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Re: Seeking: Joe O paddles legit?

Someone directed me to this forum, and suggested I post my own experience here - it looks as if you were asking about Joe O Paddles about a year ago. Unfortunately I had a similar experience, and it was only just recently (somewhat) resolved.

Over a year ago (July 2015) I contacted a Greenland paddle maker (located in Thunder Bay, Ontario - Canada, Joe O' Paddles) about making two paddles for me. He was super nice and even allowed me to make payments over several months while he "worked" on the paddles. I was thrilled and extremely grateful, because I knew this wasn't a usual request. He was actually a cool guy at the time.

The paddles were paid in-full by the beginning of November 2015...and originally, I was supposed to get the paddles by Christmas. He even offered to throw in one of the rolling DVD's because I was being so cool about things.

But Christmas came and went, and then each time I contacted him to ask when the paddles would be ready I was told a different story or that it would be "next week". I wasn't super worried about it in the beginning, because I understood how sometimes things can get busy - but by now it was February and I started to get concerned. I wanted to give him the benefit of doubt, so I kept reaching out to him and not hearing back.

Here it was - no paddles, and now over six months after the paddles were paid for and almost a year after the order was put in. I was at a total loss of what to do. It's a small community and people are almost always kind and trustworthy.

After trying to reach him several more times via email and FB messages, I started asking around - and others shared how they had heard of this happening before. Yikes!

By this time, I was asking for him for a refund. He finally responded via email when I began to ask him to get in touch with me in some of his public posts.

Although he never sent me a tracking number or shipping notification, he actually tried to claim that he thought the paddles were shipped and that he needed to look through his documentation. When I reminded him that he should have received a delivery confirmation, he didn’t respond.

After giving him some "time to check his documents" and still not hearing from him, I became more firm and gave him a hard-fast deadline (that I needed to receive my full refund by a certain date, or else I would go to the Better Business Bureau).

I had to do some research because with his being in Canada (I'm in the USA), it made things a bit more complicated. And then I realized that I had no contact information for him - there was nothing coming up in internet searches or on his websites. This was a huge red flag, something I should have noticed before ever placing an order with him.

At this point I was just trying to recoup whatever I could. A few people recommended that I get in touch with Pay Pal since that was who I used to send him the payments. Apparently they have a policy that does not allow them to process fraud claims that are over 6 months old. In my attempt to give him a chance to get the paddles to me, I had waited too long to get any help from Pay Pal.

I sent another email and upon another recommendation, a message to someone he knew - and then I heard from him. He again tried to claim he had sent the paddles and I again reminded him that he should have received a delivery confirmation if that was the case (he uses Fed Ex). He said that since I didn't get them that he would send another set, and confirmed my mailing address. I let him know that if I wasn't sent a tracking number, I was going to continue with my plans to report him to the BBB.

Guess what happened next - I got a tracking number. And another two weeks later, on July 19th, 2016 - the paddles arrived. Granted, they were not the paddles I ordered (yep - the right size, but wrong color), but at least I had something. I tested them out that same day, and honestly - these paddles are not nearly as good as my original GL paddle that I helped make. They felt slapped together; the edges were not as sharp, they did not slice through the water as cleanly or as quietly. There was definitely a flutter occurring while paddling with them, despite my angle changes. Granted, they are still pretty paddles, just not what I ordered. I'm hoping a friend will help me fix them :-).

The reason I am sharing all of this, is that I don't want anyone else to go through what I went through. My husband thinks I am a dork for ordering something from someone I didn’t know, and maybe he is right, haha. But seriously - this was a huge stress and horrible to have to work through. It dawned on me that, not even once, did Joe apologize or say that he was sorry and wanted to make things right. In fact, he did the exact opposite. Really awful customer service.

So if someone were to ask me who I would order a GL paddle from, it would NOT be from a place called Joe O' Paddles based on my own personal and documented experience. I would tell them to stay local and to ask others who they would recommend.