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A Woodcraft rant... would you be upset or is it just me?

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Blog entry by Chip posted 12-17-2007 10:10 PM 4508 reads 0 times favorited 52 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Two months ago I purchased a Delta Tenoning jig for $129.99 in cash from a local Woodcraft store. A few weeks after purchasing the jig a friend of mine’s father mentioned he had one that he had never used and asked me if I would like it. With much appreciation I accepted the jig.

This morning, roughly 60 days after the purchase of the Delta jig, I drove 20 miles to return the item, still sealed in the box, never opened. I also had my receipt that plainly states at the bottom “Satisfaction Guaranteed – If you are not happy with your purchase, return it anytime within 90 days for refund.”

I had the receipt and had the jig in it’s never opened box. It should be noted that I am also a very good customer of this store where I have spent thousands of dollars over the past couple of years on things like a Jessem Router Table and Lift, a Steel City Deluxe Table Saw, a Powermatic Mortising machine and much, much more.

I was promptly told by the store’s Manager on-duty that he could only give me back $25 in cash and the balance on a Woodcraft gift card. When asked where that was stated on the receipt I was told it wasn’t but that was company policy. After repeatedly commenting politely and respectfully that I was not leaving the store without the full refund in cash in my pocket (a line of customers was now forming behind me and listening intently to our conversation) the fellow reluctantly said he would give me the money but that he had heard that not long ago an employee at another store had lost his job for doing the same thing (I can only hope it wasn’t a Manager or Ass. Manager).

This had escalated into one of those situations where money wasn’t really the issue anymore (though it could have been) but the principle of the thing was what was really irritating. Sure, I would probably spend that $100 gift certificate (and much, much more) in their store in the coming months (I’m sure that is what they were counting on!), but that wasn’t really the point. The store had upset an excellent customer by jerking them around for basically petty cash, about an unstated company policy. They also now had an excellent employee who was scared to death about doing the right thing (to keep that good customer), over fear of losing his job. Even if the policy was based on some rediculous business reason, at least give the on-duty manager the discretion to make that decision based on the situation at hand, without fearing for their job.

What an absolute disgusting position to put both a repeat customer and wonderful employee in. Woodcraft needs to get it’s head out of it’s ass and start acting like a real, grown-up company, with a professional customer relationship attitude. I shop at stores because I CHOOSE to, not because of some pathetic gift certificate scheme. If they wish to keep good, valued customers they should discontinue such a deplorable, bush-league policy or at the very least, make the effort to state it at the bottom of the receipt with the rest of the “Satisfaction Guarantee”.

Sorry folks for going on and on but I thought that all of you should be made aware of this deceptive practice and anyway, I needed the cathartic experience to calm down a bit.

Happy Holidays!! ;-)

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!



52 comments so far

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 2528 days


#1 posted 12-17-2007 10:15 PM

It is NOT just you. Situations like that do a lot to sour good customers. As you said, it’s petty cash.

View Karson's profile

Karson

34876 posts in 3054 days


#2 posted 12-17-2007 10:20 PM

Teach you to return something. Suck it up and keep two of them.

Sorry Chip, Yes customer service is not that any more it’s customer dis-service.

I’m glad you were able to get them to give you your own money back.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2528 days


#3 posted 12-17-2007 10:20 PM

Customer service is dead.

-- http://www.peteroxley.com -- http://north40studios.etsy.com --

View jpw1995's profile

jpw1995

376 posts in 2952 days


#4 posted 12-17-2007 10:20 PM

I agree, Chip. That is a terrible policy. I have to wonder if that’s a Woodcraft policy or just the policy of that particular store owner. I’ve returned items to my local Woodcraft in the past with no problems.

-- JP, Shelbyville, KY

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1140 posts in 2645 days


#5 posted 12-17-2007 10:23 PM

This is from Woodcrafts website

Satisfaction Guaranteed – We Promise!
We’re absolutely confident that you’ll be satisfied with your purchase from Woodcraft! If you’re not, return it anytime within 90 days and we will gladly replace the product, give you credit, or refund your money, whichever you prefer. Woodcraft’s Guarantee does not apply to power tools, which are subject only to manufacturer’s warranties. Special-order items or manufacturer drop-ships are subject to a 25% restocking fee.

So the employee was incorrect when he stated that was company policy.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View Brad_Nailor's profile

Brad_Nailor

2531 posts in 2611 days


#6 posted 12-17-2007 10:30 PM

I too, have never had a problem returning things to Woodcraft…even ones I have taken out of the package and used. They never give me a hard time and always give me back cash or credit my account. Maybe you ran into a guy that really dosnt know their policy. Or, like you said he just wanted to keep the money in his store. Regardless, thats poor customer service. I would consider contacting Woodcrafts corporate office and inquire about their return policy. Hopefully you won’t be talking to someone in New Delhi!

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

View Russel's profile

Russel

2199 posts in 2593 days


#7 posted 12-17-2007 10:31 PM

I think they may have violated some law by not providing a refund in the same manner in which payment was made, cash for cash or credit for credit. I’ve had some less than pleasing experiences with Woodcraft and as a result don’t do as much with them as I have in the past.

-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com

View iSawitFirst's profile

iSawitFirst

33 posts in 2467 days


#8 posted 12-17-2007 10:44 PM

eBay is your friend.

-- If you're over 100 years old there's an 80% chance you're a woman.

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2814 days


#9 posted 12-17-2007 11:08 PM

what caught my eye was the 25 (dollars) and the 25 (%)... perhaps he, the store staff person, misinterpreted the policy…

my suggestion is to call the store and ask for the person in charge and get it clarified at that level… if the staff member has made a mistake, the boss needs to know so he/she can fix it… and if the staff was following store policy vs. company policy then you are talking to the right person re: the discrepancy and you have information to take to the next level of authority – the company people need to know what this store is doing.

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about customer service (and unethical inspection practices) and the consistent response I’m hearing is that we, the customers, have to start speaking up and responding in a way that will create positive change.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2616 days


#10 posted 12-17-2007 11:33 PM

I also do a lot of business with Woodcraft. Most of the employees and the owner are very good friends of mine. That employee was trying to impress the boss(owner). If the owner had been there I’m sure it would have been a different story. It takes over a half million to open a Woodcraft store and I don’t think the owners wish to lose customers.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View gbvinc's profile

gbvinc

629 posts in 2600 days


#11 posted 12-17-2007 11:40 PM

Bummer. I do a fair amount of business with the WoodCraft in Boise, ID and have had nothing but good experience with them. Must be specific to your store. Feedback to whomever owns the store would maybe provide them with a training opportunity.

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 2900 days


#12 posted 12-18-2007 12:36 AM

Man I hope I don’t have that problem when I drag my sorry behind in there tomorrow wanting a refund on all the junk my bh won’t let me keep. Refer to my blog from the other day. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2746 days


#13 posted 12-18-2007 12:41 AM

Thanks for the responses everyone. At least I know I’m not going nuts.

After he repeatedly told me that it was company policy I did mention I would be more than glad to have a “chat” with corporate if he wanted to get them on the phone. He said a call wouldn’t be necessary and gave me the full refund. I thought it was a bit suspicious and figured a) they wanted to get the day’s figures up (maybe someone was working towards a bonus?) or b) this particular owner/manager had adapted rules to cut down on the amount of cash needed in the store (in case of a robbery?). But he was adament it was corporate policy. Regardless, it should not have been an issue.

Appreciate your comments. Thanks.

Karson, you’ve made me feel bad. Guess I should have two of these so I’m gonna go back tomorrow and repurchase it. (yea, right ;-) Actually, I should have made one of the great ones shown on this site like Jeff’s (Caliper).

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2690 days


#14 posted 12-18-2007 12:43 AM

I bet you wouldn’t have been so rudely treated at thetennissuperstore.com They obviously didn’t know they were dealing with a playah!

No, you’re right, customer service is a dying art. This dude sounded like he wasn’t very well trained, though. That entire incident requires a letter to the manger/owner of the store. To save 100 bucks they were prepared to lose thousands.

Cheers!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2746 days


#15 posted 12-18-2007 12:49 AM

Hey Motley guy, then I coulda just given him a forehand to the forehead. That’s tennis talk by the way ;-P
Where the heck is TomFran when you need him?

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

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