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By Flying_john
About 10 months ago in anticipation of a mag overhaul, I bought two sets of items to overhaul my magnetos and about 5 months ago the first magneto had its points changed, inspection, new rotor lubed and refitted. No problem there. However on inspection of the second set of points there was a fault in the pressing of the moving arm. I contacted the manufacturer and they said to return to spruce for a free replacement.

I duly returned them and waited. Nothing heard I contacted them and they told me they had been received and had been sent to the manufacturers (not sure why they wouldn't allow me to do that). So another few weeks went by and I chased again and was told "still waiting for manufacturer".

So about mid Feb I chased again, ordered some other parts and asked for them to be taken to sun n fun for collection from the stand. They said no problem.

Then of course we have Covid, Sun n Fun cancelled so I cancelled the order and asked for the free replacement points to be sent by mail. That will be $25 they said to return them. Oh well I thought, better to pay another $25 on top of the $65 I already paid + the cost of returning them.

They took my CC card details and sent me an invoice showing the $25 postage and also the original cost again. But on this invoice nothing about free / warranty replacement.

When the UPS guy arrived on the step with the jiffy bag with my points he demanded another £25 for Duty/VAT/Import/Brokerage etc. I told him they are duty paid. He said yes I can see that by the label, I will call and check. He called their office and the office said the invoice did not show Free warranty replacement, so although they had stuck the correct sticker on, the invoice was deficient.

So I contacted spruce, who were most insistent I was responsible for Duty/import etc. I said, but you have not sent the correct invoice. In no time at all they sent me another invoice with a large stamp on it saying it was a free replacement and the invoice was just for customs purposes, which they claim they had already sent me. They said UPS had this invoice. UPS say they don't have it and the sender has to supply it, not the receiver !!

I have tried contacting them using their website, but as I am the receiver I do not have an account number. Tried a general email, but have heard nothing. Its so difficult dealing with these faceless entities that don't seem to provide a regular email/contact point to raise the issue. UPS say Spruce must sort it, Spruce say take it up with UPS and its all down to me.

So much for support on warranty items

Mind you, I feel a lot better now I have shared :-))
By riverrock
I'm guessing Slick mags?
I don't have a lot of faith in the manufacturer as there have been a few batches of new ones that failed prematurely, including one for us which didn't work from new.
Took months for a different (UK this time) distributer to get a refund off them and pass it onto us (they said it would be a free replacement once they got the broken one and checked it, but after hearing rumours we decided to ask for a refund and buy again - glad we did or we would have been grounded for 6 months!).
User avatar
By Sooty25
A pretty poor tale really.

Magneto company should have just free issued a replacement set of points and Air mailed them and trusted you to post the duff set back. The value involved is so low, involving Aircraft Spruce was stupid on their part.

God knows what AS were thinking, clearly they were not!

UPS, are brilliant until something goes wrong, then they are a complete nightmare. My advice, if customer services can't fix it immediately, then they can't fix it at all. If that happens, put it all in one letter and post it directly to the CEO.

As for magneto's, it really is time we moved on and consigned these to the scrap heap.
I too have experienced the problem of sending faulty parts back to the US under warranty. Although to clarify it is not the actual sending, it is always when the part returns FOC and Fedex/UPS or whichever carrier you use want to charge import vat/duty on it when it comes back in to the UK.
It seems to happen time and time again even when the paperwork clearly states it is a FOC warranty item. I am not sure what the answer is short of having your own End User certificate and then it will sale through no problem.
User avatar
By Sooty25
If the paperwork states FOC Warranty replacement, or similar, the courier can not charge you. If they insist, they are probably breaking laws and it would be worth suggesting they hold the parcel while you consult HMRC.
User avatar
By Flying_john
Seems I am not the only one - it does seem to be a UPS issue, never had it before with any other small items from the USA.
Problem with UPS is knowing who to talk to and on what number or email. They seem to lock down their web messaging system to account holders and I cant find a telephone number to progress. I suspect by now the packet is winging its way back to USA.

:x :cry:
Flying_john wrote:it does seem to be a UPS issue,

Time to adjust the thread title?
Rob L liked this
User avatar
By Sooty25
Flyin'Dutch' wrote:
Flying_john wrote:it does seem to be a UPS issue,

Time to adjust the thread title?

You'd probably need to name all three!
User avatar
By Flying_john
Hmmm - I think the original fault lays with Spruce for sending the wrong invoice with the packet. UPS are secondarily at fault for not listing to, or reading the invoice that I have shown them.
I suppose I am at fault for thinking it would all happen smoothly !
Is there a UK or EU based supplier or agent?
User avatar
By Rob L

1. Don't purchase direct from USA (either parts or services) unless you are willing to take the risk; use LAS or Adams (or similar). More cost but less agro if it goes wrong, plus you have the benefit of UK law to help you if it goes wrong.

2. Slick mags always were and always will be 500-hr disposable items. Budget for that in hourly costs.
User avatar
By Flying_john
2. Slick mags always were and always will be 500-hr disposable items. Budget for that in hourly costs.

Whatever gave you that idea. All parts are available and 500hr overhaul of Slick mags is commonplace esp on CofA types.

Mine are well into their 850th hour and I have overhauled one and the other one will be done this permit in May/June.

But its true - you have to factor in the risk of buying direct from USA. I should have asked for them to be returned to friend in USA , who would have just forwarded or bought them over next time they came to UK.

Latest from UPS is that "because they are a free replacement part, VAT is due on them, even though I already paid VAT on the ones I returned." But can reclaim if I show them proof of returning the item, how much proof do they need they have the paperwork that says its a replacement for a returned part. How do you prove that when all I did was put them in a jiffy bag paid 4 quid and sent them back Royal Mail. I thought there was a trivial items rule for duty/VAT and repair /replacements under warranty.