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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I sold a walking stick via my Etsy shop in early April (the 10th to be exact). Hemlock root handle with a carved thistle, 3 layer spacer of teak/oak/teak, on a yellow birch shank. Nice looking stick. Really solid, too. Got a review from the buyer on the 30th saying it had broken. The way he wrote it, it sounded like the joint had failed. I apologized sincerely and issued a full refund. (And for some strange reason, the picture he attached to the review was of a young blonde woman firing a rifle.)

Finally got a message from him saying that he had wanted to see what else I had in stock to be a replacement, but since I had already issued a refund he would consider another purchase. I started getting suspicious at this point and asked him to send a picture of the damaged stick, which he did.

He had somehow managed to snap the nose of the stick half off. While making the handle, I had the nose held in a vise and worked the other end with handsaw, rasps, and files. It was solid. The amount of torque put on it during the shaping process was easily in excess of normal safe use and it didn't snap. Yet he managed to do so.

In my message back to him, I suggested that he had broken it through misuse, and that he should enjoy the refund and whatever satisfaction it gave him to destroy my work and blame me for it.

There has been a bit more back and forth between us which isn't really relevant, but I did manage to stop short of suggesting that he could take the refund and the broken stick and shove them somewhere sideways.

Pics are the finished stick, the broken stick and the original root.

Wood Door Rectangle Art Font
Hand Gesture Finger Knee Wood
Green Leaf Wood Branch Camouflage
 

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You are right to rant my friend. In today's world the consumer doesn't accept
any responsibility like they did in the past. Thus far I haven't sold any of mine,
just gifted them. I'm considering displaying them for sale in our local market place
but don't know how that would go for reasons you mentioned.
Beautiful piece btw!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Valky. I'm thinking I may have to write a disclaimer on my shop description that I won't be held responsible for damage or injury from misuse. I'll probably include a line about how they shouldn't be used as pry bars, which is how I think this one was broken.
I sometimes think they should remove all warning labels from products and let evolution weed out those who lack common sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I blocked him from my shop. Some of the messages he was sending were just batcrap crazy. Had me mixed up with a cane maker in Ukraine at one point.
 

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disclaimer- I won't be held responsible for damage or injury from misuse.
that would be very hard to establish. Once it leaves your shop, you have no control over how it was used or abused.
choose your words carefully to actually state that you have no control over the postal or shipping service, weather that does funky things to wood, or anything else that may occur in the hands of the end user.
it is sad sad sad that we have to protect ourselves (the sellers) this way in today's society.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, I understand that. In fact, my first thought (based on the way he described it) was that the joint had failed due to humidity changes between here and Tennessee. This was why I immediately issued an apology and refund. Kind of wish now that I hadn't jumped the gun and waited for his photos. Damage in shipping would be visible from the box .

If you look at the photo he sent it is plain to see that the damage happened due to outward pressure on the nose of the stick. And knowing what I know about the amount of pressure I put on it during shaping, it's pretty obvious that it wasn't damaged by normal use. He either pulled on the nose while the shank was in between two heavy things or he had the nose between the heavy things and was pulling the shank. I'm not an engineer ( I don't even play one on TV) but the source of the damage in this case is pretty obvious.

The disclaimer will read something like "This product is intended as an ambulatory aid. Use other than that described in this disclaimer and the individual listings may result in breakage which could lead to injury. Please use in a reasonable, responsible manner. Refunds and/or replacements will no longer be automatic but will be decided case by case based on the evidence of the cause of breakage."
 

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I think I would have insist the broken item to be returned at my expense - upon examination, let the chips fall where they may. Repair it and sell it again with a more broader description of the "warranty".
 
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