Illnesses and Venders

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Johnnie

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I debated putting this in the venders section of the forum, but this is not an anouncement, or a kudo for any certain vender, it was merely an observation.

Venders in our hobby very rarely have, or open a store front. This is because being a vender for most is a second job for mere love of our hobby. In that case the internet is their store front, and we have all become accustomed to visiting their store, sometimes on a daily basis.

But I can't help but notice that when a vender is late getting product to you, or to everyone, it usually comes out that they were not able to perform their jobs because they have fallen ill...

to name a few:

In a most recent thread here on the forum, Rocket R&D; Blackhawk R&D; BSD; Yellow Jacket systems; Rocket Vision; If I remember correctly, our very own Shrox is in ill health. This is based off of his threads that Shrox himself posted here on the forum...Heck, the owner of Discount Rocketry even passed away due to health issues I believe.

There are other reasons that vender production gets slow, or that they go away unexpectedly, but the Illness thing is the one I hear about the most. Heck the guy grom Stanford Systems Aerospace had illness, financial, family...he had all kind of troubles...I think he is in hiding now. The gates brothers company was one of the first to go due to the whole BATF thing...but illness seems to be the number one vender affliction...
 
Ya know, I was thinking of posting this same thing! Certainly not to make fun of anyone or make light of what are some serious health issues, but I couldn't help noticing what a high incidence of ill health there seems to be among vendors. Strictly just an observation, not accusing anyone of using it as an excuse.

Glenn
 
When someone in a big company gets sick, there are other people that can pick up the extra work for a while.

If you're a "one-man show" like a lot of the rocket vendors and you get sick, there is no one left to do the work.

I'm sure that there are illnesses with other vendors but so many rocket vendors go it alone that it stands out more.
 
Originally posted by BobH48
When someone in a big company gets sick, there are other people that can pick up the extra work for a while.

If you're a "one-man show" like a lot of the rocket vendors and you get sick, there is no one left to do the work.

You hit the nail on the head.
 
One not mentioned yet was The Launch Pad (LPR/MPR Scale rockets), whose proprietor was out for health reasons, but not illness. His, if memory serves, was the result of an extremely damaging accident (not rocket-related).

WW
 
Originally posted by BobH48
When someone in a big company gets sick, there are other people that can pick up the extra work for a while.

If you're a "one-man show" like a lot of the rocket vendors and you get sick, there is no one left to do the work.

I'm sure that there are illnesses with other vendors but so many rocket vendors go it alone that it stands out more.

That's certainly true.

Also, when you're a one man show, gettuing behind with no one to help you can be very stressful, and that can make for health problems and longer recovery times. This is even more likely when that person *cares*.

I think it's more visible to us when this happens because so many of the one or few person shops hang out here, or at least are personally known to at least a few of us. And of course there's the effect of noticing something that happens as opposed to something that doesn't happen. Lots of vendors don't get sick, but who would take note of that?

What I find encouraging is (1) there are darn fewer vendors who are accumulating a bad name for bad service as compared to vendors with real problems, (2) the willingness they show to be open with us about their problems, and especially (3) other vendors pitching in and helping them. You don't see that often, but you see it consistently here. That lets us know that rocketry is not just any old hobby and the many of people who do it care about each other at least as much as the hobby. If only more people were that way more often.
 
I agree in general with what's been said. As I mentioned in another thread, I cut rocket vendors some slack. I know they are small businesses and its good to keep them going. I may be persistent with vendors, but seldom have gotted upset about an order.

IMO, one thing that would help a lot of perceptions would be for the vendor not to charge the person until the product is ready to ship. This will reduce the 'window' in which an illness will cause people to pay for what they didn't get. I forget which of the vendors with 'Discount' in their name has such a bad rep. I ordered some stuff and it took a month of Sundays to get and then the order was incomplete. They didn't answer their phones or email. I was frustrated, BUT, they did not charge me until I got what I ordered, and didn't charge for what they didn't ship. I was out nothing other than my anticipation. Of course this may be harder with paypal since the money transfers right away.

Final thought. Unless someone is extremely ill, they could get a list of such orders and offer to refund money if required. When I've had illnesses and surguries, there is a long period where you are not up to moving around, but you can work a little from bed.

My 2c
 
Ya know, when I'm sick...I work anyway!

Since I work alone it's not like I'll get my co-workers sick.

Although...Maybe I should put a note on my stuff when I'm sick.

"Please dissinfect nose cone before use!"
 
IMO, one thing that would help a lot of perceptions would be for the vendor not to charge the person until the product is ready to ship. This will reduce the 'window' in which an illness will cause people to pay for what they didn't get. I forget which of the vendors with 'Discount' in their name has such a bad rep. I ordered some stuff and it took a month of Sundays to get and then the order was incomplete. They didn't answer their phones or email. I was frustrated, BUT, they did not charge me until I got what I ordered, and didn't charge for what they didn't ship. I was out nothing other than my anticipation. Of course this may be harder with paypal since the money transfers right away.

I think that is really to the point. One should be able to understand that if someone is sick, they may not be able to get the orders out. This may be frustrating to the customer, but if he hasn't been been billed, no loss, no foul.

Our hobby is supplied primarily by small, part-time vendors simply because there's not that many of us. In any given year, several hundred thousand folks may fly a rocket or two, but I guess there are less than 10,000 serious individuals who sustain the hobby at any one time.

I'd also guess that at most only a few dozen companies have employees that can derive their entire income from the hobby. Names that come to mind are: Estes (by far the volume leader); Quest; Aerotech; Cesaroni; FlisKits; PML; LOC; and AMW. I'm sure there are others, but most companies have to be part-time businesses, or have non-rocketry components to pay the bills.

I'll assume that the reasonable complaints about bad service come from folks who were charged but did not receive their orders. When this occurs, it's not unreasonable for the customer to be upset. It's just a bad business practice not to notify a customer that has been billed for a product that there is a problem and to give them an option to get their money back.

Some hobby businesses may not be well run and maybe they can't afford to repay the money, but at a minimum, some kind of notification is due the customer. Our hobby is small enough that some one in the hobby knows that the vendor is sick and would probably be willing to help out if asked. It's not that hard to e-mail or make a post on this forum and explain the situation.

Bob Krech
 
I had kept the money for the orders I was not able to fill in an separate account, There is still a few dollars left in it so I owe someone.

shrox
 
shrox

You and a lot of the other vendors are class acts, and took care of their customers when things weren't going well. No one has the right to complain under those circumstances.

I'm sure everyone here hope's things work out for you.

Bob Krech
 
Originally posted by rstaff3
LOL...as long as you don't ship a 'runny' nose :)

BaaDum Bump!

Rstaff3 has a million of em!

Please tip you waitress!


:D :D :D :D
 
To add,

If an illness is long, and ther is no activity expected, a note here on the forums will alert us 'in the know', but someone who stumbles across a web-store won't know, will place an order, then get fustrated.

If you are going to be ';laid up' for a length of time, updating your particular website with a note might be a nice touch.

Granted, that's something sometimes easier said then done..
 
Originally posted by Dr Wogz
To add,

If an illness is long, and ther is no activity expected, a note here on the forums will alert us 'in the know', but someone who stumbles across a web-store won't know, will place an order, then get fustrated.

If you are going to be ';laid up' for a length of time, updating your particular website with a note might be a nice touch.

Granted, that's something sometimes easier said then done..

I just removed the notice I have had on mine for months. The next notice will be to check out FlisKits and get your Shrox Alien8! https://www.fliskits.com/
 
I just want to say that I think that all (with the exception of a few), are outstanding in their kindness and generosity. They are always willing to work with you on anything...at least this is true in my experience.
Now for me...I just want everyone to know right now that just because shipping may be delayed for some reason, it does not mean we have forgotten you. We are at school everyday, and as you can imagine, you can get a little tied up with homework...(not to mention my swimming). Rocketguts can also probably vouch for this too. This is very much the same as having 2 jobs. So, all those vendors that DO have 2 jobs, I admire you and at the same time, feel where you are coming from. I must say though, I did not feel your pain before I got into this...I had no idea! And I do not think most people, especially those not in this forum, have any idea either.
AND, I also have noticed the sickness thing going on. I myself have not been gotten, but knock on wood...I want to thank those few vendors out there for helping us out with the production of our new kits and giving comments and suggestions, and also going so far as to add to them. I want to thank you very much, specifically Tom at Rockethead. He is a great guy and again, I want to thank him. Every other vendor out there, thank you too for putting up with everything everyday in order to make it in this very tough business.
 
Being sole owner and operator, it's always a challange to minamize delays and certainly sickness doesn't help. I have had my share of dayquil and Nightquil days but you do what you can. Most folks are more than happy to wait an extra day or so as long as you drop them a note.
Case in point, when my Ebay account was hacked into, alot of folks sent me e-mail first saying not to worry about and possible delays!
Because I am the sole person who designs, markets, ships and all the rest, it's a real nightmare if I encounter a delay. Yikes!

The thing I think that would bother me the most is when a vendor has an anticipated delay and plods on and keeps selling. Taking monies from folks when they are the only one's that know there will be a delay gives the rest of us a bad name.
 
Originally posted by bobkrech
shrox

You and a lot of the other vendors are class acts, and took care of their customers when things weren't going well. No one has the right to complain under those circumstances.

I'm sure everyone here hope's things work out for you.

Bob Krech

agreed...:)
 
Thanks guys.

FlisKits is going to have what you want, starting with the Alien8. Better check and see...
 
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