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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: beer_crafter on December 29, 2011, 09:07:04 PM

Title: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: beer_crafter on December 29, 2011, 09:07:04 PM
Bought a 3L erlenmeyer flask from Rebel Brewer, and the glass is super thin.  The first time I used it, the bottom cracked incredibly easily on the bottom of a fermenting bucket I had filled with sanitizer.  I've used these types of flasks for many years, and have broken my share of them, but never with as little force as this one cracked with. 

I called rebel brewer and asked if others have complained about this, and they told me no, and that I was out of luck.  Fair enough.  I could have made a stink and said it may have been damaged in shipment, but that's not how I do business.
Fortunately their website has a rating system with the ability to submit feedback for the products they sell.  I submitted a product review with a fair assessment of what I feel to be an inferior product.  I believe it was well-written and informative, and IMO not reactive to the service I recieved.

This was over a month ago.  At this point, the review has not shown up on their site.  Poking around their site, the only reviews that get approved are ones with 4 or 5 starts.  WTF is the point of product feedback if you only show the positive reviews?   ::)

I'm done with these guys.   :-*

Title: Re: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: tygo on December 29, 2011, 09:52:40 PM
No experience with Rebel Brewer but on the subject of flasks I have two 5L ones from morebeer and they're first rate.  The glass is nice and thick.
Title: Re: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: Hokerer on December 30, 2011, 12:58:23 AM
I too have two 5L flasks but mine came from HomeBrewForLess and they've both been fine so far.  Only thing I'd question is that their website says they take a #11.5 stopper and I find that a bit tight - seems like a #11 will work better.
Title: Re: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: tygo on December 30, 2011, 04:22:33 AM
I don't think I have a stopper that fits my flasks.  I only use them for starters so they're usually just covered with foil.
Title: Re: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: PSUhomebrewer on December 30, 2011, 12:17:36 PM
Most flasks over 1L all use a #10 stopper or are atleast marked with the size on the flask. At work we use 1,2,3,4,&6L ones ALS they are all marked use #10 stopper.
Also if you try to find flasks form Kimble, or Corning, they will be a "lab" quality and be about 1/4" thick.
Title: Re: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: Hokerer on December 30, 2011, 02:13:25 PM
I don't think I have a stopper that fits my flasks.  I only use them for starters so they're usually just covered with foil.

In addition to starters, I also use mine, with a 2-hole stopper, as my blowoff vessel.
Title: Re: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: tygo on December 30, 2011, 05:33:54 PM
I don't think I have a stopper that fits my flasks.  I only use them for starters so they're usually just covered with foil.

In addition to starters, I also use mine, with a 2-hole stopper, as my blowoff vessel.

Gotcha.  Are you harvesting the yeast that blows off?
Title: Re: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: Hokerer on December 30, 2011, 05:41:54 PM
I don't think I have a stopper that fits my flasks.  I only use them for starters so they're usually just covered with foil.

In addition to starters, I also use mine, with a 2-hole stopper, as my blowoff vessel.

Gotcha.  Are you harvesting the yeast that blows off?

Yeah, that, among other things, was the thinking.  Haven't gotten around to actually using any of the blown off yeast yet, though :)
Title: Re: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: Hokerer on January 02, 2012, 04:39:57 PM
Most flasks over 1L all use a #10 stopper or are atleast marked with the size on the flask. At work we use 1,2,3,4,&6L ones ALS they are all marked use #10 stopper.

Just as an FYI, the 5L from HomeBrewForLess does not use a #10.  Just tried one and it drops right into the flask without touching the sides.
Title: Re: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: unabrewer on January 02, 2012, 10:19:32 PM

I called rebel brewer and asked if others have complained about this, and they told me no, and that I was out of luck.  Fair enough.  I could have made a stink and said it may have been damaged in shipment, but that's not how I do business.
Fortunately their website has a rating system with the ability to submit feedback for the products they sell.  I submitted a product review with a fair assessment of what I feel to be an inferior product.  I believe it was well-written and informative, and IMO not reactive to the service I recieved.

I felt the need to pipe in here. This is Tom from Rebel Brewer (Unabrewer is my AHA handle). I don't remember talking to you, but you did talk to Tyler. True that we have never had other complaints on the flasks, these flasks are from United Scientific and we stand by the quality on them. From Tyler's conversation with you, we concluded that the breakage was not your fault, nor was it anything we did and that it either had a hairline crack when we received it or something happened in shipping between us and you. Tyler (or any of the team here) would NEVER tell a customer that they were "out of luck" in fact you were offered a replacement. We stand by all of our products and the offer for a replacement or refund still stands, just send me an e-mail at the store and I will be more than happy to take care of you.
Whether you order from us again or not is up to you, I just want to make sure we are square on the order you did have with us.
As for the feedback system, you left feedback anonymously and negative anonymous feedback rarely makes it through unless it is very constructive. Since the conclusion was that the broken flask was an isolated incident not indicative of the quality, we didn't want misleading information to dissuade potential customers of the flask. Things get broken in shipping sometimes and that does not warrant a 1 star negative review of the product. Especially when we have sold hundreds of the flasks without incident.

Please e-mail me with your order information so I can refund your flask or whatever you need me to do to make right on your order.

Thanks,
Tom
Rebel Brewer
Title: Re: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: beer_crafter on January 03, 2012, 07:31:49 PM
Thanks Tom.  And in the interest of accuracy, you're right, the words "out of luck" were mine not anyone from Rebel Brewer.  But, I was most definitely not offered a replacement at that time.  Thanks for the followup.
Title: Re: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: beer_crafter on January 03, 2012, 10:33:40 PM
Emailed with Tom...  Rebel Brewer gets the thumbs up from me. 
Title: Re: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: Jimmy K on January 04, 2012, 04:25:08 PM
As for the feedback system, you left feedback anonymously and negative anonymous feedback rarely makes it through unless it is very constructive. Since the conclusion was that the broken flask was an isolated incident not indicative of the quality, we didn't want misleading information to dissuade potential customers of the flask. Things get broken in shipping sometimes and that does not warrant a 1 star negative review of the product. Especially when we have sold hundreds of the flasks without incident.

Tom, respectfully, this statement does not impress me. If you don't allow want anonymous feedback then your site shouldn't allow it. I do understand that sometimes reviews reflect something beyond the control of the seller, but web consumers are very good at sorting that out. Reviews that are censored are just that - censored reviews.
Title: Re: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: Malticulous on January 05, 2012, 12:46:42 AM
I posted a negative review on Midwest's dual regulator that came in my kegging kit. One of the regulators broke in a few days, the other lasted a week. Both broke before I had the replacement. The replacement lasted about six months. I put about as much in the review. I though I was being nice. They never posted it. Their reviews are nearly worthless.
Title: Re: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: johnnyb on January 05, 2012, 03:51:37 AM
Wow, any company that censors reviews is very sleazy imo. With the same amount of effort, if they felt a negative review was unwarranted, they could just post a constructive response to it.
Title: Re: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: Kit B on January 05, 2012, 02:57:28 PM
Wow, any company that censors reviews is very sleazy imo. With the same amount of effort, if they felt a negative review was unwarranted, they could just post a constructive response to it.

I don't know exactly how to feel about this issue.
While I know censoring reviews is a slippery slope, I have to think about some of the reviews that I have read, for other products.
Since we are talking about products that have MUCH to do with alcohol, they almost need some sort of safety net.
Think about all the angry, rambling reviews that can be typed up by drunken idiots that have a chip on their shoulder.
I'm not saying anyone in this discussion has done so, but I think you can imagine how far someone can easily go.

Rebel Brewer has always been a great source for me...
Same with Midwest.
I have their cheap dual regulator setup that's been in action for 7 years...No complaints, at all.
While I understand that others have encountered problems, I don't think it speaks to the reliability of a company, as a whole.
They are both great to deal with & I have gotten nothing but great manners & respectful service, when I have spoken to folks at both businesses.
In my experience, if there is a problem, both companies make a great attempt to 'right the wrong'.
I believe Rebel Brewer has even given me a partial refunds when shipping multiple items, without ever being contacted.

Since I live in close proximity, I frequent Midwest's store.
I can safely tell you that they are not sleazy...At least, they have never been in the past.
In all honesty, I have not received the same level of service, at any other LHBS.
We'll have to see if the new ownership upholds the same level of service.
Title: Re: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: morticaixavier on January 05, 2012, 04:03:31 PM
I have to agree with KitB here. not only are upset folks likely to go off the deep end but combine that with the unpleasant tendency for folks on the internet to behave in ways they NEVER would in person it could get pretty ugly pretty quick. Add to that, in the world of eCommerce, that competitors would be happy to go on line and bash the beejuhazus out of other providers and you can sort of see how it would become a requirement to monitor comments and not post all of them.

I mean I could go on line to a vendor right now and post the most untrue, vitriolic rant just because I feel like it.

It's not censorship unless it's public speach and I think a compelling argument can be made that a vendor retains private rights to their website just as they do a bricks and mortar store. 'We reserve the right...'
Title: Re: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: johnnyb on January 06, 2012, 03:17:01 AM
I know it's not protected speech but it's still pretty bad in my opinion. If they don't want to risk poor reviews, they shouldn't have built  the review feature into the software. When I see reviews on a site, I expect I am actually seeing all the reviews that where posted.

There are many web based businesses I purchase from that allow reviews, and I've seen plenty of crazy rants posted by disgruntled customers. 99% of the time it's obvious the customer is just a whacko or a jerk and no sane person holds those crazy reviews against the company. In fact, those reviews often prompt many solid reviews from satisfied customers that otherwise might not have been posted.



Title: Re: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: tomsawyer on January 06, 2012, 01:31:19 PM
Seems reasonable enough to filter reviews based on merit.  No sense in scaring folks away from a good product for no reason.  If I were a seller and bought something in bulk for resale, you can bet I'd want to sell them.  I'm sure the people at Rebel try out potential products and wouldn't sell junk.  I've never seen a really junky pyrex-style flask either.  I've worked in labs for 20 years and can tell you that there are people that will break stuff on a weekly basis, and those that will break one thing in five years.  I call it "lab hands" and you can't really teach that.
Title: Re: Rebel Brewer:Cheap Flasks
Post by: dcbc on January 25, 2012, 10:24:52 PM
I have dealt with Rebel Brewer on multiple orders and they have been great to deal with.  Their prices on grain are very good.  For a while, I was getting Rahr 2 row and Pils malt for $0.93 per pound.