Does craft beer have room for this type of customer service?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by PorterPatron, Jan 31, 2015.

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  1. 64vdub

    64vdub Aspirant (283) Feb 20, 2014 California
    Trader

    If true, I'm going on record saying that Alpine's reaction was both inappropriate and displayed terrible business practice.

    Was Alpine obligated to refund or make right this situation prior to the snarky reply messages? No.
     
  2. albertq17

    albertq17 Initiate (75) Oct 11, 2010 California

    The purchase was not for beer it was for tickets. He got his tickets.
     
  3. Telly13

    Telly13 Initiate (0) Jan 21, 2014 California

    So BPT will have to pay
     
  4. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,553) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    Deschutes has been great to me too. Glad to see they're doing it right
     
  5. albertq17

    albertq17 Initiate (75) Oct 11, 2010 California

    NO. He received what he paid for, which was tickets.
     
  6. BMMillsy

    BMMillsy Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2012 Florida

    Interesting about the GF sale part. Just had Duet this week and wondered why it just tasted like GF West Coast IPA. Now I know. Still an excellent IPA but seemed off relative to what I've had a number of times before.
     
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  7. SebD

    SebD Meyvn (1,456) Nov 24, 2010 Ontario (Canada)

    What a dick! Enough said
     
  8. pagriley

    pagriley Meyvn (1,027) Oct 27, 2014 Illinois
    Trader

    Not what the terms said on the link that was posted earlier - it clearly states he is buying bottles of beer. Multiple times:

    [​IMG]

    That is basically my question - he bought tickets, but the terms clearly state he is buying beer on multiple occasions, with a 6 day pick up window (which seems extremely strict) then goes on to say your bottles will be surrendered to Alpine if you don't pick them up. You can't have anyone else pick up your bottles, etc... It even explicitly says your brown paper ticket is your proof of purchase when retrieving your bottles.

    The terms clearly state you are buying a physical object (ie beer) and my question is, what would a credit card company or the consumer laws of California treat this as? I mean, if I pre-ordered a new car, paid for it, was told I had to pick it up a certain week and didn't do so, I doubt the consumer laws in California would allow the car dealer to simply keep the money and the car...
     
  9. BergBeer

    BergBeer Crusader (703) Aug 21, 2013 Virginia

    Th rabbit hole keeps getting deeper and deeper in this post. From people backing a brewer they don't know to mud slinging and the OP to people throwing around pseudo California law. Weird...

    Also what should we call this Alpine-gate, Kiwigahzi, or kiwi Herman Lewinski?
     
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  10. clayfu

    clayfu Initiate (186) Apr 27, 2010 California

    It'd take too long to explain it but in a nutshell, there are certain activities that void contracts. They primarily have to do with either waiving rights you cannot waive, agreeing to illegal activities , initial conditions not being met,impossible conditions and being coerced to enter into a contract. Inequitable terms is usually not one of them when consideration (especially money) is given. Your example of "all sales final" and a defective product shows an initial condition not met. You agree to a product that is not defective. If it's found defective the contract is void. A good example are car lemon laws where if a car keeps having the same defective issue you get a refund

    In the simplest terms, this is a legal binding contract. An offer was made by alpine, terms were set forth, purchaser agreed and paid money for consideration. A valid contract was formed. But the biggest thing in alpine' favor is showing that it was perfectly fine for so many people to pick the beers up in the time frame.

    Caveat: I'm a lawyer but I don't deal with business transactions or contracts. But I do prepare settlement documents quite often with a small chapter's worth of "terms and conditions"
     
  11. markgugs

    markgugs Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2006 New Jersey

    well, so far this is delivering!
     
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  12. amsguitarist

    amsguitarist Initiate (0) Sep 20, 2014 California

    About the people commenting how the beer has changed... you guys DO realize that Green Flash has been brewing all the Nelson and Duet batches for over a year right? Nobody was saying this stuff before they announced the acquisition and they didn't just start brewing them. It's been going on for awhile. Read the original announcement.
     
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  13. markgugs

    markgugs Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2006 New Jersey

    Interesting, of the 4 hoppy Alpine beers I've had, Duet & Nelson were my 2 least favorite (though Nelson was very good still, just not as good as Keene Idea or Pure Hoppiness). Duet was eh, take it or leave it. I had them all for the first time in the past 12 months.
     
  14. GhettoFabulous

    GhettoFabulous Initiate (0) May 29, 2010 California

    This is an email exchange my brother had with Alpine a few years ago after buying several bottles of badly infected BA Token. Pat blames him for storing the bottles at a cellar temp of 53 degrees. Despite this treatment, we both continue to frequent Alpine occasionally, as the beer and food are all kinds of amazing. Regardless, this interaction should shed some additional light on ABC's longstanding, dubious approach to customer service:

    From: "Pat Mcilhenney" <pmcilhenney@alpinebrewing.com>
    Date: December 29, 2011, 12:39:00 PM PST
    To: "Ghetto Fab's Brother" <*************@gmail.com>
    Subject: RE: my bottles of BA Token seem infected/bad

    Hey,


    Your method of storing “beer” may seem suitable to you but in the real world “all beer should be kept refrigerated.” Since you have had the very same beer on draught that was fine and continues to be fine you probably could have come up with the same conclusion.


    Three other people had had reported issues, they all did not keep the beer refrigerated. I opened a bottle after your report and enjoyed every drop. I keep mine cold.


    Patrick McIlhenneyAlpine Beer Company
    Drink Alpine Ale or Go To Bed!
    (619)445-2337

    From:"Ghetto Fab's Brother" <*************@gmail.com>Sent: Monday, December 19, 2011 6:18 PM
    To: Pat Mcilhenney
    Subject: Re: my bottles of BA Token seem infected/bad


    Hi Patrick,


    I've stored them upright in temp controlled wine type cellar at 53F. The first bottle I had that seemed infected was opened about six weeks ago. I opened another two weeks ago and it had the same sour infected taste. It is a bummer because on tap at your restaurant it was tasting amazing and the first bottle I opened back in early Oct tasted good too.


    Is this the first that you have heard of this re the BA token bottles?

    Sent from my iPhone


    On Dec 19, 2011, at 17:32, "Pat Mcilhenney" <pmcilhenney@alpinebrewing.com> wrote:

    Hey,


    Where are you storing your unopened bottles?


    Patrick McIlhenneyAlpine Beer Company
    Drink Alpine Ale or Go To Bed!
    (619)445-2337

    From:"Ghetto Fab's Brother" <*************@gmail.com>Sent: Sunday, December 18, 2011 11:25 PM
    To: Pat Mcilhenney
    Subject: my bottles of BA Token seem infected/bad


    Hello Alpine Brewery,

    As a lover of your delicious craft brew, late this summer I made two trips to your brewery to buy several bottles of BA Token, among other beers. The first bottle I opened a few months back tasted great. However, the last two bottles I opened were both tasting really sour and not drinkable for me or my family that I was sharing the beer with.

    I'm afraid that my remaining bottles of BA Token are likely bad and am inquiring to see if I can return them or exchange them for different beer. Anyways, please let me know how you can resolve the situation.

    Cheers,

    ************
     
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  15. beernazi

    beernazi Initiate (0) Dec 5, 2012 California

    no one is arguing that the dude that bought the beers fucked up...terms are terms....what is bothersome to everyone is simply his response regarding the matter
     
  16. doldreo

    doldreo Initiate (0) Jul 1, 2011 New York

    Curious..how many people called this d bag so far?


    Patrick McIlhenneyAlpine Beer Company
    Drink Alpine Ale or Go To Bed!
    (619)445-2337
     
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  17. HoptimusPrimeIPA

    HoptimusPrimeIPA Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 Florida

    The way he responded was definitely unprofessional and uncalled for. Then to top it off, saying he drank them and they were delicious served no further purpose than to insult the customer and to twist the knife. There's no room for any kind of behavior like that in any business. I managed a customer service department for a medical supply distributor and if one of my employees ever talked to a customer like that they would've been fired immediately. Even if he was just going to stand behind the terms and conditions all it would've taken was a few extra seconds to inform the customer that the terms they agreed to were not met and unfortunately he could not receive a refund or the bottles.
     
  18. Soneast

    Soneast Champion (809) May 9, 2008 Wisconsin

    For whatever reason, beer geeks love to get shit on. The worse you treat them the more successful you will be. You want to succeed in the beer making business? Just follow FFF's lead; make mediocre to good beer and treat your customers like crap. People will fall over themselves to get dumped on by you. Alpine has apparently adapted this model and they seem to be doing great.
     
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  19. surfcaster

    surfcaster Zealot (552) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Trader

    Pat seems to be a tool.......no excuse for that.

    But let's see, it CLEARLY states what the rules are and the guy f#$%^d up and wants to be refunded. He makes a big deal of it here.

    No accountability/responsibility in this world. "It's never my fault."

    Two examples of folks not doing it right.
     
    #219 surfcaster, Feb 1, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
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  20. 1eyed_jack

    1eyed_jack Initiate (115) Dec 19, 2012 Illinois

    What are you reading????

    Yes, the guy messed up by not picking it up, perhaps he overlooked the terms. But look at his message and his words.

    Hello,

    I purchased two bottles of Kiwi Herman and forgot the pick up window time frame. I live in Vista and was planning on heading down to the brew pub today. Is there any way I can still pick up two bottles? I completely spaced on the date to pick up and would really appreciate it. Please let me know. Thanks!


    He was polite. He didn't ASSUME he would still get them. He admitted he made a mistake and was seeing if there's a chance at still getting the bottles. He only brought up the whole refund thing when he was treated like shit from the owner. There's no way of knowing, but if the owner had responded politely there may have not even been a refund request. It could have been reactionary after getting that shitty response.
     
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  21. 64vdub

    64vdub Aspirant (283) Feb 20, 2014 California
    Trader

    Right, I think we all agree on that. My response was directed at someone who explicitly asked if the terms and conditions were enforceable or if they could raise a credit dispute. I'm not backing up Alpine at all, just the terms and conditions of any such sale.
     
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  22. beernazi

    beernazi Initiate (0) Dec 5, 2012 California

    ok, got it, sorry if i misunderstood.
     
    64vdub likes this.
  23. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (281) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico
    Trader

    Did you ever get your $$ back? As far as I'm concerned, they are robbing people in wide open spaces, with an allure of prized beer.. Snake oil salesman like
     
  24. Givemebeer

    Givemebeer Zealot (527) Apr 6, 2013 Vermont

    That's true, I stand corrected :grinning:
     
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  25. surfcaster

    surfcaster Zealot (552) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Trader

    Let's just say when I'm a little butt-hurt that I don't go on some forum to tattle and stir a conversation--even if the other side is an ass.
     
  26. ricochet173

    ricochet173 Initiate (86) Jul 6, 2011 Quebec (Canada)

    I work for a bank (albeit a Canadian one) and I handle most banking products... credit cards included. Here's my two cents:

    1) Research your state/province's consumer protection laws. If there are laws in place regarding the legality of certain transactions, a business generally can't override said laws just by writing whatever the hell they want on their website. You can't make people give up their rights. To quote The Big Lebowski, "This isn't 'Nam, Smokey: there are rules".

    2) Contact your credit card provider immediately and ask to file a dispute. I guarantee the bank/provider will side with you. Speaking for myself, so long as a client has a) spoken with the merchant and b) given the merchant the legally required amount of time to reimburse, I will ship your ass to Disputes so fast your head will spin. It costs me nothing to do so, and it will make you happy (which, in turn, makes me happy). Disputes will gladly take over so long as you followed the necessary steps (which the person who got screwed over did). Worst case scenario, nothing will happen. Best case: you get your money back, and dick-bag get a charge-back. Could they fight it? Sure. Will it be completely NOT worth their time from a financial/time perspective? Yup! Screw 'em.

    3) Related to point number 1: Some lawyers would be happy to give you a free consult. When possible, take advantage of this to inform yourself of what you, as a consumer, are entitled to. At the very least, you can confirm the legality of a transaction, which will then allow you to proceed appropriately.

    Hope this is helpful.
     
  27. 1eyed_jack

    1eyed_jack Initiate (115) Dec 19, 2012 Illinois

    Right "tattling" ha.

    I'm glad this was posted. I have absolutely no interest in drinking anything by Alpine now.
     
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  28. surfcaster

    surfcaster Zealot (552) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Trader

    Perfect response for the USA (and you work for a Canadian bank nonetheless)--get a lawyer involved to make it painful way beyond what it really was--a screw up and jackass reply.
     
  29. ricochet173

    ricochet173 Initiate (86) Jul 6, 2011 Quebec (Canada)

    How is it a jackass reply? I suggested the person who received the terrible service inquire into their rights. Please indicate where I advocated taking them to court. There is absolutely nothing wrong with knowing your rights as a consumer. Is it such an awful idea to get a quick schooling from a lawyer? Knowing the law is their business.

    Why such a violent reaction on your part? Do you think it's wrong to know what your state laws are regarding terms of sale?
     
  30. surfcaster

    surfcaster Zealot (552) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Trader

    Screw up on the OP and Jackass reply on the Alpine guy.
     
  31. ricochet173

    ricochet173 Initiate (86) Jul 6, 2011 Quebec (Canada)

    My apologies, I get it now. Completely misread that; mea culpa :slight_smile:
     
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  32. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (281) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico
    Trader

    I know some states can't give away beers, discount them too much (or at all. like say happy hour). If one was to buy a ticket at a chance to stand in line, and THEN, and only THEN, buy that product. This would be more like a sporting event. It's too bad you missed out, but the ticket was for that time frame only at a chance to then buy a tangible object.

    If they are somehow saying your ticket includes "free" beer, I can see some bigger issues at hand. This owner guy shouldn't push things too far with people he doesn't know. The NM liquor board/laws here are pretty strict, and I see breweries jumping through hoops for the smallest of things.

    Looking here, http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1149399
    Price includes 1- 500 ml. bottle of Kiwi Herman @ 15.99 each, plus tax and crv.

    It appears you could then buy another. The "another" makes sense as you are getting what you paid for. The "price includes" part is sketchy as hell.

    I hope they mess with the wrong customer and get authorities involved... Just sayin'
     
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  33. dianimal

    dianimal Aspirant (230) Apr 18, 2012 California

    Asshole. I will never buy Alpine brews again. They were never that special to begin with. Really a waste of money. I can think of DOZENS of breweries whose beers are better! Movin' on!! :slight_smile:
     
  34. amsguitarist

    amsguitarist Initiate (0) Sep 20, 2014 California

    This is not intending to stir things up and Pats replies are NOT good customer service, but there is something to be said about honesty nowadays. Everyone has to be so politically correct all the time, I find it kind of refreshing to see someone who doesn't give a rats ass about what others think and says what's on his mind. Now for the obligatory social media harping and reaming. lol.
     
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  35. pagriley

    pagriley Meyvn (1,027) Oct 27, 2014 Illinois
    Trader

    Thanks - this is helpful perspective for the curious. I was wondering what the likely realities were, and I appreciate the answer.
     
  36. markgugs

    markgugs Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2006 New Jersey

    you REALLY love Alpine
     
  37. clayfu

    clayfu Initiate (186) Apr 27, 2010 California

    Really not true in the US. Other than American Express, when it comes to chargebacks it's not the easiest slope to climb. I've had outright retail fraud and Citicard was slower than molasses on it.

    Also it depends how long ago the charge was compared to your request. If it's 30+ days your chances get even slimmer
     
  38. 1eyed_jack

    1eyed_jack Initiate (115) Dec 19, 2012 Illinois

    I liked your post, just so I could unlike it.
     
  39. clayfu

    clayfu Initiate (186) Apr 27, 2010 California

    I forget which thread, but someone brought up the idea of a class action lawsuit. Since it seems every single brewery does this on BPT and someone really wanted to make a few bucks as an attorney (the plaintiffs will get nearly nothing like all class action suits) you can just sue every single brewery that used the same terms and conditions and see if you want to fight that it's a voided contract with inequitable terms. You never know what a judge will decide, if I've learned anything in my career of law :grinning:
     
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  40. amsguitarist

    amsguitarist Initiate (0) Sep 20, 2014 California

    @markgugs if alpine screwed me over, I'd have no problem never giving them my business again. I'm not a fanboy, I just really like their beers. Not worried about diminished trade value due to brewery perception as I have none of their beers pending on the trading block.

    I'm just pointing out that society today is so sensitive to anything any one says that might hurt someone's feelings or might be perceived as rude or insensitive. Like I said, it is unjustified bad customer service on his part. No excuses. Guy seems like a jerk. We can all make our own decision to continue buying Alpine beer or not.
     
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