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Thread: Recent transactions with Aura Lens

  1. #1
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    Default Recent transactions with Aura Lens

    I have been getting my glasses from Mike at Auralens for the whole of my 15+ years of glass. The first pair I bought is still in service today, scratched due to my clumsiness but totally serviceable. I remember the struggle many years back, and that was just that, many years back. I am not seeing late orders or long term waits in the years since. I have referred all of my students to him for coverage for the last 10 years.

    Sure, he is feisty, however I have never seen him go off without a provocation in many many years. There are professional ways to bring light to an issue, and that is always the most productive route. If you come at him crazy, you are probably going to have that served back to you. Most of the supplier's company owners got some feist. None got here without being able to push back. It is simply the spirit of entrepreneurs making a path in an industry in its infancy. There are small businesses in our community that do not play the big bucks advertising game and we come face to face with you in forums instead. I think being accessible is important. Yes, getting Mike riled up can happen, but he has improved in large strides in the last 5 years. I think he struggles a bit with walking away from a scuffle, but so do the opposing parties that he can scuffle with, or there would be no one to retort to.

    He was there for us before so many others got in the game and got it right the first time on protecting our most valuable asset as artists. He does not cheap down the product to make it less effective and more budget friendly, he is only willing to sell a product that does the real job. Cutting corners is not his style. That is what counts here, our protection.

    I ordered a pair for my son this past week. Ordered on Thursday and had them in hand by Monday. Exactly what I ordered, with cases, lanyards, and all the paperwork. I can't wait for next week to level up my son on his big day. He has been using cheap Phillips glasses that are leaving him with eyes strain. I am up for a new set with my changing prescription, and that will be Mikes order to fill as well. I don't trust any other filter company to be as on top of the coatings and the quality control. My last pair of scrips were better than the ones my local optometrist had made. I need trifocals with astigmatism correction, and that is a tall order in small frames that fit my face. You will never see 3 different shades of shade 4 with Mike, it will be the one top notch shade. I only have one set of eyes, and they are in his hands. I have never been let down or disappointed. He has my trust.
    Thanks,
    Pam

    The Glass Hive Kiln Page
    michael@theglasshive.com
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    541-961-6978

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Recent transactions with Aura Lens

    As a relative newcomer to the world of glass, I wasn't around when the turmoil surrounding Aura Lens was going on. However, during my 8 months of preparation prior to lighting the torch, I did a lot of homework. The lion's share of that homework consisted of reading every single sub-forum on TMP from back to front. Every thread, every post. (As well as large portions of Lampwork, Etc. and other media.) So, I'm fairly familiar with what went down.

    Things got pretty heated. There were a lot of hurt feelings, and a lot of folks feeling like they had been cheated and treated poorly. A lot of harsh words were said. It's completely understandable for some of those that were directly involved to have lingering animosities towards Mike. He's a passionate guy, and sometimes that personality trait can lead to things getting... passionate.

    I've owned a small construction company in the past; I know what it's like to find yourself in the weeds, where you're hopelessly behind and have angry clients coming at you from all sides. It's a difficult situation to be in, and doesn't tend to bring out the better angels of your nature.

    So, all that being said, I'll just say this:

    When it became obvious that corrective lenses were going to be necessary, I took an objective look at the quality of protection being offered and never really had to think twice about choosing Auras.

    Last spring, during the four hour drive to Mike's shop so that I could try on some different frames (I have a hard time finding off-the-shelf frames that are comfortable.), I couldn't help wondering what I was in for. All of that past drama was messing with my head.

    I needn't have worried.

    Mike gave me the nickel tour of his shop, spent time showing me the spectrum analysis charts of his new DASH 40 filter, and helped me find a comfortable pair of frames. We inked the deal, and I drove away pondering how much longer I was going to have to get by with my crappy Phillips specs before I took possession of the new pair.

    Again, I needn't have worried.

    My order arrived in just over a week, despite the bottleneck in production due to transitioning to the new base glass. I love my Auras! The shade 5's are a little too dark so I'll be ordering some 3's when I get my tax refund.

    Maybe Mike has mellowed with age? Maybe he's found a balance between production and demand? I dunno. I had a very positive experience, and I'll most likely cover my eyes with Auras from now on. At least until the patent runs out, or until they cover my eyes with coins to pay Charon his porterage.

    YMMV
    Last edited by Jason Lindquist; 02-03-2016 at 09:31 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Recent transactions with Aura Lens

    Purchased Glass During Nov. Sale 2015

    Had my Glasses 2-3 weeks later(before christmas even!)

    Communication: 5 out of 5, Got emails when order was first received, being processed, and then another before they shipped. Mike was super helpful on the phone when choosing what shade would be best for my working style. We settled on a Shade 4 because I felt my shop was too dark for Shade 5's. He answered all questions through the forum and FB really fast.

    Overall Experience: 5 out of 5. As this was my first purchase from Aura I have no complaints and nothing I could list that they could have done better during our transaction


    I understand the feelings of some that have been dealing with issues while a small company that was experiencing growing pains. It seems like he has listened to these complaints and made his process better over time but I must say as my only experience being very recent I have absolutely nothing to complain about from a customer standpoint.
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    This thread is sweet, keep it going. Keep describing the piece without pics and we'll try to picture it and ask cool questions, such as where's the pics or post pics..
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    I'm no longer learning to blow glass...Back to the shop with my bad ass self, this Lambo isn't going to buy itself

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Recent transactions with Aura Lens

    Love mine, got em straight from Mike. Super fast and great quality.
    Simian Glass on Facebook

    If you know the Way broadly you will see it in all things. -Musashi

    Q: Prove God doesn't exist.
    A: That's a tough one. Show me how it's done by proving Zeus and Apollo don't exist, and I'll use your method. ~unknown

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Recent transactions with Aura Lens

    I just messeged mike through email to call me and I recieved a call within 10 minutes and had ordered my glasses. I have always had great service from Mike. When I wanted a split lens on a a pair of biker sryle sunglasses mike took on the challenge 15 years ago. Nowadays it's no big deal back then it was a super pain in the ass. But what I recieved in the mail was nothing but a top notch product that I used up until losing them on a trip 2 weeks ago. We are all passionate about what we do and some are more hot headed than others. But when you are doing something that protects people's eyes and you are the leading company doing so you have earned the right to have your voice heard and your thoughts and expertise respected.
    ~FlowerMatt

  6. #6

    Default

    I broke my glasses. Tried to call Aura a couple times with no answer I was thinking "here we go"

    HOWEVER! I emailed mike - He replied promptly. Had my glasses sent out and just got them back fixed. I'm super happy with the warrantee program and the email customer service.

    I've been critical in the past but I have nothing but good things to say in the present. Thank you mike @ Aura!

  7. #7
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    Smile Re: Recent transactions with Aura Lens

    Ordered some Aura glass's for my prescription
    Order was done fast with excellent communication

    Unfortunately the glass's were damaged in transit and Aura did an amazingly fast job no questions asked to remidy the issue with a 1 day turn around.

    Could not ask for better personal service


    BTW I have a tough prescription to make and they nailed it dead on. Glasses are fantastic for my clear boro work. Will be getting everyone in the shop a pair



  8. #8
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    Default Re: Recent transactions with Aura Lens

    I just wanted to thank mike for some great customer service. Got some replacement glasses quick and easy with no charge.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Recent transactions with Aura Lens

    Glad to help you out!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Recent transactions with Aura Lens

    I recently ordered some auras. They shipped the next day. They came with a quality metal case which was a nice surprise. I got 4/6 splits and I'm really happy with them so far.
    Don't set yourself on fire

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Recent transactions with Aura Lens

    No reason not to chime in...I ordered legend wraps a week or two ago, shade 5 with AGW-250. They arrived promptly in excellent condition and feel amazing on my face. Thanks Mike.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Recent transactions with Aura Lens

    You are both very welcome!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Recent transactions with Aura Lens

    Called to order a set of goggles, no call back for two days so I sent an email inquiring... I said I had some questions about fit, etc, and also some concerns about service based on the feedback I'd read online. I was polite, friendly and respectful.

    Mike responded to me with a complete dismissal, saying that I was trying to "push his buttons", I guess because I had the temerity to mention that there had been some issues and I wanted to make sure they were cleared up now... I said I absolutely wasn't trying to push any buttons, just had some questions and concerns before placing my $500 order. I asked him to call me the next day. Basically, I tried to give him a second chance. Instead, Mike responded with an email calling me a "troll", saying that because I don't have a website I'm "nobody" in the glass world, and asserting that I "live in my car and drink my own piss" and that nobody gives a fuck about me or what I think.

    Seriously. That was his response.

    He "checked around" online, and says he talked to several people in my state, (!) and because I'm not a big-name glassblower, I guess he doesn't feel like he has to give me basic human respect, let alone decent service. Really? He accused me of lying, essentially, and doubted my very existence, then totally dismissed me. I guess he thinks I had no objective but to annoy him, and I guess he thinks that somebody inquiring if his well-documented service issues are a thing of the past is unacceptable and offensive. And he thinks the way to react to an inquiry is with a volley of insults and gross disrespect. I guess he expects customers to come crawling and kiss his ass, actually. No, thanks.

    I'm appalled, and I'm done. I'd never deal with Mike, no matter how good his product might be. His attitude is ridiculous and totally unprofessional, personally insulting. He seems actually mentally unstable to me, paranoid and somewhat delusional. Get some help, Mike, seriously. And get somebody else to do customer service, is my advice, not that you care about service, obviously...

    I wish there were more options for eye protection, and maybe I'll buy a used pair of Auras, but I'd never give my money to somebody who abuses a potential customer like that. Just thought I'd share my recent very unfortunate experience, and recommend that anybody contemplating ordering from Mike give him a call or two, feel out his attitude before plunking down your cash. Obviously, if there was an issue with an order, he would not offer service with a smile, seeing as he viciously attacked a potential customer and killed a sale, for no reason whatsoever... What a bummer. If you're in business, you really need to be professional, polite, and cultivate your people skills... Unless you have a complete monopoly, I guess.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Recent transactions with Aura Lens

    Let's be perfectly honest here. The following is a direct copy of his first e-mail to me:

    Hey Mike (and company)-

    I hear your shades are the absolute best. I also hear you're super hard to deal with, or have been. Well, I want the best protection for my eyes, and for my students' eyes. However, I also want prompt service with a smile, if at all possible. Do me right, and I'll be happy to promote you on the fora and elsewhere. Take care of me, and I'll sell your product. Do me wrong, and I'll spread the word. Your call, here I am for the first time. Waiting for you to return my call and answer some questions... I want to be happy, and I want your product. Meet me at least halfway, and don't make me buy Philips, okay?
    My response to this was the following:

    That's kind of an odd way to start a relationship. I don't work well with people who try purposely to push my buttons. It usually doesn't turn out well.
    To which he responded with:

    Really? I have concerns, and you don't want to address them? Okay. I guess you're not willing to meet me halfway, and that's a deal breaker for me.

    If you change your attitude, and want to return my calls and answer some questions, as well as assuring me that the service nightmares others have experienced are a thing of the past, please drop a line tomorrow.


    Not trying to push your buttons, but you have a bad rep, which you are right now conforming to me personally.


    Wow, what a bad way to deal with a potential customer.


    One last time...
    And I sent back:

    You've made claims about my attitude and business model, yet you apparently have not done any research on any of the available glassworking forums in the past 3-4 years. Had you done so, you would find the information you seek about my business and attitude.

    You strike me as a high-maintenance potential customer, and I have neither the time nor the energy to deal with a lot of hand-holding. I have hundreds of other customers who don't need to be coddled in order to buy product from me.

    Which brings up another point: who ARE you? I spent a fair amount of time last night looking for an on-line presence for you in the glassworking world and found...nothing. You claim to have students in your first e-mail, yet you don't advertise for classes. The only internet record of you about glassworking appears to be two comments from you on a YouTube video.

    I discussed this last night on Facebook with a lot of folks who actually live in New Mexico, and they've never heard of you. And a few of them are quite well known in the glass world, and 2 or 3 of them actually teach.

    All of this leads me to one conclusion: you are a troll. Normally, I put you on my 'High Flame' setting, but I haven't got time -- I've got a business to run with real customers and real orders to fill.

    Good day to you sir. And "Nice Try"

    Mike (from home)
    And it went downhill from there:

    You're an asshole. I don't care how good your product is; I'll never buy from you. I'll spend the rest of my career dissuading others from buying from you. And I'll let everyone know that your attitude problems continue to the present day.

    See, that was my concern; that you're an asshole. And you are, obviously.

    As to who I am, I'm a customer with money in hand, but not for you. Troll? Dude, you're the troll. I wanted to see if you had a professional attitude. You don't.

    Fuck off, Mike. You're a goddamned troll, with a new enemy, because of your ridiculous attitude.

    Fuck off.

    Bye.

    "I don't work well with people..." -Mike Aurelius

    You said it.
    and:

    Hey jackass- I didn't make any "claims;" just told you what I heard in my rather extensive research. Lots of people hate you personally, and lots of people have had problems with your service, and your attitude. Now I see why. You're a fucking asshole. Now, not four years ago.

    I'm high-maintenance because I have questions? Okay. You don't want my business, you don't have to answer calls or have a businesslike professional attitude? Fine. You strike me as the kind of stuck-up prick I absolutely refuse to do business with.

    Yeah, I don't really have a web presence. How is that relevant to anything? Do I need to be famous to get a civil response from the great Mike Aurelius, or something? No, you don't know who the fuck
    I am. But I know who and what you are. I gave you a chance, and your decision is going to cost you quite a bit of money. But then, you don't really care about the money, do you? No, you care about being a dick. Yay, you win! Now fuck off. You will come to regret being such a prick, but by then it will be too late...
    And it went downhill from there. So, this wasn't JUST a nice calm friendly request for some help, this was an in-your face, do me right or I will fuck your business up e-mail. I ain't got time for that.

    Take it as you will.

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    Default Re: Recent transactions with Aura Lens

    Hey Tor, your first e-mail to Mike was NOT polite, friendly or professional. You started with accusations, and a confrontational attitude. Don't poke the bear then ask him to give you his picnic basket! Mike delivers the best products in a timely manner and is a very respected part of the lampworking family! THANKS MIKE!!!!!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Recent transactions with Aura Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by apophasis View Post
    Called to order a set of goggles, no call back for two days so I sent an email inquiring... I said I had some questions about fit, etc, and also some concerns about service based on the feedback I'd read online. I was polite, friendly and respectful.

    Mike responded to me with a complete dismissal, saying that I was trying to "push his buttons", I guess because I had the temerity to mention that there had been some issues and I wanted to make sure they were cleared up now... I said I absolutely wasn't trying to push any buttons, just had some questions and concerns before placing my $500 order. I asked him to call me the next day. Basically, I tried to give him a second chance. Instead, Mike responded with an email calling me a "troll", saying that because I don't have a website I'm "nobody" in the glass world, and asserting that I "live in my car and drink my own piss" and that nobody gives a fuck about me or what I think.

    Seriously. That was his response.

    He "checked around" online, and says he talked to several people in my state, (!) and because I'm not a big-name glassblower, I guess he doesn't feel like he has to give me basic human respect, let alone decent service. Really? He accused me of lying, essentially, and doubted my very existence, then totally dismissed me. I guess he thinks I had no objective but to annoy him, and I guess he thinks that somebody inquiring if his well-documented service issues are a thing of the past is unacceptable and offensive. And he thinks the way to react to an inquiry is with a volley of insults and gross disrespect. I guess he expects customers to come crawling and kiss his ass, actually. No, thanks.

    I'm appalled, and I'm done. I'd never deal with Mike, no matter how good his product might be. His attitude is ridiculous and totally unprofessional, personally insulting. He seems actually mentally unstable to me, paranoid and somewhat delusional. Get some help, Mike, seriously. And get somebody else to do customer service, is my advice, not that you care about service, obviously...

    I wish there were more options for eye protection, and maybe I'll buy a used pair of Auras, but I'd never give my money to somebody who abuses a potential customer like that. Just thought I'd share my recent very unfortunate experience, and recommend that anybody contemplating ordering from Mike give him a call or two, feel out his attitude before plunking down your cash. Obviously, if there was an issue with an order, he would not offer service with a smile, seeing as he viciously attacked a potential customer and killed a sale, for no reason whatsoever... What a bummer. If you're in business, you really need to be professional, polite, and cultivate your people skills... Unless you have a complete monopoly, I guess.
    Man. Your initial threat got a response that was far more diplomatic than it should have. No one should pander to that kind of shitty attitude.


    Simian Glass on Facebook

    If you know the Way broadly you will see it in all things. -Musashi

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    A: That's a tough one. Show me how it's done by proving Zeus and Apollo don't exist, and I'll use your method. ~unknown

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Recent transactions with Aura Lens

    I thought this place was about blowing glass, not this shit.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Recent transactions with Aura Lens

    You would also think a thread entitled "transactions" would be about someone that actually did business with someone and not about their threats getting the cold shoulder.


    Simian Glass on Facebook

    If you know the Way broadly you will see it in all things. -Musashi

    Q: Prove God doesn't exist.
    A: That's a tough one. Show me how it's done by proving Zeus and Apollo don't exist, and I'll use your method. ~unknown

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Recent transactions with Aura Lens

    Ha. Watched that whole thread go down. Courteous and professional is not what happened.
    Poke the bear is a very apt analogy.
    And yeah he got served with a lot more professionalism than most would offer.

    Dum spiro spero (Latin for "While I breathe, I hope")

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Recent transactions with Aura Lens

    Thanks guys.

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