Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pentel Customer Service

I recently received the below comment on my Guestbook page. Now I try to stay away from the commercial side of blogging, but since this comment is a great story, and is really a commentary on a brand rather than a specific retailer, I thought I’d draw it to your attention. The comment begins:-

Hi,
I wrote a while ago asking if you had any suggestions re. my sharp kerry dropping its leads rather than advancing them and your suggestion was to contact Pentel.

I went to the Pentel webpage and contacted the customer service department with a vaguely pathetic e-mail explaining my problem. A few days later the Pentel VP of customer service contacted me and told me to send my pencil to the Pentel distributors in my town, and they would be able to help me.

So sometime in mid December I put my Sharp Kerry into a padded envelope with copies of my vaguely pathetic e-mail and the e-mail of the Pentel VP of customer service, and a note asking about repair options. I didn't hear anything from them until one day a few weeks ago. Just before the end of my work day a well-groomed, well-dressed (black and tan), presentable young man carrying a padded envelope came into the office looking for me.

He introduced himself as Sean from Pentel, and shook my hand happily. He held up the envelope and said "I have your pencil in here." and I happily asked, "Were you able to fix it?" and he said that they weren't. When I asked sadly "What was wrong with it?" he said, "We don't know." Then he said, "We've given you a new pencil." and pulled it out of the envelope. Then he pulled the original pencil from the envelope and gave me that one back too.

So to recap - my Sharp Kerry which was given to me broke down after 15 years of use, and the company not only gave me a new Sharp Kerry (msrp less than $20), but they hand delivered it too. How great is that? Pretty damn great I have to say.

I'm always going to buy Pentel, as are my friends.

Thanks for your blog.
Vanessa

OK, well thanks for the story Vanessa.

10 comments:

Pawel said...

It's nice to hear the people representing the brand I like very much, too, have behaved so nice.

On the other hand I suppose it shouldn't be very difficult to fix the original Kerry - after all it's a pencil, not an electronic watch nor a rocket. :-) My bet is the rubber lead retainer just shrunk/worn off/lost its elasticity from use or environmental issues and that is the reason the lead is dropping out when the chuck is open during advancing (see picture at http://www.leadholder.com/lh-thin-pentel-graph.html#pmg). All what is needed to fix the pencil is probably new pencil tip, as the rubber retainer is probably not replaceable. You should be able to use your original 15 years old Kerry by just swapping the tips with the new one.

Pawel

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave, this is the second instance I've heard of Pentel going above and beyond when it comes to a malfunctioning Sharp Kerry long out of warranty. I purchased my Kerry, a blue one, more than ten years ago, and although I don't use it as much as I used to I still treasure it. In my mind, it is a highly functional objet d'art, the meeting of quality materials, design, craftsmanship, and utility at an affordable price. Pentel evidently really stands behind this product as well they should, and you are to be commended as well for noting their commitment to excellence which is so rare in this era of globalization and shoddy manufacture. BTW, I favor Pentel Ain 4B lead in my Sharp for the effortlessly dark line it draws on any kind of paper. No doubt, the substantial weight of the pencil aids in the performance.

As an aside, I've posted here before anonymously because I'm too lazy to sign up for a Google account and I hate keeping track of these things. I'm not diffident, I just can't be bothered. You really do provide us with a civilized service here Dave, keep up your fine work. All the best,

Barrel Of A Pencil (my nom de pencil)

kiwi-d said...

Hi Pawel & Barrel,
Thanks for your comments. Yes, Pentel certainly do seem to go above and beyond. Like you Pawel, I guessed the lead retainer ring would be the problem, but seeing Pentel didn't fix it and said "don't know", then maybe not.
Cheers.

Germ said...

Pentel has been pretty good to me. In my search for all manner of Pentel pencils of old, they have sent me 2 free of charge....

Time Waster said...

I need a job with Pentel :^)
I would be a anti rubber grip designer.

kiwi-d said...

Yeah, I think there's a few companies that could do with such a person on their design team. Its obviously pretty easy these days to meet your quota of new products by simply adding a rubber grip to an existing product, sticking an ergonomic label on it and hey presto, another design innovation.

Time Waster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Time Waster said...

I got this email from Pentel Today asking about Green Sharp Kerry pencil :)

Mr. Time Waster

Thank you for your e-mail. We appreciate your taking the time to contact us.

At this time, there are no plans to bring back the green P1035 Sharp Kerry pencil.

The Quality Assurance Dept. still has some of the green Sharp Kerry can and barrel components in it's parts stock. If you'd like to provide us with your mailing address, we'll send you a set of those components. When you feel like a change, you can swap out the parts one you black Sharp Kerry pencil.

Thank you for choosing Pentel products.

Ginger Goode
Quality Assurance
________________________________
From: Time Waster
Sent: Monday, March 03, 2008 12:04 AM
To: Quality Assurance
Subject: Questions or Comments

Hi,

I was wonding if you could bring back the green color Sharp Kerry .5mm pencil. I like the black the best but a green one would be nice.

Thank You

Anonymous said...

This sound ridiculous but after reading Vanessa's story I'm going to buy a Pentel Kerry.

Look, I was going to buy one anyway based on your review Dave but this just tipped me over the edge.

It's great to hear a feel-good customer service story like this. And yes, I am a sucker.

Anonymous said...

Hey Time Waster-

I, too, would like to get a green cap and barrel or three. Can you post the email address of the Pentel quality assurance department that responded to your request?

Thanks,
A fellow p1035 lover