11/29/12 Update: A complaint has been filed with the BBB. Since May I have been trying to reach resolution, but they still refuse.
AN UPDATE. I HAVE PURPOSED A MORE THAN FAIR SOLUTION TO MICHAEL OF THE OTHER ATHLETE TO MAKE THIS REVIEW GO AWAY ALONG WITH ALL OF MY NEGATIVE COMMENTS, THOUGHTS, ETC. IT RESTS SOULY ON HIM NOW. I AM NOT BEING UNREASONABLE. JUST FAIR.
Thanks to the user Shockwave for the template.
Today I am writing up a thorough review of my experiences with The Other Athlete as an ano company. They recently did two markers for me.
I have been in the game for going on 12 years now. This includes working in the industry as well. Was head tech at 2 different pro shops for a number of years along with working retail in paintball as well. So I like to think I have a firm roots in the game and can give a fair, unbiased opinion. I have had about 10 markers ano'd over the years so I do know what to watch for.
Gun 1: Angel A1 Fly SB
Parts: Full marker. 17 pieces
Services Requested: 2 color ano, Clear with a blue splash starting at each end and being gone by the middle. No finish change
Quoted Price: $175
Gun 2: Angel A1 Fly SB
Parts: Large portion of the marker. 8 Pieces
Services Requested: 1 color ano, Clear, finish changed to dust.
All parts were wrapped in paper. Padded around each other. Larger pieces got bubble wrapped for protection. Smaller parts were wrapped and placed in zip-locks to prevent lose. Each marker was then sealed in its own bag and that bag bubble wrapped to keep the 2 markers separate for ease of identity. Box was sealed. No noise when shaken. Sent Priority/insured. Was received by them 2 days later.
Through out the process I was in touch with Michael at Other Athlete. I initially went thru the quote process via PM here on nation and we reached a price. He asked very specific questions to make sure everything was as I planned. I was impressed by this until it got to shipping time when there was a mute in communication and PM's stopped being answered for about 2 weeks. At which point he got back to me with a pm to notify me he was out of town. I was then given his email address and decided to keep it to emails from then on. I was hesitant to continue working with them after that lapse, but we talked it out.
Time of shipping came and I mentioned to him I had one part that was a potential issue. The trigger being sent with the full marker had it's inset bearings and a leaf attached to the back of it. I said, if it cannot be pulled apart and reassembled don't bother, and just send it back. I had a feeling it wasn't possible but who knows you learn something every day.
So the markers went out, and got to them about 2 days later. I was quoted about a 2 week turn around due to the one marker needing the parts bead blasted for the dust finish. That worked for me. So about a day before the end of week 2 I sent an email hoping for a status update and was told it is in progress. About 2 days later I got an email with a tracking number. After checking the tracking number two days later, it still hadn't been picked up by the post office. Sent an email off and sure enough the tracking changed that evening. All around by the end of it it took 3 weeks turn around. Not bad considering some of the places I have dealt with.
After receiving the package I had a hand full of issues that I directly let Michael know about via email, but was faced with a lack of responses and me having to follow up. After waiting 2 business days in between, I'd have to send a follow up to the follow up. wasn't too thrilled about this.
When the package did arrive, I was very disappointed. Picking up the box just yielded the sound of clashing and rattling metal. This was not a good feeling. When I opened the box I was greeted with a ziplock bag full of parts wrapped in a thin layer of tissue paper, wedged between 2 walls the air pocket packing material. I was pretty irritated by this. But the parts were ok. A few little knicks and scratches but no major dings I couldn't live with.
Prior to the parts getting to me, I was warned that I may be receiving someone else's parts along with mine and if that was the case, that I would just have to send them back on their dime. No sweat. Just had me worried about getting my parts back as some of them were small. Needless to say I got everything back, and no extras so it worked out. After doing the inventory, I got to the trigger that was going to be a potential issue. The "tech" got it apart alright... But couldn't get it back together apparently. I got the pivoting rod and one ok bearing and one thrashed bearing back, but no activation leaf that was going to be the issue like I stated. Well here I am with a useless trigger. (I did contact them and they we did work it out. I will explain below)
Again this was 2 markers, and most of the issues were with the splash job. The dust white finish was fine, sans a few hairline scratches from poor packing.
Having only seen a pic of one of the markers incomplete that I got emailed to me, i didn't really have a clue what was coming my way. So I did a once over and found a hand full of issues other then the trigger. One was the masking fluid left over on the splashed marker. There were a number of spots that had it caked on still. So I addressed this and was told to try acetone and the like to get the masking off(which I shouldn't have to do in the first place). So after doing that, a number of them came off but a few still exist, and I can't quite bring myself to take a razor to fresh finish. Living with it and maybe time will have its way. This pic is one that I sent via email:
My next issue was that nothing lined up in the splash. On a quality job the extra time is taken to make sure the pieces line up together. This one did not. Livable, but still not 100% pleased. Also, instead of continuing the splash on the barrel back, or stopping it on just the tip, it ends abruptly when the back starts. Seen here for example with the noid cover and the body and frame:
I also ran into a few pieces not being of the same tonality, but can attribute that to different material make up. Haven't come across it before, but thats what I was told was the issue. Note how the body plug is a different tone:
The last big issue was with the barrel. With how it was hung for the baths, it's interior was gnarled pretty bad. It is just enough to cause paint to break. Running it side by side by side with another barrel in the same bore, this one does have an issue due to the new edges in it. I will probably end up sanding down the edges so it can be used, and maybe have it re-honed, but this issue was just sort of ignored when I mentioned it and never saw resolution.
As for the trigger, It was useless due to the leaf being snapped off and now missing entirely, along with the trashed bearing. I was given a refund for the balance of the trigger and the cost of ano'ing the part($75). But this is where the issues lay that did get resolved. I'm running an aftermarket barrel due to the other issue but again it was ignored.
Overall, I would rate The Other Athlete as follows:
Customer Service - 2/10
The communication gaps were irritating and needed work. Along with issue resolution or lack there of. Also an unnecessary agressive tone. Don't try and blame your mistakes on me.
Return Packaging - 2/10
Re-using a box and poor packing was just sad.
Turnaround Time - 8/10
About a week misquoted, not bad.
Finish - 7/10
Pretty great sans the number of issues. It should never be the customers job to remove masking. The trigger I was compensated for, but I'm still out a barrel due to what I'm guessing was a poor hanging job.
Color Match N/A
There was no color matching to the job sans the job itself, and most of the pieces match one another.
Would I use them again. Probably not. For a simple job yes, nothing too complicated. One color jobs, sure. Won't be doing a barrel or trigger again.
And last but not least a final assembled shot of both markers, the one with the replacement trigger I initially shelled out for. I will post updated pics of the splash if I can get more of the masking off, along with the barrel I do run on it.
Any questions, feel free to PM me or post up.