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Old Mar 14, 2010, 07:01 PM
Gravity's a harsh Mistress....
southernmd_man's Avatar
United States, MD, Lusby
Joined Jan 2007
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Originally Posted by pda4you View Post
Hey great find - thanks! I too like Nitroplanes and HobbyPartz (they own them).

Mike
When you get the shark, have some carbon or fiber glass tubing ready to re-enforce the elevator rods. They're thin and not supported in the fuse, all kinds of flexing was going on til I suported them.
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Old Mar 16, 2010, 07:17 PM
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Houston, TX
Joined Mar 2005
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Originally Posted by harrymc View Post
Thanks Loopnot, it's not something I enjoyed doing. I'm just worried others will fall victim to this guy!
Hey I'm just curious, have you e-mailed your ETM experience to that article's author (and MA's Editor) Michael Ramsey? The article is essentially an endorsement promoting ETM to the AMA membership after all, he should be made aware of how ETM responds to any problems that a customer contacts Curtis with.

Just a thought... the MA Editor's email address is on page 6 of the March issue right under his picture.

Regards!

- Michael
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Old Mar 16, 2010, 08:30 PM
"Aircraftus Fragmentum"
kydawg1's Avatar
Motor City USA
Joined Mar 2007
3,571 Posts
Bummer.....I have not had problems....but there is an issue for sure.
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 01:21 AM
Just Happy To Be Here!!!
harrymc's Avatar
United States, AL, Tuscaloosa
Joined Nov 2004
1,674 Posts
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Originally Posted by harrymc View Post
Guys,
I received my March edition of Model Aviation in mid February like most of you, and was happy to see good coverage of EDF jets inside of it. I enjoyed the E-Jets article and noticed the three Easytiger Model pictures presented within the article. I went on to read Michael Ramsey's review of Easytiger Models F-117 (page 52). I've always loved the look of this aircraft and after reading the article became very interested in owning this one. I've also always wanted a model SR-71 but everything I've ever read told me the aircraft didn't fly well in model form until now. Michael's review convinced me to check out Easytiger Models website about ordering these aircraft.
On Wednesday February 24 2010 I called Easytiger Models and spoke with Curtis Mattikow who claimed to be the owner of Easytiger Models. He told me he had both models in stock and we settled on a price of $550 for both models with free shipping. He said the F-117 would ship priority mail but the SR-71 was too big for priority mail and would have to ship regular post. I asked if he could get those out that day and he told me they had a snow storm and it might be as late as Friday 2-26 before they'd ship. I noticed within an hour of the call, my credit card had been charged $550 by Easytiger Models. On Friday 2-26 I called to order another aircraft, (my grandson had seen the Flying Shark in the Model Aviation article and about had a fit for "us" to have one) I could not reach Curtis by phone. I tried again several times on Saturday 2-27 and again Monday morning 3-1. Each time I called I received a message from the phone company saying "The party you're trying to reach is not accepting calls at this time, will you please try your call again later" I called the phone company and a young lady told me that two things can cause this message.
1. The person you're calling has blocked your phone number
2. The person you're calling has had their phone turned off for non-payment.
I asked if problems with the phone company such as weather could cause the problem and she said "No sir, problems with things such as weather would produce other error messages, not that one".
A couple of years ago I got burned by an Asian company that folded up after they got my money. The first sign of trouble then was phones that didn't work anymore... A knot pulled up in my stomach...
I called the AMA that Monday morning 3-1-10 in hopes that maybe they had another way to communicate with Easytiger Models. I spoke with a very nice young lady who told me they'd have someone call me back as soon as possible. I called twice more that morning only to receive that same message. I tried again sometime after lunch and finally I got an answering machine! I've never been so excited to leave a message! About 10 minutes later Curtis called back claiming to not know who I was. I asked why the phone was off and he said it wasn't. I explained to him that I'd placed an order on the Wednesday before and wanted to know if it shipped and he said it did. About 30 minutes later Michael Ramsey, the editor of Model Aviation called me and asked if I'd heard from Curtis of Easytiger Models and was everything fine now. I figured he'd called Curtis about me and told Curtis to call me and then he checked on me. Anyway, I told Michael that Curtis had called me and said the models were on the way although I didn't know when they shipped and when to expect them. He told me to be patient that New York had had a bad snow storm that caused problems with the phones up there... I felt better for now. I called Curtis back and ordered the Flying Shark for my Grandson. I asked him if he could give me free shipping like the other two and he told me he'd throw in a free battery. I told him I didn't need that battery and he said he'd give me free shipping if I'd call Michael and apologize for my phone call to the AMA. I told him that I'd already talked to Michael and that I didn't need to apologize to anyone about this. I explained to Curtis why I called AMA and was nervous. I asked again for the total charge to the card and he said $179.95. An hour later he had charged my card for $203. I guess the extra $23.05 was for shipping, I don't know. I tried to sit back and be patient about this order. In the meantime I ordered new batteries and receivers and such for all three aircraft from a couple of different companies and all that came in a few days later. On Tuesday 3-9-10 while at home with pneumonia and no sign of any of the models I ordered, I decided to do what I normally do before ordering anything from a company new to me, I searched both RCG and RCU forums for both Easytiger Models and ETM and what I found really, really put a knot in my stomach.
I found one after another problem with Curtis and Easytiger Models posted on both RCU and RCG. In fact I found that Curtis had been banned from both forums! Apparently he has a history of lying to customers and then when they complain about him on the forums he attacks them there. On one thread I found where a guy had said there were many links to Curtis online, I posted a message asking the guy to send me links to these complaints.

On Wednesday 3-10-10 a package arrived at my home. I noticed that it had been shipped on 3-4-10 but when I opened the box up I found the flying shark not the F-117 and SR-71. I called Curtis and asked why I had received the Flying Shark first when it was mailed many days later. Without answering the question he began to rant about how he saw me badmouthing him on RCG for no reason after he gave me this great deal with free batteries and shipping and such. I told him that I hadn't asked for nor needed his batteries and that he offered the free shipping up front. Again I asked why I hadn't received the F-117 and he said he shipped them both regular post since "he had given me such a great deal he couldn't afford priority shipping" I told him he told me the F-117 would come priority mail while the SR-71 wouldn't fit under the priority mail size and he said he didn't say that and then started screaming at me "they're on the way OK? they're on the way!" I tried to talk calmly to him but he'd just scream over me. I told him "Curtis, on our first conversation I told you that I'm very interested in buying your giant scale Bearcat and electric motor package in the next couple of weeks and now after buying 3 aircraft and looking at buying an aircraft and motor package worth over $2500, you 're going to talk to me like this???? And he just kept on screaming and talking over me. I've dealt with guys like Curtis before in business and it's usually not good. These guys behave like this to overcome getting stuck in a corner of lies. He finally got me really upset and I told him that I was going to call the AMA to complain and I hung up on him and did call the AMA. I spoke with a really nice guy named Jim Cherry who is the Executive Director of AMA. He listened to my story and told me he'd work on it. He also asked me to call him when the other two aircraft came in. I appreciated his time. A couple of hours after my call to the AMA, Curtis called back and left a message on my voice mail. In it he said that he was going to refund my $550 and that when the package arrived, he wanted me to refuse the shipment. If I didn't, he was going to have to charge my credit card again. And finally he said that he didn't want my business... (trust me, he doesn't have to worry about that!)
It's now Sunday 3-14-10 (18 days after ordering the aircraft) and I haven't seen the package or the refund and don't know when I will. I do believe the package is on the way, just not when Curtis said he'd sent it. And really the slow shipping wasn't the first time I've been though that, the rude screaming and lying is what upset me. I'm not used to getting screamed at while trying to spend money and do business. The guy has a real anger management problem!
Here's my problems with the AMA in this. I'm a grown man and I should have known better than to order from a company that I didn't know without first checking them out on the forums. Had I done this, I would have NEVER ordered anything from Curtis Mattikow and Easytiger Models after finding all the complaints about Curtis or his "company". It's my fault that I let my guard down because I read the review in Model Aviation the official magazine for the AMA. I realize that Model Aviation can't be responsible for every ad placed in their magazine but I guess I thought the editor would "check out" a company before reviewing and recommending their products. There are now thousands of AMA readers who've read this edition of Model Aviation and might be incorrectly influenced regarding this company. It's alarming to me that others may subjected to Curtis Mattikow's poor treatment of customers as a result of Model Aviations failure to screen it's reviews first. It's this single concern that has me writing this now. I don't want anyone else burned by this guys bad behavior!
Harry McWilliams
Just a quick update. I still have not received the 2 aircraft I ordered from Easytiger Models (F-117 & SR-71). As I stated in an earlier post, I did receive the Flying Shark last week. I don't expect to receive the MIA aircraft either because I don't think Curtis ever mailed them. I did receive a $550 credit from Easytiger Models to my account on Tuesday though. In a voicemail Curtis left me on the 10th, he said he was going to refund my money and "when" the package arrived just refuse it or otherwise he'd have to charge my credit card again. Now do you really think Curtis would refund my money while a package is in transit... of course not! Fact is, he never mailed them. Also, he told me he had shipped the F-117 Priority Mail and the SR-71 regular post and in the voicemail he says to refuse "THE" package. So which was it, one or two packages Curtis? LIES, LIES, LIES! I'm disappointed that I won't be receiving the aircraft (I've got 4 new batteries that I have no home for now) but I'm glad that I got my money back. I believe my phone calls to the AMA ensured that would happen.

Michael211, I did talk to Michael Ramsey (Editor of Model Aviation) Wednesday morning. We talked for quite some time, and though I didn't agree with some of his opinions, we had a very good chat. I do like Michael and I do appreciate his hard work and enjoy his articles and I will continue to read his work in Model Aviation. However, I will always be careful of anything I read in that magazine from now on.

We differ in opinion in two areas.
1. I feel it's the reviewer's responsibility to check out any company whose models they are reviewing.
Michael said he is only reporting on the model itself not the company.
2. I feel the forums are a good place to research companies. If customers have a problem with product or customer support, you'll usually see the complaints on the forums. Now I understand that you can't always trust what you read on the forums but if you see enough on a company (and believe me, there are PLENTY on Curtis and Easytiger) you should be VERY careful about dealing with that company. And the fact that Curtis is banned from both RCU & RCG speaks volumes on the man.
Michael says he doesn't do any research on the companies whose products he reviews. And he certainly doesn't trust anything he see's on the forums. I asked him why he thought Easytiger was legit and he said he has worked with Curtis before and never had a problem with him. Of course he's never had a problem with him before! Michael is the editor of the AMA's magazine! Curtis will bend over backwards to please Michael. Look what it's done for him... he received star coverage in March's edition of the magazine!

I invited Michael to call a couple of people he knows that have good knowledge of Curtis and the games he plays. I sincerely hope he will take the time to do that. I filled his ear with a great deal of information and if he places those calls they will reinforce what I told him. I have hopes that he will change his position on these two VERY important points. I do believe it's the AMA's responsibility to protect us from harm whenever possible and rethinking these points could go a long way to doing just that.

You guys can help with your voices as well. If you agree with these points, you can contact the AMA at any level you feel comfortable with. Let them know your opinions on this matter. All I ask is that you don't turn this into a Michael Ramsey bashing. I feel Michael is a good guy and I'd like to see him continue with his work. I just believe he and the AMA need to rethink their policy on advertisers and reviews to protect their members.

Harry
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Last edited by harrymc; Mar 18, 2010 at 03:59 AM.
Old Mar 18, 2010, 05:46 AM
A Global Force For Good
jmpdgs's Avatar
USA, OH, Cincinnati
Joined Jun 2009
730 Posts
In business there's an adage that holds true without exception.

"Do a good and the customer will tell two people, but do a bad job and the customer will tell EVERYONE"!


I'm always sorry to hear about PPL having problems with Non-Responsive vendors. I'm even more upset when that vendor is one with whom I've dealt, think well of and have recommend to others. My personal experience with ETM and Curtis in particular has always been a good one. He's helped me on several occasions, patiently explaining the mysteries of electric power systems to me a few years ago, making recommendations for powering models I didn't buy from him, and occasionally even selling me good quality goods at a fair price.

My personal experience has resulted in quite a few private recommendations. That being the case, I'm very disheartened to hear this horror story and I hope that Curtis realizes his error, does the right thing and corrects this obvious problem.
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 08:13 AM
Blade Product Development
Joined Apr 2006
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First, you have to understand why a "magazine" does a review. It is for advertising dollars. That is it, plain and simple. The AMA needs those advertisers, and will "review" a model to keep the advertising dollars coming in.
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 09:06 AM
Just Happy To Be Here!!!
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United States, AL, Tuscaloosa
Joined Nov 2004
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First you have to understand, that to have an AMA it has to have members, it's first priority is to take care of it's members...
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 09:11 AM
Blade Product Development
Joined Apr 2006
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Originally Posted by harrymc View Post
First you have to understand, that to have an AMA it has to have members, it's first priority is to take care of it's members...
Believe me, I understand your frustration, I'm just telling you the reality of how a magazine works, regardless of whose name is on the cover. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, just delivering the facts to you. The AMA is a business, and it's first priority is to make money, regardless of how you feel. As a consumer, you have a choice to either do business with them (be a member) or not.

You may feel that the AMA is a charitable organization, and they do infact do good things for the modeling community. The fact remains they are more like an insurance company, and they look out for their own financial interests first.

I think you may have a slightly unrealistic view of what the AMA actually is.
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 09:25 AM
Just Happy To Be Here!!!
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United States, AL, Tuscaloosa
Joined Nov 2004
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When I write my check out to them each year I understand they are not a charitable organization. They are NOT in business to make money through a magazine. I think you're wrong on my view of the AMA. I see you are in business as Miniature Aircraft USA so your view would be totally different than the normal modeler. Don't get your business caught up in the mess that is Easytiger.
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 11:33 AM
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Syracuse, NY
Joined Sep 2003
811 Posts
I was very surprised to read the expose on ET in Model Aviation. The AMA is now doing a series of company exposes which do read as endorsements and a large portion of the printed mag was devoted to ET and its products. My surprise came largely because of all the negative feedback I've read here and in other online forums.

I understand Mr. Ramsey's position because he probably doesn't have the time to invest online to really be "savvy" as some of us are when researching and dealing with companies who deal our goodies. One must see that EDFs are just a sliver of what a magazine editor must ingest and produce each month, so it is impractical for one person to have this sort of in depth and accurate assessment (esp with regard to business practices) for all facets of this hobby. This is the sort of thing which takes time to develop and unless you yourself take the time to research this (in one particular area), you're going to have a dubious opinion on what's available in these forums.

What I think we would like is for the AMA to have an online staff which IS savvy in these respects, and can make responsible recommendations BEFORE deciding to do such exposes on various companies. I would think Mr. Ramsey would have the resources to assemble such a team-- even informally.

I disagree strongly with this statement from bgjames111:

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgjames111 View Post
The AMA is a business, and it's first priority is to make money
We can devote an entire forum to what we each feel is the mission for the AMA. However on the subject of it's magazine-- Model Aviation (MA), there simply are no other magazines produced from organizations within the hobby whose organizers are voted into position (aside from its various SIGs of course). I agree the magazine should TRY to make money (as any business). However, even if it loses money, its primary charter should be to serve the membership and chiefly as a communication vehicle. I will challenge anyone to dispute that on sound grounds (rhetorically of course-- if you disagree, please start another thread and we can go get dirty over there).

In any case, if enough people complain about ET, (or any advertiser), MA will pull its ads-- as any other responsible magazine would. I would argue that the threshold for doing this should be lower than with other magazines (ie, how many people need to complain before action is taken).

I have done business with ET only once. I placed an order and got my mdse several months afterward. I was not kept abreast of the status. I didn't care too much because it was a low dollar order and I was ordering well in advance of my expected need.

I met briefly with Mr. Mattikow at the WRAM show when scrutinizing one of his giant scale offerings. I had some concerns for quality in general. I cornered him on the issue regarding his (lack of) presence in the online forums and his response was similar to Mr Ramsey's in that he dismissed basically the whole medium as unreliable and a waste of time. I found this rather humorous as it doesn't take much digging to find evidence of his "altercations" and eventual "departures." I didn't pursue the issue further, and satisfied myself my initial impressions of him and his business were accurate.
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 01:07 PM
Blade Product Development
Joined Apr 2006
292 Posts
You guys of course are welcome to disagree all you want. I certainly don't mean to offend at all. I have been working in the Hobby Inustry for several years now, and have worked retail, mail order, and manufacturing, and have seen how the magazines operate.

I'm certain that Mr. Mattikow is on his best behaviour when speaking with the AMA's magazine representatives, I don't think anyone would argue that point. I appriciate this thread's author writing what he did. I will likely not purchase anything from ETM because of what I have read here.

I already insinuated that I feel the AMA does have modeler's interests in mind, however the modeler is not their only source of income. They are not going to do what they do out of the "kindness of their hearts", they have to make money to survive.
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 07:12 PM
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i'm glad you got your money back, sir. a very similar article (same plane offered by etm...followed by a full page ad for the company) also appeared in rcflyer a few months ago. this left me wondering because a while ago i researched etm when i became interested in the do-335 they offer. the information i found was bad (they seem like a sister company to banana hobby!) so i did not order. i guess these articles do have something to do with their advertising. worth it to take any information offerd and/or endorsements with a grain of salt. thanks for your report, definately another company to stay away from.
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 08:21 PM
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NJ
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lol that's pure crap that the editor claims he doens't know squat about a company he directly endorses though advertisement. Believe me your not the first one to bring this up to the AMA. They very well know how Easy Tiger operates, its there business, especially if there going to advertise for them. I can think of a dozen companies that deserve a good review that didnt, instead they go with easy tiger, a company that just stresses this hobby to wits end. Any good journalist researches the company there writing about, even if its just about a specific piece of merchandise. He pretty much admitted to being a horrible journalist, that doesn't research his material. A plane being a good flier and eye pleaser is just as important as the company that makes it, something he cleared missed. Yet again adding to the confusion on how they perform listing reviews and ads. Now i get to second guess everything they write about.

THE AMA is a NONPROFIT organization. i dunno where the confusion lies in there.
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 10:06 PM
Registered User
Joined May 2004
149 Posts
Gents,

I have taken a huge amount of flak for speaking up on this issue. I posted under the EasyTiger thread under vendors. I feel bad that someone else took it on the chin...like I did.

Harrymc, I feel for you...your lucky...I got took for a lot more...One warning though, Curtis has numerous members of his fan club. They will come after you and this thread. They are relentless and vicious. So be prepared!!!

Dave
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Old Mar 19, 2010, 03:21 AM
Just Happy To Be Here!!!
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United States, AL, Tuscaloosa
Joined Nov 2004
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dw,
I don't worry about things such as people coming after me on forums. Everyone here including the mod's knows what Curtis is about so really, who cares? Thanks for the heads-up though, I appreciate it!

Harry
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