Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What can I say...............

Ya'll know I like my kiln, right? I have been very happy with it's performance, except for this ridiculous problem I am having with the posts and shelves. I finally got someone from Olympic to call me today, I think Asshole was his name. Meredith was right, I have never had anyone speak so rudely to me in my life, especially someone that received a $2500 purchase from me. When people buy things from you aren't you supposed to say, "thanks so much for your business, and let me know if there is anything I can help you with in the future", and don't you want to have a good relationship with that person so that they will be a repeat customer. Well, FAT CHANCE I will ever buy anything from Olympic again!!!!! I just wanted to ask this man if he had a daughter and how would he feel if some asshole spoke to her the way he was speaking to me. He made me feel like a liar and an incompetent and it was all I could do to keep from absolutely going off on the phone, but I was raised to have some manners and treat people as I would want to be treated, so I held my temper and wished AH a Merry Christmas. He says he is shipping out replacements today, we'll see...... just be warned if you have to call Olympic, put on some body armor and don't call me if you want a recommendation to buy something from them!


createniks said...

Eat the electricity cost and fire them to your glaze cone with the kiln empty at least once.

If the post come with the insides not square with the outsides, try to go farther up the flag pole and get a refund if you can.

Good Luck!

josephcarlson said...

I have endured the same level of non professional behavior from the Olympic staff as well.

cookingwithgas said...

You were are being treated the same way we were.
And I hope you see the replacemenst.
They said oh we will ship right away-- three weeks later..
And then they finally refused to rebuild a part.
Told us they had all the orders they needed from schools and such and we were just not important to them.
Well hells bells why didn't you just say so, we could have taken our business somewhere else YEARS ago.
You are a better person then they will ever be.

cindy shake said...

I'm assuming this is a local retail business? If they are representing various lines I would be sending a TON of documentation/complaints IN WRITING directly to the various individual manufacturers they represent. Holy cow, it's hard to believe folks like this are still in business -but won't be if manufacturers find out about the cr@p treatment and service of a retailer! I'd also be spreading the word through the clay groups, blogs, web sites etc. because sounds like others have had heart burn as well.... Well, at least we all know Santa will be putting coal in his stinky stocking!!! said...

Cindy: Olympic is a kiln company, they are the manufacturer. I ordered my kiln through the distributor Axner,who has been nice but not helpful. I know, MH, HELL'S BELLS!@#%

Hollis Engley said...

They were never assholes to me, Tracey, but they didn't seem to know much about their product. I think I said that before. What you'll end up doing, I think, is getting used to your kiln, settling all the problems you're having now, and then moving on with the product, figuring out how to use it to make great pots, and never dealing with Olympic again. That's what I did, and it's working pretty well.

Peter said...

Appalling treatment you have had from the Olympic kiln people, and most strange to see such badly made exploding props like that. I do hope that things are sorted out properly really soon so you can have a lovely Christmas and really productive and happy new year.

jimgottuso said...

well, that settles it in my mind. of course my kiln is a coneart and never had a peep from it yet so i doubt i would have changed but it's good to know who's not treating customers well... too bad you had to be the one to be treated badly for us all to know.

Linda Starr said...

I know what type of kiln I won't be buying once I get relocated.

cindy shake said...

YIKES and CR@P!!! One of my kilns is a Crucible and the one I use the most is an OLYMPIC!!! But being up hear near the top of the world, anyone whose into clay is pretty much on their own anyhow :o)

I think Hollis is offering some sage advice...

robhaugen said...

I am sorry that you are unhappy with the service that you have received from Olympic Kilns. Bob spoke with you yesterday afternoon in what he felt was a pleasant & constructive conversation regarding your post & shelf problem. We agreed to replace the items that were of concern. The posts and shelves in question have been in use for almost a year and I do not completely understand why the problem surfaced now, however the kiln and furniture are rated for 2350f., which is lower than your max temp. as indicated in your e-mails. The post manufacturer was notified of the problem as soon as I was aware of it and they are replacing all of the posts on your original order. Olympic Kilns is replacing the shelves. I am pleased that you are happy with the kiln and hope that when all is done you are a satisfied customer. Customer satisfaction is very important to me. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. said...

I am going to put this in writing, just so there is no mistaking what I have said. This is to address the post from Rob (I spoke to Bob, confused yet?) at Olympic.
#1. I did not have a pleasant and constructive conversation with Bob, I felt attacked and accused and was put on the defensive end trying to resolve a problem that is clearly not my fault. It was a very uncomfortable conversation to say the least
#2. I have not fired the kiln to ^10 numerous times, I have fired it 2 times, July 3 and November 10 and it was fired to 1280C.I can find no where in the kiln manual or any of the paper work I received with this kiln anything about the furniture being rated to 2350f.
It does say:"Congratulations! You have just purchased the sports car of kilns-an Olympic Gas Kiln! Get ready to move ahead with the power to Raku, reduce, bisque,cone 10 firing-you name it, you can do it, with your Olympic kiln".
#3. The shelf cracked on October 21 in an 04 firing, not a ^10.
#4. The first post problem started with the 04 firing, it cracked in half.
#5. The second cone 10 is when the posts blew and they blew before I reached ^10, I heard them.
So, these brand new posts did not get fired beyond their suggested rating.
#6 the shelves and posts have been used for less than a year, and so what if they had been used for a year. Is that all of the life I can expect from these things. I have posts that are over 10 years old and they are fine.
#7 This is the log of my firings:
first firing April 25,2009
Dec.1 last firing
2- cone 10 failures shelf broke
1-04 failure kiln posts blew
10- raku to 1850f all good
8-bisque to 04 all good
Rob, if you will read the previous blog with the posts and this one I think you will see that I am not the only one that has had problems being treated this way. It is great that customer satisfaction is important to you as it should be, but there is a problem somewhere, or there wouldn't be this many negative comments. Yes, I am very happy with the performance of the kiln itself, my problem is with the kiln furniture, which you should address, the phone manners of certain folks at Olympic, and the fact that I have been trying to resolve this since NOVEMBER 11 with no response from ANYONE! It has been extremely frustrating and time consuming to deal with this and no one seems eager to help me. It's not like I'm asking for a new kiln. I want two shelves and 9 posts replaced for God's sake. How hard can that be?!?!?!? and why is it taking up so much of my time?
I will gladly post a kind blog about your assistance and replacement of the defective parts should that ever happen.
And yes, I do like my kiln very much, I have sold many lovely pieces of Raku that were fired in it. However,I have also tossed out two full loads of ^04 and ^10 that were ruined by the kiln furniture!
I am not some irresponsible and untrained studio assistant. I have been loading, unloading and firing kilns for 10 years, I know how to properly store and care for shelves and posts, and if I felt that in any way I had done something myself to cause this I would have never contacted you in the first place. So what now............ said...

correction at #7, typed this in wrong:
shelf cracked in ^04 firing
no reduction 1st ^10 (my fault not really a ^10 firing because I got no where near temp, still learning the kiln, it was more like a ^8)
so for the true ^10 firings:
shelf broke in 2nd ^10
posts blew in 3rd ^10 said...


soubriquet said...

Scott says "Go farther up the flagpole" The people you are talking to are not staff at Olympic, you're already through to the top.
Bob Haugen, founder, CEO, And masters degree in Ceramic Engineering), and Rob, his son, President of the company, degree in Business and Economics.
The buck stops here.
You have suffered lost work, hours, anguish, and damage, and you have told a worldwide community of potters about it. We are Olympic's potential customer base. Some of us teach, some blog, we all know other potters, and this story spreads far beyond Tracey Broome's corner of the world. I for instance, am in England.
We buy, and we influence others in what to buy. Some buy for schools, universities, and we hear that Olympic are not being helpful.
It seems to me that potters coming here, and potters they know, and potters reading their blogs are going to be spreading a huge amount of negative publicity about Olympic Kilns' customer service.
In reality, it's not about the kiln. The kiln, it would appear, is working fine. The materials failures are in shelves and props. Your photographs show, quite clearly, a very badly extruded cross-section, which may not be the cause of failure but points to poor quality control both by the prop manufacturer and by Olympic, as the reseller.

Olympic can only lose by continuing to alienate you. Even if they feel it isn't their fault, Rob Haugen and Bob Haugen would be wise to say "We'll replace all your shelves and props at our expense, and work with you to solve this problem" Such a response gets prospective customers back onside. Nobody who lives by selling can afford to imply that a customer is stupid, or that their business is too little to be bothered about.
On the basis of your experience and the commenters here I would not buy from Olympic, and would advise other potters to steer clear too.
I have NEVER had a kiln prop shatter in 37 years. None of mine were supplied by Olympic.

So come on, Rob Haugen, turn this unhappy lady into a happy customer, one who would recommend Olympic Kilns.
Come back, on this blog and set things right.