Locked in Steel-Still in business?

Discussion in 'Full Belts' started by xcitex2, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. xcitex2
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    xcitex2 Back from the past!

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    Does anyone know if locked in steel is still in business or not. I have sent multiple emails to them and no reply. In addition there site seems to have events that are schedule in future times but all communication on their site and the forums stopped early this year. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. drake235
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    drake235 Junior Member

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    They are known for atrocious customer service. It's been that way for years and across all promises of change. I've not heard anything about them going out of business.
     
  3. mikecb
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    mikecb Member

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    Ya, it's a damn shame. They're reasonably convenient to the East Coast, but I hear bad things about their responsiveness.
     
  4. xcitex2
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    xcitex2 Back from the past!

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    Well let me ask then does anyone have any feedback on Neosteel? I hate to deal with an overseas supplier but they do have a website here in the US at least, awkward at best but still here none the less. the problem is the exchange rate makes their stuff really high.
     
  5. stealth
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    stealth Senior Member

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    (Edit - This is in regards to the original LiS question)
    I have one of their belts, but I'd probably go with the Arch if I were to do it again.

    Their communication is horrid. I had to send the belt back due to the fact that I ordered it a little too large originally. I think I emailed them weekly for a month or two before they responded, and it took 4 months or more to get it back, when they originally told me that they had a replacement belt portion in stock and marked with my name.
    When I finally had it in my hands again it was way too small. It took me a couple of months to get over the disappointment (thinking it was my measuring again).. After closely inspecting/measuring it, it turns out they sent back a belt 4" smaller than requested. It took FOREVER to get their attention again, but they did ultimately make it right.

    The fit/finish is pretty good. The construction is OK -- I originally ordered it with cables which were very nice, but they broke despite the fact that I only clocked about 12 hours in it. They replaced the cables with Chains temporarily since they said they were having problems with the cable design. I'm not impressed at all with the chains or the way they attach to the belt and shield -- too flimsy and pinch prone. They still haven't contacted me to tell me their new cable style is ready for prime-time yet.

    I haven't decided if I'm up to going yet another round with them and actually meet up with them at Black Rose in October or not.
     
  6. drake235
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    drake235 Junior Member

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    Hi Stealth,

    The post right before yours asked about the Neo, but I'm thinking your belt is a LiS. Is that right?

    Drake
     
  7. dixiewrecked
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    dixiewrecked Member

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    xcitex2,
    As others have said, communications with LIS is near non-existant. That is one of the major contributors to the decision of why I sent my business elsewhere... namely overseas to neosteel. Now, I'll be the first to say that neosteel's communication isn't prefect either... but it is miles ahead of LIS. When communicating with Reinhold (from Neosteel), I've found my general response time to be between 3-5 days per email. If for some reason I haven't gotten a response from him within that time frame, I generally just send him the email again, but change the subject line to add "2ND EMAIL ATTEMPT - " or something like that, and usually will get a response to that within 24 hours. I still have never had a single email go unanswered from neosteel, although it may not have been as quickly as I would like. So, although not fast, it is definitely reliable... something I would very much like in the customer service of a company that I'm going to hand thousands of dollars over to.
    As for neosteel service, I had no problems at all. Work is done when Reinhold says it will be done, no issues with shipping into the country, my belt was shipped fast (generally less than a week for delivery from ship date). As for the exchange rate, theres not really much we can do. I tried to watch the dollar for awhile and grab my belt while it was up to save a few bucks, but not much.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. dixiewrecked
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    dixiewrecked Member

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    Stealth,
    I just addressed their communication in my above post, but the issue you are talking about with their cables is the other main reason I opted for neosteel. I was looking at the LIS cable design as well, and after some reasearch and communications with others who have HAD the LIS cable type belt, I can assure you... you are NOT alone! Pretty much anyone I had talked to who had the cable rear design, had had their cables come undone, and ended up getting put into a chain style rear by LIS... not an ideal solution or compromise by any means.
    I do really hope that you get everything worked out properly, and that LIS makes well on your belt for you though, as I have heard from people who have after months and months of trouble with them finally gotten a worthwhile belt out of them that suits their purpose, and they are pleased with. Please keep the board posted on what happens with it.

    Thanks.
     
  9. stealth
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    stealth Senior Member

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    drake235: You're right. I edited my earlier post to clear up the issue.

    Dixiewrecked: I wish I had run across the same information you found when I was researching them. At the time, the worst thing I could find about LiS was the communication one, but that seemed to be a common complaint amongst all of the belt makers. I *hate* badmouthing anyone, and I'd *love* to give them a good overall review, unfortunately their track record with me leaves quite a bit to be desired.
     
  10. xcitex2
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    xcitex2 Back from the past!

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    Thank you all for your help. As an entrepreneur myself I wish I had a talented person who could make these with me. It seems this market in the US is vastly untapped in terms of service and quality. Hmmm investors out there? LOL
     
  11. enigmaPOJ
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    enigmaPOJ Member

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    Please keep in mind the Locked In Steel is a part time business and that the owner and founder Jillian has a full time day job. Jillian has recently started a new job. This all happened within weeks of IML. So she has been exceptionally busy. Also a very close friend of hers who had been sick for a while passed away last week. We have not even been able to do the radio show since we were at IML due to conflicting schedules and unexpected events coming up.

    As for the cable designs, yes there were problems, but they have now been resolved with a newer design and has been working out very well. LIS makes a very good high quality belt and I highly recommend them to anyone, but you must have patients as it is a very custom item.


    -enigmaPOJ
     
  12. Cape Cod Richie
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    Cape Cod Richie Senior Member

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    Yup, as dixiewrecked has mentioned (we have talked in the past) communication can be a problem. I have extensive posts on my Locked in Steel Adventure at the Bound Forum and maybe here (CRS). Mostly I believe it was their schedule of events and the very small size of the company.

    Patience won out and after 2 trips up for repair and adjustment I have a secure wearable, workable fantasy in stainless steel. Whew!

    I'm 1 1/2 hours away which I preferred to expensive shipping to Germany, especially now that my Fun Money account has disappeared. Thanks to the Internet at least we can communicate before spending our hard earned money. Many have helped me make decisions about large purchases beforehand.
     
  13. xcitex2
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    xcitex2 Back from the past!

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    Well I can certainly understand being busy and losing friends or family as I just went through that a while back. However as someone who get over 60 emails a day I still think a simple thanks for your email let me get back to you would be nice. I really want to give them a chance based off of what I have heard about quality but I get VERY nervous when a company you WANT to spend money at does not follow up. What does this mean when you NEED them to reply? I wish I was withing driving distance but I am not so it wil have to be communication by email and phones, both of which I have tride already. Unfortunately it is like this darn iPhone I own. I hate AT&T but if I want the phone I have to deal with them. I guess this will ultimately be no different.
     
  14. creamysbrianna
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    creamysbrianna Junior Member

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    I have to agree with enigmaPOJ, LNS is a part time business for Jillian and her partner. Also it does not help that they are currently experiencing problems with the new Laser CNC machine shop they are using.

    When you are a small business like LNS with custom onesy-twosey orders it is hard for them to get a small to medium machine shop to turn parts around quickly due to the long set up time envolved. Even if they sent a batch of parts that are the same type of part each part is custom to your belt order. This means that a new program must be entered into the CNC laser cutter for every part. Now on the other hand if they were asking the machine shop to cut 500-1000 pieces of the exact same part then they would be more than willing to put that companies order towards the top of thier priorties. When the part is the same everytime then they just pull the completed part out and put the new material in without having to reprogram or retool the machine for each and every part.

    Second it takes a lot of time for them to model up a belt using a 3-D modeling software and to make sure that their model is correct before sending the converted file to the machine shop. I've used PRO-E Wildfire 2.0 and if you are doing this part time it can take a long time to put a model together. Not to mention the math envolved to calculate the size and shape of each machined part.
     
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