Pipes and Cigars Policy ?

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

maxpeters

Senior Member
Jan 4, 2010
435
0
I was looking through the Pipes and Cigars end of summer catalogue, and saw this Big Ben pipe that I thought looked nice. It's a Maxim white colored pipe. I've never owned one before, so I thought why not. I'll give it a try.

Received it yesterday and smoked several bowls in it. I guess it rested maybe 2 or 3 hrs. in between smokes. On my last bowl full I noticed that the white finish was starting to bubble and crack on the right side. What a disappointment, as it smoked great.

This afternoon I called customer service and spoke with a woman, and told her the problem. She said to me "well sir, you're supposed to smoke a bowl and let it rest for 24 hrs. before smoking it again."

I told her that was only a recommendation some pipe smokers followed. I didn't know it was company policy. She then went to talk with her supervisor. She came back and said " what I told you is correct, but on that pipe we will allow one exchange. If it happens again, it's on you.

I told her that the finish should last for years, not just a few smokes. I asked if that was their policy on pipes sold by them. She said "yes sir. It's not what it was 10-20 years ago. We will exchange it this time.

I asked her if I could get a refund instead, since I didn't want another pipe that would probably blister up like this one did, and she said "No. It's already been smoked. You can only exchange it."

I then told her that it was the last time I will be buying a pipe, or anything else from them, and ended the conversation.

Were any of you aware of this policy of Pipes and Cigars? If you smoke a pipe you bought from them, and it's defective, you can only exchange it. And only one time? Oh yeah, and that you MUST let it rest 24 hrs. in between smokes?

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,342
12
I didn't see customer satisfaction mentioned on their web-site. Might have missed it. Their return policy is fairly well stated, if they don't authorize it, it is not returnable. And, if you smoke it, they are not taking it back. What ever else they told is not listed as part of their return policy. I'm surprised they would allow an exchange.
If I purchased pipes on-line this would not be a vendor I would utilize.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,874
66
I think that I would blow my f'n cool if some tart faced wench told me that I was supposed to wait 24 hours between smokes. Show me where at in the Bible it says that? What sort of pipe dogma is that?

I'm sorry that happened to you. I am pissed off for you. I can understand a no return policy, but spouting BS like that about a 24 hour wait between smokes blisters my ass. Sure, some pipe smokers do that, but making it pipe store dogma, F them.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
15,454
69
Don't think it was number of times smoked, sounds like it got to hot for the finish. My first Grabows did the same thing.

 

deathmetal

Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2015
7,724
0
Wouldn't "no returns" apply to preference, not defect? They could ask you to contact the manufacturer directly.

 

lordofthepiperings

Preferred Member
May 3, 2010
6,319
19
Las Vegas, NV
My guess is it was still too warm when you lit up the next bowl, so the lacquer bubbled up. Thats one of the reasons it's recommended to rest the pipe when breaking it in.
I think it was very generous of them to offer an exchange. Completely understand not giving a refund as the pipe has been smoked.
I'd chalk it up to a learning experience.

 

aggravatedfarmer

Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2015
866
0
I'd say you should have taken the deal. You had to fight a bit, but hey you were gonna get a pipe in return. could be a bad pipe from the manufacturer. Can't always blame the person who answers the phone.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,874
66
Yeh, I've had a couple of pipes bubble when I first smoked them, and it was just the first smoke. I am certain that the number of times doesn't make a flip of difference. Like the heat is retained and just keeps building up, that is utterly ridiculous to even suggest, and shows a basic lack of understanding anything about physics.
Anyways, I only ever buy tobacco from P&C, no pipes. And, if they didn't have Russ on their team, I would never go to their site at all. If they wanted to be serious pipe sellers, then they would fix their website to show every pipe they sell, instead of one from a "line." Plus, they use those precarious pop-ups that make looking at their pipes, utter hell for me. Nope, too many places that are easier to shop, and apparently have less sassy morons manning the phones.

 

maxpeters

Senior Member
Jan 4, 2010
435
0
"I'm not surprised that a white painted pipe would do that. Even meerschaum darkens from use."
Well, I was thinking that I've seen many many Kaywoodie white briar pipes being sold on the estate market. And some of them show signs of being smoked a lot. Without anything happening to the finish. You might see where it chipped off over the years, but not this kind of damage. That's why I thought I would give this one a try. I have never had one before and wanted to see how they would smoke.

That crack about their policy not being what it was 10-20 years ago did irk me a bit. I don't know if she knew my age or not, or was just saying that because she thought I was just another old geezer with a complaint. But I let it go.

I AM sending the pipe back for an exchange. I just hope that was a defective pipe. But I am not ever going to buy another thing from them.

 

peteguy

Preferred Member
Jan 19, 2012
1,092
0
Returns are different than defects and should be handled as such. Nothing worse than a company who doesnt stand behind what they sell in the retail world. This is NOT a return. The pipe is defective. maxpeters has every right to a refund - why give him another pipe if his smoking habits don't work with this painted style? If you paid with a credit card go thru your bank and get a refund that way. They will stand behind you.
I am sure if Russ sees this post things will get handled properly.

 

drwatson

Preferred Member
Aug 3, 2010
1,720
0
toledo
I have never had a painted pipe, but have had varnished pipes bubble if not taken extra care in the first several smokes to build up a little cake.

 

hakchuma

Preferred Member
Jan 13, 2014
771
0
the way I see it, if I am unsure of a pipe, I don't smoke it. Wait a few days and then contact pipesandcigars for a refund. If I go ahead and smoke it, it's mine no matter if it catches on fire, melts in my hand, or explodes. That's how I roll.

 

lestrout

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,635
1
Chester County, PA
There are a variety of finishes that have been used on pipes, ranging from shellac, waxes, varnishes, lacquers and enamels. I can see how certain ones would have a propensity to bubble, from heat causing embedded vapors to push up a discrete, nonporous film.
hp

les

 

gloucesterman

Preferred Member
Jan 4, 2015
1,861
0
Massachusetts
I think I'd have to agree this is not a return issue but rather a defect problem. A pipe that cannot withstand reasonable smoking without its finish breaking down is defective. And a once in 24 hours smoking policy is BS. Not protecting your customers from defective merchandise will prove itself to be a poor policy in the long run. There is a business rule that states; a satisfied customer will tell three people, a dissatisfied customer tells ten. And in this case that number is multiplied significantly. Any bets on who turns out to be the biggest looser in this transaction? Was the wholesale cost of that pipe worth the damage to customer confidence it is potentially causing? My perspective. blistered finish, very sorry sir, how can we make this right? The result, a very satisfied customer likely to be loyal forever and great PR. Just the opposite of the actual outcome. A missed opportunity I'd say.

 

bcharles123

Member
Mar 18, 2014
236
0
Sounds like a defect or bad design. I would try one more.
The policy of once in 24 hrs is ill conceived and probably not a rigid policy. How could they possibly know? Unsmoked obviously, smoked a bunch obviously.

How could anyone tell if it was 23.5 hrs or 24.5 hrs? The pipe doesn't care.
My guess that is a guideline they give to the phone person who is helping the newbie or any customer that asks. i think they are an excellent company, but you were not dealing with their top tier.
In any case, the finish should stand up to the temperature of smoking to the limit of damaging the briar. A chain as strong as the weakest link. The finish doesn't know what happened 3 hrs ago.

 
Jun 5, 2015
242
0
It's just poor pipe finish, some cheap pipes use spray paint, and these as I understand, will bubble if you smoke the pipe too hot. I don't resting the pipeis theissue here. Did you smoke the pipe too fast?

 

jackswilling

Preferred Member
Feb 15, 2015
1,777
0
Sounds like an odd policy. I have spent a bundle at P & C for pipes, tobacco, and accessories, and never had a problem with anything. How is the lady on the phone a bad person? I don't get that. Sounds like she was doing her job, no more and no less. The problem is not the lady, but with the pipe and possibly with the return policy. I can see a restrictive return policy on pipes that have been smoked.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
13,474
49
Monterey Peninsula
As can I. But of course, finish bubbling can't be known until you do smoke it.
Now I am faced with a new Peterson bent spigot where the airway is drilled at the top of the mortise, so at the very least a pipe cleaner won't make it to the chamber. It will not be smoked until I straighten out with the seller what to do. I just hate mailing stuff back, but don't see any other way.