Review: Hobby King support

Discussion on reviews of ARF and RTF models

Review: Hobby King support

Postby RCModelReviews » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:22 am

As you may have already read on the RCMR front page, I ordered a little F16 EDF ARF from HK and it arrived very swiftly (bonus points HK).

However, the canopy was missing from the box -- so the model is a bit ugly and there's a risk that the battery will fall out so I've put it on the shelf.

To be fair, this isn't HK's fault. They can't be expected to open every box and check its contents -- that would be ridiculous.

However, I have emailed HK's customer service with a description of the problem and figure that this is a perfect opportunity to put that customer-service to the test.

I'll keep a running log of what happens so people can see how long it takes, what steps are involved, and whether the name "Customer Support" is justified.

Stay tuned..., just the facts.
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Re: Review: Hobby King support

Postby enrique1123 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:27 am

I really like the stuff HK sells and the price as well, however I think that it is a very nice catalog to look at since they always seem to be out of stock of the items I want to purchase. I have placed 9 orders in the past from them and for the exeption of a defective brushless motor everything arrived as advertised. The fact that it takes a month for my shipment to arrive bothers me, specially with orders when several items become out of stock. I rather pay a little extra and get my hobby parts from my local hobby shop or Ebay. One time I posted on a different forum about my experience with HK's customer service and the majority of replies led me to understand that good customer service was not expected from HK. Most posters would put up with bad customer in exchange for a lower price. I will most likely not order from them again since my last order took almost 2 months to arrive in Las Vegas NV. There is another website that I order from and they are also in Hong Kong and their shipments usually get to me within a week. Maybe my expectations are to high but if a retailer wants to get my business it has to come with a little service.
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Re: Review: Hobby King support

Postby RCModelReviews » Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:13 am

I've just updated the webpage this thread refers to so as to reflect the fact that I found the missing part -- thanks to someone who emailed me after encountering the same issue.

And, as you can see, I'm eating humble-pie while wiping egg from my face.

There's no point in me claiming to present honest, factual reviews if I don't apply the same standards to myself so I've contacted HK support and told them "case closed, I found the bit" and publicizing my own shortcomings for all to see.

Now I'll get on with the task of finishing some pending reviews (including that little F16 EDF)., just the facts.
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Re: Review: Hobby King support

Postby 3dmikey » Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:57 am

Haha thats a crack up. You will love it. A bunch of people in my club have now flown mine and love it, their will be many very soon for combat at my club. It is a challenge to fit bigger battery's in though.
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Re: Review: Hobby King support

Postby johnkim100530 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:07 pm

I can imagine how happy you were when you found the missing canopy. Good luck with your new toy.

I bought F-16 DF similar to yours from a local store and have been flying it for several months. It flys fast and is a realistic scale model. Now you can enjoy a scale jet without spending thousand dollars for thurbo jet, thanks to advanced electric motor and battery technology.
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Re: Review: Hobby King support

Postby jeffie8696 » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:03 am

Bruce, it happens , dont sweat it. I had an issue with a bad servo and HK replaced it without a problem. The shipping back to them was enough to pay for a new one though.
Wish they had a way to ship to the US warehouse for returns. That seems to make sense dont it? That way it would have cost me like $2.
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Re: Review: Hobby King support

Postby mkaz » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:50 am

This still is a showcase of the HK customer support process.
Taking the presence of HK into account, this should deserve a full review.
What is usually considered as 'customer support', does not really exist at HK.
The only cases accepted are complaints about lost parcels, wrong item or item missing. That's it.
Everything else falls into the '.. if you are not happy with the product' category and allows for a return.
Nice, considering almost all customers are overseas and the shipping cost eliminates this option most of the time.

The next step to reduce support volume is the ridiculous requirement to weight and take pictures of everything.
Not everybody has a suitable scale or photograph. I'm pretty sure that this cuts the volume by a huge factor due to the inconvenience and difficulty.
Without weight or picture, no support. The actual complaint does not matter, could be a motor that does not turn or a charger that does not start - no pictures or weight = no support.
Bruce example is a classic support case. All was fine, just a little 'insider knowledge' solved the issue. Normally this would have been handled by a support person that relies on experience or a knowledge base and supplies the correct answer - part is there, just look better! The answer should have been given by HK, not a friendly customer with experience. Chances a low though that HK even have someone with that kind of experience because most complaint are eliminated by process before that.
This is a pity because many complaints could probably be solved without incurring cost to either HK or the customer and could create many more happy customers.

I had unpleasant surprises when purchasing from HK. I had purchase from US companies and had expected the same kind of customer support.
Now I know. I will still buy from HK once in a while but when I do I take into account that I cannot return, I cannot complain, I won't get any help or assistance, I cannot sue, etc. Take it for a very low price or leave it.
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Re: Review: Hobby King support

Postby RCModelReviews » Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:18 pm

Yes, I've always said "only spend what you're prepared to lose" with China-based companies like HK.

Still, given the low prices, I think most people come out ahead over time (I know I have).

However, it's the reason why I don't buy *expensive* items from HK. Saving $100 on a 50cc gas engine only to find that you've got to spend nearly that much to send it back and then wait several months for a replacement is not a risk *I* would be prepared to take.

If you're buying batteries, outrunners, wheels, props, and other items where the savings are high and the individual price is relatively low then HK is probably a great way to save money (overall).

Remember, lots of people spend a lot more money gambling on the lottery (and never win) so I guess from that perspective, HK offers better odds., just the facts.
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Re: Review: Hobby King support

Postby Xzuberance » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:23 pm

Hahaha... nice one Bruce! :lol:

Personally, I've never had any issues with HK. I did have one order that was seriously delayed but after a frustrating attempt trying to get it resolved via their online support, one of them actually stepped up to the plate and resolve my problems within like 1/2 day or something. I was quite surprised as I've seen comments in some forums bagging HK for their customer support.

and Oh, am happy that I can finally access your website again. Hope I didn't miss much
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Re: Review: Hobby King support

Postby ergocentric » Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:26 pm

I'm the field officer at our club, you know, repair stuff, pick up garbage and empty coffee cups, repair stuff again, organize volunteer lawn mowers, pick up coffee cups again, fill the fuel tanks on the mower...

anyway, a member suggested I buy a HK windsock for the end of the flight line. I just got it in the post, mounted upside-down and the 'chromed steel' tube mount is rusted; was rusty inside the bag.

Great advertising.

I won't be bothering them for a few bucks but I would think their advertising materials would be checked more closely.
:idea: I'll simply pull off their url and put some tape over the rust. (the url is a separate piece stitched on)

unconcerned but not indifferent - MAN RAY
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