SK Ornithopters - Great Product (maybe), Lousy Business (definitely)
I'm brand new to RC Groups and my very first post is unfortunately not a happy one. On April 6th, 2012 I ordered a Lazy Hawk from SK Ornithopters (i.e. Sean Kinkade). I specifically chose that model because his website www.flappingflight.com
indicated that he had stock inventory. Upon ordering, Sean informed me that my bird would ship "sometime next week". To clarify, we're talking the week of April 9-13. A bit odd for something that's supposed to be "in stock" but nevertheless I patiently waited.
By Monday April 16th, my bird had still not arrived so I sent Sean an inquiry. He said that they were working on it and that it would ship that week. To clarify again, we're now talking the week of April 16-20.
By Friday April 20th I had not received any notification of shipment or communication of any sort from Sean. I again inquired. First email was ignored....second email answered. Sean said "I'm finishing it up now. Please don't worry. I will ship it as soon as I finish it and get it boxed. very likely tomorrow." So now we're into Saturday the 21st. I receive no communication from him. Saturday evening I send him an email to provide proof of shipment or a full refund by Monday April 23rd. On Monday, Sean responds "I'm sorry if I misled you about delivery time but I do have lots of people ahead of you. I will try to get your bird built and shipped today........".
Of course this makes me think...."Didn't he just tell me on Friday that he was finishing mine up and would ship it probably Saturday? Why now are there 'people in front of me' that weren't on Friday?".
So again I patiently wait out Monday to see if any action occurs (shipment or refund). NOTHING! So.....at midnight Tuesday April 24th I submit a dispute to PayPal pretty much summarizing everything I've said here. Have I heard a peep out of Sean today (Tuesday)? Do I really have to answer that?
So my gripe with Sean is this.........If he's snowed under with orders and knows it's going to take 2 weeks, 3 weeks, even a month to ship he should tell me that when I place the order. Chances are I'd still place the order but I'd know not to expect it anytime soon. Instead, he strings me along with "next week" and "tomorrow" and then doesn't follow through.
In addition, it's now painfully obvious that his website is inaccurate and not maintained. What kind of business does that in this day and age? One could make the argument that it borders on false advertising!
Now I realize after reading a few of the posts on RC Groups that some of you can't say enough good things about Sean's product. On the other hand, I've seen posts similar to mine as well. I have no reason to doubt the quality of his product (based strictly on the posts I've seen here) but as far as Sean's business practices, I'll be surprised if he lasts another year operating the way he does.
So in summary:
- Don't purchase an SK Ornithopter if you expect it delivered anytime soon
- Don't trust any information presented on the website www.flappingflight.com
- Don't expect that he or his business will be around "for the long haul"
- Try to extract a realistic ETA from Sean before purchasing (good luck)
- Read other sources and posts on the internet regarding Sean, his business and his product and make a cautious well-informed decision about purchasing from him
OK, enough ranting. Go fly something!