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Red Arrow Hobbies stealing money

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Frozenferrari

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Hello all, hope youve had a wondeful flying season.

I sure did, except for the fact that Red Arrow Hobbies decided to keep $600 worth of my money I couldve used to buy more motors, or pay more bills and such, you know, a few bucks... Its been nearly two months, and i never got a penny back from him. Infact, VISA is the one that will be refunding me after a dispute was put in.

*So if you order motors from him, dont expect to get them, or your money back. Youre literally throwing money away. *

Let me start off by saying that no vendor is perfect, except for Jack G of the old days ;) , and that from now on anything over 54mm that I plan to fly will be mixed by yours truly. 3 seperate chaotic events in one year to scramble to obtain sketchy reload kits with poor QC at $500 a reload is too much headache. Ill make them from now on.

But this, this is a whole new level of wow, for me.
In the first few days of August I placed an order with RedArrow for a total of 3 motors, two 98mm 4 grain Ms and a 54mm K, totaling over a thousand dollars of reload.

I waited quite a while expecting to hear SOME kind of confirmation from RedArrow for my order and received nothing, so after about two weeks I decided to give him a call to find out the scoop.
The scoop was that he had one of those motors in stock "sittin right infront of me" and the other two were to be on the next order from Aerotech. So I told him to go ahead and send me the one he had, and to simply refund me from the other two as my launch was approaching quickly.
He politely told me business would be taken care of promptly, and I ended the call with a smile.

Another week goes by, nothing, and no refund. So i give Red Arrow a call, and this time get ahold of an Ed, which I presume to be from Countyline. He has "no idea" what is going on with my motor, or whether its shipped. After getting through to Dave later that day, i was once again promised it would be handled immediately. Something like "tomorrow morning."

Long story short - it took Dave 5 weeks to finally get the motor shipped to me, after he apparently had troubles with FedEx he never bothered to tell anyone about. But I never got a refund. After calling about it yet again, this time getting a little irritated, he finally broke the news to me that I wouldnt be seeing it for a while. And I will quote, " Well I dont really have enough in the account right now to send that money to you but I should by the end of the weekend." (This was many moons ago, still nothing)

Think im whining given the timeline? I make $10 an hour and have a lot of other bills to pay. Im broke as a joke, these are supposed to be the biggest reloads a vendor usually works with and ought to be treated appropriately. Ordering motors more than a month out is extremely tough for me financially, and ought to be sufficient time dont you think?

So... In summary, with the disappearance of CTI loads, occasional QC hiccups in some reloads (which is getting better), Legendary vendors like Jack gone, and overall large reload pricing... One ought to just make their own loads and hardware for over 54mm ... BUT, whatever you do, dont order from Dave if you dont like flushing money down the toilet.
 
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noffie79

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I'm glad you finally got your motor, and that Visa is refunding your money. I'm not sure who Ed is, but he's not with Countyline Hobbies. That would be Bob, and he's an awesome vendor. I'd highly suggest Countyline for any motor needs. A simple call and he always knows what he has in stock ready to ship.
 

Bat-mite

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This is just one of the many similarly themed diatribes against Red Arrow that regularly pop up in these forums. But every five people who have a horror story, another will pop up and say how wonderful and responsive they are. Go figure.

What a sad mess.
 

rharshberger

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I no longer purchsse from RAH either and my main vendors are Balsa Machining Service, buyrocketmotors.com, and my cluds onsite vendor.
 

bob jablonski

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Mr. Bob from Countyline here. just to keep things clear on my end Yes I did Dave a favor ( First and last time) and shiped a few hazmat boxes (shipped within a couple days of when they were brought down to my shop) He helped me get started years ago. But I am not associated with Red Arrow hobbies
 
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JJSR

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SAD some people are like that, It makes you leery about placing big orders with anyone for anything.
 

crossfire

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There are still a lot of very good vendors in this hobby. Don't throw all of us out with the bath water. As far as making your own motors you will find out its not as cheap as you think unless your going to fly a lot of motors.
 

byoungblood

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I'm not sure why anyone continues to deal business with this guy, at least over the web. Folks said he had health issues a few months back, stolen trailer, etc., but there are threads like this going back to at least 2012-2013, so these aren't isolated incidents.

He either needs to shape up or get out of the business.
 

Banzai88

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Agreed. These threads go back YEARS, just like the Rocketry Warehouse threads did before the buy out. Same themes, same excuses, same "1 guy got his stuff for every 10 that didn't' pattern.
 

Nick@JET

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Agreed not everyone in hobby is like that.
Bob for Countyline Hobbies has sold me my L1, L2 and now L3 motor and I've bought many things from him since I started in HPR and not 1 issue. Great vendor and I'm sure there are others too, I just haven't had experience or I would comment on them as well.

Glad you getting you $ back through VISA
 

DavidMcCann

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Sometimes it's worth a few more bucks to get it from someone you know is reliable.

Apogee (I need to go wash my mouth out now)
Sirius
Wildman
Chris' Supplies
One Bad Hawk
AMW

Never a hiccup.
 

blackwing94

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In my one and only dealing with red arrow, after 2 months of no delivery or refund, I opened a dispute via paypal about red arrow and paypal gave me a refund. How does red arrow stay in business if they piss off the likes of paypal and visa?
 

DavidMcCann

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In my one and only dealing with red arrow, after 2 months of no delivery or refund, I opened a dispute via paypal about red arrow and paypal gave me a refund. How does red arrow stay in business if they piss off the likes of paypal and visa?
By making them money. the refunds won't cost paypal anything, I'm betting they end up making more off it. As long as money is moving they don't care where.
 

dr wogz

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+1 on bad service from RAH

A customer shouldn't have to call repeatedly to get service.. Oh wait, the 2nd or third call should alert the customer to potential 'issues'..

+1 for Wildman (Thanks Tim! :D )
 

mpitfield

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This type of thing is not uncommon for small business owners who do not manage their cash flow. Once you get behind the 8 ball then the next receivable pays the next payable and so on.
 

JJSR

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What gets me are the ones that charge close to 3 times the price for shipping and it still takes two weeks to arrive.
 

tbonerocketeer

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What gets me are the ones that charge close to 3 times the price for shipping and it still takes two weeks to arrive.
Who is overcharging for shipping? I always charge exact and hate to see this stuff occur.
 

SCP

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It is literally painful and I cringe every time I see this thread pop up again.....and ones like it. It is really a shame to see this. I hope if anyone is ever not satisfied with my service or products that they will let me know right away before it comes to anything like this. We all make mistakes, and what if my email or phone was broken or down or something.

It does sound like Red Arrow went above and beyond but in the wrong direction. I don't know anything about the details but there are to many complaints for it to just be a difficult person(s) being a squeaky wheel. What a shame. Hope they can dig out of whatever mess they may be in. But in my opinion, it should never have gone this far.

I can tell you all one thing, if it ever got like that here at my shop I'd rather put up a big sign or post here and just stop business altogether rather than cause so much frustration with customers. Most of the shops I deal with as dealers, some listed above, I can also say would never treat a customer poorly.
 

TangoJuliet

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Sometimes it's worth a few more bucks to get it from someone you know is reliable.

Apogee (I need to go wash my mouth out now)...
I've recently returned to the hobby, but I've seen similar comments in regard to Apogee... What gives?
 

tomsteve

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after the last thread about RAH, I actually went and placed an order. nothing major, just parts and pieces. my package arrived in 4 days. I placed another order a few weeks later- more parts and pieces from the clearance rack. again, package arrived in 4 days.
I ordered a couple conformal launch lugs and 1/4" LL on the 21st. a whopping $11 total. and still haven't received it. im beginning to think I should contact paypal, but ill give him until Saturday.

apogee can be a problem? ive only ordered twice from them in the last 6 months and haven't had a problem.
 

Banzai88

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It's not that Apogee is a problem, but by design they usually charge higher than list for many of their items. The pretense is that at that price point they'll have it in stock and will ship quickly without errors. For the most point, they're successful. The extra coin you pay also helps pay for those fancy videos and stuff, too, which many find helpful. I myself refer to their Peak of Flight newsletters quite frequently. It's the only place where much of what we do has been documented in a form that's simple enough to understand and get you started down the path to more complex areas of the hobby.

As always, delivery time is based on shipping options and location.
 
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TangoJuliet

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That was my guess. I kind of see Apogee as a modern version of what Estes started doing many decades ago with providing a lot of basic information for the more entry level rocketeers, but with some good info for "next level" rocketeers also. Maybe a little campy at times, but Tim fills a niche for a lot of people.
 

mpitfield

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It is literally painful and I cringe every time I see this thread pop up again.....and ones like it. It is really a shame to see this. I hope if anyone is ever not satisfied with my service or products that they will let me know right away before it comes to anything like this. We all make mistakes, and what if my email or phone was broken or down or something.

It does sound like Red Arrow went above and beyond but in the wrong direction. I don't know anything about the details but there are to many complaints for it to just be a difficult person(s) being a squeaky wheel. What a shame. Hope they can dig out of whatever mess they may be in. But in my opinion, it should never have gone this far.

I can tell you all one thing, if it ever got like that here at my shop I'd rather put up a big sign or post here and just stop business altogether rather than cause so much frustration with customers. Most of the shops I deal with as dealers, some listed above, I can also say would never treat a customer poorly.
Scott based on the quality of your deliverable and the amount of time you dedicate for custom work I don't think you charge enough. BTW, if Scott's prices go up it's not my fault.
 

DavidMcCann

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I've recently returned to the hobby, but I've seen similar comments in regard to Apogee... What gives?
It's how I got back into the hobby in a big way...and I still go there for things. But it's what I call the "get it now tax". Tim runs a GREAT shop, but it's a full-on retail gig, and all the overhead that goes with it.

Much of the supply in this hobby has much thinner ( razor thin? ;) ) margins and operates with much less overhead. But then you deal with varying shades of gray, pre-orders, old stock, guys on vacation, etc. When people are informed, I have no problem with varying shades. When a sale is posted on a website as a sale, with all appearances of being in stock, but it's a preorder that won't be filled for some time, That I take issue with, but thats tangent to your question.

Tim Van Milligan is a great businessman, and I think he does what he does well. But whenever you press him on why his motor prices are straight up insane, or why he charges $15 for a .50 cent screw, the irritation comes out a bit and in the past he's mentioned he doesn't operate for "people like us" AKA, herm, us. The place runs on the steady turnover of about 2-3 years the average newbie takes to get into mid power, find and join a club and get L1, then either get smart and find better sources, or quit the hobby and drift away as the next new guy comes it.


So mostly we love the shop, hate paying retail, and realize many of the bundled kits/setups/whatnot are serious margin fluffers. Still, you know what's in stock, what it'll cost and when you're going to get it....so It's not a terrible thing.
 

Buckeye

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FF, you should have checked in on the forum before dropping $1000+ in RAH's lap. This topic reoccurs every 2 months or so, and it amazes me that anybody would STILL do business with this guy. My first and last interaction with RAH was in 2004!

Even his ardent supporters now keep quiet.

Another funny thing, RAH threads always turn into Apogee discussions!
 

soopirV

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It's not that Apogee is a problem, but by design they usually charge higher than list for many of their items. The pretense is that at that price point they'll have it in stock and will ship quickly without errors. For the most point, they're successful. The extra coin you pay also helps pay for those fancy videos and stuff, too, which many find helpful. I myself refer to their Peak of Flight newsletters quite frequently. It's the only place where much of what we do has been documented in a form that's simple enough to understand and get you started down the path to more complex areas of the hobby.

As always, delivery time is based on shipping options and location.
Second this with Apogee- you're paying more for outstanding customer service. I have a limited budget for my hobbies, so I try to normally stretch my dollars as far as they'll go, but if I find I need something NOW, Apogee is the safest option. I did have to laugh though, anyone else here a, "V.I.R."? I was just bestowed with this honor on my last order, and I think Tim may have gone too far...I'll post a pic of the certificate when I get home, but it honestly sounded EXACTLY like the letter that came with the Little Orphan Annie Secret Decoder ring in The Christmas Story. I have it hanging proudly in my shop.
 

richh

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OK, I have to chime in to support Apogee.
First, they have a huge amount of info on their website and keep adding to it.
Second, I have never had problems with ordering or shipping.
Third, for skilled craftspeople who live in the electronics/woodworking world, there may be a point where you can "get it cheaper". But for my purposes, reliability is key. When I need all the parts, plus video instructions, for my students to build an avionics bay, I go with the Apogee kit. When I want to make sure the rail buttons come with t-nuts AND screws, I go with Apogee.

Are there items I get from other vendors? Well, The Motorman comes to my high power launches, so I buy my motors from him (no shipping), and sometimes I buy 1 thing from Hobby Lobby with my 40% coupon, or HobbyTown if I need it NOW. But for consistent, reliable, reasonably priced and support that cannot be topped, I have to go with Apogee.
 

tomsteve

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after the last thread about RAH, I actually went and placed an order. nothing major, just parts and pieces. my package arrived in 4 days. I placed another order a few weeks later- more parts and pieces from the clearance rack. again, package arrived in 4 days.
I ordered a couple conformal launch lugs and 1/4" LL on the 21st. a whopping $11 total. and still haven't received it. im beginning to think I should contact paypal, but ill give him until Saturday..
I sent a message today about this little order. it doesn't seem like trying to call is worth it. not sure how long I should wait to put it in paypals hands.
 

AdAstraPerAspera

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I had a rough order from Red Arrow, but once I got the right number (there are two on the website) I was able to get him on the phone and get updates. Some parts came very late, with an explanation that it was a delay in production at Aerotech. But everything shipped as it came in and came eventually, although that was months. Dealing with small vendors for the first time I try to use PayPal so I can recover with a dispute if I get burned. I've done that before, but not with Red Arrow.

Anytime you are shopping you are paying for both product and service. You don't walk into Walmart expecting knowledgeable salesmen, you go there to get stuff cheap. You can get help from the guy at the local hardware store, but you pay a slight premium for it. If you want good service and local small shops, buy from places that fit the bill, not the big box place that's cheapest. Same goes for vendors. Buy from places with good service if that's what you want. Buy on-site if you want that vendor to keep coming back to your local launch. And don't just use them for the odds and ends that they make no money from, but buy a kit or your motors there.
 
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