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Thread: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

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    Default Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    Has anyone had a recent email exchange or sent Greg minuskin a pen for repair anytime recently? I had easily one of the worst customer service experiences Iíve had in as long as I can remember last week. Iíve never even joined a forum but felt compelled and was curious if maybe Iím just crazy. Iím a little baffled by it all to be honest. Even after a series of emails of him being rude I thought what the hell, if heís good at fixing pens I can let his unnecessary snarky and curt remarks slide.

    I asked for his PayPal info and if he wanted payment in advance with no response regarding how or when to send him $. I sent him an email 2 days before the pen arrived. I described the pen in detail and what I was hoping for. My email doesnít have my last name as its work related but I wrote my full name and address on the return address. I also wrote on the actual package ďArmy Green Sailor 1911L music nib pen for line variation adjustmentĒ. After multiple email exchanges and only 2 days after I sent the package he informed me heís sending it back to my return address. He said he had another Kyle in his system and said he doesnít have 100ís of hours to look through emails to match names. Call me crazy, but if someone youíre emailing with the name Kyle describes the pen and what he wants done and when to expect the package and what I would write on it. If thereís 2 people named Kyle, thatís a pretty easy thing to figure out without spending 100ís of hours. And then to receive an email two days later and open it with a message saying, I received your pen but donít know whoís it is so Iíll be sending it back. Wouldnít it be easier to ask for my info than send it back to me. I was also gonna buy another pen he had for sale. Also how you can email someone and reply I received your pen but donít know whoís it is???

    I priced checked him against other reputable nib grinders first (from what I read even more qualified nib grinders) however he had a fast turn around which I needed. He quoted me $165 when everyone else was a fraction of that. I told him I donít mind paying for quality but was curious why he charged more. He said ď I use professional equipment and lots of these ďfolksĒ use Dremel cut off wheels; rather crude. Their grinding wheels cost $1.10; mine costs $454.00.ď

    I reached out to mark and mike online, I thought they were pretty reputable from what Iíve read... are they the ďfolksĒ heís talking about? Iím pretty new and naive to fountain pens but am an avid writer and fell in love instantly. Is Greg suggesting that these guy use $1 grinding wheels while heís using a $450 one?

    Has anyone had a similar experience recently? Am I crazy????

    I can post our email exchange so Iím not putting words in his mouth and wonít fluff up my tone which was very polite until he sent back by pen and he signed the last email as ďmail room staffĒ while the first 20 emails he signed Greg. I just couldnít be more disappointed in the experience. I felt obligated to share and see if Iím the only one recently whoís experienced this. Iím pretty upset, itís one thing to be rude and good at your job. I take my job and work very seriously and when someone waste my time itís kind of a pet peeve especially after making two trips to the post office. Maybe I expected a higher level of professionalism, but this is an unacceptable way to run a business.

    Mike and mark seemed to be the other two go to guys. Mark was incredibly kind and responsive when I emailed him about the repair. Can someone confirm that these guys arenít the guys using $1 grinders as opposed to Gregís $450. How are people even professionally fixing $300+ pens with a $1 or is that more of Greg talking.

    Thank you for any feedback 🙏 Iím naive to a lot of the details of fountain pens but am now a lifelong collector and want to make sure Iím buying and getting any nibs fixed from the correct people.

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    Default Re: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    What a drag. Sorry you experienced that.

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    Default Re: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    Bummer.

    I recommend Mike Masuyama enthusiastically. I got to meet him at the Denver Pen Show and I got to sit and watch him work on a friend's pen.

    He was very kind, polite, and easy going, always smiling. And he is very, very skilled.

    I've tried a number of examples of his work; all are outstanding. (Oh, and his grinding wheels are as good as you'd find at a pen manufacturer).

    I've not used him for my pens and I haven't heard anything about his mail in service but I can't imagine him being anything but polite and respectful.

    Meanwhile this other dude needs to invest in a CRM system if it's that challenging for him to match pens, emails, and people.

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    Default Re: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    I have read a similar story on this very forum and Mr. Minuskin might even reply to your post as he has an account here but I have not seen him post in a long while. My only experience with him was buying a pen and the transaction was smooth.
    Fountain Pen Sith Lord | Daakusaido | inktronics blog | Twitter | Instagram

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    Default Re: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    Mark Bacas has ground a number of my nibs and each one has been exceptional. In addition, dealing with Mark is always nothing short of a pleasure. The only reason I haven't had Mike grind a nib is the length of his queue.

    The only feedback I have read about Greg would not motivate me to risk my patience, particularly when the alternatives are so appealing.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Default Re: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    I admit being new to the concept of having a nib sent out for grinding and adjustment. Is it because the pen is otherwise a highly prized vintage type? I just don't experience a real problem in writing with any of mine unless the nib was designed for posting.

    Perhaps its another reason I appreciate the vintage Esterbrook pens where if the nib is not performing a new one can be installed for the price of a six pack of PBR.

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    Default Re: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    The tooling falls into two general groups. One utilizes a Dremel tool and small diameter tools often at blazing speeds, the other relies on hard felt wheels and relatively slow speed with fine rouge abrasives. I have seen the former use diamond cut-off wheels, sanding discs, and stone wheels.

    Both groups seem to have success using their own tools and methods. The latter group most closely resembles how the original vintage nibs were produced.

    There is a third technique that relies on only handwork using abrasive pads and no mechanical device, though this group is quite small in number.

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    Default Re: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    I admit being new to the concept of having a nib sent out for grinding and adjustment. Is it because the pen is otherwise a highly prized vintage type? I just don't experience a real problem in writing with any of mine unless the nib was designed for posting.
    I send mine out to be ground into cursive italics. I find this grind suits my hand and I like the line variation that it produces, with no additional pressure.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    Greg serves some unique functions in the nib world, primarily being one of the few people who can repair nibs in a number of ways (re-tipping, fixing cracks, etc). I can say without hesitation that you are not the first to have issues, and he is somewhat well-known for having pretty poor people skills, at least at times. I wish it wasn't so, when I see him at pen shows it's all convivial, but I never suggest him for anything but last-resort nib repair.

    There are a number of reputable people doing nib work these days. I'm pretty certain "mike and mark" that you mention are Mike Masuyama and Mark Bacas. Mike is legendary and works old-school and gives great results; Mark is newer, I don't know his methodology but while I haven't sent anything to him, I have used a number of pens that a friend of mine has (done by him) and they are excellent as well.

    Indy-Pen-Dance, Mottishaw of nibs.com of course, Gena Salorino of Custom Nib Studio, Dan Smith of The Nibsmith (if he's not backed up with work). These are all good folks that shouldn't give you issues on this front. I'm just sorry you started with probably the most problematic resource as a first go. Good luck!
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

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    Default Re: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    You can read my (similarly unhappy) experiences with Greg here:

    https://fpgeeks.com/forum/showthread...kin-Service-NG

    I have had great experiences recently with Mark Bacas, Mike Masuyama, Mottishaw and Miller (of Pendemonium)...

    My most recent was a batch of 4 vintage pens sent to Bacas and all 4 came back perfect for a reasonable charge and turn around. I don't give a hoot if he is using a 1 million dollar machine or a stone on his porch. He even heat set the feed.
    Last edited by stub; December 28th, 2019 at 03:01 AM.

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    Default Re: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    Great to also note the increasing number of women nib techs:

    • Linda Kennedy (Indy-Pen-Dance)
    • Leta Miller (Pendemonium)
    • Audrey Matteson (at Franklin-Christoph)
    • Gena Salorino (formerly of nibs.com, now independent I believe)
    • Appleboom's nib tech, whose name escapes me at the moment (please chime in if you know, she also plays the harp)
    • Deb Kinney
    Last edited by stub; December 28th, 2019 at 02:37 AM.

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    Default Re: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    Quote Originally Posted by stub View Post
    I don't give a hoot if he is using a 1 million dollar machine or a stone on his porch. He even heat set the feed.
    I agree with this. Furthermore, I'm not even sure why any professional would ever compare his tools with other professionals and tell a customer "their grinding wheels cost $1.10; mine costs $454.00." Isn't that a rather crass thing to say?
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    It's all very strange. I've read several stories about Greg's bizarre behaviour - it's like he's throwing custom away. Yet some years ago Greg and I corresponded for a time and he was perfectly nice. Multiple personalities?
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    Default Re: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stub View Post
    I don't give a hoot if he is using a 1 million dollar machine or a stone on his porch. He even heat set the feed.
    I agree with this. Furthermore, I'm not even sure why any professional would ever compare his tools with other professionals and tell a customer "their grinding wheels cost $1.10; mine costs $454.00." Isn't that a rather crass thing to say?
    Agreed, but maybe this was more meant like ďIím a professional using professional tools, but there are many noobs out there which claims to be able to do the same workĒ

    Not a lucky comparison but imho there is a basic truth in it, there are many folks out there who claims to be able to master something (not limited to nibs) but in fact have no clue or are at least far far away from being professionals.

    Itˋs like everywhere quality tools do not guarantee quality work but support it and make it more likely happen.

    I also think that the tooling of a professional nib Meister canˋt be a Dremel, a guy who is using a Dremel for such a work imho disqualified himself already.
    (This judgement is based on my own experience with nibs and also my general understanding and experiences as an engineer).

    When I work personally on a nib (not claiming to be a professional) I belong to the third group only using manual abrasive tools like (high quality) very fine wet grinding stones, polishing paste and a leather strap (exception is when working on reshaping the nib geometry (not working on the tipping) here I use also a Dremel).
    This allow me to work slowly checking each little change, work very precise and have great control about the progress, the changes and the result.



    I agree that such customer experience as the described one should not happen and if there are quality alternatives available these should be taken.

    But I always would prefer a grumpy master over a noob or average alternatives.
    (Exceptional skills and passion on one specific field often seems to pair with the lack of other (social) skills,.... nobody is perfect )

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    Default Re: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    Quote Originally Posted by stub View Post
    Great to also note the increasing number of women nib techs:

    Chimed
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Default Re: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    Sorry if this is a repeat - I did not see my prior post appear - maybe I'm just new and expect more rapididty that I should.
    But anyway ... Greg Minusikin recently did a nib repair for mr. The nib was badly mangled. I had given up hope and was prepared to relegate the rest of the pen to spare parts. But Greg M. did an excellent repair in just a few days. Payment by PayPal was effortless. John Mottishaw is good - I've had him do work for me in the past, but he is no longer easily available. Greg M. IS availalble, good, and fast. A bit eccentric? Well so what? So is Santa Claus.

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    Default Re: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doctox View Post
    Greg M. IS availalble, good, and fast. A bit eccentric? Well so what? So is Santa Claus.
    And yet, as numerous anecdotal accounts attest, that isn't always the case, which is the point of this thread. Eccentricity is more than acceptable in many walks of life, but in basic business transactions, it can be problematic.

    Is it a coincidence that you've just joined FPG and happened to come across this thread, or did you come here as a show of support?
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    I said it before and I'll say it again: In all my criticisms of Minuskin, his business practices, his social skills, after-service, terrible repairs (non-nib work), I have enjoyed his nib grinds. Further, his nib repair and welding is top notch. But that just makes it all the more awful really, that someone with his metal working chops, his unique abilities, is so hard to deal with.
    Last edited by stub; December 28th, 2019 at 11:27 PM.

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    Default Re: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    The best custom nib I ever had ground was done with a dremel. I think the skill of the nibsmith probably matters more than the tools s/he uses.

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    Default Re: Customer service with greg minuskin...or lack of?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Doctox View Post
    Greg M. IS availalble, good, and fast. A bit eccentric? Well so what? So is Santa Claus.
    And yet, as numerous anecdotal accounts attest, that isn't always the case, which is the point of this thread. Eccentricity is more than acceptable in many walks of life, but in basic business transactions, it can be problematic.

    Is it a coincidence that you've just joined FPG and happened to come across this thread, or did you come here as a show of support?
    Jon-In an effort to be consistent, note the OP has one post as well.

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