Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Winexpert customer service

Hello,

I have made many kits from Winexpert and have been extremely satisfied with their products. I recently made a Chilean Malbec and unlike all my other kits that start fermenting (bubbling) within 24 hours, this one did not. I waited another day and this kit still had not started so I emailed the support group from the Winexpert website asking for recommendations. In the mean time, I warmed a heating pad and placed it on the table that the fermentor was sitting on and covered it with a sheet. I re-warmed the pad a few times throughout the evening as well. The temperature of the must was 70F like all others. The next morning the bubbling started. I also received an email from a Linda at Winexpert asking me to measure the SG. I replied thanking her for her response and told her that I thought things were fine since the bubbling had started. Well by that evening the bubbling was ferocious. I have never seen anything this active. The temperature of the must also shot up to 78 - 79F, higher than any other kits I have made. Within 4 days it was done bubbling. After the normal 7 days I measured the SG and it was good, around .994 so I racked this into the glass carboy. After the required time before stabalizing I saw what appeared to be a growth inside, on the glass in the small head space at the top of the carboy. This appeared within about a day. I make daily notes for every wine I make and did not notice anything odd the day before. The liquid was also extremely opaque resembling purple milk, rather than beginning to settle. I removed the air lock and smelled it and it was extremely offensive smelling. I emailed Winexpert again about this and heard nothing back. I sent a couple more emails and heard nothing. After about a week I decided it was a total mess and poured it out. A day later I decided to send an email directly to their site rather than reply to Linda’s previous correspondence and she got back asking me to better describe the smell and to provide some photos. I described the smell with more detail and explained that since I had, had this sitting around for a week and heard nothing that I poured it out so photos would not be possible. This is the last I have heard from them despite several more emails to them asking for a response, but nothing. I have read on other forums that they back their products; satisfaction guaranteed and others have received a credit toward their next purchase when they had a kit fail. But as you can see, I am being totally ignored by them. Does anyone else have any experience with this company and their claim to b guarantee their products? I don’t know what else I can do to reach out to them. I cannot call from my place of work due to them being located in Canada. I am very disappointed with the lack of response from them once their kit was bad. Thank you.

Tyler

I have dealt with Winex for years on a professional level. As with any large company, they are not without fault, but generally have a good track reccord as far as customer service.

Right now they are in the process of merging with other companies under the banner of Global Vintners (owned by Peller Estates). Things seem very chaotic right now. Even as a retailer it is becoming dificult to cut though the new red tape of credits.

I am not sure dumping the wine was the best approach, but you still may be able to get your money back.

Where did you get the kit? If you got it though a reatailer, I would suggest having them do the leg work for you. There is a new credit request process (and form) that is just being released. If you have the box / batch code the process will be much easier.

Thanks for the info Mike. I did provide all lable ID numbers during my initial email to them and have referenced them in subsequent emails. I did discuss this with the retailer and was given some ideas as to what might have happened and was told to contact them (NB) if I ever have a problem in the future. This is the one and only time I have experienced anything odd making wines and also had the understanding that Winexpert typically backed their products throroughly. There was a Tim V that was associated with them a few years back and said that Winexpert had one of the best reputations in the industry. I read some of his and others’ posts on Winepress.com’s forums touting Winexpert for this which is why I am perplexed why I am receiving the treatment I am; or lack thereof actually. I have two more kits of theirs at home that I am getting ready to make and will likely look for another manufacturer due to this experience. Their products seemed very good and I wanted to continue doing business with them, but I also work in a customer service industry and this experience is exactly what we avoid. I would have rather been told, “There is nothing we can do.” rather than simply be ignored by them. Would you happen to have any other kit manufacturers that you would recommend? Thanks again for your response.

Tyler

Honestly Tyler, I would probably stick with winex anyway. There are a few other respectable manufacturers, but with their recent kit redesigns, it is hard to match what Winex can give you.

Cellar Craft used to be one of my go to brands, but I doubt I would make any of their kits again (except maybe their Rosso Fortissimo - still one of the better kits on the market) but they are still part of GV anyway.

A lot has changed at Winexpert, and in reality you are now dealing with Global Vintners and a more burocratic system (also make Cellar Craft and most other kits you can buy)- which is very disorganized right now. Lots of new people.

I would give them a little time on the customer service side to get back on track - they used to be very good.

If you ordered from NB, try to get a credit from them and have them chase down winex. Or at least have them make the contact on your behalf - they have a sales rep, you don’t.

BTW Tim V no longer works for Winexpert. No big loss. IMO he was a fat arrogant douche. Just MO.

LOL! OK, thanks again for your info. I have to go to NB tonight for a few things anyway, so maybe I’ll start the conversation again with them. Cheers!

This just keeps getting worse. I stopped in my local NB store yesterday evening to see if anything could be done about this lack of response from WE. I was told that nothing at their retail level could be done, but I should contact their corporate support in MN. So, I went on their website, selected to contact support and typed a very detailed message explaining everything that happened and the lack of response from WE. When I clicked on the submit button it threw out an error saying there was a problem and I should try again later. Really? I noticed a link at the top right that said Live Chat. “Great!”, I thought. I’ll chat with a live person about this. I clicked on that and it said that all their reps were busy and I should send an email. LOL! Really? No one backs their product anymore. I am so disappointed with this whole thing.

I hate dealing with that type of burocratic garbage. Honestly, if you had purchased your kit at the store I work at in Ottawa, we would just give you a new one and then go to the supplier for our own credit.

What contact did you go through at Winexpert originally (e-mail/web address? ) Like I said, they are currently amalgamating departments with another big company and things seem to be a mess.

If I know where you have looked for service I may be able to send you to a different department where you may be able to get some answers.

Yep, The right thing to do from a retailer standpoint would be to not alienate a customer with a problem, do as you say and replace the bad product with a good kit, (this is all I want. I don’t want a refund.) then deal with the supplier/manufacturer. That would be good business practice; good customer service. The original email address that I started with was Winexpert’s support from their website. It is;

customer.service@winexpert.com

The original person that actually did reply back to my first email to them was Linda and her email had a professional emal signature that read;

Linda Kazakoff
Customer Service
Winexpert
1622 Kebet Way
Port Coquitlam, B.C. V3C 5W9
Canada
604-941-5588 Ext 241
8880424-4888

Thanks for your help!

Although I always prefer to use e-mail, sometimes it is just easier to call and let them know in person how frustrated you are,

I would use the toll free 1-888 # and see where that gets you. I know their order desk is now open until 8pm, so maybe the customer service line would be as well.

Perhaps I will try this when I get home this evening. Thanks.

Great news! Chris from Northern Brewer answered my email asking for help and is taking care of this matter fully. He is also going to contact Winexpert in my behalf. This took a long time to rectify, but Northern Brewer came through in the end. Many thanks!!!

Tyler

Well, this gets better yet. My hat’s off to Northern Brewer! Not only have they taken the burden of trying to get Winexpert to reply back to my multiplt emails asking for help, they are replacing the failed kit; AND sending it directly to my house! Fantastic! This is customer service at its finest! I will do ALL of my purchsing at Northern Brewer in spite of the 50 minute drive it is from my house. Thank you very much Northern Brewer!

Tyler

:cheers:

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com