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Parker No Longer Repairs Their Pens!

parker service repair warranty logevity

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55 replies to this topic

#21 The Blue Knight

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 09:46

if i wanted a pen that when it fails after 3 years, i have to replace... i would buy a varsity or a preppy.  BUTT TON cheaper. Not that i expect that either of those would fail after 3 years!

 

As said above, if i spend hundreds of dollars on a pen, i expect it to LAST.

 

And as said above, what if it was a gift? i don't WANT a discount on another pen, i want the pen my loved one, who MAY not even be alive anymore, gave me. 

 

The disposable mentality is fine, at $10. not a $100 or more. 

 

Maybe we are just more sentimental than you are, i donno.

But i do know i won't be buying a new Parker FROM Parker. Maybe used, if i get a GREAT deal, all the while knowing if anything fails, its likely to end up in the garbage pile. But i certainly won't let Parker get richer from these types of business practices.

 

I think  we live in a world where every consumer item is replaceable.  Take phones cars computers the list goes on irrespective of the value. It almost seems like a novel concept that you buy a pen for life. Maybe it Newell Rubbermaid recognising that a pen that was bought by the modern buyer doesn't have the same longevity that one bought by a buyer a generation or two ago would have expected.

 

Yes they are repairable to some extent. But rarely (done by the manufacturer)  after a few years of use.   

 

I don't know other brands are like but except from the likes of Mont Blanc are there any other brands that would be willing to service a pen from e.g. over twenty years ago. For instance Sheaffers been through two owners since the 1990's. Lamy maybe? But would they really have parts for a Unic or Lady. 


Edited by The Blue Knight, 09 July 2020 - 17:09.


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#22 txomsy

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 11:51

I personally have contradictory feelings.

 

I ditched away Parker about 25-30 years ago because all of their pens would break with my use (usually the section, or the feeder, or threads, or inner cap, or whatever). I still keep a feeder/nib unit (at the time I would keep parts in case the next pen's broke so I could replace it, or...).

 

At the time I was a youth with very little money and sending a pen for repair was out of the question due to cost, and at the time too, warranties were not 2 years as they are now, and companies (or their representatives) were more prone to disavow the warranty or produce excuses.

 

As soon as I could, I got a "cheap" Montblanc (a Noblesse -or Slimline- I never seem to be able to tell which is which) and that was the end of the story. Never had any issue or need to repair it, never failed, and never broke. It still writes like a champ.

 

So, what is the use of repair services if they are to cost more than a new pen? On the other hand, what is the use of a pen that you need to replace periodically if, for the cost of 5-10, you can get a great, better, long-lasting one?

 

I can understand that when repair is more expensive than a new product, the company may decide to simply replace it or ask you to buy a new one. But then, it will also make more sense to any sensible customer to increase the up-front investment and get a higher quality item that won't let him/her down.

 

Contradictory feelings, you see.

 

In my case, as I said, I stopped buying Parker in the 80's, because, already then, it didn't make sense for me to send pens for repair and I didn't want to keep buying a new one every two-three years. When I did, I remember Waterman felt a tad better, and that Sheaffer felt a lot better than Parker (but also more expensive) and, once I decided to spend somewhat more, and since I luckily stepped on that MB...

 

EDIT:

 

I do also understand that if a company sells a great product that won't break and will last at cheap prices, that it may not make business sense to repair it, but if the product is really that great, then what would make marketing sense is to provide an extended warranty (say,  7 years like some car, or washing machine, brands) and maintain a repair service so you can say "I say this is good and I'll stand by it", not  "trust me when I say this is good, but it is so cheap that if it breaks I'll just give you a new one because it is so cheap, and I don't care, and I won't extend warranty because I may not be around next year", 'cos that, to me, gives the image that it is worthless.

 

A matter of image... but... when postage is a lot more expensive for you than for sellers, and you can get a new cheap clone pen (delivery included) for much less than the cost of mailing a broken Parker back to get a new one,... and once you are given the impression that after the two year warranty you better replace it... why prefer one over the other, mailing a Parker over, say getting a 10-pack of Pakistani Dollar piston-fillers, for example? Or any Parker clone off the same factory that makes the legit Parker pens?

 

As a counter example: I enjoy the clones of the Kaweco Brass Sport, but I can quickly tell the differences in quality, design, looks, optional parts, design and functionality, and given the chance (i.e. assuming I wasn't so tightly money constricted) I certainly prefer Kaweco pens (and will for a long time covet another Liliput Copper and a Fireblue, which most likely I won't be able to get, and follow their new releases even knowing I won't likely get one). I do not have any desire for any Parker on the other side and cannot see myself wanting one in the future or showing any interest. That may change, of course, but I somehow cannot picture them changing gears and direction.


Edited by txomsy, 09 July 2020 - 12:25.


#23 IThinkIHaveAProblem

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 13:55

 

I completely agree with your statement - minus this sentence.

 

Given the tons of garbage we pile up every day, I can´t get myself to agree with the notion "a disposable mentality is fine" because the things in question don´t cost a lot of money. It is not.

 

...

I agree with you. And while i also try and avoid throwing things out that don't need to be, or better yet, buying them in the first place!

What i meant was that if something is sold to me at a very low cost, then i understand the logic of "just throw it out". But if it's expensive, then that mentality is greedy. Especially on something where performance doesn't degrade over time. Ex: buy a new computer now, in 10 years it will be nowhere NEAR as close to the top of the line as it was new, in fact it will likely be showing it's age performance-wise by that point. But, buy a new fountain pen now, and in TWENTY years, it's still a fountain pen, and it's VERY unlikely that anyone is going to revolutionize fountain pens at this stage in the game.

 

 

I think  we live in a world where every consumer item is replaceable.  Take phones cars computers the list goes on irrespective of the value. It almost seems like a novel concept that you buy a pen for life. Maybe it Newell Rubbermaid recognising that a pen that was bought by the modern buyer doesn't have the same longevity that one bought by a buyer a generation or two ago would have expected.

 

 

i don't consider my $50 000 truck "replaceable" in the "just throw it away" sense. And neither does the government, which is why manufacturers are legally REQUIRED to ensure ALL replacement parts for a vehicle are readily available for 10 years after the date of manufacture. Now if only governments would hold TESLA to these rules...  I admit that eventually, ESPECIALLY since i live in Canada... land of snow and salt, my truck will rust out. BUT, I will likely be able to buy replacement parts for it. AND, buying and installing those parts will still likely be less expensive than buying a new truck.

 

With phones and computers, i am on board with you %100. They will be outclassed in performance in a few years and therefore will likely require replacement, regardless of if they are still functional or not, they will simply not be up to the task of running the newest software. (see above). But fountain pens, TVs, Dishwashers... These are items that should last. There is unlikely to be a fundamental shift in clothes washing technology any time soon. So i expect my $1400 washing machine to last, AND be repairable.


Just give me the Parker 51s and nobody needs to get hurt.

#24 Parker51

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 13:59

I am unaware of many cloned pens. To the best of my knowledge most pens are not made using additive technowledgy and thus cannot be cloned by copying the the program they were made using a printer and using a different printer printed and thus being a clone. In theory a cloned pen could be as good as the origonal, if done well.

I believe what you are refering to are copies. The problem you touched on with copies is common and in part because of why most pens which are copied, are copied.

Many years ago some artisans made copies of vintage fountain pens which were painstakingly crafted of the finest materials and with excellent execution. Copies can be great. Some of the copies were ignored by the copywrite holders as they had no apparent interest in stopping what we're one off copies of pens long out of production. But some copywrite holders did stop the production of copies of their designs.

Today there are companies which copy other companies current designs, not in homage to great pens of the past. They often make them not using simialer materials, techniques and quality of construction. They do this to exploit the origonal companies hard work and steal the compensation they rightfully should have. They are counterfeit products.

#25 Parker51

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 13:59

I am unaware of many cloned pens. To the best of my knowledge most pens are not made using additive technowledgy and thus cannot be cloned by copying the the program they were made using a printer and using a different printer printed and thus being a clone. In theory a cloned pen could be as good as the origonal, if done well.

I believe what you are refering to are copies. The problem you touched on with copies is common and in part because of why most pens which are copied, are copied.

Many years ago some artisans made copies of vintage fountain pens which were painstakingly crafted of the finest materials and with excellent execution. Copies can be great. Some of the copies were ignored by the copywrite holders as they had no apparent interest in stopping what we're one off copies of pens long out of production. But some copywrite holders did stop the production of copies of their designs.

Today there are companies which copy other companies current designs, not in homage to great pens of the past. They often make them not using simialer materials, techniques and quality of construction. They do this to exploit the origonal companies hard work and steal the compensation they rightfully should have. They are counterfeit products.

#26 gmathio

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 15:08

I came across their refuse to fix my pen, when I sent a Duofold Centennial Lapis Lazuli fountain pen with a broken cap. They said they no longer have these caps and they didn't have any suggestion for my problem. So, I had to either throw the pen, or glue the cap and continue using it, which I did. Not so beautiful having a pen with a glued and duct taped cap, but it is my only choice...



#27 Matlock

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 16:12

 

I think  we live in a world where every consumer item is replaceable.  Take phones cars computers the list goes on irrespective of the value. It almost seems like a novel concept that you buy a pen for life. Maybe it Newell Rubbermaid recognising that a pen that was bought by the modern buyer doesn't have the same longevity that one bought by a buyer a generation or two ago would have expected.

 

Yes they are repairable to some extent. But rarely (done my the manufacturer)  after a few years of use.   

 

I don't know other brands are like but except from the likes of Mont Blanc are there any other brands that would be willing to service a pen from e.g. over twenty years ago. For instance Sheaffers been through two owners since the 1990's. Lamy maybe? But would they really have parts for a Unic or Lady. 

I tend to agree with what you say but even MB don't usually repair pens, they replace them whilst, maybe, retaining the nib etc. I think we have to accept that, apart from a few standard pens, no firm can carry enough spares to service all their exotic designs ad infinitum.  


Peter


#28 Matlock

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 16:14

I came across their refuse to fix my pen, when I sent a Duofold Centennial Lapis Lazuli fountain pen with a broken cap. They said they no longer have these caps and they didn't have any suggestion for my problem. So, I had to either throw the pen, or glue the cap and continue using it, which I did. Not so beautiful having a pen with a glued and duct taped cap, but it is my only choice...

 A little unfair to say they "refuse" to repair a pen. If they no longer have the parts, what are they to do?


Peter


#29 jchch1950

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 16:29

This new no repairs policy can be the last step to finish the sales of quality and high price pens. An independent repair shop is not always a solution, the lack of parts can make  impossible certain substitutions. Parker pens are gone out of my wish list.



#30 Joane

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 17:03

 A little unfair to say they "refuse" to repair a pen. If they no longer have the parts, what are they to do?


What Parker in Janesville did when they couldnt repair my click-down Duofold ballpoint c. 1988 is they returned it to me with apologies, along with a new 1992 Duofold ballpoint, no charge.

Edited by Joane, 09 July 2020 - 17:04.

Happiness is a real Montblanc...

#31 Matlock

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 17:39

This new no repairs policy can be the last step to finish the sales of quality and high price pens. An independent repair shop is not always a solution, the lack of parts can make  impossible certain substitutions. Parker pens are gone out of my wish list.

So, in your view Parker should keep an inexhaustible supply of spare parts? Other pen makers don't so why single out Parker? Parker did away with the guarantee for life when they abolished the blue diamond on their clips and that was over 70 years ago.


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#32 Matlock

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 17:43

What Parker in Janesville did when they couldnt repair my click-down Duofold ballpoint c. 1988 is they returned it to me with apologies, along with a new 1992 Duofold ballpoint, no charge.

That is great customer relations, but a lot has changed in those last 28 years.


Peter


#33 Parker51

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 17:43

A little unfair to say they "refuse" to repair a pen. If they no longer have the parts, what are they to do?


It was a deliberate decision they made to not repair pens and to not make parts available so as to allow pens to be repaired. Yes it is very fair to say they refused.
I am tired of people apologizing and making excuses for those who engage in behavior which most others find suspect and wrong. Why do we always need to protect the transgressors?
At the very least we should stick to the facts and not insert justifications of our own. If a Parker representative wants to respond to this thread and explain why they determined not to repair pens anymore, then they can. A complete explanation with a cost benefit analysis for the Company which includes a decrease in value for its name, intelectual property and goodwill certainly would need to be included in that analysis. If the balance sheet indicates that it did not make long term financial sense, then fine. If however as I suspect no analysis was performed beyond the effect on the corporations next 4 quarters and any likely decrease in value of the brand was ignored, then it would appear that the officers of the company are trying in at least this to push up short term profitability and ignore any long term decrease in the value of the company and thus not performing well,for,their stock holders. It also suggests that the recent prices on Amazon for certain Parker Duofold Pens are the correct price and the full retail price of Parkers higher priced pens should be subject to a 40% discount. Wow, that kind of decrease in profitability per unit should give someone notice about the stupidity of cutting back on the warranty, repair services and the long term value of their current products. At this rate Parker will end up beng sold to someone else. Wouldn't it be interesting if Cross ended up buying it.

#34 Matlock

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 18:17

It was a deliberate decision they made to not repair pens and to not make parts available so as to allow pens to be repaired. Yes it is very fair to say they refused.
I am tired of people apologizing and making excuses for those who engage in behavior which most others find suspect and wrong. Why do we always need to protect the transgressors?
At the very least we should stick to the facts and not insert justifications of our own. If a Parker representative wants to respond to this thread and explain why they determined not to repair pens anymore, then they can. A complete explanation with a cost benefit analysis for the Company which includes a decrease in value for its name, intelectual property and goodwill certainly would need to be included in that analysis. If the balance sheet indicates that it did not make long term financial sense, then fine. If however as I suspect no analysis was performed beyond the effect on the corporations next 4 quarters and any likely decrease in value of the brand was ignored, then it would appear that the officers of the company are trying in at least this to push up short term profitability and ignore any long term decrease in the value of the company and thus not performing well,for,their stock holders. It also suggests that the recent prices on Amazon for certain Parker Duofold Pens are the correct price and the full retail price of Parkers higher priced pens should be subject to a 40% discount. Wow, that kind of decrease in profitability per unit should give someone notice about the stupidity of cutting back on the warranty, repair services and the long term value of their current products. At this rate Parker will end up beng sold to someone else. Wouldn't it be interesting if Cross ended up buying it.

Parker provide a two year warranty on their pens, which can be extended by a further two years by payment of a supplement. This is in line with many companies. Cross still provide a lifetime warranty I understand but even they cannot repair older pens as the parts are no longer available. MB, in the main, do not repair pens, they replace them, retaining the original nibs (unless of course it was the nib that was damaged). Pelikan in the USA have a terrible record for repairs (this does not apply to the German factory, only the US distributers). I had a problem with a Pelikan pen that was over 10 years old, it could not be repaired but I got a substitute pen for a nominal fee. This was very fair as the pen was well out of warranty. I have a 12 year old Leica camera that cost me around £3000. If the meter fails the camera is a right off as Leica no longer hold the parts to repair it. That is the way of the World I am afraid.


Peter


#35 Ron Z

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 18:53

Years ago the courts decided that "lifetime" meant 7 years.  Don't ask me how they reached that number.  Companies today will take a look at the repair history of a pen, and then decide how many spare parts are needed to support the product repairs over that "lifetime."  When they run out of parts, they aren't going to make more.  Bexley worked this way, and others do as well.  Once the parts are gone, they're gone.

 

I don't think that you can single out any one brand.  All are under stress these days.

 

I've talked to people in the service centers.  Part of the change in policies is the result of the change world with internet sales.  With no record of sales, or black market sales that they would not have covered in the past, they have had to become more restrictive in how they cover "warranty" repairs, or repairs in general.  Often the manufacturer of the foreign made pen dictates the repair policies of the local distributors.   Sometimes the pens, even if not limited editions, have to go back overseas for factory repair.  You local service center does not have the time or equipment  or parts to handle repairs, and many pens are not made to BE repaired.  Look through the Parker service manual from the 90s, and many procedures say "replace" as the only option. 

 

An example is any Parker ballpoint that does not have a screw on top can not be repaired.  The Sonnet cap is riveted together, so is the Prelude.  I imagine that the Vector was not made to be repaired. 

 

Not just pens though.   Take a look at the track record for Goodge phones....


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#36 Joane

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Posted 09 July 2020 - 19:40

That is great customer relations, but a lot has changed in those last 28 years.

 

So true!


Happiness is a real Montblanc...

#37 inkstainedruth

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 05:49

Years ago the courts decided that "lifetime" meant 7 years.  Don't ask me how they reached that number.  

 

Seven years?  All I can think of now is the old Child ballad "Tam Lin" (or at least the version done by Fairport Convention):

 

          Janet tied her kirtle green a bit above her knee

          And she's gone to Carterhaugh as fast as go can she

         "Oh, tell to me, Tam Lin," she said, "why came you here to dwell?"

         "The Queen of Fairies caught me when from my horse I fell

         And at the end of seven years she pays a tithe to Hell

         I so fair and full of flesh and feared it be myself
 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#38 Kenlowe

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 08:02

Seven years?  All I can think of now is the old Child ballad "Tam Lin" (or at least the version done by Fairport Convention):

 

          Janet tied her kirtle green a bit above her knee

          And she's gone to Carterhaugh as fast as go can she

         "Oh, tell to me, Tam Lin," she said, "why came you here to dwell?"

         "The Queen of Fairies caught me when from my horse I fell

         And at the end of seven years she pays a tithe to Hell

         I so fair and full of flesh and feared it be myself
 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

 

I always thought that the lyrics were Carter Hall instead of Carterhaugh, I stand corrected.

 

The definition of a Lifetime Guarantee has not been defined in UK Courts so unless it is defined within the Ts and Cs of any warranty document as to what is meant by the word Lifetime the responsibility would rest with the seller on what is meant under consumer legislation, which, I would predict, would be in favour of the consumer.



#39 jchch1950

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 08:24

So, in your view Parker should keep an inexhaustible supply of spare parts? Other pen makers don't so why single out Parker? Parker did away with the guarantee for life when they abolished the blue diamond on their clips and that was over 70 years ago.

 

I think one thing is to keep spare parts available and a different one is that they don't repair they own products. Someone has to have the knowledge about the technical aspects of pen and maybe they can't repair it for lack of spare parts but maybe they can solve the problem.I have a pen with a stiff piston and my local repairman don't have the special tool to take it apart and the company doesn't do repairs any more, then you have an investment of certain amount that is not usable.



#40 Kenlowe

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 08:44

Sometimes I look at a Jinhao 750 in one hand and a Duofold in the other, the Jinhao cost £3 and the Duofold cost £350 and I think, how much better is one than the other to justify the difference. 

 

I don't expect Jinhao to do anything in terms of customer service, I would hope that Parker would service and keep parts for their pens for a dickens of a long time.

 

There is the old story about HM the Queen and her pens, she gives a Royal Warrant to Parker, for those that don't know that is quite a big deal. The Queen, it is said, uses a Parker 51 for her personal letters and has a bespoke Parker ink.

 

The story goes that a man calls Parker and asks for his 51 to be repaired, he is told by Parker that they do not do repairs to the 51.

 

His response:

 

'If the Queen wanted her 51 to be repaired, what would you do?'

 

'Well, we would have to find someone to do the work'

 

'Tell him that the Queen's 51 is working fine, as he has nothing to do I wil put mine in the mail'.







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