My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

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allanallanf
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My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by allanallanf » Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:07 am

TLDR: Placed order with Ameridroid that never arrived. Companies stance is tough luck, not our problem, nothing we can do.

Hi all,

I've heard nothing but good things about ameridroid, however I assume this is when the product actually arrives. My experience with them wasn't so great. Below is the actual email's back and forth until they went quiet and stopped responding 2 days ago. Please read from bottom up and decide for yourselves.

I'm not here to bash them or start a flame war, just want to make others aware of potential risks when things don't go as planned.

Allan

Allan xxx
Wed 6/26/2019 6:16 PM
To: Orders <orders@ameridroid.com>
1 attachments (44 KB)
shipping.jpg;
Hi Daniel,

I've attached a screenshot of the shipping options that were available to me. You'll note that only the globegistics option has a note saying speed not guaranteed and not insured. This implies all the other options were insured and why I purposely selected the considerably more expensive USPS option (which kind of implies will be insured since there is no note advising it is not). I'd advise on changing the USPS option to also state not insured as this is very misleading.

Have to say I'm a little disappointed by this whole situation. Ameridroid has great reviews all over, but it appears these are only when things go as expected. In my instance, the parcel has gone missing and other than a few emails stating you've tried calling them I've had nothing and been basically left out of pocket. Not that I am particularly expecting anything, but an offer of goodwill or similar may have helped, instead of just being told that basically USPS aren't helping and i'm out of luck (and pocket) as it was not insured (as stated, the option gave the impression it was insured).

While I do appreciate this is not your fault, it is certainly not mine either. Sadly, I'm going to pass on the ordering of the H2 from you guys and go direct from hardkernel.

Allan

From: Orders <orders@ameridroid.com>
Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2019 12:54 PM
To: Allan xxxx
Subject: Re: New customer message on June 3, 2019 at 9:41 am

Hello Allan,

I am sorry, First Class mail does not have any insurance on it, and the USPS is basically refusing to look into it further. I apologize for this issue, and that I can't get them to put any effort into this. I am going to call the USPS one more time, hopefully they will be able to uncover something. Thank you for your business and your patience,


Daniel

ameriDroid


On 6/25/2019 8:22 AM, Allan xxx wrote:
Hi Daniel,

It's been another week now with nothing. Was the package insured at all for loss? If it was and they are likely to issue a refund do you have any idea on this?

I'm wanting to order a H2 and if a refund is likely from USPS then I will hold off and add it to the H2 order.

If the package wasn't insured and I just have to eat the loss then there's no point me holding on and I may as well pre order the H2 right away.

Let me know what you think is best to do?'

Thanks
Allan

From: Orders <orders@ameridroid.com>
Sent: Wednesday, June 19, 2019 4:52 PM
To: Allan xxx
Subject: Re: New customer message on June 3, 2019 at 9:41 am

Hello Allan,


Unfortunately, we do not have a DHL location or pickup in our area, so we cannot offer DHL as a shipping option, but UPS and FedEx are much more reliable options than is the USPS. I am still hoping that we will be able to locate your order; I will let you know when I receive any result from the USPS. I appreciate your patience in this matter,


Daniel

ameriDroid



On 6/19/2019 12:23 PM, Allan xxx wrote:
Hi Daniel,

Unless the package was insured then it might not be worth the hassle. I should have known better and spent the extra $10 for DHL/Fedex. If it wasn't insured then all of this might be a little pointless.

I'm wanting to order a H2 from you guys when you get stock so if the package hasn't arrived by then (doubtful at this point!) then i'll just chalk it down as a learning experience and use a better courier in future.

I'll order the H2 and the replacement N2 at the same time and get the shipped by DHL. Luckily the order was only about $100 so while annoying it's not the end of the earth.

Thanks
Allan
From: Orders <orders@ameridroid.com>
Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2019 6:17 PM
To: Allan xxxx
Subject: Re: New customer message on June 3, 2019 at 9:41 am

Hello Allan,


I have been trying all day to start a missing mail claim, but as the USPS does not actually want you to begin this process they make it as hard as humanly possible to complete, eg: broken links etc... I am on hold now with the postal service and I will contact you once I have made progress. Thank you,


Daniel

ameriDroid



On 6/18/2019 5:02 AM, Allan xxx wrote:
Hi Daniel,

Just reaching out as per your request in the email below. Did you hear anything from USPS?

Thanks
Allan
From: Orders <ordersameridroid@sonic.net>
Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 1:58 PM
To: Allan xxx
Subject: Re: New customer message on June 3, 2019 at 9:41 am

Hello Alan,


I have contacted the USPS and they are looking into it. I have been told to give them a week to try and locate it, and they will contact me. If you have not heard back from me by next Tuesday, please contact me again and I will begin a missing mail search. Thank you for your business and your patience,


Daniel

ameriDroid


On 6/11/2019 6:20 AM, Allan xxx wrote:
Hi Daniel,

Sadly this has still not arrived. Could you look into it with USPS please?

Also, just as a second point, do you any a date for the Odroid H2's to come back in stock yet?

Thanks
Allan
From: Orders <ordersameridroid@sonic.net>
Sent: Monday, June 3, 2019 1:50 PM
To: xxxx
Subject: Re: New customer message on June 3, 2019 at 9:41 am

Hello Allan,

Usually I would think that would have been delivered by now. Unfortunately, with USPS First Class service, the tracking does not update after the package leaves the U.S. until it is delivered. If you have not received your shipment by the end of this week, please contact us again, and we will inquire within the USPS. Thank you for your business and your patience,

Daniel

ameriDroid
On 6/3/2019 9:41 AM, ameriDroid (Shopify) wrote:


You received a new message from your online store's contact form.
Name:
Allan xxxxx
Email:
xxxxxxx
Phone:
xxxxx
Message:
Hi guys,

Could you do a quick check on ORDER: AD17193. It was shipped early May but I have not received it so far. The tacking number: UA429842017US hasn't had any update since it was in San Fran on May 10th.

I may be contacting you too early, so let me know if that's the case and I'll hold on longer!

Thanks
Allan

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Re: My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by Ameridroid » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:03 am

Allan, thanks for your honest feedback. Let me start by saying that it is very rare that any shipping company loses packages, but when it does happen it is quite annoying and costly.

We are working with our hosting company to add an insurance option to every shipping method. But this needs to be integrated into the shipping options page, so it will take some custom development to make it available. We know that this doesn't help your situation at all.

We'll figure out a way to reduce or eliminate the pain associated with this transaction for you. I'll be in touch via a direct message once we have figured out a resolution.

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Re: My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by Ameridroid » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:44 am

Allan, after reviewing this issue and talking once more to USPS, our shipping department will be sending a new order out to you today at our expense via a different shipping method.

In exchange, if you do end up receiving the original shipment at a later date, please refuse it and "return to sender."

Unfortunately, USPS doesn't insure 1st Class packages. We'll be updating our shipping descriptions to clarify this.

Please accept our deepest apologies for the hassle.

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Re: My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by Ameridroid » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:49 am

UPDATE: We tried to make the change on the relevant shipping choices to mention that no insurance was included, but our webstore provider hasn't implemented the ability to change the standard shipping descriptions, like "USPS 1st Class Mail International". We're working with them to get the descriptions modified.
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Re: My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by rooted » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:25 pm

Allan your title is a little bit misleading, the package was shipped so the issue is less with Ameridroid and more with USPS.

I'm glad that Ameridroid resent the device, it is a shame when a package gets lost with no resolution.

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Re: My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by Maureen235 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:23 pm

Ameridroid wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:44 am
Allan, after reviewing this issue and talking once more to USPS, our shipping department will be sending a new order out to you today at our expense via a different shipping method.

In exchange, if you do end up receiving the original shipment at a later date, please refuse it and "return to sender."

Unfortunately, USPS doesn't insure 1st Class packages. We'll be updating our shipping descriptions to clarify this.

Please accept our deepest apologies for the hassle.
Let me start by saying that it is very rare that any shipping company loses packages, but when it does happen it is quite annoying and costly.

We are working with our hosting company to add an insurance option to every shipping method. But this needs to be integrated into the shipping options page, so it will take some custom development to make it available. We know that this doesn't help your situation at all.
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Re: My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by benwillcox » Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:08 pm

Interesting!

Here in the UK the we have a Consumer Rights Act which states that the retailer is responsible for the goods until they are in the physical possession of the purchaser. There is never any need to select any special insurance as this is the responsibility of the supplier, and the whole notion that a product could get lost in transit and that the customer would then have to just deal with the problem would seem very bizarre to any Brit!

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Re: My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by rooted » Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:51 am

benwillcox wrote:Interesting!

Here in the UK the we have a Consumer Rights Act which states that the retailer is responsible for the goods until they are in the physical possession of the purchaser. There is never any need to select any special insurance as this is the responsibility of the supplier, and the whole notion that a product could get lost in transit and that the customer would then have to just deal with the problem would seem very bizarre to any Brit!

Ben
Do you always have to sign for packages?

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Re: My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by mad_ady » Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:10 am

In Europe we usually pay on delivery. And yes, for prepaid packages we need to sign.
Actually, some big online stores have implemented something like a p.o. box delivery for prepaid packages. You go to the public box, authenticate via phone app and your package is released. The same boxes can be used to return stuff.

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[SOLVED] Re: My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by Ameridroid » Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:49 am

From a political theory perspective, requiring a supplier who cannot be in control of a package from shipment until delivery increases the costs on every package the supplier sends as the supplier need to cover losses incurred by potentially careless shipping companies that they have no control over. In addition, if the supplier is responsible for the shipper's irresponsibility, it removes the shipper's impetus to minimize errors that cause losses. Allowing the consumer to remove this coverage for a slightly lower cost gives the consumer freedom to decide if they want to assume the risks for themselves, or if they have another solution for being reimbursed for shipping costs.

As with everything that involves political theory, there will be many opinions on this, and that's fine. One may say that a "Consumer Rights Act" protects consumers, while another may say that a "Consumer Rights Act" is a misnomer if it removes a consumer's right to decide for themselves and increases the consumer's costs on every purchase.

This is simply an introduction to what we've implemented at ameridroid.com. We now include Route shipping insurance on every package, starting at $0.98 which includes third-party shipping insurance and replacement when problems occur, no matter the shipping company used. However, the customer can ultimately decide to remove it before paying for their order, exercising their freedom to assume the risk themselves.

Of course, we recommend the Route shipping insurance as that removes the risk and greatly minimizes the hassle when the shipping company falls short. But ultimately, we believe in the individual's freedom and right to decide.

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Re: My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by mad_ady » Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:12 am

Surely, a shipping company can't "lose" parcels and not have to pay back their value, can they? Otherwise I might change careers and become a postman :)
If they leave packages on the front door then whose responsibility is it when they are missing?
I've seen solutions against pacage thieves though: https://youtu.be/xoxhDk-hwuo

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Re: My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by Ameridroid » Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:46 am

mad_ady wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:12 am
Surely, a shipping company can't "lose" parcels and not have to pay back their value, can they? Otherwise I might change careers and become a postman :)
If they leave packages on the front door then whose responsibility is it when they are missing?
I've seen solutions against pacage thieves though: https://youtu.be/xoxhDk-hwuo
When we've encountered a situation where the package states "Delivered" in the tracking, but the package goes missing (due to theft, errors with the shipper, etc.), most shippers require that it then becomes a homeowner / renter insurance policy issue.

There are obviously holes in the system where dishonest people can "game" the system to get free stuff, and dishonest and/or imperfect companies can "game" the system to not have to pay for their errors.

If we ship out an order and it turns out that the perpetrator used a stolen credit card, we don't get the items back and the money gets deducted from our account via a credit card chargeback. Yet another way that dishonest people can "game" the system, and companies with poor security strategies (aka: credit card companies who only require a few numbers to extract money from anyone's account) can get out of having to pay for their poor security model.

Unfortunately in many cases, the supplier is left holding the (empty) bag when the problem was no fault of their own other than trying to operate a business and having to rely on other vendors who have less-than-perfect processes.

We encounter this, HK encounters this, and pretty much every other supplier does as well.
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Re: My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by rooted » Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:36 pm

Understand in the US the mail carrier will leave packages at your door, in the rain, not knock, and leave.

Things are much different in the US vs Europe, some packages have to be signed for but most don't.
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Re: [SOLVED] Re: My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by benwillcox » Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:11 pm

Ameridroid wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:49 am
From a political theory perspective, requiring a supplier who cannot be in control of a package from shipment until delivery increases the costs on every package the supplier sends as the supplier need to cover losses incurred by potentially careless shipping companies that they have no control over.
Agreed, and you're right that there will be many varying opinions on this type of thing, depending on country, culture etc. I'm not criticising Ameridroid about this by the way, just found it an interesting difference in culture and expectations/obligations between different countries.

I do believe that it is a good policy that if you order an item online and pay for it, that it is the sellers responsibility to make sure it arrives with the customer. I just don't think that an online purchase should be a gamble as to whether you receive it or not, with no recourse. As the delivery company is contracted by the supplier, I think it's right that it is it them who should be responsible for chasing up lost deliveries, not the customer.

To answer one of the previous questions, not all delivery companies require a signature (e.g some Royal Mail services) but the same rules apply. If the supplier chooses to use a non-tracked, non-insured delivery company then essentially they have to self-insure, by re-sending the product if it doesn't arrive. Generally some retailers will offer a variety of shipping options, but these would be selected based on speed of delivery rather than any guarantee of arrival (which is a given).

In the UK, payment on delivery is very rare. But with the big couriers like UPS, DPD, DHL etc if you're not in when the package arrives they'll just take it away or to a local pickup-shop. They would not leave it unattended on the doorstep (unless specific instructions were given) which seems to be more common in the US?

But I do think that the delivery companies should have more responsibility for ensuring packages arrive, without having to pay for extra insurance to guarantee it.

Ben
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Re: My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by Ameridroid » Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:44 am

@benwilcox

Thanks for your thoughtful response, and we are open to criticism if it helps us become a better company. We've implemented many changes due to criticism as well as gentle suggestions. :-)

We at ameriDroid want to promote consumer privacy (we never collect your credit card numbers, we offer products that are a great starting point for maintaining digital privacy, etc.) as well as personal liberty (we allow the customer to decide which shipper to contract with to send their package, and whether or not they want to insure that package, as well as providing products that give our customers freedom of choice for OS, applications, use cases, etc.).

Although we ship thousands of packages a month, we have practically no influence with the shipping companies. If we threatened to stop offering their service as an option to our customers, they most likely couldn't care less as any delivery problem is a systemic issue that a small company like us cannot change.

This is why we allow our customers to select their carrier and whether or not they want to insure the package with our third-party insurer. We, of course, will do everything we can to help if a package goes missing, but ultimately we have very little leverage to force the carrier to do the right thing, or to enact policy changes with any carrier. At this point, the best bet is to choose your carrier based on how much you're willing to spend vs. the shipping speed, and to not remove the insurance when checking out. We make no money off the shipping or the insurance, so it really does not affect our bottom line, but it does affect our customer satisfaction when something goes wrong. We find that with the way things are today, this is the best balance of consumer protection and consumer choice.

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Re: My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by powerful owl » Sat Dec 14, 2019 4:14 am

Honestly, it sounds like you want to have your cake and it eat too - you're happy to have a worldwide customer base but not to accept responsibility for delivering to it. Try thinking about it the way your customers would see it.

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Re: My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by Ameridroid » Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:37 am

powerful owl wrote:
Sat Dec 14, 2019 4:14 am
Honestly, it sounds like you want to have your cake and it eat too - you're happy to have a worldwide customer base but not to accept responsibility for delivering to it. Try thinking about it the way your customers would see it.
If "our cake" = "providing products at the lowest possible prices" and "eat it too" = "allowing our customers to choose their preferred shipping carrier at the lowest possible price and whether or not they want to pay for insurance", then we agree. HK and other suppliers are in the same predicament, needing to trust a third party to perform their duty effectively. There are other options, but they all end up costing the average customer more in the end - for instance, most of what we sell is available on Amazon, but at a much higher price. We'd be happy to accept responsibility for delivering to our customer base and replacing the items at our expense when we fail, if only our customers would be happy (or at least willing) to pay for our employees to hand deliver the packages worldwide, which is what it would be required to truly take responsibility for delivering to our worldwide customer base.

We have settled on giving our customers the freedom to choose. So don't deny the shipping insurance if you have any fear. It is very inexpensive and allows easy replacement if any part of the delivery process fails.

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Re: My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by powerful owl » Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:56 pm

I just went through the shopping cart on your site, and there's no option to accept or decline insurance.

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Re: My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by Ameridroid » Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:54 am

It can be a bit difficult to see right off the bat, but it is pretty obvious later in the checkout process.

Right above the "Checkout" button at the bottom of the screenshot is the slider to deselect the shipping insurance. On the second screenshot, it shows up as an item in the cart during checkout.
shipping-protection.jpg
shipping-protection.jpg (51.83 KiB) Viewed 436 times
shipping-protection2.jpg
shipping-protection2.jpg (48.55 KiB) Viewed 436 times
The shipping protection is generally about 1% of the total price on orders above $100 USD.

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Re: My (bad) experience with Ameridroid

Unread post by mad_ady » Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:43 pm

That's cheaper than I expected...
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