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Old 09-04-2013, 01:10 AM   #1
Braufessor
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Ok - I was hesitant to ask this question, but it has started to come up several times in the Midwest (CC fraud) post.

First - As far as I know, Northern Brewer has been above reproach in their customer service and what they provide to the homebrewing community.

I have shopped through NB (to the tune of about $1000 per year) and have had absolutely GREAT service from them. Check posts on here and you will here about tremendous customer service. I have only positive things to say about NB from my experience, and from what I have read from others.....

All that said - what exactly is the relationship between NB and Midwest? I know there was talk of some level of "merger." But, I also know it was not "technically" a merger...... I have order 2-3 times from MW and was thoroughly unimpressed with there service and length of delivery. I don't think I was a victim of the recent fraud through MW..... but, still a little concerned.

I guess what I am wondering is - how can NB seem to be such an upstanding company with such great service, and MW make such horrible customer service decisions if they are "linked" in some way.

Ultimately, what I would love to hear from someone in the "know" is - "Northern Brewer is in NO WAY associated with MW - and you can rest assured that this would not happen by shopping through us - or, god forbid, if it did - it would be handled appropriately." But, this NB/MW "relationship" has me wondering just how much they are the same company...

Again - I have absolutely ZERO negative experiences with NB, and I don't even know anyone who has had bad experiences with them. I am just hoping that this high level of service from NB continues into the future, and is not bogged down with MW.

Does anyone know what the real relationship is between the two?
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:22 AM   #2
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Wow . . . . and a quick update - perhaps I was part of the Midwest fiasco:

Wife just asked why the credit card company would be sending us new cards........ "An unnamed company has reported a breach in their security - this does not mean your account has been used.... but your current cards are being deactivated....."

Perhaps coincidence.... perhaps the purchase from MW late spring? So - maybe I did get hacked with many of the others that did.
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Kegged/Serving: Citra/Mosaic/Galaxy IPA, Blonde Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Amber Ale, American/Czech Pilsner, Farmhouse Saison
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Future Brews: Scottish 70, Dark Mild, American Pils, Bo Pils, APA....... More...... More....... Beer.......

 
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:57 PM   #3
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Maybe contact them directly and explain the situation. I would assume if their was no connection they would what to get the facts out.

 
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:19 PM   #4
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From the noises I'm hearing, MW is basically using NB warehouses to deliver product. So it seems that there IS a merger and that MW is basically just taking orders for NM. More of a front-end store than a separate business entity.

 
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
From the noises I'm hearing, MW is basically using NB warehouses to deliver product. So it seems that there IS a merger and that MW is basically just taking orders for NM. More of a front-end store than a separate business entity.
Chris from NB was able to delete my accounts from NB and Midwest. From my perspective, they are one in the same. Just two different front end web stores.

 
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:51 PM   #6
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For the people who were at NHC in Philly, everything was Northern Brewer/Midwest. The room keys where split 1/2 and 1/2. All the banners that had Northern Brewer also had Midwest on them.

They have the same "delete" function if you want to stop the spam, so I would guess they are somehow linked. Also in another post, someone stated both companies are now listed as LLC's in Delaware.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewybrewing View Post
Also in another post, someone stated both companies are now listed as LLC's in Delaware.
Yes they are. However this isn't uncommon. Delaware is very friendly to corporations and used quite often in business registrations because of this fact.

The thing that is interesting is the revocation of current registrations in MN for Northern Brewer around the same time Midwest was changing their business registrations.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braufessor View Post
Wow . . . . and a quick update - perhaps I was part of the Midwest fiasco:

Wife just asked why the credit card company would be sending us new cards........ "An unnamed company has reported a breach in their security - this does not mean your account has been used.... but your current cards are being deactivated....."

Perhaps coincidence.... perhaps the purchase from MW late spring? So - maybe I did get hacked with many of the others that did.
I just got a letter from MW about a security breach relating to credit cards: "your credit card information might have been improperly viewed including your name, address, email address, telephone number, credit card number, expiration date and security code".

Not sure why they would store all that info in the clear, but suffice it to say I had to cancel the card

That was my one and only order from MW back in May. Also not sure why it would take 4 months to notify me...

 
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kona_dude View Post
I just got a letter from MW about a security breach relating to credit cards: "your credit card information might have been improperly viewed including your name, address, email address, telephone number, credit card number, expiration date and security code".

Not sure why they would store all that info in the clear, but suffice it to say I had to cancel the card

That was my one and only order from MW back in May. Also not sure why it would take 4 months to notify me...
I received new credit cards from my CC card company yesterday - saying they may have been compromised. I received my notification and $25 parting gift from MW today....... My purchase was March 1st. Thanks Midwest for letting me keep possibly compromised credit cards for 6 months....."As soon as we discovered the breach, we took immediate measures to resolve the situation......."

Really..... tell me more about this IMMEDIATE action....

Back to the original point of this thread - what I don't understand is how can NB have such phenomenal customer service, and midwest be so piss-poor ..... and yet be the same company. I don't want to quit using NB for some of my purchases, because they have been such a great place to order from. However, this whole Midwest deal was handled so poorly, that if they are, indeed, one in the same - I don't know how I can keep ordering from them. I know I will never order from Midwest again (including the $25 they sent me), and I will happily and enthusiastically encourage anyone that asks to order from somewhere else as well.
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Primary: Czech Dark Lager, Oatmeal Stout, American Amber, Blonde, Citra/Mosiaic/Galaxy IPA
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Future Brews: Scottish 70, Dark Mild, American Pils, Bo Pils, APA....... More...... More....... Beer.......

 
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braufessor View Post
Back to the original point of this thread - what I don't understand is how can NB have such phenomenal customer service, and midwest be so piss-poor ..... and yet be the same company.
I think the simple answer is that the 'merger' is relatively recent and they have only made changes to streamline online sales and maybe a few other redundancies.

I first read stuff about the companies merging earlier this year. (anybody feel like doing a search to find a thread on this forum about that? because I'm pretty sure I read about it first here) I don't have any articles or documentation at the moment, but I seem to remember that it was a completely separate investment firm that now owns both companies. So, it isn't like one of the companies bought out their competition. It is just some investors seeing a growing industry and wanting to get in on it. Then they make some changes to cut costs and don't bother with the more extensive changes that might require what they see as unnecessary investments in retraining employees to have both companies run the same way. So NB and MW are forced to work together to some extent. And NB probably doesn't have any way to address customer service issues at MW, and they may not feel a need to do anything even if they could.

Like I said I have no documentation or proof to back up that assertion. It is just my best guess of how these companies could be in the position they are in.
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