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"Black Tree Design, anyone else having problems? " Topic


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Eclaireur28 Dec 2018 9:23 a.m. PST

Put an order in via their UK portal at start of December. PayPal debited, acknowledgement email generated but since that nothing. Ive sent a few emails saying that if they can't deliver soon I'd like to cancel the order but no response.
When I ordered a few years ago they were VERY fast, the castings arrived like 48 hours later.
I've heard that the person running the business may be having some health problems.
Just wondering if anyone else s having issues, and has heard from BTD about when these might be resolved?
EC

coopman28 Dec 2018 9:41 a.m. PST

The BTD USA guy has been having some health issues.
I have not heard anything about the BTD UK staff.

NickNorthStar Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Dec 2018 10:38 a.m. PST

I don't there are any UK staff are there?

Hitman28 Dec 2018 10:50 a.m. PST

I placed an order on November 8th. I then sent an e-mail request 6 weeks later (last week) and still nothing. On my account it indicates my order is "unfulfilled". Not a happy camper.
Hitman

Eclaireur28 Dec 2018 11:16 a.m. PST

You would know better than I would Nick! I do recall getting my previous orders very fast, and posted from a UK address so assumed they had people here.

@Hitman – my commiserations, your experience is clearly worse than mine. Either way this doesn't seem to be working well …
EC

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Dec 2018 11:27 a.m. PST

I placed an order on 22nd November, chased it by email at 4 weeks and was told they are waiting for minis to arrive from the US. I suppose I'll need to chase again early in the New Year. The customer service isn't great (often orders take a very long time), but I am keen to get the minis…

I believe the UK end is in Penzance.

Markconz28 Dec 2018 12:47 p.m. PST

I had this problem in the past with BTD also, but got the figures eventually plus a bonus pack because they couldn't find molds for one of the packs I ordered.

Mr Jones28 Dec 2018 1:08 p.m. PST

I placed an order in the UK about a month ago and received it within a week.

Frothers Did It And Ran Away28 Dec 2018 1:12 p.m. PST

The last order I made I had to wait for about 8 weeks, when I queried it they said they were waiting for a delivery of castings of the codes I had ordered. When I eventually got a "we posted your stuff" email the figs arrived within a couple of days. I suspect the UK arm is merely a distributor and doesn't do any casting themselves. Usually they're pretty prompt.

Personal logo mrwigglesworth Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2018 3:59 p.m. PST

They are moving pretty slow right now.
I got my order the other day after about seven weeks.

madcam2us28 Dec 2018 6:10 p.m. PST

I think between BTD and Warlord it is evens when it comes to slow service… *BUT*, since both are running really good sales right now i can almost understand…..


…….ALMOST!!!!! Where is my Black Friday order Warlord?!!!?!?!!?!!?

Madcam.

Fred Cartwright28 Dec 2018 6:17 p.m. PST

I got all 4 of my Black Friday orders from Warlord, last one 10 days ago. I just put in an order for their new sale.

Kevin C Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2018 7:46 p.m. PST

I order from the US dealer, and sometimes when the Christmas sale is running the orders can be a little late (I have been waiting a few weeks for my latest order), but he always comes through and the savings is worth the wait. That said, during most of the year, I receive my orders usually within a week. I wouldn't be too concerned about the delay right now. I am sure that both the US and British dealers are being hit with a lot of orders because of their current sale.

torokchar Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2018 8:45 p.m. PST

I have had nothing but problems with BTD USA and will not buy from them again.

jhnpraet Inactive Member29 Dec 2018 2:07 a.m. PST

I have bought before from Black Tree UK. I love the miniatures and they have always delivered eventually. I would not hesitate to order again. Just don't go there if you cannot or will not wait for several weeks.
Some orders were delivered in less than 2 weeks, some took well over 6 weeks.
I'm under the impression that not everything is in stock and that you have to wait untill they receive restock from the caster. Unfortunately, they don't bother informing you.

Eclaireur29 Dec 2018 2:52 a.m. PST

Seems these experiences are pretty common. Actually I was warned about BTD's slowness by @Travellera in another strand when I was considering making the purchase.
Seems to me a little communication, responding to emails etc, would go a long way for them. Few customers would cancel if offered an explanation and a bonus pack. I think the key message here is that they can't be relied upon if you want the minis any time soon. And I don't think it's feature of sales, since BTD has almost constant sales of one type or another.
EC

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2018 3:49 a.m. PST

I recall somebody said that they could skip most of the problems by giving them a call to make sure they had most things in stock.

NickNorthStar Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Dec 2018 6:41 a.m. PST

Yeah, I don't think there is actually any UK staff. Maybe they could come on here and introduce themselves?

I notice the name has changed again, EOE Orbis Inc. Who remembers when they were Icon Miniatures. That lasted about a year.

Harlequin Miniatures- Icon Miniatures- Black Tree Design now EOE.

It still baffles me how the BBC haven't caught them over the Doctor Who figures. They've no license to sell them you know? They used to say they were selling old Harlequin stock, a bit of a fudge as they are the very same people, but how much stock did they have, it's been 15 years? (I actually know exactly how much stock they had, I was there).

Fred Cartwright29 Dec 2018 7:00 a.m. PST

Yeah, I don't think there is actually any UK staff.

Someone is shipping product in the UK. The orders I have received haven't been shipped from overseas.

Harlequin Miniatures- Icon Miniatures- Black Tree Design now EOE.

I bought my first 28mm WW2 from Harlequin. They have been EOE for a while.

It still baffles me how the BBC haven't caught them over the Doctor Who figures. They've no license to sell them you know?

Yes it puzzles me too. The old stock thing is wearing very thin as an excuse now!

MiniPigs Supporting Member of TMP29 Dec 2018 9:40 a.m. PST

There are statutes of limitations on bringing legal actions for copyright infringements. If they have indeed been openly marketing those figures for 15 years, they may have survived a possible cause of action by the Dr Who people.

Eclaireur29 Dec 2018 11:32 a.m. PST

Oh this has suddenly got more interesting! I guess Nick's latest post might give an insight into why they're not keen on entering into correspondence …

FWIW Nick, I think @BigRedBat is right about Penzance. My deliveries a couple of years back were definitely posted in the West Country.

So perhaps the answer is that John, the US BTD guy has been unwell, casting has been falling behind, and whoever their UK agent is gets only sporadic supplies. And are also somewhat shy about their contact details, whereabouts, etc….
EC

Prince Rupert of the Rhine29 Dec 2018 11:48 a.m. PST

My understanding was that they where a UK company years ago then the company was sold on to one of our American cousins who casts the minis and ships stock to someone in the UK, who then posts it on. So if your order from the UK site you are at the mercy of the US branch of the company..

Londonplod29 Dec 2018 1:55 p.m. PST

I had an issue with my last order and contacted them on their Facebook page and received a swift reply re stock issue, my refund was equally swift, again requested via Facebook.

wmyers29 Dec 2018 4:48 p.m. PST

I'm sure the old stock of Dr. Who moulds are still not depleted.

In all seriousness, sometimes BTD takes a while but they have always delivered top quality figures.

Yes, there is staff in the UK.

(for all the years I've ordered from them they have been called BlackTree Design (BTD) but the website has always been eoeorbis – yes, a bit confusing but I am sure there is a reason)

My last order had a set with the 'Harlequin' header. So there is olde stock (no, it was not Dr. Who).

I do wish the items were shipped faster but since I primarily wait for these sales …

I do have to say that my orders from NorthStar are probably the fasted shipped of any service I have ever ordered from!

NickNorthStar Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Dec 2018 4:52 p.m. PST

Hi Prince R.
Not quite. The owners of Black Tree all moved to the US. I suspect EOE stands for Edwards Olsen Edwards, the three that moved to Texas. The UK connection is decidedly odd, last I heard is Olsen actually flies back to the UK to collect the post and process orders. That sounded bizarre when i heard it, but it was an insider that told me.

Hi Minipigs, that'll explain it. Still bad practice though, if I was Warlord or GF9 I'd be pretty angry…

Mirosav29 Dec 2018 7:03 p.m. PST

Regarding the DW miniatures, I have gotten a few from them that were still packaged in the old Harlequin single blisters.

Eclaireur30 Dec 2018 2:52 a.m. PST

My personal BTD saga is over, just had an apologetic email from John and a refund. Maybe I need your patience @wmyers !
I think the takeaway is that whatever the UK system is that they've got in place, delivery can take quite a while,
EC

NickNorthStar Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Dec 2018 3:00 a.m. PST

Hi Mirosav
All I can say is that there wasn't a single blister packed Doctor Who figure left at Harlequin when it went bust, 16 years ago.
I'm not questioning you of course, and I cannot speculate why you'd have got figures in old Harlequin blisters from BlackT, I'm just relating what the situation was back then.

Prince Rupert of the Rhine30 Dec 2018 3:33 a.m. PST

Nick@ cheers for the info that is interesting.

Also interesting with the Doctor Who range they dumped all their Lord of the Rings stuff a few years back on Grendel who now sell it as a generic fantasy range I guess the Tolkien estate (or GW?) was a lot more switched on than the BBC?

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2018 4:40 a.m. PST

Given that Mithril is still trading in the face of GW keeping their claws on the whole thing, I'm not surprised that BTD manages to keep their Who range going …

I remember the last days of Harlequin, it's when we got the last of the still stunning WWII Stalingrad range.

Fred Cartwright30 Dec 2018 6:40 a.m. PST

I remember the last days of Harlequin, it's when we got the last of the still stunning WWII Stalingrad range.

Indeed, that is a great range. I bought most of mine from Harlequin, with a few topped up over the years from BTD. The vehicles on the other hand were poor.

MiniPigs Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2018 5:23 p.m. PST

There's a lot of reasons copyright holders don't always file suit over infringement such as bad publicity etc.

In any case, whatever the reasons are that there's no infringement suit over those crap Dr Who figures, it remains that this hobby has a the highest unreliability rate of any supposedly non-criminal enterprise that I've ever seen. Further, too many posting members make excuses or blame the customer.

When I complained about a super slow figure painter on a thread, one member told me in a "serves you right" sort of tone that I should really be painting my own figures. So now it's my fault. If I bought a car and it didnt get delivered for a year, was I supposed to really have built my own?

It's truly unbelievable. If this company, which, incidentally, also both bungled and mangled an order from me, can't get it straight, they deserve to be hammered.

wmyers30 Dec 2018 10:25 p.m. PST

I think many on miniatures sites would look at it like posting on a custom car builders forum and those who do paint and build their own cars (either because they like doing it or do not have the money to pay another to do it for them) would also say you should have done it yourself.

Not trying to be a jerk, just completing the analogy in regards to many on here.

Fred Cartwright31 Dec 2018 4:47 a.m. PST

n any case, whatever the reasons are that there's no infringement suit over those crap Dr Who figures, it remains that this hobby has a the highest unreliability rate of any supposedly non-criminal enterprise that I've ever seen. Further, too many posting members make excuses or blame the customer.

You have obviously never phoned BT Customer services! Lol! Seriously when it comes to small businesses I don't find that wargame suppliers are any different. Having been involved in a recent saga with builders who took over a year to complete a simple job I would say your experience with the painter is not unique. But in general the wargame industry is pretty efficient and I get my toys very quickly.

MiniPigs Supporting Member of TMP31 Dec 2018 9:18 a.m. PST

@wmyers

Your analogy might be more apt if this were a miniatures painting forum or one for people who like to paint but it isnt. I do however agree that not a few think like you've mapped out and that they need a grounding in basic, linear logic. I think there's a not insignificant cheapskate wing to the hobby too that like to play Scrooge and indulges in schadenfreude when another member gets burnt.

@Fred Cartwright
Maybe it's because this is an impulse purchase hobby that has many steps and thus delays along the chain of creating miniatures armies causes a domino effect for disappointment within the buyer. For example, the buying of the figures is not the same as the using of them. Thus, if a figure caster gives you 3 months of trouble, when you finally do get the figures, they are still useless. Further, you might assign that months more of effort of having to paint them up to the figure seller's delay which makes a person even more impatient with them.

Or it could just be that the maladjusted infest the hobby in larger numbers than elsewhere and dont understand the concept of both order fulfillment and customer service.

Recently, I engaged a figure painter who recommended a specific maker for some of the miniatures needed. I made and paid for the order and they still haven't shipped 3 weeks later. Although, they did admit to me they have no idea when they were going to be able to ship…so I suppose that's quasi responsible!

wmyers31 Dec 2018 1:02 p.m. PST

"Or it could just be that the maladjusted infest the hobby in larger numbers than elsewhere and dont understand the concept of both order fulfillment and customer service."

I think you are onto something here.

Another aspect could be the impersonal nature of things. It can be easy to ignore an email or just delay.

Fred Cartwright31 Dec 2018 1:14 p.m. PST

Or it could just be that the maladjusted infest the hobby in larger numbers than elsewhere and dont understand the concept of both order fulfillment and customer service.

It is not just the firms that don't understand the realities of commerce. I have a friend who owns a figure company and you wouldn't believe the amount of advice he gets on figures to produce. Usually along the lines of "Why are you making SS/Airborne/Tiger Tanks (you know the stuff that sells by the bucket load) as I can get those from xyz and not making Croation military police or some equally obscure unit?" When asked how many packs they would buy it is invariably 1 or 2. They seems surprised when my friend declines to produce figures he would be lucky to recoup the costs on. Too many gamers think figure producers are there for their personal wish fulfilment and can ignore the realities of the market.

Andy ONeill31 Dec 2018 1:27 p.m. PST

I think there's a fair few eccentrics running these sort of businesses.

One scottish bloke did himself out of business by repeatedly taking money and not supplying goods. Allegedly.

It's a secondary occupation for some. They can't make enough to get by just on niche hobby products.

I have no idea how much money btd make or what category they might fall into.

I have talked to one figures manufacturer was "really" a teacher and did his casting using a home made machine in his
garden shed. His service was good.

colin knight02 Jan 2019 3:30 a.m. PST

It would probably be a good idea BTD explained why orders take so long and timescale to expect. They are likely to be the slowest delivery in the business.

Marcus Brutus02 Jan 2019 9:49 a.m. PST

It would probably be a good idea BTD explained why orders take so long and timescale to expect. They are likely to be the slowest delivery in the business.

Most issues in life revolve around communication. Poor communication can ruin businesses, marriages and friendships. I think your correct that simply communicating the expected delivery date would go a long way to resolving BTD's reputation.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2019 11:10 a.m. PST

It is not just the firms that don't understand the realities of commerce. I have a friend who owns a figure company and you wouldn't believe the amount of advice he gets on figures to produce.

Yes but I don't expect many in the public to understand the business of toy soldier production. So I'll give them a pass.

Not so with those involved in the business. They should be held at a higher level as they are the ones running the business and dealing responsibly with paying customers.

For the record, I've had good service from BTD.

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Jan 2019 7:56 a.m. PST

Over 6 weeks now… :-(

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Jan 2019 6:22 a.m. PST

…seven and a half weeks; no comms since December. :-(

Eclaireur11 Jan 2019 9:02 a.m. PST

That's very annoying @BigRedBat. I've had my refund and spent the money on Crusader miniatures from North Star, the first of which I've just primed for painting…

@MarcusBrutus – totally agree ref the ability to solve an awful lot of these problems through better communication
EC

colin knight20 Jan 2019 5:19 p.m. PST

That's now 6 weeks waiting for my order. Such a pity

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Jan 2019 3:33 a.m. PST

Two months tomorrow. No replies since December 20th. I've applied to Paypal for a refund, which I expect to get in around a week's time.

Something is very wrong at Black Tree. I won't be buying there again, until I understand what. :-(

Damion22 Jan 2019 1:06 a.m. PST

That's a shame. I ordered a small number of figures from them before Christmas and while it took 25 days to get them, I did get them. The longest part was the 17 days between ordering and them being sent. Postage was quick. Nice figures too.

Around the same time I got an order from Warlord Games which took 28 days to get to me, 6 day turn around and then a really long postal time.

What would be helpful is if people were able to realise that they can't cope and sell off their stake in such businesses.
Renegade looks like it's kaput, it's been down for at least two months now with no indication of it coming back.

Damion22 Jan 2019 1:07 a.m. PST

Speaking of odd things, why does this site have so much maintenance downtime? Does the server just get turned off at certain times?

kalgaloth28 Jan 2019 7:23 p.m. PST

Another company to avoid. Horrible at communication and only respond once PayPal is involved.

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Jan 2019 2:03 a.m. PST

Finally got my refund, courtesy of Paypal. I won't be ordering again.

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