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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I've been away for awhile and came back to find....drama and controversy!
Any exchange of ideas is healthy....

I am almost afraid to open up yet another can of worms, but here goes: Has anyone here had any experiences with Caribou?
I recently made an on-line order with them and just can't seem to get responses. It has nothing to do with their recent move.
They got my money, thru paypal, confirmed. But as of yet, no order confirmation, no responses..no product.

Keeth Lawrence
84 Spyder
 

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I've had similar experiences with Caribou. I returned an item for poor quality, after waiting over 2 months for delivery, yet never recieved a refund. All attempts to contact them failed. FAX, phone calls never returned, email, etc. I managed to talk to some sort of secretary one day and she said the owner had been "sick" and would return my call, but, alas, no return call. I can use much more colorful words to describe Caribou, but I'll leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusions.

I would suggest that you contact Ebay, Paypal, and your credit card company.

By contrast, ALL other Alfa parts suppliers I've delt with have been stand-up honest guys who really love Alfas.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks John
I have had the same experience with other vendors. International Auto Parts has been especially helpful. I think we should all write-off Caribou for now.
..Keeth
 

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Hey John and Keeth:

I have used caribou in the past and yes your assessment of caribou is correct. I have heard good and bad on convertible tops. Seems that the top they send is too small and does not fit correctly. But I have also heard its decent quality material. Big to do about Caribou on Jim's Spider Page with a typical reply from Caribou/Ed. Here are the links:

Jim's Spider Page about Caribou

Caribou's reply

I got my top from Duettomotors.com and it is excellent quality and fit....cost $300 and takes only one to two weeks from order to arrival. Made from Haartz cloth.

My experience with caribou was with a carpet kit. decent carpet, but unbound edges and missing pieces. I found success in dealing with them by making multiple....and I mean multiple phone calls. The guy you want is Ed...he is the owner. If you harrass him enough you get responses. He once told me that me having him talk to me was "going to cause someone to not get their top today." Though, I have not heard of Ed and Caribou jilting anyone as John said. I have heard it takes good ole Ed quite some time to get around to processing refunds...and who knows maybe forever if you are not bugging the crap out of him. They just seem to be so disorganized that they don't know their *** from a hole in the ground.

I will not be using them again unless Ed decides to clean up his act. Its a shame they seem to have gone down the tubes as at one time it was a good low cost alternative. But, appearantly you get what you pay for when it comes to Caribou.

John M
 

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Caribou

My two cents are as follows.
When rebuilding my Spider Veloce 5 years ago I got a top from Caribou - excellent quality, but didn't fit. Being new to Alfa and not well networked, I insisted that my installer, against his protests, make it fit. How, I naively thought, could a cookie cutter pattern not fit. I didn't even call to complain. Now I just stick towels around the window edges when it rains. My new top will be custom made and probably cost the same. How can they stay in business?
 

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I received some samples from Duettomotors on their tops and quality seems very good. I've also heard several comments that their fit is good. When I replace my top next year, I plan on using Duetto's top.

Bad vendors need to be sent out-of-business, so the good ones can prosper. I found that reputations are almost always richly earned.
 

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I think we all forget that it costs money to have good customer service - taking orders correctly, giving technical advice, quick turnaround, decent return policy, etc.

I'm as guilty of the next guy of buying on price - the Internet has led us all to always seek out the lowest cost. So we give business to guys like Caribou instead of IAP. I'm sure that Ed is an honest person deep down - just with his margins probably can't afford the help he needs (or new hood patterns that fit;) )

I'm all for supporting the 'little guy', but some 'little guys' probably don't have a decent business model. Thank goodness for this site and the alfa digest to stop us all making the same mistakes.

If you haven't checked them out, I strongly suggest looking at and http://www.highwoodalfa.com www.alfaholics.com . They are both located in England - but have reasonable prices, especially for trim items and their service is excellent. I bought a pair of seat covers from Alfaholics which were fantastic. Their hoods, while excellent quality, are more on a par with IAP's prices, so given the delivery costs probably not worth it.
 

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Hi guys
Here is my experience with them.
Just like NikosF, my wife and I always support small guys. Local hardware stores over Homedepot, other stores over Walmart, and Caribou over IAP�cWoops! In this case, I cannot do that or I don�ft want to�c

I really needed these items by 6/12, so I ordered them on 5/3 (they charged its amount to my card right away). The girl took my order didn�ft tell me anything for a delivery date, so I assumed that they have the items in stock.

I waited over 2 weeks for delivery, but no phone call, no email, nothing. Finally I tried to call them, but their phone was busy for almost all day. I faxed them that asked them if I should call my credit card company. He called me in 5 mins, and told me that they have 30 days to deliver merchandise in federal law. Also he told me that he drew the line for a delivery date. As a small business supporter, I was very disappointed and even felt sad with his response and attitude. I just wanted the items and was tired to deal with him. After few minutes of conversation, I just asked him when I can receive them, and he said that they were coming tomorrow, so you would receive them early next week. That was the middle of May�c

I finally called my credit card company last week (6/11). They credited its amount to my account. I really suggest calling your credit card company with these problems, because they act quickly for consumers in most cases.

It�fs miracle to me that they are still in business (he said that they�fve been in business for over 25yrs!?).
I will still support small businesses, but sorry, not for Caribou for sure�c
 

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Well, I'll be the first to say I recieved my order in a timely manner from Caribou. Last year they had a sale on Renovo convertable top products. I placed my order via the net and it arrived shortly thereafter. But I think my experience seems to be the exception and not the rule. So in light of recent AD rantings and this thread, I would think very hard before ordering again.

I too like to support the little guy as much a possible. Lately I've had great experiences with Difatta Bros in Baltimore. Very pleasant to talk to, great prices and ship same day.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Time to close the door on this subject. Ed at Caribou sent me a fax, and called here and spoke to my wife. The information was always excuses, and he contridicted himself.
Fortunatly I had paid for two simple "door lugs" through paypal. I appealed to them.
Yesterday I got a message from paypal informing me that their investigation was finished. They found Caribou to be totally in the wrong, and got my money back!
So the system does work!
Now, where do I find those pesky "door lugs"?

Keeth Lawrence
84 Spyder
 

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Door Lugs

Keeth, I too need door lugs. If you have any luck finding some, let me know.

Thanks
 

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I must be another exception. About 3 years ago I ordered a top for my Duetto. It arrived not quickly but not late either. Had Henckles Upholstery in Pasadena install it and it's perfect. They commented that it was cheaper than they could buy it.

So far so good, but I never drive the car in the rain anyway.

Dan
 

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door lug

plastic wedge that bolts onto the door and fits into a socket on the body to provide additional support for the door.

Also, a very large valet...
 

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Caribou strikes again

Thanks to 'alfist' for the tip to contact my credit card company for help. I ordered several items from Caribou last December and was charged immediately (12/24/02). I had been in contact with Ed several times during the next five months, each time getting the run around, each one a different story. Finally in May (4/28) I cancelled the order. Here we are July 8th, I have still not received a credit to my account, and they won't answer their phone.

The credit card company gave me an immediate (although temporary) credit to my account pending some paperwork. Thanks 'alfist' for the tip, otherwise I would have probably gotten the 'Ed-fisting'.
 

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IAP has the door parts, if you are looking for the triangular plastic pieces. They are Alfa parts, well made and cheap...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
thanks for the heads up on IAP. I have looked in their catalogue and on-line and haven't been able to find them.
Guess I'll give em a call...
Thanks again

lawrencedesigns
84 spyder veloce
 
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