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Sim Lab Order Experience

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15
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As a new customer of Sim Lab, I thought I'd share my experience on here. They seem to have a glowing online reputation and, given my experience, I wanted to provide some balance:

I ordered a GT1 Evo cockpit on 2nd June when they were (briefly) in stock. Before ordering, I exchanged e-mails with Sim Lab to confirm the lead time and was told to refer to the website (website stated 3-4 weeks and continued to do so throughout the weeks following my order).

4 weeks go by and I haven't heard anything from Sim Lab, nor have I received my order, so, on 30th June, I reach-out to them to find-out what's going on. The reply was simply 'Your order will be shipped by the end of next week'. No reason was given for the delay, or any apology offered.

By the middle of the following week, I reached-out to Sim Lab, again, to confirm my order was definitely going to ship that week. The reply I got was 'It still hasn't been shipped. It will be next week. So sorry for the waiting'. Again, no reason given for the further delay.

At this point, I post a thread on here (entitled 'Sim Lab Lead Times') and, on the same day, 'Richard' from Sim Lab registers and replies to my post saying how busy they are and to PM him with any order issues. Given the nature of my post, I'm not sure why he didn't PM me, or refer to my issue in his reply, but I waited to see if he'd PM me (he didn't).

After a day or two, I sent Richard a PM saying I'd been waiting for my order for nearly 7 weeks and if there's anything he could do. I never received a reply to this, but received a shipment notification the next day, so I'm assuming he pulled some strings, but as he never replied to me, I'll never know.

Couple of days later, my cockpit arrives courtesy of UPS. However, the floor-mounted monitor stand I'd ordered at the same time was missing and they'd sent me an integrated stand instead! So, again I reach-out to Sim Lab explaining the order is wrong. They respond with an apology and dispatch the correct stand to me, which arrives a couple of days later. I'm asked if I want to keep the integrated stand for a 25% discount, or if I want to return it via a pre-paid label. I opt to return it.

So, now I'm starting the assembly process of the stand and cockpit and the first thing that surprises me is there's absolutely no assembly instructions included (or even a packing list). I had to go online looking at the Sim Lab schematics (which weren't very useful) and doing Google Image searches to figure-out the assembly process. Come on Sim Lab, aren't assembly instructions a pretty obvious and fundamental thing to include in the box?

At this point, you may think my problems are over... but no, there are several corner brackets and bolts missing from the supplied bag of fasteners. Thankfully, the integrated stand hadn't yet been collected by UPS, so I was able to take the missing fasteners from that. Again, I reach-out to Sim Lab to tell them about this, but, again, was offered no apology or reason for the missing components.

Finally, the supplied corner brackets have alignment tabs cast into them to locate them in the T-slots. Around 8 of these brackets had to be ground down (good job I own a grinder) since those brackets needed to mount at 90-degree to the T-slot.

Just wanted to post this to help others when making purchasing decisions and choosing a supplier. Make your own judgments about the competency of Sim Lab and the quality of customer service I received.
 

Andrew_WOT

Premium
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5,548
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742
gt1-evo assembly videos are on the same page where the product is, not sure why you needed to google for them. Same as schematic pdf.
Finally, the supplied corner brackets have alignment tabs cast into them to locate them in the T-slots. Around 8 of these brackets had to be ground down (good job I own a grinder) since those brackets needed to mount at 90-degree to the T-slot.
The anti rotation tabs on brackets are clipped off using screwdriver, this is basic 80/20 design of these fasteners, Barry shows how it works here.

For delays, communication gap, and missed parts, obviously sim-lab dropped a ball here. Hope they'll get you sorted out.
 

Motorhead68

Premium
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43
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16
Thanks for sharing your buy & build experience – I ordered a Sim Lab P1-X (via a reseller) but never got as far as the build experience, as after two months+ of waiting, I gave up and went with Racing Sim Rigs in the UK – for those of you who are interested, I have posted my experience of that purchasing and build journey in their Authorized Vendor Section – which needless to say was the complete antithesis of the Sim Lab experience that is stated above.
 

RankBajin

Premium
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27
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16
I ordered my P1-X from Sim Labs last year when they were in stock and it arrived in a couple of weeks. Different times pre Covid I suppose.

I ordered a couple of other bits (cable management pieces and a button box bracket) recently and they came in a month, I didn’t chase and didn’t receive any comms until dispatch (which didn’t bother me as my need need wasn’t pressing). I think the problem is they are just so busy. That doesn’t however excuse missing bits or poor communication you experienced.

As already mentioned, there are now a number of suppliers of 8020 rigs so the competition can only help. However, for what it’s worth, I think the Sim Labs stuff is excellent quality.

For my build I followed the build by Barry at Sim Racing Garage, I find, if he has reviewed something that requires built, his videos are always far better than any manual or schematic!
 
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Messages
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I will say this. When I got my GT1 Evo, the ONLY thing I can say on the negative side is that there was no real build guide. Having said that, I followed Sim Racing Garage video for assembly, and it all went together flawlessly.

I have had multiple interactions with Sim Lab support, and never an issue.

Sorry you went through some issues, but you did order in what may be the worst possible period of time. Sim Lab is quick to say that everything is delayed.

Not defending them in any way, just saying that patience is of utmost necessity these days when ordering from a small boutique operation like SIm Lab.

Hope you enjoy the cockpit, it is pretty amazing.
 

VinillaIce82

Premium
Messages
155
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0
Hi Ian,

Sorry to hear about your experience with Simlab... I had a similar order to yours, however, my experience was quite the opposite. I placed my order for my GT1 Evo and triple monitor floor stand and some accessories on June 1, a day prior to you. I am located in Canada, so I was willing to wait the 4 to 5 weeks lead time, as I needed to wait for other stuff too. However, to my luck, everything came on June 18, just a bit over 2 weeks waiting. Everything was correct, and I had a blast building the thing.

You are correct on the part of no manuals or instructions. However, I did watch the video posted in the replies above, just to get me started. I have no prior experience with aluminum profiles but after putting together a couple pieces, it seemed pretty intuitive, which is probably why the schematics are pretty much all you need. I agree some of it you will have to figure out yourself, but to be fair, if we bought the P1X cockpit instead, you will find that it indeed has step by step instructions online. I looked at it for a bit to get me started on the GT1, but found I didn't really need it.

As for the parts, I was surprised that I was left with a ton load of extra bolts, brackets, nuts, you name it. I even reached out to them to ask if I built it wrong because I had so much left over, but the response from simlab was that you will indeed have extra, which is great.

As for the corner brackets, if you actually look at the schematics, on the right hand side, it tells you how you can remove the aluminum tabs. All you have to do is stick a flathead screwdriver underneath a tab, and pry it off. It comes off like butter, and will not leave any sharp edges and will be flush. Sorry you had to grind them down, but at least you got it done. If you want a demonstration of it, it's in the video in the above replies.

Similarly, I had great experience dealing with the guys at simlab. I've spoken to Darko, Branislav and Ronald, and they were all quick to reply and have been helpful to any questions I had.

Certainly I'm not saying you are wrong, but if it helps to the next person considering a purchase, fwiw, my experience was great and I would buy from them again.

Cheers
 

Motorhead68

Premium
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43
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16
So summary here looks like the product is good but there are total inconsistencies in the customer purchasing experience - you pays your money you take your chances
 
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And typical of modern suppliers relying on YT videos for instructions.
Likewise Codemasters are rubbish at game manuals - there aren't any and one has to yawn through YT borefests.
EA F1 99 came with a 50+ page manual. Crammonds GP3 had a 170 page book.
 

Jan Larsen

Premium
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1,235
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Sim-Lab is, by the sounds of it, way in over their heads in terms of orders, creating mayhem in their customer- and quality department it seems. You're not the first one to post a thread such as this.
Pre-Covid Sim Lab was the go to profile manufacturer. It still is in my book, but as things are now, I'd not buy from them until things are back to normal.
 
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Ian, sorry to hear about your experience. I ordered my PX-1 on June 1st and my rig arrived 3 weeks later as stated, easy. I live on the west coast of Canada. I have an abundance of extra brackets, screws and bolts as well. I used Barry from SRG and the instructions provided on the Sim Lab web page. Easy. SimLabs is a top notch company that is merely going through growing pains because they make products that we all want at a very competitive price in my opinion. I look forward to ordering some accessories when I finally figure out how I want to fine tune my rig. As a niche hobby we should try to support the good guys as much as possible, and these guys are good guys:) Happy racing !
 

Motorhead68

Premium
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43
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16
Am all for supporting companies that allow us to indulge our passion for sim racing and yes, the COVID situation has impacted supply chain logistics which coupled with the increase in folk getting into sim racing (which is great for the community) has caused a significant increase in demand with the knock on impact of having longer lead times.

However, there is no excuse for poor communication and this applies to companies big or small, starting out or established. Companies (not just Sim Lab, there are many others) need to manage customer expectations by delivering and responding to messages in a timely manner. Posting notices on a website on delivery times etc is a good start but only if they are kept to, the messaging needs to go beyond this - just having a great product is now not enough, the reputation and ultimately the success of a business is based on the values associated with the brand and the customer experience is a vital ingredient in getting this right.
 
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I bought a highish end gaming PC in UK. The company had a table under the order details, completed as time went by:

Processed Date16-05-2020
Pre-Production Date22-05-2020
Build Date05-06-2020
Test Date05-06-2020
Awaiting Dispatch Date06-06-2020
Dispatch Date08-06-2020

With explanation elsewhere of terms. Plus an email at each stage. Actually got kit slightly early than expected at time of order, production of 14 working days then 2 days test plus despatch, and overall longer times due to increased CV19 business.

That is how to do it!!
 
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A little OT and maybe a dumb question: Why are those pre-designed 8020 rigs so popular? Are there any real benefits compared to putting together your own list of stuff you need to build a rig and just order those parts? When I did this I felt this is just part of the fun. And if I forgot something, it was at least my fault:)
 
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Maybe I’m in the minority but if I buy something which needs assembly or understanding of how to use it, I’ve read and watched a ton of videos on how to assemble/use long before it’s arrived so I’m ready to hit the ground running.

Waiting until something’s arrived without having any idea is madness to me.
 
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Maybe I’m in the minority but if I buy something which needs assembly or understanding of how to use it, I’ve read and watched a ton of videos on how to assemble/use long before it’s arrived so I’m ready to hit the ground running.

Waiting until something’s arrived without having any idea is madness to me.

Being the minority doesn't have to be a bad thing. But we are already two:)
 
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