The Zippo lighter that Mark has carried around the world with him for the last 30 years just wasn’t working like it used to. (I would say that it “lost its zip,” but that’s a stale pun and The Consumerist is far too dignified for that kind of thing.) He theorized that the reason could be the off-brand flints and fuel that he purchased for it locally. Zippo’s representative agreed, and to test that theory, sent him some free genuine Zippo brand fuel and flints in the mail immediately. “You’re probably the ‘most-best’ company in the world!” Mark wrote back to them.
Here’s his original letter:
I have a general question and hope I’m sending this to the right place. I purchased a Zippo brand new in 1980(ish). It’s gold and I love it. You’ve repaired it twice for me (Thank You Again!).
My long-winded question is it just doesn’t seem to fire like it used to / or always has? I’ve trimmed the wick, use Zippo flints and fuel (when I can find it) and (sorry to be vague) it just doesn’t seem to work like it always has for all these years? You repaired it for me I believe about two years ago and it looks to still be in great shape for its age, but again; it just “doesn’t seem right”. I don’t know if I did something or it just decided to give up after all these years?
I hate to send it back just to be told I’ve done something wrong. I don’t think I have. I’ve treated this lighter with the utmost respect for many-many years. I guess maybe I’m asking for some advise. I’ve checked your FAQ’s as well as the other many on the net and maybe it just decided it needs to go on the shelf; I don’t know and to be honest, I’m not even sure what I’m asking for. Any reply would be fine and if I need to send it in for a tune-up, so be it.
I’ve recently used a different brand of Flint and Fluid because I couldn’t find the Zippo Brand anywhere. It’s Ronsonol which claims to be the same…..but who knows? Anyway, thanks for creating the best lighter on the planet and it’s been around the world with me as well as under the water (I’m a Veteran Submariner – “Gulf War One”).
Take care and thanks again for any other courtesies you may have already extended me. ~Mark
A Zippo representative wrote back:
Thank you for your recent E-mail. We are sorry to hear that you are experiencing a difference in how your Zippo lighter functions.
We wish to advise that all of our lighters are manufactured the same as they have always been. We are mailing a 4 ounce can of lighter fluid and a 6-flint dispenser to you today to try in the lighter. If you are still experiencing problems with the lighter after changing the lighter fluid and flint, we would have to recommend that you send the lighter to us for repair.
We trust the fluid and flints will reach you soon.
Mark responded once the package arrived:
Again, I received within 3 days your box of Flints and Fluid; Thanks to you and once again – you’re probably the “most-best” company in the world. (I know, sounds like I’m 16), but most-best is I suppose is the highest I can bestow upon you.
WOW, is all I can say – Thank You So Very Much Again,
All is well with Mark’s lighter now. A happy ending for all!