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Robocutters/EuropeCNC - Reputable??

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by eldonesset, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. eldonesset

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    Can anyone give me guidance on the reputation of Robocutters? They do a whole lot of different large CNC router machine kits of OX-type design. Not much review info out there on the web.
     
  2. Brian. Life Of

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    The following is information in the public domain available from UK authorities for free. Make your own judgement.

    From comapnydb.uk
    Robocutters Limited
    Incorporated Feb 2014.
    Has never filed any accounts.
    In June 2015 a proposal to strike off the company (dissolve it) was made.
    In September 2015 the registrar suspended the strike-off proposal due to an objection.​
    EuropeCNC Limited
    Incorporated 13 August 2015 - Just five months old, then.
    Has never filed any accounts.
    Same registered address and same director as Robocutters.​
    From companycheck.co.uk
    Companies listed with the same sole director as Robocutters/EuropeCNC are
    Cnccuts Limited - Incorporated 2012. Dissolved 2015.
    Redsail(UK) Limited - Incorporated 2012. Dissolved 2014.
    World Innovations LTD - Incorporated 2009. Dissolved 2014.
    Worldwide Innovations Limited - Incorporated 2012. Dissolved 2014.​
    Companies listed with a director of the same name, slightly different DOB but registered at the same address are
    Baicam Limited - Dissolved.
    Premier Technology 2000 Limited - Dissolved.
    Topsoft (N.e.) Limited - Dissolved.
    Unit Security (Ne) Limited - Dissolv... You get the picture.
    What a trail. I think I've done enough digging for you. Why don't you do some now? CompanyCheck is a goldmine. Especially if you cross-reference entries which seem to be for unrelated directors but then when you drill down you find they are registered at the same residential address and often named like they are doing the same kind of stuff. Coincidence? Well, it is possible.

    One more search. Just because its you:

    From Google Search using the company name and address
    1) Black Cat CNC aka blackcatcutters.co.uk - This one appears to be still trading. Not a limited company though.
    2) A review website with some unhappy bunnies posting on it. See a bit futher down the page.
    3) Glowing reviews... er, actually none came up. But then again these companies only hang around for a few months before being wound up, so the number of customers must be fairly small. Maybe none of the happy ones could be bothered.
    Go visit the three still-trading companies websites. There is one striking thing they all have in common: Their Ts and Cs all say that you can never send a purchase back for any reason. Ever. Which you may want to compare to the legal position in the UK which is that [almost] any online purchase can be returned for a full refund without the purchaser having to give any reason. The CNC kits that these companies sell would fall into that category of purchase.

    And do remember what the "Limited" bit of a "Limited Company" means. It is short for "Limited Liability". Which means if it goes belly-up then the director's liability to you the customer is, roughly speaking, none whatsoever. Bye bye to your cash.

    Wanna do business with these companies? Feel free to go ahead. If you need to cry about it afterwards, the following review website will welcome your input: RoboCutters - www.robocutters.co.uk

     
  3. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    That would explain a lot. I had dealings with RoboCutters quite some time ago, and luckily their contact service was so bad it was next to zero, that I got suspicious and decided to order direct from the States, a good decision it would seem!
    Anything you can do Mark?
    Thanks for the information. Forewarned IS Forearmed.
    Cheers
    Gray
     
  4. redpla

    redpla New
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    I am even now fighting a battle with EuropeCNC Ltd (trading as robocutters.co.uk) to get my money back on a so-called kit that arrived late and was seriously incomplete. Third parties are helping - Trading Standards in Middlesborough are interested and much more eager than I expected, the card payment service is working through its 'process', and moneyclaim.gov.uk (which used to be known as the Small Claims Court) are another line of attack. Or is it defence? Success is - at best - only likely not certain because EuropeCNC could be dissolved at any time taking my money with it. But let's plug on until that happens.

    One worrying thing that the director / sole proprietor of EuropeCNC (and all those other dissolved companies) said to me: "I am UK distributor for OB". And that puts me right off doing business with OpenBuilds here in the UK - even though I know that the USA arm of OpenBuilds is very highly regarded. Does anyone know if his claim is actually true?
     
  5. Chillimonster

    Chillimonster Journeyman
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    I used Ooznest for my Openbuilds kit - could not be happier - the communications from Ryan was superb, everything was answered within hours and the kit arrived, complete with detailed instruction, on schedule.
     
    GrayUK and Teflon4 like this.
  6. redpla

    redpla New
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    Phew! It's been a stressful month but PayPal have now come good and refunded my payment. So here are some buying tips I've learned which may help others...

    1) Well, first off... do some research before buying from Colin Russon at Robocutters or Black Cat or EuropeCNC or whatever trading name it is this week.
    2) Look at the seller's T's and C's before you buy (D'Oh!) Click their "refunds" tab. If it says "none so you can just shove off matey" then go somewhere else. Because, for a start, that's illegal.
    3) Look up the company on any one of the zillion Companies House reference websites. Then drill down to the director(s). You can learn loads... Is the registered office a residential address? So it's probably a kitchen-table company with limited resources. What does StreetView show you? If it's a run-down estate (business or residential) then ask yourself why. And the key one... How many other companies has this person had before and how long do they stay in existence and what does t'internet say about them in the way of reviews?
    4) Pay with PayPal. This will seem to give you a warm glow of Ready-Brek protection. But don't be complacent - using PayPal doesn't mean you always get your money back. You have to jump through PayPal's hoops first and the outcome is entirely at their discretion - you have no come-back if they decide against you. Also consider paying with Visa - but check the T's and C's.
    5) Pay IN ONE TRANSACTION ONLY. PayPal buyer protection does not apply if you pay a deposit first and then pay a final payment later. Betcha didn't guess that one.
    6) Agree before purchase with the seller that the item you are buying is NOT bespoke. Buyer protection does not apply to a bespoke item. Nor does it apply to an item you are buying for a business. Nor does the consumer act apply to business purchases.
    7) If the seller is messing you about and delaying delivery and you're starting to twig that not is all as it seems, then go through PayPal's process to cancel the purchase. It's a lot easier to do that than to wait until a pile of poo turns up on your doorstep leaving you chasing a refund.
    8) If you're not happy with the kit you (eventually) receive, don't start putting it together. That blows any chance of a refund. Re-box it exactly as it was. Video the packing.
    9) Contact the seller for a refund FAST. If the problem is more than the odd missing screw, then don't muck about trying to get the extra parts etc because there are no good reasons for a kit to be substantially incomplete. It's either incompetence or intent, both of which end up with the seller having your money and you having no machine. So get the refund agreed first then negotiate after if you want to. And if they don't play... open a PayPal dispute and escalate it to a claim. You have to move fast because if the seller goes bust, leaves PayPal, dissolves the company (see someone's post above), empties the bank account or in any other way removes PayPal's ability to extract funds from the seller, then PayPal won't give you your money back. PayPal are not bailiffs - they don't beat down a seller's door and take away his car to get your money for you. They're not an escrow service - even though that's what they'd like you to kinda think when you read about how marvellous Buyer Protection is. Be very clear that it is your money, not PayPal's, that you paid with. Told you the refund wasn't guaranteed. But PayPal only mention this in their micro-print. Having realised this, you may prefer to go via the small claims court (it's very easy - just file online and pay £50 or so.) But the same applies: the court is not a bailiff. The court can award the case to you, with costs, but you still have to extract the money from the seller - which is a whole other process. So in the end, PayPal is likely to be quicker and cheaper for you. Save the court option for when PayPal let you down. Or to recover other losses such as the cost of packing/posting/insuring the item back to the seller.
    10) PayPal will want you to send the item back to the seller before they refund you. Which puts you at risk because once it's gone you have lost most of your leverage. Only send it to the seller's PayPal registered address. No matter what the seller says or what other addresses the seller lists on their site. ONLY delivery to the seller's registered PayPal address will trigger a refund from PayPal. Use the best courier you can find (i.e. TNT via Interparcel if you're in the UK), video yourself packaging up the items and video yourself using twice as much bubble-wrap and tape as the seller did - so that any claim by the seller that the item was returned short or damaged won't be credible. Insure the item. Interparcel's max is £1000 per consignment so if necessary use two consignments. Note that THE ITEM MUST BE BOXED, not merely wrapped, or the insurance does not apply. So read Interparcel's T's and C's in full. Consider that the seller can refuse to take delivery. So be prepared to pay TNT for the return trip to get the parcel back home. PayPal are likely to still find in your favour, if the seller does this, and then the seller will have the hassle of collecting the parcel from you. So they are unlikely to refuse to accept.
    11) Stick a massive label on the box saying "Must be signed for. Do not leave with neighbour". Contact Interparcel and tell them you want to vary the default T's and C's so that TNT will not leave the parcel with a neighbour and will get a signature. You can do this via Interparcel's online chat facility. They're very efficient. This is real important. Otherwise the seller can claim that the parcel has "gone missing". Pop goes your refund, leaving you to make a dubious claim with the courier's insurer. Who will fight you for sure.

    But really, please don't get into this situation in the first place. It's no fun at all. Good luck everyone.

    Now... where am I going to buy my son a good CNC kit from for (last) Christmas?
     
    #6 redpla, Feb 16, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
  7. Chillimonster

    Chillimonster Journeyman
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    Glad it came good for you in the end even if you had to jump through hoops.

    As for a good CNC kit - i still stand by my last statement of Ooznest. Superb instructions, everything seperately bagged and labelled, excellent comms throughout.

    Could not ask for more (IMO of course)

    Chris
     
    Ryan Lock likes this.
  8. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    Thanks Redpla, for going to the trouble, and producing a very thorough explanation, as well as, showing consideration to others here, who might have made the same mistake.
    It is a great shame that you were faced with this nightmare, from this Distributor, but great news that you won in the end. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
    Mistakes get made, and luckily there have been only a few, on this Forum and site. :)
    Once again, thanks for making the extra effort to keep us all informed! :thumbsup:
    Gray
     
  9. Joe Santarsiero

    Joe Santarsiero OB addict
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    Did you just go through all of that with them?
     
  10. 1972

    1972 Well-Known
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    Hi Guys,

    Thought I'd add my experiences to this.

    I've placed a few orders with Robocutters (maybe 6+ months ago) and received all items ordered in good condition.
    I've never ordered any expensive kits or anything like that, probably £100 max order.
    One thing to note, Robocutters do sell some custom parts which you cant get elsewhere (in the UK at least).

    I've also ordered from Ooznest and cant fault them - delivery is usually next day is always well packaged and you're kept up to date with the order status, if there's no price difference I usually go with Ooznest for the faster delivery.

    Something I do with either is gasp at the prices compared to the Openbuilds store USA, but that's probably because I'm tight!

    Cheers,
    Chris
     
  11. Rick 2.0

    Rick 2.0 OpenBuilds Team
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    The main difference being VAT. Exluding VAT, some of the prices are actually cheaper than the US price.
     
  12. SWB_UK

    SWB_UK New
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    I have spent 2K on a kit from Robocutters. Unfortunately I did not realize how incomplete it was until I started to build it, or I would have definitely sent it back.

    Not only were there LOTS of missing parts, the design was incomplete to. I ordered mid Dec 15 and received the kit mid Jan, and I am still muddling through the build now. Its been frustrating to put it very politely.

    I'll willingly share details about my experiences through PM and eventually hope to document the build on here.
     
  13. redpla

    redpla New
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    Could I suggest you share your experience with Jane Dent, Middlesborough Trading Standards, jane_dent <at> middlesbrough.gov.uk ? Obviously small-fry stuff like this isn't going to set the department buzzin', but they can and do make personal visits to rogue traders. Since I contacted Trading Standards, Robocutter's (official) refunds policy has changed from "no chance" to "14 days". Which isn't a lot of progress - and in a way it's a backwards step because that Big Red Flag for consumers is now missing from all of Russon's websites. But you got to start somewhere and now that he's on Trading Standard's radar again perhaps he'll sharpen up his game.

    It's hard to reconcile the several experiences* of incomplete kits and subsequent long-drawn-out difficulties in getting all the parts, compared to other postings which say Colin is a top bloke and can't do enough to help customers. It may simply be that the ambitions of the supplier outstrip ability to perform: the sheer variety of own-design machine kits that Robocutters/BlackCat/EuropeCNC/etc offer would be far too much for one person to manage effectively, especially while also trying to run a business offering parts and other small orders.

    In the end we went with a Ooznest C-Beam kit, as recommended by Chillimonster. The machine is of course much smaller than the Robocutters one, but as an educational tool for a 10-year-old it'll do an equivalent job - we'll just have to make smaller gadgets. And of course it will cut aluminium which the Robocutters one wouldn't.

    The Ooznest experience was fantastic. Super-fast delivery. Every part bagged and labelled and then boxed into sub-assemblies. During build we found a bent part... but one email to Ryan and a new part arrived the next day by express.

    * A couple of other review sites...
    >> Robocutters?
    >> http://www.reviewcentre.com/Online-...Cutters-www-robocutters-co-uk-reviews_2744785
     
  14. redpla

    redpla New
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    Yes, I did. The resistance from Robocutters was absolute and unshakable. But luckily I had (pretty much by accident) paid the full amount using PayPal in one transaction - and that's what saved me. But it was a very worrying time having so much cash on the line for so long.

    See the reviews linked above, especially the "Ox-Max" entry in the second of those links, for what happens when someone struggles on and tries to build an incomplete kit in the assumption that the supplier will come good with the missing parts. And of course see poor SWB_UK's post just above who is now going though the same thing.

    Trouble is, here in the UK we are amongst the biggest internet-shoppers in the world. And maybe the ebay experience - with its feedback and virtually bullet-proof complaints/refund procedure - has lulled us into the sense that internet transactions are reliable and safe. Fortunately (?) there are websites out there that give us an occasional nasty experience to remind us to take a bit more bl**dy care about where we shop in future. Let's think of them as offering a public service :)
     
  15. Chillimonster

    Chillimonster Journeyman
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    Glad you shared my superb experience with Ooznest.

    I'll be converting my 1500 x 1000 Ooznest OX to C-Beam and Leadscrew and you know where i'll be going for parts and advice :)
     

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