[Coco] A warning to readers regarding Roger Taylor
msmcdoug at iinet.net.au
Wed Jan 11 18:00:48 EST 2012
On 12/01/2012 12:24 AM, Blake Patterson wrote:
> I wanted to share my experience to protect other potential customers of
I'm adding my $0.02 against my better judgement...
IMHO Blake your only mistake in all of this was to urge readers to avoid
Roger Taylor. Up until that point you offered an impartial, factual account
of your dealings and for anyone to suggest you were slandering him is
completely absurd. Some of the responses to your post have themselves been
well, you couldn't say slanderous but at the very least - childish.
What you should have done is ended your blog with a caveat and simply
recommend that any potential customer consider your experience and at least
they'll go in with their eyes open.
Personally, I've only had positive experiences with Roger, though I haven't
ordered hardware (only software) from him myself.
I can certainly understand both sides of the fence, having dabbled in
providing hardware on a 'hobbyist' basis. It's very, very easy to be
interrupted by Real Life and before you know it the days have turned into
weeks and you suddenly realise you haven't touched the project in *months*.
It has happened to me many, many times, though I have never taken any
payments unless I have something in my hand to ship.
Again IMHO, I think Roger's mistakes have been biting off more than he can
chew, and also accepting payment up-front. Now I understand that he is
trying to make a living - or at least supplement his income - via these
endeavours, and needs cash injections to order parts etc. Most of us can and
will cut him some slack there, but - as someone else said - at some point
it's going to try the patience of even the most charitable hobbyist. You
can't run a business like that - and yes, Roger has a business as soon as
people are paying for something - and if you do, you will end up with
It's a catch-22 for Roger with economies of scale for bulk inventory
purchases, vs the cash required to do it.
Roger, what I think you need to do is to be more transparent (and more
realistic) about the delays involved, and advertising on eBay that a product
is available when it isn't is a _definite_ no-no. Also, you should be
prepared to offer refunds if requested - no questions asked - after a
certain number of days have elapsed if you are unable to fulfil a certain order.
Of course, customers need to realise the nature of Roger's (hobbyist)
business. But I think that generally, people here are doing that the best
they can. Some, like Blake, have reached their limit and that is also
I'll leave you with one last anecdote. The Open Pandora project is a
'community' project to design and manufacture a hand-held gaming device. It
started more than 3 years ago, with pre-orders in the hundreds of dollars -
promising that units would start shipping within 2 months. I pre-ordered one
at the time. Well, it has started shipping but there are people even now who
still haven't received their units. I asked for a refund about 12 months
after I ordered, and did receive it. They were generally good with refunds
when requested so, while there are a lot of disillusioned would-be customers
out there, there's no-one baying for blood.
| Mark McDougall | "Electrical Engineers do it
| <http://members.iinet.net.au/~msmcdoug> | with less resistance!"
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