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Sep 15, 2007, 09:49 PM
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Caveat emptor!


I'm pleased to say that both my newest plane and its review are nearly ready.

I hope and pray that I don't have another mishap (or ANY mishap) similar to the one in my previous blog entry. Phone calls galore, e-mails galore. Trying to call the distributor was a genuine exercise in futility. The toll free number left me on hold several times in excess of twenty minutes with no answer and the regular number was constantly busy, each starting about one minute after their start of the business day. E-mails were slow in coming, but they at least came.

Here's the answer I got from Raiden Technology (also known as raidentech.com and nitroplanes.com) regarding my inquiry for replacement parts (italics mine):

Sorry, we do not carry parts for the ARF planes at this time.
>
>Best Regards,
>RaidenTech


Are you freaking serious? I buy your plane, you don't carry parts and you're wishing me best regards?

I even told them in a previous e-mail that I was reviewing their bird. For a worldwide audience, yet. If I were them, I'd have busted open a kit and shipped a part, no questions asked. Or, I'd have shipped an entire kit. If they can sell the things for eighty bucks a pop, you can bet the farm they aren't paying twenty a unit. No matter how good this plane flies, I won't be buying another from them. I really dislike slamming a company. I prefer praise and I've heaped praise on Horizon Hobby, Team Orion and Hobbico for customer service above and beyond the call of duty. Companies like these, not to mention this site's host company, are what make our hobby special. Companies like Raiden Technology are going to reap some bitter harvests down the road. They got my money once, but not a second tome.

This reminds me of the fiasco I endured early in my R/C addiction when I bought a Tokyo Marui Shogun electric buggy from a new and very small shop. Here I was, struggling to make ends meet, but I just had to drop the $75. After all, was not the Big Bear one of the hottest R/C cars on the market back in about 1987? Wouldn't parts be just a quick drive around the corner like all those Tamiya and Associated parts at the other shops I haunted?

Shortly after I completed the Shogun and ran it for awhile, I was in need of some small replacement parts. That hobby shop, it seemed, was about to go out of business and they didn't stock the spare parts.

Neither did anyone else, as it turned out. That little hobby shop was a get-rich-quick scheme in my opinion. They likely bought up Marui models at pennies on the dollar knowing they would be obsolete, sold them at fire sale prices and headed out of Dodge.

I sold it for $20 to the manager of another (and totally legit) hobby shop who was repairing one of his own and who was having the same parts issues. I put the dough toward a Tamiya Blackfoot. No more parts issues.

So, like the title says, caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware of sweet, seductive, low-priced equipment on the internet, especially when the sites are written in really bad English. Buy from reputable manufacturers instead. Buy quality products from sites like Hobby Lobby, Hobby People and Tower Hobbies. Buy products from Horizon Hobby, Hobbico, Global Hobbies, Associated, Kyosho, Tamiya, Hitec, Castle Creations, GWS and the list goes on and on.

The few extra bucks you spend now will save your model later.
Last edited by DismayingObservation; Sep 16, 2007 at 12:56 AM. Reason: Bad grammar!
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