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 Post subject: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:23 am 
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I think I’m pretty much done with the idea of purchasing high priced custom built puzzles. While I have had a few really good experiences (I love my Ghost Cube) the bad experiences are really starting to overshadow the good.

Last fall and winter I had an issue with a builder which I posted about. I’m not going to dig up that old thread now and ask that no one else does so. The short of it was that I had ordered two expensive custom built puzzles which were never shipped. Over the course of a few months I eventually got all of my money back in a number of installments. While I’m glad I did get refunded I am saddened that I never got the puzzles I wanted to add to my collection.

Before that I had purchased a popular custom built mod form a builder who was well spoken of for good quality builds. Unfortunately the puzzle I received was far below my expectations. It appears to me that a few things happened to lead to such a low quality puzzle. First off I suspect that the original masters were designed around the old and no longer available Type A DIY core and center pieces. Because a different core and center pieces had to be substituted the new pieces didn’t fit 100% correctly. Another thing that appears to have happened is that the molds may have been wearing out which cause the new pieces to be uneven with curved and wavy surfaces instead of nice flat and straight ones. Finally, the extensions for the centers were glued to the DIY center pieces which wouldn’t normally be a big problem except that the puzzle was so loose that it would easily fall apart and I could not remove the extensions to tighten the screws. I had some communication back and forth with the builder over these issues and was told at one time that I would get some replacement pieces but that never happened. This particular puzzle is now available in mass produced form and I purchased one of them for a small fraction of what I paid for the custom built one.

I purchased another somewhat popular mod from a different and even more well thought of builder. This one was much better but also suffered the Type A DIY core issue. In this case I was able to verify my suspicions by replacing the core with that of my old Type A DIY since this puzzle’s center extensions were not glued on. The result was a very nice custom mod where everything lined up. Unfortunately I only own one Type A DIY and decided to keep that as a normal 3x3x3 so I had to restore the custom mod to it’s previous somewhat uneven state. This puzzle has also been mass produced now and I have also purchased one for a small fraction of what I paid for the custom one.

Now, just today I had to file a PayPal dispute with yet another custom builder. In this case I was sent a PayPal invoice as well as an email stating that my custom built puzzle would be shipped within three days of my sending payment. This was on May 17th and I paid the same day I got the invoice. Since then I have sent three emails as well as a PM on this site to the builder and got no responses to any of them. I still don’t have my puzzle and am going to pursue getting my money back from PayPal if necessary.

I like buying custom puzzles. I’m on the waiting lists for a few more and will remain on those lists with the anticipation that I will eventually own those puzzles. But I’m really hesitant to agree to purchase any more. A few bad apples are ruining the whole bunch.


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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:27 am 
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Like everywhere else, there are good and bad sources!

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:44 am 
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In all four of these cases these builders were well thought of and recommended by others. They have all built and sold many puzzles to others on this site and have been active here for quite a long time. They were supposed to be the good sources!


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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:15 pm 
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It's weird how good builders would risk their reputation over something like this. If I was one of those builders I'd be really quick to exchange or refund those puzzles! For a $10 puzzle it's fine if someone isn't 100% satisfied but when you're talking about hundreds... you've gotta make sure someone is absolutely satisfied.

At least you can still safely do business with Shapeways if you want to get yourself a nice puzzle :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:50 pm 
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TomZ wrote:
It's weird how good builders would risk their reputation over something like this. If I was one of those builders I'd be really quick to exchange or refund those puzzles! For a $10 puzzle it's fine if someone isn't 100% satisfied but when you're talking about hundreds... you've gotta make sure someone is absolutely satisfied.

At least you can still safely do business with Shapeways if you want to get yourself a nice puzzle :wink:


Shapeways is a great thing. It allows people to design and sell puzzles just like with custom built puzzles except quality is constant and Shapeways handles the shipping.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:57 pm 
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This is why I think that we, as a community, should come up with some sort of feedback system for any transaction made between members (by any transaction I mean purchasing, selling or trading). Not only for the seller but also for the buyer (or traders).

Here's my suggestion, feel free to comment about it:

- We create a new area in the forum, let's say 'Feedback'.
- For any complete transaction, the members involved create in this area a new topic or add a reply to an existing one, stating their experience with the other fellow member.
- These topics have on their title, only the name of the member that the feedback is intended to (to facilitate searching for a specific member).
- In these topics, the buyer that will be giving feedback, will make a brief description about how the transaction went and the overall quality of the puzzle received (a little more elaborate than the eBay feedback). In the case of the seller, he would also rate his experience with the buyer as well.
- We should also have a member taking care of this area, in order to keep it clean without replies from members not involved in the deal (locked topics).

This is what I think should help future transactions between members and restore some of the trust that was lost, following some of the recent events, not so pleasant for our community.


Gabriel

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:59 pm 
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The feedback thing would be nice to have, but according to Volitar that doesn't always work for picking the right people.

PuzzleMaster6262 wrote:
Shapeways is a great thing. It allows people to design and sell puzzles just like with custom built puzzles except quality is constant and Shapeways handles the shipping.
Everything you said about Shapeways is right except for the quality bit! I don't get it as often as Oskar does but occasionally Shapeways just messes stuff up and they have to reprint the entire puzzle for it to work.

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- Curvy Copter for just $18
- 3x4x5 Cuboid for just $34


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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:06 pm 
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TomZ wrote:
The feedback thing would be nice to have, but according to Volitar that doesn't always work for picking the right people.

PuzzleMaster6262 wrote:
Shapeways is a great thing. It allows people to design and sell puzzles just like with custom built puzzles except quality is constant and Shapeways handles the shipping.
Everything you said about Shapeways is right except for the quality bit! I don't get it as often as Oskar does but occasionally Shapeways just messes stuff up and they have to reprint the entire puzzle for it to work.

And that is the great thing, they will reprint it again and again until it is correct.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:11 pm 
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There is an addon for VBulletin forums that is called iTrader which allows users who complete a transaction to leave feedback for each other (positive, negative, or neutral). This would be a fantastic way to show who not only does the most trading, but who is potentially trustworthy. The great part about iTrader is that if people begin to falsify positive feedback the admins/mods should get warnings saying that 2 people with the same IP address have tried to leave feedback for each other.


This system worked out well on a forum I was an admin on in the past. If you want to check out how the system works, check out thefreebieexchange.com and go to someones profile and click the tab labeled "feedback."


If the outside link isn't allowed, I apologize, I just wanted to put the idea out there and to show how this does work.


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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:12 pm 
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PuzzleMaster6262 wrote:
TomZ wrote:
The feedback thing would be nice to have, but according to Volitar that doesn't always work for picking the right people.

PuzzleMaster6262 wrote:
Shapeways is a great thing. It allows people to design and sell puzzles just like with custom built puzzles except quality is constant and Shapeways handles the shipping.
Everything you said about Shapeways is right except for the quality bit! I don't get it as often as Oskar does but occasionally Shapeways just messes stuff up and they have to reprint the entire puzzle for it to work.

And that is the great thing, they will reprint it again and again until it is correct.

One time I recieved the same set of masters twice, without them being messed up or ordering them twice. :lol:
It was one of those "good accidents" :D

About the custom puzzles... I guess this is a lesson to all puzzle builders (including myself). I still don't understand why some builders compromise quality for money, it just hurts their reputation. Except when they get away with it.

I like the rating system idea, I think it will help just like the ebay rating system, except it will be within our community and therefore be more trustworthy. :solved:

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:27 pm 
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gabrielmpf wrote:
- We create a new area in the forum, let's say 'Feedback'.
- For any complete transaction, the members involved create in this area a new topic or add a reply to an existing one, stating their experience with the other fellow member.
- These topics have on their title, only the name of the member that the feedback is intended to (to facilitate searching for a specific member).
- In these topics, the buyer that will be giving feedback, will make a brief description about how the transaction went and the overall quality of the puzzle received (a little more elaborate than the eBay feedback). In the case of the seller, he would also rate his experience with the buyer as well.
- We should also have a member taking care of this area, in order to keep it clean without replies from members not involved in the deal (locked topics).

So you're saying to make one thread per member with puzzles for sale? Like how Scorehero.com has one thread per person to post their customs? That would work pretty well if it was controlled like Scorehero's. I don't know how many people here sell customs so I don't know the scale we are talking about. I would volunteer for the position of watching over posts in these topics. Of course that's only if this follows through.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:45 pm 
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Rentlix wrote:
So you're saying to make one thread per member with puzzles for sale?


Not exactly. The thread wouldn't be to advertise puzzles that said member has for sale. It's one thread per member with feedback from other members that made a deal with him. This is valid for sellers and buyers as well.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:59 pm 
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gabrielmpf wrote:
Rentlix wrote:
So you're saying to make one thread per member with puzzles for sale?


Not exactly. The thread wouldn't be to advertise puzzles that said member has for sale. It's one thread per member with feedback from other members that made a deal with him. This is valid for sellers and buyers as well.

What Scorehero has (which is VERY convenient) is a list of hyperlinks to download their custom charts, and below this list the member has room to write. Then other members post their reviews of those charts, so other members don't have to to download the chart to know the quality of work the member tends to have.

When it comes to custom puzzles, that's the format you want. The member has their current available puzzles, a space to comment, and ratings/reviews of the puzzles. That way it doesn't require buying and waiting a week or a month (sometimes longer) to have an idea of the member's previous deals.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:07 pm 
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Rentlix wrote:
gabrielmpf wrote:
Rentlix wrote:
So you're saying to make one thread per member with puzzles for sale?


Not exactly. The thread wouldn't be to advertise puzzles that said member has for sale. It's one thread per member with feedback from other members that made a deal with him. This is valid for sellers and buyers as well.

What Scorehero has (which is VERY convenient) is a list of hyperlinks to download their custom charts, and below this list the member has room to write. Then other members post their reviews of those charts, so other members don't have to to download the chart to know the quality of work the member tends to have.

When it comes to custom puzzles, that's the format you want. The member has their current available puzzles, a space to comment, and ratings/reviews of the puzzles. That way it doesn't require buying and waiting a week or a month (sometimes longer) to have an idea of the member's previous deals.


I like this idea. Every maker should have to activate their own forum. This way it isn't filled with people that visited this site once.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:21 am 
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Volitar Prime wrote:
In all four of these cases these builders were well thought of and recommended by others. They have all built and sold many puzzles to others on this site and have been active here for quite a long time. They were supposed to be the good sources!
Volitar Prime wrote:
I’m not going to dig up that old thread now and ask that no one else does so
The problem with reputations is they are only as good as the information people are willing to exchange.

In your case (and others) a particular builder (one of your four) has been repeatedly disappointing and outright scamming people for a long time even though they also are showing new and good quality work. Yet you, and others, continue to keep confidential about it, not wanting to out them personally.

I am also partially guilty, having had a disappointing but ultimately completed transaction, yet not naming names. This member has not responded to a PM I sent months ago to them regarding that "old thread" and one other member seemed ready to go public but so far has not.

In isolation one wants to forgive, particularly if there is a resolution (satisfying or not). But unless you and I and others are willing to speak out you can't have any expectation that it won't happen again.

In my case I didn't suffer much. There were many delays, unbelievable excuses and eventually a puzzle that fell short on quality. But I wasn't in a hurry and my deal didn't involve full price so I wasn't angry, just disappointed because I knew they could do better. Nothing worth outing someone and ruining a reputation.

Now, much later, I find out this same behavior and worse has been given to others by the same builder. Is it my business to come forward long after my transaction was resolved? Perhaps. As a moderator I think it best perhaps to stay out of such matters so there is no confusion about site policy vs. personal views.

If/when someone comes out on this issue I will have to stand up and say the builder has asked for it. Everyone has given them more than enough opportunity to make good. It won't make me happy to see a reputation lost, but I am not happy to see people abused either.

Dave :(

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:41 am 
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I don't think the situation is so bad here in TP community.
Ihave had very surprisingly good experiences with custom builders.

Over the last three years I have bought >100 puzzles and all of them (see here http://www.deep-cut.net/collection/collection_index.htm) have finally arrived. Of course some custom built puzzles have better quality and some are really bad, but that what is expected when you deal with many different builders, some of them have different standards of quality than others.

Basicly there are few rules to be safe and avoid risks:
1. Always order ASSEMBLED puzzles. The builder has much higher chance to get it right and eliminate obvious flaws.

2. If you are not satisfied with custom builders quality of work, NEVER buy anything from them again. I have a list of people whose auctions I always ignore. Their final prices at ebay tend to be lower as average, so I guess other buyers have noticed their quality problems, too.

3. Be patient. I have waited for 2 months for some puzzles but they have all eventually arrived. The mail companies cannot be controlled by seller.
Ask insurance and/or tracking code for valuable puzzles.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:13 am 
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I'm sorry if I offend anyone by saying this, but this is really getting ridiculous. The one builder:

Quote:
In your case (and others) a particular builder (one of your four) has been repeatedly disappointing and outright scamming people for a long time even though they also are showing new and good quality work.


needs to be exposed. It is ridiculous that we as a community can allow this person to repeatedly scam people and tarnish the reputation of all puzzle builders. Regarding that "old thread", if I am remembering correctly, this person was referred to as a respected member of the community. In my opinion, if he/she is willing to take advantage of trusting buyers and the overall hospitality of this forum, they do not deserve to be respected in this community.

Just my $0.02.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:13 am 
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I completely agree with Garett here. If people want a good reputation, they need to work hard to earn it and they also need to make right by the ones that were not FULLY satisfied with their work (i.e. partial refund). If they continue to disrespect other members' trust, why do we care about ruining their reputation. Apparently they didn't.

We need to make this public to warn others that may have business with them. That's our duty as members.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:48 am 
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@gabrielmpf if you do that, it would look more like every member who sells custom puzzles are really competing as opposed to simply making. In a competitive environment, time spent per puzzle would go down. Then again prices may also go down, but that just makes it worse for the seller. But in a more subtle environment as shown on this forum, sellers sell for profit to go into more puzzles, and buyers buy puzzles to add to their collections. The former situation decreases satisfaction for both buyer and seller, whereas the latter one benefits each party (so long as the puzzle is actually sent).

You have to consider that custom built puzzles may not have perfect speedsolving capabilities. And in Volitar Prime's case multiple times, you should not blame the builder for you not having the correct Type A cores. Though yes the design should have been updated, you did in fact buy an older design.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:18 am 
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So, what you're saying is that we shouldn't do nothing? Do we let things be just the way they are now? That way, those builders will think that they can just get away with it, making these recent events that we witnessed, grow in numbers in the near future and harm a lot more members that could have been warned...

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:47 am 
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Rentlix wrote:
... And in Volitar Prime's case multiple times, you should not blame the builder for you not having the correct Type A cores. Though yes the design should have been updated, you did in fact buy an older design.
I read in Volitar Prime's original post that he got a fully assembled puzzle with the wrong type A core.

Personally, I have a different problem: I have got some casted puzzles which have developed horrible bubbles. OK, I got some spare stickers with them and will resticker them, eventually. One of the builders told me, that this a general problem with casting and I would get bubbles again with the new stickers. If this is true, why do not all my casted puzzles bubble?
Especially, I got a nice little puzzle from a nice young man and it had been his first casting: No bubbles at all.
On the other hand, I got one from one of the really famous builders: After one week or so I hated to play with it, because of the many bubbles.

Before I have ordered my very first custom made puzzle, I have not seen any hint to this bubbling problem.

Another issue is the turning of custom puzzles: Most builders and most buyers report how wonderfully the casted puzzles turn and, on the other hand, e.g. the C4U Gigaminx is complete crap. I own at least one high priced custom made puzzle for which I dare to say: Compared with this, my Gigaminx turns like a dream. (You should know, that my Gigaminx is not so bad at all :) )

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Last edited by Konrad on Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:58 am 
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Volitar Prime, this is basically what you're telling us:
There are several builders on this forum who are scamming me with poor quality puzzles. They are well known builders, but I will not tell you who they are. You have to find out yourself. :roll:
All I'm saying is that it would be more helpful to the puzzle community if we actually knew who these people are so that people don't continue to waste money on poor quality custom puzzles, and so that these builders stop making such puzzles like these in an attempt to make easy money. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:03 am 
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Cheese_Board wrote:
Volitar Prime, this is basically what you're telling us:
There are several builders on this forum who are scamming me with poor quality puzzles. They are well known builders, but I will not tell you who they are. You have to find out yourself. :roll:
All I'm saying is that it would be more helpful to the puzzle community if we actually knew who these people are so that people don't continue to waste money on poor quality custom puzzles, and so that these builders stop making such puzzles like these in an attempt to make easy money. :wink:

If you're considering buying a puzzle, send him a PM and ask him if it was the person you're buying from.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:05 am 
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konsassen wrote:
Rentlix wrote:
... And in Volitar Prime's case multiple times, you should not blame the builder for you not having the correct Type A cores. Though yes the design should have been updated, you did in fact buy an older design.
I read in Volitar Prime's original post that he got a fully assembled puzzle with the wrong type A core.

Personally, I have a different problem: I have got some casted puzzles wich have developed horrible bubbles. OK, I got some spare stickers with them and will resticker them, eventually. One of the builders told me, that this a general problem with casting and I would get bubbles again with the new stickers. If this is true, why do not all my casted puzzles bubble?
Especially, I got a nice little puzzle from a nice young man and it had been his first casting: No bubbles at all.
On the other hand, I got one from one of the really famous builders: After one week or so I hated to play with it, because of the many bubbles.

Before I have ordered my very first custom made puzzle, I have not seen any hint to this bubbling problem.

Another issue is the turning of custom puzzles: Most builders and most buyers report how wonderfully the casted puzzles turn and, on the other hand, e.g. the C4U Gigaminx is complete crap. I own at least one high priced custom made puzzle for which I dare to say: Compared with this, my Gigaminx turns like a dream. (You should know, that my Gigaminx is not so bad at all :) )


For a while after the platic is cast the plastic will release gases causing those bubbles. My guess is that your other cast puzzles weren't stickered 24 hours-3 days after being cast, and this one was. Another guess is that this puzzle pay not have been finely polished so more gas is escaping?



Either way...Gabriel I do agree with you that in order to prevent this user from screwing other people they need to be exposed as a problem builder so that others don't get screwed. ** SEE viewtopic.php?f=4&t=17170 **


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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:08 am 
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If the builders are highly respected I think they should be contacted first before their names are listed. Even if they don't reply it gives them the opportunity to take care of things before this explodes in their face.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:46 am 
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konsassen wrote:
Rentlix wrote:
... And in Volitar Prime's case multiple times, you should not blame the builder for you not having the correct Type A cores. Though yes the design should have been updated, you did in fact buy an older design.
I read in Volitar Prime's original post that he got a fully assembled puzzle with the wrong type A core.
You are correct, the puzzles came fully assembled with the wrong cores so that the pieces didn't fit well with each other.
PuzzleMaster6262 wrote:
If the builders are highly respected I think they should be contacted first before their names are listed. Even if they don't reply it gives them the opportunity to take care of things before this explodes in their face.
My three old issues are just that, old news. In all of those I had communication with the builders and things were settled or left unsettled long ago. There would be little point to bring up names of these builders at this time. But if my newest issue, the one that I've just opened a PayPal dispute with actually has to progress to a PayPal claim then I will mention who the builder is. I have been attempting to communicate with this builder numerous times through emails, PMs on this site, and now through the PayPal dispute system. I still have gotten no reply even though this builder has been logging into and posting messages on this forum all along and has even been offering to sell other/new puzzles!


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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:50 am 
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I hope for everyone's sake that this issue is resolved soon. I hate seeing people taken advantage of. A few peoples dishonestly is casting a shadow of doubt over all who create custom puzzles.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:05 pm 
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Volitar Prime wrote:
konsassen wrote:
Rentlix wrote:
... And in Volitar Prime's case multiple times, you should not blame the builder for you not having the correct Type A cores. Though yes the design should have been updated, you did in fact buy an older design.
I read in Volitar Prime's original post that he got a fully assembled puzzle with the wrong type A core.
You are correct, the puzzles came fully assembled with the wrong cores so that the pieces didn't fit well with each other.

There must have been something I missed then. In the case that the seller chose the wrong core, the seller is at fault.

gabrialmpf wrote:
So, what you're saying is that we shouldn't do nothing?

Rentlix wrote:
When it comes to custom puzzles, that's the format you want. The member has their current available puzzles, a space to comment, and ratings/reviews of the puzzles. That way it doesn't require buying and waiting a week or a month (sometimes longer) to have an idea of the member's previous deals.

I've already stated my opinion. I never said nothing should be done.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:42 pm 
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Taylor wrote:
Having sold many custom puzzles, this situation makes me quite sad. Most of the time I am on the sending end. I've never had a problem like this. In my opinion the problem comes down to greed. These builders ust want to make money.
When I first joined this forum in 2007, one member in particular was really nice and gave me the advice to start building puzzles to help purchase more and even some rare puzzles. What I found was that building puzzles is difficult, tedious, and time consuming work. A lot of the time things don't go as planned (for example just two days I go I butchered a Helicopter Cube and discovered what I was going to do wasn't going to work, even after hours of working throught the details!!) If you are looking to make a huge profit something is probably wrong. Because I know how many hours it takes to make a nice puzzle, and you'd be better off flippin' burgers! You have to do it because you love it.
It seems that the market has shifted towards "custom designed and prototyped puzzles", which has potential to be much cheaper and secure that traditional hand made puzzles
Maybe I will write a pamplet on the ethics of selling custom puzzles...

I recall a while back that I sold a puzzle on eBay, that sold for a high amount. I think Paypal actually held the money until it was released by the buyer who had by them received the money. I don't know if the amount has to be greater than $x, or if this is a eBay thing, or if I'm just going crazy.

In my opinion these sellers need to be brought public. It hurts everyone! Buyers are hurt since they don't know if they can trust the builders, builders have a tougher time selling puzzles to cautious buyers, and new comers may leave due to the conflict around here.


I know when I sold my old iPods (for $300) the money was "held" by paypal until the buyer received the items and gave me feedback


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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:09 pm 
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malevolant wrote:
I know when I sold my old iPods (for $300) the money was "held" by paypal until the buyer received the items and gave me feedback


That works. But what if the buyer doesn't pay?

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:23 pm 
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PuzzleMaster6262 wrote:
malevolant wrote:
I know when I sold my old iPods (for $300) the money was "held" by paypal until the buyer received the items and gave me feedback


That works. But what if the buyer doesn't pay?


Then you don't ship the items...


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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:25 pm 
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malevolant wrote:
PuzzleMaster6262 wrote:
malevolant wrote:
I know when I sold my old iPods (for $300) the money was "held" by paypal until the buyer received the items and gave me feedback


That works. But what if the buyer doesn't pay?


Then you don't ship the items...


O ya... :idea:

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:56 pm 
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Hello,

Earlier this year I participated in a discussion titled: “a bad situation with a puzzle builder. Please react!” and I mentioned I bought a puzzle last year from a puzzle builder on his website Bedard puzzles for 260 usd (including 10 usd sending costs), but never received it and also never got reply by the builder on my e-mails. I mailed this builder many times directly via the contact-option on the website and also to other mail addresses just replying to his mail to me (so the good mail adress) that I could pay because the puzzle was ready. That was in October 2009. I paid then, mailed that I paid and that was when I got no reply anymore. Because of the long waiting list for that puzzle I thought he could have been mistaken with the puzzle ready (although strange) and waited for a while, a big mistake, because I missed the deadline for paypal dispute. On the other hand I could not believe that a Twisty puzzles member that had posted so much on this forum and that was making such nice puzzles actually would ruin his reputation as a puzzle builder and seller.
I had reactions from members on my earlier discussion that they thought whom I was talking about and they were all right! They mentioned the same person. One mentioned that he would contact that person. Now I will tell the name of the builder I am talking about, it is Scott Bedard. NB I discussed with the moderators about mentioning his name and I was advised to do so to prevent others getting the same trouble with him. He still has a long waiting list for his puzzles on his website.
The person that wanted to help me said that Scott was waiting for a mail from me (his mailadress was given, but I had used that already), while it was really time that Scott would mail me! I mailed Scott again but the story continued…I got no reply at all.
Because I am always very busy I discuss this later than I was planning, but I would like to know who on this forum has the same bad experience with Scott Bedard.
Hopefully steps can be taken against this person’s behavior.

Paul


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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:58 pm 
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Paul wrote:
but I would like to know who on this forum has the same bad experience with Scott Bedard.
Hopefully steps can be taken against this person’s behavior.


Same here, I paid Scott Bedard for a custom puzzle a year ago and never received it, but it is even worse to see how he reads your PMs and completely ignores them. Every kind of response would be better than that...

Sadly, it seems he doesn't enter TP since March, wich doesn't look good for all of us waiting for a puzzle from him:

Quote:
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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:28 pm 
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Well, there you have it.

It is sad this had to happen but I think all involved (other than Scott) have done more than expected to avoid it.

I don't know if a reputation can be regained, but if you are one of the many on Scott Bedard's long waiting lists perhaps you will consider the PayPal dispute window carefully if you choose to continue your order.

It seems the Pentagonal Domino has been in particular a problem. This was the puzzle I initially funded blindly (here). When I started seeing them in other people's collections before I got mine I brought up the subject and it was months before mine finally arrived. I was patient but the ultimate quality was far below the pictures here.

From what I can tell this puzzle has been the issue of other's dissatisfaction as well (Paul's, and possibly Andreas').

NOTE: Many builders use Scott's site to sell their puzzles. Please consider that Scott's business practices are his own and should not reflect poorly on the reputation of those who happen to use his site. I am sure this is a surprise to them (or perhaps they have known but not felt comfortable mentioning, like others) as well.

guoguo wrote:
Last visited: Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:47 am
Hmmm... One day after I sent my yet-unread PM with the title "Selling troubles". I am guessing he saw the title, knew what was coming and hasn't come back.

Scott: You probably still read the forum even if you don't log in. You have done great, innovative work and I would hope that can continue and be shared with the community. Please do the right thing and resolve your obligations with your customers.

Dave :(

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:26 pm 
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But is it just Scott? Has anyone had troubles with another member?

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:39 pm 
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Scott was one of my past issues, but not the builder I am having issues with right now.


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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:14 pm 
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konsassen wrote:

Personally, I have a different problem: I have got some casted puzzles which have developed horrible bubbles. OK, I got some spare stickers with them and will resticker them, eventually. One of the builders told me, that this a general problem with casting and I would get bubbles again with the new stickers. If this is true, why do not all my casted puzzles bubble?
Especially, I got a nice little puzzle from a nice young man and it had been his first casting: No bubbles at all.
On the other hand, I got one from one of the really famous builders: After one week or so I hated to play with it, because of the many bubbles.


As a puzzle maker I have had huge problems with bubbles. I now have to leave new puzzles several months before I risk adding stickers. Even then sometimes everything seems ok for a number of weeks or months but gradually they appear. Bizarrely on some occasions such as my 4x4x4 ball they hardly appeared at all. With such huge time scales involved it can be very difficult to make tests regarding bubbling and sort out the problem once and for all.
This issue will vary from maker to maker. It will depend on techniques and materials available in certain countries. As always I would advise people to communicate with each other and feedback can help a maker work toward a better system and of course rectify anything the buyer is unhappy with. If the maker is never told about problems he/she has no way of knowing something is wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:18 pm 
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Wow. Scott Bedard? I never saw that one coming. First Helios-Cube/Stu, now this. These are truly sad days for the TP community. Without this thread, I would have mentioned him to others as a trustworthy person from which to buy custom puzzles. Please note that I am not saying anyone else who sells on his site is untrustworthy. I received a DRD (Dino Rhombic Dodecahedron) from that site, and I am very happy with the quality.

I got seriously burned in my Helios-Cube/Stu dispute (although PayPal finally squeezed my money out of him), and now Scott Bedard, one of the people I considered a solid source, has bailed out on his responsibilities. It makes me very wary about completing any more off-eBay deals involving custom puzzles.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:03 pm 
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Paul wrote:
but I would like to know who on this forum has the same bad experience with Scott Bedard.

I am also among those who paid for a puzzle from Scott in 2009 which I never received. Thanks to the people initially posting in the thread about "a bad situation with a puzzle builder, need some advice", I was able to recognize the seller and warn some other customers on his waiting list. But my account at bedardpuzzles.com was then suddenly deleted, so I no longer have access to the names of people on his lists.

For those who choose to continue their orders, I would strongly recommend following Dave's advice about watching the PayPal dispute window closely. Even if you are eventually able to get a response to one of your emails, and promises are made that the puzzle will ship promptly (and perhaps even with an included free bonus puzzle as compensation for the extra wait), you might find that those puzzles never arrive, or eventually pop up in the collections of people who made their claims later than you did (because they are among the people who didn't know about the situation until you warned them).

Hearing that Scott has been going through some tough times lately and not wanting to cause him additional trouble, has made it hard to reveal his name earlier. But it is a relief to know that others have now finally been warned and can take their precautions. Hopefully Scott will eventually be able to resolve these issues and continue to delight us all with his new puzzle creations.


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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:15 am 
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Tony Fisher wrote:
As a puzzle maker I have had huge problems with bubbles.
I will have to second Tony on this issue. I wait months as well and still worry. More detail can be found here.
Custom cast puzzle can be expected to bubble a bit. A bit of bubbling isn't always an indication of a sloppy builder because knowledge on this topic, even by experienced builders, is so slim. No builder should slap on stickers the next day and ship the puzzle, that is just irresponsible although I fear not uncommon.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:27 am 
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Wow I am shocked by it being Scott...shame on him.


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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:20 pm 
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I like the feedback section idea. I made and sold 50+ custom puzzles last summer (and the following 2 months for some that wern't quite finished :roll: ) and requested feedback from all who purchased from me. While not everbody gave feedback, it worked very well. I think that we (as a forum) should do more of it. It helped me out (as a new builder) establish a good name. The only problem is that only about ~1/2 of the transactions yielded feedback.

I vote for either a new section (called Feedback) or a stickied Market Place topic.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:27 pm 
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Steryne wrote:
I like the feedback section idea. I made and sold 50+ custom puzzles last summer (and the following 2 months for some that wern't quite finished :roll: ) and requested feedback from all who purchased from me. While not everbody gave feedback, it worked very well. I think that we (as a forum) should do more of it. It helped me out (as a new builder) establish a good name. The only problem is that only about ~1/2 of the transactions yielded feedback.

I vote for either a new section (called Feedback) or a stickied Market Place topic.


That is exactly what I am talking about. So basically under your username you would have an "iTrader rating" which would show how many positive feedbacks you had. People would then have the option to click on that number to bring them to a page with a list of what people have said about your work/customer service :)


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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:58 pm 
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@Malevolent that would take a lot more work than necesary. Just have one thread per member. Original post (which can be updated...) is the member's list of puzzles for sale and additional information. All replies must be the buyers from this member, who give a quick review on their experience as the buyer. No coding required.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:39 am 
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I love the idea of a member feedback system. There is probably a plugin for the forum software which will do exactly that with minimal programming work on my part. I'll be looking into it in the coming weeks.

On a related note, I've got a two month block of free weekday evenings coming up this summer, as the rest of my family is going out of town and I'll only be joining them on the weekends. I intend to get working on the old Twisty Puzzles "TO DO" list and get some new features going.

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:49 pm 
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Klara wrote:
Paul wrote:

For those who choose to continue their orders, I would strongly recommend following Dave's advice about watching the PayPal dispute window closely. Even if you are eventually able to get a response to one of your emails, and promises are made that the puzzle will ship promptly (and perhaps even with an included free bonus puzzle as compensation for the extra wait), you might find that those puzzles never arrive, or eventually pop up in the collections of people who made their claims later than you did (because they are among the people who didn't know about the situation until you warned them).


I see a problem with this. Lately I have been doing a lot of work with Shapeways, printing puzzles where the prints are relatively expensive compared to the final price of the puzzle, so I usually need to ask the buyer to pay before the parts are in my hands. The reason for this is with handmade puzzles such as the ones Scott sold, the materials cost might be less than $50, for a puzzle that will cost $250 in the end. For a printed puzzle, take my Mini Dino for example, it costs me about $30 to make a completed puzzle, and I sell them for $40. Of course, the amount of work that I would have to do for a cast puzzle is proportionally greater than the printed puzzle.

The problem comes up when Shapeways delays an order, like what is happening to my latest one. It might take longer than the paypal dispute window for me to receive the parts, and turn them into completed puzzles. I certainly hope that none of my buyers feel like they should have to file a report, but at the same time, it could appear to be a bad situation when really it isn't at all.

I think that this is where a feedback system would be absolutely essential, so buyers can see who they can trust when paying a puzzle forward. My only concern with this is if it will be anonymous, and if it is, how we will be able to make sure only legitimate buyers are giving feedback for puzzles that they have actually purchased.

As a long-time puzzle builder I admit that I have had some rocky patches dealing with sending puzzles when they were promised, and have fell into the dangerous "puzzle debt" problem before. I think this feedback system will be a great opportunity for both puzzle builders and sellers alike; puzzle builders will get constructive criticism, and buyers will get the information they need to make a smart purchase. Its a win-win situation.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:57 am 
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Garrett wrote:
My only concern with this is if it will be anonymous, and if it is, how we will be able to make sure only legitimate buyers are giving feedback for puzzles that they have actually purchased.


Absolutely not. It'd be the same as it is now. Not even eBay with the anonymous bidders policy do that. When it comes to leaving feedback, we have to be very serious about it and only legitimate members will be doing this with their names.

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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:40 pm 
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Just a bit of an update on my current situation. I still don't have my puzzle or my money back and I still have not had any direct contact from the builder. I have had a small bit of indirect contact. A third party who correctly guessed who the builder was contacted him/her and did get a response which was forwarded to me. In this response (sent to the third party, not to me directly) the builder said how he/she feels "especially bad" for me and that I'm "not forgotten" and claims that he/she tried to send me an email or two. While I can understand the possibility of an email getting lost somewhere along the way I did get the initial email stating that my puzzle was ready and would ship within three days of my payment, over a month and a half ago. Also, I have tried contacting the builder through PMs on this site which were not responded to even though I know that he/she has read them and has also been logging into and posting regularly on this site all along. Finally, I did start a Paypal dispute which the builder has not responded to. I have one week before my deadline to file a Paypal claim against this builder. I will do it if I have to and at that time I will post here full details on who this builder is. I feel that I have been patient more then necessary and the total lack of communication to me is what is pushing me over the edge.

One last thing, I found out that this builder has contacted someone else over the past couple of weeks (long after I paid for my puzzle that I have yet to receive) and told them the same thing that I was told, that their puzzle was ready to be shipped. So not only is this builder stringing me along he/she is attempting to do it to someone else too!

edit: At one time my thought was that if I at least had a shipping notice and tracking number from the builder by the Paypal claim deadline then I wouldn't pursue it. But it has become obvious to me that the builder lied to me in that initial email and that my puzzle is not ready. I have a fear that he/she may now rush the build of it to get it out on time and the quality of it may suffer. My thought now is that if I don't have the puzzle in my hands and I'm not completely satisfied with it by the deadline (July 12) then I will have to file the claim anyway even if he/she sends me a tracking number. I can always cancel the claim after I do get the puzzle (I think).

Also, the third party who was able to provide some level of communication suggested to the builder that it may be a good idea to just go ahead and refund my money now to avoid Paypal issues and then re-offer to sell me the puzzle when it is really ready. I agreed with this idea but the builder has yet to do this.


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 Post subject: Re: I think I'm done with purchasing custom built puzzles.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:35 pm 
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Volitar, please tell us who your scammer is. You have seen how much the uncovering of Scott Bedard has benefited people (they know and clearly express that they will now not recommend him to anyone for custom puzzles any more), and your scammer is scamming someone else as well. It is and probably will hurt the community more by not telling us who your scammer is than he/she scamming us in the first place.

I am really disappointed at Scott Bedard's actions. :(

I am happy about the soon-to-come site features, Sandy :D

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