Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Seeking advice. Reply to topic
This is a standard topic Go to page 1, 2  Next 
Author Message
Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 755

PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr, 2010 7:02 pm    Post subject: Seeking advice.         Reply with quote

Hello everyone, I was just thinking what everyones thoughts are in regards to a problem I am having. If this is not ok to be posted here then it is fine if it is removed.

I currently am waiting on a project to be completed, at least I think it has been started. I have not seen any proof that it has been started. It has been over two months since I heard from this person. They have roughly $1000 of mine currently. I sent an email a week ago today and a PM that has been read earlier in the week with no replies. I do not want to mention the person's name right now. If it comes to it I will but would prefer not to since he is a member. I also know that he has been active both here and on at least one other forum in the last two weeks.

What should I do?

- Give them the benefit of the doubt and wait to hear from them?

- My wife is upset because of the amount that is involved and I am extremely frustrated myself.

- How long should I wait until I start legal actions? Which is what the wife is pushing for heavily at the moment.


I would really appreciate any thoughts or ideas that my fellow forumites have in regards to this. I am really interested to hear from others that have been through this.

Scott

Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
View user's profile Send private message
J Anstey





Joined: 21 Jul 2007

Posts: 233

PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr, 2010 8:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think you have a right to feel frustrated. I am constantly amazed how some craftsmen find it so difficult to spend 30 seconds to respond to an email or PM especially when they have some of your hard earned cash.

I would imagine that you will get a response now that you have posted this thread, it is just a shame that it has to come to this to get a simple answer about an ongoing project.

I recently had a project go for nearly 2 years, it was a custom job and very detailed and time consuming, the price was also very reasonable. I payed 50% upfront. Timing was expected to be around 1 year - approximately. Now even though the job went longer than expected, the maker would always respond to my emails within 12 hours. I cut him some slack knowing I would get a better end result by being patient than jumping up and down demanding my sword. In the end I was right and I am 100% happy.

My point is that really is so simple to give an update, even if there is nothing new to update.

Cheers
View user's profile Send private message
Michael B.
Industry Professional



Location: Chugiak, AK
Joined: 18 Oct 2007

Posts: 356

PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr, 2010 8:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think a big thing is was there an agreed upon completion date of the project? Or a ballpark estimate? Was it in writing?
There are lot's of variables. If it was a custom job, two months is an incredibly short wait from what I've experienced and looking at other wait lists. I've waited on one job for two years, and it's only now starting to look like it'll be finished. I'm willing to wait for quality. I would send the person a gentle email reminder, at the very least request an ESTIMATED completion date. If you do have it in writing a firm date that has passed, I would kindly ask for a refund. A lot of makers are very personable, and reasonable. I wouldn't publicly call someone out unless there was a legitimate concern, but two months doesn't seem like a long time to me. Just my two cents.

www.facebook.com/bearmountainforge2
Michael Bergstrom
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Michael B.
Industry Professional



Location: Chugiak, AK
Joined: 18 Oct 2007

Posts: 356

PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr, 2010 8:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, I just read the post again. I would give it at least a week since the first email. Maybe I'm too easy going, I don't know. Not everyone checks their email daily. Have you tried calling? I've had more luck sometimes in the past just calling the craftsmen then emailing, that and it's nice to talk to someone for the personable touch.
www.facebook.com/bearmountainforge2
Michael Bergstrom
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,192

PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr, 2010 10:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael B. wrote:
Oh, I just read the post again. I would give it at least a week since the first email. Maybe I'm too easy going, I don't know. Not everyone checks their email daily. Have you tried calling? I've had more luck sometimes in the past just calling the craftsmen then emailing, that and it's nice to talk to someone for the personable touch.


A weeks wait for an e-mail reply is still in the " reasonable " ballpark but sort of pushing it into frustrating and worrying.

One never knows, the maker could be having personal issues or out of town or otherwise occupied but a pattern of not answering e-mails is never a good sign or pleasant.

One thing I do is that after a week I re-send the same e-mail with a note that I have sent it twice: I initially give the benefit of the doubt about why no reply was forthcoming. I can even assume it might be one of those rare cases of and e-mail getting lost in cyberspace. The fact that you can see that a P.M. was read but not replied to is even more annoying !

And to vent a bit myself: I actually resent it greatly when I'm put in the position of having to nag nag nag about my project to try to get a SITREP on it ! It's rude at the least and not professional conduct of the maker.

When communication is proactive by the maker to keep me informed about the status of a project or to explain a delay I rarely feel frustrated about a delay caused by a credible design or production problem or a delay due to personal issues.

If the maker in question doesn't at least communicate in a reasonable time I would feel it perfectly O.K. to name him and explain what the issues are from your point of view. As long as it's a statement of facts and doesn't turn into an angry rant I don't think that Nathan will mind, although I'm sure he would prefer that these things can be resolved without having to make it public here, it's still legitimate to let others know that there are customer service issues with a maker.

If it's bad P.R. the maker should realize that accepting money implies a responsibility to deliver the goods or at least communicate.

I find that there are some excellent makers out there who are also very good at customer service, some good makers that are a little less proactive but still reliable ( eventually reliable ), some good makers who are terrible at giving customer service or have turned into seriously unreliable curmudgeons ! Oh, bad makers are not worth giving work to for obvious reasons.

I have personally been stung by one case of what I would call blatant fraud where nothing was delivered and the makers just disappeared: I wrote this one off to bad luck and a learning experience and didn't bother getting heart burn or a stomach ulcer about ( a certain unnamed crossbow maker we haven't heard anything about in years ).

Recently I did finally get my AT 1403 thanks to the intervention of Tinker who took over the job of wrapping the handle and made me an extra disk pommel for it. ( Thanks again Tinker Big Grin Cool ) But this was a case of no communication, no easy way to communicate with the maker and zero feedback about the project and having to bug someone else to bug Gus. WTF?!

So when I find some reliable makers that don't give me reasons to worry about my project and communicate well, I stick with them in preference to less reliable makers: In a bad economy I can't understand any maker giving bad customer service and then wondering why they are going under !

Don't know if this helps Scott in a concrete way but I think it's good to vent a bit about the wide variability in customer service out there as some don't seem to get that good customers deserve a professional attitude from people who are in business: This is true for all business, not just the sword and armour, gear businesses.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 755

PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2010 4:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the responses everyone. For now I will still refrain from naming the person in question in case he does get back to me. THough if I have not heard from them by this coming up wednesday that might change. I am going to look to see if we exchanged phone numbers in any of our emails. When I sent the money at the end of October he was going to get started on the item right away. He did have some things going on at the time and that was fine. The last I heard in February was that he was going to be firing on all cylinders on the project and that he hoped I really liked it. The thing is he has lost business for a future project to another craftsman after how this has ben mishandled of late.

Scott

Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
View user's profile Send private message
R D Moore




Location: Portland Oregon
Joined: 09 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages
Reading list: 11 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 425

PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2010 8:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Scott

I have to agree with Michael B. Have you called the craftsman to discuss the issue? Assuming he has a phone number, or better yet, a web site? I totally understand you and your wife's concern, but I do not think a public forum is the place to air this (my 2 cents). It's been done before and has done nothing to improve the situation. Sorry.

"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
J Anstey





Joined: 21 Jul 2007

Posts: 233

PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2010 6:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

R D Moore wrote:
Hi Scott

I have to agree with Michael B. Have you called the craftsman to discuss the issue? Assuming he has a phone number, or better yet, a web site? I totally understand you and your wife's concern, but I do not think a public forum is the place to air this (my 2 cents). It's been done before and has done nothing to improve the situation. Sorry.


I disagree, Scott has sent emails and PMs (which have been read) so the maker definitely knows Scott's frustrations and still hasn't bothered to reply. I don't think it is the customers role to exhaust every method of communication to get some straight forwards answers. The maker has visited the forum so he obviously has time to do this but not the time to answer Scott's questions or concerns.

I know that I would appreciate knowing who this maker is so I don't find myself in a similar position at some point in the future.

My comments are based on the one side of the issue that I have read here, I have no reason to doubt the validity of the situation. If there are other mitigating circumstances then I would possibly soften my opinion..
View user's profile Send private message
Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,489

PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2010 6:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

None of this is acceptable...none of it is good business practice...but it seems like there's always a few vendors out there who struggle to do right for whatever reason. Interesting bit is that the club of doom (so to speak) seems to change membership from time to time. In fact the irony of one vendor clearing up another's mess is so heavy one could drown in it. Very nice but ironic nevertheless...

At the end of the day it stinks that you're in this situation and I hope it somehow works out for you. Seems to me that you can only do what you think is right.

Can't offer anything other than that since I've always managed to find a way to lose all round when I've been in these situations.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy


Last edited by Joe Fults on Fri 16 Apr, 2010 6:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,192

PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2010 6:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J Anstey wrote:

My comments are based on the one side of the issue that I have read here, I have no reason to doubt the validity of the situation. If there are other mitigating circumstances then I would possibly soften my opinion..


I'm always open to accepting mitigating circumstances and in some cases delays due to unsuccessful heat treat or other unfortunate incidents while making a project is never a problem with me when the problems are communicated in a proactive way: In fact this would be a case of excellent customer service.

As an example when OlliN was working on my RavenWolf they scrapped three attempts due to being first supplied with the wrong steel, a bad heat treat by a subcontractor where the blade took a bend and a third try where the blade failed in their testing of the blade. The fourth blade was succesful and the project was handled professionally and e-mails where answered promptly.

So customer service is judged not by setbacks but how how setbacks are resolved and good ongoing communication.

These setbacks costs where absorbed by OlliN and they persisted until they got it right to their and my satisfaction.

Getting back to the issue at hand: My comments are mostly my opinion of what good or bad customer service should be about. Scott has to decide himself if this can be resolved and be back on track as a good buying experience or if he should let us know who not giving him reasonable feedback about his project.

This may be a one-off of a generally reliable maker not performing as he generally does or the start of a pattern of neglecting customers. As at the top of this post, if there is a credible excuse/reason for the lack of response and the behaviour is rapidly corrected then maybe Scott can forgive and forget and no need to harm the reputation of the maker.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
J Anstey





Joined: 21 Jul 2007

Posts: 233

PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2010 6:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yet once again I agree with Jeans insightful comments - thumb up!

I see setbacks due to the quality not being up to standard ie scrapping a blade due to poor heat treat, as positive meaning the maker wants to be sure his product is a good as it can be.
View user's profile Send private message
Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 755

PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2010 7:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I also agree with Jean's thoughts on this subject remembering very well what Mark went through while making RavenWolf from the thread. Issues like this are to be expected especially when making a blade of this size for the first time as Mark said when I met him earlier this year.

On a good note, I heard from the other person in this matter and we have come to an agreement to try and bring this project to completion. I also have received some pictures of the in progress project. As of right now he has satisfied me with his response to this instance though I will continue to not mention his name due his emails.

I do disagree with RD Moore for the reason that J Anstey has offered. I think that in sa close knit group as this it becomes the consumers responsibility to make that others are not hurt from lessons that we could have shared but did not because we did not want to hurt someone's future business after getting burned by that person ourselves.

I guess we will see what the next couple of weeks bring in regards to this. Hopefully I will be able to post pictures of a finished product not to long after that

Thank you all for the responses and thoughts.

Regards,
Scott

Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,192

PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2010 8:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Kowalski wrote:

I guess we will see what the next couple of weeks bring in regards to this. Hopefully I will be able to post pictures of a finished product not to long after that

Thank you all for the responses and thoughts.

Regards,
Scott


Well that will sort of give it away, but if all is good from this point on it shouldn't harm the maker very much or even help as he would have responded positively to being " nudged " into being communicative.

Naturally if you have two or three project to announce as finished at the same time it might confuse the issue a bit and fuel speculation about innocent parties ! Hmmmmm: Maybe being up front with the issue when you announce the completion of the project would be better, and if as I assume everything is fine at that time, you can go from the negative to praising the end results and the maker. Wink

Nobody is perfect so as long as a maker doesn't' show a pattern of being difficult to work with a rare GLITCH in communication can be overlooked by others wanting to do business with this maker.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 755

PostPosted: Sat 17 Apr, 2010 5:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was thinking about the fact that the cat would be out of the bag when I posted the project upon it's completion Jean. So the easiest thing to do is not to post it. Unless the other party agrees to it and comes in after I post the thread to let people know himself what is going on. I am also fairly confident that this will not happen again anytime in the near future based on their email from last night.

Scott

Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,192

PostPosted: Sat 17 Apr, 2010 9:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Kowalski wrote:
I was thinking about the fact that the cat would be out of the bag when I posted the project upon it's completion Jean. So the easiest thing to do is not to post it. Unless the other party agrees to it and comes in after I post the thread to let people know himself what is going on. I am also fairly confident that this will not happen again anytime in the near future based on their email from last night.

Scott


That is also a good option and you might eventually make comments about it far off in the future after you have shown a good number of other projects i.e. sneak it in under the radar. Wink

But for now best to keep it discreet if the maker has corrected their communication deficiencies and also realized that the bad P.R. is something to seriously avoid and even more so when a lot of good makers and buyers are struggling with the economy. ( Good Customer service is always a good idea but really even more so when you really need the support of your clients ).

Anyway, I think that this is a good and wise decision. Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Cincinnati, OH
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 21 pages
Reading list: 231 books

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 9,138

PostPosted: Sun 18 Apr, 2010 6:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think if makers are concerned about bad P.R., they should stop doing things that generate bad P.R...

Seems like an easy solution to me. Happy

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Thom R.




Location: Tucson
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Reading list: 30 books

Posts: 630

PostPosted: Sun 18 Apr, 2010 11:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with Chad, and just want to say that in the past here at mA, folks used to frequently post informal "mini-reviews" (like what Mr Grandy posted this weekend about his new gambeson from Jess Finley) but in the last few years we as a community seemed to have gotten away from that for whatever reason (insert your own personal speculation here). at SBG and armour archive, folks are constantly posting quick reviews of their new stuff and of the service they receive from the vendors and makers, and i think that performs a very valuable community service, much more so than posts that are simply "look at my new pretty toy" (yes yes I am obviously guilty of doing that too). just adding in a few details like when you ordered from someone, how long it took to complete, how the communication went, whether technical details were followed I think can be very valuable and i just think as a community we could tighten up a bit.
View user's profile Send private message
Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 755

PostPosted: Sun 18 Apr, 2010 1:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
I think if makers are concerned about bad P.R., they should stop doing things that generate bad P.R...

Seems like an easy solution to me. Happy


You are 100% correct in regards to this. I really think that one of the biggest problems has become that everyone is afraid to post bad comments lest they are told they are either just bad tempered or even worse get someone mad at them.

I also agree about not posting any kind of reviews about items knowing that I have guilty of it with the last two items I have received. especially since my last two completed projects were both very smooth interactions all around with the maker as well as being great pieces. I will endeavor to post at least a mini-review in the future on any pieces I receive, be they custom or production pieces.

Scott

Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
View user's profile Send private message
Addison C. de Lisle




Location: South Carolina
Joined: 05 Nov 2005
Likes: 27 pages

Posts: 614

PostPosted: Sun 18 Apr, 2010 6:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Essentially I agree with Chad. This site seems like it is primarily about providing a service to consumers (and enthusiasts) of historic arms and armor. While it also does, I'm sure, help generate sales for makers through good P.R., I think that that cuts both ways and if a maker is not fulfilling his end of the deal you are not obliged to cover for him/her.

Just my $.0.02

www.addisondelisle.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,489

PostPosted: Sun 18 Apr, 2010 10:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maybe we're seeing a bit of the double edge of having a formal publishing process for reviews.

My understanding is that anything I publish a minnie review in the fourms for won't go into the official and formal submission for publication hopper as long term site content. Its been a bit since I've submitted a review, but each time I add something I feel that I need to make a choice about offical content, or just getting something into the forums.

I've still got official reviews in pending status, and I've slowed my purchasing overall, so I've fallen out of the habit of posting new aquisitions to the forums. Although I have sold quite a bit of late without reviwing or posting. WTF?!

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Seeking advice.
Page 1 of 2 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum