QC issues again (this is an essay)

Discuss Christopher Ward watches
ProfGlenn
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QC issues again (this is an essay)

Post by ProfGlenn » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:16 pm

Hi - a few months ago I listed the problems I had with my CW watches. Of 13 watches, 11 have been back to CW for something (and legitimately in each case). A few things have happened recently, which I want to share.

After the stem of the C11 Elite fell out, I sent this back for repair. I got a new stem, but the seconds would not hack properly. So sent back again....after the QC Manager was initially dismissive because an experienced technician had fixed it....

In the meantime I wrote to Chris Ward about my QC experiences (this was not a complaint; it was simply factual). I have still had no reply to that mail.

Almost immediately after I emailed CW, I received back my MSL, which I had serviced recently because it stopped - only again to have a hacking issue - and when I sent it back I asked for a new crystal while it was in. When I received the watch back again, the dial was marked. Lovely crystal showing off a defective dial. So this time I really was annoyed. I sent it back. I also sent in a C9 5 day auto at the same time which had become stiff on the manual wind. I copied my email about the MSL and C9 (which until this point was my banker watch) to Chris Ward. I would say the only effect this appears to have had - was to slow down the repairs! Paranoia, maybe - but that is what it felt like. Who could blame them - a whingeing customer put in their place, I would say.

I got a rather terse email from the QC Manager telling me the MSL dial had to be touched when removing the hands etc - and because of the matt dial it was easily marked - they could only see the mark under a loupe (it jumped out at me straight out of the box! - like a whole greasy fingerprint! - anyway.....) but they would replace the MKI dial with a MKII dial at no cost. That was good of them.

I wrote to Chris Ward saying that i appreciated the QC Manager Andrew Henry's help with my watches, and I got a polite reply thanking me for my email.....still no referral to my list of QC issues.

Yesterday I received back my Elite. Andrew Henry the QC Manager said he would look at this about 3 weeks ago but for some reason, didn't - he is a very busy man - so that's alright - but I had been told it would be sorted and it wasn't - so anyway I just got it back. Apparently the replaced stem was indeed after all also faulty (even though an experienced technician had repaired it...). So I was right to send it in. I have been so patient on this watch. This stem, he says, is fine.

So, I did my usual thing yesterday when I got the watch, which was to wind the date forward to the day before having set the time to 6 o'clock. As I turned the date wheel, there was occasional stiff resistance and the crown would go to the manual wind position on its own. Happened repeatedly. I rang Laura who said that Andrew had said the watch was fine. So I told her the issue and rang again today to be told that the watch was fine. So, I have nowhere left to go now basically. I know the mechanism is not what it should be. But the QC Manager is happy with what he did. The problem is that he probably did not wind the date wheel forward many days and would not have experienced my issue. The crown should not be slipping from date position to wind position of its own accord, and half way between days. Each time i would pull the crown out again to advance the date more. Ok, it's not a MASSIVE issue. No one died. But it is my hard earned cash that paid for this and it's not right.

So I am left with a watch, that frankly, since I bought brand new off another forum member in April, I have hardly been able to wear at all because CW have had it most of the time since April!! And now if I send it again (what's the point?!) I would be without it again and possibly get it back with yet another issue. Should I quit now??? Give up and wear it until the backside drops out of it?

I do think the CW case designs are excellent. The movements are good movements. They ought to be top, top quality watches. And some are - but mine haven't been. The issues for me are QC and Customer Service, not the watches themselves. Many people on the forum rave about the Customer Service being fantastic. I am afraid I do not see it. Sort the QC and Customer Service out and we have a winner. Don't get me wrong: Customer Service are polite and "sometimes" reply to emails....but there should not be so many faults and having to send watches back three times .....what is the point in paying for a watch and 60/60 if it's on a shelf at CW HQ most of the time?!

This Elite ought to be my favourite CW. I drove to Belper and back late on a Friday night to get this watch in person.. But it will niggle at me because I know it's not right even if the QC Manager says it is.

I was also right about my C9 - the reversing wheel needed lubricating.

Maybe CW needs me in their QC section!

I promise I have been so patient about my issues. I have been polite. But I honestly feel like I am a problem to them, not a valuable customer.

To contrast, I have three Nodus Triestes. One stopped. Twice. So the guys in California sent Fedex to my house in Nottingham, picked it up, shipped to California, stuck a brand new movement in my case, regulated it and shipped back to me in UK - start to finish in 2 weeks (!!), all at their expense, and this watch is now fantastic. Now that is customer service.

Something is not right at CW. It's such a shame. It could be really really amazing! And I soooo want it to be.

Best
Glenn
Glenn

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Re: QC issues again (this is an essay)

Post by robinbarke » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:45 pm

Sadly you are demonstrating that a large collection of CW watches is a bad idea.

Fewer, top quality watches will lead to greater pleasure and satisfaction if watch collecting is your passion.

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Re: QC issues again (this is an essay)

Post by reggie747 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:11 pm

Get back on to the QC manager and explain your discontent and exactly how it's not correct in operation as it should be.
I know that probably equals pain for you but sort it out because as you say, you'll never be happy with it will you ?
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Re: QC issues again (this is an essay)

Post by ProfGlenn » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:17 pm

I have stuck a video on the Facebook page so i can email the link to Andrew to show him what's wrong...
Glenn

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Re: QC issues again (this is an essay)

Post by Kip » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:17 pm

robinbarke wrote:Sadly you are demonstrating that a large collection of CW watches is a bad idea.

Fewer, top quality watches will lead to greater pleasure and satisfaction if watch collecting is your passion.

Robin

Not sure I would agree with you. :wink:
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Re: QC issues again (this is an essay)

Post by Bahnstormer_vRS » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:20 pm

Kip wrote:
robinbarke wrote:Sadly you are demonstrating that a large collection of CW watches is a bad idea.

Fewer, top quality watches will lead to greater pleasure and satisfaction if watch collecting is your passion.

Robin

Not sure I would agree with you. :wink:
Top quality, presumably more expensive watches, does not equal better mechanical reliability.

I call to mind AVO's recent tale of a poorly (Cartier) Tank.

Guy

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Re: QC issues again (this is an essay)

Post by Bahnstormer_vRS » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:25 pm

An arguably sorry saga for you @ProfGlenn, the like of which I have not experienced myself with any of my many CWL watches.

Seems like it will have to be back to CWL for your Elite.

Playing devil's advocate, is it conceivable that there is an element of 'operator error' in all this?

Guy

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Re: QC issues again (this is an essay)

Post by nbg » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:43 pm

Glenn with the QC issues you have had with your CW watches I would have given up with the brand well before now.

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Re: QC issues again (this is an essay)

Post by nbg » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:45 pm

Bahnstormer_vRS wrote:
Kip wrote:
robinbarke wrote:Sadly you are demonstrating that a large collection of CW watches is a bad idea.

Fewer, top quality watches will lead to greater pleasure and satisfaction if watch collecting is your passion.

Robin

Not sure I would agree with you. :wink:
Top quality, presumably more expensive watches, does not equal better mechanical reliability.

I call to mind AVO's recent tale of a poorly (Cartier) Tank.

Guy

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I think you will find it usually does!

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Re: QC issues again (this is an essay)

Post by ProfGlenn » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:52 pm

Bahnstormer_vRS wrote:An arguably sorry saga for you @ProfGlenn, the like of which I have not experienced myself with any of my many CWL watches.

Seems like it will have to be back to CWL for your Elite.

Playing devil's advocate, is it conceivable that there is an element of 'operator error' in all this?

Guy

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Hi Guy. If you mean me, no, I'm pretty sure I'm not doing anything wrong. I know what each watch should feel like and I've been right every time to send each one in. The defective dial on the MSL, for example, could not possibly have been me! I'm not doing anything to the watches.

I feel like I am locked in a battle with CW now. I know the Elite isn't right. But if I send it back they will be so **** off that they will just sit on it for ages. Which is what happened last time. Since April, and buying that watch, it has spent most of its time at CW. Maybe I should just sell it.

It's a shame. The motorsport range is great. Indeed I posted long ago that they should just have the twin flag logo and no words. But I cannot buy any more of their watches.

I wish I was to blame. I could fix that. It's not me.

G
Glenn

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Re: QC issues again (this is an essay)

Post by ProfGlenn » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:54 pm

nbg wrote:Glenn with the QC issues you have had with your CW watches I would have given up with the brand well before now.

Neil
Hi Neil. I think I am there now. Being told the watch is fine when it isn't, is the last straw.
Glenn

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Re: QC issues again (this is an essay)

Post by jtc » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:56 pm

Regardless of operator or actual watch error, this is a loyal customer experiencing problems with one of a large collection of CW watches.

Regardless of how it was purchased, the cost of simply fixing it and going overboard on the niceness would surely be repaid tenfold in future sales. Being apologetic to the nth degree would also help. Surely they have metrics about their customers, or is that another system that's not linked up...

There's a distinct lack of common sense involved. This may be due to too few experienced hands, or under-investment in customer care, or simply not triaging problems properly. There's no leadership that wants to focus on the finer details - the web site (aka the shop window for CW) is a great example of "it'll do".

Sadly, as a volume watch company, CW seemingly have more of an eye on margins and monetisation of late. The personal touch was lost a while ago, and completely left the building, it seems, with Wera. The idea was Chris would take on her role, yet emails go unanswered. Ok Wera went over and above, but did that itself drive sales and that warm feeling of admiring CW watches?

Just my opinion, but seems to align with other experiences.
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Re: QC issues again (this is an essay)

Post by tempus fugit » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:01 pm

A quick scroll down the list in General Discussion and it seems to me they should rename it General Discontent.

This publicity must be having a knock-on effect on sales, even if it's only reducing them 2-3% that's pretty massive.

If I was CW, I 'd consider I had two choices. Sort the QC, or close the Forum. Given how hard it's apparently been to sort the former (or they'd have done it by now), if I were them I think it'd be cheerio for the Forum.

Just think how many pre-paid postage returns with Royal Mail you can buy with the hosting fees you've saved!!
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Re: QC issues again (this is an essay)

Post by ProfGlenn » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:08 pm

I agree Jon. Thanks for your post. I feel exhausted by them. They've beaten me.

I honestly really do believe they do not care at all about how much custom they have had from one person.

I'm left wondering what the hell I have been doing the last year. Having said that, 10 of the 13 have been in and seen to, and therefore probably worth keeping! In the sense they have been looked at by a watch maker, rather than just come off the production assembly line. If that makes sense. Don't know what to do. Need to consider starting selling them. Don't want to though......thanks though.

But honestly, it isn't me....like the C9 was just stiff one day. Happened to the MSL as well.....just needed reversing wheel lubricating. I'm actually obsessively careful with my watches, and every automatic is on a winder - all of them.
Glenn

C5 slimline x2, C60 Pro 600/600 Vintage, C9 JH MKII, C9 ss, C65 rose gold, C11 Elite, C11 MSL + MSL Vintage, C8 PR, C65 classic MK III, C65 LE, C60 316L yellow
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Re: QC issues again (this is an essay)

Post by ProfGlenn » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:24 pm

tempus fugit wrote:A quick scroll down the list in General Discussion and it seems to me they should rename it General Discontent.

This publicity must be having a knock-on effect on sales, even if it's only reducing them 2-3% that's pretty massive.

If I was CW, I 'd consider I had two choices. Sort the QC, or close the Forum. Given how hard it's apparently been to sort the former (or they'd have done it by now), if I were them I think it'd be cheerio for the Forum.

Just think how many pre-paid postage returns with Royal Mail you can buy with the hosting fees you've saved!!
Hi Alex. I thought long and hard before writing this post. I told another forum member weeks ago what I thought of customer services but that I would not say it on the forum. I don't like to breed negativity. I don't think it is healthy. I always try to see the best in people and to give people a second chance and talk about the positives. But I thought it was important to share what I have experienced. I think it is okay to do that on here, isn't it? I feel like I have taken a battering. I'm sorry for contributing to the discontent.
Glenn

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Tudor Black Bay x 2 + Black Bay Bronze
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