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My not so pleasant purchase from Tower Hobbies.....

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My not so pleasant purchase from Tower Hobbies.....

Old 02-01-2020, 01:55 PM
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Angry My not so pleasant purchase from Tower Hobbies.....

Check this out. I’m a long time customer of Tower Hobbies, I’ve been ordering from them since the 1980’s. I’m always a huge fan of them, so we will see how this plays out and if that changes.

On January 7th, I ordered a Tekno MT410 kit. It was delivered a few days later. Upon arrival, I pulled the sealed kit out of the outer cardboard box and placed the kit on a shelf in my garage.

This morning, I am prepared to build the kit. I slice open the seals on the box (clear circles of tape) and start to remove the contents of the box. Right away I notice that the bags of parts are all open and have been cut with scissors. No chassis plate, no diffs, and missing bags.

I immediately called Tower and they are closed on weekends. No way to leave a message. I jumped online to initiate a return, but neither my customer number or order number is accepted by the system. Don’t ask me why, I tried several times.

So either someone internally at Tower is stealing parts from kits, or they accepted a return from a customer and believed that it was still factory sealed. No way on earth Tekno did this.

I have never had to return an order before and have never had any complaints. I swear, if Tower thinks I’m lying or that I’m scamming them, I will lose my mind. Not only am I disappointed that I can’t build my truck, I’m more upset that some lowlife scammer or thief cheated the system. I can’t stand a thief!

I will let you know how this goes. I did pay by credit card on the easy pay option, so that really complicates things. I just want an exchange, but the website says no exchanges, only refunds. I will keep you all posted on how it goes Monday morning.

Last edited by TIME MACHINE; 02-01-2020 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:04 PM
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Same thing happened to me last year, although not from Tower, but a shop here in Germany. My Tamiya M-07R came like that, unsealed, missing parts etc. but there was some piece of scrap metal in there... I suppsoe it was meant as weight , so the missing items could not be detected by weighing the package.So, quite clearly not accidental but intentional. I also wondered who might have been behind it, an employee or a returning customer...
I sent mine back and got a new kit, this time correctly sealed.
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:09 PM
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I've always had good customer service from Tower. I haven't ordered anything from them recently so that could have changed but you should be ok. They messed up a bearing order once and resent the correct ones and told me to just keep the first ones. Anyway, they've3 always been good to me.. good luck
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:12 PM
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iv been having the same sign in customer number/email issue sense at least late December. idk i think iv given up on tower at this point. been using Amain
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Old 02-02-2020, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by TIME MACHINE View Post
...they accepted a return from a customer and believed that it was still factory sealed...
This would be my bet... some low life probably wanted to spruce up their ride and took advantage of the return policy, while I agree that part of the blame might rest on Tower for not inspecting the kit, but if the low life found a way to carefully remove and reapply the factory seals (maybe with a blow dryer perhaps?) to make it look like it hadn't been tampered with then you have a different problem... who's to stop a high tech thief from buying a $20 plastic bag sealer and re-sealing the internal packages as well?

In no way I am accusing you of this, but who's to stop someone from fraudulently claiming they are missing parts?

I don't know what the right answer is, very complicated situation, but if I was a business who accepted a returned item, I would flag it for re-sale so it can be traced back to the original purchaser... make an attempt to remedy the situation with that customer so they know they were caught... probably eat the cost for the first time offense, but put a 30-day hold on any future returns from that customer in case they try to repeat their fraudulent activity. I'm sure I'm missing something but it sucks that there are so many low life's like this who contribute to costs of running a business which in turn forces the prices to go up in order to cover those higher costs to recover theft and additional theft prevention costs
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by billdelong View Post
This would be my bet... some low life probably wanted to spruce up their ride and took advantage of the return policy, while I agree that part of the blame might rest on Tower for not inspecting the kit, but if the low life found a way to carefully remove and reapply the factory seals (maybe with a blow dryer perhaps?) to make it look like it hadn't been tampered with then you have a different problem... who's to stop a high tech thief from buying a $20 plastic bag sealer and re-sealing the internal packages as well?

In no way I am accusing you of this, but who's to stop someone from fraudulently claiming they are missing parts?

I don't know what the right answer is, very complicated situation, but if I was a business who accepted a returned item, I would flag it for re-sale so it can be traced back to the original purchaser... make an attempt to remedy the situation with that customer so they know they were caught... probably eat the cost for the first time offense, but put a 30-day hold on any future returns from that customer in case they try to repeat their fraudulent activity. I'm sure I'm missing something but it sucks that there are so many low life's like this who contribute to costs of running a business which in turn forces the prices to go up in order to cover those higher costs to recover theft and additional theft prevention costs
You are absolutely right, Bill. I hate that I am the one that has to call and advise them of this situation. I know I’m innocent, but they absolutely have a right to be suspicious. I’m a long time customer, I really hope they understand that I’m not “that guy”. This situation just infuriates me.
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:26 AM
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I no longer deal with Tower, but during the time I did, never had a returns problem. In dealings with them times past, there would be a return address sticker in package with the purchase. With Tower, at least back when, a return authorization was not even needed. So, pretty sure they will accept you on your word regarding an incomplete kit. Hope resolution fares well for you.

As an aside, I have found package tampering and re-sealing a problem even in day-to-day off the shelf purchases at various places about town. If possible, I always open a package to determine if the item has been replaced and returned with a used or unserviceable item. One of the big problems with the 'don't ask, don't tell' return policies most retail outlets operate under these days. Let the buyer beware is as true today as it has been ages past.

Good luck, and I feel your pain. Cheers and regards. 'AC'
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Old 02-02-2020, 09:41 AM
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I'm sure you will get taken care of by Tower when you talk to them on Monday. It's most likely a glitch with the computer system that a live person will be able to take care of.
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Old 02-03-2020, 05:51 PM
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I called a Tower this morning, right when they opened. I told the gentleman on the phone exactly what happened. He was extremely pleasant, and said that although he had never heard of a situation like this one, that they will issue a refund. He even emailed me the return label. That is top notch customer service.

He put me on hold several times, almost as if he needed to talk to Horizon (he referred to “them” several times). He said they would look into whoever returned an unopened kit, and flag that account if possible. I find it hard to believe that many people return an unopened MT410, but what do I know?

I am extremely happy with Tower. I also hope karma gets the thief in the end. Miserable *&[email protected]$&#.
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Old 02-03-2020, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by TIME MACHINE View Post
hope karma gets the thief in the end. Miserable *&[email protected]$&#.
About 30 short years ago I rented a Sega Genesis video game and when I popped the cartridge in a different game played. Turns out some kid who rented it before me put the label on a game he didn't like and returned it thinking he wouldn't get caught. Future Darwin Award winner in training. Okay not the textbook definition Darwin Award but you get the idea
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by TIME MACHINE View Post
I called a Tower this morning, right when they opened. I told the gentleman on the phone exactly what happened. He was extremely pleasant, and said that although he had never heard of a situation like this one, that they will issue a refund. He even emailed me the return label. That is top notch customer service.

He put me on hold several times, almost as if he needed to talk to Horizon (he referred to “them” several times). He said they would look into whoever returned an unopened kit, and flag that account if possible. I find it hard to believe that many people return an unopened MT410, but what do I know?

I am extremely happy with Tower. I also hope karma gets the thief in the end. Miserable *&[email protected]$&#.
Crooks are terrible. I still remember the time someone had intercepted an entire shipment of Intel i7 920 cpus and stole the cpus and coolers out of the boxes and replaced them with plastic parts.
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:42 AM
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It took ten days after they received the kit back to get the refund. Slow, but they did what they said. I just placed another order with them. They earned my loyalty.
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Old 02-19-2020, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by TIME MACHINE View Post
I find it hard to believe that many people return an unopened MT410, but what do I know?
It's hard for low level workers to question anything. Big corporate will just say, process it who cares? Small guy finds the person who basically stole from them and gets no reward or acknowledgement but their boss gets a little extra pie at the end of the month. Slowly all retail is turning into garbage because of this. It's just a matter of time before online stores turn to garbage and everyone will start walking into the store because they can actually see what they're buying before they give the credit card numbers over. It sucks this happened to you but at least you EVENTUALLY got your return.
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by TheBeave View Post
...It's just a matter of time before online stores turn to garbage and everyone will start walking into the store because they can actually see what they're buying ....
I think the main consideration with online retailers is that buyers are also protected through their credit cards, in addition there are many sites which offer ratings which people can select which retailer they buy based on how high of a rating they score.... setting up a new web-store also makes the online channel an extremely competitive market, there is very little value with brick an mortar shops, especially with free shipping and/or same day delivery with Amazon, etc... we are definitely in the midst of a transition where a local shop will have a very limited selection of inventory, but the online channel is virtually endless in both product selection and number of stores to shop with. If anything I see the exact opposite where LHS's will go away like Blockbuster... I think the only saving grace is AMain which is a move that Blockbuster failed to adapt when they were given the chance to partner with Netflix:
https://www.rccaraction.com/amain-te...sitor_pref_pop

https://www.forbes.com/sites/gregsat.../#30c6f8f91d64
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