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Thread: A letter from American Standard

  1. #1
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Default A letter from American Standard

    I just received a letter from Maria Chiclana of American Standard.
    Here is a copy of the letter.

    In response to Maria, I will say this.

    When I refer to returns, I mean returns on products that I have been selling.
    I can give you copies of my invoices for credit if you like, or I can post them here.

    I can also give you copies of the emails that have been posted under "Reader Review"
    I've been waiting for this letter, and I have saved all the emails.

    I can post those here too if you like.

    There are both positive and negative comments. Do you think I'm making up the positive comments too?

    I never said the the "majority" of American Standard products have had problems, those are your words.

    Also, I should mention that no plumbing company, including Toto has ever given me compensation.
    You will notice that I have Google Adsense advertising on this site. I have never seen a Toto ad, or an American Standard ad on it. I have never taken advertising or money or compensation from any plumbing company.
    I went through this whole thing with Consumer reports too and their lawyers too.
    They didn't think a plumber should write about his work either.
    This is just a web site put up by a plumber that has been helping people since 1974.


    Best regards,
    Terry Love
    Last edited by Terry; 05-11-2010 at 12:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Journeyman & Gas Fitter Doherty Plumbing's Avatar
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    Default

    Who would of ever thought that someone would get in trouble for posting comments on their OWN website about a product they've had trouble with.

    Quite frankly I rank Toto higher then American standard too. If someone asks me what brand of toilet they should purchase I almost always suggest Toto. How do you like that American Standard? Through personal experience
    I would say that Toto has a superior product.

    You're doing the right thing, Terry. You're allowed to say whatever you want as long as you believe it to be true based on your experiences. If American Standard doesn't like that
    then too bad for them.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I admit that I am just a DIYer with without wide experience with various brands of toilets, but it seems to me that the well known brands, including AS, have been in this business for many years. I am sure than have very knowledgeable engineers on their staffs that should be able to design a toilet that would function as we all know a toilet should. Rarely clogging, clean flushing, etc.. The also surely can figure out how to produce their products that have few flaws in construction. So when their products do not perform consistently and have frequent flaws, we must assume that the just don't care. Uninformed homeowners will buy them because of their brand name. To me, this just means the well known brands can produce and sell an inferior product, make their bottom line, and that's all they care about. I'm sure it bothers the hell out of them to read all of the negative comments, but if they wanted to, they could make toilets that were quality the same as Toto.

  4. #4
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Default

    The funny thing about getting the letter from American Standards lawyer, is that I sell American Standard on my web site.
    And in many articles I'm quoted as recommending them. Not like a "top" recommendation, but a recommendation all the same.
    I don't think they are as good as some perhaps, but for some customers and purposes they work.
    I sell quite a few Glenwall toilets for baths that have wall hung toilets.

  5. #5
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    I have to say that 90% American Standard toilet that i have installed have been flawless and worked great for years. It wasn't until I joined here that I read members were not satisfied with the flushing action.
    I later found out that the big hoopla was with the water saver toilets. Well, I did have a big problem with the old style 6 litre toilets, but the 13 Litre toilets worked just fine.

    Since the re design of the cadets, (the bigger trap ways), I have had mixed reveiws from my customers. They are defenitly better than the old style 6 Litre, but the Toto's are more versitile

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member Geobrick's Avatar
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    I actually bought an American Standard "Champion 4" from Lowes in January 2010. So far I like it a lot but I did have some gripes (See my review on the multipage Champion Review: http://www.terrylove.com/forums/show...light=champion (Post 374)). One gripe that I didn't cover in my review is that there's an insignificant shape defect where the bowl meets the tank (very minor but I can see it because I know where to look).

    I also bought a Toto Ultramax about a month later and it was flawless.

    I agree that Terry mostly recommends Totos but when people ask about American Standard, he recommends they inspect them thoroughly before taking them home. Not a bad advice for any product that would be difficult to pack up and return to the store.

    Terry and the other professionals here provide a great service for average site visitors like me. Yes, there are occasional posts that slam AS (and other brands) when someone, who's considering buying one, is looking for advice. An example is the recent post about the Champion 4 that's not sitting level. The first response in that post wasn't that helpful but ... I understand why the plumbers who post here prefer installing something that doesn't eat up their time with call-backs and returns. That sentiment is expressed several times in these forums.

    Another source of confusion comes from the American Standard Champion Review thread where I posted my review of the Champion 4. It's a very old and long thread containing both the original Champion reviews and the new Champion 4 reviews. There were some big changes in the Champion 4 design and the negative posts there don't always acknowledge which one they are complaining about.

    Both the Toto and the American Standard I bought and installed are both working great. No clogs in either but it's been less than 6 months for both so only time will tell.

    The internet is filling up with more and more misinformation, it's nice to have a site like this where people can state their observations and opinions and others can either challenge them or agree with them. I do notice fairly obvious leaning towards Toto on this site, and I consider that in forming my opinion of the posts but after owning both a relatively new AS and Toto toilet, I think the positive opinions of Totos are justified.

    American Standard should be more concerned with why the professional plumbers here are unhappy with AS products rather than paying their lawyer to threaten Terry (and I did read it as a threat) for hosting a public forum that often shows their products in a bad light. On the bright side, it shows that Terry's forum has some influence on the market.
    Last edited by Geobrick; 05-11-2010 at 09:23 PM. Reason: clearing things up a bit

  7. #7
    One who lurks Basement_Lurker's Avatar
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    ...pretty ridiculous. American Standard just went down another notch in my book, one more and I will drop them completely from my product lines.
    Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me? -Jack Handy


    www.blackbirdkitchenandbath.com

  8. #8
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    I think we all know where I stand on American Standard. I have a Cadet 3 and IT RULES!

    So many years, with such faultless service.

    And I have posted that suggestion many times on this site too.

    Is nobody reading my delicately crafted posts?

    I learnt to trust the opinion and craftsmanship of dedicated DIY homeowners over plumbers a long time ago. And many of the mails I receive from other members in support of my high performance, modified Cadet 3 attest to that.
    Last edited by Ian Gills; 05-12-2010 at 02:16 PM.

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member jeffdt's Avatar
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    I find it hard to believe that a senior VP of American Standard would raise the issue of Terry being paid, either directly or indirectly, by Toto without having proof. As an attorney I doubt she would do so unless she knew it as fact. I welcome her to provide these "facts" in a public forum. Otherwise she may STFU.

  10. #10
    Customer Service Manager Plumbing Wholesale Peanut9199's Avatar
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    I like how she called you a liar but added words so legally she didn't actually come out and say it.

    In addition, your practice of posting comments critical of American
    Standard and attributing them to .•email and phone call comments sent in by
    readers" raises suspicions that the comments are invented or, at the very least,
    are twisted as a result of your own bias against American Standard.
    in the past you were unwilling to engage in any real discussions
    about our products and may have edited or even removed from your forum
    comments posted by consumers that were favorable to American Standard.
    Moreover, we are aware that you are compensated by Toto, albeit indirectly, for
    promoting Toto vis-a-vis Toto competitors. This fact should be clearly disclosed
    on your Web site.
    Not even sure what she means by this? If she means Co-op then every supplier i know does the same thing.

    i think they don't like the negative responses because a lawsuit was filed and they used postings to back up their claims as in
    STEPHEN LANEY vs AMERICAN STANDARD COMPANIES, INC.

  11. #11
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Congratulations Terry. You must have reached the "big time" if you rankled a company like A/S enough to even show up on their radar screen, much less warrant a coercing letter. Either you pricked someone's sensitive spot, or someone at A/S does not have enough work to do. The next thing she should do is follow Porsche's lead, (they sued Croc's shoes for using the word "Cayman" and might sue the island next, or the island may sue Porsche), and go after everyone who uses the word "Champion" in their product's name.

  12. #12
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I have never received any Coop advertising money.
    In fact in a conversation with Gunnar Baldwin of Toto years ago, he said they would never be able to pay me anything.
    It kind of sucks, because I'm sure other plumbers get coop money.
    And the president of Kohler understood that point too. We even laughed about it at lunch.
    I've been meaning to get advertising money from other places, I would love to say

    "Terry uses Dewalt power tools"

    and get paid for that. That wouldn't worry anybody.
    Or James suggested toilet paper sponsorship?

  13. #13
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    I haven't seen a penny out of my Cadet 3 modified version either.

    With a Korky fill valve and flapper, a Toto seat, a new flush handle and a brass fill tube it's the new big boy on the block.

    Seriously, though, I too am a little surprised to see a mega-company like AS deciding to pick a quibble with a couple of old American men who like middle-of-the-range Japanese toilets (i.e. a bunch of crazies).

    I'd call her. It might just be an elaborate (but fraudulent) hoax.

    It's just not up to standard unless it's American Standard.
    Last edited by Ian Gills; 05-13-2010 at 03:44 PM.

  14. #14
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Write back and as her for her home address...
    We'll ship any defective AS product to her house... ROFLMAO

    Was the return address on the Fed X package from south of the border?

    The only Champion I'll ever own
    or, install...


    Last edited by Redwood; 05-13-2010 at 06:25 PM.

  15. #15
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    Chalk another failure up to American business who thinks they can strong arm people into silence
    I might have considered them in the past, but no longer will
    Anyone who stoops to such threats is not worthy of any American's business
    My (2) toilets are Kohler, not sure what I had at the last house
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

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