email: is poor flavour a legitimate reason to return a box of cigars?


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Oooh, this literally feeds into my “Stupid e-mail of the month” entry. I’ve been working on this for over a year... 😳

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If so, I have a dozen boxes of EL's I'd like to return. 🤣 Seriously though, I think its the luck of the draw. Cuba makes some of the best cigars in the world and some of the worst. If your aren't

@Ken Gargett would finally be able to return his Monte Cs! To the OP, virtually all vendors have some kind of disclaimer in their returns sections covering this. I don't know of any vendor that w

I get why there is a subset of people out there that would expect a refund. 

If we purchase other consumable products that don't meet expectations, in almost all cases we can get a refund. 

However cigars aren't traditional consumable products. 

I wonder if I bought some weed from a legal dispensary and it didn't get me high (or as high as I expected) if I could get a refund. Likely not, lol. 

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6 minutes ago, MrBirdman said:

I have always wanted to know whether this policy still applied to the completely empty box of Monte 2 you once got…and if so, could you at least get your duties refunded? I can’t help but ask!

That's different. 

PCC will always address damaged boxes / anomalies such as those Monte 2. 

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1 hour ago, Hammer Smokin' said:

 

the option to this fella is the classic 'partial box' sale or trade. I think that's the most common activity. Smoke a few (or slightly more) out of a box. Don't enjoy any of them? Onto the trade boards it goes. 

 

And this is why I will never buy a partial box!  Can't figure why anyone would buy a partial box.

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9 minutes ago, Monterey said:

And this is why I will never buy a partial box!  Can't figure why anyone would buy a partial box.

I've purchased number of open boxes. In fact, likely more than full boxes. But they are local purchases (within Canada), and often from the same group of guys. We all know each other, (at least as much as you can being online) and for the most part, everyone is pretty solid. It's like buying any cigars, trust your source. 

Now with said, in a large number of partial box buys that have been fine, I can think of two very bad purchases. In both cases it isn't flavour, but construction. Of course this is something the seller knew. Poor construction is black and white. But that's the gamble you take I guess. Buying from a tight knit group (not reddit groups, lol) reduces that risk. 

To be honest, if I didn't buy partial boxes I've would not have smoked the top 70% of my favourite cigars. Almost all the 'special' cigars came from partial box purchases (behike 52/54, Espy's, Siglo VI's, Lanceros, Sir Winnies..the list goes on)

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50 years ago the answer would have probably been yes, you can expect a good retailer to accommodate a repeat customer. But aside from changes to the medium in which you buy them, cigars have extraordinary duties which retailers must now eat for cigars they refund and cannot resell. 

The only cigars I have asked for a (partial) refund on were from an international retailer I also buy Cubans from, but that was due to damage and splitting around the feet of some perfectos, not taste. 

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Considering there are so many variables that would affect the taste, there is no way you could reasonably ask the vendor to refund you the box.

Yeah, there is the argument that you are buying a premium product, and that it should always be on point. But it is also a handmade product. There is always the risk that it may not have been rolled correctly, the leaves were not the best quality, it has been kept poorly, kept at the wrong RH, smoker is not well, etc, etc, etc.

I could see a reason for asking for a refund on poorly packaged cigars that arrived damaged (but not malicious damage from overly zealous Customs agents or postal workers), but not for something so subjective as taste.

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1 hour ago, tjkoala said:

If Rob has the ability to reject cases because of quality I don’t see why others can’t do the same as well. Of course if this is a grey market vendor that might muddy the waters. I think it’s fair to expect a partial refund if they are absolutely terrible quality and the guy/gal is a repeat customer. At the end of the day as an online vendor you’ve got price vs quality and your reputation is critical regardless.

Rob doesn't taste test every box he sells, nor should he. The OP needs to suck it up, the cigars arrived intact and they are legit. Flavor is a subjective matter and no vendor should accept responsibility for the aforementioned reason. Perhaps he should consider Fuente or Padron. 

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But I have had several boxes that tasted off when I first got them so I threw them in the back of the humi and forgot about ‘em, only to come back 4 or 5 years later to some pretty decent cigars. Doesn’t always work out that way though, but kind of fun when it does.



This was my thought exactly. Age does wonders to many cigars. Sometimes that ugly duckling turns into a swan.

But you can’t blame the vendor unless that taste is mold.

BTW…Young PSD4s can have a bitter note that sometimes I taste as espresso and an earthy note. So it could just be the blend.

Either way, it’s definitely not the vendors fault and they aren’t required to provide any relief.


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Wow. The above referenced R&J Churchill’s I bought in Havana. Cigar Czar is my only supplier from here on out. Quality, excellence, and you get Ken to boot!

”XYZ sells them $20 bucks cheaper...”

Travel at your own risk. 😳

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My initial reaction was shock at the audacity to even ask for a refund. But then I remembered how the price of cigars has skyrocketed over the last year, and I can somewhat understand wanting to be satisfied with the product. When I’m spending more on a box of robustos than I did on my first car, they better be good. 

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1 hour ago, SCgarman said:

Rob doesn't taste test every box he sells, nor should he. The OP needs to suck it up, the cigars arrived intact and they are legit. Flavor is a subjective matter and no vendor should accept responsibility for the aforementioned reason. Perhaps he should consider Fuente or Padron. 

As the vendor you can still request the box to be sent back and then sell them as singles or part of a sample and still make a profit. The point being is that if you run a business and one of your regulars takes an issue with quality, it might be worth it to give them the benefit of the doubt the first time around. The CC market can be a crowded place and what do you gain by saying “tough luck” to someone dropping big coin on your product? If this is some random shopper then who cares.

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16 minutes ago, tjkoala said:

As the vendor you can still request the box to be sent back and then sell them as singles or part of a sample and still make a profit. The point being is that if you run a business and one of your regulars takes an issue with quality, it might be worth it to give them the benefit of the doubt the first time around. The CC market can be a crowded place and what do you gain by saying “tough luck” to someone dropping big coin on your product? If this is some random shopper then who cares.

Just as a bit of perspective, we are talking about a product for which there is currently more demand than supply... 

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18 minutes ago, tjkoala said:

As the vendor you can still request the box to be sent back and then sell them as singles or part of a sample and still make a profit. 

To be fair not all of them can. Specifically those operating out of a duty free (bonded) environment, returns are difficult and singles almost impossible to navigate.  

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3 hours ago, tjkoala said:

I would consider a cigar that looks nice and smells nice but tastes like dirt pretty low quality. Isn’t that why everyone pokes fun at Gurkha?

Yeah but point being, you cant know how a cigar is going smoke until well.... you smoke it!. The only thing retailer can do is open it look at smell it feel it.. How it smokes is out of a retailers control. If the box arrived all cracked up and green looking etc then sure the retailer could have been held accountable for the quality, but if it all looks ok, it has nothing to do with the retailer.

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3 hours ago, tjkoala said:

If Rob has the ability to reject cases because of quality I don’t see why others can’t do the same as well.

Different business models. Rob's model is a niche of quality tiers and lower volume. Most vendors don't offer codes and many don't even open boxes to inspect. They also ship hundreds of boxes a day. 

And of course, as others have pointed out, appearance is not a highly reliable predictor of taste. 

Part of the problem is that cigar buying isn't like it was in the past. Mail order cigars that bypass a B & M vendor is a 21st century phenomenon. In the old days one would purchase their cigars from their local tobacconist who would likely offer singles as well, allow the customer to fully inspect all boxes prior to purchase and who would get reports from their customers if there was a problem with a particular batch. That tobacconist would presumably have some relationship with their distributor and be much more likely to accept a return from a loyal customer. Today's online vendors shipping huge volume internationally really don't have the ability to do that. 

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I bought a loaf of bread the other day. I made a couple of sandwiches but they just didn’t seem quite right. I’m gonna take that loaf of bread back to the grocery store and ask them for a new loaf.  I know it’s not the grocery stores fault but I’m going to make them eat the cost anyway.

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3 hours ago, el_papacito said:

They arrived and looked awfully dry.

I think that in this case, the appearance and condition of the cigars was the key. If you have a problem with cigars prior to smoking one a vendor is much more likely to entertain compensation. In fact, most trusted vendors would address it. Dry, poor looking cigars are generally unacceptable. In many cases the vendor decides it's not worth it for you to return the cigars as there's shipping costs and they're stuck with a crummy-looking box. In that case the fact that you smoked some and they tasted bad didn't matter--you had already notified them of a problem that existed prior to smoking and they would have been in a position to have you send them back and replace them. In your case they just credited you. 

 

10 minutes ago, HarveyBoulevard said:

I bought a loaf of bread the other day. I made a couple of sandwiches but they just didn’t seem quite right. I’m gonna take that loaf of bread back to the grocery store and ask them for a new loaf.  I know it’s not the grocery stores fault but I’m going to make them eat the cost anyway.

Food is different. It's not an issue of subjective taste. In other words bread should taste like bread. An apple should taste like an apple. If something tastes wrong, you shouldn't eat it. You're putting in your body. 

In the case of a restaurant it's the restaurant's job to provide subjectively good tasting food. If you don't like it you may return it and they won't charge you. 

Again, the cigar situation might be different if you were a loyal customer dealing with your local tobacconist. If you don't like something they trust you and don't want a dozen other complaints if there is something wrong with a batch. In that case the tobacconist might be able to return the batch in it's remaining entirety to their distributor to eliminate the risk of future issues. In today's world of international, high-volume mail order that simply isn't feasible.

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I know of one vendor with a no quibble rule. Will take back for any reason.

You get two quibbles....

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