CJ Pony Parts Experience - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 79 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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CJ Pony Parts Experience

The story I am writing is without a doubt the most objectionable purchase I have made online from an automobile parts supplier over the last nine years buying parts for my 1965 Mustang. Consider the facts for yourself and make your own determinations. I personally feel this purchase may very well qualify as a classic example of what is called "Bait and Switch".

Here is my story (along with supporting documents attached):

March 2019, I used a $75 coupon ("SAVE75") from CJPP, towards a purchase of $500 or more, on part number FR1497Q which is Flaming River steering box part number for a 1965 Mustang. On CJPP's purchase page for this item the image clearly shows "FLAMING RIVER" on the item casting. Additionally in the comments section 'Mark mdl' asks the question "Is this definitely Flaming River or is it another brand?" and a reply from 'jmg1' is posted saying "This is a Flaming River product.".
To summarize:
1) Part number FR1497Q is a Flaming River part number
2) CJPP product page for FR1497Q shows an image with a Flaming River box including "FLAMING RIVER" displayed on casting
3) Question and answer section on product page has question asking if the item is a Flaming River product and a posted reply states it is a Flaming River product.
4) Flaming River reference for FR1497Q part # 1965-66 Mustang Long Shaft Steering Box: 1" Sector - 16:1 Ratio - FR1497Q - 580 - 5427

Mid-April 2019 I received my order from CJPP and the installation of my steering box began. During installation the steering shaft had alignment issue that were not present with the shafts of two original equipment Ford steering boxes compared (one removed and another spare needing rebuild). Only after the alignment problem and during process of making a return with CJPP did I discover that CJPP substituted the Flaming River (FR1497Q) steering box I ordered with a steering box made by LARES with a part number of 19702. I found the LARES part number and company sticker on the side of the shipping box. Additionally, my CJPP invoice has an extra line with "(SB22 substituted for FR1497Q)". The "SB22" is a CJ Pony Part internal part number for a "CJ Classics Steering Box".
Over the last nine years and hundreds of orders for my 1965 Mustang I have never had a part substituted by a vendor for a different brand part than what I ordered. Moreover, especially without being notified of a change to my order before shipment!
To summarize:
1) I was never notified by CJPP of a substitution product being sent before shipment.
2) I received a LARES 19702 steering box instead of the Flaming River FR1497Q steering box I ordered.
3) I discovered the substitution product change to my order after the steering box did not fit when I researched LARES Corporation on side of the shipping box and discovered they were a different entity than Flaming River.
4) "SB22" is a "CJ Classics Steering Box" and "rebranded" LARES 19702 steering box.
5) CJPP shows the FR1497Q and SB22 steering boxes on separate web pages (separate product pages).

On CJ Pony Parts web-site the "SB22" steering box sells for $679.99 and is branded a "CJ Classics Steering Box". The page does not identify the SB22 as a LARES 19702 steering box, however the steering box picture does match the LARES 19702 steering box features I received including gold color plated screws on cap, grease cloth on shaft, and shaft without collar unlike the Flaming River product.

Without going to other web-sites it would appear CJPP "upgraded" me to a more expensive box (their own CJ Classics Steering box), however doing some investigation with "19702" part number found on side of shipping box here is what I found that is shocking:
1) RockAuto sells the LARES 19702 steering box for $210.79
2) CARiD sells the LARES 19702 steering box for $377.91

Overall Summary:
1) I ordered a FR1497Q part number for $539.99 with $75 coupon discount to purchase a Flaming River steering box from CJPP.
2) The part number, product picture, and Q&A section statement on CJPP product page supported my purchase as a Flaming River steering box. Additionally, the part # matches the Flaming Rivers product.
2) I received a "SB22" substation from CJPP for their "more expensive" CJ Classics Steering box and received a Lares 19702 steering box without being told before shipment that a substation was made.
3) The purchase price of the Flaming River FR1497Q steering box, even with $75 coupon applied, is substantially higher (based on Summit Racing, Amazon, Speedway Motors, etc. sales of the Flaming River steering box) to the prices that the Lares steering box sells for outside of CJPP (on RockAuto and CARiD).

CJPP did cover the UPS return of the steering box after I spent at least two hours of my work week on the phone getting the return approved. CJPP requested I E-mail them pictures showing that the steering box did not properly fit. Additionally, because I can only assume CJPP would not take my word for it, a picture of the two original equipment steering boxes that I told them did not have alignment problems was also sent upon request. Also, in case anyone is wondering, I would have additionally requested a return based on a substitution product had I known about the substitution details I discovered after encountering issues with the steering box alignment during install. I was not doing the install by myself and would have never suspected a substitution took place on my order. In hindsight, I am glad a problem occurred with install or I might have installed what I thought was a Flaming River steering box when in fact it was not!

As of today CJPP has issued a full refund credit.

The last person I spoken with at CJPP, as of writing this post, was Yupha. She identified her title as the Call Center Manager in Harrisburg, PA. Yupha told me several times on my call that it is common practice in the industry to make substitutions without notifying customers, and that my purchase was not "bait and switch", before she hung up the phone on me. While speaking with her I instantly realized the term she first used of "bait and switch" personally feels exactly like what did take place on my purchase!

I sincerely hope your experiences with CJPP are better than mine if you choose to do business with them! I strongly recommend asking CJPP questions on what brand product you are purchasing and will be receiving!

I would like to thank all the vendors that are alternatives to CJPP that put their customers best interests side by side with their business practices!
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg fr1497q_1.18.jpg (29.3 KB, 27 views)
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File Type: jpg cjppbill.JPG (172.8 KB, 23 views)
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floovb, floovb, vwomp, vwomp (sound of a bad tire driving)

Last edited by EvenFlow; 05-09-2019 at 10:17 PM.
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post #2 of 79 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 10:12 PM
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Yea, that isn’t cool.
Glad they did a refund.

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post #3 of 79 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 10:21 PM
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Chris at CJPP... you have a quite a task to fix this one.
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post #4 of 79 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 10:34 PM
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zzzzzzz, So tired of seeing complaints about CJPP. Sure seems like some people get great service but others do not. I hope they make some changes soon as they must be losing some biz. I would hate to see the mustang hobby lose another vendor but I also hate to see hobbyist ripped off or deceived. Someone needs to get their stuff together,,,,

Current piles of rust 1965: New yorker***1968: GTO convert, Lemans convert Porche 911***1969: MustangGT convert, Mach1 S code Mach1, Mach1 CobraJet R code GTO convert, Firbird Convert 1970 Boss 302***1972: Charger***1999:f250 CNG truck***2011:nissan Altima ---> I need to get rid of some of this junk lol
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post #5 of 79 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 10:47 PM
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It's not 'bait and switch' when you talk to a customer before you do it, or when you offer a product that is demonstrably better as a substitute.

When you give a customer a lesser product without discussion or explanation, or discount, yes, that IS 'bait and switch'.

At least CJPP gave you your money back!
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post #6 of 79 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 11:45 PM
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Seems CJPP is a 50 / 50 gamble for parts. I have only ordered from them once, and they left one part completely out, but it was remedied with a phone call and no
additional shipping cost to me, but it did delay my project a few days. I started seeing all the bad reviews and some good reviews on VMF, and I have held off my order on some items even though another of my usual suppliers is currently out of stock on the items and CJPP site shows they have them. I don't see how they can continue to stay in business with their current leadership and shipping woes, in spite of competitive pricing and coupons. My last order came from NPD and I am waiting on a handful of parts from Mustangs Unlimited thanks to a gift card from my Mom. Never had a problem with their shipping, NPDs, or Virginia Classic Mustang (formerly Virginia Mustang Supply) in over 27 years.

My 1st car...
'66 Tahoe Turquoise/ Aqua coupe
•289 / 4100 •C4 Auto •Disc Brakes
•Dual Exhaust •Quick Manual Steering
•Rally Pac •Console •Deluxe Belts
•LOTS of Rotunda accessories

Older son's 1st car...
'66 Emberglo / Parchment deluxe coupe
•289 / 2100 •C4 Auto
•Dealer A/C • Console
•Dual Exhaust • Power Steering

Younger son's 1st car...
'66 Nightmist / Blue & white deluxe coupe
•289 / 2100 •C4 Auto
•Factory A/C •Console

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post #7 of 79 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 12:23 AM
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I’m so glad I stopped buying from them! I bought a item from them over the phone only shortly there after to find there was a internet sale on the item. The sales person never mentioned that to me. So I call back and was told by the owner “why should we tell you it’s on sale, we’d loose money”. Yes great customer service. You go to any store, if a item is going on sale they’ll tell you. Bought a set of MAC headers from them to pick up at their display at Carlisle. Go to pick them up, they sold them to someone. They were now out of stock. Waited weeks to get them. When I get them their packing was atrocious. It looked like they ran around their place looking for the pieces then dumped into a big box without any packing materials. It was amazing nothing missing in shipping. So I look at the headers, no way where they going to fit as they were for a Fox body. So I call them up and they insisted I had the correct headers. So I ask why do they have O2 bungs? Their response was that 66 Mustangs came with O2 sensors!

The best thing that could happen to CJPP is to go out of business! Almost ever order with them was problematic


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post #8 of 79 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Huskinhano View Post
You go to any store, if a item is going on sale they’ll tell you.
I don't know if just about any store would do that, but when I bought my AR-15, I was told that they were going on sale the next week, and if I paid with my "Military Star" card, I would get an additional 10% off. So it was 10% off on sale, another 10% off with the card, and then the almost 9% off because I bought it at the PX with no state sales tax.
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post #9 of 79 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 02:50 AM
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Mustang owners are all about passion. Most of the people who offer parts for these cars are in the business because they too, are passionate. They want to keep our rolling relics on the road, running. (Wow, how's that for alliteration?)

If they didn't care about cars, and the people that drive them, they would never have established a foothold, or done well, as CJPP has!

When a gearhead like me finds a company that cares about the same things, there's a lot of goodwill there. We want to support those people, who understand why we care about our cars. There's a bond, a trust there. Even a sort of friendship, between people who know almost nothing about each other, except that we love these cars.

Somewhere along the way, businesses change hands though, or become managed by a different type of person, once they become successful. These beancounters and moneymen only see the dollars, and they don't give a rip about anything else. They wouldn't understand our passion for cars if it jumped up and bit them on the nose. All they understand is that we're buying parts, and they're selling.

Pretty soon, standards begin to slide. They start stripping out customer service first, because knowledgeable people who care about their customers are hard to come by, and expensive to keep. Then the parts guys get fed up with the sales and customer service staff, and the inferior garbage parts they're being forced to peddle, so they find someplace else to go. Then you have a bunch of monkeys who all hate their jobs, working for managers who are making a big enough salary to deal with all the stupid decisions coming down from on high. The managers are under terrible pressure from the bigwigs and owners to continue producing profits, even while all their employees are actively trying to undermine the company (and why should they care? They're not making any money and get treated like dirt anyway!)

Meanwhile, the owners look at the company, and continue to pull out support and whittle away at quality, putting all the extra profits right into their own pockets and chuckling as it all slides down the hill. When everything finally falls apart, they throw up their hands, say "Well, we tried!" and sell off everything to other people, paying off the investors and making vast amounts of money, as all their employees get screwed.

Kind of seems like this is the direction CJPP is heading, sadly. The goodwill and camaraderie is gone. I won't be buying anything else from them in the future either.
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post #10 of 79 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 07:02 AM
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File a complaint with the PA State Attorney General.
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post #11 of 79 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 07:45 AM
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Appalling but par for the course given their recent standards. I stopped ordering from them and started ordering from NPD and Summit Racing. The latter if at all possible only because they're local. I can see parts in person before I take them home. And there's a no questions asked immediate return policy if it's not right.
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post #12 of 79 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 10:05 AM
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Well written and documented case of not getting what was purchased. I have one question, in the text the part received was said to be a LARES 19702, however, on the box, the CARiD page, and the Rock Auto webpage, all show a part number of LARES 18702, what's up with this?

The comment from the CJPP customer service agent that "it is a common practice to substitute parts without the customer's approval" is utter BS. I can understand why the CJPP faithful have run away and moved over to NPD.

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post #13 of 79 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 11:16 AM
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WOW...and I was mad about my experience with CJPP. I too have stopped shopping with them.

My last experience, I ordered a window regulator for my '64.5. Spoke to a rep and ordered the part # they told me. Only after installing, did I find out my window crank wouldn't work because the regulator I purchased was for 65-66, '64.5 had a special regulator. I asked what needed to be done to get it fixed and they said order a new regulator. When I asked about returning the other they said no, because it had been installed. Granted it's only a $30 part, but I took my $30 to NPD and won't be back to CJPP.
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post #14 of 79 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 12:41 PM
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When I was in Charlotte / Concord a few weeks ago for the 55th, I made it a point to go by the NPD store there and get a few things, mainly the charcoal paint, center caps and correct lug nuts for a set of original 66 styled steel wheels I restored and installed on the car I've had for 27 years. The staff was great, they had most of what I needed in stock, shipped the lug nuts at no additional cost to my home from another store, and they threw in a couple of posters, tool box decals and NPD badges for my kids. There was also a fellow there buying stuff for a Chevelle project that comes often enough he reminded me of the "shop cat" that hangs around lots of places that have food, wheels and gears haha ! ! It was much appreciated and that is how business / brand loyalty is earned.
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My 1st car...
'66 Tahoe Turquoise/ Aqua coupe
•289 / 4100 •C4 Auto •Disc Brakes
•Dual Exhaust •Quick Manual Steering
•Rally Pac •Console •Deluxe Belts
•LOTS of Rotunda accessories

Older son's 1st car...
'66 Emberglo / Parchment deluxe coupe
•289 / 2100 •C4 Auto
•Dealer A/C • Console
•Dual Exhaust • Power Steering

Younger son's 1st car...
'66 Nightmist / Blue & white deluxe coupe
•289 / 2100 •C4 Auto
•Factory A/C •Console

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post #15 of 79 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 12:41 PM
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Same here... Parts show in stock but then they are not, parts arrive damaged which rarely happens with other vendors, quality of parts are not what they used to be, customer service is not the best, forget about calling, not always the cheapest and I could go on. My last order of over $1500 went to another vendor, one that cares about the customer which CJ seems to have lost. The problems with CJ have been getting worse recently and they have driven me away. Just my thoughts, do your own research. Jim

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