Sport Copter----Worst customer service

MMorgan

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I have been in aviation for almost 40 years and have owned more aircraft than I can remember.....40+ Obviously, being an aircraft owner and A & P mechanic I have had to deal with countless companies over the years.

Sport Copter has to be the worst or at least in the top 5 worst in customer service....returning phone calls or emails, shipping parts, etc.

The thread right before this one is my latest aircraft....a Sport Copter Vortex. I had a lot of problems ordering and receiving parts since I bought the partially completed kit last November. It took nine months to finish the kit but could have easily been done in two or three if it were not for the ridiculous amount of time it took to get parts.

I started typing this thread at least three previous times but bit my tongue and said....." no, no, don't make a fuss, don't start some sh--, etc." The last straw is the rotor blade situation that is mentioned in post # 22 in the thread prior to this one.

On 8-17 Jon Dailey posted that he had talked to Jim about trading my older 7" blades for some new 8" ones at a "huge discount." Great I thought as I had not even inquired about it so I sent a email to Jon to call me and discuss the details. Two days later... late Friday, 8-19, I had not heard anything so I called and Trenna said Jon was out but Jim would talk to me. Jim said he would have Jon email me on Monday (he verified with Trenna that she had my email address) the details of the deal. Well true to form I did not hear anything from anybody so on Thursday, 8-25, almost a week later, I sent a email to Trenna asking her to have Jon call me. I still have not heard anything from anybody.

This is typical of how I have been treated from day one dealing with Sport Copter. I bought my partially completed kit in November 2010. (Maybe that's the problem....I didn't spend $90K on a II) I needed to upgrade the motor mount for a 582 E drive and I wanted the folding mast so I needed some parts. It took from November till Jan. 25, 2011 to get the list of what I needed. That was just to get the list....NOT THE PARTS....the actual parts was weeks from arriving. Some of the parts were shipped and a few things were not. That's another story trying to get something that was not in the box but paid for. They take pics of the boxes before they are shipped to verify what was shipped. When I said "fine...look at the -----pics and you will see the part is not there!!!!" I was told they did not have time to dig up the pics now. So I waited and waited another two or three weeks till they decided to send me what they had left out of the box.

I ordered a few more things like a radiator, rotor brake, prop, prerotator, paid in advance I might add and it took a phone call to Jim to get my order shipped after 3 more months of waiting. (On 3-21 I sent a cashiers check for the prop and prerotator and did not get the prerotator till end of June)

Jim stated when we talked that it should not take that long to ship parts but every time I would call to check all I would hear is how "busy we are" and your order will be shipped when we have time. Jim said I should have talked to him earlier but if that is what it takes to get parts then something is wrong.

Well...this time I did talk to Jim about new blades...I am still waiting!!!!
 

GyroDoug

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Mike,

We all understand that customer service is not typically going to be the same with a small company, as it will be with a large company that has people dedicated to providing parts or answering customers questions. While we all wish the Gyro world functioned more like the General Aviation world, the truth is we are a very small segment of aviation. There are not enough Gyros being sold in the US today to support more than a small handful of people. So the Gyro Manufacturers in the US (at least for the most part) are small companies with each employee handling multiple jobs and wearing many hats. I believe they are all struggling to keep the doors open and provide us with what they can.

Technically, you are not even a Gyro Customer of Sport Copter. You bought a partially built project from a third party, not from Sport Copter, so they haven't made any significant money from your business and you probably aren't the highest priority on their list. Yet you feel you should be like they owe you something when it comes to getting service from them. In a perfect world that might be the way things are, but in our small and mostly unprofitable world of US Gyro Manufacturers, you are going to have to cut them some slack. I think you should be thankful that they are still in business and able to provide you with parts for a Gyroplane that you bought from someone else. There are a heck of a lot of Gyroplanes around today that don't have any manufacturer support. And unless we are able to grow this sport and increase Gyro sales here in the US, the ones we have today, aren't likely to be around 10 years from now.

Everyone has their strong points and their weaknesses. Rather than focus on the things they may be weak in, I suggest you concentrate on the things that they do so well. And since you have one of their Gyroplanes, (unless you plan on selling it and changing to a different make of machine) I suggest you do everything you can to endear yourself to them and build a level of friendship that makes them want to take care of you. You will catch more flies with honey than a bag of crap. I know you may think I am coming down hard on you, but the truth is, I am trying to help you choose a path that will benefit you the most in the long run. I wish you well with your project.
 

CLS447

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Imagine how it's gonna be after this thread !!!!

SC2's are only 90K ??????

It is good to hear that they are busy. Are they selling lots of kits or lots of blades ?
 

GyroRon

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Rotor Flight Dynamics has always shipped me all the parts I have ordered immediately....... Priced reasonably.... Ernie is always easy to reach by phone...... great customer service in my opinion. Know the thread is about sportcopter, but wanted to mention, other gyro makers do have their shiet together when it comes to serving their customers
 

Edypaul

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Same here. I have always received parts from R.F.D in a timely manner and every time I have called, Ernie ansewers the phone. Just Sayin.
 

animal

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Mike,



Technically, you are not even a Gyro Customer of Sport Copter. You bought a partially built project from a third party, not from Sport Copter, so they haven't made any significant money from your business and you probably aren't the highest priority on their list. Yet you feel you should be like they owe you something when it comes to getting service from them.
What Differance should that make where he bought it from, he still owns their product and is a paying customer that has paid in advance.

boy with that Attitude I am sure glad I have not bought a Butterfly and needed parts from you since you are a dealer.

My Helicom Commuter is 43 years old, needless to say I did not buy my Helicopter from C.H.R.I ( Safari Helicopters ) but they have always treated me with Respect as if I was a builder of a Safari and the parts I have ordered where shipped right out.

they to are not a big company.in fact they just a few years ago bought the design rights from Murray Sweet.

So Doug, your comment makes you sound like some kind of snob. about how You put it that he bought a partially built project from a third party, not from Sport Copter, so they haven't made any significant money from your business.

Regardless where he bought the project, it is still their product. and customer service should be the same no matter if it was a $10.00 part or a $90K kit.

you have just showed the world how you would treat a Custom if they bought a butterfly kit second hand and needed parts from you.

good luck staying in business with that attitude.

I am so glad I have an aircraft from a good company with good customer support and that it dose not matter that my machine is 43 years old and had many previous owners.

Sorry but you comment just really rubbed me the wrong way this morning.

even the Late Neal Carnes of Rotorhawk makers of the Falcon Gyro's was a one man operation got parts out quickly and took time to help his customers.

so your Comments just don't hold water.
Bad Business is just Bad Business. lipstick on a pig is still a pig.
 

Aussie_Paul

A reforming stirrer!!!!!
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No excuse...

No excuse...

In this day and age there is no excuse for poor customer service, regardless of what industry you are operating in!!!

Aussie Paul. :)
 

Master Roda

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Bashing us publicly doesn't make me want to help you. Certaintly doesnt help. I understand your frustration as I'm sure other customers do but this isn't the way to get what you want.

Swapping your blades out for a new set was my idea to get you a better blade. It might have only cost you shipping. I've been out with a major back injury for a few weeks (and oshkosh) and Im behind.

You can assume I want an apology (publicly) before I consider helping you.

By the way, I never got your email. It may be in the spam filter. Try sending it to Trina and ask her to forward it to me.
 

MMorgan

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4000+
Doug, I understand what you are saying...BUT........after weeks of waiting on an order to be shipped I would be told, and I quote "we have customer orders to fill"...to which I responded, "I am not a customer?" That pissed me off!!!!!!

Your logic makes no sense saying I am not a technically a customer. I spent approx $7000 with Sport Copter to get the kit flying.

If you go out and buy a used Ford, Chev or whatever and go down to the dealer and order $7,000 worth of parts I think they would be very willing to service you....even though you did not buy the vehicle new.

And yes I thought about what kind of service I will get now when I need something but a guy and only hold back for so long.....I held back for over six months.

My Sport Copter might be for sale....who knows.
 

MMorgan

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Jon,

I did send one to Trenna....read my post. I think that is 90% of the problems I have had.

I really did not want to do this but I talked to Jim a few months ago when the problem got really bad and he assured me that this was not the norm and he would take care of it. If you were out with an injury I am sorry but all it would have taken was an answer to the email to Trenna stating that.
 

MMorgan

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Messages
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And Jon don't forget that I did contact you privately a few months ago to discuss this problem.
 

Master Roda

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C'mon Mike. What does this do? Or solve?

It's no secret that we take a long time getting parts out the door. We're low volume high quality---like a custom shop. I don't like it either. It's bad for business. But what do you do when you have a hundred orders and you can only fill them one at a time?

I'm sorry you can't get what you want when you want it.
 

Vance

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A view from the other side of the counter.

A view from the other side of the counter.

What Differance should that make where he bought it from, he still owns their product and is a paying customer that has paid in advance.

boy with that Attitude I am sure glad I have not bought a Butterfly and needed parts from you since you are a dealer.

My Helicom Commuter is 43 years old, needless to say I did not buy my Helicopter from C.H.R.I ( Safari Helicopters ) but they have always treated me with Respect as if I was a builder of a Safari and the parts I have ordered where shipped right out.

they to are not a big company.in fact they just a few years ago bought the design rights from Murray Sweet.

So Doug, your comment makes you sound like some kind of snob. about how You put it that he bought a partially built project from a third party, not from Sport Copter, so they haven't made any significant money from your business.

Regardless where he bought the project, it is still their product. and customer service should be the same no matter if it was a $10.00 part or a $90K kit.

you have just showed the world how you would treat a Custom if they bought a butterfly kit second hand and needed parts from you.

good luck staying in business with that attitude.

I am so glad I have an aircraft from a good company with good customer support and that it dose not matter that my machine is 43 years old and had many previous owners.

Sorry but you comment just really rubbed me the wrong way this morning.

even the Late Neal Carnes of Rotorhawk makers of the Falcon Gyro's was a one man operation got parts out quickly and took time to help his customers.

so your Comments just don't hold water.
Bad Business is just Bad Business. lipstick on a pig is still a pig.


I have always received good customer service from everyone at Sport Copter. I am an especially difficult customer because I do not have one of their aircraft and I usually do not need things as they are listed.

My Sport Copter eight and a half inch 30 foot blades and hub bar came when they said they would. They were packed well and worked out of the box and worked well.

I also ordered some front suspension parts that were just some odd bits that had to be selected individually and probably messed up their parts count for kits. They were very accommodating and in my opinion their prices were reasonable.

If someone is going to take extra special care of me because I have something I don’t need and they are going to give me a deal on something I want I expect things to be a little bumpy because they may not have the margins that help to pay for customer service and almost invariably the parts I will be returning are not as I have described them. Because it does not follow the normal order process it is much more likely to not work out well.

When I was a Harley Davidson Dealer I had customers sometimes feel that they were not treated well and would loudly say, “after all the money you have made off of me I think you should take better care of me.” I was always doing the best I could and sometimes things wouldn’t work out. The software I used could track every purchase they had made so I could quantify how much that was and invariably it was less than $20. It was interesting that when these individuals took their business somewhere else they would have trouble there too. It did not seem to occur to them that they were the constant in their business dealings. In my experience inflated expectations are the prelude to disappointment and frustrations.

I did better than most dealers and I still kept around ten cents of each dollar spent in my dealership. Because I was always growing I didn’t get to spend that money on myself and instead I put it back into the dealership so I could provide better customer service. I was in the business because I loved motorcycles and most motorcycle enthusiasts and I didn’t like it when I was accused of being a prostitute. I found it took some of the joy out of it for me.

The motorcycle business is a fringe hobby business and that makes it high risk, low profit, hard work and sometimes there are simply not enough resources to meet some customer’s expectations.

In my opinion he gyroplane manufacturing business is much worse. As a business enthusiast I have tried to understand how they stay in business and I have not been successful. It is clearly driven by passion. That makes odd ball orders that are not part of a kit all the more difficult to process. The margins are simply not there to fund outstanding customer service. The customer service comes from the passion of the owner and it is worn thin by people who demand things on their schedule based on their priorities. I am certain they are doing the best they can to accommodate everyone who has an interest in Sport Copter.

They have accommodated me and in my opinion they will never make enough money off of me to justify their efforts.

I feel we are fortunate to have passion driven individuals who toil to make our hobby possible.

The level of research and development and innovation that goes on in the gyroplane business world is remarkable and I am grateful for their efforts. In my opinion it is not profit driven.

Thank you, Vance
 

MMorgan

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I have plenty more to say but I guess Jon is correct and this does not prove anything.

Jon, I sincerely apologise for publicly bashing you and Sport Copter. I hope your back is ok.

You do make a top quality product and I am very happy with mine.
 

Master Roda

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I have plenty more to say but I guess Jon is correct and this does not prove anything.

Jon, I sincerely apologise for publicly bashing you and Sport Copter. I hope your back is ok.

You do make a top quality product and I am very happy with mine.
Accepted.

Now, let's work on getting you what you need. If you do indeed want the blades I offered, it will be a long wait. I'm offering them to you at almost no cost, so your at the bottom of the list. Besides, you can fly on what you have for the time being.
If you have parts on order, please "cc" me in on your email interactions and I will do my best to follow up on them. I don't do parts, but I don't mind helping either.

I'm sorry for all of this. I hope we can serve you better in the future.

Jon
 

gyromike

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Mike,

Technically, you are not even a Gyro Customer of Sport Copter. You bought a partially built project from a third party, not from Sport Copter, so they haven't made any significant money from your business and you probably aren't the highest priority on their list. Yet you feel you should be like they owe you something when it comes to getting service from them.
Doug,

When a person spends as much on upgrade parts as he did purchasing a previously owned kit/project, I think that qualifies him as being a customer. And when money is sent to a business, the business does owe the customer something! They owe them the goods/services that was agreed on prior to the money being sent.

And since you have one of their Gyroplanes, (unless you plan on selling it and changing to a different make of machine) I suggest you do everything you can to endear yourself to them and build a level of friendship that makes them want to take care of you.

I think you have this part backwards Doug.
There's a reason it's called 'customer service', instead of 'manufacturer service'.
 

animal

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Bashing us publicly doesn't make me want to help you. Certaintly doesnt help.

S

You can assume I want an apology (publicly) before I consider helping you.
See right there, they have forgotten that the Customer is always right.
I can not believe you would have the nerve to say you want a Public apology, when you and Sport Copter should be bending over backwards apologixing to the Customer, he stated he has spent over $ grand, yet Sport copter says they have other customers that are more important.

and now you publicly state you will be even less likely to help a paying customer... Gees, give me a break, sorry, but if this was me being treated this way, my Sport copter would be for sale so fast it would make your head spin.

No excusses, Sport Copter is a Business, one to sell parts to it's Customers and support it's product. so from this post one would assume, that even if they do buy a $90+ gyro, later down the road when an owner needs parts, he will be treated like a second class citizen.

Like I pointed out, Bad Business.. You and Sport copter need to publicly apoligize to this Customer and get him his parts.

I have bought maybe $100.00 worth of parts from C.H.R.I. ( Safari Helicopters ) and they always treat me like a True Safari Builder/Owner.

Mike, do you self a big favor, sell your Sport copter and get you a Dominator ,if you want an enclosed Gyro, buy Ernie's enclosed Eagle Gyro, at least you will get good customer support.

I mean heck even in lawn care my few Customers always come first and get what they want.
 

Master Roda

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I don't have to bend over backwards for anyone Tim.
I'm here as a service to customers in the first place. I could leave and make it worse, but I don't.
I reserve the right to demand an apology because I didn't do anything wrong in the first place. I'm only trying to help.
I think business's reserve the right to refuse goods and services too.

Sorry, the customer is not always right. Their bitchy and demanding. I know, I'm one of them.

Second class citizen? Seriously?
 

GyroDoug

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What Differance should that make where he bought it from, he still owns their product and is a paying customer that has paid in advance.
.
Animal,

I was simply trying to point out that helping people who are 2nd or 3rd generation owners of machines is often not as high of a priority as helping out a customer who bought a product from a given company. For example I have heard that Jim has a 2 place trainer that he makes available for training people that buy a machine from him. It is my understanding that if you did not buy a machine from him and you still want training in his machine you go way down the priority list and it typicaly isn't even going to happen. I am not happy with that situation, but I can understand how, when you have limitted resources, they have to be prioritized. I honestly believe Jim is doing the best he can with the Sport Copter Co. and if you want him to stay in business so he can provide support to everyione who owns one of his machines, bad mouthing his service is the wrong way to go about improving the situation.

I am not saying the current situation is the way it should be, but I believe that it is the way it is right now. I am trying to point out that in the world of Gyroplane Manufacturers in the US, most companies are very small, have very limitted personnel to handle customer sevice issues, and it is understandable that they may give less than stellar customer service. Things happen (like Jon's back injury)and when there is only one person doing a job, they can easily get backed up and fall behind. Again, I am not saying that should be acceptable or we should be happy with that kind of a situation, but if you think about it, you can understand how it happens and being patient and understanding will serve you better than publicly attacking a company for it.

My goal with my comments was to help everyone see and hopefully consider the other side of the situation and possiblyy to get everyone to work together better, so that the situation improves, rather than gets worse.

Working in the Customer Service field, I find that there is a growing sense of entitlement that is becomming rampant in our society (at least here in the US). We have heard terms like, "the customer is always right" until people are starting to feel that regardless of the claim or the expectation, that the customer should always be given exactly what they want, regardless of whether or not it is fair or right or reasonable. That atttitude is just as wrong as the attitude of, "now that we have made our sale, who cares about the customer?" Both of these attitudes are extreme and wrong. The goal should be for the two parties to be able to work together towards a solution that is fair and reasonable to both parties and they each feel like it was a win win solution.

I am not taking sides, nor am I pointing fingers at anyone here. I am simply trying to bring about better understanding and a better working relationship so our industry can grow and become better than it is now. I believe you want the same thing and I hope we can still be friends. From your last post it seems you are feeling pretty confrontaional with me and I am sorry if I have offended you. There aren't enough people involved in this sport for us to be fighting with one another. So I hope you can get over your negative feelings and we can continue to be friends.
 
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