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Thursday, February 09, 2012

It gets worse!

UPDATE: Two weeks since returning the defective kit with half of the missing parts. No word from Model Tech Studios - I guess I should just consider my $20 lost for ever. Hard lesson learned. need to change your modeling approach...

I am so appalled by the treatment I've received from Model Tech Studios (also doing business as that I just had to post the exchange here. To recap, I purchased a small kit from them and over half of the pieces were missing. I simply notified them of the problem and had the expectations that they would send me a new kit or all of the parts that were missing. Since there was no parts list included I kind of assumed that it would be in their best interest to apologize, send me a new kit and earn a new customer. Instead Frank of Model Tech Studios treated me as someone who was trying to rip him off, insulted my modeling skills and basically told me how lucky I was because they didn't collect Massachusetts tax on the item (missing half the parts). There must be a sucker born every minute because I can't imagine how a company can operate in the long term with this kind of customer service.

Here is the complete exchange. Keep in mind its backwards, starts from the bottom. At one point I decided to throw Frank a bone. At any point he could have apologize for 1. selling the defective kit and 2. for his terrible customer service. I think I would have accepted just about any excuse - stress, mental issues, supplier problems etc because I really want to think that there is a logical reason behind such bad behavior.

If you've had positive or negative experiences with Model Tech Studios please comment.


When you produce a product let me know. Then you can speak with knowledge. Our biz is growing just fine for your info
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

-----Original Message-----
From: Fishboy
Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2012 12:26:06
Subject: Re: Missing parts - Kit #S0161


Have you considered the following?

1. There is no parts list in the kit. Unless that was also left
out, I would not know since I'm not the one who created it. I did
my best at guessing all the parts missing. As I listed in my
initial email, the missing parts amounted to over half of the
major parts of the kit - two walls (both pieces), roof, floor, and
the front trailer parts.

2. How I paint my kit is up to me as the customer. There are no
painting instructions included in the kit. Kind of hard to paint
the interior or contrasting wood work when the model is 85% (or in
my case I would only be able to get to 50%) completed. I certainly
don't need a vendor who knows nothing about my work to make snide

3. I value my time. I drove two hours to attend the Amherst show,
paid for parking, paid for admission and coming from NH I did not
notice the incredible tax savings I was afforded to purchase half
of a kit. I paid cash so I suppose that's between you and the
State of Massachusetts.

4. Here's one for you - have you considered how your actions
impact your business? I've been selling online for over 10 years.
Sure I don't like returns or when I've made a mistake with an
order. But I deal with it in a professional manner. I try to
convert a disgruntled customer into a life long customer.

Did it ever enter your mind that I might purchase from you in the
future if I knew I was dealing with a trustworthy company who
stands by their products?

Have you ever heard that saying that a satisfied customer tells
one other person and a dissatisfied customer tells 24? The first
thing I did after receiving your first email was to look online to
see if others have had similar experiences. And what I found was
that poor customer service and attitude seems to be the norm at
Model Tech Studios. Once you have a bad reputation, it requires
you to work even harder to reverse it.

Missing parts seems to be an ongoing issue at Model Tech Studios
so my advice to you would to concentrate on quality control
instead of getting mad at your customers. Maybe learn a little
humility and actually apologize for selling an incomplete product.
You could learn a lot from your competitors who delight their
customers when errors occur and are rewarded by positive word of
mouth on the hobby boards.

If you can't deal properly with customer, perhaps assign customer
relations to someone else who has a bit more tack.

Bonus - Here's bit I found on the Internet that might of values to

"...building a more intricate (MTS) kit with missing parts, the
response was "this is the first time we've ever had anyone
complain about missing parts." I kid you not. It took quite a lot
of back and forth before being able to secure the missing parts
which I couldn't scratch build. Frankly, I didn't enjoy being
questioned on my veracity regarding a small amount of missing
parts when I had spent a huge amount of money for the kit (larger
scale). The thought that a manufacturer would never admit to
releasing any kits with some missing parts is so ludicrous to be
laughable (if it wasn't at my expense). "S--- just happens" and we
all understand that, but at least we expect some fair resolution.
I remember once missing an entire wall section from a BarMills kit
and when notified, Art said it would go out the next day and it
did, no questions asked. That's customer service."

-- Ed

On Thu Feb 09 04:37:12 CST 2012, James Bester

First, you can't even tell me the exact parts that are need as
you clearly stated in your first email....
Second there should not be paint on anything until the model is
85% assembled, you need to change your modeling approach
Third I apologize that 1.64 is a life altering event for the
exchange.....I'm sure I didn't even access the sales tax on that
purchase so it really all a wash when you put the numbers to
it......did you consider that at all ?
------Original Message------
From: Fishboy
Subject: Re: Missing parts - Kit #S0161
Sent: Feb 8, 2012 10:18 PM

Wow, I didn't expect such a hassle or attitude over a $20 item
purchased at the Amherst show.? I'll be sending back the kit in
the morning. Some of the parts will have paint on them since I
figured you'd simply send the missing parts.

On Wed Feb 08 20:19:32 CST 2012, James Bester

No our idea is the same as any store on the planet
Just like when you walk into a dept store and want to need the item to turn in to do
can't walk in without an exchange item and say "give me another
item". How do I even know you have an item to exchange ?
Our policy to exchange is that we need the item back. Period
------Original Message------
From: Fishboy
Subject: Re: Missing parts - Kit #S0161
Sent: Feb 8, 2012 8:54 PM

So your idea of customer support includes making the customer
pay for shipping and waiting additions days for your mistake?

On Wed Feb 08 18:39:37 CST 2012, James Bester

We will need the kit back in order to do an exchange....
------Original Message------
From: Fishboy
Subject: Missing parts - Kit #S0161
Sent: Feb 8, 2012 7:15 PM


I went to build the Roadside Lunch Wagon O Kit #S0161 tonight
and its missing about half of the parts.

Its missing two sides, the floor, the roof, the triangle shaped
front piece, crank stand and who knows what else might be

Please send me a replacement to:


Thank you, Ed


David M. Mason said...

I won't have any comments good or bad about MTS because after reading your blog I will NEVER buy from them. And despite what Rick says, I'm glad you posted this on the RRLine forum. There are a couple others that I won't do business with because someone else had a real bad experience.

Fishboy said...

I sent the kit off, we'll see what happens next. At least I'm only dealing with a $20 kit.

Fishboy said...

Well, I sent back the kit. James Bester claims never to have recieved it and has choosen to believe that I am somehow trying to rip him off over a $20 kit. He had the chance to show that his company stood by his products but now he has lost any chance that this customer would purchase from him in the future. I'm out $20 but at least it wasn't more. My advice for anyone dealing with Model Tech Studios is to keep very good records of your dealings with them and expect problems.