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"Big Battalions Painting Service" Topic

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22 Jun 2012 11:17 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Comments or corrections?

Fredloan Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2012 8:28 a.m. PST

Has anyone used them in the last few months? If so looking for feedback.

Chortle Fezian22 Jun 2012 9:21 a.m. PST

They sell their ready painted figures through a UK vendor, who does quite a few of the shows. I think the vendor is Lancashire Games. You could contact them to see if Big Battalions are still active.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian22 Jun 2012 11:18 a.m. PST

They are still active, I was in contact with them recently.

vatcontrol23 Aug 2012 12:22 p.m. PST

I used Big Battalions in 2011 and cancelled my order after waiting 6 months. I obtained the figures painted from an alternative source. They still sent them. I refused to accept these but refund was refused. Beware of them as they blame other circumstances for delay. For instance the flood in Thailand which only affected them from late September 2011. I placed the order in April 2011. Suggest looking at local painters.


Dr Jeckyll24 Aug 2012 10:29 a.m. PST

Ooooff, I have had a very bad experience with them some years ago. Instead of going into detail here I will suffice myself with saying that I would absolutely not recommend using this painting service.

BigBattalions30 Aug 2012 11:26 a.m. PST

There are always two sides to any story so lets get both of these moans cleared up, first the disingenuous Mr Holmes, Vat Control. He did indeed place an order at Salute 2011 and was told that the painting time would be around 12 weeks from receipt of the models at the paint shop. These arrived in June from Australia.

Holmes then cancelled his order in August, at which point the order which had been started was put into store. Holmes then reinstated his order which was started in September. the order was shipped in October after he had been sent photographs which he had approved.

Unfortunately Thailand was suffering from serious flooding and there were delays in the shipping of the figures which we had no control over. Holmes then again cancelled his order. He was told that the figures were on the way and we asked him to check out the figures and see if he wanted to keep them or, if not that we would issue a full refund on receipt of the models at our UK address.

The Post Office tried to deliver the models but Holmes refused to accept them and so they sat in his local post centre for three months. He refused to collect them though he was offered payment of all expenses and a full refund. the Post Office refused to allow us to recover the shipment in the Uk and so it was returned to Thailand where it incurred shipping costs and duty, and lacking import papers a further fine.

Meanwhile Holmes contacted his credit card company making a false report that the goods had not been shipped. We were able to provide all documentation to the credit card company to show that Holmes report was like his posting here a gross misrepresentation of the facts.

As for Br Jeckyll, he ordered ready painted units which were shipped but not received. As Erik was at the time a serving soldier it was difficult to contact him, but when we did we explained that we had put a trace on the shipment which was returned from Norway partially damaged. I copy below the email that he was sent in settlement of the situation, which i feel to have been totally reasonable.

"we have had confirmation of delivery of the units in Norway. There is one further unit to send as one of the lancers from the original consignment was broken and a further unit is on the way from Thailand. The choice is now yours if you no longer want the figures then I will arrange a full refund when the models are returned including your own postage costs. If you wish to keep the units then I will forward to you two free units as compensation for the problems you have suffered. Please keep this e mail as evidence of the offer which you may wish to send to Paypal at a future date to advance any claim you wish to pursue.

I am very sorry for any concerns that you have suffered due to the delays in this order but as explained the original shipment was sent and had to be tracked."

We have dealt with hundreds of orders over the last few years, some go smoothly, some suffer delays, but in every case we deal with customers fairly and openly. In Erik's case I really regret what happened, in the case of Holmes, well lets just say we are glad we won't be dealing with him again!

Incidently I retain a file of all complaints received and how they were settled it is easy to track back the info as above.

vatcontrol31 Aug 2012 12:36 p.m. PST

I am afraid your recorded delivery reflected that the goods left Thailand in December 2011 after the order was cancelled. By the way you promised these figures within 12 weeks ie mid August 2012 but you lost the order details and I had to remind you. You persuade me to accept your excuses and continue with the order (more fool me to be taken in by a smooth talker).

This is not sour grapes as I do not want anybody else falling for the charm.

I can be happy that monies have been returned by the bank ombudsman this week. So there some decency within the banking system.

vatcontrol31 Aug 2012 12:37 p.m. PST

Mid August 2011

Big Battalions07 Sep 2012 5:45 a.m. PST

I have never spoken to Mr Holmes, but I have looked at the notes of telephone discussion that he had with one of the UK reps. And his comments do not tally with those notes.

Further, if you read the details of my earlier posting you will see that I accepted that there were further delays in delivery, basically caused by the fact that the main commercial airport in Bangkok was under three feet of water at the time. During this period a number of our shipments were delayed as they were in a bonded warehouse that suffered flooding and some of the shipped orders were returned to the factory for repacking as the orginal boxes were water damaged.

The main point is,Mr Holmes that you had every right to cancel the order because of the delays and that is not challenged.

However you were offered a full refund of all costs on return of the goods. To get this all you had to do was accept delivery or provide the Post Office with an alternative delivery address, which you refused to do prefering to institute a formal complaint with the banking authorities in the course of which you provided inacurrate information. Not the actions of a reasonable person.

To be clear I have no interest in engaging in a public dirty washing exercise, but if you choose to keep publishing false and partial information, I am quite happy to respond.

To place your complaint in perspective in four years of trading we have provided over two thousand orders for customers in all scales, both large and small numbers. In that time we have had five orders either go missing (Two in Italy, one in Spain, two in Thailand during last years floods) All have received a full refund or the figures have been replaced. Eight shipments have been damaged, and again figures have been replaced or refunds given, and in four of these cases where it was our packaging that was the problem we have also provided compensation in the form of additional compimentary figures.

We do try and resolve any complaints or issues in a way that is reasonable and fair and certainly we meet our legal obligations in full. Terms and conditions of sale are published on the website.

vatcontrol10 Sep 2012 12:27 p.m. PST

I have conducted the business via email and have only had 2 telephone conversations with Graham, being August and September. Perhaps you need to ensure your records are up to date.

By the way has Siam Painting Services (UK) Ltd trading as Big Battalions ceased trading as I have seen a notice of intention of the company's dissolution at Companies House.

How many gamers out there have had broken promises or have not been impressed with the customer service.

I now have my refund.

The Young Guard10 Sep 2012 2:32 p.m. PST

There is no decency in the banking industry

Big Battalions31 Dec 2012 5:12 a.m. PST

Vat Control, SPS(UK)Ltd has as you say been dissolved as the operation is now Thailand based, so the cost of maintaining a UK Ltd company is not worth it.

Big Battalions remains operaing as a UK trader.

It terms of unhappy customers, well there is you, whose custom we are happy to see go elsewhere. And yes, we did have problems in 2011, mainly caused by people defaulting on payment, and mail problems in Thailand, meaning we had to lay off staff which delayed orders. Like a lot of other companies at that time we had major problems. But thanks to a number of loyal customers, who acted in a reasonable manner, we have successfully traded through these difficulties.

At the moment the majority of commissions continue to be from the USA, and a group of around 50 loyal, and patient customers in Europe who have provided us with orders well into 2013, and many thanks for that.

The service provided is now a bespoke painting service, as the costs involved in maintaining viable levels of boxed 15mm stock proved to be excessive, plus thanks to the growth of China based operations that market suddenly became quite crowded. Shipping stock from Australia to Thailand and then to the UK was costly, and often involved long delays in shipping and customs clearance.

28mm stock is still prepared, but tends to go straight to POS stockists in the USA where the market is far more bouyant than the UK.

ferg98117 Apr 2013 6:15 a.m. PST


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