Originally Posted by irrig8r
Well Pete, as I said, it's about more emphasis on the contractor... listening to our needs and responding... basically because Bill was one of us.
Did you ever hear the story of how Bill turned down a million dollar order from one of the big home improvement stores? (The only similar story I've heard was Snapper mowers saying no to Walmart.)
And he was accessible... by phone or email and through his Nightchat group where contractors/ installers/ designers exchanged ideas.
As far as the free introductory seminars, that's recent... in the last 2 years, just to compete with what other players like Vista have been doing all along.
No, Nightscaping doesn't have a perfect track record.
Sometimes they were slow to respond, like to reports of phosphatized steel fixtures rusting out... but they did respond in a big way with stainless, brass and copper.
I've also seen their products being offered (for instance from the sister retail site that C.L.L. runs called aquanlite.com) to the public for discounts of more than 30% off list...
But I always felt with Bill that I could write him when something wasn't right, and one way or another he responded.
A few years back I complained about a transformer that arrived and looked like it had been beaten on by a monkey with a sledge hammer. I found out from my distributor that my one complaint temporarily shut down the line and they figured out that the problem was the weight of the unit combined with the packaging not holding up to rough delivery drivers. So they changed it, adding the foam rings.
Bill's owning up to problems and fixing them, plus the willingness to modify or customize fixtures kept me a regular customer.
And the whole "friends doing business with friends" thing... sounds corny maybe, but it works.
Greg understand that I'm not dissing the man. Honest. When someone passes on it's only the good things we want to remember and talk about. That's understandable. But I have a problem when someone talks the talk and doesn't walk the walk. Like you said on your own about CLL's discount direct to the consumer website. If he wasn't supporting "commoditization" then why would he have such lack of control over where his products were sold. As a manufacturer he had a choice to put his money where his mouth was and the facts show that he didn't. In my opinion he had no right knocking a system he supported yet held in contempt.
We all have our faults . But to be so public about an issue only to be involved in the same game is like a politician railing on the employment of illegal aliens and same politician employing said illegals at his own home. It's hypocritical.
And for the record it's not just in the past few yrs that Nightscaping has been giving free seminars it goes back at least 15 years. that's how long ago I can remember a certain distributor on LI offering free nightscaping seminars.
The fact also remains that they were very slow to respond to failing product. Instead they made excuse after excuse as to why the powder coat failed and the product rusted. They replaced the products only to fail and fail again. I think it was probably at least 10 years of failures and millions payed out in replacements by them before they faced the fact that their paint didn't hold and protect the aluminum and or steel underneath it. The brand was damaged so badly that still to this day I hardly ever see a Nightscaping fixture on a site. Some very old stuff rotting but that's even rare now.
Again. he was a great man but he put his pants on one leg at a time. Don't paint him to be something he wasn't which was a man of strict conviction. His actions did not back up his words. Enough said. God bless the man. Riposa in pace Mr. Locklin. I have great respect for the industry you created. Thank you.