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Old Jul 14, 2013, 01:06 PM
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Crater Maker's Avatar
United States, TN, Moscow
Joined Oct 2003
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Before you buy from Troy Built Models read this

Hello all. I just have to warn fellow modelers before you spend your hard earned dollars with Troy Built Models or ESM. This isn't a "Sore loser" story. I just wish I had come across some type of review of Troy Built Models and ESM before I spent a large amount of money with them.

I purchased a 95" B-25 Mitchell by ESM. Troy Built is their U.S. distributor and shipped it out to me.
I began building it and found the left wing spar pocket was assembled incorrectly at the China factory. I contacted Troy Built in an attempt to get a replacement. I was talked to like a complete idiot by TBM's customer service person. I was told later he is no longer in their employment.
I tried several time to get them to resolve the matter. They admitted there was a problem with them but they weren't going to do anything. No replacement part nor any type of refund.
I contacted ESM directly in China and the owner agreed there was a problem and would have TBM send out another right away. Mr. Herlin He copied me on the email he sent TBM and they agreed to send a replacement wing. After a couple of weeks I still had not received anything from TBM. I contacted them again. The customer service rep informed me they were not going to send me anything.
I contacted the owner of ESM again. He informed me he would build another complete wing and ship it in the next container to TBM and they would ship it to me. After several months of waiting on the container, Mr. Herlin He contacted me and informed me TBM had the container with my wing. I contacted TBM and they assured me they had the wing sitting on their table, labeled and would be shipping it to me that day. A couple of more weeks went by and still no wing.
I contacted TBM again and a gentleman in their shipping department informed me they had him re-label my wing because they were selling it to someone else. How low down is that?
I contacted ESM again. Mr. He informed me if I would pay the shipping from China he would ship me another wing and bypass TBM altogether. I sent him a payment for the shipping and a box finally arrived. It only had some of the parts but not the engine nacelles where the incorrect spar pockets were in my original. I was upset at how much I had just spent on shipping for the few parts he sent and not even the main part that was defective.
Again I contacted Mr. He at ESM. He emailed TBM and asked if they had a set of nacelles they could ship out. They said they did and he told them to ship them to me. Mr. He forwarded me the emails between himself and TBM.
I emailed TBM again and they told me the nacelles were going out that day. I still have yet to receive them after a month. TBM and ESM have both stopped responding to emails and calls about this.
This situation has gone on for almost one year now and I am sitting here with a plane I cannot assemble or fly. I spent a large amount of money on this since I also purchased the air retract system, a pair of DLE engines and all of the other accessories needed to complete the plane.

Think twice before making any purchase from Troy Built Models or anything from the ESM line of airplanes. I have been lied to, pushed aside, made to pay shipping for items I still have not received and talked to with a complete lack of respect.
I only wish I had researched TBM a little better before I spent any money on the products they sell. I later found a number of other posts about mis-dealings with them.
If anyone doubts a word of this, I will gladly post a copy of the emails and correspondence between ESM, Troy Built Models and myself. You can see for yourself what type of business TBM is.
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 06:41 PM
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tailskid2's Avatar
USA, AZ, Phoenix
Joined May 2003
3,308 Posts
That Sucks....

You got the short end of the stick....and about all I can think of would be for you to assemble the plane - scale it out - and try and sell it as a static model to some bar, VFW post or the like.

Thanks for you story as I WAS thinking of purchasing their T-28, but now I think I will pass. Can you contact your charge card company and get a refund?
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 11:53 PM
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Crater Maker's Avatar
United States, TN, Moscow
Joined Oct 2003
39 Posts
I wish I could get a refund, but it TBM has drug it out too long with their "It's in the mail" stories and such.
That is a good idea on selling it to a bar or VFW. I'm not sure I could re-coupe all of the money I'm out on this with the purchase of engines, retracts, scale cockpit, machine gun set and all of the other extras needed to build it. It would cost the buyer a pretty penny.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 03:21 AM
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USA, AZ, Phoenix
Joined May 2003
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I feel for you...
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 08:03 AM
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Crater Maker's Avatar
United States, TN, Moscow
Joined Oct 2003
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Thanks Tailskid. I just hope I let others know what to expect from TBM so they don't get in the same situation as I am.
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Old Jul 15, 2013, 12:18 PM
Scale Builder
United States, AZ, Litchfield Park
Joined Jul 2002
2,544 Posts
May I ask for more information regarding what is wrong with the wing spar pocket as provided? There is very little that can't be rectified on a built up structure with a bit of ingenuity and chances are pretty good it could be fixed.
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 06:15 AM
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Joined Dec 2006
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Yes, Chad, everything can be fixed. However that really isn't the problem, here! The problem is a lack of company backing for faulty products they have sold. Crater Maker is warning us about a large supplier for ARF models that do not stand behind their products. I have no doubt that the problem is real and appreciate Crater Maker taking the time to discuss the problem with the public.

After 15-20 years of the R/Cer's primary method of obtaining flyable models by buying Ready to Fly; or, Almost Ready to Fly airplanes, it certainly is possible that most R/Cers today don't have the skills; or, ability to preform the surgery necessary, to fix a problem such as this. In fact, a few of the guys in my club who have these skills hardly buy airplanes anymore, as they obtain most of their airplanes from the garbage can (I would guess this to be the case in most clubs).

I would have considered Troy Built to be one of the largest suppliers of ARFs and am surprised at their lack of interest in keeping their customers happy!

It reads as though Crater Maker attempted to remedy this situation by all means possible, before bringing this to our attention (which is the proper way to undertake this type of problem) Thanks Crater maker!
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Old Jul 16, 2013, 09:49 AM
Scale Builder
United States, AZ, Litchfield Park
Joined Jul 2002
2,544 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mode One View Post
Yes, Chad, everything can be fixed. However that really isn't the problem, here! The problem is a lack of company backing for faulty products they have sold.
No argument from me Mode One. I simply was looking to assist Crater Maker in a solution since he seemed resigned to the idea that the model may never fly. Not knowing him I was unsure if he had the necessary experience or confidence to undertake repairs. Further reading of his replies in other threads he posted on this subject have revealed that he is an experienced and knowledgeable builder. Most likely has all the "tools" he needs to fix the problem should he choose to do so.
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 04:19 PM
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Shrewsbury, MA, USA
Joined May 2010
48 Posts
Troy Built Models sloppy customer service

I'm also very unhappy with their sloppy customer service. Recently I sent back a new retract for a repair. I sent the following email:

"Several weeks ago I had a problem with a new retract that I purchased from you for a ME-109 Messerschmitt 73Ē. In accordance with your instructions I sent in the retract for repairs. The block that holds the strut on the retract tightens with a socket head screw to hold the strut in place. After tightening the screw two or three times it became frozen and would not move. Also I damaged the head of the socket screw, so that the allen wrench could not get a grip. I sent the retract to you for repairs about three weeks ago. Today I received another retract. It is a replacement, and most likely a used one. This is obvious because the same socket head screw is frozen, and the head of the screw is damaged. Now I have the same problem that I had three weeks ago Ė a useless retract, and an airplane that Iíll not be able to fly in the foreseeable future.

The least you could have done (besides sending me a replacement retract) was to check to see that it was in operating condition. I canít send it back to you because Iím leaving for an extended vacation in 12 days.

Obviously, Iím very upset with the quality of your customer service, and Iíll address this in various forums on the web. This is part of the reason that your company is developing such a poor reputation on these forums. There really is no excuse for this kind of negligence and sloppy customer service. Now I have to find a local machine shop to remove the socket head screw and make some sort of repair. This is what I should have done three weeks ago, if I had known what to expect from you.

I canít tell you how disappointed I am with your company. Needless to say, I will not be dealing with your company in the future."

They responded to tell me that they thought that I was "offensive".
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 05:18 PM
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USA, OH, Warren
Joined Jan 2011
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thanks for the heads up.
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Old Nov 13, 2013, 06:53 AM
Stop scaring my donkey!
JohnathanSwift's Avatar
Greenland
Joined Mar 2012
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They will likely find chapter seven offensive to their sensibilities, too....
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Old Nov 13, 2013, 05:13 PM
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United States, MD, Elkton
Joined Oct 2011
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I can't understand the philosophy of some companies..You give them money, which is the whole idea behind having a business....Then when something goes wrong with their product, it's always the consumer's fault.
Removing the allen screw , redrilling a new hole elsewhere, and using a lubricant on the screw would have been the better option, and easily enough done.
A letter explaining the repair would have been much better than responding with an "offensive" comment.
We, the consumers know things can go wrong, and often do....it's how the companies resolve the problems that can make or break them...
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Old Nov 20, 2013, 09:56 PM
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Jinxx's Avatar
Kaneohe, HI
Joined Oct 2006
101 Posts
Wow, that sucks. I'm glad I came across this thread about TBM as I was seriously considering purchasing an ESM Stuka. Customer service problems like these are so frustrating. I recently had a year long back and forth with Hobby King and needless to say will never do business with them again.
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Old Nov 21, 2013, 02:36 AM
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United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Apr 2000
1,491 Posts
Wow...... I was on the fence about buying an F7F Tigercat this Christmas. I've been oogling this plane for awhile now and if my Christmas bonus was big enough I was going to pull the trigger. That is a very involved build with a lot to go wrong so now I think I'm gonna hop off the fence and get something else. Maybe something from Horizon. Their customer service is awesome.

What about VQ Models? I heard those guys are good too but if they are getting their ESM stuff from Troy then I guess its pointless.

Mike
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Old Nov 24, 2013, 10:49 PM
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deckert's Avatar
USA, WA, Benton City
Joined Oct 2007
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Interesting. I was also thinking about buying an ESM thru TB but now I'm thinking probably not.

In deference to what CryHavoc said.., "if they are getting their ESM stuff from Troy then I guess its pointless.", he indeed makes a very valid point. I bought a kit from GMP but the USA Rep was 'Factories to You. Inc. (Rich Yan) in Calif. GMP distributed for them but Yan provided service that was "less then satisfactory" and turned out to be an absolute lying scum sucking pig. I also have all the emails/pics on the transactions and are free for the asking.

Point being, if a USA distributer doesn't support his vendors, you're probably hosed on replacement parts. Pretty sad! I guess as long the buyers keep posting about bad vendors, maybe we can have some impact. In the FWIW dept., I see Yan is now selling directly on RC Universe web site. Personally, I wouldn't wet him down if he was on fire.

Dan
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Last edited by deckert; Nov 24, 2013 at 10:58 PM. Reason: Wrong info
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