In recent news, a class action lawsuit has been filed in the United States Arizona District Court against Puffco…
Known for their products like the Puffco Plus and the Pufco Pro and Pro 2; Puffco, or formally known as Puff Corp has had to face legal complaints about the overall quality of a certain product they manufacture – the Puffco Peak. The Puffco Peak was a revolutionary device that paved the way for a new platform colloquially known as portable dab rigs. These portable dab rigs are desktop vape rigs that use a portable battery source instead of the traditional tethered connection. The announcement of the Puffco Peak early of last year made news amongst different medial platforms in the cannabis industry where the Puffco Peak was even hailed as the future of dabbing. A lofty claim, although the Puffco Peak was an innovation that could altogether, potentially change the way we see cannabis concentrate consumption. It married the elements of some of the best devices used in wax concentrate consumption – it provided consumers with the power and proficiency of a desktop rig, the advantages of torch-less heating as seen on e-nails, and most importantly, the freedom of movement you get using portable devices. The features that the Puffco Peak has to offer was unheard of in almost all the platforms known to vaping. It gave consumers high hopes for a definitive vaping experience, but it wasn’t exactly the case.
Why the Class Action Lawsuit
Being the pioneer of the new portable dab rig platform, Puffco offered one of the most expensive portable dab rig devices on the market. I guess being the first to develop a certain technology kind of pays off. The Puffco Peak retails at $379.99. Maybe not as expensive as a Volcano but it sure is too steep a price to pay for a defective unit. That’s right, Puffco Peak users claim that the units sold by Puffco were defective.
One of the most common complaints of customers and consumers is the battery. While it was a revolutionary idea for a dab rig to sport a rechargeable battery pack, Puffco seemed to fall short when it comes to developing a reliable and a dependable power source since many of the Puffco Peak users say that the battery does not remain charged or in some unfortunate cases, won’t charge at all. As seen on an online copy of the class action complaint, under Common Factual Allegations, line item number 13, it states that the Puffco Peak suffers from a manufacturing defect and a design flaw where the battery does not function as intended or as advertised. Furthermore, another important component of the Puffco Peak that plays a vital role in the customer’s overall experience also is found, or at the very least as customers claim, is defective. The atomizers did not give a satisfactory result when vaping with the Puffco Peak and was most of the time giving uneven distribution of heat or they won’t heat at all.
While it’s normal for new vaping technology to run into errors or defects as you may call them, big brands usually stand up and own these flaws. This is why industry standard warranties and services are set in place to help resolve these issues. After sales service is something that’s expected from some of the biggest names in the industry, however, Puffo or Puff Corp didn’t seem to own up to their mistakes, mistakes that the CEO and founder of the company itself admitted as seen on the virtual copy of the complaint under Common Factual Allegations, line item number 20, that states Roger Volodartsky admitted the said issues found on the Puffco Peak on an interview. The CEO of Puffco admits that they are aware of the issues, however, no acceptable course of action was seen of Puffco’s behalf. They did not recall the products, replaced it, or even warn the customers about the known issue. Many users had to find out for themselves and the solution they were offered was not much of a solution at all. Puffco sold replacement parts at a cost at the customer’s expense. Puffco seemed to reap profits out of their own mistakes by taxing the customers instead of fixing the issues free of charge. More so, Puffco still sells defective products and does not, in any way, improved the design or engineering of the faulty components reported by customers implying that they choose not to do anything about the current situation of the product.
Dodging the Bullet
Based on the class action lawsuit filed against Puffco, it is pretty obvious that Puffco and its CEO is doing everything they can to dodge the issue and make the most out of it. On social media platforms, Puffco shows no signs of remorse or self-reproach. On an Instagram livestream, Roger Volodarsky, the CEO and the man behind Puffco went berserk when a customer commented about the issue with Puffco. It seems that Roger likes to fight with customers on his live feeds – not a strong move for a company facing lawsuits over a product that has so many complaints that it’s built its own reputation around how bad the Puffco Peak was.
What’s worse is that in some cases, customers report that Puffco dodges warranty services for Puffco Peak products sold below MSRP. This means that people who waited long for 4/20 sales, Black Friday sales, and any other sale for that matter will not be eligible for any type of free service from Puffco. Not only are customers and consumers are affected with this move and motion from Puffco but also re-sellers. Those that go out of their way to cut off a small percentage of the profit from their small business just to sell an expensive unit. Puffco does send out what they call a “Notice of Violation” to stores and re-sellers who sell the Puffco Peak below the amount that Puffco sells the Peak from their website. As if Puffco tries to monopolize the market by controlling the price the Peak is to be sold, what then is the purpose and the profit of margin for re-sellers investing on the Peak?
What It Means for Puffco
As most consumers reported and continue to share in many social media platforms, their experiences with the brand adds to a cumulative pool of evidence of Puffco’s perception of the Peak’s problem. The contents of the class action lawsuit were heavy enough that it can damage whatever reputation Puffco managed to build through the years. While customers believed the brand when it comes to vape pens and dab pens, they will be under the impression that all the products manufactured by Puffco will be of the same – cheap – quality.
What’s more is that customers find Puffco’s outlook towards the incident appalling. Instead of being keen and focused on damage control, representatives of Puffco seem to try to avoid the issue by not providing the customers any immediate means of reaching out to them. Puffco instead provided the customers only with an email address instead of a phone number where customers can get an immediate answer to the problems they’re facing. By the same token, Puffco makes it hard for consumers to even find a sliver of hope since most who reached out to contact Puffco via email wait for weeks to get a response – if they even respond at all.
This opens a window of opportunity for other players in the industry to swoop in and replace rankings, a change of perception on the customer’s end can cost Puffco significant consequences. The hate Puffco receives can easily change how customers see the company, and, with the influence of today’s social media, this can clearly make or break the Puffco as a brand depending on how they react to these legal accusations.