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View Full Version : ECS Tuning: Buyers Beware



1stVR6
11-22-2005, 02:44 PM
I wanted to warn people about shopping with ECS-Tuning...

I just received my first order with them with parts for a B5 Audi S4. Issues with the order:

1. I ordered 2 oil filters. On the site, it states either Mann or Mahle (both are OEM suppliers to VW/Audi). What came in my order were 2 Bosch Oil Filters, which I could have bought at Schucks for $6 but paid $8.99 at ECS.

2. I ordered a cabin air filters. I got a generic replacement filters from a company that is called FilterTech. Examining the quality, it does not warrant the price ECS charges, which is inline with other stores selling the OEM Audi filter.

3. I order Bosch wiper refills. They picture one pair, in a box as seen in retail stores. What they shipped was 1 piece, not a pair. They charge $5.99 for 1 refill when the pair is $10.99 in a retail store.

I will be contacting ECS regarding my order for sure. I will post their response.

Update 11/23: Spoke with ECS... They agreed to refund me $2/filter for the oil filters. The rest they are not willing to address as it was sold as advertised.

Here is my comment. I work in the auto parts business as a Product Marketer/Buyer. I source and re-source product from different suppliers all day long. What ECS doing is pegging their pricing according to the market but offering a generic product instead of the OEM replacement (or similar) part that many other stores sell for the same price. To me, this is mis-leading and I will not be purchasing from ECS again. That is just too bad since this was just my first order and I kept it small so I can see how their service was. I have some major purchases I was planning to make and I will not be buying them through ECS.

S4audi_SD
11-22-2005, 03:07 PM
I've had horrible problems with them regarding my brothers jetta. Almost 4 months ago we bought taillights for his car and they kept giving us the runaround for about 3 months. Then we finally gave up and decided to get intake instead which they said would take a week. It's been a little over a month and they are still holding our money and we have no product yet.

It really sux for them because i have a B6 S4 and was planning on purchasing their big brake porsche kit and many other things.

hopefully they give a shit enough to respond to us either through PM or on this thread, but i doubt it.

ECA4
11-22-2005, 04:14 PM
I've had problems with them also, seems as if they just put you on the back burner unless you spend a lot of money. I had a set of clear blinkers sent to me in the wrong color and when I shipped them back I never saw them again.

I wont buy anything from them again, and I wont recomend them to anyone.

CarterMarkham
11-22-2005, 05:59 PM
Note taken.

Thanks :)

EVIL-AUDI
11-22-2005, 06:21 PM
Moving this now

ECS Tuning-Tom
11-23-2005, 12:11 PM
Customer has been taken care of on the filter situation, he said over the phone he was satisfied with the resolution we worked out.


On the interior air filters, nowhere on that part # on our site is listed the brand that we sell. Filtertech is a name brand unit not a "generic" brand. Also, what technically data can you show to back up the claim that the Filtertech filter is "generic" & "poor quality" compared to a OEM unit. Please back up the claim that this filter is a "poor quality" & "generic" unit with technical data on how the filter does filter as well as the OEM unit. Stating it visually looks "generic" is highly opinionated & offers no facts on the functionality of the filter. BTW the OEM unit is not even made my Audi.

When we purchase parts, we specify the brands that we want, unlike the stated comment that we "offering generic products instead of OEM replacement" Just look at the website & many of the brands are listed in plain English.

ECS Tuning-Tom
11-23-2005, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by a4audi_SD
I've had horrible problems with them regarding my brothers jetta. Almost 4 months ago we bought taillights for his car and they kept giving us the runaround for about 3 months. Then we finally gave up and decided to get intake instead which they said would take a week. It's been a little over a month and they are still holding our money and we have no product yet.


Not knowing your bothers name it is impossible to for me absoluterly comfirm this, but it's standard practice not charge for parts while we wait for them to come in. The customers CC is not charged until the order is ready to ship. While I am not doubting that he has had the tailights on order forever (probably Hella red/smoke), we have no control over the time it takes to get them here. I seriously doubt your brother paid for them & if by some small chance your brother did & we have not shipped them, he will be credit immediately.

1stVR6
11-24-2005, 01:47 AM
Originally posted by ECS Tuning-Tom
Customer has been taken care of on the filter situation, he said over the phone he was satisfied with the resolution we worked out.


On the interior air filters, nowhere on that part # on our site is listed the brand that we sell. Filtertech is a name brand unit not a "generic" brand. Also, what technically data can you show to back up the claim that the Filtertech filter is "generic" & "poor quality" compared to a OEM unit. Please back up the claim that this filter is a "poor quality" & "generic" unit with technical data on how the filter does filter as well as the OEM unit. Stating it visually looks "generic" is highly opinionated & offers no facts on the functionality of the filter. BTW the OEM unit is not even made my Audi.

When we purchase parts, we specify the brands that we want, unlike the stated comment that we "offering generic products instead of OEM replacement" Just look at the website & many of the brands are listed in plain English.


Tom/ECS: Interesting you are replying to my post... Since you are requesting me to validate my comments, I will gladly oblige your request.

Before I go on, maybe I should make a couple of comments about myself since everyone have a pretty good idea of what ECS Tuning does but know nothing about me. I manage an aftermarket business unit for an OEM auto manufacturer. All together, I manage about 250 million dollars worth of aftermarket parts business that includes HVAC, steering, ride control, electrical, suspension, and some other misc stuff. Being that I do this for a living, I like to think that I at least have some idea of what I am talking about since I determine marketing strategies and buy parts from suppliers all over the world everyday. Oh, I also have a degree in engineering which I guess provides me with some fundamental mechanical knowledge... enough about me, this is not my ego trip.

I took my car apart earlier today (before I saw your post) to perform an oil change and change my cabin filter.

First of all: The Bosch oil filters ECS sold me are not even the same size as the OEM filter. Never mind the fact it is for sale at my local auto store for $5.99, making your resolution of a $2 refund off your $8.99 OVERprice ($8.99 - $2 = $6.99) still a pretty crappy deal. My resolution, I bought another filter...

Notice difference in height
http://www.audizine.com/gallery/data/500/6916PICT0210-med.JPG

Notice difference in diameter
http://www.audizine.com/gallery/data/500/6916PICT0211-med.JPG

If you know filters, you know that it is hard to evaluate a filter just looking at it. Without cutting it apart and checking the element inside, it is generally hard to tell the difference. In general, more element material = longer oil life. In the picture above, you can clearly see that the Bosch filter is smaller in both height and diameter. To me, this means that there is less element surface area inside the filter and therefore has a shorter life. The Audi S4 is designed for 5K mile oil change intervals provided that a OEM spec filter is used (have to protect the turbos you know). What you are selling is a "will fit" filter that works for the application but does not neccesarily meet OE spec. Regardless, it CLEARLY states on your website the filter is Either a MANN or a Mahle (VW/Audi OE suppliers) and ECS just ships a customer a lesser product and call it a day?!? What if you paid for Filet Mignon at a retaurant but when the steak showed up, it was a strip of meat like those they serve at Denny's. Oh, and when you complained about it, the reply you got was, well it is still a steak... it will do the same thing. You remember the answer you gave me when I said I got Bosch filters? I think it was something along the lines of it being for the same application as if I should just be happy with my Denny's steak although I was expecting a filet mignon. (I like analogies)

http://www.audizine.com/gallery/data/500/6916ECS_filter-med.jpg

Second of all: The Cabin filter ECS sold me does NOT fit! It is longer than the OEM filter. I had my car all taken apart and had to put my old filter back because your "will fit" product did not meet OEM specification. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so I guess here's a couple of thousand words...

Notice that it is longer by at least 5mm:
http://www.audizine.com/gallery/data/500/6916PICT0206-med.JPG

Notice that it is also slightly wider:
http://www.audizine.com/gallery/data/500/6916PICT0207-med.JPG

For anyone that has done a cabin filter replacement on a B5, you know that the filter fits very tight in the housing and needs to in order to seal properly. In addition, since there is no additional screens of any sort... you can actually see the blower motor once the filter is removed. Because your filter was too long, when placed inside the housing, the filter folded up in the middle causing improper sealing and voids along the outer edges. So unless you want to breath dust and get crap into your HVAC system, you don't want to use the ECS Filtertech filter.

I don't know how other people assess quality but a part that does not fit is LOW QUALITY to me. I think I was being kind to call it "generic", which does not necessarily imply lower quality, just that it is not OEM. I think a more appropriate term should be "piece of lovelyness that is usually found in a white porcelain can".

Here's a couple pictures of my work tonight. There nothing like the feeling of taking everything apart only to find out that the part does not fit. Just how I wanted to spend my Thanksgiving Eve. Perhaps I should invoice ECS at my hourly rate for my time wasted.

http://www.audizine.com/gallery/data/500/6916PICT0208-med.JPG

http://www.audizine.com/gallery/data/500/6916PICT0209-med.JPG

For me, I had already written off the $80 I spent with ECS. I was hoping to help other to avoid this experience. More importantly, I hope ECS can take this as constructive feedback (with the occational sarcasm) and place more emphasis on customer satisfaction and product quality. I realize my experience by no means is a representation of all ECS customers. Otherwise, ECS wouldn't be in business right now. But if you mis-lead customers (like the above examples and your $5.99 EACH wiper that really was just one wiper refill when the rest of the world sells the Bosch wiper refills in pair since that is the Bosch standard package quantity), even if you didn't intend to, the end result is still unhappy customers and lost sales for ECS. Enough said and time spent...
[s4]

hadokenny
11-24-2005, 02:16 AM
^^ Lets see what ECS has to say about that post!

Nice pearl S4 youve got there btw!

salz2135
11-27-2005, 03:25 PM
Is it just me or was the ECS response pretty snide and smug?

1stVR6
11-27-2005, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by salz2135
Is it just me or was the ECS response pretty snide and smug?

I can say that my phone conversation with ECS was similar. They were very defensive and I never go the impression that they felt there was anything wrong with sending me a Bosch filter when I paid and was suppose to get OEM (MANN or MAHLE) filters. At one point, it was suggested that I send the filters back, but at MY expense. How obsurb...

Where is the ECS response now? You asked for justification and I provided it. Are you going to fix the problem now?

[s4]

Ben@SpeedBarn
11-27-2005, 07:46 PM
Wow...I've never had a problem with my dealings with ECS through the net...I've been there in person a few times too. But wow...you got the proof there...good job! Sorry for your troubles though.

I love pearl s4s too!

Paul_858
11-28-2005, 08:36 PM
might i suggest Pure Motorsport for your OEM needs in the future. Great shop here in Socal, with a well proven record for exceptional service.

biturbo hero
11-28-2005, 09:26 PM
i'd like to see ECS send richard a gift certificate, or send him a ECS big brake kit as a gesture of good faith. arent successfull companies like ECS gratefull for the audizine community, that perpetuates constant growth and income for them, and their families ??!!??
i mean we all work so hard to scrape enough money to work on our cars, usually at night, while our hot, model-statuesque girlfriends are getting madder by the second, lying naked in our beds, while we try putting in ill-fitting, overpriced parts from ungratefull vendors.

c'mon tom. be the hero, the good guy, its christmas season for christs sake. make us proud of you, and send richard a big brake kit !!!!

i know you will do the right thing tom...

1stVR6
11-29-2005, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by biturbo hero
i'd like to see ECS send richard a gift certificate, or send him a ECS big brake kit as a gesture of good faith. arent successfull companies like ECS gratefull for the audizine community, that perpetuates constant growth and income for them, and their families ??!!??
i mean we all work so hard to scrape enough money to work on our cars, usually at night, while our hot, model-statuesque girlfriends are getting madder by the second, lying naked in our beds, while we try putting in ill-fitting, overpriced parts from ungratefull vendors.

c'mon tom. be the hero, the good guy, its christmas season for christs sake. make us proud of you, and send richard a big brake kit !!!!

i know you will do the right thing tom...

This is why I love the Audizine... People who really understand me! I think I'm going to cry. [=(]

BTW, my model-statuesque girlfriends only love me because of my pearly S with all the OEM parts...

BTW, the OEM cabin filter went in no problems. Took about 15 minutes start to finish.

Still haven't heard from ECS. I'm equal opportunity yeah know. I much say how ECS took care of their customer rather than how they ignored their problems... (which seems to be adundant these days)
[s4]

1stVR6
12-01-2005, 04:30 PM
Update: I wanted to let everyone know that Tom at ECS has make attempts to contact me and I am currently awaiting his email. I'll keep everyone posted...

1stVR6
12-04-2005, 11:31 PM
Update: 12/3 I received a long and well written resolution from Tom @ ECS whom I did NOT speak on the phone with.

I would like to say that at least someone at ECS was willing to write me a detailed explaination and offer some resolutions. GREATLY appreciated.
[up]

cuco33
12-05-2005, 07:44 PM
Originally posted by 1stVR6
Update: I wanted to let everyone know that Tom at ECS has make attempts to contact me and I am currently awaiting his email. I'll keep everyone posted...

tell him to contact me and hook me up for my troubles [headbang]

jones3000
12-15-2005, 06:28 AM
For OEM parts like oil filters I would just go to the Audi dealer. Or even a VW dealer. Sometimes it's not worth it. anyway, hope it all works out. I've purchased a few item including my timing belt replacement kit from ECS with no issues.