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Frightener
09-02-2012, 01:07 PM
Well, I found a few threads in this section about vendors. Being our first year, I thought it prudent to post my experience.

So far we've ordered from: Frightprops, Poisonprops, Gore-Galore, zagone, midnight studios and a few others.

We've gotten EVERYTHING in, in just a few weeks from everyone... but Gore Galore.

I ordered back in June (towards end of June)
Only ordered 2 items, <$500 worth. Costume pieces. Mask w/ goggles and a weapon.

We inquired as to when we can expect them since they're key elements in a costume for our publicity stunts.
Was told late July / Mid August and would try to "work us into schedule" even had it printed on our receipt. Also said they would know more in a week or so and would let us know if they could bump us in the schedule.... Never got back with us.

Months go by, I inquire via email. Nothing.
Used the email responded by sales@GG... nothing.
It took several emails, and I never received a response until I mentioned needing a refund.

"Hi Dewayne. He is painting the masks and halos now. We are expecting your order to leave by Friday/Monday at latest." was the response. (That was August 21st. Still nothing.)

No apology or anything about a delay or not getting back to us, or even a response to the refund request. I told them I had emailed many times and that I understood sometimes emails get lost or tossed, but several times in a row, one of them had to have made it. I understood their "guidelines" when ordering, but I thought if I'm not gonna get an update email, or response to my emails or tracking / shipping info / updates, I may as well get my money back.

It's my understanding that they're only 4 hours drive from us. It's been a week since they said it would go out as the latest, still no update, no response, no tracking / shipping information.
I know vendors are busy. That's why I ordered as soon as I could, as soon as I KNEW I was going to need the costume pieces, I ordered.

My publicity stunts started last night and we're one key character short now. Bottom line, I know sh#% happens, but I can't help but to feel ignored and not cared about. I honestly feel that I've given them enough time and been fair on my end, providing the information they gave me. I've reassessed many times, and consulted with the rest of my team and in a fair frame of mind, we all feel the same.

To GG, we don't hate you guys, we're not pissed, just disappointed. I've read about a lot of the vendor threads here and everyone seems to have had the same concern, communication, though not many were with you guys (if any) so I hate to be the first to complain, but I felt it better to list my experience. At this time, we can not think about returning for large purchases for our second year.

Sincerely,

Dewayne & Marcy
Night Terrors of Northeast Arkansas

john haines
09-02-2012, 11:33 PM
I was going to place a huge order, but now, forget it............ Thanks for the warning...........

Gore Galore
09-03-2012, 07:57 AM
Dewayne,
I am not angry with you for posting this. I understand.
I can only say one thing.
Sorry we didn't get your products to you in time.
What else can I say.

You know, I have been one of those proponents of vendors doing their best in customer service and telling other vendors how to do it.
And YOU and everyone else knows we are damn good at it.
But this year just shows how difficult it can be.

And we had alot of issues this season:
-from having to let a couple employees go (smart business decision for me, and my company)
-hiring new ones that had a huge learning curve to pick up how to do things in our shop right when things were supposed to be getting going (and are the best people who I could ever have hired)
-had our welder blow out the circuit boards twice in 2 weeks. Both times cost us 2 weeks of welding. So a full month out of production for metal work.
-phone network that only seemed to work less than half the time (I still don't know why, we are still working with the phone company on this one)
-material vendors who were taking longer to deliver materials to us
-an excess volume of orders for this year
-new products that take an untested amount of time for production which is a change in our big selling products so our production changes

SO we do have a few disappointed customers this season.

It is not a long list but we do have some.
First time in quite a while.

But here is the deal, We learn from our mistakes. We sit down and examine what works and what doesn't. Reorganize the way we do things. We revamp and retool the shop every year, and guess what. We get better at what we do.
ALWAYS. I learn from my mistakes. I don't repeat them. SO, you can put money on the fact this won't happen next season. OUr customer service will be better than it EVER has been. Our shop will be more organized. Less wasted space. Less wasted movement, happier employees, and most importantly happier customers.

We have already made some changes that will make us faster next season. We built a new paint booth that is streamlined. Nothing in this shop but paint related items. Less movement = less wasted time.

AND My role in the company changed this year. I have been sculpting and developing new products ALL year long.
So, more customer relations responsibility went onto our office manager in addition to everything else she does.
She does a great job, an AMAZING JOB!!!!!!!. I mean because of her I enjoy the business more than ever. But this year she was doing too much.
We learned from this, albeit to late for this season, and she won't be doing as much next season so the problem has already been remedied.

So, I am sorry we failed you.

We take great pride in our company and the last thing we want is a dis-satisfied customer.

We stopped taking orders the first of Aug to keep from overloading our schedule, but it was ALREADY overloaded.
So we have quite a few buyers on call list.
But we will not even touch these orders until the rest of our seasonal work load is complete.

So again, I am sorry.
for you, for anyone else who might be disappointed
But this is a temporary set back.
We have already learned and grown from it.

Frightener
09-03-2012, 11:06 AM
We understand. I hear the economy still sucks and people are still feeling it. I've learned to forget about it and just pay for my gas and go on with my life so I just ignore the economy best I can.

I hate to hear that you had to let people go, never a good thing to "Have" to do.

I think we just had really high expectations and thought "Hey, it's GG, ya know" So when a little bit falls, it made a big noise for us.

You guys are doing great, we know that. I KNOW that. You don't revamp things, redo the riggings on your large puppets and try to cut costs and manpower and do all the R&D you do and be a bad company. There are way too many companies that say "Well this works so we're gonna leave it" I've got a degree in waste management and I can tell you guys put in your effort.

I'm sorry for both parties, again we understand things happen.

To the above poster (didn't see the name, just got up) I'm not saying DON'T BUY FROM GG, not at all. If I came off that way I'm sorry. I just wanted to tell my experience because I was asked to, by a few different folks.

With that said, maybe take my other post and this one with this; We've hit almost every speed bump imaginable trying to open. From being told our building was good to go, then signing the lease and 2 days later finding out we CAN'T do it in the 6,500 sq ft building due to code. I had already paid $15,000 in rent! Only to find out I gotta spend $10,000 to get metal buidings onsite and fix the house next to us. We went from being able to spend $36,000 constructing the haunt down to $26,000. THEN we had to fix some other issues, long story short, we only had $16k or so to start construction.

There's tons more problems but just keep in mind my situation, please, while thinking about my posts. Sure, my stuff is late, however put yourself in our shoes and imagine how we feel. I could've easily come on here and blabbed and cussed and not been fair at all. In fact, had we NOT had a terrible time trying to put this together, I'd probably said "Well that sucks, well maybe we can still get it in time for opening" Having EVERYTHING fall apart some form or fashion takes it's toll.

We'll be back, sure. But as I said, I'll try to make my order as soon as possible, which would be much, much sooner (if we're able to stay open) for next year.

Thanks for replying and taking time to explain everything.

Dewayne

Frightener
09-03-2012, 12:51 PM
Update!

Crystal called us today (left vm and we called back)

Super nice lady. Spoke several minutes. I think we're all on understanding terms and she left the conclusion up to us.

Again, we'll be back with GG in the future, and hopefully for a much bigger order. They've had it rough just as we have so, yeah I guess we're all good and stuffz. :P

Crystal is a very nice lady to talk to and could not have asked for better. Thank you Crystal and Kevin and we look forward to talking to you guys later.


Dewayne
Night Terrors of Northeast Arkansas

Allen H
09-03-2012, 01:52 PM
Everybody fails occasionally, it is how we react to the failures that measures us, not our successes. I am forgetful (My brain is full, things leak out) and that has caused me to misplace orders or forget about them entirely. I had to remove head bags form my website because the process I use to make them takes to long and I dont have the time to streamline it. There are a few people who think I suck, the best I can do (or anyone) is to keep plugging away and make the things that dont work- work. I am busier than I have ever been and Im sure Kevin is in the same boat, systems and methods that worked under the old work load dont anymore. I am eroding a little bit right now from being so busy all the time- something has got to give unfortunately sometimes it is a customer- any part of the chain can break down - Im rambling, So I should get back to work.
Allen H
I think Kevin is awesome and one of the guys I look up to in the industry, I have no doubt he will make it right.

Frightener- think of all the things holding you back as sandpaper, they end up useless and you end up polished. I would not know half as much or appreciate what I have if things went smoothly for me. If you want this, you will get it.

Gore Galore
09-03-2012, 03:19 PM
Dewayne,
I am really sorry you are having issues getting your haunt together.
But it does seem the harder you have to work, the better your event will be.
The humbling experiences seem to teach you the most.

I love to learn, I also love a challenge. This year was certainly a challenge, but it is not done yet.
We still have some orders to fill.
But we are getting them done.

And we have learned alot.

thanks for the support Allen. You always have shown yourself to also be an upstanding guy.

The only failures are the ones you do not learn something from.

Greg Chrise
09-03-2012, 03:26 PM
And now for the counter point. Jane you ignorant slut (SNL reference)

This bitching on the internet about vendors in a limited market really needs to stop!

The phone can ring and in 100 calls not all of those are really your customers. People write crap on a day planner or in their head and this is made up crap. It isn't real. So on the internet we are living in a world where everyone gets some kind of trophy? Where everyone thinks some small business has millions of stacks of resources to to what you want? Try calling up the post office or Walmart and see how long or if at all any of your questions are satisfied at all really.

Someone was sending me some art and no one has any idea where in the post office or mis delivered it went. So of course they sent me a survey to fill out about how I percieve the service at the US post office and my business. So is this spending an hour filling out this crap supposed to make me feel better or like anyone really cares? Hell no, I'm either throwing it in the trash and losing the whole survey like they lost my package or I will write on a piece of paper and send it back in the no postage necessary envelope: Sorry, we missplaced your survey just like you misplace all of our mail and packages.

I know I just never get to about 30 jobs a year and the jobs we do finish probably half of them could care less about us as a person. And the other half has to scramble to come up with the money. That is just the way it is. It isn't the economy, it is just the way it always has been. Some things you work on for 15 hours to make $40 because you promised to do it, other things you can make $100 per hour for about 4 hours and have a little heart attack. It all balances out.

With all the complaining about getting thing on time and what ever purchase was crucial to some signature part of someones event is ridiculous. Some new vendors are out there and care less about making sure things are on their web site and will not get involved in custom work to avoid any challenges. They will also only sell what they have already made. This is the case because not every thing is all about that one item someone might want. People do make props and masks and costumes but have a haunted house or another day job and even if they have their dedicated business should really be making things and not playing on the internet or playing on the telephone.

I know people that if you send 34 emails back and forth about what color something should be, you get a bill for $340, $10 per email. Then you have to pay to have what ever done in that color too!

So what happens naturally is there are people that do have money in this country and would be vendors migrate to dealing with people that make $4,000 a day and can't understand why it takes 2 weeks to do a $4,000 job and away from people that live on the internet and do a lot of sniveling.

In the bigger picture, do you see people wearing masks everywhere? Maybe two guys robbing an bank. So how big of a market is it every going to be. Looking around there seem to be thousands of people making masks on their dinning room table and some have the living room floor filled with duplicates of their work ready to sell and there are crying kids in the back ground of their videos. I recently saw another video where there are new facilities and 12 people there to do every step of the process ready to serve you! Good thing they got that on video because I can't believe they can make enough money to pay that many people when there is really only one new guy slaving to cast your masks.

The entire have your own business thing and what a business environment is supposed to look like is rigged! It is all propaganda from real estate sales and put your picture here in this office space and from every supplier of everything you are about to buy to have your dream business. No one cares if you actually survive or make all your bills. It is more like the economy is based on people starting their own business and spending lots of money buying thousands of things to make that $40 a year and fold in bankruptsy. So they may go a year or two before they go bust.

Same thing for people making their first ever haunted house. Who says they will really be a customer at all a year or two later. SO all these newbies are demanding internet attention and demanding shit they really can't imagine they aren't getting the attention they deserve as God given consumers? Really?

Wonder why no one wants to invest in all this unstable high demand bullshit? Because there are so many ways to make money in this supposedly bad economy that aren't quite as volitile or demanding as what the haunted house thing has become.

So many things are missmatched and there are no bigger pictures realized. Yes, you get into a 10,000 square foot building and there are generally demands of the kind of businesses that are billion dollar corporations that would normally reside in such a space. Going from a halloween party standing around a kitchen table to why can't I have my own Walmart and make a gazillion dollars is some kind of clinical mental condition.

In the real world this topic just cost $40 in posts and to a larger company someone has actually paid someone's salary and it is in the costs of buying what ever it is! So this internet whininess is why things cost $12,000 and you can't have it. It it why you can't find what you saw at a trade show on line. If you didn't whip out the cash and buy it then, too bad. It already sold or you better buy it the next time you see it. No one is paying anyone to go inventory the crates to find out. Customer service costs money. Not everyone has someone sitting in an office with nothing better to do than fax you a copy of something like the city that has your tax money all budgeted out. And if they do have someone sitting there you are paying for them to sit there full time.

So bitch away, you are making the economy. The more you bitch the more we make money. I totally love it. I don't even care who makes the money as long as some one does.

Greg Chrise
09-03-2012, 04:02 PM
The economy is not bad. The news people say it is because every level of government borrowed money from a chinese guy so they could have an old lady in a room full time with a fax machine. The stock market guy sold your paper to someone else and got an insurance policy on losing the money and the money was lost the moment you gave it to them.

But in the real world you can easily find something to do that makes money 7 days a week more than 20 hours a day, it just might not have benefits and a dental plan. There are people selling underwear out of the trunk of their car making $800 a day and they don't have a web site or business cards, they don't have a zoning problem, when the police come by they close the trunk! But they are making more that what the govenment has registered as the poverty level or where did all the people go that are no longer seeking employment with the state employment commision?

I can find my van in a parking lot super easy because it is the only rusty one. So that means to me 99.9% of the people are living the dream, or living a nightmare of the rat race or someone sold them something they might have repossessed but everyone is doing it so you should too! Oh if the economy was better....Has nothing to do with the economy, it is about having your mind right, working until it is done, only expecting to be compensated for completed work.

If you have a reputation, you can work from deposits. People already know because thousands have been satisfied customers but, good stuff sometimes takes months and years to aquire, it isn't the sears catalog.

Greg Chrise
09-03-2012, 04:29 PM
The banks are going to fail because they either did or no longer can make money on the stock market because that was a ponzi scheme and free checking is no longer going to be happening and the govenment will have that lady fax everyone a copy of what you should have done and how you are going to owe money for the next 200 years.

So 50% of the population is either on the government payroll or getting hand outs or are in jail. They are not customers. 20% are in health or death care and people are getting sick or chopped up or die all the time. Thousands per day. So there is a base economy that while cars are being set on fire and people are bitching others are just looking at that while on vacation.

There are thousands of banks and none of them will fail all at the same time, there are hundreds of grocery stores but not all of them will be effected even partially if the chinese guy wants his money. So life goes on, historians write down the data and people still celebrate Halloween and go to Haunted houses. They still spend $5,000 or $10,000 for a one night party only it is kind of hidden for it's decidance. Away from the villagers with the pitch forks and stuff.

And in the real world, you can know them all, from the guy who is making the big bucks selling underwear to the guy whose life savings supposedly doubled over 20 years and then went back to exactly the same amount of money it was 20 years ago. 20 years of everyone just going through the motions with no real benefit in the end except every one ate something, some people seem to have eaten 11,000 calories a day and can't stop.

Some of this is the real world, a lot of it is because of only partial information on the internet makes things seem all scary for your attention or all warm and fuzzy like the kitty picture of the day.

In this particular industry, people have worked 20 years on $20 a day and it is still here because they continue to do this. All the other money went into developing the next thing, buying the next material to make things out of. 20 years of going through the motions, constant learning curve that if you aren't learning, part of your brain is diseased and you should seek professional help from that 20% of the population.


Someone needs to just say how it is. SO most artisans and even business owners have decided that making in the end $20 a day is an okay trade for having something some day, yet it is okay for brand new people to slap them around on the internet. Where is the disclaimer that the customer is not always right? Or will never really be right, they were born that way? And their mother lied to them about the world.

Greg Chrise
09-03-2012, 04:56 PM
So I propose that there is a list on the internet where you can register who complained and that data base in available in a smart phone app and their is a 15% up charge if their name comes up.

Even the BBB has another side to it, you can sure look up a company, but you can also see who complained about things and not do business with them as they are probably a pain in the ass for some reason. Lack of money, new money, overly entitled, think the whole world is about them, just plain hormonal or psychotic. Those are the customers the competition can have.

Jim Warfield
09-03-2012, 05:05 PM
Someone bids on your Cadillac hearse, you get to see what they have been biding on for the last month or two. One bidder for the hearse also was collecting Marylin Monroe memorabilia. I was tempted to get a life-sized cardboard cut out of her and take a picture of the hearse with her reflection in the glass, then he would HAVE to buy it! (Was this THE hearse that took her to the grave? It was a 1957)
I know, unfair, spy-like information I had there.

screamforadream
09-03-2012, 05:07 PM
Greg,

I couldn't agree with you more buddy!
I don't want to steal the thread or change the subject so I'll keep it brief.

Haunting is a niche market. But that doesn't mean it isn't full of hard workers. These so called vendors really shouldn't be called that. Vendors mass produce and sell their crap to Spirit Halloween stores.

When you order from a "vendor" like gore galore, or scare factory or other "vendors", you aren't buying a prop or an animatronic or a giant costume, you are buying a piece of art. These guys are artists. They make these creations from their twisted and messed up minds (and I mean that in the nicest of ways), and all they want to do is what any other artist wants, and that's to see their work being appreciated by a large group of people.

And that, is commendable, $20 says we will never see Kevin living a Malibu mansion, and we'll probably never see him with clothes on that don't have some sort of paint or latex or clay on them, and that speaks wonders.

Yes they take your money, and because of that all "vendors" need a way of proper communication, maybe not a secretary, but more of an hour or two at the end of the day to check emails and listen to voicemails and reply to customer inquiries. It isn't rocket science, but it isn't always a "vendors" wish to take your money without filling your order, because these guys love doing what they do, and when it shows (like it does in Kevin's case), sometimes these "vendors" make a business error, and we need to always remember that as clients, these guys aren't business management majors, they're artists and we need to learn artist language to communicate effectively, just like these artists need to learn business talk so we can understand them as well.

It's always a two way street!

Nd sorry that was so long lol I'm on my phone and feel silly typing so much haha so please forgive any grammar issues I can't read the whole thing at the moment haha do I hope this is coming out right! Haha

Kevin, DeWayne, you guys are both awesome and I'm glad this never got ugly! You are two great people and I'm happy to see the issues resolved :)

Marr Branch
09-03-2012, 08:06 PM
I would vote for him, how about you?

Twin Locusts
09-04-2012, 04:04 PM
The free exchange of information, most valid, some not, is of no harm to anyone
where capital is exchanged in a market, no matter the size or nature of the market.

People of like interests will always find a way to exchange information and ideas;
this forum is already selectively censored so if people don't get the information here
they'll employ alternate methods as they certainly already do.

The scalability of an industry is of no matter; most every buyer and every vendor knows that
some people make a hobby of being dissatisfied, seems they 'enjoy' it. So each player knows
they must wade though some junk to get to good reasonable observations about the
qualitative aspects of a vendor.

When a vendor, like Kevin, takes some ownership of a 'ball dropped' and takes steps to correct
it, he only builds greater credibility in the market, which he has undoubtedly done here. He has had,
nor does he apparently have, any fear of a "lights on" public exchange about his companies
performance.

Cheers to Dewayne for defending his interests and Bravo to Kevin for being responsive to the needs
of a customer, no matter how small the bottom line consequence. GG's work and reputation speak
for themselves and where quality, originality, and customer attention meet they are equal to, if not
the, industry leader.

I bet both sides of this issue move on to more success and future dealings.