Backyardcity.com / Communication was about zero
I ordered 2 of the heavy duty 3-leg metal end frame fittings for commercial grade swing sets. The cost was about $107 each, plus $60 for shipping for the bulky/heavy items. I could see from the photos that the welding looked pretty rough, but thought it would be worthwhile to buy them considering the time it would take to make them myself. Especially, I thought the paint on a commercial product would be far superior to any paint job I could do myself -- important on something that would be exposed to weather 365 days a year. I thought the items were listed in stock before I placed my order, but afterwards I found they were on backorder. They were on backorder for about 2 months, and BackyardCity.com never sent me one of those postcards giving you a chance to cancel your order... I thought it was federal law or something they had to send that if they could not ship in 30 days. Anyway, communication was about zero. I finally got my items, and the welding was just as amateurish as the photo had shown, or even worse. A very cold, crooked weld, like bubble gum stuck on the surface of the steel, with no penetration. Not strong at all, but probably adequate for the purpose. Man, I'm a machinist myself but in my area you can hardly walk down the street without tripping over unemployed welders with 10 times the ability of the joker who made these brackets... how such a person could get hired for a professional welding job is beyond me. Something I was not expecting at all is that both brackets are welded together crooked. The outer legs are a single piece of tubing bent like an uncrossed "A" shape, and the third leg is welded on about 5/8 of an inch off center from the apex of that. I'd literally be embarrassed to put these out in my yard. But what really disappointed me is that the paint job was badly damaged. The mouths of the legs (where my longer leg pipes would need to be inserted) were dented in in a couple places, and one of the places had evidently been hammered back out after painting and then the paint retouched with a completely different shade of green paint. There were other scratches and dings as well. I don't know how any reputable company could send out a product looking like this. It is absolute junk, in my eyes. Well I e-mailed BackyardCity.com and they answered and said I could ship these heavy items back across the country at my own expense for a refund. But considering what I have seen so far, I have no confidence that I'd ever get that refund. Rather than sink another $50 in shipping, plus hassles galore, I've decided just to cut my losses now and hope to sell these at a garage sale for $50. I know that call is based on instinct and past experiences with other companies rather than any actual failure to refund by Backyard City.com, but that is what I decided.