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Crossbows - Everything about Building, Modding, and Using your Crossbow Gear

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3 posters

    Beware of Alchem

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    Archer46176
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    Post by Archer46176 Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:47 pm

    I would like to let everyone here know they should beware of dealing with Alchem on prods. I ordered two prods for a Whamo Powermaster restoration for a customer to surprise her father after I had bought a couple of them to restore for myself. I was going to order the prods for myself but with her time crunch for a surprise birthday party I only ordered the two for her.
       I asked for tracking info and was told by James that he had made notes on my order so I would receive tracking info when the order shipped. I let it go 3 weeks and asked for an update and I received an response stating my prod(s) had come in and they would likely be shipped that week. That email was sent and the response was received on July 25th. I waited 10 business days and emailed again receiving no response so I emailed AGIN and I received an email telling me that as per their website they are closed the first 2 weeks in August for vacation, that my order was rust proofing would be dry enough to ship on Saturday but would not ship until Monday and that my order was not slated to ship until September FIRST...

        Here are my problems, #1 their website says they are closed the last week of July and the first week of August for vacation, #2 I was told my items were in house and would likely ship THAT WEEK the 25th being a Wednesday that gave them 2 business days to get it in the mail... Since they needed to be rust proofed James obviously knew this then so he should not have said they would ship that week he obviously had no idea what was going on in the company. #3 All of a sudden my order wasn't supposed to ship until September first when their website says 3-6 weeks after the order was placed.
       So here I am 6 weeks out and I am being told that NOW they know when my order was slated to be processed and it would have been far longer than their "typical 3-6 weeks"... I will NEVER order another item from this company and I will be working with a spring company nearby to come up with something I may wind up marketing to the crossbow community to be in competition with Alchem!!!
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    kenh
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    Post by kenh Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:16 am

    Folks here have been whinging here about Alchem's lack of service and lack of quality, since before you or I joined here.  Makes me wonder how they stay in business, unless crossbow prods are just a tiny part of their product line.
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    Post by Geezer Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:19 pm

    Geezer here, concerning Alchem.  I've been tell you guys for years: The same guy makes Alchem and Slobows stuff.  The big difference is, when you order from Alchem, things take longer to get to you for three reasons; First, because Alchem has a lot of other product that makes most of his income, second, because Jim Koch at Alchem is very careful to see that what goes out meets all his specs, and third, like some others here, Mr. Koch is getting pretty old these days and things just take longer.  As for not getting delivery at the end of July and beginning of  August, that's true of every supplier/merchant who packs up all their wares for the big Pennsic War medieval meet in western Pennsylvania EVERY YEAR. Since I'm often pressed for time, I usually buy my prods from Garvin at Slobows. Some other parts I buy from Darkwood Armory (particularly aluminum prods) they too go to Pennsic War. So no service from end of Aug thru at least middle of September.
    I have found Jim Koch at Alchem to be an honest, decent fellow. You WILL get your order from him, and it will be as requested.  You'll just have to wait till its done. 
    Basically that's what you get when you deal with small volume specialist artisans.  Sorry about the inconvenience, but it's just part of life's hassles.  Iolo/DRW/New World Arbalest.
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    Post by Geezer Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:38 pm

    Alchem continued, from Geezer  In all probability, the WhamO replacement prods have to be special ordered: so Jim Koch drops a line to Garvin, his subcontractor, who arranges to have the prods cut and bent... they're longer than standard as well as narrower, with a different shape, and probably require different steel stock. If that stock isn't in hand, it will have to be ordered.. and of course most steelyards have a minimum order size.  Then the prods have to be cut, shaped, heat-treated, and the nice black coating put on.  That all takes time in multiple steps, possibly from different sub-contractors.  Then Garvin calls Koch and tells him the prods are ready.  They live in the same town, but I don' t know if somebody just drops by, or things have to be delivered.  Then Koch checks out the prods and makes sure they meet his standards.. occasionally they don't so he has to get different ones... but in the case of Wham O prods, they're only making the ones you ordered, because those bows are all old now.  Both Alchem and Slobows make lots more standrd-length prods in the 125/150/170 lb.range.  I can usually get those more or less right away.  For low-volume stuff like Wham O prods, you end up waiting longer.  Anyhow, as you see, your prod order or bow-iron order, or whatever, goes from hand to hand, among several artisans. Sometimes things slip, that's how business is for small-volume artisan work.  Henceforth, I would recommend ordering direct from Slobows if you think you're in a hurry.  Better yet, call them or send e mail direct to see if what you want is in stock.  And from mid July thru late August, be patient.  It's going to take a while.  Geezer.
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    Post by Archer46176 Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:33 pm

    I understand small supplier things but my beef was with the lack of knowledge of what was posted on their website and his lack of knowledge of what was going on within the company. He should have NEVER told me or any other customer that the order was in and would be shipping when he knew other processes needed to be completed before it shipped. Also the dimensions they list for the Whamo replacements on their website are VERY, in fact nearly exact, for a few of the other prods they order. Had I been better informed of their process, by their website or the friendly(at first) emails exchanged with James Koch I would have better understood what the process was and would not have shorted myself on time of completion for the restoration project. 

       I worked as a butcher from the time I was in Jr High starting as an apprentice until I recently sold my own small slaughterhouse and retail meat shop to stay at home and raise my children while my wife follows her dream career and I work on the farm, do some restoration work for people all while raising the kids. I would have NEVER let something like this happen in my business PERIOD, communication with customers was paramount....

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