April 17, 2013

File this under "Shorts in a knot.."

Over on my hyper-geek blog, Right Hand of Zod, I posted this about some clown who has taken my money and basically started playing dead. It is chock full of amateur radio, but maybe of modest enjoyment for some. I thought I'd make my point to a somewhat larger audience..

I would love to review the Idiom Press SCAF-1 but...
..I placed an order a little over two weeks ago and have not received it nor have I heard a peep out of this guy. Moreover, three e-mails and a phone call have gone unreturned. All I am looking for, fer crissakes, is some acknowledgement that the tool has received my money and will be shipping the kit -- whenever.

I mean, Midway, U.S.A. back ordered my turret-press reloader but at least have the courtesy to inform me of the status, etc.

The Idiom Press K-3 keyer is the best around but I don't remember there being any such delay with that. Oh yeah, that's because I bought it off-the-shelf at Ham Radio Outlet in Orange County, California.

You'd do well to heed this and read the eHam Net reviews on this product, particularly ones like this:

Caveat emptor, as they like to say.

UPDATE: Still nothing on this front. However, I put up a "me too" review on eHam.net echoing that K3JLS's experiences were my own. Basically one month after K3JLS came up dry, I was too.

I went over to eHam.net today (04-17-2013) and found that both our reviews had been scrubbed. Another review was leading the list by some guy who bought the kit several years ago and experienced a delay in receiving his order but got an e-mail saying that he was dgetting the built product for the kit price.

With respect to eHam.net pulling K3JLS's and my reviews and, at the risk of sounding like I do not have a life, I cry BULLSHIT! Firstly, the eHam review editor may be on firm ground in redacting our reviews because, technically, neither of us had the product delivered and -- by some tortured logic -- relating our experiences to POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS of Idiom Press might be misleading.


But, were I a potential customer (who else reads reviews?), I would want to know if there was problems with the supply and availability of a product. Since -- at latest inspection -- there are no caveats on the Idiom Press site about delays or "we're running behind" then the guy is setting up customers for a big disappointment and certainly not creating any good will.

All this said, I want to be clear on one point: I am not one of those piss-and-moan types who gets mad and demands legal recourse because a kit maker has my precious $80-100. Some time ago, Steve, K1EL, was producing a follow-on edition to his K-40 CW keyboard device -- the K-42 -- and my order was not filled for a longish time. I e-mailed Steve and he said he was running behind because he had been in a terrible car crash and was recovering but I could have my money back if I wanted.

I would hear nothing of the sort! I told him not to sweat the small stuff, get better, and when the K-42 was ready to ship, it was ready to ship. PERIOD. I even offered to help him test/debug some of the firmware and/or a prototype device. Point here was that the man was honest and responsive and was in a real bind. Having the unit on the market was far more important to me that having my grubby loot returned. It is even the case with Idiom Press. I am looking forward -- someday -- to receiving and building the kit.

And, as for Idiom Press, I have spoken with the gentleman before several years ago when I was contemplating the purchase of a new version of his K-3 keyer. He was pleasant and accommodating and, I believe, he is still so.

It's just that we -- K3JLS and I -- would appreciate hearing something -- anything -- about our orders.

As for eHam.net, well, I am buying a built SCAF-1 from my good bud, Dick, WB6JDH. (He has two of everything.) After I get it, I will post a review of it on Eham.net and relate that the reason I bought a unit was because I got bupkis out of Idiom Press.

Let's see if that review sticks. 


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