Delta Creative Prez Denies Refund: "We're Not In The Business Of Reimbursement"

Update: Vickie has settled with Creative Delta over this issue. Here’s her official statement:

I have used the Delta PermEnamel Products for several years with marvelous results. This was an isolated incident which I would not expect to recur. This isolated incident has been resolved to my complete satisfaction. Thank you, Delta Creative, Inc.

Vickie Silcox/Artist
A Painted Setting

Congrats, Vickie! We’re glad Delta Creative came through in the end.

If you’re finding this for the first time, you can still read the original post below:

First of all, this is a story about Delta Creative, not Delta Airlines. Delta Creative makes craft and hobby supplies, including something called PermEnamel glass paint. Vickie, a glass artist who says she’s painted “literally thousands of pieces” using PermEnamel, had it fail on her recently. It ruined almost 100 of her pieces and cost her approximately $2,000. She says Delta confirmed the product failed, and approved a reimbursement request—but then “the President of Delta Creative, Bill George, stepped in and said they don’t guarantee their products, nor is he in the business of reimbursement,” and he denied it.

Here’s Vickie’s story:

I have lost nearly 100 pieces, at a value of nearly $2,000.00, due to the failure of Delta Permenamel surface conditioner. Their technical department confirmed the failure, the Director of Marketing approved the claim for time and materials, and the President declined reimbursement to me stating that Delta is not in the business of reimbursement! Most importantly, he stated to me that the company does not and will not guarantee the products.

I have painted thousands of pieces, with fantastic results, never one dissatisfied client….you might say I was a Delta disciple, proficient in every way in the application of these products…….but I am no longer that gal. I will never touch this product again.

I lost the ability to sell these 100 pieces and Delta Creative is responsible, and I am now suffering the aftermath. Loss of inventory to sell, loss of revenue to purchase glass, paint, book future shows. Cut off at the knees.

I’m posting this to give other Glass Painters using Delta Permenamel products the opportunity to weigh the risk that they are taking when using this paint. And to seriously evaluate the consequences, if the process fails. You will have no recourse.

I have reported Delta Creative with the Better Business Bureau, and will take further steps if necessary for them to right this wrong.

Finally, when you read that label that says “dishwasher safe”, what it should really say is “sometimes dishwasher safe” or perhaps….”dishwasher safe only at the Delta Plant.

You may not be in the business of “guaranteeing” products, Bill George, but you’d think some sort of goodwill reimbursement at the very least would be a smart idea. Regardless of your behavior, however, we agree with Vickie that other glass artists should know that if (when?) PermEnamel fails, it will be their problem, not Delta Creative’s.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Comments

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  1. Zanorfes says:

    Looks like this is going to cost them more in the long run. They deserve it.

  2. hypoxia says:

    Three words:

    Small. Claims. Court.

  3. unbelievable says:

    Sounds like you should consider filing a claim in Small Claims Court. If their technical support confirmed that the product failed, and you have that in an email, or someone who would file an affidavit, you should have a good chance of winning. Just be sure you check that $2000 is below the small claims limit.

    Good luck!

  4. Parapraxis says:

    Now, next time someone google’s delta creative, lookie what pops up!

    Good job planting your foot in your mouth, Bill.

  5. EmperorOfCanada says:

    Looks like he’s not in the business of keeping customers either.

  6. TechnoDestructo says:

    Reimbursing them for their costs when your product fails is the cost of not testing your products yourself. If you want to make the customer into your quality-control department, you have to pay them occasionally.

  7. Boulderite says:

    I had planned on purchasing Delta Perm Enamel Paints and Glass Conditioner to paint Christmas Ornaments this year. I’ve used their products in the past and after reading that they don’t guarantee their products which means to me that they don”t stand behind their products. I will not be buying them again. And will return the unopened containers hat I currently have.

  8. MyPetFly says:

    Marketing-speak, etc.:

    “My vision for Delta is to bring us to the leading edge of product and packaging innovation while enhancing efficiencies for our global partners,” said George, who has 20+ years experience in consumer goods.

    Delta Creative is focused on innovation, quality and service. Our products epitomize brilliant innovation, convenience and quality. That is what has made us the dominant force in the premium paint and craft industry for almost 50 “year.” Our process of constant regeneration continues through tireless expansion of our product lines that provide the perfect catalyst to our customers’ imaginations.

  9. chgoeditor says:

    I think there’s a key point that needs to be highlighted here: She didn’t purchase $2,000 of defective product. She purchased some amount of surface condition (which seems to cost about $5 for a 2 ounce container), then used it on glass pieces (which she says she could sell for $2,000). Most companies will warranty against their own product failing, but they’re not going to reimburse you for damage it possibly causes to something else.

    • InThrees says:

      @chgoeditor:

      And conversely, the article doesn’t say she was seeking $2,000 – it said she and Delta had arrived at a sum derived from materials costs and time involved.

      • maztec says:

        @InThrees: What I am unclear on is why the glass is now unuseable and cannot be cleaned, prepped, and reused? It sounds like she lost a lot of time, but not necessarily $2000 in resources. And… it sounds like she put these in the wash machine and it did not stick.

        Honestly, small claims court for maybe $200 worth of goods? Phah.

        • v says:

          @maztec:

          The surface conditioner is the bonding agent for the paint. It is” the critical” step in the paint performance, that, in Delta speak, “failed”.

          The glass pieces cannot simply be washed, and all of the paint comes off. It will detach in pieces, sometimes large, sometimes small, and the rest has to be removed with an abrasive pad, or sometimes razor blade. This scratches the glass. iIknow this as truth, as i have gone back on some pieces, to change the design, or didn’t like the color, and eventually gave up. i destroyed the glass piece itself.

    • @chgoeditor: It’s not unusual for art/craft supply companies to refund more than the cost of their actual product when their product failure ruins your piece. After spending 300 hours on a single project, what a faulty product in that stage of production has ruined is not the $40 of materials but the 300 hours of my time worth nearly what the finished product is worth. I recently had a 40-hour project (that was a wedding gift for my best friend) ruined during the finishing process. I was literally crying I was so devastated.

      If you want to guarantee artists and craftspeople never buy from you again, reimburse them just for your product, or (if you’re a finishing product) just for the cost of the materials.

      Even ones that just sell retail to hobbyists will often refund, send you an apologetic letter, and then send a gift card to make it up to you.

  10. TPS Reporter says:

    With that attitude he won’t be in the business of actually being in business for long.

  11. samson says:

    Two concepts
    1. Seth Godwin Moment
    The CEO could have approved the purchase. Pimped it for the customer service miles he could get out of it and consulted the customer and improved the prodect. Sounds like a niche product with the ability to have a cult following.

    2. Ceo Steve Ballmer moment

    Offer her $ with a gag order and a no fault clause.
    Sign here for $

    Ignore her. She is a ant in the population and does not matter anyway. This will go away.

    Sue me. Prove it

    3. My momment

    On the internet nothing goes away. People who RELY on your product and it fails expect you to fix it. The problem is I don’t have a spreasheet or a PL to show how that works. People go away. If enough people go away no more company.

    In the mean time companies that fail the CEO walk away with cash.

    Imagine if there were financial penalties for killing your company.

    The military, prisons, parents all have a legal responsibility to care for others in some fashion. Only companies can externalize costs for profit to enrich a few.

    Goverments are included but the is not the Governist.com

  12. humphrmi says:

    I love the Internet.

    Enjoy your fail, Mr. George.

  13. strife1012 says:

    Gotta love google, no 7 on the google search for google.com/search?q=delta+creative

  14. NightSteel says:

    I keep thinking about this, and I just can’t understand it. What would possess this guy to scuttle the agreement after it had already been made? What part of him thought that it would be a better idea to do that than to just take the hit and tell his people never, ever to do that again? How could he not have realized that forcing his company to go back on its word would piss the customer off way more than simply turning them down in the first place?

    I see the point about refunding people only for the cost of your product and not for their own time and effort, and I have to agree with it, but if you empower your customer service people to resolve issues with the customer, you don’t swoop back in and cut them off at the knees in front of the customer when they do just that. I feel bad for the employees that put together her deal only to have this douchebag shit all over it.

  15. akacrash says:

    Can you technically sell something that doesn’t work? Not even the consideration of a loyal customer, but if someone sold me, say, a $100 ipod that didn’t work, it’d be a $100 paperweight.

    Go to small claims court.

    The company had the opportunity to make right by you, and it was approved (giving you the evidence you’d need.) THEY could have ended this hastle up front.
    Instead, in an effort to save a few bucks, the president acts like a prick.

    If it’s the bottom line that matters to him, sue for the paint, the lost product, the cost of *those* materials, the time, and lost revenue.
    Then the next time someone asks for a few bucks as a product garuntee, he might not be such a douchebag.

  16. homerjay says:

    Start by looking up “IMPLIED WARRANTY” or “WARRANTY OF FITNESS”

    Then when you’re armed with that knowledge feel free to call Billy boy and let him know you’re not stupid and will call your states attorney general’s office and file a claim.

    Let us know how THAT goes! :>)

    • homerjay says:

      @homerjay: Oh wait. She wants them to pay for her creations, not the paints.
      Well that won’t work then… at’s a shame. Sorry.

    • silver-bolt says:

      @homerjay: Thank god someone else knows about implied warranties.

      @homerjay: Actually, if part of the products use or instructions require it to be used in conjunction with other products, the manufacturer can be found liable if the product destroys the other products. They can be liable for any damage caused when the product is used as intended. Not that they automatically will, but can. Now, the lost profit, probably not.

    • v says:

      @homerjay:

      homerjay, thanks!

  17. akacrash says:

    @ chgoeditor:
    “Most companies will warranty against their own product failing, but they’re not going to reimburse you for damage it possibly causes to something else.”

    Completely untrue!

    If my laptop battery fails and burns my desk, you better damn well beleive they owe me a desk.

    If I eat at a restaurant and get bad food, you better believe they owe me for the hospital visit, and not just a $20 refund for bad seafood.

    If I buy car tires that fail and cause a crash, I’m sure as shit going to get reimbursed for more than $200 worth of tires.

    • homerjay says:

      @akacrash: You can say that, but does that make it legally accurate (which is really all that matters here)?

    • XTC46 says:

      @akacrash: Actually, most warranties clearly state the exact oppisite of what you are claiming. Loss or damage of property, resources, time , or data is almost always specifically excluded in the warranty on things like laptops, or any other electronic.

      In the case of food poisoning, you could make a claim against the restraunt, but good luck proving it was their food, and not one of the other meals you have had in the last few days. Oh you only had that to eat? well it was probably lack of eating that made you sick. So at BEST they will give you a refund (likely just a credit to come back)

      Big companies make sure they cover their asses with warranties, and most are written for the benefit of the company, not you.

      • RedwoodFlyer says:

        @undefined:

        True, however, in practice, due to various state laws, they’re responsible for much more than that…for example, if a tire failure caused $10,000 in damage to your car, firestone would have to pay that, but they would not be responsible for you missing a flight, a meeting with a client, etc…

  18. MarshalIshareit says:

    That is horrible customer service. I too use Delta Perm Enamel but will be returning my unopened stock. I think customers need to vote with their wallets and NOT buy any Delta products. If Bill needs to learn customer service, he should call someone from HamiltonBeach. They are outstanding in every way – He could take a lesson or two.

  19. kaitlind says:

    I am way into high-fire pottery so I thought maybe I could add some insight. Both ceramics and glass art use a lot of the same supplies and raw materials, and in my area the supplies are sold at the same places.

    Whenever I were to buy pre-mixed clay or glaze it had a warning that said something like “Due to the organic nature of some ingredients, it is recommended that you put a piece all the way through the production process in order to make sure there are no product anomalies.” They said this because if they changed suppliers (iron oxide for example) and the iron came from a mine in a different state, the results might be slightly different, even if you had bought the glaze previously.

    Now, most artists don’t do this testing like they should with every batch of clay, but stuff like this is not unheard of. I’ve seen kiln loads of artwork melt onto the shelves, damaging thousands of dollars worth of kiln shelves and bricks.

    All of that said, if she was promised a refund or compensation, then denied it, that is lame and I would be very angry.

    • organicgardener says:

      @kaitlind: That’s a very good explanation. And I agree that once the offer is made, the CEO is a DOUCHE for overturning it! Big mistake.

    • @kaitlind:

      Yep, standard disclosure.

      Also known as TEST, TEST, TEST.

      Failure to TEST is the fault of the user not the supplier.

      Now, having said that, the company should have cut her claim off before the marketing deptartment promised the sun and moon. Since the marketing department failed in establishing proper guidelines and hung the company out to dry, I think the proper thing for Delta to do is FIRE the employees that have been in contact with the OP and reimburse the material costs incurred. Sorry, labor is fault of the OP for failing to TEST.

      OH, and make sure the employees are FIRED. I am sick and tired of employees promising the sun and moon when they lack the authority to do so.

  20. seamer says:

    I’m concerned at the usage of ‘fail’.

    Is the treated glass shattering because of the Delta products?

    If the defect is ‘not adhering to the glass’, then a different term is better suited. ‘Fail’ implies something a little more nefarious than a piece of glass that looks crap.

    • Tallanvor says:

      @seamer: Huh? Failure doesn’t necessarily indicate some sort of catastrophic problem.

      If a tire on an airplane bursts during landing, it failed, but that doesn’t mean the entire plane is ruined (well, not normally, anyway). So why does this product have to destroy something else for you to believe it failed?

      • seamer says:

        @Tallanvor: A mechanical issue is vastly different to paint not sticking to glass, lets compare apples to apples eh?

        If a pen doesn’t write on a piece of paper, it’s broken. You don’t say ‘it failed’ and expect everyone to know what you’re referring to.

        • cac67 says:

          @seamer: Wow, you have a very limited concept of what the word “failed” means. You might want to look it up. Never mind, I’ll do it for you:

          v. failed, fail·ing, fails
          v.intr.
          1. To prove deficient or lacking; perform ineffectively or inadequately: failed to fulfill their promises; failed in their attempt to reach the summit.
          2. To be unsuccessful: an experiment that failed.
          3. To receive an academic grade below the acceptable minimum.
          4. To prove insufficient in quantity or duration; give out: The water supply failed during the drought.
          5. To decline, as in strength or effectiveness: The patient’s heart began to fail.
          6. To cease functioning properly: The engine failed.
          7. To give way or be made otherwise useless as a result of excessive strain: The rusted girders failed and caused the bridge to collapse.
          8. To become bankrupt or insolvent: Their business failed during the last recession.

          Btw, most people would understand that a ball point pen that failed didn’t write. Most people would think that a ball point pen that was broken was physically damaged. You seem to have this concept backwards.

  21. TPK says:

    Yet once again, the case of a totally clueless executive who is unaware of the new “internet world” in which we all live. There simply is no longer a wall of obscurity to hide behind. Your poor decisions will be found out and hung out for everyone to see.

  22. bwcbwc says:

    I guess an EECB is out of the question, then.

    Strange to have a company that turns the standard customer support practices upside down. I predict great woe and gnashing of teeth at Delta Creative.

  23. fisherstudios says:

    I understand the principle of an implied warranty – and the principle of merchantability for a particular purpose. This begs the question if Vickie was using the product for one of the purposes set forth by the manufacturer as one of the ‘purposes’ for the product.

    And couldn’t it be argued that the primer did not destroy the glass? Couldn’t she have scraped it off and applied a new primer? Why should the company have to pay for her decision to throw out all of her work instead of try to salvage it?

  24. caj11 says:

    While I agree that the president of this company is being an arrogant jerk and this could cost him much more than $2000 in bad publicity, I’m a little unclear about something. Could Vickie truly prove that she would have been able to sell all that glass pieces that were ruined for $2000? Or is that just the value of her raw materials in addition to the enamel?

    In any case, if Vickie’s business is completely ruined from this, “cut off at the knees” as she says, I hope Delta Creative’s business gets ruined as well. Posting on the Consumerist website isn’t enough. She should go to the local press.

    • v says:

      @caj11:
      There has been so much said here….I’ll write some to help clarify…

      What failed (delta speak) was the surface conditioner. This is the most critical step to the painting process using permenamel paints. It is the chemical agent that allows the paint to bond to the glass. When this is broke, it can’t be fixed.

      The paint does not come off evenly or easily. Even when trying to remove during the 10 day curing process, I have decided to make a design change, it can literally take hours to get the paint off one small piece of glass. It doesn’t come off evenly….sometimes small pieces of paint….sometimes large. And the rest is a killer to remove. Razor blades and abrasive pads are the only thing that will do the trick……but as a result the highly polished surface of the glass is dulled and scratched. The result ? The trash bin.

      I can’t sell the pieces, I cannot guarantee that the paint won’t come off. I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t buy temporary….unless maybe a timeshare. Delta is well aware of my inability to sell these pieces That’s why the claim was approved. As far as proving their value, I have sales receipt books, stating the value of each piece sold, and documentation of all sales tax paid, as well as my business tax returns.

      I really truly have painted thousands of glass pieces using only delta permenamels. I understand it’s application process, and do not deviate from the process. And by not deviating from the application process, I have the return customers to prove it.

      I hope this has answered some of your questions.
      Vickie

  25. v says:

    If it were just a matter of the glass looking like “crap”, then I think even I would consider me a whiny bitch.

    The surface conditioner, which is the most critical step in the painting process, acts as the bonding agent between the glass and paint, with a 10 day cure time.
    Once the cure date passes, the pieces were absolutely dishwasher safe, heat safe, microwave safe…..safe safe safe.

    When this process “fails” (delta speak, again) all bets are off.

    To answer the question about removing the paint….I wish it were that simple. Sometimes mid piece and during that 10 day cure window, I have decided to make a design change. The paint comes off but it has never been evenly for me. Small bits, large bits, but most of it remains, and must be scrubbed with an abrasive (which has taken me hours on one small piece), or with a razor blade, both which scratch or dull the high polish surface of the glass. The looks like trash, and goes in the trash.

    Loved the “implied warranty & warranty of fitness”. Back to school for me.

    Thanks

  26. v says:

    The pieces cannot be sold because the bonding agent “surface conditioner” failed (delta speak). I cannot guarantee to my customers that the paint will stay on.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t buy temporary anything. Unless maybe it’s a timeshare.

    As I said a little earlier, I was a delta disciple. Proficient in their permenamel products. I have painted and sold thousands of pieces, only using their products. The permenamel surface conditioner is the critical step in using these products. The paint absolutely will not stay on the glass without this very special chemical blend. I do not deviate in any way from the Delta Permenamel process.

    I have the return customers to prove it.

  27. MayorBee says:

    This idiot president has the same name as the CFO of the company I work for. I wonder if my CFO could sue this guy for damage to his name.

  28. Sockatume says:

    So their new motto is “Delta Paint: Don’t Count on it!”

  29. marsneedsrabbits says:

    Wow, timely.

    I was going to buy several bottles of Ceramcoat, some Pearl Luster, blender medium, & sealer tomorrow and start on Christmas painting this weekend.

    I’ll get something else if they don’t stand behind their products. They should have (at minimum) replaced or refunded the cost of the product you used.

  30. Tonguetied says:

    I don’t know that I should post their “contact us” email but I did send them a note with a link to this site describing how bad they were looking.

  31. StyckyWycket says:

    Nice douchey maneuver, Mr. George. Way to promote your business.

    Genuine legal question, though: is Delta Creative liable for the $2,000 in lost revenue, or just the amount paid for the product?

  32. fisherstudios says:

    Yes, Vicki would have to prove to the judge that the artwork was actually worth what she claimed. Such as but not limited to providing signed contracts that specify the price to be paid or canceled check(s).

    Many times, the plaintiff is in the right but fails to provide this kind of evidence, which ties the judge’s hands and forces the judge to award what the judge thinks is fair – usually much less than what the plaintiff hoped for.

    We are talking about painted glass here, not stained glass. So it could be argued that Vicki could have quickly gone out and purchased new materials to not disappoint her clients. That way, her clients would still pay her and she would only have to be reimbursed for the materials from Delta. Unless of course this was rare glass such as tempered, wired, bulletproof, etc and would have been impossible to re-order quickly.

  33. NadiaPlatypus says:

    Here is a link to the the hierachy of Delta Creative and its Swiss parent company. Perhaps Bill George’s superiors will be interested in this publicity error: http://www.dkbhh.com/applications/dkb/brands/en/home.nsf/contentview/contact

  34. grandzu says:

    ‘Reminds me of Bill Gates in the Simpsons: “I didn’t get rich by writing a lot of checks!”

  35. Osi says:

    Wow the mods really need to review their own posting policies, and quit deleting valid posts …

    Throw them in court and sue the hell out of them for false advertising and the like.

    File police reports for fraud, file a complaint with the state’s AG (your state and theirs), file a BBB report, etc.

    These jerks need to be hanged.

  36. tylerk4 says:

    The firm I work for is currently representing an out of business furniture manufacturer that is suing its stain and coating provider under similar circumstances. A few words the OP may find useful: Breach of Implied Warranty of Merchantability, Breach of Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Specific Purpose, and Negligence.

  37. SOhp101 says:

    Should she get reimbursed the entire $2000 for her time spent? Perhaps not since she didn’t properly test the product. But the president should have chosen his words carefully… not standing behind your product is a big no-no.

  38. v says:

    This matter is in the process of being settled. I will be making a statement on Monday.

    Vickie

  39. v says:

    I have used the Delta PermEnamel Products for several years with marvelous results. This was an isolated incident which I would not expect to recur. This isolated incident has been resolved to my complete satisfaction. Thank you, Delta Creative, Inc.

    Vickie Silcox/Artist
    A Painted Setting