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Thread: Warning for www.ninecircles.co.uk!

  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Warning for www.ninecircles.co.uk!

    I want to post a warning to everyone considering a purchase from the British vendor Nine Circles (http://www.ninecircles.co.uk). Although their gods are of fine quality their routines and business ethics are not. They obviously don't respect their customer nor do they conduct a honest business.

    Why?

    Well, I order a sword. Picked it from their stock list and filled out the order form. I chose to pay by bank transfer.

    First sign of warning: The Sword I ordered did not automatically disappear from the order form. Anyone could order it again, and again, and again and So I couldn't even know for sure if I was the first one to order it or not. Brilliant system isn't it?

    So it was quite a relief when I finally got an e-mail saying: Hi, we've confirmed your order please pay up! I mean; Obviously you'd expect that to mean that it's a done deal. I checked and indeed the sword was now removed from the stock inventory list. So I paid and happily awaited my new sword with the exact fittings, length, color and design I wanted.

    Nasty surprise: Today I got an e-mail saying: Oh, we have already sold the you just paid for to somebody else. Please pick another one! And by the way; Be quick about it because these sword are going very quickly!

    I don't care if it is a stupid mistake. This is not the way to do honest business. This is not the way to run a serious company. This is not showing respect to your customers. I don't recommend anyone buying anything from shady companies like this!
    Andreas Rasmussen

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    Default

    Jason Chambers
    Owner,
    Tatsujin Photography & Design

  3. #3
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    Totally the opposite to the service which I received when I made a purchase a year or so ago.

    That said, it's no excuse for shoddy practice.

    However, although I only met Quentin Ball once, several years ago (and spoke a couple of times on the phone) just after he'd returned from Japan, and dropped into the local radio station where I was then working, my instinct was that he was a genuine man -something which appeared to be confirmed by the no nonesense service which I later received from his company.

    It's certainly upsetting when internet orders go wrong, but the fact is, it does happen. I feel that we should be careful not to make assumptions which may be unfairly negative.

    Please understand that I have no connection to Mr.Ball or his company other than that early meeting and my role as a one time customer.

    With Respect,
    William
    William Derobec

    Witch hunts often end with burnt fingers....

  4. #4
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by derobec View Post
    It's certainly upsetting when internet orders go wrong, but the fact is, it does happen. I feel that we should be careful not to make assumptions which may be unfairly negative.
    Well. They screwed up isn't much for an assumption It's a fact! But I see your point.

    And I've gotten more than one personal message here and on other message boards assuring me that they normally are a quite nice company to deal with. So I guess I'll send them another e-mail politely asking them to forget any harsh words a send me another sword! =)

    Though I still think they should fix their online ordering system so that swords on order automatically are withdrawn from the order form. It would prevent this from ever happening again. Especially since it's a very simple thing to implement.
    Andreas Rasmussen

  5. #5
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    HI

    I also met Quentin in the Mid 90's and he has always tried to work closely with his customers.

    Why not try to call them on the phone. I always found them pretty good on the phone when I needed to call to order.

    I will however point out ont thing they don which I dont like when ordering and I have to say its wrong.

    When you get to paying its

    Total amount
    shipping
    Tax

    this is wrong it should be

    total amount
    tax
    delivery

    They shouldnt be charging extra tax on the shipping. I once got them to remove it when I phoned an order in and it only knocked a few pennies off but it was the principle
    Paul Richardson - Shidoshi
    Bujinkan Lincoln Dojo

  6. #6
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    Just to chime in: I've also done business with NineCircles before and I have had nothing but pleasant conversations and service from them.
    Fredrik Hall
    "To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." /Confucius

  7. #7
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    It's really quite a petty thing to complain so loudly and publicly about. Did you pay for something you didn't receive? Did you wait an extraordinarily long time to receive goods? Did you receive something that wasn't as advertised? Did you have a problem resolving a warranty issue? These are the sorts of things I expect to read about when opening a thread like this. You make it sound like these are dishonest people when it's just a technical glitch.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

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    They are a good bunch who cut out a hell of a lot of hassle needed to get a sword into the UK... (again, no business connection with me, but they have my every sympathy for putting up with UK sword laws!)

    Always telephone... no matter which company you are dealing with. The amount of problems with internet ordering I hear about can so easily be removed by a simple line of questions on the phone, THEN follow up with an order if you want what they have..
    Tim Hamilton

    Why are you reading this instead of being out training? No excuses accepted...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred27 View Post
    Just to chime in: I've also done business with NineCircles before and I have had nothing but pleasant conversations and service from them.
    I second that; best customer service I've encountered online so far.
    TSKSR - Kakudokan Kristiansand
    Kendo - Kristiansand Kendoklubb

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    Quote Originally Posted by K. Fredheim View Post
    I second that; best customer service I've encountered online so far.
    Consider:
    Dear Andreas

    Thank you for your payment. Unfortunately, the item you selected to purchase has already been sold (KW-224). We have now received all stock of swords, so you may look at an alternative on the website. Please email me back once deciding. These swords are going very quickly.

    Compared to how I would have handled it:

    Dear Andreas

    We have now registered your payment but unfortunately we will not be able to complete your order. We are very sorry to discover that we have made an unfortunate mistake. The sword reserved for you (KW-224) has accidentally been sold to another customer.

    We deeply regret our mistake and apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused. Of course we will cancel you order and promptly refund your payment including any costs associated with it.

    We have now received all stock of swords. If you're still interested you might select another sword. Please consider the alternatives on the website but keep in mind that these swords are going very quickly.

    Please let us know how to proceed.

    See the difference?

    Charging someone for an item you already sold to someone else should not happen. It's a mistake. At least you should start of by admitting it and apologize. Everyone make mistakes. But not everyone just shrugs it of and continue. Just stating it as a simple fact of no particular impact on the order besides the need to pick another is kind of arrogant and disrespectful to the customer. Sure, they make the same revenue no matter which sword they send me so to them it might be irrelevant which item is shipped to which customer. But for me that has gone through a 7 month cycle from decision, waiting for the right sword to be in stock, to finally ordering it, it is kind of a big deal which sword I get. So don't assume the I am still interested if you can't deliver it. Consider the deal busted and give me my money back. Sure you can offer me another deal but don't assume anything. I should have to cancel the order. I shouldn't have to ask for my refund. Picking another sword should be an option, an offer, not something I'm presumed to accept.

    Having said all that:
    I did pick another sword. They delivered it swiftly and it turned out to be an excellent one. Not my color, not my style, the saya a bit to light for my taste but still a great sword. I will definitely consider ordering another sword from them, this one is for iai and I might get one for tameshigiri too, but then I'll take special care to double check everything before paying anything. And I would recommend the same to everyone else.
    Andreas Rasmussen

  11. #11
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    Beer

    Quote Originally Posted by gendzwil View Post
    Did you pay for something you didn't receive?
    I ordered a particular sword. Got the order confirmed and then payed for it. I never received it. So the answer is still; YES!

    Quote Originally Posted by gendzwil View Post
    It's really quite a petty thing to complain so loudly and publicly about.
    Oh. Sorry. Stupid of me. I forgot to check with you that my "petty" problem was important enough to post in a public forum. I'll try to remember that next time!

    Quote Originally Posted by gendzwil View Post
    You make it sound like these are dishonest people when it's just a technical glitch.
    You know. I am not a native English speaker. As such it's hard to always pick the right words and nuance when writing in a foreign language. But I am quite sure my last post makes it quite clear what I really meant, what ticked me of and why.

    And I am quite sure that people will find the warning both useful and reasonable. As Tim wrote; online orders can be a lot of trouble. NineCircles may be good people but their online order system isn't very good. So to tell people about and suggest they double-check their orders is just fair warning and not a petty complaint!
    Andreas Rasmussen

  12. #12
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    I buy a lot of stuff from Nine Circles because of their customer service.

    I'm yet to meet a vendor who takes time out like they do to help their clients, both with online purchases and in person.
    Scott Halls
    Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu Kenjutsu - Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai
    兵法二天一流剣術 - 無双直伝英信流居合

  13. #13
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    Unhappy

    So far, and I have been ordering stuff from them for several years, my experiences have been good. They respond fast, are direct, to the point, and are more than willing to correct things when mistakes are made.

    So things didn't go your way. I found their response more than adequate. Maybe because I'm Dutch and rude by nature.

    Don't you think it's a bit overdoing it? You could have called and explained you grievances to them. You accuse them of pore etiquette, but take a good look at what you are doing here? I would take a long look in the mirror if I where you.

    Sorry folks, done ranting.
    Tijs Dingerdis

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasmus View Post
    I ordered a particular sword. Got the order confirmed and then payed for it. I never received it. So the answer is still; YES!
    No, you received a sword as you detailed in the post just previous. I'm quite sure if you had replied and said that no other item was suitable, they would have refunded your money. Then you probably would be bitching that your credit card statement was all messed up, what with the charge and then the refund appearing...
    Oh. Sorry. Stupid of me. I forgot to check with you that my "petty" problem was important enough to post in a public forum. I'll try to remember that next time!
    Our community is quite small. There are only a handful of companies supplying serious JSA equipment, and as far as I know nobody is getting rich. They all do business by the internet, and when someone complains loudly and publicly it hurts their business. If it's a real problem, by all means. But to me it just sounds like they didn't grovel to your satisfaction after making the error.

    NineCircles may be good people but their online order system isn't very good. So to tell people about and suggest they double-check their orders is just fair warning and not a petty complaint!
    Fair enough. But you could have done that without making the strong implication that they are dishonest and/or providing poor service.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

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    Quote Originally Posted by gendzwil View Post
    Fair enough. But you could have done that without making the strong implication that they are dishonest and/or providing poor service.
    Sure. I agree. And to answer the rude Dutchman; I have no problem looking in the mirror. I see a fairly reasonable person with more than a little bit of a temper but with enough self-distance to admit when he's been an ass!
    Andreas Rasmussen

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