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  #1  
Old 03-16-2008, 03:50 PM
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M&J M&J is offline
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Question No contact with maker?

Now approaching 2 years, I'd ordered a knife to have originally been completed middle last year. The maker relayed he'd had complications and that this would be the delivery year. I've sent several e-mails without contact thus far regarding progress. The mails haven't bounced and we've written each other in the past. I haven't called due to time zone challenges, he works a day job so by the time he's off, I'm long asleep.

Your suggestions on what you might do to determine whether the knife will be completed?


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Old 03-16-2008, 10:01 PM
Frank Niro Frank Niro is offline
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i don't believe you are being treated right to put it simply.
There are only four hours from one side to the other in time changes.I would definitely give him a phone call before giving up . If you have made a deposit you can then request a refund if the conversation isn't satisfactory to both.
The Fongs both make some beautiful knives !!!! Frank


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Old 03-17-2008, 07:05 AM
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Makers, by and large, are craftsmen/artists and are lousy businessmen. Scheduling and communication are the primary rules of good business. Mike, I know you are internet savvy and would follow-up ASAP. This maker may have legitimate complications, but he has put you on his back burner now.

I hear this all the time. It's always the same story. A one-on-one will always make better, but it is a test of ethics to see it a maker will respond to email communication. There is NO excuse for not doing so, face it. It is a business and a relationship you have to stick with.

It makes this knife just a touch less desirable. Ouch!

Keep us posted. Sorry to hear.

Coop


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Old 03-17-2008, 10:29 AM
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Harry Mathews Harry Mathews is offline
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I think that I would get an extra cup of coffee, put in a good movie and stay up an hour or two past my bed time to give the guy a call before I wrote the knife off. It might be something simple and easy to overcome and the only method of contact you have tried is E-mail. He might have an overactive spamblocker. Then I would send him a letter. If you don't get any response then chalk it off as deal gone bad. It happens.

"Makers, by and large, are craftsmen/artists and are lousy businessmen." Coop that is painting a picture with a pretty wide brush. I hear it all the time and frankly I don't buy it. I know too many knifemakers that are making knives because they were not only good but great business men. How else could they afford to continue to make knives year after year


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Old 03-17-2008, 01:50 PM
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Mea culpa, Harry. I'm wrong on that.

Yes, it's the bad apples that get the press, and by extension, the other larger percentage that get the rep.

It's a known fact that good business is taken for granted and usually not acknowledged, and BAD business gets talked about openly. So, that is a horribly wide brush.

Thanks,

Coop


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Old 03-18-2008, 07:05 AM
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Don Cowles Don Cowles is offline
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I, and many other knifemakers that I know, take great pains to respond to inquiries (both general and specific to an order) in a timely way. I also sadly observe cases where many do not, and apparently think that if they ignore it, it will go away.

This latter behavior is a guaranteed ticket to a failed business, and regretably, it does stain all the rest of us.


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Old 03-18-2008, 11:48 PM
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Appreciate the input guys. I'll try him this weekend when I know the day job won't interfere . I'll let ya know how it turns out.


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Old 03-20-2008, 03:22 PM
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Mike, I hope that you get him and everything works out all right. Sometimes things happen that no one can control that causes a problem and sometimes you just get the bad apple.

Coop, it's an easy thing to do, painting with a wide brush. Unfortunately there probably are a good many knifemakers that let things slip through the crack because knifemaking is not a business to them. It is something that they enjoy doing whenever they get around to it.

Like Don and many others I know, we work very hard to keep up with customer contacts (relations). We check and answer e-mails, several times daily. Same with the telephone messages. (We can't hear worth crap and with equipment running.....send us an e-mail) In nearly any business it is much easier and cheaper to keep a customer than it is to find a new one. We don't want to let one slip and try hard not to, but it could happen despite the best intentions. We have had a contact from a customer that had placed an order and it fell off our order board and landed behind the lathe. We had to stop everything that was in progress and make that knife and then we included an extra knife in the package for the customer as a little surprise in support of our apology for losing his order. Best money we have spent in a long time.


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Old 03-22-2008, 03:35 AM
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Was able to get hold of him and he apologized profusely. He'd had a hand injury with complications so all work ceased. Then the usual life stuff that seems to follow these events and more problems to resolve. The good news is the knife is at 60% and he will let me know when it is completed. No set date since he is still in recovery, he assured me it is a piece he's looking forward to delivering.


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