Rather disappointed! ......... but now I understand!

Thread: Rather disappointed! ......... but now I understand!

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  1. #1
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    Rather disappointed! ......... but now I understand!

    PLEASE ENSURE YOU READ MY CONCLUDING POST #30 ............


    Having read so much praise of the Stowa range and customer service, and falling head over heels for the FO, I placed an order for one last year. Like most of us I was given the delivery date of June this year. Perfect, I thought, the timing as a self sourced present for an event at the end of May made it even more special.

    Earlier this month it became clear that the delivery date will be more like mid to end 2010, which I accepted given the circumstances being described on this forum.

    However I still wanted a watch for this weekend, and I was still keen to experience Stowa workmanship first hand. As luck would have it I have had my eye on a black dialed Seatime, and low and behold the standard model is listed as being immediately available (all colour bezels) and so are the spare straps.

    So on the 16th May I placed my order, 17th of May I made payment if full with additional payment for expedited delivery of a standard Seatime on bracelet, spare strap, 2 spare bezels and a deployment.

    All items immediately available so I sat back and waited expecting to receive shipping confirmation a couple of days later.

    It didn't come, so I wrote and asked when it would ship. A note came back saying Friday 22nd. OK it would miss the weekend event but I would have it Monday via Fedex.

    Friday close of business and no shipping confirmation so I wrote again. I got a prompt email back saying it would ship Monday (promise!) and the offer of a small token to compensate. OK I thought not ideal but they recognise its below par.......... 40 minutes later I get an email telling me to delete the email promising Monday and compensation as it was sent in error , my watch will ship 'next week'!

    Now I am confident some may defend Stowa against my "unreasonable" expectations, but this is the first time in many internet transactions I have experienced an item specifically be listed as in stock, not shipping within a few days, at least not without an explanation. I feel even more let down by the fact that having stuck with Stowa in ordering a "replacement" for the original FO order delayed by them, I have been rewarded by a failure to deliver the second order in a timely manner.

    It strikes me that whilst the quality of the products may well be superior (I have yet to find out) Stowa needs to address the growing gap between delivery expectation and reality, either via more accurate forecasting or more resource in the supply chain. Without addressing this they run a risk of eroding some of the goodwill the brand has so impressively built up in the past few years.

    Whilst I still retain some excitement over my pending deliveries they have now, unfortunately, lost some of their sparkle.

    Cheers,

    Stephen
    Last edited by I AM LATE!; May 27th, 2009 at 17:24.

  2. #2
    Member Heat's Avatar
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    Re: Rather disappointed!

    A couple of weeks Is nothing in my book. Relax
    You`re interested in stopwatches? Please visit
    http://stopwatches.forum24.se



  3. #3
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    Re: Rather disappointed!

    my airman auto was 2 weeks early, don't know what happened there...

    anyway, it's just a watch. drink more, care less!

    cheers!


    rabul.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Rather disappointed!

    I fully understand your disappointment & totally agree with you that it is one of the few failings of Stowa - they seem to be incapable to meet any of their self imposed deadlines.

    Yes it maybe "just" a watch but as we tend to associate watches with significant events so it is important that delivery dates are kept.

    Of course I understand that Stowa don't keep a stock of their product which they can dispatch the next day - I'm presuming that even models available for immediate delivery are not sitting in a stock room and have to go through a pre-delivery process...

    ...my personal experience was a delayed delivery because Jorg was ill, when I expressed surprise at the reason I was assured that every Stowa passes through his hands...

    So, if the main man is away, busy or otherwise indisposed there will be a delay.

    It's easy with hindsight to say perhaps you should have made the purchase of this "replacement/alternative" conditional on delivery being in time for your special occasion. And I would have thought "Distance Selling" regulations means you could still reject/cancel the order.

    Having now seen & experienced Stowa delivery delays, I now know that I would never order/buy a watch from them as a gift for someone nor for a specific event/date/occasion.

    It is a simple fact that a Stowa delivery date is just an aspiration - and I order in the full knowledge & acceptance of that.

    they do make a pretty good watch though & well worth waiting for !
    Antea Black (Date - Milanaise Bracelet)
    Antea Creme COSC (No Date - Blued Hands)
    Antea KS
    Black Forest Flieger LE
    Flieger B-Uhr
    Flieger 2801 LE

    Marine 2801 HW
    Marine Original
    Chrono 1938 Black
    Seatime Blue (ProDiver Bezel)
    Seatime WUS LE
    70's Quartz,
    Vintage PUW


  6. #5
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    Re: Rather disappointed!

    Quote Originally Posted by langtoftlad View Post

    Of course I understand that Stowa don't keep a stock of their product which they can dispatch the next day - I'm presuming that even models available for immediate delivery are not sitting in a stock room and have to go through a pre-delivery process...

    ...my personal experience was a delayed delivery because Jorg was ill, when I expressed surprise at the reason I was assured that every Stowa passes through his hands...

    So, if the main man is away, busy or otherwise indisposed there will be a delay.

    Thanks for your input, in fairness I was not aware of this, and did expect that a piece immediately available would in fact be sat in its box waiting for the stamp! Makes it slightly more understandable if this is not the case. I will not be canceling my order or returning it (unless it is faulty) I like the look of the watch too much. As with most things of this nature communication is the key as did request to be advised if the watch could not ship within a few days of placing the order.

    Cheers,

    Stephen
    Last edited by I AM LATE!; May 23rd, 2009 at 15:31.

  7. #6
    Member scm64's Avatar
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    Re: Rather disappointed!

    You make very valid points, and I understand your frustration. Hopefully it get's shipped out soon so you can enjoy it while waiting for the FO.

    For me, knowing it passes directly through Jorg at some point is worth the quirks on the business/shipping end of things, when dealing with a small boutique brand like Stowa.

    The mad artist you commission to do a painting may push your patience at times, but the end result can be something special.

    Good luck, the waiting is tough!
    Steven
    Florida, USA




    Sinn 103 St Sa LE
    Sinn 757 UTC
    Sinn U1
    Sinn 6100 Regulatuer
    IWC Aquatimer
    NOMOS Tangomat Datum
    Stowa Marine Original, 80th anniversary LE
    Stowa Seatime
    Doxa SUB750T Military Sharkhunter PVD
    Zinex Trimix GMT PVD LE Black Pirate
    Ocean 7 LM-2 GMT SE PVD
    Bathys Aquaculture MOP PVD
    Tissot TXL
    Seiko Kinetic Sportura SNL029P1 PVD
    Seiko Chronograph Sports 150
    Citizens Eco-Drive Calibre 8700 BL8000-03A
    Citizens Eco-Drive Largo Perpetual Calendar
    TX 730 w/ FlyBack Chrono
    Poljot Sturmanske Chrono
    Aristo Apucto HP6
    Casio ToughSolar ProTrek Titanium
    Various G's

  8. #7
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    Re: Rather disappointed!

    I am also partly disappointed with STOWA. I think they have to follow other watch brands that don't "pre-sell" watches. Instead manufacture it, test it then advertise it forsale (when stocks are ready for delivery). An example is "Archimede".

    It seems the Japanese way of "just in time" concept doesn't work in watch companies where all the parts are sourced externally.

  9. #8
    Member Peter Atwood's Avatar
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    Re: Rather disappointed!

    This is the reality of the small custom shop experience. Keep in mind also that they just moved their whole operation to a new facility and it takes months to sort everything out and get their deliveries running smoothly. You'll get the watch and it will be well worth it no matter how long the wait.
    Rotating on my wrist this month: Stowa Blue WatchTime Flieger, Sinn EZM9, Sinn T1, Sinn 556 Blue, Stowa Antea LE Polish Forums, Stowa Verus 40, Damasko DS30 greenie, Sinn U1, Stowa Antea Klassik KS Rose, Nomos Tangente Silvercut





  10. #9
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    Re: Rather disappointed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Atwood View Post
    This is the reality of the small custom shop experience. Keep in mind also that they just moved their whole operation to a new facility and it takes months to sort everything out and get their deliveries running smoothly. You'll get the watch and it will be well worth it no matter how long the wait.
    Please don't get me wrong, I understand all the points you make - one of my other hobbies has lead times of 3-7 years from some of the makers, with an accuracy level of 6 - 9 months

    But I know and accept this up front - where my disappointment stems from is to have my expectations built up with the statement "immediately available" , making a payment on this basis, only to discover it may ship up to two weeks after said order and payment. That is not immediately available or "in stock" by any bodies definition.

    Surely the process should be: Advertise 1-3weeks lead time >>> take order >>> process order >>>> prepare order for shipment >>>>> request payment >>>>> receive payment >>>> ship.

    Instead of : Advertise Immediately Available >>>> take order >>>> request payment >>>> accept payment >>>>process, prepare, ship order when it fits into the schedule!

    Believe it or not I am providing the feedback (only on this sub forum) in the hope the business does not go the same way as many others, and become a victim of its own success. There are lots of small watch entrepreneurs only too happy to pick up some of Stowa's less loyal and potentially disillusioned customers. That disillusionment can be avoided by eliminating the gap between expectation and reality.

    Cheers,

    Stephen
    Last edited by I AM LATE!; May 23rd, 2009 at 16:58.

  11. #10
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    Re: Rather disappointed!

    Hands down. I would be disappointed, as well.

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