Parts - Geek .. not a good choice for automobile parts!
by Allen Williams
Recently, I had to upgrade my automobile air conditioning system from R12 to R134a. Getting AC parts for a 1991 Nissan is no easy task. After some research on the Net, I happened upon Parts Geek which seemed to have exactly what I needed at reasonable prices.
I did most of the AC work on my own car, flushing the lines, installing a new compressor, o-rings, etc. I ordered a new Filter-Drier from Parts Geek and it arrived promptly, now note their return policy:
"Return Policy - IMPORTANT PLEASE READ
We have a 30 day return policy. We must be contacted within 30 days of receipt for an RMA number. We will not accept any returns after 30 days, no exceptions. All returns including cores require an RMA number. You MUST fill out a support ticket on our website for an RMA number. We will NOT accept return requests via phone. DO NOT send back any parts without first obtaining an RMA number via e-mail, or else your credit will be delayed significantly. Please visit our website and click on Customer Service for further details."
I installed the new filter-drier and pulled down the system to 29 inches of mercury but it began to leak as soon as the vacuum pump shut off. I checked the AC system for leaks but couldn't identify any even though the system had green dye in the PAG oil and had been run briefly.
I put my car in a local Kansas AC shop and they called to tell me the new Filter-Drier was defective, leaking around the sight glass. The shop replaced the filter drier, pumped it down and charged the system with R134a. It then worked fine. But instead of being able to repair and upgrade my auto AC system for less than $200, I wound up paying over $500 because of that defective drier not to mention the time and aggravation I experienced getting an approved RMA number to get the defective part returned for credit.
You get a confirming email from Parts-Geek on any order which contains the customer order number, if you don't have that number they won't assist you. They have no other way to identify your order. And Parts Geek has no telephone contact number on their website, I had to do a separate search to acquire their 800 number. When you call, you get their automated menu so they can screen customers by the type of part ordered. Parts-Geek customer representatives are rude, not very knowledgeable and like to make you keep repeating the order number as you attempt to resolve a parts issue. Here is their order policy:
"Please do not reply to this message. This e-mail was sent from a notification-only e-mail address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. If you need to contact Customer Service, please open a support ticket on our Customer Service page.
To track your package, please visit the carriers website and simply input the tracking number. All UPS tracking numbers begin with 1Z, (e.g., 1Z69R2R70315956544) All FedEx numbers are 15 digits long and do not include any letters (e.g., 04751198048715). All US MAIL tracking numbers are 20 digits long and do not include any letters (e.g., 0123 4567 8910 1112).
* Please note that ALL tracking information may not be available immediately or at the same time. Please allow 24 hours after recieving the tracking number for the shipping carrier to update their web site.
* As indicated on our website, we do not offer weekend or holiday delivery. Therefore, any overnight or second day orders placed on Friday will not arrive until the following business day.
* If you receive a damaged package, do not accept the package. You can either refuse the package or contact the shipping carrier to refuse the package. You have 24 hours to refuse the package. We will not be responsible for the return of carrier damaged products.
* We have a 30 day return policy. No returns are accepted without a return authorzation number. We must be contacted within 30 days of receipt for an RMA number. We will not accept any returns after 30 days, no exceptions."
How would you get an RMA for a carrier damaged package? The answer: You wouldn't and if that carrier turned out to be UPS, you'd likely be out the entire cost of whatever you bought. I had to get an approved RMA to return the defective filter-drier. I included an email from my local AC Shop indicating the filter-drier was defective.as I wasn't certain they'd take my word for it. I also had to pay to ship back the defective filter-drier; they refuse to pay any return shipping charges no matter what the circumstances. Here are some further testimonies to Parts Geek's crappy service, there are plenty of other complaints.
I was asked to rate Parts Geek on Trust Pilot: Click here to rate us on Trustpilot I gave them one star out of five because that was as low as the system would let me go. Here was the Parts-Geek credit response on the defective filter-drier I returned.
"Please DO NOT REPLY to this message. (we will not receive it)
To contact us you MUST open a support ticket on our Customer Service page.
This is to inform you that your credit was processed today.
Invoice Number: 15-xxxxxxxx
Total Credit: $22.03"
Bank ledger entries show the following credits from Parts-Geek..same order..same carrier..same destination
06/28/16 75785902 PARTS
GEEK, LLC 800-5419352
06/27/16 78773002 PARTS
GEEK, LLC 800-5419352
But on the second filter-drier I inadvertently ordered I only received $9.95 credit. When I asked the customer rep why I didn't get the full amount of $12.08, he hung up on me. The next time I called, I asked why is there a difference in shipping charges, i.e. (1st -drier) $22.03 - $12.08 = $9.95 and (2nd Drier) $12.08 - 9.95 = $2.13? He claims I had to pay return shipping on an order that I refused deleivery on. This makes no sense! You can also read my complaints on Yelp.
During the 2nd call to Parts-Geek, the customer rep said he needed to put me on hold while he checks into the shipping discrepancy and then after about 10+ minutes on hold, listening to their endless repetitive elevator music, the connection was terminated. Both of these identical parts traveled via the same carrier to the same location, so the refund should have been the same. The order refund was INTENTIONALLY shorted, there is no other plausible explanation. No doubt, it's how they limit their expenses on damaged or defective items. Parts-Geek also overcharges you on the shipping, I spent $9.02 USPS charges to use the same carrier as Part-Geek to return a defective filter-drier to the same location that I was charged $9.95 to have it shipped to me originally from a commercial business. It's not a lot of money to be out for sure but if this is done on small orders what might you expect on a large one when returning a defective item?
Apparently, Parts Geek doesn't bother checking anything before it ships out, What's quality control? Basically you get whatever is on the shelf in whatever condition it is at the time. Who cares? They already got your money. And, they'll probably put your item right back on the shelf when they receive it and then ship it out to someone else.
Update 7/18/2016 I can see why Parts Geek is not a member of the Better Business Bureau but I went ahead and added my complaint to the New Jersey affiliate anyway, complaint ID 11568737. I'd say the following complaints pretty much characterize Parts Geek practices, i.e. problems with Product/Service.
This business is not BBB accredited.Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details
628 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 201 closed in last 12 months
|Complaint Type||Total Closed Complaints|
|Problems with Product/Service||414|
|Total Closed Complaints||628|
Read Complaints | Definitions | BBB Complaint Process | File a Complaint against Parts Geek
See Trends in Complaints on Parts Geek | View Complaints Summary by Resolution Pie Chart on Parts Geek
As long as there are no consequences to their business the customer abuses at Parts Geek will continue. Firing inept and/or rude representatives will not accomplish anything, Parts-Geek will simply train new inept and rude ones to take their place,
07/20/16 74948702 PARTS
GEEK, LLC 800-5419352
After this article posted with its BBB Parts Geek complaint history, the company finally saw the error of their ways and repaid me for the expenses of returning the defective filter-drier and the shipping costs associated with refusing a second filter-drier. Now that's properly serving your customers, just as JC Whitney and other great companies do. I now recant my earlier recommendation:
They need to be put out of business.