Black Dog Kayak Order

On January 6th, we placed an order with Black Dog Kayaks for two backbands and one foam seat, total cost $111.97 (paid at the time of the order). Three weeks later we had not received the products or any communication from Black Dog, so I began a series of emails trying to get information. After numerous emails (no response), I posted a message on the Black Dog forum and finally received the first response. The rest are in chronological order . . . note the dates. Also, I omitted all of the earlier emails that received no response.

Date: Feb 13, 2009 6:42 PM


I didn’t know if you saw my reply on our forum, so I thought I’d email you

as well. We’ve been busy installing a ventilation system in our shop to

overcome a red cedar allergy that our shop guy has developed, so we’ve

been on hiatus from building kayaks. Anyway, not an excuse, just an

extended apology!

Here’s my post:

I’m sorry, but we didn’t notice your order. The payment came into PayPal,

but we missed seeing it. We’ve been on hiatus here, only checking in

occasionally while we get some health issues sorted out. We do have

backbands and seats in stock, so we’ll get those out to you ASAP!

Joel Fleischer

Black Dog Kayaks

Date: Feb 25, 2009 3:09 PM

Hey, Joel. How did you ship and what’s the tracking number,


Thanks, Larry

Date: Feb 28, 2009 12:32 PM


After we saw that you had a Folbot we did a little redesigning on the

backband so hopefully it will be easier to adapt to the Folbot. The

original design used velcro for adjustment but we’ve found that it wears

out fairly quickly. We’ve changed that now to a friction cam buckle that

should hold better.

I also included the footman loops and wood screws that are intended for a

wooden framed kayak, and I threw in a pair of D-ring brackets that you may

be able to use.

The box went USPS Express, so they said that you should have it on Monday.

The tracking number on the receipt is EB 975070565 US although I don’t

know if the letters need to be entered or not. There’s no record of it in

the system yet, and, by the time there is, I’m thinking that the package

will already be in your hands.

Let us know how it works and what you had to do to adapt it to the Folbot.


Date: Mar 3, 2009 8:44 AM


The box arrived, and I appreciate the express shipping after the long wait. I did a quick check of the contents – one seat, one back band. We ordered and paid for one seat, two backbands.

Thanks, Larry

Date: Mar 4, 2009 2:39 PM


I’m sorry, my last email was also supposed to have included the note that

we ran out of hardware for the second backband. We’re expecting it in

today. I’ll be issuing you a partial refund as well for all of the hassle

you’ve had in dealing with us.



Date: Mar 17, 2009 9:52 AM

Hello, Joel.

We are still waiting patiently . . . patiently . . . patiently . . .


The second backband arrived March 20th. No partial refund.

if they make it right…
please post the good with the bad.

Just the facts
For information purposes only. You decide whether it’s good or bad.

I’m a bit confused…

– Last Updated: Mar-26-09 8:23 PM EST –

..but it sounds like they aren't the most organized outfit around but they seem to mean well.

How much is this "partial refund" for? If it's really bothering you then I'd just send an email saying something like "I was told I'd get a partial refund but haven't received it yet" along with a copy of the email he sent you saying he'd give you a refund and see where that gets you. Unless we are talking big bucks I wouldn't make a big issue of it. If it's just a few dollars I'd let it go, especially if the stuff you ordered is of good quality. Just don't do business with them anymore.

I've been mail ordering parts for years and this isn't uncommon. I ordered some parts from a company myself last week and when the box got here half the stuff was missing! They sent the rest out but it kinda messed up my schedule with regards to assembling it. These things happen.

This all started january 6th
At least the first reply after an order. How long before that the order was put in is unclear. Regardless, nearly four months is inexcusable. At the very least an e-mail acknowledging the order for two backbands and one being on back order or something.

I had a just ok experience with them but the backband they sent me was sort of a prototype so I really can’t complain even though it doesn’t work. The sea sock I ordered was a bit off too but it works.


Sounds like…

– Last Updated: Mar-26-09 2:25 PM EST –

..they are running this business on the side like a hobby. I see it all the time. He put the order in January 6 and received the second backband on 3/20 so we are talking about two and a half months from start to finish.

IMO the way it should be done is that they send an email acknowledging receipt of the order, send out the tracking number when it is shipped and if there's a problem they take care of it ASAP. All emails and calls should be returned within a reasonable amount of time. That means hours or a day or two, not weeks and months. But not everyone runs their business like that. Those who don't I tend to stay away from.

I'm not saying the OP doesn't have the right to be upset but he has the stuff he ordered now so provided he's satisfied with what he got maybe it's time to just let it go and move on, especially if we aren't talking about a lot of money here.

Caveat D'Emptor. ;)

yeah but the problem here is twofold
One he did not get everything he ordered even though promptly paid for through paypal, and two, he did not get proper acknowledgement or apology for the inability to ship what he ordered.

Oh and I forgot three: he is due a refund at least for what was not sent and when offered a partial refund, it should have been instantaneous. After all, paypal works both ways.

Not trying to bash but if you pay for something it should be what you paid for and if not then you should get your money back. I don’t care if it is 10 bucks, no one has the right hold your money if you have not been provided what was paid for.


From what I can see…

– Last Updated: Mar-25-09 8:52 PM EST –

..He did get everything he ordered, albeit piecemeal. He got the seat and one backband in one package on March 3rd (two months after placing the order..not good) and eventually on March 20 got the other backband. He was apologized to and told he'd get a partial refund, which he has not received, again not good.

So basically they weren't good about shipping his stuff in a timely manner, they were awful when it came to communication and service and they should honor their promise of a partial refund. But he did eventually get his order filled so they didn't rob him. ;)

Personally, I wouldn't use them myself and am in no way defending them. I just think the OP should move on and not worry about it if he can't get the refund he was promised anytime soon. Sometimes banging your head against the wall just gives you a big headache.

Just the facts, again
I am the OP, and I did not say I was upset; I did not say whether I was satisfied or not satisfied; I did not say I was seeking any type of refund. I simply wanted to post the facts of our experience so others would have the information. Simple enough.

simple but dangerous
Posting the facts is fine, but ensure all them get posted. It would be easy to forget to come back and update the post if you get everything resolved in a week or two.

Please read posts carefully
What is there left to be resolved?

Read carefully the first time

– Last Updated: Mar-26-09 12:57 PM EST –

The "No partial refund" issue appears to be still open. It's the last line of your journal entry. Unless you gave up on that.

One more time
The refund is not now and never was an issue with me because I never requested any type of refund – partial or otherwise.

The last line is (once again) a statement of fact based on Joel’s last email.

So what…
…was the point of all this? Usually when someone starts a thread about an experience (good or bad) with a vendor they are looking for some sort reaction. What is it that you wanted to say? “Just to inform?”. You obviously are not praising them so it comes off as criticism, so regardless of what it is you say you intended, people are going to react. What did you expect?

I’m sorry
I thought this was a padding forum designed to provide information about paddling related experiences both on the water on and off the water. Obviously, I have the wrong forum. Feel free to carry on the discussion among yourselves. I’m off to kayak.

Come on folks!

– Last Updated: Mar-26-09 7:21 PM EST –

These forums are to share information whether it be negative or positive. The Ops experience was negative. Perhaps this thread will get back to Joel who will realize that even if he does make it right eventually, he should have made it right a whole hell of a lot sooner and if he couldn't, then he should have opened effective communication beforehand. Not like he wasn't give the opportunity on numerous occasions over lots and lots of time. The Op did not come because he didn't get something a week late here folks. He gave a succinct and accurate (even using the actual e-mails) to show how his experience was negative. All of you that are giving him a hard time instead of accepting a negative review, make your decisions accordingly, and move on.
Bottom line: If you are in business, you will be judged by clients experiences. If you don't like the negative feedback, either change your ways and do it right or stop doing it until you can do it right. Or, be known as a vendor who does not do as promised.
In this particular case it will never be right because entirely too much time has passed. Hopefully the vendor will learn from it and do better in the future. But if not, then at least we have been put on notice. I for one appreciate it.

I agree…

– Last Updated: Mar-26-09 8:30 PM EST –

..and appreciate posts like this too. I wasn't looking to insult the OP but was questioning what he expected people's reactions to be. He seemed to get upset by the fact that people were commenting on his experience. Maybe I misinterpreted this. If so, I'm sorry.

I think that's the beauty of the internet and forums like these when it comes to customer service via vendors. Many times I've been saved from a bad experience because I've been forewarned (and thus forearmed) in advance by someone posting a bad experience with a particular vendor. If I see more than one negative review on a particular vendor then I know to stay away. If not for the post on the internet how else would we know besides world of mouth?

Likewise I've given my business to and had a trouble free experience due to rave reviews on a forum about a certain vendor so I'm all for threads like this and was not trying to discourage this one at all.

And yes, hopefully the vendor discussed here will see this thread and make an attempt to improve on their service and communication skills in the future.

I do thank the original poster for bringing this to our attention and was in no way looking to give him a hard time. Quite the opposite, I thought he acted in a very rational manner. I'm just glad he eventually got the stuff he ordered. Too bad he had to wait so long and go through so much effort to get it.

I agree too BB, and in Joel’s defense…
… at least he doesn’t send a bunch of long crazy emails with a bunch of non-order related info, or chew your ear on the phone for hours, like that crazy SOB you bought those weird Aleut and hybrid “Woodwing” paddles from! :wink:

That could only be one person…
…told me to call vs e-mailing…about two minutes into attempted ear-bending, I hung up.

Nope, wrong person.