Back in December, WFHW team member Neil decided to write a report on the many Davison Inventions complaints online, and it generated a fair amount of interest from our visitors.
If you missed his report, you can read it here.
Much to our surprise, we received a reply to this report on the 5th of January from someone that we really didn’t expect to hear from…the Chief Consumer Advocate at davison.com (no actual name given).
The reply is very long (1072 words), and it appears to be an attempt to address the concerns raised in Neil’s report. If you have the time, I do suggest that you read the reply in full below because I think it will help you to understand more about Davison Inventions and how they operate.
“To the anonymous blogger,
Customer service is vital in all businesses and is imperative when operating a successful business. Customer concerns upset everyone and our staff works very hard to troubleshoot them so communication errors are kept to a minimum. From reading your complaint there appears to a communication breakdown and you are upset. We are acknowledging your post so let’s fix this.
In truth, customers are not always right and companies are not always right. The effort to curing issues of concern, listening intently and calmly addressing issues is a role our Chief Consumer Advocate’s office has enthusiastically taken on.
If you are a client, we are sure that you received our initial printed brochure, visited our website and received subsequent materials – all of which thoroughly described our services. In addition, you would have received simply written contracts that clearly describe each service offering and the fees associated with those services. When you have the opportunity please re-review the materials.
One of the things you will notice is that all of our contracts and the disclosure documents that you received said explicitly that we don’t evaluate product ideas. So, if you were thinking that you had the greatest idea in the world, it wasn’t because the company was offering you services or telling you that.
If you still feel as though you did not receive the services that were described to you in writing, you should contact our offices. We try to communicate in a very complete manner while recognizing the fact we are contacted by individuals from all over the world. Sometimes communications can be difficult because of cultural barriers. Thus, the great need to place all of our service offerings in clear and easily understood agreements.
When someone contracts with us for design services, they are contracting to have our company prepare a design and build a sample. Sometimes, the way that a client proposes that a product should look or function is not an efficient or even workable way to make something. Sometimes, clients with little or no design or engineering experience decide that things should be a certain way without having any idea how to make the product or get it to do what they want.
We are proud of the quality of our work and employ the latest technology and quality controls in producing product samples and packaging. If you have an issue with the quality, contact us and we will examine it. Anonymously taking to the internet doesn’t get your problem fixed.
Also, we would like to note that in the past competitors have posted false and malicious complaints about us on the internet. Instead of choosing to compete by offering economical product design, development and packaging services they have chosen to confuse consumers with false information. We don’t know if this person is a client or not because they did not include any contact information, not even an email address. We have found in the past that competitors hide behind “internet handles” rather than out in the open where their own conduct can be questioned. If a real client has a complaint they were really trying to resolve, why would they post anonymously?
Since we don’t know if this blogger is a competitor or not, below is a brief description of the services we offer and the way that we offer them:
Step One: All customers must acknowledge invention development is high risk. In order to do so, each prospective customer is provided with an Affirmative Disclosure and an American Inventors Protection Act disclosure, which includes a description of all of our services and estimated fees. All potential clients must acknowledge that they received and read these disclosures before we accept any idea submission from them. Thereby, we ensure that the general public understands that inventing is time-consuming, costly and rarely results in profit. As a result, none of our clients reasonably can have the impression that inventing is easy and financially rewarding. Inventing can be educational, fun and exciting as long as everyone keeps in mind that there are no guarantees that profits are imminent.
Step Two: Pre-Development Service Offer: After receipt of an invention idea we could offer to perform preliminary design research services on the project. This would include researching prior patents and other products that are for sale or have been for sale that are similar to the one submitted. Any service offer made to a potential client is made in writing. Therefore, consumers are assured of exactly what services they are purchasing and when they will receive them.
Step Three: Invention Prototype Services Offer: If the inventor does not have a professional quality sample for use, we can perform one or more services, including brainstorming new product designs, designing components, creating prototypes, building working models, virtual reality renderings, and complete product graphics and packaging. Again, any service offerings are outlined in a written contractual format. Therefore, clients are assured of exactly what services they are purchasing.
Step Four: Licensing Representation: Once projects are designed, built and packaged our team presents them to companies for licensing consideration
The above is a basic outline of how our company does business. Clearly, all of our services are provided with full risk disclosures and on a written contract basis only. If you are ever contemplating any development services, we hope that you will consider us. We think that you will find our prices to be very reasonable for the services we offer.
For over 20 years, we have helped people prepare and present their ideas to corporations and manufacturers to see if they would be willing to license the product ideas. Our exclusive idea to product method is responsible for more products on the store shelves than any other competitor in this industry.
Quick facts about our company and our process
We are based in Pittsburgh, PA and work with clients from around the world.
We have been in business since 1989.
Our company’s products have been sold by over 1,000 stores & online retailers.
Our staff designs products for both individuals and corporate clients.
We have over 250 staff members.
Our staff has won numerous design awards for innovative product designs.
We are a member of the Online Business Bureau.
Our services include research, prototype development, and packaging design.
We hope you found the above helpful, but if you want additional information on anything concerning the company, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Before I go any further, let me just give you proof that we did receive this comment from inside our WFHW back office:
We were very excited to receive this reply, but something about it didn’t seem right.
First of all, the reply was addressed to”the anonymous blogger”, and that suggests to us that this person had failed to read (in detail) anything on this website, and who actually wrote the post.
Reading further into the reply we also felt that this was an attempt to defend the Davison corner, and that much is to be expected.
However, we also agreed that it felt like a generic reply that didn’t really focus specifically on the individual points that Neil had raised in his report.
That concerned us, so we decided to dig a bit deeper…
Using Google, I took a paragraph of text from this reply and pasted it in the search box (in quotes), and hit the search button.
Doing this will return the number of web pages on the internet that contain the exact same words. I was surprised to discover there were 7 web pages online that contain this exact same reply.
What Does This Tell Us?
It suggests to us that someone representing Davison is searching the internet for complaints about their business, and replying with the same 1000+ word generic reply above.
Is this a good business approach? Ok, the reply is well constructed, but we think it’s a not-so-good way to approach individual complaints.
Sure, we were pleased to receive a reply of sorts from Davison themselves (we assume), but disappointed to discover that it was not a personal reply.
So we would like to invite a representative from Davison to reply to this post or contact us directly to address the concerns raised in both our reports and to hopefully assist those who have left comments.
Marcus – WFHW
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