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My experience trying to buy a Square Off Pro board
Around my birthday back in March, I decided I'd treat myself to an electronic chess board, mainly for the purpose of recording OTB games for later analysis, and perhaps some actual online games as well.
Square Off's "Pro" looked great, and relatively affordable. While they had some crowdfunding campaigns in various stages of completion for some new fully automatic designs, the Pro appeared to be immediately purchasable through their website.
After some initial trouble getting the transaction to go through, I got a discount code in my inbox which I gladly applied. Shortly after I received an email saying I could expect my board on April 15th.
Placed order. Received email "Estimated delivery time for this item is 15th Apr, 2022"
I reached out asking what's going on. I received a $20 refund to apologise for the wait, and was told it will be shipped by June 15th.
Received email saying "Your board is on its way" and "should reach you by 19th June 2022"
I emailed again, having heard nothing further. I asked for any tracking info. Reply same day: "order is in process, will be dispatched from warehouse by June 30th; you will received tracking details then. Once dispatched, will be delivered to you in 8-10 business days."
I emailed again, having heard nothing. Tracking page still said "awaiting tracking info". I was told "Currently under customs, should be in transit soon." I followed up asking what country it was in, but they said that info wasn't available. Weird that it's in customs, but they can't tell me where.
Received an email saying it's delayed due to "regulatory issues". Issue may take 25-30 business days to resolve, patience requested.
I emailed again, as 32 business days had passed without further updates. Received no response.
Since I hadn't received any response, and was tired of waiting, I requested a full refund for my order.
Received the same reply to my last two emails: Offer of another $30 refund for the wait + saying they're switching to a new logistics partner for the UK, and it may take another 30-45 business days to "resolve". I declined and insisted on cancelling my order instead.
Got an email from their payment processor saying they've issued a refund for the remaining amount (minus $0.01 for some reason) + an email from support indicating as much, while also mentioning: "Please let us know if you want to order any of our boards in the future and we will offer them at a very good price." Thanks, but no thanks.
The money arrived in my bank account. Ordered a DGT Pegasus from a UK-based distributor. (chess.co.uk)
Received my DGT Pegasus.
Summarised, I waited just under 6 months for the Square Off Pro (which had no upfront indication that it'd be a while), finally gave up and thankfully got a full refund, then got a DGT Pegasus in just 2 days for a little bit more money.
During the process I started wondering that Square Off was simply a scam, but since they did issue a full refund, at least I can vouch for it not being a scam... just pretty poorly organised, I guess. I hope other buyers do end up receiving their product.