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Old Aug 20, 2012, 07:33 PM
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vtdiy's Avatar
Southern Vermont
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(RESOLVED) Hobbypartz customer service craziness!

Here is my exchange today with Hobbypartz Customer service over a defective battery. You might get a laugh out of it!

Me:

Quote:
snip ...This battery is brand new, undamaged, not puffed, and has not been used. The charger shows that it is fully charged, and no error lights are shown. But the charger thinks it is a 2 cell, as does the ESC. To all intents and purposes, it is. It is wired internally as a 2 cell as determined at the balancing plug and power plug.

I'd like to receive a replacement rather than a refund.

Best Regards,
V
Customer Service Representative "Christina"

Quote:
Hello V

I can requested and Return merchandise authorization for either an exchange or a refund. Please let me know which would you like to proceed with.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please call us at (626)968-9860 Monday to Friday 9am to 7pm PST.
Thank you for your time!

Sincerely,
Christina
Me:

Quote:
If you read my email you should have seen:

"I'd like to receive a replacement rather than a refund."

-V
Christina:

Quote:
Hello again,
I will request an Return merchandise authorization to be email to you within 24 hours. Please fill it out and send it back to us for a refund.
Me:

Quote:
Ridiculous!

I don't want a refund. I want a replacement!

-V
Christina does not reply. I feel sorry for her inability to comprehend basic English Finally it dawns on me, I'm either speaking to an illiterate, or,

Me:

Quote:
I'm obviously writing to a program rather than a person.

Please escalate.

To an actual human being please.

-V
I then received an email asking me to fill out an online questionnaire about the quality of their customer service. It would only take a few minutes of my time.
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Last edited by vtdiy; Sep 07, 2012 at 08:07 AM. Reason: "Resolved" added to title
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Old Aug 20, 2012, 07:39 PM
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Christina in the flesh:

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Old Aug 21, 2012, 03:07 PM
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Wow...that's insane. So what happened when you called their support line?
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Old Aug 21, 2012, 03:23 PM
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There is no toll free customer service number. The contact numbers are 626 area code, SanGabriel Valley, about 3000 miles from where I am in Vermont.

This is a $9 battery. Not really cost effective to do long distance calls, in addition to paying return shipping.

And If I accept a refund of $9 I'll have to add even more shipping to get a replacement. I was hoping they'd just do a replacement.

The absurdity of the whole thing is keeping me going at this point. Maybe it's good for a chuckle by somebody else.
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Old Aug 21, 2012, 04:01 PM
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Southern Vermont
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Opened a new ticket:

Quote:
Subject: Your Support Ticket Bot Ignored My Request

You obviously use a bot for customer service tickets.

It completely ignored 3 direct requests for a replacement battery.

I've copied excerpts of my Hoppypartz support exchange in this case and have posted it on RCGroups forum.

Take a look for yourself:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1715929

Say hi to Christina for me.
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 03:24 PM
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I think they want it back first.Then they will send you a replacement or refund your money
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 04:40 PM
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Southern Vermont
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Well flightdeck, that's not the problem.

They offer two different kinds of RMAs: replacement or refund.

I keep asking for a replacement RMA, and they keep ignoring that and saying refund RMA.

You can't return anything until they issue an RMA.

They have yet to send out any RMA so far, btw.
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Old Aug 25, 2012, 09:19 AM
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That's crazy.........hope you get the better of them.
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Old Aug 25, 2012, 12:25 PM
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Your right ! I understand your dilemma.
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Old Sep 03, 2012, 08:38 PM
Look out! The lever!
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Same people as NitroPlanes. They should be banned from conducting business in the USA.
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Old Sep 03, 2012, 08:54 PM
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Southern Vermont
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Update:
They have issued an RMA for a return. They've offered to give a refund or exchange now if I return the battery. But they no longer have the battery I ordered in stock.

They have also offered to refund postage for sending it back, if I include a copy of my receipt for postage with the returned battery.

So I would say that's all reasonable, and I'm glad we got to that eventually. The only problem is, I don't think I can legally send a defective Lipo battery through the mail. I've looked into this to try to be sure. It is legal for me to send this battery back if it is not defective, since it just fits in the maximum size for shipping lipos via ground through the mail. But all carriers are off limits for defective lipos.

So basically, all of this is pretty academic. But I did want to update this thread with their responses
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Old Sep 04, 2012, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobthenuke View Post
Same people as NitroPlanes. They should be banned from conducting business in the USA.
Brilliant idea. Let's run Hobbypartz, HK, Nitroplanes,LowpriceRC, sdshobby,grayson hobby, and banana hobby out of business too. Let's only have one or two options to buy stuff from, I'm sure quality and prices will stay low.
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 08:50 AM
Stop me before I build again!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porcia83 View Post
Brilliant idea. Let's run Hobbypartz, HK, Nitroplanes,LowpriceRC, sdshobby,grayson hobby, and banana hobby out of business too. Let's only have one or two options to buy stuff from, I'm sure quality and prices will stay low.
As someone "new" to the RC world I would rank "vendor issues" as a huge problem. I should not need a secret decoder ring and chicken entrails to know how much it's going to cost, how long it will take to get here, and which vendors will screw me. I still have not purchased at least one item since advertised price and availability mean squat for the most part.

If it's going to take 2-8 weeks, have horrible QC, and/or cost an egregious amount to ship ( over 30% of the order price ) then I just need to know *in advance* so that I can take that into account. With such hit and miss with even "reputable" internet vendors it's no wonder LHS can get away with 300% markup.

As for the original issue, I think the vendor is trying to subtly tell you that the item is a 2 cell battery and they don't want to fess up to the error. You should accept the refund only if they refund the shipping as well since this would be clearly an error on their part.
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 08:55 AM
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I like the voodo that you do....

[QUOTE=brontide;22656798]As someone "new" to the RC world I would rank "vendor issues" as a huge problem. I should not need a secret decoder ring and chicken entrails to know how much it's going to cost, how long it will take to get here, and which vendors will screw me. I still have not purchased at least one item since advertised price and availability mean squat for the most part.

If it's going to take 2-8 weeks, have horrible QC, and/or cost an egregious amount to ship ( over 30% of the order price ) then I just need to know *in advance* so that I can take that into account. With such hit and miss with even "reputable" internet vendors it's no wonder LHS can get away with 300% markup.


For the most part all of the major vendors do a pretty good job with selling their product. Obviously when a knock off cub is 50% less than say a HH plane, there are going to be some trade-offs. Service is usually the biggie for sure.

Getting into the hobby I would say stick with Horizon, Tower, and Hobby Lobby. All sell great stuff, don't kill you on shipping, and provide exceptional service. Once you get familiar with the planes, then I think it's better to deal with the aftermarket companies.
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porcia83 View Post
Getting into the hobby I would say stick with Horizon, Tower, and Hobby Lobby. All sell great stuff, don't kill you on shipping, and provide exceptional service. Once you get familiar with the planes, then I think it's better to deal with the aftermarket companies.
So, basically stay away from any vendor that advertises on this site?

None of the three vendors you list even acknowledge quads as an option, basically the reason I'm here; Tower I would never have even given a second through if not for you since the website gives me flashbacks to the 90's, Horizon looks ok if you want to pay full price for brand names, and hobby lobby is a craft store with a few models tucked in the back ( might be good for some basic supplies ).

So, back to the original point, the disconnect between vendors and expectations is huge and can be quite daunting for new or even seasoned enthusiasts. I can deal with low QC, sky high shipping, or long wait times, but the vendors need to be honest about it as well as pricing. Outright false advertising of a 2 cell battery as something else is unacceptable in either case.
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