08-16-2017, 08:46 AM
#1
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A bit of background: I have usually received nothing but EXCELLENT service from shaving vendors. I won't list them all, for fear of leaving someone out. There is rarely an issue, but when there is, they have always been rectified quickly and easily.

I have, and have been very happy with for years, a King Cobra and a Classic Cobra razor.

When they announced that there was a new release of these earlier this year, I ordered promptly, as I wanted backups. 

I ordered the Classic Cobra on March 17. No communication, nada. It was only after I had a problem with the King Cobra and had to ask that they told me it was further delayed. So, they've held my money for 5 months, no communication.

But that's not the really bad part.

I ordered a backup King Cobra on July 5. Received it on August 7. Fine.

It came wrapped in brown paper with some bubble wrap around that. Whatever.

When I opened the razor, the first thing that struck me was how difficult it was to open the latch on the razor. Again, I have an original King Cobra, and there's a little resistance, but it's not difficult to open.

This one required CONSIDERABLE force to open. I'm not talking about a little tight, I'm talking white-knuckle force to get open. 

When I did get it open, the finish on the inside was not great. When I stood the razor up to take pictures of the finish, the head was slanted.

I let them know about it, and the response I got was to send pictures of the finish, etc., but the latch was DESIGNED to be harder to open than the original because they had complaints about the original being too loose.

Fair enough, but the one I got was ridiculously difficult to open, and if the Feather Artist Club blade is in there and you're needing to force the latch open, there's a danger of getting a serious cut.

After going back and forth with them, sending pics, etc., here's the response I got:

Quote:Michael,
As stated in the previous email, we did design the latch to be more difficult, as we received too many complaints with the last batch that they were too easy to open. It was meant to be tighter. That being said, you can send the Cobra razor in for a full inspection for us to be sure that it is fully functional. However, if the latch is normal and is designed as intended, we will be sending is back, as we do not accept returns on personal care items.
Thank you for understanding,

 
Breanna Buchmiller
Customer Service
The Grooming Network

Seriously? If it's 'designed as intended'? It's designed in a way that's, at least on the one I've gotten, a DANGEROUS design.

I'm pursuing my remedies with PayPal-bless them-because I'm extremely disappointed with the response I've gotten from the Grooming Network, Classic Shaving et al

I've also requested PayPal to refund the money I paid for the Classic Cobra because it's been 5 months, there was no communication received, and I really would rather not deal with this company again.

So,  just a heads up to you gentlemen if you're thinking of dealing with them on the Cobras: Caveat Emptor.

[Image: X5uhlQ5.jpg][Image: 3qfGG0M.jpg][Image: Uu2tHgZ.jpg]

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 08-16-2017, 11:45 AM
#2
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Thanks for PSA Michael.  I hope it all works out.

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 08-16-2017, 01:48 PM
#3
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That is atrocious customer service.  Thanks for bringing this to our attention. 

Regrettably, this is what can happen when good shaving vendors get purchased by big business.  The new owners lack the same personal interest in the hobby or the individual customers.     

Classic Shaving, West Coast Shaving, and Vintage Blades LLC have all been sold.  There may be others I'm not aware of.  I'll support those vendors which support our hobby.

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 08-16-2017, 04:35 PM
#4
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Thanks for sharing and good luck.

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 08-16-2017, 05:18 PM
#5
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Thank you for the heads up, seems like a nightmare scenario. I hope it gets sorted out for you.

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 08-16-2017, 05:27 PM
#6
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There is quite the difference between the experience Michael is having with Classic Shaving, and the experience Steven (bijou) and others are having with Timeless Razors.

http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=50224

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 08-16-2017, 05:58 PM
#7
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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A shame, really. They could have responded more appropriately and earned goodwill rather than irking a very small community that keeps them in business. Other than 1 jerky guy on the auction site, all the manufacturers and vendors I've done business with have been a delight.

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 08-16-2017, 07:01 PM
#8
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Thanks, Ricardo: I did not know that they were purchased by another company. That could explain their indifferent and dismissive attitude, I don't know.

And yes, Timeless-I bought one of the first full sets when they started, dealt directly with Doug there (there was a slight flaw in one of the pieces), and he went out of his way to make it right-really above and beyond. World-class service. 

Or look at the way Phil runs his business-never an issue. I had a Boellis Panama ceramic bowl that cracked in transit, and he made it right so quickly and pleasantly.

Classic Shaving? Not so much in my experience. [Image: 1Za57c2.jpg]

This is literally how they packed and shipped a razor that cost close to $300:

[Image: pp2jQ3J.jpg]

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 08-16-2017, 07:04 PM
#9
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My Dad used a safety razor when I was a kid. With getting in the hobby I wanted to get him back in as well. He has been using a cart razor with a brush but also using a bath soap that got to small as his puck and lathering off that.  

WTF, dad. 

So I ordered him a Qshave clone with "Dad" engraved. Had lunch with him a week or so later and asked him how he was making out. Loved the sample soaps I put together but cut himself taking the head off the razor to put a new blade in. I mean the razor is solid but the design of pulling that head off you should really use a towel and could see him getting jammed up. I grabbed a butterfly for him so that he didn't need to deal with that again.

So I read their reply. We got a few complaints from shavers and needed to make it tighter. Here is the deal though. If a dozen 30 year old men wrote you they will have a much different viewpoint than a dozen guys in their 60's or 70's. Not saying the OP is an old man but if you need to white knuckle a razor that is an issue.

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 08-16-2017, 07:23 PM
#10
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(08-16-2017, 07:01 PM)Michael P Wrote: Thanks, Ricardo: I did not know that they were purchased by another company. That could explain their indifferent and dismissive attitude, I don't know.

And yes, Timeless-I bought one of the first full sets when they started, dealt directly with Doug there (there was a slight flaw in one of the pieces), and he went out of his way to make it right-really above and beyond. World-class service. 

Or look at the way Phil runs his business-never an issue. I had a Boellis Panama ceramic bowl that cracked in transit, and he made it right so quickly and pleasantly.

Classic Shaving? Not so much in my experience. 

The Grooming Network purchased both Classic Shaving and Vintage Blades, LLC.

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 08-17-2017, 03:21 AM
#11
  • Sully
  • Super Moderator
  • Cedar Park, Texas
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This behavior from Classic Shaving isn't anything new, especially with both the classic Cobra and the King Cobra.  When did the change in ownership take place?

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 08-17-2017, 06:08 AM
#12
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(08-17-2017, 03:21 AM)Sully Wrote: This behavior from Classic Shaving isn't anything new, especially with both the classic Cobra and the King Cobra.  When did the change in ownership take place?

In 2016.  The goal of The Grooming Network, according to a 2016 press release announcing the acquisition of Classic Shaving, is "consolidating" the industry.  This is business talk for taking over the industry, and is not a positive development for our hobby or consumers of shaving items.

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 08-18-2017, 10:46 AM
#13
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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There are plenty of good vendors to choose from, anything owned by TGN will not be in my purchasing future.

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 08-18-2017, 12:08 PM
#14
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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(08-18-2017, 10:46 AM)blzrfn Wrote: There are plenty of good vendors to choose from, anything owned by TGN will not be in my purchasing future.

+1, my good man.

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 08-18-2017, 02:06 PM
#15
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(08-18-2017, 10:46 AM)blzrfn Wrote: There are plenty of good vendors to choose from, anything owned by TGN will not be in my purchasing future.

Signs011

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 08-19-2017, 05:47 AM
#16
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Well, PayPal has ruled against my dispute about the King Cobra. I'm trying to find out from PayPal more information about the reason why. 


PayPal did, however, refund the money I paid for the Classic Cobra, which was ordered in March, but never arrived.

I have filed a claim with my bank, and will pursue it with them.

Oh, and here's a surprise. The Grooming Network did not allow the publication of the review they asked me for. As you might imagine, it was a one-star review. 

Interestingly, when I went to see if that review was published, I entered the term "Grooming Network King Cobra" into a Google search. The TOP result in Google was a link to this thread on TSN! So, hopefully this thread about their customer service will be seen by potential customers who can use it to help make their decision about whether to deal with this company

[Image: cjb9U8E.png]

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 08-19-2017, 09:03 AM
#17
  • JRRIII
  • Blossoming Addict
  • East Coast
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(08-18-2017, 10:46 AM)blzrfn Wrote: There are plenty of good vendors to choose from, anything owned by TGN will not be in my purchasing future.

+1

This is a nightmare of a situation. I hope in the end it all works out Michael

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 08-21-2017, 11:20 AM
#18
  • Quando
  • Banned
  • Somewhere far-away, from Home
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Thanks for the heads-up!  I was looking at single-edge razors, again.

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 08-22-2017, 01:53 PM
#19
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Thank you gentlemen for all the support, I really appreciate it. 


The good news is, both my bank and PayPal came through.

The bank was easy. One phone call and they issued a conditional credit, asked me to send the razor back and provide a tracking number, which I did yesterday.

Before I called the bank, however, I wrote to PayPal's corporate offices. I got a very nice phone call this morning from someone in corporate who was extremely nice, told me that PayPal had reconsidered and would be issuing a refund, and apologized several times for the treatment I received from PayPal, not the least of which was their taking the side of the merchant who accused me both of 'buyer's remorse' and of 'altering the merchandise'.

Get this: Grooming Network/Classic Shaving asserted that I altered the razor by OPENING THE LATCH, thereby leaving the marks that appear on the razor's head.

Here's an excerpt from the follow up email I got from PayPal:

Quote:Dear Mr. Michael P.,

I want to thank you for speaking with me and to send you this follow up email regarding our telephone conversation.
 
As we discussed, I have initiated a credit in the amount of $267.98 USD back to your card ending in xxxx. You will see this credit in approximately 3-5 business days. 

I absolutely can understand your concerns and frustrations with the outcome of this Significantly Not As Described claim…

I also want to commend you on your outstanding account history. I cannot thank you enough for your continued support of PayPal, and really want to thank you for the time you took to speak with me today.
 
I want to apologize again for the confusion and frustration you experienced. That is certainly not our intention, and I hope I was able to provide you with some clarification.

It took a letter to PayPal corporate, but they finally heard my side of the story and immediately acted.

The returned letter to Grooming Network/Classic Shaving contained a link to the posts I've made about it: perhaps they'll realize that being dismissive and lying about good customers (altering a razor, for example) can have consequences.

Quote:August 21, 2017

The Grooming Network
Classic Shaving
130 McGhee Rd.
Sandpoint, ID 83864

Re: King Cobra Razor; [Bank] Claim Number XXXXXXXXXXX

To Whom It May Concern:

Enclosed is the King Cobra razor ordered on July 5, 2017 and delivered to me on August 7, 2017. It is being returned in the exact, original and unaltered condition in which I received it, and in the original packaging (insofar as a piece of tissue paper could be construed as ‘packaging’).

I am sending you this razor pursuant to the instructions of the [Bank] Claims Division and a claim filed therewith. 

It has been most unpleasant dealing with you. I am a good customer, owning an original Classic Cobra and King Cobra, and liking them so much that I ordered $500 worth of backups.

The King Cobra razor sent to me is not only defective it is, in my opinion and in the opinion of another shaving expert who examined the razor, hazardous to use given the force needed to open the latching mechanism.

I have let the shaving community know about this situation, both the customer service I received and the hazardous nature of the razor. You may read my posts here: [URL] (this is a Forum with 300,000 page views per month) and also here: http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=50251 (this is a Forum with a similar number of monthly page views).

Should those URLs be too unwieldy to enter, simply type in the following into Google: Grooming Network King Cobra, and that post will appear at the top of the first page of the Google search results.

Michael P

Most of all, I appreciate you here at TSN lending me your ear while I vented some frustration, and hope this may help those thinking of doing business with these folk  make an informed decision.

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 08-22-2017, 01:55 PM
#20
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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