Preface: I put this page together based on my personal experiences with Stillen from 1998 till 2002, when I stopped doing business with them. As I no longer have any dealings with them, I can only hope that some of the hell that I went through with them has helped improve the company, such that no one else has to go through what I did.
What is the reason for this page?
The reason I am putting this site together is that never in my personal or professional life, have I encountered such an arrogant and mismanaged company. I have also found that customer service to be totally lacking or non-existent. Finally, as someone with a technical background, some of the product designs makes me wonder what exactly are the product development and manufacturing processes.
Who am I?
My name is Glenn Nakata. Some of you might know me on TwinTurbo.net or other automobile forums by the screen name - Glenn (San Jose). No, I am not some individual with a chip oh his shoulder, or some cowardly individual hiding behind the safety and anonymity of a keyboard. Rather, I am a middle aged professional, working in upper management in the high technology arena. I have worked in the high tech area for nearly 20 years, in either manufacturing engineering or design/development engineering positions with the last 10 years in senior management positions. I have also done some product support management as well as application/customer support engineering. I have a Bachelor's of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. High performance automobiles are my hobby and passion.
I am also a Stillen ex-customer of probably four years, who did spend a considerably amount of money with the company. When I totaled it up in a letter to Steve Millen a few years ago, it was around $8000 dollars.
Many who know me well, would say that I would be the last person that they could think of who would put together such a website. However, as I mentioned in the beginning, this particular company has raised my frustration and anger to levels that I never thought possible. I actually tried to work a lot of this out directly with the company, so that everyone would benefit, but that didn't work. So that is why we are here today.
If you have any bad or even good experiences that you want posted here, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org I will make periodic updates to the site, and announce those updates with posts on TwinTurbo.net.
I never realized how fortunate I was to have Adam Hume be the first person that I had contact with at the company. In all those bad years, having Adam as my sales contact was one of the few positive things about the company.
Let me explain further. When I was dealing with the company, whoever was your initial sales contact became your permanent sales contact with the company. This was good and bad for me. Adam was great to deal with and jumped through hoops to correct issues that were not always in his areas of responsibility. Adam basically understood customer service. Based on what seemed to be a flexible pricing policy, it looked like I received very good product prices from Adam.
Like I said before this was all good and bad. Because Adam was so good and popular, others like myself would recommend him to others. It seemed that Adam had become so popular that he was swamped with all his customers and it was sometimes difficult to get through to him. Well, you might say, why not talk to another salesperson. Well it was not allowed nor would it be advisable due to the flexible pricing policy. Now this is a double edged sword. Imagine the frustration when you cannot get through to your salesperson to place an order and at the same time being told that you cannot talk to the another salespeople. The flipside is that you probably would not want to talk to another salesperson, because you were not so sure if you were getting the favorable pricing that Adam was able to provide.
This became more of an issue for those customers who did not have a "good" salesperson. I had been contacted numerous times from friends who asked me to place orders with my salesperson Adam, as they knew that I could probably get a better price than from their own salesperson. I don't think I ever ending up doing this for anyone, as I did not want to deal with any issues if there were problems with the parts. But you can see how the sales contact and pricing policies were causing inconveniences and inequities for customers.
Another consequence about the pricing policy that I thought was so funny was that prices for some resellers were higher than that of direct buying customers. I have met a couple of local shop owners who were so frustrated because some of their own customers could get better prices buying directly from Stillen than they could even get with their supposed wholesale pricing.
One particular case that I find so amusing is a local specialty shop. This shop understands customer service and many times takes a loss on Stillen products just to keep their customers satisfied. Their type of business requires them to stock inventory in order to fix or repair cars as needed. If the parts were not in stock, the cars would remain in the shop and cause work slowdowns. There were many instances when the customers were put off on the pricing that this local shop would quote on parts. Many times, these customers would reply that they could get the same parts directly from Stillen at a price lower than this local shop's cost. So in order to keep the customer happy and at the same time keeping the cars from accumulating in the shop, this owner would match the Stillen direct price and take a loss on the part. I too have been asked by some of these shops if I could order parts for them, but I have refused to get into the middle of all this.
Things in the Mail
I thought it was just so ridiculous how I would receive flyers in the mail for events that had already taken place. What more can you say on this that is not already so obvious.
Wait till you hear how a group buy from a Stillen competitor got crushed and what I perceive to be a double standard on group buys. You won't believe it. Read about it here.
Stillen Product Review
Stay tuned for reviews of some the products that I have purchased in the past.
AP 6 Piston Brake Kit Issues - Agh............
Front Adjustable Upper Arm Bushings - replacement parts?
Intercoolers - what do you mean they don't fit with Nissan clear corners?
Intercooler Air ducts - can I have some holes with my ducts?
Lower Radiator Hard Pipe - simple no frills product that does it job
Rear Strut Tower Brace - what do you mean that it won't fit with stock TT shocks?
Front Tension Rods
Customer Service Blunders
Stay tuned for some truly amazing and unbelievable stories such as:
Skyline Brake Kit - Rotor MIA
Rear STB Fiasco - promises, promises.........................
HICAS Nightmare - In the near future I will post a letter I received from Stillen on this
particular episode. When you read this, you will be scratching
your head at the analogy that they draw between their company
and the airline industry.
Contact Info: email - email@example.com
AIM - Norcal TurboZX
Yahoo IM - gnakata