03-02-2014, 12:17 AM
#1
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Let's face it, when you're buying a product you're supporting a business as well, not only is the product your buying important but rewarding businesses that offer good customer service should also come into play.

This isn't so much going to fall into the standard "razor review" in that it's more about my experience with the companies than anything else but hopefully it will help some of you in deciding who you would like to support but first, a little back story.

I am a single father on disability as a result of chemical sensitivity issues which puts me in a situation of having some very specific needs surrounding the products I use. It's also one of the reasons I started researching alternatives to modern shaving products. With these health issues also comes frequently having to buy and try many products before finding one that will work.

There was a time in life I owned a corporation and did very well for myself so while having been accustom to finer things they aren't always an option for me now. There has to be a balance and compromise to my purchasing and with money always being tight I often need to leverage what I can to acquire the things I need or desire.

This brings me to my review and how I went about it. Wanting a nicer razor (this took place 02/2013) I decided I would do a little poking around and see which companies were willing to accommodate an unconventional customer with unique needs and some outside the box thinking when it may not add much to their net profits. Having been a business owner I often found myself choosing to work with people simply to balance out what I was taking and create some positive karma. Is this mandatory or to be expected? Of course not. Is this business savvy or even worth the effort? I guess that depends on the motives of the business. I see many reviews where the person reviewing is sent a free razor but I struggle to view that as an unbiased evaluation. My goal was simply to see if I could get my hands on an open comb razor by striking a mutually beneficial agreement with the company. That could have been cash, trade, a mix of the two, a returned or seconds item, I was open to anything.

Here was my experience:



TRADERE RAZORS - 1 Stars

Richard's first response took 17 days though it only took a day for him to respond to my reply. He offered to send a loaner razor and also said he would be willing to go through his personal collection if they didn't have anything that fit my needs. I was pretty excited and felt they were an excellent business to deal with in terms of customer service. I sent my address for the loaner the same day of his email and never heard back from Tradere nor did I receive a razor to try. I'm giving them 1 star because I find a lack of follow through and communication to be a huge negative when dealing with any business.


WEBER RAZOR - 2 Stars

Ed simply responded to a long and thought out email with two lines telling me they had nothing and would contact me if they did in the future. I never heard from them again.


ABOVE THE TIE - 4.5 Stars

Stan was quick to respond, easy to deal with and was very open to working with me by letting me try out some of his products before buying, this would have been very helpful for me provided I could afford his razors though I got the impression he made have even allowed payments. After explaining my situation he suggested trying an older model razor which he said he would be willing to send me (not refinished or anything, just something to give me a feel for it) for the cost of shipping. I found Stan to be very pleasant to deal with, knowledgable and I wouldn't hesitate to suggest Above The Tie to somebody and feel they were in safe hands.


GOODFELLA RAZORS - 5 Stars

Andrew is hands down and without a doubt one of the best people I have dealt with at a business. He was quick to respond to emails, followed through on his word, was social and engaging and more than willing to work with me and be flexible. The customer service at Goodfella is top notch and if you're on the fence about which company to support they have my full endorsement. In this economy with a product like this I feel customer service is huge. In 25 years of working with hundreds of businesses there are three that REALLY STAND OUT and Goodfella Razors is certainly one of them. I will review the razor I got from Andrew in the reviews section.

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 03-02-2014, 01:24 AM
#2
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oh boy - indeed a highly unusual ranking situation. i'm not sure if i fully understood your concept in question - but it seems like karma ratings sort of. the nature of the disability would perhaps be the explanation to the part which is unclear to me Smile

7 1,624
 03-02-2014, 01:59 AM
#3
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Now don't take this the wrong way...but those ratings you are giving out seems rather odd to me;

a) EX:
"Ed simply responded to a long and thought out email with two lines telling me they had nothing and would contact me if they did in the future. I never heard from them again."

I'm not quite sure why this justifies a 2.5 star.
Did you feel that your long email required him to send you a long email back? That he haven't responded back to you may simply be because he truly doesn't have something for you.

b) It also seems like you have approached these companies asking if it would be possible to loan a razor to try out (as in the replies from Tradere and Above The Tie implies).

c) Your statement: " My goal was simply to see if I could get my hands on an open comb razor by striking a mutually beneficial agreement with the company. That could have been cash, trade, a mix of the two, a returned or seconds item, I was open to anything."

I think that's perfectly fine when you deal with individuals but I also think you need to take into consideration that you are here dealing with companies and I can see how many of them simply don't have the resources/time/ability/trust to deal with these one-off-deal-situations from people who asks for it.

It seems like you rate the companies that complied with these rather unusual inquiries very high (especially if they sent the item for shipping cost) - and if they didn't they got a low rating.

Nowhere in your description of your dealings did I see anything that would truly justify the 1 and 2 star ratings.
I do however agree that Tradere should have come back and said they couldn't loan you the razor...which to begin with is sort of an 'odd' offer for a company to even make.

It's also hard to 'agree' or 'disagree' with these ratings as we don't see how your communication to them was. Your description "a long and thought out email" does make me 'worry' about how that communication may have been put together Smile

Anyway, don't take it the wrong way - this is just how I interpret your ratings. Smile

Disclaimer: I have personally never dealt with any of those four companies.

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 03-02-2014, 06:02 AM
#4
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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You have basically 'ranked' these razor makers based on :
1. timeliness of communication
2. ability to accommodate a very specific request made by you

I would have wished that you focused your post on the positive attributes of the razor makers who were able to accommodate your rather unique and specific situation.
The low ratings you have given some of these businesses, is erroneous in my opinion, as they are being judged on a very individual and specific situation, and not on their overall range of products/services.

Manufacturers and vendors, especially the smaller concerns, are not necessarily equipped to address unusual or special requests ... and this should be no reflection on the quality or caliber of their business as a whole.

102 18,558
 03-02-2014, 06:33 AM
#5
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All the companies you contacted are very small entrepreneurs who were probably skeptical of your request. But I really like your style and look forward to future reviews.

119 13,021
 03-02-2014, 08:46 AM
#6
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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You wanted to strike a mutually beneficial agreement with the company but I cannot see what you offered to the company besides Karma. At the very best, this puts the vendor in a very awkward position.

I normally do not stick my nose in these sorts of threads but your ratings are completely unfair. Due to health laws, any "loaner" would have to be autoclaved if the vendor wished to resell it and then, it could only be sold as used for a loss. Huh

As Jerry stated, the businesses you contacted are all very small businesses and they are not multinational corporations. They do not have PR people and the owner has to handle all email correspondence.

46 18,092
 03-02-2014, 09:01 AM
#7
  • beartrap
  • Resident Цирюльник
  • Southern California
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No offence, but it sounded like a troll post, I had to re-read it twice to understand your beef with manufacturers. Communication is important, but come on! Rating based on you definitions is just wrong.

88 4,233
 03-02-2014, 10:11 AM
#8
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I generally view a "mutually beneficial agreement with the company", as buying their product. I do this all the time, and if I do not care for the product I will sell it on BST here.

I've dealt with Richard and Ed personally and directly and have always found the quick, helpful and honest. Giving them one or two stars for not agreeing with your shake down is quite disingenuous.

Just be glad you didn't try this scheme on Greg from iKon. Laughing1

129 6,685
 03-02-2014, 12:04 PM
#9
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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Giving you the benefit of doubt....I get where you're coming from, I do. It sounds to me like you are simply trying to share your opinion of these manufacturers "above and beyond" response to you, and their consideration of your unique circumstance.

However, calling it a review I think gives it a broader implication...which is where you'll meet with the sentiment that it's unfair. While I understand you're trying to share your specific experience for your specific situation, it comes off as a generalization of these manufacturers' normal customer service policy...which clearly, it's not. For example, your mention of Ed's short response to you...I get that you probably spent a lot of time on that email. And because of that, I'm sure at least to some degree you developed an expectation of him, and you were disappointed with his short response. But his response, to me, sounded like a very busy guy. Another way to look at it is, at least he was thoughtful enough to get back to you. There's always that other side, and you never know what each individual's circumstance is when they respond to you...again, for an "above and beyond" situation.

Nothing wrong with sharing your experience, I personally would have just taken a different approach. Like starting a thread that praised Goodfella for their response to you, and not really calling out your specific negative experiences by name. There's no real need, IMO. Bad customer service will always have repercussions without needing to be broadcast.

34 1,628
 03-02-2014, 12:47 PM
#10
  • W.S.O.
  • Banned
  • Philadelphia, Pa
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What is the difference if they give someone a razor to do a review and what you did here? Its the same thing, Someone gets what they want they give a good review. This is or was in no way different or better than a sponsored product review in my opinion. You got what you wanted from one company, and gave that company a good review. Perhaps I am missing something.

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 03-02-2014, 01:40 PM
#11
  • Elendil
  • Raggedy man, good night
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It should also be taken into consideration that they likely have gotten requests for free or discounted products before, and there is no way for them to know which requests are legitimate, and which are fake. As small businesses, they may not have the wherewithal to accommodate these types of requests. It's similar to folks who join sites like TSN and request PIFs.

0 1,137
 03-02-2014, 02:15 PM
#12
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(03-02-2014, 01:40 PM)Elendil Wrote: It should also be taken into consideration that they likely have gotten requests for free or discounted products before, and there is no way for them to know which requests are legitimate, and which are fake. As small businesses, they may not have the wherewithal to accommodate these types of requests. It's similar to folks who join sites like TSN and request PIFs.

I'd also point out that some people have been known to receive a free item in exchange for the review and eventually the items end up in BST. I am certain this practice pisses off a number of vendors.

129 6,685
 03-02-2014, 03:04 PM
#13
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When I read the title of this thread, I was expecting a review of the razors mentioned. Instead, the post is something different. You classify vendors based on their will to loan you their products at no cost, or nearly that.

Strange, to say the least. Undecided

2 5,545
 03-02-2014, 03:40 PM
#14
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I'm trying to figure out what chemical sensitivity has to do with razors in the first place. I would think chemical sensitivity would have more to do with additives in soaps, creams, after shaves, and balms.

175 23,752
 03-02-2014, 04:46 PM
#15
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(03-02-2014, 03:40 PM)Johnny Wrote: I'm trying to figure out what chemical sensitivity has to do with razors in the first place. I would think chemical sensitivity would have more to do with additives in soaps, creams, after shaves, and balms.

There are metal allergies, especially to nickel. To what degree and frequency they occur in the population, I have no idea.

9 1,203
 03-02-2014, 10:17 PM
#16
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(03-02-2014, 12:17 AM)TucsonAZ Wrote: My goal was simply to see if I could get my hands on an open comb razor by striking a mutually beneficial agreement with the company. That could have been cash, trade, a mix of the two, a returned or seconds item, I was open to anything.

Or maybe a positive review on a shaving forum? Because that is exactly what happened, as near as I can tell.

Now excuse me while I email Jaguar and ask if I can strike a "mutually beneficial agreement" with them about getting one of their cars.

12 1,247
 03-03-2014, 12:29 AM
#17
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Thank you all for taking the time to respond, the responses were much of what I'd expected.

I am all about exchanges though they don't always need to be based on an exchange of money. I wasn't expecting to be gifted anything, I wasn't asking for anything free of charge. These are small, independent businesses and time for them is valuable, profit margins not always large enough, a balance always has to be found and of this I'm understanding. In fact, I have always been a small business owner so I'm even more sensitive to these issues than most.

My post wasn't for a review of my review though I put this out there and except it as part of that. I was only conveying my experience with the business and their willingness to work with a customer when it may not have been the normal transaction. This could have been as simple as them offering a 20% discount for liking them on Facebook, it could have been offering an item that had a less than ideal finish, it could have been giving me a free razor for doing an oil change on their car.

I see many people in here able to spend $200 on a razor without a second thought, this "review" clearly isn't for you. My rating system was based on willingness to go a step further. I'm sure with any of the companies you could send them your money and get a razor and I don't doubt that and if that's all you're looking for in a business I'm sure they're all 5 star businesses.


There was a time a few years back I was trying to choose between buying a Chinese made Garrett Ace 250 metal detector which cost $169 with a ton of free accessories and a Tesoro Silver uMax for $225 with nothing else included. Tesoro marketed themselves as being "Made in the US" and being in Arizona I wanted to do business with them but was skeptical about how "US" they actually were so I decided to call and do some asking around.

The secretary answers and I asked a question or two to which she responded "please hang on for a moment". Less than a minute later Jack Gifford (the owner) gets on the phone and says "what would you like to know?" Turns out his injection molder for plastics is just down the road from him, circuit boards are made in Chicago from American made supplies. Needless to say, they earned a very vocal and loyal customer for life.

I use a product called ConcenTrace by Trace Minerals Research. I had some concerns about their business and a rumor I'd heard so I called to ask a few questions. Within moments I was on the phone with the owner who was more than happy to accommodate my questions, concerns and offer resources for further review.

Dealing with GreatRazors follows the same lines. I had questions and was skeptical, I called and was greeted with friendly, open communication. From time to time there would be a few extra razors in the shipment and one time when I was having financial struggles he doubled my order without me knowing it just to get me by.

Christina of Verve hosting, phenomenal person and a great business to deal with. After 5 years with her I couldn't afford my hosting and called to cancel, she simply said "the next 6 months are on me I hope your health improves".

Zed Audio Corp is another, amazing business, excellent customer service, Stephan went well above and beyond to cover repairs on an item that he'd just launched but failed a few times. It wasn't his fault, it was the fault of a vendor his product was being used with but he was still amazing to work with. He sent me two of the same product that last time with a note that said "just in case".

These are all small businesses with the owner dealing with many aspects of the business.

Those things may not matter to most of you, fair enough, as I said, I'm just converying my experience with the company, what you do with it is your business.

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 03-03-2014, 06:40 AM
#18
  • Samjax
  • Active Member
  • Clearwater, Florida
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Probably need to rename this thread. There is no "review" to be found here and the premise upon which you have posted this is flawed beyond comprehension.

Among the numerous issues I see here are:

You say: I see many reviews where the person reviewing is sent a free razor but I struggle to view that as an unbiased evaluation.

Then you say: In 25 years of working with hundreds of businesses there are three that REALLY STAND OUT and Goodfella Razors is certainly one of them. I will review the razor I got from Andrew in the reviews section.

I'm guessing you didn't outright purchase the razor as that would make entirely too much sense. Is it being sent to you for free? Are you looking to trade vegetables or livestock for it if you like it or...? I'm curious how "unbiased" your Goodfella review is really going to be.

You say in your second post: I was only conveying my experience with the business and their willingness to work with a customer when it may not have been the normal transaction. This could have been as simple as them offering a 20% discount for liking them on Facebook, it could have been offering an item that had a less than ideal finish, it could have been giving me a free razor for doing an oil change on their car.

Here's my perception of your bottom line. If they are willing to give you free stuff, they're great. If they don't jump through the hoops that you have established as your baseline for a good company, then they obviously suck...and of course, we all need to know that. If someone is willing to give you a razor for an oil change...or some other barter akin to that, then they are great. If they simply want to sell the product outright and pocket the $20 to $50 profit in order to stay in business...well then, they obviously suck and are only a 1 or 2 star company.

I don't mean to flame you...but you've went out of your way to make it extraordinarily easy to do so.

Finally, while I'm glad that Goodfella was able to meet your crazy requests with little or no money out of your pocket - I will tell you as a point of fact - from someone who has purchased and owned (or own) all of the other products you mentioned (Goodfella, Tradere, ATT and Weber), that you without question got the lesser of the shaving tools. Goodfella's razor performance is not in the same universe as anything from the other mentioned companies.

So a true review system would be from someone who has not only dealt with each and every one of the companies mentioned - but also from someone who has actually used the final product. That way you could intelligently comment not only on the customer service of the company, but also on the actual product itself.

This is about all of the "positive karma" I can share for one day...best of luck in your endeavors.

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 03-03-2014, 07:59 AM
#19
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Y'all are much too nice. There is nothing to be learned here with the exception that our membership is discerning, forgiving and is trying to understand.

You describe some nebulous quid pro quo and apparently those who did not agree to this arrangement are not worthy businesses. Sounds to me like someone wants to take their ball home rather than play nice in the sandbox.

If you have valid reasons for negative rankings, that's fine. Please clearly offer them.

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 03-03-2014, 10:59 AM
#20
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Popcorn?

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