Espritmodel.com Telemetry Radio
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Old Aug 05, 2007, 05:12 PM
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Quality control and customer service concerns with a well-known company

You know that anxious feeling you get awaiting a new plane to arrive that you want to build, and the anticipation of starting the build mounts as you open the box and look at the parts?

Imagine if it arrives, and you have no instructions.

Then when you do get the instructions, you find out that you are missing parts that are required for step 2 (landing gear, see below).

Anyway, this kind of buildup and anticipation, then the letdown that ensued, really left a bad taste in my mouth for the company that sold me the product.

I purchased a kit from a company well known to rcgroups and the rest of the AMA community and i've encountered a few problems.
  • no instruction manual/CD
  • no landing gear
  • blatant rudeness in response to my question for help on a build step

Initially, I didn't know of the missing gear, and just informed them of the lack of instructions - the remedy was that I was provided the instructions via email link/pdf file.

Then the missing gear came up during STep 2 of the build - recognize I'm not far into this build - i'm on step 2, and now problem #2. I informed the same person of the missing gear, and was told that I must be missing an entire bag of stuff because the instructions come in a plastic bag that also contains the landing gear.

Too bad the company/owner didn't recognize this at my first call regarding the missing instructions, as this second dissatisfaction could have been headed off at the pass and the gear would have been mailed to me at the time the lack of instructions was brought up.

Lastly, I encountered a portion of the build that I couldn't interpret via the pdf file instructions, and I needed some clarity. Although this may be have been a simple step, I didn't want to cut something that I shouldn't cut.

By now, I'm not in a good mood with this product. So, with this 3rd 'issue' I informed the company/company owner of the disappointment I was continually encountering with this build. In response, I received a very rude, insensitive email from the owner/seller:

see his response below:

The spar needs to be cut, it's a kit. Did you see the video? We have
1000's of VERY happy customers, but we can't satisfy everyone, but I
personally try to. I'm confused that we, spell everything out and even
provide pictures of all the parts and part numbers and a video and that
still does not answer your questions. To answer your last question, we
are human. If the spar is to long you cut it, not sure why that needs
questioning. Would you rather I sent it to short? Would you have had
the same question if the spar measured 40 1/8". I feel, like you are just
not happy with our product, if you want send it back, the last thing I
want is bad mouthing me and my product that I manufacture in the USA
with my own 2 hands.

Mind you, i didn't know of any videos - how could I since I was given NO instructions, and sent only a link to the pdf file of instructions.

It certainly shouldn't cost me extra to ship it back, paying for shipping twice just doesn't seem right, and the aggravation of it all just doesn't seem to provide a remedy that is acceptable. Also, remember that I've now glued pieces together, making the kit longer than the box it came in, making packaging even more difficult, since I don't keep boxes ready at my home to ship back the plane. The 'send it back' remedy is not acceptable when it comes to products like these planes we build.

Furthermore, all builders have made the mistake of misinterpreting and cutting something too short, only to find out that we screwed up royally.

After all is said and done, I will not be a repeat customer.

I'm not naming names, not yet at least, but I wanted to post my troubles and get your feedback.

I have only one question: Does this type of quality control and customer service warrant exposure of the company?
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Old Aug 05, 2007, 05:30 PM
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Why even post a thread like this if you aren't going to name the manufacturer?

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Mike N
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Old Aug 05, 2007, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twmaster
Why even post a thread like this if you aren't going to name the manufacturer?

--
Mike N
I don't want to overreact, but would rather solicit opinions from you and others to find out if this is considered egregious enough to post the name of the maker.
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Old Aug 05, 2007, 06:10 PM
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Given the condensending smart-ass reply you got, I don't know why the company name is not in the thread title. Seems more a customer support than a quality control issue. Had the guy properly packed the kit, he prob. would have not been so annoyed by the question that resulted in the response you posted. Kind of a: damn...this guy again...first he wants instructions, then landing gear, now he want me to put it together for him...

Not posting this vital piece of info is just wasting everyone's time. Or is this a contest where we are supposed to guess the manuf.??
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Old Aug 05, 2007, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Wolff
Given the condensending smart-ass reply you got, I don't know why the company name is not in the thread title. Seems more a customer support than a quality control issue. Had the guy properly packed the kit, he prob. would have not been so annoyed by the question that resulted in the response you posted. Kind of a: damn...this guy again...first he wants instructions, then landing gear, now he want me to put it together for him...

Not posting this vital piece of info is just wasting everyone's time. Or is this a contest where we are supposed to guess the manuf.??

Summarizing the 3 problems, I think it is 2/3 quality control, 1/3 customer support issue.

Tim Wolff, you summarized it well when you stated: Kind of a: damn...this guy again...first he wants instructions, then landing gear, now he want me to put it together for him...

I suspect you don't think I really wanted an 'easier than average' build/RTF.

Just wanted what I payed for, that which is needed to build a plane, and if need be, a little bit of courteous support along the way, even if it was a simple build question that to the veteran builder would never have posed a problem.

Please don't try to goad me into giving the name before I have determined the worthiness of my concern. Mind you, this is a company with supposedly many "thousands of VERY happy customers", and I am the only exception to the rule according to them/him.

I might state the question better by asking:

Are these problems worthy of company name posting?

Or am I overreacting on a few simple, but key elements to building a plane?
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Old Aug 05, 2007, 06:27 PM
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I love to build so please please tell us so I don't get stuck spending money on something that won't be supported
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Old Aug 05, 2007, 07:00 PM
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This doesn't seem to be too hard to figure out and just my opinion, kind of seems he is over reacting a bit. I almost ordered one after looking this up, it sure looks nice. Maybe I am more tolerant than others, he didn't seem all that smart alecky to me.

Bill Davenport
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Old Aug 05, 2007, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badbill
This doesn't seem to be too hard to figure out and just my opinion, kind of seems he is over reacting a bit. I almost ordered one after looking this up, it sure looks nice. Maybe I am more tolerant than others, he didn't seem all that smart alecky to me.

Bill Davenport
AMA 28141
you're a good private investigator. Take note of the 'edited post' in your investigation, and you'd be continually surprised at the not so nice attitude on that answer that I initially and publicly received, but now it is gone and edited (after I commended him on how good the videos were via email, but I shouldn't have to kiss tail to get a retraction).

Pilots, I can't post the name because I will never see my missing parts if I do so.
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Old Aug 05, 2007, 07:17 PM
That'll hold until ...
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Some people make a big deal out of naming names. It's what this place is about sharing our experiences. You had a crappy experience with your build and the people responsible just rubbed salt on the boo boo. I can understand it sorta as he has the perception that you got the manual and video. It's a very peevish thing when people ask questions instead of RTFM (no doubt he thinks that). You should list the company name as many of us consider how a company responds here indicative of what kind of courtesy/understanding we'd receive if something goes wrong.

Personally I wouldn't get bent out of shape and start packing the model up because of a missunderstanding. It probably never occured to the guy that you didn't get a whole package, and are a properly upset because nobody had the presense of mind to ask if the manual was left out of the bag or the bag left out of the box.

Letting him know you are NOT happy and not because of the reasons in his trite email but because of it. Let him know as plainly as you let us know why you are displeased (spell it out). I'd hope you'd get an apology and some understanding.

Steve
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Old Aug 05, 2007, 07:32 PM
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I informed him of each problem, each time, every step of the way.

The first time, when there was no manual, i didn't really care, just had to be patient and wait.

The second time, with the missing landing gear, i was a little more concerned about the quality of the product, but still remained courteous on the phone, and let him know that over the phone - i jokingly thought i got a friday afternoon plane - the one that is hurriedly put together and sent out so that one can get out of the office and start the weekend, you know. The missing parts are supposedly in the mail to me, but again, i am concerned they won't arrive if some friend of his reports my thread to him or the forum (remember, this is a paid advertiser).

On the 3rd issue - not a missing item - just a confusion to this mid-level builder, i was merely looking for help, and reminded him of my prior issues in my email. That is when I received the less that courteous email posted above.

Again, packing the model up is more troublesome than the build, so that is not a reasonable remedy IMHO.

So, I'm left waiting on the mail - hope it doesn't get 'lost', as i don't relish dealing with this person any further.

Ultimately, you've all answered my question as to whether this is a real or overblown issue. thanks.




Quote:
Originally Posted by swatson144
Some people make a big deal out of naming names. It's what this place is about sharing our experiences. You had a crappy experience with your build and the people responsible just rubbed salt on the boo boo. I can understand it sorta as he has the perception that you got the manual and video. It's a very peevish thing when people ask questions instead of RTFM (no doubt he thinks that). You should list the company name as many of us consider how a company responds here indicative of what kind of courtesy/understanding we'd receive if something goes wrong.

Personally I wouldn't get bent out of shape and start packing the model up because of a missunderstanding. It probably never occured to the guy that you didn't get a whole package, and are a properly upset because nobody had the presense of mind to ask if the manual was left out of the bag or the bag left out of the box.

Letting him know you are NOT happy and not because of the reasons in his trite email but because of it. Let him know as plainly as you let us know why you are displeased (spell it out). I'd hope you'd get an apology and some understanding.

Steve
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Old Aug 05, 2007, 08:51 PM
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Pairadocs .... well, I have to say that is very similar to the response that I got from the same company. I had several issues with him and I did not notice until it was all said and done that I was dealing with a New Jersey attitude. This person even went so far as to tell me that he did not need my business. Of course I saved all the emails between he and I.

One of his loyal customers went so far as to tell me that 'name' was crazy busy but that he was an alright guy ( or something to that effect ). At one point he made a post that in a previous correspondence he had offered to replace a defective part when he had not. His fanboys love him and his product and it is my experience that if you are airing a problem on the group you get a nice and kind reply from him, take it private and you get the response that I got.

I did work arounds on the 3 problems that I had .... rest assured I will never buy a plane, motor or anything from this outfit.
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Old Aug 05, 2007, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swatson144
Some people make a big deal out of naming names. It's what this place is about sharing our experiences. You had a crappy experience with your build and the people responsible just rubbed salt on the boo boo. I can understand it sorta as he has the perception that you got the manual and video. It's a very peevish thing when people ask questions instead of RTFM (no doubt he thinks that). You should list the company name as many of us consider how a company responds here indicative of what kind of courtesy/understanding we'd receive if something goes wrong.

Personally I wouldn't get bent out of shape and start packing the model up because of a missunderstanding. It probably never occured to the guy that you didn't get a whole package, and are a properly upset because nobody had the presense of mind to ask if the manual was left out of the bag or the bag left out of the box.

Letting him know you are NOT happy and not because of the reasons in his trite email but because of it. Let him know as plainly as you let us know why you are displeased (spell it out). I'd hope you'd get an apology and some understanding.

Steve

I have no bone to pick with you, I have read many of your posts and I have learned from you. But, I have got to say this; some of us are from an age group that we don't care to name names ... not the thing to do.

The company in question sent me an airplane that must have been cut and packed with a Monday morning hangover. I had several problems with the plane and to tell you the truth I should have seen it coming. An email from him prior to purchase raised a red flag, but I ignored the flag because of the positive response of his fanboys.

Some of us are trained to think and we do it most of the time, especially when there is a problem. It is only logical to think that if the instructions are missing and you know that normally you pack the instructions in a plastic bag with other parts, that by George .... perhaps the entire bag is missing. At that point an reasonable individual in business would ask "did you get a plastic bag with other parts in it?". If you read the posts for those products you will see that it is not uncommon for something to be missing ... does it get replaced, sure it does. He sends the parts when you make it known to him.

The big problem here as I understand it, is the attitude of the individual that Pairadocs and myself dealt with. I don't need his attitude about as much as apparently does not need my business. His business must be very good, perhaps he is overworked ... perhaps he should consider hiring some help or at least have someone do the customer service end of it. Even if he had replaced my entire plane, because of his attitude in his email to me .. I will never buy his product again.
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Old Aug 05, 2007, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badbill
he didn't seem all that smart alecky to me.

Bill Davenport
AMA 28141
If the spar is to long you cut it, not sure why that needs
questioning. Would you rather I sent it to short? Would you have had
the same question if the spar measured 40 1/8".


An excerpt above from the aforementioned email to me - you don't find this smart alecky?! It's over the top - remember, the old motto that the customer is always right, even if confused.
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Old Aug 05, 2007, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouieB
I have no bone to pick with you, I have read many of your posts and I have learned from you. But, I have got to say this; some of us are from an age group that we don't care to name names ... not the thing to do.

The company in question sent me an airplane that must have been cut and packed with a Monday morning hangover. I had several problems with the plane and to tell you the truth I should have seen it coming. An email from him prior to purchase raised a red flag, but I ignored the flag because of the positive response of his fanboys.

Some of us are trained to think and we do it most of the time, especially when there is a problem. It is only logical to think that if the instructions are missing and you know that normally you pack the instructions in a plastic bag with other parts, that by George .... perhaps the entire bag is missing. At that point an reasonable individual in business would ask "did you get a plastic bag with other parts in it?". If you read the posts for those products you will see that it is not uncommon for something to be missing ... does it get replaced, sure it does. He sends the parts when you make it known to him.

The big problem here as I understand it, is the attitude of the individual that Pairadocs and myself dealt with. I don't need his attitude about as much as apparently does not need my business. His business must be very good, perhaps he is overworked ... perhaps he should consider hiring some help or at least have someone do the customer service end of it. Even if he had replaced my entire plane, because of his attitude in his email to me .. I will never buy his product again.
Louie - I couldn't agree more with you. You obviously understand, and that is because you've been thru this with the same company before - Not sure if it is really a company - kind of reminds me of a backyard breeder of dogs - just trying to make a buck, one litter/puppy/plane at a time, regardless of overall soundness and health of the pup/product going out the door.

Sadly, even if names are named, I don't think either of us would have prevented the other from buying the plane, as eventually threads fade away, and I don't typically search the forums for the plane seller's problems before I buy - which is why this guy knows he doesn't have to care enough to provide good customer service and can skimp on quality control.

I'm left waiting on some parts.....
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Old Aug 05, 2007, 09:33 PM
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I more or less had the impression that it was a one pony show and he was turning out the product as fast as he could. I suspect that he has more work than he has help.

If I have problems with someone's product and they are a small business, I can work with them as long as they have the appropriate attitude and strive to communicate to me in a professional manner. Responding to an email or post with only 5 or 6 or 7 words is not employing effective communication, especially for a businessman. Using a tone or smart-alecky attitude is not good for anyone who is in business. Once they piss me off, then my niceness is gone.

I have no heartburn with this outfit, I wish him and his company well; but it will be without my business.

As you said the customer is always right.
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