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  1. Default Re: Oskaar Boycotting St. Pat's Brewing Supplies

    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

  2. #42

    Default Re: Oskaar Boycotting St. Pat's Brewing Supplies

    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!

  3. Default Re: Oskaar Boycotting St. Pat's Brewing Supplies

    well after reading this they've lost my business though they never had it in the firstplace

  4. #44

    Default Re: Oskaar Boycotting St. Pat's Brewing Supplies

    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.h...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.

  5. #45
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    Default Re: Oskaar Boycotting St. Pat's Brewing Supplies

    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
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Default Re: Oskaar Boycotting St. Pat's Brewing Supplies

    Oskaar, you have my full support!!

    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.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you!

  7. #47
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    Default Re: Oskaar Boycotting St. Pat's Brewing Supplies

    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
    rec.crafts.homebrewing <= in this one the owner of St. Pats actually posts up.....an amusing read.
    Wassail!

    Vicky Rowe
    Owner & Webmistress, Gotmead.com
    Executive Director, American Mead Makers Association
    http://www.mead-makers.org
    Making Mead since 1995

  8. #48
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    Default Re: Oskaar Boycotting St. Pat's Brewing Supplies

    and some more....

    here
    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.
    Wassail!

    Vicky Rowe
    Owner & Webmistress, Gotmead.com
    Executive Director, American Mead Makers Association
    http://www.mead-makers.org
    Making Mead since 1995

  9. #49

    Default Re: Oskaar Boycotting St. Pat's Brewing Supplies

    Quote Originally Posted by Oskaar
    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?

  10. #50
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    Default Re: Oskaar Boycotting St. Pat's Brewing Supplies

    Another amusing thread that starts with the owner off on a tear...
    http://groups.google.com/group/rec.c...a06de481f8e51f

    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 '9: http://groups.google.com/group/rec.c...1e6c1b3650545d
    Wassail!

    Vicky Rowe
    Owner & Webmistress, Gotmead.com
    Executive Director, American Mead Makers Association
    http://www.mead-makers.org
    Making Mead since 1995

  11. #51

    Default Re: Oskaar Boycotting St. Pat's Brewing Supplies

    Quote Originally Posted by Vicky - the Meadwench
    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.

  12. #52
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    Default Re: Oskaar Boycotting St. Pat's Brewing Supplies

    Quote Originally Posted by Vicky - the Meadwench
    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
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  13. #53
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    Default Re: Oskaar Boycotting St. Pat's Brewing Supplies

    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.
    Wassail!

    Vicky Rowe
    Owner & Webmistress, Gotmead.com
    Executive Director, American Mead Makers Association
    http://www.mead-makers.org
    Making Mead since 1995

  14. #54
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    Default Re: Oskaar Boycotting St. Pat's Brewing Supplies

    My take on it -- there are no stupid questions, but some questions are asked by some very stupid people!

    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....
    Na zdrowie!

    Wayne B.

  15. #55

    Default Re: Oskaar Boycotting St. Pat's Brewing Supplies

    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!

  16. #56

    Default Re: Oskaar Boycotting St. Pat's Brewing Supplies

    Quote Originally Posted by Oskaar

    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).

  17. #57
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    Default Re: St. Pat's Brewing Supplies - Customer Service Still Sucks Out Loud

    Dude, YOU are SOOOOOO holding back! Tell us how you REALLY feel! I'm guessing you really have the hots for Lynn! Get some!! Maybe you'll get a discount of sorts.



    DD



    Quote Originally Posted by Oskaar
    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

  18. #58

    Default

    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.

  19. #59
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    Default

    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?
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  20. #60
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    Default

    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?

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