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Archive for November, 2010

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Pen Update

Response from Pilot Customer Service:

I feel so much better now!

Dear Mr. Lee,
Thank you for your recent email message regarding our G2 Limited Gel Roller pens.
Here is a link to the webpage where you may purchase these pens:
We apologize, but it is not possible for us to determine which specific store in your area carries the pens you are looking for since we ship strictly to each company’s distribution center (the distribution centers then distribute the product to the stores).
We make every effort to encourage our distributors to carry our products. However it is entirely up to retails management which of our Pilot products will be stocked on their shelves. The most effective way to increase a broader selection on the retail level is consumer demand. Please continue to ask for your favorite writing instrument where you usually shop. Since we cannot sell directly to the public, we hope these referrals are helpful to you in finding your favorite Pilot writing instrument. Staples, Office Max, Office Depot, CVS, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, as well as major supermarket chains offer many of our writing instruments.
The following independent mail order company carries all of our writing instruments:
SureSource @ 1-888/888-5822 (Toll Free) http://www.pilotpen-store.com
The following independent mail order companies carry a very wide variety of our writing instruments:
Quill 1-800-789-1331 http://www.quill.com
Pencity 1-866-736-2489 http://www.pencity.com
http://www.amazon.com (has free shipping specials occasionally)
Once again, thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to our attention and for giving us this opportunity to address your concerns. We value your investment in our products and your continuing loyalty.
Sincerely,
Erika Hilty
Consumer Advisor
Pilot Pen Corporation of America
Attn:  Consumer Service
3855 Regent Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL  32224
904-645-9999 ext. 6614 phone
904-996-2974 fax
—–Original Message—–
Sent: Wednesday, November 03, 2010 11:30 AM
To: ServicePilotpen
Subject: Technical/Use & Care Support
Store: PilotPen
Sub-name: Pilotpen
Hi, I love the metal barrel refillable G2 pens but cannot find them anymore. These were not the G2 Pros or the Dr. Gels. They came in charcoal, silver and gold. I was looking on the net for a place I can order some and found your website. They aren’t shown among your items! Do you still make them? You should, they were your best pen!
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I like pens …

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I like pens … a lot. But only certain pens. I mean I’m not a pen snob. I am not talking about the pretentious $150 hand made pens with fancy designs on the barrels. I mean good reliable, solid, everyday use pens. When I find a brand I like, I can hardly use a different one. There is just something about having a brand new writing instrument that makes you feel creative. Inspired even. This feeling usually passes, and I don’t write a novel or short story with my new pen. Usually it is broken in by writing lists. (Another nerdy favorite.) But I do a LOT of work with the pen, writing patient notes, reminders to myself, doodling, and sometimes just random thoughts.

The perfect pen experience involves a lot of factors:

Writing: The pen has to move smoothly over the paper, glide even. The thickness of the ink has to suit. Skipping, splotchiness, and excessive smearing are automatic disqualifiers.

Physical: It has to feel good in your hand. Barrel diameter, grip area texture and type of clip are all important. I hate “capped” pens. Just a piece to lose.

Cost and ease of availability: I am horrible at keeping up with my pens. Their partnership with me usually ends in one of two ways: 1) I leave it in a pants pocket and my wife puts it through the washing machine without checking pockets. (I ALWAYS check all pockets before items go into the machine. She does it on the front end when the garments are removed.) This has ruined more than one good pen as well as several loads of clothes at our house. It also is not good at all for harmony. 2) I lose them. Leave it at a nurses station after writing notes. They fall out of my pants pocket as I get in the truck and then fall out the door when I next open it. All kinds of stuff. You would think as much as they mean to me I would be able to protect them a bit better but <sigh> afraid not. So because I have to replace them often, I like to find them easily and also not pay an arm and a leg to stock up.

A few years ago I became enamored with Pilot’s G-2 line of gel pens. Such smooth writing!  A nice dark line. The 05 thickness (extra-fine) are much too thin, the 10 (bold) is very nice but at times a bit to much. The 07 (fine point) is perfect for most uses. I love the little rubber grip. When first introduced to these, the gel ink seemed to smear a bit too much for my tastes, but I think Pilot must have changed the ink a bit over time, because this seemed to become less of a problem. Every now and then you get a cartridge that wants to blob up ink on the tip and make a mess but these pens are usually pretty sweet. The barrel diameter was just a bit thin though.

Enter the Limited G-2 metal refillable pen. Writing nirvana! Same great writing but with an awesome feel. I love the heft of the metal. The classy look. Three colors – charcoal grey, silver, and gold. I have had several of each and for the last two years I haven’t wanted to use anything else. Sure, I dabbled briefly with the Dr. Grip gel. I gave the cheaper G-2 Pro refillable a chance. But they were both poor substitutes. The Limited editions became my go to pen. They were available in drugstores, dollar stores, Wal-Mart, just about everywhere! They usually went for about $10 but they had a mail in rebate for $3.00. I have received a bunch of those little checks! But I should have realized by the name Limited alone that trouble could be brewing.

Sometimes when I am stressed, all it takes is a trip to Office Depot to get new pens to make me feel like the world is at bay. So this morning on a gray day, with dampness and hints of melancholy in the air, I went by to pick up some new pens. I had just recently lost my last Limited. I thought it might take even a little extra to pick me up this time, so when I got to the writing aisle, I  stopped by the Sharpie display first. Hmm. They now have a metal barrel refillable fine point pen? Let me try one. Of course I had to get one refill cartridge. Then I saw those beautiful colored highlighters. The kind with the window on the barrel where you can see the liquid ink inside. I had to have a new pack of those. Then I saw the big pack of 12 with new funky and tropical colors. McKenzie would love those so I grabbed one. Then I headed to the Gel shelf. There were the disposable G-2s. (I have been known to buy these just to remove the cartridge and put them in my Limiteds if I can’t find refills.) I looked through the Uni-balls, the Forays (Huh? Who would get one of these ugly things?) Where were the Limiteds?!? I couldn’t find them anywhere. I left with my $27 worth of Sharpies and went by CVS. Nada. Dollar General? Whiff. I got my back to my office and searched the Office Depot website. Not listed. When I googled Pilot G-2 pens I got to the Pilot website where they direct sell their stuff. Gulp! They weren’t even mentioned. Not even a trace. I went through the “contact customer service” web form to express my disbelief that they would discontinue their finest product. I haven’t hear back yet. The next hit on google was “Discountofficeitems.com.” And ta-da! They had them in stock! I knew this might be my last chance. I ordered two greys and two golds on the spot. Of course I had to have refill cartridges as well. I will make these pens last as long as possible. Hopefully the knowledge that I probably won’t be able to get them again will make me more protective. I am not looking forward to the day when I have to find a new perfect pen.

Sometimes pen OCD can make you crazy.

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