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Author Topic: Component Shop  (Read 2487 times)

Shipmate60

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Component Shop
« on: January 25, 2013, 03:03:57 PM »

After the problems highlighted on the forum I did check and found that Component Shop membership was a casualty of the crash.
I phoned Iain and explained the situation.
He was aware of the situation but could not reply as he was no longer a member.
I agreed to post his reply if he sent it to me via email.
His full (not edited at all) email is posted next.

Bob
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Shipmate60

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Re: Component Shop
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2013, 03:04:19 PM »

Hi Bob,Thanks again for the call this morning - only just had chance to write to you as we have had a string of customers call in. We are out in the sticks a bit & can go for days without anyone calling by the warehouse, but when you are at the most busy, of course everyone comes!It is difficult really to know how best to respond to this, the last thing that I want to do is just spark up a lengthy argument, but also as there are some untruths, as well as partial facts being presented as whole facts, I think I must say something. Please feel free to share as much, or as little of this e-mail with the forum members as you like. Perhaps if I just list out a few facts about who we are & how we operate & leave it at that, people can then make up their own minds.1) How we started & who we are:By profession I am a qualified electronics engineer. After leaving university I spent a couple of years as a self employed audio electronics engineer, before joining the engineering team of a telecommunications manufacturer where I spent 12 years, ending up as senior new product development engineer. In 2003 whist still employed, I tried to buy some AA rechargeable batteries on ebay, but kept getting outbid by 20p etc - at that time there was no-one offering a simple buy-it-now option, everything was auctioned, I thought that I couldn't be the only one with this problem & decided to invest in some batteries to sell. I researched the companies offering a quality AA battery & decided that Vapex offered exactly what I needed. This was a new company, having been set up by a former director of one of China's largest battery producers, at that time he produced only AA rechargeable batteries. I bought 2 boxes of batteries & advertised them on ebay in a simple buy-it-now format, they sold quickly & customer response was excellent, so the proceeds of these 2 boxes were invested into 3 boxes & then 5 boxes, then 8, then 12 and so the business was born. We were at that time the only distributor for Vapex in Europe & worked with them developing a wide range of other battery types, I provided the market research for the products required, they manufactured & things grew. As an engineer at heart, I wanted to do more than just "sell boxes" & so we offered a full customisation service, something that few others were capable of, so whether just a different connector, or a totally custom built battery, this was something we could provide (of course this required a considerable investment in welding / assembly / testing equipment, but as an engineer, having the right tools I believe is essential)In my younger days I was a keen modeller & so there was a natural pull towards the modelling hobby, hence the direction that we took. In early 2006 I was made redundant due to the down-sizing that the company I worked for was going through & so my wife & I decided that we would put all our efforts into Component-Shop, rather than me try to find another engineering position, since then we have continued to grow & apart from my wife & myself, we now employ 4 people full time, plus a couple of part-timers, providing a little employment in an area which doesn't have much. We have also bought a near derelict small warehouse & brought it back into productive use.2) How we operate:From the very beginning I realised that many on-line retailers were missing some important things & so we set out to make our business different:- Adverts should carry as much information as possible, so that the buyer could see exactly what the product was & what it would do, so we have product images, dimensioned drawing, weights, performance figures etc to support each of our products - any performance figures being from our testing, we never just blindly accept a manufacturers figures.- Some people don't like internet sites & prefer a catalogue - our first one appeared mid 2005 & was more of a flyer than a catalogue, we have continued to grow this into the 48 page booklet it now is. This should also contain as much of the facts & figures relating to each product as possible (weights dimensions etc) as well as colour images wherever possible, there should also be guidance notes & more importantly, it should be FREE. Anyone can pick up a catalogue at any of the shows we attend, or just call us (or send us an e-mail) & we will post one.- Also many people don't like to buy mail order, but prefer to see & feel the product first, so we attend as many shows during the year as we can. Of course this also gives opportunity for people to meet us & (time permitting) ask any questions they may have.- Although we initially didn't provide a telephone number, it was quickly realised that this was a mistake & so an 0845 number (later 0843) was provided, this means that people can call us & it would cost no more than a local call from a BT landline. Unfortunately mobile phones charge this number at a higher rate & so we later added a mobile contact number to keep the cost of calling us as low as possible. In order to cope with the volume of calls we receive, Kyje (pronounced Kye) came to work for us, in between answering calls he answers e-mails, passing anything that is too technical for him to manage himself onto me. Unfortunately we still have the problem of only one incoming phone line, so if it is busy, its busy & you can't get through. However, to help out with this situation, we have a system that we keep the call in a queue, or offer you the option to leave a message, then we (usually Kyje) will call you back as soon as possible.3) Current issues posted on the forum.It would be inappropriate to go into too much detail about specific comments, but here are a few facts:A detailed reply was sent to the e-mail from "Ryanb" this bounced with a server error. Please do not think we don't reply, as we do - so far this year 25 e-mails we have sent to people in answer to various questions have bounced back. The oldest, unanswered e-mail on our system is from Wednesday - there are just a couple & answers have been delayed because we are waiting for prices from our suppliers for some special parts. In terms of standard e-mails, there is nothing more than 24 hours old - we have had a busy week, otherwise it would have been more up to date.All correspondence is answered as quickly as we possibly can, but sometimes it can take a little while - for instance on Monday of this week, we returned from the London model engineering show (at about 1am) & there were a huge number of e-mails & telephone messages waiting for answer. The previous Friday my wife & I were away at the show & due to the snow only one of our guys had been able to get into work, so yes, the snow did hamper our ability to communicate.We have huge problems with SPAM & have to have filters in place. At one time one of our competitors launched a SPAM attack on us & over one 24 hour period our system received over 32,000 messages (really!) From time to time I switch off the filters, to check the situation, the last time (early December) we received over 2,000 messages in a 24 hour period. If an e-mail is properly addressed (& doesn't contain words like "viagra" or "payment protection insurance") it should get through. Common mistakes people have made are simple mis-spellings, or missing out the "-" from between component & shop. If you have not received a reply from us, the golden rules are always check that you have got the e-mail address correct, check your own spam filters - especially if you use one of the e-mail authentication programs which sends an automatic response to the sender which must be verified before the message can be delivered - these usually go wrong! Make sure you have given us reasonable time to reply (one chap wrote to us at 4:30pm one Christmas eve & by 10:00am on boxing day was getting quite irate at being ignored!) Try re-sending the message, there are occasional glitches in the system & sometimes messages don't get delivered.Our philosophy has always been to treat others the way we would wish to be treated, I don't claim to be perfect, but I do believe that we get it right most of the time, certainly we do our best to make it happen. The fact that the business has grown the way it has shows that we must be getting something right.Anyway (as always) feel free to send us any questions you may have & we will answer as quickly as possible.On a final note I would like to thank the many people who have read this thread & taken time out of their day to either e-mail, or phone us with messages of support, that means a lot to us, thanks guys.

Best Regards,

Component-Shop.co.uk Ltd
1 Llwyn Bleddyn
Llanllechid
Bangor
LL57 3EF
Tel: 0843 2898528 (Mon - Fri, 10am - 4:30pm)
Calling from a mobile? Call us on 0782 5511877 (Mon - Fri, 10am - 4:30pm)
Fax: 08707 052556

Only address modified.

Bob
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kinmel

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Re: Component Shop
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2013, 07:15:08 PM »

Yesterday I sent Ian an email to Ian and had a reply the same day.

The source header for the reply shows it was delivered to their server at = Delivery-date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 16:38:44  and the reply left their server at =
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 23:38:38

I doubt that many companies are replying to emails at twenty minutes to midnight.
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TheLongBuild

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Re: Component Shop
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2013, 08:25:48 PM »

Can,t believe they were not working Christmas Eve   :-)) :-)) :-)) {-) {-) {-) {-) {-)
Very intresting how the Company was formed..

pettyofficernick

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Re: Component Shop
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2013, 08:34:28 PM »

 :-)) :-)) :-))
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Howard

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Re: Component Shop
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2013, 09:03:14 PM »

So pleased this has all been sorted as I have had nothing but GREAT SERVICE from this company every time I have used them the last time being this afternoon, and as normal very friendly and helpful order made and expected early next week.
                       Regards Howard.
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GAZOU

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Re: Component Shop
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2013, 10:30:25 PM »

 :-)) :-)) :-)) :-)) :-))
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Norseman

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Re: Component Shop
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2013, 11:54:16 PM »

Nice to see it all resolved - I bought some stuff from them (at Haydock I think) - despite being very busy they took the time to be sure I understood what to do next  O0 much appreciated.

Dave
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Guyba

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Re: Component Shop
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2013, 10:33:43 AM »

I read with great attention the history of Component-shop published by Shipmate and yes, congratulation Ian with the success of your self-made company. 
For me it looks like Ian is now a victim of his success but unfortunately so are the customers too.
All the Spam history is not a valid excuse to me when, after several e-mails, a Model Kits Manufacturer, who had close contact with Dave and Ian, kindly personally and verbally explained my problem to Ian and provided him all information in a attend to help me, didnít get any results either.
So, for me is the subject closed now.  During 3 months I explored all possibilities to get help without any success.  Time to give up, itís too difficult from the other side of the Channel.
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pugwash

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Re: Component Shop
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2013, 10:37:59 AM »

Usual storm in a Mayhem teacup. This small up and coming company has to my knowledge given plenty of people
excellent service (me included) and when I met them at Warwick show in 2011 they could not have been more helpful
with my possibly stupid questions. But because of a couple of whingers who want everything done yesterday we go off
in another witch-hunt. This is not a fly-by-night company and as well as trying to make a living for themselves are trying
to give joe modelling public as good a service as they can, but, things sometimes go wrong so cut them a bit of slack
and remember there are just a few people in the company - they can't be at shows explaining electronics to idiots like me
and be back at the factory answering e-mails from the rest of us
Geoff
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Shipmate60

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Re: Component Shop
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2013, 11:10:11 AM »

Gubya,
Your comments would carry a bit more weight if you had posted something else but criticism of Component Shop.
You do apear to be carrying out your own agenda against Component Shop.

Bob
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NFMike

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Re: Component Shop
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2013, 11:12:11 AM »

Usual storm in a Mayhem teacup. This small up and coming company has to my knowledge given plenty of people
excellent service (me included) and when I met them at Warwick show in 2011 they could not have been more helpful
with my possibly stupid questions. But because of a couple of whingers who want everything done yesterday we go off
in another witch-hunt. This is not a fly-by-night company and as well as trying to make a living for themselves are trying
to give joe modelling public as good a service as they can, but, things sometimes go wrong so cut them a bit of slack
and remember there are just a few people in the company - they can't be at shows explaining electronics to idiots like me
and be back at the factory answering e-mails from the rest of us
Geoff
I don't think rubbishing people who have reported a poor experience is helpful.
You and several others are assuming this is all to do with emails, but it isn't. Several 'whingers' have got past that and still not received the service expected (which people like you claim is what is normal). These experiences stretch over some time so are not entirely related to shows or snow either.

As companies grow these things do happen but they need dealing with, because this is possibly the tip off an iceberg.  So the fact they are being aired here is good because if you don't know it's there you may find it sinks you. I would hope CS would take note of what has been raised and at least try to understand and hopefully fix it.

essex2visuvesi

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Re: Component Shop
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2013, 12:17:06 PM »

That was a bit unfair Geoff
It is obvious that some emails are not getting through, and many of us use email as the first point of contact with regards to making a purchase or to make an enquiry.  Is this component shops fault? maybe not... it could be down to our mail providers or theirs.
What interested me is the fact that most of those that mentioned issues contacting CS via email were outside the UK.  So I tried sending the same email from another email address (my old live.co.uk account) and it was replied to.

It appears to me that their is an issue, albeit not CS fault but all the same it is an issue that could affect their business.

I'm in the enviable position of actually working for the ISP I use for personal email so will make further enquiries my end to see if we can ascertain where the problem lies.  Should we find the problem I will of course let CS know if it's something at their end.
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Re: Component Shop
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2013, 05:47:00 PM »

Hi Guys

Is it possible for CS to set up an auto reply that acknowledges receipt? This would remove those occasions of confusion. Just make it clear on the home page that all emails will be auto receipted.

I am a CS supporter but I think it is really good that problems with suppliers are sometimes aired by members.  The CS response seemed so very reasonable to me I am also really hoping to see a satisfactory (to both parties) outcome of the PettyofficerNick and Clyde Models delivery saga.

Dave
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Re: Component Shop
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2013, 07:10:16 PM »

Quite possible Essex could well be right re emails from overseas, not had a problem with emails as such as I usually phone first and each call has always been answered.  Calls are addressed in pecking order and usually taken by Kyje who I believe is the 'front desk, sales and admin man' - never had a problem getting through.
           Problems relating to the Action range is probably the main source of the current frustrations. It is widely accepted that when Dave owned and ran the business in its' entirety the service given (and hence expected by some) was second to none with an unbelievably fast turn round.  It was his dedicated business and knew his products inside out without hardly needing time for thought.  Iain and his staff are no doubt as well versed with their own product range and service of same.  Taking over and continuing with the Action range is a whole new ball game to Component shop just as it would be to anyone else. If Iain hadn't taken on the Action venture, who else is there that knows the products that could have or would have?  Of course it is necessary to pre-empt and set out your stall for such a venture but the Action range requires specific knowledge, I believe Dave still helps out and will no doubt be (Lurking?!! {-) ) in the background, but there is still a very steep learning curve to be encountered and addressed accordingly, It's a tad more complicated than just manning up for the extra workload.  Iain being a competent electronic engineer may well relish the opportunity to continue and possibly add to the range from where Dave left off,  but not to the detriment of his current business.  I currently have a P94 that has been awaiting surgery for about three weeks now, unheard of in Daves' day,  but I have been assured it will be addressed as soon as Iain can get to his desk as he is now personally undertaking such repairs. I made the follow up enquiry, got my answer and will sit tight and cut the folks some slack, Iain may well have taken on a bit more of a mouthful than he initially thought but given time to chew I'm sure it'll all pan out OK, they ain't done a bad job with there current business.
            Right Iain after all that, and just because blew it up  .................. can you fix my P94 please!  {-) {-) {-)
 
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GAZOU

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Re: Component Shop
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2013, 08:27:08 PM »

 :-))
received an email yesterday informing me that I could send my kits for repair which would certainly be handled in the day of receipt.

I welcome the reactivity of persons related to Component.

RESPECT

 
:kiss: :kiss: :kiss: {:-{
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tt1

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Re: Component Shop
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2013, 12:36:51 AM »

Good for you - and your in b....y France!  {-) {-) {-) They'll get there in the end but I'll bet Iain's stress levels are probably a mite higher than normal. Still reckon they'll crack it - bet even Natasha's missing company at bedtime !
              Patience they say is a virtue - must be getting old! {-)  keep taking the chill pills O0
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GAZOU

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Re: Component Shop
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2013, 10:24:00 AM »

 ok2
 
A company, no matter its size, can be faced with malignants through the internet. If the attacker knows that a company is in trouble because it is expanding too fast, it may be a blow that can be fatal.
Ian and Natasha are victims and this is not the time for us to add.
It is good for a client to let its problems known, it is useless to be aggressive and go after. Here we see
itís like that.

 
It turns out that I know Dave, his wife, Ian and Natasha quite well, I dined with them several times during the many shows at Warwick. They are lovely people with a good mentality. They have a great respect for the customer.
From our complaints, different members of this forum have pointed malfunctions, me also, it has raised awareness on the importance of Component problem. Component is working on it. It may
take some time.

 We are fortunate to have a company like Component and Dave to support for now, take this chance to have serious people and we shouldnít persecute them. It's doesnít help the matter. 
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Howard

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Re: Component Shop
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2013, 11:05:43 AM »

I would just like to say,
       I Phoned Component shop on  25th Jan  mid Friday afternoon the placed an order and I know thay must of had lots of very bad weather snow friday night heavy rain saturday  but I have just recieved my order a hour ago monday 28th Jan so how goods that Cant get any better I say. Very Pleased with service as always.
                     Regards Howard.
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