Are we complaining too much?

I hope I’m not the only one to notice this… Numerous new threads showing up every week, complaining about bad service and long shipping times from chinese sellers, then expecting an instant response from the other side of the world, written with perfect english, otherwise start a paypal claim and ask for refund even before they let the seller offer a fair solution.

Are we complaining too much? Are we abusing the refund system? Are we killing these budget dealers?

I have been dealing with Chinese online stores for… maybe a decade already? it was long before aliexpress even existed, dealextreme was in its firsts steps and the hot topic over the other forum was incan SF lights. With time and use of common sense I have learn how to deal with them, how to avoid getting scammed and how to know something is too good to be true. I really can’t recall being scammed or having a package get lost, sure I’ve received defective items, but they have always been solved by communicating with the seller. This includes (but not limited to) gearbest, fasttech and banggood.

When you think you’re paying less for an item, it’s way more than that. Shipping, customer service, warranty department, etc they are not free to operate, you’re just paying less for service. It seems like some people don’t understand how international shipping works, they’d be surprised how much of the cost of an item is actually spent to cover the “free shipping”.

If we constantly abuse the refund system and start unnecessary claims, other people will end up paying for it, keep in mind that a smart company will always find new ways to cover the losses. After some time we will notice stuff go up in price and then ask why? BTW is this already happening.

I think I have uploaded this picture before, but here is it again and I think it should be placed on top of the “budget dealer experience” forum category. As a reminder that we just can’t have it all.

Yes. Absolutely.

Their profit margin appears to be good according to a few sources that have posted on BLF over the years, and while shipping times suck that is not unexpected, but sending wrong/defective items is not acceptable and is preventable. If people want their lights faster most websites offer expedited for an extra charge (which is the best way to handle it, you want speed you pay extra, you can wait you save money)
If the costs of after sales service is too high they can spend less money on it by selling better products, which is why paypal has such “unacceptable” conditions. If this is too onerous they can refuse to accept paypal, drop their prices and see how they do when their reputation sinks them. I know of no website that charges less for not using paypal, so they pocket that extra profit.

When companies like Convoy can produce good products or good prices it makes sense to believe that their competitors can do the same. The LEDs are from Cree (fake latticebright is one examples of scamming consumers that we won’t tolerate), the drivers are 105C, which is proven durable, and the switches are omten i believe, also reliable, the only wildcard is the aluminum and anodizing (and physical design of the light using that aluminum/ano).

If we were asking too much i would completely agree with you, but few on BLF are trying to get their products below cost, we just want a fair price and reasonable durability which is not hard to achieve if one deals honestly. To be honest this is pure capitalism, no laws or standards to get in the way, cost cutting, counterfeiting, substitutions, poor quality, poor service and unsafe products are the result.


My own opinion is we aren’t complaining enough because they aren’t getting it. The false mis-leading advertising, lack of specs (honest ones), worsening quality, careless handling and poor packing is all avoidable and you can’t blame a language barrier for all this. I started with Dino Direct, DX, and Manafont about 5 years ago, and it seems worse now than it was then.


yes, how many times did you read advice “just file a paypal complaint”, too many times I would say.

Probably but slowly, prices are going up constantly…

Ya Think??

What MAY help, or not, is a nice big Sticky for new members to have to read before joining. They should have to check off that they read and understand it.

It would list the following :

  • This BLF Forum is not to be used as a Bully Pulpit on order to extort freebies from vendors.
  • Budget flashlights do not generally come with any directions, are packed badly and may have small imperfections.
  • Do not go off on Group Buy originators/members for problems before you know a problem legitimately exists.
    Then be nice when communication with group buy originators, these members do not do this for a living, they do it to help the cause.
    Show some respect, it doesn’t cost you anything and it is just good manners.
  • China is a far away country, your orders are going to be slow, set expectations accordingly.
  • A list of major China Holidays with a recommendation to not order items at a time near those dates, or order something that you do not care when it arrives.
  • Here’s the Biggy, once the package leaves the vendors hands, they have NO control over the shipping time. Zero, deal with it.

I am sure this list can be expanded upon, these items are just quick thinks.

Well I think it’s both. Don’t expect everything to show up overnight and have a little patience. BUT when they do try and stick you with a garbage product you should complain and make them get their act together or shop someplace else. Vote for your favorite vendors with your money. Stop supporting the ones that have ripped you off. There are good vendors around and yes sometimes they go downhill fast. I used to love Fasttech and shopped there since they opened their doors. Now they don’t seem to care at all about us as customers (They are not the only ones either). On the other hand I have had vendors like Hank over at international outdoors who has gone out of his way more than once to find me items that I couldn’t get anyplace else AND he is yet to mess up a single order of mine. And I’m talking about a TON of orders, thousands of dollars worth.

I support the vendors who treat me well and when they don’t they lose my business. I’ll even buy from some odd ball e-bay or even aliexpress vendor who I don’t know, before I support one that I know ripped me off and then offered me a half baked apology and ten cents on the dollar back.

So yeah, complain when they really do treat you like garbage but not over slow shipping because a lot of times that is out of their hands.

+1 on this…

Only you can manage your expectations…. (Smokey the disappointment bear, lol)

If I expect perfection, there are a lot of things can go wrong.

If I expect nothing good, I will not even order.

Somewhere in the middle is the solution, but the middle is a wide place, so I have to assess where I expect to find my happiness…

Learn how to mod and fix the inevitable. Think of it as buying seconds and you won’t be far off(either in price or overall quality). I’d include a reference to a list of issues common to flashlights in general in the op of any GB with a disclaimer that any or all of them might be present or occur and to proceed knowing in advance what you might have to deal with. Buy yourself some grownup panties and wear ‘em out. Be polite, it’s free, it’s effective, and it’s free too. Be politely persistent. Way too many posts by them’ as can’t be bothered to read about what they’re buying and are completely surprised by things written about for months. Read, dammit! Sorry, my po-lite broke. :stuck_out_tongue:

My thread from a year and a half ago.

We can’t change an entire culture. Deal with the shortcomings or stop buying from them. The 30Q battery thing is rediculous. Some want to just keep the batteries for free even though BG said they would pay shipping. Oh, it’s against the law, give me a break.

I am not aware of this 30Q issue

Yes, it’s sad how some people saw the (honest) mistake as an opportunity to get 4 free cells. “they’re the chinese, it’s ok”.

While I agree with your sentiments, for the record, I do not believe BG has offered to pay for the return shipping yet. (PM me with any references that you might have to show me otherwise and I’ll be happy to edit/retract this statement.)

Sorry for sidetracking this discussion.

As to the subject matter, my opinion is that it is a seasonal thing. Cabin fever. Winter doldrums. Call it what you like.

Personally, I find myself in an easily irritatable mood. Imbeciles driving on the roadway bother me. AM sport talk show hosts bother me. The over-analysis of political campaigns and of financial markets bother me.

I need a beer. :beer: :beer: :beer:

I believe the complaints regarding slowness of shipping are usually not valid. Reason; most of these shipments involve the lowest cost carriers and low cost shipping = slow shipping. As was mentioned after the item has shipped the delivery is no longer under the control of the seller.

I believe the complaints about wrong goods being shipped are absolutely valid. There is no good excuse for shipping the wrong item, wrong color or wrong size. To me it makes no difference where in the world you are, you deserve to receive accuracy in order fulfillment. Sloppy warehouse work should not be rewarded anywhere. Not if the sellers are trying to survive in a global economy.

As for defective or shoddily made goods, that gets interesting. Very low prices might mean some risk is involved. I factor in the fact that some items may arrive deficient. A lousy cold solder joint on a board, whatever. Some deficiencies can be repaired at almost no cost to me. However, if the seller lies outright about the genuineness of a product, that is inexcusable. An LB emitter can not be called a Cree just because it emits light.

If we don’t complain when the complaint is fully justified there is no incentive for the seller to do better. Again if we accept that this is a global economy we should all, sellers and buyers, act under the same rules and obligations. Cultural differences around the world usually don’t enter into the transaction. Online purchases leave no room for price haggling like we get into in countries like India and others in the far east. This does seem to arise when we are faced with negotiating with foreign customer service people. The haggling comes natural in many countries and nobody accepts the first offer on anything. Not even to buy banana chips from a street vendor in Mumbai. Somehow that kind of haggling seems fine but I like my online customer service experience to be more straightforward. More “western”.

Just an opinion. Or two. :slight_smile:

Don’t research it… I stopped reading the thread before the issues arose and decided to go back and read it… What a mistake that was. Some people’s responses literally gave me a headache.

See post 543 and 545.

You are correct MtnDon, without complaints there can be no feedback, without feedback, no improvement.

The wrong goods thing, like what happened with the 30Q button top ordered/flat top received are a different issue on a case by case basis. BLF and Banggood had done this with each other and for each other, so for some of the members here to just jump on the “they screwed us on purpose” bandwagon was ridiculous. This was a coordinated buy, not a conspiracy. In some cases, and with some vendors, it is a bait and switch… I have filed claims for stuff like that too…

The other side of a story like this, and why in this case I feel so strongly about the mix up… I was the guy on second shift in a warehouse once that discovered they had the wrong item in the slot. It was similar, but a different item (bread mix, and I was a temp) that was put in the pick area of the “correct” item. I was picking and put the UPC to the scanner, it showed the “correct” item (UPC on shelf…), I pulled the two pallets on my list and delivered them to the loading dock. I then noticed they were right next to the same item from another driver… A little investigation later and I found someone had stocked the ones I pulled in the wrong area. There was no malicious intent on either my side to “screw” someone for messing up, nor from the person that took an almost similar item to the wrong slot. It just happens at times. As I had “rocked” the boat, I got let go a few days later, in some places bringing up others mistakes makes you a threat to them… Eh, it was a temp job, plenty more to be found at the time…

There were hundreds of items in that warehouse, had I not put my pallets next to the SAME kind from another driver and seen the similarity, I would have gone on about my day and not known any the better… Sometimes good things come with coincidence, sometimes bad…

The only difference in that battery buy was a button top vs flat top, I bet 98% of the people seeing either one (both the same color and markings) would NOT know which was which if they were viewed one at a time…. I am going to say the person in the warehouse that did pull them did not know the difference, and even if they had, perhaps they did not want to lose their job by telling about a mistake they found. It does happen… How many other types of products were in that warehouse? How many people really know batteries?

I look a these things on a case by case basis. I think that helps too…

For some reason I think I have noticed a lot of first time posters complaining. Like they join the forums just to complain.

How about a rule no complaining until your 100th post and 3 months after joining.

I think most of the complaining from established members is validated.

Now I will complain. BLF A6 shorty tube. Its been a mess for some time. Guess what, there still selling the defective tubes.

Well. the 30Q deal wasn’t cheap (about the going rate for anyone that shops around), it certainly wasn’t good (sent the wrong item), and the jerk around CS certainly isn’t fast. I’ve been a loyal customer of theirs and have upheld my end of the many, many deals I have made with them. I haven’t asked for free cells. But if they want me to accept cells I didn’t order, the price better be very good. $2.50 works for me, but I refuse on principle to buy more cells as part of a settlement. That is not complaining. That is demanding respect. Fix this and then I move forward with them and make more purchases.