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Subject: Negative Experience through Hobby Games Mart rss

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Simon Quinn
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Just wondering if anyone has had poor experiences with Hobby Games Mart?

I placed an order using international shipping and have been waiting more than 10 weeks with no delivery.
HGM basically said that I accepted the risk and will not offer a refund.
I have dealt with many online and physical boardgame retailers and was shocked by this response..
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George Stewart
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Not personally. I would love a game store near me, But, this sounds like really bad customer service............surely they hold some responsibility?

 
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Beau Bocephus Blasterfire
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That's pretty bad. You would think that there should have been some type of tracking information.

I have never dealt with Hobby Games Mart, nor do I intend to.
 
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Joe Salamone
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The website is pretty vague about almost everything, including shipping. If they didn't offer you a secure way to ship the package (e.g. insure or otherwise guarantee delivery), then you may be out of luck. But you never know. It may just be a very long delay because they used a low-cost shipping method.
 
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Jeff Saxton
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If they are in Singapore and used (forget the name) the delivery service of that country -- you can be assured it will take forever. I ordered a book from Australia and they used that Singapore based shipper --- while I had a tracking number, it sat in Singapore for two months after pick-up in Adelaide and before delivery to me in the United States.
 
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Paul Evans
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I've used them - but always used their drop-off delivery - and had no issues at all. My gripe with them is that their stock seems to be dwindling .
 
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Lim Lex

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Did they provide tracking and etc? Or it was not available in the first case.
 
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Hobby Games Mart
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Please allow us to clarify..

Making sure our customers receive their orders in a timely manner has been our company's policy since Day 1 of our operation. That is why the staff of Hobby Games Mart will handle the collection or delivery for all local orders. We endeavor to continue this policy as long as our resources allow us to do that.

However this cannot be applied to our overseas customers, whom we have to engage the postal service for shipping. We cannot guarantee a customer receive his package after we have posted it. Once the package reaches the post office, there will be a risk of missing or damage items while in transit. Therefore the first thing we inform our overseas customers, when an order or enquiry is made, is that we will not be responsible for the loss or damage of the items due to the postal service.

With regards to shipping methods, we offer both Air Mail with tracking service and Surface Mail that does not come with tracking. The reason there is no tracking with surface mail is due to the absence of this service from our local post office. We prefer to ship with tracking, but sometimes a customer will choose the lower cost method of surface mail.

Our shipping terms will be made known to all our overseas customers, and the shipping method chosen by them, before we proceed to provide payment details. Though we do not assume the risk of the postal service, we will be responsible for the correct item and address for the overseas order. If we are to be found at fault, which have happened before, we rectify our mistake at our cost.

Of course our shipping terms are not the best. But in order to support our overseas customers, this is the best we can do at the moment. We aspire to be able to guarantee all overseas shipments one day.

We thank the feedback of the OP, and hope that the non-delivery is only due to a delay. Simon chose Surface Mail, and a normal time frame takes up to 8 weeks . All our previous postage to New Zealand have been without incident.

Sincerely,
HobbyGamesMart.com
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Simon Quinn
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Thanks for contributing to the thread HGM! It is good that you can share your side of the events. However it seems like I am not alone in my dissatisfaction.

Your terms are outlined clearly but the reality is it has now been 11 weeks since the order was placed and your response has been "that's how it is". Perhaps your shipping methods aren't robust enough to ship overseas?

I have dealt with numerous online retailers who take care of and value their customers. The feedback I have received from you amounted to "that's unfortunate"...

As you eloquently put, "of course our shipping terms are not the best". I would just like to save other international customers from the same disappointing fate.
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Chris in Kansai
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I feel your pain, as I've had the same thing happen to me when ordering from France.

But... if you choose the lowest-cost, untracked shipping option, it's asking a lot to expect the retailer to eat the loss if there's a problem.

In my case, I reordered from the same place but chose trackable shipping, and the order arrived no problem. The store also added a little surprise package for me to soften the blow, which was much appreciated.

These days, with shipping costing what it does and the yen being weak, I often have small items shipped untracked because it's much cheaper. I don't assume the retailer owes me anything if the package goes astray though.
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Imtiaz
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It is indeed unfortunate. And yes, that's indeed "how it is". What response were you expecting?

So they stated their terms clearly, and you voluntarily chose the lower cost option without tracking. The shipment didn't reach you (yet) due to reasons outside of their control. What are you expecting them to do here?

Quote:
However it seems like I am not alone in my dissatisfaction.

This made me go back and scan through the thread again; couldn't find anything supporting this statement. What made you say that?

Quote:
I have dealt with numerous online retailers who take care of and value their customers.

HobbyGamesMart takes care of and values their customers. I know that from dealing with them multiple times in the past.

Quote:
I would just like to save other international customers from the same disappointing fate.

Perhaps other international customers are more willing than you to take responsibility for their choices?


I apologize if my response seems harsh. HobbyGamesMart is a reputed local business, and I've had only good experiences with them. So when I first saw your original post, it surprised me. Now that all the facts have been made clear, you're still claiming to have been treated unfairly?
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Huibin Zhou
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I must agree with Imtiaz and others in the thread that choosing the cheaper option, accepting the risks and then wanting repayment if something goes wrong is not very fair. I understand the frustration when something goes wrong but one must empathize with HobbyGamesMart. Imagine if where you worked, a client came to you, said something had gone wrong and showed he had signed all the papers that you were not responsible but insisted you take responsibility and give him satisfactory reparations to what he believed he deserves. Would you accept that as fair?

And one does not think for example, a 2 page apology would make you any more happy with the situation. Having too dealt with HobbyGamesMart many times, I hardly think he would send you a rude reply.
 
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Simon Quinn
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I can't say I am surprised by the strong responses...everyone seems to have different experiences and expectations when dealing with retailers. My expectation was that they would take steps to ensure that the shipping method they chose and the timeframes they stated would be reliable and accurate. Having told them my order has not arrived I expected some kind of offer of recompense rather than hearing that it was tough luck on my part. Their response was perhaps more unexpected and disappointing than rude. I guess I am used to receiving goods I order online, no matter the shipping method.

As I have found in the past on BGG, sharing a negative experience invariably leads to attacks on the poster, rather than an empathetic response which is probably more what I was after.

TL,DR: I paid money for something that I haven't got because I accepted a risky shipping method that was offered. BUYER BEWARE!!
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Brett B
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hobbygamesmart wrote:
Of course our shipping terms are not the best. But in order to support our overseas customers, this is the best we can do at the moment.

This idea that sellers can take your money, put something in the post and then wash their hands of it if it doesn't arrive is the epitome of bad customer service. I simply will not deal with sellers that have this attitude. So, thank you for the warning.

Regarding lower cost postage: If I choose a lower cost postage method I'm not signing a waiver that says I'm OK with not receiving the game at all. It just means I'm happy to accept a slower delivery time. That's it. I still expect to get my game eventually.

If a seller doesn't have confidence that a particular delivery service is reliable then they should not offer that service. If they offer it then they have to factor in the cost of resupplying lost games.

It's not rocket science; when a customer gives you money you need to make sure they get what they paid for, not blame them for your lousy shipping options.
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Simon Quinn
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bouchbre wrote:
hobbygamesmart wrote:
Of course our shipping terms are not the best. But in order to support our overseas customers, this is the best we can do at the moment.

This idea that sellers can take your money, put something in the post and then wash their hands of it if it doesn't arrive is the epitome of bad customer service. I simply will not deal with sellers that have this attitude. So, thank you for the warning.

Regarding lower cost postage: If I choose a lower cost postage method I'm not signing a waiver that says I'm OK with not receiving the game at all. It just means I'm happy to accept a slower delivery time. That's it. I still expect to get my game eventually.

If a seller doesn't have confidence that a particular delivery service is reliable then they should not offer that service. If they offer it then they have to factor in the cost of resupplying lost games.

It's not rocket science; when a customer gives you money you need to make sure they get what they paid for, not blame them for your lousy shipping options.


Thank you for summarizing my feelings and frustrations better than I could!
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Chris in Kansai
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slimo wrote:
I can't say I am surprised by the strong responses...everyone seems to have different experiences and expectations when dealing with retailers. My expectation was that they would take steps to ensure that the shipping method they chose and the timeframes they stated would be reliable and accurate. Having told them my order has not arrived I expected some kind of offer of recompense rather than hearing that it was tough luck on my part. Their response was perhaps more unexpected and disappointing than rude. I guess I am used to receiving goods I order online, no matter the shipping method.

As I have found in the past on BGG, sharing a negative experience invariably leads to attacks on the poster, rather than an empathetic response which is probably more what I was after.

TL,DR: I paid money for something that I haven't got because I accepted a risky shipping method that was offered. BUYER BEWARE!!


Huh?? I see two responses disagreeing with you from people who've dealt with Hobby Games Mart and had good experiences with them, and one from me and I certainly make any personal attack either.

Whatever, I hope you don't lose any more orders in future, but expecting a level of guarantee on delivery that you're not willing to pay for is unrealistic imho.
 
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Simon Quinn
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Chrysm wrote:
Whatever, I hope you don't lose any more orders in future, but expecting a level of guarantee on delivery that you're not willing to pay for is unrealistic imho.


It seems like this is where most people are differing...running an online shop and offering a delivery service that is untraceable is unrealistic imho.
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Chris in Kansai
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Thing is, nowadays in many cases the only cheap mail option (surface / slow, untracked) is the national postal services, and if you want trackable it costs more. Take them out of the loop and you're left with the private carriers like DHL, FedEx and so forth. The private carriers don't offer an untracked surface option and their prices are sky high.

As an example, I can order something the size of the new edition San Juan card game from Cardhaus in the US with the following shipping options:

USPS First class mail (no tracking) $13.80

USPS Priority mail (tracked) $57.64

UPS (tracked) $47.20

For a game costing $22, the only reasonable choice for me is the first one. I DON'T want Cardhaus to restrict themselves to only trackable shipping because it's way too expensive, and so I'm prepared to take responsibility for my choice should a package not arrive. (Thankfully this has never happened from the US).

If online retailers start guaranteeing replacements for items lost through non-tracked shipping, it's a minefield for them. They have no way of knowing if the item was genuinely lost or if the customer's being unscrupulous, and if they have to factor this service into their bottom line, base prices will have to go up, right? It'd be easier for them just to only ship trackable as you're suggesting. I for one don't want that.
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Simon Quinn
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Chrysm wrote:
Thing is, nowadays in many cases the only cheap mail option (surface / slow, untracked) is the national postal services, and if you want trackable it costs more. Take them out of the loop and you're left with the private carriers like DHL, FedEx and so forth. The private carriers don't offer an untracked surface option and their prices are sky high.

As an example, I can order something the size of the new edition San Juan card game from Cardhaus in the US with the following shipping options:

USPS First class mail (no tracking) $13.80

USPS Priority mail (tracked) $57.64

UPS (tracked) $47.20

For a game costing $22, the only reasonable choice for me is the first one. I DON'T want Cardhaus to restrict themselves to only trackable shipping because it's way too expensive, and so I'm prepared to take responsibility for my choice should a package not arrive. (Thankfully this has never happened from the US).

If online retailers start guaranteeing replacements for items lost through non-tracked shipping, it's a minefield for them. They have no way of knowing if the item was genuinely lost or if the customer's being unscrupulous, and if they have to factor this service into their bottom line, base prices will have to go up, right? It'd be easier for them just to only ship trackable as you're suggesting. I for one don't want that.


I agree that it's an unfortunate situation. Honestly I didn't realise that this is a thing..all companies I have used in the past have only offered tracked shipping.
Absolutely I could be sitting here with the game in my hand lying and kicking up a stink to try to get a refund. Unfortunately, the current situation I find myself in is that only one of the parties involved in the exchange of goods got what was agreed.
 
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Chris in Kansai
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Well, on that point we're in total agreement - it sucks when it happens!

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Selwyn Hope
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A bricks and mortar store has high overheads (renting store space, unsold stock on the shelves, hiring staff) which are passed on to the customer in the form of higher prices of games.

An online store has low overheads, but one of these IS the cost of good customer support.

I would and DO expect an online seller to offer some sort of protection or guarantee with the sale. If they don't or won't I will spend that extra $$ in the bricks and mortar store.
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Wayne Ong
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I'm being a realist here just to add my point of view.

If HGM does nothing else about this despite your complain, other overseas customers can take notice and avoid patronising them or use the non tracking option. Lesson learnt, move on, HGM lost a customer or more.

If HGM was to do something, I would think it's to remove the option of the non tracking shipping, unless requested specifically. This from an online retailer myself. I disagree with compensation for non tracking deliveries, especially when the complain has become public, many non delivery requests becomes inevitable. Thou I must say I have absolute trust in our BG community =)

All this from personal experience.

I'll continue to buy from HGM, as their service to *me has been exemplary. Fair prices, personal delivery to the home and office, and especially appreciate the cash on delivery pre-order system .

PS: Still waiting for my SOS Titanic guys... but that is to be expected from a difficult to find game lol
 
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roger miller
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I put insurance on my overseas packages being sent through the national mail systems. That way if lost I can get my money back and replace the order of the person who bought it.
 
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Simon Quinn
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Day 76: Hopes still high. Mailbox is still a desolate and lonely place. Rumours of a ghostly mailman sighted earlier. Unconfirmed. Will follow up tomorrow.
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Brian Compton
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One year later, did it ever arrive?
 
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