My experience with a large order from Nitroplanes.com
Just warning you TL,DR guys that I tried to condense this as much as possible but I had to be detailed to tell the whole story.
Several of my flying buddies and clubmates decided to buy some of TechOne's 35" Popwings from Nitroplanes.com to have ourselves a little combat fun. Nothing organized, just a little fun with inexpensive and durable wings. This was during the sale last week. The ARF Popwing was $65, the GensAce battery $11, and shipping (once divided between 9 guys) was $8. A lot of fun was to be had for an $84 investment.
I placed the order last Thursday evening (8/2) and everything was in stock and stated it "usually ships the next business day". Friday comes and goes, no shipping notification. Checked the website over the weekend and no status on the order. Oh well, no big deal... was hoping they would ship Friday 8/3 since they are on the Left Coast and I'm in NC, I would get them at the end of this week so we could fly 'em this Sunday. Checked my bank and the transaction was pending.
I got an email on Monday 8/6 that stateed my order was on hold due to security purposes. I needed to photocopy the credit card that I used to order as well as an ID (driver's license, military, etc.) and fax it to them and they would "make a decision within two business days". To be fair, it stated I could eliminate all but the last four of the CC as well as my license number; they just needed verification that I was who I said I was. So I picked up the phone to do just that. After many redials due to busy signal, I spoke with a friendly CS rep and told her I was not comfortable doing that. She said no problem, just call your bank and tell them you need a Transaction Authorization Number for this order. It's a 6-digit number that starts with x and ends with x. Call me back with that number and you'll be good to go."
I called my bank and told them what I needed. The guy said, "I don't know what that is. I see the transaction and all looks okay but I don't know what that is." I said no problem, and hung up.
I called Nitroplanes.com back and again more redials due to busy signals. Got through to a different rep and updated him. He said, "Without that number or you faxing the info we requested, we can't release the order." I then conferenced in my bank and told them both to work it out. The rep explained to my bank what they needed. The bank rep checked with her manager and came back to say "Yes, we have that number but we're not authorized to give it out a 2nd time. You guys have the number." The rep said, "Yes, but we need it for confirmation." They went back and forth a few times and were at a stalemate. I got involved and said, "Look, my bank is on the phone and they have verified I am who I say I am. I have verified I am who I say I am. My bank has verified the transaction AND the availability of funds. In fact, you've had my money tied up all weekend so you know the funds are there. Just ship the order!"
The Nitroplanes.com rep talked with the billing department and came back to the phone, stating that they needed either that number or that fax. They were standing their ground firm. At this point, I was hot. I usually keep my cool but I was starting to lose it. I told them I'll simply take my business elsewhere. The rep said sorry to hear, would you like us to cancel the order? Sigh. What choice did I have? Suck it up and deal with it, or cancel the order and refund money to 8 guys? I thanked the bank rep for her time, and she hung up. I told the Nitroplanes.com rep that I'll fax that info over but I'm doing it under duress. I demanded that the order ship today and he said no problem, it will.
I faxed the info and called back. Spoke with the same rep. He confirmed they received the fax, the billing department had it, and that's all they needed. Of course the order didn't ship until Tuesday 8/7, which means we wait until next Monday to receive the order.
To top things off, I got four emails with four tracking numbers but only the first tracking number shows any activity. I've emailed NitroPlanes.com about this and have yet to receive a reply.
I didn't have a problem with the order being held for security reasons. It was a large order, after all. They were protecting themselves as well as me from some sumbag scammer. I get that. My problem was that they still wouldn't release the order even after the bank verified I was who I said I was, as well as verifying the funds being available. They even confirmed I was a previous customer. I wasn't thrilled about sending my credit card AND my license - regardless of the blacked-out details - over an open, anyone-can-see-it unencrypted fax line. I decided the reward outweighed the risk (and headache) so I complied.
I'm not saying, "I'll never order from them again!", I'm just sharing my frustration. It's obvious that some of your policies and procedures should be updated.
The good news: the folks at the ticketing support system answered me promptly and cleared up the confusion about the multiple tracking numbers. Thanks for the prompt reply. I received my order today.
The bad news: One of the GensAce batteries was puffed. I contacted Nitroplanes.com and spoke with Sarah, who asked for pictures of the battery. I sent them and she replied promptly that they will send me a replacement. I sure hope it ships today as if it's coming UPS, I'll be waiting yet another week.
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