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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I'd share a BAD RockAuto experience with the group. I've ordered from RockAuto lots of times but until my most recent experience I never needed to contact RockAuto Customer Service about any issues. Just so you know... trying to SPEAK with anyone withing RockAuto regarding Customer Service is almost impossible. MY 94 Bronco was throwing tons of codes. After troubleshooting it was determined it was a faulty ECM I ordered a $230 ECM from RockAuto and installed it. After installing it I was still getting lots of codes on the scanner. I started troubleshooting the entire electrical and vacuum systems. I finally had to take it to a mechanic that specialized in older fords. Two days after dropping the Bronco off I got a cal from my mechanic. He said the new ECM I purchased from RockAuto was missing an internal ground. Since he already had the ECM open in order to test the internal circuits, he went ahead and repaired the problem with some soldering.

When I was finally able to communicate via RockAuto regarding the faulty part, they said I would have to return the part in order to get a refund. I told them I couldn't do that because I had already paid $240 to have a mecahnic troublehoot and repair the faulty ECM they sold me. They refused to issue any kid of credit back to me unless I sent the part back to them. Well that's not going to happen because I have no confidence that the next one they send me isn't going to be defective as well.

SO lesson learned. Be weary of ordering from RockAuto. I learned the hard/expensive way. A $230 ECM from them ended up costing me $470.
 

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Sorry to hear of the trouble. I have not had any problems with RockAuto, but I would be nervous about getting an ECM from anyone.
Customer service is huge with me..... that experience would tick me off, too!
 

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1994 EB 351 (Sold)
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I know it wont put money back in your pocket but they would have screwed you either way. One with a bad ECM which isn't known to you until after install and two once you open it or install it no returns. This is how it is with most parts stores when it comes to ECMs.
 

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Premium 4 Lyfe - Way Back Staff
'95 XLT: 5.8, MAF, E4OD, 4.56's, 6" on 33's
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That sucks but it's part of RockAuto's ability to offer cheaper parts by having little, to no "staff" for customer interaction. I've returned other parts and it's a hassle but can be done. I had a motorcraft rotor throw the tip, destroyed my PIP sensor at 80 mph and eventually rebuilt the engine as a possible result. They did replace the rotor though.

That aside, most parts places I've ever gone through have no return once installed policies on electrical parts... as GTHippie eluded too.
 

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If it is not a Bronco, it's just not worth driving.....
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I know this may not be a popular response to this thread, but I can't blame Rock Auto for their reaction to your claim.
Think about it, you ordered a part from them and they shipped it to you. You received the part. You installed the part. You hired a third party to alter the part. ( I do realize the part was defective )
You then asked for them to refund your money for the defective part which they agreed to do so once you sent back the item they sold you. You refused to return the item so they refused to return your money.

I understand that you spent money for the mechanic but Rock Auto does not know that to be a fact. Anyone could CLAIM damaged parts and ask for their money back when in fact it did not happen as the customer claimed it did. I am not saying you are dishonest and would cheat anyone, but Rock Auto does not know you as an individual. They don't know if you are telling the truth. The only way they can come close to validating your claim is to get the part back in their hands.

Imagine going in to a restaurant and ordering a steak. You complain to the manager that the steak was not edible because it was rotten meat. He looks at the table and sees a plate that does not have a steak on it. The only thing he could assume is you ate the steak and now you want to skip out on paying the check. They would never allow that. If the steak was still on the plate and not eaten then you could argue that is was not edible.

Most warranties related to automotive needs will cover the item itself. They will not cover any cost you incurred to install the item you purchased from them. Take tires for example, you buy a set of tires off the internet and get them shipped to you. You don't have the means to install your tires so you hire a mechanic to do that for you. The tires disintegrate after driving 100 miles down the road. The tire store your purchased them from will most likely reimburse you for the tire cost, but they will never pay for the mechanic you hired to put them on.

I have to side with Rock Auto on this one..... sorry
 

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100% agreed with above.

if you buy something faulty, then you return it. and, from your post, it sounds like that's what they were willing to do.

but you were trying to get money out of them after fixing it, which is ridiculous.

imagine if i bought a wheel cylinder with a lifetime warranty. it starts to leak. i buy a reseal kit. i reseal it myself. then i go to the store and say,"hey, i bought this thing that didn't work. i spent $5 on a seal kit. i'd like you to reimburse me."
 

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1994 EB 351 (Sold)
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I side with the poor Ford Bronco that was denied, even momentarily, it's rightful place on the open roads of America. When you think of WWJD (What Would Jesus Drive) it would be a damn full size Bronco top off and that long mane of hair blowing in the wind.

Unless if your like me and our neighboorhood Jesus drives a 1995 GMC with crappy paint peeling off every inch exposed to the sun.
 

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No offense...but what exactly did you want Rock Auto to do in this case?

Did they sell you a faulty part? Yes. But a mechanic altered that part to make it work. I'm not being an ass - I'm seriously asking what you believe they should have done to satisfy you?

You know they didn't manufacture that ECM, so they would need the bad part to return to the Manufacturer for credit right?

I've dealt with Rock Auto for YEARS. For the price of the garbage 'lifetime' parts you buy at local parts stores you can usually buy OEM or OEM Quality parts shipped to you from Rock Auto.

An online businesses like Rock Auto are MUCH Easier to deal with via EMAIL or a web base support chat. Why? Because call / support phone systems and the staffs to go along with them are NOT Cheap. They can sell GOOD parts are great prices because of keeping overhead low.

I've returned an open ABS computer to Rock Auto with zero issues. It was the wrong part in the right box. Obviously not Rock Auto's fault it was sealed still. Years ago they sent me a RH window regulator in a LH box. I contacted them and they immediately sent another part out, and didn't even have me return the other part...and didn't charge me for the extra.

I'll keep dealing with them if the GOOD parts are that much cheaper. It's not like there are many "parts counter" guys / gals around any more that actually know anything left anymore...and the ones that DO KNOW - I can't help but laugh when they steer their own customers away from certain parts brands sold by their stores - because they know they are junk.
 

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yeah idk how this is a issue you modified the part to work and now cant send it back. they offered a full replacement. like saying you clothes didnt fit so you hemed them.
 

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82 XLT Lariat 351w, Edelbrock 1406 4bbl ,C6 auto, auto locking hubs ,33x10.5x15
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Isn't @RockAuto here on the boards? I would think u could always message them if there was a problem.
 

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Eric
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The mechanic should have known better than to take that, particular, initiative. It's fairly common knowledge, among professionals, that popping the case on an ECM/ECU/PCM voids the warranty. He should have contacted you, explained that he had traced the problem to the ECM, and offered you the option of either proceeding with the repair or returning the ECM for another unit... after explaining to you that it voids the warranty if he opens it up. He should not have proceeded without keeping you in the loop, making sure you were informed, and allowing you to make the judgement call.

I have seen "tamper" tags on many, many PCM's over the years. They are designed to indicate if someone, other than a certified/authorized specialist, has been dinking around inside. It's impressive Rock Auto was even willing to let you return an opened one. That puts them a step above the parts stores in regard to "customer service." Granted, this situation was an expensive lesson, but IMHO it's not on Rock Auto.

Just my $0.02.
 

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1994 EB 351 (Sold)
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The mechanic should have known better than to take that, particular, initiative. It's fairly common knowledge, among professionals, that popping the case on an ECM/ECU/PCM voids the warranty. He should have contacted you, explained that he had traced the problem to the ECM, and offered you the option of either proceeding with the repair or returning the ECM for another unit... after explaining to you that it voids the warranty if he opens it up. He should not have proceeded without keeping you in the loop, making sure you were informed, and allowing you to make the judgement call.

Just my $0.02.
This ?
 

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At this point, I think I would just enjoy driving your Bronco again.

Considering the facts, I am not sure what else you can do, or expect from RockAuto. A good point was made regarding the mechanic..... I had not really considered that.
 

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Man of endless projects
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pretty much any manufactures policy will be that if you modify something, it voids any warranty. for all they know you could have bought something working, tried to add a chip to it, and damaged it. if you need to warranty something, it must be as you got it.

also by most sellers, when you warranty something, you either must either ship the old back before they send a new one or you must pay for a second one which you get reimbursed for when you ship it back. this is to prevent someone claiming to have a defective item, the seller sending a replacement, the buyer not returning the original and now having 2 for the price of 1.

companies will not pay for someone else to repair their product unless its by an authorized dealer of thier product. the mechanic charged 240$ to repair something that they sold for less than that and would have cost them next to nothing to fix since they have teams who specialize in it. im assuming you gave the mechanic the OK to modify it or else he should not have done it. he was probably trying to help you get the truck running again but he would know it would void any warranty the second its opened up.

im sorry but thats how this works. there are exceptions to those 3 things but thats how big companies run things. you have to put yourself in both the manufacture and resellers positions. you cant try to help people but you have to protect yourself aswell. there in it to make money afterall. i imagine if you done the same to a local auto part store they would have done the same. tho being able to speak with them in person would be easier. thats the problem with online sellers vs local sellers. i have several things i need to warrenty but cannot get a hold of the manufacture to do so. ive also had bad communications with local placeswhere i get a big expensive surprize when i go to pick something up. soemtimes its better to cut the losses and be glad its running again

ive got a ProM MAF that burned out within 24 hours. called several times, left messages and emails. nothing. ive got defective wideband o2 controller, took a month to finally get approved for shipping it back for warrenty. ive had driveshafts made locally that have failed due to defective parts that they wouldnt cover under warreny. ive had shops do minor repairs on stuff to come back and find they did full rebuild several times the cost of the initial price. ive had an axle fail under warreny and only get half the price covered. it sucks but sometimes you have to suck it up and roll with it.
 

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Not long ago I griped on another forum about the wrong radiator hose I got from RA. The hose wasn’t listed on the vehicle selector menu but was listed as a direct replacement based on the p/n cross reference. I received an unsolicited PM from RA directing me to use the vehicle parts selector menu and then confirm via the specific part’s p/n x-ref. I stated those two methods didn’t agree, so I chose to use the p/n reference and it was wrong. I suggested they can make it right by covering the shipping cost to return it and refunding my money. Crickets...

As said, you’re buying zero customer service with RA. Get what you pay for.
 

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Nobody was a winner in this situation.
I can't blame Rock for anything other than being difficult to deal with.
 

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@g00se @BikerPepe @Gun Toting Hippie @msquared100
Also, what if the mechanic opened up the computer and attempted, but couldn't fix? Then you'd be out double... labor and ECU cost with no return because of being messed with.

At this point, I think, if you're willing and able, it would be beneficial to take the computer out again and at least take some photos and write-up the exact fix that was deemed to be the "missing internal ground" so that all of us as well as future folks finding this can try this repair on their own and hopefully be successful and add to our group repair knowledge! Please?:whistle:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I guess my gripe is primarily for the lack of customer services available from RockAuto. I've ordered tons of stuff from RA through the years and never once had a return (even if it wasn't right). Some of you said that they offered to replace the part if I returned the original... and that's true. I think their offer to replace the part is fair but that wasn't the point of my post. My post was... "Bad RockAuto Experience". And I think that's what my post was about. I ordered a $230 ECM from them that didn't work and I had to spend an extra $240 to troubleshoot and repair the part. It was a total pain just to get in touch with a human at RockAuto. The closest I ever came was an email. I personally consider that a "bad experience". I'm not saying they're a bad company. Like many of you I'm not a big fan of big box parts stores but at least they're local. I've had similar experiences with other electrical parts in the past and my local parts store figured out a way to make it right (refund, store credit, swap, etc.). This was because there was an actual person involved in the process and they could make a judgement call.

Lesson learned... work with your local parts store and be willing to pay a little extra $$ for being able to look someone in the eye and do business with them.
 

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95 Bronco, 351W, E4OD, 4.56 gears, 35x12.50x15 Patagonia MTs.
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I've had nothing but great luck with rock auto over many years of ordering parts from them... I know this is frustrating to hear, but they didn't do anything wrong. You cannot request a refund for something you've modified.

Next time: Call before altering the "bad parts" and tell them its a vehicular emergency, and you need the vehicle fixed asap. Perhaps they'd be willing to overnight a replacement or offer refund if you give them a chance before reaching the point of no return. EDIT: This method has worked many times when Amazon failed to meet a promised delivery date or sent an incorrect item.
 
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