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TOPIC: I need to vent here about customer service.

Re: I need to vent here about customer service. 2 years 1 week ago #5766

  • FredHermann
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One thing to keep in mind.

Clay got into a very happy but frustrating situation, that appears to be governed by Murphy. (Murphy's Law) Imagine, you 've got a relatively new business, you're pretty much a one man show, you get an opportunity to really show your product at a show, and lo and behold, you win an award for coolest new product.

In steps Murphy.

Now you've got way more scrutiny on your product, and no where near the staff. You have a new addition to your product line, news gets out, and the waiting *hidden* customer base wants it. (Still good)

You try to set delivery expectations, and Murphy laughs...things come back wrong, not enough, the manufacturer breaks machines....

So in all, I see this as an awesome new business with severe growing pains. You can't really plan ahead for success like this, there is never money for it.

I think all in all, this is a one time fluke, and Clay and company are learning good and bad ways to handle it. I'd bet ongoing, we'll never see something like this again.

So Clay, my hat's off to you and your success!
“On one otherwise normal Tuesday evening I had the chance to live the American dream. I was able to throw my incompetent jack*ss of a boss from a fourteenth-story window.”

Owen Pitt – Monster Hunter International
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Re: I need to vent here about customer service. 2 years 1 week ago #5770

  • MichaelCraft
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Don't forget about winning "Blade Magazine 2012 Accessory Of The Year"! Not that it is a bad thing, but a great way to make a business explode much faster than anticipated, accelerating said growing pains before one has had time to think much about them proactively.
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Re: I need to vent here about customer service. 2 years 1 week ago #5859

  • Ayglass
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Hey Scott,

I'm sorry to report that I sent an email last night cancelling my order. I also followed up with a phone message this afternoon. The PP2 now appears on the web site, but I haven't heard any update about my order as Clay mentioned in his reply to this thread. My card hasn't been charged either.

I may join the WE owners club sometime in the future, but I'll give Clay some time to work out the bugs with suppliers and staff before I try another order.

- Andy
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Re: I need to vent here about customer service. 2 years 1 week ago #5860

  • Scott Sherman
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Hi Andy,

Well I can certainly understand your frustration and disappointment. As I mentioned initially, I was and still am frustrated by the inconsistent use of email and poor communications in general from WE. I have not received any correspondences by email or phone from WE as of this writing so I called them this morning and found out that they did actually ship my PP2 this morning. It would have been better if they initiated an email or phone call with a tracking number and notice of shipping instead of making me chase after them for info.

So, I sure hope that you did not cancel your order simply due to this shortcoming by WE or because of my "venting" here. As I mentioned I still endorse and support WE and their product. I should qualify that because I have not seen it first hand, so I am endorsing it based solely on what I know about it from this website and Youtube presentations and forum feedback. It seems a very capable knife sharpening system and I still eagerly await it's delivery. Once I get it in my hands and get to use it, I will give more on my feelings of support or lack of support.

However, as regards my "venting" or complaint here with customer service, it is mostly just that... venting. I am not used to being treated so poorly as a customer engaged in an internet purchase and especially one for nearly a thousand dollars. Now having said that, I also have some appreciation for what has been described as growing pains. Clay invented a new system which seems on the surface to be superior to it's competition, albeit at premium prices, but for better or worse, there turned out to be a huge pent up demand and it seems that the demand far exceeds the supply for the moment. Beyond even the anticipation and expectation of Clay and company. So, I believe that the small band of merry men and women at WE are really doing their best to make as many people happy as possible as quickly as possible.

I do not feel that the neglect to communicate with customers is malicious or intentional. I just think it exceeds their ability. I think this will pretty much straighten itself out once they fulfill the large number of backorders that have been waiting and supply and demand come closer together.

I think the WE sharpening system has matured to the point that if you need an excellent sharpener and can afford the premium prices, it is worth waiting for. I don't see a better alternative emerging in the foreseeable future either from competition or from WE at this point.

So to those who, like me, are frustrated and impatient with Clay or WE for being left out in the cold when it comes to communication and transaction fulfillment, I would say, hang in there and try to remain as patient as you can. Make your feelings known because I do feel that there is a need for improvement in this area and this will not happen until and unless it is brought to the attention of WE.

Good luck with your purchase and to WE, with future success.
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Re: I need to vent here about customer service. 2 years 1 week ago #5863

  • MichaelCraft
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Nice post Scott, said what I was thinkin and couldn't have said it better myself.
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Re: I need to vent here about customer service. 2 years 1 week ago #5867

  • wickededge
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Hey guys, thanks for continuing to keep me in touch with how things look from your perspective. This kind of thing makes my blood boil and we will get it resolved ASAP. We're bringing on a new person just to handle emails and shipping updates. I'm traveling this week at our factory in Vermont so I can't get the new person started until early next week but I've let the crew at the office know that they need to take the first half of tomorrow and let everyone on the list know exactly where their order is. From there, we'll implement some other changes immediately to how we handle the communications.

--Clay
--Clay Allison
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Re: I need to vent here about customer service. 2 years 1 week ago #5869

  • MichaelCraft
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wickededge wrote:
Hey guys, thanks for continuing to keep me in touch with how things look from your perspective. This kind of thing makes my blood boil and we will get it resolved ASAP. We're bringing on a new person just to handle emails and shipping updates. I'm traveling this week at our factory in Vermont so I can't get the new person started until early next week but I've let the crew at the office know that they need to take the first half of tomorrow and let everyone on the list know exactly where their order is. From there, we'll implement some other changes immediately to how we handle the communications.

--Clay
Thanks Clay, I called for my orders as you mentioned I should do, except I did it this afternoon instead of Tues and left a VM(first time I have called where it has went to VM, but 1 out of 4 ain't bad), will try again tomorrow AM.
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Re: I need to vent here about customer service. 2 years 1 week ago #5876

  • Billabong
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ScottSherman wrote:
I should qualify that because I have not seen it first hand, so I am endorsing it based solely on what I know about it from this website and Youtube presentations and forum feedback. It seems a very capable knife sharpening system and I still eagerly await it's delivery. Once I get it in my hands and get to use it, I will give more on my feelings of support or lack of support.

Make sure we hear your experiences with the WEPS and post back here the minute it arrives. (please) ;)

I feel your pain Scott, I rely on email for nearly all my business communication.
When I don't get a reply it hits me hard.

I'm guessing here, but taking an order without an item being "in-stock" might be the killer.
Many I know simply refuse to do it, as the wheels can fall off while we wait, (more often) helpless to speed things up as manufacturing and delivery times blow out.

But silence in the "e" world is an insult.
Some say to call and you always get someone to answer.
I would have thought an email is a lot less demanding of a persons time.

Considering an email can be read and actioned by someone sitting in front a multitude of devices from anywhere in the world, at any time of the day.
They would only need a hotline to the WE common database.

But I feel Clay is now aware how this has impacted "WE Central" and as the product begins to flow out the door, and smiles appear on people's faces all around the world, we can dismiss this as a growing pain. ;)

Now where are my bloody new arms? (Coming via the Aussie Dealer, TonyJ) ;)

Chris.
Last Edit: 2 years 1 week ago by Billabong. Reason: Edited for clarity with names.
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Re: I need to vent here about customer service. 2 years 1 week ago #5880

  • Scott Sherman
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Hi Tony,
Thanks for taking time to comment here. You bring up a couple of good points worth mentioning. The WEPS has become something of an overnight sensation in the knife community. A pretty impulsive and compulsive community if you read the posts on any of the many Blade Forums. And this is a pretty big community that spends a lot of money on their toys. One post I saw on BladeForum.com asking about "your EDC" or something to that effect had over a million, five hundred thousand views and hundreds of pages of posts many with pictures of very expensive knives. And self proclaimed "knife nuts" (I mean this in the nicest way) are legion around the world. That's a lot of potential demand for sharpeners.

Good news and maybe not so good news if you are selling a knife sharpening system as good as WE and can not keep up with demand. Clay was brilliant to come up with this system, but even more so to be able to come up with a business model to bring it from concept to sales and distribution. His timing was impeccable, because there was a need for such a device and a strong and large customer base, and the internet only recently became available to anyone with a smart phone, smart pad or laptop. A new phenomenon which is exploding at about the same time that Clay came up with his great system. It's what is referred to as a perfect storm. All factors coming together at the same time.

So it's easy to see how the wheels can so easily come off the cart as the demand can overwhelm supply and create a lot of disgruntled customers and now the internet which was so kind to WE, can become a real problem. Anyone with one of those before mentioned smart devices can complain in posts on forums or YouTube to the same adoring audience that once embraced that great new company. Reputations can be smeared and destroyed much easier than they are built.

I sincerely wish Clay et.al. continued success and expansion. The potential is definitely there, but with sudden success and popularity, comes many land mines and problems that must be met and dealt with. One, specifically the one I mention in this thread is communication with customers and keeping customers happy. I vented about this in the nicest way I could and only because I think it is helpful to not just me and other customers, but because I think it is extremely important to WE to get ahead of this. Others may go off to other forums and become much more vehement with their complaints and that is how good reputations and potential future customers are lost. It is very hard to get that back once gone.

So I am a happy customer, I found out my WEPS is in route, but I waited and was patient enough to put up with several missed delivery estimates and made phone calls to check on my order status when my email was silent and no responses followed my email inquiries. I hope others will be as patient and understanding... probably some but definitely not all.
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Re: I need to vent here about customer service. 2 years 1 week ago #5882

  • MichaelCraft
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The odd thing is that I would expect most knife enthusiasts to understand. Kershaw 777 anyone :)?? 2 years and counting, although I have seen pics of the different components (big boxes of them), so they are getting there come day. And it isn't unusual for there to be a LONG waiting list for YEARS on GOOD products, another example, the XM-18, I could go on and on. My point is that in this business, it is par for the course just because of how EASY it is for something ANYWHERE to go wrong, but the GOOD companies won't send out crap, they fix it. Between the two options, I will wait as long as I have to, and just keep buying new EDCs as my old ones dull, so if anything I should be thankful to WE for giving me a good rationalization for buying more blades, AND I will have a nice stack waiting to be sharpened so as soon as I get my order, I will have plenty of opportunity to play with it!

As far as WE taking off, that totally rocks. Small business success (even with good products) is pretty rare, I am not gonna look for the number now, but I know that the ratio of failed small busniess start-ups to successful ones is SCARY, so thanks Clay for having the cojones and the drive to give it a shot anyway, and not giving up after the first tries didn't work out!

If the number of memberships of all of the forums are any indication, you have a potentially very LARGE client base, and I bet quite a few don't know of WE (although most should by now)... get ready, it won't be easy to have the best angle sharpener on the planet to keep up :). If even one for every THOUSAND member of all of the forums bout one, you will sell thousands up on thousands of these things.
Last Edit: 2 years 1 week ago by MichaelCraft.
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