Here is some correspondence I had with an HVAC supply company this week. It starts with an inquiry I left on their website.

“Tonight on your web site I found a replacement capacitor that I need for an AC unit. I was trying to figure out what the cheapest way to ship it would be, so I clicked the “send me a quote” box on the “next action” part. The page it took me to indicated that my order had been sent, but it also included a quote for the part.

I’m not sure if the order went through or not. I would really like the part, but I want it shipped in the least costly way possible (won’t need AC until June at the earliest, so if you strap it to a turtle and point it in my direction, that might just work).

The part is still in my shopping cart, but since I’m not sure if the quote request resulted in an order, I’m not going to click “order” a second time until I can get some clarification.
I really don’t want two of these. Just one please.”

Hello James,

We do thank you for your inquiry and the email we received with the subject: ‘Follow Up” (pasted below). I also liked your sense of humor. Thanks for making our day brighter.

First, when you request a quote, it comes to us as a quote, not an order. (It is below your pasted email.). So as of now, it is not ordered.

Second, shipping options. Thanks for being so specific as to when you wanted the part and the parameters of the cost of getting it to you. We are normally asked to get the parts to the customer fast, like yesterday. We still have not invented faster-than-the-speed-of-light delivery, so most customer have to pay extra to get it tomorrow. In your case, we were stimulated to think differently, which we did.

If you can wait, we can order the part in our normal order cycle from the supplier who will get it in his normal order cycle. That means it will be placed in a box with other stuff and hence, reduce our cost to get the part. It may take us two to three weeks to get the part. Then we can ship it to you one of three methods:

1. Very low cost, no tracking what so ever – that will be US normal first class mail. – It may cost $2 – $3 (my guess and take a few days
2. US Priority mail – track only if lost – this costs around $5.00 – 2 – 3 business days
3. UPS Ground service – full tracking – costs $10.50 – two business days normally
4. Turtle carrier – Indian tracking only – priceless – could be unlimited, never guaranteed to arrive.

If you place your order online, you can include a comment as to the type of shipping you want and refer to this email.

Thanks
Fred

My follow-up inquiry was also placed via the web, so I don’t have a transcript of that. But I did request first class USPS service rather than via turtle. Turtles are notoriously poor navigators. If anyone who reads this is looking for an HVAC parts supplier, these guys get my full endorsement.