Since you sent me back to Flagstaff with my first safe in 2008, Champion and Superior Safes have been our best-selling lines. We’ve been through a lot together including, product design, name changes, the development of your vault doors and more. Over the years, it’s been easy to promote and sell Champion and Superior products. Unfortunately, things seem to be changing. Consider the old Master, our best seller since the beginning.
It was heavier than similar sized competitor safes, it had a reinforced door perimeter that was 1/4” plate with a tubular steel reinforcement holding it all together. (This was a great selling point compared to the raw gauge steel formed edge of the competition and current Master), and a 1/4” solid plate steel door panel along with a 10-gauge body, the 1/4" door was the big seller but when you combined all of the above, it really shined.
Now, the new Master finds itself down in the average category with little difference from the big box store safes.
As for our relationship Ray, I find it disheartening that when problems or concerns are brought to your attention that you dig in and defend rather than find a solution. An example would be your handles. Every other manufacturer that we carry has handles that thread in to the hub just fine. Your defense is that yours are somehow better and it that takes a bit of grease to avoid the galling between these different metals. Really? When was this greasing suggestion relayed to your dealers? The first time I heard of it was after that video that I posted. Furthermore, quality control as it relates to workmanship, paint problems, door gaps, led lighting problems, bolt hole accuracy in the bottom panel of drywall all need to be addressed but haven’t been. For years these issues have remained a concern.
The new textured paint is terrible and it rusts under the paint in all but the driest environments.
Presently, your new Master is a cheaper version of its predecessor. So much so in fact that I routinely talk customers out of purchasing them. Where do they go? We’re on our 5th truckload of Amsec safes since June and there is absolutely no comparison between the BF model and the new Master. Amsec’s fire ratings, door gaps, attention to detail, customer service, dealer service, door organizers, shelving, bolt works, and the 1/2 plate door sells. Amsecs have real fire ratings as well. When Randall told me that the fire ratings for Champion and Superior safe were made up and that all that Phoenix fire rating narrative was also made up, to say that I was disappointed would be putting it mildly. Then when you told me the fire rating report was too technical for me to understand, well...
Here's the thing,
If you’re going to reduce the size of a model, reduce the weight and the amount of steel in it, but increase the cost, you should rename it and discontinue the old model as doing otherwise is misleading.
Ray, I am a forgiving guy. I still have a few Superior products on order but basically have already moved on to other lines. If you’d like to work through some of these issues, I’m more than happy to do that. If not, that’s fine too. You said that I’m the only dealer with these concerns. That may be true but it doesn’t mean they’re out of line. I’d say it just means that the other dealers haven’t taken a hard look at what they’re selling. I’m not one those other dealers. I have run Parker’s Safes and Vaults with honesty and integrity since its inception and I won’t knowingly sell my customers a product that I don’t believe in. I've had a very successful run in this business because I realize that It’s not all about saving money or making a profit. There’s more to it than that. I'm successful because of the trust that my customers have towards me. Part of that trust comes from being familiar with my products and those of my competition. When I get a new product in, I disassemble it as much as is practicable and get familiar with it. That way when a customer asks me questions, I can answer with confidence. Here’s an example, after our problems relating to steel thickness in the Flagstaff Untouchable a year or two back, I now take a bolt out of the bottom and measure the steel thickness there and I also remove the dial and check the steel thickness in the door. The electrical receptacle can also be removed to have a look at the back of the safe. I’m happy to report that all these inspections seem to show that the Untouchable is now being made as advertised. Well done! Also, it looks like the locking bolts are once again being bolted and double nutted onto the bolt works rail instead of being riveted as they were for a while. (Yep, I caught that too.)
What I’m trying to say is that like it or not, I’m a dealer who cares about what they sell. I’m going to look and I’m going to call out anything not up to par. As I've mentioned in previous letters, you have everything in place to secure a place at the top in the safe industry by making a better product and by making sure that safes don't leave Provo until they pass a serious final inspection. I just wish you would.
As for the videos, they’re not disparaging at all, just truthful. I believe people should know what they’re really purchasing. I also realize that this letter will most probably fall on deaf ears but as we part ways, at least you'll have an explanation as to why Champion and Superior no longer make it to my showroom.
As for replacing Mr. Jenkins safe, thank you. I appreciate that you were able to source and old model for him.
Parker's Safes and Vaults
164 Cessna Lane
Shelbyville, TN 37160