As many others, I have bought some "clone products" from RC-timer in the past, simply because some stuff is pretty cheap there. Now, I got the bill for that and learned that paying less often means paying double.
Earlier this year, I bought two MinimOSD clones from RC-Timer. One went to my copter and the other for the moment into storage for another project. Several weeks later, I took the second OSD out of storage to use in my new project and I found that it was not working. The Arduino IDE kept reporting connection errors and I even couldn't flash a new bootloader with an original Atmel AVR USBISP Mk II and the original Atmel IDE.
I emailed RC-Timer on 22JUL13, and their "Jane" emailed me back on 23JUL13, saying that I should send the OSD back to them and providing a return address.
I sent the item back after returning from a trip on 09AUG13 via registered airmail ($17 from Finland to China) and informed RC-Timer via email. "Jane" was answering that they will get back to me as soon as it arrived.
According to the tracking system (see here), the shipment arrived on 18AUG13. When I didn't hear from RC-Timer until 07SEP13, I sent another email to them, requesting status information. To that email, I never received any reply.
On 20SEP13, I again sent an email to RC-Timer, demanding a status information. Again, I did not receive any reply.
In my opinion, this behavior constitutes fraud. I will, for sure, never order at RC-Timer again and I write this blog post as an intense warning to the community about RC-Timer and to think twice before ordering from far east "cloners".
Opposite to this case, I once had the problem with the serial multiplex chip being fried by a dying ESC on my (original 3DR) APM 2.5. After posting about the problem in the DIYD forum, I was contacted by Rogelio of the 3DR support team and he sent me a new automux chip for my APM for free. No product costs, no shipping costs!
Now you decide... Do you want to save a few dollars when buying the stuff and be left totally alone or pay return shipping for nothing if something goes wrong? Or is it wiser in the long run to pay a few dollars more for your stuff and receive great support?
My choice for the future is pretty clear!