Clack is shutting down internet sales of their control valves June 15th 2010.

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Gary Slusser

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Clack is doing this to stop calls and emails from their OEM's dealers' customers and to protect local dealers from the loss of sales to Internet dealers. That's after allowing Internet sales since for as long as the valves have been sold; 9-10 years.

Back in April 2005 they attempted the same thing but failed to enforce the 'Agreement' to have their OEM/Distributors to weed out bad dealers that were not sizing properly or providing programming data or after sale support to their customers.

Now in March 2010 they are forcing their OEM/Distributors to shut off sales to all internet dealers, and this time they will be successful. Today is the day, any orders after 5 PM ET will not be filled.

Below are copies of the April 2005 memo and then the March and April 2010 memos.

Anyone that is not pleased with this decision should contact Clack Corp and voice their opinion.

bishop@clackcorp.com

piasecki@clackcorp.com

Clack Corporation
4462 Duraform Lane
Windsor, WI 53598-9716 USA
Phone: 608-846-3010
Fax: 800-755-3010

Clackapr29-2005Contract_1.jpg
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Here is how they are going to handle existing internet dealers' customers needing repair parts.

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To People Who Sell Over The Internet,

Going forward and after the June 15th deadline for all Internet Seller?s to be in compliance with the attached March 26th and April 26th attachments, Clack will allow Internet Seller?s to supply replacement parts for Clack Valves to homeowners who has purchased the system from them. The Internet Seller is not to supply replacement parts to anyone other than their customer. Also in this situation the OEM supplying the part(s) to the Internet Seller can drop ship directly to the homeowner so that the homeowner is taken care of promptly.

We want to make sure the end user is taken care of properly with our product. Also with a 10 year history on the Clack Control Valves the number of replacement parts being sold is very minimal. Therefore these occurrences for requests for replacement parts from a homeowner that bought a system over the Internet should be minimal.

If there are any further questions or need for clarification please contact us.

Thank you

Bob Bishop
National Sales Manager
Clack Corporation
*****************************
 

NHmaster3015

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I believe this thread has been posted and removed from several other web sites due to the amount of bitter argument that ensues.
For the record. I think this is a bad decision on Clack's part. Far better would have been to remove those offending internet dealers from their program. However, clack has made a decision no doubt based on a lot of complaints from OEM's and local dealers that feel like their profits are being cut into. That may be true in some area but around here I doubt if it internet sales accounts for 1% of total sales. Most folks don't want to be bothered trying to install and figure out the whole thing. No doubt that Clack has had to field way more phone calls and E-Mails from customers that can not get satisfaction from their internet source but that's probably true of anything bought online. There are good dealers and bad dealers. There is also more to this than the OP has included and, no doubt I will be asked exactly what that "more" is but I will leave that between Clack and the OP to thrash out.
 

Terry

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So Gary, what valve will you be selling next?
If they don't let you sell the valve, I would remove your support of the valve, and let Clack handle all the questions.
When they call, just give them Clacks number.

I would contact the next best valve in your case, and have a serious talk with them.
Though, in reality, someone will be selling these things online. There is always some big supplier that the manufacturers are willing to sell to.
Look at Costco. They pick up products that the plumbing channels can't get at those mark downs.
I had a guy come out that used to be at Amazon, he was now selling plumbing products, and buying factory direct, based on his Amazon book buying skills.
He was able to get better deals from the factory then any of the plumbing suppliers.
Maybe we will see Clack on Amazon.
 

Gary Slusser

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As of an hour ago ET, it looks like I'm out of business until I figure out what I'm going to do.

I plan on taking sometime off and either redoing my dinky original Sept /2003 web site to sell equipment with another valve or two or, figure out if I want to sell Clack valves as a local dealer somewhere with summer and winter locations. I can sell'em out of flea markets... Clack would love that I'm sure.

I think I have a way to do the two location thing if I want to and I'm kinda leaning toward it. I just don't know if I want to stop traveling to be able to sit in each location for 6+/- months at a time. But then we've been sitting for the last two plus years in only two locations, AZ and CO (each twice now) and we're sick of it. We sat still because business has been steady or growing every month for about 2.5 years instead of slowing way down in the spring until fall like it always had before the economy went sour.

Or maybe I'll find a China made knock off of the Clack WS-1 and sell it online. LOL

An owner of national brand softeners/filters called last week asking me to become a consultant to help him increase his dealer network. We didn't get into any specifics so I'm unsure what he has in mind but he told me to check him out by calling someone at Clack that has known him for 20+ years and me for over 5 years. But if I have to get out of the T shirts'n shorts or jeans, I don't see that or a suit ever happening again.

Clack says that starting tomorrow they will be buying softeners/filters from internet dealers that don't "comply" with their edict so maybe I'll sell them a few until I decide what to do. And if I didn't feel a moral responsiblity to service my customers, I would turn service calls over to Clack.

I did buy a boat in Jan that I haven't had in the water yet and the wife says I should retire, and I say what would I do if I retired except to get old'n crotchety like Wally here.
 

farmboy101

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Could someone please explain how Clack can stop people (Internet Dealers) from selling their softeners? Will you not be able to get them from suppliers unless you are an approved dealer? I smell a black market being created or will that not even be possible??
 

Gary Slusser

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Could someone please explain how Clack can stop people (Internet Dealers) from selling their softeners? Will you not be able to get them from suppliers unless you are an approved dealer? I smell a black market being created or will that not even be possible??
Clack is the manufacturer of the Clack valves.

The only companies that sell to dealers are Clack's contracted OEM/Distributors. Clack is preventing their OEM/Distributors from selling to internet dealers. And threatening to shut off the OEM/Distributor from buying Clack valves if they are caught selling to an internet dealer and, then to liquidate the OEM/Distributors' inventory of Clack valves at a pennies on the dollar value.

I don't know how that last part works but if I were an OEM/Distributor I'd simply continue to sell off what inventory and when it gone, not order more Clack valves because Clack wouldn't fill my orders. And I'd laugh all the way to the bank instead of I guess having Clack buy back my inventory paying me say $.10 on the dollar I paid for the valve.

The internet dealers that were selling the Clack valves were all "approved"by Clack as an OEM/Distributor, not Clack's dealer.

Only Clack's contracted OEM/DISTRIBUTORS HAVE DEALERS and all dealers are "approved" by the OEM/Distributor or you can't be a dealer 'cuz where are you going to buy the valve from?

The approval was done by Clack's OEM/Distributoirs supposedly based on knowledge and experience, and I would want by character but ya know how that goes right? But... they didn't do any policing of their dealers to insure that their dealers, internet or local, were sizing correctly before the sale and telling the customer how to program and what data to use. So, Clack was getting contacts from those dealers' customers and didn't want to hear from them. That was happening because Clack didn't want the name used but it had been used for years and the OEM/Distributor didn't say not to so dealers were using it or their customer wouldn't know who the manufacturer was, right?

The vast majority of customers can not find out who the OEM/Distributor is because they rarely if ever sell retail so the customer couldn't call them, so they called Clack. Then Clack got all concerned because their name was involved and they got flustered and stuck their nose in the dealers' business, which wasn't welcomed by the dealers because it was wrong and actually, Clack had no right to do that to begin with. They do have a contractual right to go to the dealers' supplier, the Clack OEM/Distributor though, and they didn't until now, 10 years after the fact. Now they all (Clack and their OEM/Distributors) take the easy way out and sweep all internet dealers out of selling Clack control valves.

Over the years leading up to now, Clack should have asked that internet dealer's customer for the easily found serial number of the control valve and found out what OEM/Distributor sold it (very easily done by Clack BTW and they have been doing it since at least last Nov) and either called that OEM/Distributor or had the customer call the OEM/Distributor to have them straighten out their dealer but that wasn't done. So.... Clack personnel get flustered, probably some saying THIS IS NOT MY JOB... etc. and want something done. I guess then someone goes to the owner of Clack Corp, Richard Clack and complains enough long enough and he makes the recent decision to shut down internet dealers no matter how much business his company or his OEM/Distributors or their internet dealers lose OR, how many DIY type future customers or other consumers have to pay for a softener with a Clack WS1 control valve OR the consumers that have to go without a Clack control valve because they can't find a local dealer that sells Clack valves. Which recall, no one is supposed to use the Clack WS1 name or even mention it... So when it disappears from web sites, how will anyone be able to find a Clack WS1 control valve on any type of equipment except through maybe Craig's List being sold by a previous customer of an internet or local dealer that for the last 10 years honestly and factually called the thing WHAT IT IS; a CLACK WS1.

As a present and very recent customer of an internet dealer and now owner of a Clack WS1, you may want to send Clack an email stating your concerns and thoughts concerning this decision because you may have problems getting parts in the future although Clack says that shouldn't be a problem. uh huh

For any local dealers reading this. I don't know if I would put much faith in what Clack is saying today when they have now made this totally illogical and baseless decision after 10 years of internet dealer sales. They did it to us and they can do anything similar to you in the future. And frankly I believe Clack owes us internet dealers because without us marketing their valves, they would not have had the success they have had.

Questions?
 

Gary Slusser

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Something like that yes. I doubt there will be much of a black market because service will still be the issue.
There wont be any black market sales of Clack valves because Clack controls who they sell to and who their OEM/Distributors sell to.

I take your service comment to mean you mistakenly think a dealer has to be on site to service a softener etc. and that you also mistakenly believe that Customer Service can't be done over the phone on in email.

I guess you think that all the manufacturing companies that have spent large sums of money creating Customer Service departments over the last 30+ years and staffed them with many people to answer the phone calls from consumers of their products have wasted all that money time and effort.
 

NHmaster3015

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No, what I meant was that internet dealers will not be able to get parts to service their inventory. Please refrain from putting words in my mouth, thank you. And just to be fair here, though a rarity, I am on your side here.
 

Gary Slusser

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No, what I meant was that internet dealers will not be able to get parts to service their inventory. Please refrain from putting words in my mouth, thank you. And just to be fair here, though a rarity, I am on your side here.
I've already posted what Clack is going to do with existing internet dealers' customers, they are allowing drop shipping to internet dealers' customers. And, Bishop says a customer can call him at ext 130 at Clack and he will get the customer parts if the internet dealer doesn't or is out of business etc.. How can you see that as no service?

BTW, no internet dealers that I know of have any inventory.

Our suppliers have the inventory and drop ship to our customers from their locations which substantially decreases our prices to our customers. Plus our volume of purchases allows us internet dealers to pay less wholesale for the equipment we sell. Which again reduces our prices to consumers.

Example, as of yesterday, June 15th, I have sold 26 softeners, plus 1 filter, so far this month. All had the Clack WS1 CS version control valve. Most local independent dealers, or plumbers or well drillers that sell softeners etc., don't come close to a quarter of that number in a month, let alone in only 15 days. I've sold as many as 9 a day and many days more than one but.... your word inventory, without putting words in your mouth... I think you meant to say customer.
 

NHmaster3015

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Yes, I'll agree with that. At any rate, I still think it's a raw deal. drop shipping is how 99% of all internet dealers work. Nobody can carry that kind of inventory except a supply house. When I buy computer parts or tools online I know damn well the company I get them from drop ships. I buy a crap load of machine parts from MSC. they have a catalog that is 6" thick. Nobody in their right mind would believe they have all that stuff in a warehouse. clack would have been much better off to slap the offending distributors rather than blanket the whole enterprise
 

farmboy101

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As a present and very recent customer of an internet dealer and now owner of a Clack WS1, you may want to send Clack an email stating your concerns and thoughts concerning this decision because you may have problems getting parts in the future although Clack says that shouldn't be a problem. uh huh


Thanks for the explanation. I will send them an email telling them how I feel about what I consider a very poor business decision on their part.
 

Gary Slusser

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That's messed up Gary. I don't understand how Clack could pull the plug after so many years and dealers. I think all it will do is drive up the price.
Yes it is and the fallout won't be just an increase in the price local dealers can charge, there will be many fewer Clack control valves manufactured so possibly those local dealers will be paying more for them. And the local dealers will not be benefiting from the marketing and education us internet dealers used to do for them.
 

whatdoesitmatter

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Customer Perspective

Just tried to source one of their products directly from corporate. The service sucked so badly, I am sourcing from another manufacturer. Thank you for the extremely efficient process for determining this. I feel sorry for your distributors. If you think this is not representative, guess again. 10;1 says they don't listen and keep the same approach.
 

Tom Sawyer

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Just tried to source one of their products directly from corporate. The service sucked so badly, I am sourcing from another manufacturer. Thank you for the extremely efficient process for determining this. I feel sorry for your distributors. If you think this is not representative, guess again. 10;1 says they don't listen and keep the same approach.

Gosh I sure hope so.
 

ditttohead

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LOL, you seriously tried to call them to buy direct? Unless you are purchasing a container load of valves... and even then, it requires considerable time and effort to go direct, as well as long term commitments, continued purchasing, contracts, etc. Not sure what that post was supposed to mean.
 
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