The issue appeared to be a small gap between the cutting surfaces on the Diesel plier head- everything appeared normal otherwise with the plier head, but there was so much space between the cutters that they would not cut anything.
No problem, right? After all, this is what the warranty is for, and in my experience, Gerber stands behind their product, as any good quality company would. I would expect nothing less from Victorinox, SOG, Leatherman or CRKT.
Unfortunately, the replacement tool had the same problem, and that’s where things start to look dark. You can read the whole thread here on the forum.
The short version is that the Warranty Department did what they could, but in the end the member was getting disillusioned with Gerber’s response, and, as I watched this issue grow, I knew that something had to be done.
I alerted my contacts at Gerber of the issue (quietly of course) and was assured that it would be considered a top priority- I believed this to be true as I received the response on a Saturday evening. I left it in their hands and stood back to see what happened, and sadly it seemed as if nothing was getting done, and the member was becoming more and more disappointed, so I contacted Gerber for an update.
Here is an excerpt of their response email to me:
The team came together quick and isolated the issue. We have a response prepared and will be posting to the forum and getting back to the consumer today.
Thanks for bringing this to our attention, every single user experience matters and we’ll do whatever it takes to make it right.
And, in fact, they did. In addition to contacting the member privately and making arrangements that he seems quite satisfied with, Gerber also stopped shipping of all Diesel models until the issue is resolved and is repairing the issue with their current inventory.
I am reminded of a couple of sayings that always rattle around in the back of my mind:
Even monkeys fall out of trees.
-Japanese proverb meaning that even the most skilled can falter at times
An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.
So, what did Gerber do? Well, the details of their arrangement with the member is between those involved, but the member appears to be quite content, and I am willing to take that as a win. I am also glad that the issue has been identified and they are working hard to rectify it.
If that was all that resulted from this incident then I would consider it a success, but Gerber, being the stand up company they are, publicly acknowledged the issue, explained the issue in detail and offered their appreciation for us having brought the issue to their attention so that it could be fixed, not just for the one customer who mentioned it, but for all customers going forward. If you haven’t read the thread yet, here is their post:
Two days ago, I was proud to spend my money on Gerber products- after this I am a customer for life, no questions asked.
In the 13 years I have been running this website I have helped manufacturers and members deal with similar issues (yes, even the company you are thinking of had issues) and I have yet to see one openly acknowledge the issues like this.
Standing behind your products is excellent service and a great way to do business. Gerber stood up for the user, and, as a representative of the users, I am extremely impressed with this response.
In their forum post Gerber says:
Thank you to the Multitool.org community for your multi-tool passion and allowing this level of direct communication to our Gerber tool users.
On behalf of the Multitool.org community I would like to say Thank You to Gerber for the great tools and for the respect they have offered us. It is absolutely reciprocated.