Summit Shelters
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russell dean
(rjdean)
Summit Shelters on 04/01/2006 09:58:35 MST Print View

Does anyone have any experience with Summit Shelters [Big Sky]. I am looking at the Evolution 1P as a possible purchase. It's lightweight with either the option of alum poles or carbon fiber. Concerned with condensation and durability.

Robert Molen
(bigsky) - MLife
Big Sky Evolution 1P reviews on 04/01/2006 17:05:22 MST Print View

Russell,

BackpackGearTest.org is currently reviewing our Evolution 1P shelters... we have a link to the reviews at the bottom of the Evolution 1P web page:
http://www.bigskyproducts.com/SummitShelters/SummitEvolution1Pdetails.htm

or http://tinyurl.com/89ea9

We will also be happy to answer any questions you have.

Thanks for your interest,
bob

http://www.BigSkyInternational.com/

Mary Simpson
(maryphyl) - F
Re: Big Sky Evolution 1P reviews on 04/26/2006 11:21:09 MDT Print View

Two questions-- How do you set the tent up with just the fly? What do you recommend for reducing slippage on the sil floor? Mary

William Stoddard
(mstoddard) - F
Evolution tents on 04/26/2006 12:03:08 MDT Print View

Several months ago I favorably commented on my Evolution 2P as being very storm worthy. I had no condensation problems in a heavy rain and wind storm. I recently used it on a fishing trip in the deep South, where mosquitos are already thick (mid-April). With the flaps up and the doors zipped, I had great ventilation and not a skeeter inside. So far so good on durability, but I have not used it enough to say more. I'm still very happy with my tent.


(Anonymous)
Is it really worth the wait? on 04/27/2006 13:25:21 MDT Print View

Placed an order for a 2P-EX with BigSky last December. Haven't received product yet. Not quite sure what the real holdup is. Be prepared for a long wait, and a lot of song and dance.

Jeff Black
(thehikingdude) - F
What about the new single wall version? on 04/27/2006 21:41:19 MDT Print View

Any word on the Znorkel version?


(Anonymous)
Big Sky? Is it real? on 05/22/2006 12:20:33 MDT Print View

Still no Big Sky product. Going on 6 months now.

Starting to wreak of a big rip off to me. Can I also play with my $250 too Bob?

Sorry, just getting a bit disgruntled here.

Has anyone received their 2P as "promised" yet?

Ronald Davis
(rond) - F
same with me on 05/22/2006 15:36:18 MDT Print View

no tent, no refund, very little communication and then nothing but a song and a dance. Be safe with your $'s and look elsewhere.

Steve Robinson
(Jeannie) - F
No tent either on 05/22/2006 21:12:22 MDT Print View

I ordered in Jan. for April ship date and nothing yet. Email response to questions prior to ordering was good, but now .... still waiting.

Cris Reifsteck
(unsuperguy) - F
yuck on 05/22/2006 21:41:46 MDT Print View

Add me to the list of unsatisfied Big Sky orderers with no product. I got an email about the new revision D of the Evolution 2p but no info on WHEN.

Ronald Davis
(rond) - F
Refund on 05/22/2006 23:34:01 MDT Print View

I've asked them twice via e-mail for a refund but they will not respond. Needless to say, I've yet to receive either the refund or the tent. At this point I don't want the tent no matter how good it might be. I want me $'s back. The way they are handling this whole situation is not doing much for their image to say the least.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Refund on 05/23/2006 00:33:16 MDT Print View

First off, only just jumped into this Thread by reading the 22may Posts. Didn't bother to read the earlier ones. Also, I'm not familiar with either the specifics or the time frame of anyone's dispute with this company. Here's some advice that may help (it helped me a few years ago).

If you have paid by CC, you should get the bank that issued the CC involved.

I did this a bit over 5yrs ago with good results. First, i disputed the charge and didn't have to pay it. Second, the bank contacted the merchant and threatened to have their ability to process M/C and Visa removed. This would seriously hamper their business. Third, since over 180days had expired and no delivery of product, no refund to my card as i requested them, and no responses to my attempts to contact them, the bank also threatned to have criminal fraud charges brought against the company. Apparently, there are laws regarding this type of thing and according to the bank that issued my VCC, criminal fraud was now involved. It may be so in your case also. I don't know your specifics. If the transaction crossed state lines or used the internet, maybe it's even a Federal Criminal Fraud issue, but that's one for law enforcement, and prosecutors to figure out.

If you've been nice all along trying to be civilized in resolving your conflict, then maybe it's time to "play hard ball". For some people, this is all that will get their attention - i.e., big-time criminal lawyer fees, fines, and prison time have a way of waking up some people.

You're the best judge of what actions to take next. In my case, over six months, no delivery, and no return contacts to my many civilized requests for resolution. So, at that point i chose to get my bank involved. If you've used a CC, you might want to follow my advice. If you used a personal check, then contact the BBB or State Attorney General's offic of your state and whatever state the company is located in to find out what steps to take next.

Hope this info helps.

Jordan Hurder
(jordanhurder) - F

Locale: Southern California
I know this won't make me very popular on 05/23/2006 10:44:09 MDT Print View

... But part of dealing with cottage industry product is waiting out long lead times on product revisions. I'm definitely not trying to tell anyone that they shouldn't be mad about having to wait this long, but a company like Big Sky just doesn't have the resources that someone like Marmot has to keep a steady stream of production going, especially when they are revising product continually in order to bring the best products to market. I have worked with (and for) companies like this in the bike industry, and let me tell you, predicting ship dates from Asian suppliers, especially when you're small, is impossibly difficult. A ship date in mid-June that was promised by a supplier in April is not rare. The Big Sky people, from the sound of it, need to be better about responding to emails, but, in their defense, they may also be in Asia working with suppliers (or finding new ones that can meet hard deadlines), and they may not be in touch over email. Regardless, once you get your tent, you'll still have, according to BPL, one of the lightest, most useable tents on the market, so that's pretty cool. Ultimately, I can understand why you guys are *BEEP*, but I'm just trying to offer another perspective.

Ronald Davis
(rond) - F
Either Asia, or at a backpacking on 05/23/2006 11:12:20 MDT Print View

gathering trying to sell more tents they don't have.

here is the last correspondence I received from them on 5/16

Thank you for your email.... we are traveling to and from a backpacking gathering. Email is not always available so it may be a few days before we are able to respond.

Thank you for your patience,
Bob


I may not be as wordly as some but I think one can still send and receive e-mails from China. Maybe scheduling does not permit same day response, but at least a response some day.

Ronald Davis
(rond) - F
By the way on 05/23/2006 11:22:10 MDT Print View

I'd certainly like to see Robert Molen weigh in on this. It's apparent he reads this forum from his earlier response. When he's done with his reply here, I would also invite him to respond to a similiar thread posted LWBP site too. Then he can get out his check book and send me a refund on a tent I ordered and paid for on Dec. 31 expecting a March/April Delivery that still has not arrived.

Henry Shires
(07100) - F - M
Re: I know this won't make me very popular on 05/23/2006 12:09:08 MDT Print View

At the risk of stoking a flame, I'm going to weigh in on this because this situation hurts all of us -- customers/users and gear makers. I think the biggest problem here isn't order delay per se but rather order delay in conjunction with lack of communication and CASHED CHECKS. A cashed check puts an order into an entirely different category with accompanying buyer expectations and seller responsibilities. IMHO, there is no excuse for cashing a check (or running a credit card) on an order without very prompt delivery of product or very high level of communication explaining a delay if, by some Act of God, delivery isn't possible within expected timeframe. In addition, it seems highly unethical to me to ever cash a check prior to delivery unless moneys are needed by the vendor to satisfy a CUSTOM ORDER that requires materials or labor that falls outside normal product offerings. If I were such a situation as a buyer, I would certainly ask for my money back with interest.

-H

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
lack of communication - main nail on head on 05/23/2006 12:22:43 MDT Print View

that would be my main beef.

I noticed that at mountainlaureldesigns, Ron has stated that they will only take 1/2 payment if they are in delay on orders & will include small items as thankyous for waiting when product does shift, only collecting 2nd half payment when item ships.

Details like that go a long way - shows somebody is there and they are aware of your long wait and are sensitive to it.

Dan Cunningham
(mn-backpacker)

Locale: Land of 12,000 Loons
Bad Strategy on 05/23/2006 16:02:58 MDT Print View

It sounds to me like Big Sky is financing their business startup with customer money, which is not a good way to do business.

They just got an interest free multiple thousand dollar loan from a bunch of backpackers that just wanted a tent.

Not cool at all if you ask me.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Big Sky on 05/23/2006 16:14:01 MDT Print View

Before I read your post that is what I thought too.

In all fairness though, we really should wait and see what happens here. It would be prudent for Big Sky to answer some of these post and or emails explaining the situations. I almost bought one of their tents and at this moment I am glad that I have not due to the problems that I have read about. Big bummer for ALL involved.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: I know this won't make me very popular on 05/23/2006 17:07:03 MDT Print View

Kudos for Mr. Shires. Weighty words from an honest business man, and a man of integrity.

I believe too often such pre-purchases are used as an interest free loan instead of attempting to obtain a loan from a financial institution.

Now, i'm no big fan of borrowing money, particularly at interest, and can readily understand the reluctance to do so. I would guess that IF one's business plan was deemed sufficient to obtain an interest bearing loan from a bank in order to start up a business, the end cost to consumers for fine UL products would undoubtedly be more. The question is "Would we consumers be happy paying more?" For many, the answer would probably be "yes"!

Communication is the key as someone else has already stated. Keep customers informed within a reasonable period of time and also the reasons for a delay, the corrective actions being taken, and provide the lastest info from the suppliers as to when they expect to deliver and a customer will feel better about waiting longer in order to be part of the first production run of a product just being introduced to the market. They (i.e., any business) should also be more up front about the fact that they really don't have a product yet - only a design and a handful of prototypes. In the software field, we call this "vapor-ware". So, here, maybe it's "vapor-gear". Having a few prototypes only is just a small step above "smoke and mirrors".

More than once when dealing with other companies, I have written back after receiving letters of apology about delays, that I understand that they are only passing on info that they themselves are being given by their suppliers. I don't personally hold the small startup company responsible when in good faith the make a committment based upon info given to them by their suppliers. They really do hope to deliver in the promised time frame, but are at the mercy of their suppliers. I do however, expect them to be responsive to my emails and/or phone calls, and i expect them to immediately cancel a pre-purchase and refund my CC if i ask them to, though i know that this may further exacerbate a cash-flow problem, and perhaps they really don't even have the cash on hand any longer.

I'm speaking just generally and really don't know how much of this applies in the particular instance referred to in this Thread, not personally being involved.

Mark Regalia
(markr) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz
Re: Summit Shelters on 05/23/2006 17:21:59 MDT Print View

I emailed them last month asking about lead times. They said that an order placed then would be delivered in June. However, anyone who is still trying to set up production in China is suspect in my mind. I have worked with the Chinese a bit and have a friend who does regularly. Unless you know what you are doing you are going to be very upset with the results. Just ask Karhu. They lost a years production according to a rep I talked to when they moved production to China.

Also, in my opinion no company should charge a CC or cash a check until they shipped a product. That is standard procedure with repuable companies. The only company who I have ever caught charging my CC for a back ordered item turned out to be the most crooked mail order company I have ever had the misfortune to deal with. Pure outright crooks. That's not to say these guys are. I want one of their tents. I keep hoping to hear that they delivering.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Big Sky diligence issue on 05/23/2006 17:32:50 MDT Print View

Boy, it's comforting to know I'm not alone! My story is pretty much like everyone elses except that I sent them a check in March to take advantage of the 10% discount offer. I emailed a couple weeks later to verify that they had received my order and got what was to be the only response to my inquiries to date. Bob replied that they were in Asia lining up production facilities and that he would check the mail when he got back and let me know if my order was there. That was supposed to happen by mid April. By the end of April I was getting a little nervous so I emailed him(no response), then called(voice message said still in Asia), then checked with my bank(check not cashed, whewww). So I waited until May 21 and called again(new voice message said they were off on a backpacking trip). That's when my patience ended. I stopped payment and, other than being $29 poorer for the experience, my worries are over. Still, a disappointing experience. Can't figure out what's up here, but they've sure dug themselves a hole from the sentiments I've seen expressed in this forum. My sense is that it's not dishonesty or they would've cashed my check. Incompetence? Immaturity? Overwhelmed? Whatever. I wish 'em well, but not on my dime.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Big Sky diligence issue on 05/23/2006 20:46:53 MDT Print View

Tom, and everyone else, thanks for sharing. I had been wondering if anyone had given Big Sky's telephone a try. (888-535-7085, 10a-3p MST) I haven't placed any orders with them, but I'm keeping my eye on it. Seems like a great product I'd be interested in, but the current situation gives me pause--disappointing, by all accounts. Hopefully this won't turn into another bad experience a la Wanderlust Gear. Keep us updated.
-Mark

Brian Frankle
(bdf37) - F
???'s of Integrity on 05/24/2006 15:37:18 MDT Print View

Just a quick THANK YOU. I am SO incredibly happy to see that the comments did not overflow into the greater cottage industry community! I think a major tenet of our business philosophy and practice is integrity. While we may be as slow as a boyscout with a 70 lb pack, we work hard to operate in a manner that is moral and ethically just. Thanks for not shunning the majority based on the behavior of the minority. MUCH appreciated.

Brian @ ULA

Robert Molen
(bigsky) - MLife
Re: Is it really worth the wait? on 05/25/2006 08:08:14 MDT Print View

First, I would like to apologize for this delayed and incomplete response… I am driving from back from Trail Days, Damascus, Virginia to Wyoming… about 2,000 mile… this is being sent from a public internet site along the road…. below is what we have been sending our customers the last couple of weeks:

“First, we like to apologize for your delayed shipment from us... we want to thank you for your patience.

What we hoped would be a nice surprise for you, backfired on us...

Our plan was to ship a new version of our shelters, “rev. D”, in the March/April timeframe. Numerous issues have delayed your shipment... the biggest issue has been the unexpected extra time and effort we have had to make to improve our product... we are very meticulous. We believe the new “rev. D” is a major revision and is worth the extra time and efforts we are expending, i.e. improved design (more storm-worthy), improved pattern (tighter), and improved materials to name a few of the improvements... but still keeping it the same very light weight product.

I just left our factory after approving the final design... attached is a picture... I apologize for my poor photography skills. We expect to have more details of the new “rev. D” version on our web site in the next week or so...

We are pushing our factory to get your Evolution 2P shipped but we will not sacrifice quality in the process.

As a side note, Outside magazine included Big Sky’s “Evolution 2P” shelter on page 111 of their 2006 Buyer’s Guide. It was the only shelter that earned a “Killer Value” rating from Outside magazine!

Thanks again for your patience,
Bob

www.BigSkyInternational.com

Note: Of course your order takes precedence over any new orders. (Our web site lists estimated ship dates for new orders placed, this is not your ship date.)

Note: We will be announcing new products in the next few weeks; your order takes precedence over shipping these new products. If one of these new products better suits your needs, you are more than welcome to convert your order, but it will be considered a new order and will ship after we fill our order backlog.”

Again, I apologize for the brief response; I will log back in again when I get off the road in a few days.

Bob

www.BigSkyInternational.com

Mark Regalia
(markr) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz
Re: Re: Is it really worth the wait? on 05/25/2006 13:31:13 MDT Print View

I'm sorry but that is not a good response. If not outright evasive, it certainly lacks the kind detail those who you havew mistreated deserve, like how you can justify charging for product you don't even have in stock and when they will actually be shipped. I thought I had found my tent. But it looks like I had better start looking elsewhere.

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: Re: Re: Is it really worth the wait? on 05/25/2006 13:55:59 MDT Print View

"First, I would like to apologize for this delayed and incomplete response"

Let's cut the guy a little slack - at least give him a chance for a full explanation. He's aware that no one is happy with what he just posted...

Ben


(Anonymous)
Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it really worth the wait? on 05/25/2006 15:56:56 MDT Print View

How is he aware that no one is happy with what he just posted if not from the one negative response? He had the chance for a full explanation. It was a long post with little explanation and a lot of tap dancing.

Your post makes no sense.

Jordan Hurder
(jordanhurder) - F

Locale: Southern California
RE: incomplete response on 05/25/2006 16:42:38 MDT Print View

I think he was aware that what he was posting was going to be incomplete. And since he just cut-and-pasted an email he has been sending all Big Sky customers (rather than just the people in this thread), it actually was pretty short. I'm sure, as he said, that he'll explain the larger issue in a couple days.

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it really worth the wait? on 05/25/2006 16:45:58 MDT Print View

Anon (are you the same person I responded to? Hard to say, given the abuse of the anonymous posting capabilities on this forum, originally intended so vendor reps could give honest feedback without risking biased reception by other members) - had you read Bob's post more closely, it would be apparent to you that he was simply posting a message that had been sent to many of the jilted would-be customers already... hence my quotation of his intro sentence. I didn't think that that, of all things, would be unclear.

His apologetic tone and promise for more info in the next couple of days tells me that he knows that the situation MUST be fixed. I'm not saying that he's in the right - if I was waiting on a tent, I'd be capital-P Pissed - but I thought that the first response to his message was unhelpful at best.

Ben

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: RE: incomplete response on 05/25/2006 16:46:52 MDT Print View

Jordan - you speedy typer, you.

Ben

Edited by bugbomb on 05/25/2006 16:51:39 MDT.


(Anonymous)
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it really worth the wait? on 05/25/2006 17:29:45 MDT Print View

Did read his post closely. Did notice his wording. Poor assumption on your part.

Same post he put on other Forums where the same complaints about his business practices have been made quite often. So your conclusion about addressing this Forum is incorrect also.

Didn't really address people's objections. He just gave excuses. He essentially plugged new products and revisions and basically implied everyone will just have to wait longer.
It would have been better if his first words were that he would have a refund with interest in the mail to everyone who wants one within two weeks time if he drives slow. Instead of driving east to drum up more business he should have addressed the issues raised here and on other Forums for some time now. Is that company more interested in getting money than promptly addressing customer related problems?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Is it really worth the wait? on 05/25/2006 18:29:07 MDT Print View

Criticizing a person "anonymously" isn't so great either...


(Anonymous)
not good. on 05/25/2006 19:41:10 MDT Print View

(this is a different anonymous person.)

Umm... how could this business plan possibly be defended? If you cash a check, you better be ready to ship the product immediately. If you can't, you inform the purchaser of the delay and you offer an immediate refund. If someone requests a refund at any point, you immediately make it happen.

Cashing checks and not delivering, making promises and/or excuses, and not even refunding someone's money after they ask several times for it? C'mon now... that's just inexcusable.

Support honest businesses that respect their consumers and treat them fairly (e.g. Henry).

Ronald Davis
(rond) - F
Refund! on 05/25/2006 20:10:59 MDT Print View

Robert, Perhaps you could let me know when I might receive the refund I've ask for or at least respond to the e-mail I sent requesting the refund. I think I've waited long enough for a tent that still appears to be a long way from being delivered

Edited by rond on 05/25/2006 20:16:02 MDT.

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: not good. on 05/25/2006 20:46:34 MDT Print View

Anon #2 - we agree that the business plan is inexcusable, and reflects a lack of competence/planning, if not integrity. My comments applied exclusively to the posts in this thread. Like I said, were I in the shoes of the potential purchasers, I'd be furious. But I'd take Bob's post as a positive step, not a negative one.

Ben

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
annon post on 05/25/2006 20:53:45 MDT Print View

not too good to hide behind a post with no name. Sorry,


(Anonymous)
Read this elsewhere on 05/26/2006 03:18:28 MDT Print View

Elsewhere at least one person is referring to this company as "Big Lie". Is this nickname accurate based upon other's experiences?

Glenn Roberts
(garkjr) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
BPL Policy on 05/26/2006 05:04:10 MDT Print View

Those of you who point out (rightly) that taking someone's money when you can't fill the order promptly is poor practice might be interested to read BPL's published policy on backorders (Policies and Terms under the Resources tab at the left.)

The big difference is that BPL is up front about their policy, and explains the business reason for it. This charge-now policy has deterred me from ordering from this site in the past, but at least I had the information to make that decision - I didn't get blindsided by it.


(Anonymous)
hiding. on 05/26/2006 10:42:37 MDT Print View

i don't understand the "hide behind a post with no name." why do you have to know who it is? (open to conjecture.) respond to the content of the post (or not). peace.

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: hiding. on 05/26/2006 11:43:15 MDT Print View

I don't need to know who it is. That's not the point. I agree with ken, however, that to level criticism of someone who has not masked his identity from an anonymous position is "bad." Like I heard in kindergarten, if you wouldn't say something to someone's face, don't say it at all. I think that anonymous posting is as close to talking behind someone's back as you can get in an online environment. It disrupts the "community" (cheesy, I know, but I really like this board) and robs the rest of us of the confidence that we know who were are talking to. I value knowing who I'm talking to for all the obvious reasons - I know if they have a shred of credibility that I should be concerned about, I know other things they've said, I know what they have claimed to believe in other posts, etc. Anonymous post rob the rest of us of that confidence. It's obviously your call - it's within the rules of the board. However, know that it rubs many of us the wrong way, and you shouldn't expect your opinions to be valued.

Hopefully this was a reasonable response to the content of your post.

Ben


(Anonymous)
Re: Re: hiding. on 05/26/2006 11:49:08 MDT Print View

FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

Scott Toraason
(kimot2)
Is it worth the wait & hiding on 05/26/2006 11:50:03 MDT Print View

Last summer I purchased a Lunar Sole E from Ron Moak. I’m not advertising the merits of the tent, just the customer service. I received the tent within three days of my order and called Ron to tell him he sent the tent with the thin floor instead of the standard floor. I returned the tent to Ron and within days the correct tent was returned postage paid by Six Moons.

There are inventors, manufacturers, and businessmen, and Ron appears to have mastered all three as have other outdoor cottage industries. Unfortunately Big Sky appears to have great inventors who demonstrate manufacturing and business problems that really point to cash flow issues. I agree with everyone who has sent there money in and received no product, you deserve your choice of an immediate refund or a guaranteed delivery date.

I am also curious if BPL does or feels it has no obligation to do some minimal screening of the independent manufacturers like Big Sky who’s products it favorably reviews on its’ website?

Lastly, BPL knows who the anonymous posters are, and I agree not knowing who is writing can be confusing at times. Except for a few notable exceptions, how many of us have met face to face? Anonymous or actual names is just a way to clarify who is speaking, and I believe it’s more of a privacy issue for some folks as opposed to a way of hiding.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Is it worth the wait & hiding on 05/26/2006 14:01:53 MDT Print View

Big Sky is acting a little goofy I agree, but I think once they get production going things will change. A little benefit of the doubt is in order. But, they should also refund to anybody who wants a refund.

Anonymous #10
(not the same as anon from above)

Edited by jshann on 05/26/2006 14:02:29 MDT.


(Anonymous)
Getting back on topic here... on 05/27/2006 11:44:07 MDT Print View

Hmmm... I thought that freedom of speach (anonymous, or not) was an American gift. Maybe I'm wrong.

Anyways, I just checked out the BigSky website, and there is a new note there... "Note: we are currently going through a major upgrade of our web site so online ordering is not always available while we are going through this upgrade. Please check back in a few weeks or submit orders via mail. Sorry for the inconvenience."

What is up with that? Is that a subtle way to curb any new orders? Or are we, the paying public, financing Bob's endeavor here? I'm not a big fan of all the new and improved items he is advertising either. Are we financing his R&D also? I also noted that the "ship date" for the tents have slipped to July. March, April, May, June, now July. What's going on here? Why not say "sorry, no more orders are being taken until July"? I tend to guess that many many others are experiencing the same issue here. Pretty sad.

The BA tents are looking more enticing to me as the months drag on. May have to treat the loss of my "investment" in Big Sky as a learning experience. That would be a very bad thing.


(Anonymous)
Re: Getting back on topic here... on 05/27/2006 11:47:09 MDT Print View

Sorry, that should read SPEECH, not SPEACH. My bad. Figured I would cut the flames off at the pass, so to speak.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Getting back on topic here... on 05/27/2006 12:41:15 MDT Print View

Another good learning experience for you is to sign your name when you publically question another person's integrity. Cowardice isn't any better than deception -- which is what you are accusing of Big Sky.

Yes, there is freedom of speech. But a third lesson for you is that freedom comes with responsibility.

Edited by ben2world on 05/27/2006 12:42:41 MDT.

Ronald Davis
(rond) - F
Re: Refund! on 05/27/2006 17:35:09 MDT Print View

I received this message today from Big Sky.

Good luck to others who are waiting for their tents.

Ron





I just got back from Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia about midnight last night… I processed your refund and mailed your refund check today…

Sorry we were not able to make your required ship date, and for the delay in processing your refund due to my travels.



Bob

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Big Sky on 05/27/2006 18:28:17 MDT Print View

Sorry Anon., but I agree with Benjamin on this one.

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: Big Sky on 05/27/2006 18:51:07 MDT Print View

Don't argue with the united Bens.

Ben

William Stoddard
(mstoddard) - F
Delivery dates on 05/31/2006 12:09:59 MDT Print View

Much earlier this year I favorably reviewed the tent, and noted the long wait to get the tent. I always got responses from Bob.Molen@Big skyproducts.com. The tent was delivered long after promised, and the footprint even longer, and I was as frustrated as the other posters. But my tent has held up in two unbelievable storms, it is easy to set up, and relatively light for its space and features. When Bob is out of the office, one gets the automated replies, but I think he is just swamped. The end result, at least for me, was that the wait was worth it.

John Thompson
(leebob) - F
William Stoddard's long wait on 05/31/2006 17:10:58 MDT Print View

William,

How long did you have to wait to receive your product and did you pay for it up front as many of us have?

I've been waiting for over three months and I haven't always received regular replies in response to questions via email and can never seem to get anyone to answer the phone during regular business hours (well, once, and the guy who answered seemed a little surprised that I was a customer and then proceeded to give me the old soft shoe).

Regardless of the reasons, good business practice dictates that the least a business should do is update it's paying customers on a regular basis if unexpected delays are incurred. Sure, it happens but how long is long enough? I'm less perturbed today than yesterday (thanks to Addie Morstadt for removing my original post at my request). I was honked off...

A suggestion to Bob Molen...rather than spending time and energy at any more shows like Trail Days to attract more customers, perhaps it would be better to take care of your established commitments which, based on the posts I read here, seem to stretch back a fair amount of time.

In addition...to all those folks who wish to debate the finer points of cowardice, honor, and ethics I would ask that if you've paid for and are waiting on the products like many of us then feel free to jump in and share your opinion...from my seat (the big, fat one that's been about $338+ shorter of funds for over 3 months but is lacking a really nice, sexy tent which received very favorable reviews from an outfit which has lightened the fat guy's wallet a few times as well) the rest of you who don't actually have a dog in the fight and are engaging in armchair debate...well, I really could care less what you think and I'll tell you why...until you've laid out your money, you're out nothing and haven't suffered one little bit over this issue. Wait until it happens to you...you might be surprised to discover you're not nearly as understanding as you might think you are...especially after getting the runaround a few times. Of course you could always just order a tent or two, wait awhile if nothing shows up and then weigh in with your opinion...

If our merchandise is indeed on the way as Bob Molen implied was the case to me in an earlier email (please note this is AFTER his return from Asia but BEFORE the Trail Days Trip) then please provide a shipping date. I think that's more than reasonable...

Jon Priest
(jwetzelp) - F

Locale: Central Arkansas
Some Progress... on 05/31/2006 23:22:15 MDT Print View

Backstory:

I had already researched the Evolution 1P extensively and had decided that's what I was going to order, despite the sketchy customer service. However, upon hearing of the revisions, I began to wonder if the new version was still going to be best for me. So, I just called Big Sky today and actually talked to Bob at length about what's been going on. I'll try to keep this short (yeah, right).

Phone Call:

First off, he described the changes to the product line as making the tents stronger all around. This includes better webbing, some different materials in the tent body (didn't ask what specifically...sorry, textile-iacs), and a design adjustment that only necessitates one guy-out for stability (although even more potential guy-out points have been added). Also, out of this design tweak, they have managed to change the point at which the poles are stressed. Most stress on the poles is now transfered to the point at which they cross, making it more wind-stable and snow-worthy. These changes come with no additional weight or price. Pretty cool, if you ask me. Finally, accessories (different stake types, guylines, and footprints) will be avaliable "a la carte" per customer request.

Now, for the explanation.

As some of you may know, the hold-ups are a direct result of the new tent models. He was trying hard to get them ready for the April ship date, but at the time, they were still 9% heavier than the existing models. Bob said he just wouldn't ship these sub-par products just to meet a deadline so he went ahead and did a couple more revisions/prototypes. Thank you Bob! Now that he has finalized the new designs, he should be shipping the new tents to fill back orders soon.

Although he can take orders by mail, he must finish work on a new online ordering system as he's no longer using PayPal. So, he's putting together information about the new products and will implement them as soon as possible with the new ordering system in a shiny new web format. If you e-mail him, he will message you when the new system is up, after which he will begin taking orders again and will fill them once the back log has been worked through. The new tents should ship in mid-July.

Now, when I asked him about billing, he said that due to the fact that they are a small company, the tents are "built to order." So, yes, it is his protocol to charge immediately upon receiving an order. He stated that this keeps prices low by making sure that supply exactly meets demand (rough paraphrase).

Regarding his lack of communication in previous months, he said that amidst gear shows, supplier snafoos, and R&D on the new stuff, he simply got covered up. However, he acknowledged and apologized for the crappy customer service lately (he used the term "terrible") and regrets that his contact with customers has been inadequate. He told me that he is thinking of ways he can deal with this in the future. He even mentioned that he is aware of forum discussions regarding is customer service and simply expressed his regret, because he seems to know that he's been handling things poorly.

My Impressions:

I know some of you are fed up with Bob and just want your money back or are of the mind that would never order anything from him in the first place. However, I was impressed that he spent so much time talking with me about each one of my concerns. He described his new designs in great detail since no information is yet available on them and even let me in on some new products (4-season, double-wall shelter and new 3-season, single-wall shelters). Bob struck me as a very honest, humble, and sincere person who regrets what has happened lately. Despite all that's happened over the last several months, the bottom line seems to be that he wants to put out the best product possible. Now, I don't think customer service should be sacrificed due to this as it seems to have been. But it sounds like Bob agrees on that point and is truly sorry that service was compromised along the way to better products, and seems determined to improve this aspect of his business.

So, based on the conversation described above, I for one am looking forward to ordering my new and improved Evolution 1P and I hope that all of you who are fed up with Big Sky will give them another chance.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Big Sky on 06/01/2006 00:35:17 MDT Print View

Jon:

I too have talked and emailed with Bob Molen in the past. He was kind enough to ship me a tent for testing, and as I have written in past postings, I am very impressed with it. I also share your perception that he is not a person who's out to con people.

However, I can't say that your post is all that reassuring. Firstly, something is wrong with the prototyping process if Bob is only finding out that his tents have gained 9% in additional weight AFTER months have passed by!

In a nutshell, even if prototyping is indeed finalized, folks who ordered in December are still in exactly the same position as they were six months ago! Production simply hasn't started!

If Bob introduces any more changes and tinkerings (something he can't seem to help), it may well be weeks more before production can finally begin.

Once production starts, it's probably reasonable to expect another month or more of waiting -- even assuming a smooth process (a big assumption since materials, etc. all need to be coordinated sufficiently in advance). Not that I know for sure, but given the size of Big Sky and its numerous and continuous tinkerings / changes, I assume the factory in China is probably a correspondingly small outfit as well. It's hard for me to imagine a factory of thousands that could accommodate Bob's relatively small volume, coupled with his endless changes.

Once everything is AOK, there will be another 3 weeks of waiting time for the ship to arrive, and a bit longer for stateside inspection, until the tents finally arrive at buyers' doorsteps.

Three suggestions for Mr. Molen to seriously consider:

1. Freeze your prototype as soon as possible -- if you haven't already. You've got a great design -- now start production so you can finally ship! Borrow a page from Henry Shires or Six Moon Designs -- Model 2's can always follow in another year or so -- but for heaven's sake, focus on production and quality -- and get those tents out!

2. Camp in China from now until shipping -- your website improvements can wait. Really! Just add a blip saying that production is behind and you are no longer taking any new orders until you have serviced existing customers!

3. Forget the 'a la carte' for now! Different footprint options? That will only eat up even more time when you are already deep in the hole! Ship what was indicated on your website. People are happy with the configuration. That's why they prepaid!

Edited by ben2world on 06/01/2006 01:14:58 MDT.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Big Sky on 06/01/2006 03:33:36 MDT Print View

Ben,

Hen hao, hen hao. Very good, very good.

IMHO, Good words my friend.

How's your Mandarin? Fluent, or a least Excellent, if i'm not mistaken. Perhaps, Mr. Molen could use a representative in China (PRC, right? or is it Taiwan where production is taking place?).

Amongst Engineers and Designers, there are those who are perfectionists. They produce great designs, but are sometimes slow because everything has to be correct/perfect the first time. In many/most cases (not all), better to get 95% of the way there with the first run, and step-wise refine the design subsequently (easy to do in software; harder and longer to do when something you can hold in yours hands is involved). I don't design tents, but it seems that your advice is in order. In many cases (unless there was a serious deficiency, but then maybe, in that case, the design is NOT 95%, but rather far less if the defect is serious), I'd rather have a 95% perfect tent right now, than wait for next year's model's improvements. Case in point, my '05 SMD Lunar Solo 'e' which had some improvements over prev. year(s) version(s); i'm very happy with it and haven't seen fit to get the '06 version which has further, lesser important improvements. My need (? - in a relative sense) was last year; not next year.

Some might like to wait for the perfect tent; others might NEED the 95% tent now, and would have made other arrangements earlier if they knew they couldn't take delivery by a specific date. So, your words, which i'm only echoing here, seem, IMHO, to be in order (to rephrase your point, they wanted the version that they for; it was more than adequate for their intended use).

My two Yuan/CNB/Reminbi.

Edited by pj on 06/01/2006 12:11:24 MDT.

John Thompson
(leebob) - F
Followup on 06/01/2006 12:01:45 MDT Print View

The fat guy is back...Yep, I spoke with Bob yesterday after posting my long winded discourse and I feel much better about having to wait. In addition to learning many of the items posted since my last epistle Bob told me that in an effort to get it right, the factory in Asia actually already has the materials. It's proven to be a pain getting it right and most of us who have chosen to wait seem to agree that it's worth the wait. I work in a high volume manufacturing environment and the only advice I could offer which might be of use (which echos what others have said) is that we run into the same issues whether the products are produced in your facility or someone else's. In addition we have to adjust to changing schedules and still deliver products on time. If we don't not only can the FTC come after us, but customers can be unhappy because they can't get the product they want. We have to determine effectivity dates which cause us to build to the old design until everyone (most importantly anyone in the manufacturing and supply base chain) is ready. Continuous improvement is absolutely required for continuing success but getting the goods to the consumer must come first. Big Sky has done an excellent job of filling a customer need in terms of the product design and has demonstrated a very agile approach to design...the problem and challenge is that manufacturing is just as important (and actually more so since this is where the money comes in). I totally agree with the "get it 95% right and then iterate to perfection". My experience in design has proven over and over that you get to the best design faster by getting as many things right as possible up front but you still have to get there first. Then you have to do everything to stay there.

Besides, continuous improvement tortures guys like me who have a terminal case of gizmosis...something cooler, lighter, faster is always coming out...now I gotta get this cool tent...I'm already tormented by the fact that Bob has other designs which could possibly meet my need better than what I ordered. If that's the case, so be it I guess!

William Stoddard
(mstoddard) - F
tent delay on 06/01/2006 15:11:30 MDT Print View

John T., I earlier tried to send a response to your question, but it appears my response was lost in some dark pit of electronic missent messages. In the meantime, it seems you may have satisfied your concerns, but I will go ahead and respond. I purchased an Evolution 2P and a footprint in August, to the best of my recollection, using a credit card. Delivery was in December, much later than promised, but, as I noted in my Jan. 16 reader review about the tent, Mr. Molen always replied to my emails. I got the footprint last Friday. I'll reiterate, for me, the wait was worth it.

John Thompson
(leebob) - F
William Stoddard replies on 06/01/2006 16:27:53 MDT Print View

William,

Thanks for the response. Your feelings about the performance of the product and the impression that the item was worth the wait played a significant part in my decision to continue to wait...that's why I value these forums - I wish I'd looked earlier but that's my own fault...the other part was talking to Bob Molen. He seems like a really good man with honorable intentions to do the right thing...until I talked to him I was operating on pure conjecture which I realize (always too late for some reason) wasn't very fair...the rest of it can be debated back and forth but, after talking with Bob at length I feel that he knows there are some "opportunities to excel" (sorry, too much P.C.-influenced training) and is working to rectify those concerns. Thanks again for your commentary as it made a significant impact to my decision...

Richard Sullivan
(richard.s) - MLife

Locale: Supernatural BC
Big Sky, no tent on 06/27/2006 18:41:42 MDT Print View

Has anyone received a tent yet? or should we organize a posse :(

Jen Schwartz
(jenjetcity) - M

Locale: Upper Left
Summit Shelters - one person's saga on 06/28/2006 11:56:38 MDT Print View

I ordered an Evolution 2P with carbon fiber poles on September 5, 2005. I received a PayPal receipt that same day showing Bob Molen had been paid cash. The estimated ship date at the time of my order was end of September 2005. Over the following months I inquired repeatedly about shipment. Bob always replied promptly and apologetically, offering various explanations for the delays, and eventually offered me a 20% discount on the tent. After several revised ship dates followed by notices of further delays, redesign, etc., I told Bob in mid-April that I was planning to buy a different tent as it was already spring and time to go backpacking in the PNW. He then offered to send me a loaner tent until a new one was available. The promised date for shipment of the loaner tent then came and went, and I again asked for an update on delivery. I got an automated reply saying they were at their factories in Asia. I finally received my tent (but no stakes) in mid-May, 2006. Took it out in the Cascades on a hot, gorgeous weekend in late June, and one of the carbon fiber poles snapped ten minutes after I got in the tent, under no load or stress whatsoever. I emailed Bob Molen to tell him of my disappointment, after waiting 7 months for delivery. I am now trying to decide whether to 1) get the CF poles replaced; 2) get aluminum poles instead, somewhat defeating the purpose of the UL design; 3) ship the whole *BEEP* thing back and go with my second choice. I'd welcome any advice on this situation and on another choice for a roomy 2P ultralight double-wall tent (I'm a newbie). Thanks!

Bob Molen's response follows:


Jen,

Sorry about the bad luck with the CF poles… we have had a small percent of CF poles fail like this lately under no load conditions and we are working with our CF pole manufacturer to resolve this issue… we think it may be quality problem with a particular batch since we have been using/testing this brand of CF poles for years without problems.

A couple of options:

1) The CF poles are guaranteed so if you send them back to us we will replace them for free

2) If you rather have AL poles, send the CF poles back to us, and we will send you a set of AL poles and refund the difference.

We are out of both AL and CF poles, but expect batches of each right after the July 4th weekend.

It is your option whether you want to send us the CF poles now or wait until we have replacement poles in stock.

Were you able to repair the broken pole? The easiest way is with a pole splice (short piece of larger diameter AL tubing that slips over the pole) and duct tape… I can mail you a pole splice if you want to keep using your Evolution 2P until we replace the poles.

We will ship you 8 – Ti stakes (no charge) when we ship you the poles… they are now an option, but were included in the price when you ordered your Evolution 2P.

Again, sorry for the problems,

Bob

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Summit Shelters - one person's saga on 06/28/2006 14:37:52 MDT Print View

Jen:

I have tested an Evolution 1P with CF poles. From my own experience, I highly recommend that you replace it with aluminum and not with another CF.

Richard Sullivan
(richard.s) - MLife

Locale: Supernatural BC
Re: Summit Shelters - one person's saga on 06/28/2006 15:06:56 MDT Print View

Can you expand on that Ben?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Summit Shelters - one person's saga on 06/28/2006 15:51:24 MDT Print View

I played around with the tent -- setting up and taking down -- quite a few times in the course of a few days (new toy syndrome). The CF poles weren't any different than aluminum -- just thinner and lighter!

But then, on one totally calm afternoon, while leisurely setting up the tent yet again, one pole section snapped -- without any warning whatsoever, and without any undue force on my part.

So, do CF poles break all the time? No. On the other hand, can (and do) they break without warning? Yes.

Edited by ben2world on 06/28/2006 15:52:48 MDT.

russell dean
(rjdean)
bought a squall on 06/28/2006 16:45:58 MDT Print View

Thanks for the information on Big Sky products. Since I couldn't wait until July to get one, I went ahead and bought a squall tarptent. Used it on a 6 day trip and am pleased so far.

Jen Schwartz
(jenjetcity) - M

Locale: Upper Left
Re: Re: Re: Summit Shelters - one person's saga on 07/02/2006 07:31:06 MDT Print View

So - I'm wondering what you far more experienced folks think. I'm now torn between keeping my Evolution 2P and having Bob send me the aluminum poles instead of replacing the broken CF (+ have him send me the stakes I should have received with the tent), or returning all and getting a new tent.

What I'm after is a 2P 2-wall tent light enough for me to carry alone guilt-free for palatial 1P lodging, but roomy enough for 2 unrelated tall adults + possibly a dog. The Evolution totally fits the bill for that, and I love the 2 doors. Others I'm considering are the Double Rainbow, Hubba Hubba (though I hate the HH colors - a minor beef), SD Lightning. The Big Agnes SL2 is unfortunately too cramped for my needs. Any advice?
Thanks!
Jen

John Thompson
(leebob) - F
still waiting... on 07/07/2006 15:19:39 MDT Print View

Well, still waiting...Big Sky has moved their date out again - now it's mid August and people are reporting breaking carbon fiber poles. Has anyone heard what's going on?

I ordered/paid back at the end of February...has anyone actually received a tent from Big Sky recently?

Richard Sullivan
(richard.s) - MLife

Locale: Supernatural BC
Re: still waiting... on 07/07/2006 20:45:26 MDT Print View

I'm still waiting too. How did you hear about mid-August? I haven't heard a thing.

Steve Robinson
(Jeannie) - F
No tent, No response on 07/07/2006 21:43:18 MDT Print View

I've been waiting since the end of Dec. Still no tent and no response to my call for info a week ago. When I spoke to Bob at the end of May, he thought it would be shipped in mid June. He still hasn't figured out the whole customer service thing. Starting to think about other options as I paid with a credit card. Summer is starting to slip by.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
BMW Opinions on 07/08/2006 08:43:32 MDT Print View

This thread has taken on a life of its own.

My opinion:

Unless you order something distinctly custom-made (and in which case you'd know up front what the lead time should be), there is no viable reason to wait more than a month to receive your order. That's allowing for out-of-stock items to be restocked as well.

I hate to say it, but good efforts not withstanding, Bob sounds like a severely undercapitalized designer, not a businessman. To me, that's a bankruptcy in progress. I'd suggest you cancel your order, request an immediate refund, and hope it's not too late to recover your money. There are other sources for good gear out there.

Even if Bob manages to somehow (and someday) sort out his manufacturing and inventory problems, this whole affair is going to put a very serious dent in both his personal and his company's reputations. How many folks do you think will order from him in the future given his track record to date?

John Thompson
(leebob) - F
Re: Re: still waiting... on 07/08/2006 10:34:06 MDT Print View

I check the website frequently...not because of proactive follow-up, I'm afraid. I tried to call Friday and either talk to someone or leave a message. The phone seemed to answer but there was no way to leave a message and there wasn't an automated response either (this has happened before).

I've emailed Bob asking for a definite answer on when to expect delivery of the merchandise for which I've already paid. I've requested that if he cannot give me a definite date by next Friday, 14 July 2006, to please issue an immediate refund of the full amount.

That's about all I can do at this point short of contacting the Better Business Bureau which I would use only as a last resort...

Johnny Gish
(jtgish) - F

Locale: Coppell, Texas
response from Bob today on 07/08/2006 20:32:50 MDT Print View

I emailed asking if I ordered one could I expect it by mid August. Here is his response. Sounds great.

JT Gish,

Yes, we should be able to ship an Evolution 2P 2D2V in time for your August
13th trip... please state the date of your trip in the "notes" section so we
make sure to get it to you in time.

Thanks for your interest,
Bob

Steve Robinson
(Jeannie) - F
Interesting! on 07/08/2006 22:50:22 MDT Print View

When I was looking into buying a Big Sky tent, I viewed the prompt responses I received from Bob as a good sign and indicative of good customer service. Now, you're thinking about sending him $ and he's writing back and things look good. I on the other hand, already have sent him my money and am waiting for an answer/tent... pretty much anything. Interesting!

Richard Sullivan
(richard.s) - MLife

Locale: Supernatural BC
Re: response from Bob today on 07/08/2006 23:31:38 MDT Print View

JT, if I were you I wouldn't send any money until the rest of us have received our tents. Every month there is one more month added to the endless wait.

Antonio Abad
(tonyabad) - F
RE: response from Bob on 07/09/2006 01:14:56 MDT Print View

First of all, you gals/guys whom have been shafted get my sympathies. I just can't believe the run-around you all continue to receive. Perhaps you'll take some small solace in knowing that as a result of your collective saga, I will NEVER consider purchasing anything from Big Sky. I don't have much money to toss around, especially for recreation, so I place a premium on customer service to guide me with my purchases and prevent any regret over having made a bad choice. In short, while I don't buy much, I am a fiercely-loyal customer if I feel that I was offered solid customer service. The opposite also holds.

All that written, I still can't believe what I just read from JT: a response from Bob comes quick when trying to make the sale, yet he's nowhere to be found when it actually comes time to deliver the product to those of you whom already ponied up the dough. Wow. I think you folks should just cut your losses, request an unconditional refund in no uncertain terms and hope that he honors your request. You might be best off if you send such a request in writing along with a signature confirmation upon receipt of delivery. At least you have proof that you sent such a request.

Again, best of luck to all of you for a speedy resolution.

Johnny Gish
(jtgish) - F

Locale: Coppell, Texas
Thanks Richard on 07/09/2006 01:50:45 MDT Print View

I am for sure waiting to see if any of you guys receive you rev.D tents before I order. Im hoping he has gotten everything figured out and you guys get your tents soon. It seems like such a great tent, but from reading this forum there seems to be a major lack of communication on bigsky's end. Thats why I posted my email response. Maybe things are getting back on track for Bob. Then again I havent been waiting 6+ months and out 250+dollars.

John Thompson
(leebob) - F
Bob answers?! on 07/09/2006 17:35:26 MDT Print View

JT,

If I can second what advice has been offered to you...I wouldn't put much stock (and certainly no money) in those comments...

matthew murphy
(bern0416) - F

Locale: Texas
Re: I know this won't make me very popular on 07/15/2006 10:19:19 MDT Print View

H,
You just convinced me to spend a bit more time looking over your product with the intent to purchase. Excellent business ethics.

Mitchell Keil
(mitchellkeil) - F

Locale: Deep in the OC
What's all this then? on 07/16/2006 12:53:37 MDT Print View

Like the inspector from Scotland Yard arriving after the case is solved, I am arriving late to this inquistion. I can't believe that Bob Molen is not following this thread and is not aware of the damage being done to his company by the responses posted here.

No business can survive long without good customer relations and word of mouth, especially in the cottage industry of Lightweight backpacking gear manufacture. That he would not chose to respond and let the 2nd person conversations of a few people who have contacted him stand as his response should give everyone pause.

My suggestion to all those who feel injured by Big Sky is that you contact the state department of corporations in the state that Big Sky operates and file a complaint and request an investigation of his business practices. Believe me when I tell you that no business would want this to happen. Additionally, call your own state department of corporations and file a similar complaint. You may have to do each of these in writing but the result would be a pretty quick call to his operation from the his state and perhaps a change in his practices. If he has cashed your check and not delivered a product, you have the option of small claims court as well and possibly a further claim of fraud.

I do not agree with all of the defenses and excuses that have been mounted in his defense. No business deserves to survive if it can not meet customer demand and carry on in an ethical manner regarding payment and delivery. The record is strewn with the bodies of great companies with great ideas that people want and/or need but which failed to deliver. This may be another in a long line of great ideas that are still born.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
1P2D EX on it's way on 07/16/2006 19:27:38 MDT Print View

deleted

Edited by retropump on 07/16/2006 19:29:59 MDT.

Brian James
(bjamesd) - F

Locale: South Coast of BC
Re: Re: Re: Re: Summit Shelters - one person's saga on 07/16/2006 21:41:36 MDT Print View

Jen,

If you're willing to carry a Hubba Hubba (4 lbs) may I recommend the Big Agnes SL3. What a tent: palatial to the extreme; space for 3 adults or for 2 adults who are far apart and far from the sides, and only 4 lbs. with a 3-lb fast fly option.

/my 2 cents CAD

Brian

Jen Schwartz
(jenjetcity) - M

Locale: Upper Left
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Summit Shelters - one person's saga on 07/16/2006 23:16:12 MDT Print View

Thank you Brian. I hadn't let myself consider a 3P. I liked the Big Agnes SL2, but it was too small. I'll go look at the SL3.

Jen

Thomas Roberts
(tr) - F

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Summit Shelters on 07/17/2006 18:07:38 MDT Print View

You are not alone, I ordered my tent May 1st and Pay Pal charged my credit card and I have taken 2 trips and have my last and longest trip in 3 weeks. I am with you that most companies do not charge your card until they ship.
From the looks of things so far I think I have bought some bull----. I could have hand sewn my own tent by now. I guess all I can do is wait or maybe contact the state attorney generals office.

John Thompson
(leebob) - F
Shipping date moves out to late August on 07/20/2006 13:39:10 MDT Print View

I noticed that today on Big Sky's website expected shipping dates have been moved out from mid-August to late August...

Xiangyu Yang
(faintty) - F
Re: Shipping date moves out to late August on 07/20/2006 20:35:59 MDT Print View

What the heck...

I planned to take this tent to a spring trip, but now even the summer is going to the end...

Steve Robinson
(Jeannie) - F
Tent Received!!!!! Evolution 2P 2D2V on 08/03/2006 12:01:04 MDT Print View

In early July Bob and I agreed on a deadline for shipment of my tent and he met that deadline and I now have it!!! After setting it up in the yard I am as impressed as many reviewers at the feature set and space for the weight. This may well be the ultimate 'couples' tent for those trips where headnets and tarps, no matter how light, just don't provide enough coverage.

I also want to note that I sent a few questions to Bob last night and received a thorough response within hours!

Let's hope that this is more indicative of future customer service pracitices for Big Sky.

Edited by Jeannie on 08/03/2006 12:06:08 MDT.

Roger Amador
(ram2711) - F - M
Refund from Big Sky for 2p tent they have never shipped on 08/07/2006 22:49:23 MDT Print View

Hi I have emailed Big Sky twice requesting a refund for a 2p tent and footprint. More than a week has passed and I still have not received my money. I tried to file a complaint with Paypal but since more than 45 days have elapse since my purchase I can't fill out a dispute claim online. I will call them tomorrow and try to get them to open a dispute claim for me. If they do not I will have to call my credit card company and report my purchase from Big Sky as fraudulent. Big Sky is the worst online dealer I have ever had the misfortune to order from. They have had $332.89 of my hard earned dollars since March 28. This is an absolute outrage! Has anyone here successfully received a refund for a tent from Big Sky?

Edited by ram2711 on 08/07/2006 22:51:31 MDT.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
1P-EX immediate shipping on 08/09/2006 13:58:20 MDT Print View

I have an Evolution 1P-EX for sale in the "gear swap" forum. Brand new, I can ship it immediately. My misfortune (broken leg) will be someone else's gain :(

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/3681/index.html

John Thompson
(leebob) - F
Re: Tent Received!!!!! Evolution 2P 2D2V on 08/10/2006 15:17:08 MDT Print View

Steve,

When did you place your tent order? I ordered mine back at the end of February 2006 and paid in full...just curious how long you had to wait...

Steve Robinson
(Jeannie) - F
Big Sky tent order on 08/10/2006 23:16:47 MDT Print View

John, I ordered it at the end of Dec. for April delivery. Hopefully you're up soon.

Glenn Roberts
(garkjr) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
BPL Backorder policy on 08/11/2006 08:49:07 MDT Print View

Many posts ago (p.2), I pointed out that BackpackingLight's published policy with regard to backorders was to take your money and let you wait it out, but that at least they were up front about the policy by telling you so. I just happened to check back and noticed that the policy has been changed so that backorders are no longer accepted. This simply confirms my suspicion that not only are the people at BPL highly ethical, they are also responsive to their reader/customer base, and try to anticipate and avoid ethical conflicts when they can.

My hat's off to Ryan et. al. for their action.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Summit Shelters on 08/11/2006 09:35:09 MDT Print View

Glenn:

I too came across recently BPL's new policy of not taking backorders and charging customers before the gear is even available for shipment. Kudos to BPL for this change!

But to be fair to Bob Molen and Big Sky, they too spelled out their policy upfront: order and prepay -- and pay 20% less! So it isn't fair for folks to now accuse Bob for being unethical on this front.

To me, there are two separate issues:

1. Pre-payment - I don't see anything wrong with this so long as it's spelled out up front -- and in the case of Big Sky, it was spelled out pretty clearly.

2. Continuing shipment delays - THIS is where I believe Bob fell short. The promised delivery time was April (for those who prepaid back in December). Bob should have (1) kept customers up to date on progress (or lack thereof) AND (2) take the initiative and OFFER customers a refund and an apology -- say back in April or May when he couldn't deliver as promised. Instead, buyers got nothing but silence, and it's now August!

Edited by ben2world on 08/11/2006 10:19:39 MDT.

Glenn Roberts
(garkjr) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
Good info on 08/11/2006 11:09:44 MDT Print View

Ben:

I've never been intrigued enough by their products to visit Big Sky's website, so I didn't know (or care) what their policy was. (I'm a tarp-and-bivy partisan, myself.) My original post was merely to point out, when others were complaining about Big Sky's take-the-money-and-wait policy, that BPL also followed that policy, and express approval of them publishing the policy up front. I didn't really know if Big Sky had a published policy, or really even intend to comment about their policy; if my original post came off as such, I owe everyone an apology.

Like you:
1) I have no problem with a policy that is known (or available to be known) prior to ordering.
2) I believe that when shipping problems occur, you have an obligation to be up front with customers, and take some timely action to make things right for them.
3) I think BPL deserves praise for changing their policy to prevent the kind of frustration Big Sky customers are experiencing.

For the fans of Big Sky tents (and there seem to be many), I hope the recent posts indicate that the problems may soon be solved.

Edited by garkjr on 08/11/2006 11:13:46 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Summit Shelters on 08/11/2006 12:36:10 MDT Print View

Glenn:

Sorry that I misread your post above; thanks for clarifying.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Good info on 08/11/2006 13:39:01 MDT Print View

Personally, I could care less when I pay... as long as I'm notified when something is out of stock and given options and / or informed how long it will be before I get what I ordered etc. Assuming you're dealing with a reputable business, communication is what matters... not when they take your money.

Roger Amador
(ram2711) - F - M
Refund on 08/14/2006 20:44:37 MDT Print View

I received my refund check from Big Sky this past Saturday. I deposited it and am waiting for it to clear. I hope they do well and can get over the hump as their tents look interesting but they need to improve their customer service tremendously. A simple mass email updating their customers would have avoided a lot of problems. You can't miss 5 ship dates in a row and not update your customers.

John Thompson
(leebob) - F
Summit Shelters - rev E on 08/15/2006 10:49:01 MDT Print View

Update: apparently revision E has now been introduced and shown along with other new shelters...the website indicates 4-6 week leadtime for orders placed today with an additional 4-6 weeks for rev. E. In addition clips may be subbed for pole sleeves at no extra charge. I continue to wait for my revision D tent ordered (and paid for) over 24 weeks ago. (Evolution 1P 2V)...

Tom Bentley
(HIG1961) - F
They're Real on 08/16/2006 07:02:11 MDT Print View

Just received my 2P2D2V yesterday. Sure was a long wait. Everything was included. Rev D with CF poles (I actually ordered aluminum, but that's another story). Can't wait to try it out. Hope all you who are still waiting get yours soon too.

dennis hoff
(dehoff) - F

Locale: The Frozen Tundra
Summit Shelters on 08/16/2006 14:38:21 MDT Print View

For anyone that has actually received their tent from Big Sky, when did you order it? I ordered my Evolution 2P2V at the beginning of Feb. and am still waiting..... although Bob told me I should have it within 30 days (that was on July 21st).

Thomas Roberts
(tr) - F

Locale: Southern California
Re: Summit Shelters on 08/16/2006 18:09:04 MDT Print View

I ordered my tent on May 2 and they charged my credit card and never did recieve the tent so I asked Bob for my money back. They did return my money and I ordered a Stephenson's Warmlight Tent. Cost a little more but I think it is a superior tent. I saw 3 others on a recent trip to Cottonwood Lakes in the Eastern Sierrra of California. Held up great in very high winds. Very, very easy set-up. Can't wait to see how it holds up in the rain.

John Thompson
(leebob) - F
Re: They're Real on 08/16/2006 19:01:08 MDT Print View

Tom,

When did you place your order?

Xiangyu Yang
(faintty) - F
Re: Summit Shelters on 08/16/2006 19:34:28 MDT Print View

I placed my order in late Dec. and received the tent on 15th.

dennis hoff
(dehoff) - F

Locale: The Frozen Tundra
Re:Summit Shelters on 08/16/2006 20:14:02 MDT Print View

Wow, it looks like I'll give them until I get back from Colorado (the trip I originally ordered the tent for back in February), seeing as how I'm leaving tomorrow. I

Edited by dehoff on 08/16/2006 20:15:38 MDT.

John Thompson
(leebob) - F
Now I'm waiting on my refund on 09/03/2006 18:14:39 MDT Print View

Well, after 6 months I asked for my money back...then I got a bit of a song and dance from Bob Molen that went over like a fart in a diver's helmet to be honest...I made it perfectly clear that a full refund was required and required immediately (waiting over a week so far). Hope I don't have wait another 6 more months to get the check. The funny thing is I ordered a Tarptent the same day from Gossamer Gear and have already received it...

My advice to those who wait...caveat emptor.

Wayne Heckman
(wayman) - F
Should have read this thread sooner on 09/05/2006 15:33:40 MDT Print View

Ordered evolution 1P1D June 30 with ship by mid to end of July date. No tent by 1st of Aug.Emailed that would ship in 30 days.Sept 5 not shipped as of yet. By the looks of things I am one of the lucky ones with only two months wait. If it does not ship by the end of this week going to cancel. Should have read this thread first and shopped elseware. Also I believe that BPL and all of the other reviewing mags. are doing their readers a disservice by hyping a product and not stating the downside of bad customer service.

John Thompson
(leebob) - F
Re: Should have read this thread sooner on 09/05/2006 19:29:33 MDT Print View

Wayne,
Don't feel too bad...I finally cancelled after six months of waiting (after paying in full up front of course) and the reason I ordered the tent was the very positive review I read here. The comment regarding BPL's culpability is an issue with which I continue to struggle.

Bob Molen did make me other offers such as a single vestibule version of the 1P tent with a discount or an older revision C at a reduced price (which irked me mightily since updating to the new revision D was given as the reason for delay at one point) or offering the use of a loaner until my tent finally arrived. This was fine except that it was too little too late. If Bob had done this on his own without my continued followup I might have been more understanding...

In the end I finally just gave up. I was tired of the runaround and, to Bob's credit, his response on the refund was pretty timely. I ended up ordering a Squall Tarptent through Gossamer Gear the same day I requested a refund from Big Sky and received both the new tent and the refund check within a few days of each other.

Based upon my experience (as well as those of several others in this thread)I wouldn't put too much stock in that two month wait you were promised by Big Sky...the website indicates a 4-6week wait from time of order which most of us have heard before and more than once.

Good luck!

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
Re: Re: Should have read this thread sooner on 09/12/2006 22:07:30 MDT Print View

I've had the odd experience of my credit card being charged $0.01 by Big Sky for a tent. I'm waiting for an explanation, I'm not even looking for a tent this year [I really hope they don't read this thread.]
I've had a follow up email from Big Sky saying they need to charge 1 cent to keep the merchant processor account open until they ship.
It appears they don't charge for the product until shipping [now] which would be a mark in their favor.

Edited by pyeyo on 09/13/2006 11:26:02 MDT.

Alex Lee
(gerbilbox)
Re: Should have read this thread sooner on 09/20/2006 08:50:02 MDT Print View

I had placed my order in early April, and finally got my tent in early August; 6 months!

However, now I'm on a different wait. After I had placed my order I decided to change it from CF poles to aluminum ones, so I'm waiting on that refund. Bob last replied to my e-mails a month ago and I've been leaving messages on the phone number all last week and this week, but no luck :(

Alex L

Richard Sullivan
(richard.s) - MLife

Locale: Supernatural BC
Gave up on Big Sky on 09/20/2006 10:15:36 MDT Print View

I ordered Mar 31, 2006 but yesterday I finally gave up and bought another tent. Now I'm on a refund quest. No response to my first email.

Summit CO
(Summit) - F

Locale: 9300ft
wow on 09/20/2006 13:35:18 MDT Print View

Man am I ever glad I bought a Tarptent instead... nothing but good dealings with Henry's biz.

R Z
(Taylor) - F

Locale: z
. on 09/28/2006 19:50:19 MDT Print View

.

Edited by Taylor on 11/04/2006 21:07:38 MST.

J R
(RavenUL) - F
Re: HELP! I ordered my tent LAST DEC 05.... on 09/28/2006 20:12:44 MDT Print View

sounds like its time you all got togehter and filed a class action law suit.

dennis hoff
(dehoff) - F

Locale: The Frozen Tundra
Re: HELP! I ordered my tent LAST DEC 05.... on 09/28/2006 20:17:50 MDT Print View

Contact your credit card company, and be glad that you did not use PayPay out of a bank account.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: HELP! I ordered my tent LAST DEC 05.... on 09/28/2006 20:39:55 MDT Print View

Contact the Attorney General/Consumer Protection agency in his home state. Your credit card company can proably take care of the issue quickly too. They could revoke his credit card services. Finally, if this was all conducted over the Internet, it may fall under Federal jurisdiction and anti-fraud laws. Fight back!

Edited by dwambaugh on 09/28/2006 21:00:11 MDT.

R Z
(Taylor) - F

Locale: z
. on 09/28/2006 21:00:58 MDT Print View

.

Edited by Taylor on 11/04/2006 21:08:12 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: I just spoke with PayPal and they told me to... on 09/28/2006 21:10:23 MDT Print View

Taylor:

This thread is 6 months old and 6 pages long!

A BRAND NEW LIST just got started today. You should post there so there will be one integrated list of folks who ordered but did not receive their tents. CLICK HERE .

Edited by ben2world on 09/28/2006 21:12:45 MDT.

R Z
(Taylor) - F

Locale: z
. on 09/28/2006 23:01:44 MDT Print View

..

Edited by Taylor on 08/20/2009 15:22:45 MDT.

Chuck Shugart
(cshugart) - MLife

Locale: Canadian Prairies
Summit Shelters on 11/14/2006 20:12:17 MST Print View

Just add me to the list of those who are wondering what's going on. Ordered in late April or early May 2006; still waiting. I'm into him for about $400.00 Canadian (ordered aluminum and carbon fibre poles.) Does waiting patiently give him a chance to get his act together, or give me no chance of ever seeing my money?

Richard Sullivan
(richard.s) - MLife

Locale: Supernatural BC
Devolution 0P on 11/20/2006 17:59:23 MST Print View

Still waiting since Mar 31st...