Headwinds Mfg. Status?

jeremiah

Well-Known Member
A small non-refundable deposit (refundable if order problems arise on the manufacturer's end) to be paid now and balance paid just prior to the commencement of work on "your" jacket would be a better model to follow. Though there are even issues with that method, its easier on the customer and protects the manufacturer should problems arise with materials and set backs.

start up costs would need to be secured when using this method, but with time, it would balance out.
 

Boyo

Well-Known Member
I've not been around here long enough for my opinion to amount to much, but I can relate a personal experience. although I didn't post about it much here i received in December a Good Wear jacket that i waited over 5 years for.....5 years. while i never asked for a refund my emails to John often went unanswered for months at a time.. it appears here that Jay was replying to B-man same day, yes the news wasn't what B-man wanted to hear but at least he was replied to.
I eventually got my jacket and I have a feeling B-man would have too.
The collecting of jackets is a crazy hobby and probably an even crazier profession. As im sure we all have I've experienced the impatience of waiting for a new jacket.
Thankfully none of us "need" a Headwind jacket (or a GW jacket) to keep us warm in the winter..we do this to ourselves because we enjoy it..
I would like to see both Jay and B-man shake hands and move on.. they both are interesting and valuable members of this forum.
 

ButteMT61

Well-Known Member
Like others here, I've had hangups, quirks, delays and mistakes on many jackets over the years from much the same vendors. Knowing this hobby like most of us do, we enter into buying knowing that unless we're buying from CockpitUSA or the like, the chances of everything being 100% as hoped/expected are slim. We mostly all accept that as part of the hunt for the grail(s) we love.

I've been backed into financial corners in the past, and it makes one go into defensive mode - one of fear and anxiety and we can fall apart.
Nothing I've read here in this thread shows me that anyone was being devious and it spiraled out of control. Let's just hope all involved can move forward and be successful. I wish that for any person trying to carve out a living today, and I think this thread makes for a good read to understand both sides of a not too uncommon problem...
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
It's all a mess but I do have sympathy for him in trying to run a small one man operation with fixed overheads and obviously cash flow problems. I would imagine it was cash flow issues that caused the delay in issuing the refund. I did buy a jacket from him once, over five years ago through eBay, when I don't think he had been going long. It took a lot longer than I was told it would and there were obvious excuses along the lines of, "the taxi is just turning into your road. I'm sorry but he was delayed by a flat tyre." But I got it in the end.

It isn't really very different from Platon and his flexible waiting times which get longer and longer; and most people here are prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt and don't all pile in to give him a good kicking. Though he should be more upfront about waiting times then these things wouldn't happen.
I think the anger and disappointment though comes from the fact that Jay appears to blame Burt for what has happened when in fact Burt hasn't done anything wrong.

A simple thing to do from the start is apologise. It's not Burt's fault that the jacket never came and he waited half a year before doing something. Yet quite appallingly we still see Jay trying to turn this all back onto Burt. Doesn't matter which way you try and swing it, that's bloody awful customer service and reprehensible behaviour from a business.

There's a tendency on fora like this when you "talk" to the makers and feel like you know them to give them more leeway than what we would for any other business. If you ordered a print to order book online (and from a company with which you had no previous communication) and hadn't received anything, you wouldn't be waiting 6 months to file a complaint with your credit card company.

The idea of artisan products, and craftmanship and all the rest of it though is no excuse for blowing out stated delivery dates by months and months. To then "ban" a customer because after half a year of waiting is to add insult to injury.

What adds to this is that Jay's admission that he would have incurred further costs, proved that he didn't refund Burt when he said he would. Because Burt hadn't received his refund, he took action with his credit card company. Jay on hearing this obviously freaked out and tried to tender the refund and then realised that he would incur extra costs because of his tardiness to do so.

I have no sympathy for him whatsoever. Good communication, honesty, and sound and ethical business practices would have saved all involved all this grief. But at the end of the day the buck and blame stops with Headwind. Burt has done absolutely nothing wrong.
 

Saint-ex

Well-Known Member
i waited over 5 years for.....5 years. while i never asked for a refund my emails to John often went unanswered for months at a time.. it appears here that Jay was replying to B-man same day, yes the news wasn't what B-man wanted to hear but at least he was replied to.
I think you will have a place in heaven if it exists. But, is it really a normal communication ?

I means, my experience in the world of leather jacket is limited to Shawn and Diamond Dave and both always responded quickly.
FiveStar was delivered on time and Diamond Clothing Co. with few days late but with explanation.

Seem not respectful for me to doesn't answer to the customer.

And in my job, if I know I will miss a milestone, I send an email to give a new dead line. Seems just normal, isn't it ? ;)
 

jeremiah

Well-Known Member
For me, its quite normal to reply very quickly to a customer. I don't see it as an inconvenience and no way am I as busy or as bombarded with emails as say, ELC or Aero Scotland, so for me to not reply or try and work something out is quite illogical. Where I run into problems is when I place those same high standards of communication I have for myself on others. But, then if its that hard for others then I question if this business is in the cards for them at the end of the day.
 

Boyo

Well-Known Member
I think you will have a place in heaven if it exists. But, is it really a normal communication ?

I means, my experience in the world of leather jacket is limited to Shawn and Diamond Dave and both always responded quickly.
FiveStar was delivered on time and Diamond Clothing Co. with few days late but with explanation.

Seem not respectful for me to doesn't answer to the customer.

And in my job, if I know I will miss a milestone, I send an email to give a new dead line. Seems just normal, isn't it ? ;)
No! this was not normal and I cant really explain why I was willing to wait as long as I did. It probably boils down to being active on these jacket forums and wanting a jacket by GW.. The small down payment that I invested ($200) and the occasional emails were enough for me to tide me over for a few months each time.. But to be completely fair in the end I received my jacket for only the $200 deposit JC did not charge me another penny more, he admitted the delay was his due to either equipment failures or lost records etc along with the personal issues he experienced. So in the end my patience and JC's goodwill worked out for me ..a brand new GW for $200
 

Southoftheborder

Well-Known Member
No! this was not normal and I cant really explain why I was willing to wait as long as I did. It probably boils down to being active on these jacket forums and wanting a jacket by GW.. The small down payment that I invested ($200) and the occasional emails were enough for me to tide me over for a few months each time.. But to be completely fair in the end I received my jacket for only the $200 deposit JC did not charge me another penny more, he admitted the delay was his due to either equipment failures or lost records etc along with the personal issues he experienced. So in the end my patience and JC's goodwill worked out for me ..a brand new GW for $200
Well, that's a horse of a different colour. Bet it's a very nice colour too.
 

Officer Dibley

Well-Known Member
I think the anger and disappointment though comes from the fact that Jay appears to blame Burt for what has happened when in fact Burt hasn't done anything wrong...............
I have no sympathy for him whatsoever. Good communication, honesty, and sound and ethical business practices would have saved all involved all this grief. But at the end of the day the buck and blame stops with Headwind. Burt has done absolutely nothing wrong.
Bang on. It may not be Jay’s fault when suppliers let him down but he remains responsible & the buck starts & stops with him.

As for customer service, Jay is in Good (Wear) company and in company with every naker apart from Aero & ELC. I know John Chapman and he is the nicest guy you could know and even he struggles. Perhaps from lack of time but also embarassment he is not meeting his high standards in responding and gets tired of defending delays & disappointments to customers.

As for losing their rag, we have all been guilty of that right ;) First stone & all that.....

Overall it is a shame but i think the business model is wrong. You need a lot of up front investment and may not make a profit in year one.
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
Bang on. It may not be Jay’s fault when suppliers let him down but he remains responsible & the buck starts & stops with him.

As for customer service, Jay is in Good (Wear) company and in company with every naker apart from Aero & ELC. I know John Chapman and he is the nicest guy you could know and even he struggles. Perhaps from lack of time but also embarassment he is not meeting his high standards in responding and gets tired of defending delays & disappointments to customers.

As for losing their rag, we have all been guilty of that right ;) First stone & all that.....

Overall it is a shame but i think the business model is wrong. You need a lot of up front investment and may not make a profit in year one.
Well said Dave.

If you're going to take full payments for jackets up front then you have to have the financial resources to pay them back immediately if needs be.

You only have to read the entire history of the communication trail that Burt posted. He gave Jay amble time to make the refund. After getting fobbed off he started to worry that he was going to lose his $600 so wisely he initiated measures with his credit card company.

Utterly appalling business practices and attitude from Headwind and bloody stupid too. After seeing and hearing about this, how many people would now either not buy from Headwind or be very reticent to do so? There's no way I'd feel confident ordering from them after reading this. $600 is a lot of money for a lot of people and if you're going to send it to someone on the other side of the world via the internet you want to feel secure in doing that.

What's also so very foolish of Jay is that if he had handled this in a gentlemanly and correct manner, apologised straight off the bat and not told a lot of porkies and BS about "it's next in the queue", "we're making it right now", etc, etc, refunded the money immediately when requested to do so - and maybe even added a sweetener in the form of "because we're sorry we couldn't deliver what you wanted this time, please find attached a voucher for a $30 discount should you order from us in the future", he would have ended with a customer who although disappointed that he didn't receive the jacket, was impressed by the professionalism of the company in dealing with a problem. This would have generated: trust.

And one of the greatest things a company can have from those it deals with is trust.

There's also the chance that Burt would have been impressed by Headwind's response to a problem and how they dealt with it and posted about it here.

In this very sorry affair Headwind has lost a lot of trust. Not just from Burt but almost certainly from those who have now read about this here.
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
To everyone:
This has been discussed in depth and I think for the benefit of all, it’s time to let it go. Its been an unfortunate outcome for all involved but let’s move on.
Thank You
Burt
And at the end of day you're done nothing wrong Burt.

It will be very interesting to see if Jay owns this and acts like a responsible business. Not looking good already...
 

stanier

Well-Known Member
And at the end of day you're done nothing wrong Burt.

It will be very interesting to see if Jay owns this and acts like a responsible business. Not looking good already...
I hate to be so blunt, but given the financial standing and cashflow situation that is evident in the messages posted earlier, imho, the responsible thing would be to either cease trading or recut the business dramatically, including substantal price increases on a much smaller or more interchangeable product range. The product needs to produce a profit that keeps the business going and pays happy suppliers as well as serves customers. I suspect Jay is a very stressed guy who has been riding problems for quite a while and kept going by a dream.

What's happened to Burt, one of the nicest guys here is appalling and I suspect when the dust settles and there's been time for reflection Jay will not be feeling good. It all being over on Burt's order makes it more tragic and crap given his previous unwavering support and fandom.

But I feel sorry for Jay too, not because of how he's handled this incident but because even if he'd returned Burt's money instantly (which he should and I suspect he knows) he couldn't return it instantly and he's caught defending the indefensible and his business taking yet more of a kicking.

Burt's gentlemanly nature is palpable even over the virtual distance of the internet and I hope that he and Jay at some point can recover something of their former relationship.
 
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