A lot of time and effort went into the website. It's there to help you.
So please take time to read it thoroughly, along with all the FAQ below.
If you still have a question, I look forward to hearing from you.
Q: Can I come and try out some cues?
A: No. This business is 100% mail order and there are no facilities to try out cues. Besides which, 99% of the time there are no completed cues, only part made cues being worked on so there is rarely anything available to try anyway. Also, read the cues testimonials, none of those people needed to try out their cue.
Q: Can I visit you at your workshop?
A: No. I am constantly busy and I do not have time to take personal callers. Also, my rule has always been - nobody is allowed in the workshop.
Q: Can I phone you to discuss my cue requirements?
A: No. Email is the only form of contact. Please appreciate that a lot of people contact me. I simply do not have time to take phone calls and would end up on the phone all day if I did. I can deal with queries more efficiently via email and, most importantly, at a time to suit me. But don't worry, if a phone call is ever needed, I will call you.
Q: Does the cue come with extensions and a case?
A: No. Extensions and cases are extra and must be added to your order.
Q: How long will my cue take?
A: If in stock, cues will usually take a few days to prepare or adjust to sizes. Please allow 5-10 days. If you have a deadline, ask before you order and I'll tell you if I can deliver in time.
VCM designed cues may take considerably longer, possibly months, depending how busy I am. I can give you a guide time but sometimes it can be quicker, sometimes longer.
Q: Is it okay to use the tip that came fitted to the cue or should I change it?
A: Of course, it will be a good tip, and ready to play.
Q: How should I look after my new cue and keep it in the best condition?
A: Read Cue Care in the INFO section.
Q: If I don't like my cue can I send it back?
A: Your satisfaction is guaranteed 100%. If you are unhappy with your cue in any way, rest assured I will sort it out. Stock cues can be returned for a full refund if unused and undamaged, but this is highly unlikely and, in fact, has never been requested. Custom Cues are not liable for a refund under any circumstances, but if errors have been made, will be happily exchanged or dealt with until you are completely happy. Relax, I deal in satisfaction, it's the cornerstone of my business.
Q: I am waiting for my cue, you said 2 months but it is now more than 3 months?
A: Quality cannot be rushed, and unfortunately, sometimes circumstances slow things down or things go wrong and have to be done again. But rest assured your cue is being dealt with and has not been forgotten. In these situations, I am very sorry to keep you waiting but you should be aware I am going as fast as I can for you. Your kind patience is greatly appreciated when this occurs. And remember - good things come to those wait.
Q: Why can't I see prices on the website?
A: To view prices or make purchases you must visit the online shop here. The main website is for information only.
Q: Why can't I see prices in the online shop?
A: You must be authorised to view the shop. I have to check your details manually so it may take a day or two. If your details are incorrect or incomplete you will be unable to make purchases and will not be allowed to view prices. This feature is for security purposes. I have no intention of contacting you or using your details, other than to ensure you are a real person and will pass mail order standard security checks.
Q: Can I pay a deposit and the rest when cue is ready?
A: No. Full payment is due up front. Always has been, always will be.
Q: Can I pay by credit card?
A: Yes. The online shop runs an automated, fully secure, credit card processing system. All information is encrypted and no details are stored by me or anyone else. This is 100% safe, secure and risk free.
Q: Can I phone up and pay by credit card?
A: No. I do not have facilities to accept payments manually. Plus, it is not safe because I would need to record your details and manually enter them, i.e. your personal information is written down. You may wish to consider this next time you wish to pay for a purchase over the phone and tell someone your card number plus 3 digit cvv number...
It is far safer to use an online shopping cart backed by a secure and encrypted service, as used by all major online businesses.
Q: Can I pay by Bank Transfer?
A: Yes. Details will be sent when order is received.
Q: Do you accept PayPal?
A: No. I pay a lot of money to run a secure online credit card processing system which is safe and risk free. If you think PayPal is great, think again:
Q: Do you accept overseas orders?
A: Yes. I have been sending cues all over the World for 20+ years.
Q: Can I come and pick up my order?
A: No. Although it may seem a reasonable request, time is the issue. I am never in any one place at any one particular time, so arranging a meet is simply too time consuming.
Q: Can you send it cheaper?
A: No. I have had numerous bad experiences with various services and will only use who I choose, at the price quoted. Remember, my service is insured and guaranteed, and I am not willing to take the risk for the sake of a small saving, which may turn into a huge loss if it goes missing or gets damaged.
Q: Can I arrange my own shipping?
A: No. Shipments are carefully planned to fit around my day, using couriers I know and trust, and at a time and place convenient for me. I cannot guarantee where I will be on any particular day, and waste time sitting by the front door waiting all day for someone to turn up.
Slightly irritating, but understandable
Q: Can you send me photos of the shaft/all the cues you have/are working on?
A: No. Sorry, but I do not have time. Also, cue pictures are extremely difficult to get right and seldom show the grain etc. as clearly as can be seen in the flesh. I have wasted many hours in the past doing this. I've also sent people pictures, which they are happy with, and when they get the cue they say 'actually, I don't like this grain after all'.
I won't do it any more. Tell me what you want and I'll do my best to match it. If you don't trust my judgement, you should go elsewhere.
Q: Can I email you every day asking how my cue is coming along?
A: I really wish you wouldn't...
Q: Do any professionals use your cues?
A: Maybe, but I don't know and I don't care. I've never felt the need to give away cues in return for endorsements. I take great pride in delivering the best cues on the planet to ordinary hard working people. That's what's important to me. But maybe I'll put the cat amongst the pigeons and send the top 16 professionals a cue one day...
Q: As a good player yourself, surely you must agree it's better to try a cue out first?
A: To a certain degree I understand and agree. But it depends where you're getting your cue from. I deal in the highest possible quality. And I know what I'm doing.
I'm confident that what I send out will 'feel' and 'play' superb immediately, regardless of how special you may think your needs are.
Q: Do you make the cues yourself?
A: Would you buy a dog and bark yourself?
Every cue is designed and built under my strict guidance to the standards I personally set, and are worked on by me at one stage or another. Sometimes I make a cue from start to finish alone, depends what mood I'm in. But rest assured I check everything, so the Mike Wooldridge stamp of quality remains consistent, regardless of whether I toiled alone or had help.
Q: I have seen a cue that looks like yours for £100, can you match the price?
A: No. Go and buy the £100 cue, it's not the same as mine.
Q: I am a student/trainee doctor/bum, can you give me a discount?
You're starting to annoy me
Q: Can I email you 50 times a day for several weeks, asking question after question after question after question, before eventually buying a cue off Ebay for £50?
A: Preferably no. But I've never been able to stop anyone so far...
Q: Can I use Virtual Cue Maker to request multiple quotes for lots of different cues, despite having no intention of ever actually purchasing anything?
A: Go for it. I've attracted my fair share of time-wasters over the years. A few more won't hurt. I might not reply to your emails though...
Finally, and you know who you are
Q: I'm rude, ignorant and I don't bother saying please or thank you in my emails. Nor do I say "Hi Mike, I wonder if you can help me?".
In fact, I show no common courtesy whatsoever and sometimes even writing an email is too much trouble, so I just copy and paste an impolite message in the subject line and send to everyone I can think of as I have no real respect for your time or skills.
I'm also an 'expert' and will likely tell you how to do your job. My needs are different to anyone else, and I will require regular changes to my specifications along with an expectation for you to jump through hoops at every stage, pandering to my every pointless and uneducated desire.
I want a cue, when can I get it?
A: How does f*ck off sound?