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Old Nov 20, 2008, 06:43 PM
I make bad look so good.
SteveC68's Avatar
League City, Texas
Joined Sep 2006
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Careful!
Buyer Beware! There is NO customer support at UH/HK/HC

Here is an example of the complete and utter lack of customer support from this vendor. Just to preface this is not my only order that I have placed from HC. I have placed 17 orders over the past 12 months totaling almost $1000 us. Last month I placed two orders on the same day. One in the morning and one later in the day, because I forgot two items in the first order. Both orders were paid via Paypal (always use Paypal). I tried to call their customer support center when it opened later that night, but they didn't answer (typical for them). I then asked in their customer support forum on the HC website if the orders could be combined. The next day when I checked the order status they were both on hold with a note that said "combine orders". Later that same day they both shipped (world record since they weren't shipped via EMS). Approximately 10 days later I received one of the orders (pretty typical of all of my non EMS orders from them), but the other order contents were not in the package. I waited a week suspecting that the orders were shipped separately and still no package. I emailed their customer support and got a ticket. Then with a few email exchanges I learned that nobody really knew for sure if the orders were combined or shipped separately. I was told to check the contents of the package again to make sure that the items were not in there. Keep in mind the package that I received was in an envelope so I'm pretty sure that a 70mm ducted fan and a 2836 HXT inrunner were not in the envelope. I emailed back and was told to wait (this is the typical response on almost any customer support request).

I continued to wait for a month and still no package. I again emailed customer support and they said wait some more. No dice fellas I've waited long enough. I filed a claim through Paypal's support resolution center (that got somebody's attention). I got a few responses through the first level of this process, but was forced to raise it to a non-receipt claim to actually get Paypal involved. Now is when it just goes from bad to twilight zone.

The order that I did not receive from HC was 200269164. Trying to "prove" that I did receive the order HC provided Paypal with the tracking information for another order! 200266503 that I had placed earlier. Nice try. Luckily I took screen shots of my order history to provide to Paypal. Even more lucky that I did this because HC has now disabled my account! This is insane! All of this over merchandise with a value less than $28! They are willing to alienate a customer that has ordered almost $1000 worth of merchandise over their mistake.

I would caution anyone ordering from this vendor to pay via Paypal only and ALWAYS pay for EMS shipping.
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 06:58 PM
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We all feel for ya.

But this has been the story about this company forever. Doesn't make it right, but your post will at least remind buyers where the savings come from.

Buy, save a few bucks, and be ready for anything (or nothing, as the case may be).
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Old Nov 20, 2008, 11:24 PM
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Dear Steven.
During checkout there is a notice, informing customers that if they select the cheapest option which doesn't include parcel registration, we accept no liability for the lost parcel.
We chose to include this option because some customers accepted these risks and wanted the cheapest possible shipping available.

Unfortunately you chose to have the parcel sent 'Unregistered Air Mail', which as is clearly stated in the checkout, is not guaranteed by us.
As I can see, the parcel has not arrived, and now you're requesting that (in contradiction to the agreement made by you during checkout) you would like your money refunded.

We have several methods of shipping, the following Registered, Air Parcel and EMS Express are methods we guarantee delivery for. This is because they can be traced and tracked and delivery confirmation is given to us.

It's very clear this isn't a matter of poor customer service. In fact we still have the complete dialogue with yourself in our database, along with all paypal and transaction details.

Despite these problems, we will continue to offer this low cost shipping method because the majority of customers understand and accept the risks.






Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveC68
Here is an example of the complete and utter lack of customer support from this vendor. Just to preface this is not my only order that I have placed from HC. I have placed 17 orders over the past 12 months totaling almost $1000 us. Last month I placed two orders on the same day. One in the morning and one later in the day, because I forgot two items in the first order. Both orders were paid via Paypal (always use Paypal). I tried to call their customer support center when it opened later that night, but they didn't answer (typical for them). I then asked in their customer support forum on the HC website if the orders could be combined. The next day when I checked the order status they were both on hold with a note that said "combine orders". Later that same day they both shipped (world record since they weren't shipped via EMS). Approximately 10 days later I received one of the orders (pretty typical of all of my non EMS orders from them), but the other order contents were not in the package. I waited a week suspecting that the orders were shipped separately and still no package. I emailed their customer support and got a ticket. Then with a few email exchanges I learned that nobody really knew for sure if the orders were combined or shipped separately. I was told to check the contents of the package again to make sure that the items were not in there. Keep in mind the package that I received was in an envelope so I'm pretty sure that a 70mm ducted fan and a 2836 HXT inrunner were not in the envelope. I emailed back and was told to wait (this is the typical response on almost any customer support request).

I continued to wait for a month and still no package. I again emailed customer support and they said wait some more. No dice fellas I've waited long enough. I filed a claim through Paypal's support resolution center (that got somebody's attention). I got a few responses through the first level of this process, but was forced to raise it to a non-receipt claim to actually get Paypal involved. Now is when it just goes from bad to twilight zone.

The order that I did not receive from HC was 200269164. Trying to "prove" that I did receive the order HC provided Paypal with the tracking information for another order! 200266503 that I had placed earlier. Nice try. Luckily I took screen shots of my order history to provide to Paypal. Even more lucky that I did this because HC has now disabled my account! This is insane! All of this over merchandise with a value less than $28! They are willing to alienate a customer that has ordered almost $1000 worth of merchandise over their mistake.

I would caution anyone ordering from this vendor to pay via Paypal only and ALWAYS pay for EMS shipping.
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 12:26 AM
I make bad look so good.
SteveC68's Avatar
League City, Texas
Joined Sep 2006
2,512 Posts
Unfortunately for you that little statement about not being liable isn't worth the electrons it's written with. The decision of liability is for Paypal to decide since they are handling the claim because you refuse to. The evidence that I have provided them is at least correct (unlike the fraudulent information that you provided). I will let them decide who is liable. You might as well remove the statement from your shipping page since you have no control over the decision of liability.

Let me tell you what customer service is. Two weeks ago I ordered some spare parts for an E-Flite P-38. I paid for 'unregistered' mail and received the order in a few days. Upon opening the package one of the parts that I ordered was missing, but was listed on the invoice. I emailed Horizon customer support and informed them of the shortage. I received a prompt courteous response apologizing for the inconvenience and said they would ship out the missing part the next day. Notice they weren't combative, they didn't say "we aren't liable", they didn't accuse me of lying, they didn't ask for proof that the part was missing, they didn't ask me to wait a month for a response, they just apologized and shipped me the part. THAT is the way customer service works! That is why I will continue to do business with Horizon, because I know that they will take care of me the customer.
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 02:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveC68
Unfortunately for you that little statement about not being liable isn't worth the electrons it's written with.
If so, then why did you agree to it?

Regarding your customer service reminiscing, if we make a mistake we always do our best to correct it.
Sighting that you purchased an item via unregistered mail (which it wasnt as it was sent USPS) does not create a parallel between your purchase with us and the other vendor.

A better example you could have made would be;
"I bought item X from vendor A because it was on sale, they said there was no warranty and it was sold 'as is'. However when I got it I found it to be faulty, so I backcharged my credit card because they wouldnt offer me warranty."
This would have been a more accurate example.
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 03:42 AM
I make bad look so good.
SteveC68's Avatar
League City, Texas
Joined Sep 2006
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Wow you are really reaching at straws here. No the example I provided was extremely accurate and to the topic at hand. Unless you are saying that HC sells used products? Here is the point. You made a mistake. At least two different people at HC could not confirm that the orders were either combined or shipped separately. I was told to look at the package that was shipped to me for the contents of the order that I had not received. Both orders were on hold with a notation that they were to be combined. I would say there is a very high probability that the second package was never shipped. And since you don't keep shipping records for regular mail then you really don't know if shipped or not. It would be easy to just scan a copy of the customs declaration form and keep it on file. But there is no way to know that you shipped the item. What I find unbelievable is that nobody at HC will even admit there is a possibility that the order was never shipped. Considering the confusion over the two orders it seems very reasonable.

Again PAYPAL will decide who is liable. Which means your statement is invalid. You see if PAYPAL decides in my favor and refunds my money then they decided you ARE liable. There are dozens of threads on the HC customer support forum where HC tries to deny liability for any claims. Threads where people had to wait months for you to provide refunds. Yeah that's great customer service. You do understand that you make mistakes. The problem is getting you to A. admit that you made a mistake, B. getting you to act on the mistake, C. getting a satisfactory resolution to the mistake, and D. getting it to happen in a timely manner. That is what this thread really boils down to. When HC makes a mistake on your order (and it's when not if) how far are you willing to go to get the mistake corrected. Because HC is very quick to use the words "just wait". Earlier when I was on your online "customer support" chat one of your people even went so far as to accuse me of back charging this order the same day it shipped! Don't worry I have a copy of the entire chat log.
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 04:34 AM
I make bad look so good.
SteveC68's Avatar
League City, Texas
Joined Sep 2006
2,512 Posts
Maybe you should change the statement to: If Paypal forces us to give you a refund then we will cancel your account. That would be more accurate than the current statement.

By the way folks that is the way HC does business. If you try and get a refund from them (and they don't agree with it) through Paypal then they cancel your account. What a great company to do business with. It's great how you are acting like the victim Anthony. I'm out the money and no parts to show for it and somehow you think you are the one getting victimized. That's some twisted logic you got going there.
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveC68
Maybe you should change the statement to: If Paypal forces us to give you a refund then we will cancel your account. That would be more accurate than the current statement.

By the way folks that is the way HC does business. If you try and get a refund from them (and they don't agree with it) through Paypal then they cancel your account. What a great company to do business with. It's great how you are acting like the victim Anthony. I'm out the money and no parts to show for it and somehow you think you are the one getting victimized. That's some twisted logic you got going there.
We have cancelled your account because we don't think it's fair that we and our customers continue to foot the bill for customers who want to exploit our services.

There is a long running forum on our website from customers requesting us to offer $3.09 postage without registration and are willing to accept liability should the parcel go astray. It took us months to pluck up the courage to impliment this offer to our customers, which up until now has been well received.
Unfortunately it's transactions like this that put this offering in jeopardy.

Conversely, this could be entirely our fault. Perhaps we should explain the risks in bolder, clearer font, so that no misunderstanding can be made. However you're saying this is something to do with good ole' Customer Service problems and you clearly understood the option you chose, yet felt it to be null and void, yet still selected it....
In additon to the above, the postage choice might go against what people traditionally see as standard retail practice. After all, if you dont get it, it's not your fault, right?

Your plight has given me something extra to think about over the weekend. Perhaps scrapping this type of shipping is the best option to avoid these types of problems.

Rgds
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 10:38 AM
I make bad look so good.
SteveC68's Avatar
League City, Texas
Joined Sep 2006
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Looks like you should have read the fine print on Paypal's seller policies. Since you cannot provide proof of shipment YOU ARE LIABLE FOR ITEMS NOT RECEIVED. I guess you are going to have to rethink that "don't keep records for standard mail policy". Of course there is an easy way out of this which I've emailed to Sumaira. One last thing to think about is that being a company that ships internationally you have to abide by international laws on shipments that go out of HK. So statements like "we are not liable" when you really are don't apply. Alienating your customers is not really a sound business move on your part considering the global economy especially considering your already narrow profit margin.
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 11:09 AM
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Irvine, CA, USA
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I don't think you can compare HC to Horizon. Sure Horizon may have better customer service, but are you willing to pay double or triple the price to have that service? If the answer is yes, HC is not a place for you. After all, why do we shop at HC? It's all about the price!

Most of us who has ordered with the unregistered airmail option are all taking chances, and are fully aware of the disclaimers. Most of us are willing to take that chance because we're under the impression postal system should be reliable enough to deliver the package. But just because USPS has been reliable doesn't mean any overseas postal system will be the same. And by paying for the cheap shipping, you accepted that risk.

I think HC should just omit the cheaper shipping option and force everybody to pay for EMS, so disputes like this will not happen again.
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 11:41 AM
I make bad look so good.
SteveC68's Avatar
League City, Texas
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Well that goes against everything that HC stands for (cheap). If they force their customers to pay for the premium shipping then they will lose customers. When HC agreed to use Paypal they agreed to be liable for non delivered items. The only delivery option that is exempt from this per Paypal's seller policy is hand delivered items. So any statement of liability made by HC is made null and void by Paypal for any transactions paid for via Paypal. If you bought something on ebay and paid via Paypal and never received the item would you expect a refund? This is no different. HC is acting as a seller by definition when using Paypal's services and in so doing they are subject to Paypal's seller policy first and foremost. That's just the way it is. Anybody is free to read Paypal's seller and buyer protection policies. I think this is a special circumstance for HC because I really don't think they shipped both of my orders out. Because of the hold placed on both orders with the "combine orders" note I believe their shipping department dropped the ball. And by their own admission they do not keep records of shipments made via regular mail. Also by their own admission they do not have any sort of system to account for shipments that have or have not been shipped via regular mail. In other words they have no proof that they shipped the items in question, and their in lies their liability. If they had proof that they shipped the items then I would gladly drop the claim, but they don't. I have received 16 of the 17 orders that I placed with them. I have received 2 of the 3 orders that I ordered via regular mail. Again I believe they are at fault and they really don't care. That is their customer support policy "we don't care". They should really work on that as it would probably double their sales.
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steph280
I think HC should just omit the cheaper shipping option and force everybody to pay for EMS, so disputes like this will not happen again.
You're absolutely right.
While this shipping option was hugely welcome by most of our customers, when something goes wrong the ideal turns into a 'flaw in our customer service' by the person who fails to receive the parcel.
We're now considering only offering this service to our Platinum & long standing customers.
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 06:19 PM
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When checking out of CheapBatteryPacks.com, on their order page, they ask if you want to insure the package. This is their policy:

"If you choose not to accept insurance please understand that CheapBatteryPacks.com assumes NO responsibility for damaged or lost items."

It doesn't seem fair to blame a company for risks the buyer took.

HC is a large volume/discount store. I certainly don't expect the same level of service I get when ordering from a company like Tower Hobbies or Horizon. It sounds like they do their best.

Not that HC is being scammed in this instance, but knowing some of the things people do, I'd hate to be in retail. The number of illegitimate complaints stores/vendors have to deal with must frustrate vendors--how are they to know who has a legit complaint or who is scamming. Sometimes the scam artists are the ones who complain the loudest.

In the two weeks I worked in retail, the owner kicked one crazy out of the store for their rambling and gave another woman a really hard time for returning a product she obviously somehow melted, but was trying to claim was defective.
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 07:54 PM
nsg
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Heh. What else is new.

And then people wonder where Mr. Hand got his reputation...
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 10:00 PM
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League City, Texas
Joined Sep 2006
2,512 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbycity01
You're absolutely right.
While this shipping option was hugely welcome by most of our customers, when something goes wrong the ideal turns into a 'flaw in our customer service' by the person who fails to receive the parcel.
We're now considering only offering this service to our Platinum & long standing customers.
You understand that the difference between registered airmail and airmail is one has a little piece of paper associated with it and the other doesn't. It isn't like they send the non registered airmail on a different plane. No the packages go on the same plane and are handled by the same people. You make it sound like non registered airmail is handled by a bunch of thiefs while registered airmail is handled by a bunch of saints. Call the post office sometime and ask them the difference. I was surprised by this as I thought there was a big difference between the two, but after the string fiasco I learned the truth about non registered airmail.

The other thing is that you refuse to accept the possibility that the package was never shipped. You have no records of the package going out of your shipping department. That information is from one of your employees on the online chat customer support from your website. So you cannot rule out the possibility that the 2 items that I ordered never left your warehouse.
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