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Thread: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by purplepencils View Post
    However, maybe "looking at it funny" was not the best way to go about things. He might have thought the OP was simply trying to cause trouble. In any case, it's best to be literal and clear when corresponding with a vendor about possible issues in the product.
    This.

    The one, true way you can come out smelling like roses in any kind of retail transaction dispute is put all emotion and drama aside, and speak in a calm and business-like manner. Especially in electronic communication, the need for leaving out any hint of irony, humor, sarcasm, etc is so important - unless the person knows you well, a phrase that would cause both of you to chuckle if you were eye-to-eye can easily be misconstrued. Be plain, speak facts, get stuff accomplished.
    All I did was asking a question though. Beside that joke, the rest was pretty much courteous IMO. And seriously, should vendors be held up to the same standards as customers? I think not.

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by pluvia View Post
    Beside that joke, the rest was pretty much courteous IMO.
    Well, exactly my point. Your "joke" didn't come across as such, and caused the other party to become defensive.

    And seriously, should vendors be held up to the same standards as customers? I think not.
    I'm not quite certain you've typed exactly what you mean to say. I will just state that I believe all parties should be held to the same, high standards. And, if you'll note, you are offering excuses for your own part in this, and I am not accepting excuses from either party. I also note that prior to this thread, you have not participated on the FPG forums, so I don't have any kind of track record of your own behavior. In the immortal words of Walter White: "Tread carefully."
    "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: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post

    Well, exactly my point. Your "joke" didn't come across as such, and caused the other party to become defensive.

    And seriously, should vendors be held up to the same standards as customers? I think not.
    I'm not quite certain you've typed exactly what you mean to say. I will just state that I believe all parties should be held to the same, high standards. And, if you'll note, you are offering excuses for your own part in this, and I am not accepting excuses from either party. I also note that prior to this thread, you have not participated on the FPG forums, so I don't have any kind of track record of your own behavior. In the immortal words of Walter White: "Tread carefully."
    I can see where you're coming from and I respect your opinion, but I cannot agree with that. Further discussion between us will certainly run in circle of us arguing back and forth about "joke" so let's cease it here and agree to disagree. I would like to keep this feedback limited to how Mr Minuskin responded to my issue. Reader of this feedback will have to decide for themselves whether his attitude was justified or not.

    I posted this thread on fpgeeks per dannzeman's recommendation from a similar thread on the subreddit /r/fountainpens (of which I am an active member). You can find the thread and more opinions about this matter in the following link http://www.reddit.com/r/fountainpens...ind_of_an_ass/

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by pluvia View Post
    I posted this thread on fpgeeks per dannzeman's recommendation from a similar thread on the subreddit /r/fountainpens (of which I am an active member). You can find the thread and more opinions about this matter in the following link http://www.reddit.com/r/fountainpens...ind_of_an_ass/
    In this case, I completely rescind my comment about your 'new' status here. Obviously, I was unaware of this connection. As to the other, certainly, I won't press the matter. Do keep in mind, however, that any commentary offered up on a public forum is open game for discussion. It takes two to tango.
    "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: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    I'm afraid I'm more interested in getting the problem fixed for the OP so that he'll be happy with the pen. Fortunately, ainterne has supplied the critical information. I'm slightly embarrassed that I didn't notice it when I looked at the pictures myself.
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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by mhosea View Post
    I'm afraid I'm more interested in getting the problem fixed for the OP so that he'll be happy with the pen. Fortunately, ainterne has supplied the critical information. I'm slightly embarrassed that I didn't notice it when I looked at the pictures myself.
    My sentiments exactly. One of my bosses years ago had a plaque on his desk that read,"Failure on your part doesn't constitute
    an emergency on mine" .



    John

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    I have some doubts that customers around the time the pen was made (or nearly any time before the 90s) would have tolerated a pen just simply leaking on them. All of my restored vintage pens have not just leaked on me. If I did have a problem with a restoration Sean or anyone else I've worked with would have offered to take a look at the pen and see if they could fix the problem, which could even just be a simple nib/feed seating issue (ie: nib too far out, feed to far in, etc etc). At the very least they'd be diplomatic about it, and wouldn't start getting firm until after a few back and forths.

    Being blunt or short is nothing new, I'm just concerned that a restoration 'expert' is going to blame the pen being vintage from just leaking. He does restorations, "Sometimes they just leak" isn't really an acceptable answer anymore than a modern pen just leaking (especially when I consider a number of modern pens to be inferior in workmanship to the vintage ones that have survived, and then been restored back to working condition).

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by KBeezie View Post
    I have some doubts that customers around the time the pen was made (or nearly any time before the 90s) would have tolerated a pen just simply leaking on them. All of my restored vintage pens have not just leaked on me. If I did have a problem with a restoration Sean or anyone else I've worked with would have offered to take a look at the pen and see if they could fix the problem, which could even just be a simple nib/feed seating issue (ie: nib too far out, feed to far in, etc etc). At the very least they'd be diplomatic about it, and wouldn't start getting firm until after a few back and forths.

    Being blunt or short is nothing new, I'm just concerned that a restoration 'expert' is going to blame the pen being vintage from just leaking. He does restorations, "Sometimes they just leak" isn't really an acceptable answer anymore than a modern pen just leaking (especially when I consider a number of modern pens to be inferior in workmanship to the vintage ones that have survived, and then been restored back to working condition).
    I couldn't agree more. I'm a restorer myself, and I would regard "sometimes they just leak" as an admission of failure. If they leak you fix it. Fountain pens are simple mechanisms and there are only so many causes of leaking.
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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    (God, I have to install some sort of form saving Firefox add on to get round this autologout bizney. Let's see if I can remember).

    Thanks OP, informative thread.

    If we separate the two issues into sales and aftersales:

    Sales
    It's worth bearing in mind that this particular pen doesn't fully reflect the seller's service as a restorer one way or the other; "ALL I DID WAS TO CHECK OUT THE NIB, AND PUT A NEW INK SAC IN FOR YOU!". This is a leaky pen with a fresh ink sac, not a leaky pen purported to be 'fully restored' or even 'in working order'.

    Aftersales (Putting aside the tone/personality issues)

    From reading his replies to the OP's emails, it is clear that Greg Minuskin's aftersales policy in this instance does not extend to repairing faulty pens, only a return & refund. I would like to ask whether this applies to all the pens he sells, for future consideration. Perhaps a clarification of this policy on his sales pages would be beneficial.




    ainterne's input was a familiar read.
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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Here's my e-mail exchange from an experience from Greg....read from the bottom up for chronological order to messages (sorry) After this exchange, I felt belittled and extremely annoyed as this was literally my first vintage pen. In addition, as I had said earlier, when I set it to someone else for service, I was informed that the filling system was not in working order and Diamine is not a caustic ink. Since my rescuer is active on this forum, I will let him reveal himself if he so chooses. However, if he had not intervened, my exploration into vintage pens would have been an extremely short one. Thankfully, the many people I've had communications with on this forum since the exchange below has convinced me that Greg's behavior puts him in the minority.




    From: greg@gregminuskin.com
    Subject: Re: Help
    Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2014 08:08:51 -0700


    Dear J,

    You filled the pen with caustic, non-factory ink, and have clogged now the filling system. The pen will need to be serviced, or cleaned, depending on the damage done.

    Sorry, I canít assist you this weekend on the phone; as I suggested earlier, you need to watch a video on how to fill these pens; below is a link to a video on how to fill a Vacumatic pen.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-F2-Ift1mYg


    Greg Minuskin


    On Jul 12, 2014, at 7:39 AM, j wrote:

    That's what I did.

    Just curious, am I supposed to see the barrel fill with ink? That was what I was expecting and it didn't happen. I was trying to fill with Diamine Rustic Brown and a little green bubble came out of the breather hole in the nib when I pulled it out. I was then able to write about half a single spaced page in a composition notebook before needing to refill.
    It may be easier to talk, if you can call me after 7PM EST or let me know that I can call you it would be very much appreciated. If this is normal then please just let me know so my expectations are more realistic. In any case, the pen writes great. It's smooth and there is no skipping.

    Than you for your time,

    Dear J,

    You need to unscrew the back end of the pen, push the pump while having the whole black section of the nib part of the feed in the ink, pump until very little air bubbles are in the ink, screw on the back end, wipe, and you are done.

    Very easy!

    I suggest you look at a few You Tube videos for pen care and maintenance, plus filling instructions.

    Greg Minuskin
    greg@gregminuskin.com
    www.gregminuskin.com


    On Jul 11, 2014, at 8:33 PM, j wrote:

    Early 2 banded Parker vacumatic.

    Thanks for your email. Can you refresh me on what pen you bought? Thanks.

    Sincerely,

    Greg Minuskin
    greg@gregminuskin.com
    www.gregminuskin.com

    On Jul 11, 2014, at 7:54 PM, j wrote:

    Hello,

    I received the pen and it looks great. However, this is my first vintage pen and I am wondering if you have any tips on things to do or not do that may differ from modern pens (like a TWSBI.) I am also having a bit of trouble with filling the chamber, so far it writes great as a dip pen. How far do I have to submerge the nib before pushing the plunger?

    Thanks,

    J
    Last edited by Neo; November 16th, 2014 at 03:27 PM.

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Is this the verbatim exchange of emails? I find it hard to understand the basis of Mr. Minuskin's remote diagnosis based on the correspondence above.

    I use Diamine ink most of the time in all of my pens, including vacumatic 51s.

    I do not want "caustic, non-factory ink" near my vintage pens, they're very dear to me, so I emailed Diamine last night to ask about Rustic Brown. They've replied that Rustic Brown is "completely non-toxic and is manufactured in exactly the same way as the rest of our fountain pen inks". Nor is Rustic Brown outsourced; "All the Diamine range of fountain pen ink products are manufactured in our factory in Liverpool."

    Diamine make one iron gall ink, "which is Registrar`s Ink, this is an archival ink and can be used in a fountain pen, however, extra cleaning/flushing is recommended with this ink". I don't use iron galls, but can't imagine even this would clog a vacumatic filler in the course of one day as suggested above.

    Choose your truth, I suppose. Diamine have been making ink since 1864.
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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Mr Minuskin is not the first restorer that I have encountered who gets aggresively defensive when asked questions that may be perceived as critical. Won't be the last either I daresay.

    Another thing to consider: vintage pens were - I would imagine - reasonably reliable instruments for their day. Is it reasonable to expect that reliability to be as good 50, 60, 70 or even 100 years later? I think not. That a lot of them are still fairly reliable is a testament to the quality of manufacture and, in a lot of cases, the care with which they were kept and used by earlier owners.

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by Cryptos View Post
    Mr Minuskin is not the first restorer that I have encountered who gets aggresively defensive when asked questions that may be perceived as critical. Won't be the last either I daresay.

    Another thing to consider: vintage pens were - I would imagine - reasonably reliable instruments for their day. Is it reasonable to expect that reliability to be as good 50, 60, 70 or even 100 years later? I think not. That a lot of them are still fairly reliable is a testament to the quality of manufacture and, in a lot of cases, the care with which they were kept and used by earlier owners.
    A well-restored vintage pen is completely reliable. Why wouldn't it be?
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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by Flounder View Post
    Is this the verbatim exchange of emails? I find it hard to understand the basis of Mr. Minuskin's remote diagnosis based on the correspondence above.

    I use Diamine ink most of the time in all of my pens, including vacumatic 51s.

    I do not want "caustic, non-factory ink" near my vintage pens, they're very dear to me, so I emailed Diamine last night to ask about Rustic Brown. They've replied that Rustic Brown is "completely non-toxic and is manufactured in exactly the same way as the rest of our fountain pen inks". Nor is Rustic Brown outsourced; "All the Diamine range of fountain pen ink products are manufactured in our factory in Liverpool."

    Diamine make one iron gall ink, "which is Registrar`s Ink, this is an archival ink and can be used in a fountain pen, however, extra cleaning/flushing is recommended with this ink". I don't use iron galls, but can't imagine even this would clog a vacumatic filler in the course of one day as suggested above.

    Choose your truth, I suppose. Diamine have been making ink since 1864.
    Yes, the emails were just copied and then pasted.

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    A well-restored vintage pen is completely reliable. Why wouldn't it be?
    Materials age. Unless they are replaced they will eventually fail. Some quicker than others (look at Dorics for example)

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by Flounder View Post
    I find it hard to understand the basis of Mr. Minuskin's remote diagnosis based on the correspondence above.
    His basis is irrelevant because his remote diagnosis proved to be completely wrong.

    This ink business is tricky because there may be a kernel of truth. That is to say, there may be a list of "boutique" inks that for some particular reasons are latex-hostile, perhaps requiring certain conditions for a problem to manifest. In this matter Greg needs to take a page from Rick Propas' book (except that Rick actually likes Diamine in particular). Instead of making claims that might prove either true or false, Rick just says: "Please note: the use of Private Reserve or Noodlers' inks will void The PENguin warranty. I cannot be responsible for pens in which those inks have been used." This is a simple statement of policy. It makes no claims that might someday prove to be right or wrong. It just is.

    I might add that, while I use Noodler's, Private Reserve, and Diamine inks, I know of some Noodler's and PR inks that I myself will not use in a fountain pen (e.g. Noodler's Qin Shi Huang and PR Candy Apple Red, for example). It's a short list for me, easily maintained, but being on the other side of the fence having to deal with potential warranty returns and not knowing what these ink makers are going to come up with next, I can well understand the benefit of making the policy simple and easy to follow.
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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by Cryptos View Post
    A well-restored vintage pen is completely reliable. Why wouldn't it be?
    Materials age. Unless they are replaced they will eventually fail. Some quicker than others (look at Dorics for example)
    Some parts have finite lifespans and so have to be replaced, but if the pen is "well-restored", as Deb put it, it will be "reliable" in its operation. I like cartridge-converters, but it's not like they last all that long. Same thing. The principal limitation that I see occurs when the plastics have become brittle. I've lost a couple of blue Parker VS's to this. You don't want to subject vintage pens to rough treatment because it's hard to know how resilient some of these plastics still are. Whereas once you might have been able to drop them and expect nothing more than a scratch, they might now chip and break. Yet, in most cases, with careful handling these pens will continue to work indefinitely, so long as the parts with finite lifespans are updated at the required intervals.
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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by mhosea View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flounder View Post
    I find it hard to understand the basis of Mr. Minuskin's remote diagnosis based on the correspondence above.
    His basis is irrelevant because his remote diagnosis proved to be completely wrong.
    For me, the basis of his remote diagnosis ("trying to fill with Diamine Rustic Brown and a little green bubble came out of the breather hole in the nib when I pulled it out. I was then able to write about half a single spaced page in a composition notebook before needing to refill" = "You filled the pen with caustic, non-factory ink, and have clogged now the filling system. The pen will need to be serviced, or cleaned, depending on the damage done." is relevant in terms of professional competence.

    Erroneous diagnosis or not, if there's a rational basis that can be explained, fine. If it's a baseless diagnosis, as Diamine's response would indicate, that has a bearing when considering Greg's services, given this example.
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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Slightly off topic but I'm curious about what Diamine told you. I have asked several manufacturers of ink about the formulation and I have always been essentially told 'trade secret' in a very polished manner. Having enough analytical equipment an by disposal to run a small University, I could without a doubt confirm I was just passed off with a BS answer.

    Farmboy

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by Flounder View Post
    is relevant in terms of professional competence.
    I didn't quite mean it the way you took it. I meant, rather, that this line of questioning was a dry hole. Greg's been pushing the "boutique inks are evil" agenda for a long time now, and it's been discussed to death. AFAIK, Greg is an expert in nib retipping and crack repair. I have no idea whether I've pissed him off enough by the way I've responded to these things here and in the past, but I personally would NOT hesitate to have him re-tip a nib or a repair a nib crack. If I bought a vintage pen from him, however, I would only expect that the nib was in whatever condition that he said it was in. Me personally, I wouldn't think of it as a "restored" pen. I don't perceive any conflict here in the sense that I do believe a person can be one of the world's best in one thing and not in another.
    Last edited by mhosea; November 17th, 2014 at 07:54 PM.
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