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Thread: Inconsistent product???

  1. #1

    Default Inconsistent product???

    I've been using CAR products for about 4 months now and noticed that the paste and cube seem to be inconsistent from jar to jar or cube to cube. For example, I just finished on jar of paste and it was thick. Opened a new jar and it's thin and runny. Still very slick however. Same type of experience with cubes (different outcomes with different boxes).

    Knowing that the goal of method shaving is to have similar results from shave to shave, has anyone else noticed this?

  2. #2
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    I've noticed some slight variation in the shave paste before; but that's about it. Honestly, whenever I gave it a stir with my finger things evened out just fine. The stuff is made in very small batches and is purported to not contain chemicals, etc. I just chalked it up to "separation" from sitting, temp. fluctuation and such. The cubes I've used have all seemed the same.

    I've seen a lot of variation in Taylors creams as well. Other than just going "hmmm," and making a mental note of it - I never noticed any performance difference. My St. James cream is almost runny and my Eton college is very thick and pasty.

    My technique is nowhere near that perfect or rock-solid that I would be able to point out a variance in a product and have it be earth-shattering. Well, maybe someday...
    [FONT=Tahoma][COLOR=Blue]Howard L. Sheppard
    howardsheppard(at)sbcglobal.net[/COLOR][/FONT]

    "I wish I were less awkward around strangers. I never know what to say when someone asks me who I am and what in the world I'm doing in their house." -- Andy Ihnatko

  3. #3
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    HydroLast paste does not contain any chemical stabilizers, therefore the consistency may not be exacty the same from jar to jar. This should have absolutely no effect on it's performance.

    This may sound a little strange, but if I have a jar that has thinned out I give it the spin treatment. You can do as Howard suggested and stir it up with your finger (or any other stirring impliment). I find I get better results if I take the jar between my two hands and throw it in the air, spinning it as fast as I can (with the lid on of course.) After a couple of throws, I take the lid off (the thickend product has migrated to the sides), give it a couple of taps on the counter to settle the paste back down, and I'm good to go.

    Howard is right about Taylor's. It is universally acknowledged that the consistency of their creams is anything but consistent. They still work fine though.
    Brett

    "Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left."
    - Zen philosopher Basha

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    It could be because most of his products are hand made and variances are unavoidable.

  5. Default

    I have an old shave cube that was sitting around for some time - and when used by itself with only hydrolast paste, the lather dries out immediatly, no matter WHAT you do (water/soap ratio) - however I have a new cuvbe which works just fine.... might have been my initial problems with hydrolast? Regardless, the first cube was inferior to my "new" cube.
    - Joel
    joel (at) badgerandblade.com

  6. #6
    Thread Starter

    Default

    I only use Hydrolast with my cube and it seems that as the cube diminishes, the results change. When a break out a new cube, it works great. As I use it, the lather dries out as you describe. I'm wondering if it has to do with exposure to water and/or air? With my paste, a new jar starts off thin and as I work through the jar, the product turns pasty.

    Rick

  7. #7
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    This thread is very interesting and raises a lot of questions for me as a soap maker. I make my products in my kitchen by hand with measuring cups and spoons. My soap knowledge is self-taught. I have no degree in either soapmaking (if there is such a thing) or Chemistry. I use the best ingredients I can find. I firmly stand behind what I sell with a full money-back guarantee offered with personal Customer Service. I have no machinery for precise measurments or Chemists developing products with the backing of millions of dollars to protect market share.

    I have received some burning reviews here on this forum of my products. One was deemed defective and one denigrated to the likes of kitchen cleaner. I have offerered on more than one occasion reimbursement of the shipping cost to return for inspection these two products.

    I do not understand why inconsistant product is acceptable as stated in the above post, let alone it being common knowledge and accepted as OK, this is how 'their' product is. Why are refunds not demanded? Why is 'inconsistant' OK with a "Name"? I know these items are not cheap.

    We don't live in a perfect world and I know of nothing that will please everyone, all of the time. Soooo I do not mean this as a 'sour grapes' issue. I just do not understand why the 'Big Gun's are not held to the same standards of this 'little fish' as I have been referred to? Shouldn't their products be excellant for the price you pay? How fast does anyone receive a refund for these inferior items?
    Sue

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    Sue, that's a very good point and I agree.

  9. #9
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    First, I don't think that the products I referenced are hand made. The cube and paste seem to be made in bulk. I think the tonic is hand made.

    Regarding inconsistency, it really needed to be significant for me to even notice. I am not that picky where I could notice minor differences in product. The changes between the products were fairly significant.

    Sue, I agree with you that all parties should be held to the same standard. If the promise of consistant shaving results were not made to me, I wouldn't even have brought it up. I just assumed that the only way to get the same result was to use the same product over and over again.

  10. #10
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    First off, I agree that if someone's not happy with a product (and the seller offers a guarantee) then that product should be refunded or replaced.

    However, I am NOT unhappy with these products. I simply offered my opinion on why there were differences in consistency, etc. (based partly on information from their website, in addition to my own experience).

    Second - I am not a "complainer" by nature with regards to something I buy. If I want to be critical (of anything) that's very easy for me to do. However, I just don't like being the "squeaky wheel." I am this way in restaurants, too - and it drives my wife nuts. If there is something TERRIBLY wrong with a product I buy - I may mention it. However, being in sales, I've seen literally thousands of people who are simply dishonest and want something for nothing. I never want to be perceived as one of those people.

    Sue, my comments on your products have been nothing but positive. While you feel that the "big guns" get special treatment; well - if you re-read my original post I mentioned that Taylor creams are inconsistent as well. I also mentioned that it was a non-issue for me as well. So, for my part, every product that I buy gets the SAME treatment with respect to small variances, etc.

    I tend to enjoy supporting the "little guy" which is why I bought your products in the first place - so I'm no apologist for the established names in the shaving world. I buy what I like and I enjoy trying new things. If something doesn't "do it" for me - I just don't buy it again. If I'm not happy with a product - most of the time you'll never know it. I just won't continue to purchase it.

    I've not had but good results fromt he VAST majority of shaving products I've purchased (including yours and Hydrolast items). I happen to get good, consistent results from both. I don't see a problem, personally.

    I know you said that your post wasn't "sour grapes." But it almost sounds like maybe you feel you've given some refunds that you would rather not have given(?). I totally applaud your committment to customer service; but it sounds almost disingenuous to ask how fast people are getting refunds from other companies. That pre-supposes that people are asking for refunds (which in my case - almost never happens).
    [FONT=Tahoma][COLOR=Blue]Howard L. Sheppard
    howardsheppard(at)sbcglobal.net[/COLOR][/FONT]

    "I wish I were less awkward around strangers. I never know what to say when someone asks me who I am and what in the world I'm doing in their house." -- Andy Ihnatko

  11. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue
    This thread is very interesting and raises a lot of questions for me as a soap maker. I make my products in my kitchen by hand with measuring cups and spoons. My soap knowledge is self-taught. I have no degree in either soapmaking (if there is such a thing) or Chemistry. I use the best ingredients I can find. I firmly stand behind what I sell with a full money-back guarantee offered with personal Customer Service. I have no machinery for precise measurments or Chemists developing products with the backing of millions of dollars to protect market share.

    I have received some burning reviews here on this forum of my products. One was deemed defective and one denigrated to the likes of kitchen cleaner. I have offerered on more than one occasion reimbursement of the shipping cost to return for inspection these two products.

    I do not understand why inconsistant product is acceptable as stated in the above post, let alone it being common knowledge and accepted as OK, this is how 'their' product is. Why are refunds not demanded? Why is 'inconsistant' OK with a "Name"? I know these items are not cheap.

    We don't live in a perfect world and I know of nothing that will please everyone, all of the time. Soooo I do not mean this as a 'sour grapes' issue. I just do not understand why the 'Big Gun's are not held to the same standards of this 'little fish' as I have been referred to? Shouldn't their products be excellant for the price you pay? How fast does anyone receive a refund for these inferior items?
    Sue
    Sue,
    Simple fact of the matter is.... they do. Burts bee's shaving soap had received such horrid reviews, they stopped making it, awhile back Taylors had some consistency issues with their products, some fellas have gotten bad tubs of Coates shave cream, others have had defunct tubs of vulfix cream, merkur has had problems with quality control on some of their newer razors, feather straight razor blades are not of the same consistency (in terms of degrees of sharpness), the Savile Row SR230 made its debuit with some of the brushes having faulty plugs, Bernd had shipped a couple of the custom SMF brushes out with minor defects and faulty plugs, and the list goes on and on. I do not know of a manufacture (save for penhaligons) where by I have not heard some form of quality control issue at one point of another. I think the key focal point, is the degree with which the product is "faulty" IE - is it still usable for the most part - and secondly what the firm does to rememdy the problem. Quite often you do not hear of large firms having quality control issues for 2 reasons - firstly they are few and far between, and when they do occur, typiucally it is a change in consistency and the product itself still functions flawlessly. Second - when a problem occurs, being that they are large companies, they can afford to immediatly ship the end consumer out a new product, and usually provide a few complimentary items. Not a "shaving" tale - but a similar high dollar example... I received a bad bottle of Blanton's Single Barrel Whiskey. The cork had begun to deteriorate, and the product was inferior to what it should be. Upon contacting Buffalo trace distillery, they immediatly shipped me out a new $60 bottle of booze, and to my surprise when the package arrived it also included a bottle of Eagle Rare 12 year, and Eagle rare 17 year (about another $100 worth of booze). For a small company like Templeton Rye - that would be near impossible, but a huge company like Buffalo trace can most certainly afford it.

    I know myself personally - it is not worth the time/effort of going to the post office, waiting in line, and shipping a product back to the manufacture - unless it is totally unusable, and is a costly item.... for a $4-10 item, it is almost less effort to just up and purchase a new one.

    For what it is worth - as you well know, I was the individual that criticized your "New Spice" cologne, and the bottle I received smells a HELL of a lot better than the bottle nick received. My best guess is some how or another his bottle was introduced to much lowere temperatures and it may have caused the product to seperate.

    The bottom line is EVERY company, "Big fish or small" is going to have defunct products go out - the key issue is what the product is (meaning if it is a supposed "custom" handmade product by artisans of the trade, obviously there will be more attention to detail, and you will be paying a preimum for quality... hence the lofty prices, where as if it is a hobbyist or "small fish" selling an inexpensive product, defects and inconsistencies are more likely to occur, AND FOR GOOD REASON as you previously stated equip and all!) and how the custome rservice issue is dealt with.

    For what it is worth.... I criticized your New Spice cologne because the bottle I sampled, smelled simply ghastly. How was I to know a faulty bottle was sent? I didn't - which is why I placed and order for ALL of your products, to try again.

    Just because a customer does not take you up on the offer... does not mean they are not satisfied with the offer.
    Last edited by joel; 12-30-2005 at 11:02 AM.
    - Joel
    joel (at) badgerandblade.com

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    Good Evening Gentlemen,

    I have enjoyed spending a good amount of time this day with my 8 yr. old Grandson who spent the night last night. I so loved watching his beautiful small hands build a crane with his first Erector set. I have completed reading all of the posts and I must tell you I learn a lot by reading your responses. You all help me immensely. Everything is a learning process.... one step-at-a-time, like buiding a working crane from the bottom up. Life is a lesson.

    I watch my husband shave everyday. I watch to see the qualities of the lather, the quality checklist so to speak. After a pass, how does his face feel, is there enough slickness for his razor, does it rinse cleanly, etc., etc.? Every day one of my soaps receive the 'test' or a potentially new one does. I read the forums to find out what more I can do to improve my soap. Comments of other soaps you like are helpful. Is it something I can improve with mine? A new fragrance maybe or some change no matter how small.

    A business is another thing. I have worked in business settings in various capacities, but never 'my' business. Other than my reading I can only base how i conduct myself on my personal values, standards and what I see around me. I get cranky when: I am in a retail line and the clerk can't be interrupted from the obviously personal phone conversation to help me... the waiter or waitress is rude or forgets... waiting on hold at various extensions for 45 minutes for several days, only to be told the item promised before Christmas is on back-order and will arrive by the end of January.... Being smugly told I can't return the item; didn't I bother to read their return policy, you know the one in the teenie, tiny fine print at the bottom of the receipt. On and on, I bet you all have your favorite customer service pet peeve. Well, I don't want to fit any of them. Refunds? please don't misunderstand me. I am comparing. Does my policy measure up?

    So this is a big THANK YOU to all of you who give me your opinion either here, email or PM. Thank you for your honesty and taking time out of your day to do so. I appreciate it so much.
    Sincerely, Sue

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    Thumbs up

    Brett, I have a jar of WSP that has separated. I tried your spinning technique, but with a twist (pun unintended): Instead of throwing the jar into the air, I rotate the jar rapidly back and forth between my hands several times. This seems to work quite well!

    Thanks for the tip!
    ~Tim

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