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Mr. Gripey-drawers.

Posted by Dirck on 20 July, 2009

I’m going to sound like I have something in for Newell/Rubbermaid… well, I guess I do. I’m very crabby about the way they’re letting several previously good pen marques turn to poo. They’ve brought it on themselves.

Yesterday I posted my letter of complaint regarding Quink, of course. Shortly after I wrote that letter, I was in at my favourite local shop, picking up some ink and ogling some pens. There’s another customer in who declares that she would like to buy a Waterman they’re got on display. It is examined, declared delightful, the store owner takes it back to wrap it up… and the little decorative metal tail-piece drops off.

Rumour has it that Newell/Rubbermaid are trying to arrange things so that Parker is the “popular” brand, while Waterman is the “upscale” one. That sort of quality control is not going to cut it. They seem to be having trouble getting the slits right in the points, too, which is even worse– mere decoration is one thing, but the primary functional piece of the pen is quite another.

I’m not anxious to put down any of the lines of pens which currently wriggle in the grip of N/R. I want them to succeed. I think it would be a crying pity if any of their brands were to go belly up, but if they do it looks like the cause will be neglect by the corporate overlord.

What to do about it, though…? Boycott? Chances are that will just give an excuse to close down an unprofitable line. Unless you’ve got the money to buy a good lump of stock, at which point your voice will definitely be heard (and if you do… spare some change?), probably the best thing in this situation is to buy whatever looks pleasing, insist on your warantee coverage (hang onto that reciept!), and write letters outlining the problems. There are some people within the machine who still care about the product, and perhaps if they can show interest still exists they can save the old and abused names from ignominy.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Target (and here’s why– it looks something like a multi-stage rocket, it has a touchdown filler, and I don’t have any Eagle brand pens. Happy landing anniversary, Apollo 11!)
Today’s ink: Herbin Poussière de Lune (“moon dust”– I don’t think I need explain that one).

One Response to “Mr. Gripey-drawers.”

  1. […] had an email from Newell-Rubbermaid, and despite some of the things I’ve said previously about the company, I was pretty well pleased when I finished reading […]

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