James Baroud discontinued?

ab1985

Explorer
The Falcon 250 recently piqued my interest. I've been reading up online over the past few days. What a cluster f#ck...
 

Oilbrnr

Active member
Dear Oilbrnr,


did you claim for warranty?

Best regards
James Baroud
At the time, getting any warranty support out of you via 4OK was abysmal. Short of replacing the whole thing at a considerable effort on my part was not worth it. Hence I sold it.

The only positive I could say is that is was quiet in the wind and deployed quickly.
 

Redpony

Member
I can't speak on what this issues were between Jame Baroud and OK4WD, but I have purchased numerous items from @rino and OK4WD. This includes a competitor's RTT. The sales and service continues to be outstanding. Even when i had a warranty issue with my RTT, Rin took care of it immediately.
 

Kerensky97

Xterra101
Running a website for a product you no longer distribute pretending it's still a part of that company is extremely shady (and probably illegal). Regardless of when it was registered or if you promise not to use it to spread disparaging information. It's textbook trademark infringement (assuming "James Baroud" is trademarked).

The simple act of creating the impression with customers that you're in someway related to the actual brand is against the law (see all the companies that had to change their name because they contained the word "backcountry"), and magnified if your website in any way affects the trademark owners sales.
It's fine to own and use the website name, you bought it first afterall, but you can't pretend to be the actual company. Like having it direct to a page of yours that states you're not James Baroud and that instead customers should buy your own product. A little sleezy, but legal because people visiting the site know that you're not the real company.

But pretending to be a trademarked company (especially one you're fighting or competing with) is setting yourself up for a massive lawsuit.
 

James Baroud Tents

Supporting Sponsor / Approved Vendor
In my ~8 months of light use and being parked underground:
- fan failed
- fabric developed quite literally hundreds of cracks in one of the layers (well known issue - found threads on Mud dating back to 2015 about this)
- all latches rusted
- all hardware at the bottom of the tent rusted
- gel coat cracked

They did eventually replace the tent with a new one (that I instantly sold), but not without a fight.
Dear Eatsleepwoof,


we are really sorry about that. That's why we had to cut ties with that distributor, because they had business behaviors which are against our service rules.
 
I bought a Grand Raid in 2018, and after a month I had a warranty issue. I received excellent customer service to remedy the problem, which ultimately included a replacement tent. The second tent has worked flawlessly for 14 months, and my family really enjoys using it.
 

eatSleepWoof

Explorer
Dear Eatsleepwoof,


we are really sorry about that. That's why we had to cut ties with that distributor, because they had business behaviors which are against our service rules.
LOL.

I was talking with Craig (your direct employee) directly. OK4WD went out of their way to make things right for me, while you guys fought me every step of the way. You did eventually replace the tent, but I have no illusions about the "quality" of your products.
 

UtahRnr

New member
"After this breach of contract, OK 4WD took over the name of our company to create jamesbaroudusa.com without..."

A quick lookup of WHOIS information for that domain name (feel free to check yourself: at http://www.whois.net or a million similar services) shows that this domain name was created on 2013-01-03T15:22:21Z, which directly contradicts the statement made by James Baroud.

"This website allows OK 4WD to systematically and unequivocally discredit with our brand image and values with false consumer reviews"

I just browsed jamesbaroudusa.com: the homepage shows nothing but 5-star testimonials, and I don't see anything resembling reviews anywhere else.

Sure reads like a whole bunch of bullsh*t.
I don’t agree with you. If OK4WD was a previous distributor, they could have registered this domain in 2013 for that purpose. It wasnt until after the falling out that the distributor OK4WD used it to wage war against the supplier. So I don’t follow your logic. The date of domain registration doesn’t contradict the official statement from James Baroud.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

eatSleepWoof

Explorer
I don’t agree with you. If OK4WD was a previous distributor, they could have registered this domain in 2013 for that purpose. It wasnt until after the falling out that the distributor OK4WD used it to wage war against the supplier. So I don’t follow your logic. The date of domain registration doesn’t contradict the official statement from James Baroud.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Slow down and read things carefully.

"... We faced the obligation to cut ties in 2018 ..."
"... after breach of this contract, OK4WD took over the name of our company to create jamesbaroudusa.com ..."

Domain was created, and site has been up since 2013.
 

ttengineer

Adventurer
Mods,

An we shut this thread down? It’s going no where and just causing more confusion and industry infighting.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

rino

Supporting Sponsor - OK4WD
We at OK4WD have found the need to expend valuable resources defending ourselves from an ex-vendor’s false and defamatory social media posts extremely exhausting and inconsistent with our ideals of professionalism. This internal dispute is not one that we feel that you the customer should be subjected to which is why we have had conflicting opinions as to how to respond.

To that end, up until this Monday, our approach has been to try multiple times to resolve the disagreement behind closed doors as professional organizations who had a fruitful relationship until conflicting priorities caused a necessary divorce. Please note that our attempts at a professional remediation included a third attempt on 11/25, after the false statement was posted. The ex-vendors reply to our overture was to demand that we forfeit all the intellectual property belonging to ourselves.

With this reply, we feel the need to officially respond to the misinformation that the ex-vendor has attempted to propagate in what can best be libel. Please see below for a point by point rebuttal to the false claims. Please note that the documentation backing up our assertions is indicated as well.

“For several months, our company has suffered from a misinformation campaign orchestrated by OK 4WD, one of our former distributors, based in Stewartsville, NJ”

We are struggling to understand what misinformation the ex-vendor is referring to with this statement. We discontinued carrying their products due to a difference in business philosophies. The ex-vendor did not choose to buy back their inventory necessitating our need to sell the inventory at a markdown to recoup our investment. As the remaining stock is liquidated and inventory is exhausted, we have marked it accordingly

It is important to note that we have not added any misinformation to the JamesBaroudUSA.com domain as clearly indicated here by utilizing the Wayback Machine:

https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://jamesbaroudusa.com.

“As a matter of fact, we faced the obligation to cut ties with this distributor in 2018, because of business behaviors which were against our quality and service rules.”

This statement is completely untrue, unnecessary to the discussion, and quite honestly upsets us personally. While not germane to the discussion, please note that the partnership was ended by OK4WD due to the following factors:

1. The ex-vendor’s revised retroactive warranty policy launched in 2018. From 2013 until 2018 OK4WD had sold the ex-vendor’s products to our customers and dealer network while promoting the 5 year warranty that we felt necessary to provide to customers when selling a premium product. Though issues with warranty fulfillment were always a normal course of business with the ex-vendor, ultimately we were able to act as effective intermediaries to ensure that customers had the experience that we felt they deserved.

While we cannot speculate as to the reasons behind the decision, in 2018 the ex-vendor abruptly reduced their warranty period retroactively from 5 years to 2 years for all problematic parts per the following URL from their own web site:

https://www.jamesbaroud.com/en/http-www-jamesbaroud-com-2/

Despite being the sole distributor of North America, we nonetheless first learned about the change from a customer who had found it on the ex-vendor’s website. Again, we will not speculate as to the reasoning but at no point did the vendor send the dealer network an official statement, an email or have a discussion beforehand. The discussion was unilaterally made by the ex-vendor, and as such we challenged this decision since we had sold products on the basis of the 5 year warranty.

2. The extensive and unpredictable delays in the development of a new model roof top tent. When reviewing warranty data, problematic issues with gel-coat were among the biggest warranty concerns. The new model tent was to be the answer to these quality control issues. While we had some concerns about the product design, we were nonetheless optimistic for a solution to the costly warranty issues; however, after multiple missed launch dates and a lack of transparency it became clear to use that something was awry with the ex-vendor’s production capabilities.

3. In the summer 2018, we were notified secondhand through our dealer network that a representative from the ex-vendor had made a surprise visit to their locations without informing us. On that same trip the representative stopped at our facility to give us an ultimatum: we could sell exclusively James Baroud products or they would start selling direct to our dealer network. The irony of the ultimatum was that the ex-vendor had introduced us to the vendor that was the subject of the ultimatum and the ex-vendor was aware of us selling the product for over three years.

While we were dismayed at the sudden shift in the tenor of the relationship, we did not feel that an exclusive deal with the current manifestation of the ex-vendor’s product would have been consistent with our 40 year mission to provide the best products to the off-road community.

Despite the sudden breakdown in the relationship, we continued to assist with warranty inquiries and any corrective remediation that we could accomplish at our facility. While the liability technically did not fall upon us as a distributer, we felt that we needed to ensure that our customers could rely upon us to resolve their issues even when the vendor had abandoned them. To that end, we continued to make repairs even when it became clear that we would not be receiving payment for warranties much less a response from the ex-vendor. Resolution of these warranty costs would become a sticking point in negotiations to transfer the intellectual property that OK4WD had invested time and effort in creating. The intellectual property included the URLs that we had registered, the website that we had created, the social media accounts that we had built and managed and all photo and marketing assets that we had paid for. We simply asked for a reimbursement for the warranty costs as well as fair market value for these assets. We had incurred a cost to build the brand in North America and simply wanted to be reimbursed for intellectual property that the ex-vendor and its new distributors would benefit from going forward per standard convention in the manufacturer/distributer relationship. While the ex-vendor may feel that the reimbursement of warranty costs is exorbitant, we feel that a vendor delivering a quality product would not have an issue repairing manufacturing flaws with that product.

We subsequently made two more attempts to settle this debt and put the situation with the ex-vendor behind us. It is important to note that our final offer was simply to allow them to negotiate what they felt was a fair price. The response from the vendor to this final offer was “the best solution is to give us the site domain for free, as well as Facebook and Instagram.” It is important to note that marketing done in North America including sponsorships, magazine ads, trade shows, catalogs, website, studio shots, and social media channels were primarily paid for by OK4WD as we introduced and built the brand in North America.

Most of this media is currently in use by the ex-vendors without our consent as legal owners of the media, though it is important to note that until this point, we have not chosen to air our grievances with this intellectual property violation in public.

"After this breach of contract, OK 4WD took over the name of our company to create "jamesbaroudusa.com" with our permission or expressed consent."
As has been pointed out in numerous locations online, the domain was registered in 2013 and the website was created at that point. A current distributor has since admitted on social media that this statement was patently false when presented with evidence.

You can find the domain registration date and information at: http://whois.domaintools.com/jamesbaroudusa.com.
 

rino

Supporting Sponsor - OK4WD
"This website allows OK 4WD to systemically and unequivocally discredit with our brand image and values with false consumer reviews, suggesting that our company does not provide any after-sales service"
The website has only had a few changes since early 2018, which included removing the James Baroud logo and updating products to show the new warranty policy (5 Year/2 Year).

We are unclear as to what reviews the ex-vendor is referencing as the website only contains extremely positive reviews from the original manifestation of the product. We purposely did not address the quality control issues with the product or warranty service issues out of professional courtesy on the JamesBaroudUSA.com website.

You can use the Wayback Machine to see changes and revisions done to JamesBaroudUSA.com since 2013 at: https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://jamesbaroudusa.com.

"It also allows OK 4WD to drive potential customers toward one of two other brands with which he is in partnership today"
Customers are still able to purchase the remaining stock that the ex-vendor did not want to repurchase per conventional vendor distributer relationship. In the event that customers do inquire about a tent that is no longer available, we present them with other options. If none of these options suit their needs, customers clearly have the option to purchase the ex-vendors products elsewhere.

We would also like to clear up any misconceptions regarding our motivations for not taking down the site that we funded, built, and managed as the primary distributer for the ex-vendor.

With the ex-vendor refusing to buy back the inventory we had purchased per the standard manufacturer/distributer convention, we were forced to maintain our primary sales channel to ensure that we would be able to recoup some of our outlay for product inventory.

The intention always was (and still is) to take down the site as soon as we have sold the remaining inventory. Any effort to discredit or damage the ex-vendors brand on our part would have hurt us by compounding our losses on inventory that was already increasingly difficult to liquidate. On the other side of the coin, investing time and resources into updating a webpage for a brand we were no longer carrying and could not stand behind would have had the same effect.

As a result of being caught in the lose/lose situation created by the ex-vendor, we made the decision to keep the site as is with the exception of updating product availability as inventory becomes depleted.

Final Thoughts from OK4WD

Despite dissolving our business relationship over a year ago, the ex-vendor has continued to distribute “alternative facts” via social media that have been continually discredited as false. We undoubtedly find these actions unprofessional, however we would still like to resolve this and meet with our ex-vendor privately to discuss. We at OK4WD would prefer to focus on providing quality products to the customer that we can stand behind as we have for 40 years rather than have conflict.

That being said, we hope that it has given you, the customer, some insight as to the lengths to which we will go to ensure that customers can depend on OK4WD for the unparalleled customer service and support that we have built our reputation upon.
 

AbleGuy

[Back] Roads Scholar
Rino, OK4WD, is properly listed here as a “sponsoring member.” (Thx for your support, guys)

JB Tents, while actively participating in this forum and seemingly promoting its products, isn’t listed as a sponsor here, but only as a “new member.”

That kind of tells me something important ...

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