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Time to Say Goodbye To Tower Hobbies

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Time to Say Goodbye To Tower Hobbies

Old 11-18-2019, 08:24 PM
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Thumbs down Time to Say Goodbye To Tower Hobbies

I guess every giant eventually falls. Montgomery Ward, Sears, K-Mart... nothing lasts forever does it. Tower Hobbies is no exception. I bought my first RC there (Futaba FX-10) in 1991 after mowing yards for 4 months. Tower gave me a small break on my first car and all the tech support I could handle. They were friendly, supportive, reasonable and accommodating.

Fast forward 28 years to present day and the hobby powerhouse seems to have been reduced to a handful of employees sitting in a 20x20 room with one supervisor programed to say "no". Hold times are over 15 minutes each time you call no matter what time of day it is. Tower Hobbies no longer exists - they died when Hobbico filed BK. Now, they answer to their masters at Horizon. Today - I had to say my goodbye to Tower.

On the flip side... Amain is top notch. They have emerged as the best of the best and my business will now exclusively be with them until one day (hopefully not) they end up like Tower - but I think we're a long ways from that.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:39 PM
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I discovered Tower in 1987 just after my local hobby shop burned me on a Futaba 6 channel FM radio (Towers price was less than half). I ended up spending thousands at Tower over the years. Sorry to hear of their demise.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:45 PM
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Agreed, Tower sucks, Amain has gone above and beyond for me several times.
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Old 11-19-2019, 09:28 AM
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Only used them a few times, but I never had any issues

Sorry to hear about your luck
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Old 11-19-2019, 11:11 AM
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Tower has been great to me. I’m happy that they have survived the turmoil.

The question is, what are they saying “no” to?
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Old 11-19-2019, 11:39 AM
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Tower is less then 100 miles south of me. But I’ve rarely used them. Shipping was inconsistent, had stuff from either coast arrive quicker.

Plus, for few years we got hit with in state sales tax.
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Old 11-19-2019, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by TIME MACHINE View Post
Tower has been great to me. I’m happy that they have survived the turmoil.

The question is, what are they saying “no” to?
Complete transparency - I have some N.I.P. EB48.4 and ET48.3 parts outside of the return policy I was asking could be applied as store credit to a Losi DBXL-E 2.0. Nothing unreasonable... about $150 worth of stuff. My 2 sons - Ages 10 and 12, (to my disappointment) had zero interest in racing.... So, figured I'd ask.

Are they obligated to take something back outside of the return policy? Absolutely not... no argument there. However, would you as a business give some consideration to customers with a very long tenure with you? Especially considering this same customer is now about to spend another $2k on a 5th scale vehicle w/accessories & parts?

Again - I understand there is no obligation to take anything back outside of the return policy.... I get it. However, I felt the manner in which my inquiry was handled was very cold. As I mentioned, the hold times were terrible, the employees were somewhat standoff ish, and the Customer Service Manager made it very clear that her "hands are tied due to Horizon's very strict rules". This is not a company I want to give my money to anymore, not just because of my recent experience with an ask I knew was outside of policy; but because many of these distributors (and manufacturers for that matter) do very little to give back to the hobby via support to tracks. Tower has made that list in my mind.

Conversely, I put the ask out to Amain expecting nothing considering my relationship with them has been 1/3 the amount of time I had with Tower and 1/3 the amount spent; and there was ZERO hesitation. RMA # issued - thank you for your business. Wow... - and Amain gives BACK to the RC community as well. To me, it's a no brainer where to take my business - 100% of it.
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:14 PM
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RIP Tower Hobbies ,I had bought from you over the years an had great dealings ,with coupons & price cuts!....
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Old 11-19-2019, 12:21 PM
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been using tower for over a decade. think iv placed one order sense bankruptcy. never had any complaints. but fear and stock had me looking for someplace else and iv been having better luck with Amain (cheaper shipping to).
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Old 11-20-2019, 11:50 PM
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Wasn't their parent company bought by Horizon a couple years ago anyway? I pretty much stopped caring about Tower Hobbies once that happened.

Of course, the way things work nowadays, I pretty have to buy everything on eBay just to find all the parts I need, so it doesn't even matter which individual vendor is filling my orders.
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Old 11-21-2019, 03:16 PM
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Amain is dead to me as well. Taxes, and the fact that they can't follow simple instructions. Can't ship to my UPS box anymore. Even with a record of shipping more than $20,000 of rc stuff to that box without a single issue. The UPS store signs for it just fine.

Amain is slow as well, usually 8-10 days. Pretty much miss next weeks race if something weird fails. Parts that I order from an onroad TRACK in Florida make it to Ohio in 3 days for free.

USPS can hide my packages perfectly. I order all my parts from TRACKS that ship USPS. No track, no business. UPS works fine from other companies, but not Amain.
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Old 11-21-2019, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by fyrstormer View Post
Wasn't their parent company bought by Horizon a couple years ago anyway? I pretty much stopped caring about Tower Hobbies once that happened.

Of course, the way things work nowadays, I pretty have to buy everything on eBay just to find all the parts I need, so it doesn't even matter which individual vendor is filling my orders.
Tower was part of the Hobbico purchase by Horizon.
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Old 11-21-2019, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Zerodefect View Post
Amain is dead to me as well. Taxes, and the fact that they can't follow simple instructions. Can't ship to my UPS box anymore. Even with a record of shipping more than $20,000 of rc stuff to that box without a single issue. The UPS store signs for it just fine.

Amain is slow as well, usually 8-10 days. Pretty much miss next weeks race if something weird fails. Parts that I order from an onroad TRACK in Florida make it to Ohio in 3 days for free.

USPS can hide my packages perfectly. I order all my parts from TRACKS that ship USPS. No track, no business. UPS works fine from other companies, but not Amain.
Strange. Never had an issue with AMain. Post office yes, and FedEx yes.

I mentioned before that Tower is less the 100 miles south of me. For more then a few orders to Chicago, they all first go to Indianapolis, then Chicago, then back to Indiana to be delivered back to Illinois
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Old 11-21-2019, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Zerodefect View Post
Amain is dead to me as well. Taxes, and the fact that they can't follow simple instructions. Can't ship to my UPS box anymore. Even with a record of shipping more than $20,000 of rc stuff to that box without a single issue. The UPS store signs for it just fine.

Amain is slow as well, usually 8-10 days. Pretty much miss next weeks race if something weird fails. Parts that I order from an onroad TRACK in Florida make it to Ohio in 3 days for free.

USPS can hide my packages perfectly. I order all my parts from TRACKS that ship USPS. No track, no business. UPS works fine from other companies, but not Amain.
My experience with A Main is so far opposite of yours, that I personally think you're either FOS or embellishing.
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Old 11-22-2019, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by fiveoboy01 View Post
My experience with A Main is so far opposite of yours, that I personally think you're either FOS or embellishing.
What part of my post can't you confirm?

Amain only ships to billing address.
Amain requires signature.
My UPS store box can sign for a package, my dog can not.
Amain charges tax now, because they own piss poor hobby shops.

Quit being a shill for horizon. There's other places to order from that can get my package to my door in half the time for lower cost. And not annoy me, by forcing me to get home before UPS. I've done biz with amain for 15 years, no more.
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