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  #21  
Old 02-01-2010, 08:30 PM
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JohnG JohnG is offline
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you got it! I have an extra 2009-10 catalogue here going your way tomorrow...
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  #22  
Old 02-08-2010, 06:11 PM
skunky56 skunky56 is offline
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To the Thunderbird World,
Thunderbird Headquarters would like to respond to the recent letters posted by Tom Tabor and others:
We handle over 7,000 items manufactured by over 300 vendors. It is IMPOSSIBLE to have 100% coverage at any one time. Mr. Tabor was advised of the seat foam back order situation when his order was received by us through the US Mail. He had no problem at that time with a delay on his order.
Everytime he called, e-mailed or faxed us we responded with the information we had available at the time of the conversation. Sometimes we spoke with him several times in the same day.
Our vendor died, and his estate has just been settled. His widow did not advise us of his death, and has been attempting to run his business herself. In the interim, she has had health problems and was not responding to our attempts to contact the company. We spoke with her 3 weeks ago, and she was to have shipped us the partial order that is made. We have made arrangements to pick up our tooling and to have another company produce our product. We anticipate being up and running on our seat foam again shortly.
We wish to stress, AT NO TIME did we attempt to mislead Mr. Tabor or any other customer regarding any back ordered item. The information we can provide our customers is only as good as the information we received from our suppliers.
I will personally apologize for the delay in issuing Mr. Tabor’s refund check. We are having some internal computer problems regarding issuing refunds. This ongoing problem is still not resolved to my satisfaction, but again I am only as good as the support I receive from my suppliers. This problem was explained to him by our office manager over the telephone. We do our best with the tools we have available to serve all our customers in a timely manner. According to our bank, Mr. Tabor has received and cashed his refund check.
In regards the questions of back ordered items in general – most of the reproduction items are manufactured by one company only and when the manufacturer runs out everyone is out. We manufacture over 1,200 parts overseas and well over 3,000 in the USA. Some of these we make “in-house” and can still run into back order issues when the raw material is delayed. I know it is hard to understand, but I can re-order an item in a timely manner (allowing 6 – 9 months for production) and not receive my order for 1 – 2 years. This can be caused by MANY different things. Sometimes the factory is just overloaded with orders and we have to wait our turn, sometimes the raw materials are unavailable. Sometimes the tooling needs to be repaired. Sometimes the tooling gets “lost” which means the supplier or sub-supplier destroyed the tooling not expecting us to reorder the item. I can go on with many other causes of manufacturing delays including, but not limited to fire, earthquake, flood, snow etc.
NOW – to finish clearing the air, NONE of the parts suppliers intentionally run out of merchandise. If I can’t provide a product I can’t make any money, which means I can’t pay my bills and I am out of business. I am sure ALL of the reputable companies feel the same way. We have invested over one million dollars in tooling over the last 32 years. We would not have done this if we did not intend to provide the best possible products in a timely manner. We would be tickled pink if we could keep every part on the shelf every day, but it is not humanly possible. We do have over 95% of our stock items available at any one time, which is pretty darn good.
As regards Mr. Zimmerman’s seat foam, please be aware the these are hand fabricated 1 at a time. Mr. Zimmerman may be able to have better quality contol, but he can’t possibly supply the entire Thunderbird world with seat foam in any kind of a timely manner.
TO ALL OF OUR VALUED CUSTOMERS, thank you for patronage, and please be advised we will do our best to help you with all of your restoration needs, including parts, technical advice and sometimes just an ear for your problems or successes.

Beverly Davis
General Manager Thunderbird Headquarters
(NOT Don’s wife)
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  #23  
Old 02-08-2010, 06:18 PM
ParTaxer ParTaxer is offline
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Extremely well written and produced in a very professional way. I, for one, appreciate your response.
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  #24  
Old 02-08-2010, 06:47 PM
Ca58tbird Ca58tbird is offline
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Yes indeed, Bev wrote a very good letter and appreciate her addressing the Tbird community thru the squarebirds.org forum. Even though the present lack of production and aftermarket inventory on squarebird foams does present much new business for me, I do wish her company success in getting the molds back on line in a new production facilty.

Regarding my fabrication process, yes the foams are hand made and my quality control is eyes/hands on. I can do the foams one at a time or, as it is now, go into mass production. Presently I have 14 sets of foams all going in progression thu patterning, cutting, glueing, laminating, shaping, finishing and shipping.

Aside from multiple times snowblowing the 14" of snow we've had thus far here in MN today, I have been doing foam work for most of the day.

Thanks to all for your support and encouragement.
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Jed Zimmerman
'58HT and '48 Dodge Panel in MN
Thunderbird Registry #3810 VTCI#7652
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  #25  
Old 02-08-2010, 10:02 PM
Gold Bird Gold Bird is offline
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First up I want to say that TBird HQ has been great to deal with, very friendly and helpful. I did know that back in October the foams were not in stock but figured they would be soon. I am in retail and know how important customer service is and also good communication. Once Dave told me the foams could not be made I had to have another plan, and as we know Jed came through. My only problem was the time it took to get my refund check. I told them at the time to send my other item to me that they were holding and a check for the foams that I had paid for. Three days later the new sil plates arrived but no check. I called and they said it would be sent out the next day. That was not the case and it took about 10 days for it to get here. Again being in a family business for over 142 years, yes thats not a typo. When I tell a customer that I am going to do something it gets done. Thanks to all for the wise words and thank you to TBird Hq, they are a fine company and I will use them again for sure. Tom
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