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Francisco Simões




Location: Portugal
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jan, 2009 8:02 am    Post subject: Albion Armourers US Costumer Care: lack of good will?         Reply with quote

Hi
I would like to share this experience with my fellow myArmoury mates.
I would not post this if I would not fell extremely displeased and with my confidence in Albion Armourers US costumer care completely splintered!
After buying 8 swords (Sorry, not 9) to Albion Europe and having the best judgment on Soren costumer care, this was what happened when I asked Albion US for some specs. on the pommel of the Hospitaller sword. Explaining them the information would be for a custom-made project I have running. The following answer was given to me:

“-I do not have any of that information in front of me and I can not give out
the exact specs like that. Sorry and hope you are enjoying your swords you
have purchased.”


Now, when all specs. of many Albion swords are reviewed here on myArmoury and are also present on both Albion sites, not pommel specs., but all other specs. I do not understand what kind of less gentle answer that is!!!!
Maybe the only way legitimate to know that is to buy the Hospitaller sword it self!?

But no, not giving it to a costumer that have bought 8 Albion swords in last 2 years, and had the decency of telling them that he would use the info. (of just one pommel) for a one of a kind custom-made sword. What a threatening industry undercover action this one!!! No it is not that, it’s just lack of good will.

Sorry, but that kind of answer is not what I call costumer care.
Godspeed
Francisco

Non nobis Domine non nobis sed Nomini Tuo da gloriam
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jan, 2009 8:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think it's a reasonable response.

Albion has invested in its products a great deal of time, research, thought and experimentation. Some companies and individual manufacturers aren't wiling to make that investment, and would rather just take Albion's work. I would guess that if somebody posted all the exact dimensions of a popular Albion sword, within a year or two some company would have aesthetic duplicates being made in India or China for half the price. As for data in reviews--there's a big difference between data for blade length and data for a blade's thickness along it's whole length, or the exact weight and dimensions of a pommel. One can get such information by investing in a sample, dismantling it and taking the desired measures in order to duplicate it. It's still unethical, in my view, but at least one will have paid something for the data.

An analogy: I've owned 8 or 9 Mac computers, but Apple isn't going to give me proprietary software details if I tell them I want to build my own machine. A more personal example: I'm not going to work for free just because somebody tells me they love my writing. I have to make a living and I make my living primarily as a writer. It's not inappropriate of me to decline the request. It's inappropriate of the requester to put me in the position of declining.

In your case, I'd say you should do whatever you need to do to gain access to antique swords--study, travel, publish, beg, buy, experiment, etc. That will give you raw data of your own. You won't have to rely on anyone's interpretation. In short, you'll be on an equal information footing with Albion and other top-tier manufacturers, but you'll have arrived there by your own work.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jan, 2009 9:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So you ask Albion to give you their proprietary product information, so that you can give that proprietary information to another vendor making similar products, for that vendor's use in making a product for you. Why would you expect Albion to consider doing that? In all honesty I think they were being very polite and very professional by replying to you at all.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jan, 2009 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Would you consider asking Honda for detailed specs of their engines so you could have Toyota make you a version? What would Honda's answer to your query be?

Albion's swords (like A&A's, ATrims, etc., and custom smiths) are a result of experience and an expensive and time-consuming research & development phase. They shouldn't be expected to give out their heard-earned research for free, especially for a custom project with another maker.

Many smiths and makers (rightfully so) feel it's the duty of a maker to do their own homework. So the person making this custom project should do the same kind of research Albion has done if they want to make a similar product. Again, Albion has spent time and a great deal of money on R&D. They shouldn't be expected to give it away for free.

Happy

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Dan P




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jan, 2009 9:36 am    Post subject: Re: Albion Armourers US costumer Care lack of good will         Reply with quote

Quote:
“-I do not have any of that information in front of me and I can not give out
the exact specs like that. Sorry and hope you are enjoying your swords you
have purchased.”

That seems like a pretty fair response to me. Its maybe even a lot more polite than what I'd say if someone called me up at work to ask for the exact specifics of something we've researched and developed.

If one is doing a custom project would it not be better to trust the judgement of the maker to balance the sword right, rather than give exacting dimensions and mass for parts copied from a different sword?
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Gabriel Lebec
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jan, 2009 9:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From the title I was expecting (but would still have been surprised by) one of the following: excessive delay, custom fee issue, rudeness, refusal to address product defect, significant lack of communication, etc. Instead we seem to be discussing a polite declination to obtain exact measurements for a product you apparently do not intend to buy.

I originally posted a more detailed paragraph on this matter but it seems others have beaten me to the punch with as good or better points. So I will just say that I am sure that Albion has nothing but good will to anyone who helps keep them afloat with their purchases, and by most accounts treats their customers accordingly. I am not one to defend a breach of contract, but no such breach occurred here; I think this is a case where we need to relax, remember that as friendly and accommodating and public a company that Albion has been, they are still a business with the rights accorded to any business.

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science." - Albert Einstein
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Francisco Simões




Location: Portugal
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jan, 2009 11:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello
The intention is not to make a copy of a pommel to put it on another blade, grip, etc. For long time I know that doesn’t work like that. That knowledge is not hermetic, and reserved to only a few!
The intention was to take perception of some details in order to recreate my own idea and drawings.
So what are the specs on the hands on review? Fake specs to avoid people that didn’t pay for the weapons to have access to the true Grail? Maybe the true ones are locked in a safe!
Maybe Albion should take legal action against the people that are revealing their secrets in the reviews section!
Or else not, and the specs are true, and some reviews are plain and explicit publicity!?
But Albion US can be rested, as paladins to defend their well kept secrets are here.
Godspeed

Non nobis Domine non nobis sed Nomini Tuo da gloriam
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jan, 2009 11:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, come on, Francisco. Perhaps you aren't aware of the concept of intellectual property or even trade secrets. None of this is an issue of conspiracy or anything underhanded. In fact, it's quite acceptable and suggested that any business wishing to be successful consider those things.

To even suggest that a company does not have the right to control access to information regarding their products is absurd. Every company in existence has the right to reveal as much or as little as they deem appropriate. No customer is entitled to this information. Your stance is quite out of line.

There are many resources on the 'net that discuss intellectual property and related business concepts should you wish to research the issue.

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Francisco Simões




Location: Portugal
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jan, 2009 12:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Of course they have the right to do whatever they pleased. That's why the topic is called "lack of good will" and not "lack of legal reasons for this refusal".
Their reply is not coherent with everything described above.
Thank you for your guidance on intellectual property just the same Nathan.
Francisco

Non nobis Domine non nobis sed Nomini Tuo da gloriam
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Taylor Ellis




PostPosted: Mon 26 Jan, 2009 3:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the politeness in the reply is indicative of good will IMO.

You asked, the politely declined. They don't owe you anything.

Having said that, for your custom sword, surely you could look the pommel style up in Records and simply tell the smith you want that type of pommel?
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jan, 2009 7:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Francisco Simões wrote:
So what are the specs on the hands on review? Fake specs to avoid people that didn’t pay for the weapons to have access to the true Grail? Maybe the true ones are locked in a safe!
Maybe Albion should take legal action against the people that are revealing their secrets in the reviews section!
Or else not, and the specs are true, and some reviews are plain and explicit publicity!?
But Albion US can be rested, as paladins to defend their well kept secrets are here.
Godspeed


The melodrama is unnecessary. Totally unnecessary.

I'm sure Albion and other companies wish from time to time that we didn't publish as much as we do in terms of stats. We usually don't go into very detailed distal taper info, partly because those numbers are meaningless to many people and partly because we don't want to give away too much info.

Also, consider that raw stats never tell the whole story. They just don't convey as much as some people think. That's why any smith should do their own homework and study originals, so they can get their own feel for the proportions and artistry of historical swords.

Have you asked any owners of the sword to give you the info you seek? Someone may choose to so freely. I still think a custom smith should do their own homework rather than parrot someone else's work, but not everyone will agree.

To expect a maker to freely give away the results of their hard-earned R&D is, quite frankly, absurd. To get bent out of shape about it is even more so...

If you insist on using someone else's work to make (or have made) what is essentially a competing product, don't expect Albion to help you. I wouldn't do it if I were them. Find your info somewhere else and enjoy the fruits it brings you.

Happy

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jan, 2009 10:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think that one can always ask politely for information and one can be refused politely information.

Maybe a general question might have been answered but detailed specifications or fabricating techniques or secrets would have been a lot to ask for.

I guess it depends a lot on what specifically you where asking for and in what degree of detail ?

I do think that your Topic title should be changed to something less " dramatic " as I too expected the subject to be a refusal to fix a problem with a purchase or a problem related to actual customer service.

A simple question like, Topic title: " My request to Albion, reasonable or not ? ".

Maybe phrased this way you would have gotten about the same answers in content but more sympathetic replies ?

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Peter Lyon
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jan, 2009 10:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Francisco Simões wrote:
Hello
The intention is not to make a copy of a pommel to put it on another blade, grip, etc. For long time I know that doesn’t work like that. That knowledge is not hermetic, and reserved to only a few!
The intention was to take perception of some details in order to recreate my own idea and drawings.
So what are the specs on the hands on review? Fake specs to avoid people that didn’t pay for the weapons to have access to the true Grail? Maybe the true ones are locked in a safe!
Maybe Albion should take legal action against the people that are revealing their secrets in the reviews section!
Or else not, and the specs are true, and some reviews are plain and explicit publicity!?
But Albion US can be rested, as paladins to defend their well kept secrets are here.
Godspeed


Francisco, your comments are bordering on obnoxious, if not downright insulting to the people who have gone to the trouble of reviewing weapons and reporting the results as clearly and accurately as possible.

Still hammering away
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2009 12:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Until Copyleft becomes popular (uncontrolled laughter), IP will stay on a need to know basis. Besides, why would you want to copy someone else's stuff? Design your own, and have fun with it.

M.

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Francisco Simões




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2009 1:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Why do you insist on light and cliché answers, instead you should read all sentences in the posts with more attention.
It's easyer to make a blind man to see, than whom that dosen't want to see.
Godspeed

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Adam Bodorics
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PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2009 1:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know how much time and effort went into RD at Albion, but I do know that I've put some 8 years only into reading and experimenting (and I'm still pretty far from Albion's quality so it wasn't enough) and you do have to pay for that. Some of the stuff I make could be made by a talented monkey - but talented monkeys can't design stuff, can they?
You know, using CAD, or a grinder or carving wax is not that hard to learn - I can make a nice hollow ground blade with nothing else than a single angle grinder and some of my friends can quickly design extremely complicated stuff with CAD. Making a SLO isn't hard either. Understanding how do swords work, why they work that way, and all the subtle things is the really hard part, the part that needs constant refining and testing and refining and testing...
And you're asking for this knowledge and are surprised when they decline.
...
Next time try asking for pictures of originals that inspired said pommel. This still saves you considerable time especially if you get shots at different angles of a same piece, showing you proportions, details etc without effectively stealing Albion's money. Or, if you must use that exact pommel, learn how to calculate dimensions from pictures - you know, there are a few photos up there at Albion's webpage. I know it's not easy, designing a good sword is never easy. But if you learn how to research stuff maybe you'll understand better why did Albion decline your request.

Sorry for the rambling, but I just had a not-too-nice conversation with a guy who wanted me to design a gothic harness which he wanted to have made elsewhere, so I'm a bit upset right now.
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2009 5:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is a somewhat paradoxical attitude in stating that raw stats never tell the whole story and then saying that they shoudn't be given in too much detail because it would allow copying Happy

Of course Albion is free to choose the information they let out. However I fail to see how the Hospitalier's pommel alone would warrant a very high level of secrecy. It seems very simple and plain... And without the rest of the proportions it makes very little sense anyway. I interpret the answer as "we don't have keep these numbers handy and I won't be bothering the production guys to get that", which is perfectly understandable, without any call to trade secrets and original research. Or are steel cylinders of certain dimensions trademarked yet Happy ?

As an aside, I find it quite sad that every person interested in more details about antiques has to go and measure for himself. It seems that the information available to the public grows very slowly, compared to what has been reportedly studied... Not everyone can enjoy the same level of access to antiques. The hard part should be making sense of and selecting the significant stats, in order to produce sword designs, not getting the stats in the first place...

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Taylor Ellis




PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2009 5:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

But Vincent, is the Hospitaller based on an original antique or is it Peter's design?
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2009 5:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Taylor Ellis wrote:
But Vincent, is the Hospitaller based on an original antique or is it Peter's design?


My last paragraph was not really adressing the problem with the Hospitaller, but more the repeated advice to go study and measure the antiques if you want their stats. It seems some are seeing not only the original designs, but also the study of originals, as part of Albion's "trade secrets".

(Got to wonder how much something that can be easily measured by any customer is a trade secret, by the way. Copyright would probably be more appropriate? But then shouldn't the copyrighted information be made public? Any IP specialist around?)

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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan, 2009 7:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
But Vincent, is the Hospitaller based on an original antique or is it Peter's design?


They're all Peter's and thus Albions designs. I'm sure that Peter would be flattered to know that his hard work and documentation, part of how he makes his living, should be simply diseminated to any and all comers for free. That will certainly help to keep him in business and making those extrodinary blades we all so much enjoy. Driving to museums all over Europe and living in motels ect. is apparently a free of charge thing he does if i'm to believe some comentary in this thread. I didn't realize Peter and Ablion were doing research as a charity endevor. If this sounds like sarcasm, it is, I appologize Nathan and Chad but really this is absurd, this is a very basic concept, you put in the leg work to document it and no one, no one, has any right to that AT ALL! Anyone else is welcome to do thier own legwork or pay some one to do it for them ( Francisco, you are doing your smith job and paying him for the privilege, he should be doing the research, its his job) and thus obtain it, but has no rights to the research done by another. Theres not really room for argueing this it is the basis for copyright law.
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