Martin’s emails have always been quite friendly in tone. My problem is I purchased a brush from him for 88 euros plus shipping and handling that broke.
Then, in my initial email to Martin I did ask how I could epoxy the brush handle. He replied that he did not know how, and offered instead to replace it. I took him up on this offer, since as I wrote him at the time: on examining the broken brush in brighter light, it was clear other layers of the sandwiched bone (which make up the handle) had separated, or were improperly glued.
I then sent Martin the photos as he asked:
He replied as follows:
Good morning Evan,
thank you for the photos. I sent them to my brushmaker and will wait for his reply if I shall send you a new one or if he will do it.
I will in Thiers the whole next week, so there will be some delay here.
I appologize for the inconvenience and hassle you may have and hope you still have another brush to shave with. :-)
Thank you for your patience, understanding and help.
Later he sent this:
I spoke to the manufacturer and he says this is the first time he acutally sees this.
There a two options.
First you glue it with a non water-soluble contact adhesive (like he told me). So not an epoxy one!
Usually you can find them in hardware stores.
Or you send the brush to him directly and he is gluing it and sends it back to you.
Here is his address:
Hans Baier e.K.
Baumberger Str. 17
40764 Langenfeld (Rheinland)
If you send it, please declare it as "returning merchandise" and set the value to 5 US.
Please put a piece of paper with you name and address to the brush, so he knows where to send it.
If you have any question, please let me know.
I think it is clear that between the two emails Martin changed his position—from offering to replace the brush to telling me how to glue it or having me send it back (at my expense) to Germany for repair.
In his post Martin writes that my initial account presented “half truths.” This is simply my perspective and experience: Martin operates an online company. He offers new products which are presumably in good working order. When one of the products he sold me broke, I tried to resolve it speedily by offering to repair it myself at my own cost. It was Martin who told me not to, that I should send photos and wait for replacement. Then later, he changed his mind about replacing it. Whether he has had the flu, or has been traveling on business--as he writes—the fact stands he hasn’t handled this in a straightforward manner. My intention here is not to disrespect other members who hold high opinions of Martin and his business. My opinion is simply different.
I am not interested in attacking Martin's character. I only wrote in a public forum in the first place because in this thread a B&B member asked for member advice regarding the brushes Martin sells. This has been my experience. I have purchased other products from Martin which arrived in good working order. But I will not do business with him again based on his handling of the broken brush.
I have also done business with other merchants familiar to B&B members. One sold me a scuttle that arrived in shards. Another sold me a “sharpened” blade that seemed to arrive not so sharp. In both cases the merchants resolved the matter within a week or two. Solutions involved some goodwill and compromise on both our parts, but they were satisfactory and earned my repeat business.
My six or seven weeks of Martin’s shifting responses have been enough. I wish Martin and other members who choose to buy his products good luck.