Author Topic: Universal Radio online ordering -- don't.  (Read 6482 times)

Offline Alan Georges

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Universal Radio online ordering -- don't.
« on: June 22, 2013, 07:58:12 AM »
This negative review brings me no joy to write, but what I’m going to say deserves saying if only to warn others.

Last weekend I placed a rather large order with Universal Radio via their web site, http://www.universal-radio.com/  There was no confirmation email, but it was a weekend after all, and I am patient.  Monday, still none.  Tuesday, none again, so I called to check on my order’s status.  “Oh yes, we process these things in batches, yours should be... oh, there it is.”  Alright then, they did receive the order, things should be coming along any time now.

Or perhaps not.  Looking online I found some mixed reviews of this business: http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php?topic=72423.0  After reading this, it seemed wise to check in on my order after a few days, which I did on Friday morning.  The two fellows I spoke with at Universal Radio were both helpful, especially the one who pointed out that since my order was over $1000, flat rate shipping no longer applied and shipping now would be a little over $80.  Of course, nothing had actually shipped, it being only six days after I’d placed the order, but they did have the radio in stock and would have it along any day now... I thanked them for their time and canceled the order.

Fifteen minutes later, I had an email confirmation from Ham Radio Outlet (http://www.hamradio.com/), and by evening I had a tracking number and confirmed delivery date.  BTW, the shipping was free and their price for the radio was $50 less, for a net $130 off what Universal would have charged.

Look, I’m not bashing Universal Radio.  Every phone conversation with them was courteous and helpful.  Their web site is a treasure trove of product information.  And I am reasonably sure that a walk-in purchase at their brick-and-mortar store would be a positive experience.  It is just that their e-commerce site is a clunky Model T in a Lamborghini world.  So save yourself the trouble, delay, and frustration -- if you’re ordering online, order elsewhere.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Universal Radio online ordering -- don't.
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2013, 11:27:17 AM »
Good to know, thanks for the honest report, could save some of us a lot of grief down the road.  I've had no problems with AES and HRO, both online and in store, so it looks like I should stick with them. 

For me, when ordering online, whether it's electronics, bullion, bullets, etc, it's more important that I actually get what I order promptly with a minimum amount of hassle and anxiety on my part.  Getting the "best" price is a lower priority to actually getting the stuff.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Universal Radio online ordering -- don't.
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2013, 03:14:53 PM »
For me, when ordering online, whether it's electronics, bullion, bullets, etc, it's more important that I actually get what I order promptly with a minimum amount of hassle and anxiety on my part.  Getting the "best" price is a lower priority to actually getting the stuff.

I completely agree.  When I order, I want my stuff ASAP.  Less chance of it getting lost or mangled in shipping.  Frequently I'll pop the extra $5-$10 for 2-Day shipping just to lower the screw-up factor.

So glad I switched that order: no hassle, $50 off, and free shipping makes me feel OK about this week's earlier frustration.

zanedclark@att.net

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Re: Universal Radio online ordering -- don't.
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2013, 12:06:15 PM »
Thanks for pointing this out.  I am reading this post from your post on my question on which HF to buy.  I have bought from them twice and have had no problems.

But we have a Ham Radio Outlet in Oakland CA and I think you had the suggestion to actually look at the radios before making the decision.  So with your review, I'll go to Oakland and see.  About 90 miles away.

+1
z

Offline Jerry D Young

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Re: Universal Radio online ordering -- don't.
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2013, 12:44:21 PM »
Hm. I've ordered several things on-line from Universal Radio and never had a problem. But they were all fairly small orders.

Just my opinion.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Universal Radio online ordering -- don't.
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2013, 05:49:20 PM »
But we have a Ham Radio Outlet in Oakland CA and I think you had the suggestion to actually look at the radios before making the decision.  So with your review, I'll go to Oakland and see.  About 90 miles away.

Man, on a purchase like this, going and seeing the goods would definitely be way to go.  All new and shiney, you get to try them a little, talk to the hams who work there, no shipping delay... What a way to shop!