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Old 05-07-2004, 03:46 AM   #1
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Default A Tale of Two Companies

I was out of town on a business trip last week. Prior to leaving, I ordered some stuff online expecting to get them when I return from my trip. Specifically, I ordered some parts from Tower Hobbies and the new 23AMP power supply from Competition Electronics.

When I returned from my trip, I was surprised to find a phone message from the Glendale police department. Apparently a couple of thiefs had been driving around the neighborhood picking up mail packages left on the porch. Luckily they were caught and my parts and power supply were part of the loot discovered in the thieves' van.

All is well except now the police is holding my packages for evidence. I was told I might get them back in a few weeks. So I called Tower Hobbies and Competition Electronics and explained my predicament.

Without fuss, Tower Hobbies immediately suggested that they ship out my order to me again free of charge. Should I get my stolen goods back from the police, I can call them and they will order a prepaid return box from the courier service and pick them up.

Competition Electronics too was sympathetic toward my predicament. However, despite my plead, they simply refuse to send me a replacement. Instead, they suggested that if I need the power supply before the evidence was released to me, I can buy another one from them now. And when the stolen one was returned to me from the police, I can send it back for a full refund, IF IT WAS IN IT'S ORIGINAL CONDITION.

I should add that the total for the parts I ordered from Tower Hobbies cost just about the same as the power supply, so the overall amount is not the determining factor in how either party dealt with the situation.

Needless to say, I will continue to purchase from Tower Hobbies in the future.
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Old 05-07-2004, 08:14 AM   #2
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I don't think you can realy complain about the stance CE is taking. Technicaly the goods were dellivered to you thus releaving them of all responsability except for warranty issues. The people at Tower on the otherhand probably acted as if the pakkage was lost during transport.
The one really at fault is the person/company that left the pakkage on your doorstep. You don't leave your car unlocked either, do you?
Lucky for you, you're getting your stuff back, but i would have a word with the person/company that left the pakkage.

My 2 cents

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Old 05-07-2004, 08:15 AM   #3
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I gotta side with CE on this one. I have had something taken once that I shipped to me, and the company (not CE or Tower) would not replace it. HOWEVER, they informed me that I can request from UPS that they must require a signature and cannot just drop and run. Additionally, my beef would be with the courier, not CE. I would be placing a claim with them and chewing them out for just dropping and running and not either trying to redeliver later or deliver to a neighbor. You do have to realize that CE is a smaller company than Tower too; not saying you are going to but if you happen to stiff Tower it's not that big of a deal. If CE were to ship you another product for free and not get anything in return, it's a bigger percentage loss for a much smaller company.

Don't get me wrong, I do feel for you, but it's not Tower or CE's fault that the courier screwed up...
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Old 05-07-2004, 09:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: A Tale of Two Companies

Quote:
Originally posted by jeffreylin
I was out of town on a business trip last week. Prior to leaving, I ordered some stuff online expecting to get them when I return from my trip. Specifically, I ordered some parts from Tower Hobbies and the new 23AMP power supply from Competition Electronics.

When I returned from my trip, I was surprised to find a phone message from the Glendale police department. Apparently a couple of thiefs had been driving around the neighborhood picking up mail packages left on the porch. Luckily they were caught and my parts and power supply were part of the loot discovered in the thieves' van.

All is well except now the police is holding my packages for evidence. I was told I might get them back in a few weeks. So I called Tower Hobbies and Competition Electronics and explained my predicament.

Without fuss, Tower Hobbies immediately suggested that they ship out my order to me again free of charge. Should I get my stolen goods back from the police, I can call them and they will order a prepaid return box from the courier service and pick them up.

Competition Electronics too was sympathetic toward my predicament. However, despite my plead, they simply refuse to send me a replacement. Instead, they suggested that if I need the power supply before the evidence was released to me, I can buy another one from them now. And when the stolen one was returned to me from the police, I can send it back for a full refund, IF IT WAS IN IT'S ORIGINAL CONDITION.

I should add that the total for the parts I ordered from Tower Hobbies cost just about the same as the power supply, so the overall amount is not the determining factor in how either party dealt with the situation.

Needless to say, I will continue to purchase from Tower Hobbies in the future.
Jeff, you are really lucky you were even given the opportunity of getting new stuff. Unless you live in an exclusive neighborhood with guards, then you risk that happening to you again. I hoped you learned something from this incident.
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Old 05-07-2004, 09:31 AM   #5
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Who paid the courier to make the delievery ??
I believe it was the retail outlet in both cases ??

So if it were me and you didn't have my signature on the delivery note i WOULD in both cases be expecting a replacement, as in my opinion :-


The package had never been delivered to the recipent

So good on you tower and shame on CE

but again just my opinion
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Old 05-07-2004, 10:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Merciless
Who paid the courier to make the delievery ??
I believe it was the retail outlet in both cases ??

So if it were me and you didn't have my signature on the delivery note i WOULD in both cases be expecting a replacement, as in my opinion :-


The package had never been delivered to the recipent

So good on you tower and shame on CE

but again just my opinion

dude, you have to be kidding. Unless it was a CE employee that left it on the doorstep, how can you hold them responsible? There should of been a tag left on the door stating either that delivery will be re-attempted the next day, or you can pick it up at the local depot. To abandon a package at the address is quite frankly stupid. Even if the package is not stolen, the actual recipient could call the courier and make a claim that it was never received. Shady? yes, but it can and is done all the time. I've always been against the policy of leaving packages w/o signatures, but they keep doing it and paying the claims for "missing" goods whether they are missing or not. Maybe shipping rates wouldn't be so high if they didn't have to pay for these "lost" shipments all the time.

jeffreylin - if i were you, i would call the local depot for the courier used and raise he11. Instruct them not to leave packages without signatures.

my $.02


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Old 05-07-2004, 10:46 AM   #7
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I side with the folk that are putting blame on the courier. It is their responsiblity to ensure the package gets into the right hands.

I would really love all my packages to have a signature, but the couriers still feel to leave them at the door unless the shipper designates that it must have a signature. This time adds up due to the volume of packages that they must deliver.

I personally think that it's not a hassle for me to pick up at the local distribution center. Atleast for me, they have reasonable hours where I can pick up the package till 8PM, so I can still get there after work. Most of my stuff is mail order and for a heafty price tag. I would be most upset if it was stolen at my door just because they drop and run. Even if I am home, they ring the doorbell, drop it and leave! They don't even wait to see if I am home or not.

Upsetting, yes. I feel for you Jeff, good luck, I just don't think you should be upset with CE, they're just a business and like Gary says, they are not a big a company as tower hobbies.

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Old 05-07-2004, 11:12 AM   #8
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You paid for a item to be delivered to you.

You did NOT receive it.

The issue is between CE & UPS. They should be filling the claim, not you.

So, what happens if you do not get the evidence back or it was damaged?

The package was stolen from UPS not from you.

If you put it on a CC, call them.

another 2 cents....
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Old 05-07-2004, 11:42 AM   #9
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In this particular case, the shipper was USPS for Tower and UPS for CE. I personally do not see anything wrong with leaving package at the door--it is the standard practice at least in my neighborhood unless the shipper specifically asked for a signature. Which I suppose is why the pair of thieves were preying around this neighborhood.

I did talk to CE about filing a claim with UPS. They said they will but it will take weeks. I had a friend has his powerbook stolen under similar situation but Apple replaced it first and worked out the problem with UPS later.

What bothers me most is that CE might have send me another one if it was outright lost. But learning that the police has it, they refuse to help out their customer. Adding insult to injury, they tell me that they will only refund my purchase if it came back in its original condition--hello! the item was stolen! I am lucky to get it back at all! Heck I don't even know what its original condition was!

CE can say that it was not their responsibility and technically I'd agree. At the end of the day it probably should be covered by the shipper or my home insurance. However, this is certainly bad service on CE's part. It's not how Tower deals with it nor Apple or other merchants I've dealt with over the years online. It is not how I would deal with the situation either. As for the small company business, I'd assure you they made at least 50% margin on the power supply.
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Old 05-07-2004, 11:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tres
You paid for a item to be delivered to you.

You did NOT receive it.

The issue is between CE & UPS. They should be filling the claim, not you.

So, what happens if you do not get the evidence back or it was damaged?

The package was stolen from UPS not from you.

If you put it on a CC, call them.

another 2 cents....
Since the package was stolen from his doorstep it was technicaly dellivered. I still lay the full and total blame with the courrier service.
You are however right that the claim should be filed by CE, but they are not obligated to "give" you a replacement. Read the terms of sale on this.
Whenever you order something by mailorder, there always a certain risk involved. This is something we have to live with. The company's selling us stuff have to obide by certain rules, wich 99.99% of them do. CE did nothing wrong.
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Old 05-07-2004, 11:57 AM   #11
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By the way, regardless of who is legally responsible, this is just to show how two companies handle the same situation differently. In my book, one passed with flying colors and the other failed miserably.

No it was not CE's fault my goods were stolen. Nor was it their responsibility to help me out before I get it back. But it sure is good customer service to try and help THEIR CUSTOMER.

Alas, good customer service is not required to do business--in the short term at least.
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Old 05-07-2004, 12:19 PM   #12
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Everyone wants something for nothing these days... it wasnt stolen from CE it was stolen from YOU! If you didnt request your packages require a signature then that also goes back to YOU. If UPS went against company policy in leaving the package then the fault is theirs! No way can I blame CE for what happened to a package they did not personaly deliver. So they should not send you a free one and hope you might return a sellable unit some day. If you only knew how many people call companies and try to scam free stuff everyday you might understand CE's policy.
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Old 05-07-2004, 12:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by ottoman
Everyone wants something for nothing these days... it wasnt stolen from CE it was stolen from YOU! If you didnt request your packages require a signature then that also goes back to YOU. If UPS went against company policy in leaving the package then the fault is theirs! No way can I blame CE for what happened to a package they did not personaly deliver. So they should not send you a free one and hope you might return a sellable unit some day. If you only knew how many people call companies and try to scam free stuff everyday you might understand CE's policy.
As I said, not their responsibility, but just good customer service, like Tower Hobbies.

CE did know this was not a scam. I gave them the police's phone number and case number. They called and verified it.
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Old 05-07-2004, 01:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by jeffreylin
As I said, not their responsibility, but just good customer service, like Tower Hobbies.

CE did know this was not a scam. I gave them the police's phone number and case number. They called and verified it.
BTW, Nice of you to post Towers policy here. Now they will be flooded with claims for the comming days/weeks.

Question for you: Do you work for a company or own your own company? Ask yourself what would happen if all your customers started asking free replacements for items stolen from them. How many cars are stolen everyday in the US or Europe? Imagine every stolen car being replaced by the manufacturers. How much would our cars cost to keep them in bussiness? And do you blame the manufacturer or the dealership for your car being stolen?
No offence, but get real!!!

First one to blame is the thief!
Second one to blame is the dellivery person!

Now the stupid list;

1. Tower hobbies for sending you the free stuff when they are NOT at fault (bad bussiness)
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Old 05-07-2004, 01:49 PM   #15
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I don't look at Tower for being in a bad business practice. Jeff had a police report to back him up.

Not every shmo that calls Tower to say their delivery is missing will have that to back them up. If missing product calls started being a regular practice, Tower does keep records. I think it shows that Tower is willing to work with him, CE is not. Plain and simple.

Usually the companies that don't want to work with me, or even treat me badly, I will take my business elsewhere. This only shows why Tower is #1 (or should be) in the selling of hobby stuff.

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