06-22-2021, 09:32 PM
#1
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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In mid May, we received a shipment of No. 88 shaving soap from the Czech & Speake distributor in Massachusetts. Upon unpacking the soap, I noticed that the boxes were stamped Made in Italy and the ingredients were the same as what we had always enjoyed.  Here is a picture of one of the boxes with the ingredient list and the made in Italy Stamp.

[Image: oiXL90p.jpg]

About a week or so after I listed them for sale, I received an email from a good customer who had a concern with his soap. The color was off and it failed to produce a decent lather. At this point, I emailed Czech & Speake as well as the distributor. Czech & Speake told the distributor that they had dug up some of the old soap from Italy and that this was the last of the NOS soap. 

A few days after that claim by Czech & Speake, a customer sent me a comparison photo of an actual NOS soap that he had in his stash next to one of these soaps that Czech & Speake "managed to dig up". You can see that comparison picture here.

[Image: ilHEAog.jpg]

I forwarded this photo to Czech & Speake through the distributor. When the Czech & Speake representative received this photo, he said that it was actually the new soap (Made in England) and that the made in Italy stamp was an oversight. However, he went on to claim that the ingredients listed on the box were correct and that Czech & Speake kept the formula for the soap exactly the same as it has always been. The only problem is this is also not true. 

Here are the ingredients of the new soap as listed on the Czech & Speake UK website:

Sodium Palmate, Sodium Tallowate, Aqua (Water), Sodium Cocoate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Glycerin, Parfum (Fragrance), Lecithin, Petrolatum, Zea Mays Oil, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Chloride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Geraniol, Linalool, Citronellol, Hydroxy Citronellal, Limonene, Oakmoss Absolute, C.I. 77499, C.I. 17789

As you can see, not only are the ingredients not the same, the very first ingredient is different. The soaps are not even close to being the same. 

Once I get things sorted out with Czech & Speake, refunds will be issued for No. 88 shave soaps purchased between May 28th and June 10th.

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 06-23-2021, 02:17 AM
#2
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That's some serious investigative work, Phil. Thanks for always backing your customers.

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 06-23-2021, 03:58 AM
#3
  • garyg
  • Senior Member
  • Great Lakes
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Thanks for following up Phil -

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 06-23-2021, 04:51 AM
#4
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How disappointing that C&S themselves perpetrated this deception on their distributor, retailer and customers.. 

"Trust but verify" - R Reagan

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 06-23-2021, 04:54 AM
#5
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Damn Phil, you are always ON it!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 06-23-2021, 05:22 AM
#6
  • Sully
  • Super Moderator
  • Cedar Park, Texas
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I'm sorry to hear about this Phil.  It's a shame that C&S didn't tell you the truth.

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 06-23-2021, 06:00 AM
#7
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(06-23-2021, 05:22 AM)Sully Wrote: I'm sorry to hear about this Phil.  It's a shame that C&S didn't tell you the truth.

They doubled down at first which really made the situation much more difficult. I'm still scratching my head as to how this could have happened.

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 06-23-2021, 06:06 AM
#8
  • chazt
  • Shimmer of Techs
  • Queens, NY
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Phil, you are a fine and upstanding gentleman who strives to do right by your customers. C&S in this case, not so.

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 06-23-2021, 06:19 AM
#9
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(06-23-2021, 04:51 AM)Mazama Wrote: How disappointing that C&S themselves perpetrated this deception on their distributor, retailer and customers.. 

"Trust but verify" - R Reagan

It was truly shocking. Once they admitted that this was the new soap, they tried telling me that it was superior to the NOS soap. I don't think that my customers agree with that  assertion.

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 06-23-2021, 06:58 AM
#10
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(06-23-2021, 06:00 AM)bullgoose Wrote:
(06-23-2021, 05:22 AM)Sully Wrote: I'm still scratching my head as to how this could have happened.

Has C&S changed ownership or senior management recently?

Over the years I've been astounded how often new ownership destroys a once-successful business.  Sometimes the cause is simple greed or the need to pay off debt from the acquisition but often the reason is failure to understand the attributes that made the business successful compounded by arrogance.

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 06-23-2021, 07:15 AM
#11
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(06-23-2021, 06:58 AM)Mazama Wrote:
(06-23-2021, 06:00 AM)bullgoose Wrote:
(06-23-2021, 05:22 AM)Sully Wrote: I'm still scratching my head as to how this could have happened.

Has C&S changed ownership or senior management recently?

Over the years I've been astounded how often new ownership destroys a once-successful business.  Sometimes the cause is simple greed or the need to pay off debt from the acquisition but often the reason is failure to understand the attributes that made the business successful compounded by arrogance.

Valobra, who used to make the soaps for C&S, was acquired by a large corporation and then shuttered. As a result, C&S had to find a new soap manufacturer. What happened after that is all on Czech & Speake. I have been dealing with the same spokesperson at C&S for the past ten years. That said, I do not know if ownership has changed.

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 06-24-2021, 06:14 AM
#12
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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Thank you Phil, we all appreciate your diligence.

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 06-24-2021, 03:29 PM
#13
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(06-22-2021, 09:32 PM)bullgoose Wrote: In mid May, we received a shipment of No. 88 shaving soap from the Czech & Speake distributor in Massachusetts. Upon unpacking the soap, I noticed that the boxes were stamped Made in Italy and the ingredients were the same as what we had always enjoyed.  Here is a picture of one of the boxes with the ingredient list and the made in Italy Stamp.

[Image: oiXL90p.jpg]

About a week or so after I listed them for sale, I received an email from a good customer who had a concern with his soap. The color was off and it failed to produce a decent lather. At this point, I emailed Czech & Speake as well as the distributor. Czech & Speake told the distributor that they had dug up some of the old soap from Italy and that this was the last of the NOS soap. 

A few days after that claim by Czech & Speake, a customer sent me a comparison photo of an actual NOS soap that he had in his stash next to one of these soaps that Czech & Speake "managed to dig up". You can see that comparison picture here.

[Image: ilHEAog.jpg]

I forwarded this photo to Czech & Speake through the distributor. When the Czech & Speake representative received this photo, he said that it was actually the new soap (Made in England) and that the made in Italy stamp was an oversight. However, he went on to claim that the ingredients listed on the box were correct and that Czech & Speake kept the formula for the soap exactly the same as it has always been. The only problem is this is also not true. 

Here are the ingredients of the new soap as listed on the Czech & Speake UK website:

Sodium Palmate, Sodium Tallowate, Aqua (Water), Sodium Cocoate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Glycerin, Parfum (Fragrance), Lecithin, Petrolatum, Zea Mays Oil, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Chloride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Geraniol, Linalool, Citronellol, Hydroxy Citronellal, Limonene, Oakmoss Absolute, C.I. 77499, C.I. 17789

As you can see, not only are the ingredients not the same, the very first ingredient is different. The soaps are not even close to being the same. 

Once I get things sorted out with Czech & Speake, refunds will be issued for No. 88 shave soaps purchased between May 28th and June 10th.

Thanks, Phil. I have a couple that I would like to return.

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 07-03-2021, 05:40 PM
#14
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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Refunds have now been issued. Be sure to check your PayPal and/or credit card statement. If you paid by credit card, it can take a few days for the refund to show up.

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 07-03-2021, 07:04 PM
#15
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(07-03-2021, 05:40 PM)bullgoose Wrote: Refunds have now been issued. Be sure to check your PayPal and/or credit card statement. If you paid by credit card, it can take a few days for the refund to show up.

Thanks, Phil.

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 07-04-2021, 05:55 AM
#16
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(07-03-2021, 07:04 PM)rgfisheraz Wrote:
(07-03-2021, 05:40 PM)bullgoose Wrote: Refunds have now been issued. Be sure to check your PayPal and/or credit card statement. If you paid by credit card, it can take a few days for the refund to show up.

Thanks, Phil.

My pleasure.

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 07-08-2021, 06:26 PM
#17
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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These soaps seem to be missing from the Czech and Speake web store.

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 07-09-2021, 03:03 AM
#18
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(07-08-2021, 06:26 PM)Steve56 Wrote: These soaps seem to be missing from the Czech and Speake web store.

I was about to consider these soaps and maybe treat myself to the travel tin, but now not sure. Enough the tin, is the label on the lid removable?

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