CAUTION/AVOID Adventure Driven Designs in AZ

na3s

Active member
The guy spent $100 of his time typing the post.......so now he is out closer to $200 total by my calculation. I may have been more receptive to the story if it was condensed into a tweet. I will say though, it seems to be the most entertaining thing to show up here in a long time.
Being self employed, a chronic insomniac, and an unheated shop, in the middle of Feb, I've plenty of time and have never minded writing.

I also felt it was important to provide everyone with the full context and facts, accompanied with all relevant emails, messages, tracking data, etc so they could not only read and decide for themselves, but also hopefully avoid these headaches/delays/unsavory business practices.

After hearing from so many others who have been subject to similar behavior from Josh/ADD, I'm glad that I did. Many who messaged me said they were shouted down when they posted of their negative experiences and felt the stress/hassle wasn't worth the effort, which is a bummer b/c consumers are then flying blind.

Had I been aware that so many others have had terrible experiences with him, I would've ordered directly from Marks4WD from the start and saved myself a ton of headache. One big consequence of no competition is it allows weak/unethical/poorly run businesses to remain viable, and I think bullying is a pathetic PR approach.

As for losses, ordering direct from Marks4WD, and accounting for the current exchange rant of +/- $.77 AUD > $1 USD, the gears cost me +/- $1,245 USD shipped to my door, which is about $13 more than I would've been out if I'd succumbed to Josh's $92 USD gouge on top of his end of 2020 sale price of $1,140 USD.

Though as of yesterday afternoon he's now raised The ADD price to $1,310 USD, and who knows what surprise fees he may or may not tack on as well before they're released to you, making them +/- $65 USD cheaper directly from Marks4WD, depending upon the exchange rate at the time.

I'm perfectly happy paying a little bit more to be able to cast a vote with my dollars in favor of a well run business that actually manufactures the gears instead of subsidizing the business of someone who doesn't honor their word, although the money was never my point of contention, it's the principal, which is something far too many don't seem capable of grasping.
 
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PacS14

Adventurer
The feedback is good, I can see the frustration with no money and no parts for x period of time, he gave you an explanation, that's more than some other businesses in my personal experience(big or small) and the best part at least sounds like he refunded your money without an issue (at least I believe that from the fact that you already ordered your gears). You bought from him before and you had no complaints from his actual products.

Honestly something to take into account for me is that I keep hearing ADD is a one man show...that alone tells me things can be delayed unless he specifically has something in stock and ready to ship. I may do business with him in the future but is going to have to be for his own stuff and I will call to confirm availability...again at least he refunded your money, that's more than some big businesses.
 

SoCalMonty

Explorer
Honestly something to take into account for me is that I keep hearing ADD is a one man show...that alone tells me things can be delayed unless he specifically has something in stock and ready to ship...
...this. To be so verbose and make claims suggesting what an experienced man about town he is (...I currently have items in transit moving between every continent on the planet Earth...) - but simultaneously be so naïve as to not understand he's ordering from a guy working out of his garage and not understand all of the new variables that introduces?

It's 100 bucks dude. Live and learn. Go get some fresh air and stick to decaf for a while.
 

na3s

Active member
the best part at least sounds like he refunded your money without an issue
again at least he refunded your money, that's more than some big businesses.
After knowing what I do now, I'd caution attributing that to any good nature on Josh’s behalf rather than a self serving maneuver to protect his own interests. I paid for the gears via Paypal and told him directly I was more than willing to pursue recourse through them, likely motivating him to realize that Paypal's buyer protection policy would more than ensure I’d be made whole one way or another, and if he didn’t return my funds voluntarily, such an action brought against him could potentially jeopardize his standing with Paypal and/or payment processor, ultimately costing him more.

something to take into account for me is that I keep hearing ADD is a one man show...
To be so verbose and make claims suggesting what an experienced man about town he is (...I currently have items in transit moving between every continent on the planet Earth...) - but simultaneously be so naïve as to not understand he's ordering from a guy working out of his garage and not understand all of the new variables that introduces?
I take issue with multiple aspects of this rationalization.

Firstly, ADD, as I understand it, was established as a partnership and quickly diverged into entity consisting solely of Josh, and from what I’ve been told from several others, many who know both parties well and personally, there were numerous and valid reasons the other founding member severed ties with ADD and Josh.

Secondly, as one who has spent most of my life self employed and operating several small businesses, often shipping internationally, I fully appreciate the stress and efforts involved, which is why I initially chose to give my business to ADD, wanting to support a small and independent company; I only wish I’d known then what I do now.

However, despite the associated tolls of owning and running a sole proprietorship, many of the fundamentals are still the same and most of them count for even more when you’re small.

-Be honest and direct.
-Keep the customer informed and remain transparent.
-Take responsibility.
-Honor your word.
-Reputation is everything.
-Under promise and over deliver.
-Focus on what you’re good at.
-Don’t spread yourself thin.
-Sub out what you’re not an expert at.

From my perspective, most of these were violated by Josh/ADD in my recent dealing with him and I’m hearing from more and more others who feel the same way.

He never took responsibility for attempting to squeeze me for more funds, refusing instead to honor his word and the terms I sought out and verified in writing,

I wasn’t updated as the order shipped/progressed and his excuses for the sudden charges he attempted to pass onto me kept changing and were all bogus.

If there was a change to the import duty laws, what was it? US legislation doesn’t pass without public record.

If there was an applicable executive order, what was it? Everything Biden has passed has been intensely reported upon and the parcel was already in the process of being cleared by Customs at the time of his inauguration.

If rising steel prices were to blame, why hasn’t Marks4WD, who manufacture them out of raw steel, raised their prices?

Why did he send me an invoice for $92.11 USD on 2/8/21 attributing it to a copy of a paid DHL invoice for $279.31 USD from 2/3/21?

When I originally placed my order, with the 2020 discount, free shipping, and not tax, it struck me as a rather good deal, which is why I took the extra steps of reaching out and verifying everything with him in advance. As an authorized Marks4WD dealer, I presumed Josh/ADD's wholesale pricing agreement must offer a margin sufficient enough to cover the terms and pricing he publicly advertised.

It's important to note, I placed my order domestically, with a US based retailer, as such, the costs of importing and acquiring inventory are by definition the responsibility of that retailer, not the consumer.

I wasn’t making a purchase from a foreign entity, which would have shifted the burden of additional costs associated with bringing an item into the US onto me.

Any half decent business would factor those costs into their retail pricing structure. They may factor for smaller than normal margins, but if they're not even covering their own costs, that's just gross negligence; passing the associated costs and exposure onto a customer after the fact is all manner of wrong.

If Josh/ADD is not up to the task of accurately monitoring product and import costs, setting achievable retail pricing/terms of service, updating/managing shipping, maintaining an accurate email dialogue with customers, and keeping an up to date website to reflect all those elements, he should farm them out, hire someone who can, or pair down the business to a level he can manage.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m well aware of how challenging both small businesses and international shipping can be, that however doesn’t excuse the behavior he’s demonstrated.

Thirdly, I was aware of the potential for delays when I placed my order, one thing Josh/ADD was open and upfront about, and as such, it was never a big concern of mine. That said, there was still a lot left to be desired.

I was never informed or forwarded a tracking number when the gears did finally ship, having not heard anything for more than a month after placing the order, I had to reach out to get an update, by that time the package had already cleared customs in the US and was days away from being delivered to Josh/ADD in AZ.

It’s also of note that ordering directly through Marks4WD’s website yesterday, 2/9/21, at about 12pm, my replacement gears were in transit by 5pm that afternoon, with tracking info forwarded to me immediately and scheduled to be delivered on 2/15/21; a stark contrast to the timeline I experienced with Josh/ADD.

In posting this, I've heard from many who have had similar negative experiences as well others of you who seem eager to dismiss such experiences and write me off as petulant, butt hurt, or having an axe to grind.

I’ve no illusion that in sharing this I’ll convince many of you to spend your money elsewhere, which is fine, millions of people do business with both Walmart and Amazon daily despite the havoc they wreak; this is the world we live in.

However in reading this, you’ve now been warned, and like it or not, granted additional information upon which you can base your purchasing decisions. In this tiny, yet growing, community, which already suffers from a distinct lack of competition, there’s little room for bad actors, limited customer feedback is detrimental to our fellow Mitsubishi aficionados.

As to the repeated comments regarding the scope and length of my postings, I’m guilty as charged. Spacing it all out to make it more readable, likely doesn't help them seem any less long either.

Had I condensed any of this down, it would’ve significantly decreased the likelihood of believability, this is the internet after all and I don’t know any of you personally, so devoid of clear, compelling, and supporting evidence, who would believe what anyone online said?

In all things in life, be they professional or personal, I tend to be thorough, meticulous, and a stickler for honesty, accuracy, and transparency.

Take a moment and peruse my posting history, I don’t comment on here too often, but when I do, I do my best to provide as clear and accurate information as possible, often times resulting in longer posts.

I’ve mentioned before I don’t mind writing and I've the impression many of you over estimate the time it takes me to do so, however, the benefactors are those in this community who may find themselves facing a problem that I, or one of you, may have already discovered an elegant solution to and documented. I know I’ve benefited immensely from those who took the time to post in the past, sharing valuable and often hard to find information.

Ultimately though, if my posts are too long for you, by all means scroll on by, it doesn't bother me any, you're all free to read this or not, your participation is entirely voluntary.
 
Frankly, I wouldnt deal with add, there is enough **************** that I get why people get upset, then we get the typical haters saying hes a god send. The guy has a reason to be pissed. The excuse is, oh hes a busy guy, then maybe dont get into selling ******** to people.
 

Shovel

Dreaming Ape
Firstly, ADD, as I understand it, was established as a partnership and quickly diverged into entity consisting solely of Josh, and from what I’ve been told from several others, many who know both parties well and personally, there were numerous and valid reasons the other founding member severed ties with ADD and Josh.
I think there's a dead horse being beaten but I think in the interest of giving everyone a fair shake I've been friends with Toasty since he was bad at welding and and I've been friends with Josh since Toasty introduced us. I consider them both friends and I've heard what they each had to say about the business they started together. Every story has different sides and there are some outside factors 'cause like Picard 🚀said it's possible to commit no error and still fail. That stuff is all their private biz to keep to themselves or talk about with friends, it's kinda irrelevant for strangers on the internet to speculate about.

You had a bad experience with ADD, that's valid. Maybe Josh made a mistake in how he handled it, didn't communicate well enough, but it sure doesn't sound like there was any active attempt to rip you off - for all we know the reason he was billed $279.31 and asked you for $92 is because the difference between those two numbers is the margin he had built into the retail price and he was taking as much of the hit as he could without losing money on the sale. That's just a guess, I haven't talked to him recently and wouldn't have any reason to talk sales or money with him in any case.

Anyway as somebody who considers both of those dudes friends I feel some obligation to at least ask that the trash talk stay relevant to the business transaction and not the character of the men, they're both good dudes and I think you can agree that even if Josh didn't handle the customer service angle like you would have wanted, it really doesn't look like there was any malicious intent here.

Carry on.
 

na3s

Active member
I think there's a dead horse being beaten but I think in the interest of giving everyone a fair shake I've been friends with Toasty since he was bad at welding and and I've been friends with Josh since Toasty introduced us. I consider them both friends and I've heard what they each had to say about the business they started together. Every story has different sides and there are some outside factors 'cause like Picard 🚀said it's possible to commit no error and still fail. That stuff is all their private biz to keep to themselves or talk about with friends, it's kinda irrelevant for strangers on the internet to speculate about.

You had a bad experience with ADD, that's valid. Maybe Josh made a mistake in how he handled it, didn't communicate well enough, but it sure doesn't sound like there was any active attempt to rip you off - for all we know the reason he was billed $279.31 and asked you for $92 is because the difference between those two numbers is the margin he had built into the retail price and he was taking as much of the hit as he could without losing money on the sale. That's just a guess, I haven't talked to him recently and wouldn't have any reason to talk sales or money with him in any case.

Anyway as somebody who considers both of those dudes friends I feel some obligation to at least ask that the trash talk stay relevant to the business transaction and not the character of the men, they're both good dudes and I think you can agree that even if Josh didn't handle the customer service angle like you would have wanted, it really doesn't look like there was any malicious intent here.

Carry on.
Had my experience with him been an isolated incident, I think the diplomatic line you're striving to toe would have more legitimacy. However since posting about this, I've heard from more than 10 others, here and on other platforms, who have had similarly negative experiences with Josh/ADD, many of them have shared some pretty unsavory behaviors.

As for Toasty, I've never had any business dealings with him, I've never met him, don't know him personally, have made no mention of his name (you did Shovel), nor can I speak to what his feelings are regarding Josh/ADD, the things I've heard about the ADD split have come from others.

That said, Toasty's posts here, on IG, and Youtube have always struck me as some of the most informed, accurate, and educational and every interaction I've ever had with him on here has been immensely positive and supportive.

Shovel when you chimed in the other day, before deleting your original comment and after adding this:

Make sure to put me on ignore too so you don't accidentally stumble onto any of my crummy contributions :ROFLMAO:

I reached out and extended an olive branch via PM, yet you never responded...


Screen Shot 2021-02-11 at 12.33.39 AM.png

While I can empathize with the position of someone like you, who may know and have a personal relationship with Josh, it doesn't alter any of the facts regarding his behavior or conduct.

Unfortunately, when dealing with such a small outfit, which has been characterized by others on here as a one man operation run out of a garage, its nearly impossible to divorce such distasteful and inept business behavior from "the character of the m[a]n".

If you're not bothered by it, that's fine, I am, and as I've already suggested many times to those who disagree with me, by all means ignore this thread and continue to support him if that's how you feel.

I do find it amusing that you've decided to chime in with reference to beating a dead horse, serving only to breath additional life and keep this thread going. Particularly after publicly posting of your desire to be "ignore[d]" as well as declining to respond to the polite and rather complimentary PM I'd sent you.

However, what I find most puzzling is your decision to drag another prominent member's name into this mix. One I had intentionally left out and not mentioned since none of this has anything to do with them, and thus far, they've opted to not engage or participate in this discussion. Since you two have been friends for so long, I'll let you work that out between one another privately.

i get it though, you want to defend your friend Josh, an admirable quality, but this has nothing to do with you or your other friend Toasty and everything to do with Josh's conduct.

If you feel I'm over reacting and 'beating a dead horse', that's fine, I don't. After what I've heard from others, I feel more strongly about this now that I did initially.

Seems to me he didn't feel avoiding this was worth the $92.11, despite me pointedly telling him I'd be sharing my experience on several online platforms...

If his reputation is so fragile that a negative review such as this is potent enough to significantly impact his ego or business, that's a problem he'll need to look into a mirror to address.

If some dislike me for it, that's fine too, I'm not for everyone.
 
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Toasty

Looking for that thing i just had in my hand...
I wasn't going to post in this thread but just to reiterate I am no longer affiliated with ADD and haven't been for years now. Having said that, I just now noticed Exportal doesn't have a popcorn eating emoji.
 

PacS14

Adventurer
Damn where did I leave my popcorn 🍿? Dude I get it, the business transaction went south! I'm not defending him, in a nutshell all I said getting your money is more than other big businesses I've dealt with and being out more than $1200.

On something like this I would just write a bad review, a new post (like you did, but) here only after not getting my money back. Whether he gave you your money back because of PayPal or whatever, you got your money back, you got paid, that's more than what Rudy Guliani and others can say.... buahaha that was a knee slapper!
 

na3s

Active member
Damn where did I leave my popcorn 🍿? Dude I get it, the business transaction went south! I'm not defending him, in a nutshell all I said getting your money is more than other big businesses I've dealt with and being out more than $1200.

On something like this I would just write a bad review, a new post (like you did, but) here only after not getting my money back. Whether he gave you your money back because of PayPal or whatever, you got your money back, you got paid, that's more than what Rudy Guliani and others can say.... buahaha that was a knee slapper!
A strong endorsement for paying with paypal and/or a credit card whenever possible, they'll cover your ****** when dealing with bad actors.

Happy to liven up the forum for everyone, hoping it ends up saving others much of this hassle.
 

POS VETT

New member
Whoa, I will be thinking twice about dealing with ADD. I'm very new here with a '94 Pajero and I WAS planning to buy a few things from ADD once the car is in my possession, but not after this kind of fiasco.
 

na3s

Active member
Pleased to report that after placing my replacement order directly with Marks4WD.com at about 12pm on 2/9/21, they arrived yesterday afternoon, 2/15/21, despite the wild snow storm the PNW endured over the weekend.

IMG_6203.jpgIMG_6204.jpg

I can't recommend ordering directly from Marks4WD highly enough.

They were super easy to deal with, prompt and informed in all email correspondence, and it's always nice to give your money straight to the company that tangibly supports our vehicles via their own in house manufacturing of such rad parts that you can't get anywhere else.

As for the price, they're also the best option.

PAJ-2.85M gears - $1,450.00 AUD
DHL Air Shipping - $159.83 AUD

Total - $1,609.83 AUD

IMG_6205.jpg

On the day I placed my order, the exchange rate was just above $.77 AUD to $1 USD, my credit card ended up processing the transaction at a rate of $.7742991496 AUD to $1 USD, resulting in a total cost of $1,246.49 USD.

$1,609.83 AUD x .7742991496 = $1,246.49 USD

Screen Shot 2021-02-15 at 1.26.24 PM.png

$1,246.49 total for the gears, landed at my door, 6 days after ordering; no surprise bills, extra fees, bogus import duty costs, etc.

Contrast that with ordering them via Josh/ADD at his currently advertised price of $1,310.00 USD (an additional $63.51 USD) plus stated 3-6 week lead time (my order was 7 weeks old when it was canceled):

Screen Shot 2021-02-16 at 10.30.40 AM.png

However, you'll still have to contend with the false promise of a lowest price garauntee and ambiguous additional fees you may or may not be held liable for, devoid of any legitimate reason or justification. At least after I posted this thread he finally updated his site to reflect that fact:

"Occasionally, due to circumstances outside of our control, additional duties or taxes may be charged by the shipper at port of entry. ADD will contact you if this happens and the duties and taxes will need to be paid before product is released. We import these at very low margins and pass the savings on to the community, as such, additional unexpected charges are the customers responsibility, it has been very rare in occurrence, but it's wise to budget another hundred dollars in potential fees or taxes depending on whats going on in our country politically and the global economic situation. We do our best to always offer the best prices on these, but when the government hands down taxes on things unexpectedly, sadly that gets passed on to the consumer, we guarantee this is still the best price to get these gears! Just do the math! (Mind the conversion rate),"

Screen Shot 2021-02-16 at 10.31.17 AM.png


Ultimately, ordering directly from Marks4WD cost me an additional 6 days and $14.38 USD over what it would've cost me if I had capitulated to Josh/ADD's specious $92.11 USD last minute price gouge in addition to the bogus 2020 sale price of $1,140 USD ($92.11 USD + $1,140 USD = $1,232.11 USD).

$1,246.49 USD - $1,232.11 USD = $14.38 USD

I'm all too happy to spend the extra $15 and give my money directly to Marks4WD and encourage anyone considering these to do so as well. I'm looking forward to fitting and finding out how significantly the new crawl ratio, +/- 52:1, these gears will give my truck will improve it's capabilities.
 
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