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What to do when a factory makes the wrong product? 58 replies,12607 views

#1
(Forum wiped the post when i tried to post the first time round...)

A few months ago i ordered 200 watches to be made by a factory in China. I gave them detailed specs and pictures. The factory assured me they could make the watch as requested and that they were a professional watch factory with many years of experience. I checked with alibaba and found that they had been registered on alibaba for many years with no complaints filed against them, so i felt quite safe.

After the factory ordered the movements however, they realised that they made a mistake with the case and the date window position could not be located at the position i requested. After some discussion, i realised they were unable or unwilling to change the case or movement to fix the problem, so i had no choice but to ask them to remove the date window. This will have a negative impact on my sales because the date is a very highly sought after function on watches.

After a long series of delays, they finally produced a sample and sent me pictures. I then realised that they had made the wrong case. Previously i had asked them if they were able to show me pictures of the case they were making so i could make sure they making the correct case...they insisted it was not possible because they were in the process of making the case mould. Once again, i found that the factory was unable or unwilling to do anything to fix the problem, so i was stuck with the completely wrong case for the watch. They were obviously not going to refund me my money, so i had no choice but to tell them to go ahead with full scale production.

There were also numerous other problems, such as how they promised me their supplier could print the brand name on the watch boxes, which later turned out to be false (and once again, the factory insisted they could do nothing).

At this point, is there any point in filing a complaint on alibaba against this factory? How can one avoid such problems in the future?
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#2
Re: What to do when a factory makes the wrong product?
regret to hear that, but yes, when you deal with a factory, there a more or less problem happened? and certainly, buyers are always have the risk for something may happened and out of control.

what you can do is try to control them step by step:

Only pay mould fee if you custom making, ask them sending the parts sample if any of them finished first, and approve them one by one. Some factory used to work in a mix. So, this will need to you guide it for the process. Don't just drop them the money and waiting for the perfect job, this is a mistake.

Every supplier promised everything before you order, after they got the order, everything become normal, they will not be serious as before.

Regarding this factory, they are looks to be a small factory and even unable to suffer their mistake. I think that is why you chose them, small factory give you good price, but you can not expect them the perfect job.

But try to negotiate with them to see if they could do some work. and you must keep your attitude to be serious and don't let them know you are easy to it.
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#3
Reply #
The problem with sending parts sample is that it takes a very long time if you do not live in the same country as the factory. Also there will be substantial shipping costs.
#4
Re: What to do when a factory makes the wrong product?
In response to Elecpack:-

While I fully understand the comments you made in your reply, ultimately what you are saying is "well hey its a Chinese supplier and you should expect problems"

I am really starting to have a problem with this type of expectation that customers should ACCEPT the inefficiencies of suppliers.

At what point should a supplier be accountable for their lack of quality and lack of professionalism.

If you make a promise to do something a certain way at a certain quality, either do it or take responsibility for not doing it. It doesn't matter if you are big or small, if you quote a price based on a certain expectation of quality and you don't meet that expecation, then people have every right to question your ethics.

What a lot of factories/suppliers here seem not too comprehend is that by using this attitude of "sorry, we can't do anything about it" it is affecting the reputation of the whole manufacturing operation of China.

Why do you think so many people say that Chinese products are poor quality and Chinese cannot be trusted. It's because of this attitude and the lack of business ethics to accept responsibility for what you have (or haven't) done.

And the problems faced by this guy ar enot isolated. This is something that happens time and time again with all sorts of suppliers.

#5
Re: What to do when a factory makes the wrong product?
In response to Question2005:-

I understand your comment about the time taken to get samples and testing and everything.

But as it stands now, what Elecpack said about getting samples at every step is correct.

And your story is a classic example of why you need to do it. The result of not doing it has cost you potential sales and profits.

Yes, you shouldn't have to, but you need to protect your interests.
#6
Reply # 5 ASR Info
Getting samples would not have prevented them from making the incorrect case...since they would need to make the incorrect case first before sending me a sample, and then they would have just told me they cannot change it because they already made the case mould....
#7
Re: What to do when a factory makes the wrong product?
the main problem seems to be the supplier itself. How can they make a wrong case mold and then force you to accept? This is ridicolous. The supplier you told me is known already for grab every order they could get and try to solve problems later. Frankly speaking, 200pc is no standard MOQ in watch industry - we all know. But its not okay to grab the order by knowing it bears several problems. No matter what is said in here: in this case you were just unlucky to place the order to some unprofessional watch company.
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#8
Reply #
Now my watches are almost done but the factory will not even send the watches before they receive the balance in full in their account. This will cause more delays because it takes a long time to get funds transferred overseas...

Does anyone have any advice regarding that?
#9
Reply # 8 Question2005
In addition to the above : The factory can ship the watches via UPS, fedex or DHL. All of them are approximately 5.5 USD /kg and have the same delivery times. Is there any particular reason why i would want one over the other? Are there any better alternatives?
#10
Reply # 9 Question2005
The factory also says the shipping won't have any insurance (unless i pay for it). Should i be concerned about damage during transit? The factory doesn't have any plans on what to do if there is no insurance and items are damaged in transit...
#11
Re: What to do when a factory makes the wrong product?
Hello again!

1.) its total normal to pay the balance before the shipment will effect. You will have seen this already on the P/I which you have signed to your supplier. If you do the payment by T/T (normal bank transfer) it will take about 3 days from SG to CN.

2.) You said "Is there any particular reason why i would want one over the other?" Sorry but the meaning of this sentence is not clear to me. USD 5,50 sounds expensive. I guess this are the cost for you in case, the goods will be delivered Freight Collect right? Its in general cheaper, to let the supplier pay the UPS charges in advance for you (safe ~ 20-30%). You can pay this UPS charges to him together with the balance payment. Still you will have to pay (so or so) for custom and VAT. UPS will bill you for this if you are a UPS customer. If not you might have to pay at delivery.

3.) There is always some insurance included at UPS. However, the best ensurance is you make sure with the supplier, that he will pack the watches in their gift boxes in a satisfying way: avoid too heavy cartons / ask him pack 10pc. in one strong inner carton and max. 5 inner cartons in one export carton / if possible let him wrap another carton arround this first export carton / ask him not to use plastic straps - only adhasive straps or else cartons likely will be thrown. Cartons without such straps will be carried! Maybe this extra extra cartons will cost you a few USD, but its worth it. Definately. Beside this, forget about paying for some insurance - makes no sense, really.

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