PDA

View Full Version : Oskaar Boycotting St. Pat's Brewing Supplies



Oskaar
01-20-2006, 04:51 PM
Hi All, Rant follows:

I just got off the phone with St Pat's today and I have never, ever been treated so rudely and arrogantly in my entire time as a home winemaker, brewer and mazer. I asked a pretty simple question about a product I purchased off their website as a cleaner and sanitizer.

Text follows from their website follows:

Powdered product for washing and sanitizing wine filter cartridges. Instructions included on each jar. After cleaning a filter, allow the filter to completely dry and store dry. 20 grams/liter. 250 gram vial is enough for 12 cleanings.


Well, I thought it was a pretty simple question, is it a cleaner or sanitizer or both?

The guy who I spoke to said it was for breaking down protiens and it's more of a cleaner than a sanitizer. So I asked about contact time to be sure that the protiens had been broken down. He said that there's really no time limit, and that you just have to figure it out yourself when the color changes the protiens have been reduced. I asked how I would tell that with mead since most of the stuff I make is not going to have much if any color.

This is where the conversation turned ugly.

He gave off some incredibly arrogant and condescending attitude when I read him the text above from his own website and he immediately said if I didn't like the product or if I felt that I was being deceived to send it back and they'd return my money.

I said, wait a second, I'm just reading you stuff off the website, your website that is. He went on about he is a PhD chemist and Homebrewers aren't their target demographic anymore and every question he had answered fully and I had two more questions for each answer.

I said, hold on there pal, I'm a customer, I spent money with you people and you're treating me like this? I told him no one had ever treated me like this in any other dealings I've had with equipment/supplies purchases. He continued to bag on Homebrewers and amatuer brewers and said this is why they don't want to service us anymore because we have such petty little questions and he doesn't care that we spent money there because we're getting something for what we are paying and that is sufficient. That's when the yelling started on both ends. We went back and forth and I finally hung up because it was obvious this guy is a freaking loon with a massive superiority complex.


Well, just let me say here and now to St Pats that I will be going out of my way to speak with the many friends and I have in the commercial Beer, Wine and Mead Business (including my cousin who has just purchased a winery in Ensenada, Mexico) and urging them not to do business with your company.

I will post this message on every wine, beer and mead website that will allow it, and urge them not to do business with you as well. Your behavior as a business operator was deplorable and the way you treated me was unprofessional, uncalled for and completely inappropriate.


Oskaar <-------- Getting out his business card file and heading to http://www.morebeer.com to post this in their forums

Dan McFeeley
01-20-2006, 05:00 PM
Ouch. Sorry to hear this.

Did you get his name? PhD chemist or not, from the description
of the conversation this person has no business dealing with
customers. I'd shoot a note to this guy's immediate supervisor.
Odds are, you're not the only person he's treated this way.

Angus
01-20-2006, 05:00 PM
Oskaar,

Bravo! I despise companies that treat their customers with complete and utter condescension and I fully support you standing by your principles and boycotting them.

Angus

P.S. Your title is a little misleading. Oskaar boycotting St. Patrick's Day? Sure, and the Cubs will one day win the World Series. ;)

Oskaar
01-20-2006, 05:12 PM
Hi Dan,

No he didn't identify himself but from the phone calls I've already made, it seems that their arrogance and poor customer treatment are not just a result of catching someone on a bad day.

To me, it is a fundamental maxim of business that the attitude of the person representing the company on the phone is reflective of the management and ownership policy by direct or implied decree. If they don't teach their employees manners and proper customer service then their customer service attitude is reflective of that, and in this case I think it pretty much sums up their approach to business. Especially from the stories I've heard thus far in the few phone calls I've made.

I think most people just kind of hang up the phone and don't say anything about it. I'm not that kind of person.

Cheers,

Oskaar

webmaster
01-20-2006, 05:15 PM
Pete, I would also send a strongly worded message via snail- or e-mail to the owner. I did this with Dell, and not only did I get routed to US support instead of India from now on, but a sales rep made me a helluva deal on a laptop, several hundred dollars lower than I would have been able to get on my own. Letters work.

Even if they're determined to piss off the homebrew market, it can't hurt. And if the owner reflects the treatment you got, we have an 'official' response to take to both the home and professional mead-making community.

Oskaar
01-20-2006, 05:24 PM
Good idea!

I'll do that.

Cheers,

Oskaar

HomeBrew
01-20-2006, 05:39 PM
Oskaar,

Years ago, I used to order a lot of supplies from St. Pats. They used to be one of the few players on the web and were always a good source for old world grains. I quit doing business with them after I noticed an attitude change. They have gotten progressively worse since they stopped catering to homebrewers (I have heard complaints from others beside yourself). It's like we are waaay beneath them now. Anytime a brewing friend asks for website/ store suggestions I tell them about Northern Brewer, MoreBeer, E.C. Kraus, Williams Brewing...Any place but St. Pats!

As for mr. PhD, well I can tell you that I work with A LOT of PhD's and having that designation on their name says nothing about character or mental capacity. In fact, it seems like more willing they are to throw the degree around the less personable they be.

Peace.

webmaster
01-20-2006, 06:15 PM
Y'all keep an eye out here at GM. Jay of Jay's Brewing is going to have a store on our site. I hope to launch next week sometime. I've also got an herb shop (waiting on her data), a honey supplier (and planning on getting a second one), a mug maker, custom glassware and wine racks.

So, if you want mead-making supplies, lets get them from Jay, one of our own. Give us your 'ideal world' list (I'll tell Jay about it), and make a list: if you could have anything in a shop for your meadmaking, what do you want. List your fav yeasts, adjuncts, tools, equipment, etc. Jay has a lot, but we can help him reach our community here (and meadmakers everywhere) by telling him what we need.


The thread is here: http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=103&topic=3208.0 - go make your lists!

mouko_yamamoto
01-20-2006, 07:03 PM
Who is this "Pete" you speak of? :P

Mu
01-20-2006, 07:33 PM
Home brewers are beneath them hey? I wonder were they think brewers come from who own commercial breweries? You learn by making it yourself, even if you train at a commercial brewery you still tinker at home. And Allot of home brewers know commercial outfits, your shooting yourself in the foot if that’s your attitude.

And the Phd thing kind of makes sense, you spend a long while locked in a room reading writing and experimenting to get your Phd, you shouldn’t then be put into customer service. If you have ever had a lecturer who has just got that Dr. in front of there name, you can tell they know there stuff, but they have a horrid method of communicating it.

Snail mail is probably a better idea for a complaint letter.

Mu.

Dmntd
01-20-2006, 07:38 PM
Hey Oskaar,

At this point, I'd get a couple large fish from the market, seal them in a waxed box and mail them to the store. Nothing say unhappy like stinking fish.

Dmntd

Oskaar
01-20-2006, 08:12 PM
LOL,

I have pFredd who is always willing to donate his . . . er .. . ah... support to the cause! LOL

Hey Homey, I've actually had several PhD's working for me on various projects in differing capacities and I concur with your estimation. I always said ABC PhD BFD, if you perform you're on the team if not you're shakin' pom poms! Good avatar dude! TERAPIN DA DE DAH DAH!

Cheers,

O

beeboy
01-20-2006, 08:42 PM
Go for it Oskaar, give them he11, over the last few years being rude has become common in customer service mainly because no one complains. Just my .02 cents

Oskaar
01-20-2006, 09:11 PM
Evidently St Pat's has a pretty bad reputation throughout the homebrewing community:


http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?t=3028&highlight=&sid=3010ebb0ebcef478721e0e9066094ff8

http://hbd.org/discus/messages/26895/30705.html?1118529737

http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?showtopic=29428&hl=st%20pat's&st=15

http://www.tastybrew.com/forum/thread/23261


Interesting,

Oskaar

Oskaar
01-20-2006, 09:26 PM
Hmmm,

It seems that there are several very useable URL's available that have not been registered as a domain yet. I predict this will change in the immediate future.

Cheers,

Oskaar

WRATHWILDE
01-20-2006, 10:17 PM
I ordered my Enlomatic Filling Machine from them and had no problem, but then I never required customer service. They seem to be the only place that carries replacement parts so I might be stuck if I need any. There seems to be a few rules of thumb for ordering from St. Pat's after reading all the Posts, including her Taliban response.

1. Only order 1 item at a time to decrease the likelyhood that they get it wrong.
2. Never order anything that needs welding.
3. Never order anything perishable.
4. Never order anything fragile.
5. If you have a problem, Kiss Lynn's Ass and Lick it Clean while thanking her for the personal attention she's granting you... do so before, during and after relating your obviously trivial problem and continue until well after it's resolved.

Wrathwilde

Oskaar
01-20-2006, 10:40 PM
Amen to that!

Hmmm, looks like it's time to start some site design concepts!

LOL

Cheers,

Oskaar

Oskaar
01-21-2006, 06:57 AM
Oskaar <------- Up on SoapBox

OK clearly these guys are complete losers. I've burned up the web today researching this business and they clearly don't give a rat's ass about homebrewers or anyone else who dares to question them when they f#ck-up. Can you believe this? EVERY MAJOR HOME RELATED BREWING FORUM THAT I WENT TO TODAY HAS HORROR STORIES ABOUT THESE IDIOTS!

I've spoken to two of my friends in the wine business that have had run ins with them, and they treat them the same. My friends have no problem yanking their business from St Pats. That's two small wineries Lynn! Get ready for more.

I'll also be calling St Pats' direct competitors to see if they can offer incentive programs to current St Pats customers if they leave.

That just screams out for something to be done. I have to noodle on this for a bit, but, I'll come up with something . . . creative and within the confines of legality . . . barely. I'm a big believer in "Visibility breeds accountability" so I'll probably start with that in mind.

Cheers,

Oskaar <--------- gonna sleep on the soapbox and wake up crankier than hell!

mouko_yamamoto
01-21-2006, 12:23 PM
No mercy. Use the rage of Gollom to do all that you can. I hate companies like this; thanks for the heads up.

Oskaar
01-21-2006, 06:34 PM
Well, here we are on day two. Not really much to add here. It's well known across the web that Lynn and her crew of cretins are piss poor at customer service, and have hacked off a lot of people who have stopped doing business with them as a result. I think I've added several more people to that list from the commercial sector as of the last couple of days.

I've also devised a clever and effective way of getting the word out to the commercial community about how terrible St Pat's treats the Home Mead/Wine/Beer community that will be of interest to them since many Commercial producers came from the ranks of home producers.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself and there is much to do with so much happening in January in Northern California.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Geoffrey Johnson
01-23-2006, 06:53 PM
What is happening in North Carolina in the month of January?

WRATHWILDE
01-23-2006, 07:31 PM
You'd probably have to ask Vicky, oskaar is talking about N. California. LOL. ;D

Wrathwilde

webmaster
01-23-2006, 07:31 PM
North Carolina? Not much. It's cold and wet around here.

Vicky <-- who lives in NC (Oskaar, on the other hand, was talking about Northern Ca*iforn*ia)

Dmntd
01-23-2006, 07:37 PM
Q: What does PHD stand for?

A: Piled Higher and Deeper ;)

Anthony

Oskaar
01-23-2006, 11:05 PM
I told the guy on the phone "ABC, PhD, BFD." ;)

Geoffrey Johnson
01-24-2006, 02:02 AM
What I don't get, apart from how to read words found in 4th grade US goegraphy classes, is why a person with a PHD is filling the role of a customer service representative. Granted, I would like to get somebody on the phone who knows what they are talking about...but I kinda doubt it's gonna be a person with that many letters following his name. Perhaps he meant PHD, as in PHull of Dookey?

Oskaar
01-26-2006, 01:44 AM
LOL! Yeah, I didn't realize that the requisite education level for being a telemarketer had become so stringent. :o

As someone else pointed out below anyone who starts throwing around their academic prowess is usually full of dookey!

Oskaar

ScottS
01-31-2006, 02:28 PM
Hey Oskaar,

I ordered some big fermenters from St Pats about a year and a half ago. They didn't treat me quite like crap, but I got the distinct impression that since I was only spending 4 figures worth of cash rather than 6, that I was kind of wasting their time. I'll gladly join your boycott. :)

Shipping from TX is a killer anyway.

Oskaar
01-31-2006, 03:24 PM
They actually had some positive press on Epinions. Naturally I had to post my opinion as well. Someone else has done the same.

I encourage you all that have opinions bad or good, even neutral to post them up.

Here's a link:

http://www.epinions.com/Saint_Patrick_s_of_Texas_Winery_and_Brewery_Supply _-_www_stpats_com/display_~reviews

Cheers,

Oskaar

Brewbear
02-01-2006, 12:24 AM
Just went there and left a "glowing" review for StPats.

Cheers,
Brewbear

WRATHWILDE
02-01-2006, 12:54 AM
I listed Oskaar as a trusted source, that Scmrak post sounds like a sales pitch from an employee, or having lived in Texas... someone who is good friends with the owner.

Wrathwilde

lostnbronx
02-04-2006, 04:01 PM
Oskaar,

Don't forget a complaint to the Better Business Bureau -- a small stone in this day and age, true, but a venerable one.

Also a letter to your state's Consumer Protection Agency, with a carefully worded complaint about St. Pat's selling a "possibly dangerous" cleaning agent "marketed for use in a food-grade capacity", about which they "actively refused to give proper information", and which therefore sent off warning bells in your head.

Finally -- and this one is extreme, but possibly quite amusing -- a call to the Department of Homeland Security, once again, well-thought out and carefully measured in tone, which alleges that during your call with this "belligerant fellow who refused to give his name but who claimed to have a PHd -- in chemistry or microbiology or something", in which he made a vague but sinister allusion to "only wanting to deal in large amounts of fermentation supplies -- some of which contain high quantities of nitrogen compounds". You let them fill in the blanks, and maybe add something about an off-hand anti-tax or anti-government comment he made "if memory serves". End up by stating that it was nothing overt, just a vague feeling of unease that you got when dealing with him. If even a minimal and informal investigation is started, the bad rep for customer service and relations might seem like they really don't care about doing business -- which could, in turn, make an agent wonder what they're REALLY doing...?

-David

Oskaar
02-04-2006, 10:12 PM
Ahh Lostnbrnx,

If only you'd use your mind for good instead of evil! ;)

Evidently someone in Sacramento, CA published a thousand or so flyers about St Pat's and placed them on the windshields of cars in the parking lots at the Unified Wine and Grape Expo in the Downtown Sacramento Convention Center. Coincidentally the flyers were distributed at the same time the family winemakers and producers meeting was being held at the center, so when they went to their cars they would have a copy waiting for them.

Odd how that works. I hear they were on really bright, can't miss at 1000 yards lime green paper too. Ironic.

Cheers,

Oskaar

abejita
02-04-2006, 10:32 PM
Finally -- and this one is extreme, but possibly quite amusing -- a call to the Department of Homeland Security, once again, well-thought out and carefully measured in tone, which alleges that during your call with this "belligerant fellow who refused to give his name but who claimed to have a PHd -- in chemistry or microbiology or something", in which he made a vague but sinister allusion to "only wanting to deal in large amounts of fermentation supplies -- some of which contain high quantities of nitrogen compounds". You let them fill in the blanks, and maybe add something about an off-hand anti-tax or anti-government comment he made "if memory serves". End up by stating that it was nothing overt, just a vague feeling of unease that you got when dealing with him. If even a minimal and informal investigation is started, the bad rep for customer service and relations might seem like they really don't care about doing business -- which could, in turn, make an agent wonder what they're REALLY doing...?

-David


damn, you just made my jaw drop. and not in a good way, either.

WRATHWILDE
02-05-2006, 02:52 AM
Finally -- and this one is extreme, but possibly quite amusing -- a call to the Department of Homeland Security
Lostnbronx,

Raised by George Hayduke? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0873641868/104-9025834-7032757?v=glance&n=283155

Wrathwilde

lostnbronx
02-05-2006, 03:02 AM
I have a shrine in my closet, wherein I worship George Hayduke as a god.

Dirty Tricks I, and II were...shall we say...influential in the making of my present personality.

-David

NeadMead
03-05-2006, 08:13 PM
Boy I am glad that I read this before deciding what to get and where to get it. if they are that rude with a four figure order, I do not want to see how they would treat a three figure order. It reminds me of Citi Corp. They had a clause in their policy that they will not do business with the firearm industry or any business that does business with the firearm business. A radio talk show host, whose show is broadcast nationally on AM radio, and writes for at least one global gun magazine found out about this. He called them and they confirmed it. On his shows and in his articles he told listeners and readers of this policy. Hate letters with cut up credit cards and other types of account cancelations were sent enmass. After a few months Citi Corp. changed theie policy and semi-publically appologized. Most people probably have not heard of this because it is something that the mainstream media avoids. May the gods grant you great brews.

NeadMead
03-05-2006, 08:58 PM
One other thing, my English teacher my senior year in high school had a PhD. Never once did he flaunt it. He barely even mentioned it. He did not hide the fact that major collegges and universities had constantly been offering him great pay and benefits if he left the high school and worked for them. He declined opting to teach high school full time and college part time. May the gods grant you great brews.

SiljanMjod
05-11-2008, 03:46 PM
I know this is an old post, and I stumbled upon it quite by accident. But I just wanted to let people know that they have not changed. DO NOT order from these people.

I talked to a woman on the phone just last month (and now that I'm reading this, my guess is that it was Lynn), and I can honestly say I've never been treated so rudely by someone when asking the simplest of questions. They have not changed. If I can help one person to avoid dealing with St. Pats it will be worth it. Too bad I didn't see this before I called.

I left my opinion on epinions.com like some of the other people on this site. I'd encourage others to do the same. Avoid them at all costs.

SM

Oskaar
05-11-2008, 05:36 PM
It's never the wrong time to point out sh!tty customer service and St. Pat's is the archtype in shabby, hamhanded, arrogant, effeet, boorish, snobby and unprofessional treatment of one time customers (I say one time because they manage to chase people away by the droves). They suck out loud, always have, always will.

If it comes down to having your gums scraped with no anesthesia, or dealing with St. Pat's, go for the gum scraping! At least you'll get professional treatment and a thank you.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Launcelot
05-12-2008, 04:20 AM
I have an advanced degree... not a PhD.

My first "professional" job after the army I was the *only* guy there that didn't have one.

A PhD means you sucked up to a lot of politics and hung out on campus longer for the most part. There are exceptions to that comment but generally it is not that impressive.

In Chemistry the information given is often thin, so no matter who you are working with, be it joe the mad bomber in his garage, or Dr. High muckity muck of the biggest chem assembly plant in the world. If your information is scant you need to be ready willing and able to verbally fill in the gap.

It isn't like we are talking about playing domino's Chemistry is inherently dangerous, and giving out shoddy information is completely unacceptable be it a cleaner or a stabiliser catalyst for a long chain effect.

::looks over and notices he is crowding Oskaars soapbox::

Sorry, pet peeve heh.

--L

UDV
05-13-2008, 01:17 AM
I am going to guess that the boycott is still in full force. Just checking on their webpage implies the sort of casual disregard for customers that is endemic in most businesses now. Has anything ever come of it, it looks like they are still open!

beachfrontmeadman
05-13-2008, 03:13 PM
well after reading this they've lost my business though they never had it in the firstplace

UDV
05-13-2008, 03:22 PM
This might help anyone who has dealt with them.

There really is no law mandating 'good customer service,' and it's up the vendor to resolve any issues that may arise. When dealing with an outfit of scumbags like this, it's best to buy with an American Express credit card, as other banks tend to just give in and won't reverse the charges assuming there is some dispute. It will take a lot of persuasion to get charges reversed.

Secondly the Better Business Bureau is a good place to lookhttp://austin.bbb.org/commonreport.html?bid=48900&language=1&bureau=&bbbid=

According to the BBB, they are not a member and have an unsatisfactory record with a failure to respond to two or more complaints. Sadly, the BBB has no legal teeth to speak of whatsoever, and the only real chance of a resolution with an issue that has reached the BBB is if the company wishes to settle, and based upon their past history that is unlikely. Once a complaint is filed with the BBB, you can retain the services of a lawyer for a lawsuit, assuming the claim is worth more than $3500. If it's under $3500, you can file in small claims court however it is unlikely this company would actually pay up.

The Texas State Attorney General also solicits any kind of complaints about issues relating to customers being ripped off, and I have dealt with them before in trying to file complaints--however they cannot act as a legal counsel for an individual issue. They will get involved if sufficient number of issues are related to them, and the company as a whole is seen as a blight upon the state of Texas.

http://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/complain.shtml

Sadly however, as mentioned above. They might be a bunch of scumbags they haven't broken the law by being so. They also seem to be in compliance with the law as far as claims and promises on their website, so they are covered there as well.

Bummer.

Oskaar
05-13-2008, 04:18 PM
The issue here was never about laws and governances of customer service. It's a very simple matter of complete lack of common courtesy to their customers and potential customers. My aim is to warn people that they will be treated like crap by these people somewhere along the line in their dealings with them. Generally it's post purchase.

My intent is to dig into their business and impact their bottom line along the way so they know that the more they treat people like crap the business they will lose. There's no law against the way they treat people, but, as a customer, there's no law against doing precisely what I'm doing either. I relate my negative experience with them and urge people I know to boycott them and to urge people they know to do the same.

There's a price for shabby treatment of customers and that is losing business, especially if someone decides to take it loud and public like me.

Bottom line, they treat people poorly and the deserve to lose business because of it. That's my stand and won't back down from it.

Oskaar

butterlily5
05-13-2008, 08:57 PM
Oskaar, you have my full support!! :usa2:

As an incredibly interested party to a small business, I can tell you all this: BBB may not seem like much, but people will still look, and when they see things such as St. Pat's has attached to their name & reputation, they stay away. So, you may not think you're doing much (or even creating a bigger headache) when you file a complaint wth the BBB, but rest assured you are. It may or may not help you, but it will help other unsuspecting souls.

Mind you, I can see the RARE need to "fire" a bad customer, but these people seem to have the desire to fire all customers smaller than Anheuser-Busch. Not good business practice. And, they will never have any idea how much more business they COULD have had, and didn't, because of their poor attitude to the average consumer. And with more and more small- and medium-sized wineries and breweries in the world now (that started as the home-brewers to whom they so readily show disdain), I'm sure those lost hundreds have actually become lost multi-thousands.

As for the way to successfully deal with this Lynn that Wrathwilde mentioned some time ago, If that's what it takes to get basic customer service, I'll be learning how to weld stainless steel on my own! If I need yeast, I'll grow my own. As a customer, there is absolutely NO reason I should have to resort to such degradation, and I absolutely do not expect my own customers to, either.

It's one of the reasons I love this site so much: All questions are welcome.

webmaster
05-13-2008, 09:35 PM
That has always been my philosophy, the only stupid questions are the ones that don't get asked. What makes Gotmead great has always been the folks that come here and share their knowledge and views. That will, hopefully, never change.

St. Pats is digging their own grave. It might take a good while, but their customer service practices will eventually strangle them.

Oh, and here's a few more threads about them:

Northern Brewer (http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?t=3027&view=next&sid=8e4f782afe8f659e8bb778c597533e79)
rec.crafts.homebrewing (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.crafts.brewing/msg/c84c79be22a6ee56) <= in this one the owner of St. Pats actually posts up.....an amusing read.

webmaster
05-13-2008, 10:46 PM
and some more....

here (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.crafts.brewing/browse_thread/thread/72293c8731096942/7ae6c03601633eaf?lnk=gst&q=st.+pats#7ae6c03601633eaf)
in which Lynne O'Connor, the owner of St. Pats, gets medieval all over every person in the thread who has experienced order problems with her company. She gets *very* personal, makes sure to pick out each person by name and makes personal attacks on each of them. And this was back when they *were* dealing with homebrewers...

Huh. I don't care if they corner the market on the most desirable piece of brewing equipment in the world that is a *must have*. I'll do without before ordering from someone who feels this way about customers. Any business owner who would behave in this way amazes me. ::shaking head:: Its a sad, sad situation, that.

UDV
05-13-2008, 11:10 PM
Bottom line, they treat people poorly and the deserve to lose business because of it. That's my stand and won't back down from it.


And we will keep the thread on top, or make it a sticky. Can you do that?

webmaster
05-13-2008, 11:41 PM
Another amusing thread that starts with the owner off on a tear...
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.crafts.brewing/browse_thread/thread/2edebc51f0477a20/3ea06de481f8e51f?lnk=gst&q=st+pats#3ea06de481f8e51f

Its been sticky'd.

Note that both here and in other of her responses that the 'haters' as she calls them keep getting compared with the Taliban.....isn't that an awful lot like bringing Hitler into a flame war? An instant loss of all credibility and automatic 'lose' in the argument....

Sad, very sad. I sure hope that they don't treat the commercial business they solicit now doesn't get that sort of treatment.

Edit: and one more letter from the owner (in '98): http://groups.google.com/group/rec.crafts.brewing/browse_thread/thread/f1a4e5271adb5315/d51e6c1b3650545d?lnk=gst&q=st+pats#d51e6c1b3650545d

CBiebel
05-14-2008, 03:30 AM
That has always been my philosophy, the only stupid questions are the ones that don't get asked.




That sounds great in theory, but having worked in a retail business, I know that there are some really dumb questions. ;)


For instance, I once had a woman ask me "Which has more beer, the 40 oz bottle or the 24 oz can?" For the record, I did answer her with a straight face, politely saying "The 40 oz bottle has more beer than the 24 oz can."

I once had a woman who wanted a wine "that tastes like grapes." (She was actually looking for Manischewitz Concord Grape wine).

My favorite is the person who holds up a bottle of wine that you can clearly see through, and asks "Is this a white wine?" This happens more often than you'd think.

In each case I am very diplomatic and try to answer the question without sounding like a smart ass (which sometimes isn't easy). I know wine can be complicated, but it isn't that complicated! If you show someone a color in a drawing and ask "What color is this?" they'll answer correctly (unless they're color blind). However, ask the same person what the color of a wine is, and they suddenly have problems.

Oskaar
05-14-2008, 08:45 AM
That has always been my philosophy, the only stupid questions are the ones that don't get asked.



That sounds great in theory, but having worked in a retail business, I know that there are some really dumb questions. ;)

For instance, I once had a woman ask me "Which has more beer, the 40 oz bottle or the 24 oz can?"


LOL, I hear ya. But, remember this was self-inflicted in that you went into this position knowing that you would deal with the public and their shortcomings in all measures.

Retail is a pain in the ass, I worked there for a while and it drove me into tech at an early age, but, it still doesn't excuse cheap and shabby behavior on the part of the business owner or their employees. Moreover, when this kind of behavior is exhibited by the employees and "touch labor" it is a strong indication that this behavior is entrenched in the corporate culture and has tacit approval from the top.

Cheers,

Oskaar

webmaster
05-14-2008, 09:21 AM
Exactly. And from what I read last night in her own posts, she *trains* them to respond that way, by action if not by direct instruction....

I get questions that seem silly to me all the time from customers and folks to go to events where I am performing as a living history actor.

"My computer isn't acting right, what's *wrong*?". (this from my mother, over the phone, about once a week)
"Could the mouse be affecting my ability to get to the internet?"
"I don't understand why I keep getting viruses. I only open porn emails from people I know" (heard this one last week from a friend who is a intelligent person, and a very successful businessman, after explaining to him for the umpteenth time that porn is the most popular vehicle for moving viruses around)

And the ones I get while re-enacting:

"Is that *real* fire?" (just before they stick their hand into it)
"Does everybody dress like that where you come from?"
"Are you hot in that?" (while performing in Manteo in 100 degree heat) (Here's Your Sign)

The point is, even when the questions are silly, and so long as the asker is reasonably polite, a person who is in the business of serving customers must also be polite and do their best to help. It might *be* a silly question like 'is this wine white', but if the person asking is polite, sincere and really wants to know, that makes it a good question, because they are at least *attempting* to learn something, however basic.

The owner of St. Pats has, according to the hundreds of anecdotes on the web, been treating perfectly reasonable questions with contempt, hostility and rudeness. The answers to these questions might be obvious as all hell to *her* what the answers are, but these are *customers*. They ask what they perceive to be a legit question, however dumb you might think it is (the 'which has more beer' question cracked me up), but they just want to get answers before handing over their cash. Gaining a customer by just answering their reasonable questions is a really easy way to grow your business. And there is always the knowledge that pissed off customers tell *way* more people about their experience as happy ones do.

Happy customers equals good business, plain and simple.

wayneb
05-14-2008, 11:56 AM
My take on it -- there are no stupid questions, but some questions are asked by some very stupid people! :laughing7:

Still, I have on more than one occasion answered an apparently stupid person's query, being as polite and helpful as possible, and I later found that they really weren't all that stupid after all. We all have our brain-dead moments, so I usually cut the source of one dumb query a little slack. That is, unless they follow up their initial question with lots more of the same....

UDV
05-14-2008, 03:33 PM
The more I google her name, the more I laugh. She's not just rude, she's crazy, and not good crazy. She's batshit insane if she believes half those posts. :(

Oh well, there's plenty of other GOOD places to order from!

CBiebel
05-15-2008, 05:01 AM
Retail is a pain in the ass, I worked there for a while and it drove me into tech at an early age, but, it still doesn't excuse cheap and shabby behavior on the part of the business owner or their employees. Moreover, when this kind of behavior is exhibited by the employees and "touch labor" it is a strong indication that this behavior is entrenched in the corporate culture and has tacit approval from the top.

Cheers,

Oskaar


I agree. As I said, even when presented with a stupid question, I'm very nice in answering it. I'm lucky in not even having heard of St. Pat's brewing supplies (I've done my online shopping with either Northern Brewer or The Beverage People, and I also visit a local home brew supplier as well).

Teufelhund
05-18-2008, 10:45 PM
Dude, YOU are SOOOOOO holding back! Tell us how you REALLY feel! :laughing7: I'm guessing you really have the hots for Lynn! Get some!! :toothy10: Maybe you'll get a discount of sorts.

:cheers:

DD





It's never the wrong time to point out sh!tty customer service and St. Pat's is the archtype in shabby, hamhanded, arrogant, effeet, boorish, snobby and unprofessional treatment of one time customers (I say one time because they manage to chase people away by the droves). They suck out loud, always have, always will.

If it comes down to having your gums scraped with no anesthesia, or dealing with St. Pat's, go for the gum scraping! At least you'll get professional treatment and a thank you.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Asator
02-03-2010, 10:58 PM
While searching through threads looking for recommendations on brewing magazines I found this thread.

Wow, what a doozie.

This makes me EXTREMELY happy that I have a LHBS within a mile and a half of my home. It took about an hour but I read through the whole thing, including all the links and have come to the conclusion that you guys are right, this Lynn person is truly nutso. Count me in on the boycott. This thread has also reaffirmed my suspicion that Oskaar is a f---ing badass and is my kind of guy. I'm liking this community more and more.

Oskaar
02-03-2010, 11:37 PM
LOL,

Dude, they p!$$ed me off so bad I still want to drive down there and throw down!

Cheers,

Oskaar

PS,

Welcome to Got Mead?

wildoates
02-04-2010, 11:30 AM
Man, when I first started reading this site I was also shopping about for a good online retailer(s) since my local shop is nearly an hour away--I saw this thread and didn't even THINK of buying anything from St. Pats--wouldn't even give them a hit to their site. Y'all scared the pants off of me.

Have they gone out of business yet?

Smarrikåka
02-04-2010, 12:53 PM
This Lynne seems to be a very emotional person. If she doesn't want to deal with small orders, maybe she should just have a minimum order limit, and then break that limit for "people she approves of". Either that or employ another person that is able to deal with smaller orders, given that there exists such a person that she would tolerate, and that could tolerate her.

Prolific_Praxis
02-07-2010, 01:23 PM
I checked each of your links you posted for this supplier Oskaar and found three or four more from each of those sites, and so on. How she even has any business is beyond me. Perhaps just walk in customers who do just that; walk in, find what they want, then pay for it and leave.

dustybottlemead
07-02-2014, 09:05 PM
So after reading this and reading other threads on the web I will not be shopping at St. Pats and I am a Commercial Meadery. Just starting out mind you, but I need to buy a lot of equipment. I do ask a lot of questions, but I want to be sure on what I am buying before spending thousands of dollars. So we are also with the boycott. Thanks Oskaar!