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Thread: Clack Dumps Internet Dealers

  1. #1
    NH Master is offline Senior Member
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    Default Clack Dumps Internet Dealers

    Clack has decided to stop allowing internet sales of their equipment in order to protect their OEM suppliers and reduce the number of calls from homeowners regarding parts and service. A good move as many of these dealers come and go and then leave their customers high and dry. This is a copy of the EMail sent out by Clack regarding the matter. Clack will allow internet dealers to sell replacement parts for now but I would suspect that most of these dealers will choose to dump the parts sales and switch to another manufacturers product. I also suspect that Fleck will probably follow Clacks lead in the matter.

    From: Piasecki, John [mailto:Piasecki@clackcorp.com]
    Sent: Monday, April 26, 2010 3:47 PM
    Subject: FW: Control Valve Marketing and Internet Up-Date

    Dear Customer,

    Please see the new April 26th document attached along with the March 26th update also.

    We sincerely request that all OEM’s abide and follow through on the requirements and requests that the attached Control Valve Marketing Updates state.

    Our commitment is to the Water Treatment Industry and we feel very strongly that we want Systems with our Control Valves sold and serviced through the long time established traditional channels of distribution.

    Thank you for your assistance in complying with our requirements and requests.

    Clack Corporation

  2. #2
    Akpsdvan is offline Senior Member
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    Oh this should be fun.

    I know back in the 90's when Hague was coming out with the WaterMax they also where putting out the WaterBoss of a 1/4 the price that the dealers where dealing with on the max..

    Dealers having to charge one price but Hague selling the boss to the box stores for a 1/4 of the price.. that was and still is not right.

    If one is looking at having dealers around the country one does not but them in a spot where they can not make some kind of money.

  3. #3
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    Clack seems to be a very protective company They rarely put their name on their units that are sold by other distributors. Even in installation manuals, I have seen no name marked anywhere. Obviously, they have taken great care to protect their name.

    It reminds that UPS removes all names/makes of their vehicles.

    Hellenbrand, Sterling and other company names are put on their units. Some even have slight modifications to their equipment when sold to a particular company.

    As far as internet dealers, i have never heard this and it would be interesting to see how it goes off. Fortunately, I have access to these as dealer in good standing. I wonder what prompted this tightening of the noose. Do you suppose there are those out there creating a bad name for their product? All one has to do is a google search and you can find individuals or companies leaving their endtrails, which Clack may find objectable.

    Andy Christensen, CWS-II

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    Driller1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy CWS
    Clack seems to be a very protective company They rarely put their name on their units that are sold by other distributors. Even in installation manuals, I have seen no name marked anywhere. Obviously, they have taken great care to protect their name.

    It reminds that UPS removes all names/makes of their vehicles.

    Hellenbrand, Sterling and other company names are put on their units. Some even have slight modifications to their equipment when sold to a particular company.

    As far as internet dealers, i have never heard this and it would be interesting to see how it goes off. Fortunately, I have access to these as dealer in good standing. I wonder what prompted this tightening of the noose. Do you suppose there are those out there creating a bad name for their product? All one has to do is a google search and you can find individuals or companies leaving their endtrails, which Clack may find objectable.

    Andy Christensen, CWS-II
    Perhaps??
    Trying to help people NOT get cheated ON THE NET.

  5. #5
    NH Master is offline Senior Member
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    For the most part is is to protect there OEM's and regular dealers but there is a growing problem with online dealers not supporting the product and then the diy'er complains to the factory.

  6. #6
    Driller1 is offline Senior Member
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    For the life of me I never understood why anyone would buy something like that on the Internet.
    Trying to help people NOT get cheated ON THE NET.

  7. #7
    Akpsdvan is offline Senior Member
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    Clack has had this policy in place for years, it has gotten out of hand and they are now enforcing it.

  8. #8
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    Well, like most things, don't count your chickens....

  9. #9
    Akpsdvan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy CWS
    Well, like most things, don't count your chickens....
    That Clack will or will not enforce their rule?

  10. #10
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    Right. That would mean they have to put the chokehold on distributors like Nelsen and give them the ultimative. How these can be traced is another good question.

    Is this 'enforcement' based on abuse of unauthorized dealers, customers lookig for satisfaction because their sellers didn't/counldn't help, or complaints from authorized dealers that their businesses are affected. Maybe a combination....

    Maybe Gary could comment on this.

  11. #11
    Akpsdvan is offline Senior Member
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    It will be of interest as to how this plays out.

    There have been Culligan Dealers that are no longer because they where selling equipment that was not Culligan..

    The Clack valve is some thing that will never make it to the Box stores and I feel that is what they are trying to get back on the internet... buy the full unit from some one other than an internet dealer or back to the brick and mortar type store.

  12. #12
    NH Master is offline Senior Member
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    Oh, I wouldn't bet on that. It would not surprise me to see Clack sold at HD and Lowes. Both of those places have big time buying power.

  13. #13
    Akpsdvan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH Master
    Oh, I wouldn't bet on that. It would not surprise me to see Clack sold at HD and Lowes. Both of those places have big time buying power.
    I know that around here I have not seen the clack at either store... seen the GE or sears type.. a much cheaper valve ..

  14. #14
    Gary Slusser is offline Banned
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    Here you guys are gossiping again...

    For a factual account and the story line...

    Here is a copy of an email I sent 5/2/10 to 2+/- dozen internet dealers and a couple OEMs. It is one of many and tells the on going story of Clack shutting off internet dealers.

    ***********
    I have been selling Clack valves on equipment since Jan 2 2004 and I have been involved with Clack Corp about selling their control valves on the internet and use of the Clack WS whatever name on my web site since early July 2005 when John Piasecki called me telling me to remove the name from my web site and to stop selling "The Valve" online.

    Somewhere in the August - Oct 2006 time frame I heard the same from Bob Bishop, Clack national sales manager, and I received an email about the same from someone with Clack in FL in Dec 2006.

    Now about March 26 2010 I received another email saying the same things. That was from John Piasecki which I have spoken to on the phone and in a number of emails since then until just 5-6 days ago.

    Each time they have contacted me I have spoken to my suppliers and continued doing what I was doing and I'm doing the same now.

    Until Jul 2005 I did not know they did not want "The Valve" sold on the internet or the name not used.

    Suppliers had only told me that I could not buy just a control valve, it had to be a "complete system". Then I was told I could buy just a control valve if it was replacing a competitor's valve and I have done that a few times.

    The Clack WS whatever name is not copy written, trade marked or service marked. So I have continued to use the name after telling Clack Corp personnel that they have no right to tell me what I can or can not say on my web site; and that I have no contract or agreement with them or my suppliers so I believe I can do whatever I want to with "The Valve" once I have bought it.

    I think Clack is making a large mistake but they don't think so and are willing to go through with enforcing the terms of their contract with their OEMs. And I suspect all OEMs will attempt to comply this time unless we dealers can win a few points now.

    Clack guesses the total volume of internet sales to be 300-400 a month. I say they are very low with those figures. I was told by one supplier the beginning of this week or the end of last week that they had all but 250 a month with only 75% of their internet dealers having been counted.

    I'm also told that Richard Clack is willing to lose that volume and possibly more.

    Other than lost income, another problem is that I do not want my customers that have purchased a Clack WS1 to become orphaned as of June 15th 2010. And I'm sure that is what is gong to happen to all of our customers.

    DIYers do not want any dealer or service guy coming out to install parts, they want to reduce costs and buy online and then replace the part themselves. Clack seems to think their OEMs can find a local dealer to care for orphans.

    Now I think we all know that most local dealers, well drillers and plumbers selling softeners etc. will not service equipment they have not sold and especially if it were sold on the internet. Clack seems to be internet illiterate and I think they are ignorant about being a dealer whether internet or local, things don't work the way they expect them to.

    Clack's primary goal in all this is to prevent any dealers' customers from contacting them.

    That's while customers of today are accustomed to calling the manufacturer of whatever products they buy regardless of where they buy them if they have a problem with them or the sellers of those products. Clack doesn't want to hear about any of that or to put in a customer support line or department. Or to pay their OEMs to train dealers or the OEMs don't want to and many dealers don't want training even if it were free because they come from a service or sales position and know everything already.

    Clack also wants to protect the companies that have purchased a proprietary type "Valve" from them, their dealers and local independent dealers, from us internet sellers. That's all commendable but impossible because they can't shut down the internet sales of other brands of control valves.

    I suggest we all email our present customers and tell them they will not be able to buy parts from us after June 15 2010, or from a local dealer, unless they know that the local dealer sells "The Valve".

    I also suggest we all tell those customers to call, fax or email Clack Corp to give them their opinion of Clack forcing them to become orphan customers. I suggest including the Clack phone and fax numbers and Bob Bishop's email address in the email to your customers. He is Clack's national sales manager and a prime driving force in this effort to shut off internet sales. although I'm told this is Richard Clack's decision.


    I also suggest we all put a page on our web site notifying the public of what Clack is doing and why. Personally I am going to include copies of the materials I have received from Clack and my suppliers so people can read it for themselves.

    If you guys want to keep selling "The Valve" we have to fight this decision. If so I suggest those of you that have changed the name (and given up your right to free speech) change it back to Clack WS whatever until at least the 15th of June 2010. Those that removed the valve should put it back on your site; until the 15th of June.

    Otherwise you are helping Clack do something you don't agree with and you might as well give up and take the equipment off your sites and quit selling it now because they aren't going to change the decision without a fight or serious sales volume info they don't have yet.

    I think anyone that wants to continue selling "The Valve" should call their supplier and tell them to count up how many valves they have sold to internet dealers and to fight this anyway possible. Mention orphan customers and Clack still getting phone calls and possibly more than they have been getting. Suggest they and Clack identify internet dealers they think are doing things wrong and help them do it right. Tell them to read their "valve agreement" to see if the "on site" comment is in it.

    I don't believe there is an OEM anywhere that wants to give up internet dealer sales especially in this economy that IMO is going to last for years. They need to count up actual numbers of internet sales and inform Clack as to the numbers.

    If anyone has any suggestions or wants to discuss this email or call me.
    ******************

    To read what Clack says in the documents they sent, the current status including support of existing customers of internet dealers and some other things;
    http:
    Last edited by Andy CWS; 07-28-2010 at 05:12 AM.

  15. #15
    NH Master is offline Senior Member
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    I have a feeling at this point that for better or worse, Clack has made the decision and intends to stick with it. I know that a lot of you think I am against internet sales but I am not and see this decision as a bit heavy handed. There are internet dealers out there that do an outstanding job of supporting their customers and equipment and I will even go futhrer out on the limb here and say that form what I have seen and heard, Gary is one of those dealers. unfortunately though, there are too many fly by night outfits out there that sell whatever they can get their hands on and do not support the customer or product and that, naturally, leads to emails and phone calls to the Clack Corporation that they would just as soon not have to handle. Perhaps if Clack was to qualify internet dealers and insist on training and a relationship. That however would probably piss off the OEM's and the suppliers. It's a mess as it is and will lead to customers getting shafted if those established dealers can no longer support the product. I have emailed Clack myself but I doubt I will get much of a response.
    Last edited by NH Master; 05-18-2010 at 08:14 AM.

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    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    Gary, sent you a PM. Very interesting post above.

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    Gary Slusser is offline Banned
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    Andy, thanks for the PM and for contacting Clack about this. Please post what you have communicated to Clack concerning this subject and then their reply that you received. It would be very helpful to others reading this thread.

    Here is a copy of an email that reversed Clack's previous position of not allowing internet dealers to service existing customers with parts after the June 15th 2010 cut off of internet sales. Sales of parts will now be allowed.

    *********************
    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


    *****************************
    Last edited by Andy CWS; 07-28-2010 at 05:13 AM.

  18. #18
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    I have read that memo elsewhere.

    You're welcome, Gary, but the correspondence between others and myself is confidential unless invited to go ahead and publish it. It would be improper to post the missives of others without their acknowledgement, let alone without their permission.

    Nonetheless, I'm sure you are handling it to the best of your ability and the end results could just well be the fruition of your efforts.

    I know that others do sell similar equipment over the www but try to remain under the radar--not exploded like Mt. St. Helens. Sometimes the soft sell works better. I have sold these valves through proper channels and get full support from the manufacturer primarily by following their rules.

    Andy Christensen, CWS-II

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    NH Master is offline Senior Member
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    You might be able to rent a storage shed and use the address but you will still be stuck with packaging and shipping the product from site which will cut into profits quite a bit. You can always go back to peddling Fleck.

  20. #20
    Gary Slusser is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH Master
    You might be able to rent a storage shed and use the address but you will still be stuck with packaging and shipping the product from site which will cut into profits quite a bit. You can always go back to peddling Fleck.
    I sure can rent a shed or three or a gas station etc.. I've got all that other stuff figured out already with one exception, that is IF I want to do it.

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