Monday 5 February 2018


A month to the day after retiring the blog, I find myself forced to return for a one-shot special in pursuit of justice and to draw attention to a shocking situation.  I've always been quite prepared to use this blog as an organ of retribution against the guilty and that's not going to stop now.

Some of you may have heard of MODEL SUPPLIES, a business run by a chap called STEVE FLOWERS.  He supplies newly manufactured replacement parts for various diecast models from the '50s, '60s, '70s and beyond.  Some of the parts are excellent, some quite good, others merely better than nothing - and a few are downright mediocre.  Back in September last year, I ordered a white metal replica of the famous BUDGIE Toys SUPERCAR from the 1960s, which I received on the 27th of that month.  It's quite a rough replica which will need a lot of filling, filing, sanding and shaping before it can be assembled and painted, but I'm willing to give it a go when I have time.

The Budgie name had been very roughly scraped off the base, leaving some noticeable gouges, and I emailed Model Supplies to register my disappointment, as, to my mind, a replica should remain faithful to the original.  After all, there have been a few Supercar models in recent years (by PRODUCT ENTERPRISE and JOHNNY LIGHTNING), so the attraction of having a Budgie Supercar is that it says Budgie on the base.  I then put the replica aside for a while, but upon a later viewing, I noticed that the canopy was extremely 'cloudy' and did not have the crystal clear finish that it ought to.  When enquiring about something else at a later date, I mentioned this, and was told to return the defective part for a replacement.

All well and good you may be thinking, but I've always taken the view that if I'm provided with something that isn't as it should be, then I shouldn't be put to any expense in obtaining a replacement - that's the responsibility of the person or company who provided the faulty part to start with.  I duly contacted Model Supplies and requested that they send the replacement part first, along with a prepaid, self-addressed label or envelope for me to return the inferior item.  No reply.  They're busy, I thought - I'll give them some time.  Almost a month later, I contacted them again - once more, no response.

I should point out that, had they responded and said they'd reimburse me for any costs in returning the defective part once they'd received it, then that would have been acceptable to me, but not even the hint, never mind the courtesy, of a reply.  I waited another month, then emailed them to say that, as they had ignored my previous two emails, if they didn't forward the replacement part along with a prepaid address label, then I would address the matter on my blog - as well as raise a case against them with eBay.  (That's my next step - if I haven't left it too long.)

I received a reply from someone called ERICA HALL, who said that the part would only be replaced once I had returned the original, but there was no mention of a refund for the post and packing charges that I'd incur because of their ineptitude in supplying an inferior part to begin with.  Nor was there an answer to my perfectly reasonable enquiry as to just why I should be inconvenienced with extra expense because of their mistake.  She also had the temerity to suggest that I would not report the facts correctly, so I'll be forwarding a link to this post so that she can see her impertinent insinuation is unfounded.

I don't think I'm being unreasonable about this.  I was supplied with a defective part, and though they are prepared to replace it, they expect me to cover the expense of returning it, with no offer of reimbursement.  They also ignored two of my emails requesting a prepaid address label, which they could have conveniently sent along with said replacement.  (And remember, the returned item will be of no use to them because it is not up to par.)  Also, I could have used the padded bag containing the replacement to return the original.  Other mail order businesses have no issues with doing this, so I don't see why Model Supplies should consider themselves exempt from what is standard practice by companies who place their customers' convenience before their own.

When it comes to doing the right thing, Model Supplies are far from being (dare I say it?) a model company.  (Yes, a corny pun, but nonetheless true.)  Just thought you should all know in case any of you were ever thinking of ordering anything from them.  Establish in advance that they're prepared to meet your costs when resolving their mistakes.

Incidentally, I've availed myself of their services a few times over the years and this isn't the first time I've been disappointed with them.  However, in the interests of fairness, I've confined myself to this specific instance, though I may yet air previous grievances at a later date.  So why didn't I learn my lesson the first time?  The triumph of hope over experience, alas.  Also, when they're good, they're very good, but when they're bad, they're absolutely fecking shocking!


And I'm not alone it seems.  Here's some of his negative feedback (as originally typed by buyers), indicating that he (or his staff) is running true to form.

Wrong size & type!  No communication!  Returned, Refund by eBay intervention!



This guys a joke never replys to emails until you report him or her to ebay.


And you should see the awful email I received from one of his employees called NIKKY earlier today.  Nothing but impudence and barely concealed abuse (to say nothing of spelling errors, poor punctuation, and bad grammar).  Obviously Mr. Flowers' staff subscribed to The BASIL FAWLTY Correspondence Course on Customer Service.  (They should seek a full refund.)  True, his positive feedback outnumbers the negative, but in my book, the measure of a company's integrity is how they deal with customers when they have a complaint, not when there isn't a problem.


Update: Unfortunately, eBay couldn't assist me in this matter as their 30 day time limit had expired, but they agreed that I should have been supplied with a prepaid address label.  However, they suggested I pursue the matter through PayPal as they have 180 day time limit to raise issues with sellers.  PayPal found in my favour in double-quick time, and awarded me a partial refund which was actually more than the one I'd suggested.  It was more the principle with me than the money anyway, and the fact that PayPal found in my favour means that they accept that the other party was at fault.  That means - on a matter of principle - I win and they lose.  Justice is served.  Just think - all this could have been avoided if Model Supplies had replied to my two ignored emails, and provided me with a prepaid address label or agreed to reimburse me for my p&p costs.  I'd like to think they've learned their lesson, but going by their response to this result, it's clear that they haven't.       

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...