will include return shipping labels for the incorrect order. I’m not thrilled but mistakes happen and this seems to be the best I can hope for so I wait.

    Normally a UPS delivery from AK’s Texas location to my home in Florida takes 3 to 5 days, 10 days later the seats have not arrived, when my wife returns from work that day she informs me AK charged our Amex card a second time 5 days earlier, now a total approaching $2400! When I called my sales representative was not available so some other unfortunate soul got to hear my tirade, plus instructions to have the sales person call me when they got in. I did get a UPS tracking number and quickly determined the seats had been shipped the same day the credit card took hit number two, which proves to me the sales person lied when they told me the seats were complete and would be shipped the same day.

    The seats arrived later that day before I got a return call and the second set was correct and the quality is excellent so I was pacified by the time the sales person called back. When I asked about the second hit to the credit card I was told I would get a credit once the “wrong” set was returned. While that might sound fair on first thought consider that when you give your credit card information and place your order you trust the seller to actually deliver the goods, yet they do not trust me to return something they shipped by mistake! I find that insulting, in addition consider that due to billing cycle I will need to pay the $2400 in full long before the seat return credit or incur interest charges on the Amex card.

    Sorry this got so long but this was a very annoying experience, sadly when dealing with a company highly regarded in the Vette community. For the record I sent AK an e-mail very similar to this first and gave them several days to respond before electing to post this, they did not even reply. Thanks for listening to my rant, consider it when you are ready for those new seats. One other warning, if you visit other Vette forums you will see this again, so spare yourself the long read, it is the only way I know to make my point.


    HEY GUYS! I HAD ORDERED MOUNTED LEATHER SEATS (NEW) FROM ECKLERS ABOUT A MONTH AGO. I HAD NO IDEA ABOUT THIS FORUM OR ANY OTHER SINCE I AM A NEW VETTE OWNER. I GOT THE SEATS WITH IN 3 DAYS FROM PLACING THE ORDER. FYI...THE SEATS ARE HARD AND STIFF AS A MTHRFKR. BUT, THEY ARE NEW AND MAKE THE INTERIOR LOOK BRAND NEW ALONG WITH ALL THE OTHER UPGRADES I HAVE BEEN DOING. MY POINT...RESEARCH AND DO YOUR HOMEWORK. I DON'T LIKE THE SEATS BUT HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT FOR NOW. THE OLD SEATS WERE COMFORTABLE.

    THANKS
    PAULIE

  9. #9
    Member Randys88Vette's Avatar
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    Paulie,
    They still came from Al Knoch. Thats Ecklers supplier as well. I have researched several places to find out who they get their items from. The only one I couldnt get an answer from was Zip Corvettes. The others (Mid America, Corvette Central, Ecklers) get their stock from Al Knoch. Its one of a few companies that still makes items for older (and newer Vettes) that is most of the major suppliers source.

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