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Unread 04-09-2010, 09:21 AM   #61
420benz
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Hay Tile experts: Having 24hr service should not be your selling point. 24hr delivery should. What good is this service if we don't the product.
BTW: Correct me if i am wrong,didn't Schluter sell Kerdi from there website last year? If not why don't they?
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Unread 04-09-2010, 09:35 AM   #62
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No, Schluter didn't have on-line sales last year. They sell through a network of distributors. They want you to use those distributors. It's their product, they can sell it the way they want.

Now, if you have an order placed with Tile-Experts, you have a couple of choices: you can wait for your order, or you can cancel it and go somewhere else. I can't tell you what to do, but I can say that piling on to this thread and yelling at Tile-Experts isn't going to get your product in your bathroom any faster.

Believe me, we feel your pain. We recommended Tile-Experts for years, but they are not in control of this situation any more than we are. As soon as we find a distributor who can accept orders on-line, we'll let you know. Until then, use Schluter's distributor finder to locate a dealer near you.
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Unread 04-09-2010, 09:42 AM   #63
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Unread 04-12-2010, 06:40 AM   #64
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OK, so I posted earlier in this thread and wanted to provide an update. Seems the 2 week delivery seems about right. I ordered frmo these guys on 3/29 and I am getting the delivery today via UPS. It isn't the fastest shipment in town, but these guys seem trustworthy. I would order from them again.
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Unread 04-12-2010, 06:48 AM   #65
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Update

Same here - order was shipped. I think they are ok just having hard time getting product.
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Unread 04-12-2010, 06:55 AM   #66
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Well, fastest shipping either side of the Mississippi usta be one of their major claims to fame. Glad they're at least getting some orders taken care of again.
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Unread 04-12-2010, 08:14 PM   #67
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Yes, we are getting orders in/out again. It's been a tough spell.

We're now ordering from distributors from across the country, since the local ones won't (can't) sell to us any more. If this, in the business sense of things, seems a little odd... well, it is. Unfortunately, we don't run Schluter and they don't run us.

I can give a list of companies who have tried controlling their distribution channels - Sony and Apple, to name two much larger, more recognizable ones - and they've arrived at the same result: failure. For whatever reason, Schluter thinks they can pull it off and I wish them the best of luck doing so.

I don't think they realize the customer sentiment against their product. Not only do people (generally) refuse to buy from the orange box store, but there are similar installation products being offered in the marketplace. Contractors who have bought from us in the past have simply switched to other products once they know what's happening with our supply of the stuff. Schluter has always been known as a high-price addition to a tile job, whether it's with their high-turnover Ditra and Kerdi or for their metal and PVC profiles.

If this sentiment was high before, it's now amplified by the state of the economy; people aren't willing to pay the premium for products which have now become a commodity. I don't see this trend changing soon, either.

Where does this leave us and our customers? Not many people know it, but we were an installation company first and still remain one to this day. Installations and inspections are 70-80% of our business and the internet services comprise the rest. When customers place orders on our website, they take precedence over our installers... which means a good portion of our installers have been idle while waiting for product. In many cases, we've been able to change the method we've used to install or have gone with another product to get the job done. This is not an ideal situation.

It's strange that Schluter was started by an Tilesetter, yet fellow Tilesetters like us can't get the product as readily as we once could. This goes well beyond business ethics; Schluter has essentially become "the dreaded Corporation". We've seen it with DuPont when they took over StoneTech Professional and again with Custom Building Products when they bought C-Cure. Two great companies laid to waste by a bigger one.

Corporations make dumb mistakes. Corporations rarely reverse their dumb mistakes since the heirarchy doesn't believe their mistakes were ill-conceived. Usually the proof comes when competition takes their market share, they lose the good will of the industry or a smaller company runs circles around them.

The fact is, Schluter's internet policy comes from the distributors claiming they were losing out to us internet folks. This was proven wrong, since the distributors had (and still have) every advantage to sell their products. They had the lowest price, ability to stock product to sell immediately and also the market to sell it in. The biggest advantage they had was location; they were the closest to the customer. Since they couldn't afford to compete or were unwilling to do so, that's when the internet companies stepped in to fill the void.

On a recent trip to Seattle, I went into five distributors to set up a purchasing program with them. They were more than happy to accomodate us, even knowing that Schluter would terminate their agreement if they were caught selling to Tile-Experts. They didn't care. In fact, the majority of them didn't stock the product; we had to guide them along with codes, descriptions and told them what the product did to bring them up to speed. Their perspective was that we were giving them business they wouldn't normally get.

This was typical in all the trips I've done across the country in the last few months; the distributors still aren't stocking product and some of them really shouldn't be in the tile business to begin with. There's a lumber and millwork company in New Jersey that get buy the product and is listed on Schluter's site as a dealer... there's a gravel outfit in the Northwest who buys directly from Schluter for his son's one-man tile business. A place which sold window blinds in the Southeast. What do these places have to do with tile? The kicker was a place I visited in the Midwest which sold rugs. Only rugs - no tile. Yet they can get Schluter's product delivered right to them within a few days (or at least the owner was boasting about that to me). They told me Schluter's rep was more than happy to get them started with their first order.

Plain and simple, most of Schluter's distributors still don't stock the product, much less know about it. What has changed in five years? Schluter's new thing is to say there are now territorial issues with internet sales of their product. Hmmm. Why does it feel like there's an MBA/lawyer fresh out of school making these decisions? They're now going to take on the internet?

Where does this leave us? We are a company that only installs tile and natural stone... not rugs, carpet, linoleum, hardwood, laminate, vinyl, composite or Corian. We know our stuff, yet we can't get the product fast enough to satisfy our needs. It seems silly, but that's they way it is with Schluter.

Where does it leave our customers? I sincerely apologize for the delays many of you have been faced with and thank you for your patience. I'd like to say it isn't our fault, but it is since we haven't kept up with the sheer volume of calls and emails while trying to secure more distributors to buy from. Since we can't buy in New York or New Jersey any more, these out-of-state agreements will make things better in the near future - but until we're stocked like we were before, some delays might still exist.

The vast majority know of our reputation of delivering things quickly. This advantage to them (you) hasn't changed. When we have the product in-hand, it doesn't stick around here long. The people in Boston, Providence and Hartford areas know this fact recently, as I delivered 32 orders this past Thursday night/Friday morning. The truck came in from Minneapolis at 7:00pm, just late enough we couldn't use UPS to ship it out, so it was delivered that night so our customers wouldn't have another weekend pass without their orders.

I'm not saying this to toot our own horn. I'd rather things be as efficient as they were in the past. I will say there will be some short-term 'pain' as many of you have talked about here and with us over the phone. We're now the only internet company selling Schuter and we're trying our best, considering the circumstances and the extra orders we've received from other sources. We (our installers and walk-in customers) have been affected, too. The website will take care of many of the planning and delivery issues we've run across, but more so our new channels of supply will start bearing fruition soon.

Temporarily, we will change the 24-hour service line to standard hours. We expect to return to 24-hour service once we feel things are back to normal.

Thanks again.
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Unread 04-13-2010, 07:05 PM   #68
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Atta' boy Dave!

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Unread 04-14-2010, 07:44 AM   #69
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I've been buying Schluter products from Dave (Tile-Experts) six years.

Several times, I"ve checked into buying from the dealers listed on the Schluter site, most recently Nov '09. What a waste of time! Not one "authorized dealer" (out of five) had a brushed nickel drain in stock and only one had a roll of of Kerdi.

All offered to order products for me, though one said there would be a "special order charge" as they only order once a month. Every dealer charged 10-15% more than Tile-Experts and said it would be about a week from the time I came in and paid for the items. None would deliver the items free. I called Dave, the complete order arrived at the job in NH 62 hours later.

Most recently, I had an urgent need for a drain, curb, and kerdi. Dave and I had some mixed signals and the end result was Dave himself hand delivering my order to the jobsite.

My feeling at present is if Dave says, "Schluter is no longer worth the trouble" I'll probably start using something else.
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Unread 04-17-2010, 07:42 AM   #70
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I'm glad to hear some folks are getting product. I too have ordered from tile-experts in the past and was happy with the service.

Most recently, I was told my Ditra/kerdi-band order was being shipped 4/8.

Still no sign of it and no response to my email status request.
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Unread 04-17-2010, 08:05 AM   #71
ceramictec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fn_benthayer
My feeling at present is if Dave says, "Schluter is no longer worth the trouble" I'll probably start using something else.
yikes!
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Unread 04-17-2010, 08:35 AM   #72
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I am glad to see this is being addressed. I was also beginning to wonder as my order has yet to arrive. It is a shame that a company with a established customer base can no longer obtain a product that they sold on a regular basis. I just can't imagine a company refusing to sell their product to someone who WANTS to buy it. If Schluter would listen to a DIY'er who is only gonna purchase their products a half of dozen times in my life, I would write a letter to them expressing my disappointment.

Oh well, it is gonna be another week or so before I am even near the point that I will be thinking about Kerdi. Hopefully tile-experts will be able to get their hands on some by then.
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Unread 04-23-2010, 08:55 AM   #73
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I want to share my experience with tile-experts.com

After reading this thread, especially david's latest update, I decided to buy from him, I believe that the short supply is the issue for the previous delay of shipping. I called on April 13th and talked to David on the phone. After he verified that what I wanted was in stock, I placed my order on the phone with him. I was told that the tray would be here the next day and the rest on Friday (April 16th). I was very happy that I was able to buy the shower kit at lower price and get it quicker than buying from local dealers.

The next day, the tray showed up in time. Although UPS tracking system showed no sigh of the rest item being picked up. That's no big deal for me, as long as I could get it before the weekend. My husband opened the tray and asked me where I got this product. He didn't say it in a pleasant way and here's the reason. There are 2 places, one on each tray piece, that have been broken off and glued back. I called David, he was surprised and said that the tray was in factory sealed boxes and it must be the problem with Schluter and he would complain to the company about it. Meanwhile, he told me that since the tray will be sitting on the thinset, the quality would not be affected.

Husband did not want a defective one, so David agreed to ship us a new tray, with the return label for the first tray. After a few phone calls, finally on April 16th, Friday, the new tray was shipped and I got the tracking number. By then, the rest of my order was still not picked up by UPS, so we didn't have them that weekend for the plumber to hook up the drain.

On Monday 19th, the new tray arrived, and David told me that UPS had just picked up the other package, I would have it the next day. I was happy again because finally everything will be here before this weekend. BUT, when I opened the package for the tray, one piece of the tray had the interlock piece completely missing (whoevery broke it didn't even bother to glue it back). I called David right away and told him what the problem was. He told me that he had left Schluter a message but they didn't get back to him.

I want to get my bathroom done, I thought I can keep the good half of the new tray and pick another better half from the first tray set (although it has a corner of the circle broken and glued back). David had no problem with that. But dear husband is not as easy as I am. He asked me why the second tray has the return label in it, which means that the box has been opened, but no one bothered to check if it is defective before it was sent out. Finally we agreed that there might be more problem down the road and decided to cancel the whole order. I informed David, he said "ok, I will send UPS to pick them up". He said that I can reject the 2nd package and give the 2 tray boxes to UPS driver. I asked if it is ok that only one of them has the shipping label, he said that should be no problem.

UPS didn't take either tray that day. I called David and he said he would call UPS and schedule pickup on Thursday (April 22nd). So yesterday UPS came and gone, took one with label and left the other. Now I have this tray box in my living room and I have no idea what I should do. Since yesterday my phone calls have not been answered and messages have not been returned. The rejected package has been delivered and the tray is schedule to be delivered today.

Now I am waiting to see what will happen to my credit card activity. I am expecting full refund, but not sure since I can't get hold of David. and I don't know how this tray is going to be sent back. I dont' think I should pay the shipping for sending back a defective product, but you never know...

I do lot of my shopping online and agree with David on what he said about internet company. But what I don't understand is that getting defective products repeatedly, it is the first time for me.
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Unread 04-23-2010, 09:25 AM   #74
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TileExperts

I did get everything straight with them and I believe David will treat you right and I would not worry about that part for the return. There is mention in this thread about another place that does mail order in Florida - they send it out fast and it's in stock - they don't even mind dealing with a DIY'er.
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Unread 04-23-2010, 10:32 AM   #75
DY
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Ken,

Thanks. It is very stressful for me since I don't know much about remodel. Husband wants me to handle the purchase, and I feel bad for not being able to do it right. Hope my marriage can survive the remodel. Grin.
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