We have agonized many days before we finally decided to report the questionable business practices of Frost Cutlery Co., some which are nothing short of a rip-off, while others are caused by employee incompetence or indifference. It is our sincere desire that this exposure will help others from becoming victims, while at the same time putting Frost Cutlery on notice that listing them here affords them the opportunity to take corrective action, as compared to facing legal action from the Feds, were they to address some of these complaints.
The Frost Cutlery Co. proclaims to be one of the largest distributors of cutlery, including high end collector items such as Hen & Rooster and German Bull. The principal means of advertising their knives is their weekly three hour TV sales show: Cutlery Corner Network. The hosts, in a good ole boys and "down home" mannerism display weekly individual knives or lots of knives. Individual collectors or dealers, like our company, call in and place orders with their phone operators. Their show is styled similar to ShopNBC and QVC, to mention just two. The first rip-off is a matter of misrepresentation or lack of representation. The show hosts make sure that the TV cameras never show the origin of their knives (which is clearly imprinted or stamped on every blade). The blades are skillfully shown from only the side or angle which does not show the imprint: China or Pakistan. The show hosts will never mention these countries of origin, while emphasizing Germany as country of origin, whenever it calls for. If the country of origin, like made in Solingen, Germany is such a big deal (which it is), why not be honest and disclose the country of origin for all the other knives.
Therefore, Buyer Beware, while the knives may be sold under such Native American names as Chipaway Cutlery, the knives are actually made in Pakistan and imprinted accordingly.
Rip-off #2 occurs when you wish to order more than 10 item numbers per day. While the show hosts never make any mention of this restriction, the operators taking your telephone order will. This rip-off may appear minor to the uninformed or uninvolved. In fact it is a major issue to dealers like us. The show hosts advertise during the program a certain number of items, many of which are only available that night and only in very limited quantities. As a dealer, we now have to make a choice of which 10 item numbers we wish to purchase, or establish a 2nd dummy account in someone elses name and different address. We do not care to operate in this fashion. Again, why not disclose this buying restriction? It certainly has nothing to do with fairness, as you are permitted to buy as many units per item number as you can afford.
Rip-off #3. This rip-off occurs due to incompetence or indifference by Frost Cutlery Co. employees. Never, ever ask Frost Cutlery to drop ship an order directly to one of your customers. If requested, they will drop ship your order to your customer, but they will also include the order invoice (!) with the shipment. Even though Frost employees will assure you that they will not include the order invoice with the shipment to your customer. This way your customer will see exactly the amount you paid for the item(s) he purchased from you. You can rest assured you will never again get another order from this potentially former customer of yours. If this is not bad enough, Frost Cutlery will also permanently change your mailing address (in their computers) to that of the drop shipment. This means that all of your future Frost Cutlery orders will get shipped to the address of your customer. This happened to us. When we received shipping notifications for future orders from Frost Cutlery, showing the wrong shipping address we called the Frost Cutlery Customer Service Department again and again. They finally changed the shipping address back to our companys address, but not before 1 order had been incorrectly sent to our customers address. The customer claimed he never received the incorrectly mailed order and Frost Cutlery, to this date, has not replaced the order, or given us credit for the lost order.
Rip-off #4. The Frost Cutlery Warranty. During each of their programs Frost Cutlery advertises over and over again, all Frost Cutlery items are warranted for life. The show hosts never explain that their warranty offer is virtually useless. If you purchased an item from any of the 5000 weekly customers/dealers of Frost Cutlery and it is damaged, you may as well throw away the item. Please note where and how most Frost Cutlery items are being resold. Unlike our company which has a fixed retail business location, most dealers of collector knives attend gun shows, flea markets, bazaars, re-enactment festivals etc. Receipts are rarely given and the warranty information is usually a copy of the warranty info provided by Frost with each shipment.
Many knives are also purchased as gifts. In order to make use of the Frost Cutlery Warranty you must first contact Frost Cutlery and secure a Return Authorization Number. This however only possible if you have the invoice number, item number and lot name under which Frost Cutlery had sold the item to its customer/dealer (me). No dealer will give a customer a copy of his invoice from Frost Cutlery. However, without this information Frost Cutlery will not issue a Return Authorization, thus making the lifetime warranty useless. Even we dealers have an extremely difficult time securing a Return Authorization. We have written on the average 4 letters per item requiring repair or replacement under the Frost Warranty. We have received so far 2 Return Authorizations and have mailed the damaged items back to Frost. The postage was to our account. We tracked the shipments with UPS. Frost Cutlery had received the items. We contacted Frost Cutlery about the repair or the replacement of the items we had returned. After countless calls we were finally advised: Frost Cutlery has no record of ever receiving the return shipments.
Possible Rip-off #5. Several weeks ago we had placed an order with Frost Cutlery. Our bank account was debited, but to date we have never received the order. We contacted Frost Cutlery in writing, asking them as to the arrival date of our order. Every weekend we fax to Frost again and again our multiple letters of inquiry. To date our inquiries have all been ignored. We also called Frost Cutlery and were directed to voice mail. We left multiple messages, but never received a return call from Frost. In defense of Frost Cutlery, they did replace 1 damaged item this year. It took only 8 letters of inquiry and multiple calls to their Customer Service Dept. While we are only a small dealership, we had to assign an employee to do nothing more but follow up on warranty items and monitor the receipt of orders from Frost.
Before someone suggests to us to seek out another cutlery company to do business with, keep in mind, Frost Cutlery is for many smaller cutlery labels the exclusive representative. You therefore have no choice but to deal with Frost Cutlery. Besides, Frost Cutlery claims to be one of the largest companies in the USA, with approx. 5,000 weekly customers, why should Frost not be forced to operate their business ethically and professionally?
I am certain, the company owner, Jim Frost, who according to the show hosts is usually gone fishing has no clue how pathetic his company is being operated in his alleged absence. Buyer Beware!
BUFFALO, New York
U.S.A. CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.