Pi-Top Kali – The Purchase

In the last update on this project, I went over the thought process that led to my decision to purchase the pi-top 2 kit.  Today, I’ll cover how the purchase, order tracking, and shipping tracking went.

I went to the site to place my order, since the AdaFruit reseller didn’t have this style available, yet.  The order itself was mostly straight forward, but the site had a few issues.  I chose to place the purchase as a “guest” because I didn’t see any need in creating an account with them.  My intent was to purchase this device, and then I had no reason to return.  There are only a few “modules” or add ons available through their site, and none of them really appealed to me, so this should have been a one and done deal.  I put in my credit card information, and then had to fill out some profile information such as name, address, and so on.

The first problem I ran into was the phone number field.  It was a required field, but no matter how I plugged in my phone number, it said “this number must be a valid international number,” (paraphrasing.)  There was a little flag icon next to the phone number field, but clicking it didn’t do anything.  It finally let me put in a number that was just 7 digits long, which I knew wasn’t correct, but didn’t care since the rest of the information was correct, and it wasn’t my intent to have to come back to the site after this purchase.

The purchase went through, and I got an order number.  I checked my email, and indeed, I had an order confirmation email, as well.  While reading the order confirmation, I ran across this statement:

Any inquiries about your order? Have any other questions for us? Visit our support page or contact us at support@pi-top.com, quoting your order number.

I read the support page link, and it stated that I would need an account if I wanted order tracking.  This was not mentioned during the order process prior to placing my order as a guest.  The instructions indicated that I should create the account “with the same email address as I used to place my order.”  I did so.  The profile page was not filled in all the way, so I went in and included the same information… name, address, phone number, and so on.

This time, the phone number field’s “flag” let me select the United States to indicate my country of origin.  There is a separate drop down field (both on the order page, and on the profile page for the account I had just set up) that asks for your country.  It would have made much more sense if the phone number field had keyed off of that, instead of requiring the kludgey flag clickbox thing, but it is what it is.

The next problem I ran into is that the order number did not show on this new account page.  I waited until the next day in case the linking might take some time.  When I didn’t see order information the next day, (Friday) I sent an email to the support email listed in the order confirmation email I had received.  This created yet another account that I had to set a password on, and the person that responded took two or three hours to respond.  Their question was to ask for which email I had used to order the package.  I felt this was an odd request, since I had used that same email to open my support request, but I sent a response within a minute of receiving this update, and waited.

I got no response the rest of that day.  I used the ticket system page itself to provide one more update as a “just in case my email reply didn’t go through” trigger, but still heard nothing over that weekend.  I just assumed that they were closed over weekends, and waited for Monday to roll back around in hopes of another update.

There were no status updates waiting for me Monday morning, so I sent another update request, since it should have been about noon U.K. time when I checked.  A couple of hours later, and I did get an update.  The update never did explain why the order status wasn’t showing on that account I set up, but it did include the tracking information, which is what I really wanted.  The package was already on a truck and out for delivery, so the shipping was very fast.

Based on my experiences, I can recommend that others create an account BEFORE purchasing, and be signed in DURING purchase of the kit.  I can’t guarantee that this will get you order tracking, but it has a better chance of it than the route I took.  All in all, the support experience wasn’t “great” but it was fast delivery (Ordered Thursday evening/Received Monday Afternoon,) and they did get me the tracking information before it was delivered.  Would I recommend this purchase?  So far, yes.

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