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Old 02-28-2005, 08:04 PM   #1
kim san jose
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Has anyone used Aldon SBS sealer on saltillo?

I have about 7,000 square feet of super satillo outside in San Jose, CA. It's efforescencing like crazy and peeling/crumbling very badly. It has been installed about 4 years and was sealing with TileLabs sealer (Yes, I now know that I AM AN IDIOT!)

Anyway, my plan is to strip what's left of the TileLabs then use Aldon Chemicals S-B-S sealer to fix the degeneration and efforescence problems. From all the web research I've done this appears to be the best stuff. But, it's a huge job and before I undertake it I wanted to see if anyone had ever used this stuff before and what you think. I want as close to no-gloss finish as I can get.

Thanks in advance
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Old 02-28-2005, 09:27 PM   #2
doitright
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Hi Kim

I've never seen it. Hopefully someone else can help.
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Old 03-03-2005, 03:28 PM   #3
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I did a bunch of research for a 5000 sq ft installation I was going to do - I tried a sample of that Aldon stuff. After more than 2 weeks it still stinks -really strong chemical smell (this on a test piece only 4 inches wide)

I tried to contact Aldon for help - and discovered they refuse to answer questions by phone or even by email unless you pay a "consulting fee"

I think the website is well written - but I think the product is a rip-off

they are clearly afraid to talk with their own customers or potential customers

I'm going to have to go with something else even though it will be more expensive - I'd advise you do the same
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Old 03-03-2005, 04:19 PM   #4
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Hi Bluroof:
Thanks for the feedback. I actually found the Aldon people very helpful; I've had several email interchanges with them. I guess it's like all other forms of tech support -- the company is only as good as their weakest link and sounds like you found it.
Have you found something else to use yet? Is your installation outside?
Thanks
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Old 03-03-2005, 07:28 PM   #5
bluroof
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My application is on an outdoor/indoor deck/living room in Belize

I'm using it on a local stone called Ticul - like a honed limestone - but red like saltillo and with marbling

Haven't settled on a solution yet

Have tried Aldon - and it really smells

Bought and tried 3 options from home depot - aquamix, miracle and Tile-something. Tile-something enhanced the stone a bit- but turned it a bit yellow. Both other two worked well on the sample - but made we realize I want the enhancing type sealer to bring out the color a bit. Haven't yet found a sample size of the aqua-mix or Miracle enhancing type sealer.

That's great if you got them responding. I would just encourage you use a sample before commiting. Maybe their other products don't smell as bad - or maybe I did something wrong.

When I wrote asking for advice they ignored - then insisted on fee. Maybe that's because I had already tried the sample and discovered how badly it smelled.
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Old 03-03-2005, 09:23 PM   #6
kim san jose
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Good luck with the project, it sounds like a challenge. Hopefully the "outdoor" part is reasonably well protected.

Run as fast as you can from the Home Depot Tile-something, which I'm assuming is TileLabs. It's a disaster. I have 7,000 feet outside and 3,000 feet inside of saltillo that was "sealed" with this product ("Lasts 20 Years!") and it has been a complete nightmare. It looked great at first because it didn't change the gorgeous color of my natural saltillo. But, the staining, efforescencing, flaking, etc. has me ready to rip out all 10,000 square feet after only five years.
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Old 03-04-2005, 10:33 AM   #7
mhegge1954
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Contact Brian Yager at Desert Stone & Saltillo. He has worked with the Aldon line of products and lots of Saltillo restoration.

bphantom@qwest.net
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:56 PM   #8
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Aldon Chemicals

After several attempts I finally got an order placed. The customer service person Carol was very unhelpful, in a sense the attitude was if you can't figure it out we don't care to help. Then I received no acknowledgement. I placed the order on sun 31509, I finally located their local "distribution partner" and confirmed my order would be available. I then sent carol an email expressing my displeasure with the ordering process. Those idiots cancelled my order, because they didnt like what I said....Truth hurts....I'm going to use anything but aldon products and I recomend the same to ALL. THEY HAVE AN INTERESTING BUSINESS MODEL CONSIDERING TODAYS MARKET
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:46 PM   #9
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Ya aldon really has terrible customer service. I hate them and their products. Who actually buys from them I dont know. I once did a saltillo job with mexiglaze and it still smelled for 3 months after the job was complete.
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:04 PM   #10
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Comments from Aldon about these postings

Hello to Everybody…. My name is Don and I am charge of Aldon Chemical's Customer Support Department. I ran across the postings on this page and would like to respond to some comments. As you might expect, there is "the other side of the story".

Regarding the comment about the smell of a solvent based sealer:
We make water base and petroleum solvent base products. Petroleum solvents all have an odor (i.e. gasoline, cleaning fluids, etc.). Unlike other companies, we do not add anything to mask that odor because you should not be breathing in vapors from any solvents. This is why your natural gas company adds an odor creating chemical. Masking the odor would create a safety issue for customers. The odor disappears in a day or so with good ventilation. A few people think they can still smell it a few days longer then that. The only reason it would take longer is ventilation not as good as it should be and perhaps fabric that has taken on the smell for a few days longer than normal. There is no reason it should last beyond that. It doesn't with all our daily testing and handling of the products, plus the usage in my home.

A big plus is that our unique (and more costly for us) solvent blend allows us to provide a non-flammable product. Check the labels of other companies solvent based products and you will find they are flammable. We have never hurt anybody in over 25 years and we believe that is more important than anything.

By the way, the posting from troybridge is interesting. First of all, he is a contractor with his own private label line of sealers and is therefore, a competitor. I am sure he wants to use his own products instead of ours and I have to wonder how unbiased are his comments. And, saying a smell lasts that long just does not make sense. We have never heard of anything like that.

The very positive posting from Kim San Jose above was very nice. I checked back and she dealt with the same person, Carol, as a later posting by Elliot713. The process of customer service with both people was virtually identical in both cases except for the outcomes as you will see.

As to Elliot713's comments. I hope Elliot will have a more reasonable attitude after reading this and understanding what happened was for the protection of his time and money. I have reviewed all his emails and it was rather extraordinary. Carol works in our customer service department and has done a wonderful job at this for a few years. She is always very helpful and certainly was in his case. We have received many thank you's for her efforts.

Here is his history:
1. Friday - Sent in a form asking for our assistance with his project. Carol answered him in the same hour with considerable detail and suggestions about each of his issues and several issues of which he would not have been aware. Her reply was bounced back because his email address did not work. She recontacted him and managed to get it received later the same day.

2. Later the same day - second email. He threatened that if we would not telephone him to discuss the same issues we already answered, he would "use a different product". Here is Carol's reply and is very much in keeping with our philosophy of protecting the customer:
Technical support must be done by email. Most of the time the information you need requires pictures, videos and explanations we have prepared on the web site. I can direct you to it and you can get the full benefit without the limitations of a phone call. Besides, you would probably forget half of it because there is often a lot of detail to an explanation or instruction.

In addition the suggestions we give must be in writing. Giving advice on chemicals to use, many times on very expensive surfaces, cannot be taken lightly. If you have more questions, I will assist you. Just include them in your next email.

3. Next email a few hours later that day telling us the same thing he already asked about earlier, including how to get samples. Carol provided again and in considerable detail how to order samples.

4. An hour later another email. He was angry because the ordering of samples did not let him pick them up at our local warehouse. Carol replied in 2.5 hours or sooner and said samples are only shipped from our Washington location and are not available for pick up at any of the 17 local warehouses. Of course, this was also stated on the page from which samples are ordered.
(Much to her credit, Carol displayed courtesy and patience throughout this and later interchanges when it appears that everything in the process was met with his displeasure)
His response was " I must have missed that option, go figure."

5. The next day was Saturday. Of course, we are closed on weekends. Instead of ordering samples, he order 3 gallons of products to pick up at the local warehouse. When seen by Carol on Monday morning, this was of some concern. We don't want a customer with all the problems he described investing more money in product when they should get small samples to prove what works for them. Monday is extremely busy due to all the orders and customer service requests received over the weekend. Elliot also emailed on Saturday (not seen until Monday) thanking Carol for her help.

6. Monday morning early was the next email from him. He wanted to know when his order would be ready. This is after multiple places on the web site and shopping cart it says that pick up orders are ready at 2 business hours after submitted. Carol did not see this email until a couple of hours later.

7. Two hours later another email from him. Carol has not yet seen his email and answered him. He is complaining that she has not answered him yet and he wants to go to the warehouse. His words "with only limited support by e-mail “carol” never responded with additional info.as to where and when to pick up. Your website touts 2 hour pickup from the dist.whse. however your lack of communication made this impossible" Limited support after all this? Doesn't this seem rather an unfair statement. The ordering page has a blue button "DRIVING DIRECTIONS TO WAREHOUSE". That page, found and used by people every day, has the address, pictures, maps, etc. showing how to get there, where to park, what door to go in.

And further he said " At this point the product will have to work miracles to get a positive recommendation." Ok, now this is really getting worrisome. Carol has gone to more effort than anybody would encounter in any store and he is starting to threaten us. There was real concern that the label directions (which are quite detailed and can be seen on our web site) would not be followed either and the customer would end up angry. It would (in his mind) be our fault if the products did not work miracles and we would be receiving negative recommendations (such as this posting). We receive significant amounts of business because happy customers talk about our unusually high level of customer service and product performance. We do not want to risk that reputation.

8. Due to our concern and at the suggestion of the tech department, Carol emailed Elliot asking if he had already left for the warehouse. He responded that he had not.

9. The tech department message to Elliot was that we were cancelling his order and giving full credit back on his card. And that it is apparent that he is not following our program, does not agree with our program, and was therefore at risk of his investment not working out for him. Another source of information and products was suggested to him. To be fair, from our position, we want to retain our reputation of virtually 100% successful and happy customers and it did not seem possible in this case. One of our business philosophies is that we want to sell product, but we do not need to make every sale. We want only successful ones.

Here is the posting from Elliot713 from above and I have inserted some comments.

Ellot713: The customer service person Carol was very unhelpful, in a sense the attitude was if you can't figure it out we don't care to help.
Obviously, the above shows that not to be true. Why put someones job in jeopardy like this?

Ellot713: Then I received no acknowledgement. I placed the order on sun 31509,
It was placed on Saturday, not Sunday. The order is automatically acknowledged to him by the shopping cart as having gone through.

Ellot713: I finally located their local "distribution partner" and confirmed my order would be available.
Of course, the web site already told him that. But, unknown to us within his rather unfairly strict time frame expectation[Tech] (immediately), he did not receive an immediate email from Carol that it was ready. We never have to check to see if an order is ready when stated, it always is.

Ellot713: I then sent carol an email expressing my displeasure with the ordering process.
As cited above.
Ellot713: Those idiots cancelled my order, because they didn't like what I said....Truth hurts....I'm going to use anything but aldon products and I recommend the same to ALL.
And there we go. Using a bulletin board to damage our reputation unfairly. If he had not said he was going to do that here, we would not know it and have a chance to respond. At least, I have to thank him for that.

Ellot713: THEY HAVE AN INTERESTING BUSINESS MODEL CONSIDERING TODAYS MARKET
Our business model consists of a few guiding principles, some of which you have seen above. They include, make every customer successful and we will get good recommendations to others, treat every customer as an intelligent adult, tell the customer what they need to know even if it loses the sale, do not tell the customer what they want to hear as that is risky for the customer - give them the truth. All the products do what we describe. That does not necessarily mean they will do what you want. Therefore, prove everything with our program before making an investment in our products. All this you will see proven at aldonchem.com.
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:46 PM   #11
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I know you have some great products but I have to disagree with your "no phone calls position".

Aqua Mix has been around forever and they offer phone advice and back it up with email. When you are on a job and having a problem with a product, more often than not you don't have email access. It would be nice if you offered both.

I mean what's next. Will 911 emergency all have to be done via email? I don't understand that logic. It may work on paper but not in the real world.

Great products though by the way............

Your explanation of the sealer smell was spot on too. Makes perfect sense and you explained it very well, thank you.
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:57 PM   #12
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Phone support

Hi Ben,

Sorry, I should have mentioned that we do have an unpublished hot line for contractors for exactly the reason you mentioned. And, we do call back to contractors on a job site when needed. But, the major point is that it is almost never needed because of how we do everything else.

Thank you for your comments.

I also should have mentioned that if you or anyone else would like to send me your thoughts directly (I may not ever see this particular posting area again) you can reach me at dons295@gmail.com.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:00 AM   #13
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Hi Don, Welcome!

Thank you for coming and explaining your side of the story with the various situations mentioned in this thread.

Your products have been mentioned many times here over the years. I do respect how you handle things with a DIY'r vs. a contractor. Our only situation is this is mainly a DIY forum (with many contractors giving free advice), and it's difficult to recommend Pro Grade products when the DIY'r isn't familiar with the various characteristics of them.

I hope you can give continued support of your products as other vendors who participate here. It's also an excellent forum to consider advertising.

I don't know if your company was around in the early 80's when I was in AZ installing thousands of feet of Mexican unglazed floor products. If you where, I sure could have used you then.
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:32 PM   #14
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More arrogance (and now lies) by Aldon.

No I dont sell a sealer I provide a ph neutral cleaner which my customers or anyone else can purchase. As of this date I have never sold one gallon as I just give them away to my customers.

Aldon has always been arrogant. Maybe things are changing as they realize how to properly do business.
Getting an MSDS has always been like pulling teeth.

Their email address has always been difficult to find on their website and it has never even worked for me as I have always gotten invalid email address replies back.

My experience with their products is from first hand usage. I will state here now that in addition to the job discussed I have also used it on other jobs with not as much problems but one thing was always certain. CUSTOMERS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SLEEP IN THEIR HOUSES THE SAME DAY AS APPLICATION. This is a definate given.

Ok so now they are telling us that there is a contractors hotline. Do they offer this to contractors when they buy their products. NO. I guess you gotta send an email when your out on the job. Wait for the email back to get the phone number.

Instead of some chemist sitting around surfing the internet why cant he be available to answer the phone.

I will not use any of their products just because of their arrogance. There are alternatives like hillyards. I also personally find aldons water based sealer lifeguard (which some people like) impossible to use. I get puddles that dont dry if I put it on too thick and bubbles that dont pop if i put it on too thin. Go figure. I guess if I had someone to talk to maybe I would figure out what I was doing wrong.
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:58 PM   #15
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In response to Troybridge

In answer to Troybridge, I have copied his latest posting and inserted some clarifying comments in CAPS BELOW.

“More arrogance (and now lies) by Aldon. “
I SURE DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE ARROGANCE CRITICISM, AND CERTAINLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE LIES STATEMENT. BUT, WILL TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHAT PROMPTS THAT BELOW.

“No I dont sell a sealer I provide a ph neutral cleaner which my customers or anyone else can purchase. As of this date I have never sold one gallon as I just give them away to my customers.”
YOU ARE RIGHT. I WAS CONFUSED WHEN I LOOKED AT YOUR WEB SITE IN A HURRY. ON YOUR HOME PAGE, YOU SHOW BOTTLES OF PRODUCTS WITH YOUR COMPANY NAME ON THEM. YOU ALSO HAVE A CATEGORY FOR “SEALING”. ON YOUR “SEALING” PAGE YOU SAY “Our cleaning and colorsealing process permanently seals the pores of your grout so spills and dirt simply wipe off the surface of your grout.” I APOLIGIZE FOR NOT SPENDING ENOUGH TIME ON YOUR WEB SITE TO REALIZE YOU ARE A CONTRACTOR WHO HAS SOME PRIVATE LABEL PRODUCTS THAT DO NOT INCLUDE SEALERS, BUT THAT YOU DO SEALING. A QUICK LOOK AT IT MADE ME THINK YOU MADE SEALERS ALSO BUT NOW I HAVE BEEN BACK AND REALIZE I WAS INCORRECT. .

“Aldon has always been arrogant. Maybe things are changing as they realize how to properly do business.
Getting an MSDS has always been like pulling teeth.”
ANYBODY CAN GET AN MSDS FROM THE LINK AT THE TOP OF THE PRODUCTS PAGE. IN THE PAST WE HAVE BEEN ASKED BY MANY PEOPLE FOR AN MSDS AND WE HAVE ASKED THEM WHAT THEY WERE LOOKING FOR AND MAYBE WE COULD HELP THEM WITH THE RIGHT INFORMATION. SORRY, I JUST DON’T SEE THIS AS AN ARROGANT ATTITUDE. I SEE IT AS A WAY TO SAVE PEOPLE TIME AND FRUSTRATION IF THEY START OUT WITH INCORRECT ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT CHEMICAL PRODUCTS. AND, WE HAVE SEEN THAT TO BE EXACTLY THE CASE QUITE A FEW TIMES. FOR INSTANCE, THEY WANT TO SEE IF A SEALER FORMULA IS AN ACRYLIC, A SILICONE, A WHATEVER BECAUSE SOMEONE TOLD THEM TO USE THAT. WE SHOW THEM THAT THE CONTENTS DON’T MAKE THE DIFFERENCE (AND WE MAKE MANY DIFFERENT TYPES). WHAT THEY SHOULD BE FOCUSING ON IS WHICH SEALER WILL PROVIDE THE COLOR ENHANCEMENT OR NONE, THE GLOSS LEVEL OR NONE, THE EFFLORESCENCE SUPPRESSION, THE SURFACE STRENGTHENING, ETC. THAT THEY WANT TO ACCOMPLISH. WE WANT FOLKS ON THE RIGHT TRACK AND NOT WASTING TIME AND MONEY.

“Their email address has always been difficult to find on their website and it has never even worked for me as I have always gotten invalid email address replies back.”
BECAUSE EMAIL ADDRESSES GET CHANGED DUE TO SPAM OVERLOADING. PLUS MANY FOLKS DON’T GET OUR RETURN EMAILS BECAUSE OF SPAM FILTERS ON THEIR COMPUTERS OR BY THEIR ISP. OUR CURRENT SYSTEM ELIMINATES THAT TO A LARGE DEGREE AND WE ARE ABLE TO ANSWER ALMOST 100% OF THE TIME WITHIN 2 BUSINESS HOURS, AND BECAUSE WE ARE GIVEN GOOD DATA WE ARE ABLE TO ANSWER WITH REALLY IN DEPTH INFORMATION THAT IS ACCURATE FOR THEIR PROJECT.

“My experience with their products is from first hand usage. I will state here now that in addition to the job discussed I have also used it on other jobs with not as much problems but one thing was always certain. Customers will not be able to sleep in their houses the same day as application. This is a definate given.”
THANK YOU FOR MODIFYING YOUR PREVIOUS CHARACTERIZATION. IF THE PROJECT WAS THE BEDROOM, YES DO NOT SLEEP THERE THAT NIGHT. AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT WE WANT FOR THEIR SAFETY. THAT SHOULD BE THE CASE FOR USING ANY CHEMICALS FROM ANY SOURCE IN THE SAME ROOM IN WHICH YOU ARE SLEEPING. A FEW PEOPLE HAVE SOME PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN DEGREE OF CHEMICAL SENSITIVITES AND WE DO NOT WANT THEM TAKING CHANCES. I WOULD FEEL BETTER IF IT WAS TWO OR EVEN THREE DAYS BEFORE THEY WERE SLEEPING IN THAT ROOM.

“Ok so now they are telling us that there is a contractors hotline. Do they offer this to contractors when they buy their products. NO. I guess you gotta send an email when your out on the job. Wait for the email back to get the phone number.”
NO, CONTRACTORS ARE SET UP AHEAD OF TIME AND HAVE THE PHONE NUMBER. BUT, IT IS RARELY USED! THE POINT WITH WHICH I KNOW YOU WILL DISAGREE, IS ----YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE CALLING US FROM A JOB SITE. THAT IS WAY TOO LATE. YOU ARE USED TO CALLING OTHER COMPANIES FOR TECHNICAL HELP AND YOU THINK WE MUST CONDUCT OUR BUSINESS THE SAME WAY. WE HAVE ALREADY PROVIDED ALL THE TOOLS ON OUR WEB SITE TO DISCUSS EVERY CONCIEVABLE SITUATION THAT A HOMEOWNER OR CONTRACTOR MIGHT DEAL WITH. IT IS AVAILABLE 24/7. THEREFORE, WHEN A CONTRACTOR IS ON A JOB SITE, THEY ALREADY KNOW THE ESSENTIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FLOORING MATERIAL, SOME THINGS THEY MIGHT NOT HAVE THOUGHT TO EXAMINE OR TEST, AND HAVE WHAT THEY NEED WITH THEM TO MAKE TESTS, ETC. IN OTHER WORDS, THEY ARE PREPARED AHEAD OF TIME AND IN ONE TRIP KNOW WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO SATISFY THE CUSTOMER, AND THE CUSTOMER HAS SEEN AND APPROVED THE RESULTS IN THE TEST. I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU PREFER A DIFFERENT PROCESS AND THAT IS FINE. THIS IS WHAT WORKS FOR OUR CUSTOMERS AND SAVES THEM TIME, MONEY, AND CALL BACKS.

“Instead of some chemist sitting around surfing the internet why cant he be available to answer the phone.”
I AM NOT A CHEMIST. I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR CUSTOMER SUPPORT AND QUALITY OF COMMUNICATIONS. I WISH I COULD SPEND MY DAY JUST SURFING THE INTERNET, BUT EVERY DAY WE ARE WORKING ON IMPROVING OUR ENTIRE PROCESS. EVEN THOUGH IT WORKS VERY, VERY WELL AND WE ARE PLEASED WITH THE CLOSE TO 100% SUCCESS RATE OUR CUSTOMERS ENJOY, WE CAN ALWAYS IMPROVE AND WE DO. BY THE WAY, THE VERY FEW PROJECTS THAT ARE NOT SUCCESSFUL IMMEDIATELY ARE MADE SUCCESSFUL WHEN WE WORK WITH THE CUSTOMER TO IDENTIFY WHAT WAS DIFFERENT THAN THEY THOUGHT AND SHOW THEM HOW TO RECTIFY IT.

“I will not use any of their products just because of their arrogance. There are alternatives like hillyards.”
THAT IS OK. WE WANT EVERYBODY TO DO WHATEVER MAKES THEM COMFORTABLE. WE DO NOT EXPECT EVERYBODY TO UNDERSTAND AND APPRECIATE OUR PROGRAMS. I GUESS THE ONLY WAY I CAN UNDERSTAND THE ARROGANCE CONCEPT IS THAT YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH OUR BUSINESS MODEL AND DO THINGS THE WAY YOU THINK THEY SHOULD BE DONE. I DON’T SEE THAT AS ARROGANCE. I SEE IT ONLY AS DOING WHAT WE KNOW TO BE RIGHT AND MOST BENEFICIAL TO THE CUSTOMER, EVEN IF THEY DO NOT USE OUR PRODUCTS. YOU DO NOT NEED TO USE OUR PRODUCTS TO GET BENEFIT FROM THE WEB SITE.

“ I also personally find aldons water based sealer lifeguard (which some people like) impossible to use. I get puddles that dont dry if I put it on too thick and bubbles that dont pop if i put it on too thin. Go figure. I guess if I had someone to talk to maybe I would figure out what I was doing wrong.”
I CAN TELL YOU RIGHT HERE. LIFEGUARD IS NOT A SEALER. IT IS A TOP COATING FOR OTHER SEALERS (ALDONS AND OTHERS) TO PROVIDE AN EASILY REPLACEABLE (30 MINUTES IN THE TRAFFIC PATTERN) SACRIFICIAL SURFACE SO THAT A GLOSSY SEALER IS NEVER WALKED UPON, ONLY THE LIFEGUARD. THAT IS DESCRIBED ON THE LIFEGUARD LABEL AND IT’S WEB PAGE. IT MUST BE APPLIED TO AN ALREADY SEALED, NON-ABSORBENT SURFACE SO THAT IT FLOWS OUT TO IT’S SELF-LEVELING FILM. YOU WILL GET EXACTLY WHAT YOU DESCRIBE IF IT IS APPLIED TO A NON-SEALED ABSORBENT SURFACE WHERE IT IS SUCKED INTO THE SURFACE INSTEAD OF FLOWING ACROSS IT.
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