Saturday, September 20, 2014
The Berkley - Fireline saga
Last week I was contacted by the the Senior Brand Marketing Manager from Berkley concerning the issues that some beaders have been experiencing with Fireline. At that time he told me there had been no change to their formula, that there were no EPA regulations on biodegradability that they needed to comply with and that they knew of a bad batch (or more) of Crystal Fireline and provided the spool numbers should anyone wish to return it to where they purchased it from. The batch numbers are: A-28-14-3, E-6-14-1, A-21-14-2 and they are all Crystal 6#.
I replied to his professional and thoughtful email by letting him know there were still unanswered questions, such as issues with Smoke colored Fireline, what the "Improved" packaging meant if there had not been a change made, and the fact that representatives from Berkley had replied to more than one inquiry that there had been a change made in their formula.
Yesterday afternoon I received a conference call from this gentleman as well as two other officers from Berkley. They too were polite, engaging and open-minded with their questions and comments. They were eager to hear about my own personal experiences with Fireline as well as that of my customers and peers.
I explained to them the problems I had experienced and relayed comments from my customers that lined up with my own experiences. They asked several questions to confirm and learn more.
They then replied saying that the beading industry is a large and important part of their Fireline sales and that our concerns are very important to them. They are aware of EPA regulations but they have to do with lead content, of which Fireline contains none. They said there had been an improvement made to the coating on the Fireline to help with abrasion and while this improvement was originally designed for the fishing industry, they felt it would also be a benefit to beaders as we also deal with a level of abrasion on the line as we drag it though bead holes.
While they were not aware of any issues from their end with Smoke Fireline they were very interested in learning about and helping to solve any issues I had mentioned to them. As such they will be sending me samples of line to test. I said I would be able to recreate the same project I was beading when I first experienced issues and would be happy to test each of the samples on that same project and let them know my experience.
I also asked them, once all testing and quality issues had been explored if they would be so kind as to provide me with an official statement from their company that could be shared with Planet Bead. I feel strongly that they do have our best interests in mind at this time and that they are willing to work hard to solve any issues that may have occurred with their product so that it remains a reliable alternative for us to use in our beadweaving designs.
As soon as I have further information I will pass it along.