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*research* On Pen Companies And Their Quality Control And Aftermarket Service.



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professionaldilettante

Hello FPN.

I need help with solving the problem of identifying pen companies with quality control issues. I have created a form, to help you enter your new pen purchases anonymously. Please enter your experiances with as many NEW pens as you would like. I would appreciate it if you entered all your pens, but seeing as how some of us have 1000's of pens, that's not going to help.

 

This is only concerning contemporary pens, that were bought new.

 

***Please enter in pens that have NOT needed servicing, as well as those who did need it.***

 

The link for the form can be found here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGhKQlI3UzBZcjVmVHpEclFoYXhNckE6MQ

 

Please help me with this. If you were wondering, this is in response to this post:

*edited* 5/24/2012 - post this was referencing was deleted.

 

This is my attempt at gathering data to find which company we need to pressure to improve their QC, and which ones are less problematic straight from the box.

 

**The data collected is confidential and completely anonymous. What you see in the form, is the only data collected.**

 

Thank you for your time

-PD

Edited by professionaldilettante

The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.

Blaise Pascal

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Tell me about any of your new pens and help with fountain pen quality control research!

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Great idea, I responded on he few that required servicing. I guess I've been lucky considering how many I've had. I did note something sadly that the majority of my problems have been with Italian pens. However I can say I've had problems with German, and Japanese pens as well. Another pattern is that ironically I seem to have the least problems with my cheaper pens, I mean under 50USD, and none with NOS I've purchased.

The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter--it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.

- Mark Twain in a Letter to George Bainton, 10/15/1888

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rbadger332

Submitted 3 reports! I am really interested as to how things turn out. Thanks for this, PD!

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Pilot Vanishing Point Gun Metal Fine


Stipula Passaporto Medium


Visconti Homo Sapiens Steel Age Midi Medium

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You need to drop the cost question. Folk can look up MSRP and add a not applicable field on some questions.

Edited by jar

 

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The survey has no option for pens that needed service, where the service was done by the user.

 

"Did they charge you a Service fee?" is a yes/no question with a text box.

“As we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came, and God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind.”Gene Cernan, 14 December 1972

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I think you need to have people enter all their pens (of a given brand) for this to help with QC research. Look, it's no surprise that companies cannot make perfect products 100% of the time -- i don't know any company that does. What would interest me is how close they come or how often their pens or even a particular model has issues -- and for that matter the severity. If 50 samples are problematic that might be interesting, but if it represents 1% of the total for that model, then it's less so to me at any rate.

 

Without that I'm not seeing how that's much different that what takes place here and other user forums, where often what you see are the negatives and not so much of the positives. That's not to say that's unimportant sine one can sometimes glean problematic trends.

 

I've had 2 Omas and 2 Pelikans come new with bad seals. Equally bad? I don't think so because I've bought way more Omas pens than I have Pelikans, probably 5-10 times as many.

 

Might consider whether servicing required a distributor and whether the cost involved was all or partly those of the distributor. I can get nib swaps for free from one company, but I know that one of the company's overseas distributor charges.

 

Do shipping costs count to and from? One company I've sent pens to doesn't charge me for shipping them back, another does even if the service involved is free. Should I value that the same or different? Some would, some won't -- I don't really even though at the end of the day it matter to my wallet.

Edited by eric47

Anyone becomes mannered if you think too much about what other people think. (Kim Gordon)

 

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StyloBug33

Each new pen? Its a good idea, but that could be really time consuming for some. I would need to fill out a lot of forms. This may take some time.

God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind, I will never die.

-Bill Waterson

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***Please enter in pens that have NOT needed servicing, as well as those who did need it.***

 

Even if you answer that it worked fine out of the box, the survey forces you to answer the Customer Service questions.

 

I entered a few pens. Interesting idea, good luck with it!

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professionaldilettante

I think you need to have people enter all their pens (of a given brand) for this to help with QC research. Look, it's no surprise that companies cannot make perfect products 100% of the time -- i don't know any company that does. What would interest me is how close they come or how often their pens or even a particular model has issues -- and for that matter the severity. If 50 samples are problematic that might be interesting, but if it represents 1% of the total for that model, then it's less so to me at any rate.

 

Without that I'm not seeing how that's much different that what takes place here and other user forums, where often what you see are the negatives and not so much of the positives. That's not to say that's unimportant sine one can sometimes glean problematic trends.

 

I've had 2 Omas and 2 Pelikans come new with bad seals. Equally bad? I don't think so because I've bought way more Omas pens than I have Pelikans, probably 5-10 times as many.

 

Might consider whether servicing required a distributor and whether the cost involved was all or partly those of the distributor. I can get nib swaps for free from one company, but I know that one of the company's overseas distributor charges.

 

Do shipping costs count to and from? One company I've sent pens to doesn't charge me for shipping them back, another does even if the service involved is free. Should I value that the same or different? Some would, some won't -- I don't really even though at the end of the day it matter to my wallet.

The points you make are valid, and I'm hoping to gather enough data points to draw some sort of conclusions. I know that this is inherently flawed, as all surveys are, but i figured this is much faster than having people make reviews. If I can get more samples of people who did and didn't need service on a particular pen or company, that would give me a better idea of what the pass rate of a company's pens are.

 

The form has also been updated to reflect the trouble spots. Please talk another look. Thanks.

Edited by professionaldilettante

The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.

Blaise Pascal

fpn_1336709688__pen_01.jpg

Tell me about any of your new pens and help with fountain pen quality control research!

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I commend your attempt to quantify a particular sore spot on these Forums. I just hope that there are curious company eyes on this report that will compel (if needed) a solution to any discrepancies in quality. I have always been of the opinion that a good company would like to know of any problems concerning their products. This report would do a company a better service than a rant. But they do need to know what the problem is/are.

What Would The Flying Spaghetti Monster Do?

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professionaldilettante

I commend your attempt to quantify a particular sore spot on these Forums. I just hope that there are curious company eyes on this report that will compel (if needed) a solution to any discrepancies in quality. I have always been of the opinion that a good company would like to know of any problems concerning their products. This report would do a company a better service than a rant. But they do need to know what the problem is/are.

Thank you!. I am actually feeling better, doing this than ranting over the post that got deleated. I hope that this will be of use, to people deciding what brand to dive into next, as well as pen companies, if they want to see what they need improvement on.

The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.

Blaise Pascal

fpn_1336709688__pen_01.jpg

Tell me about any of your new pens and help with fountain pen quality control research!

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I hope that when the data comes out that the pen companies that fall short in customer service do something about it. Actually I would rather the pen companies do something about the quality so that you never have to deal with customer service!

 

I guess my only question would be about the silent majority of pens purchased that are dropped in a drawer the first time they don't work. I can imagine that if enough bad QC is just assumed to be operator error and never reported back to the companies, they don't have any need to do anything. I wonder if there might be some way to extrapolate from the FPN sample size to the population of pen's purchased.

Erring; for he with this rebellious rout

Fell long before; nor aught aviled him now

To have built in Heaven high towers; nor did he scape

By all his engines, but was headlong sent

With his industrious crew, to build in Hell

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Well, I entered the data on a few makes and will pick up again tomorrow. Hopefully I will be able to enter the data at least for the fifty or so new Sheaffers that have been perfect out of the box.

 

Some makes like ST Dupont will take longer I fear but in a week or three I should be able to enter the data on at least the recent new pens I have bought that were fine from day one.

 

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I'd make a request to the FPNers adding pens to this... try not to enter just the pens you've had problems with. The tendency here is going to be to submit the pens one had the most trouble with.

 

 

I also find the question "Yes, but I serviced it myself." tricky because I then have to answer "Nope. The pen never needed servicing in the first place."

"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

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professionaldilettante

I'd make a request to the FPNers adding pens to this... try not to enter just the pens you've had problems with. The tendency here is going to be to submit the pens one had the most trouble with.

 

 

I also find the question "Yes, but I serviced it myself." tricky because I then have to answer "Nope. The pen never needed servicing in the first place."

Perhaps we could have this topic pinned in the review section? I would keep it running until the data just was too much. I don't have enough for statistical analysis yet though.

The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.

Blaise Pascal

fpn_1336709688__pen_01.jpg

Tell me about any of your new pens and help with fountain pen quality control research!

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I'd make a request to the FPNers adding pens to this... try not to enter just the pens you've had problems with. The tendency here is going to be to submit the pens one had the most trouble with.

 

 

I also find the question "Yes, but I serviced it myself." tricky because I then have to answer "Nope. The pen never needed servicing in the first place."

Perhaps we could have this topic pinned in the review section? I would keep it running until the data just was too much. I don't have enough for statistical analysis yet though.

 

Don't count on the dollar data since I am putting $1.00 as the cost on all pens.

 

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professionaldilettante

I'd make a request to the FPNers adding pens to this... try not to enter just the pens you've had problems with. The tendency here is going to be to submit the pens one had the most trouble with.

 

 

I also find the question "Yes, but I serviced it myself." tricky because I then have to answer "Nope. The pen never needed servicing in the first place."

Perhaps we could have this topic pinned in the review section? I would keep it running until the data just was too much. I don't have enough for statistical analysis yet though.

 

Don't count on the dollar data since I am putting $1.00 as the cost on all pens. That's going to throw off my data... Thanks for putting it in, but I really needed all parts of the equation. It's too late to go back and change it, since I don't know what your entries were. I wanted to use that part of the data to find any correlation to quality and price, but now I can't.

I was going to use that data to draw an association or not between price and quality, since many newbies have asked that question. However, since you are unwilling, I have modified the form so that if you want, you can leave the price you paid for as blank.

Edited by professionaldilettante

The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.

Blaise Pascal

fpn_1336709688__pen_01.jpg

Tell me about any of your new pens and help with fountain pen quality control research!

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Added my pens.

 

Some further suggestions: you're missing MF and flex (i.e. Ahab) nibs on the nib chart (also, BB is listed twice). Perhaps an "other" or "custom" nib option might be in order as well. There's also no option for "Wasn't worth the bother." on the customer service menu (could also just be "Haven't contacted customer service yet."), for those pens that just aren't worth enough to bother with the hassle of customer service.

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