Friday, October 12, 2007

Laube Litening Clipper - Customer Service Help Requested

Some of you might remember in one of my post's about my open house, I told of the problem I was having with a very expensive set of Laube Cordless Litening Clippers. Some of you commented that I should give the company the opportunity to make this situation right.

Here is the letter that I sent to the president of the company, Kim Laube, and to customer service as well.

Sept 14, 2007

Kim Laube and Co, Inc
2221 Statham Blvd
Oxnard, CA 93033

Cc: CEO Kim Laube

In late 2005 I purchased a brand new set of Laube Litening Clippers from a retailer on line, Sharpwright 1625 County Highway 10 Sprink Lake Park, MN 55432.

At the time I received the clippers and tried to charge the battery packs per the enclosed instructions. However, I had problems with the battery packs charging, even though I closely followed the instructions. The attempts resulted in an uncharged battery pack and a melted area in the case of the charger.

The entire unit was authorized to be sent to your service department, Laube Service Dept 2221 Statham Blvd, Oxnard, CA 93033, which I did. When they returned the clippers to me, there was no charger included. We did, however, get that cleared up and a charger was sent to me.

While I still had a problem with the amount of time it took to charge the battery packs, I had no idea how long it should have taken to charge these lithium batteries. That information is not included in the literature. I just remember thinking this had taken longer than I recalled with the first set of clippers that I broke in for a friend.

With the clippers charged, I tried using them on one horse and thought everything was fine. Unfortunately that is not the case. I have had nothing but problems with these clippers and their charge.

At first when the clippers didn’t work, I thought it was because they lose their charge over a period of time just sitting. Then I thought it was because they lose their charge in the cold. Since I do not use my clippers regularly, my warranty time was rapidly dwindling but I was chalking my problems with them up to me, not the clippers. I did not even suspect there was an issue with them.

It was not until I got ready for my open house this year and the one-year warranty was up that I really realized that there is something wrong with the lithium batteries or the clippers. I don’t really know which. All I know for sure is I have clippers that I paid a lot of money for and have never really gotten any use out of. I think they only clipped successfully for me in one session.

Granted in that one session, I think I clipped the bridle paths and muzzles on ten or so horses before I had a dead battery. That was the one and only time, I was successful clipping with them..

Because the warranty was up, I figured I just had to take this loss. I probably should have been more diligent following through on discovering if the clippers would work after the charge. I was relying on the integrity of the company and my past experience with the product. I just assumed that all was well only to find out too late, because I don’t use clippers here often, that something is still defective.

When I realized the clippers were defective, I was posting on my horse blog, MiKael’s Mania – Arabian Horses, about my preparations for my annual open house. As part of those posts I included my dilemma with these clippers and the problems I have had.

My regular readers thought that even though the warranty was up, I should write to you and tell you of my problems with your product. They thought that I should give you the opportunity to decide if you want to help me with them instead of just assuming that you would do nothing because the warranty time has expired.

I decided that they have a point. It is unfair for me to just assume that your company would not fix this problem which has obviously been there since I purchased the clippers. I do realize that you are within your rights to just write me off because the warranty is up. But I also realize that it is possible that since you have documentation in house that these clippers have been a problem, and that you have a long time reputation in the industry that you might decide to help me, for which I would be most grateful. I know my readership is very interested in hearing how this is all resolved.

I am enclosing a copy of the original letter I sent to you when I returned these clippers the first time and a copy of the portion of the blog post about my problems with these clippers. Also here is the link to that blog post in case you would like to verify that I did indeed post about your clippers. The references are farther down the page. If you follow that down to the bottom and click on the comments link, it will show you how people have responded to my post as well. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

As you can see from the date of this letter, it has been a month and I have heard nothing from customer service or the company's president, Kim Laube. My guess is that I probably will not.

When I originally sent this letter out I mistakenly sent it to the Wahl Clipper Corp because when I did a search on the internet to get the address for Laube, it came back with information that Wahl had purchased the Laube Co several years ago. Within a few days of when I sent out the original letter to Wahl, I had a phone call from the secretary of Wahl's CEO. She wanted me to know that they had received my letter and that if it had been within their power to replace my clippers, they would do so. However, Laube had been sold back to the original owner before I even bought these clippers. Wahl provided me with the contact information for the Laube Company and wished me well.

So it looks to me like Wahl's customer service and their reputation is a lot more important to them than that of Laube. Unfortunately, that is what my perception was of Laube in the first place from my experience in working in a tack store. Had I not had the opportunity to try out a pair of these Laube Litening clippers in the first place, I never would have considered purchasing a pair becuase I didn't trust them to stand behind their warranty, let alone do something in the interest of good customer service. If anything changes, meaning I hear from Laube, I will let you know. But for now, I'd say I'm out my $500 and have a useless pair of clippers.


  1. Thanks for the info. I've been looking at clippers and now I know which brand to NOT buy.

    I wish you luck with the next set of clippers that you do buy.

  2. Good Grief MiKael, not a word. *shakes head* I hope the get back to you, if not I recommend either ostar or Wahl. I have used both in different sizes, from small corded(perfect for bridlepaths and muzzles) to large corded body clippers. Wahl's small corded is super quiet too.

  3. Hmm. That's a real pain! Although corded clippers make a lot of noise and are not so manouverable, they seem a lot more robust than cordless ones, not just the brand you bought.

  4. Mind you, cordless anything seems a bit flakey to me. My phone's a right pain!

  5. Wahl certainly gets our vote of confidence. Thanks for that update. I'm really proud of you for taking the time to write Laube and give it a try. Your post on this matter has got to make a difference.

  6. Wow! I have a set of Wahl clippers and I'm glad to hear they got back to you even though in all reality they certainly didn't have to. That really says something about that company. I'm sorry you haven't heard back from Laube. And thanks for posting about this. I'll make sure from this point on that I will NOT look into Laube clippers let alone purchase clippers from that company. Customer service is EXTREMELY important to me when it comes to the purchase of big ticket items. ((HUGS!!)) and I truly hope you hear from them soon so my mind can be changed on their product and customer service.

  7. Hi MiKael

    Geesh I really thought they would at least try to make good on their product. So dissappointing and you can be sure I won't ever buy a pair of their clippers. I have Oster clippers and have pretty good service from them, only thing I find is that they can get a bit hot when used for long periods.

    Hope all is well. (((((Hugs)))))


  8. it seems like Wahl definitely knows how to take care of their customers! you can bet Ill remember that in the future.

    Word of mouth is the BEST. I reply on it more than anything.

    I hope you get a response but it doesnt seem likely does it?

  9. Two thumbs down on Laube---boo! I have two Wahl clippers. I will stick with them. Glad to know Wahl is so responsive.

  10. ouch that sucks.. but really cool that you sent a letter like that!! least you know that one company is a decent company.

  11. LOC, it's really sad, the first pair I broke in for the friend were great clippers. But who can afford to take the chance at that price.

    It was my experience at the tack store, that they could decide that the problem was "you screwed them up" and not their problem at all. I saw that too many times to be comfortable about their warranty. Should have listened to my gut and not spent my money.

    cheri, yupe, not a single word. No we're sorry, nothing. Even offering to look at them to diagnos the problem so I could know if it could be repaired or new parts (battery packs or whatever) would have been helpful, but to not reply at all. I think not good customer service at all.

    ro, these clippers were very quiet. very light weight and nice and quiet. For the little amount of time they worked, they were great clippers. The problem is they didn't work long enough to justify how much they cost. And my phone is a pain too. lol

    molly, yes I was impressed that Wahl contacted me and the secretary of the big boss no less! I don't know what it'll take to make a difference, I believe their customer service hasn't been great for years. Like I said before, I should have listened to my gut.

    equinespirit, what model of Wahl clippers do you have. The one I tried wasn't powerful enough for the job I need to do. It wouldn't even clip through the bridle path.

    lori, I'm with you about the Oster, they can get very hot. sometimes very fast.

    barngoddess, I'm thinking that I won't be getting any kind of response from them. If it hasn't happened by now. But if it does, I'll post an update. I'd like nothing better than for them to prove me wrong.

  12. Hi MiKael:
    This was very interesting to read, since I have a nearly identical experience with this same set of clippers.

    I purchased my Litening cordless clippers in April of 2007.

    One of my gripes was an absence of any real helpful instructions, just some very basic generic instructions on a piece of loose paper included in the $500 kit.

    Anyway after figuring things out for myself I went on to use the clipper for head and neck clipping a foal.

    When I went to charge the one battery pack after the initial use, it wouldn't charge! The green light came on in the flimsy charger and the battery would not take a charge.

    I then proceeded to call the service dept at Laube and in my experience I have NEVER gotten a real live person to answer. So I left a message and to my surprise after a week or so I never heard anything back. So I called them again and repeated the process. Still no returned phone call. So after a couple more tries I forgot about it, since by then I didn't need the unit now anymore for the foals.

    A couple of months ago I resurrected the process again and left another message (unreturned).

    So I did what in retrospect I should have done initially was box the defective battery pack up and ship it out to Laube with the needed documents and a re-iteration of what I said here.

    Well, a couple of weeks passed and I didn't hear anything or receive my battery pack back. So I actually emailed customer service and actually got a response. The response I got indicated they had no record of any package from me!!
    Fortunately I had the UPS tracking info and it showed it was delivered and was signed for.

    After I sent them this information, then they came back and said they found the package! But then they said the battery pack was too old it was obsolete and irrepairable but would send me another one for $150.

    I responded with "you've got to be kidding. I used the unit one time and is less than a year old and you're telling me it is irrepairable and obsolete. On top of that you want me to plop down another $150 for another one???"

    After several more exchanges they were going to offer me a new battery pack for $60 (which at this point I have declined).

    They also said that the "Li battery lifespan is greatly reduced if not used regularly"

    I wish I would have known about that before buying the thing. I also wanted to know if they had a cordpack for the clipper that I could replace the defective battery with to at least salvage the clipper handpiece, but they don't make such a thing.

    So my experience is certainly don't buy a Litening cordless clipper and maybe not a Laube at all.


  13. Randy, I find this very interesting also. I wonder if there is a defect in the product all together.

    Where are you located? I'm wondering if we might have recourse through our state AG's office. Selling the product without telling consumers it must be used regularly to keep it viable might give us a leg to stand on here.

    If you check this comment out, please contact me through my website. The website link is available on the blog. Maybe by putting our heads together we can both get this thing fixed. Wouldn't that be grand?