I’m please to announced the winner of the Dumb Ass Stupid Management Award for 2017. Despite the multiplicity of candidates, my criteria covering disregard of customers, arrogance, greed, and cluelessness have demonstrated that one company exceeds all others: Mont Blanc.
I had purchased a $1,000+ Mont Blanc roller ball in Europe. The same model is sold in the U.S. It is quite common. One day while changing the refill, the lower segment of the casing disappeared. Some day I’ll find it in a folder marked “2016 taxes” or under a heating unit, or in the dogs’ toy box. But try as I might, it was gone once it rolled off my desk. It is the exact same part that is on my cheaper Mont Blanc roller ball pens and is generic.
When I wrote the company asking for a replacement part and offering payment, they actually told me that they must have the pen sent to them for “potential refurbishment investigation” which costs a minimum of $250. In other words, to screw this one part back onto the pen, I had to return the item and pay them $250, plus whatever else they deemed had to be “rehabilitated” on a roller ball pen! Oh, yes: And it would take at least 2-4 weeks.
If I wrote or called my Rolls Royce (the equivalent of 400,000 of this Mont Blanc model) dealer and said I needed a new rear floor mat, or cigarette lighter, or trunk liner, they’d simply FedEx it to me and charge for the product and shipping. They wouldn’t ask to have their technicians to scrutinize what is one of the most technologically sophisticated vehicles in the world. They also think I’m important as a customer.
So I’m happy to award Mont Blanc (which I henceforth shall call “Mind Blank”) for the dumbest management and customer service functionaries in the world. (One time in their New York City store I was told “We don’t carry refills” as if I had asked for ant poison.)
I use exclusively Cartier writing instruments today, and I’d suggest you do so, too, or find a nice equivalent. Because the people running Mind Blank don’t deserve your money and don’t merit our respect.
(The annual Mont Blanc senior management meeting.)