Retailers and Reputations03/07/2010
The fountain pen community is a very connected group. With message boards, blogs, and social media of all sorts, that’s true of every hobby these days. While it has many advantages, there are also some disadvantages and today I was struck by how easily rudeness can do an amazing amount of damage.
Case in point is the shortsighted and rude reply from a pen vendor to an email inquiry from a well-known blog. Further research produced a few more tacky, tasteless responses so this guy has been at it for years.
This situation came to my attention via Twitter so word is getting out. Opinions will differ on whether the blogger should have published the retailer’s responses or whether she deserved it for contacting the company in the first place, etc. However, the manner in which the company responded to both her and others who wrote email about the situation is telling.
That left me wondering whether Inkophile should offer a link to this company or for that matter any company with customer service or other issues. There are plenty of good pen sellers to recommend so eliminating a questionable vendor makes sense. If I recommend one with problems, my reputation is also on the line. There are enough other vendors in whom I have confidence, that eliminating one who has issues is easy. My list of links has been updated accordingly.
However, what I value more than my reputation is your confidence in what you read on Inkophile. So if you have a bad experience with a company you see listed here, please send me an email about your experience. Include whether or not the company tried to make things right and whether or not you were satisfied in the end.
In addition tell me about great companies that deliver more than you expected. That may offset a bad experience or put a questionable one in perspective.
My intention is not to rate anyone but simply to eliminate problems. I do not have personal experience with every company in my links though I wish that were possible. Between the experiences of my many friends as well as years of participation in the fountain pen community, I’ve found the vendors listed are those that are most likely to sell a quality product and treat you well along the way.
Editing the list is easy so let me know if you think it’s time to reconsider anyone on it. Your help is much appreciated.