An Open Letter to Rocky Patel: a story of why I will NEVER touch another RP branded cigar in my life

jgibvjgibv John G.Posts: 9,211 ✭✭✭✭✭
This is a story of my experiences with Rocky Patel as a brand, interacting with Nish Patel, and how to **not** interact with your "customers"...


Wanted to post while thoughts are fresh in my mind, pics will be uploaded tomorrow.....

(EDIT 3/16/15 morning: Fixed typos/phrasing, uploaded pics, and added more context)
(Edit #2 -- got the inspiration for this title from Kuzi's "Open Letter to Gurkha" post from a while back. Hope you don't mind me using a similar title for this.)


Went to a big cigar event today in Columbus (Smoking Tent at Easton mall)...
There were about a dozen or so vendors all passing out cigars, most of the "big guys" were there (DE, General, Ashton, RP) all touting their "highly rated cigars" and throwing around marketing buzzwords at a rate that would make the head of a PR firm jealous. (Uggg, spare me please.)

But anyways, was looking forward to the event (went last year and had a fun time) .... some smokes, drinks, and spending time with my old man and a couple friends that went. (Also got to meet up with C-Love and his buddy so that was pretty cool)
The smokes were mostly larger RGs/vitolas but it was fun to get some things that I would probably have never tried otherwise.


Well, at the RP booth -- there were a few sales reps but the "big man" Nish Patel was also there talking about the new "Prohibition" cigar that he was giving out as samples. I picked the San Andreas version, and have heard a lot about this smoke so figured I'd give it a shot. Lit it up as my 3rd cigar of the day and I was pleasantly surprised.
I don't smoke much RP & it's prob been 5+ yrs since I bought any of that brand but this 1 was going well and I was going to give the brand a second look based on this experience.....
The cigar started off pretty good, flavors were decent, burn was good, and it was performing well.


Pump the brakes.
.....seems I got ahead of myself....

About 2 inches in on a toro the wrapper started unraveling mid-way up the cigar.
As you can see from the pics below it wasn't unraveling near the cut (which happens sometimes if the cut is bad), and it wasn't unraveling near the burn line (which I've had happen a couple times if I don't get it lit correctly.

image
image

Now, I tried to "power through it" and hold the wrapper together.....but it only got worse every time I touched it. So figured this is a lost cause, not worth messing with anymore since I had a whole bag of cigars still. I put down the RP, let it go out, and grabbed another brand from my bag and lit it up (Luchador---much better).

Now, I know RP is often right up there with "Gurkha" on QC issues, ratings hype, MSRP hype, etc.....and normally I wouldn't think twice about this kind of thing I'd just curse at the cigar, and write off that brand but since the reps & Nish were still at the event I figured I'd at least stop by their booth and let them know what happened.
I mean they can't fix their product if they don't know of the issues right? And here's a cigar they personally handed to me a few hours ago and I'm having problems with it.....that's good customer feedback right?
Because it was honestly a pretty decent smoke up until the point that it unraveled/blew up.....and I wasn't looking for a freebie (because again, why take another chance with an exploding cigar when I have a whole bag of others)....but wanted to see how the reps/Nish would respond.

So I walk over and talk to Nish and preface the conversation with "I'm not lookin for a handout or anything I just want you to know I was enjoying this cigar until it unraveled on me and was no longer smokable......"

So Nish takes the cigar, looks at it....and the first thing he says.....I **** you not is:
"Well the problem is you cut it too far down....that's not a good cut. You need to cut it higher up."

My face when I hear that:
image

I really couldn't believe what he said. It took me a minute to process it and it was all I could to do hold my tongue and not say "Uhh are you **** kidding me?"
Customer service 101 failure right here. You obviously have a faulty product and the problem ain't with the cut buck-o.

So I say to him "Umm, ok. Maybe I cut it a little low but that's not where it's unraveling. Are you trying to tell me that cut is causing it to unravel in the middle of the cigar? Because that's not the problem here?"

So Nish replies:
"Well ok yeah that's not the reason it unraveled but it's like if you bought a brand new sports car but it came with old worn out bad tires. You're not going to get the true experience of the car, it just won't run right."
My face when he says this:
image

I'm just thinking to myself "ok yes you're right in that scenario a car wouldn't run as well as it would on new tires, but then again those old tires shouldn't cause the transmission to blow up you dumb fvcker."
I was so dumbfounded by his response and analogy though it took me a minute to respond but before I could he pulls out a few more RP cigars (different brands, not the prohibition) and says:

"here why don't you try another one, you said you didn't want a freebie but go ahead give us another shot."

I say "no it's really ok I just wanted to bring this issue to your attention."

And then Nish replies "well I actually know exactly what happened with your cigar here. One of the reps or someone must have dropped it and put it back in the box as a handout. So it was damaged before it got to you."

(I am thinking to myself oh ok so it wasn't the way I cut it that caused the problem now? You S.O.B.)

So I say "well I understand that happens, I could see it maybe got damaged in transit or something, no worries thank you for your time."

And again he offers another cigar to me and is insistent I take one and he says "Ok here take this RP 15th, its one of the "top-5 cigars in the world" better than Padron, kind of like a 26 and 64 combined only better, you try this one. It's our highest end cigar; you'll like it. (There was more marketing gibberish here too)."

I take the cigar, thank him for his time and head back to my table, absolutely dumbfounded by the experience I just had.

Got back to the table, shared the experience with the folks I was sitting with, (they are all in sales as well) and they too were dumbfounded by Nish's response.
The general consensus was "that's sh!tty customer service"

Overall I assume that because I'm younger than most of the other people at the event (I'm 27) .... Nish thought oh look at this kid, must not know what he's doing, he caused the problem and is just looking for a free cigar. Because that's the way he seemed to treat me.

I will give him a nod for offering a "replacement cigar" but that is absolute horse **** trying to blame the problem on me. It took far too long for me to call him out on his bullsh!t before he owned up to the issue but I was glad (albeit quite confused by his responses) to see he finally admitted the problem wasn't due to the way I cut it.


.....But wait......there's more......
I was back at the table and look over the cigar he gave me. This one was still in cello and I realize it too has a damaged/cracked wrapper.
I. Couldn't. Fvcking. Believe. It.
Debated going back up and showing/telling him just to try and prove a point but I know it would have fallen on deaf ears and it wasn't worth my time or wasting my breath.

Just look at this....unbelievable.
(Took it out of cello and got pics when I got home because phone was dying)
image
image


Final Grades:
Customer service --- F F (double F because 1 F wasn't harsh enough)
Product quality --- D-
Relying on marketing buzzwords & "ratings" to sell your products: A+


Fu*k you Rocky Patel as a brand, seriously ....fvck you.
And you are a sand-baggin' P.O.S. Nish, that's a bold fvcking response trying to blame your customer when you know it's not their fault.

I will never touch another RP branded cigar, accessory, etc. ever again because I refuse to support your piece of **** company and attitude towards your customers.

You are garbage.
image

* I have a new address as of 3/24/18 *

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Comments

  • C-LOVEC-LOVE Posts: 1,409 ✭✭✭
    That's crazy bro, I won't buy them either. I told u about what I read about RP asking that guy to take a Leccia sticker off before taking a pic, to many other brands for me to spend my cash on a cigar made by someone who doesn't value every customer. You should've told him u knew someone who wanted to talk to him about grilled zucchini and then made the intro.
  • RainRain Posts: 8,958 ✭✭✭
    Wait wait wait. Who the eff is Nish Patel?Yeah...eff em brah.
  • jimmyv723jimmyv723 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 1,885 ✭✭✭
    There are a few of his Cigars that I have liked but not stuff I would rush out to get anymore. So much great stuff out there and just not a fan of having a Cigar get a huge Rating and then changing the blend but still living off that Rating from the previous blend.
    Ken Light 3K MOW Badge - 8/14
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  • wwhwangwwhwang Ottawa, ON, CanadaPosts: 2,878 ✭✭✭
    Wow. I've heard a few rumors that Nish Patel was off-putting, but this is a whole new level. Also, to be honest, I was never a fan of the RP brand either. The only RP that I liked was the Summer 2008 blend. I found out later that AJ blended it.
  • rsherman24rsherman24 Scranton, PAPosts: 3,889 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Never a fan of the RP brand, but now off the table for sure. That is some bullshit right there. I guess they don't realize how far customer experience travels.
  • jgibvjgibv John G.Posts: 9,211 ✭✭✭✭✭
    UPDATED the OP with PICS, more story/context, fixed typos, etc.

    Feel free to share this story with any BOTL/SOTL's you know. (I'm going to try and find a way go post it on twitter and facebook)

    Working in sales myself, I wanted to just share this and get the word out, because I would never treat my customers this way (hell if I did I'd be fired) and would never want to do business with a company that acted this way.


    C-LOVE:
    That's crazy bro, I won't buy them either. I told u about what I read about RP asking that guy to take a Leccia sticker off before taking a pic, to many other brands for me to spend my cash on a cigar made by someone who doesn't value every customer. You should've told him u knew someone who wanted to talk to him about grilled zucchini and then made the intro.
    Yes bro not surprised. I could totally see that sticker story happening after talking to Nish for 5 minutes. They seem to think they're above everyone, own the world, and can do no wrong was the impression I got.

    LOL about the zuchinni guy, that would've been hilarious. But Nish probably would've told him how he was making it wrong.

    * I have a new address as of 3/24/18 *

  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,496 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Damn.... just crazy. It really does seem like some rep dropped or damaged a bunch of sticks... I don't know. But to me the correct response seems to be either don't hand out the damaged goods, or fess up to it when there is a problem. Crap happens... but it's how you deal with it that matters. Sounds like he just wanted to pass the problem to anyone else but himself and his brand... no accountability or responsibility.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • jd50aejd50ae West Gnawed Pencil, TNPosts: 6,830 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I will never have any RP in my humidor and if someone offers me one I will turn it down. I made a comment in the only B&M shop in my area about the poor quality of RPs and the curmudgeon that owned the place made it clear that I was no longer welcome in his shop. I still go there about once every 3 months because he carries a cigar I can't find any where else. Of course pissing him off is an added bonus. The last time I went he had far fewer RPs on the shelves, and I wonder why. I have never had an RP that did not fall apart, not a single one.
  • jgibvjgibv John G.Posts: 9,211 ✭✭✭✭✭
    sharable link here: wp.me/p2fKAL-34

    (also posted to twitter) --- thanks to all for helping to spread the word.

    just very off putting that the exec vp (nish patel) would act like this to a customer. too many other good cigar companies out there to be supporting bullsh!t like this IMO.
    everyone else was great.....(sam leccia & eric espinoza were especially cool dudes and stand out in my mind.)

    * I have a new address as of 3/24/18 *

  • jgibvjgibv John G.Posts: 9,211 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Gray4lines:
    Damn.... just crazy. It really does seem like some rep dropped or damaged a bunch of sticks... I don't know. But to me the correct response seems to be either don't hand out the damaged goods, or fess up to it when there is a problem. Crap happens... but it's how you deal with it that matters. Sounds like he just wanted to pass the problem to anyone else but himself and his brand... no accountability or responsibility.
    Yes perhaps....

    But the second "replacement" cigar, the 15th anniversary Nish pulled directly out of his bre*st (forgot we can't say that word) pocket on his sport coat. So IDK man. Just a real off-putting experience. I could give a **** less about the damaged smokes and probably wouldn't have even done a write up, but the way he interacted with me was just mind-blowing, and not in a good way.

    * I have a new address as of 3/24/18 *

  • SM0K3YSM0K3Y Posts: 1,114 ✭✭✭
    Wow, RP, caught my eye as As a definite must try, before I'd ever tried one. So far I've tried one edge and it was good, but not crazy good. This story kinda makes me never wanna smoke one again
  • EulogyEulogy Bay Area, CAPosts: 2,392 ✭✭✭✭
    The only RP I enjoy is the Decade. Sucks that you had such a **** experience.
  • youngryan216youngryan216 Colorful Colorado Posts: 1,149 ✭✭✭
    I was always a fan of the Sun Grown toro and the decade. But, the last two Sun Growns were plugged harder than Dr. Phil's arteries.
    ISO Ramrod and Ron Mexico
  • BigshizzaBigshizza Posts: 15,038 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Never a fan and never again...
  • RainRain Posts: 8,958 ✭✭✭
    image^^^ Nish
  • PatrickbrickPatrickbrick Lake Zurich IlPosts: 4,476 ✭✭✭✭✭
    ^^^^^^^^^ now that's a troll!
    "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give".  Winston Churchill.
    MOW badge received.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 4,314 ✭✭✭✭✭
    youngryan216:
    I was always a fan of the Sun Grown toro and the decade. But, the last two Sun Growns were plugged harder than Dr. Phil's arteries.
    This.
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  
  • raisindotraisindot BostonPosts: 1,308 ✭✭✭
    Wow. What a story.

    I'm surprised Nish didn't say, "No, no, he's not dead. He's just pinin' for the fjords."
  • variant2variant2 <---- Don't Believe Him!Posts: 806 ✭✭✭✭

    gib·ber·nish
    'jib(?)rNISH/

    noun
    marketing scheme using unintelligible or meaningless speech in an attempt to deceive others into believing a mediocre, self destructing dog rocket, with an attractive label is an award winning cigar.
    "I regrettably spent $120 after listening to gibbernish"
    synonyms: nonsense, garbage, bullsit, rubbish;

    Cнeerѕ! Moтнerғυcĸer
  • jgibvjgibv John G.Posts: 9,211 ✭✭✭✭✭
    haha you guys are funny.
    thanks for the laughs & for lightening up this thread; needed it.

    * I have a new address as of 3/24/18 *

  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,496 ✭✭✭✭✭
    jgibv:
    Gray4lines:
    Damn.... just crazy. It really does seem like some rep dropped or damaged a bunch of sticks... I don't know. But to me the correct response seems to be either don't hand out the damaged goods, or fess up to it when there is a problem. Crap happens... but it's how you deal with it that matters. Sounds like he just wanted to pass the problem to anyone else but himself and his brand... no accountability or responsibility.
    Yes perhaps....

    But the second "replacement" cigar, the 15th anniversary Nish pulled directly out of his bre*st (forgot we can't say that word) pocket on his sport coat. So IDK man. Just a real off-putting experience. I could give a **** less about the damaged smokes and probably wouldn't have even done a write up, but the way he interacted with me was just mind-blowing, and not in a good way.
    I agree then, yeah damaged smokes happens. But he sounds like a total ***.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • danielzreyesdanielzreyes Posts: 8,619 ✭✭✭✭✭
    RP smokes suck. I was never a fan and never will be. I'm surprised you took acceptance with the second stick after a reply like that. I would of Xactoed him in the face. I'd review an RP but I don't want to waste a blade.
    "It's plume, bro. Nothing to worry about. Got any Opus?" The suppose to be DZR
  • Darktower007Darktower007 Posts: 2,579 ✭✭✭✭
    yep.. Rockys suck!
  • ejgormanejgorman Monroe, WIPosts: 1,115 ✭✭✭
    I have yet to find a RP stick I really like (I still have a decade sitting in my humi from a brother so no offense). Curl with another BOTL and hit him up with a nice lil selection (AVO XO, Ashton 8-9-8, Viaje HHG, Oliva Serie V Melanio and Camacho Ecuador). He asked me if I liked Rocky Patel...
    East Side 2015
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  • jgibvjgibv John G.Posts: 9,211 ✭✭✭✭✭
    danielzreyes:
    RP smokes suck. I was never a fan and never will be. I'm surprised you took acceptance with the second stick after a reply like that. I would of Xactoed him in the face. I'd review an RP but I don't want to waste a blade.
    HA!
    i really didn't want it but he was super insistent that i take it....i should've just walked away.
    but hell i wouldn't be surprised if he knew the fvckin thing was cracked too and was just trollin' my a$$...

    * I have a new address as of 3/24/18 *

  • danielzreyesdanielzreyes Posts: 8,619 ✭✭✭✭✭
    jgibv:
    danielzreyes:
    RP smokes suck. I was never a fan and never will be. I'm surprised you took acceptance with the second stick after a reply like that. I would of Xactoed him in the face. I'd review an RP but I don't want to waste a blade.
    HA!
    i really didn't want it but he was super insistent that i take it....i should've just walked away.
    but hell i wouldn't be surprised if he knew the fvckin thing was cracked too and was just trollin' my a$$...
    hmmmmmmmmm intereseting
    "It's plume, bro. Nothing to worry about. Got any Opus?" The suppose to be DZR
  • curtpickcurtpick nunyobusynezPosts: 2,753 ✭✭✭
    Ones that I have had either plugged, exploded,or burnt wonky.
    RP=Real Peckerhead. And Nish... what the hell is a Nish anyhow ?
    Family, Friends, Golf, Cigars, Fine Whiskey, Good beer.... is there anything else ?  Follow on instagram @crguy1961
  • avengethisavengethis Sorry, I ate all your bacon!Posts: 5,269 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Are you going to jump on the Weekend Blitz this week then?
    Team O'Donnell FTW!

    "I've got a great cigar collection - it's actually not a collection, because that would imply I wasn't going to smoke ever last one of 'em." - Ron White
  • jgibvjgibv John G.Posts: 9,211 ✭✭✭✭✭
    avengethis:
    Are you going to jump on the Weekend Blitz this week then?
    image


    you SOB. lol
    god damn it; you & ccom get TOW nominee

    * I have a new address as of 3/24/18 *

  • avengethisavengethis Sorry, I ate all your bacon!Posts: 5,269 ✭✭✭✭✭
    jgibv:
    avengethis:
    Are you going to jump on the Weekend Blitz this week then?
    image


    you SOB. lol
    god damn it; you & ccom get TOW nominee
    Would it be weird if I was a little turned on buy this?
    Team O'Donnell FTW!

    "I've got a great cigar collection - it's actually not a collection, because that would imply I wasn't going to smoke ever last one of 'em." - Ron White
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