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Another Quality Control Issue


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#1 Touchstone68

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 19:43

Dear All,

 

Over the last few months, I've been very pleased with my Belliver Poinsettia and on learning from the 'Conway Stewart Colours' thread that the model is being discontinued, I ordered a Belliver Shingle as a gift for my wife.  The pen arrived today and although it looks beautiful, I have the irritation of having to return it tomorrow due to an obvious manufacturing fault.

 

The button (derby?) on the cap which secures the clip is such a poor fit that the clip spins freely around the cap.  I have tried to gently screw the button in more tightly but it simply won't screw in any further.  I assume the button has a screw cut section rather than being a push in interference fit and the length of the screw cut section is simply too long to screw in any further.

 

I'm a very tolerant person but I have to concur with opinions expressed on other similar threads that this simply shouldn't happen and I find it extremely frustrating.  What is going on with the final inspection and packaging at Conway Stewart?  My Poinsettia had to be returned for poor starting and I have to say that the factory staff were very helpful and obliging and the pen was returned in full working order but it should have been working from day one.

 

Unfortunately, it would seem that the problem of quality control is not confined to Conway Stewart and my two Onoto Magna Classics both had to be returned shortly after purchase to have defects rectified.  My blue/gold chased model had too much play in the barrel to cap fit and had to have a replacement cap and my Royal Ruby had a chip in the resin at the end of the barrel.  In their defence, I would say that I found the customer support at Onoto to be exemplary but I feel I shouldn't need to find out how good it is at this price point.

 

If Mary sees this thread I hope she will take it constructively as it is intended as a further indication that the quality control at the factory would seem to need a root and branch overhaul.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tim



#2 Mary Burke

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 02:11

Hi Tim,
 
I am very sorry to hear that the clip is loose on the Belliver shingle fountain pen and thank you for your constructive approach to creating this post.  I agree with that such issues should not have been overlooked at the final quality control inspection.
 
Can you please send to me your personal email address through PM or to my email address: maryburke@conwaystewart.co.uk so that I can copy you into the message that I am sending to the Operations Director.
I am aware that Conway Stewart is setting into place another new policy for quality control so that such issues will not occur, however, I am not using any excuse for the fact that you have received a pen with a loose clip.
 
Christine Care (Operations Director) has worked at Conway Stewart for more than 11 years and has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the making and putting together of the Conway Stewart pens. She may have a valid reason for the issue and I would prefer if she could respond to you and to arrange for the prioritizing of your pen repair personally.
 
With kind regards,
 
Mary Burke


#3 parilla

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 05:30

A valid reason for selling a pen with a loose clip?



#4 Touchstone68

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 06:52

Dear All,

 

Over the last few months, I've been very pleased with my Belliver Poinsettia and on learning from the 'Conway Stewart Colours' thread that the model is being discontinued, I ordered a Belliver Shingle as a gift for my wife.  The pen arrived today and although it looks beautiful, I have the irritation of having to return it tomorrow due to an obvious manufacturing fault.

 

The button (derby?) on the cap which secures the clip is such a poor fit that the clip spins freely around the cap.  I have tried to gently screw the button in more tightly but it simply won't screw in any further.  I assume the button has a screw cut section rather than being a push in interference fit and the length of the screw cut section is simply too long to screw in any further.

 

I'm a very tolerant person but I have to concur with opinions expressed on other similar threads that this simply shouldn't happen and I find it extremely frustrating.  What is going on with the final inspection and packaging at Conway Stewart?  My Poinsettia had to be returned for poor starting and I have to say that the factory staff were very helpful and obliging and the pen was returned in full working order but it should have been working from day one.

 

Unfortunately, it would seem that the problem of quality control is not confined to Conway Stewart and my two Onoto Magna Classics both had to be returned shortly after purchase to have defects rectified.  My blue/gold chased model had too much play in the barrel to cap fit and had to have a replacement cap and my Royal Ruby had a chip in the resin at the end of the barrel.  In their defence, I would say that I found the customer support at Onoto to be exemplary but I feel I shouldn't need to find out how good it is at this price point.

 

If Mary sees this thread I hope she will take it constructively as it is intended as a further indication that the quality control at the factory would seem to need a root and branch overhaul.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tim

 

Thankyou for your support Mary which is much appreciated.  I'll e-mail you shortly.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tim



#5 Touchstone68

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 11:12

All,

 

By way of an update, I would confirm that I received the repaired pen last Friday - a five day turn around.  It came complete with two bottles of ink that I had requested as recompense for the return postage costs.  I can't complain about the repair time and also the fact that the original long clip that came with the pen was replaced with a short version, again at my request so that it would match that of my Belliver Poinsettia.

 

However, I would note my disappointment that at no time was I contacted by the factory.  I would not normally expect to be contacted in such circumstances for a simple repair but in light of Mary's much appreciated involvement I would have expected some sort of communication, if only to acknowledge receipt of the pen in the first instance and advise on the likely repair time.  I think this extra attention to detail with the customer service is what is lacking at Conway Stewart and I hope it improves in the future.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tim



#6 FriendAmos

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 13:50

Tim, the pen got to the factory and was repaired and returned in short order. Why is it important that the factory should have contacted you? Just curious.

#7 Touchstone68

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 14:44

Tim, the pen got to the factory and was repaired and returned in short order. Why is it important that the factory should have contacted you? Just curious.

 

It isn't particularly and as I've said, I wouldn't normally expect to be contacted.  However, Mary copied me to an e-mail to Christine Care specifically asking her to make contact with me.  On the same e-mail exchange I also raised a couple of other questions which have gone unanswered.  I just feel that it's a poor show in light of all the other posts on this Forum on related matters of customer care and quality control and how Conway Stewart is meant to be putting their house in order.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tim



#8 warblerick

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 17:53

 

It isn't particularly and as I've said, I wouldn't normally expect to be contacted.  However, Mary copied me to an e-mail to Christine Care specifically asking her to make contact with me.  On the same e-mail exchange I also raised a couple of other questions which have gone unanswered.  I just feel that it's a poor show in light of all the other posts on this Forum on related matters of customer care and quality control and how Conway Stewart is meant to be putting their house in order.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tim

Yes, I agree. If I've learned anything in the past several years, it's that CS stands for Conway Stewart and not Customer Service.



#9 FriendAmos

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 19:08

It isn't particularly and as I've said, I wouldn't normally expect to be contacted.  However, Mary copied me to an e-mail to Christine Care specifically asking her to make contact with me.  On the same e-mail exchange I also raised a couple of other questions which have gone unanswered.  I just feel that it's a poor show in light of all the other posts on this Forum on related matters of customer care and quality control and how Conway Stewart is meant to be putting their house in order.
 
Kind regards,
 
Tim


Sorry, I still don't get it. Yes, Mary asked Christine Care to make contact with you, but it is unclear how that translates into an obligation on Care's (or Conway Stewart's) part or how the lack of such communication----which, as you say, you don't normally expect---shows poor service on the part of CS. You got a turnaround of 5 days. That's fantastic, given that from some places just one-way mailing takes that long. It also means that CS probably took 2 or 3 days with the pen. Fantastic. I don't know what your questions were, but, as far as I can tell, you wanted your pain repaired, and repaired it was. Real quick too. Perhaps Care considered that your questions had been implicitly answered in the prompt response of a satisfactory pen. I don't know, and I still can't see what exactly has made you so unhappy.

#10 theverdictis

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 06:02

Sorry, I still don't get it. Yes, Mary asked Christine Care to make contact with you, but it is unclear how that translates into an obligation on Care's (or Conway Stewart's) part or how the lack of such communication----which, as you say, you don't normally expect---shows poor service on the part of CS. You got a turnaround of 5 days. That's fantastic, given that from some places just one-way mailing takes that long. It also means that CS probably took 2 or 3 days with the pen. Fantastic. I don't know what your questions were, but, as far as I can tell, you wanted your pain repaired, and repaired it was. Real quick too. Perhaps Care considered that your questions had been implicitly answered in the prompt response of a satisfactory pen. I don't know, and I still can't see what exactly has made you so unhappy.

It's just simply good customer service to inform a person of the next steps that are being taken etc. All these 'little things' add up to a great customer experience with a brand/product. When i used to work in retail the saying went, that if a person has a good experience, they are likely to tell between 1-5 of their friends/family. If a person has a bad experience, they are likely to tell the whole world. Also for a pen that costs as much as a Conway Stewart (don't get me wrong they are extremely nice pens) these little things should count. 


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#11 theverdictis

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 06:03

 

Hi Tim,
 
I am very sorry to hear that the clip is loose on the Belliver shingle fountain pen and thank you for your constructive approach to creating this post.  I agree with that such issues should not have been overlooked at the final quality control inspection.
 
Can you please send to me your personal email address through PM or to my email address: maryburke@conwaystewart.co.uk so that I can copy you into the message that I am sending to the Operations Director.
I am aware that Conway Stewart is setting into place another new policy for quality control so that such issues will not occur, however, I am not using any excuse for the fact that you have received a pen with a loose clip.
 
Christine Care (Operations Director) has worked at Conway Stewart for more than 11 years and has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the making and putting together of the Conway Stewart pens. She may have a valid reason for the issue and I would prefer if she could respond to you and to arrange for the prioritizing of your pen repair personally.
 
With kind regards,
 
Mary Burke

 

This is great attention to detail. Well done Conway Stewart  :D


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#12 Touchstone68

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:21

It's just simply good customer service to inform a person of the next steps that are being taken etc. All these 'little things' add up to a great customer experience with a brand/product. When i used to work in retail the saying went, that if a person has a good experience, they are likely to tell between 1-5 of their friends/family. If a person has a bad experience, they are likely to tell the whole world. Also for a pen that costs as much as a Conway Stewart (don't get me wrong they are extremely nice pens) these little things should count. 

 

I couldn't have put it better myself Verdictis.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tim



#13 theverdictis

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 11:00

 

I couldn't have put it better myself Verdictis.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tim

No problem! Hopefully with whatever is going on between CS and Onoto, the customer service side of things should see vast improvements!


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#14 FriendAmos

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 14:56

It's just simply good customer service to inform a person of the next steps that are being taken etc. All these 'little things' add up to a great customer experience with a brand/product. When i used to work in retail the saying went, that if a person has a good experience, they are likely to tell between 1-5 of their friends/family. If a person has a bad experience, they are likely to tell the whole world. Also for a pen that costs as much as a Conway Stewart (don't get me wrong they are extremely nice pens) these little things should count.


I do not question the importance of telling the customer that what is necessary will be done. What I was wondering about is this: how long should one wait before getting upset at not being told anything? Keeping in mind that those folks receive other pens too, and all the time, I don't think 1 week is unreasonable. In this case, however, the pen was returned within 1 week!

Allowing time for postage, paperwork, etc., I would say that I am very impressed with the alacrity with which CS handled the pen, and, on that basis, I would happily recommend CS to others. That is why I am puzzled that Tim is so unhappy.

#15 View from the Loft

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 19:20

I do not question the importance of telling the customer that what is necessary will be done. What I was wondering about is this: how long should one wait before getting upset at not being told anything? Keeping in mind that those folks receive other pens too, and all the time, I don't think 1 week is unreasonable. In this case, however, the pen was returned within 1 week!Allowing time for postage, paperwork, etc., I would say that I am very impressed with the alacrity with which CS handled the pen, and, on that basis, I would happily recommend CS to others. That is why I am puzzled that Tim is so unhappy.


I think that the OP is unhappy that his expectation of Christine Care contacting him directly as requested by Mary Burke did not happen. This detail appears to have been overlooked b CS, and as noted by others in this thread, it is attention to detail that makes the difference between happy customers and those who feel let down.

#16 Ghost Plane

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 20:19

Lord help any of you who have to send a pen to Visconti or any if the other Italian brans that cost as much or more. You'll be sans pen for months, have no idea if it got there or when it's returning until it ends up in your doorstep. Ditto for MB who simply ships it if you don't have boutiques nearby.

Yes, better service would be lovely. But it's not standard operating procedure in the luxury pen market.

#17 FriendAmos

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 20:34

I think that the OP is unhappy that his expectation of Christine Care contacting him directly as requested by Mary Burke did not happen. This detail appears to have been overlooked b CS, and as noted by others in this thread, it is attention to detail that makes the difference between happy customers and those who feel let down.


I understand that, but I have two questions: one is why Burke asking Care to contact him should lead to an obligation on Care's part; two, and more importantly, what exactly did he expect from the contact? He wanted his pen repaired, and repaired it was. Very quickly too. Yes, attention to detail always makes a difference, but ...

#18 FriendAmos

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 20:41

Lord help any of you who have to send a pen to Visconti or any if the other Italian brans that cost as much or more. You'll be sans pen for months, have no idea if it got there or when it's returning until it ends up in your doorstep. Ditto for MB who simply ships it if you don't have boutiques nearby.

Yes, better service would be lovely. But it's not standard operating procedure in the luxury pen market.


Exactly. With the Italian manufacturers, I know that it has arrived only because I use DHL and can look at the tracking information. A couple of months or so later, I will know it is ready to be returned because I will typically get a request for a credit-card authorization to return it by DHL.

I keep buying the pens anyway, and it's not because I am a blockhead.

#19 warblerick

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 21:15

Lord help any of you who have to send a pen to Visconti or any if the other Italian brans that cost as much or more. You'll be sans pen for months, have no idea if it got there or when it's returning until it ends up in your doorstep. Ditto for MB who simply ships it if you don't have boutiques nearby.

Yes, better service would be lovely. But it's not standard operating procedure in the luxury pen market.

True. I had to send my Aurora 88 LE Demonstrator back to Italy for repair, then, after about 6 months, it was back at the dealers. When I picked it up, I found that it had not been repaired properly, so back it went. Another 3 months and it finally came back, properly done. Not a single word of communication in all that time.



#20 View from the Loft

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 06:51

I understand that, but I have two questions: one is why Burke asking Care to contact him should lead to an obligation on Care's part; two, and more importantly, what exactly did he expect from the contact? He wanted his pen repaired, and repaired it was. Very quickly too. Yes, attention to detail always makes a difference, but ...

 

OK, we're going to have to agree to disagree :-)

 

If somebody in my organisation tells a customer that X will be in contact with them, X will make contact with them.



#21 View from the Loft

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 06:53

Lord help any of you who have to send a pen to Visconti or any if the other Italian brans that cost as much or more. You'll be sans pen for months, have no idea if it got there or when it's returning until it ends up in your doorstep. Ditto for MB who simply ships it if you don't have boutiques nearby.

Yes, better service would be lovely. But it's not standard operating procedure in the luxury pen market.

 

As I don't have any Italian pens, I haven't experienced that.

 

Obviously I have been spoilt by Onoto's customer service :D



#22 plumista

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 08:13

In my experience with this brand, it is true that Mary Burke takes great care and pays attention to details... in the beginning... sometimes... but then the customer service stops being effective and fast: the promised (and definitive), therefore much expected, reply by Christine Care never arrived (two issues about a defective Marlborough); don´t get me wrong: the pen itself arrived safely and repaired, but why missing the best contact with your customer?.

Not a good idea for such a high-price brand: "detail makes all the difference" as the old saying goes.



#23 Vlad Soare

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 09:26

My experience was a bit different. As advised by Mary, I've contacted Kayleigh Care regarding a nib swap. She replied almost immediately to my e-mails, and she confirmed the receipt of my pen within a couple of hours after it happened.

So for now I'm happy with the communication part. And if the pen comes back with the nib I requested, I'll be even happier. :)

 

As mentioned above, Montblanc's communication is slightly worse. I only know that my pen has been received because I checked the tracking info on the Post office's site. When I asked them to confirm the receipt of the pen, they forwarded my question to my local boutique and said the boutique will tell me everything I needed to know. Which, of course, was not true, because I had sent the pen directly to Hamburg, so the boutique knew nothing about it. :)

The guy from the boutique was very kind, he called me on my mobile phone immediately and offered to help, but unfortunately he couldn't. He didn't have access to any information regarding the status my pen.

So, at least for me, the score in regard to communication is 1-0 in favour of Conway Stewart. :)


Edited by Vlad Soare, 13 June 2014 - 10:30.


#24 arran

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 19:57

I have a vast collection of pens from very cheap to the sub 800 € line.I expect all of my pens to write decently.
I had some issues in the past with skipping and start up issues with all brands, also with CS
To be honest , all problems with CS were solved as it should be and all became wonderfull writers.
The team at CS , i have the impression is very friendly and quick to help you further with any issue.
I never had the feeling of being dropped so to speak.
There a lot of other companies , where service even doesnt exist and where you are just a number
Not so at CS , at least my experience

#25 AJ50

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 09:22

I had cause to send one of my Conway Stewart Duro pens to Conway Stewart because it dried out after less than a page of writing even though there was plenty of ink in the pen. It was repaired at a cost of £50 and sent back to me. Sadly the pen still has the same problem. So much for the £50 repair. I have similar problems with my Churchill pens, they only write for a short while and then dry up. I swore never to buy another fountain pen from Conway Stewart but now that Onoto have taken over the running of the Company I may well try the brand again. They look glorious but from my experience they just do not work as they should do. Onoto ALWAYS work.



#26 Ipodimusprime

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 09:44

I had cause to send one of my Conway Stewart Duro pens to Conway Stewart because it dried out after less than a page of writing even though there was plenty of ink in the pen. It was repaired at a cost of £50 and sent back to me. Sadly the pen still has the same problem. So much for the £50 repair. I have similar problems with my Churchill pens, they only write for a short while and then dry up. I swore never to buy another fountain pen from Conway Stewart but now that Onoto have taken over the running of the Company I may well try the brand again. They look glorious but from my experience they just do not work as they should do. Onoto ALWAYS work.


Why did you have to pay a repair charge? If the pen was not fit for purpose then surely it was for Conway Stewart to sort for you rather than charge for a "repair" (that didn't work)?

I too had this problem but fortunately my local pen shop was able to correct it. Don't give up on your Conway Stewarts as mine is my favourite writer now.

#27 Ghost Plane

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 11:06

Curious about the repair charge as well. Sounds like a feed issue. Back when a bad batch of Churchills got loose, I contacted my seller immediately & CS arranged for repairs at no charge. One of my favorite pens.

#28 RMN

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 12:18

Curious about the repair charge as well. Sounds like a feed issue. Back when a bad batch of Churchills got loose, I contacted my seller immediately & CS arranged for repairs at no charge. One of my favorite pens.

Or a converter problem, I get the same both in my CS pens and in my Carenes if I use the converter. When using cartridges everything is just fine.

Reason why I seldom use a converter these days.

 

 

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#29 raging.dragon

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 06:12

Or a converter problem, I get the same both in my CS pens and in my Carenes if I use the converter. When using cartridges everything is just fine.

Reason why I seldom use a converter these days.

 

 

D.ick

 

Some inks and converters just refuse to work together.



#30 arran

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 09:16

Or a converter problem, I get the same both in my CS pens and in my Carenes if I use the converter. When using cartridges everything is just fine.
Reason why I seldom use a converter these days.
 
 
D.ick

How can you explain the fact that my CS Winston writes perfectly after the nib is tuned as it should be by a nibmaster.
Now it works fine with a converter as well! With all inks CC combinations thus far!
I personally think that CS specifies their nibparameters towards Bock a bit more towards the " soft writing feeling"
The risk is then more prone to skipping and start ups.
Once a CS writes , it is the softest writer in the collection I have.
I also have the ipression the the M nibs are more sensible to this problem , as well as IM nibs
None of these issues of bad starting and skipping with F and IF nibs to my experience