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Praise for Rio Grande


#1
    Andrea told me that all of her people from Rio are monitoring
this forum 

Well then, let me send Rio some congrats. We’ve all been through the
problems they had with their computer & ordering system. I called Rio
yesterday to place an order, first time I’ve called them since
December. The phone rang exactly 1/2 ring, and was immediately
answered by a real person, not a machine! He was very helpful, and my
order was placed in record time, with only one thing on backorder
from a very long order list. I was quite impressed. If anyone’s been
avoiding Rio because of what happened with their computers last
year, go back–they’ve definitely got it all fixed now!

–Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Pet Motif Jewelry
http://www.featheredgems.com


#2

Now, if they could just fix all those backorders…

From what I’ve seen (and I usually place an order with them every
1-2 weeks), everything has improved except for the backorders which
seems to have become worse! I almost always fax the order (much
easier than finding the time to call during the day) and it’s a
little game to try and guess which items will be backordered…
usually 1 out of every 10 items will have that lovely designation.

Now, if they could just add a live inventory to their web site so
you could see what was truly available (like FireMountain and
Stuller) I’d be thrilled!!

Otherwise, I second the congrats on the improvements!

Dwain Coufal
D.C. Designs


#3

All,

Welll, I agree wholeheartedly that Rio has certainly improved over
the past few months. I purchase most of my material from Stuller but
now and then I need stuff from Rio cause Stuller doesn’t have it. My
students also purchase a lot of stuff from Rio and sometimes I order
for them.

I thought all the problems were resolved until about two months ago,
I ordered a specific fancy bezel wire (along with other things).
Everything was in stock except the bezel wire…I understand things
like this are not always in stock…and it was placed on back
order. Several weeks later I received a card saying it was still on
back order and if I still wanted it to just keep the card…if not
send it back. I waited. Nothing. One day a couple of weeks later
we received a call that the order was in and asked if I still wanted
it. I did. A few days later I got a package…of round sterling
discs!! The bag had the correct item number on it but I think we can
all agree, silver discs don’t look anything like bezel wire - right?
I called and they apologized and sent me the wire…I agreed to keep
the discs anyway.

Sooo, there are still a few glitches but still things are mucho
better!

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut1


#4

Dear group,

I have been doing business with Rio Grande for many years, but I
just want you all to know what they have done for me, and evidently
for others in my area. I am in the process of putting back together a
totally flooded studio after hurricane Katrina. I lost my workbench,
all of my tools and most of my materials due to the hurricane.

I received some tools as gifts from friends, and I placed an order
with Rio. I told them what had happened, and they are discounting my
order almost 40%!!! This is a huge savings for me at a time that I
really need it, and I am so grateful to them that I wanted everyone
to know what kind of a company they are - a company with a heart!

Best regards,
Dashka
Dashka Roth Contemporary Jewelry & Judaica
New Orleans, LA


#5

Dear Andrea,

It warmed my heart to hear of the substantial and meaningful support
you and the Bell family are offering the victims of the recent
hurricanes. Thanks to all of you for caring as you do.

Warmest regards,
Linda Walsh


#6

Hi:

That is so wonderful of Rio! I’ve done business with them for the
last 10+ years and know their customer service is very good. It’s
nice that they can offer you such a good discount at a time when it
really helps.


#7

Kudos to Andrea and the Bell family at Rio Grande. I admire your
kindness and understanding.

Judy in Kansas


#8

As some of you may remember, I had ordered a small polishing cabinet
from Rio Grande. I wasn’t happy with it’s performance and Thackery
Taylor from Rio said they would take it back. They sent a shipping
label and when they received it, they refunded my money.

I couldn’t be happier and just wanted to let you all know how much I
appreciate the wonderful service from Rio Grande and all of the help
and knowledge I have received from Orchid!

I have just donated half of the refunded money to Ganoksin. This is
such a wonderful forum!!

Thank you all,
Linda Blumel
Scottsdale, AZ


#9

Recently I purchase a hydraulic press from RGA (Rio Grande of
Albuquerque). When it came, I was really concerned about what
appeared to be tack welding on much of the frame. I called customer
service, but they were unable to tell me much.

I got into my PMS mode (that’s Piss and Moan Syndrome) and fired off
a snail mail, at the same time an email to Andrea Hill of RGA. Andrea
promised to find out the info for me. Pretty soon, Eddie Bell, the
owner of RGA, came into the discussion.

Not only did Eddie find out the straight from Lee
Marshall, but also the current owner of Bonny Doon, Phil Poirer. Both
of those gentlemen went into much detail about why those welds were
there, and why they weren’t a full running bead, as I expected. They
also went into detail about how they made each part of the press, as
well as stress tests performed on it. It greatly eased my mind, and I
felt more secure in being able to use this piece of equipment.

In all, I received 2 emails from Andrea, and 3 emails from Eddie.
They were professional and courteous, even in the face of one
wickedly witchy customer, e.g. myself.

So my heartfelt thanks for the great customer service provided by
RGA. Also, my very humble apology to those at RGA, who were gracious
and helpful.

Katherine Palochak


#10

Got to agree, Katherine,

I had a bum draw plate come to me. Tungsten, if you please. I had
not even used it and it went broken. I sent a picture to them of what
happened to it: See

They simply replaced it with my next order. No arguments,no fuss.
They definitely are one of the top jewellery supply companies
around.

Cheers, Hans Meevis
http://www.meevis.com


#11

Katherine,
As always, “Full of Grace.”

It is wonderful to see a person such as yourself, a valuable and
charitable member of the Orchid Community, publicly praise and make
an amend, to a respected merchant.

Andrea Hill and the entire Bell family, are in the forefront of
support to the community of creativity, from basic bead stringing,
to lasers and Platinum. Rio Grande is the epitome of Customer
Service.

Sincerely,
Terrie


#12

Why anyone would be happy with Rio, I don’t understand. My first
order with Rio was a pint bottle of rust colored patina, what I got
was a 4 oz bottle. (10 or more years ago) When I called, I was told
that there was a difference between OZT an OZ (16 oz is still 16 oz
liquid no matter what) The next flub up was SNAG Cleveland, I
ordered and Paid for a book - never got it. I was told it was out of
stock (forever) I’m not sure I ever got the credit? Rio’s prices are
not wholesale, they are retail. So even when one purchases
multiples, we are still paying retail - and the cost of the items we
sell are more than what can be purchased off the internet. Anyone
can buy from Rio, no resale license required.

I’m also PMC Certified. - no bargains there either. Rio is NOT
WHOLESALE!!! They should be.

Rita


#13

Rita

Why anyone would be happy with Rio, I don't understand. My first
order with Rio was a pint bottle of rust colored patina, what I
got was a 4 oz bottle. (10 or more years ago) When I called, I was
told that there was a difference between OZT an OZ (16 oz is still
16 oz liquid no matter what) 

No, Rita. OZT is TROY ounces, and it is NOT the same as (liquid) OZ.

Margaret


#14
OZT is TROY ounces, and it is NOT the same as (liquid) OZ. 

16 oz (as shown in their catalog was not ozt,) So you’re telling me
that 16 troy oz is only 4 oz liquid? I think you’re mistaken.


#15

Dear Rita,

We’ll contact you off line regarding how we can get our relationship
back on track, but I just wanted to reassure publicly that we would
never take someone’s money and keep it without shipping them a
product. Regarding the book that is mentioned here, the order was
placed at SNAG so the money was collected at the show. Unfortunately,
we sold through the book and it went on backorder. Normally we
wouldn’t charge for a backordered item until it was in stock and we
shipped it – but because it was sold at SNAG we had collected the
money on site. Then your backorder was cancelled, and the $24.99 that
had been on hold for the book was forwarded to your next order as a
credit, and you subsequently spent that credit on another order that
you placed on 1/27/06.

Also, regarding the OZT versus OZ, there is a difference. Troy
ounces are 12 to the pound, versus an avoirdupois (standard) ounce,
which is 16 ounces to the pound. Precious metals are measured in troy
ounces worldwide.

Rita – there’s a free copy of the backordered (once again in stock)
book on its way to you as an apology for the frustration related to
that transaction, and as I said, we’ll contact you off line to see
what we can do to improve our relationship.

Best regards,
Andrea Hill

Chief Executive Officer
The Bell Group
7500 Bluewater Road NW
Albuquerque, NM 87121
505.839.3033 ph
505.839.3032 fx


#16
Rio's prices are not wholesale, they are retail. So even when
one purchases multiples, we are still paying retail - and the cost
of the items we sell are more than what can be purchased off the
internet. Anyone can buy from Rio, no resale license required.

Rita, I feel your pain. And I’ll bet we’re not the only ones. But
while I’ve had a love/hate feeling about Rio for awhile, mostly for
the segments you mention above, I must admit that their customer
service has come through with flying colors every single time I’ve
had an issue. A couple times it was a piece missing out of a baggie
of findings, once I ordered small leather crimps and one crimp out of
the whole bunch was a different style. Both times they rectified the
situation without question. And just today I opened a box of things
I’d ordered the end of November and was only just going to be
needing in a few days… one of those tissue paper holders/cutters and
a 7" x 150’ roll of silver foil wrap. I’m doing a small show and had
promised on-the-spot gift wrapping. I discovered that my order
mistakenly included two of the holder/cutters and no foil wrap. I
called in time and without further ado it was offered as an overnight
delivery to arrive in time for my show. I was grateful, to say the
least.

Though even having said that, I have often lamented that even the
highest multiple purchase available for an item is still higher than
I’ve gotten that same item at a wholesale show. I doubt they’ll be
switching to Wholesale Only pricing any time soon, however. There
are plenty of folks out there willing to pay, or they wouldn’t still
be doing it. I will often hunt n search for particular items I need
elsewhere as often as possible; and only if I can’t find it/them
anywhere else, or I’ve been disappointed with the product from
another merchant, will I place the order with Rio. I don’t think
I’ve ever been disappointed with the quality of the things I’ve
gotten from Rio; but I would be deliriously happy to have such a
large supplier selling wholesale only. Oh my, yes.


#17

Troy is a different system of measurement. One Troy ounce is about
31 grams, or.0686 pounds (=1/12 pound) avoirdupois.

And as far as ounces of liquid, are you talking about 1) enough of
the liquid to come up to the 4 ounce mark on a calbrated container?
Or 2) enough of the liquid to weigh 4 ounces (avoirdupois)? – which
would of course depend on the liquid.


#18

Rio’s prices are not wholesale, they are retail. So even when one
purchases multiples, we are still paying retail - and the cost of
the items we sell are more than what can be purchased off the
internet. Anyone can buy from Rio, no resale license required.

.... Though even having said that, I have often lamented that even
the highest multiple purchase available for an item is still higher
than I've gotten that same item at a wholesale show. I doubt
they'll be switching to Wholesale Only pricing any time soon,
however. There are plenty of folks out there willing to pay, or
they wouldn't still be doing it. 

C’mon, have a heart, folks! It’s not necessarily “willing to pay”,
it’s a “have no choice” situation for some of us. Here you people
have a bazillion suppliers to choose from for wholesale only, that we
cannot buy from, and yet you begrudge us poor hobbyists who cannot
buy wholesale, our one really good supplier!

Margaret


#19

Praise for Rio Grande:

I have been using Rio for many years and any time I have had a
problem they have taken care of it immediately. I just had a major
problem handled by Thackeray Taylor and he handle it quickly and
efficiently and went over and above what most companies would do to
make sure I was happy. Can’t ask for better service that.

Happy Holidays everyone!
Debbie Parent
Apparently Art
Miami, Fl


#20

As someone who is still learning and not happy enough yet with my
skills to actually sell things, I am grateful for Rio. The need for
the resale certificate is tough when you are starting out.