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Unread 10-09-2018, 12:42 AM
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Sector Six Jerseys - A Cautionary Tale

Sometime last year, this thread popped up on CD about team jerseys from Sector Six Apparel with a lower price negotiated by Cooler Master. They looked really cool and weren't too expensive for the apparent quality, so my team (and a few others) went to order them.

The first part of the communication cycle went just fine. Emails were responded to in 1-3 days, which is totally acceptable for a business. We worked with them on the graphic design, and then finalized the order. We stressed all along the way that we needed the jerseys in hand by March 10th (in time for San Francisco Regional). Keep in mind, we were negotiating this starting mid-January. They constantly said that that is totally doable and that it wouldn't be a problem. We finalized the order and sent them our money ($1550. It was a pretty hefty order).

Here comes the bad part: they pretty much dropped all communication with me. Once they had our money, they didn't respond to an email for three weeks (February 13-March 6). No ETA, no tracking number, no nothing. I emailed them multiple times, reached out to them on all social media, and even found a phone number (which apparently was an employee cell number or something) to no avail.

One or two more emails go back and forth on March 9th, and they tell us that the order will be expedited for two day shipping. The event isn't until the 16th, so we were in luck. Except that wasn't correct. March 9th came and went and I didn't get so much as a tracking number. I pinged them on all platforms and sent more emails with no response. On March 15th (the Thursday before we leave for comp), I finally get an email response telling me that there was a printing issue and that all shirts had to be remade. The shirts finally got delivered some time after SFR was done. I emailed them a few more times asking for partial to full refunding for their poor communication and failure to meet the expressly agreed-upon dates with months of notice. They still haven't responded to that.

Shirt quality: 9/10. Our jerseys are actually pretty nice. They look good and feel professional. There are a few alignment issues with the printing at seams, but overall they are what we ordered.

Customer service: 1/10. I can't give them a 0, because they did respond pretty promptly right up until I gave them money. However, they were impossible to get ahold of in arguably the most important part of the transaction and failed to deliver product in the agreed-upon time frame.

Overall: 2/10. I like the jersey I ended up with. I would never in a million years order from them again. If your team feels like they can withstand the hassle, order with months and months in advance and be prepared to wait.

Here's another team who had a similar experience.

DISCLAIMER: while the original deal with Sector Six was facilitated by Cooler Master, the folks over at CM didn't really have anything to do with this. As far as I am aware, they didn't make a profit, they were doing this to support FIRST teams. Everything I've said above is as factual as I can make it, and all experiences explained are my own. I have also recently found out that Sector Six has recently been acquired by another company, so the change in management may have had something to do with this. I am not certain.

TL;DR - My team had a very negative experience with Sector Six Apparel. Order from them at your own risk.
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Unread 10-09-2018, 08:22 AM
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Re: Sector Six Jerseys - A Cautionary Tale

Quote:
Originally Posted by BryceHanson View Post
Sometime last year, this thread popped up on CD about team jerseys from Sector Six Apparel with a lower price negotiated by Cooler Master. They looked really cool and weren't too expensive for the apparent quality, so my team (and a few others) went to order them.

The first part of the communication cycle went just fine. Emails were responded to in 1-3 days, which is totally acceptable for a business. We worked with them on the graphic design, and then finalized the order. We stressed all along the way that we needed the jerseys in hand by March 10th (in time for San Francisco Regional). Keep in mind, we were negotiating this starting mid-January. They constantly said that that is totally doable and that it wouldn't be a problem. We finalized the order and sent them our money ($1550. It was a pretty hefty order).

Here comes the bad part: they pretty much dropped all communication with me. Once they had our money, they didn't respond to an email for three weeks (February 13-March 6). No ETA, no tracking number, no nothing. I emailed them multiple times, reached out to them on all social media, and even found a phone number (which apparently was an employee cell number or something) to no avail.

One or two more emails go back and forth on March 9th, and they tell us that the order will be expedited for two day shipping. The event isn't until the 16th, so we were in luck. Except that wasn't correct. March 9th came and went and I didn't get so much as a tracking number. I pinged them on all platforms and sent more emails with no response. On March 15th (the Thursday before we leave for comp), I finally get an email response telling me that there was a printing issue and that all shirts had to be remade. The shirts finally got delivered some time after SFR was done. I emailed them a few more times asking for partial to full refunding for their poor communication and failure to meet the expressly agreed-upon dates with months of notice. They still haven't responded to that.

Shirt quality: 9/10. Our jerseys are actually pretty nice. They look good and feel professional. There are a few alignment issues with the printing at seams, but overall they are what we ordered.

Customer service: 1/10. I can't give them a 0, because they did respond pretty promptly right up until I gave them money. However, they were impossible to get ahold of in arguably the most important part of the transaction and failed to deliver product in the agreed-upon time frame.

Overall: 2/10. I like the jersey I ended up with. I would never in a million years order from them again. If your team feels like they can withstand the hassle, order with months and months in advance and be prepared to wait.

Here's another team who had a similar experience.

DISCLAIMER: while the original deal with Sector Six was facilitated by Cooler Master, the folks over at CM didn't really have anything to do with this. As far as I am aware, they didn't make a profit, they were doing this to support FIRST teams. Everything I've said above is as factual as I can make it, and all experiences explained are my own. I have also recently found out that Sector Six has recently been acquired by another company, so the change in management may have had something to do with this. I am not certain.

TL;DR - My team had a very negative experience with Sector Six Apparel. Order from them at your own risk.
Our experience exactly! We ended up having to order screenprinted shirts at the last minute to wear to our first competition.

It really is a shame, because we love the jerseys, but now there is no way I would ever order from them again. Which sucks, because I cant order matching jerseys for my new team members.
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Unread 10-09-2018, 09:37 AM
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Re: Sector Six Jerseys - A Cautionary Tale

It just goes to show... When ordering from a new supplier, you never know what you're going to get. It's too bad it didn't work out... Maybe they were just overwhelmed with a sudden influx of teams and couldn't keep up? It doesn't excuse the lack of communication, of course.

We just ordered a replacement part for our mill last night - selected 3-5 day shipping at check out, no problem... only to be informed, after placing the order, that it won't actually ship for 9-14 business days. We were hoping to get it back up and running at our meeting next week...
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Unread 10-09-2018, 10:41 AM
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Re: Sector Six Jerseys - A Cautionary Tale

In 2008, we wanted to build a high speed elevator for lift the track balls. We designed our robot and made our orders for track and bearings from Bishop-Wisecarver. They strung us along for 3 weeks telling us they had the stock and it would be shipped soon.

We were inexperienced and naive enough that we kept pushing back the elevator design hoping they would come through. They never did. Our horrible replacement design broke at the Great Lakes Regional semis costing us a possible trip to champs.

We will NEVER do business with them again. We also learned a lot about risk-avoidance and alternative pathing that year.
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Unread 10-10-2018, 10:49 AM
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Re: Sector Six Jerseys - A Cautionary Tale

*Disclaimer- I don't work for Cooler Master anymore, currently at AMD*

I know this was a pain in the butt for teams. I had a few reach out to me and I tried to jump in and get the ball rolling on stuff. In my opinion, 2 things killed them:

Too many orders that they weren't expecting
Being bought out by another company

I am not going to make excuses for them, they messed up. Delays happen but sending an email takes 5 seconds. No excuse not to provide updates and be transparent.

I highly recommend working locally for your team's gear or reaching out to a LARGE custom esports jersey company for your orders. (There are many)

I know that Cooler Master has and will continue to support teams as best they can. That being said, I am not there anymore and I handled most of the robot stuff, so if you are working with them be a little lenient. CM is a VERY small team with tons of events and activities in a year, 1 of which is robots. CMStacey and CMCynthia are busting their butts to plan all the yearly events, trust me.
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