My experience with buying from NSP

Here is some text I extracted from an answer to a question someone asked me:

As for Northeast Sailplane Products (NSP), they are very nice, very knowlegable, have reasonable prices on planes and kits (servos, rx, etc. are a bit pricey), carry everything, but are very slow and often mess up orders.  I have had various problems with all four of my orders from NSP (slow shipping, wrong prices, wrong parts I had to ship back, extended delays getting parts in with constant assurances they would be getting a shipment "tomorrow").  If you order anything from NSP, make them repeat the order back to you, make them verbally confirm each price (make them give you the price shown on the website), and make sure they have everything in stock and ask when you should get it.  Sending email to NSP is apparently pointless -- they never answer (I had this experience and have read it on the newsgroup).  You have to call them in person.  Keep in mind that it often takes them a number of days to get an order shipped out the door even if they have it in stock and it is an order for only a few items, so it often takes a couple of weeks to get an order within the USA.

One example was an order I placed for a Pinnacle S up-start, some epoxy, and several other items.  They said one item I requested was out of stock, so I said never mind on it.  Then when they shipped the order, turned out they had been out of stock on the epoxy as well and backordered it, though they had not mentioned this.  Much worse, on the carbon copy of the invoice they sent someone had taken a blue ball-point pen and marked out the "S" in Pinnacle S and changed it to an "M", then also changed the price to the higher price of the Pinnacle M.  And sure enough, they had shipped a Pinnacle M.  Trouble is, I already had one of those, and wanted a smaller up-start I could use for a handlaunch glider.  So I had to ship it back, wait another 10 days for my Pinnacle S to arrive, and hassle with getting the credit for the difference and the shipping.  They were very nice about it all, but I had to spend time fooling with it, waiting for my stuff, and I never figured out why somebody manually changed my order to something different in the first place!  Another example -- I called before I ordered my Orion HLG and asked if they had the V-tail in stock.  Sal said "yes."  I ordered it on the internet, and specified V-tail.  They shipped the cruciform tail.  When I called, Sal was very nice and said he must have missed it, as they no longer carry the V-tail.  But he had apparently missed the fact that I asked for the V-tail over the phone as well as on the internet order!  That was a couple of months ago, and their web site still has not been updated to tell you they do not have the V-tail.  I could not find the V-tail anywhere else, either, so I kept it, but I sure hate it when someone does me that way.  Those are two examples -- I also had major problems with my order for my Hitec radio from them and minor delays with other stuff.

There are other places to get the Highlander.  I used NSP because they had almost everything I wanted.  Take careful steps and you should not have too many problems.  If you have problems, they will usually fix it, it just takes time, and I was in a hurry to get started.  I am really happy with the NSP Pinnacle M hi-start, but you need a large field (100 ft tube, 450 ft line, plus another 300 ft stretch).  Expensive but great quality.  If you order it and the Highlander from NSP, they will give you the savings on the Pinnacle ONLY IF you ask -- the website says you get the savings "With Highlander purchase $59.95", Sal says it is only if you order the "Highlander Combo" but gave me the lower price since I asked for it and that is what the website says.  If you find a source for the Highlander other than those listed on my shopping list, let me know so I can pass it on to other people.

Other people have said Sal is often very rude to them on the phone -- I have never had this experience, but enough people have said it that I assume it may be true.

So anyway, NSP has a great selection, some of their prices are good, their knowledge is excellent, and they are usually friendly, but apparently they are slow and prone to fill many orders incorrectly and charge different prices than those shown on their web site.  Such a shame given that with a little care they could be my first choice.  As it is, I buy from them when they are the only ones who carry what I want at a reasonable price, but otherwise I shop elsewhere to avoid the frustration and delays I've experienced in the past.  Some people have had much better luck with them, some have had much worse.

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