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Old Aug 30, 2008, 01:50 AM
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Warning about XHeli-Misleading Advertising and Condescending Customer Support

To try and be brief...I recently purchased an HB along with replacements parts and, after being misled, training software and controller. All were purchased on the same order.

Before placing my order I carefully read the details they had on their site regarding the HB V3 which conveniently left out the fact that the HB comes with the training software (which we know is free on-line) and a dongle for the transmitter to allow you to connect it to a USB port. While I knew the software was available on-line for free, I did not know that all of this came with the HB and that the separate training package would be redundant. Additionally, their site asks you if you want a trainer during your order even knowing that this is already included in the package.

After receiving the goods and finding out the additional training product was a duplicate of what comes with the HB, I sent an email to XHeli asking for a refund of the training portion (not the helicopter) and also that the restocking fee be waived. I am attaching below my exact email along with their response. You can draw your own conclusion about their "response", but mine is that it was a condescending FU. They never returned my follow-up email which can also be seen below.

In summary, XHeli misleads buyers by neglecting to include on their page that training already comes with the helicopter. They compound the issue by soliciting you to get training at a separate cost on the same order. They respond to requests for a refund with an FU type response.

Certainly not a big dollar loss for me here, but it is funny given they have now lost some numbers times the training as I will never buy from them again. I post this as a warning about their practices and attitude and people can decide for themselves if this is the kind of place they wish to do business with.

The email is below (organized for easier chronology):
------------

Hello,

I just purchased from your site an E-Sky Honey Bee 3 and other parts and products. The order number was: [withheld for this posting]

I received the package today which I greatly appreciated. However, I feel I was mislead with a portion of my order specifically the training software and controller for $19.95. I ordered this as part of my overall order that included the Honey Bee as the process of ordering asked if I would like to purchase this training. Where I feel mislead is that no where on the page you have for the Honey Bee does it indicate that the Honey Bee product itself already comes with both the software (which is free anyway) and a dongle for the controller that allows you to connect it to the PC. I certainly understood that the software included with the training kit was available for free on-line, however, I felt I was buying the controller which was capable of connecting to my PC. I feel misled that your site neglects to inform buyers that the Honey Bee product itself already includes this (making the training product redundant) but also goes so far as to call out that this software/controller can be purchased even on the same order. At the very least the website advertising this product should call out these things as coming with the product. The fact that it solicits the purchase of this redundant product separately just adds to the amount consumers are misled.


I would appreciate in all fairness the ability to return this training product for a full refund (without a restocking fee). I would very much like to continue being a customer of XHeli (as I am sure to continue to require parts) so I appreciate your positive response.


Best regards,

[my name withheld]
--------------
From: XHeli.com Support [mailto:support@xheli.com]
Sent: Friday, August 29, 2008 12:09 AM
To: [withheld for this posting]
Subject: Re: Issue with order

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your kind response.

Best Regards,

Xheli.com

-------

Are you going to address my concern?

--------


From here no response......
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Old Aug 30, 2008, 03:03 AM
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spinup's Avatar
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Bummer. If it makes you feel any better, many of us have ordered something we didn't need or couldn't use at some point or another. I have a sim cable that didn't work as advertised, a heli-max blade balancer that was worse than useless out of the box, several parts that didn't really fit...sometimes the vendor's fault, sometimes the manufacturer, sometimes me.

But hey, did the "training kit" include one of those sim-only controllers? If it did, IMO, just keep it. A bunch of guys have complained about their Esky radios getting glitchy pots after some usage...so it's better to bang on the sim controller when using the sim, and save your real radio for flying. I think someone said you could even steal the pots from the sim controller to use in your real radio if they go bad...that's second-hand advice though.

I agree, it's really lame that they make you opt OUT of buying something redundant. OK, to be fair, they do show the sim CD and cable in the picture of the heli kit, but the whole opt-out thing is still shady.

I'm naturally suspicious when I buy from a vendor who has a much lower price than everyone else...if they don't make money on the main product, they have make it somewhere! But...it's also possible that this was unintentional...maybe they used to sell HBFP kits with no sim or cable, and they just haven't changed the way their website works?

Either way, the problem is that you got MORE than you expected, right? That isn't a problem worth complaining about in my book, especially not to a super-discount vendor who probably can't afford to read emails, let alone respond to them. Save your energy for flying your new heli.

-Jeff
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Old Aug 30, 2008, 03:35 AM
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turnbui's Avatar
W. Sussex U.K.
Joined Sep 2007
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Well I won't be buying from them. Thanks for the warning.
I know they run a business BUT just because we have this hobby doesn't measn we are rich beyond belief nor that we are so dumb we'd never complain and if we did we'd be told to FO as 1 less customer won't matter.
Sorry you got treated this way.
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Old Aug 30, 2008, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinup
But hey, did the "training kit" include one of those sim-only controllers? If it did, IMO, just keep it. A bunch of guys have complained about their Esky radios getting glitchy pots after some usage...so it's better to bang on the sim controller when using the sim, and save your real radio for flying. I think someone said you could even steal the pots from the sim controller to use in your real radio if they go bad...that's second-hand advice though.
Thanks for this advice. It was never about the money that made me want to return it, but more the principle. I am now just angrier given their response.

Quote:
I agree, it's really lame that they make you opt OUT of buying something redundant. OK, to be fair, they do show the sim CD and cable in the picture of the heli kit, but the whole opt-out thing is still shady.
There was no description on the picture of the CD so there was no way to know what it was. My Blade came with a CD that contained video, not training software. There was really no reason for me to believe the picture of the CD had anything to do with the training. The software itself is free anyway, so I thought I was buying the controller. In retrospect knowing what I got, I could have questioned what the cable was in the picture. However, not even thinking that the heli came with this stuff having not seen any textual description (despite the fact that they described everything else about the package) and having been offered training separately on the same order, and there just was no reason for me to scrutinize the picture that much over a cable.

Quote:
I'm naturally suspicious when I buy from a vendor who has a much lower price than everyone else...if they don't make money on the main product, they have make it somewhere! But...it's also possible that this was unintentional...maybe they used to sell HBFP kits with no sim or cable, and they just haven't changed the way their website works?
True, but I don't think they were that much cheaper than others (if at all). It is possible it was unintentional I can agree. However, their "response" to my asking for a refund hardly attempted to explain their thinking. Their response further indicated to me that they are a shady outfit looking at short-term gotcha profit versus long term customers buying parts, etc.

Quote:
Either way, the problem is that you got MORE than you expected, right? That isn't a problem worth complaining about in my book, especially not to a super-discount vendor who probably can't afford to read emails, let alone respond to them. Save your energy for flying your new heli.
No I didn't get more than I expected. I got what I paid for which is redundant and unnecessary followed up by horrendous customer service. Obviously I am not running out to get a lawyer, but I do think it is worth alerting others to their practices. $19.99 isn't going to break my back to be sure, however, who says the next person doesn't run into a problem on a product that is say $600? That's not so easy to dismiss and so people should be aware and make their own judgments. That's where reviews like this in a forum can be useful.
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Old Aug 30, 2008, 11:58 AM
"I don't like it !"
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Newcastle, UK
Joined Jan 2007
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OK, you alerted a whole bunch of people with a very noticeable thread on what must be the biggest RC forum in the world -maybe they lost imminent and future orders worth $thousands
You could send them an email pointing this out to them - send them the link and then walk away - job done !
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Old Aug 30, 2008, 12:05 PM
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Also be aware that X heli operates numerous online hobby stores all under different names. I may be mistaken but Im pretty sure Raidentech is one of them along with about 2-3 others. Check the phone number or contact info on web page and you will notice they are all the same!!
If any of you guys out there know the names of all of them, it might be helpful to others in the forum.
These guys have always had a bad reputation with customer service in the forums.
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Old Aug 30, 2008, 02:44 PM
ASA all the way!
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Germany
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I might be the lone opinion, but the Xheli response looks like an automated response to any email received by a customer service account. What was the difference between the time you sent your email and the time you received the response? Does this time difference account for the difference in time zones or countries (I do not know where Xheli is)?
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Old Aug 30, 2008, 04:39 PM
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plus the fact that its approaching weekend. Looks like an automated response to me
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Old Aug 30, 2008, 04:40 PM
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Houston TX
Joined May 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EQMOD
plus the fact that its approaching weekend. Looks like an automated response to me

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your kind response.

Best Regards




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Old Aug 30, 2008, 11:07 PM
make it what YOU want!
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goldsboro north carolina
Joined Nov 2006
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kinda sorry isnt it?
i had started to post give it to a kid,but i wasnt thinking about needing a tx to.
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Old Aug 31, 2008, 12:49 AM
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The response came about 3.5 hours later. I am on the West Coast and I know they ship from the West Coast, but I don't know if that is where their people are.

That said, it doesn't sound like a canned response to me. It's too specific. A canned response might be "Thank you for contacting us, a customer care specialist will respond as soon as possible..". "Thanks for your kind response" is not a good canned response as it doesn't fit likely 99% of the reasons you'd be writing to their support line.

Regarding the training controller...it's crap. The rudder doesn't calibrate worth anything, while the controller that came with the heli works great on the PC....
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Old Aug 31, 2008, 02:57 AM
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I'm pretty sure they are in S. California. From my past experience, they will send a email back to you first, then a second email addressing your issue. In the mean time, try call the number on their website. Hope this helps.
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Old Aug 31, 2008, 10:35 AM
Cranky old fart
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I've bought a number of things from Xheli. You have to know exactly what you want and stick to it. They try to sell you a lot of useless crap with extra ads and add-ons all over the place and aren't real happy when you want to return it. Stick to what you know and need and their prices, shipping and service are just fine.
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Old Sep 01, 2008, 04:50 PM
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You can get rc helicopters from other shops: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=rc+helicopter

try to email the shop first and see how fast they response to your email, before you buy
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Old Sep 01, 2008, 09:53 PM
Idle up!
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USA, VT
Joined Nov 2004
5,802 Posts
this business is known for poor response when there is a problem. However they are safe when you order simple (i mean like 1 item in 1 box kinda simple) stuff..

I usually just goto one of my other rc heli guys and say can you match x-helis price.. and they usually do.

I prefer to order from Helidirect whenever possible.. but now and then a new retail like kaplanes and others come along and are proven to be good people with good service.. and I might place an order with them and give a review on their service.

Sometimes people forget that you as the buyer need to be aware. I try to resolve problems offline 1st. 1st I email .. then I call.. if I get no where after a call. Then I post and send them the link.

FYI this is NOT the place to post these types of threads. There is a forum specifically for vendor complaints.

Oh and just because 1 person has a problem with any e-tailer doesnt mean the e-tailer is automatically at fault. I have seen plenty of instances where the customer wasn't right!
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