Well I am not even sure how to start this off, but I will try to detail my entire experience with ordering from Brous Blades, as open and transparent as possible.
So the starting point of this whole terrible experience started with an email I sent to Mr. Brous about the cost of his international shipping. At the time I was looking at his recently released of his black Wharncliffe Silent Solider. My initial email had a harsh tone to it, because shipping was $40 to Canada and the knife itself was only $90. Mr. Brous (to his credit he replied very quickly) and said he can ship the knife using any other method of my choice, and that the $40 shipping method is the way he sends all of his knives internationally (which was nice of him to offer).
Anyway, move on to a day later, I ordered the neck knife (paying the $40 international shipping fee) feeling it was the best way not to cause any unnecessary burden on Mr. Brous (by having him deal with a shipping method or company he is not familiar with [PayPal payment being made on Sept 18th]). Skip two days later... and I decide to cancel the order. This can be attributed to both a bit of buyer’s remorse, and the fact that my re-circulation pump for my in-floor heating decided to die (and with winter coming here in Northern Canada that is not a good thing). So I send an email to Mr. Brous asking if he could cancel my order (the email included the PayPal transaction ID), to which Mr. Brous replied that he had shipped the knife that day (Sept 20th). So I accepted this statement as fact, and waited patiently for my new neck knife to arrive.
Fast forward 9 days, it’s Oct 1st, and I get a 'Click-N-Ship' email notification sent by USPS (on behalf of Mr. Brous), saying that my mailing info (i.e. address) had been received electronically. My reaction was essentially ‘what???? I thought this was sent out in September, wth". In hindsight at this point of should of emailed Mr. Brous and asked what was going on, and why didn't he cancel my order when I asked, but I never did. The onus of that mistake is on me. However, I still decide to proceed with the order as I like the look of the black Wharncliffe Silent Soldier, and my initial buyer’s remorse had passed (and my re-circulation pump still hadn't arrived yet, neither did my monthly Visa statement).
Let’s move 11 days in the future, now Oct 12th. I have managed to list and sell some of my knives here on BF to cover the cost of the new pump, and was waiting to receive my new neck knife from Brous Blades. Now, one thing you learn being Canadian is, to be patient with international shipments, as Customs can delay the reception of knives (or any international order) for days (1-2 weeks). I decide to check how far along the neck knife was in the Customs clearance/shipment process, and I was not happy to say the least. USPS still showed the status of my package as 'shipping information electronically received'...translation...my package had still not shipped. I quickly called USPS costumer service to confirm this was not some mistake with the tracking system. USPS confirmed that nothing was wrong on their end, and that the only thing they received concerning my package was my address. At this point I was pretty fed up with the entire situation (I my mind I had concluded that I was being jerked around). So I decided to file an 'Item not Received' claim with PayPal, and enter the first step in the dispute process (mind you I have never filed a PayPal dispute before this).
3 days later, now Oct 15th, I received the first communication from Mr. Brous directly concerning my filed claim. Mr. Brous said that he had shipped the package and sent me the tracking number, and that I should contact USPS about it (which was already done). I immediately escalated the claim to the point where PayPal has to directly interject, and rules the final outcome of the dispute. It should be noted that USPS still displayed my package as not shipped (only that the address was received).
On Oct 18th, the package was finally shipped, with my original USPS tracking showing it was shipped (a full 29 days after Mr. Brous had initially told me it was shipped). The knife arrived yesterday (quite quickly, I have to credit Mr. Brous for that as well), on Oct 25th. I rejected the order at the door (which was also the first time I had ever done that), and it is now being sent back to Mr. Brous.
To anyone who is in a situation like this: rejecting your package is not the right thing to do in this instance. As the rejected parcel is sent back using the most basic shipping method, which does not include any tracking or proof of delivery. So the original sender can claim they never received the returned package, and keep the entire initial payment (and there's nothing you can do about it). Consider that a free $130 dollar lesson!
That being said, my recommendation to anyone ordering from Brous Blades is, take any kind of communication concerning your purchase(s) at face value, until you have actual evidence of the action occurring. Make sure you follow up!
This review honestly boils down to two things. Lack of action on my part (I really should of been more proactive); lesson learned (and I really hope no one else gets in similar situation, with any merchant). That is on me and I have no qualms with taking full responsibility. However, that being said, there was a clear lack of integrity in the communications obtained from Mr. Brous, this cannot be denied. This is honestly a facet that no merchant should possess.
If you are an international buyer, and looking at buying a Brous production knife, I would recommend you buy it from a reputable third party site and not Brous Blades directly.
Additionally, one thing I have noticed is that Mr. Brous is very active in defending his brand from negative reviews or postings online. So I expect, and am looking forward to, reading his reply to this post. I apologize for the length of this thread. I just want everything to be clear as possible, and for no ambiguities to exist. Please keep in mind, this complaint is not about the Brous product, I think Mr. Brous has some fantastic designs and products. This post is strictly about the lack of veracity concerning the communications I had received from Mr. Brous, and the poor customer service of Brous Blades.