Why I Sold All My Hinderer Knives
Both in person and online, my interactions with Rick Hinderer had up until this point in time been largely pleasant. I don’t know him very well, but he’s always struck me as a level-headed individual. Rob on the other hand strikes me as someone who has many talents…none of which would seem to be dealing professionally with people. Here’s an excerpt from a communication I received from Rob:
“I will start with the elitist PM you sent me on the USN regarding whether our MIL/LEO policies effected you, that burned my ass. Then the giant USN debacle you created last week (NOTE: This is in reference to the comparison article which again was posted without incident in several forums), we have no time for nonsense. Those are the 2 straws that broke the camels back. If you have customer service, or warranty issues with any of your Hinderer products you will be treated with the utmost respect as all of our customers are, but as far as I am concerned you’re not welcome in our forums.”
Where to begin with such a communication? Why would Rob get upset if I sent him a simple, straightforward question trying to clarify if this (or any) Hinderer Knives policy would in any way affect me? Why would a company representative use this sort of language and tone in communicating with any customer on any issue?
My interest in Hinderer knives came mostly from having met Rick Hinderer earlier this year at Tactical Defense Institute – I found him to be an interesting fellow and was also interested because his knives are produced in Ohio where I also reside – state pride if you will. I was already scheduled to take another course at TDI which I knew Rick would also be attending and decided to reserve judgement on this incident until I could speak with Rick personally. Quite honestly, I had really hoped Rob’s handling of this situation was without Rick’s consent or perhaps even knowledge. I had further hoped that if Rick and I had the chance to speak face to face, the whole situation would be amicably resolved. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
The class we both attended was three days in duration. I had no desire to be confrontational about what had transpired, and had actually hoped that Rick might take it upon himself to address the issue with me as opposed to the other way around. I tried to be friendly with Rick and send the message that I was approachable – even mentioning at one point on the first day “if you want to discuss any knife stuff this this weekend, just let me know.” “We’ve got all weekend” was Rick’s response. By the morning of the third day, it because obvious that Rick, while perfectly friendly, wasn’t going to address the issue. So on one of the breaks I approached him and said “perhaps we should discuss this situation with Rob (Orlando).” Rick was friendly but direct and made the following three points to me:
1. “Comparison reviews are a no-no in his forum.”
2. “Commenting on Hinder Knives policy or how we do business is a no-no in his forum.”
3. “I don’t make knives for collectors.”
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John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.