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Bill Kelso. Whats happening?

ausreenactor

Well-Known Member
Platon relayed to me that email tennis was not his fave when I got my Werber built. I just sent him my measurements, the preference of hide, the NOS Crown zipper and he did the rest.
 

Julius

Member
Speaking of making accurate repros, the point is not whether the pockets are aligned but whether the right kind of hide is used.
I prefer my pockets aligned and and if they were not aligned on the original I can live with that, so I will not blame the maker that his repro is inaccurate because his pockets are aligned. But if the leather on the original is "X" and the leather on the repro is "Y" then that's a big turn off for me. It shows that either the maker did not try enough to get his leathers right, or that he couldn't, or that he didn't care and that in the end of the day his jacket is not an "accurate" repro therefore it should be not advertised as one but rather as his own interpretation.

So if I was expecting an A-2 with correct leather and I got something else instead then in my book he failed to provide an accurate repro.

I guess that many people here have never handled an original and even more may have handled one of which the leather was in bad shape so they can't really understand much about how the leather should be or what exactly we are talking about....
 

dinomartino1

Well-Known Member
To be honest i have never really been in touch with many makers as I normally buy used.
Any emails to eastman usually about patches fast response and helpful
I am not a promoter of Aero and I had have differences of opinions with with Ken but in a civil manner which is the way such things should be. What I like about Aero if that is you are buying a new jacket your can speak to somebody on the phone. If the person is there you can speak to the cutter and discuss leather and also the person who is going to make your jacket, I much prefer to able to speak with a person on the phone about such things rather than email if possible it just gives me more peace of mind.
Skyhawk/headwind mfg is also very accommodating and gives you the option of changes to shoulder and chest widths the which the top makers do not.
I did contact kelso about a jacket this year and got a reply two weeks later which was the reason I did not get one, when you are in your mid 50s you no longer put up with such nonsense.
Now we have five star as well, in my opinion the benchmark of customer service of any maker regardless of what you think of their jackets, Shawn is willing to do anything you ask for.
 
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Officer Dibley

Well-Known Member
Most of these makers find that success isn’t ALL good. If something has to give, it’ll be customer service first because that is not an obvious cost ( although bad PR about customer service will cost you orders - other than GW ?)

I’m sure Gary Eastman had similar problems back in the day. Although he had the “advantage” then of no internet.

As long as folks understand what they are getting into, all is good right.

I admire any enthusiast trying to make their passion a profession - as long as the pace doesn’t kill that stone dead
 

Julius

Member
I prefer to buy a good product, not the customer service. I have sent emails to https://www.ralphlauren.com/ and other big guys and never got a response and I don't think that they would engage in answering 50 questions from a customer before he buyes and what aussie referred to as " email tennis" but then again people seem to buy from them all the time and make them rich.

So if Ralph Lauren never replies to you and you still buy from him then why do you expect Good Wear or BK or the others to reply to you?

You said before it's decent to reply, and it is indeed. I am sure if they had the luxury to reply to you they would (Not Raplh, the others). And about the other stuff you said that you paid your money and want to know what's going on, I know of Japanese construction companies who get paid between $25 to $300 million for a project and they don't even allow their customers to have supervisors or site managers during the construction. The reasoning? because those Japanese companies are the best at what they do so they tell you "if you want to buy from us fine, but you don't get to look what we build, you just wait to receive it. If you want second best and to put your supervisors on then do it in China, not here" and they are right. It's the same when you buy your e.g. $40,000 Mercedes car, you don't ask them what they do, how they did it etc, or why they delayed to deliver your car order you just bite it and buy it.
 
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dinomartino1

Well-Known Member
I prefer to buy a good product, not the customer service. I have sent emails to https://www.ralphlauren.com/ and other big guys and never got a response and I don't think that they would engage in answering 50 questions from a customer before he buyes and what aussie referred to as " email tennis" but then again people seem to buy from them all the time and make them rich.

So if Ralph Lauren never replies to you and you still buy from him then why do you expect Good Wear or BK or the others to reply to you?

You said before it's decent to reply, and it is indeed. I am sure if they had the luxury to reply to you they would (Not Raplh, the others). And about the other stuff you said that you paid your money and want to know what's going on, I know of Japanese construction companies who get paid between $25 to $300 million for a project and they don't even allow their customers to have supervisors or site managers during the construction. The reasoning? because those Japanese companies are the best at what they do so they tell you "if you want to buy from us fine, but you don't get to look what we build, you just wait to receive it. If you want second best and to put your supervisors on then do it in China, not here" and they are right. It's the same when you buy your e.g. $40,000 Mercedes car, you don't ask them what they do, how they did it etc, or why they delayed to deliver your car order you just bite it and buy it.
Let's stick with clothing, you can buy Ralph Lauren in a shop, you can see what you want and try it on, not the same for us buying an A2 sight unseen and having to pay upfront.
Customers are such a pain they spend $1000 and then want to ask questions, how annoying having to pander to their concerns.
 

Officer Dibley

Well-Known Member
I don’t by RL myself ;)

I am in construction. The Japanese model you mention may work for Japan but does not work in N. America or Europe. I know. I’ve also worked for Kajima in the UK. The Japanese model was not used.

When i buy a car or motorbike, i do research and so do my mates. I get the sales staff to earn their money ! Most do the same.

But now we are generalising and i could quote you many small and medium businesses in many different disciplines who do respond. So what ? Doesn’t aid any argument.

We are talking a specific item and one man bands. Not responding is understandable but pushing out delivery times and not doing even a general newsletter/bulletin or a list of orders with names and target dates is discourteous. They must run a spreadsheet to function. A one man band plays catch up in the evenings doing that stuff. I do. Who works 9-5 nowadays ?
 

dinomartino1

Well-Known Member
Maybe I'm in the minority and have just become a cranky old man but nowadays I refuse to give my hard earned cash to any business that has treated me with indifference, rudeness or simply does not give a damn.
I will gladly go ten miles out of way if I need something if I have had a bad experience with the closest vendor, my money will go to the business that treats me with courtesy every time.
I will and have on many occasions walked out of a shop because of the indifference or attitude of the person at the counter but not before telling them why they won't get my custom.


 
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Julius

Member
I think that the fact that they don't reply fast enough is not entirely their fault. If you have e.g. 20 customers at the same time sending you 50 emails each then that's a thousand emails you got to deal with and it's reasonable that you will not be able to follow. I have seen situations when everything is already answered in the FAQ but people still ask the same questions. I think sometimes, we the customers create the problem and we are equally responsible...

I personally know my size and get the deal done with 1 email only.
 

Julius

Member
I will go ten miles out of way if I need something if I have had a bad experience with the closest vendor, my money will go to the business that treats me with courtesy every time.
I will and have on many occasions walked out of a shop because of the indifference or attitude of the person at the counter but not before telling them why they won't get my custom.
I know most of the vendors or repro jackets and have good relationships. Give me your money and I will be your agent. I will ensure you get your replies within the same day, seriously...
 

Officer Dibley

Well-Known Member
“ reply fast enough”
Who determines fast enough ? I think maybe a month myself but if you don’t reply for a month, how many more emails have come in ? At some point you need to send replies as fast as they come in or do a newsletter. A knife maker in Edinburgh does that. Works a treat for deflecting “where’s my order in the queue” emails.

Then you are left with the to and fro comms of a custom order.

If JC wanted to be truly authentic, he’d make standard sizes. No waiting list. Just make what he wants, when he wants and see things whip out the door. No tonnes of emails vacillating over details of size.

His business model (and others) works fine for a demand that is easy to meet. It does not work when you are overwhelmed. And the amount of used GW for sale shows that waiting “forever” and paying a fortune for something someone really wants to custom fit them actually doesn’t make those people 100% happy.
 

dinomartino1

Well-Known Member
I have worked for myself before and can only say I would have been overjoyed as most businesses would be to be so inundated with work that I could not cope, you then take on somebody to help you with the extra demand.
If you can not provide a decent service you will soon be losing those extra customers, unfortunately this is not the case with captive A2 buyers who have very few options as to where they are going to buy from.
BK is not a one man operation and if he is so overwhelmed with orders there is no reason why he cannot take on extra staff or train a new machinist to meet his demand other than not wanting to spend the money which is actually self defeating as the shorter the waiting times and the better the customer service the more business you will get. Greece hardly has the highest wages in the EU.
 

colekwok

Active Member
BK is not a one man operation and if he is so overwhelmed with orders there is no reason why he cannot take on extra staff or train a new machinist to meet his demand other than not wanting to spend the money which is actually self defeating as the shorter the waiting times and the better the customer service the more business you will get. Greece hardly has the highest wages in the EU.
BK has its own problems. I suspect that their admins/managements operate in the UK while their production is in Greece. This certainly does not make things any quicker.

What the jacket makers should do is to make good use of social platforms such as Facebook etc for short communications rather than the lengthly emails that nobody wants to read. One can easily place their lead time, availability and updates on the profiles which don't require any professional webpage designer to do.
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
BK has its own problems. I suspect that their admins/managements operate in the UK while their production is in Greece. This certainly does not make things any quicker.

What the jacket makers should do is to make good use of social platforms such as Facebook etc for short communications rather than the lengthly emails that nobody wants to read. One can easily place their lead time, availability and updates on the profiles which don't require any professional webpage designer to do.
I know this is a bit outside of the discussion but can anyone tell me what the current “wait time” is for a BK A2??
 
Current wait time on a BK A2 is 6 months minus two days, mine hasn't long arrived. Original lead time was estimated 12-18 weeks, I got very worried because Paypal only cover you up to 6 months. All turned out fine in the end, I just wish I'd have been told it would take 6 months in the beginning and I'd have chilled a bit more.
BK are just slow at contacting people but I believe all is in hand. The jacket is fantastic! Seal Liberty is a sturdy but supple mat brown, leather is consistent and the cuffs are particularly nice. The stitching is really good too. I requested no thin spots on the leather (because I've had Eastmans pass through my hands with paper thin areas that were very disappointing) and that is exactly what I got. Straight out the box the leather has character ( less than Eastman's warhorse does straight out the box), but I think it will age amazingly and that's why I went for BK liberty. I will post some pics soon.
 

mulceber

Active Member
Current wait time on a BK A2 is 6 months minus two days, mine hasn't long arrived. Original lead time was estimated 12-18 weeks, I got very worried because Paypal only cover you up to 6 months. All turned out fine in the end, I just wish I'd have been told it would take 6 months in the beginning and I'd have chilled a bit more.
BK are just slow at contacting people but I believe all is in hand. The jacket is fantastic! Seal Liberty is a sturdy but supple mat brown, leather is consistent and the cuffs are particularly nice. The stitching is really good too. I requested no thin spots on the leather (because I've had Eastmans pass through my hands with paper thin areas that were very disappointing) and that is exactly what I got. Straight out the box the leather has character ( less than Eastman's warhorse does straight out the box), but I think it will age amazingly and that's why I went for BK liberty. I will post some pics soon.
Great to hear - what country are you in, P-47? I've found customs takes forever letting go of my jackets here in the states.

Ps. I’m gonna second what ausreenactor said: let’s see some pics. ;)
 
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