Review: Internet Hobbies

TL/DR: Don’t be drawn in by the deal – they don’t deliver.

My son and I have recently gotten into model trains. We had an abortive foray into HO a couple years ago. This time were are going with N-scale. We’ve settled on the T-Trak system for the layout. I really like the idea of this modular system. I can actually wrap my head around finishing a T-Trak module (I’ll post my first one later) rather than look at a large table and despair about all the work that needs to be done.

Anyhow, this brings me to Internet Hobbies… I ran across their website whilst looking for model train supplies. They had a (seemingly) great selection and lucky me – a sale was going on. Oh shiny! I bought a pile of stuff. Everything I ordered was listed “in stock” and had estimated shipping times of 1-2 days. Internet Hobbies happily charged my card on the day of purchase and I got an e-mail confirmation about the order.

So I waited.

And waited some more. “Hmmm, they’re having another sale…” Wait… Check the order status. Wait…

I wasn’t impatient. I gave them a couple of weeks and sent them an e-mail for a status request. They responded the next day telling me the order was scheduled to ship “this upcoming week”.

Before I get into the rest of the story, you should know that they do not answer calls. The website has a phone number, but it goes straight to voice mail. They do advertise a 24 hour turnaround on e-mail responses (weekends included).

So I wait another week.

“Hmmm, they’ve had about four of these fucking sales since I ordered. Why can’t they send out my damn order?” I’m getting a bit fed up and I finally search on reviews. Uh oh… No positive reviews… Anywhere…

I spent the next week e-mailing them asking for an update or a refund.

No response.

Finally, I e-mail them saying I am disputing the transaction with my credit card company.

Now I get a response:

“We’re sorry it came to you doing this. You’ll get your money back but you lost $163.00 in discounts that you won’t get anywhere else.”

That’s rich. I’m still trying to figure out how I lost $163.00 in discounts when I was never going to get any product.

I did get my money back at least.

Stay away from these jokers. Hastur only knows how they stay in business.

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