06-05-2015, 02:24 PM
#1
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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I loved my TWSBI Vac 700 but it has had its problems.  First, the nib was bad from the get-go but TWSBI sent a great replacement.  Then, about a year later, the section cracked.  Unfortunately, the orange is no longer made (only the clear is still in production, I believe).  Again I got in touch with TWSBI.  They said they no longer had the part in orange but they could repair what I had.  They sent the pen back, seemingly repaired.  However, it leaks from some weird place in the section but I have not been able to tell where.  About 80-90% of the time my middle finger would come away with ink on it.  Then, a few weeks ago, I went to use the pen and the cap completely broke away from the cap ring.  What gets me is that this pen has always had easy use.  It has never left my home; I use it as a desk pen.  It has never been dropped and it is not in constant use.  While TWSBI did the first two fixes without charge, one successful, one not, I am not about to contact them a third time.  I have been debating about replacing it but am not ready to take the chance.  I also have two other TWSBIs, a Diamond 540 and a Mini.  Both of those pens have been flawless from the time of purchase.  

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 06-06-2015, 04:25 PM
#2
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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I had a Mont Blanc 149 that gave me a litany of problems similar to what you've experienced. It finally rolled off the kitchen counter and shattered into a thousand pieces; so much for "precious resin".  I also have an MB146 that functions quite well, but no better than other fountain pens I have at a fraction of the price of an MB.

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 06-06-2015, 04:44 PM
#3
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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(06-06-2015, 04:25 PM)Rufus Wrote: I had a Mont Blanc 149 that gave me a litany of problems similar to what you've experienced. It finally rolled off the kitchen counter and shattered into a thousand pieces; so much for "precious resin".  I also have an MB146 that functions quite well, but no better than other fountain pens I have at a fraction of the price of an MB.

My TWSBI Vac 700 was only a $70.00 pen.  I shudder at the thought of a Mont Blanc 149!  Sad

The thing is, I really enjoyed writing with the pen so it is upsetting.  However, there are, and will be, other fountain pens in my life. Lately, I've even been dabbling with dip pens and making (a very bad) attempt at Copperplate.  I'm enjoying that quite a bit. Smile

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 06-06-2015, 07:45 PM
#4
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Im happy with my $0.20 bic pen  Tongue

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 06-06-2015, 09:48 PM
#5
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That is very unfortunate, Freddy! I have the same pen, but in Blue and it writes very nicely, but many times, it dries out when I am writing which happens too frequently for me. 
I don't think I would ever buy another pen from TWSBI after this experience. I much prefer my Pelikans. 
Good luck with replacing the pen.  Smile

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 06-07-2015, 06:08 AM
#6
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Bummer Freddy.

I do not think it would hurt to contact TWSBI a third time. Nothing to lose but the time involved to type an email.

I read the Daily Mail, a UK paper, online. They will show pics of animals that have been hurt. I never read those articles and find those pics unsettling.
Your pictures of the Vac 700 evoked a similar sympathetic "awww..." response. Now I will have to stay away from pics of broken fountain pens. Wink

Phil

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 06-07-2015, 09:02 AM
#7
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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(06-06-2015, 04:44 PM)freddy Wrote:
(06-06-2015, 04:25 PM)Rufus Wrote: I had a Mont Blanc 149 that gave me a litany of problems similar to what you've experienced. It finally rolled off the kitchen counter and shattered into a thousand pieces; so much for "precious resin".  I also have an MB146 that functions quite well, but no better than other fountain pens I have at a fraction of the price of an MB.

My TWSBI Vac 700 was only a $70.00 pen.  I shudder at the thought of a Mont Blanc 149!  Sad

The thing is, I really enjoyed writing with the pen so it is upsetting.  However, there are, and will be, other fountain pens in my life. Lately, I've even been dabbling with dip pens and making (a very bad) attempt at Copperplate.  I'm enjoying that quite a bit. Smile

I bought the MB149 in 1981; it was expensive at the time but no where near as expensive as today's MBs.  It went back to the AD four times for a leak, but continued to leak nonetheless.  What really annoyed me was that neither the AD nor MB were in the least sympathetic to my plight, which completely nullified any pleasure I had gained from using the pen.  Today I own 107 fountain pens, only one of which is an MB, but it was a gift.  I think you should let TWSBI know that your problem persists.

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 06-07-2015, 09:14 AM
#8
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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(06-07-2015, 09:02 AM)Rufus Wrote:
(06-06-2015, 04:44 PM)freddy Wrote:
(06-06-2015, 04:25 PM)Rufus Wrote: I had a Mont Blanc 149 that gave me a litany of problems similar to what you've experienced. It finally rolled off the kitchen counter and shattered into a thousand pieces; so much for "precious resin".  I also have an MB146 that functions quite well, but no better than other fountain pens I have at a fraction of the price of an MB.

My TWSBI Vac 700 was only a $70.00 pen.  I shudder at the thought of a Mont Blanc 149!  Sad

The thing is, I really enjoyed writing with the pen so it is upsetting.  However, there are, and will be, other fountain pens in my life. Lately, I've even been dabbling with dip pens and making (a very bad) attempt at Copperplate.  I'm enjoying that quite a bit. Smile

I bought the MB149 in 1981; it was expensive at the time but no where near as expensive as today's MBs.  It went back to the AD four times for a leak, but continued to leak nonetheless.  What really annoyed me was that neither the AD nor MB were in the least sympathetic to my plight, which completely nullified any pleasure I had gained from using the pen.  Today I own 107 fountain pens, only one of which is an MB, but it was a gift.  I think you should let TWSBI know that your problem persists.

I may but for now I am moving on and drooling at other pens. Smile

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 06-07-2015, 09:25 AM
#9
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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(06-06-2015, 09:48 PM)celestino Wrote: That is very unfortunate, Freddy! I have the same pen, but in Blue and it writes very nicely, but many times, it dries out when I am writing which happens too frequently for me. 
I don't think I would ever buy another pen from TWSBI after this experience. I much prefer my Pelikans. 
Good luck with replacing the pen.  Smile

Celestino, did you know that if you are planning on writing for an extended period of time, you need to unscrew the plunger at the top and raise it a very small amount?  There may be a subtle click when you have raised it far enough.  You should not have trouble with the ink flow drying out.  When done writing, simply screw the plunger completely back on.  That has always worked for me.  If, on the other hand, you are just jotting yourself a small note, there should be enough ink in the system that the above plunger movement should not be necessary. I hope this helps.

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 06-07-2015, 09:39 AM
#10
  • freddy
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  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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I took Phil's and Bryan's suggestion and decided to e-mail TWSBI.  I did not ask for compensation but, rather, if the company knew what the problem was.  If I hear anything, I'll post about it.

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 06-07-2015, 10:53 AM
#11
  • freddy
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  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Okay, I am in awe of TWSBIs customer service!  Remember, this is the third time I have contacted them and this last time was rather reluctantly.  Here is my e-mail to TWSBI:

My orange Vac 700 is completely falling apart and I do not know why.  you have helped me twice before and it was much appreciated but now I do not know what to do.  Originally, I was not going to contact you a third time but, even if nothing can be done about the leak or cap, I hope you will take a look at what I posted and let me know what the problems are.  Please look here: http://shavenook.com/thread-i-am-so-bummed-about-this?pid=544819#pid544819


Thank you for any help you can give me.

Cordially,

Fred Reinstein (Freddy)


Just a few minutes later, I received this reply:

Freddy just send it on over to me.  Ill take a look at the leaking for you and swap a spare cap onto it.  Super easy fix.


The reply included the address as to where to send the pen.


I just sent them a 'thank you' and as I was typing this post, a reply came back that said "No problem!"  As I stated, I am in awe of the customer service.

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 06-07-2015, 10:57 AM
#12
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Amazing what happens when all the world can see lol. Seriously I don't know pens or the company and not to take anything away from their customer service and maybe the company does this for all customers on the internet or not. Its just been my expierence with companies if your problem is on the net where anybody can see it companies tend to get you fixed up ricky tick.

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 06-07-2015, 12:21 PM
#13
  • Rufus
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Freddy, I'm glad to hear that TWSBI is taking care of you.  Some companies just get it and others are completely clueless when it comes to customer service.  I have several examples: First, I purchased a VP Leonhardy silvertip brush from The Superior Shave and after I'd used it many times it started to shed.  I informed Jerrod at SS about the shedding and he immediately sent me a replacement brush before I had sent him the offending brush.  This was great customer service, but it gets even better: Jerrod advised the maker of the problem and they sent me another brush too.  The maker sent me an email advising they were aware of the problem and were sending me a brush.  A couple of weeks after I had received the brush the maker sent me a follow up email asking if the new brush was satisfactory.  Another example:  I've had a Patek Philippe watch for several years and it started to act up in a minor way so I took to the AD for adjustment.  Shortly after this I received  a letter from the President of Patek  Philippe conveying his apology and assurances.  On the other hand I had a particularly bad experience with Sears Canada over a botched repair of our Sears Kenmore dishwasher.  After 8 attempts to repair our dishwasher Sears tried to wash their hands of the unresolved problem so I wrote the President a detailed letter about how badly the problem had been handled.  As I didn't even receive an aknowledgement of my letter, I did a bit of digging and got a hold of the President's EA, who informed me that the President doesn't get involved in customer service issues And that I should not expect a reply to or acknowledgement of my letter.  This so incensed me that I decided not to let the matter rest and after a year of constant importuning I received anew dishwasher free of charge.  Incidentally, several months later the President to whom I had written was fired and Sears Canada announced a major retrenchment.

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 06-07-2015, 02:04 PM
#14
  • freddy
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  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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(06-07-2015, 10:57 AM)Otis375 Wrote: Amazing what happens when all the world can see lol. Seriously I don't know pens or the company and not to take anything away from their customer service and maybe the company does this for all customers on the internet or not. Its just been my expierence with companies if your problem is on the net where anybody can see it companies tend to get you fixed up ricky tick.

Otis, I have to give TWSBI a huge pat on the back here about their customer service.  You see, the first two times I sent the pen in for repairs, I did not post photos of the problems I was having and I still received the same service.  The only reason I posted here is just to discuss it and show other interested fountain pen enthusiasts.  I was not planning on getting in touch with TWSBI for a third time.  It was only after Phil and Bryan suggested that I do that I e-mailed the company.  As far as I'm concerned, TWSBI shows the way for what customer service can be.

(06-07-2015, 12:21 PM)Rufus Wrote: Freddy, I'm glad to hear that TWSBI is taking care of you.  Some companies just get it and others are completely clueless when it comes to customer service.  I have several examples: First, I purchased a VP Leonhardy silvertip brush from The Superior Shave and after I'd used it many times it started to shed.  I informed Jerrod at SS about the shedding and he immediately sent me a replacement brush before I had sent him the offending brush.  This was great customer service, but it gets even better: Jerrod advised the maker of the problem and they sent me another brush too.  The maker sent me an email advising they were aware of the problem and were sending me a brush.  A couple of weeks after I had received the brush the maker sent me a follow up email asking if the new brush was satisfactory.  Another example:  I've had a Patek Philippe watch for several years and it started to act up in a minor way so I took to the AD for adjustment.  Shortly after this I received  a letter from the President of Patek  Philippe conveying his apology and assurances.  On the other hand I had a particularly bad experience with Sears Canada over a botched repair of our Sears Kenmore dishwasher.  After 8 attempts to repair our dishwasher Sears tried to wash their hands of the unresolved problem so I wrote the President a detailed letter about how badly the problem had been handled.  As I didn't even receive an aknowledgement of my letter, I did a bit of digging and got a hold of the President's EA, who informed me that the President doesn't get involved in customer service issues And that I should not expect a reply to or acknowledgement of my letter.  This so incensed me that I decided not to let the matter rest and after a year of constant importuning I received anew dishwasher free of charge.  Incidentally, several months later the President to whom I had written was fired and Sears Canada announced a major retrenchment.

Bryan, isn't it amazing how different experiences like yours and mine color our views on things.  If I had an experience like yours, be it Sears U.S.A. or Sears Canada, I don't think I would walk into one of their stores again.  Yet your experience with the shave brush and the watch will have you spreading the good word about those companies.  I had a similar excellent experience with Floris.  I love their Floris No. 89 Eau de Toilette so, when I was in Scotland, I purchased the shave soap as well.  When I got back home, I found the performance of the shave soap dreadful.  I decided to write the company and tell them how disappointed I was in the soap.  I received an e-mail from a gentleman stating they were aware of the problem and would send me a puck of their Elite shave soap.  Not only did I get the soap but also a bottle of the matching shave balm, all beautifully wrapped and with a handwritten note (in fountain pen Biggrin ).  The best part is, it was sent by courier and I received it the next day from the U.K.  Just as we don't forget bad experiences, we warmly remember the  good ones and pay it forward with our recommendations.  At least that's the way I look at it.

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 06-07-2015, 09:06 PM
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(06-07-2015, 09:25 AM)freddy Wrote: Celestino, did you know that if you are planning on writing for an extended period of time, you need to unscrew the plunger at the top and raise it a very small amount?  There may be a subtle click when you have raised it far enough.  You should not have trouble with the ink flow drying out.  When done writing, simply screw the plunger completely back on.  That has always worked for me.  If, on the other hand, you are just jotting yourself a small note, there should be enough ink in the system that the above plunger movement should not be necessary. I hope this helps.

Yes, Freddy. I am aware of this and I have tried it, but the issue still persists, unfortunately. 
Maybe, I should contact TWSBI as you have.  Biggrin

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 06-08-2015, 09:20 AM
#16
  • freddy
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(06-07-2015, 09:06 PM)celestino Wrote:
(06-07-2015, 09:25 AM)freddy Wrote: Celestino, did you know that if you are planning on writing for an extended period of time, you need to unscrew the plunger at the top and raise it a very small amount?  There may be a subtle click when you have raised it far enough.  You should not have trouble with the ink flow drying out.  When done writing, simply screw the plunger completely back on.  That has always worked for me.  If, on the other hand, you are just jotting yourself a small note, there should be enough ink in the system that the above plunger movement should not be necessary. I hope this helps.

Yes, Freddy. I am aware of this and I have tried it, but the issue still persists, unfortunately. 
Maybe, I should contact TWSBI as you have.  Biggrin

Definitely do that, Celestino.  Their customer service is second to none.  I just posted my Vac-700 to them about an hour ago so I'm hoping for a good result.

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 06-14-2015, 09:53 AM
#17
  • freddy
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The final result...

It took two days for TWSBI to get the pen, the pen was repaired and posted back to me on the day it arrived to them, and two days to get back to me.  A total of only four days from sending them the pen to getting it back. That is incredible customer service, in my opinion.  So far, all seems well.  Hopefully, the third time is the charm. Smile

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 06-14-2015, 01:23 PM
#18
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Freddy….

   None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try.

   My favorite author, Mark Twain.

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 06-14-2015, 01:53 PM
#19
  • freddy
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(06-14-2015, 01:23 PM)Charlie NEPA Wrote: Freddy….

   None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try.

   My favorite author, Mark Twain.

Biggrin  

One of the reasons he endorsed the Conklin Crescent fountain pen is because of the crescent; it wouldn't roll off a table.

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 06-14-2015, 04:34 PM
#20
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Yes indeed.

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