Full Review Review of Wood128

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elsuerte

Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
6
Location
Naples, Florida
Well Curtis asked me do a real review and not a rant fest. Im not sure what a real review is but I think I know what a rant fest is and Ill try not to do that. Actually, what I thought I would do is a combination Introduction/review/learning experience. Here goes, a review of Wood128, but first allow me to introduce myself.
Hi, Im Louis Bobbitt (no relation to Lorena) and I grew up outside Chicago where I first worked on a lathe in a shop class in the 1950’s. I turned a baseball bat and broke it the first time I hit a ball. After I got out of high school I was wandering around the Southwest US and ran across an old Rockwell lathe that I fixed up and started fooling around on. I didn’t have much money so my lathe chisels consisted of ground down files, wood chisels and hunks of metal. I don’t recommend this but I was young, broke and stupid. I will say however, that when you use a skew made out of an old file, you learn to use it properly after catching it and having it explode in your hands. Anyway, I started out making chairs on the lathe in the Southwest style and then tables and other furniture. I also did oil paintings and fine art and even spent a winter in Hawaii in the 1960’s doing scrimshaw on whales teeth, when it was legal. My furniture gradually grew out of the Southwest style and into a more functional/experimental fine art style. I earned my living making art and furniture for 45 years until too many years of breathing sawdust forced me to retire from full time woodworking. (TIP, get the best air filtration you can, it is never too expensive. I didn’t know better, until it was too late.) I never got rich but I made a good living and had a good life doing what I enjoyed.
When I first started selling my chairs I decided that that I would always make the best product I could. I would never sacrifice quality for expediency or money. Secondly, I decided that if I was going to be dealing with the public my policy would be that the customer is always right, always, no matter what. Making quality products was fun but making the customer right was quite a challenge sometimes. I once had a fellow commission an executive desk and when he came to see it said “that wasn’t what I was picturing in my mind”. I asked him if I could change it but ended up giving him back his deposit, with a smile. I called another man I knew was wanting a desk and he came over and bought it on the spot. Funny thing is, the first guy called me a couple days later and said he got to thinking about the desk and wanted it. When I told him it was gone, he ordered another one, identical to the first. He became a good client and referred a lot of commissions to me. You never know. I also had a lady buy a chair and she came back 10 years later cause her little boy had sawed a leg off. I fixed it and didn’t charge her.
I reckon this philosophy paid off cause I never looked for business. I always had more commissions than I could handle, I still get requests but have to turn them down. My advertising was always word of mouth and repeat customers.
Well, I retired from woodworking but couldn’t stop making things, a man has to stay busy. I cant handle the big heavy pieces anymore, so I stick with the small pieces and I don’t sell my work anymore, I give it as gifts to friends and family and such. No one can complain about the price. Which brings me to my review.
I was making some doll furniture for the kids of the low income families at my church and I saw Joe’s add for the “two tone pink ivory”. It was a bit of an extravagance, the kids wouldn’t know the difference, but after all these years I still love working with unusual woods. So I bought a box. The picture in the add showed a typical pen blank that was yellowish with pink colors marbled through it. What I got was completely different. The day before he sent it, he had taken a 2” diameter tree limb and quartered it. There was a thin layer of sapwood around the edge which made it two tone. I wasn’t going to use it for a pen but if I was, the best I could hope for was a thin light stripe along one side of the pen, but it probably would have been lost in turning. Also the wood was soaking wet from having been cut the day before and was already starting to warp. At my age I don’t buy green bananas, let alone green wood. So I emailed him, and said the wood wasn’t what was pictured in the add and he responded that if I like dry wood, he couldn’t help me. I could return the wood for a refund and “decide what you want to do, and we can work out a solution”. I emailed back, great, who pays shipping? That email was ignored. I emailed again stating that considering the fact that the wood pictured wasn’t what I got, and it was wet but didn’t say so in the add, that I felt he should pay the postage. He responded condescendingly, “In the e-commerce business, the buyer pays shipping costs. Pretty much standardand I was lucky he didn’t charge a restocking fee and then went on with, “I certainly don't intentionally misrepresent any wood items. If you don't like my selling /advertising business, just buy from somebody else.” He wouldn’t respond to any more of my emails. I sent the wood back and he refunded the cost of the wood but not the shipping, which I paid both ways. So lets see how this works. “we can work out a solution” means a solution that only he agrees to. Then, if he doesn’t “intentionally” misrepresent the product then that is Ok and I should just go away. Finally, his adds say in big red letters “I ALWAYS INCLUDE A FEW EXTRA PIECES IN THE BOX” I didn’t get any extra pieces in my box.
In my opinion, when a man offers up something for sale, be it e-commerce or face to face, that man has taken on some responsibilities. The first is to represent that thing honestly. The second is to ensure that the customers are happy with the transaction, however it turns out. Joe did not represent the product honestly and when the transaction went south he ensured that he was satisfied but not the customer. There were so many ways that he could have handled this with me and he chose one of the worst ways.
In closing, we aren’t talking about a lot of money here, it’s a principle thing, he could have made a customer happy with so little and yet he chose this outcome. So, Joe, Wood128 is ok until there is a problem, then he isn’t. But isn’t that what being a good craftsman is about. Its not the tools or wood or techniques so much as How well do you deal with all the problems that spring up that makes you a good craftsman, or person for that matter. I really don’t expect Joe to satisfy me at this point (although its never too late to make a customer happy), but I just hope, that some of the other folks out there, can learn from this and never, never, ever treat your customers badly. Thanks for listening, Louis
 
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EBorraga

Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
3,881
Location
Louisville, KY
What a shame. Too bad he wasn't easier to work with on the situation. Groing up my dad owned an automotive shop. His philosophy was to always make the customer happy. While working for him I once put a set of front brakes on a ladies car. She came back the next day and said I had put a hole in her muffler. After a long talk with my dad I ended up putting on a muffler at no cost to the customer. This lady turned out to be one of the best customers we ever had. She brought us breakfast every Saturday morning from then on. After that day I became a believer in his philosophy.
 

MesquiteMan

Retired Head Moderator
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Messages
5,695
Location
San Marcos, TX, USA.
Let me clarify something here. I did not "ask" for the original poster to do a review on this vendor. I think he may have misunderstood me. In one of the vendor's classified threads, the original poster posted a reply that violated the "no polluting" rule so I deleted it and sent a message saying that "the classifieds was not the place to make such a post and that if he choose to, he could write a review in the Vendor's forum as long as it did not turn into a rant fest."
 

Mark

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
2,536
Location
Pottstown PA
I'm sorry to hear you had such a poor experience. I've purchased twice from Wood128 and both times received (in a very timely manner) exactly what was pictured.

I also found the "extras" 3 blanks in the first order and 3 in the second. to be very nice. Joe included these extra blanks - Camphor, black walnut, apple, pear and pecan.

I hope you can work it out somehow. I've found Joe to be an asset to the forum. Thx.
 
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David Keller

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
1,618
Location
Enid,OK
Sorry you had a bad experience... I just recieved an order from him not too long ago. Everything was as described and the freebies were nice. I wouldn't hesitate to order from him again based on my experience.
 
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