Back in September I managed to creep out undetected to the workshop for five minutes; just long enough to discover my Ashley Iles round back chisels had succumbed to the dreaded rust. 'Tis all explained here. Well I had my little rant but took it as par for the course that these things happen and thought no more about it. I reckoned without some exemplary customer service from Matthew at Workshop Heaven. Evidently he was tipped off to my grumbles and offered to take the chisels back, refinish the backs, replace the tool roll (or refund) and pay for all the postage costs.
You simply cannot complain about that at all.
I didn't actually take up his generous offer 'cos the hassle of parcelling them up and so forth just seemed one headache too many at the time, but truly, this is a case where it's the thought that counts. Take a well-deserved (and overdue!) bow, sir.
Anyway, he also included some info from the manufacturer about it. Now they seem to be taking the issue seriously and considering either changing the tanning process or applying some sort of anti-rust product to the finished product (the latter strikes me as putting sticking plaster on birthmark quite honestly, but whatever...), but they also make the argument that the number of complaints is tiny compared to how many articles sold over the years. Matthew made the very valid point that there could easily be lots of people (like me) who never officially make a complaint about it, or it never gets passed up the distribution chain. It's a useful reminder; complaining isn't actually always a negative thing.