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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Poor quality SAW, no reaction from Alakazam (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bartelli
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I shouldn't be posting this here but I don't know where else to go for advice. Alakazam doesn't answer my emails.

I'm an experienced user of the Stealth Assassin Wallet from Alakazam. Because I misplaced my original wallet somewhere and couldn't find it, I ordered a new one because it has really become a part of me that I can't miss. Soon I received my new wallet, started to use it as my every day wallet to 'break it in'. When I felt the wallet was ready for use, I tried the different possibilities (I think I use about all of them on a regular basis). But there are many flaws in the new version. In the mean time I located my original one, so I'm able to compare both:

- The "genuine leather logo" on the inside isn't there any more and the quality of the material really isn't the same as of my first one.
- The SUC section is nearly impossible to use because of a large hem (if this is the right word). In the original wallet the inside material is sewn over the leather hem, but in the wallet I recieved there is a hem of about 0,5cm blocking anything you want to put in the SUC section (those in the know will know what I mean)
- in the index section the bottom slit is glued shut (I used a knife to open it)
- Also the bottom part of the peek window side is glued, making it impossible to put anything in there.

Alakazam fails to reply to my emails. If very unsatisfied and don't know what to do. I paid Ł99,- for a useless prop and have nowhere to go. Any advice on what to do?

This is not a rant against the SAW, because I still think this is an incredibly versatile and useful weapon for any mentalist. I'm only disappointed about the quality of the latest batch. I want the high quality wallet I paid for and not some cheap knock-off. I can understand that Alakazam searches for cheaper production but this is intolerable. The wallet they sell now is not the SAW we all know. As far as I know Alakazam could have been ripped off by the manufacturer. I don't know, but if they open a new wallet to give it a try, the differences are immediately obvious.
I also want to say I don't have any problems with Alakazam, I think the majority of their products are of high quality and probably I just had bad luck. All I want is an answer from them and a wallet I can actually use. (preferably of the same quality as my first one)

@Peter Nardi: I'm terribly sorry to have put this in a public forum, but unfortunately I had no other choice. I hope to be heard this way. Please check your inbox, I emailed several times. I even sent photo's with both wallets next to each other.
Amirá
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Try to contact Mr. Nardi in Facebook
Pablo
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reviewerman
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Have had the same experience. My old one was worn out - magnets were glued on and were sliding around all over thenplace.

Replaced it with newer version, and consider it virtually unusable.
parmenion
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I was thinking to buy one but now I don't think so!
Shame the new batch was made like this.
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timski523
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This is a very topical post for me, I have been looking at there new infinity wallet and could not decied if to go for this over the Assassin which I have been intending to purchase. The infinity wallet looks like it can do more, But so so many of you all swear by the Assassin.
Maybe I should not hijack your post(sorry) and start a separate thread but it seemed topical!
tmoca
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Quote:
On 2010-11-19 06:02, Amirá wrote:
Try to contact Mr. Nardi in Facebook


Really??? I truly hope that was a sarcastic joke...If you were serious, should Facebook be the medium through which business is conducted?! Especially when the item was purchased through the direct site?

Personally I think NOT.

Just hearing the above story about the lack of customer service and quality control makes me want to steer clear of Alakazam in the future.

As far as not being the right place to post the above discussion, I feel that this is exactly the right place. If someone is not conducting business as it should be and providing adequate customer service, a public forum to which potential customers roam, is the EXACT place to post it.
Amirá
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Quote:
On 2010-11-19 07:56, tmoca wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-11-19 06:02, Amirá wrote:
Try to contact Mr. Nardi in Facebook


Really??? I truly hope that was a sarcastic joke...


No, isn't a joke. Is just another way to contact him.
Maybe not the most serious one, but that isn't the issue,

He post something yesterday.
Pablo
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magicinsight
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I was going to buy another SAW as a backup but not now.
Thank you for Barteli for the sharing your problem.
Michael
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Bartelli
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I will let you guys know how everything turns out.
Does anyone have another email address than sales@alakazam.co.uk?
I don't want to make expensive international phone calls.

I give Alakazam the benefit of the doubt. Surely their quality control failed (same thing happened with Colin McCleod's dvd) and I hope they learn from this thread.
Magic seems to be the only business in which these types of things are possible. (non existing warranty, selling overpriced low quality products without anyone complaining)
I am NOT saying that this is common practice at Alakazam, I hope they just made a mistake. I almost can't imagine life without a (good quality) SAW.
Bartelli
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I recieved an email from Alakazam with sincere apologies and an explanation as to why it took so long for them to reply. I haven't had enough time yet to read the complete mail but I'm offered several commercial options and I'm sure I will find one which I like. (I read through it quickly)

I don't know if this thread triggered it, but the do take customer satisfaction seriously.

A relevant quote from the email considering the quality of the SAW:
Quote:
I am so sorry to hear that you are not happy with the new Assassin wallet. I tried to call before leaving shop last night but I could very well have missed you, but thought may be easy to talk it through but let us address it here to save any further delay.

Granted there are some slight variations on the latest models and this seems to be only noticed by customers that have previously owned the original versions. Obviously when you get used to something any slight change will be of note and possibly hindrance. In your case I totally identify that the differences are substantial enough to warrant dissatisfaction, especially when you are used to the original.

The pictures were of great help in understanding your issues and whilst not all of the wallets in the batch seem to be problematic I feel that your case is of particular note.


I'll read the rest of the email this weekend and I sure we will work something out. But this doesn't change my opinion about the new SAW I received. Only if they return to the original design I can recommend it. It is still called SAW 1.1 but it is another product.
tmoca
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Quote:
I don't know if this thread triggered it, but the do take customer satisfaction seriously.


IMO, too much of a coincidence. I would venture to say that it was the DIRECT reason for the immediate reply...again, just my opinion. It's a shame it took potential public humiliation to elicit a response.

Hope you have your problem resolved.
Tragic Geek Patriot
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I have one of the original SAW wallets and its great but it is falling apart and on its last legs. This does make me hesitate buying a replacement :-/
carlwag
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I bought the tommy pad dvd from alakazam and the pad was missing, I emailed alakazam and a new dvd was mailed the next day. Im sure they will sort you out.
MikeTheRed
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I recently purchased a new SAW. Works great. Also, I have always been treated to outstanding service from Alakazam.

Mike
Mind Guerrilla
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Quote:
On 2010-11-19 13:17, tmoca wrote:
Quote:
I don't know if this thread triggered it, but the do take customer satisfaction seriously.


IMO, too much of a coincidence. I would venture to say that it was the DIRECT reason for the immediate reply...again, just my opinion. It's a shame it took potential public humiliation to elicit a response.

Hope you have your problem resolved.


If I may put my two cents into the wallet...

I think this may have been a fluke and you should give Mr. Nardi the benefit of the doubt. Whenever I've contacted him, he has always been responsive and helpful.
edh
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Mind, that was the problem. He could not contact Mr. Nardi.
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Owen Mc Ginty
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Quote:
IMO, too much of a coincidence. I would venture to say that it was the DIRECT reason for the immediate reply...again, just my opinion. It's a shame it took potential public humiliation to elicit a response.

Hope you have your problem resolved.


@ Bartelli:

How long was it between your first email, and actually getting a response?

The email from alakazam reads to me like "yes, we know these wallets aren´t as good as the originals".

Typical in manufacturing these days, reduce costs as much as possible to maximize profits, and burn your customers. It´s happening in all sorts of sectors worldwide.
If you never fail, you're not trying hard enough.
Decomposed
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I am saddened to hear this. Ive had my SAW for years, even washed it in the washer. Its taken a beaten but still near and dear to me. I am sure the matter will be resolved.

Decomp
IDOMAGIC2
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The stealth assassin has undergone many changes, arising mainly from customer feedback. The original stealth never had an SUC feature, its sole purpose was a peek wallet. The second version included the SUC and had a better indexing system on the LHS. The 3rd version (current) has been upgraded to include stitched magnets; feedback told us this was the biggest problem with the earlier version. As well as featuring a pocket on the RHS above the SUC feature. This pocket facilitates cards/billets being able to be placed in or removed from the wallet thus disguising the SUC feature. Peter, myself and hundreds of other new version users have no problems with the current Assassin.
The Assassin is custom built from the ground up (it is not a converted standard wallet) each wallet is handmade and therefore does cost a considerable amount to produce. In an effort to enhance the features of the wallet and make it more durable and functional without passing on the additional costs incurred we have sacrificed the made in England stamp on the inside of the wallet. We felt this had nothing to do with the functionality of the wallet and therefore was not required.
So yes if you used an earlier version of the wallet you will notice differences all be they minor.
On a customer service note, as well as our online store we are also a bricks and mortar shop; we open Monday to Friday 9.00-5.00 and Saturday 10.00-2.00 if anyone has a problem with any product or service we offer, they can telephone the shop for an immediate response. Email is great but bearing in mind how many we receive a day it is not the quickest/easiest or most direct route to resolve an issue.
Bartelli
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Just stopping by briefly: As mentioned in my first post, I do give Alakazam the benefit of the doubt.
I got a satisfying answer about why they hadn't been able to answer my emails. And indeed we will work thing out.

But in a reaction to the post above from IDOMAGIC2:
Quote:
The Assassin is custom built from the ground up (it is not a converted standard wallet) each wallet is handmade and therefore does cost a considerable amount to produce. In an effort to enhance the features of the wallet and make it more durable and functional without passing on the additional costs incurred we have sacrificed the made in England stamp on the inside of the wallet. We felt this had nothing to do with the functionality of the wallet and therefore was not required.

The wallet I had before is the SAW 1.1, which had the stitched in magnets, the usable index system and an accessible SUC. The new wallet I received also has all of these (is also still called SAW 1.1), but I'm really sorry to say that the quality isn't the same anymore. Sure, I don't need the stamp Smile But if one of the index slots is glued shut and if the SUC (a vital part) isn't accessible due to a large hem that wasn't there in the previous version, you'd have to agree that this is a step in the wrong direction.

I will work this out with Alakazam directly and I don't feel the need to discuss this any further on this forum. I can only hope that in the next batch these flaws are gone and if so, I would immediately order a new one just to have a spare one. I've shown my wallet to some colleagues here as well and they all agree that this one (maybe it's the only one and all others are constructed right!) is not what they would expect from a SAW.

So, don't be discouraged to buy a SAW, as mentioned in IDOMAGIC2's post, if you're not used to the previous one, you might not have any problems at all.
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