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Bigotry and Bile, or how to win an argument in an online forum

March 2, 2012 — R


Another day, another cerebral haemorrhage. Case in point: this thread over at Bigotry & Bile. What happened? Someone bought a razor, did not like it, honed it for six hours (yes, hours, not seconds), then threatened the manufacturer to publish allegedly incriminating images unless he were immediately sent another razor.

A sob story. Unless you are a member of the Temple of Hate crew, in which case, it is a welcome opportunity to shed more light on how Badger & Blade operates. As an aside, this is also illustrated in the below user flow from various of their moderator threads into the forum, apparently in their search for material to be used against this site. 

Looks like we're well liked by the wonderful people at Bigotry & Bile. How flattering.

Now, we would like to provide visual proof of what was orginally claimed at Badger & Blade, but unfortunately, the original post was edited. It contained some blurry images in which we could not detect any problems with the razor in question. So, we will have to take what the person called life2short1971 left in his post:

Beware your purchases from Revisor and if you hone your own blade they will also void your warranty as quoted in an email to me this morning:Thank you very much for the informations on Badger & Blade.With year self-honing you lost the claim under guarantee.

Terms/conditions of Revisor GmbH Solingen:

I have a $250 Gold Dollar razor.

Last edited by life2short1971; Yesterday at 04:51 AM.

Well, that sounds terrible indeed. Owning a Gold Dollar is already humiliating enough, but having to pay US$250 for it would be adding insult to injury. But, who is to blame? 

  1. Revisor's general terms and conditions are typical for a German manufacturer. They give you 14 days to inspect a product for defects, and send it back for inspection by the manufacturer and - if required - replacement without cost (for items above €40, ie all of Revisor's razors).
  2. They also clearly state that altering a product will void the warranty. There is zero room for interpretation here. If you hone a razor, you void the warranty. 
  3. life2short1971 claims the razor was warped. As even the most amateurish honers know, you can detect a warped blade without honing it- especially if the warp is as bad as claimed by life2short1971.
  4. If I honed a razor for six hours, it would be gone. Now, there is a reason why you don't see much of life2short1971 at the Straight Razor Place - go figure. 

So, in a nutshell, the Badger & Blade member has a US$250 Gold Dollar razor because he created it. He could have just sent the razor back, and if the warp was as bad as he claims, he would have had a new razor shortly afterwards.

As for the six hours, allegedly spent honing that razor, let me put it in simple terms:

  • Many perfectly functional razors are warped to a certain extent. Whether the warp is manageable - or acceptable - is ultimately the buyer's decision. 14 days, ie the return period granted under most European general Terms and Conditions, should be more than sufficient. In fact, 14 seconds should be enough time. If you lay a razor on a flat surface (like a glass pane), warp is immediately detectable.
  • Honing a razor should not take more than 30 minutes unless you are dealing with an ancient wedge. And that is taking things slowly. Six hours are a clear indication that you either do not know what you are doing at all, or that you know what you are doing but are doing it in an amateur fashion.

So there. Problem solved. Is the manufacturer to blame? Not at all.

But wait, there is more...

Badger & Blade, in a nutshell

Let's dissect a few "arguments" spewed forth in that thread:

  • "[Germans] are also assertive so you have to prove to them that they are at fault.." Imagine you were running a business that manufactures goods. Your craftsmen have been producing these goods for a long time, sometimes decades. Then along comes some random guy from the internet and says, "Look, you've been doing it all wrong, your product sucks, and if you don't do as I say, I'll post blurry pictures in some social sewer and slander your name because that will make me look good in the eyes of the people protecting the financial interests of the vendors with whom they collude." A random example, mind you. But, imagine this actually happened (and it happens, more often than you would believe). How would you react? Pinpointing this to a certain country tells you a lot about the person making that assumption, but apart from that, any manufacturer in their right mind will want to inspect an alleged manufacturing defect rather than send out more goods to the same person who made these wild allegations.
  • "Damn that sucks, lets hope they take care of ya Scott. Six hours on one blade, oh boy." Yes, six hours is something a small boy might invest in honing a razor. Real men... see above.
  • "I always say, 'Germans only make sense in Germany.' That's to say, though blunt, after all the research I have done, I don't think you'll be robbed (- shipping) even if your interactions are 'stressed.'" Having worked in a number of countries, I do not see where this is specific to Germany. It is the same in any civilised country. What is true, though, is that standard form contracts under common law are something entirely different from those under civil law. But, when in Rome and all that. Expecting the same legal conditions when shopping abroad as you are accustomed to in your country is narrow minded - bordering on idiotic. 
  • "I truly hope Revisor does not fall into that ever growing mentality of profit first, customer second which seems quickly becoming the norm instead of the exception in many industries." This represents all you need to know about the level of informedness at Badger & Blade in just one sentence. Revisor are not an industrial company, they are a hobby operation. But since the US forums rely on second or third hand information 99.9% of the time, the statement is not surprising. What is surprising is why the same logic was not applied when a US based vendor sold mislabled brushes with a very nice profit, and why Badger & Blade's moderators encouraged their members to buy them. Well, one might hypothesize that this happened because said vendor was one of their endorsed vendors. But that is purly conjecture, of course.
  • "That sucks considering how much good I have heard about Revisor and taking razors back or exchanging em for customers who weren't happy. Dovo has same crappy waranty disclaimer and will not stand behind any razor they make, sadly I found out the hard way." The fixation on ghetto slang aside, this statement tells you a lot about the level of... you know the drill. The standard terms and conditions are there for everyone to see. If you do not like them, buy elsewhere. Claiming that a company will not "stand behind any razor they make" is hilarious, given that they operate under German law. exists, but reading has never been the strength of forum dwellers.
  • "I am sorry to read this about Revisor. They've certainly lost another buyer." Mission accomplished, B&B style. It makes me wonder, though...  Revisor razors are out.  Dovo razors are out. Wacker razors are also out. Well, that leaves them Thiers Issard razors (who have been reported to have an outstandingly high failure rate everywhere else), and of course the venerable Gold Dollar "razors". And a small number of recently re-animated German brands of dubious origin.

So there, case dismissed. Good for Badger & Blade, another manufacturer slandered. Not too many left, but maybe Badger & Blade, Inc. are secretly making their own. Would explain their revenue, too.