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Mb Nib Exchange - What Is Going On?


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#21 Chrissy

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 16:06

I didn't realise that US nib exchanges were usually done in Texas either. So it must be only European pens that go back to Hamburg then. I know that my nib exchanges, for Meisterstücks and WE's have all been to Hamburg. I've been advised of this by several sources.


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#22 Pravda

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 16:21

I don't have much to add except a small FYI that all Middle East nib exchanges are done in Dubai (lucky me as they do it for me on site as I watch) except LEs they go to Hamburg.

#23 BillH

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 16:21

I recently received a brand new 149 Rose Gold that I ordered with an O3B nib and was quite excited to open the package... only to find that I too had a poorly done nib.  The plating was off the engraved lines and quite ragged in a couple of places (look to the right of the breather hole for an example of what I mean).  Boxed it up and back to Europe it went.  No idea when I will see it back.  First time I've had a bad pen new from the factory, but must say it certainly leaves a bad taste and a distinct hesitation to consider future purchases   :huh:

 

fpn_1503332018__rose_gold_nib_plating.jp


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#24 Chrissy

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 16:24

I recently received a brand new 149 Rose Gold that I ordered with an O3B nib and was quite excited to open the package... only to find that I too had a poorly done nib.  The plating was off the engraved lines and quite ragged in a couple of places (look to the right of the breather hole for an example of what I mean).  Boxed it up and back to Europe it went.  No idea when I will see it back.  First time I've had a bad pen new from the factory, but must say it certainly leaves a bad taste and a distinct hesitation to consider future purchases   :huh:

 

:yikes:   How does a nib like that ever get through Montblanc Quality Control? I would have sent it back too.  :(

 

No wonder people say that rose gold plating has a tendency to come off.


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#25 Tom Kellie

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 16:29

I didn't realise that US nib exchanges were usually done in Texas either. So it must be only European pens that go back to Hamburg then. I know that my nib exchanges, for Meisterstücks and WE's have all been to Hamburg. I've been advised of this by several sources.

 

 

~ Chrissy:

 

Yes, that sounds right. Montblanc may treat Europe as a region for administrative purposes.

 

The shipping costs to and from Hamburg throughout Europe would likely be less daunting than those facing more distant regions.

 

This thread is sad, as -kk- has received abyssmal nib exchange service. It's also educational, in that the location of nib exchange service is being clarified by various helpful posts.

 

The image of the platinum OBBB nib on a yellow gold 149 fountain pen is a travesty of what first-class luxury brand service ought to be.

 

Pravda's helpful comment above verifies another location in Asia where nib exchanges occur in the region, rather than in Hamburg.

 

What BillH's image shows is nothing less than disgraceful! Were that widely publicized, it would dent Montblanc's reputation for quality.

 

The ragged plating is almost unbelievable. Montblanc China's fastidious multiple loupe inspectors would have caught that long before any client saw it.

 

The top managers in the Montblanc Texas service center need to be apprised of these grave mistakes, all of which were avoidable.

 

What's especially disturbing about BillH's image is that it shows that such a substandard nib somehow made it out of Hamburg without being flagged by the quality control inspectors.

 

What is going on?

 

Tom K.



#26 BillH

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 17:44

Thank you Tom, for your comments, and you Chrissy.

 

This pen was purchased from a NL dealer, who sent it directly to Hamburg for the swap, then shipped to me.  I was pretty disappointed that it got past all the folks who handled it before I saw it... does nothing but provide ammo to the nay-sayers who firmly proclaim we are all crazy for pursuing these pens.

 

:(


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#27 romad119

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 17:50

We've gone to taking a loupe with us.  I've spotted a few stars with quite strong discoloration on several heritage LEs and it took opening a few boxes to find ones that weren't.


Alan


#28 Tom Kellie

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 18:08

Thank you Tom, for your comments, and you Chrissy.

 

This pen was purchased from a NL dealer, who sent it directly to Hamburg for the swap, then shipped to me.  I was pretty disappointed that it got past all the folks who handled it before I saw it... does nothing but provide ammo to the nay-sayers who firmly proclaim we are all crazy for pursuing these pens.

 

:(

 

 

~ BillH:

 

You've shocked me.

 

Your unacceptably plated OBBB nib wasn't, in fact, handled through the Montblanc USA Texas service center, after all.

 

It was entirely handled through European offices.

 

I'm shaking my head. How could this happen to Montblanc? Are fine timepieces somehow lessening attention to detail in writing instruments?

 

What romad119 has posted about taking a loupe is a prudent precaution. Yet how sad that this needs to be done in a luxury goods boutique.

 

When I initially joined FPN in order to participate in the Montblanc Forum, I often wondered why many members praised older Montblanc models, even vintage fountain pens.

 

With time, their focus on quality looks sound. The two 3-42 Gs I use are around my age, not especially showy, but they function at top level and the nibs look great, six decades later.

 

Will those of us with nibs plated with precious metals be saying that 15 years hence?

 

Your salient comment about your badly flawed nib getting past so many is a knell tolling the slippage in quality which may drive me towards pre-owned but fine quality pens.

 

For you, and for -kk-, I feel very, very sorry. This is unacceptable and reflects inattentive quality control management at various levels.

 

Not OK.

 

Tom K.



#29 Pravda

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 18:56

We've gone to taking a loupe with us.  I've spotted a few stars with quite strong discoloration on several heritage LEs and it took opening a few boxes to find ones that weren't.

Haha.. I do this too! Not to make light of any situation, it is what it is.

I once purchased a MacBook that had 16 dead pixels and a 911 many years ago that had terminal engine failure on the Interstate on my way back home from the dealership.

I believe it happens with every brand that once in a while there will be a slip. It's the speed of acknowledgement and a quick turnaround that we should hold them responsible to.

Edited by Pravda, 21 August 2017 - 18:56.


#30 dubhe

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 19:48

Just to add to this thread. My UK purchased 149 was nib exchanged in Hamburg, and when I bought a 149 in Cape Town I was advised it would have been sent to Johannesburg (I had hoped it would have gone to Hamburg and could then be sent to UK on completion). Both my 149 nib exchanges (BB and OB) have been swift and faultless.

#31 Chrissy

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 21:00

 

 

~ Chrissy:

 

Yes, that sounds right. Montblanc may treat Europe as a region for administrative purposes.

 

The shipping costs to and from Hamburg throughout Europe would likely be less daunting than those facing more distant regions.

 

This thread is sad, as -kk- has received abyssmal nib exchange service. It's also educational, in that the location of nib exchange service is being clarified by various helpful posts.

 

The image of the platinum OBBB nib on a yellow gold 149 fountain pen is a travesty of what first-class luxury brand service ought to be.

 

Pravda's helpful comment above verifies another location in Asia where nib exchanges occur in the region, rather than in Hamburg.

 

What BillH's image shows is nothing less than disgraceful! Were that widely publicized, it would dent Montblanc's reputation for quality.

 

The ragged plating is almost unbelievable. Montblanc China's fastidious multiple loupe inspectors would have caught that long before any client saw it.

 

The top managers in the Montblanc Texas service center need to be apprised of these grave mistakes, all of which were avoidable.

 

What's especially disturbing about BillH's image is that it shows that such a substandard nib somehow made it out of Hamburg without being flagged by the quality control inspectors.

 

What is going on?

 

Tom K.

 

 

Thank you Tom, for your comments, and you Chrissy.

 

This pen was purchased from a NL dealer, who sent it directly to Hamburg for the swap, then shipped to me.  I was pretty disappointed that it got past all the folks who handled it before I saw it... does nothing but provide ammo to the nay-sayers who firmly proclaim we are all crazy for pursuing these pens.

 

:(

 

Bill, if I had received that nib on a Montblanc pen, I would have emailed the CEO for Europe and asked him if he thought it was acceptable.  :angry:

 

It is even worse to think that several people have already seen it, yet it still made it to you as the customer.  :o

 

That's a pretty serious inattentive quality control at all levels.  -_-


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#32 EclecticCollector

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 01:25

All is not rosy in Hamburg either, recently I sent my brand new Hitchcock in for a nib exchange and it returned with a scratched up piston knob. After a second trip it returned with a note that they were out of replacement parts, too bad, so sorry, please come again.

Edited by EclecticCollector, 22 August 2017 - 01:33.


#33 awl1688

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 03:20

if I had received that nib on a Montblanc pen, I would have emailed the CEO for Europe and asked him if he thought it was acceptable.  :angry:

 
Good luck getting an email address for someone at Mont Blanc corporate!
 
Here's my tale of a 3 month nib exchange:
 
Date/Description
 

7/4/2016

Purchased Meisterstuck Ultra Black 146 from MB boutique.
Decided to do a NIB exchange to EF.
Was quoted a 3-4 week turnaround time for the NIB exchange.

 

8/5/2016

Called boutique for status on the NIB exchange.
Was told that there is a parts delay for the Ultra Black.
Asked that my sales person call me back.

 

8/9/2016

Direct Message via Twitter to Mont Blanc and asked if they could provide information from corporate on when parts will be available.

Received call from sales person from boutique. Was informed that it would take another 3-4 weeks for the NIB exchange.

 

8/10/2016

MB Social Media team replies to my DM. Was informed that my message will be forwarded to Customer Service.  I asked for a date on when I can expect the NIB exchange.

 

8/29/2016

I received no reply from MB Customer Service. I proceed to call the boutique and was told that it would take another 2 weeks for parts delivery.
I again DM the MB Twitter team and ask to get a firm date on NIB availability.

 

8/30/2016

MB Twitter team again replies that they will reach out to Customer Service.

 

9/3/2016

I do not hear from Customer Service and send a DM asking if I am going to receive a response.

 

9/4/2016

No response from MB so I send another DM.
I also call the boutique store and speak to my sales person. I expressed by frustration with the entire situation.

 

9/5/2016

Receive a DM from MB Twitter team that they will encourage Customer Service to get in touch with me.

 

9/6/2016

I receive a call from a manager from the boutique. I'm told that parts have arrived but no exact date can be given on when to expect the pen. The manager offers to call me every few days to provide an update. Unfortunately, I never receive any status calls from the boutique.

 

9/23/2016

Having still not received any proactive update or response, I DM again.

 

9/27/2016

MB Twitter team responds and tells me that they will remind Customer Service to get in contact with me. I remind the MB Twitter team that the response they provided is nearly the same response from 9/5.
The boutique calls to inform me that the NIB exchange was completed and the Meisterstuck Ultra Black FP 146 is ready for pick up.

 

10/2/2016

I finally have time to pick up the Ultra Black. I pick up the FP and purchase 2 bottles of ink.

 

10/7/2016

I'm still disappointed that I never heard from MB Customer Service. I DM and ask for the name, email address and corporate address of the person responsible for MB Customer Service.

 

10/10/2016

Receive DM response that my issues will be dealt with.
I respond that I have already picked up my pen. Reiterate that I want the name, email address and corporate address of the person responsible for customer service.

 

10/11/2016

I again DM and ask for the name, email address and corporate address of the person responsible for customer service.

 

10/13/2016

Receive a DM that MB is looking into this now.
I receive a 2nd DM to send my comments to service@monblanc.com (Please note that the email address provided is incorrect.)
I again write that I want the name, email address and corporate address of the person responsible for customer service.

 

10/14/2016

Receive a DM again that MB is looking into this.

 

10/20/2016

Still no response and again ask for what I requested.

 

10/21/2016

Receive a DM and am told again to write to service@monblanc.com. (Again note that the email address provided is incorrect.)
I again ask for the name, email address, etc. of the person in charge.
Receive a DM that MB is unable to release names over social media and that I should write to service@montblanc.com.
I respond and again ask for customer service to contact me.

 

10/25/2016

Receive a voicemail from the boutique manager.  I call back and the boutique manager apologized for the length of time it took for the NIB exchange. The manager sends me a MB pen sleeve for my troubles.

 
And yes, I will admit that I went a bit too far with this in constantly direct messaging (some would say badgering) the MB Twitter team, but this isn't a $25 Pilot Metropolitan or $90 Lamy Studio. With the prices we pay for MB products, I would have expected premium-level service for a higher end brand/product. Alas, this was not the case.
 
I hope -kk- gets what was paid for and requested. That's the least that MB can provide...

Edited by awl1688, 22 August 2017 - 14:45.


#34 -kk-

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 03:54

I recently received a brand new 149 Rose Gold that I ordered with an O3B nib and was quite excited to open the package... only to find that I too had a poorly done nib.  The plating was off the engraved lines and quite ragged in a couple of places (look to the right of the breather hole for an example of what I mean).  Boxed it up and back to Europe it went.  No idea when I will see it back.  First time I've had a bad pen new from the factory, but must say it certainly leaves a bad taste and a distinct hesitation to consider future purchases   :huh:

 

fpn_1503332018__rose_gold_nib_plating.jp

 

Sadly, my rose gold 149 has the same plating issues as well. It is visible to the naked eye. In that instance I decided not to kick up a fuss because 1) ive waited months for the pen and cant be bothered waiting longer and 2) it writes beautifully. 

 

I agree that for a product of this price point the QA and service level is appalling.



#35 A1979

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 05:02

Good luck getting an email address for someone at Mont Blanc corporate!
 
Here's my tale of a 3 month nib exchange


Thanks for sharing. Grotesque! Luckily, I always need the same "nib exchange": medium to extra Fine or extra extra fine - always had a great job done by Michael Masuyama or John Sorowka, with a couple of weeks turnaround time.

#36 Barkingpig

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 05:31

It is actually appalling @ any price level; I sent a MB 146 to Texas, after confirming the price of a replacement nib (a NOS, but out of time frame for nib replacement) two summers ago.  I agreed to pay almost $300.00 for an OBB nib, with agreement they would retain my never used, nor inked nib.  "It is just our policy, you understand, we are NOT selling you a NEW nib, that would be a considerably higher charge."  

 

The pen was returned with a nib that did not look significantly larger than the medium nib on my other 146, that I had also sent for level one service, repair of a faulty piston.  I called & spoke to my same Agent & she checked the work order & agreed they had not installed what I had requested, nor what was on the work order she had turned in to the Service Department.  I again paid Fed Ex's charge to return the pen, for it's second visit & later received the correct nib.  I had to return it again last Summer, for reattachment of the small plastic ring that sits atop the section holding the nib, when it became loose & merely held in place by the nib itself. 

 

I did receive my pen with the plastic ring reattached & felt lucky to have done so.  I did however feel that this was not a level of service, I would have expected.  I enjoy the two 146 pens, the only ones I have, but do not have any interest in purchasing more.  Because these are merely the standard line of pens they offer, they are not however inexpensive, nor the cost of the nib replacement; I don't have interest to spend thousands more dollars to test whether the service would be improved by purchasing one of their Special Edition pens.

 

I wanted to & did, purchase a variety of pens from different manufacturers when I began this adventure; this is my only experience with Montblanc's service, but it is an experience I have not encountered with other pens from different companies.  I consider having the nib of your choice to be a "given" when purchase of a pen & it should not become an experience described by previous posts in this thread.  I offer my example as merely my experience when dealing with the one of their "lower price points," to show that it is perhaps not one that varies between "price points," @ the Texas facility, but is merely the average experience for some of us.



#37 Tom Kellie

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 11:27

Sadly, my rose gold 149 has the same plating issues as well. It is visible to the naked eye. In that instance I decided not to kick up a fuss because 1) ive waited months for the pen and cant be bothered waiting longer and 2) it writes beautifully. 

 

I agree that for a product of this price point the QA and service level is appalling.

 

 

It is actually appalling @ any price level; I sent a MB 146 to Texas, after confirming the price of a replacement nib (a NOS, but out of time frame for nib replacement) two summers ago.  I agreed to pay almost $300.00 for an OBB nib, with agreement they would retain my never used, nor inked nib.  "It is just our policy, you understand, we are NOT selling you a NEW nib, that would be a considerably higher charge."  

 

The pen was returned with a nib that did not look significantly larger than the medium nib on my other 146, that I had also sent for level one service, repair of a faulty piston.  I called & spoke to my same Agent & she checked the work order & agreed they had not installed what I had requested, nor what was on the work order she had turned in to the Service Department.  I again paid Fed Ex's charge to return the pen, for it's second visit & later received the correct nib.  I had to return it again last Summer, for reattachment of the small plastic ring that sits atop the section holding the nib, when it became loose & merely held in place by the nib itself. 

 

I did receive my pen with the plastic ring reattached & felt lucky to have done so.  I did however feel that this was not a level of service, I would have expected.  I enjoy the two 146 pens, the only ones I have, but do not have any interest in purchasing more.  Because these are merely the standard line of pens they offer, they are not however inexpensive, nor the cost of the nib replacement; I don't have interest to spend thousands more dollars to test whether the service would be improved by purchasing one of their Special Edition pens.

 

I wanted to & did, purchase a variety of pens from different manufacturers when I began this adventure; this is my only experience with Montblanc's service, but it is an experience I have not encountered with other pens from different companies.  I consider having the nib of your choice to be a "given" when purchase of a pen & it should not become an experience described by previous posts in this thread.  I offer my example as merely my experience when dealing with the one of their "lower price points," to show that it is perhaps not one that varies between "price points," @ the Texas facility, but is merely the average experience for some of us.

 

~ What a naive fool I've been.

 

Supposing that an internationally respected luxury brand, part of one of the most prominent luxury brand groups, would at all times and in all locations place QUALITY above everything else.

 

As REPUTATION is a make or break hallmark of high-end retailers, maintaining the excellence of everything shipped out of the workshop door would seem to be the never-changing standard for each and every product.

 

Where I've worked and lived for two decades it's well-understood by everyone that the bogus, the sham, the shoddy and the fake are business as usual, hence consumers are extremely skeptical of all marketing claims.

 

Yet yours truly indulged in wishful thinking, supposing that when a well-established international brand placed its name and logo on a boutique, transactions would uphold the highest standards for probity, craftsmanship and quality control.

 

What I'd expect for myself from such a premium brand, I'd expect for my friends around the world who post in this forum, no matter where they live, no matter where they shop.

 

Yet now -kk- notes that he shares the same shoddy nib plating which BillH showed in an image which damns several steps of the quality control inspection process.

 

Barkingpig describes the indifferent and inadequate service he received when making a reasonable and ordinary nib replacement transaction such as many of us have made, including myself.

 

On what basis could a corporation claim to be a “respected brand” and “premier luxury goods maker” in 2017 — leaving aside their undoubted past glories — when the following have been noted?

 

•  Precious metal plating which doesn't cover all of the nib surface, as seen upon the initial opening of the box

 

•  Precious metal plating which readily flakes off within one year of ordinary use

 

•  A nib of one precious metal fitted onto a pen barrel of self-evidently another type and color of precious metal

 

•  Bungled nib exchanges wherein scratches become widespread, poorly adjusted feeds are frequent and tine misalignment is the norm

 

•  Delays, postponements, less-than-gracious excuses for service which stretches beyond reasonable expectation

 

Something is clearly amiss.

 

Every one of my nib exchanges and transactions has been flawless. However, I work in and purchase in a country which receives kid glove treatment due to its enormous market and the belligerently demanding consumers.

 

My concern is for others, who've been documenting troubling examples of poor service in threads throughout the past year.

 

As much as I enjoy using my fountain pens, after reading these posts by a variety of FPN members, I'm likely to purchase a pre-owned pen for my next acquisition.

 

It seemed odd that it was necessary for customers to need to provide quality writing paper to view the strokes made by tester pens in boutiques, due to the inferior paper quality provided.

 

It seemed even more odd that would-be fountain pen purchasers needed to bring a loupe in order to inspect potential purchases, to guard against low-quality workmanship on high-ticket goods.

 

It seems very sad that those charged with the responsibility for manufacturing, inspecting and fitting fountain pen nibs have lowered their standards to the degree described and shown in these posts.

 

One sits, shaking the head, reflecting on all of this, feeling troubled that such a fine company, which has produced such exceptional writing instruments, would lessen their vigilance to allow this to happen.

 

Is it possible for white and pearl stars to tarnish at 4810 meters?

 

Tom K.


Edited by Tom Kellie, 22 August 2017 - 11:40.


#38 romad119

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 14:30

Tom,

 

The issue is magnified by the fact that there is no new break through in technology that is being applied.  Nor is it something that the company has just started doing that is unprecedented within their industry.  Neither customer service or gold plating is a recent development only enabled by a stunning breakthrough in R & D.

 

Alan


Alan


#39 Chrissy

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 14:53

This is starting to sound like a Company that charges a premium price for it's pens based on their premium reputation and premium service, whereas in fact, their service and their products are no longer in the premium category.  :(


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#40 Pravda

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 15:25

I think it's just that they now hold form or design in higher regard over utility. They manufacture pieces like no other, like art on a canvas-and only they can do it. Their highest 'tranche' of income are at the end of the day from pens that are never meant to be really used.

Just an opinion of how 'they' might think, not condoning it.






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