Sigh, first and last order with Hobby King - RC Groups
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Jan 06, 2013, 06:53 PM
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Jinxx's Avatar

Sigh, first and last order with Hobby King

Looks like I should have known better than to order from this company. I had hoped I'd be one of the lucky ones to have no issues but I lost that gamble.

Back on 8/21/12 I made an online order for a 11 lipo batteries, a couple ESCs and other odds and ends and paid for express shipping. I knew from other threads that Hobby King can sometimes take a while to fulfill an order so after getting confirmation that the order had been accepted and shipped I patiently waited. The shipper is shown as Speedpost by Singapor Post.

I made an inquiry with HK around 10/01/12 and was told that my order had been held and returned by customs on 9/26/12...they didn't explain why and I didn't ask. I assume it has something to do with shipping batteries overseas? Anyway, I was told that I would receive a refund once the warehouse receives the parcel.

I have made several inquiries via their email system as to the status of my refund and each time I get the same response: " Thanks for contacting the HobbyKing Support Team. I have checked that there is no updated information from our warehouse. That means it is still on its way . Our warehouse will update the report to your account under order message and we will contact you via email once we get the parcel. Please check your order for updates later."

I've never purchased/shipped anything from overseas before but i find it hard to believe that it would take over 3 months and counting to get back to the warehouse. Needless to say, my patience is running out.
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Jan 07, 2013, 03:52 PM
gooby's Avatar
Paypal dispute?
Jan 07, 2013, 04:25 PM
Suspended Account
Don't know if you used Paypal (free buyer protection) but it's too late to open a dispute Now.
Contact you CC company for help.
Jan 12, 2013, 12:09 PM
on the edge
franke's Avatar
Before ever ordering from HK you should read the forums and also read the comments on HK.

Never order anything that is on back order. One back order will hold up the rest of the items.
In the HK comments for a piece, if they say it is always on BO, don't order it and expect it anytime soon.
Do not pay for expedited shipping. It will never happen.
Always order extras. You can always use them as back ups.
Expect to jump through hoops to get any refund from HK.
If you have to have a back ordered item, put it on a separate order.

You can't expect perfection if you don't pay for perfection. If you want great customer service and fast shipping, you have to pay more to get it.
Jan 12, 2013, 02:16 PM
Registered User
Carnifax's Avatar

I respectfully disagree with most of your post except one key phrase.

You mention the word "expect" and I think that's whats key here; expectations. I don't think its a reasonable expectation to ask one to research a product outside of the norm any more than one would for any other rc product they will purchase. Additionally, if HK expects one to base their purchase on the product reviews on their own website, they have an obligation to provide unbiased reviews with as complete a product description as possible.

If the reviews are not factually correct and the customer's reviews are scrubbed than they are not accurate and that blame lies with HK. If you are to purchase a car and the website boasts "comes complete, ready to drive". When you pick up the car, it only has 3 wheels. You did your homework and you believed the website. Same concept.

Additionally if HK has engaged people to "promote their brand" on RCGroups and other social media, how does the average consumer know who to believe? With that in mind, I don't think its fair to reasonably expect the average consumer to be told the truth.

I think its a good idea that HK be much more open and honest in their business practices. Maybe posting your suggestions on their website might be a good start.
Jan 12, 2013, 06:31 PM
on the edge
franke's Avatar
Carnifax. You do realize it is China right? They are not some local hobby shop. You buy from China, don't expect quality, don't expect top rate customer service and don't expect top quality goods. It's China, not Germany or England or the USA.

If you want quality, customer service and fast shipping, buy from some place other than China.

You get what you pay for. You don't want to pay for it, you don't get it.
Jan 13, 2013, 08:24 PM
Registered User
3d astronaut's Avatar
Franke, "Do not pay for expedited shipping. It will never happen." This claim is just false.. thats three days from HONG KONG half a world away, through customs, and to my door (I wasnt home obviously). Also, they have a ton of quality items for a fraction of what we pay at the LHS. Lipos, servos, esc's, receivers the list goes on.
Jan 13, 2013, 09:46 PM
Registered User
Carnifax's Avatar
Good customer service/bad cs is not limited by geography. There are plenty of quality mfg's in China. I think you've probably never dealt with any. Furthermore isn't the owner of HK from Australia? The culture and philosophy is driven by the owner. HK "gets away" with all of its shortcomings because they are not motivated to change.

Again, the key here is expectations. When purchasing from HK I expect poor quality and zero customer service, it has nothing to do with where they are located.
Jan 13, 2013, 10:58 PM
Suspended Account
Who would continue to purchase items of poor quality from any vendor, with the full expectation of getting zero customer service if there was a problem??? I guess if that was happening to me I could then justify constantly complaining about that company. At some point though I'd have to worry about my purchasing habits, and sanity.

What does HK "get away" with exactly? How does someone who continues to buy items of poor quality, and expect no service question the business practices of a company that is allegedly not motivated to change. That is an interesting perspective, and to some degree ironic. Mostly though I'm wondering how anyone would know about a companies inner workings and "motivations". That sounds like opinion to me, not in any way a "fact". That's almost like saying a company sends items in the mail with virtually no packing material or protection, but never has proof to show. Opinions are great, facts and proof are better though.

Speaking of opinion, I know if the past years I've seen change from HK. New warehouse in USA, quicker shipping (at times), US based customer service reps, live 24 hour customer service chat line. How many warehouses are the up to now around the world? I wonder who is the next closest competitor?
Jan 14, 2013, 09:22 AM
RC plane addict ;-)
startazz's Avatar
I disagree as i've been shopping with HK for years now and the only couple of times i've had to get in contact with HK's CS,they sorted my problem out in a matter of minutes,so to say HK doesn't have any CS is laughable plus you will always get people coming on forums when something goes wrong with an order no matter what the problem is,but you will hardly ever get people coming on the forum saying they have been shopping with HK or who ever for years and never had a problem,why because they are to busy enjoying there products and no doubt having fun with it too.

Plus if HK was as bad as some would like others to think they were do you really think they could be doing business for as long as they have,they are growing company are getting warehouses in a number of different countries,so i doubt they could do all this and be as bad as the odd few online would have us believe,just my opinion of course and i'll say it again if it wasn't for HK i would of left this hobby years ago as my LHS and other online RC out lets really seem to over charge IMO,and how many other RC companies have a discussion under their products none that i know,so we can read these and make up our own minds weather we want to buy it or not.
Jan 14, 2013, 11:16 PM
Registered User
Atomic Skull's Avatar
Originally Posted by franke
Expect to jump through hoops to get any refund from HK.
I ordered a metal tail boom mount for my 500 from them last month.

Here's what the product picture looked like.

This is what I got.

Note the mismatched edges. The holes for the tail drive bearings line up and it's fuctional, but it's terrible looking and I wouldn't put that in a beater let alone my favorite machine.

I sent HK email about this, they asked for pictures which I sent. Got a refund as store credit the next day and wasn't asked to return the part (I specifically asked them what I needed to do with it).

Originally Posted by Carnifax
Again, the key here is expectations. When purchasing from HK I expect poor quality and zero customer service, it has nothing to do with where they are located.
HK's quality is as good or as bad as the manufacturer of the merchandise. The quality of their Skya made helicopter kits is terrible while the quality of their KDS helicopter kits are very good. Likewise I don't trust the Towerpro made servos they carry under their own brand name but the "Hobbyking" magnetic induction servos they carry are actually relabeled Blue Arrow Mi servos and are quite good.
Last edited by Atomic Skull; Jan 15, 2013 at 02:24 AM.
Jan 15, 2013, 02:50 AM
Registered User
Simple fact.
No one would buy from hobbyking unless there prices were so damn cheap.
Just why did you buy from them ??

rant follows

Ive put many many orders through HK.
I EXPECT 6 weeks delivery minimum. If it takes less then Im very happy
I EXPECT a $3 servo or $4 heli part not to be as good as a $40 name brand part
I EXPECT not be able to make any warranty claims
I EXPECT to get the occasional thing that is unusable rubbish: but hey, it cost less than my lunch bill (sometimes)
I EXPECT any company to censor product reviews put up on their website, Duh
Some guys now just give it 5stars in the review & then put what they really think in the attached comments. HK also seem to automatically remove certain words in the comments section: happened to me.

I'll keep buying from HK. Its they only way I can afford this hobby.
Im very happy with 90% of the stuff Ive bought
Jan 17, 2013, 09:19 PM
Registered User
Jinxx's Avatar
I only EXPECTED to receive what i ordered within a reasonable amount of time. When it became aparent that I was not going to receive my order at all, I EXPECTED to receive a refund. 4 months later, that still hasn't happened and I am still being told by their laughable customer service to be patient and continue waiting.
Jan 17, 2013, 09:58 PM
Suspended Account
Originally Posted by Jinxx
I only EXPECTED to receive what i ordered within a reasonable amount of time. When it became aparent that I was not going to receive my order at all, I EXPECTED to receive a refund. 4 months later, that still hasn't happened and I am still being told by their laughable customer service to be patient and continue waiting.
So you knew what the companies reputation was after reading up on them, and knew that they sometimes had issues with shipping.

And are still waiting for a refund almost 5 months later? What have you done in the meanwhile with PP or your credit card company? I ask because you didn't address one way or another how you paid?
Apr 11, 2013, 07:02 AM
Registered User
va3mw's Avatar
I ordered over $350 and it still isn't even packed yet.

I'm also hearing they are in financial trouble.

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