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First "bad" Experience With A Goulet Order (Completely Not Their Fault), It Deserves A Review Of When Things Go Wrong With A Goulet Order.

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34 replies to this topic

#1 rakka

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 19:48

Good day FPN,

 

This event literally just happened a few minutes ago and I wanted to recount the details. Before I go further, I will say at the very beginning that the issues occurred in transit after leaving Goulet, this is a review of their customer service in dealing with such an incident. I'm also not affiliated with Goulet Pens in any way other than a customer who spends way too much on fountain pen supplies, but that's all of us right?

 

So I've been ordering from Goulet Pens for a pretty long time, since before the Noodler's Ahab came out, and I've made more than a couple of orders so I know their shipping habits by now. Over the weekend I ordered a shiny new TWSBI Diamond 580 in Rose Gold (buy one here, if you like), as usual I got my shipping confirmation from Goulet first thing Monday morning when they opened. The first odd thing I noticed is USPS tracking said the item would take several days to be delivered, I live about 1.5-2 hours north of their office (in the DC area) so I'm used to my packages from them arriving within 24 hours even with regular shipping. No big deal, something must be going on with the post office.

 

The day of delivery (according to the tracking number) arrives, and the pen does not. I check the tracking number again after receiving the rest of my mail, and see they misrouted my package to the wrong city; again, post office issue. The next day they've sent it where it needs to go and this is where things go from curiously irritating to bad. My box arrives and I open it up to find... nothing. The TWSBI box inside has the plastic case with the wrench and the booklet (you know the one I mean), but no pen. I was as crestfallen as a child without a puppy:

 

W2l2zEC.jpg

 

So I contacted Goulet Pens with a few pictures, and this is where the review starts. In less than 5 minutes I received two emails; one was an order confirmation for a replacement, the other was an email from Jeremy in customer service expressing his concern and he wanted to know more about the situation. I was also contacted by Jessica (who is a personal friend of my girlfriend, so we met each other quite recently) who recognized the order immediately. Between the three of us we discussed the state of the package, the outer box was banged up and retaped where torn, the TWSBI booklet was loose inside, there was no bubblewrap or cellophane (anyone who orders from Goulet understands this is a red flag), the TWSBI box itself was torn and taped over, and the TWSBI casing was missing tape on one side. We very quickly determined that something must have happened with the postal service, which I would not say is Goulet staff saying "oh it isn't our problem", this is a conclusion which I came to on my own from my personal inspection and past experiences and I fully believe the problem happened during transit:

 

Khx5dSy.jpg

 

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At this point, they've already packed my replacement, they even made sure the pen was inside the package and sent me a photo of it. If it arrives without my pen again, of course I must challenge USPS to a duel. I'm confident in my abilities, I'm a trained rapier fencer and a biter.

 

I can't express enough the atmosphere of this company, it was a very human experience, no form letters or customer service templates, the interest and concern was sincere, you aren't getting the "jaded customer service rep punching a timecard" from Goulet Pens. This is also the only bad experience I've had while ordering from them, and clearly at no fault of their own. I'm preaching to the choir here for veteran Goulet customers, but this sort of personal touch is what put Brian and Rachel Goulet on the map in the first place; I think it's important to recognize that in 8 years since the company started, that core value has not changed. Goulet Pens has expanded and evolved over the years quite a bit, however they are no less personal and organic than when they were shipping out of their garage. I don't think that will ever change, because it's deeply ingrained into the company culture.

 

I hope that the US Postal Service can do something to mitigate the damage, but regardless I am sad that this incident may have caused them a loss of profit because of the lost merchandise, that being said I appreciate them taking care of me so throughly and quickly. I can only hope that this testimonial will steer more business towards them in the future, and the potential customer base will outweigh the cost of one misappropriated package.

 

A big thanks to Jeremy and Jessica at The Goulet Pen Company for giving 120% to taking care of the issue!

 

Cheers.


Edited by rakka, 23 April 2015 - 20:02.


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#2 strictlyobiter

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 20:05

Great to see how the Goulet's more than fix a problem. I had a DOA pen and they had sent me a new shipping confirmation before emailing me to say they were going to do so. Outstanding customer service.

#3 GouletPens

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 21:05

This is definitely an out-of-the-ordinary experience and I really want to thank you for being so understanding about it as we try to figure out what happened! Jeremy and Jessica are great, and it's situations like these that make me so proud of my team. Yes, a lot has changed for me and Rachel over the last 6 years, but everything we've looked to build in our company has been about keeping our soul, and the same personal feel as we grow. Thanks so much for highlighting the full situation here and I'm looking forward to seeing unboxing pics (with a pen this time, haha!).

#4 inotrym

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 21:17

Well, we kind of expected this kind of service from the Goulets, so that's not something new. :P

 

What IS new and quite alarming is the fact that (even though this happens rarely) mail does get opened and stuff does get stolen during transit. I think that the GPC has to report this event to the USPS, not only for the refund that they are obviously entitled to but also for the detection of the culprit.

 

Hope everything turns out well for the Goulets as it did for the OP.



#5 blopplop

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 21:31

Thanks for sharing your experience with Goulet Pens.  They're customer service has always been top notch.  I order from there 5-6 times a year and have done so for about the last 4-5 years (I think).

 

As far as the USPS.  I too live where you do (Manassas area), and it is my firm belief that the USPS in the DC-Metro area has become utterly incompetent.  I've never seen such a mishandling of mail in our area as I have in the last 2+ years.  In the Manassas area, we regularly have our mailed delivered to the wrong address (and receive neighbors as well).  We've filed complaints but to no avail.

 

The poor USPS is just a service industry that is going down the tubes financially and organizationally IMHO.

 

Dave


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#6 rakka

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 06:17

This is definitely an out-of-the-ordinary experience and I really want to thank you for being so understanding about it as we try to figure out what happened! Jeremy and Jessica are great, and it's situations like these that make me so proud of my team. Yes, a lot has changed for me and Rachel over the last 6 years, but everything we've looked to build in our company has been about keeping our soul, and the same personal feel as we grow. Thanks so much for highlighting the full situation here and I'm looking forward to seeing unboxing pics (with a pen this time, haha!).

 

Ah I got the time wrong, 6 years; has it only been that long? I can definitely say it's not an ordinary occurance at all.

 

 

Thanks for sharing your experience with Goulet Pens.  They're customer service has always been top notch.  I order from there 5-6 times a year and have done so for about the last 4-5 years (I think).

 

As far as the USPS.  I too live where you do (Manassas area), and it is my firm belief that the USPS in the DC-Metro area has become utterly incompetent.  I've never seen such a mishandling of mail in our area as I have in the last 2+ years.  In the Manassas area, we regularly have our mailed delivered to the wrong address (and receive neighbors as well).  We've filed complaints but to no avail.

 

The poor USPS is just a service industry that is going down the tubes financially and organizationally IMHO.

 

Dave

 

 

Sorry to hear that the postal workers in your area have been a problem Dave! I order almost everything online at this point, from books to groceries, and for the most part my experience with the postal service has been pretty good. I could lambaste the shipping industry as a whole if I wanted to, but honestly most of them are good people doing their best. Unfortunately, mistakes get made, and some people don't have the best intentions. At the end of the day the good still outweighs the bad, from my perspective. :)



#7 rakka

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 13:38

So I have an update on this to post, the package arrived yesterday morning (I think 19 hours after I got a tracking number) and I thought I'd post the results:

 

iXVWtEX.jpg

 

Looks familiar

 

This looks a little more like the Goulet Way of bubblewrap:

 

3MhRPZu.jpg

 

Ok that's DEFINITELY more like what I'm used to seeing:

 

sJi0r4m.jpg

 

I was surprised with some ink samples! I'll have to try them out this weekend, thanks GPC! But the moment of truth...

 

pphMGIH.jpg

 

dPM4TYI.jpg

 

SUCCESS!

 

zxz4FsI.jpg

 

Cp33lMb.jpg



#8 graystranger

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 14:46

What a heartbreak! I had an order from Goulet pens get mis-routed by the USPS. It went north - all the way to Maine before USPS caught it. When I saw that had happened, I emailed Goulet Pens about it just in case they could do something. The label was correct Goulet had not made a mistake, but THEY REFUNDED MY SHIPPING CHARGES for the order!! Even though it was not their fault.

 

Once the package got to Maine it was re-routed quickly and got to me, only 100 miles west of Goulet Pens, in a day or so. Interesting experience, but Goulet responded to my email immediately and checked on the shipping, and got back to me at once with the situation.

 

This awesome attention to the customer is why I do not order anything I can get from Goulet Pens anywhere else. Ever.


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#9 CarlosCaligrafia

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 14:57

That is why FP community is so great, it is more than business or money.
Pens:
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#10 swanjun

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 14:59

Looks like the thieves also swiped your Tootsie Roll pop!



#11 jmccarty3

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 15:02

Goulet Pens service is an inspiration to all of us. It says a lot that when anyone mentions "Brian" or "Rachel," everyone knows exactly who they are talking about.


Rationalizing pen and ink purchases since 1967.


#12 episkey

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 15:58

Wow this is so sad to hear! More in part of USPS. As much as I'd love to support the postal service in the US, it's stories like these that makes me really hesitant to use them to ship expensive items.

 

Glad to hear that Goulet customer service is top-notch as usual. They'll always have my business!

 

Also, that pen is BEAUTIFUL.



#13 KBeezie

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 16:02

Looks like the thieves also swiped your Tootsie Roll pop!


Noticed that too, lol(which I only say, now knowing the OP finally got their precious in hand) that's the thief just salting the wound.

Wow this is so sad to hear! More in part of USPS. As much as I'd love to support the postal service in the US, it's stories like these that makes me really hesitant to use them to ship expensive items.
 
Glad to hear that Goulet customer service is top-notch as usual. They'll always have my business!
 
Also, that pen is BEAUTIFUL.


I been lucky to date that I haven't had quite as major a problem with USPS (ie: item being lost completely), but have had to attempt dealing with their insurance on two occasions, and if it's something that happened within the system, such as tracking saying it was delivered but it was indeed not (even if I stood out there and received my mail from the carrier direct, and still said delivered but I didn't get it), the postal service denies the claim automatically, no and, ifs, or buts, they say it's delivered, and by some divine doctrine it must be delivered. (in that case I did finally end up getting the pen a week later cuz a neighbor at the same house number but on Castle instead of Kennilworth received it, and not the first time they received our mail, and vice versa).

Edited by KBeezie, 25 April 2015 - 16:05.


#14 inkstainedruth

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 16:06

Goulet Pens service is an inspiration to all of us. It says a lot that when anyone mentions "Brian" or "Rachel," everyone knows exactly who they are talking about.

And they're nice in person too -- they had a meet and greet at DCSS a couple of summers ago.  They weren't running a table, just being "pen people" like the rest of us.  Only with handing out swag....  B) 

What I particularly like is that they've trained their employees to be the same way.  Every time I've used their IM system I get great customer service, where whoever I've been on with will say "Not sure, let me check" when I have some weird question.  And of course the second time I ordered from them I had trouble with their website and so when I finally got to the order page, I asked for a cartoon on my invoice (no specifics, other than "I need a cartoon") and the one I got was AWESOME!  :notworthy1: 

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#15 Dickkooty2

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 16:14

Another great story about the Goulets and their wonderful company employees and their business ethos.

 

The journey of Brian and Rachel to build this business should be included in a business school case-history!



#16 Frank C

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 16:21

I've been ordering from the Goulet's now for many years. I am satisfied with their customer service, but I do have a comment.

 

Several months ago I placed an order with them, #1047616. I sent a message to their "tell us how we did" email explaining that my Kaweco Summer Purple ink bottle leaked in the packaging and damaged the boxes of several other inks. No big deal, and not really their fault, The Kaweco ink was in a box and probably had a loose lid from the factory. I expected a clever email apology, maybe a hand-drawn note made with Kaweco Summer Purple, or perhaps a replacement Tootsie Pop, but so far, I have received: NOTHING!

 

It appears that Brian is monitoring this topic, so maybe he should go check his inbox for my message. 


"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel
I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

#17 Katharine

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 19:00

Great to see this has a happy ending!

 

(In defense of the USPS: in my area they are great.  I'm often surprised by receiving something sooner than expected, and there have been at least two times they've saved my arse from an address screw-up that was totally my fault--is what I get for often being in a hurry and also for sometimes shipping to different addresses depending on my receipt needs-- and found boxes that, by rights, ought to have been sent back to the shipper.)



#18 EBUCKTHORN

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 00:57

With regard to USPS I must report excellent service, almost perfect. Our daughters live in the Seattle area and we get Priority packages back and forth consistently in two days (once a package shipped on Saturday was received Monday). We have lived at the same address since 1976 and with one brief, cranky exception all of our carriers have been great folks as we've gotten to know each of them. They've often gone beyond the call of duty to accommodate us. We, in turn, willingly respond with creative generous holiday gifts and other gestures (shoveling around the mailbox, for example) but it's clear that those are not expected, just appreciated. Now, having said that, it seems the USPS overall is being regularly gutted and hobbled in favor of the for-profit carriers and its service will, of necessity, be hampered. Is anyone surprised that's happening?



#19 Frank C

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 12:56

I've been ordering from the Goulet's now for many years. I am satisfied with their customer service, but I do have a comment.

 

Several months ago I placed an order with them, #1047616. I sent a message to their "tell us how we did" email explaining that my Kaweco Summer Purple ink bottle leaked in the packaging and damaged the boxes of several other inks. No big deal, and not really their fault, The Kaweco ink was in a box and probably had a loose lid from the factory. I expected a clever email apology, maybe a hand-drawn note made with Kaweco Summer Purple, or perhaps a replacement Tootsie Pop, but so far, I have received: NOTHING!

 

It appears that Brian is monitoring this topic, so maybe he should go check his inbox for my message. 

 

I just heard from Drew. Here is his message:

 

Hi there, Frank!

 
I wanted to reach out to you ASAP after I noticed your post on FPN in regards to the order you placed with us back in February. You mentioned that your bottle of Kaweco Summer Purple leaked in transit – I know that ink leaks can be a huge mess and the VERY last thing you want to see when opening up an expensive package. 
 
I have looked through our past emails and could not find any older correspondence from you. I have no idea why we didn’t receive your email. Did you sent it from this email address? I am terribly sorry that you were never responded to – that is absolutely not the service standard we set for ourselves here and I will do whatever I can to take care of you as though your issue was still brand new.
 
Had I heard about this when it happened, I would have offered to replace everything that was damaged by the leak. As some time has gone by, I wager you don’t want duplicates of products you’ve no doubt been using since the incident. That being said, I would still replace them if you feel that would be best. Alternatively I would love to offer you a store credit for the cost of the Kaweco Summer Purple as well as any of the products that were ruined by the ink.
 
I hope this helps – please let me know how I can best help. I’ll see that it gets done immediately. 
 
Thanks so much for the support!
 
      Drew C. Brown
Customer Care Manager

 

As I said, I was not disappointed with their products, I just found the absence of a reply to be unusual. Drew has gone out of his way to make good on this. 


"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel
I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

#20 inkstainedruth

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Posted 28 April 2015 - 17:25

On a related note I heard a story on the noon news today that the USPS has decided to cut costs by not guaranteeing 2 day delivery of first class mail.  But that isn't the worst of it -- they have been shown to not even be making their *own* estimates of 3 day delivery....  :angry: 

That may partly explain why my shipment from the KWZI Group Buy 3rd round took a week and a half to get from Justin's to me (shipping label says April 18; arrival date was yesterday, April 27).

I just keep telling myself that UPS is worse....  

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