Futurlec...  legit or scam?

Hey all,
I ordered a bunch of stuff from Futurlec a month and a half ago and have not received my order. Plus, when I ordered, i was given my total. then when I checked my bank account the charge was more than the invoice. Then a day later I was charged again for like 2 bucks. What gives. So, is the norm for them or what?

I’ve ordered from them twice, and have always received what I ordered, but it did take a while.

Also, I did have a small extra charge show up on my credit card, and was wondering what is was for as I didn’t see any email. However, I found their email in my Spam folder, and it explained that it was due to an increase in shipping since it weighed more than they originally estimated.

The only other problem I had was that about a month later, I got a bill from Fed-Ex about owing Duty Tax on the shipment (only like $14 for a 500 order - so not too bad.)

All in all, it was a bit slow, and I did have a few extra expenses, but the cost saving on many items (not all) were very substantial.

I ordered several times from Futurlec (usually around 20$) and never had any problem. A bit long to ship but the stuff is cheap.

Similar to melka, I have placed a couple of orders with them without any problem and I have recommended them a few times in these threads. I would be interested to hear how they respond; please keep us posted.

I’ve been waiting a month for an order, and so far all I’ve gotten are boilerplate replies assuring me that it should arrive “shortly” or “soon”.

One interesting tidbit is that the order was shipped “from our distribution in Asia”, suggesting that they have jobbed out the order fulfillment to someplace cheaper than Australia.

I’m quite happy to trade “slow” for “cheap”, and I’ve done it many times. But I am annoyed that they tell U.S. customers to expect delivery in a week or two (normal from that part of the world) when a month or more appears to be routine.

Ran

Futurlec ship from Thailand. The are very clear on their web site that although they have offices in Australia, US and UK, they do not hold any stock in those places.
But is worrying if shipments are taking longer than a few weeks. Have you tried phoning their local sales office?

No I did not call, I did not see a US number. I have emailed a couple of times. 2 weeks ago I emailed and got a reply that is was shipped and should arrive soon. I tried again to email on Friday, and got a reply today from someone named AMP. He provided a postage number and said that I should follow up on it. I was a little frustrated with this, but in hopes of somehow finding my stuff, I went to the post office. They recognized the shipping information and started looking in their system. The number is not even listed in the US. He said that once the package comes in, it is then scanned and put into the USPS database. This is not the case with my number. So… I will be emailing “AMP” tonight. I do not want to be their customer support and track down my own package. This was ordered on 1/17/09. I do not know if I can ask for a refund or not, but I am nearing that point. I need those pieces for a project I am working on and am now also considering shelling out the extra bucks and ordering another set from Mouser so I can finish.

More so, I have since made several orders from folks in Hong Kong and other Asian locations on ebay and have received the items weeks ago. So I know that the stuff can get here.

I too am waiting on an order. I did not realize I was ordering from overseas. My order was held up until Tuesday last week when it was finally shipped. Now I just have to wait for it to arrive. Hopefully, it’s soon.

The contact phone numbers are on their ‘About us’ page: http://www.futurlec.com/AboutUs.shtml

Good luck and please keep us informed of how you get on.

I appreciate that, I have been on that page. They are all fax numbers. No way to speak to a live person.

update. I emailed Amp again about the tracking #. I asked for a phone number to a live person.
This totally sux because I was quite interested in a number of other things. They have some neat solar battery chargers at a price that is really nice as well as many other cool things. Right now, I am out about $60. I do not think any more money will go to them until I get some reasonable answers. I understand that things from overseas can sometimes take a while, but this is a little over the top. The stuff from shure electronics on ebay took about 7 days. I am fine with 15 or 20 if I know that it is coming, I can plan for the delay. But, this seems different.

Are you waiting for a month after it says shipped in the order tracking? My order took two weeks before they shipped because they were out of stock.

Yeah, it was ordered in Jan. then after about 2 weeks, it was shipped (same issue, they were out of stuff). I got an email stating that it had been shipped and I would see it in 7-10 days. I waited and allowed extra time figuring it was traveling a ways. I figured that it was 10 business days so I even allowed for that before getting worried. (plus my family was getting annoyed with me constantly asking if anything came in the mail).

My order arrived yesterday. Safe and sound, well-packed, and apparently complete (I haven’t double-checked every single one of the 59 line items, but I didn’t notice anything missing).

Nothing (like customs stamps or signs of opening for inspection) to indicate where it had been for the extra 2+ weeks.

I’m still slightly miffed about it taking longer than promised/expected to arrive, but not so much so that I won’t be buying from them again.

I bought some of their banana plugs and jacks because I like to use them for creating test harnesses. The 60-cent stackable plugs have a nicer design for attaching the wire than the 95-cent ones, but the design of the plug shaft is kinda cheesy, and looks like it won’t have as much contact area as the ones with a more standard design. Also, they seem to be just a teensy bit oversize: I couldn’t insert them into the cross-hole of the 40-cent banana plugs.

The 10-cent binding posts were, not surprisingly, not as nice as the ones that sell for several times that price. They’re missing the cross-hole in the post that I always use to help keep the captive wire captive. And they’re not designed so you can’t accidentally spin off the knob they way more-expensive ones are. But they’re not the junk that I half-expected/feared at the price: there’s even a threaded metal insert in the knob so it doesn’t quickly wear and get sloppy. I wouldn’t use them for a high-volume manufacturing test fixture, but they’re a great example of how something that’s half as good, at a tenth the price, can enable hobbyists to make better stuff.

Ran

I’ve purchased from Futurlec more than 10 times. At the beginning, the packages arrived with USPS stamps, but always 15 to 21 days after the order was placed. My guess is that they send a bunch of packges in low cost carriers, then somebody in the US separates the boxes and stamps them for US domestic shipment. As I increased the volume of each purchase, later orders arrived in boxes stamped directly using Thailand Postal Service.
Communication is very bad, but I always received the orders.

I got my order today too. Looks like everything is here.

I was wrong, missing a couple small parts. F-it.

I was wrong, missing a couple small parts. F-it.

email their sales group. You’ll typically get a reply from “Amp” saying they’ve shipped them out for you. They almost always do.
Check and make sure your parts are correct to. They routinely get the wrong decade of resistor or wrong style of component (eg N/O switches instead of N/C or CA displays instead of CC). They also routinely replace smaller strip-headers with big ones. If you complain they’ll ship the smaller ones.

At the beginning, the packages arrived with USPS stamps, but always 15 to 21 days after the order was placed. My guess is that they send a bunch of packges in low cost carriers, then somebody in the US separates the boxes and stamps them for US domestic shipment. As I increased the volume of each purchase, later orders arrived in boxes stamped directly using Thailand Postal Service.

The answer is actually much simpler, years ago, Futurlec used to have a North-American warehouse in the US somewhere, if things were in stock they shipped from there in a matter of days, if things weren’t in stock, you got stuck waiting two weeks for them to come from Thailand then shipped.
Today they only operate out of Thailand (hence the Thai postal marks). If you order an awful lot of something though, it seems they have a warehouse/manufacturer in Vietnam.

A tip with Futurlec though, now that they’ve move to Thailand, the “express” shipping option is actually FedEx International Economy (2 days to most of the world). Assuming they have everything in stock, you usually get things in under 4 days.

I really wish they’d implement an actual inventory system though.

Ok, so here is the update. I tried to reach Futurelec via email again and still no response. So, I called my bank and I asked what I should do. They said that they could stop payment and they would investigate it. So I put in the stop payment. They credited my account. I then spent a lot of time re-figuring what I needed, then finding what I needed on Mouser and BGMicro and ordered most of what I had ordered from Futurelec. I ordered this stuff on Thursday. Needless to say, I payed a heck of a lot more to get it in the US. The part I was a little sad about was the solar panels. I had ordered a bunch of little 2v 90ma. and 3.5 v 45ma. solar panels which I would not have now. Friday comes and I got an email with a real tracking number that I can actually log in to a system and see where my package actually is. Woohoo… Progress!

Perhaps not. I get home Friday night and there is a little note on the front door. It is from the post office. It has a tracking number from Thailand. Awwwww shitsu. 2+Months of waiting and the day after I order from somewhere else, it shows up. So, now, not only do I get to pay more, I get to pay again. I gotta call the bank and tell them that it arrived. Which means they will now pull the cash back out. Murphy is laughing his head off.

I went and picked up the package and I think everything is right, but I need to compare it to my order. I don’t know. I am not sure if it is worth the headaches to do this again.

I recently Placed 2 orders with Futurlec, one on March 25th and one on March 26th. I got Emails saying both have been Despached the day after each order was placed. I’ll keep you posted how it ends up. I wish I would have seen this thread before I placed the orders but I guess I’m not in any hurry, as long as I get my parts the Wait will be worth it.