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Dodgy Dealers at Canberra Outlet Centre and a Toothless Tiger

By imarty 3 March 2014 25

A lesson learnt.

Last November my wife and I bought a remote control helicopter from a store in the old DFO as a Christmas present for my son. It’s the shop opposite Coffee Club that sells many of these types of toys as well as heaps of other ‘Made in China’ crap toys.

I asked the sales person if  it could be flown outside which he said it was capable of doing.

Come christmas morning a very excited 7yo boy and his dad took it outside to fly on a clear day with a barely perceptible breeze.

Basically the helicopter gained altitude ok however it kept drifting with the breeze.

This continued for several attempts and after the helicopter landed in our neighbour’s yard for the third time we came to the conclusion that this device was not fit for purpose and was clearly not capable of flying outside.

Anyway we took it back to the store to request a refund. Immediately I was met with resistance and the salesperson in charge offered me a credit note which I refused, they also explained that they needed to conduct their own tests, the helicopter did not have enough charge to do that there and then.

I left my details and requested contact be made ASAP so we could resolve the issue.

After a few days and no call from the shop I phoned them only to be advised by that the helicopter I purchased was not meant to be flown out side despite the salesman telling me it was.

I subsequently visited the store where the sales girl contacted another gentleman who advised me that he had indeed tested the helicopter outside and it was in perfect working order and flew well. So who was telling the truth?

They had absolutely no intention of giving me a refund so off the the Office of Regulatory Services to submit a claim. After a few days I was contacted by a nice lady explaining their procedures but she was not at all confident of getting a refund. The ORS also have no powers to compel dodgy companies to provide refunds so I’m not sure of exactly what they do?

BTW I’m pretty sure I’ll get some ‘advice’ from the usual suspects here, go for your life however this is my way of extracting some sort of satisfaction/revenge out of an incident with an unscrupulous and dishonest business.

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25 Responses to
Dodgy Dealers at Canberra Outlet Centre and a Toothless Tiger
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Sandman 11:57 pm 04 Mar 14

Even when it’s not “windy”. I’ve got a couple hundred dollars worth of Twister helicopters too. First one went ok for while then started to look a bit beat up so thought I’d buy another. Impatience got the better of me and I launched it from a rear balcony only to have a sudden gust fling it straight back at me and into the brick wall below. Every attempted fly since has resulted in weird flying behaviour so I went and got a Tamiya car instead.
The boy has a small Losi AWD rally car that goes well and bounces off things when it hits them. $149 from Monaro Hobbies and extra batteries are only $12. Best RC I’ve found yet for a kid under 10.

Walker 9:28 pm 04 Mar 14

I’ve tried the cheap indoor mini helicopters. They’re fun but don’t last, especially if you crash a lot.

My feeling is that a $100 larger version is just that – a larger version pretty much the same stuff. Should have been maybe $40.

Still, it should fly indoors reasonably well regardless if it’s been in the sun previously. If it’s stuffed early on in the game, I’d take it back and stick it to the vendor, have them recharge it and fly the bastard straight and if not then at least provide a replacement.

Why should we be buying this crap? Sure buyer beware, but if we’re going to export all that hardly-taxed shit to have it remade into other over-taxed shit we should at least have some shit that works to some reasonable expectation or duration.

Hell with that, I say chase it up.

gazket 8:40 pm 04 Mar 14

Its a $100 toy helicopter and it flies outside just not in the wind. Helicopters also take a bit master even gyro versions. I’d imagine due to scale size it wouldn’t take much wind to be hurricane forces. Buyers remorse from a spontaneous purchase.

qbngeek 4:32 pm 04 Mar 14

imarty said :

Thanks all for your constructive comments, especially you Trollsniffer, good to see you’re living up to your name and rep, well done champion.

The “brand” and model is a Digi One Flying Fox 888-203. It’s not a small one it’s about 50cm in length.
It cost >$100 and nowhere on the box or in the instructions does it say anything about not being able to be flown outside, indeed it says don’t fly in windy conditions which makes sense.

My point was that even in conditions with the tree tops barely moving it can’t be controlled beyond up and down and round and round (I’m sure I’ll be corrected on the proper terminology for these manoeuvres …) and yes we tried it down the local oval.

I understand I’ve done my dough, it was an impulse purchase, my post was simply a way of making myself feel better and an attempt at bringing your attention to the business’ idea of customer service and in the process limiting the amount of people that might make a purchase there.

You might not consider it constructive, but my advice is to cut your losses and tag it up to a learning experience. Having played with RC for many years (more cars and trucks than helis, but I have a few) I can tell you that a halfway decent heli suitable to fly outdoors will cost you $500+ and that may or may not include a remote and will more than likely be a kit that you need to assemble.

Then you need to learn to fly it, which took me about 2 months to get good enough to fly with confidence around obstacles and I am still learning years later.

If you want to get something you and your son can play with down the park, go buy a couple of buggys or monster trucks (electric will do if you are only going to do 15-30 mins at a time, nitro if you want to go really fast and not have to recharge) and go tear some dirt up.

Affirmative Action Man 4:21 pm 04 Mar 14

Gee Riot Act responses have got bitchy lately – maybe the poor possums are feeling tetchy in the post Gillard world.

I reckon its bad luck – the copter CAN clearly fly outside – as long as there is no wind .

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