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Thread: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

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    Default Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    I'll let my email exchange with him speak for itself



    I've been buying pens from Mr Minuskin for the last 2 years so needless to say I was quite disappointed, even offended to be treated this way. Granted, he offered a refund, but the refund was not in the line of "sorry for the trouble," but "go away I don't need your business." He has his wish, I will not return.

    This is the pen in question http://gregminuskin.com/?p=14830. Notice he doesn't mention the problem anywhere in the listing. The pen is not a wet noodle either, semi flex at best, though I was aware of that at the time of purchasing.

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    I don't want to comment on Greg's bedside manner, or lack thereof. I understand how you feel. Clearly he doesn't know how to fix the problem, and he's not aware of any defect, so regardless of how he should have handled it, there's actually nothing he can do for you except offer you a refund. I believe that's the backdrop.

    It is true that the feeds of this vintage offer little protection from burps, but if you knew the pen was semi-flex, then you probably already knew that. However, a metal pen has very little insulation, and perhaps the sac is full-size for this pen. One thing you might try is replacing the sac with a smaller one. That might help, but if you tried to carry it in your pocket it probably still would burp eventually. I'm not very familiar with these pens, so I don't know what the feed looks like, but I can't imagine that Wahl pens of that era had much room in the feed to store ink, and consequently the channel is probably pretty good size as well.
    --
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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    After a recent experience of my own with Mr Minuskin, all it can say is I'm not surprised at his manner of response. I'll not be buying from him again.

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    That is certainly disappointing. I've not had any dealings with him, but would expect to be spoken to with a bit more class as a new customer and certainly so as a returning customer. Speak with your wallet - it often hurts the most.

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    I've had a similar experience, he insisted I clogged the feed of the Vacumatic due to a poor choice of ink ( Diamine.). I sent it to someone else and was informed that the filling system was not in working order.

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Mark,

    First, welcome to FPG. I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience with your new pen. I've read your post several times and I'm not put off by your inquiry nor am I put off by the response from Greg. In my view, you were not happy with a pen you purchased and the seller offered to refund your purchase and sell the pen to someone else. Returning the pen may not have been what you wanted but as you indicate, it was an option.

    I will acknowledge that I have done a lot of business with Greg. In once instance I had a nib repair fail and after returning the nib to Greg, the issue was corrected promptly. I was asked how the repair failed and if I was attempting to abuse the nib but I expected that, I would have asked one of my customers the same questions and I didn't (and still don't) find this unreasonable.

    In your case it seems you didn't like the after the sale service and you have chosen to not do business again. I would have taken a different approach and asked if I could return the pen to be examined/tested. If a defect was found the issue could be resolved, if unrepairable then a refund issued. Unless I'm missing something I just don't see the jump to where this seems to have ended.

    In the absence of other options, you might remove the section and see if the sac is loose or bound up or something simple. It is a shame to see a nice pen not get used.

    Farmboy (Todd)

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by pluvia View Post
    I'll let my email exchange with him speak for itself
    This is the pen in question http://gregminuskin.com/?p=14830. Notice he doesn't mention the problem anywhere in the listing. The pen is not a wet noodle either, semi flex at best, though I was aware of that at the time of purchasing.
    I've been casually trying to purchase one of these famous Minuskin restored pens for a while now, and I was aware that the flexibility of those pens may sometimes be overstated, but I didn't realize the extent to which that might be the case. Describing a semi-flex as a wet noodle seems a bit much, unless "wet noodle" doesn't imply anything about the degree of flex possible? I was under the impression that wet noodle also implied full flex, but wetter.

    Regardless, I do think this thread is starting to tread very close to this policy:
    We don't care what you think of the person who did the work. His personality is not being reviewed, his work is.

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    Mark,

    First, welcome to FPG. I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience with your new pen. I've read your post several times and I'm not put off by your inquiry nor am I put off by the response from Greg. In my view, you were not happy with a pen you purchased and the seller offered to refund your purchase and sell the pen to someone else. Returning the pen may not have been what you wanted but as you indicate, it was an option.

    I will acknowledge that I have done a lot of business with Greg. In once instance I had a nib repair fail and after returning the nib to Greg, the issue was corrected promptly. I was asked how the repair failed and if I was attempting to abuse the nib but I expected that, I would have asked one of my customers the same questions and I didn't (and still don't) find this unreasonable.

    In your case it seems you didn't like the after the sale service and you have chosen to not do business again. I would have taken a different approach and asked if I could return the pen to be examined/tested. If a defect was found the issue could be resolved, if unrepairable then a refund issued. Unless I'm missing something I just don't see the jump to where this seems to have ended.

    In the absence of other options, you might remove the section and see if the sac is loose or bound up or something simple. It is a shame to see a nice pen not get used.

    Farmboy (Todd)
    Thank you. While unhappy with the pen, I'm even more unhappy with his service and the way I was treated. Returning is an option, and I chose not to take it. That, however, does not mean that I cannot comment on the quality of his service. I believe that is the spirit of market feedback as well. It is not so much about what I can get out of it, but what the community can learn from my experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by EclecticCollector View Post

    I've been casually trying to purchase one of these famous Minuskin restored pens for a while now, and I was aware that the flexibility of those pens may sometimes be overstated, but I didn't realize the extent to which that might be the case. Describing a semi-flex as a wet noodle seems a bit much, unless "wet noodle" doesn't imply anything about the degree of flex possible? I was under the impression that wet noodle also implied full flex, but wetter.

    Regardless, I do think this thread is starting to tread very close to this policy:
    We don't care what you think of the person who did the work. His personality is not being reviewed, his work is.
    My Pelican M400 has softer nib than that "wet noodle."

    So far, we're still addressing my experience with his post-purchase service so that should be alright.

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Having read the OP a couple of times from a couple of different perspectives I find that I tend to agree with Mark. The letter is discourteous and not at all how I would expect to be treated myself as a customer. In particular the second paragraph has the statement "I can quickly sell to another who will not have this issue". This is, in my opinion, a very thinly veiled insult and not acceptable. In the first paragraph Mr Minuskin also fails to appreciate - from his response - that Mark's assertion that the pen 'spews ink out when I look at it funny' is simply an expression to highlight, using hyperbole, the fact that the pen in question seems to leak rather too easily. It is not intended to be taken literally.

    Of course we have to take into consideration the fact that email is not the best medium for communicating certain things, but even so, Mr Minuskin's reply comes across as disinterested and somewhat rude. He would do well to work on that aspect of his customer relationship.

    Note I have commented on the quality of after sales service here, as that is why this thread exists. I am aware of Mr Minuskins reputation as a pen fiddler. However, that does not excuse poor manners.

    That's my opinion on this matter. I believe Mark is right to complain about this. Take that for whatever you think it is worth.

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by EclecticCollector View Post
    Describing a semi-flex as a wet noodle seems a bit much, unless "wet noodle" doesn't imply anything about the degree of flex possible? I was under the impression that wet noodle also implied full flex, but wetter.

    Regardless, I do think this thread is starting to tread very close to this policy:
    We don't care what you think of the person who did the work. His personality is not being reviewed, his work is.
    It's a bit of challenge for "wet noodle" status as the definition is really all over the place depending on who you've contacted and how long he/she have been in the FP business. Although, I'm not against OP for his complaint on Minuskin's after sales care but technically the only thing he can offer as a merchant would be a refund for the item. Is the actual email's writing unprofessional or abrasive? Yes.

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Possibly a bit off specific topic but I have never seen a fp site focusing on how fast items sell like this. Binders does that somewhat but not to excite, assure quick turnover. Seemed odd to me, makes me go hmmm.
    Sandy
    We don't know what we don't know

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Judging flex can be quite the subjective thing. But as for actual experiences:


    I had 1 good and 1 bad experience with Mr. Minuskin. A Sheaffer Snorkel 1.3 mm stub from him was the most flawless stub I've ever tried...and that's despite the fact that I'm a righty and it was a left-hand oblique nib. Seriously, that nib made my Visconti 1.3mm stub look like a joke.

    But I also had a needlepoint flex nib from him whose tines were too far apart. The ink wouldn't flow all the way to the bottom of the page. I had to do a lot of adjusting just to get it to write consistently. Buying from eBay, I'd have no issue with that, but I expect a pen from a nibmeister to come to me ready to write consistently.

    As it stands, I'll still buy from him if the pen and price are right. Everyone can make their own judgments.

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by sharmon202 View Post
    Possibly a bit off specific topic but I have never seen a fp site focusing on how fast items sell like this. Binders does that somewhat but not to excite, assure quick turnover. Seemed odd to me, makes me go hmmm.
    It seems to me that Greg's business model is all about efficiency and fast turnaround. There are no seat belts on this ride, no padding, and no airbags, just an ejector seat. I think the pens he sells go quickly because he prices them that way. Binder is more about restoring the pens completely, being there for you after the sale, etc. Greg tends (at my last check, which was over a year ago) to under-price pens that have been restored to working order but are not fully-restored as compared to Richard Binder's or Ron Zorn's standards, for example. It's Richard's reputation for full restoration and after-sale service that makes a monthly feeding frenzy possible at his prices. Even so, some of the most expensive items in his tray don't sell quickly. At some price point you really need to want that pen, not just say "what the hell" and buy something that you weren't looking for.

    Of course Greg's main thing is nib retipping and repair (real "repair", not "tuning").
    Last edited by mhosea; November 15th, 2014 at 03:05 PM.
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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Really sorry to hear about your experience. I must say, on the odd times that I have made contact with him that I received abrupt, unhelpful responses. I think the problem is that mails very rarely demonstrate the manner in which they were written. I have worked from home in the last 3 years and 70% of the communications I have is via mail 20% by phone and the rest face to face. What I noticed very quickly after working from home permanently is that without being able to read peoples body language it become very easy indeed to misconstrue the mails content and the way it was meant to be conveyed. We all use body language much more than most people believe.

    Imagine for a moment you are are standing in front of Greg Muskin and him saying the words "I have never heard of a pen spewing ink because someone looked at if funny" while laughing a little with a smile on his face. Then image him saying the same with a stern, harsh look on his face. His response takes on a completely different meanings when said with a smile or a scowl. Very busy people generally only want to deal with facts, and niceties go be the wayside or are incorrectly interpreted.

    I would suggest that when he said, "I can sell to another that wont have this issue" that it means that he could sell to someone that wont carry the pen around and just keep it stored as a collectors item. If read in that way, his comment is reasonable.

    The reason for the burping on that pen seems quite obvious to me. The nib and feed are not in far enough. The nib should be put in so that the bottom of the number 2 is just showing. I have about 20 of these pens with number 2 nibs in silver and gold pens. They always do the same if the nib and feed are to far out. It's an attractive look to keep the nib so far out because it enhances the look of the pen, the drawback is that you will get these floods of ink releasing because the feed is not far enough in keeping a tight seal. I know its hard, but ignore the mail, I would call him, not write. Ask if he can reset the nib and feed deeper in to the pen and test.

    I must say, the nib looks really nice... That's a keeper....

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by mhosea View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sharmon202 View Post
    Possibly a bit off specific topic but I have never seen a fp site focusing on how fast items sell like this. Binders does that somewhat but not to excite, assure quick turnover. Seemed odd to me, makes me go hmmm.
    It seems to me that Greg's business model is all about efficiency and fast turnaround. There are no seat belts on this ride, no padding, and no airbags, just an ejector seat. I think the pens he sells go quickly because he prices them that way. Binder is more about restoring the pens completely, being there for you after the sale, etc. Greg tends (at my last check, which was over a year ago) to under-price pens that have been restored to working order but are not fully-restored as compared to Richard Binder's or Ron Zorn's standards, for example. It's Richard's reputation for full restoration and after-sale service that makes a monthly feeding frenzy possible at his prices. Even so, some of the most expensive items in his tray don't sell quickly. At some price point you really need to want that pen, not just say "what the hell" and buy something that you weren't looking for.

    Of course Greg's main thing is nib retipping and repair (real "repair", not "tuning").
    I think that Mike hit the nail on the head--Mr. Minuskin's specialty is nib re-tipping,not restoring the whole pen like Richard
    Binder would do. Will he make a mistake and miss a poorly seated nib that creates a "blobbing" effect? Yep,he's no different than anyone
    else. The better thing to have done(as someone has already suggested) would have been to contact him by phone before bringing this up in the
    forum.




    John
    Last edited by pengeezer; November 15th, 2014 at 04:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by ainterne View Post
    Imagine for a moment you are are standing in front of Greg Muskin and him saying the words "I have never heard of a pen spewing ink because someone looked at if funny" while laughing a little with a smile on his face. Then image him saying the same with a stern, harsh look on his face. His response takes on a completely different meanings when said with a smile or a scowl. Very busy people generally only want to deal with facts, and niceties go be the wayside or are incorrectly interpreted.

    I would suggest that when he said, "I can sell to another that wont have this issue" that it means that he could sell to someone that wont carry the pen around and just keep it stored as a collectors item. If read in that way, his comment is reasonable.
    Thank you very much for the advice on how to fix the pen, I guess I will find a third party to look at this. Regarding Mr Minuskin, I agree that I might have contacted him on a bad day, or there was a bit of miscommunication. However, take a look at this follow up


    I think normal people would try to fix the issue, but instead Mr Minuskin decided to escalate the problem and make further insults and mockery instead, this time at my poor choice of online username. Granted, my username is indeed distasteful so I'll give him that, but I think we can safely eliminate the possibility of misunderstanding here and I don't think a smile from him would fix this at all.

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by Cryptos View Post
    Having read the OP a couple of times from a couple of different perspectives I find that I tend to agree with Mark. The letter is discourteous and not at all how I would expect to be treated myself as a customer. In particular the second paragraph has the statement "I can quickly sell to another who will not have this issue". This is, in my opinion, a very thinly veiled insult and not acceptable. In the first paragraph Mr Minuskin also fails to appreciate - from his response - that Mark's assertion that the pen 'spews ink out when I look at it funny' is simply an expression to highlight, using hyperbole, the fact that the pen in question seems to leak rather too easily. It is not intended to be taken literally.

    Of course we have to take into consideration the fact that email is not the best medium for communicating certain things, but even so, Mr Minuskin's reply comes across as disinterested and somewhat rude. He would do well to work on that aspect of his customer relationship.

    Note I have commented on the quality of after sales service here, as that is why this thread exists. I am aware of Mr Minuskins reputation as a pen fiddler. However, that does not excuse poor manners.

    That's my opinion on this matter. I believe Mark is right to complain about this. Take that for whatever you think it is worth.
    Having carefully read all of the posts I tend to agree with these comments. I would have returned the pen for a full refund.

    Having had a look at his web site it seems to me that the condition of the pens for sale might not be the sellers first priority. The main point seems to be how long they actually take to sell and how many people inquire after them.
    Last edited by Chrissy; November 15th, 2014 at 05:15 PM.

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    Quote Originally Posted by pluvia View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ainterne View Post
    Imagine for a moment you are are standing in front of Greg Muskin and him saying the words "I have never heard of a pen spewing ink because someone looked at if funny" while laughing a little with a smile on his face. Then image him saying the same with a stern, harsh look on his face. His response takes on a completely different meanings when said with a smile or a scowl. Very busy people generally only want to deal with facts, and niceties go be the wayside or are incorrectly interpreted.

    I would suggest that when he said, "I can sell to another that wont have this issue" that it means that he could sell to someone that wont carry the pen around and just keep it stored as a collectors item. If read in that way, his comment is reasonable.
    Thank you very much for the advice on how to fix the pen, I guess I will find a third party to look at this. Regarding Mr Minuskin, I agree that I might have contacted him on a bad day, or there was a bit of miscommunication. However, take a look at this follow up


    I think normal people would try to fix the issue, but instead Mr Minuskin decided to escalate the problem and make further insults and mockery instead, this time at my poor choice of online username. Granted, my username is indeed distasteful so I'll give him that, but I think we can safely eliminate the possibility of misunderstanding here and I don't think a smile from him would fix this at all.
    The point of misunderstanding really isn't the issue. The issue is: Was everything done that could be done by BOTH parties that
    could be done before the issue was made public? It certainly doesn't seem that way.


    We're just going to have to agree to disagree.



    John

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    I've bought from Mr Minuskin before and thankfully had no issue.

    Aside from questions of representation, I think what was offensive was the subtle implication that it's actually the OP's problem and the sense that he had done the OP a huge favour by selling to him at that price (along the lines of, look that was a great bargain how dare you complain about a non-issue?). That's not the way one treats customers.

    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.

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    Default Re: Greg Minuskin - Quite disappointed

    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.
    "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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