Risk of using Tfdirect

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Discussion' started by CigarJackal, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. CigarJackal

    CigarJackal Cy-gar smoking beast warrior

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    I had always been a big supporter of Tfdirect. The had good prices, loyalty program and good customer service.

    However, recently I encountered a serious issue using them. I purchased a $120 3rd party toy and it got lost by the post office.

    Since Tfdirect uses 1st class mail, the post office provides no insurance on the package. Since the order was made in August (pre-order), PayPal will not support a claim.

    The best that Tfdirect could do is offer me a $20 store credit, meaning thst I hve to eat a $100 loss.

    Here is an excerpt from the email that was sent to me:

    Plus, due to the effect of virus and competitor's price campaign, TFD is getting harder and harder to exist.. But we still would like to do what we can do to resolve the problem with our customer
    .

    It was their choice to use uninsured mail. I may be out of line, but I belive that it is the vendor's responsibility to assure that their product arrives to their customers. They choose to cheap out on their postage; that puts the risk on their end for making such a decision.

    I am not telling anyone to use or not use Tfdirect, but beware of giving them money ahead of time (losing your rights to redress of grievances via PayPal) in case either there is a problem with postage or if they end up closing their doors.
     
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  2. pilot00

    pilot00 Well-Known Member

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    Was it a preorder?
     
  3. CigarJackal

    CigarJackal Cy-gar smoking beast warrior

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    Yes. Paid in full upfront.
     
  4. pilot00

    pilot00 Well-Known Member

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    Ι dont like to play the prophet after the prophecy part but....Its one of the reasons I am against preorders :( 

    On one hand, cant really blame them because of the post office not doing their job properly. On the other they could perhaps
    in good faith provide something more...
     
  5. Bruticus88

    Bruticus88 Bruticus devastate Devastator!

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    TFD needs to make this right. Completely their fault.

    PS: I avoid USPS shipping anytime possible.
     
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  6. CigarJackal

    CigarJackal Cy-gar smoking beast warrior

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    If they had insured the shipment, then they would have been blameless. However, they assumed the risk of saving a buck or two by not protecting themselves.
     
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  7. mikeszekely

    mikeszekely Not Pessimus Prime

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    Technically, don't they have other shipping options? And aren't you actually opting in to the free shipping? It could technically be a "buyer beware" thing.

    That said, while the shipper can pass the costs onto to their customers by adding shipping fees or just jacking up their prices it's on the shipper to buy insurance, yes. And whether they got insurance or not they've failed to get you the goods you paid for. That's a failure of the absolute most basic customer service, and any worthwhile merchant would take the loss and either refund you it resend the item.

    Frankly, while I've used and would consider using TF-Direct again, I'd never preorder from them. I'd only order in-stock items and if they don't arrive before the end of the PayPal window a claim would get filed. And that's assuming I can only get the item from them because ShowZ, Baba, and TFSafari don't have it.
     
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  8. pilot00

    pilot00 Well-Known Member

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    I believe in those cases, insurance is chargeable and left up to the customers decision?
     
  9. XIII

    XIII Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if there is anything that can be done now other than following up with the shipping service (USPS?) which I suggest doing. The package is out there somewhere.

    That said, there are things you can do in the future. First, never pay a preorder in full if you can help it. If they offer deposit, use it. If they offer free no-penalty preorders as a lot of sites do, use it. That way, when they ship the item, you have paid recently enough that your financial institution (paypal or credit card or whatever) has not instituted a time limit. I find that the slightly lower prices from the china sellers just arn't worth the hassle when there is a problem. Pay the extra $5 to get it from a state side seller.

    As for the shipping. Lets face it. If you are using any retailers "free" shipping, it is going to be the least expensive shipping possible and NOT INSURED. If you expect insurance, you need to pay extra. Especially from any china retailers. period. In the past, sellers like TFD and ShowZ have had really good customer service and eat the cost of dealing with shipping errors that are NOT their fault or responsibility. Even eating the cost of getting and sending replacement parts. You think that is free for them? it isn't. Not chastising. Just saying. Right now, things are tight for everyone and many of these retailers are barely holding on. That is no excuse for abandoning previously good customer service, but it IS happening more and more right now. Not just toys.

    I haven't used TFD in a over a year but I do check them out every couple of days. They do offer deposit on most preorders. Use it instead of paying in full. That way, when you pay the balance, the charge is recent. I don't know their current shipping offerings, but in the past, I had the option of paying extra for express/insured shipping. That paid off when an item went missing. Initially, they gave me shit. But after filing a paypal claim, they refunded in full within 24hr. I repurchased the item and got it in a few weeks... Filing a claim with USPS for the insurance got the ball moving for them to find the package. USPS would rather take a long time to find the missing item than pay out a claim. About 6 months later, the original shipment was found and delivered. So... I ended up with a duplicate... I offered to send it back to TFD but they declined so I gave it away to a member on this board.

    Given the current economic climate, I am seeing more and more businesses NOT offer any customer service / refunds. As I mentioned, many businesses are hanging on by a thread and cannot afford to give out refunds or replace product that went missing in shipment. Again, it is not their legal responsibility to replace missing shipments. That is the carrier. If the retailer does not offer an insured shipping method, ask them before buying. Somewhat related... even my apartment office doubled down and just sent out a notification that there is no leniency in early termination of lease or late fees to those that are laid off. Bunch of dickbags... So, not too surprised that a toy retailer in china is taking a harsh stance right now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  10. boomerdave

    boomerdave Owns three Ditka figures. O_o Moderator

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    Yeah paying in advance never sits well with me. I did it with Hasbro for that Unicron but that's it. If I can't pre-order and pay when it's in, I skip it.

    That said, I know a lot of people do and it works out fine usually. It's just all it takes is one time to really suck like this case. I think they should make it right as well since, as you said, it's their responsibility to make sure you get your package. If it's too long for Paypal, I'd go to my bank and just dispute the charge and let them know the vendor is going "We *allegedly* mailed it, it got lost, sorry, you're out money". Pretty sure the bank will go to bat for you.
     
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  11. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. This is on them. It may not be their fault but it is their responsibility. If they're not going to buy insurance on shipments, then they need to be prepared to eat the cost if something goes missing. If they're not willing to do that, then it needs to be stated very clearly on the order page that they are not responsible for lost shipments and the buyer assumes all risk (and good luck getting any buyers to be ok with that), or they need to give the buyer the option to purchase shipping insurance.

    I don't use them much any more but I think I'll stay away from them entirely from now on. That bit about "TFD is getting harder and harder to exist" is not your problem. Your problem is giving them money and receiving nothing in return. Personally, I'd let them know that a $20 credit is completely unacceptable and you won't be doing any more business with them if they don't make it right. You may be too kind to tell people not to deal with them but I'm not: nobody should do any business with a company that would pull this kind of stunt.

    Having said all that, I absolutely will not leave money out there on a pre-order past the date of Paypal's guarantee. I will insist on a refund and if the seller is open to me creating a new payment for the order, then I'd be willing to do that (assuming I still had reason to believe that the order was coming) but I would not surrender that protection.

    I would only accept that if, as I mentioned before, they are completely clear and upfront about not accepting responsibility for lost shipments and warning that the customer is responsible. Otherwise I hold them accountable and I'm pretty sure Paypal and/or the credit card company does too.
     
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  12. XIII

    XIII Well-Known Member

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    Sure, you can "hold them accountable". But legally, the retailer doesn't have to do anything. Once the package has been accepted by the carrier, from a legal standpoint it is the carrier's responsibility. Not the retailer. Weather it is specifically stated or not by the retailer. As mentioned, in the past, retailers like TFD have been very good about their customer service (for the most part. Like I mentioned in my previous post TFD at first gave me shit but after a claim was filed, gave me a full refund) but things are different today and a lot of businesses are adopting a much more harsh stance. Don't be surprised if this happens more and more for the rest of the year.
     
  13. Scourgatron

    Scourgatron 4D Smart-ass

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    Yeah, TFD always tells you to file a dispute. I wonder what their record for wins is?

    They have always been nice to me on refunds.
     
  14. CigarJackal

    CigarJackal Cy-gar smoking beast warrior

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    Paypal wouldn't accept the dispute, because the original payment was beyond their window of insurance.

    Post office told me to wait 45 business days from last update before they would even talk to me. Once I waited this ridiculous period of time, they then informed me that they wouldn't help me (probably they were hoping that the problem would just go away). Post office still shows it at their LAX facility, but no one there can locate it.

    The PO tried pushing this off to customs, telling me that they must have it. I called customs, and they told me that they don't have it and don't regularly hold packages; if they did hold it, then they would have mailed me a notice.
     
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  15. CigarJackal

    CigarJackal Cy-gar smoking beast warrior

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    If they gave me an option to buy insurance, I would have taken it.
     
  16. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    That's fine, but I can still tell you that I won't be dealing with TFD after this and I don't think anybody else should either. I have one outstanding order with them and I will file a paypal claim before the termination date if it's not in my hand by then, and then I won't be buying from them again. I recognize that times are tough but if this is going to be their policy, they need to be up front about it so their customers can protect themselves.
     
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  17. nhyone

    nhyone Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the issue with TF-Direct alone.

    Didn't some people encountered an issue with China-based sellers recently? Their Dec packages took over 70 days to be delivered.

    Is it a problem with seller or carrier?

    Going forward, with so many flights grounded, the delays might get even longer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  18. metalwar2010

    metalwar2010 Well-Known Member

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    When did it ship and what exactly was it (curious if size is playing a role here because it does matter......Speaking from experience). I may have missed that info somewhere. The reason I ask is this sounds very much like what most of us went through with DX9 Capone.
     
  19. boomerdave

    boomerdave Owns three Ditka figures. O_o Moderator

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    Did you reach out to your bank?
     
  20. Motor_Master

    Motor_Master Lets the balls touch

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    Yes there was a huge number of orders from China's 11/11 sale (and people ordering in time for Christmas) that caused a huge backlog with customs on both coasts. The backup was on Customs not the sellers. Once a seller ships an item all they can do is prey it arrives safely, esp if the customer ops not to buy insurance.

    Speaking of insurance, Baba offers insurance on all of his "free" shipping orders and it's only a couple of bucks typically... I'm not sure if USPS honors it or if it falls on the Chinese carrier?