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 Post subject: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:32 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Shelby Township, MI. USA
In mid August I paid $661 (including shipping charges) for some custom built puzzles direct from the builder. When he sent me the invoices he told me the puzzles were ready.

On September 30 I had not yet received the puzzles so I contacted the builder. I was told “I have the puzzles on my desk” and “I promise you, you will be receiving them soon” and “I also will be including a bonus puzzle with your package… to compensate you for the delay.”

On November 30 I still had not yet received the puzzles so I once again contacted him. I was then told that “they will be in the mail tomorrow, I will send them express.”

I then responded back requesting a tacking number with the thought that any express shipping that I’m aware of generally has one. I didn’t get a response.

Yesterday I once again attempted to contact the builder asking if he had shipped the puzzles and if he had a tracking number. If he hasn’t then I requested that he refund my money. I haven’t gotten a response yet even though I know he read this and all previous messages.

I feel that I have been more then patient with this. At this time I really just want my money back (plus any PayPal fees that will get tacked onto the transfer). It is already far to late to open a case with PayPal or my credit card so I think I’m stuck just hoping that he either sends the puzzles or pays me back.

Note that I’ve purposely not named this builder as he is a prominent and well respected member of this community and I really don’t want to tarnish his reputation, but I will if I have to.

Does anyone have any advice for me in this situation?


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:29 am 
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I think you've handled this very reasonably, so I can only offer advice to the builder:

It's always tempting to make people happy in the short term by over-promising, especially when you fully intend to deliver. In the long run, however, customers will only be happy if you actually deliver and meet those expectations, therefore it is essential to manage their expectations in an open and honest way, even if you think the truth is not what they want to hear. I suspect you are currently having some issues with your personal finances, or basic motivation to see this work through, but by continuing down this road (repeatedly over-promising, failing to deliver, and then cutting off communication altogether), you are digging yourself deeper and deeper. You need to grow up, admit to yourself that you are having some issues, apologize to your customer and explain your situation in a very open and honest way (do NOT fall into the same trap of making promises you can't deliver, as they will not belive you now anyway). Then you might just be able to salvage some decent solution out of this mess, which will otherwise get worse.

Honesty is the best policy. You might even earn back a bit of respect that way.

Sounds harsh, but remember Volitar is giving you a very reasonable chance to redeem this situation, and I suspect he has reached the end of his patience...

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:37 am 
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This is probably the best thing you could've done.

There have been issues like this before and they've all been resolved AFTER a post was made about it here at TP.

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:02 am 
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You have handled this very well, however the builder has not. What puzzle had they supposedly built?


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:49 am 
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Location: Shelby Township, MI. USA
I’m not going to tell anyone who the builder is (not even in a PM) and I’m not going to say what the puzzles are as that would make it too easy to deduce who he is. I’m going to let him take the next step to resolve this situation. If I am not satisfied in a reasonable amount of time then I will make his identity known publically here. If he does resolve this to my satisfaction then I will remove this posting from the site (so please don’t quote my original post, it will make it easier for me to delete it if no one has it quoted).


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:50 am 
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VP, this is a very sensible and cool-headed way to handle this situation. Kudos. I hope this works out in your favor.


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:51 am 
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I feel very badly as I am currently sorta in the other role. I've got to get some orders out and I've been so darn busy at work that when I sit down to finish the puzzles I lose interest.

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:02 pm 
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Location: Marin, CA
I was also thinking of starting a topic on "puzzle debt". It's very dangerous to take money before you have finished puzzles, and I don't do that. But I DO trade occasionally against future puzzles, and I owe a number of puzzles I'm building right now to members of this community. They're all cast already, but as we all know, that's only the beginning of the process.

I am with Drew in that I've often felt guilt for not immediately finishing them, especially lately when I have been working on new designs instead, which isn't fair to the people I have traded with. They have all been much more patient than I deserve.

Even then, it's impossible for me to have sympathy for an unfilled cash order. Especially with unreturned emails. Just don't take payment until you have the puzzle in hand.

I've been telling myself recently that I will no longer be trading puzzles against future custom built puzzles. I don't use debt in real life, so I should with puzzle friends either. It makes puzzle building feel like paying off a credit card.

Puzzle building is a dangerous area to make promises in, since puzzles can fail when you thought they'd work, they might not look good, you might get bubbly stickers, molds might fail, and so on. It looks easier than it is in every respect!! I'm sure we've all thought at one point or another "I'll just cast 10 of these and then..."

There's a great lesson here for all of us-- Be VERY careful what you promise.

Volitar, I sinceerely hope your builder will be responsible about this and take care of you, even if it's just a refund.

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:54 pm 
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Location: Greece, Australia, Thailand, India, Singapore.
I agree with the previous replies. I hope this issue gets resolved.
In the past, I also had a similar case with costume puzzles on ebay, where one puzzle was in horrible
condition, and the next never arrived. The seller had not responded in three years, and if such a thread
starts, I will also reveal his ebay nickname as well as our correspondence. (In fact, I had made a post
about this issue in the past already).

It is one thing if there are honest mistakes, and another when the seller is rude and not honorable.


Pantazis

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:23 pm 
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This thread reminds me of when I promised the forum that I would have some magic octahedrons. I still feel bad about the entire thing never working out, and I did chew my buddy out pretty bad for it. I can not remember if I had apologized for getting everybody's hopes up, so just in case...

I SINCERELY APOLOGIZE FOR ANYBODY WHO WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO MY MAGIC OCTAHEDRON DISTRIBUTION. IT WAS MY FAULT THAT I HAD NOT OBTAINED THE PUZZLES BEFORE POSTING. (P.S. Working on .stl's for those who signed up for the raffle)

Now that that's out of the way, I hope that this builder will respond to your messages if not send you the puzzles. It is dishonorable that someone of this forum would not respond, so they should at least give you somewhat of recognition.

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:51 pm 
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Very bad situation, and very well handled so far. That is one thing I tried my hardest to do when I was building/selling puzzles. Yes, I had waiting lists, but I would never accept money ahead of time for a puzzle I didn't have built yet except for a few isolated incidents: 1) I sold a puzzle I made on ebay, and had a "second chance offer" purchaser, and I KNEW I could have the second one done asap or 2) for private trades- this is where I got into some trouble. I had an offer out there to trade any of my puzzles against certain ones I was looking for. Unfortunately, I was overwhelmed by so many awesome puzzles I wanted, I lost control. I know I would have worked through the list, but then my whole world turned upside down with this Leukemia. I have to thank a lot of people for helping me out with forgiveness, and Dave Calzone who took on my workload and filled a number of my obligations.

Sorry for the tangent, but I suspect this may be what is going on- someone got overzealous with the sales of their puzzles, or overwhelmed with a backlog. I hope this issue gets sorted out.


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:30 pm 
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Location: bay area, california
I'm in exactly the same boat, and with similar responses and offers... Probably the same builder...
Very frustrating...


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:12 pm 
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io wrote:
I was also thinking of starting a topic on "puzzle debt". But I DO trade occasionally [trade] against future puzzles, and I owe a number of puzzles I'm building right now to members of this community.

I am with Drew in that I've often felt guilt for not immediately finishing them, especially lately when I have been working on new designs instead, which isn't fair to the people I have traded with. They have all been much more patient than I deserve.

Even then, it's impossible for me to have sympathy for an unfilled cash order. Especially with unreturned emails. Just don't take payment until you have the puzzle in hand.

I've been telling myself recently that I will no longer be trading puzzles against future custom built puzzles. It makes puzzle building feel like paying off a credit card.

It looks easier than it is in every respect!! I'm sure we've all thought at one point or another "I'll just cast 10 of these and then..."


These are the points that I feel I can relate the most. Their is just one missing in my opinion. I made a trade for a 7x7x7 and a 3x3x4 (I was making the 3x3x4) right when the 7x7x7 hit market. Well, I stuck that order on the bottom of my list but my trader sent the 7x7x7 as soon as we met an agreement. Well, right when I was starting to make the 3x3x4s (3 or 4 for different people) the anouncement of the C4U one comming out hit. That is 3-4 urgent emails asking to cancel or switch. Well I have finally finished the replacement puzzle and it will be sent off soon.

I hope you get a resolution soon.

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:44 pm 
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@Volitar: Here are some random thoughts from another buyer who gets into situations with various details like yours. I've learned not to stress about it.

It may feel like it's taking forever while it's still unresolved, but you probably won't remember the frustration so intensely when you look back on it in the future. Time will pass, and your perspective will change.

A situation like this can arise when there's a perfect storm of conditions, like a builder who encountered a problem he didn't have experience with, and who made some bad guesses on how to cope with it, and whose time was pre-empted by some major life events. Odds are that your seller is learning a harsh lesson this way, and certainly won't repeat those mistakes in the future. Sorry, that doesn't really help you does it?

You don't owe it to your seller to put up with this hassle. But it would be constructive if you try to be supportive anyway, even if it exceeds your obligation. I wouldn't be surprised if your seller has drafted a dozen half-unfinished email replies but has just been too timid to click Send. Strange as it sounds, try to reduce the pressure to resolve the situation and let your seller know it's okay to just communicate a little.

Here's a confession: I always feel a bit of secret satisfaction after resolving such conflicts amicably. Puzzle builders are a very scarce resource, so I'm proud to help them survive their disasters. It takes an investment of money, time, and patience...but I've ultimately been satisfied every time.

Sorry if that seems a bit random, but I couldn't boil it down to a neat concise fortune-cookie.


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:41 am 
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Location: Tokushima, Japan
From buyer's side:

Really the builder is harsh to buyer, when they sell those expensive puzzles, at first they need to tell the schedules.
And of course, if the buyer canceled the order, refund the cost soon.
It's really bad situation.


From custom builder's side:

Sorry for you, and I don't know how complex puzzles are ordererd from you, then this is only one of sample.
Any custom puzzles are needed long time to make it.

But therefore, if custom builders are ordered any puzzles, we need to tell for buyers periodically and if there are any accidents to delay the schedules.

Perhaps someone know my policy, I sent my custom puzzles at first, and after they got them, I got the payment, or return the puzzles for me, only bear the return shipment cost.
Of course, when I have some troubles to delay the schedules, I told for them as I can.
Really I worried those situations.


If you can contact for builder now, I recommend to tell about those situation for the person again, and please repossess your payment.

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:51 am 
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Location: Louisiana, US
I had a situation recently in which sometime in September, I put my name down for a custom built (fully functional) 3x3x5, gave him my Paypal email address, and he said it would be about a month. Well, after having had the opportunity to play with the C4U 3x3x4, and seeing all the other plethora of puzzles being released, I knew I needed to cut back some on my spending. So December 3rd rolls around, and he sends me the payment request. I hated to let him down, but the puzzle scene had changed dramatically since September, and so I politely refused his offer, telling him to pass it on to the next in line. I think he understood.

No money was exchanged, no huge loss. He did the right thing by waiting until the puzzle was ready. Now, he still has said puzzle to sell to someone else. Should even I feel guilty for turning down the offer after the 3 months of waiting, or is it the buyer's right to change their mind? :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 7:05 am 
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This isn't really about selling OR buying puzzles, it's more about managing expectations, and ethical values like transparency, honesty and integrity: saying what you do and doing what you say (ideally they should be the same thing).

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:23 am 
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We have had the same kind of problems with selling puzzles. Sometimes we
sent an invoice before the puzzle was finished so we would have money to ship
other puzzles aas well. It turned out to be hell to deal with and we haven't done
this for months.

My advice to the builder would be to just reply and be as sincere as possible. There is no point in putting yourself under this much pressure or putting the buyer in such a position that he is forced to create a topic on the subject.

I also have a couple of orders to be fixed, but it mixes in with all of the other customers and is very hard to keep up with both but we do the best we can to
keep everyone happy. We actually pay all of our bills with money from puzzle sales.
Neither one of us have a job. Also we have alot of customers ( and i mean alot ) to
deal with and it can sometimes be over whelming.

The most important thing to remember is NOT to lie. If you tel your customers
everything that is going on i.e: air bubbles, molds, stickers, finances, ect. They
will always be more willing to work with you and maybe be more patient. Talking
can really make all the difference.

As for the buyer, I am very sorry you have to go through this And i must agree with everyone else in saying you went about this the right way. I hope you can get this resolved. Good luck.

-C&E

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:34 am 
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Location: Shelby Township, MI. USA
The builder has contacted me so things are once again possibly progressing. I’ll post further updates as necessary. Hopefully everything works out well.


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:45 pm 
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Location: bay area, california
I know I'm bumping this, but did your situation ever get resolved?

I'm in a similar boat with a well known builder here on twisty puzzles...
I keep e-mailing now and then, to get a reply that they have my puzzles in their car,
ready to send, etc... I paid the money back in July... I'm incredibly frustrated by this
person's actions, and would love either the puzzles or a refund, but haven't gotten either...

My next steps are to "out" this builder as a warning to other buyers... I'd rather not do so, but I'm not left with many other options....

Cheers,
Derek


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:18 pm 
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Derek Bosch wrote:
I know I'm bumping this, but did your situation ever get resolved?

I'm in a similar boat with a well known builder here on twisty puzzles...
I keep e-mailing now and then, to get a reply that they have my puzzles in their car,
ready to send, etc... I paid the money back in July... I'm incredibly frustrated by this
person's actions, and would love either the puzzles or a refund, but haven't gotten either...

My next steps are to "out" this builder as a warning to other buyers... I'd rather not do so, but I'm not left with many other options....

Cheers,
Derek


If it has been that long and they are still giving you the run-around you may want to tell people on here who it is so that other users do not get hit by this person...


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:50 pm 
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Location: Shelby Township, MI. USA
Here's a bit of an update:

On December 16 the builder contacted me and told me that he would both send me the puzzles and issue a refund. While I do appreciate it, I don't seriously expect that out of him. I would really be satisfied with either.

The builder has started refunding my money, in installments. So far I've received 2 payments totaling about 40% of what I paid. So there has been some progress. I'll be glad when it's done but am sad that I don't have the puzzles to add to my collection which I really wanted and was willing to pay for (had paid for).


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:33 pm 
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My situation also has improved, with word that the puzzle (and a few extras) actually shipped... I hope it is true, and will update when I get them!


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:51 am 
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Sadly, I have had problems with a person as well. One short reply saying I will check then nothing even after more messages.
Paypal time has passed. I'm screwed. It's a shame really because once burned twice shy. No matter how much I want something from this chap, he's blown it.
Ah well, live and learn.

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:38 am 
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Can you three see if it is the same person? I think if it is s/he needs their name out here.

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:06 pm 
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I have had a troublesome experience with a puzzle builder as well. It varies in that we were trading (expensive) mass produced puzzles, so the excuse of a puzzle debt can't be applied. The package that I sent arrived in about 3 days while it took six weeks and many emails from me to finally recieve my puzzle. I was promised a custom puzzle to compensate for the wait but this never showed.

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:25 pm 
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xsportx wrote:
it took six weeks and many emails from me

You are lucky!
I'm waiting two years and 5 months already and I don't know how many months ( years) I need to wait more. :?
From this person I receive only the promises, but not puzzle. :(

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:46 pm 
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I'm just glad none of this is about me! :lol:
I have one deal to finish up, but that's about it.


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:59 pm 
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Can you guys talk to each other and figure out if it is the same person? If it is I think this person should be known so that we don't get caught by this peron


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:23 pm 
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malevolant wrote:
Can you guys talk to each other and figure out if it is the same person? If it is I think this person should be known so that we don't get caught by this peron



as mentioned, he said he didn't want to say the name, because he is a well-respected puzzle builder.. we are a community, and obviously, it would be rude to ruin a good reputation due to a lack of communication.

as for my advice, i say keep to what you are doing. 600$ is alot of money, and if worse comes to worse, you should let a trustworthy twisty puzzler know of the name, to see if maybe he can talk it out with this guy.

i wish you the best of luck. i thought i got scammed like 20 dollars from a 3x3x2. i picked a random day on my calendar and it happened to be this monday, the 11th, to email him and ask because it had been past 4 weeks (and he said it should take two) next thing ya know, it came in the mail..

but what i dont understand is he seemed to have them built but didnt send em out.

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:01 pm 
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I think, if all these people are talking of the same builder, the person deserves to be shown on the forum.

The builder ruined their own reputation.

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:26 pm 
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There is a large difference between an agreement to build and a builder having taken money or trade and not completing their end. In the latter case there is also a big difference based on expectation. Unless otherwise stated, one assumes once they have paid/traded, the other party will complete their end in short order.

I have been and am currently on both sides of "slow expectation" trades, having some of my puzzles given for an incomplete trade and some puzzles I have owed for a bit. As long as expectations are communicated clearly in both directions both before and during the trade this is not a problem and depends on the trust between both parties.

The problem comes when the trade timeframe does not match expectations.

I believe there are a small number of of builders who have done this (sometimes to the point of completely failing to complete their end), and know of at least one builder who has shown a disturbing pattern of this. It is becoming increasingly difficult to not call them out publicly on this in the interests of their future customers.

As many have mentioned a single instance of this is regrettable and often understandable in extenuating circumstances.

A pattern of this behavior takes advantage of the good intentions of the community, with each disappointed customer thinking perhaps they are a special case.

It isn't responsible to allow others to fall prey to this bad business practice once a pattern has emerged.

I would strongly encourage the party in question (and I believe it is largely one person) to quickly do a few things:

1.) Immediately contact all of those to whom you have outstanding debts in the puzzle community. Communication is very, very important.
2.) Either return their money/puzzles or make a plan to complete your end of the trade, with measurable steps so they can confirm progress is being made.

Privately, of course, people are going to talk and your reputation has already taken a big hit.

If you are able to resolve past commitments in a short period of time perhaps your reputation may avoid public damage. But if you can't, you may well do better coming clean to the community now on your own, because people are frustrated enough to get beyond their good intentioned discretion.

We are a small and trusting community, but that trust has its limits.

In general the best practice, even with friends, is to not make any trade until you are both ready to ship your part. It avoids disappointment, because a builder of any experience knows things often don't go according to plan.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:00 pm 
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DLitwin wrote:
In general the best practice, even with friends, is to not make any trade until you are both ready to ship your part. It avoids disappointment, because a builder of any experience knows things often don't go according to plan.

Dave


This has become my golden rule of thumb for puzzle trades.

And I'm also glad this thread isn't about me, although I'm sure I'm not alone in the fact that this thread has helped me be aware of my own reliability in trades.

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:26 pm 
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Sorry for bumping this thread again,

I have a similar problem than some of you: I paid for a puzzle, paypal period of 45 days ended several months ago, and I haven't received any replies from the builder up to now

I hoped that after Dave's post things could have changed, but I see no movement in this thread, has anyone got his situation resolved or advanced since then? I hope things will go OK after all...


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:49 pm 
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I have gotten a 3rd payment so that brings my refund up to almost 70% of what I originally paid.


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:27 am 
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I have been following this thread for quite a while and now that I able to post, I need to throw this out in the air:

As a person not being in the inner circle of who's who in the puzzle world, I am not able to speculate as to who this person or persons that have no problems taking $661 in one lump sum and does not have the ability to fulfill their obligations or even pay back the amount received in the same manner that it was given. By withholding the person(s) name "to protect them" only harms all the honest, hard working, reliable puzzle makers. People who do not know a person's reputation whether it is good or bad would rather seek out an alternative way of purchasing the same puzzle than risk getting scammed ($250 Kilominx vs $36 Flowerminx).


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:54 am 
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Longhair wrote:
People who do not know a person's reputation whether it is good or bad would rather seek out an alternative way of purchasing the same puzzle than risk getting scammed ($250 Kilominx vs $36 Flowerminx).


Hey watch what you say a little, I believe you are talking about the kilominx on this page. That kilominx is handmade by David Litwin, the moderator and not to mention the designer of the flowerminx. I don't believe he still sells his handmade copies, but if he does they are worth the $250 as they are made from the inventor himself not a machine. As Roxane says you can't get the same love in a custom puzzle from a machine.

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:08 am 
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I can understand your concern Longhair. The problem as I see it is the builder is trying to make amends. We also don't know if it is the same builder. Hence we don't want to post and "ruin" many reputations.

I still haven't gotten an answer from the builder of my problems, but I also understand there is a family issue at this time and am both patient and a bleeding heart. (That and it's only $30).

There are many reliable puzzle builders, and if you question the honesty and integrity of any of them, you can always send a pm to Dave (or myself-although Dave is probably better)

I can also vouch for The Kilominx guy :wink: I've gotten more than one puzzle from him and he's not only a fantastic builder, but he's a pretty nice guy as well :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:08 am 
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The Kilominx / Flowerminx was just a random example without resulting toward ebay. Nothing more than that needs to be read into it.

katsmom, you say that "we" (I am guessing it is the people who have paid for and yet received a puzzle or a full refund) do no not want to "ruin" many reputations. The way I am seeing it is that by not posting the builder's name, it is basically ruining the reputation of all builders because someone like myself without insider information is not able to separate the good from the bad.

Sending a pm is only an option to people who have been accepted for membership on this forum, not people who lurk. This wouldn't be an issue if the only way to buy custom puzzles were through this site only. Unfortunately there are plenty of builders on here that also have their own websites selling custom puzzles - none of which can be trusted as long as the builder in question has their name protected out of fear of it being ruined. I know I would not want to be judged on the actions of somebody else.


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:49 pm 
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This is a tricky issue and I understand Longhair's point. My post above was an attempt to get things moving so parties can be satisfied and avoid having to out someone.

I have received the suggestion (and at times considered myself) the benefit of having a central source to which to turn in such situations, someone with a good reputation who can keep something private if it is a one time situation, but also perhaps be trusted by many so that a pattern of behavior does not continue without consequences. This would not necessarily be a happy role, as it would fall upon that person to perhaps call out a builder who is taking advantage of others, perhaps even a friend. But I could see how it could be a benefit to the community.

There is a lot of good will in the community, particularly for builders who have been in the community for a long time. No one wants to see that lost, but threads like this point out sometimes it isn't responsible to others turn a blind eye even if you are willing to take a loss yourself.

Regarding the Kilominx/Flowerminx I can undstand how that could look shady. I need to update that page to clarify things since the introduction of the Flowerminx. For any curious, I am still willing to build a hand built Kilominx (it does differ from the Flowerminx a bit) but I don't think there is much of a market for it now. And I would, of course, first point people to Meffert's site.

For those few who placed orders before the Flowerminx was released but after it was clear (privately to me) that Meffert would produce it I disclosed that the Flowerminx was in the works so they had the option to cancel their order. A few did but for those who kept their order I am sending them a signed Flowerminx ;)

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:52 pm 
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Well, how about a second acount for the "trusted, valued member" with a name of 'BadCop' or something similar. No one needs to know who it is just that they were apointed to be the bad cop and give needed information.

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:45 pm 
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Steryne wrote:
Well, how about a second acount for the "trusted, valued member" with a name of 'BadCop' or something similar. No one needs to know who it is just that they were apointed to be the bad cop and give needed information.
I don't know that Sandy or the Admin team necessarily want to volunteer this site to be an arbitrator of puzzle builder / puzzle buyer conflicts. But the idea of making such a person anonymous is interesting. It does stick us into the problem of who appoints such a bad cop of course,and presumably that appointer can't be anonymous...

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:51 pm 
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DLitwin wrote:
Steryne wrote:
Well, how about a second acount for the "trusted, valued member" with a name of 'BadCop' or something similar. No one needs to know who it is just that they were apointed to be the bad cop and give needed information.
I don't know that Sandy or the Admin team necessarily want to volunteer this site to be an arbitrator of puzzle builder / puzzle buyer conflicts. But the idea of making such a person anonymous is interesting. It does stick us into the problem of who appoints such a bad cop of course,and presumably that appointer can't be anonymous...

Dave

It could be one account used by various people/a team of people.

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:49 pm 
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I'll play the bad cop if it comes down to it. Although, reading Rox's latest post makes it fairly clear who the builder is.

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:29 pm 
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katsmom wrote:
I still haven't gotten an answer from the builder of my problems, but I also understand there is a family issue at this time and am both patient and a bleeding heart. (That and it's only $30).


EMarx wrote:
I'll play the bad cop if it comes down to it. Although, reading Rox's latest post makes it fairly clear who the builder is.

This is not me, in case that's who you were thinking. If I have ever ripped anyone off or done wrong with a sale, I would have no problem with them calling me out on this forum.

I do have to clarify one thing however- when I was diagnosed with leukemia, I had to immediately stop making puzzles, and get rid of all my supplies. I had two rather large trades in the works. I received the items from them, and was not able to satisfy my end of the deal. I had offered to send them back. However, when I stopped making the stuff, I gave all my supplies to Dave Calzone, who worked with the two people I was trading with to satisfy my obligation. Also, one of the two had emailed me personally and said I should not worry about anything, that I can keep them, but I didn't feel right doing that. Dave has since fulfilled my obligations in these two deals, and I am grateful for that, as well as the understanding and generosity from the two traders.

Anyway, it ain't me. :) Besides, I communicate with Rox all the time. She's a great friend.


Last edited by flambore on Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:31 pm 
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Not you Frank. :D

The only well-known builder around that hasn't posted here, and sells a thirty dollar product.

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:31 pm 
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Woah! Hold on EMarx, if you DON'T KNOW something for sure, it is always better to keep mum. You could be hurting someone through ignorance and speculation.

As a case in point, Frank immediately came on and justified himself. Many people may have thought it was him. "Family problems" could be anything. It doesn't necessarily belong to one builder or one issue.

$30 for all you wondering was an arbitrary number. I haven't told how much I paid for Dave's wonderful puzzles, and if you pay attention to my posts, a) I'm lousy with numbers and forget right away, and b) what I pay for my puzzles is my business, not yours-I don't post that anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:55 pm 
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While I have conversed with katsmom outside of this forum a few times I have never told her whom it is that I'm dealing with. My builder and her's probably aren't the same person. Besides, the person whom I am dealing with may or may not have actually posted in this thread as a matter of saving face while he makes his payments back to me.


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:50 am 
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The simplest solution would be for the person that purchases a puzzle make a post saying "today I paid for a ____ from blank" and follow it up with "today I received my puzzle and here are my first impressions". The dates would be figured out by the time / date stamp.

Life would be so much easier for everybody because the information for people to make their own judgements is available. No need to appoint a custom puzzle builder hall monitor.

This does not have to be limited to custom puzzle makers either because I have read plenty of threads with the content saying "I ordered a ____ from (insert online shop located in China) and it hasn't arrived after 3 days even though I wouldn't pay extra for any shipping."


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 Post subject: Re: A bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:49 am 
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Longhair wrote:
The simplest solution would be for the person that purchases a puzzle make a post saying "today I paid for a ____ from blank" and follow it up with "today I received my puzzle and here are my first impressions". The dates would be figured out by the time / date stamp.
[Posting my views as a member, not Moderator, just in case it wasn't clear]

I'm not sure I agree. Many collectors wouldn't care to share such information, in fact many are quite private about what they buy and how much they pay for it.

Really this is personal information. What people choose to share about a nice transaction is usually done as a review (and those happen from time to time), but if everyone posted about everything they ordered and received the forum would be quite busy.

The point of this thread and the particular proposal was what to do about transactions run into trouble. As you can tell, many purchasers don't want to share even when they are on the receiving end of a bad deal. This is their choice, and I think as a community people don't like to speak ill of others, even when it hits them. I don't think any one bad transaction needs to necessarily be broadcast for all to see, but it would be nice to protect the community if there is a pattern.

Perhaps there is a need for something like epinions or yelp or some other form of general transaction review, but I don't think this forum should be it. If Sandy had more time perhaps it could be another site function (perhaps even an extension of the price tracking database).

Dave :)

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