Home > Electronics > “To FUTURLEC or not to FUTURLEC, that is not much of a question”

“To FUTURLEC or not to FUTURLEC, that is not much of a question”

I made a journal entry back on June 23, 2014 in which I noted that I had placed an order for electronics components from a company called Futurlec, LTD. So let me share with you the saga of my customer experience with Futurlec.

I discovered Futurlec quite by accident or I should say Google found the company when I was looking up data sheet information on various transistors I had salvaged. Now if you’ve ever looked up data sheets on electronic components you already know that there are many, many resources for this information but as it turned out I found the content and layout of the sheets hosted on the Futurlec site was of great value to me. A few days later when I was musing over which company to purchase parts from, I Googled “best place to buy electronic components” and found this Instructable, “10 Best Electronics Suppliers“.  At one point I also “looked up” Futurlec and the information that came back stated they were an American based company out of New York. This turned out to be totally misleading but I at least felt comfortable that they were a legitimate company.

The only other criterion I had was that I wanted the convenience and reduced shipping expenses of a single order so basically I was looking for a supplier where I could find all (or most) of the components and order them at one time. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Futurlec listed all the components that I had been searching for and more. The site was reasonably easy to navigate and I finding all the items I needed. I did notice for example, that all 6 colors of LED listed were not always In Stock, so I was very careful to limit my order to those items that were not shown to be on Back Order.

June 16, 2014

So after a week or two of confusion I took the time to place my first online electronic component order with Futurlec. The order was $33 with $6 shipping and I received a “Many thanks for your order….”. The next day I received an email, “Dear Sir…..We have been unable to clear the amount from your credit card. It appears the card number you have entered may be wrong as the number is coming up on our terminal as an invalid card number.” I was advised to “By the way, please place a new blank order on our website . Then, advise us the order number you received and we can match your updated card dettail with this order 2xxxxx” and “If you have any further inquiry, please feel free to contact us”. At this point it is entirely plausible that I entered my card number incorrectly although this hasn’t really happened to me anytime in the past that I can recall, still I don’t deny that I could have made a mistake.

June 17, 2014

I attempt to clear up the credit card error by following their directions to place a blank ($0) order but when I saw that I could be charged for shipping, even with a $0 order it held me up and I aborted the task.

June 18, 2014

Still intoxicated with the hubris of my first order and feeling the need for my next “bump” I reasoned I would go ahead and buy even MORE stuff because if I’m going to pay for shipping, I might as well go ahead and buy all those other toys I had spotted the last time I shopping. My second order was for $76.95 plus $9 shipping. I then attempted to match up the two orders as I had been instructed in the first communication and then ….

June 25, 2014

Having had no reply or communication from Futurlec I email to a different email address inquiring as to the status of my orders. I didn’t know if either order was still being processed and whether or not they had matched the credit card information between orders to proceed.

June 26, 2014

I received an email from “amp” the next day, “Only these seven parts below are unavailable from your order and are currently out of stock. ”  So let’s see, I guess I was to assume they had matched up my orders but wait, I made sure that nothing I ordered off their website was out of stock. Now I find out 7 items are in fact out of stock.  To be more specific, two were “no stock” and the other five were “ETA 2-3 days”. The only clue I had was the note “Would you like to cancel this and ship your order when others three arrived ?”.  So I reply, “Yes please cancel the two No Stock items and ship the remaining 5 items when they arrive.” as I didn’t want to hold up the order any longer than it already been in limbo.

June 30, 2014

Finally another email, “Dear Art, We remove POT1KBSHAFTD and 7FB5641AB from your orders. Currently, only these three items are unavailable from your order and they will arrive our warehouse end of this week when your orders are shipped.”  WTF, now only 3 items that our unavailable, I’m really making progress. I’m only 2 weeks in and I only have to wait until the end of the week before it ships. Good thing I’m not in any hurry. I reread the email, “will arrive our warehouse end of this week when your orders are shipped.” That puts the ship date around July 4, 2014.

July 23, 2014

No communication from Futurlec. I now begin to feel like this whole thing is a scam. Try to find a phone number on the Futurlec site and all you’ll get is a fax. The only customer service contact points are to send an email or to send a fax. It has now been over a month and I have received no product and damn little information from Futurlec. I now look through my credit card statements and find that Futurlec charged both orders against the card on June 19. From the looks of it, they billed me the full amount of both orders, so I now wonder what actual product I’ll get as I had ask them to ship and not wait for some of the components. Because they were paid in Australian Dollars a $3.77 foreign transaction fee was thrown in “just to sweeten my already awesome deal”.

I decide that I have been ripped off so I send an email to cancel my order and refund my money. I get no communication from Futurec.

August 22, 2014

I proceed to file a complaint with the New York Better Business Bureau, complaint  ID #10152853. Surprisingly there weren’t but a handful (maybe 3?) other complaints against Futurlec but not to my surprise they were all handled exactly like my orders. The positive news was that it looked like the company had resolved them, there was hope for my order yet.

Email from complaints@newyork.bbb.org indicates they have something that requires my action, it turns out to be the message from the business.

MESSAGE FROM BUSINESS:

Your Order 2xxxxx and Order 2xxxxx, have been shipped together with tracking number RG xxx xxx xxx x DE , this was shipped on the 18th of August. For the parts that have been cancelled, a refund has been issued for this amount.

August 27, 2014

My orders from Futurelec are delivered via standard post to my home.

Futurlec Finally  futurlec-order

August 28, 2014

I will accept the business response to the New York BBB and call it a day. Am I happy? Well I am happy that Futurlec is not a scam and I am glad to have received my electronic components. It only took 72 days for my order to be fulfilled. I have seen several customer experiences that were identical to mine but I am somewhat surprised to see more than a few Futurlec customer supporters. They admit that order delivery was slow but many had been very happy with the product and pricing they had received, enough so that they continue to order from them. Sadly for me and for Futurlec, I will not be ordering from them again.

Jameco Electronics

Due to the delay in receiving the needed components from Futurlec, I placed an order with a more customer oriented company, Jameco Electronics. I placed this order on July 17, 2014 and my order was shipped the next day July 18, 2014. Not only was my complete order fulfilled and shipped but I also received an email offering me free shipping on my next order as a new customer. I wonder who I’ll order from next time?

You have been reading yet another rant from the shop journal of the Turtlecovebrewer. But I hope to get in the shop over the long Labor Day weekend and finish up the drawers of 10-Drawer Tool Chest build.

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Categories: Electronics Tags: ,
  1. August 28, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I had a similar circumstance quite a while back when I placed an order for some drill bits. On the company web page they listed the item as in stock. I placed the order and two weeks later it hadn’t shipped. That wouldn’t have bothered me so much but they had already charged my card and sent me a shipping notification. I contacted the company and they said that the item was actually backordered but would be shipping to me within 24 hours. Long story short another month had passed and no bits. Worst, not only did they not remove the charge from my card, they had actually charged me shipping cost on an item that never shipped!
    Here’s where it gets really interesting. They send me an email asking me to actually rate the transaction. So I gave it “one star” with the reason being that 7 weeks had passed and not only did the item never show up, but they had actually charged me for it and I had no lead time for an arrival. THEN, I get a phone call from their customer service asking me to remove the bad review because they felt it wasn’t fair! I told them that if they had said originally that it was going to take two months to arrive I wouldn’t have minded so much, but to not only did they send me a false shipping notification, then give me a false shipping date, they charged my card before shipping what they called a “stock” item, which I feel is a big no no.
    Anyway, another month passed with nothing arriving so I finally told them to cancel the order, which happily they did with little fuss. So I feel your pain. I really do.
    Bill

    • August 28, 2014 at 11:35 am

      As customers, you and I both were simply looking for transparency in the transaction. Had I been told that it would take 72 days to complete my order I would have probably not placed it at all. “The Noisey Cricket” amp started off as a Radio Shack based weekend project and turned into a 2.5 month Odyssey which still clutters my precious shop space.

      As a follow-up though, near as I can tell, Futurlec appears to have sweetened my booty. It would take me all day to individually inventory the package but it appears at first glance that they shipped me more than what I ordered. They were nearly impossible to communicate with but they appear to want to do business even if it takes all year to complete an order. And I’m not sure if the BBB complaint had any effect or not but it also appears like my order shipped the day after being contacted by them…. I’m trying to be fair in my review.

  2. Jay
    August 25, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    I also got the runaround- the parts were shown as being in stock on the website. A week later, I inquired as to the shipping status, and got the “out of stock until shipped” response.
    when I cancelled, they wrote back and said they only had 10 units in stock- would I like to take the 10 units and they would refund the difference?
    Of course, I said. Two weeks later, they had not credited anything to my card, and in fact made another 15 cent (????) charge!
    I just called my credit card company and disputed the charges as fraudulent.
    FIY- this is NOT a US company- it is based in Thailand and is doing business out of Australia.
    Save yourself a lot of headaches and purchase elsewhere!!!

    • August 25, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      I whole heartedly agree Jay. Although I received product months after my order, I still won’t know if components are to spec. Not worth it!

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