Despite endless promises and sending the merchandise back to the vendor, I have no replacement flashes. So: do not buy stuff from Meking Studio on eBay, they're liars and swindlers.
Secondly: PayPal denied my refund claim. They gave me no opportunity to present evidence that the items were received DOA but accepted an "explanation" from the seller and found in their favour. They don't tell me what that explanation is or provide any reasoning for their finding.
So, fuck you PayPal, your Buyer Protection is absolutely worthless. I am now out about $800 for shitty merchandise and a lie of a "consumer protection" scam.
Damn polygot. Thatl really sucks. I will defo stay clear of Meking Studio -sounds to me like they have been through this process before and know how to play that game. Maybe best to bite the bullet and spend out to avoid any more grief and just get on with shooting. Thanks for keeping the community informed.
Two bizarre updates:
Someone else who had been ripped off by the same vendor contacted me with this complaint site.
After I posted negative feedback and was denied by PayPal (i.e. now that I have no remaining leverage over the seller; though they did shortly thereafter write a bullshit story asking me to rescind my negative feedback), I get a message from the seller saying "we've finished repairing them and have sent them back". Believe as much of that as you like - I will of course update here if I receive working parts or replacements.
Hah! You assume our winters get cold! Currently 13dec C in little old Adelaide - wouldn't that be the same as an Ontario summer day ?
I'll fill in for Tom here.
The nearest big city to Point Pelee I can find weather information for is Windsor Ontario. It says that at 9:20 pm this evening it was still 25C - Ontario is in the midst of a summer heat wave .
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
I just bought a NOS Bowens 1000DX so I'm not looking any more - unless this seller rips me off too, but they look reasonable (good feedback on sales of multiple $2000+ bits of optics). It ought to be a bit more reliable, though it destroyed my bank balance.
Discoman: I still have what looks like a working power stage from the SQ-600 (it was charging and firing OK) but no controller for it (that bit was kind of burning while powered on so got sent back). It has a commonly-available plug on it with most pins labelled on the PCB so I think I might ask the manufacturer for a service manual or something and figure out how to make my own controller for it, even if it only lets me fire at full power.