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A tale of bafflement and irritation. Yes, it's Cromwell again.
February 17 2012 at 1:17 PM
(Login DavidHale) Missing-Lynx members from IP address 126.96.36.199
This will be a long tale so bear with me. You might want to get a cup of tea.
I've been kicking around these parts for a long time, although I don't post much. I've been making models since I was a nipper, and I've read Military Modelling since the seventies. I don't post much here but I must have been using this forum since around 2002 or so. So I know about Mr Brown and Cromwell Models.
However, I've also met Gordon at one of the shows and bought some kits directly from him. Early last year I e-mailed him for his product list; it all looked interesting but I didn't order anything at that time. Christmas comes and I got a little bit of money so I did a little bit of ordering. I ordered from Hannants, Tracks and Troops, Bison Decals and Cromwell. I e-mailed my order through to Cromwell, had a few e-mails backwards and forwards with Gordon about some of his future models and all was well. I knew his reputation; I tend to be too trusting and because he seemed to get straight back to me I felt ok about ordering.
You know where this is going, don't you?
I ordered just before the new year and all the stuff from Hannants, T + T and Bison came promptly within a few days. It's only small stuff, not much money. The Cromwell stuff didn't turn up. I waited a week or three, then e-mailed him. Heard nothing so e-mailed again. Still didn't hear so I opened up a dispute through the PayPal dispute system (you have to do this within 45 days of ordering on their system) and I posted on the thread a page or so down. Low and behold, within an hour or 2 Gordon e-mailed me saying demand was greater than supply etc etc, it would definitely be gong out that day or Monday at the latest (last Monday, 13th Feb). Great thinks I, I'll give him a chance and leave it till Thursday.
Well, Thursday arrived. So did the postman but he was empty handed. So I e-mailed Gordon a couple of times, didn't hear anything so e-mailed again this morning saying that I was assuming he was going to default on my order and that I would pursue my money through the PayPal dispute system. Once again within an hour and a half of my e-mail Gordon replied saying he couldn't find my address and could I send it to him. So I did. I e-mailed him once more asking if the models had been posted and the response is "Yes David very pleased to say your kits were posted earlier on receipt of your address by 1st class post."
Now, at this stage I don't know if they have been posted or not. Hopefully I'll know tomorrow/Monday. I will obviously let you all know if anything arrives. If they don't, big deal - I'll go through the PayPal system, get my money back, have him marked as a bad trader and add my voice to the many that have expressed disappointment before me. I hope I don't have to.
That's obviously the irritation. So why the bafflement? Well, these are only little model kits of tanks at the end of the day, it's not like we're trying to find a cure for cancer. Make a master, make a mold, pour in the resin, post them out + earn some money. Simple. It's not rocket science. And yes I do know how it works - and here comes my own sob story. We've all heard Gordons, now he's going to hear mine.
I was a professional modelmaker for 20 years. For 11 of those years I ran an architectural modelmaking company in central London. I had a staff of 15 and 3600sqft of workshop space near Clerkenwell. I have made one or two masters in my time and poured one or two drops of resin. So I know what I'm talking about. I had to keep clients happy, respond to deadlines and produce accurate work. So I know what I'm talking about. I had to find, employ, pay and keep happy a staff of 15. So I know what I'm talking about. For years on end. And my web site is still live; e-mail me if you want the web address.
I lost my business in 2009; I'm one of the recession statistics. I've had to go bankrupt and nearly lost everything. I kept my house by the skin of my teeth so my family still have a roof over their head. Anyway, onwards and upwards; I'm now a Student Paramedic working for one of the Ambulance Services. Being a student means that money is very, very tight; I don't have money to waste. So when my parents gave me a little for Christmas I thought I'd treat myself to a few models to entertain myself. So Gordon, if I don't get any models in the very near future I WILL get my money back. I can't afford for you to waste it for me.
Gordon, I don't understand you. You have potentially a nice little business; no-one questions the quality of your work, it is excellent. You would sell plenty if, as you've been told many, many times before, you made the masters and got someone to handle to customer side of things. Even in these days of austerity there is a viable business for two people in your work. However, I won't buy directly from you again after this. I will buy from you if I see you at a show and I can take it away there and then or if I see another trader offering your models. But not directly from you. Now here comes a warning. Gordon, as I've said I lost my business. It is THE most stressful thing that has ever happened to me - you have no idea how bad it is until you've been through it. Don't go there. Just get a grip, honour ALL your orders, draw a line under this and start again. Because I've a feeling that there is a large head of steam building up against you and you really, really don't want to let it go that far.