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Decided To Call It Quit On Lamy

lamy al-star leaking poor quality service

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#1 gammada

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 03:23

Ever since I came back to the fountain pen world, I've been attached to the Lamy brand to the point of collecting more than 22 examples of Safaris and Al-Stars. Unfortunately, my experience with the Al-Stars has been very disappointing recently and so has been the poor quality of their customer service.

The first issue I had was with a Bluegreen Al-star that had been inked for the first time with Emeraud de Chivor. While trying to swap the nib, the entire feeder came out causing a big mess over my work, a jammed feeder (while trying to push it back in a hurry, remember the pen was leaking) and a damaged nib. I promptly send pictures to Lamy Germany to tell them about this, they in turn, send my request to the local Lamy distributor which contacted me to sell me replacement parts. The way I see it, I didn't do anything odd or wrong with the pen so it was their responsibility to fix this under warranty (the pen was not even a year old) and yet, I discovered to my dismay that locally Lamy offers only 3 months of warranty! I was using tape to swap said nib, something I've done quite frequently with all my Lamy pens in our 3 year story. Never before with a feeder coming along with them.

I thought I might have gotten a lemon, so I kept purchasing their pens. Then the other day, I noticed that my fingers where full of ink while using my Pearl Al-star (again, first inking). Turns out, the pen leaks all of the converter's ink into the cap even when the pen is left unused and in an upright position on my pen holder. I have cleaned the pen, reassembled everything back and used another ink to see if something changed, but no, still leaks ink like hell. Both the converter and the pen are brand new, so normal wear and tear need not apply.

But what really made me steer away from Lamy, was Kaweco's outstanding customer support that dealt with me directly and until a happy outcome was reached.

Customer support elsewhere might be better, but a Global brand is supposed to give the same brand experience everywhere, not only in selected areas, let alone same warranty terms.

Edited by gammada, 17 November 2016 - 03:26.


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#2 langere

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 03:34

Too bad you had such problems with Lamy, which has a good reputation for quality control.  It does happen sometimes that you get unlucky and I think that's what's happened to you.  But you are free to give up on the brand and move to another, which it appears you have done.  I also like Kaweco, which has never let me down (actually, neither has Lamy).

 

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#3 Edelstein

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 04:30

kaweco, pelikan & lamy those 3 brands have a good costumer service and good quality control.. too bad lamy make you dissapointed.. but its ok time to buy another pen from another brands.. 

 

what make a rainbow beautiful is because have a lot of colour.. not only 1 colour, right?  :thumbup:



#4 mehandiratta

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 11:19

Lamy is generally not like that...

But I am so sorry to hear about your bad experience...


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#5 Martinsroom

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 14:33

I'm not a fan of the safari/al-star design either and Kaweco are a much better fit for me. Not sure why you would be changing a nib in a currently inked pen as that sounds fairly messy no matter the circumstances. The pen leaking into the cap whilst upright is quite impressive as I would have thought that would be similar to a river flowing uphill.

#6 gammada

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 15:28

 I also like Kaweco, which has never let me down (actually, neither has Lamy).
 
Erick


Been a Lamy fanboy all along, but customer support can make or break a relationship.

#7 gammada

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 15:29

kaweco, pelikan & lamy those 3 brands have a good costumer service and good quality control.. too bad lamy make you dissapointed.. but its ok time to buy another pen from another brands.. 
 
what make a rainbow beautiful is because have a lot of colour.. not only 1 colour, right?  :thumbup:


Agreed! Fortunately for all of us pen lovers, there's a whole range from which to choose from!

#8 gammada

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 15:32

Lamy is generally not like that...
But I am so sorry to hear about your bad experience...


I know, the great majority of postings related to customer support on this forum, paint a positive image of the company. Unfortunately in my country that is not the case: 3-month warranty on an pen that has a year elsewhere?

#9 carlos.q

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 16:01

I'm really sorry all this happened to you. As you have seen from other posts, Lamy has a very good service record in other countries and the pens are excellent in many ways. A three month warranty is not very good.

 

But besides the warranty issue maybe we should take a look at the two incidents themselves.

 

The first incident, as you described it, could well be considered "user error": trying to swap a nib on an inked pen is certainly not advised. Given this scenario, and the fact that it is not easy to buy certain Lamy parts (for example feeders) the offer to sell you replacement parts is not outrageous.

 

About the second incident, you mention cleaning the pen and using another ink. The question would be, did you use another converter? Did you try using a cartridge? It seems to me, from your description, that although the converter was new it could have a faulty seal. It happens.

 

Many things may go wrong with our pens and a good warranty is a must. Even when buying used pens from reliable sources a good warranty is advised. 



#10 PAKMAN

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 16:09

Don't give up!!


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#11 gammada

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 16:12

I'm not a fan of the safari/al-star design either and Kaweco are a much better fit for me. Not sure why you would be changing a nib in a currently inked pen as that sounds fairly messy no matter the circumstances. The pen leaking into the cap whilst upright is quite impressive as I would have thought that would be similar to a river flowing uphill.


First time I saw a Kaweco I thought two things: 1. This is an Asian pen 2. It looks weird

Back then I was literally obsessed on getting all Safari and Al-star colored pens ever released to market. Then, I went to a local stationery store that had the AL Sport in Stonewashed finish on display. The minute I hold that pen on my hands, the minute I became a convert! Now I find the design of the Sport lineup to be the work of a Bauhaus genius.

As for swapping the nib while the pen is inked, am a designer and hand lettering creator, as such, sometimes I need to use the same ink but with a different nib width or style, so am pretty used to changing Safari and Al-star nibs on the fly. Never a messy business, just a little ink below the nib and a few stains on my fingers. That's one of the reasons I was so attached to Lamys.

As for that "river flowing uphill", that is weird right? My pen holder is a wooden box the height of half a Lamy pen with dividers that hold 3 standing pens each. The pen in question was inked first with J. Herbin's Ocean Blue and saw frequent use (that's when I started noticing the substantial leak on the section and nib). When the converter emptied, I cleaned the pen throughly (because of the golden particles), let the parts dry and then reassembled the pen. It's second ever inking was with my very own mix of ink in a brown shade, but since at the same time another Al-star was inked with MontBlanc's Toffee Brown that was nearly identical to my concoction, it rarely saw any use until a few days ago that I uncapped the pen and felt my fingers slippery while holding the section. That's when I saw a lot of ink all over the section, nib and the inside of the cap. Unscrewing the pen, the converter is empty but there are dried ink spots trapped between the section and the converter and showing the influence of gravity. Since the ink spots on the nib and section look like droplets, I assume this might have to do with condensation, meaning something is not sealing properly somewhere.

#12 Glenn-SC

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 09:14

So you broke your pen by doing something that you weren't supposed to do and then got mad at the manufacturer.



#13 prashant.tikekar

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 09:45

The OP must be unlucky as I find it very difficult to remove feed from section of all my over half a dozen Safari and Al Star pens. I have swapped nibs with pen inked and never had any problem other than ink stained fingers. I have never had ink leakage in any Lamy (Safari, Al Star, Logo, Linea, St, CP1, Studio, 2000 etc) I have.



#14 Mike 59

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 10:41

I have read more than once about how easily the Safari feed is removed, but my experience is very different.

 Even with warming the section up in hottish water, and with 'grip mats' holding each half, it's very difficult to get the feed out.

 Fitting the feed back into the section has to be done with care, as it will only go in one way, as there are 'rails' which slide onto a channel, any other way will damage the section and feed.

  Otherwise I use my Safaris often, and have ordered a 1.1 stub to try out on the Vista.


Edited by Mike 59, 18 November 2016 - 10:43.


#15 Namo

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 12:10

So you broke your pen by doing something that you weren't supposed to do and then got mad at the manufacturer.


I have to agree. Taking out the nib is risky, even with a Lamy... totally your fault. The second incident looks like a converter problem.

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#16 Flaxmoore

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 14:59

I'd have to disagree. If Lamy didn't intend for you to be able to swap nibs, you wouldn't be able to buy them separately. Pilot doesn't. Pelikan sells nib/feed units only. Even Platinum with the humble Preppy doesn't. Lamy does, and by doing so, I would say has to accept that people will.

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#17 prashant.tikekar

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 15:41

I'd have to disagree. If Lamy didn't intend for you to be able to swap nibs, you wouldn't be able to buy them separately. Pilot doesn't. Pelikan sells nib/feed units only. Even Platinum with the humble Preppy doesn't. Lamy does, and by doing so, I would say has to accept that people will.


I agree. Lamy nibs are meant to be swapped. But damage to feed has occurred due to improper re insertion so basically how it can be classified as manufacturing defect and avail warranty?

#18 Namo

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 17:55

I agree. Lamy nibs are meant to be swapped. But damage to feed has occurred due to improper re insertion so basically how it can be classified as manufacturing defect and avail warranty?


Selling separate nibs does not mean Lamy intend you to do it and not your (favorite) B&M shop...

Edited by Namo, 18 November 2016 - 17:56.

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#19 gammada

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 18:51

So you broke your pen by doing something that you weren't supposed to do and then got mad at the manufacturer.


Not really. First off, unless you have proof otherwise, none of my Lamy pen documentation, website guidelines or maintenance videos states that what I did was wrong.

Furthermore, regardless of whether the pen was inked or not, the feed shouldn't have come off in the first place. The very design of the nib dictates that it can be removed without messing with the feed. Up until that point, none of the feeds in any of my Vistas, Safaris or Al-stars displayed this behaviour.

#20 grainweevil

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 19:13

I daresay Lamy don't feel the need to tell their customers not to throw the pen off a cliff or run over it with a car either...

 

Honestly, a "hot swap" of a nib and putting glittery ink/own blend into a pen would both seem to me to be "at owner's risk". As soon as you do them, even if something else goes wrong that's not your fault, you've pretty much removed the manufacturer's obligation to assist you. I've done both, and if I'd got unlucky I'd never dream of claiming under warranty for it. My risk, my loss.

 

Now the lousy three month warranty? That I agree is extremely disappointing and seems unfair.







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