Ouch - I lost my money

6:47 p.m. on February 2, 2010 (EST)
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67 forum posts

I bought an Optimus Nova Stove - it started to leak at at the pump after two uses. I called Campsaver, where I bought it and they told me it would be quicker to deal directly. Wrong. Julie at Katadyn is like talking to one of those tech reps in India - You know shes not gonna do what she's telling you after the second or third call. "Oh, its on backorder, but I will send it to you as soon as it comes in". Lie. Well Katadyn has terrible service. They were to ship me a pump when their backorder came in. That turned out to be untue. I waited two months, spoke with them 3 times and they finally told me that the pump has been redesigned and that it will not fit the hose on my stove. Thanks. I have a leaky stove that is useless. Campsaver is where I bought it and they directed me to deal directly with Katadyn. When I called them and told them the situation they told me they would have to charge a restocking fee of 50% because I was past my 60 days to return. It was their idea to try and deal with Katadyn, otherwise I could have returned it when it was only two weeks old. I feel like a sap. Well anyways now I have to find a new stove and I am out 117 dollars. This time I will pay much closer attention to the reviews, and I will certainly use a store with a better reputation this time, like Campmor or REI. This is my first bad internet purchase experience and I hope it is my last. Campsaver and Katadyn have been a bad experience. Buyer Beware.

9:06 p.m. on February 2, 2010 (EST)
MODERATOR
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I hate hearing stuff like this. There is no excuse at all. Those stoves are expensive, I know I have one and also had trouble with the pump. I have a solution-email the people in Sweden who make it. That's how I got mine fixed. I just needed to know what to do, but at least I got an answer back. Katadyn owns Optimus. I will try to find the email address I used for them.

Let them know the US distributor and dealer are morons. I had the same problem with Brunton, except they never even responded to me.

9:41 p.m. on February 2, 2010 (EST)
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Thank you Tom. I agree that the stoves are expensive, but what hurts most is that helpless feeling when you deal with companies that really don't appear to care - at least after they get the money. My lesson learned - if I have an issue with a purchase I will return it and move on. My issue with Campsaver is that they were adamant about having me resolve this myself directly with Katadyn - a waiting period that extended beyond their return policy. Then they offered little consideration. There is nothing worse than finally deciding on a purchase among the jungle of products offered and then being completely disappointed in the entire transaction.

I was one step ahead of you on contacting Optimus in Europe for some help with a repair - but cannot find an email. The one listed directs me to Katadyn in the US. If you find it please post it.

11:01 p.m. on February 2, 2010 (EST)
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Not sure this will help but there are tabs for tech support on the page.

http://www.optimusstoves.com/seen/

Explain the situation to them, it may be a better shot than dealing w/anyone here in the states. It gives you multiple points of contact(tech supp.) so go thru them all if it comes down to it. There is also a contact tab at the bottom. I am relentless when it comes to this type of thing.

I personally use MSR products.... I have never dealt w/Optimus. I hope this helps ya out.- Rick

Oh...click on the "contact" tab at the bottom left of their home page. This will link you to their directory(for contact purposes.)

12:06 a.m. on February 3, 2010 (EST)
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277 forum posts

Let me recommend an MSR Dragonflymultifuel stove. The lowest simmering petrol stove I'v found and utterly reliable. It's fiberglass "wick" beneath the burner makes starting it dead easy. No separate priming fuel needed.

Eric

12:52 a.m. on February 3, 2010 (EST)
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I have the Dragonfly and a Pocket Rocket. Absolutely 0 problems w/either unit and they have been through alot.

3:50 p.m. on February 3, 2010 (EST)
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I noticed the new Optimus Nova is now made in China, as opposed to Sweden before. I'm sure that would be the first thing wrong. I have used the older Swedish one with no problems for over 6 years. I'm surprised at Katadyn, their usually pretty good regarding their warranties. I bought one of their water filters and it was missing the spare o-rings and cleaning pads. I contacted them and they sent out 2 replacements the next day. As stated above you can't go wrong with MSR Pocket Rocket, its my favorite stove out of my collection. It is the cannister type, so I'm not sure if thats what your looking for.

3:58 p.m. on February 3, 2010 (EST)
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MOJO- Plus they are cheap($30-$35)and pack small. Unless you are using in super cold temps or really high altitudes the Pocket Rocket is great IMO.

6:22 p.m. on February 3, 2010 (EST)
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Yes your correct Rick! They are cheap and very light. I use this stove all the time except for winter camping, which is when I use my Nova. I pack my stove (Pocket Rocket), cannister and spork all inside a Titanium pot and it weighs next to nothing.
I also bought the Brunton stand for canister stoves which enables a more stable platform and I can now use a wind screen. For a little stove it sure throws off some BTU's and you can simmer quite weel with it.

7:53 p.m. on February 3, 2010 (EST)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
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wow, that really stinks. i have used the same stove for quite a while without any problems.

check the guide that arrived with your stove. that stove should be under warranty from optimus for five years, so if you have a bad pump and a redesign has rendered the available repair parts inadequate, they will replace your stove. try that with "julie" and tell her your next stop is the consumer affairs department where you live, with her name featured prominently in the complaint.

try outdoor@optimus.se. don't know where that goes, but it looks like it's hosted in sweden, not the US. also, you could try their recommended spare parts distributor in sweden - they should have a pump that fits: http://www.fogas.se/?me_group=english

ps - you are correct about using the right vendor. REI, North Face, Patagonia all replace defective goods, no questions asked, no hidden fees. period.

8:10 p.m. on February 3, 2010 (EST)
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Tom -- thank you. I found the contact info last night after reading your post and sent an email to Optimus in Sweden and simply told them that I really liked their product... but the USA support was really terrible. This morning, first thing, the manager of Katadyn service called me and asked what he needed to do to make me happy. I said "Can I get my pump swapped out?" He is sending me (I hope) a pump and a mailer to return the leaky one -- at no cost to me. Hopefully he will and hopefully I will get some use out of this stove. Then, at the next problem, I will get an MSR. I was camped with Tipi Walter last year and he recommended an MSR, but it fell on deaf ears. I shoulda listened to him. This has been my first ever internet purchase issue. I've always been lucky with gear and stores. So from now on I will avoid the Campsaver types, pay a little more, and have peice of mind that I won't have this happen again. Let me say it again - Campsaver is not for me.

10:12 p.m. on February 3, 2010 (EST)
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I have bought several times from Campsaver and they remain one of the best I have ever dealt with. Andy and the 'boys' are the best.

Unfortunate about your experience, but yours is the only negative about Campsaver I have ever heard.

It sounds like they directed you to the Manufacturer because this was a Manufacturer defect.

10:40 a.m. on February 4, 2010 (EST)
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Hate to sound like a fan boy but over the years i have used many types and brands of stoves and my three current favorite ones are all MSR stoves.The Pocket rocket,Whisperlite and the GK.The Gk is about 30 years old but still works great.Why change brands when something works so well.ymmv

12:53 p.m. on February 4, 2010 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
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Hmm. I am disconcerted to hear of your troubles with your Optimus Nova and their customer service. I have one that I couldn't be happier with. I am pretty sure I bought it just before Katadyn took over. I know I have to"oil" the leather plunger seal from time to time, but mine works beautifully.

7:57 p.m. on February 4, 2010 (EST)
MODERATOR
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I'm trying to find my email to Sweden. If I find it, I will post it. Campsavor deliberately misled you. I'd track down the CEO and write him and tell him what happened, that you have told this story on the Internet to potential customers and no one is happy to hear it. That may get you some help. I'd also report them to the local BBB. Won't get you much, but a black eye won't help them either.

Nowadays, the Internet let's unhappy customers rant to potentially millions of listeners. Just be truthful about what happened; some people go overboard.

I have ranted here and elsewhere about Brunton and my Nova for a couple of years.

Hooty-try this email. That's the one I used to get a response. This was back in 2007 after Katadyn took over. I still have the whole email string. Katadyn didn't help me either.

Optimus International AB P.O. Box 8009, SE-192 08 Sollentuna, Sweden
Visiting address: Domherrevägen 11, 5th Floor SWEDEN Email outdoor@optimus.sePhone +46-8-556 989 50Fax +46-8-702 02 85Internet http://www.optimus.se

9:15 p.m. on February 4, 2010 (EST)
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3:13 a.m. on February 5, 2010 (EST)
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Tom- Thats the same link(bottom link) I posted....Oh by the way,,, thats why MSR gets my $$$$.... I have never had an issue w/their stoves, I swear by them.

1:00 p.m. on February 5, 2010 (EST)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
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I also suggest writing directly to the higher-ups at a company when you have a problem.

Make your case as clear and concise as possible, be firm, but give them the opportunity to make it right. In my opinion, if you only rant and say how horrible they are and will never do business with them again, you don't give them room to make amends. Send the same letter to several targeted top level people.

I've done this with Fairpoint (ugh) and Apple, among others, and got immediate resolutions. In the Apple case several years ago, I sent it to Steve Jobs's e-mail and got his personal assistant on the matter that day.

I also think it's important to talk about when you got really good service.

6:24 p.m. on February 5, 2010 (EST)
MODERATOR
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Sorry guys, didn't follow the thread closely enough. However, this kind of stalling action is a trick lawyers use to get cases barred by statute of limitations-keep talking and stalling until the statute runs out. That sounds like what happened here.

October 1, 2014
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