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-   -   NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products (https://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/rc-gliders-sailplanes-slope-soaring-112/2013884-negative-feedback-northeast-sailplane-products.html)

computrav 07-22-2004 02:23 PM

NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products

As of today, Apr 4,2010, this thread was pruned of all posts other than those from folks that are describing direct order dealings with NSP.

Due to the obviously contentious nature of this thread no other posts will be allowed. Any such posts will be deleted out of hand.

However posts about actual dealings with NSP be they positive or negative are welcome.


I'd first like to say that I apologize for any negative vibe this post sends out. I'm just very unhappy with the service I've received from NE Sail and wanted to give a warning out to everyone else so they can save their time & money and shop elsewhere.

I am new to the hobby and someone recommended the Defiant from NE Sail as a good starter sailplane. From my research, the Defiant was only available from NE Sail. Upon going to their site, I had a few questions about the plane and a radio combo that I wanted that weren't answered on the web site. This was my first minor concern...for example, they had a Hitec Focus 3 SS radio but it was not clear at all whether it was AM or FM, had the Nicads/charger, etc. Anyhow, I called them 2-3 times before placing my order and received a luke-warm response from them all times except once...they were often unhelpful and even after I mentioned I was new to sailplanes they continued to use language I didn't fully understand.

When I finally placed the order on 7/13 or 7/14, I was told it was currently out of stock but would be in stock in a couple of days and then would ship a day or two later. Yesterday, 7/21, I called to check if the order had shipped. I was told that it hadn't shipped because the kits weren't complete and that their supplier in the Czech Republic was on vacation for 2 weeks and that's how long it would take to receive the required parts for the kit...so I'd have to wait till after that time for the plane to ship.

Seeing that I'd rather not wait I decided to cancel my order, so I called back today (7/22) to cancel. The guy I talked to this time remembered my name from calls I had made before I placed my order. He clarified the situation about the parts issue and said that actually some kits had shipped but mine hadn't because my credit card had failed authorization.

This is the part where I really realized I had been wasting my time.

I asked him if they planned on calling me to let me know that my card number had been incorrect so that I could update it and get my items shipped. He said, (and I quote almost exactly), "It is the customer's responsibility to give us a valid card number.". I thought it was a joke. They even read the card number back to me when I originally placed the order and it was correct. Anyhow, I said, "How am I supposed to know I gave you an invalid number if you never let me know?". He repeated again, "It's the customer's responsibility".

Anyhow, in summary I guess they aren't very interested in revenue.

If the Defiant were available elsewhere I would have never bought anything from NE Sail - and I never will buy from them again. There are plenty of other stores online and otherwise that are happy to give me good service and that have reasonable prices. I see no reason to waste my time or money with NE Sail.

I can assure you I'm a very level-headed person and rarely enter posts like this...but I really feel like if I don't say something then other people will waste their time as well. It could very-well be that the company is great but their customer service/sales reps have issues, I'm not sure. But seeing that they are the 'face' to all customers over the web & phone, that's all I'm concerned with and I think it reflects negatively on their whole company.

I'm open to any feedback regarding this post.

Thanks for taking the time to read this,

kamakasi 07-22-2004 04:44 PM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
Do a search in RCU for NSP. As having been on the receiving end of their customer service I can sympathize with you. Having been in a family business for a long time I can certainly see the signs of some sort of major dysfunction.

seanpcola 07-22-2004 07:09 PM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
Interesting timing on your post. My list of complaints goes back to 1990 with that company. I, too, am not unreasonable and I feel I am pretty levelheaded but....

Back in '90 I sent them a set of cores with all necessary parts to sheet these wings. When I received them I opened the box to find the sheeting already loose all over the wings, cuts made way off angle, joiner rods totally off angle and so on. When I sent a detailed list of the problems, along with photos and diagrams I received no response. I called and the only response I got from Sal was that since I live in Florida, the humidity had made the resin de-bond from the foam. Think about that. First the wings had just come from Vermont and I opened them immediatley. Secondly, I stated to Sal that if humidity would make F/G resin de-bond from foam then I personally knew of at least $15,000,000.00 worth of boats here in town that should be on the bottom of the gulf! This was also a bit of an insult since I have done fiberglass work most of my life, had stated as such to Sal and had sent him the wings to do only because of building time constraints.

Second time, I called and discussed a motor and ESC for a project I was building, thinking I would give them a second chance since quite a while had passed. I ordered exactly what he suggested, got the shipment and the ESC was not compatible with the motor. When I called, I even asked if I could get a refund if I paid the return shipping. He basically laughed at me.

A few weeks ago I began searching for a new TD plane to buy. He had several that fit my specs but every time I sent an Email I received a "not in stock" reply also stating that most good models were always sold out during the summer months. Later, I received an Email suggesting another plane that I had not considered and that if I called they would offer it to me at a "great price". I decided I would order it, if the price was fair, so I called and got a lady on the phone that said that no one was available but took my phone number and promised that someone would return my call. I waited a couple of days and then sent an Email outlining all of the problems I had with NSP in the past, that I was a serious customer with the money to spend and if they would please call or message me I would send payment immediately. No response. Period.

I tried very hard to look at the whole experience from both perspectives and attempted to give them every opportunity to do business with me. I have been in business for myself also and am aware of the difficulties of running a business. However, NSP is off of my list forever. They apparently pick and choose when they feel like selling something. It is a shame that they are this way as they do have an interesting selection of planes and accessories and even have the market cornered on certain kits that I would be interested in. I travel often to contests and aerotow meets throughout the Southeast and in casual conversation with a wide variety of flyers have come to the realization that my feelings about NSP are widespread. I have several friends locally that dealt with NSP once. And I do mean "once".

For the record, I shopped around and found a kit that not only fit my expectations but the price was much better and the service with this company was first rate. I have dealt with dozens of R/C related companies in my years of flying and have NEVER had the problems with any of them that I have NSP.

scottm 07-22-2004 07:16 PM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
OK, I'm convinced. NSP has a great selection, but high prices and at least questionable customer service. Can you guys post links to other sites with decent selections (I'm always looking for electric gliders), prices and cust service?

BMatthews 07-22-2004 11:24 PM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products


And Hobby Lobby at http://www.hobby-lobby.com/elsailb.htm

Mike Ledbetter 07-23-2004 01:04 PM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
Hobby Lobby has some great products and great service.



Rick K 07-23-2004 04:21 PM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
I wish more guys like you would post their problems with Mfg.s/retailers in our hobby. Now with the internet there are so many more Mfg.s out there that used to be localy distributing are now filling orders on a Natl. scale. With unknown reputations to many of us. Most are good people and provide a good product or service but . . . some also are 'fly-by-nite' operations or operations that once were held in high regard but no longer deserve it. You're not the first to post here about NE Sailplane products, and although I have purchased a couple of support items from them in the past (10yrs. ago) without problem, after reading all these Neg. posts about them now I don't thing I'd want to deal with them in the future. Thanks for the info. You might have saved me a big hassle in the future and some money too.
Rick K

Daniel Gut 07-24-2004 07:34 AM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
Hello Travis

That kind of customer "non service" annoys me immensely and you should not have to apologize for posting a negative report if its justified, if their service is crap and arrogant, then out with it, others will be grateful. By the same token, if they are really good then a positive report is also beneficial to all. I have yet to read a good word about the service at NE.
A few months ago I ordered a DG 800 from Icare, helpful, friendly and a 2.5m long box from Canada to Switzerland in 3 working days (door to door). That kind of service I will support again, even if its on another continent

Regards from a wet and unflyable Zurich


MTT 07-24-2004 08:06 AM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
The NEVER ending story.....
My personal experiences with NSP are not that bad ( 2 times, first time was OK, second time we had minor issues ), but if you go to RCGroups.com, and run a search for NSP or NESailplanes, you will find a bunch of threads, with lots of posts, which are very contradictive.
People either love or hate NSP, no middle ground.....
Some people call them crooks ( or worse). I would not go that far, but they have some serious customer service issues....

Anyway, if you look around long enough here and on RCGroups, you will manage to find negative comments for just about any of the online vendors, but none gets as much negative feedback than NSP.

@Daniel : All of Icare's sailplanes are from Europe ( mostly czech republic) ... It surprises me that that you had to order one from the other side of the Atlantic, with you being located in Switzerland....[sm=confused.gif]

Daniel Gut 07-24-2004 09:23 AM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
Hello Michael

I had checked with all the european dealers for the DG 800 (Vagenknecht), none had it in stock and the waiting time was quite long. Out of curiosity I mailed Etienne at Icare and asked him if he had one in stock, he did and 3 days later for more or less the same price as I could get it here (or Germany) it was on my table. The internet has changed much in the buying and selling business. I have never had a model delivered that quickly from anywhere, not even within Switzerland.



falcondriver 07-27-2004 07:46 AM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
Over the last 2 years, I have had the same problem with NSP
Check out
Bob has been GREAT!

mbiedul 07-30-2004 10:40 AM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
Very sorry to say I too have had nothing but grief from NESail. Had an order go sour a few years ago. Forgot about it. Ordered recently and was quickly reminded. They checked the stock while I was on the phone, and I ordered Fedex to meet a grandson's visit. Half the order arrived, the rest "out of stock". When the rest arrived, a cheaper speed control was substituted. They said "it's a better one". Pretty flaky outfit. I won't forget this time!

Rick K 07-31-2004 10:47 AM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
Hello Guys, I'm having some trouble getting my money returned from another Co. who didn't deliver the product ordered . . . I've been after this guy for TWO yrs. for christ's sake. After reading the 'fine' NES reviews here I've sent him another (#22) e-mail offering him one more chance to 'square-up' with me or I'm going to treat his business to a simular 'fine' review as those I've seen on this thread. Geez, it's only $30 . . .
Gave him till' the 7th to pay or I start writing... we'll see what his respose is, either way I'll let you guys know. As I ordered his product after reading about it in a piece in RCM I also mentioned to him how I may contact them as I think they'd also like to hear about it. Maybe by my taking such action I'll get my money.
Rick K

Xrod 08-01-2004 06:26 PM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
Thanks for the heads up about NSP. I will not buy from them. I think it's accurate to say that the vast majority of US modelers read these pages, and that companies that have a poor record should pay attention to the "reviews" that we post. I think we should make it a habit to direct the atttention of the companies that we have issues with to what has been written about them. This gives them a chance to respond and to see just how many potential customers they lose by treating one modeler poorly.

Rick K 08-03-2004 02:42 PM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
Hello again, well not so sure how my threat of writing about the guy's Co. is going to work out . . . but I got a e-mail from him the next day, not exactly friendly "If you can tear yourself away from your computer long enough, check your mailbox for my Reg. Letter" Didn't say anything about money tho, but I think I'll get my refund.
I guess the threat got his Atten. anyway . . . first respose in six Mo. and first that fast, I guess I'll find out in a day or two more, Stay Tuned!!!!
Rick K

scottm 08-03-2004 02:51 PM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
NSP should spend time on the computer reading about themselves here on the world's largest hobby forum, maybe they will make some changes for the better.

Rick K 08-05-2004 04:01 PM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
Hi guys, nothing yet to report but the mail hasn't come today yet either.
Rick K
I spend ALL my money on wife, children and bills . . . have none left to waste on beer, R/C or me!

Rick K 08-06-2004 09:26 AM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
IT WORKED! Five days after warning the guy of my fine penmenship receivied my refund!!! The guy was kind of a jerk about it though, inferred in the letter enclosed with my refund check that he thought I was ripping him off, that back in April they sent the substitute tape I suggested I'd accept in lieu of a refund and that they should have sent it with delivery conformation. ie. Implying that I got the tape and now was ripping them off for the money too. Funny thing though, they never contacted me saying they agreed to the substitution or advised me of the shipment. I don't believe they ever sent it.

They also said that I should have contacted them right away when I did'nt get anything rather than waiting another four months to contact them . . . well a) I did'nt expect anything as they did'nt say anything was to be expected and b) In that four months I called and left messgs. five times and e-mailed several times. They said that if I did I might have gotten faster results then with my "Scathingly threatening e-mail" of this week SAY WHAT? Asking for my money or I'll tell everyone you won't give it to me is scathingly threatening, among other things? Trying to put the 'Black hat' on me for your failures. . . like this whole thing was my fault? They may think so but lets see . . . two and one-half years of countless Mr. Nice guy 'please refund my money' requests: results = $0 . . . vs. one stern e-mail demand for refund or else I'll tell on you, result = $30 in five days.

In the future if after a couple of trys of the plan 'A' 'nice-guy' method without result the plan 'B' tough customer, "give it up or else" is going to come out alot sooner. Indeed the pen is mighiter than the sword (or at least whining forever begging for satisfaction) IT REALLY WORKED!!!!
Rick K
.................................................. ..........
Not telling the wife about the $30. . . tee-hee-hee . . . spend it on me!

smoking joe 08-07-2004 06:12 AM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
SAILPLANE KIT............. 75.00

RADIO...................... 225.00

COVERING................. 25.00

HI-START................... 75.00



AirHead256 08-11-2004 03:22 PM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
You guys should know that:
1. Sal, or any other company that sells only to us glider pukes, don't have any customer service reps. We're way to small a market to support that type of infastrucure.

2. How many sailplane products do you know of that are no longer available? The turnover in companies that create stuff or market only to us sailplane purists is very high. A guy will only piss away all his spare time trying to kit or deal w/ customers in his garage endevor for so long, for the pittance of profit he might make.

3. Anyone who has dealt with NES knows Sal's a full-blown character, his wifes a sweety that you can actually deal with,and that's about the size of NES. So call, hang up on Sal and try later when he's out playing so you can talk to someone who gets the 'people thing'.

4 He's been in the game a while (remarkable and commendable) and makes a few nickles on the high-end stuff, diddly on the beginner kits. They are pretty much a write off as far as profits. Sal's like the National Parks. I may not spend much time in them, but take comfort knowing if I ever want a high-buck composit, there's a cranky little Italian guy to help me blow my wad.
To summarize, he's a wanker, but in a hobby this small, there's room for wankers, too. Want proof? Ever been to a pilots meeting before a contest?

Notice I did not say that if I had to deal w/ a bunch of whiners that expect full time, Amazon.com style service, even while I'm on vacation (and have my glider company in my pocket), I'd be a wanker in no time flat, too? Ooops, too late!

Sorry to break the flow of the thread.

computrav 08-12-2004 06:10 PM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
After writing the original post for this thread, I finally feel it's time to provide some comments back to this thread.

Being a small shop is absolutely no excuse for bad, and in some cases, rude service. I know they employ at least a few people because I called a good 3-4 times and never spoke to the infamous Sal that everyone refers to (and who is quoted on some of their product pages). I'm not doubting he might be a nice guy. At a minimum though, the people that work for him were not always so cordial. Based on the inventory NSP shows on their site, I'd be willing to bet good money they're not just a garage operation -- unless they're doing all drop shipping, which I don't think is the case.

Saying that a small place doesn't have time to deal with customers and their complaints (which, by the way, were not the reasons for any of the calls I made that resulted in bad service) is totally contrary to how things should be. For example, when I go into a small local hardware store, they are almost always the nicest people I meet around town -- very helpful and kind. Conversely, the larger chains often employ less knowledgable people and are shorter in their responses. With the growth of huge retail chains and similarly huge online stores, smaller shops like NSP NEED to provide good service to compete with larger companies that can afford to sell at lower margins.

I dealt with a handful of both online and brick & mortar shops that have gone above and beyond the call in terms of service -- and those are the places I don't mind spending money at.

Whether a company employs 1 or 10,000 people -- service is service. That's all there is to it. NSP should not be exempt from this rule.


smoking joe 08-12-2004 08:32 PM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products

My experience in retail trade over the years has been that product knowledge, courtesy, and integrity are the main stays to building a profitable customer base. One of the benefits of this is you simply create a loyal satisfied customer.

A fellow flier and I are in the market for Hi-Start tubing, price is not a object, do I intend to be possibly treated with rudeness and indifference, don't think so.

Now back to customer base. If i had decided to spend my "piddly" money on this product, say Eighty dollars, and if I was happy with the transaction my repeat business, word of mouth advertising would easily be earned. If this was repeated with 100 loyal satisfied customers, you would be looking at 8 grand in sales, which in this day and time is nothing to sneeze at.

With that I close and thank you thank you all with the help with making our decision to buy elsewhere.


seanpcola 08-12-2004 09:02 PM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
Well, I was sitting down to write a reply to Perry but Travis and Smoking Joe said it all as good, well actually better, than I ever could. Thank you guys for saving time for me. I, too, was in retail for over 20 years and there is no excuse for the complaints many of us have posted here.


Rick K 08-13-2004 09:18 AM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
Well Well, Having been involved it the retail trade a good portion of my working carrier, starting as a teenager working at a five man autoparts supplier to Dept. Supervisor of Home Electroincs at one of the major Natl. dept. stores that employed 500,000 people . . . There is NO such thing as a 'whinner' when it comes to customer service. Although the customer may be mistaken in their demands it's more likely we have failed to meet their expectations with our product or service. If you want to play store you'd better have what it takes do deal with unhappy people and not take it personally. I for one would never tell a customer to give me the money now, that we had something in stock when we didn't or we'd be getting something in a few days when I knew we wouldn't have it for several weeks. In fact through experience I learned to tell customers that the product they wanted would take longer to come than I knew it would. Lets say I knew something was comming next Monday, I'd say Friday . . . customers were always glad to get the call that their order had come in 'early' but there'd be hell to pay if I'd said Monday and it came Friday and I'm not much into 'self-abuse'. Some retailers can't resisit getting the 'mark's' money in the till today and letting them wait, it's an all too often used ploy among small time places that have a small monopoly with the products they sell (like sailplane suff) once they get the money, let the clown stew they'll wait.

I think with my two and a half year of troubles is the guy figured by stone-walling me I'd just go away . . . It was 'only' $30 and I did almost let it go but kept comming across the Orig. recept from time to time and when I did I'd call or e-mail him. Always was told he'd take care of it but never did. Being a former Mgr. of various retail operations, first in line to talk to 'upset' customers and part of my job was to try to "make them happy' without giving the store away, at those moments I was to that customer the entire JCPenney Co. How I handled him would not only influince if he'd ever come back to our stores, but on adverage nine of his friends next buying decision would be also influenced by how I performend. I became determined to get my money back from this clown. I wanted to be treated as well as I once treated my customers. I gave this man at least ten chances to square up before I threatend him with my writing campain. In my final e-mail to him informing him that I recivied his check I said in closing that it "didn't/shouldn' have had to be this way, that maybe he should try another business cause he certianly wasn't going to get anymore of mine or anyone I knew if I have my way. I am keeping my promise of not telling his company's name here but after what he implied in his refund letter I'm awfully tempted but you see, unlike him . . . I am a retail professional and take pride in keeping my word.
Rick K

AirHead256 08-13-2004 10:58 AM

RE: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: Northeast Sailplane Products
Sal has two classes of glider customers: There are those he's screwed, and there are those he's going to screw.
Them's the facts, roll the dice or don't. No excuses offered, as obviously there is no valid excuse for this crap.
That said, I've ordered stuff from him, some of it arrived, and the stuff that did arrive was fine quality.
I'll probably roll the dice again in the future, but with my eye's open that it's highly probable that I'll get toasted. My choice.
Predictable behavior is for adults, I'm buying toys. And frankly, I look forward to seeing what new, even lower, levels of customer service I'll receive.
Losing a limb, I'll take seriously, but dealing w/ this type stuff, I can't get too excited about.
Your expectations were completely valid in this universe. They are only reasonable in this day and age, and he most certainly did not meet them, but I've learned that these expectations just don't apply in "Sal's Paralell Universe'. (see line 1)That's why my expectations will surely be met, regardless of how my next order is treated.
Hang in, or not, but seize the carp. (;^)

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