I "ate" alot of bad product before I got to " I've had it and I'm not gonna take it anymore!"
My first stop was with the manufacturer of PrismaColors. I had invested in several additions to my old set. They offered to replace my bad ones. I wasn't looking for A replacement. I was looking for their idea of what technique I could use to better my outcome. Two or three letters between us happened before I ran across a web site used by artists who dabble mainly in colored pencil drawing. They outlined what had happened in that industry, and more particularly to PrismaColor, and the problem was clear....the manufacturer was sticking to their story that nothing about their pencils had changed, only the place of manufacturing had changed. Anyone who has used and loved PrismaColors before the site of manufacturing changed knows what to look for when buying new, which is why OLD PrismaColors now get high prices when they are sold on Ebay.
My next trial for satisfaction was with the manufacturer of Palette inks I had bought at PTI. I felt sure I just had a bad batch, so I wrote to the manufacturer. They said send them back and they would analyze the problem. I did that and they sent me replacement (I think it was 5 colors), without any mention of their analysis. Still the inks were watery and I couldn't get a decent image no matter the stamp or the cardstock. I wrote again and got a letter two months later from an employee who said he was leaving the company but had turned the problem over to a person whose name he gave me. Meantime, many PTI customers were complaining in the PTI Forum, and all got the same answers....change the stamp, change the paper, use a stamping mat, store the pad upside down, try a different color, all the advice you see on these forums when people have ink problems.
EIGHT MONTHS LATER, PTI offered refunds, but I had sent my bad pads back to the manufacturer, so I didn't get a refund and didn't get a second batch from the manufacturer. In fact, the person whose name I had been given never responded to my letters nor did anyone else at the company. I have a very old Prussian Blue Palette ink pad (and reinker) I treasure, obviously made before they sent their manufacturing off-shore, so it isn't as if Palette inks were born bad. They used to be excellent.
I could go on here for several pages but suffice to say the manufacturing of ink products went off-shore at least 4 years ago, and because there is still old stock floating around, you can manage to get good old stuff or you can get bad new stuff or a mixture of the two. It's not a matter of a "bad batch" the manufacturer would like to know about.
If Ranger is doing all their manufacturing in the USA, that's wonderful news. That's what I was hoping to get with my original post.......some solutions. We Crafters are sitting ducks because of expiring shelf-lives that no one mentions, and off-shore manufacturing that companies never want to admit. To say nothing of the high shipping rates we now pay because so few of us have a local stamp store to frequent anymore.
AND, this is complicated by branded inks.........who makes the ink now sold under the Hero Arts name, for instance. Who makes the heat tool I just returned? And if hair dryers have the wattage printed on the package, why don't heat tools have the same, so we know what we are buying?
And by the way, last I looked, the tins new PrismaColors come in still have printed on them "Made in the USA". Wouldn't you guess that means the pencils were made in the USA? Wrong guess!