I am in agreement with Mr. Ray. My greatest area of complaint is the treatment over the phone, which I ceased, and then the continued abuse in emails. The materials used in manufacturing are of concern, but secondary in nature. However, Mike of Socal claims they make all of their own product.
I purchased eight SRA-104LED in raw brass. Evidently in increasing the number to eight from the initial one, the finish defaulted to black, completely my fault for not reviewing the order afterward. When the fixtures arrived and I opened them, I called about the finish. Mike told me I ordered black. He said I could have them sand blasted because the raw brass is what is underneath.
I took them to a machinist. The machinist began blasting one stem and then told me I would be better off using an industrial stripping agent. He had some, showed me how it worked (it worked great), I went an purchased some and started stripping. All of the stems are brass, all of the tops are copper. I called Mike. Mike told me that it was older brass off the shelf. I explained that neither the machinist nor I believe it is brass. Then Mike told me since I ordered black there part was done. I explained their advertising should state "may not be all brass if coating is ordered", as the ad states "solid brass". The conversation became fruitless.
I deliberately ordered one raw brass and one black. I stripped the black, it is all brass. In the interim the client wanted four more as the 25watt equivalency stated on the socal website is incorrect, another case of false advertising. I ordered three more raw brass fixtures, they came with the wrong bulbs. Not a big thing, we all make mistakes. It is what transpired afterward that was inappropriate for a professional exchange. I cannot prove what was said verbally, so I will leave that out lest this become a "he said / she said" issue. Here is my first written complaint followed by Mike's reply (there a few other emails, pretty much the same tenor):
I have bcced the client so he is aware of my frustration and what we are now waiting for.
I called SoCal from the jobsite today, about 37 miles from my home. The individual who answered, Mike, asked how I was doing and I said "not so good". Mike then responded with something like "oh, is something wrong with your family?" I said "no, I received the wrong bulbs with a fixture order". Mike then said something like "Oh, I thought there was something wrong with your family, wrong bulbs is not a big thing, this is why we tell people to buy all of their fixtures at one time."
Mike, who is apparently the owner, has no business deciding for me what is an issue or not. I bid a job and now will drive another 74 miles to complete it. In essence, this does impact my family, I cannot bill out the job which is what pays my family's bills. Mike also said the manufacturer sometimes changes things. I was told by SoCal that Socal manufactures the lights. It is very poor quality control not to know what you are making and sending out.
Now, I cannot have new bulbs unless I pay for new ones or you will wait until the old ones are in your hand to send them out.
My client selected your fixtures. He is a very busy individual and delegated purchasing, etc. to me. I cannot speak for the client, but I will attempt to discourage any further purchases from your company by anyone I do work for. And, to be quite honest, we do work on a lot of high-end homes in this area.
My problems with your fixtures:
1) When online I ordered raw brass for the first lot, qty one. When I went to check out I saw the wrong qty and went back to increase the order. I believe when I changed the quantity the system defaulted back to black because I received all black fixtures.
2) I called and was told to have them sand-blasted as they are all brass.
3) I had them all stripped and the tops look like copper.
4) I then deliberately ordered one raw brass and one more black
5) A few days later the client wanted four more, so I ordered those.
6) Some of the screws on the next batch have larger diameter heads than the others and the head of the screw hits the side of the fixture, disallowing easy assembly and disallowing screwing the screw all of the way down.
I have stripped the black one that came, it is all brass. All of the raw brass ones you sent are all raw brass.
Images of all this will be posted at http://www.penlightelectirc.com/images/brass.html in about 30 minutes. There is no public link to these, I want you to see them, if you opt to do so.
ok whats the problem we said we will exchange them like any other company you have to exchange the item to get the new one read our terms we have them plainly shown on the website and if you cant use the website dont get mad at us your the first customer to have that happend and if your such a high end big client why would a job with less then 15 fixtures be such a big deal mistakes happend people are human if your talent or job does not fulfill hapiness in your life dont vent on us do something about other than complain we will echange the sockets thats all we can do for you and we are paying the shipping good luck finding hand made solid brass fixtures made in the usa for anywhere near our prices we will correct the problem and pay all the shipping but if your not happy with your life and have this much time to complain and not stand up and be a man and do something about it like find something that will make you happy dont take it out on us we are doing our part
I wrote will incensed over the phone conversations, I apologize for any apparent tit-for-tat. I will say Mike addressed the lamps immediately, for which I thanked him (I have all emails). Left undecided are the copper tops and incorrectly sized screws.
So, based on people willing to identify themselves, such as Mr. Coleman and now myself, please do look at what is within the BBB and other entities which exist that house complaints or praise of businesses. I also believe that SoCal has within their purview the ability to provide good service, something is holding them back at this stage.
Side note. The bayonet base of the fixtures is within a well under the cap. There is no drain hole in the well. Sprinklers, or other low level sources of water could easily submerge the base in water. I am drilling drain holes in all of the fixtures.
If Socal takes care of the copper hats, I will immediately acknowledge such at all complaint sites I have visited. I Will also state so on my website where the pictures are posted. I already purchased the appropriate brass screws.