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Armando Simoni Club's Service (If Any)

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#21 Mulrich

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 18:50

Just a quick update on the dispute resolution via my credit card issuer - a reversal of the charge (for an online purchase of a Visconti Arco pen on the ASC e-shop) was successful today - but no reasons were given as to why the chargeback was successful from the vendor's end. In short - I got my money back. I suspect that product was oversold, but it would be nice if ASC had actually bothered to write to their customers to explain why their purchase(s) were unfulfilled. They're not getting a cent from me ever again.

 

I'm surprised you were even allowed to purchase the Visconti Arco on the ASC website. I first heard about the pen a few days before it showed on the site and was told the pen already sold out. I kept checking the website hoping more stock would come available. The first time I saw the pen on the site it was marked sold out. You must have gotten on in the narrow window after the pen was added to the site and before it was marked sold out. 

 

I can appreciate how frustrating this experience has been, first you think you're getting an interesting/rare pen, then you find out it was already sold out, and then you have to contact your credit card company to get your money back.

 

Even though ASC is frustrating and not really deserving of my business, I'm following them to see if they release any other Arco-based pens (I'm really hoping for an Arco Verde version of the Visconti you had such a bad experience with). 



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#22 MalcLee

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 22:00

 

I'm surprised you were even allowed to purchase the Visconti Arco on the ASC website. I first heard about the pen a few days before it showed on the site and was told the pen already sold out. I kept checking the website hoping more stock would come available. The first time I saw the pen on the site it was marked sold out. You must have gotten on in the narrow window after the pen was added to the site and before it was marked sold out. 

 

It all started off with an e-mail from ASC on that Friday morning titled " La Bella Italia" and yes - you are quite right to say that I got in quick as within a span of a few hours - that product was marked off as "Sold Out". I had asked the credit card issuer if ASC had provided a reason from their end and was told no reasons were given, hence my suspicions that this edition was over-sold on their site.

 

It was a frustrating experience, but also reassuring to know that I will not have to deal with any potential post-purchase QC problems that might arise.



#23 Dave_g

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Posted 28 March 2019 - 23:48

Hang on....     I've glanced at all of the posts and I can give you some feed back from my experience.  

 

I ordered a pen in 2017 but never got filled because the person I was in touch with from ASC left the company and by the time I got to checking with them again to see what was going on they were out of the Extra Bologna Arco Brown.  (bleep)!  I heard so much about this pen and all of the reviews about the pen were glowing.  FINE!  I can live without one.  Then at the beginning of March I decided to e-mail them showing my origonal e-mail and price.  I received,"Thank you for contacting us at Armando Simoni Club. We will respond to you within 48 hours."  To my surprise I received an e-mail from Armando.  An e-mail with an invoice number and a place to click to order my pen.  WOW!  The offered me the pen at the old price and I wrote them back as I was confused. 

"Hello, 

I'm a bit confused and overjoyed.  I thought this pen was out of stock. If this is a real offer for a new pen then I will gladly accept your offer.  Are there options for types of nib? I'm partial towards fine.
My sincere thanks,
Dave"
 
From:

EMMAMUEL CALTAGIRONE

The pen is available.
Nib is magic flex 18k750 gold
Best,
 
FROM ME: "Great! I'll take it. Thank you! I will follow the email link to but it.  Super! Dave."
 
I never heard anything from them after I clicked to buy the pen.  I figured they were in the process of making more pens and eventually I would hear something.  Sure enough a week and a half went by and I received an e-mail that my pen was on it's way.  It is number 450.  If true, then ASC grossed about $500K off of the material.  GOOD FOR THEM!  From finial to end-cap the pen must cost at least 50% of the asking price to manufacture.  I saw on the web site they were available for a few days then the SOLD OUT showed up.   It's is very nice but it isn't perfect.
 
1) The pen is a gusher for ink.  I can't control the width of the line unless I write very fast.  The nib doesn't close at the tip so it sends ink out as fast as it can until the paper is saturated.  It writes upside down very nicely but even upside down it sends enough ink on to the page that it ghosts through my Habana Quo vidas notebook.(85g ivory paper)
2) The inside of the clip doesn't have a plastic insert so I can see the end of the clip and the screw holding the clip to the cap.  Even a TWSBI has a plastic insert to finish off the inside of the pen AND give the clip a finished look from inside and seal the air from the ink.
 
I wouldn't give up on ASC though.  Even after waiting almost two years for the pen.  I asked and they sent shards of Arco shavings with my pen.  It's interesting material.  I don't know why they can't make more OR something very close.  As a pen aficionado I'm glad the company is around and doing something different.  Don't know if I can get the flow reduced or maybe the nib worked on.  I'm going to keep the pen even with it's less than perfect status.  I wish I knew how to extract the nib.  Does anyone know if it is a push on?  I don't want to force anything.  If I could get to the feed I'm sure I could fix the flow.  The feed has too many channels to supply ink in my opinion.  
 
I picked up an Aurora Optima in Silver with a fine nib and BOY is that a nice pen.  I had no idea they wrote like that.  NO hard stars.  NO skipping and it writes every time.  It will be a while before something pushes that pen out of my pocket.  The only problem is I shows the pen to my girlfriend and she likes the pen so we will see.....
 
Hope this helps...
 
Dave

Edited by Dave_g, 28 March 2019 - 23:48.


#24 raging.dragon

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 06:23

 

[...]

 
1) The pen is a gusher for ink.  I can't control the width of the line unless I write very fast.  The nib doesn't close at the tip so it sends ink out as fast as it can until the paper is saturated.  It writes upside down very nicely but even upside down it sends enough ink on to the page that it ghosts through my Habana Quo vidas notebook.(85g ivory paper)
2) The inside of the clip doesn't have a plastic insert so I can see the end of the clip and the screw holding the clip to the cap.  Even a TWSBI has a plastic insert to finish off the inside of the pen AND give the clip a finished look from inside and seal the air from the ink.
 
[...]

 

  1. I had my local nib meister grind the nib down to an EF.  It's an extremely we EF but that works well for me.
  2. My OMAS 360's similarly lack an inner cap lining, so it's true to the inspiration... Actually I think this is fairly common among low(ish) volume pens.


#25 fountainpen51

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 18:27

I'm confused with the last email from ASC. I interpret that Il Gladiatore, because of its price range, was not available to everyone, maybe it has not sold as they wanted? so it seems they are going to launch one at a price more at the hand of more people.
I love that model, but the price for me is high.
Will there be any new 360 version?
It would be interesting....


#26 Mulrich

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Posted 29 March 2019 - 20:31

My ASC is also a super wet writer. I would normally use really dry inks with this pen but my driest inks take a little more work to clean and the ASC is a pain to clean. 



#27 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 30 March 2019 - 22:19

Interesting thread, so you are saying that quality control is wary at ASC?? I have old Omas  pens which worked flawlessly and never had a hard start with them :unsure:  :wacko: Dunno perhaps a bad stock of celluloid rods and a defectove quality control :gaah:  


Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#28 MalcLee

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Posted 31 March 2019 - 00:27

Finally heard from ASC - and by way of a flurry of e-mails this weekend - including a text message early this morning (Australian time)

 

Apparently, there was a "final batch" of the Arco Brown Manhattans still being made by Visconti at the time of sale on the ASC website..... and that the parcel was on its way to me.........and they were concerned I made a chargeback request. *Uugh* If only they responded to my first and second e-mail - and kept the line of communication open. But anyway - now I've had to cancel the chargeback with the bank PLUS a longish email to Elizabeth speaking my mind on a Sunday morning (Australian time) that should have been family time.

 

So in short, I hope this would be the end of this silly saga (there better not be a QC issue) and I hope those that have paid for their Viscontis via the ASC website have heard from Elizabeth and will be getting their pens - or at least their money should there have been over-selling of this pen.



#29 Seney724

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Posted 31 March 2019 - 00:47

Finally heard from ASC - and by way of a flurry of e-mails this weekend - including a text message early this morning (Australian time)
 
Apparently, there was a "final batch" of the Arco Brown Manhattans still being made by Visconti at the time of sale on the ASC website..... and that the parcel was on its way to me.........and they were concerned I made a chargeback request. *Uugh* If only they responded to my first and second e-mail - and kept the line of communication open. But anyway - now I've had to cancel the chargeback with the bank PLUS a longish email to Elizabeth speaking my mind on a Sunday morning (Australian time) that should have been family time.
 
So in short, I hope this would be the end of this silly saga (there better not be a QC issue) and I hope those that have paid for their Viscontis via the ASC website have heard from Elizabeth and will be getting their pens - or at least their money should there have been over-selling of this pen.


I suppose only time will tell whether cancelling the chargeback was a good judgment or a bad judgment on your part.

Were it me, I would have taken the money I recouped from this third class outfit and purchased one of the several authentic Omas Arcos which recently have been listed for sale by very reputable sellers.

We will all be interested to hear your thoughts, once (or... if) your pen arrives.

#30 Mulrich

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Posted 31 March 2019 - 02:11

Finally heard from ASC - and by way of a flurry of e-mails this weekend - including a text message early this morning (Australian time)
 
Apparently, there was a "final batch" of the Arco Brown Manhattans still being made by Visconti at the time of sale on the ASC website..... and that the parcel was on its way to me.........and they were concerned I made a chargeback request. *Uugh* If only they responded to my first and second e-mail - and kept the line of communication open. But anyway - now I've had to cancel the chargeback with the bank PLUS a longish email to Elizabeth speaking my mind on a Sunday morning (Australian time) that should have been family time.
 
So in short, I hope this would be the end of this silly saga (there better not be a QC issue) and I hope those that have paid for their Viscontis via the ASC website have heard from Elizabeth and will be getting their pens - or at least their money should there have been over-selling of this pen.


Congrats on (maybe) getting the pen. I tried hard to get one but kept being told they were sold out.

#31 MalcLee

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Posted 31 March 2019 - 02:32

Congrats on (maybe) getting the pen. I tried hard to get one but kept being told they were sold out.


That pen left Miami yesterday as per the UPS tracking advice. So we’ll see how that thing writes.

#32 raging.dragon

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 00:12

That pen left Miami yesterday as per the UPS tracking advice. So we’ll see how that thing writes.

 

I'm happy to read it was communication issue and your pen is enroute.

 

The Manhattan Arco is neither a standard ASC nib nor a standard Visconti nib, but I'd guess it has a Visconti feed and collar and thus is most likely to perform like a Visconti nib.

 

I my experience with a few ASC and many Visconti pens, the odds are in favour of it working and being a wet to very wet writer. If it has issues try flushing with (unscented) soapy water, or using an ink with a alot of surfactant (like most Noodlers inks) for the first fill, to clear any manufacturing oils. I've found this tends to help with Viscontis.


Edited by raging.dragon, 01 April 2019 - 00:30.


#33 MalcLee

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Posted 01 April 2019 - 06:26

The Manhattan Arco is neither a standard ASC nib nor a standard Visconti nib, but I'd guess it has a Visconti feed and collar and thus is most likely to perform like a Visconti nib.
 
I my experience with a few ASC and many Visconti pens, the odds are in favour of it working and being a wet to very wet writer. If it has issues try flushing with (unscented) soapy water, or using an ink with a alot of surfactant (like most Noodlers inks) for the first fill, to clear any manufacturing oils. I've found this tends to help with Viscontis.


This.
Thank you !

#34 Mew

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 17:35

I would politely disagree with the comments on the customer service of ASC, made initially on this thread.

I purchased an il Gladiatore from one of their retailers, who had listed it as a power filler in the specifications section on his website. I checked for other ASC pens and decobands, and all of them were listed as power filler. I went ahead and bought it.
While it was in transit, I watched a review on YouTube of the same pen and found out that it was a piston filler.
I have a decoband and I like the weight the pneumatic filling system provides. I was looking for that and not a lightweight (relatively) piston filler.
Contacted the retailer and he said that he had mentioned in the description. My fault I guess, but specification tab is there for a reason.
I contacted ASC to see if they would be willing to replace this pen with their Bologna Extra brown arco. They responded within 3 hours and offered to replace it with a bologna extra, and for the differential amount they would give me the credit for my next purchase.

ASC has enough stock of brown arco. They just have stopped making the Bologna extra model, but they can make more of it if it is required, like in the case above and mine. I wouldn't call my experience with them "bad" in any way.

#35 Seney724

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 21:45

I can certainly understand why your experience would lead you to your conclusion and it is good of you to have posted it. Your story deserves to be told.

But, at a deeper level, I think your experience simply reinforces what has been said.....

Nowhere does anyone say that ASC is stupid. In fact, the underlying sentiment is that they are cunning in their pursuit of maximum revenues at minimal expense and effort.

Think about it. They responded in lightning fast speed because of the opportunity it provided them. They could get back a new Il Gladiatore and in return provide you with a pen of less value and pocket the difference until which time you place another order.

In my view, here is what has transpired:
1) They are holding your money for an indefinite period of time, making money on your money.
2) They have pretty much forced you into making another purchase from them or else you lose your money.
3) They have recouped a pen which is no longer available on the primary market and can now sell it using one of their other sales operations at its now greatly
inflated secondary market price. (Whether it is worth that amount of money is a totally different matter, of course)
4) They are able to reduce, by one, their remaining inventory of a less desirable pen.

I see this as pretty good proof they are deserving of all the negative comments they have garnered on this thread and elsewhere. When it is to their benefit to respond quickly and make something happen, they can do so. In a circumstance where their action(s) are not of direct and immediate benefit to them, not so much.

Needless to say, a very different take than yours. But offered, I hope, in the same polite spirit of disagreement.

#36 raging.dragon

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Posted 24 April 2019 - 02:44

The Il Gladiatore is more expensive, but I'm not so sure about more desirable.

 

I believe the piston mechanism is the one Delta used, which is one of the nicer piston fillers I've run into.

 

The only ASC with a power filler is their recent collaboration with Visconti. The Bologna Extra has a modified touchdown filler.



#37 esojay

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 04:21

I have been reading this thread with great interest after not having signed on for a while. I have four ASC Bologna Extra pens in different finishes. When I first got a couple of them, I noticed the space between the tines that has been commented on. I also noticed some pretty wet writing. I was able to devise a fix for both, at least so far. The nib and feed are friction fit into the section, so I was able to CAREFULLY remove them to be able to do the work (beware that such tinkering may void warranties). As you all may know, there is a horizontal slit on the underside of the feed. This increases ink flow so the feed can keep up with the nib flex. I have an eyeglass frame heater (a hot air gun with a thermostat so it cant go any hotter than the set temperature) that I bought to heat set nibs and ebonite feeds. I was able to shrink that horizontal slit a bit, and it reduced the flow enough for my tastes without sacrificing flow to keep up with the nib flex. Another thing that heat setting can do is allow the nib tines to come into contact with each other and shrink the gap between them, so as to further reduce the voluminous ink flow. In other words, when the feed is warmed, it becomes pliable. In that state, one can put gentle pressure on the nib face and bring the nib tines together. I realize that not everyone out there has the time, equipment, or nerve to do this, but a worthy nibmeister should be able to do it once he or she knows what must be done.
Hope this helps.





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