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Aircraft Spruce - are these people for real?

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  • Aircraft Spruce - are these people for real?

    Hello Bearhawkers!

    Not often I get on the forums specifically for a rant, but here goes:

    I ordered about $200USD worth of items from ACS, including a single AN822-6D elbow. The rest of the order is ready to go, but they have apparently faced a THREE MONTH DELAY in obtaining this one elbow, plus an EIGHT WEEK DELAY ON FIRST CLASS MAIL.

    I emailed their customer service rep Suzanne saying that they should ship the order as is, and then send along the outstanding AN fitting when it gets into their warehouse, and that they should pay the second lot of shipping, because the delivery timeframe is, frankly, ridiculous.

    Suzanne told me flatly that they don't do free shipping. I told her flatly I'll look elsewhere for my fittings in the future.

    So... send in your suggestions for better aircraft suppliers than ACS!

    They must:
    1) Accept credit card payments on line
    2) Offer shipping to Australia without making their foreign customers feel like lepers

    So far I've had great support from Steve at aircraftlogistics in New Zealand, but he doesn't have a full range of things.

    Thanks again for the help guys, and everyone Down Under, don't forget to check out excess stuff I have to give away here on the forum, search for "Dealz" :-)

    The Barrows Bearhawk: Who knew my wife could get jealous of a plane?

  • #2
    That’s just how ACS is and I agree, it sucks.

    for AN fitting I’d suggest Summit racing. RedHorse makes some good stuff too.
    Scratch Built 4-place Bearhawk. Continental IO-360, 88” C203 McCauley prop.

    Comment


    • rodsmith
      rodsmith commented
      Editing a comment
      Pegasusautoracing.com is another good source for fittings. Both them and Summit are generally cheaper than ACS. I'm still waiting on a simple tee back ordered from ACS, part of a bigger order or would have got it elsewhere, They can be very frustrating to deal with.

  • #3
    I bet for at least the next 6-18 months, at least, there will be a lot of random things, "not available". It will be an unintended consequence of shutting down global supply chains. I think we came close to becoming a post-apocalyptic world, without ever having to go through an actual apocalypse.

    Comment


    • #4
      I’ll second the Summit racing as well have had great luck with them. A great supplier of fittings is McMaster Carr. You have to read between the lines as typically they don’t list a part as “aircraft” grade because that is not their business but they often are. They carry a line of 37 degree flared fittings in stainless and aluminum with next day shipment. They will not ship USPS however. Not as comprehensive as Spruce but you might find what you need.

      Comment


      • #5
        I will definitely second the Summit Racing and McMaster, especially shipping. They both ship very quickly and cheaply. I still have a commercial account I opened with McMaster about 15 years ago. 2 clicks to checkout.

        Comment


        • #6
          Ya, in my experience if spruce has something back ordered for more than a month, just expect them to never get it. Look elsewhere. You can actually check this before you place you order and just remove those items. Wicks is another large supplier that will sometimes have stuff spruce doesn't. Prices are comparable.

          For AN hose fittings https://phenixindustries.com/ makes some really oddball items that I've never seen at an aircraft site. Everything is 37 degree flare.
          Last edited by zkelley2; 07-28-2020, 04:54 PM.

          Comment


          • James
            James commented
            Editing a comment
            Yep, the initial ETA for the fitting when I hit "purchase" was 3 weeks. :-)
            Can I get them to ship the order as is, and deduct the price of the bit they can't supply?

            James

          • zkelley2
            zkelley2 commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, if you give them a call or e-mail and tell them to cancel that part, they will.

        • #7
          I've spent thousands with Spruce over the course of my build and until Friday have had excellent service minus a couple shipping glitches. Friday I had a terribly unprofessional disinterested sales lady that single handily moved their company down several notches in my list of suppliers!
          I did receive a reply to my scathing email from a seemingly concerned VP of sales. Hopefully the sales lady got a through lesson in phone sales and etiquette!?

          Comment


          • #8
            I have had mostly good service from them. But a shipping problem for me is 3 days away. A shipping problem is a much bigger and more expensive to Australia. I think the biggest problem is they sometimes ship from several places on one order, and the customer foots the bill without knowing it right away. Again that would get expensive from the other side of the world.

            You might want to follow up internet orders with specific shipping instructions. Hopefully they will oblige, but I haven't tried it.

            Comment


            • #9
              I'll put in my .02 cents. I have always had great service from ACS. Once I make my order online I look to see if the items are in stock. Every now and again they may not have it at any of their other locations and I'll look elsewhere, usually ebay. I can also check the ship items separately box if I want to wait. I always know what the shipping cost is up front with their calculator. I would never expect them to ship anything for "free". Nothing is free. Also, there are MANY companies that refuse to ship via USPS. Living in Alaska that is a deal-breaker for me. FedEx and UPS absolutely rape us for shipping stuff up here. They ship USPS Priority Mail. Their return policy is great too, never an issue.

              They recently opened a store location in Alaska. ACS bought out AERO-In-Stock and took over their storefront in Wasilla. If they have what I need in their Alaska store I usually get it the next day, the latest day after next. And their catalog is nothing short of amazing. I couldn't even imagine tracking that kind of inventory and sourcing all those parts. Two thumbs-up...

              Comment


              • James
                James commented
                Editing a comment
                Fair observations AB: I'm happy to pay for shipping, but not $25 additional postage for a $12 fitting they promised to source for me after three weeks, not three months. In any case, they haven't treated me as a valued customer... and in these times, you'd reckon that businesses would be looking after every customer they can find.

              • alaskabearhawk
                alaskabearhawk commented
                Editing a comment
                Definitely your call James. But to completely write off the company over one fitting that can be had elsewhere seems a bit harsh. But, you never know. YMMV.

              • James
                James commented
                Editing a comment
                What does YMMV stand for mate?
                I'm not up with this hip young lingo :-)

                Edit - it came to me after a couple of hours - your mileage may vary?
                Last edited by James; 07-30-2020, 08:48 PM.

            • #10
              The best part of ACS for me was the shop in Wasilla was a 10 minute drive from where I was building. I was in there almost every single day for a few months. Also I can order something that is not in stock in AK and they ship it for free to that store.
              Funny thing was I was at Reeve's(now airframes) and they got all of their hardware from ACS.

              Comment


              • rodsmith
                rodsmith commented
                Editing a comment
                That's great, of course it wasn't there when I lived in Wasilla.

            • #11
              That McMaster-Carr has an awesome site - looks like you can find anything there!

              Unfortunately, they don't like foreigners either


              McMaster-Carr.png
              Last edited by James; 07-30-2020, 06:08 PM.
              The Barrows Bearhawk: Who knew my wife could get jealous of a plane?

              Comment


              • #12
                Mcmaster is always great quality stuff, super fast and cheap shipping (in the US). They are also a great source for materials, including cutting services. I used to fabricate almost 20 different parts on a small production scale (10-40 a month each). I would order all the SS, AL, and steel parts pre-cut to size. Do 1 or 2 operations on some of those parts, and send them to a welding fabrication shop.

                Having the parts cut to size cut my labor down by at least 70%, and only increased the cost of materials by a couple of percent.

                Comment


                • #13
                  Originally posted by James View Post
                  That McMaster-Carr has an awesome site - looks like you can find anything there!

                  Unfortunately, they don't like foreigners either
                  I'd be happy to offer international reseller services for you. Drop ship it to my house, shoot me a DHL label and I'll get it to you. If you do your own customs paperwork, I won't even charge you!
                  Mark
                  Scratch building Patrol #275
                  Hood River, OR

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    Now THAT is an offer Mark! - let me do some thinking, and next time I find myself looking at something I can't get via the normal channels, I'll drop you a line :-)

                    Thanks for the help ~ this forum is filled with the best people, hey

                    James
                    The Barrows Bearhawk: Who knew my wife could get jealous of a plane?

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      My account with spruce gives me free shipping on orders over $150 so I rarely pay for shipping. Just submitted my second 1000 dollar order this week and always the greatest service. I guess there’s always the exception but I won’t complain. You think you’re going to save any time/money going anywhere else? Good luck.

                      Comment


                      • James
                        James commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Yep, the free shipping doesn't apply to overseas orders.
                        If you don't pay for shipping, effectively your orders are being cross-subsidised by people like me who do.

                        In any case, I've never had a problem paying ACS for shipping, it's clearly stated up-front.
                        My complaint was their inability to supply the part I paid for on-time, as promised, and then zero customer service given repeated delays.

                        Anyway, that's how it is, I'll do another part of my project in the meantime :-)
                        Last edited by James; 07-31-2020, 10:59 PM.
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