Jowo Update #3

Instagram 8-31-21

Well, here’s hoping this is the last Jowo update. I’m honestly getting a little tired of Jowogate — my blog is meant to be a fun space — so I don’t know if I’ll write additional posts even if there is more information in the future. Time will tell.

Anyway, Jowo finally released a statement. I’ve included it below in case you don’t want to check their Instagram. In an interesting… coincidence (?), their website is down reading only “Diese Seite wird derzeit aktualisiert. Bitte haben Sie noch etwas Geduld,” and their contact information. Which, according to Google Translate means, “This page is currently being updated. Please have a little patience.”

It was a decent statement. In my first Jowogate post, I mentioned that I expected 3 things out of a statement from Jowo:

…I expect Jowo to make a statement with:

• an acknowledgement of the true severity of the issue,
• full transparency as to how such a big problem happened,
• and precisely how they’re going to fix it.

Considering how long they’ve tried to ignore the problem, I don’t think this is too much to ask to start earning back consumer trust.

Ever-Growing Jowo Problem, August 13, 2021

I feel that they accomplished 1½ of them.

  1. To me, their statement downplayed the severity of what is still a growing issue. I follow a rather small group of fountain pen folks, and many of them have had problems. Extrapolating from that small sample set means this is a BIG issue. On top of that, “a small percentage” and “a few production runs” seem contradictory. But, not knowing how many housings are in a production run, I can’t definitively say if they are or not.
  2. While we were given a bit of information about the problem, I certainly don’t feel I have enough understanding of what happened to know if I can trust future housings.
  3. They did tell us what how they’re fixing it. A change in the manufacturing process and free replacement housings. It would be nice to know how long they will continue their housing replacement program, though.

Meister Nibs also released a statement, although it was basically commentary on Jowo’s statement.

The Statements

The following was copied and pasted from Jowo's official Instagram on 8/30/2021 at 7:58pm EST to preserve the message for future readers.

We have worked very intensively and in cooperation with the manufacturer of our housings to investigate the problem of cracks. We were able to identify the primary cause of this and we have also identified a solution.

We found that in a small percentage of housings, the plastic tended to break.
As a result, the injection molding process was changed by the manufacturer so that this defect will no longer occur.

The primary cause of the issue was the operating temperature of the injection molder in a few production runs.

To help all customers with broken housings, we have decided to exchange/replace all affected housings.

Our distributors have received replacement housings from current production and will continue to exchange any errant housing in an uncomplicated and generous manner.

If you do not have a method to contact a distributor, we will exchange your housings directly, subject to photo inspection.
If this is the case, please contact us at the following e-mail address: housings@jowo-schreibfeder.de
For the exchange, please send us a photo of the broken housing along with a photo of the invoice or the unsuccessful communication with a distributor. Please also include your address for shipping.

Thank you for understanding. We will replace all errant housings as quickly as possible so that you can enjoy writing with your JoWo nib.

As we have future updates regarding this issue, we will be prompt to publish them.

The following was copied and pasted from MeisterNibs.com on 8/30/2021 at 8:00pm EST to preserve the message for future readers.

UPDATE 8/30/21

Jowo has released a statement regarding the housing issues.

I will copy the statement below and add some comments afterward.

We have worked very intensively and in cooperation with the manufacturer of our housings to investigate the problem of cracks. We were able to identify the primary cause of this and we have also identified a solution.

We found that in a small percentage of housings, the plastic tended to break. As a result, the injection molding process was changed by the manufacturer so that this defect will no longer occur.

The primary cause of the issue was the operating temperature of the injection molder in a few production runs.

To help all customers with broken housings, we have decided to exchange/replace all affected housings.

Our distributors have received replacement housings from current production and will continue to exchange any errant housing in an uncomplicated and generous manner.

If you do not have a method to contact a distributor, we will exchange your housings directly, subject to photo inspection.
If this is the case, please contact us at the following e-mail address: housings@jowo-schreibfeder.de
For the exchange, please send us a photo of the broken housing along with a photo of the invoice or the unsuccessful communication with a distributor. Please also include your address for shipping.

Thank you for understanding. We will replace all errant housings as quickly as possible so that you can enjoy writing with your JoWo nib.

As we have future updates regarding this issue, we will be prompt to publish them.

On behalf of Meisternibs, I realize that a lot of people have been justifiably frustrated with this statement taking a while to be published. Please consider that August is a big vacation month in Germany with most businesses completely closing down. 3 weeks ago, all of JoWo was on vacation. 2 weeks ago, the injection molding company was on vacation. Then I recently learned that the primary engineer for the injection molding processes was also on vacation most of last week.

Considering that JoWo and the molding company could not convene until last week, I have not been disappointed with the timeline of this statement and wanted others to be aware of the reasons for the delay.

So at this point, it’s only a matter of identifying the errant housings and replacing them, as we have been doing and will continue to do.

I will keep all updates posted here as required.

Brian at Meisternibs

My Thoughts

I may get some flack for what I have to say next, but I am entitled to my opinion, even if others don’t like it.

I don’t feel Jowo deserves leeway for Germany’s August vacation schedule. This isn’t an issue that popped up out of nowhere in the last couple of weeks.

This is a long-term problem that even Jowo acknowledged on April 9. That makes 114 days, or 3 months and 22 days, for Jowo to do something before the August holidays. So, unlike Meister Nibs, I am disappointed with the timeline of Jowo’s most recent statement. And I feel that disappointment is justified.

Update: 8/31/2021, 12:27PM

I received a message on Instagram about Jowo commenting on Bonecrusher Studios’ Instagram post from February 16. Even back then, multiple people commented that they had cracked Jowo housings. So, this makes 166 days, or 5 months and 15 days, for Jowo to take action. Needless to say, I’m more disappointed in Jowo.

Back to the Original Post

To be completely honest, I’m also disappointed in the pen community. I’ve seen posts about people getting hat for bringing attention to this issue. I’ve even heard — this is secondhand, unverified information, at best — of makers blocking people over it, which I desperately want to believe isn’t true.

For me, and several people I know who have made some kind of statement about this, we aren’t doing it out of a dislike of Jowo or any maker or distributor. I’m disappointed and aggravated with Jowo; I don’t hate them, or even dislike them. I don’t blame makers at all. They can’t be blamed for something they didn’t do. I have no idea how or why anyone would think otherwise about any of that.

I DO think that a community coming together to bring attention to an issue can spur a bigger reaction. That’s the benefit to making noise. You can spur actions and changes. We, as a community, got loud, and look, we have a response.

I hope Jowo has ensured that their new housings don’t have problems, I really do. It would be great to consign Jowogate to history for good and move on. But only time will tell what happens now.

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