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J N.

1 Level 1 Contributor
  • 3 Reviews
  • 9 Helpful Votes
  • 0 Thank Yous

Experience: Computers & Technology, Finance, Home & Garden

Member since May 2014

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About Me

Ad agency owner, writer, teacher

How I Can Help

I've spent the last 20+ years helping my client's businesses to grow, so I know a thing or few about how a web site should look and run, and how businesses should treat their customers… so pair that experience with a copywriting background and hopefully you'll be reading some reviews that are not only helpful, but fun.


Adrenaline sports

3 Reviews by J

They make their customer service reps say: "We value your business", but apparently after over 17 years they value my business less than $22.

A little background so you'll understand why I'm so disappointed in Citi:

I'm one of those weird people who carries a zero balance on all my cards and bills (4 personal cards, and 2 for my company), and I VERY rarely miss deadlines.

Earlier this year I was on a photo shoot (I own an ad agency) on an island off the coast of Mexico. There should have been cell service, however it was down (no cell service) while I was there, which made getting online or even making phone calls impossible.

I paid the bill as soon as I reached mainland Mexico and had cell reception, but by that time it was after the deadline.

When my statement came, it showed a $22.88 charge for late fee and interest.

I called customer service, explained the situation and asked to have the fee removed as a courtesy (something none of the other credit card companies had trouble doing on the rare occasion my payment was late.) The rep said she would put in the request, and it shouldn't be a problem.

Next month the statement showed a charge for an additional late fee: now totaling $38.38.

I called customer service again, and was told they couldn't remove any of the fees, but they did value my business (?!).

I said: "if that's the case, I would like you to close my account". That got me transferred to another customer service person.

She also apologized and said "we value your business", and offered me more reward points, which I don't care about.

I told her if they won't let her remove the fee, I want the account closed, but she just repeated her offer. This went back and forth for way too long.

I explained that I'm treating Citi the same way I treat all businesses I deal with on a daily basis: if they aren't performing to my standards, I give them one chance to correct, and if they can't improve; I'm done doing business with them. That got through to her.

My advice is to not use Citi, and don't allow yourself to be bullied by banks and credit companies: there are plenty of companies that want your business, and will act like it.

If Citi can't correct a $22 charge for a customer of 17 years, with an 800+ credit score, don't expect them to treat you any better.
I contacted Irwin industrial tools to get replacement parts for some clamps.

The clamps have always performed better than the knock off clamps sold by Harbor Freight, so I just needed replacement jaw pads, which get a lot of abuse when you're working with grinders, and power tools.

The customer service guy asked me to send a picture of the clamps so he'll know the type and size, so he can send the proper parts. I snapped a few pics and emailed them.

About 10 days later I get a package with several replacement clamps not just the pads.

He said several clamps needed to be replaced, so he sent new ones, and charged me NOTHING.

Needless to say I was impressed with the rep, as well as a company that stands behind their products.
I guess with Hobby King, the price is king, but the customer experience is far from royal.

First the Pros:

They do have low prices, and a fairly good selection in some items.

Now the Cons:

The Hobby king web site has to rank as one of the most frustrating retail web site experiences I can remember (and I have a good memory).

On the surface, the web site looks professionally designed, but once you start to navigate and use it, the reality of how bad this site (and possibly the company) is rears it's ugly head.

I already had a good idea of which items I wanted, and as a word of caution: do any research before you go to the Hobby king web site, because any information that would help you make a decision is not easy to find.

Locating the items you want will test your patients. Don't use the search field unless you have the product ID number. Entering an item name or description (without the product ID#) will get you a list of items– most of which aren't even close to what you're looking for, and what you really want probably won't show up on the list. It's better to use the links on the left side of the home page, and go from there.

They do have what should be useful features that would help you make a decision, but the ones I tried were not only useless, but also counterproductive:

Such as the "Compare" button, when you're looking for electric motors or batteries, and are trying to find something equivalent that's in stock and not backordered (which as you'll see, a lot of items are backordered). Don't even waste your time with this feature. You get to it by clicking on a particular item (battery or motor), when the product page comes up, scroll to the bottom and click on the "compare" button, it will bring up a field with sliders so you can choose the size and specifications you're looking for. This is where it falls apart: after your sliders are set to the specs you want, click "search" and you'll get a long list of items that don't match the specifications you just entered. Here's the kicker: they might actually carry items that should be on the list, but you'll have to ferret them out on your own, because they won't show up in the compare list (at least they didn't on the few searches I did).

An interesting feature is the automated "one time only" discount that will pop up if you stay on a product page for several minutes. The problem is: when you add the discounted item to your cart, that item may or may not show up in your cart, and if it doesn't: say goodbye to the discount (it's not that much anyway). And if you change the number of items before you click the "add to cart" button, it absolutely won't show up in your cart.

Several times I had the dozen or so items in my cart, or wish list, just vanish, and the discounts along with them. I would advise making a written list of everything you're putting in your cart (with the product ID#), so you can recreate your cart when everything you've loaded into it suddenly disappears.

And don't bother trying to get help from anyone on the live chat when your order starts acting weird: I tried that several times, and never got a helpful suggestion. However the Product Specialists have found some products I was having trouble finding, so the live chat was useful for that purpose.

I did wind up ordering with Hobby king, and my order showed up reasonably fast (however, I didn't have any backordered or bulky items on my order).

About Hobby King's return policy:

I'm guessing Hobby King makes their return policy time consuming (weighing the package you want to return (it must be accurate within a few grams), taking pictures of the whole order, etc) to discourage customers from sending back items that are either damaged, or the wrong item, that are not expensive enough to be worth their while. But so far I haven't had to return anything, so I don't have that experience to report.

Tip for consumers: Don't expect the buying experience to be quick or painless.

J Has Earned 9 Votes

J N.'s review of CitiCards earned 4 Very Helpful votes

J N.'s review of HobbyKing earned 5 Very Helpful votes

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