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JLCPCB – A service provider on the wrong track

Surely JLCPCB is known to some of you. It is about a quite large Chinese circuit board manufacturer. Until recently you could upload your self-created boards in Gerber format for a very low price, and a short time later the boards were sent to you by mail.

Since I also work a lot with SMD, I often order the matching stencil with it. This was also all in all so far always quite inexpensive.

10 boards plus stencil could be had for just under 16,- Euro. As I find, a good price. The shipping price depends on the weight. The thicker and / or larger the boards, the heavier and therefore more expensive. Whereby this was all very moderate and then cost maybe one euro more.

The package

The boards, along with the stencil always arrived very well packaged in a small package.

Typical packing of JLCPCB

In each package was also a goodie pen, which I put in the pictures times as a size comparison.

Surprise

When I received the following package one day, I was amazed:

Apparently a new packaging from JLCPCB

Apparently I had forgotten to have ordered something in this size. In addition to this package, another small package (like the one pictured above) stuck to this package. The contents surprised me but even more.

Old wooden boards, which apparently served as drilling pads

What came to light were two quite heavy wooden boards with plenty of holes. I assume that JLCPCB uses these boards as supports for the PCB panels when drilling the holes.

But the joke was yet to come when I opened the two wooden panels:

Yes, where is he, the little stencil

In it was the stencil I ordered. Previously simply in a plastic bag well packed with placed in the box, where the boards were also transported. Now, for this small stencil, two oversized wooden boards are used.

I first thought that JLCPCB wants to dispose of their waste cheaply in this way. Because safe packaging, even if it were a larger stencil, there are many, especially lighter.

Very well, I thought to myself. It doesn’t have to be, but it couldn’t be safer. Now even a tank could drive over the package, and the stencil remains intact. Safety is the most important thing.

This went on for quite a long time, until I recently wanted to place another order and couldn’t believe my eyes:

Last step in the order process at JLCPCB

With the shipping costs, you can get palpitations. Since $34.50 was called, which is equivalent to 31 euros.

At first I thought there was some mistake and tried it several times, always with the same result.

After many attempts and contacting support, I was able to solve the puzzle.

Expensive waste disposal at the customer

It was the weight. Due to the heavy wooden plates, such a stencil now weighs a hundred times. And recently JLCPCB has been paying handsomely for that.

So they don’t just dispose of your waste in the world free of charge; I, as a customer, am even allowed to pay for this disposal, and not for nothing.

The support of JLCPCB

The support answered only succinctly that this was just so. On further inquiry, the blame was shifted to DHL, because they are so expensive. The best answer, however, was why I would always talk about ePaket, but they would only ship with DHL.

Aha, so I’m just imagining that ePaket is offered on their website. In general, the answers of the support became more and more confused. Sometimes there were several, sometimes completely different answers to one question. And this allegedly always from the same sender. Presumably, however, only a standard name that is used by many at the support.

For me, JLCPCB is no longer an option. In general, the shipping costs have increased more and more recently.  Where one had paid 5,- Euro in May 2018, a comparable package already cost 8,50 Euro in July 2018. And the trend is rising.

I can understand that everything is getting more expensive, but EMS, the service provider behind eParcel, has not increased prices for a good half year.

Conclusion

This only leads to the conclusion that JLCPCB wants to make an additional profit here. It is advertised very big that the boards are available from $2. But this is unfortunately only half the truth, because the additional costs are now hidden in the shipping costs. And since every gram more drives up the price, you can now speak of a hidden and very massive price increase.

And this way I find the most dishonest way (to put it nicely) there is. And I also do not believe that with the heavy Stencil packaging the shipping costs are so high in real terms. After all, these wooden panels have been shipped for quite some time, as I told you in the beginning. And there the ePackage has not yet cost 31, – euros.

Too bad actually, because I had gladly ordered there, and I would also have agreed with an honest and moderate price increase, but this is just outrageous in my opinion.

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