Why people hate Ultrasabers: What you should know
Ultrasabers is a very popular and profitable custom saber company, but they’re not without some controversies. Let’s talk about some of the reasons that people hate Ultrasabers. There are plenty of reasons that people love Ultrasabers as well and I’d love to hear about things you like and things you don’t like about Ultrasabers in the comments section (please, let’s keep the language clean and keep things civil).
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Watch Why people hate Ultrasabers: What you should know on YouTube:
Ultrasabers’ Customer Service: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Ultrasabers customer service seems very hit-or-miss, based on my own experience and also based on experiences I seen on YouTube, reddit, and lightsaber forums.
I’d recommend this with any United States based company, see if the saber company has a Better Business Bureau (BBB) page because that’s where you’ll see a variety of customer complaints. Consider that BBB reviews often skew negative, because many people only take the time to write a review their if they’ve had a bad experience. BBB reviews are still worth reading and can provide valuable insight into any company’s customer service. By contrast, the reviews on the Ultrasabers website are mostly glowingly positive so it’s nice to look at both the good and bad experiences of others before buying.
There’s also a pretty popular reddit topic from December 2017 called “Ultrasabers demands positive review or won’t give customs paid for product”. I’m not going to get into all of the details here, but you can check out the customer’s experience and see how both the customs and Ultrasabers handled the situation and how outside observers reacted to the situation as well.
In my own experience, Ultrasabers has courteously and promptly replied to my questions, often within a few days (they were slower to respond during the holiday season). Ultrasabers also promptly shipped an item that was missing from my order.
Although Ultrasabers has typically responded to my inquiries in a prompt, professional manner, I do not agree with some of Ultrasabers’ answers and ‘solutions’ to problems. For example, I received a damaged Prophecy V3, mailed it back for repairs (at Ultrasabers’ expense) and then Ultrasabers mailed me an entirely different hilt model of a much lesser value without any warning. Additionally, after I received a Grab Bag Saber worth $5 less than what I paid, Ultrasabers politely informed me that Grab Bag Sabers had no guaranteed value.
Ultrasabers’ unfavorable return policy and 20% restocking fee
Ultrasabers offers a very short return policy: only 3 days (Saberforge, by comparison offers a 15 day return policy). Many other companies offer a two week or one month return policy.
If you do return the saber OR if even if you decide to cancel your order before it ships, then you will incur a 20% restocking fee. A restocking fee is somewhat common, but charging a restocking fee for an order that hasn’t shipped is much less common. In other words, if you place an order for $100 from Ultrasabers and cancel your order 1 minute later, you lose $20.
Ultrasabers’ unprotected wiring and internals
Moving on to the sabers themselves, some people don’t like the internals of Ultrasabers lightsabers. Unlike many other saber companies, Ultrasabers does not use a protective chassis on the side to prevent the wires, battery pack, and LED module from rattling around (i.e. saber rattle). Over time, loose internal components of the saber may wear down or break due to the lack of protection.
Ultrasabers’ lightsaber add-ons and upgrades
Certain lightsaber features that come standard with many other lightsaber companies DO NOT come standard on many Ultrasabers lightsaber hilts. So although many Ultrasabers hilts may initially seem inexpensive and affordable, adding upgrades to your saber will quickly inflate the price. Many Ultrasabers hilts DO NOT come standard with a Covertec wheel (extra $15) or an AV switch (extra $15). That means an “inexpensive” $65 Ultrasabers stunt saber, like a Initiate V4, would actually cost $95 with an added Covertec wheel and AV switch. Although most of the budget Ultrasabers lightsaber don’t include a Covertec wheel, many of the mid range to higher end Ultrasabers lightsabers do include a Covertec wheel.
Additionally, all Ultrasabers Initiate and Apprentice lightsabers include a 24 inch blade by default (considered shorter than full size). Upgrading to a full size 32 or 36 inch blade costs and additional $10 for Initiate and Apprentice models.
Lack of transparency with Mystery Box Saber and Grab Bag Sabers odds
Ultrasabers DOES NOT disclose the odds of getting any given lightsaber as a Grab Bag Saber or a Mystery Box Saber, which means that we don’t know how many people are ‘winning’ higher end sabers versus receiving lower end sabers.
Although Ultrasabers guarantees that customers will receive a Mystery Box meeting or exceeding the price that the customer paid, Ultrasabers states that Grab Bag Sabers DO NOT have a guaranteed value. In fact, I have ‘lost’ money on a Grab Bag Saber (i.e. received a lightsaber lower in value than what I paid!).
Ultrasabers’ controversial price hike immediately preceding May 4th (Star Wars Day)
Immediately preceding May 4th, 2018 (Star Wars Day), Ultrasabers quietly increased prices on their sabers (by at least $5) and many accessories including: blade plugs ($3 increase), Covertec wheel install ($1 increase), saber stands ($1.50 increase). Star Wars Day traditionally features some of best lightsaber discounts of the year and big saber companies see big sales boosts. Increasing prices right before Star Wars Day as opposed to waiting a few days or weeks felt like poor timing.
SaberSourcing reader, Chris, wrote of the price increase, “[Ultrasabers’] timing certainly came across as pulling a nasty greed-driven fast one on their (loyal?) customer base.”
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Ultrasabers BBB page:
Ultrasabers Shopper Approved Review page (read positive and negative reviews from customers):
Ultrasabers Demands Positive Review or won’t give Customer paid-for product. (Demands in the comments of FB post):
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What are some qualities that you hate (or love!) about Ultrasabers?
Ultra Sabers are the worst. We ordered last year and our order was months late. We tried to reach out via e-mail and phone over and over again, with no response. We made the mistake of telling our 6 y/o son they were coming on the date they were promised, but that date came, went, and there was no word. Literally, every day our son would wake up, run to the front door to see if the sabers had arrived. We really should have given up and contacted our credit card company but we stuck with it because our son was so excited. So finally, many weeks late and with no communication, the order arrived with an apology and a 20% off on any new orders. Our 6 y/o son was REALLY enjoying fencing with me using his saber – we bought fencing gear so we could fight full speed – I studied abroad in Japan as a teenager where I took Kendo, so I began training him on the basics. The neighborhood kids took notice, so I bought two more sabers for his birthday (which was coming up months later knowing it would take months for the order to actually arrive – also, the first sabers we bought accidentally didn’t have sound, and e-mails to Ultra Sabers about getting them upgraded went completely unanswered, so I knew the new ones would blow our son’s mind) so we could include other kids in the neighborhood. Shortly thereafter the Pandemic arrived along with a significantly reduced salary. We reached out explaining our situation, and to ask for a refund, but they said they would only do a refund with a 20% restocking fee. We pointed out that the sabers were literally months out from even being produced and that perhaps they could just count the 20% coupon they gave us for our first terrible order as that 20% fee. The response, we are going to cancel your order with the 20% penalty. We said, wait! What about not penalizing us given that we are clearly months away from getting the sabers so a restocking fee doesn’t make sense, or what about counting our 20% discount for promised not kept previously towards that fee (nullifying it), or at the very least, could you just be kind given the epidemic? We would have been grateful and would certainly have purchased sabers again once this passes and our son could even play with the neighbors again! Again, we waited for weeks for a response, but there was neither a refund nor any communication from them. Finally, when our company literally closed down our office, we had to reached out to ask what was going on? Again we asked if they could refund the full amount giving us credit, or, if they had produced the sabers already, to please ship them to a new address (since the office address would not work anymore)… and the only response? Tonight our money was refunded with a 20% penalty with no other communication. These guys are the worst.
none of these things concern me.
first of all you can never get a grab bag saber lower than $75. all of the sabers sent are $75+. however, you can get a bad deal with the grab bag sabers.
Hi, thanks for commenting! To clarify, Ultrasabers Grab Bag Sabers are currently $70 and Mystery Box Sabers are $75. A few years ago I received a Grab Bag Saber low
er in value than what I paid. I can neither confirm nor deny whether this still occurs with Grab Bag Sabers. Ultrasabers states that Mystery Box Sabers have a guaranteed value of at least $75.