Having followed several large custom pre-orders for paintball equipment both here and on other forums and some disastrous outcomes I had a thought: Why don't we, as orderers, make a universal set of rules as to what we, as paintball players, see as acceptable universal standards for any preorder? It seems to me that if we came up with a universal rule set that other producers could follow we could have a document or set of guidelines to point at when arguing the success/failure of a company to deliver a standard.
While it may be hard to enforce a set of rules on any company or individual, it seems to me that we as players could use this rule set as a guideline for a database. Players could use this database like the better business bureau, and indicate which companies may or may not be reputable in a transaction, but also could have comfort that a company or persons they are dealing with are holding themselves to a certain specified standard within the community.
Anyway, my ideas for what we look for:
1. A clear definition of the product we are looking for
a. If this is a non-prototyped project a specific mention that this build has never been fabricated for testing
b. If this is a prototyped project a short media type (photo, video) of a prototype model working as stated.
2. A firm order date, start date, and finishing date.
3. A bi-weekly update of project progression, even if it is "nothing has happened this week"
4. No more than 2 project extension deadlines
5. Specific shipping restrictions
a. At least 1 layer of bubble wrap
b. Standardized shipping and delivery confirmation
c. Acceptable standards of cosmetics on delivery
6. Statement of merchantability.
a. If product does not meet standards cosmetically or functionally, what will happen.
What else do we look for? Might there be room for such a promise here on AO? Do you think something like this might be beneficial in the long run for all manufacturers and players?