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When Is "Return for Refund", simply NOT SUFFICIANT?


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#1 Toolpartzman OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2012 - 09:37 AM

Am I all wet or does the manufacture & retailer bear some responsibility to insure that the product you purchase functions in a reasonable manner? Shouldn't the EXTERIOR of a pkg carry some notice that the contents has "Limited/or No Function" rather than hidden inside the pkg, only to be found after purchase?:mad2:

Please read the following page from this owners manual and let me hear your opinion. Its from a remote-control truck, which I bought for my grandson for Xmas.

Attached File  scan0001.pdf   714.52KB   98 downloads

#2 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2012 - 09:54 AM

Being in the electronics industry, this is not unexpected. Unfortunate, but not unexpected.

8 hrs for 15 minutes is beyond excessive, however and the fact that you will not ever get more than 15 minutes is a disappointment.

When you take it back and politely tell them where to put this unit, you might wander back and write down the make/models of the other units there. Then do a little research or call to find out what has the longest run time.
Lithium batteries will charge faster and preform better to the last electron, then just quit. Until recharged and they will preform like new. They are also 2-3 times more expensive.
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#3 skyrydr2 ONLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2012 - 10:04 AM

LOL It could have said "batteries Not Included" . those nicad or Nimh battieries will not hold a charge, so better off leaving them dead and charge them from zero. Nicads will build a memory Nimh is not supposed too ,notice I said "supposed". They can actually build a memory if abused .
If the batteries are Lipo or Li-Ion they really need special attention ,as they can catch fire if damaged ,and the only way to put them out is salt water, not pleasant !!
Good luck with the truck, and teach him the proper battery maintainance and the rig might last a few months . Good luck and happy new year!

#4 Toolpartzman OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2012 - 10:06 AM

Being in the electronics industry, this is not unexpected. Unfortunate, but not unexpected.

8 hrs for 15 minutes is beyond excessive, however and the fact that you will not ever get more than 15 minutes is a disappointment.

When you take it back and politely tell them where to put this unit, you might wander back and write down the make/models of the other units there. Then do a little research or call to find out what has the longest run time.
Lithium batteries will charge faster and preform better to the last electron, then just quit. Until recharged and they will preform like new. They are also 2-3 times more expensive.

I agree. A degree of product research on my part would have for-warned me, however I do not believe the item should have been offered for sale -period. My grandson is pretty sharp but surely would have taken longer than 15 min to learn how to run it. Facts about these characteristics were hidden from view, and so severely limiting
had this been printed, clearly on the outside packaging, none would have been sold.

#5 Michiganmobileman OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2012 - 10:16 AM

I agree. A degree of product research on my part would have for-warned me, however I do not believe the item should have been offered for sale -period. My grandson is pretty sharp but surely would have taken longer than 15 min to learn how to run it. Facts about these characteristics were hidden from view, and so severely limiting
had this been printed, clearly on the outside packaging, none would have been sold
.

It is unfortunate that this seems to be the way to fool you in to purchasing something worth almost nothing. More often than not its a Made in _____(insert your foreign country here) toy, tool or other product.
Take it back where you bought it and say it did not work.

#6 Toolpartzman OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2012 - 10:20 AM

It is unfortunate that this seems to be the way to fool you in to purchasing something worth almost nothing. More often than not its a Made in _____(insert your foreign country here) toy, tool or other product.
Take it back where you bought it and say it did not work.


Its NOT going back. The Owners manual and photos of the box are going to the Attny Gen'ls office tomorrow. I consider this to be intentional consumer fraud.:mad2:

#7 Toolpartzman OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2012 - 10:36 AM

I should add that perhaps my take on this matter differs from others. I consider myself a savvy shopper. If I buy a 9/16 box end wrench I expect it to crank 9/16 bolt heads and to NOT function as a hammer. If I bought a pickup or microwave or refrigerator, I believe its reasonable to expect the item to function more than only a 1/16 duty cycle. Most of us don't buy toys often , so in some respects we may not be up on all the particulars of the latest/greatest. When we buy toys these days we know we have to have extra batteries on hand to keep junior happy, and stuff running. A quick swap and you're running again. The fact that it was printed in the manual tells me the factory knew its limits-knew it was so poor sales would tank and they sold it anyway.

#8 kb0nly OFFLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2012 - 01:26 AM

I don't see anything surprising here... Most of these toys now days burn through batteries faster than you can get them charged. 15 minutes run time seems a little lackluster, granted, but not out of the ordinary with something that can pull a fair amount of current and has a small battery.

My three boys like to call stuff like this "a challenge for dad"... Usually i improve the product in some way. For this one in particular if the product is fine otherwise, its just battery runtime that sucks, i would build a better battery pack.

The kids had a 12v RC truck, it had a pretty good gel cell battery in it, a 2.5Ah battery. It would run most of the day depending on how fast, climbing hills, etc. The battery started to lose charge over time, nothing i didn't expect, until finally it wouldn't hold a charge anymore. That spring, we have a city wide cleanup and rummage sale week where people curb pile their giveaway wares, i found a free 18v cordless drill in a box with three batteries and a charger. It still worked but the drill was cracked and taped up, looked like it fell some distance and found a hard landing. I pulled the drill apart, recovered the 18v motor from it, and adapted that to the trucks drivetrain. We just put the 18v packs in the back of the truck and tied them down and a couple wire leads to the motor, yeah it was redneck engineered but it had some serious speed and power! Finally one day the motor burned up, we tossed it, chucked the batteries into the recycle box at the hardware store and moved on. The kids had a lot of fun with it while it lasted. Kids toys don't last these days, if you get a "season" of play out of them consider yourself lucky. My kids usually tire of a certain toy by the time its broken anyway.

#9 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2012 - 09:39 AM

I feel for you! I have never had any luck with RC stuff of any kind. Even when i was a kid they didnt last or didnt perform as advertised. Just a few month ago My Mother got both my kids (5 and 3) a RC "MUD buster safari" RC truck. My kids were so excited, we put the batteries in and went outside. The RC trucks could not move up the slightest incline, they only move on level ground. My kids were disapointed to say the least, they packaging even had pics of the trucks going thru all kinds of terrain. Lesson learned again, no more RC crap. its a waste of good money.

#10 Ranchkingron OFFLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2012 - 01:09 PM

I'm hoping I may be able to shed some light onto this problem, I know that it may seem to be some kind of fraud but it really isn't if you do a little research.

This is based on being into RC since 1974 and working in Hobby shops from 1985-1995.

Allow me to explain : In the RC (Radio Control) industry there are two grades the first being Competition Grade/Hobby grade and then Toy grade.

Toy grade (the kind you bought) are the ones found in most retail/online stores and are the most basic. They in most cases are used for entry into the hobby, have at best a minimum radio, charger and battery i.e. the charger is a trickle type and will take a long time to recharge the battery.

The run time of the battery is a fact you can't change (in this case 15 mins.) but there is a trade off with performance if you want to drive it fast the battery will drain faster and get allot hotter, which damages the battery and reduces the number of recharge cycles it can provide, and also any battery type used in this field must be allowed to cool before even thinking of charging it so there will be some down time regardless.

So in this case the manufacturers decide to provide a trickle type charger to increase the longevity of the battery not reduce to charge time, imagine the response and outcry from the consumers if they found out a $ 49 battery would only give them 100 cycles before becoming useless and need to be replaced ? Also providing a slower charger also increases the safety factor of product (less likely to overheat and vent).

In hobby/competition grade RC products you can get chargers and batteries designed for quicker charging but the cost is much higher, they need to be replaced allot more often and are inherently more dangerous to use, i.e. LiPo batteries are very high performance but very finicky in how you charge and handle them which is why most toy companies don't use them.

Let me give you and example of how much I had invested in equipment when I was more active in the hobby (and working at several hobby shops) back in the late 80's and early 90's.

Charger and power supply : Victor Engineering Super Hi-IQ $399, power supply $150

Battery packs : 10 Sanyo Sub C 7.2v six cell matched packs $85 each.

Radio : KO Propo 2 channel FM $180

Car : Trinity Super Speedway $ 199

Total cost not including expendables i.e. motors, gears, tires, bodies, repair parts etc. $1,778, I would say it's safe to say you paid no where near that for your grandsons first RC car correct ?

Now I know that some of these prices have come down quite a bit but the basics haven't in fact some have gone up, but as you can see performance has it's cost.

Bear in mind we were racing and trying to get maximum performance from our equipment (60 real MPH for 5 minutes) but even for just playing it still is much higher than the average toy grade car/truck etc, attached are some pics of the equipment I'm referring to.

I know that 8 hours of charging for 15 of run time may seem like it's unreasonable but it's also better than buying new battery packs every 100 cycles at $49 just to shave some recharge time off.

If you like you can get several packs and rotate them so you have more play time, I hope this explains things a little better.

And to those that have had a bad experience with the toy grade RC I'm sorry, but please remember they are toys and will have limitations and should be judged with that in mind, if you wish to be able to tune, modify, repair, and in general have better performance then you may need to check out what's available from your local hobby shop but it will be pricey.

Just as in the OPE world you get what you pay for.

Ron

P.S. click on these links if you want to see how dangerous a LiPo packs can be if misused.
World's Most Dangerous Battery! - YouTube

LRP Lipo Brand LRP Lipo Fire im S8 BXe - YouTube

Attached Thumbnails

  • victor charger 002.jpg
  • Picture1398.jpg
  • IMG_0784.JPG

Edited by Ranchkingron, January 02, 2012 - 01:14 PM.


#11 IHCubGuy OFFLINE  

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Posted January 02, 2012 - 02:25 PM

I'm hoping I may be able to shed some light onto this problem, I know that it may seem to be some kind of fraud but it really isn't if you do a little research.

This is based on being into RC since 1974 and working in Hobby shops from 1985-1995.

Allow me to explain : In the RC (Radio Control) industry there are two grades the first being Competition Grade/Hobby grade and then Toy grade.

Toy grade (the kind you bought) are the ones found in most retail/online stores and are the most basic. They in most cases are used for entry into the hobby, have at best a minimum radio, charger and battery i.e. the charger is a trickle type and will take a long time to recharge the battery.

The run time of the battery is a fact you can't change (in this case 15 mins.) but there is a trade off with performance if you want to drive it fast the battery will drain faster and get allot hotter, which damages the battery and reduces the number of recharge cycles it can provide, and also any battery type used in this field must be allowed to cool before even thinking of charging it so there will be some down time regardless.

So in this case the manufacturers decide to provide a trickle type charger to increase the longevity of the battery not reduce to charge time, imagine the response and outcry from the consumers if they found out a $ 49 battery would only give them 100 cycles before becoming useless and need to be replaced ? Also providing a slower charger also increases the safety factor of product (less likely to overheat and vent).

In hobby/competition grade RC products you can get chargers and batteries designed for quicker charging but the cost is much higher, they need to be replaced allot more often and are inherently more dangerous to use, i.e. LiPo batteries are very high performance but very finicky in how you charge and handle them which is why most toy companies don't use them.

Let me give you and example of how much I had invested in equipment when I was more active in the hobby (and working at several hobby shops) back in the late 80's and early 90's.

Charger and power supply : Victor Engineering Super Hi-IQ $399, power supply $150

Battery packs : 10 Sanyo Sub C 7.2v six cell matched packs $85 each.

Radio : KO Propo 2 channel FM $180

Car : Trinity Super Speedway $ 199

Total cost not including expendables i.e. motors, gears, tires, bodies, repair parts etc. $1,778, I would say it's safe to say you paid no where near that for your grandsons first RC car correct ?

Now I know that some of these prices have come down quite a bit but the basics haven't in fact some have gone up, but as you can see performance has it's cost.

Bear in mind we were racing and trying to get maximum performance from our equipment (60 real MPH for 5 minutes) but even for just playing it still is much higher than the average toy grade car/truck etc, attached are some pics of the equipment I'm referring to.

I know that 8 hours of charging for 15 of run time may seem like it's unreasonable but it's also better than buying new battery packs every 100 cycles at $49 just to shave some recharge time off.

If you like you can get several packs and rotate them so you have more play time, I hope this explains things a little better.

And to those that have had a bad experience with the toy grade RC I'm sorry, but please remember they are toys and will have limitations and should be judged with that in mind, if you wish to be able to tune, modify, repair, and in general have better performance then you may need to check out what's available from your local hobby shop but it will be pricey.

Just as in the OPE world you get what you pay for.

Ron

P.S. click on these links if you want to see how dangerous a LiPo packs can be if misused.
World's Most Dangerous Battery! - YouTube

LRP Lipo Brand LRP Lipo Fire im S8 BXe - YouTube



Agreed, I just got my old Tamiya Clod Buster out of storage this spring and a new battery, stock motors, and chassis parts that I needed to get going again were almost $200 from Tower Hobbies. Initial invetment in this truck was well over $700.00 in late 80's money. Anything that one buys over the counter at the local walmart/target, etc. is throwaway stuff next to the Hobby grade stuff.
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#12 Toolpartzman OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2012 - 03:41 PM

You guys all have good points. My question was more philosophic in nature. No matter our expertise as a consumer, nor the purpose of the purchase, at what point are we willing to accept being victims instead of consumers? Sure, I can get a refund-only after driving back to the store, waiting in line and going thru the hassle. Retailers seem to have the attitude that "a cheerful refund" is an excuse for selling bad merchandise.

NOR is this about the $$$$. I purchased a product-(value given value received)-a product which, by description, promised that it had utility-(function). Unlike a Teddy Bear with only perceived, subjective value, this product was advertised to DO something. IMO, no matter the product, no matter the cost, a 5.88% duty cycle is no function at all and the manufacturers' statement verifies that they had knowledge of that fact. What did I expect? I don't know, perhaps 15? A cheap junk wire welder will give you that. If the Teddy Bear had some function other than just being soft, I would expect no less.

Ok, so some sense of reason must be employed. If I dash out a buy a Red Mazda Miata, because the salesman promised that all the college girls would want a ride, then I find they don't, reason would say it was all Bull. But if it only starts 6 times out of a 100, them I'm a victim.
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#13 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 03, 2012 - 06:53 PM

I think Ranchkingron has laid out his point very well. Your product DOES have utility, and I hope that aside from the short run time it does everything else as advertised, ie. goes forward, reverse, left, and right. The problem is one of energy: The truck requires a certain amount to function, and the longer you want it to run, the larger the battery must be. I've been in the RC hobby over the years, and even the professional grade stuff won't run much over 15 minutes unless you get into some really exotic stuff. For extreme run time, you need an internal combustion engine because fuel is so much more energy dense than battery packs. Ron doesn't mention it, but even hobby equipment is limited. I built my own charger so I could charge four 6 cell battery packs in about an hour. I would take my boat to the pond, and a good run would last maybe 5 minutes and used either 3 or 4 battery packs at once. Granted, that was an exhilerating 5 minutes, but then it was time to return to the dock and put in another set. I was using an AstroFlight Cobalt 40 and pulling about 15 amps at 26 volts; roughly 400 watts pushing a boat about 25 mph. I could cut back to 2 packs and run a lot longer, but only around 10-15 mph. I also spent a LOT more than a toy truck costs at a big box store. Far fewer people would buy a toy truck that had high quality components.
If your primary issue is battery life, stop by your local hobby store, tell them what sort of battery you have and see if someone makes a similar hobby grade battery that you can adapt to your son's truck. It can be done, but I'll bet you will spend more on the battery and a fast charger than you paid for the entire truck.

Howard




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