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The BoardSMITH
10-04-2012, 05:00 PM
10434

I received a board back with a note from the customer that the board had a major crack and she was worried that food might trapped requiring a toothpick to clean it out. When I measured with my calipers it measured 0.0085" wide by 0.1655 " long. Surely large enough for a steak to get lost in.

BTW After three days back in the shop, it has closed up to nothing.

Lefty
10-04-2012, 05:32 PM
Can I have it? :D

GlassEye
10-04-2012, 05:33 PM
Some people should just buy plastic boards.

El Pescador
10-04-2012, 05:34 PM
+1
Some people should just buy plastic boards.

The BoardSMITH
10-04-2012, 09:02 PM
Can I have it? :D

Call or PM me tomorrow and I will give you the pricing.

cookinstuff
10-05-2012, 12:11 AM
Reminds me of when my mother put a hot cast iron pan on my maple board, as I ran over yelling "noooooo!" She says what? nothing will happen, board splits a hole right in the centre as she sheepishly pulled the pan off. I oiled it up for a bit and it is pretty much fine now. Any other things you can do? I saw your post using an iron and water to fix a board and it was very interesting, just wondering if you have any more tricks for the next time somebody else almost ruins one of my boards.

Eamon Burke
10-05-2012, 12:25 AM
Someone didn't want to oil their board...

DwarvenChef
10-05-2012, 03:18 AM
Thanks for reminding me... I need to oil my board :p

RobinW
10-05-2012, 03:24 AM
I'm sad to say that after moving back to Sweden, yes, the average Swedish supermarket steak will actually get lost in there :curse:

Paradox
10-05-2012, 04:06 AM
You seem to making light of your customers expectations? For the prices you charge for your cutting boards I don't see why the customer shouldn't be allowed to expect perfection. No? I certainly will when I order one of your boards.

Von blewitt
10-05-2012, 05:06 AM
You seem to making light of your customers expectations? For the prices you charge for your cutting boards I don't see why the customer shouldn't be allowed to expect perfection. No? I certainly will when I order one of your boards.
That's like saying a Ferrari should never run out of gas!

apicius9
10-05-2012, 05:12 AM
Just wonderng how many 'perfect' boards David may have made. I know that I have yet to make a 'perfect' knife handle... Nothing wrong with aiming for it, but there has to be a little bit of tolerance when things are just close enough to 'perfection' IMHO. Especially with wood as a natural material there can just be different interpretations of what is acceptable, and there are plenty of examples where some wooden product was shipped out as good as it gets but things moved or changed during travel or in the new climate zone and were not given the right attention to adapt. Just saying...

Stefan

Paradox
10-05-2012, 05:16 AM
That's like saying a Ferrari should never run out of gas!

Nonsense. But what you seem to be saying is that you'd overlook a ding in the Ferrari's windshield when the dealer delivered it to you? Somehow I think not.

Dave clearly does great work making some awesome cutting boards, for that he does charge top dollar and rightfully so. Hopefully I'll be ordering one for myself soon. What I am saying as a customer is, that for that top dollar I don't think I'm out of line for expecting the board to be perfect. Which is why I asked HIM about what the meaning of his OP is. That's all.

Von blewitt
10-05-2012, 05:29 AM
Just because something is expensive doesnt make it care free. Like Stefan said there are a lot of variables with a natural materials. If you don't oil your board the wood can shrink and small cracks can appear.

Paradox
10-05-2012, 05:30 AM
Just because something is expensive doesnt make it care free. Like Stefan said there are a lot of variables with a natural materials. If you don't oil your board the wood can shrink and small cracks can appear.

Somehow I got the impression that it was a newly purchased board? Maybe I'm off? The blemish shown in the picture does not look like it is from normal use. The board looks unused from what is shown.

kalaeb
10-05-2012, 05:57 AM
It's not even really a crack, just a natural variable that goes hand in hand with using natural products. As David noted it has already sealed up.

The BoardSMITH
10-05-2012, 07:47 AM
A perfect cutting board; what a wonderful idea.

Wood is a natural and organic product that unlike metal, glass or other solid materials, isn't perfect. (Look closely enough at those surfaces and defects can be found.) Each board that goes out is inspected prior to final sanding and oiling to ensure they are as close to 100% as possible. Larger boards with previously unseen defects are cut down to smaller sizes and the smaller boards usually end up in the dumpster. Wood moves and will crack given the proper circumstances, if it gets to dry or to damp, cracks, bends, splits and warps will happen. Even if the customer does everything right, things can happen. During UPS shipping, if enough weight is placed on the box, a board can be bent. I have seen that happen. In a case like that a few days on a flat counter in a new location and the board will flatten.

In this case, after going back and forth with the customer about what she wanted me to do I saw from the language and tone of the emails this was going to go no where in a hurry and I doubted if I would have been able to provide a board that would have satisfied her. So rather than letting the exchange deteriorate further, I gave her a refund and told her to keep the Board Butter I included at no charge. I hate to lose a customer.

Back to wood - Cherry has natural places some people will call defects and some will call accents. I call spalted wood a defect but others will call it an accent. Some customers ask for highly contrasted boards in walnut and some ask for all dark boards. Is the lighter wood a defect? Some say yes and some say no. In maple, we saw that some people call mineral stains a defect but some like the look. In all woods, the sap wood, lighter toned wood, is usually called a defect. In maple, the heart wood, much darker toned wood, is called a defect. So which is it? I now have some quarter sawn white oak in the shop I will be making lazy susans from. Some of the wood has some curls and waves making the look rather spectacular. The way the tree grew makes this a defect but a desirable defect. It is the same with the burls you guys like for handles. The tree grew a defect and produced a burl. Very desirable and attractive, yet a defect none the less.

In this case the "split" was so small as to be unseen during the final sanding and oiling. Once oiled it was filled with oil effectively sealing the interior, if it was actually there during sanding. It could have opened up during shipping or once at the customers home. BTW She kept it for almost a week prior to returning. Whatever the case, she has a refund and I have the board back. Since it was at a customers home for a period of time, I will remove the feet and stainless steel screws and send it to the dumpster. I can' be sure of how it was used during that time. (There is a knife mark on one end.)

Yes, if I had purchased a Ferrari with a dent or a chip in the windshield I would have complained and had those items fixed. But changes in humidity will not alter the paint or glass surface like it can in wood.

As for my costs, check out Boos and Ozark West. I am lower than Ozark West, or whatever name they are going by now and am on a somewhat even level with Boos.

One final thing, if someone can come up with a method to make the perfect cutting board from wood, please let me know and I will be happy to entertain that idea.

Salty dog
10-05-2012, 08:10 AM
IME, making light of customers expectations is pretty common. It's usually reserved for the backroom and amongst friends.

I think it's safe to say Dave is among friends here.

99Limited
10-05-2012, 08:22 AM
A perfect cutting board; what a wonderful idea.

One final thing, if someone can come up with a method to make the perfect cutting board from wood, please let me know and I will be happy to entertain that idea.

Grind the wood into dust and place in a huge vat. Add some super duper bonding agent, stir well. Pour into pressurized molds, apply heat and wait until dry. Engineered cutting board.

Lefty
10-05-2012, 09:59 AM
IME, making light of customers expectations is pretty common. It's usually reserved for the backroom and amongst friends.

I think it's safe to say Dave is among friends here.

I'm with you on this one, Salty. This is a public forum, but it's also a close community, as we've all seen. This is David's way of "bitching", out in the smoking area behind the restaurant. It's frustrating position to be put in, but one that he has chosen by becoming a craftsman. With that said, he's taken the high road, returned the money and given a free gift to his unhappy customer. Reputations are built and maintained by caring about what your customers think and want. David did so, and from what I've seen, has always done so. I guess that's why he has such great reputation.

cookinstuff
10-05-2012, 10:38 AM
Some people should stick to low maintenance poly boards, but then they can't put their hot pans on those either :laugh:. Do you think a common complaint would be about melting your own board as opposed to, my board just cracked..... what did you do? Wood requires care, if you have a nice wood deck you take care of it, same as your nice wood cutting board, not willing to take care of your nice things? Get not so nice things. Some people cannot accept this though.

wsfarrell
10-05-2012, 11:53 AM
IME, making light of customers expectations is pretty common. It's usually reserved for the backroom and amongst friends.

I think it's safe to say Dave is among friends here.

A public forum theoretically available to 6.9 billion people is not exactly "the backroom." Regardless of the merits of this particular complaint, mocking this customer on the web shows a distinct lack of professionalism in my opinion.

Lefty
10-05-2012, 12:21 PM
I shouldn't get involved, but he needed to vent. He vented. It's over...c'mon guys, it's not worth fighting over.

sachem allison
10-05-2012, 12:26 PM
I must have read this wrong. I can't see where he mocked anybody. He wrote that a customer had a complaint, he showed the defect and said he gave them a refund. How is that mocking.

wsfarrell
10-05-2012, 01:16 PM
I must have read this wrong. I can't see where he mocked anybody. He wrote that a customer had a complaint, he showed the defect and said he gave them a refund. How is that mocking.

The original post said the crack was "Surely large enough for a steak to get lost in." Sounds like mocking to me.

K-Fed
10-05-2012, 01:27 PM
I thought the snarky statement was hilarious. Just my opinion. Certainly nothing to get riled up about and I think the fact that the board was taken back after a weeks worth of use and abuse is a testament to the great customer service of our forum member/ craftsmen.

chinacats
10-05-2012, 02:00 PM
I thought the snarky statement was hilarious. Just my opinion. Certainly nothing to get riled up about and I think the fact that the board was taken back after a weeks worth of use and abuse is a testament to the great customer service of our forum member/ craftsmen.

+1 ...and he didn't crack on the customer only the perception of the board...more than anything, I'm impressed he returned the money for a used cutting board!

Paradox
10-05-2012, 02:01 PM
I shouldn't get involved, but he needed to vent. He vented. It's over...c'mon guys, it's not worth fighting over.

No "fighting" is intended with this reply.

I guess I don't think that a public forum presented as a point of customer contact for someone doing business is the proper place for that business to "vent" about their customer interaction. It also seems like doing so is pushing the limit of the ToU here. I intend to be a Boardsmith customer at some point which is why I asked my questions the way I did.

I understand what you are saying as to the intimate feel of this forum but I just don't know if that really flies. I was really hoping that the reply we got from Dave would have a much different tone and would have setteled it. <shrug>

Eamon Burke
10-05-2012, 02:06 PM
I guess I don't think that a public forum presented as a point of customer contact for someone doing business is the proper place for that business to "vent" about their customer interaction.

I just gotta say this entire site works very hard to NOT be a point of contact for business. It's a community of people to share and BS together, including the vendors. The goal of a vendor forum is to gain valuable non-monetary assets from the community(expert feedback, fresh ideas, QC, support, etc), not to make or keep customers.

I agree with Salty. This site may have lots of visitors, but 99.999% of people on this planet will never even hear of it. You can't just talk to the shop dog all the time.

Paradox
10-05-2012, 02:40 PM
I guess as a new guy I didn't realize that the Vendor and Membership Terms of Use ToU statement was just window dressing then? It seems to detail the intent of these "Vendors - Sales & Services" forum rooms as points of customer contact pretty clearly. Maybe after being around for a while I'll get it? ;)

wsfarrell
10-05-2012, 03:13 PM
From the Vendor and Member Terms of Use:

If you wouldn't say it to someone in person, it doesn't belong here.

If someone was showing you what they thought was a defect, would you say "Yeah, that's large enough for a steak to get lost in"? I wouldn't.

Justin0505
10-05-2012, 03:31 PM
I am all for customer service and the power of the consumer. It's part of the reason why I enjoy buying from small business and individual craftspeople: I know that they care about the service or products that they are providing me and my option of them.

However, in this time of ultra-consumer-centered culture where the customer is always right, I think that things are a bit out of balance. There's a difference between a legitimate complaint and some one that's just being an unreasonable a$$ or just LOOKING for a reason to complain.
The "lady" mentioned in Dave's post clearly fell into at least 1 of the later 2 categories.

I see nothing wrong or in bad taste with posting stories like this. Reputation is EVERYTHING to business like Dave's and its important to make sure that your side of the story gets out there. Even after being way nicer to her than he needed to be, he still doesn't know if this person is running around telling stories like "Oh, I paid SOOOOO much money for this "PERFECT" board and it came to me with a "HUGEEE" crack in it. WELL! I sent it right back to him and he wont be getting any more of MY precious business!!! HRMPF!!!!"
It's important for people to hear the truth from Dave.

Consumers are all very concerned about customer feedback about a business, but what about business feedback about a customers? If I was a custom board maker, I'd sure what to know problem customers so that I could look out for them when they showed in my shop.

Stories like this always remind me of the best GM that I ever worked for. He always said that customer service is about insuring people get what they deserve, but NOT about encouraging unreasonable or bad behavior. He had a very good nose for when someone had a legitimate complaint and when they where complaining just to complain. He would always be very politely and calmly explain "the way it is" to unreasonable people "no sir, I do not believe your steak was tough; it was Kobe beef and and there's not an ounce of it left on your plate... no sir, I will not comp your check... no sir you can not sit here and order more food and complain about that too, I would like you to leave my restaurant at this point and never come back."
People where always so surprised when he walked them out the door. "Yes, this is private property and you are only here at our permission... and now you no longer have that permission. BYE!"

He always called unreasonable and unhappy people "poison" to a business and said that he didn't want to try and make them happy; he just wanted them as far away from his establishment as possible. He took amazing care of his GOOD customers and the restaurant was never better or with longer waits lists then when he was running it.


So, bottom line, stories like this ENCOURAGE me to buy from Dave and to recommend his work to other people. People like "Paradox" may get all "<shrug>y" when the "tone" scares them and makes them feel like their delicate consumer demands and sensibilities might not be coddled or at least viewed with the absurd tact and reverence that they would like, but I think that they are in the minority.

Cutty Sharp
10-05-2012, 04:12 PM
First, I think the way that vendors and non-vendors are mixed together here is a big strength of KKF. Also, maybe it's a bit dangerous for a vendor to make a bit of a crack about, well, a miniscule crack in a cutting board and how a steak could fit into it. But big deal. Turns out people are like cutting boards - the wooden ones, at least - because there's no perfection.

You always take a bit of a chance when you try to be humorous, because there's always someone who won't get the joke or who will resent you because they don't find you funny. Anyway, I'd prefer people to be human in that way and let their guard down a little - even the vendors, who tend to sound a bit more earnest and diplomatic than your average member.

We've recently seen threads on things such as pro-kitchen pet peeves, and it would be good to hear something similar on vendor peeves, though I know that will never happen!

mr drinky
10-05-2012, 04:19 PM
I just inspected my wood boards (and my BoardSmith) and I'm sending them all back ;) As well as some of my floor boards, a rolling pin, and my walnut table too.

Anyhow, I won't pile on to this subject much more, but in today's Amazon stars and Yelp complaining society, hearing the negative is more common than the positive it seems -- unless we live on Facebook and count those cherished thumbs up. Dave's boards are widely considered some of the best, and I think this lady had expectations that were out of line from reality and pretty unreasonable. That's unfortunate for Dave, and her misfortune in general. I'd hate to be her son making his first birdhouse in shop class.

But with that said, there are threads on other foodie forums that recommend Dave's boards and this scenario seems inevitable IMO. Just saying. And I have no problem with Dave raising the issue on the forum, but I am sure other vendors would choose not to take this approach.

k.

Lefty
10-05-2012, 04:43 PM
K, I will also take your table. That thing is what dreams are made of!

What I love about this place is on display, right now. You guys (and me) are sticking up for a craftsman, who just so happens to be a customer of other vendors here. Cutty hit it right on the head - our dynamic here is different and that's what makes it so great!

The BoardSMITH
10-05-2012, 05:16 PM
Okay, the steak comment was a snide jab and wasn't meant to demean the customer, who remains un-named, or make me look better. Hopefully any future jokes won't be so off beat.

My reasons for sharing wasn't to vent or to complain or to demean a customer. I was hoping to show another side of the business that we rarely see. I read a lot of good things here about my boards and I try to not let those wonderful comments go to my head. I don't shamelessly promote my boards because I am a vendor and rarely show my current work. I also realize this is a knife centered forum and my boards are secondary. If someone has a question, I will answer as thoroughly as I can and do so in a manner that doesn't try to point a potential customer to my side. So if I get a little offended when I see a return that shouldn't have happened please excuse me.

To those I offended anyone with my tale, I sincerely apologize and hope it will not cause any more hard feelings.

SpikeC
10-05-2012, 05:48 PM
There is a hugh hole in my tongue from biting it!

ThEoRy
10-06-2012, 12:13 AM
I'm also thinking the photo looks to be pretty zoomed in. Doesn't look like a problem. A little oil, some bees wax. Done.

SpikeC
10-06-2012, 12:17 AM
0.0085" wide by 0.1655 "

Do you have any idea how small that is??

kalaeb
10-06-2012, 12:28 AM
0.0085" wide by 0.1655 "

Do you have any idea how small that is??


Yup, its 0.0085" wide by 0.1655

Or .21 mm x 4 mm :detective:

hehehe, pretty small

tk59
10-06-2012, 12:37 AM
Every wooden object in my house has some sort of minor imperfection. It's a piece of tree, after all.

Salty dog
10-06-2012, 12:48 AM
Ahmm, Are we making mountains out of slag heaps?

eshua
10-06-2012, 02:55 AM
When customers eat at my restaurant, I don't fight with them over missed expectations or concerns that they feel warrant a refund.

Put it this way: I Hope everyone who eats here has a wonderful time, I Know everyone who eats here is treated fairly, but I do Not want every customer to come back.

We choose a method and standard that allows us to eek out a mortgage payment, but if you want your 14oz steak -- grilled well done -- fat free -- prime cut -- in 8 minutes for 10 bucks, and don't like that 'char" flavor... by all means let me buy your lunch, chat you up, and recommend somewhere else to try next time.

That being said... I still **** up plates...so if you ordered Steak and got Cobia, yeah that was my fault ... lol