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and what if someone want to order their set, but live in europe... shipping price is overkill,
Why don't you drop in Ljubljana for a visit?
You know what ? I would probably do that ;)
My experience...which is not a good one. This is a long one, but an accurate account of my experience with HOS, their poor customer service and return policy.
This past December, I purchased The Championship Series Chess Set and Board from HOS. Literally, right out of the box, the white queen had a lose weight and rattled. And the rosewood King wobbled and would not sit flat on the board. As the purchase fell under their 21-day return policy, they sent out an RMA label and I sent the defective pieces back. After a few business days, my replacement pieces arrived. At this point, I'm thinking this is an isolated incident.
March 2014 - Through no abuse while using this set, I noticed now a boxwood pawn had a hairline crack from the bottom and running up the side! Clearly, I am not outside of HOS's 21-day return policy. So to send this pawn back, it cost me $8.51. A few days later, I receive a call from HOS requesting $4.00 to pay for their shipping to get my replacement pawn back to me!
I own three other sets (thankfully purchased elsewhere), made out of the same materials (boxwood and rosewood), of varying price points, that have had absolutely no problems. Each set being over 5-years old with the oldest, nearly 10-years old. No extra special care and they are flawless. After my initial complaint, their customer service rep told me because I live in Arizona the dryness is likely the contributing factor as to why these pieces are exhibiting the problems they are having. If that's the case, then my other pieces should be falling apart by now!
This set is clearly inferior and on top of that, HOS will not stand behind their products if the customer has to pay for shipping defective pieces to them, then having to pay to have them ship the pieces back!
April 2014 – Boxwood queen now has a hairline crack! I have lost complete faith that there is any quality to this set that I purchased just 4 ½ month ago. Yes, this set has a 1-year warranty, but by the time I end up replacing every single light colored piece in this set, I might as well have bought me a far better set!!! This set is complete garbage! Now this, after I purchased a humidifier.
I requested my money back on this garbage set but of course they will not honor a deeply unsatisfied customer, stating that as the set is now over 4-months old, this would not be possible. In this instance, HOS send me a replacement queen without requesting that I send back my defective piece. Show of good faith. Let’s see what they show next!
May 3rd, 2014 – Just when I thought I had weeded out all the bad pieces from this set, I was playing this past Saturday when to my disbelief I noticed the rosewood king and one of the bishops is hair lined cracked too! I’m sure they will want me to send both pieces back so that they can “color match” for replacements – all at my expense.
I cannot emphasize enough how regretful I am with this purchase. Buyer's remorse doesn't even begin to describe my frustration. It is getting to the point that I don't even want to look at this set anymore in fear that I will see yet another and another and another piece that has cracked. At the rate that this set needs replacements, especially on my dime, I might as well have bought me a much better set – elsewhere! In the end, this set will probably cost me double (or more) what I paid for it. Will I ever buy from HOS again? I won’t waste my keystrokes answering that question.
I closed one of my emails to HOS customer service with this paragraph, “If you were the customer, how would you feel? What would you expect after the experiences I have had with this combo set and the HOS? Would you be happy to continue paying shipping costs as each piece continues to crack?
Maybe their high-end sets are of better quality. But with the expeience I have had, there's no way I'm going to take any chances with this company. Nice website but buyers beware!
I know how it feels to receive a less than perfect set and it doesn't feel good so I can sympathize. I've noticed that several retailers have had problems with pieces cracking in the last few months. I'm not sure what the exact cause is. I suspect the extreme cold and dryness in most of the USA this winter didn't help. It's also possible the wood being used by one or more manufacturers lately hasn't been properly cured. Regardless the cause, wrangling with a supplier to complete an imperfect set certainly dampens the enthusiasm for that set.
az5654, I can't believe it! I bought a HOS set a while ago, everything looked fine. Now I read your post and thought: this guy has bad luck with hairline cracks, good that my set has no such issues.
Next time I used the set I found a hairline crack in one of the ebony rooks.
I guess there is at least something to be said for plastic....
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