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Author Topic: Having fun with SparkFun  (Read 1130 times)
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Recently, I bought a part (a Doson chip) from SparkFun Electronics.  When I received the tiny part, it was plain that the part was way too small for me to work with.  I sent an email to SparkFun to ask if I could return the part, and explained why.  They agreed to take it back, but there would be a restocking charge, etc., OK with me.

I packaged the item up, and sent it back.  I also informed SparfFun customer service, by email, that the part was on the way.  SparkFun replied and stated that they would be looking for the package, and petulantly reminded me to follow proper return procedure ever after that.  ( I had failed to add the "attn. So-And-So" to the address.)

A few days later, the package returned to ME, someone had written REFUSED on the package and circled my return address sticker.  I had used one of MY WIFE's return address stickers.  They refused to take back the part, which they had agreed to accept, because MY WIFE'S  NAME WAS ON THE RETURN ADDRESS STICKER.

Since my wife and I share the same last name, and both live at the same address, which SparkFun has on record, I thought it would be OK.

Ah, well.  
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Goes to prove that even with very a cool outfit such as SparkFun, bureaucrats can find a way to tunnel in and do their thing, like cockroaches almost.  smiley-wink

Lefty
« Last Edit: November 14, 2009, 11:23:47 pm by retrolefty » Logged

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Awwwww.... Sparkfun, that's -20pts for you...
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I had purchased quite a few items from Sparkfun before, and have had fast,reliant service.  I sent a part back once before with no peoblems.

In this case, it was probably one customer service person who made that petty decision.

Looking throughout the internet, I see that there are many, MANY other places to buy electronics parts.

PO'T
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I've had a few minor bad experiences with SparkFun.  I try to avoid them when possible.
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Not to ask you to tarnish their rep, but out of interest, what exactly do you mean? I've been loyal to them since my first arduino. Should I be on the lookout?
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Strange, I have nothing but good things to say about SparkFun.  I've had one problem with an order which they handled very elegantly. I have a feeling this is a isolated incident that they would handle through emails to them directly.
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The problems I've had are with the "passive components" they sell (switches, buttons, LEDs, buzzers, etcetera)...

Occasionally, what they sent was not what was shown, didn't match the description, and didn't match the specifications.  The part has always been close enough for them to say it was what I ordered but not always close enough for me to use it.

I've been sent a few defective parts.  They simply didn't work and went in the trash.


I'll use an example of how I feel about them...

Let's say I want a GPS receiver and they have the best price.  I'll order it.  Let's also say I need a few pushbuttons.  Instead of adding the pushbuttons to the order to save a few dollars on shipping, I'll wait and buy them from someone else.  In other words, I will happily pay for a second shipment from another vendor rather than dealing with the possibility of a "wrong" part or a defective part.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 02:07:00 am by bcook » Logged

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Strange, I have nothing but good things to say about SparkFun.  I've had one problem with an order which they handled very elegantly. I have a feeling this is a isolated incident that they would handle through emails to them directly.

Yes, same. I have had no issues whatsoever. It'll have been one of the dog's or something (literally) smiley-grin Anyone who's read about sparkfun will know what I mean.

All companies have slip ups occasionally so I wouldn't try to tarnish their reputation too quickly.

Mowcius
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I will happily pay for a second shipment from another vendor rather than dealing with the possibility of a "wrong" part or a defective part.

I understand. But like many have said, it's probably just isolated instances (you just happen to be the unlucky one who gets the ace every time). One thing that I must give to them is their readiness to publish the eagle files for most, if not all, of their products (at least, the ones they designed themselves). Other companies tend to monopolize upon their products by keeping schematics to themselves (cough, cough - pololu) but sparkfun really stays as true as they can to the open source spirit.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 02:54:16 am by jezuz » Logged

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I understand. But like many have said, it's probably just isolated instances (you just happen to be the unlucky one who gets the ace every time). One thing that I must give to them is their readiness to publish the eagle files for most, if not all, of their products (at least, the ones they designed themselves). Other companies tend to monopolize upon their products by keeping schematics to themselves (cough, cough - pololu) but sparkfun really stays as true as they can to the open source spirit.

Still totally agree, open source  - good (if they don't have the eagle files etc then you can normally just ask and they'll provide them), product range - good, service - good (in my experience), pricing - good, bla bla bla

Mowcius
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I'm not trying to ruin Sparkfun's reputation.  I've always had good service from them in the past.  I will probably continue ordering from them in the future.

I just thought that it was silly, even humorous, that some peevish clerk decided to teach me a lesson for improperly addressing, or labeling, the envelope in which I returned the part.  They never bothered to open the envelope to see what was inside, and they knew that I was sending the part back.

Yes, I'm sure it was just one person that made the decision, otherwise I've had good servce from them.

(OP) PO'T
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I just thought that it was silly, even humorous, that some peevish clerk decided to teach me a lesson for improperly addressing, or labeling, the envelope in which I returned the part.  They never bothered to open the envelope to see what was inside, and they knew that I was sending the part back.
Well hopefully it has taught you a lesson  ;D

Mowcius
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How many "isolated incidents" does it take to make a trend? SF management should be all over this -- "Customer Dis-service" gets around, and can kill a company quicker than anything else.

--Rich
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Sparkfun contacted me by email, apologized and asked me to try again.

PO'T (OP)  smiley-wink
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