I wasn't sure where else to put this post but the "Aren't sure where to put this post?  Anything fits here seemed to help!  This is my review of the Forged in Time business, in the event someone finds it helpful, or if someone has run into the same problems I have.

I've thought long and hard about creating a new post regarding my ongoing issues with Forged In Time. Maybe your experience with Forged In Time is positive, maybe it is negative, or maybe yu have no idea who they are. I have discussed with enough people whose experience is negative. Anyway, here is my story (all this is from documented emails and other sources).

Prelude: I had always wanted a "real" Viking sword; one that was made to period specifications that I could add to my collection as a centerpiece. I researched online, and found a company that (at the time) seemed to have decent online reviews and prices (Forged In Time), and so I opened a dialogue. A synopsis of that dialogue is below..

- Mar 1, 2014: Contacted FiT regarding having them construct me a custom Holmganga (Viking) sword that was period correct. So, folded, hammered steel, not this cold-rolled stuff of display-only type steel. Ben Rial was the bladesmith I was in contact with, who said they were able to accommodate. They provided a quote and said with the current backlog of orders it would take about 7 months for completion (Email re:Mar 5, 2016). They would require a 50% deposit to get the project started.

- Mar 6, 2014: 50% deposit sent via Paypal. Later that evening Ben contacted me and confirmed that he had received the downpayment and that the project would commence.

- Mar 14, 2015: A year had passed, and the sword was at this point five months overdue. Contacted FiT who said they had a number of setbacks but were working on getting the sword out to me. Note that there had been no communication that the sword was going to be late, that there were setbacks of any kind. Seems to me the responsible thing to do would have been to inform the customer up front.

- Nov 11, 2015: Had contacted FiT several times requesting an update to the progress of my sword. Finally got an update saying His internet had been down (OK) and that the sword was half down (in over a year) and that they were trying to get it shipped to me by the holidays.

- Mar 21, 2016: More setbacks, sword won't be ready until May 28, 2016. At this point I'm wondering if I'm ever going to receive my sword. I'd not received any photos or any evidence to this point that any work on the sword had actually been done, not even any photos as I had suggested in previous emails.

- May 31, 2016: Apparently still working on the sword. Yet another deadline missed.

- Jun 1, 2016: I issued a cease-work order and requested a full refund since the requested sword was so far out of timeline, it looked like I would not ever get it, and quite frankly, I was more than tired of waiting and hearing excuses as to why things continually slipped.

- Jun 3, 2016: Ben agreed to a repayment plan of $100/month until the balance of the downpayment had been repaid in full, to which I agreed. First payment to happen June 13, 2016 via PayPal. This was defaulted on.

- Jul 31, 2016: Received $200 via PayPal from FiT to cover June/July payment. This has been the last payment I have received from FiT to date; every payment since having been defaulted on.

- Sep 13, 2016: After repeated emails, received response from FiT stating I was "damn lucky to be giving you a refund on the half payment that you made on your order".

Since this fiasco began, I have submitted a complaint to the following agencies:

(1) Deer River, MN, Better Business Bureau (BBB):

Not a lot these folks can do, as FiT is not a member, but they made several calls on my behalf (none of which were answered or returned by FiT), and finally ended up logging this as "Closed but Unresolved". FiT has a rating of "F" with them, btw. They recommended I contact the Minnesota Attorney-General's office, as they have more pull. They also said I was the 8th international person to issue a formal complaint with them.

They also informed me that I was the 8th international customer to make such a complaint against FiT.

(2) Minnesota Attorney-General, Lori Swanson:

The Attorney-General stated they could not intercede on my behalf, but forwarded my case to the FTC to the Manager of the Consumer Services Division, to see if there is any further action they can take on my behalf. They also recommended I contact the FTC directly, which I have also done.

(4) Alberta Services, Consumer Affairs Division:

Finally seem to be getting somewhere. These guys replied back to me saying there was grounds to do a full investigation into fraudulent business practices based on the entire email history between FiT and myself that I sent them. I may be called upon to give more information, may be called to testify in a court setting, and they are going to see what they can do about the situation. It just might take a bit of time. Hopefully they can do something. My only concern is it's Alberta vs. Minnesota, so it's an international situation.

I have heard back from them twice... they have so far contacted FiT, but FiT is ignoring their calls; as such, they will need to make some sort of decision shortly.

(5) USA.gov:

Sent these guys an email request, seeing if there was anything they could do, or if they could point me in the correct direction south of the border. Haven't heard anything yet, but still too early to tell.

Other than that, been sending regular emails, which I'm likely going to stop soon, as they are clearly having zero effect, and simply tiring me out. I've been posting to their FB page (and noticing that every couple of days, it gets removed, so I just re-post the same message - nothing threatening or mean, just that they still owe me a refund for work that was never completed). There used to be some news agencies that would investigate consumer issues, but I've not had any luck finding any of these thus far. I am now blocked from all their sites (surprise, surprise).

At this point, FiT still owes me more than $1000 USD, for which I do not expect them to honor their word that they will reimburse me. I'm still waiting to hear back from a few organizations before I decide on a further course of action. I'd rather not take this to litigation, although it would cost FiT significantly more than the cost of simply refunding me my coin, it would do the same to me.

So far, some folks have suggested that this exactly fits the profile of a scammer (take the money and run), while others have suggested that these guys may be so far into debt that they will take anything they can get just to pay off back-debt and hope they can catch up some day.  All I know is that it feels very much like I've been stolen from.  So, as I said in the beginning, "Buyer Beware".
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Skarzs the Cave Troll
Oh dear.
Well, thank you for the heads up.
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