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Can one say it is SERVICE at all? Who will buy a knife from Darrel Ralph now...

Discussion in 'FEEDBACK: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!' started by filtrum, Jul 7, 2014.

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  1. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley Riley Knife and Tool Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 17, 2007
    Wow... what a rollercoaster of a thread this is....

    I commend Mr. Ralph for the actions he's taking to repair the situation, though it's a shame it had to come to all of this first.

    FWIW, it's getting very difficult, if not impossible to "get away" with anything in todays social media age.
    Piss off a customer, and the whole world could hear about it within a day or two. In this case, the world was BladeForums, but still....

    Do everything as if the whole world is watching you.
  2. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    at this point guess we all should wait until op gets the offered knife from Mr. Ralph and reports back. hopefully ends well.....
  3. TheBleedingEdge


    Apr 14, 2010
    I was surprised to find this thread. I am a customer of HTM/DDR, and I recently had a customer service experience that went very differently.

    I too received a custom AXD from Darrel recently - the four inch model, to be specific. When it arrived (May 29th, 2014), I found that the blade was very difficult to open. Apparently, some of the loctite that had been applied to the pivot had seeped out of the pivot well and gummed up the opening mechanism. I called DDR (around June 1 or 2, 2014) and spoke with Darrel directly about the problem. He apologized sincerely for the error and asked that I send him the knife for immediately repair. I also own an HTM mid-tech Gunhammer so I asked Darrel if he wouldn't mind me tossing it into the box as well so it could also receive some maintenance. He said it was no problem. I sent them on June 3, and they arrived June 5.

    When the two knives were returned to me (June 19), they were in fantastic shape. Everything that I would expect from a full custom and a high-quality mid-tech.

    Funny thing is, when I first received my custom AXD, it had actually been upgraded for me at no additional charge. I had originally requested M390 blade steel, but due to a shortage, that would have pushed back the completion of my knife. Ms. Lacey Ellis passed along the word that Darrel would be willing to upgrade my knife to CPM-S110V at no additional charge, just in the interest of getting my knife to me by the promised delivery date. I thought this was a very fine gesture from Darrel and his company.

    My AXD-4 and HTM Gunhammer are now my favourite knives, and I use both of them every day.

    It's unfortunate that the original poster had a bad experience. I've read through this entire thread, and I'm still not entirely clear on the details of what happened. Perhaps if he provided a new post, with a shorter video and all of his supporting evidence (with dates, screenshots of emails, etc.) collected together for ease of view, the BladeForums community could make a more informed decision about what transpired here.

    All I can say is that I have had nothing but positive experiences with DDR. I will watch this thread for new developments.

    Here are my two knives:

  4. RevDevil


    Nov 9, 2009
    @ The Bleeding Edge, do a search for the HTM forum knife of a while back for an example of things that went really wrong.
  5. TheBleedingEdge


    Apr 14, 2010
    I tried, but I only found the HTM/DDR threads about gauging interest in a forum knife - nothing relating to QC or CS issues. Can you link me to some relevant threads?

    Here's the thing: I've had a significant disagreement with another knife maker here on BladeForums (who I won't name), and that interaction went down differently than this one.

    The knifemaker in question made a post stating that any and all QC complaints regarding his knives were unfounded. I disagreed, and provided a post of my own, with pictures and a thoughtful, concise post rebutting his statements. The knifemaker in question didn't even try to resolve the problem. He simply ignored me and anyone else who was trying to have a grievance redressed. It's that kind of behaviour which, to me, is indicative of dubious business practices, not to mention willful self-deception. Darrel has been reaching out in this thread, so that tells me that he takes the situation seriously.

    I'd say the most potentially damning thing in this entire thread would be the email that vininull mentioned (emphasis mine):

    vininull, would you be willing to take a screenshot of the email and post it?
  6. RevDevil


    Nov 9, 2009
  7. Wow, I read that entire Forum Knife thread. You guys are patient. Surprise anyone supports a business with such lacking QC and CS.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
  8. TheBleedingEdge


    Apr 14, 2010
    Thank you for the link. That IS a train wreck. Miscommunication, missed deadlines, and a whole lot of quality control issues. It's definitely a snafu of epic proportions as far as high-profile forum knives go.

    But after reading through the thread, I'm still not seeing intentional deceit. Some people here are accusing DDR of scamming, and I think that's unsubstantiated.

    I've done work as an auditor and loss-prevention investigator, so I know what to look for when assessing a business for theft, intentional misappropriation, misdirection, and deception. People who run scams don't leave contact information for permanent establishments (that would make it hard to pick up and run with everyone's money). They certainly don't say stuff like

    Now maybe DDR won't deliver on this promise, we can't say until vininull gives us an update. But I wouldn't go so far as to impugn DDR with accusations of scamming. For now, this fiasco is at worst a perfect storm of incompetence, disorganization, and some raw feelings added for bad measure.

    I'd also like to hear the other side of the story that Darrel mentioned. vininull apparently said some things that are worth noting. But for now, DDR appears to be taking steps to make reparations, and that means something to me, at least.

    It's easy (tempting even) to let feelings fly on the internet, where anonymity and large distances almost guarantee protection from retaliation. And I'll be the first to admit that it's vindicating to really let someone have it when you're upset. But that's not constructive to getting to the truth of what happened, nor of getting the problem resolved.
  9. Good points, it just shows there are issues with customer service and quality control. These are without a doubt major cornerstones of a business that if they go unchecked or get corrected the business can fail.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
  10. newdebate


    May 10, 2014
    So, the customer got $700 by selling the second knife plus a $600 refund and a third knife for free, correct? If so, that answers the OPs' thread title ...
  11. pertinux

    pertinux Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    Notions of "running scams" aside, in light of the history, one wonders if we aren't reading this company's variation of "The Bug Letter". I hope not, and look forward to acceptable resolution for all. But taken broadly, some do "say stuff" that reads very well. ;)

    ~ P.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
  12. TheBleedingEdge


    Apr 14, 2010
    Could be. I'm happy at least to receive acknowledgment of my quality control issue.

    The other knifemaker I described earlier didn't even acknowledge my problem. Basically called me a liar and then persisted in his denial even after I provided evidence.

    Darrel has some problems to fix. But I appreciate that he appears to be taking his business seriously.
  13. RevDevil


    Nov 9, 2009
    It happens in "spurts" it would seem.
  14. Ken44


    Jun 29, 2005

    This is the email where they told him they were going to take $300 from him(after sending him two bad $1200 knives), but he could never speak of it if he wanted the partial refund.....

  15. vininull


    May 29, 2012
    I want to remind to everyone that for the moment, all D.Ralphs statements about sending a new knife + partial money refund are still only words.
    3 days passed but no one still refunded me any money or actually sent a new knife... He didn't even respond to my email where I provided him my shipping address and accepted his apologies... And you know what - I am not surprised to get this kind of "priority customer treatment" again...

    So I don't understand why people get so much excited and hurry to commend him...

    Let's judge by doings and not by words.

  16. Oppositional


    Jun 22, 2014
    See, I was a strong supporter of your position until right there. THAT was persnickety. You could have just left it at "Update: 3 days, still no payment received and no further communication. Waiting to see where this is going. Thanks for the support.". Instead, you formulated a statement full of prosecutorial rhetoric. I suggest you get some hot coco and calm yourself before you loose the good faith of the people who have backed you up.
  17. wroughndt

    wroughndt Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 31, 2011
    *lose.... I agree completely though. Why would a guy not trust a maker that just screwed him twice in a row!? Especially a maker with such an upstanding reputation on this forum!? Really, Mr. Ralph has an excellent reputation for customer service and communication here, why would anyone not trust him?
  18. sh00ter01


    Sep 26, 2007

    All he said was lets see what happens before everyone praises Darrel for 'doing the right thing'. Have you followed this thread at all? I don't blame Alex for being a little skeptical right now as to whether or not all this will work out; remember, Darrel already had a chance to make it right and failed miserably.
  19. Karda

    Karda Banned BANNED

    Jun 1, 2007
    Knock it off folks....

    3 days is a little early to be being snarky/accusatory. I suggest vininull give it a little time.
    Right now all he's doing is giving credence to DDR's statement about poor behavior.
    It would also behoove DDR to also handle this expediently and provide communication.
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