- Apr 30, 2017 at 8:47 pm #3465645
mike pBPL Member
“One thing I don’t get, if he is still so overloaded from the combination of orders, emails, and injuries, then why is he excepting new orders again?”
Because he still needs to line work up for himself. This is his source of income. He’s advertising an 8 week wait time for new orders, so it’s not as though he’s being dishonest.May 6, 2017 at 9:40 am #3466430
chris sBPL Member
I understand that. But, he closed his books to play catch up. To get ahead on orders already made. I have been waiting for an order placed 15 weeks ago. Haven’t been able to get a hold of him in 8 weeks.
Yet, he decided to quickly open the books back up, and my order from the beginning of the year hasn’t been fulfilled. Can’t imagine he’s all that caught up. So why open them back up if he hasn’t gotten caught up, or why close them in the first place if he didn’t care enough to actually return peoples calls/emails?
I can understand backlog, getting overwhelmed with emails, but it shouldn’t take over 2 months to return an email. I’m getting impatient and annoyed. I’m not asking for much, just a simple email response. Heck, I even realized I typed in my wrong inseam measurement, tried emailing to change it, still no response. So IF he actually makes the rain suit, it may come in the wrong size because he won’t respond to any darn emails.May 20, 2017 at 1:18 pm #3468877
mike pBPL Member
hmm. Has anyone gotten a reply from him in the last ~3-4 weeks?
My trip is coming up mid-June and haven’t heard anything back. Probably going to end up ordering some other wind gear just in case my order from Luke’s doesn’t arrive.May 21, 2017 at 10:38 am #3469007
Patrick WBPL Member
Not to pile on, but perhaps to provide another data point. I also had a very difficult time with delivery of an order made during the winter. Many similarities; busted delivery dates, personal reasons given, unanswered queries, etc.May 22, 2017 at 9:55 am #3469158
Ken LarsonBPL Member
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
Due to the recovery and healing needs of our founder following two separate car accidents that injured his hands, coupled with unprecedented demand for our products, Lukes Ultralite will be suspending orders for a brief period.
Our existing orders will be filled and new internal systems put in place to help speed orders with the same attention to detail and uncompromising quality that makes Lukes Ultralite the best choice for custom-made ultra-light weight outdoor gear.
We thank our customers for their loyalty, support and understanding, and we look forward to serving you as soon as we resume.Jun 6, 2017 at 4:45 pm #3471960
New story–I placed an order for a down hood and stuff sack ($91) on April 21; not a word from anyone there. I have emailed queries now several times, with no response. A phone call gets a “full mailbox” response.
I did purchase from Luke about a year and a half ago (wood stove stuff sack); this was well-made and came in a pretty timely manner, so I expected the same service.
They may be overwhelmed by events, but someone there needs to make a good-faith effort to communicate. People are generally understanding, but they will lose all goodwill with continued silence, and this will threaten the level of trust that anyone will want to place in any similar cottage businesses. I will certainly think twice now before placing an order with someone at that level.
Hopefully combined pressure will move someone; things will not be good for them in the end if they just try to hide and pretend that we will all go away.
karukunJun 13, 2017 at 11:02 am #3473143
James BBPL Member
Ok guys, I don’t post often on BPL, but I read a lot and have been around long enough to make a call. I think Luke’s walking away from his obligations permanently. Happy to discuss, but I’ve had a $272 in items on order since April 1st, and:
– I just performed a Paypal transaction dispute which auto-escalated. I’ve been on eBay / Paypal for 10+ years as a buyer / seller with 1000+ feedback. Auto-escalation happens when the buyer has totally walked away with all funds in their Paypal account and has ignored all warnings from Paypal. It has only ever happened for me where that party’s actions were currently or later deemed to be fraud.
– No response to any emails, any facebook posts, or messages, to / from anyone.
Now here are some questions for those more familiar with the situation than me:
– Has anyone confirmed that Luke was actually in an accident? Or two accidents? Or that the seamstress left, and who she was, or why she left? I mean directly, not from Luke / Mark.
– Has anyone received a single product from Luke Ultralite since 1st of January 2017 at all?
– The first thing a ‘new system’ would do would send out an email to everyone explaining the situation. Has anyone got a pro-active (unprompted) email?
– Has anyone actually spoken to Mike, Luke’s brother, and gotten confirmation that he’s actually a separate / real person?
The reason I’m extra suspicious is because I have also been an avid collector of torches while participating on the CandlePowerForums, which is not too different from this forum. Twice I’ve seen this sort of failure of a reputable cottage manufacturer because the person got into financial difficulty and made up irrelevant disasters to buy time. In the end, you just have to draw a circle around the facts you know for sure, and what you took on face value.
There is a 6 month window of protection on Paypal orders, and it gets more difficult in the last month to get a refund. He may be just trying to wait out this time window.
If I’m wrong, I will be the first to apologise and reorder. Good luck everybody.Jun 13, 2017 at 11:14 am #3473146
You are right; time to close on this one. Apparent intent to deceive. Shame to see this in this industry; it will affect trust in every other outdoor cottage industry.
People are generally very understanding and willing to give a chance–it is enraging when people take advantage of that, without a good-faith effort made on their part whatsoever.
I will check on how to work with Paypal for a reimbursement.Jun 13, 2017 at 3:25 pm #3473202
Thomas WillardBPL Member
It’s a real shame Luke let this happen. He had credibility and a loyal following but it seems he has pissed it all away. I no longer feel empathy for him since he posted his “right the ship” post. He clearly hasn’t taken the time to prove to the customer he’s sorry.Jun 15, 2017 at 3:13 pm #3473525
Danny MilksBPL Member
@dannymilksLocale: SF Bay Area
I’m saddened to hear that Luke has not been able to keep up with demand, or even basic communication. I do know that he was in at least one accident, and Mark is real too. But it sounds like things have just gotten out of control. I’ve worked with him in business for years and he’s been nothing but outstanding. I sincerely hope he recovers his health and his reputation for outstanding products and customer service. Here’s to wishing him the best!Jun 30, 2017 at 1:10 pm #3476456
Update. I have purchased from Luke several times in the past year and have gotten excellent products and service. However- the latest order was three plus months ago and counting. I left messages both verbal and email over the last week. Mark got in touch with me this A.M. Apparently Luke’s health issues are continuing and he is working on a very limited basis. Mark encouraged me to go the PayPal dispute route and I did so with no difficulty ( so far ). I am Concerned for Luke’s health and wish him a full and speedy recovery. Would I order again when “the ship is righted”? Yes! In an instant. But – this is business and when you take people’s money in a commercial transaction you have responsibilities. At this point I do not consider this to be a “going concern” and would have to advise others to protect themselves financially. Again, In my contacts with Mark and Luke they have always been honorable and gentlemen. I think they have been overwhelmed by circumstances that have only been hinted at. I wish them both the very best.Jun 30, 2017 at 8:52 pm #3476521
David PostonBPL Member
@dgpostonLocale: NYC metro
So…I was wanting to purchase a pair of the Argon pants, which I understand are the lightest wind pants on the market. Should I write off Luke’s ultralite?Jun 30, 2017 at 9:22 pm #3476522
Ryan SmithBPL Member
For now, no way I would order from Luke’s.Jun 30, 2017 at 9:46 pm #3476525
“Should I write off Luke’s ultralite?”
I agree with Ryan in that I would hesitate to order from him right now, but I also agree with Danny, I wouldn’t write him off altogether and wish him the best, and hope he gets things back under control.Jul 1, 2017 at 5:54 am #3476539
Bob MoulderBPL Member
@bobmny10562Locale: Westchester County, NY
I also wish him the best. I was on the cusp of ordering something when this all started and glad I didn’t proceed.
However, the longer this drags on the harder it’s going to be to rehabilitate his reputation.
I hope he is somehow able to make the transition from one-man-band to a real business with enough employees to keep up with demand. That is a point in growth that definitely requires a leap of faith, but prior to this meltdown he had built up a good brand and name recognition that would seem to justify such a commitment.
Of course there’s got to be a lot more going on than we know.
First thing — right now — is to move heaven and earth when it comes to refunding people their money.Jul 1, 2017 at 8:18 am #3476545
Listen, the fact that the website is still soliciting business and taking peoples’ money is criminal. A message needs to be placed, and purchasing shut down immediately.
I understand sympathy for the past–I myself had a great prior purchase, which is why I ordered my hood and cuben fiber products that will never come. But this is now.
I own a small business myself, where I am on the line everyday for the products (Japanese and Korean translations) that I do–now matter how many great products we made and how successful we have been during the past 17 years, if we don’t produce great products and deliver them on time today, we will not eat. That is business.
I hope the best for the lives of these folks. But the situation is criminal. From prior discussion it is evident that someone not too long ago was taking charge and managing the business, responding to customers, so they have to be aware of what is going on. The sooner they deal with the situation the better.
I wonder where Luke’s is located? Time for a visit to be paid.
karukunJul 1, 2017 at 8:39 am #3476546
Luke has now placed a suspended business notice up; David won’t be able to place his order (good).
Luke’s shop is in Powell Ohio.
I see that Luke served in Afghanistan (as did I); everything about his background, and prior dealings with him by myself and about everyone, says that this is a good/fair person.
Hope that they will communicate a response plan. From what I see in this blog, people will be understanding, with a bit of communication provided.
karukunJul 1, 2017 at 8:40 am #3476547
It seems plausible to me that they thought Luke’s condition had improved and they would reasonably be fulfilling orders shortly and then there was a setback or another injury. I have no knowledge of the situation so I really don’t know what is going on of course.
I agree that prompt refunds are in order.Jul 2, 2017 at 10:10 am #3476678
<p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>Luke has not been accepting new orders for some time now. I placed my last order about three and a half months ago when he briefly was taking more. I think perhaps he thought he had things under control at that time but it did not work out. I would suggest that people with long outstanding orders might want to do what Mark, his brother, suggested to me – go the PayPay dispute route or do a claw back through their credit card. You can reorder later if it becomes possible and the company appears stable. The longer you wait to get a financial resolution the harder it will be. I hope things work out for Luke with his health and his business. I use his products and they are excellent. Again, as noted previously, communication and transparency are important in these situations.</p>Jul 6, 2017 at 10:48 am #3477309
Kief HBPL Member
@kiefLocale: Eastside Sierra, Downeast Maine
Sorry, but telling paying customers to file PayPal disputes or credit card clawbacks rather than simply refunding their money for undelivered goods doesn’t jibe with my personal definition of “honorable.”Sep 16, 2017 at 8:02 pm #3491376
Follow up to this thread: Luke has resumed taking limited orders per his website. He contacted me by email just prior to this ( 8/26/17 ) I suspect because I had had an outstanding order with him. ( since refunded as I noted above ) I placed an order on 8 /27/17, he invoiced me the next day and I paid with Pay Pal. The five items I ordered ( including custom rain pants )arrived eight days later in good order and were the usual top quality that I have gotten from LUL in the past. I can only speak to my experience and no one else’s. I continue to wish him the best, it sounds like he has been through a lot.Sep 17, 2017 at 8:29 am #3491453
Happy that this worked for you; I wonder if there will now be movement on my order that has been in the dark since March, 2017. Will he be good with so many who have been waiting, or will he cut them off and just start off like nothing happened? I guess we will see. Glad that he is alive and well-there are things that are more important than gear. I do hope for an honest response to my order query with good faith.Sep 20, 2017 at 7:54 am #3492028Sep 20, 2017 at 10:10 am #3492046
Dena KelleyBPL Member
@eagleriverdeeLocale: Eagle River, Alaska
Saw that too and wondered if Luke had gotten back to people who still have orders in with him before he agreed to do a Massdrop? I also question whether I’d ever get the shorts if I ordered them. I think he’d do better to take care of existing backorders and re-establish his reputation as a reputable company to do business with.Sep 20, 2017 at 11:08 am #3492052
@pastyj-2-2Locale: Fed up with BPL snark!
Playing the Devil’s advocate here…
I own a pair of the Laundry Shorts and while I like them very much, they are clearly about the quickest/easiest/least expensive article of clothing to manufacture that one could imagine. *IF* he is trying to get back on his feet, and *IF* some positive cash flow is required to do that, the MassDrop *may* be an attempt to get the business back up and operational quickly.
That statement is in no way meant to diminish the concerns of those with unfilled orders, nor does it condone the way business dealings have been handled so far…just attempting to imagine a scenario where a guy recovering from a serious accident, and with all good intentions, is doing what he can to save his business. I am staying tuned as time will tell what the true story is.
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