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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » From Soup to Nuts » » Progress Updates for a New order at the New Hank Lee (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Illuminate . White Label
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As many know, much is happening at Hank Lee. Changes in leadership have taken place and renewed promises of customer service have been made by the new managment. Additionally, Hank Lee has very recently launched a series of VERY ATTRACTIVE offers that allow for about 30-40% off retail prices - an offer that I could not resist.

I thought I will put up this post, if the moderators so allow, to showcase the actions and progress of this new managment and shall highlight both positive and less positive areas. Although I am aware of Hank Lees legal and non-legal (backordering, etc) issues, I thought I would give them a chance since many parties not directly tied to the actions of one deserve an opportunity to show what they stand for.

In light of the above, I placed an order worth about US$1500 comprising items in and out of catalogue and is intended for shipping to Asia. The order was first placed on Wednesday, 2nd May 2012... and I surely hope to report good things.

Stay Tuned !
Illuminate . White Label
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So...

Several weeks back, Hank Lee ran a offer that gave a rebate of 35% off a first order that may be applied to a second. I missed the offer which expired on 2nd May by a day and Aron was nice enough to extend it to me for another day. Having just saw the offer then, it actually took me a total of 2 days after the offer originally expired for my order to be placed. Aron was also nice enough to allow me to apply me rebate to a second order that I could place with the first and that would be shipped together as one. With the package needing to be delivered to Asia, this willingness to combine the order(s) into one shippment would greatly reduce my freight charges.

Communications with Aron leading up to the structuring of my order had been smooth and efficient. Aron was willnig to let me place orders for about 4-5 items that were not within this catalog. This was a definite plus given that some dealers are unable to assist with products they do not already carry.

Having said the above, its a little of a dismay that although I have provided Hank Lee with a confirmed list of items by 4th May 2012, Hank Lee has not been able to give me, in uncertain terms, an awareness of what product(s) is available or unavailable. Even as of 10th May 2012, Aron indicates that "The bulk of your order will leave here tomorrow". I have not been provided an price estimate as to what is confirmed or otherwise. Having said that, in my email correspondance to Hank Lee, Aron adviced on 3rd May 2012 that "We will also not charge you for any items that are not available to us, although I do think that all items will be available." So, essentially, while alls well... for now, I have been unable to get Aron to provide a definitive breakdown of my purchase estimate.

In addition to my original order, I placed a second order for Happie Amp on 5th May 2012 under the terms of another special. I am pleased to say that Hank Lee had offered a significant discount and confirmed that the Happie Amp order is accepted. As of 10th May 2012, Aron informs me that they have not placed an order for my Happie Amp (I need the European 220V model). Due to a my desire to save on freight costs, rather than have to have a second follow up package to be shipped, I requested for Aron to place the order for Happie Amp immediately and ship the packages as one. I certainly am not too pleased that the systems in place didn't seem efficient, at best.

So yes... its 14th May today ... my original order was placed on 4th May with a follow up made on the 5th. I am happy with the discounts, if indeed Hank Lee pulls through the order. I am dismayed that it has taken so long for the order to be processed but am keeping my fingers crossed.

Of course, the order was processed by credit card. I appreciate the added security that credit cards offer.

I hope to provide good news to all when the shippment finally ships and arrives.

In summary .... ordering process has been "ok" though it can be much smoother. Maybe because of Hank Lee's earlier non-criminal (backordering, credit charges...) history, I would rather that Aron or others at Hank Lee provide definitive aswers and reassurances - somewhat lacking on their end. Efficiency is wanting but in no way near the point that causes me great concern. Nothing that transpired has me thinknig about wanting to cancle the order and/or instruct my bank to decline any charges from Hank Lee.

Cheers !
Illuminate . White Label
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I wish to place on record that Aron was informed about the thread on 14 May 2012.

I am trying to ensure that my posts reflect happenings as they occur and without undue prejudice.

Again... the order is pending / developing. This post is not to warn anyone against any Big Bad Wolf.. No one should take it that way.

Cheers !
MickNZ
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Illuminate . White Label
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Having placed my order on 4th and 5th May, its on the 14th that Hank Lee has been able to provide me a list of items that are confirmed and indicated which were unavailable.

Due to the nature of the offers (Rebates on first order to be applied to the second), I requested to slightly alter my order by removing those that were subject to longer delays and moving items between orders so that the rebates would balance out. I am pleased to confirm that Aron has allowed me to do that rather than saying "we cant alter the order... you must apply your rebates to another order on any item in our catalog" - I sure would have been ****ed if he did... but he didn't Smile

Of the 4 items that were to be delayed, two would arrive within 14 days while the remaining two were subject to longer delays. I requested for the ones subject to longer delays to be removed from my order, which Aron agreed. Again, out of these 4 items that were delayed, two were from Hank Lee's catalog (one of which is subject to long[er] delay) while two others were my special requests out-of-catalog.

Because I have finally been able to confirm the items, I've finally given Hank Lee the go ahead to charge my card (I had inadvetenly provided Hank Lee my CC details earlier to have the order process and also thinknig they would take just one day to confirm what is in store or not. Credit Card details were then provided on Arons assurance that no charge would occur until he provided the confirmed list and adviced on the charges. )

Hank Lee is still waiting on my Happie Amp before being able to ship the package out. Hoping its today !! Looking fwd...

So, as things stand now:

*Hank Lee has taken some time to confirm the list of items
*Hank Lee was willing to alter my order in two ways: a) remove items I requested because the delay would be too long b) alter the order to take best advantage of offer
*Delivery slowed only because Hank Lee is awaiting delivery of a special order
*Hank Lee has not indicated that my card has been processed yet.
Illuminate . White Label
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17 May 2012

On this day, Magic is finding its way across continents and into the hands of a loving home.

I am looking fwd to receive the majority of my order and shall devote this particular update to Shipping:

As reflected in my above, efficiency and keeping the customer in-the-know doesn't seem to be a priority at Hank Lee, or so such is my impression, given that there was no indication from Aron about the status of my order until asked. I should clarify that my order was placed via email with Aron rather than being sent through their online webpage / weborder. It might well be that orders sent through the Hank Lee website get automated updates... I do not know.

Anyhow, beyond the lack of update from Aron, I am happy that Aron had gotten my order out as soon as my special order (Happie Amp) came into his warehouse rather than waiting +1 day to process it. Also, I AM VERY HAPPY that the shipping cost secured by Aron is MUCH LOWER than I had anticipated. Aron had utilized USPS International Express Mail (notwithstanding that its a "common option" rather than some special low priced delivery), and my international shippnig came out to USD$152.35. This was VASTLY different from the US$420-450 estimate indicated on Hank Lee's website which I made noise about. I had earlier indicated that the estimate was way off from my earlier experience with other vendors. Usually, I estimate a shipping charge of 20% of the total order and thus, the estimate of 40-50% was way off! Now, based on Aron's charge of $153, this comes out to about 10-18% of the overall order and is much appreciated.

Of an area that Hank Lee could have improved was that Aron promised to inform me of the shipping costs BEFORE shipping - something he had failed to do. Would I proceed with the order had shipping been $500? I'm sure Aron would have had a earful from me and I will cancle the order. So well, while I appreciate the lower than expected shipping costs, must highlight that they shipped it out without giving the proper cost evaluation prior to doing so nor did they seek the affirmative confirmation from me to proceed. This will be less of a concern to domestic clients than international ones. For now, I am pleased with the low freight rate that I have not bothered to raise the "you should have sought my approval concerning freight costs before shipping" issue.

While I wait for my stuff, I think Aron is trying and working hard ... maybe they have a spike in orders and that He has much to handle... Communication and Efficiency can be improved and if so, would be a top notch firm again.
Illuminate . White Label
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I received my partial order on Monday though it was lacking in one particular item that Aron had promised to include with compliments.

I emailed Aron enquiring about the status of the undelivered items and it took over 3 days, and a total of 3 emails for him to reply "Thanks. We do not have a date but it will be quite soon"

Because I am very uncomfortable with leaving several pricy items "in the air", I have asked for a bill to be calculated based on what has shipped.

In so far, although Hank Lee has been in possession of my credit card information, I have not been adviced as to how much will be charged to my card. I have not been adviced that any charges have been made.
Jim Sparx
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I placed an order for their catalog #15 (it may be their last) on May 12 to be shipped UPS ground. It arrived today, the 25th of May, 13 days after being ordered. I would expect that amount of time by UPS truck from Mass. to Texas. I'm happy with their service.
Illuminate . White Label
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For those who followed the thread, I am updating that Hank Lee had charged my credit card on 4th of May WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION inspite of representations, impressions and lack of order confirmation.

Before listing down the details, which I will do so based 100% on a cut-and-paste of our email correspondances, for which Aron of Hank Lee has replied, I want to affirm that 1) Aron was consulted concerning this [developing] matter. 2) The words pasted are 100% as is per my email to Aron and his to me.

I leave it for you to draw your own conclusions.

For the avoidance of doubt, there are 2 issues (1) Breach of Trust on charge of credit card and (2) Delayed Partial delivery of items which this IS NOT about. My great displeasure relates to my perceived breach of trust.
Illuminate . White Label
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28 May 2012 Al to Aron -->

Greetings, Aron.

I received the bill to my credit card and noticed that, contrary to ALL your representations, I was billed on the 4th of May - even before anything was confirmed on your part or mine.
You had specifically stated that the card would not be charged until after you had adviced what was available and of the total cost.
Unless I have mis-read the MANY emails which indicate the above, the behavior does not speak well of the current practice at Hank Lee
Please Advice.

28 May 2012--> Aron Replies:

Alvin,Thank you.

We are now out of the office until Tuesday, because of the holiday weekend, but we will get back to you on Tuesday.
I hope this is alright with you.
The charges made to your card were based on the invoices which you approved and the shipping.
Aron


Please see the next post for the series of communications :
Illuminate . White Label
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28 May 2012 --> Alvin to Hank Lee listing down much of the communications between both parties:


Hi Aron

As you are more than aware, it took much time before your side could commit to the availability ot items and, also taking into consideration the addition and subtraction of items due to lack of availability, it would have been impossible for you to say that "you charged things I approved".

NOTHING was approved until 15th May 2012

I personally consider the actions a breach of trust on your part. Please feel free to educate me if you feel otherwise.

I herein attach the many correspondances that support my above for your review:

On 3rd May, I wrote to you with the following: " I am contemplating ordering all or most of the following. Could you kindly advice as to which is in stock presently and if not, how long it would take to have the items re-stocked," and also provided you the credit card information given your claim that "You had asked me to extend the Buy More Get Morew promotion for you and I agreed to do so for one more day. Which means we must have the order here this morning in order to offer you the promotion."

From Hank Lee - 3rd May 2012: "Thank you, again. Almost all of the items are in stock and available for immediate shipment. Anything not in stock will be here within 7 days, so there are no long delays."

From Alvin - 4th May 2012: "Given this list, can you please tell me what is available (currently or within 7 days) and what will not be available, this especially so for the products that you do not currently carry..."

From Alvin - 5th May 2012 "Hi Aron Kindly advice me of the total cost - merchandise and freight and the availability of items before charging my card. When might this roughly occur ?"

From Alvin -5th May "Could you please help me include the HappieAmp 2.0 into the order? "

From Hank Lee - 7th May 2012 - "We have added it. (Happie Amp)

From Alvin - 9th May 2012 "As agreed, please provide for me a breakdown of the invoice indicating items that will be shipped prior to billing me. Also, looking on the advice of freight cost and estimate shipping dates. I am under the impression that shipping will occur by this week"

From Hank Lee - 10th May 2012 "We have to order the Happie Amp " [in response to my status update request sent 10th May 2012]

From Alvin - 14 May 2012 "Hi Aron . So that I do not read you wrongly and that there are no mis-understandings, and because you have not provided me an idea as to what is or is not available, could you produce the list of items that is ready to ship? I do not wish to be charged for much of the items in "order 1" and have the 35% rebate applied to "order 2" that is "not in stock". As you are aware and agreed to, I would like the full rebate to be applied immediately. Where items are unavailable, I will make necessary changes to this shippment so that the order balances out.

Usually, there will be no problems by any dealer to advice immediately on what is in stock and what is not. I seem to have much difficulty getting this from you.

For the avoidance of doubt, I have provided a list of items that I wish to order but have not heard back from you concerning the confirmation of specific items. At present, I have no knowledge of what is confirmed thus operate on the premise that nothing is assured or agreed to -on either side.

Please advice urgently."

From Hank Lee- 14 May 2012 "I am attaching your three invoices to help make everything clear... The following (4) items will not be in the first shipment, as they are not in stock right at this moment: *Item 1- 4 listed*"

From Alvin - 15th May 2012 "Thank you for the invoice. I appreciate that you are finally able to provide a review of my order. As this is the first time I am provided with a confirmation as to what is in stock and first time able to adjust the order accordingly, here are my thoughts: [Thoughts & restructuring of order listed] I gladly approve the order as above. You have my credit card information to process the above.

From Hank Lee - 15th May 2012 "Of course, we will restructure your order as requested."
Illuminate . White Label
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To the above, Aron replies, on 28 May 2012: Alvin I don't think we did anything wrong. We do owe you some items and we will deliver as quickly as possible. So I really think it's all OK"

My followup on 28 May 2012:


Hi Aron



This goes to the element of trust.

I would appreciate if you can explain and confirm the following:

1) How you charged the card even though nothing was confirmed on either end despite repeated requests on my part.

2) Why it is you never informed me that you had charged the card despite my repeated asking of you to confirm the order (items and amount) before charging the card.

3) Kindly confirm the time frame as to when the remaining items will be delive

For the avoidance of doubt, I reserve all rights.
MickNZ
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So, nothing has changed at Hank Lee's.
stempleton
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Wow...charged two days after the order placed despite all the verbage. Glad I stopped ordering from HL when the bomb went off. Good luck on a satisfactory resolution.
Illuminate . White Label
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Quote:
On 2012-05-28 07:40, stempleton wrote:
Wow...charged two days after the order placed despite all the verbage. Glad I stopped ordering from HL when the bomb went off. Good luck on a satisfactory resolution.


Hm... I was charged on the 3rd/4th when the initial inquiry was placed although the final quote came only on 14/15th May... all along, I had requested for 1) confirmation of available items 2) Price-Invoice of items confirmed 3) Shipping estimate. 4) To quote before charging my card

As the above transactions will show

a) No confirmation of item availability, in no UNSPECIFIC terms, was provided until abt 12/13 and only "firmly confirmed" via Invoice on 14Dec. Order confirmation came immediately after this based on what was "available" ("available" because I have items delayed)
b) Aron charged my card for shippnig BEFORE advicing me on international freight charges and only after the item had shipped.
c) Aron charged my card based on "initial enquiry" immediately on the 4th rather than after items had confirmed (ie, 15th Dec)
d) I had NOT EVER been informed- adviced that my card would be charged and for what amount. Ever.


Of course, there are price disparencies between the initial (and charged) quote and my final order - I have YET to deal with him on this front. Will get to it by today.

I stand by my "version of events" as the unfold and have emails to back up my statments. Again, Aron had been informed about this thread earlier.
Ray Bertrand
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Best of luck. Hank Lee's reputation has certainly gone south recently. Hope everything gets resolved satisfactorily for you.
Mentalism in Ontario.
RS1963
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This is all an unexpected? Even a fraud like Sylvia Browne, or John Edward, could have predicted this would happen before you even ordered.
Illuminate . White Label
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Quote:
On 2012-05-28 22:21, RS1963 wrote:
This is all an unexpected? Even a fraud like Sylvia Browne, or John Edward, could have predicted this would happen before you even ordered.


I guess I was giving HL a good faith chance on the assumption that things would change. To be "fair", Aron has not responded to my last email query seeking "clarification" on his action for which he considers "no harm, no foul" as having been committed- its e Hols over at America anyhow [and I wont bother lecturing Hank Lee on the need to respond to issues like these on an urgent basis]. I don't know how Aron can say, in full pride and confidence, "I don't think we did anything wrong" in referrence to the charge to my credit card that had, in my understanding and opinion, not been approved... maybe things operate differently for so long, its hard to tell what is wrong anymore.

After Elder Hank Lee left, the managment sent out several open letters which I just re-read... its truly ironic that Aron writes: "And, we want you to know that Hank Lee's Magic Factory will continue to operate, BUSINESS AS USUAL , only without my Dad at the helm."

To clarify, I have not [yet] alleged that Hank Lee has over charged me SIGNIFICANTLY. The initial charge may "just" be $10 - $200 more than the final one [I will let everyone know later], but that is beside the point.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Hank Lee Friday Newsletter, 4th May 2012
As you also know, just a few short weeks ago, he stepped down from his position here at Hank Lee's Magic Factory, and turned the day to day operation over to the Elves and the family. We all felt that it was the best course for both him and the company. But, it has not been easy. We all had a lot of learning to do in a really short time. We had to re-establish relationships with our suppliers and get product in the door and out the door to you, our customers. We are all working very hard. Product is now coming in the door, and back orders are being filled as quickly as possible. If you have something on order with us and have not yet received it, please believe me when I tell you, we are getting it out to you as fast as it comes in the door. If you have a specific concern, let me know, and I will address it for you. Aside from my Dad, the rest of us have nothing to apologize for. We are working hard. We are getting back up to speed. And, we want you to know that Hank Lee's Magic Factory will continue to operate, business as usual, only without my Dad at the helm.
Illuminate . White Label
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Here is my reflections, in so far, of the order placed with Hank Lee through Aron:

Negatives:
* OVERCHARGED OF TWO ITEMS, one of which, by USD$99.50 (double the original amount. See email to Hank Lee Below)
* BREACH OF [my] TRUST: Credit Card charged without prior notification nor approval despite assurances to the contrary. Credit Card charged without information (to customer) as to amount that will be charged. Did not correct my impression that Credit Card has not beein charged despite my many repeated confirmations with him.
* Inability to convey availbility of items, in no unspecific terms. Confirmation of items, by way of invoice, took over 10 days. Invoice was dated 10 days before Invoice was given to customer for confirmation. Credit Card charged 10 days before invoice was given to customer.
*Inefficiencies in communications. Many emails, especially those seeking updates, took 2-4 days to reply.
* Items that were not in stock was assured to be sent out by 7 days... oh wait.. make that 14 days... hm... wait wait.. make that...hm.... "I don't know" when. - These constitues 35% of my overall order, in value terms.
*No update on items until asked. This includes shipping.
*Arons personal belief that he is doing right by the customer - he MIGHT be... I don't know. He has not explained how his actions are right yet... Maybe I am just too dense to understand.

Positives:
*Willing (but not able to deliver, yet) to take orders for items not in catalog. Items have not been delivered as of date.
*Willing to extend offer by One day (but I now realize they run offers... EVERYDAY)
*Willingness to twig original invoice (which was delayed for confirmation + revealations that some items will be delayed for long)
*Flexible in crafting my order to take into account new additions (New additions were added given my awareness that package has not shipped)







Aaron.

Pursuant to my below mail sent 14 May 2012 asking for a restructuring of order given that you had only provided me the Invoice on 14 May 2012 but dated 4th May 2012, I have not seen any updated Invoice since even though I informed you that I had not received an invoice or inventory along with my order when I received it on or around 22nd May 2012. Please provide me a full and proper invoice on an urgent basis.

I finally took time to go through every billing in your invoice and notice overcharges on two items. For [Iten Name], I was billed $199 when the item advertises on your site for $99.50. Also, for [Item No.2] , I was billed $50 instead of $49.95. You need to remedy the charges.

When I ordered the items, you had assured that all items will be received on your end within 14 days (originally, within 7 days) of 3rd May 2012. As at today, 29th May 2012, it does not appear that you have [Item 3] and [Item 4] . These two items constitute, on a value basis, 35.49% of the total order. I require from you a FIRM DATE for shipping of these items. As you are aware, based on the items I removed due to your guidance of lengthy delay, I proceeded with these two items on you assurance that they will be shipped out speedily. This is not the case.

Also, you have not addressed the matter of charging my credit card without consent (given that its the hols over at your end).

You need to provide me a reviewed invoice given my above and below. My final figures does not tally with yours.
Failed Magician
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Oh wow, sorry to see that this happens to you. I also felt that the community should give them second chance (even we all know it is not their second time). But reading this long posting won't make their reputation any better.

I just hope it can be solved soon and you are as a customer don't loose any cent.
Magic comes through perception. -HS
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