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Old 01-30-2011, 02:36 AM   #1
DrunkinIrish
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Default bad customer service

Today I went to my local brew supply store, now mind you this store doesn't just sell beer supplies they are mostly a liquor store but they also carry brewers best equipment. I went in and asked if there was anyone knowledgeable on staff that could help me with some questions I had with some of the equipment. I asked the staff member some questions on what kind of carboy I should buy for my second stage fermentation. Being that I am still new to the whole home brew scene the questions that I was asking may have seemed uneducated but the responses I got on my questions were almost insulting. When I mentioned that the next brew I was going to attempt was a chocolate Irish stout the staff member rudely informed me that a brew of that nature is difficult and expensive. First off who is he to tell me what I consider expensive, in the past month I have dropped over two hundred dollars on brewing supplies at that store I think I know home brewing ain't cheap. Second if I want to try and tackle a more difficult brew that's my decision. Before anyone jumps on my back about how the staff member was just trying to prevent me from screwing up a batch, it wasn't just what he said but how he said it, it was said in a tone of voice that portrait superiority. How can you talk to one of your customers like they are under you, that's not going to help sales, originally I was planning on spending another hundred or so but now I have decided to just look else were for this particular list of items. Has anyone else had bad customer service at their local brew supplier?

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Old 01-30-2011, 03:11 AM   #2
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Ok 1st off that is one big wall of text. Use the enter key please...lol

LHBS vary from spot to spot some are fantastic, other filled full of bad advice givers, high prices and uneducated staff.

My best advice is compare prices with shipping from vendors here. Use the LHBS as an "omg my yeast is dead" or other such brew day emergencies and seek advice from folks here.

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Old 01-30-2011, 03:19 AM   #3
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Lucky for you HBT is a wealth of information that can answer just about any brewing question that you have. We also have some great vendors that have awesome prices and great customer service. brewmasterswarehouse.com, austinhomebrew.com, midwestsupplies.com, rebelbrewer.com and northernbrewer.com are all worth a look.

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Old 01-30-2011, 05:25 AM   #4
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Wall of text FTW!

I'm sure the majority of us have had bad customer service at one point. And there is one guy at my LHBS that i avoid because he is lazy and acts superior.

If you feel the staff at your LHBS is incompetent, ask your questions here and order online! My LHBS still preaches secondaries after 5-7 days in the primary. I ignore the majority of what they tell me. I also order the ocassional supplies online when I'm spending over $100. Free shipping and it saves me a 45 minute trip to the LHBS.

I hope this helps and remember RDWHAHB!

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Old 01-30-2011, 05:52 AM   #5
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Never had a bad LHBS experiance. Find another one.

I love my LHBS.
Brew and Grow Bolingbrook IL

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Old 01-30-2011, 06:35 AM   #6
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yah.. well my LHBS is somewhat knowledgeable, i would rather ask my questions on here and just spend an hour there asking for prices on things.. the people that are quote on quote knowledgeable in homebrewing are somewhat amateurs, as well as i am... so i dont trust what they say... but i use them for given things: emergency and bulk grain buys since they are the most reasonable price i can find (even if online shipping is free)

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Old 01-30-2011, 11:14 AM   #7
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Try out Austinhomebrew or Brewmasters Warehouse. They have reasonable prices on grains and equipment.

I'm sure there are a dozen if not more in your neck of the woods on this site that can recommend a good homebrew store to go too as well.

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Old 01-30-2011, 11:56 AM   #8
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I got the same attitude from HBS here in NJ. The answer was simple. Went once, never went back. Mostly order online at BMW or make the trip over to PA if I can't wait.

As said, you get a broader more informative response to questions here on HBT. Just keep in mind that whether its your LHBS or HBT you'll have to sift through BS and come to your own conclusions.

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Old 01-30-2011, 12:25 PM   #9
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My SWMBO got all my stuff for me for x-mas at a LHBS. When I went back to

exchange one of the extract kits the owner acted like I should know how to

do everything already and preached the 2-2-2 method. I did my research

(mostly here) and learned better. My wife and I just opened our own

business and there is a brew shop going in right next door. As you could

guess I'm very excited about that. Anyways, my advice, buy online.

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Old 01-30-2011, 03:27 PM   #10
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Keep in mind your LHBS is in business to make money. I do not mean all of them are greedy, but sometimes you have to take their advice with a grain of salt.

Some will tell you not to reuse yeast. Maybe they have some but of truth in there, maybe it is because they want to sell you more yeast. I personally rewash yeast and it works fine...Just don't tell my closest LHBS.

I have heard them try to convince someone they needed corn sugar to bottle with. I told him, look you are putting so little sugar in it that it really does not matter. I suggested some white table sugar. He went with the ~$3.50 bag of sugar on suggestion of the shop.

I have seen employees tell customers decoction is too difficult. I have one who swears that boiling the grain will result in a ruined beer. And that same person estimated customers efficiency at 50-60%. I normally get 75%, sometimes as high as 80%. Is it true decoction is "harder" then batch sparging. Or really do they simply want to sell more grain.

Not that they all give bad advice. And when I bought my grain crusher from another LHBS they were very knowledgeable about its use and actually told me I did not need to use rice hulls if I set the crush right. About 50 batches later, I know what they told me was true.

So really it depends on the shop, and who you talk to. And as far as "easy" goes, it is a matter of what you know, what you have done, and what you are afraid of. Nothing is "hard" or "easy" it is just how much thought and work you want to put into it.

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