Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

I bought a Fireflow in December for Christmas as a present.

The bottle of the Fireflow has a big problem... the coil is too big. The coil stands ~2cm over the bottom on the one side, and on the other side the coil is on the bottom. (see the picture)


I was not able to contact Mathmos for three month now, because the German telephone didnt worked at there company. My e-mail i send them was answered after 3 weeks.


The email said, that i have to take a picture of the Problem, so that they can see it and that they can show it one in the factory. First funny thing was, that they didnt find a heating coil on the lamp and didnt know what i mean :)


Today i got a call from Mathmos. It was a very long conversation and the customer supported repated the same tips everytime. Its too long to tell everything now completley, but i will list the tips here now:

- The bottles take some time in the winter after the shipping, so that the wax can get soft.

In there opinion THREE MONTH are not enough to temper the bottle to the room temperature.

- The heating coil needs some time and the bottle have to be used a few times, because the coil is shrinking when it is heated. (we all know, that metal is expanding when it is heatet, and not shrinked :) )

- I have to rund the bottle more than SIX hours to get the correct flow. The introducton says "do not run it longer than 3 hours".

- i have to put books arround the lamp, to prevent wind on the flame, even if an other bottle is working in the same base at the same place :)

- all the coils in the factory are looking the same as on my picture. That is maybe right, but my coil is in this position even, if the wax is melted.

- They said, that it is not possible that a coil is bigger than an other one because all are produced on the same way.... even if they can see it on the picture.....


Here is the picture now:

I want to make clear again, that the coil is in the same position, when the wax is melted.

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What i found out now, is that the bottle is to small.... maybe because of that the coil has the correct size, but the bottle is not.

Lol - This can't be! It has to be you Marcel. It certainly is NOT heavenly Mathmos! NEVER could they be wrong or EVER produce something so screwed up. Nope, not Mathmos. It has to be YOU!

All joking aside, I have to say that's pretty piss poor service you received. I am starting to wonder just how much of Mathmos materials are sourced elsewhere - IE. China? Your spring should sit FLAT inside the bottle. Not tilted, raised or any other form. Just FLAT. Your bottle does not need to adjust to room temperature for 3 damn months either. Maybe a few hours, possibly a day. Everyone knows when metal is HEATED it EXPANDS. When metal is COOLED it CONTRACTS. Not sure who the hell wrote you that crap but that stuff is like grade school knowledge.

I think you need to ask Mathmos why bombs EXPLODE instead of IMPLODE. According to them, they should IMPLODE. Lol.

Anyways - they need to fix their crap. The firflow seems to suffer from quality control issues since it's release.
Also funny was the supporter (a woman) at the beginning:
"You have problems with the ordered Fire... Fire.... Fireflooo!?.... Fireflow... or what ever they are called"
Nice to know, that mathmos has employes who doenst know the names of the products.
i just bought a bubble off a guy in england who got it new and had it in storage for several months.
it didn't work. after an email conversation with them (in which the person always referred to me as "Customer" they said it was too bad for me as i didn't have a receipt showing it had been purchased directly from them.
(at least the guy with whom i dealt was a really stand up guy. i sent a note basically saying thanks but it ain't workin'. i expected a "too bad" but had a full refund from the guy in short order, including shipping!)
Some of it was. Some of it was not.

Not sure how Mathmos isn't at fault for the bottles. They source then right? They sell them as part of the lamp correct? So how is it not their fault?

Yes, mistakes happen. However, bullshit is another story. It takes more than 3 months for a bottle to acclimate to room temperature? BS! There was lots of BS in what Marcel said he was told.

All I was saying was they are slipping on quality control.
I think i was talking to a realy poor employe at mathmos... but its not okay.
An old employe (called Marcus) was a very nice person... helped us very much in Germany.
He told me, that normaly all bottles are controlled and tested, if they fit in the bases.
But 4 of 5 bottles wasnt ok.
First bottle was the wrong color.
Second bottles didnt have enough water inside (~1,5cm less water than the others)
Third bottle was to big.
Fourth bottle was to small.

Quality control ? I dont have seen much of the control ;)
All 4 of my wax bottles are the same ( see pics in my gallery ) , they look really poor in the 01 but I can just about live with them in the R1 I find that once its heated I can usually turn the hideous spring around to the rear of the lamp where its not so noticeable.

Mathmos really need to sort them selves out, its problem after problem lately and now Marcus has left the customer service really sucks :-(
I agree on the unsatisfying quality controls Mathmos performs on the fireflows (at least).
Of course, it is up to Mathmos to make sure the product they assemble, pack and ship is okay. For that price, I would also expect the item to be pretty much flawless. Meaning that
a) the coil should be in place (obivously the coil being a bit too wide is a common flaw, mine has it too!)
b) the bottle should fit on the base and be undamaged (again, it is up to Mathmos to perform quality controls on incoming third-party-products they use to make their own products. Toyota can't blame the pedal-maker either, right?)
c) the metal parts should be as good as free from imperfections (my fireflow base is not!)
d) even minor parts should be in place.

Issues of my fireflow that would've disqualified it if I would've found it in the shop (but I received it as a present AND I would have to ship it back to England. I think that's a fact they took in account as well when shipping the item. Grade A for the shop, Grade B for shipping abroad.)
- Coil in bottle is not flat on the ground. (I guess it's the astro-baby coil, readjusting it may be considered too costly...)
- Bottle has a minor chip off in the glass (not a transportation damage, cuz then the chip could've been found in package)
- Base and cap both have imperfections (judging by that it seems that the parts are made by casting the metal)
- One of the tiny rubber feet is missing (again, it was not found in the package. So I assume it was gone from the start)

Of course I am aware that certain divergences from perfection are to be expected (e.g. the common inclusions in the glass) I even agree that "shit happens", but in the end it is up to us as customers to make a company (and any company at that) keep their standards.

If too many products keep returning, they have to improve or reconsider the product!

Companies don't define the quality standards, we customer do!!!
Hmmm, another quality issue with the new fire"thingys" ;) Not sure what's going on with Mathmos these days, they seem to have had a shocking run this last 6 months or so, and unfortunately the new products appear to have been a bit of a botch up - cloudy fluids, bottles that don't fit bases (remember this happened to baby astros too?), wax that won't flow, and all backed up by increasing reports of less than satisfactory customer service...

I too have a sob-story-saga, if you can be bothered to read it it's here:


Suffice it to say, it's shaken my confidence in the new stuff, that's for sure. I have to pay a fortune for Mathmos lamps here in Australia as they're not cheap to begin with, the postage is absolutely outrageous, and then the exchange rate kicks you in the backside as well. It's a big investment for a bottle of "wax and water" so I need to be sure I'm getting what I pay for. The hassle involved if it turns up defective (like the last one did) is just not worth the time, effort and stress. I'd love a turquoise telstar and astro bottle, but there's no way I'm ordering either of those for quite some time judging from the trouble people have had with them...

I'm considering sticking with second hand lamps when it comes to Mathmos at the moment. I just hope they aren't going the way of so many companies these days and just grabbing your money and running - as we've all seen happen with lavalite - thankfully I found this site before I wasted too much money on their stuff (although I wouldn't mind wasting some on that big new starship if it ever comes out ;) that thing looks great).

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