Monday, 4 November 2013

Hobbyking is a bit of a lottery

They sent me the wrong order.
I sent it back, as per their request.

Today, I got a request from them to fill in an RMA so that I could send back the elements of the order that I wanted to send back.

But I can't. A) what I received included none of what I ordered, and B) I already sent it back, via a tracked service, and it was signed for by them.

So I went on to their Live Chat again, and a nice person who went by the name "Mary" sorted it out, I think.

I don't need to do the RMA.
They'll find the stuff I actually ordered, which (I guess) is lying around somewhere in their warehouse wondering when it'll be sent, and send it to me. Failing that, they'll have new stock in the warehouse within a day or two, and send me that.

All in all, Mary says they'll send out my order within 72 hours. I have, of course, recorded the chat transcript (and I'm sure they do too).

So, with any luck, I'll have it by the end of the week. If not, I'll get onto their Live Chat again...


  1. Here's a business idea for you Doc., Just in case you are getting bored in retirement, I know you dont do much nowadays!!

    Anyway, I saw an advert last night, something to do with Amazon, where they had a "facetime" sort of helpline chat thing, where a real person is talking to you via a video link.! I am wondering how long before we could develop that for everything. So next time you clip your Freelander's wing mirror you could just get your tablet out and let them look at it on line!

    I will go and do the business plan, can you write me an app please ? I reckon we could make a couple of ponies each on this, then you can actually give each of your daughters real ponies and not made up ones!

  2. No, the way to do it is not to use a real person.

    The way that online chat support works (or at least, the way I'd make it work if I were designing it) is that each support person is chatting with several people at once. Because each person's responses would take a long time, compared with the amount of time needed to read that response and reply to it. That's why, sometimes when you're getting that sort of support, there's a long pause from the supporter - what's happening there, is that another of the people they're simultaneously supporting, took all their attention for a short while.

    So instead of showing them the face of the support person, you'd use a synthetic video (like Max Headroom), probably an attractive young person of the opposite sex (guessed from the caller's name), ethnicity based on the caller's IP address. You'd get the sex and ethnicity wrong quite often, but that wouldn't be a big deal.

    And uploading a picture to the chatline is already available.

    So base your business plan around that, and you might have a possibility.

    Or you could manufacture and sell electric bikes, as per my blog on how to build them at a really low cost.