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 Stanwell importer, conglomerates, and again P&C sucks

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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Stanwell importer, conglomerates, and again P&C sucks   Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:51 am

Music City Marketing used to be the importer for Stanwell. Now it's Meier Dutch. Apparently ST group (Scandinavian Tobacco) owns Meier Dutch, and Meier Dutch is based out of Bethlehem PA, same place Pipes and Cigars is based out of. Remember when Pipes and Cigars was bought up by Cigars International? Seems Scandinavian Tobacco Group (Swedish Match) bought Cigars International who bought Pipes and Cigars, so Meier Dutch was put in place to be the importing channel.

Sounds like a clusterf**k, don't it? Well, the end result feels like one.

If you notice, smokingpipes no longer carries Stanwell. Whether this is because they (smokingpipes/Laudisi) chose to not do business with this ST mess of a conglomerate or ST chose to not share their pipes with the Laudisi group I don't know, but if my experience with ST group is any indication, Laudisi is better off without them.

The recent record for pipes and cigars has been mixed with plenty of complaints, and we've publicly seen good guys like Russ O trying to smooth things over when things went bad from the actions of inexperienced or inept employees. From my perspective, they have the classic 'Big Corporation doesn't have people in place that know what they're doing and can't get out of their own way' syndrome. I'll give an example.

Stanwell. Music City always seemed to do a good job, they knew what their product was and what their customer based wanted and expected, and they communicated well. Stanwell filter pipes aways came with a filter adapter because, as everyone knows, the vast majority of American smokers do not use filters, they pop the adapters in if they buy a Stanwell filter pipe. These adapters have been designed and redesigned to perform well, they aren't some cheap novelty piece of junk, they actually work, unlike many other filters and filter adapters out there.

Now that Stanwell is being managed by ST group, and even though the verbiage in the pipe descriptions has not changed (these pipes can be used with filters or with an adapter for those who do not wish to use filters), they sell you the pipes and do not include an adapter. When you write and ask why you did not get the standard, always included adapter, they say "The description says may be used with adapter, we didn't say we'd include one".

It's a good thing I didn't buy a pair of shoes from you, I'd not expect that I'd have to go elsewhere to buy the laces for them.

So Joe Customer service makes a point to say that I clearly did not understand the meaning of the verbiage used in the description but out of benevolent grace he'd send me an adapter.

Wouldn't you make sure you actually had a stanwell adapter, then put it in an envelope with a stamp on it? No. A large box (big enough to ship a couple pounds of tobacco) is sent via two day express with a little piece of plastic 1/6th the size of a pencil. Must have cost 10 bucks to ship it. Too bad it wasn't even the right object. Damned thing has a metal stinger attached to it, like a Kaywoodie stinger. Worthless, and not at all what we discussed (I can hear it now. Sir, we did not specifically state that it would be an authentic Stanwell adapter. Sir, we did not include laces with your shoes but there is a length of twine in the box that will work just as well).

5)

An email to Meier group was sent without response. No surprise.

Rome fell under it's own weight. As conglomerates devour each other up and grow they become less, not more. We've already seen much of it, tobacco brands being bought and sold and brought under large umbrella manufacturers, the blends turning to homogenized crap nothing like the original. Now, as with my experience with ST/Meier/Pipes and Cigars, we get bigger but less available, and an uninformed and inept application of service.

As George Carlin so aptly put it, It's all bullshit, and it's bad for ya folks.

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PostSubject: Re: Stanwell importer, conglomerates, and again P&C sucks   Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:33 am

Puff Daddy wrote:
As conglomerates devour each other up and grow they become less, not more.,,,. Now, as with my experience with ST/Meier/Pipes and Cigars, we get bigger but less available, and an uninformed and inept application of service.

Well put. Corporate business is concerned with the bottom line, not how it gets there.

Too big for their britches?

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PostSubject: Re: Stanwell importer, conglomerates, and again P&C sucks   Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:44 am

The experience was not unlike when I have to call AT&T because of an internet/television router issue, and I know far more about how the system works than the shmuck on the other end of the line.

But the manual says you must try this next sir......

Don't you love it when they end the call with "Thank you for calling XYZ corporation, you are the reason we're here and are the best part of our day". Translation: Just pay your friggin bill online and quit bothering us. I'm making minimum wage here (in India) and you're interrupting my Facebook time. Doesn't the complete lack of service give you a hint? Stop calling.

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PostSubject: Re: Stanwell importer, conglomerates, and again P&C sucks   Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:30 am

Ah.

The joys of free market capitalism.

Bigger is better!
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PostSubject: Re: Stanwell importer, conglomerates, and again P&C sucks   Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:44 pm

My experiences with P&C have been spotty at best. I rarely purchase from them if at all anymore. Once a year their Signature blends go on sale and I buy my 8oz tin of Virginia Spice for the year and go on my happy way.

The most incredulous situation I experienced with them was a customer service rep telling me that the 8 ounces of Best Brown No. 2 they sent me was not dried out. I said "Oh yeah?" and I lifted the baggy up to the receiver, squeezed it a few times and said "You hear that crunching sound?, That's the Brown Flake I just got from you!" I was told I could return it, but they could not guarantee that the next 8 ounces would be in any better condition.

So yeah, once a year I buy my big tin of Virginia Spice come sale time, and maybe just maybe take advantage of one of their Marquee Series sales. Orlik Strong Kentucky, been dying to try it. But I'll wait till Smoking Pipes stocks it.
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PostSubject: Re: Stanwell importer, conglomerates, and again P&C sucks   Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:10 pm

Not to be a tool- I stick with smoking pipes. Call them sometime and ask a question, you'll be amazed at what happens. I do most of my ordering on the phone with them now.
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deathmetal

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PostSubject: Re: Stanwell importer, conglomerates, and again P&C sucks   Sat Sep 05, 2015 1:40 pm

Puff Daddy wrote:
Rome fell under it's own weight. As conglomerates devour each other up and grow they become less, not more. We've already seen much of it, tobacco brands being bought and sold and brought under large umbrella manufacturers, the blends turning to homogenized crap nothing like the original.

Good point. The bigger an organization gets, the more likely employees are to be performing insular functions without much regard for quality.
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Ozark Wizard

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PostSubject: Re: Stanwell importer, conglomerates, and again P&C sucks   Sun Sep 06, 2015 6:10 pm

I have nothing positive to add.. I keep trying, but I will say this about P&C.


They are consistent.
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deathmetal

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PostSubject: Re: Stanwell importer, conglomerates, and again P&C sucks   Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:13 pm

I haven't had any bad experiences with pipe and tobacco retailers.

But, I'll say this:

Most people are OBLIVIOUS to the predatory nature of highly profitable businesses.

It is necessary to get those fat margins, and most people expect to be abused and will fail to notice the outrageous abuses if you make a big show of addressing non-issues.

P&C is a well-run business from a profit standpoint. Their sales aren't really sales; they basically just serve as incentive for people to beat the $99 free shipping limit.

That means that, especially in the quantities they're buying, they're still making out like bandits...
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