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Buyer BEWARE of Internet Hobbies!!!
grunt26
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Michigan, United States
Joined: July 23, 2005
KitMaker: 155 posts
Armorama: 121 posts
Posted: Monday, January 17, 2011 - 10:24 PM UTC
My wife ordered several figure sets for Christmas for me from Internet Hobbies out of Mayfield, Pa. back on Nov. 28, 2010. The charges totaled over $68. We paid with Paypal, and they accepted payment in full for said amount. They didn't ship until Dec 18, and then and only then were we notified that over 3/4 of the order was cancelled, due to being out of stock. OK, fine, however,the one item that WAS shipped was for $13.10, and was charged 8.95 S&H. Total $22.05
So, I am OWED over $45 dollars, have contacted Internet Hobbies FIVE seperate times, each time talking to their "customer service" personnel, and each time we were 'guaranteed' that the money will be refunded into our Paypal account it was drawn from. As of now, Jan. 17, 2011, we STILL are owed the money. We have tried filing the greivance with Paypal, but since PART of the order shipped, we cannot be refunded. Again, I understand that, and am NOT asking for the full amount, but I want my 45 bucks!!
I have taken to posting this to warn others of Internet Hobbies fraudulant practices, and will continue to do so on this and other modeling forums until my money is refunded!
Buyer beware!!!

Rod

Halaci
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Budapest, Hungary
Joined: October 05, 2005
KitMaker: 223 posts
Armorama: 215 posts
Posted: Monday, January 17, 2011 - 10:52 PM UTC
Rod,

Sorry to hear this. I do not know what your claim was towards PayPal exactly, but it is possible to get a partial refund. If you had claimed the whole, maybe it was rejected - sorry, I don't know what happened - but if you claim for the non-shipped items and you can prove with invoice or shipping bill that those were never delivered, there is a standard partial refund process on PayPal.
I don't know how exactly it works in case of an unsettled dispute (as your case is), I have only two disputed cases yet as a seller and always managed to agree with the buyer. I know that the seller can refund partially through his admin site, as we did it a lot of times when the originally calculated shipping cost was higher than the finally charged.
mzaborsk
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Rhode Island, United States
Joined: June 21, 2008
KitMaker: 116 posts
Armorama: 78 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - 01:43 AM UTC
Sould have published the problem with internet hobbies...Just before christmas I order just one item a Tasa product.... Got the notice that they took my money that was it ...A week after christmasI called left messages they called me back got hung up on,then sent them e mails to resolve the problem nothing happen finally contacted Visa disputed the bill,it came of my charge and finnaly Internet Hobbies caneled . My last e mail went like this " If you don't take care of the customer someone else will" My bussiness went to Pac models they took my money and sent me what i wanted in record time...

Michael
Petition2God
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Colorado, United States
Joined: February 06, 2002
KitMaker: 1,526 posts
Armorama: 1,294 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - 07:44 AM UTC
I am sorry to hear that Rod. Hopefully, Paypal will resolve the issue. I've had a similar incident about 5 years back, in which they canceled part of my order due to "out of stock" issues. Their customer service line only had a voicemail and never a person picked up the phone when I called. I was lucky to get it resolved through my credit card company. I didn't even know Internet Hobbies was still in business b/c of its bad customer service and "out of stock" issues, I thought it disappeared. Seriously, half of their items listed are out of stock, and there is no indication of status whatsoever.
Spruebrothers or greatmodels is way to go.
210cav
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Virginia, United States
Joined: February 05, 2002
KitMaker: 6,149 posts
Armorama: 4,573 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - 08:05 AM UTC
Rod-- sorry to hear of your difficulties. I routinely use PayPal and I think you should revisit the issue of your $45 refund with them regardless of what you received. If you are told, and I doubt it, that you cannot get a refund due to the partial shipment, I would advise you to return whatever you received to InterNet Hobbies via certified mail then go to PayPal and tell them you returned the entire shipment. I never used the firm you cited, but for what it is worth the list of great model suppliers is almost endless--- to name a few: Yannis hobbies, Great Models, Discount Models, HobbyLink Japan, Lucky Models (my personal favorite), Sprue Brothers (fantastic) and Dragon on line. I can assure you that I shall avoid any and all contact with Internet Hobbies based on your commentary.
I appreciate the warning
DJ
grunt26
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Michigan, United States
Joined: July 23, 2005
KitMaker: 155 posts
Armorama: 121 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - 09:02 AM UTC
Hi everyone,
Thanks for your replies! Currently, Paypal IS investigating the issue, and has sent THREE emails to Internet Hobbies. Hopefully, this will be resolved shortly, otherwise, I may contact my State's Attorney General's office, and file interstate fraud and internet fraud, and whatever else I can think of, on this place!

Thanks to all.
Rod
JUSTK
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Trinidad And Tobago
Joined: December 01, 2005
KitMaker: 91 posts
Armorama: 85 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - 11:54 AM UTC
Hi Rod, I know how you feel. I won two auctions on ebay from a so called reputable seller(who is a sponsor on this site). The seller shipped one item in a US postal box that could only hold one kit. I have never received the other item an AEF Designs IDF hummer conversion. 14 telephone calls( 5 voice mail messages, 1connection and a promise to investigate), 5 messages through ebay, 6 messages direct through Hotmail and 4 messages on their website. I was told to stop bothering them and they do not want my business in the future. So I fully understand, Maybe we should form a support group.
melonhead
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Wisconsin, United States
Joined: July 29, 2010
KitMaker: 662 posts
Armorama: 457 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - 12:21 PM UTC
being as big of a site as this is, the word of mouth is enough to hurt them pretty good
Shift911
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: December 17, 2007
KitMaker: 192 posts
Armorama: 185 posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - 01:39 PM UTC
Wow now that I think of it maybe 4-5 years ago I ordered a 1/48 Mohawk from them and NEVER got it!
grunt26
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Michigan, United States
Joined: July 23, 2005
KitMaker: 155 posts
Armorama: 121 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 12:45 AM UTC

Quoted Text

being as big of a site as this is, the word of mouth is enough to hurt them pretty good



My intention! I posted this same message on Armorama, Missing Lynx, Timelines Forum, PlanetFigure, and the AMPS website DGs. The replies I've gotten are of two varieties...1, "yeah, they screwed me, too" and 2 "thanks, I'll NEVER order from them"

Now, truth be told, I hope they have lost enough business over $45 that they close, BUT, I also hate to see a hobby shop close, so its a double-edged sword. All of this because someone can't be bothered to spend 2 minutes making a dozen keystrokes to refund me what I am owed.

Rod
Sabot
Joined: December 18, 2001
KitMaker: 12,596 posts
Armorama: 9,071 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 01:21 AM UTC
I'd rather see the disreputable online shops close than to continue taking money from people. Even if they only cheat 10% of their customer base, that's bad enough. It seems like everyday I read about some online retailer or manufacturer (tankrat, internet hobbies, cromwell, etc.) that does not fulfill their orders, yet these places remain in business.
JimMrr
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: January 03, 2007
KitMaker: 1,505 posts
Armorama: 382 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 03:04 AM UTC
wow ...thanks for the warning...I have always been leery of internet purchasing, and was just beginning to relax a bit in my approach..havent had a major issue ....YET....pulling in my horns here..
graysokol
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Hungary
Joined: April 01, 2009
KitMaker: 17 posts
Armorama: 11 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 03:48 AM UTC
Although I'm not about Internet Hobbies, but the experience was equally bitter. Ordered a Masterpiece Models made 7016 AFV Diorama Display Base (originally made by Custom Dioramics) from Hobby Link Japan. The price was 3.900 Yen approx. around the price indicated (in USD) on Masterpieces webpage. The nightmare came when it was received. Advertised as a resin base (weight: 5 lbs, dimensions: 12" x 12" and stated as nicely textured, with high level of details for displaying AFV and Figures) what I've got was a piece of square foam (weight 240 grams - a bit more than half a pound, dimensions 11,5" x 9,3/4") altogether looking like a cow-pat. Generally speaking it mostly looked like a poor quality fake made in some back-yard. Contacted HLJ, where at first were upset, that how I dare to be upset. I contacted John Geigle, CEO of Masterpiece, who definitely stated, that "foam version were phased out before I bought the line from custom dioramics". In the meantime HLJ offered me refunding provided that I'll return this piece of sh.t in "resaleable" condition. I.e. they definitely wish to stick some other unsuspective customer with it. Even following longer correspondence they did deny admitting that they actually cheated me (and who knows whom else).
So, just a word of warning, be careful with HLJ, do not believe everíthing they state about the models to sell.
Actually, in vast majority ofthe cases I have positive experience with modelling e-shops, but cases like this upset me, and I'd like all of you avoid similar situations.

Cheers,

Imre
:
bill_c
Staff MemberCampaigns Administrator
MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 09, 2008
KitMaker: 10,553 posts
Armorama: 8,109 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 05:38 AM UTC

Quoted Text

wow ...thanks for the warning...I have always been leery of internet purchasing, and was just beginning to relax a bit in my approach..havent had a major issue ....YET....pulling in my horns here..


Jim, I had a beef with Barnes & Noble, so it can happen with the biggest sellers. The only alternative is the higher prices and lower selection of your LHS.
mmeier
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Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Joined: October 22, 2008
KitMaker: 1,280 posts
Armorama: 1,015 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 07:34 AM UTC
With all the bad some good should be said:

I frequent two german online stores and in three years never had a problem with them. Even when a certain "delivery service" decided three floors where too much and declared me "not there" it only took a mail and I got the whole order re-sent.

So there are good, there are bad. Warning about the bad is useful as is telling about the good. But never using online orders restricts the hobby too much IMHO.
armouredcharmer
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: June 09, 2009
KitMaker: 670 posts
Armorama: 410 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 07:52 AM UTC
Just my two cents guys but would`nt it be great if we all on here had some sort of "Bad Guys" list to refer to when it comes to sellers.
As A reverse thing a "Good Guys" List could be posted opposite to show the best ones. E-Bay operates the feedback system which works pretty well for me when i go to make purchases ( i never deal with anyone with less than 99.00 percent ),and it`s worked pretty well so far.
As for the legal ramifications - NO ONE EVER GOT SUED FOR TELLING THE TRUTH !!!!
melonhead
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Wisconsin, United States
Joined: July 29, 2010
KitMaker: 662 posts
Armorama: 457 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 08:09 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Just my two cents guys but would`nt it be great if we all on here had some sort of "Bad Guys" list to refer to when it comes to sellers.
As A reverse thing a "Good Guys" List could be posted opposite to show the best ones. E-Bay operates the feedback system which works pretty well for me when i go to make purchases ( i never deal with anyone with less than 99.00 percent ),and it`s worked pretty well so far.
As for the legal ramifications - NO ONE EVER GOT SUED FOR TELLING THE TRUTH !!!!

there is actually one of these forum subsections that has a "good guy" "bad guy" list. dont remember which one off the top of my head. also, for the two responses to this particular thread of thosee that said they had been screwed by these guys or the ones that say they wont even attempt to buy from them,.....i havent had dealings with them, but im in the boat that will never even try to.
melonhead
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Wisconsin, United States
Joined: July 29, 2010
KitMaker: 662 posts
Armorama: 457 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 08:12 AM UTC
heres the link to the good sellers/bad sellers

http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewforum&forum_id=3&page=1

its the buy, sell, trade section. they are actually stickied posts
StukaJr
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California, United States
Joined: April 26, 2010
KitMaker: 346 posts
Armorama: 36 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 10:02 AM UTC
I last ordered from Internet Hobbies about 9 years ago, after 5-6 large orders that all went very same way as the first poster has described (though no problem with getting over charged on CC though) - finally fed up, I have written them a letter explaining in detail why they were losing my business and why I was never going to order from them again...

I've never received a response and found better retailers since.

It's rather infuriating when you wait for two weeks for your package and open deceivingly large box only to find that half of the items were never shipped. Really bad use of a hobby budget when you are stuck with upgrades but no kit and pay overpriced shipping for it.

I'm rather surprised that their business nor their website have changed at all in over a decade now.
Altered82
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Texas, United States
Joined: January 03, 2006
KitMaker: 24 posts
Armorama: 23 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 11:40 AM UTC
Took them out of my bookmark list.

Thanks for the heads up Rod!!!

Dale
Spiderfrommars
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Milano, Italy
Joined: July 13, 2010
KitMaker: 3,845 posts
Armorama: 3,543 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 12:08 PM UTC
I'm terribly sorry for you. If I was you i'd be furious

I'd make a suggestion to Armorama

It could be interesting doing a new forum topic called: "Sellers black list".
A forum where the modellers can report dishonest sellers or "crappy" customer services

It could be useful for all the modellers and probably could be a deterrent for the thieves


I hope you'll have your money back soon

cheers
210cav
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Virginia, United States
Joined: February 05, 2002
KitMaker: 6,149 posts
Armorama: 4,573 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 04:41 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I'm terribly sorry for you. If I was you i'd be furious

I'd make a suggestion to Armorama

It could be interesting doing a new forum topic called: "Sellers black list".
A forum where the modellers can report dishonest sellers or "crappy" customer services

It could be useful for all the modellers and probably could be a deterrent for the thieves


I hope you'll have your money back soon

cheers



Nice recommendation, but I believe there would be legal ramifications if we implemented your suggestion. It probably would be better if we continued to add to the previously cited "good guys/bad guys list."
My two cents
DJ
bill_c
Staff MemberCampaigns Administrator
MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 09, 2008
KitMaker: 10,553 posts
Armorama: 8,109 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 07:02 AM UTC

Quoted Text

It could be interesting doing a new forum topic called: "Sellers black list". A forum where the modellers can report dishonest sellers or "crappy" customer services.


I am not able to speak for management about this, but will say this topic has come up in the staff forum. Aside from the legal issues, it's just not Armorama's place to play umpire in these kinds of disputes. We would have no way of determining who's right without spending time and resources sorting through the complaints.

And some complaints are, well, not very convincing. Someone awhile back was upset at Greatmodels because they'd charged him shipping for the first part of his order, then additional shipping for the backordered items. Well, you can CALL GM and speak with the lovely people in their order dept. and find out if an item is in-stock, and if OOS, when it might be coming in. Even their online ordering gives you the option of canceling any backordered items or holding your order for a reasonable time for the backorders to arrive.

Why anyone would expect GM to ship a second package for free is beyond me.

And sometimes you have to know what the retailer's business model is. Roll Models, for example, charges an outrageous amount of shipping on small items (something like $20). But John is a SUPER guy to deal with, has great prices and selection, and ships FOR FREE on orders over $199. So I order only once a year or so from him and pay no shipping. His shipping is a means of discouraging small orders.

Going forward, here are a couple of suggestions:

1.) Use PayPal. I just got a substantial refund from them on some items that went into shipper Hell from a MAJOR non-hobby Internet retailer, but which didn't arrive until after Christmas (present to SWMBO, so you can imagine how that went over when she got it December 29th). But don't wait months to complain to PayPal about a seller; I believe you have to complain within 90 days to get your money back. After that, they will only send exhortatory emails to the seller.

2.) Use a credit card if you're in the States. Our banking laws require card issuers to refund disputed monies if warranted (I don't believe foreign card issuers are so protective of consumer rights). Again, if there's a dispute, the card company will look into it and can refund your money. If you didn't get the items or they were defective or not what was advertised, then you're OK.

3.) Be smart, and don't order from oddball retailers. I can't believe frankly anyone is still ordering from Internet Hobbies. Their prices and poor inventory chased me away from them several years ago. Plus you never hear anyone here praising IH, whereas there are lots of sellers that get props all the time. Unless it's something no one else has, I stick with the majors like Great Models, Luckymodel, Hobbybuy, Sprue Bros, Roll Models, R&J, Pacific Coast.

No retailer is perfect, and some of our problems are self-inflicted. For example, most of the complaints people have about Luckymodel revolve around orders for items that are listed on their website as "available" but never ship. "Available" means nothing; there are items listed that have been OOP for years. LM recently deleted a lot of that stuff, but with 1,000s or items, you can't expect them to be on top of every little bit. Yes, Sprue Bros, does have real time inventory, but they also have a LOT less stuff than LM and are more expensive in many cases.

When in doubt, email LM about an item, they'll usually respond within 48 hours.

4.) Finally, be EXTRA smart. Make sure a retailer isn't having problems (do a "search" on this site for posts about them), and don't take chances. Tank Rats, for example, is still generating posts from buyers who somehow didn't do their homework, or heard from Manny, Moe or Jack that despite all the negative publicity, he'd gotten his stuff right away. They didn't listen to the rest of us and then got stung.

I read after the Bernie Madoff scam that some of his investors had been cheated before by another Ponzi scheme. Some people never seem to learn.
exer
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Dublin, Ireland
Joined: November 27, 2004
KitMaker: 6,048 posts
Armorama: 4,619 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 08:21 AM UTC
Bill if there was a "like" buttonon your post I would have pressed it. Excellent post and sensible suggestions. I'm lucky- I've never been stung by buying on the internet - even when I started and bought a Sherman conversion from Cromwell - I waited a long time for it and sent an anxious email but it arrived. I think your last suggestion:
Quoted Text

Make sure a retailer isn't having problems (do a "search" on this site for posts about them),

is the most important. I can't believe people are still ordering from Tank rat or Cromwell models. The internet is the greatest research tool we have ever had- use it! If you can't find info on a trader or seller then ask here or on other forums.

There are of course always exceptions one can still get stung after- graysokol's problem with HLJ for instance- whereas I have been ordering from HLJ for at least ten years with zero problems
meaty_hellhound
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: July 23, 2010
KitMaker: 786 posts
Armorama: 753 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 09:19 AM UTC
[quote]
Quoted Text



2.) Use a credit card if you're in the States. Our banking laws require card issuers to refund disputed monies if warranted (I don't believe foreign card issuers are so protective of consumer rights). Again, if there's a dispute, the card company will look into it and can refund your money. If you didn't get the items or they were defective or not what was advertised, then you're OK.




same deal in Canada. canadian law and credit card companies have systems in place to allow refunds or to cancel charges for items unreceived or items received but misrepresented. though the caveat "buyer beware" is the rule of the land there are certain guarantees when purchasing online and Visa/Mastercard/etc will investigate disputes on your behalf.

there was a radio station here that thought it would be funny to give away a "Toy Yoda" by playing on the impression the winner would receive a "Toyota." the woman who won the star wars figure filed against the radio station owners and they had to buy her a Toyota car. the radio hosts were reprimanded by the CRTC.

keep you receipts, bills and take pics of the box received and its contents for the records. i recommend SpureBros and GreatModels personally. cheers, bd.