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Rarely seen level of Customer Service these days

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Review by lumberjoe posted 06-27-2012 02:48 PM 4083 views 0 times favorited 42 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Rarely seen level of Customer Service these days No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

In my review for Klingspor sandpaper, I mentioned I had issues with the diablo sandpaper. I also posted a review of the diablo sandpaper on the home depot website. A few weeks later, I got an email from a home depot employee that specializes in the Diablo line that HD carries. After a brief email exchange, he called me with one of Frued’s lead developers for the diablo sandpaper on the phone. We spent about an hour talking about my sanding experience. What impressed me the most was both of these individuals had a really in depth knowledge of both the product and woodworking. I explained my issues with the hook and loop backing and the overly aggressive cut. Never was I made to feel like an idiot or that I did something wrong. Colin from Freud recognized they may have an opportunity to improve the hook and loop backing. Also impressive was the amount of effort and resources dedicated to fixing sandpaper – a cheap and disposable commodity. I hardly think Home Depot or Freud would be laying people off if the Diablo sandpaper doesn’t fly off the shelves.

They asked me if I would be willing to assist them and do some tests. They will be sending me a few pieces of the Freud hook and loop paper to use, document use, and then ship back so they can be analyzed. While I will not be compensated for this, I agreed. If a company is willing to admit they have a problem and genuinely want to fix it, I’d be more than happy to assist. I am definitely not a woodworking expert, but tossing some paper on a hook and loop ROS, going to town on some wood, then mailing it back is within my skill level.

If all companies did this, we would have a lot less things to complain about, and more options when purchasing shop gear instead of the few “known good” ones.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts




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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 904 days



42 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2305 days


#1 posted 06-27-2012 02:54 PM

glad you felt you were treated properly – that holds a lot of water these days.

as for the reasoning behind it all, I am not sure if it’s because of good ‘will’ per se.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 904 days


#2 posted 06-27-2012 03:00 PM

Being in the dark ugly inner workings of the business world, I highly doubt this is a good will gesture. My assumption is the back room conversations went something like this:
Home Depot: “hey Freud, we are getting complaints about your sandpaper, fix it our we are pulling it and going with a different brand. Since the ONLY ROS sandpaper we carry is Freud, you are going to lose a lot of sales”

Freud “Uhh, crap. That would not be good. Get us in touch with a few people and we’ll see what we can do”

Home Depot “Good deal. Just as a reminder it’s time to renegotiate our purchasing agreement and we have RFP’s out to other vendors. We’d love to continue carrying the entire diablo line of products, however they have to meet a certain level of expectation for the price we are paying you”

Freud “Understood”

With that said, this is still a great service to their customers. A lot of stores sell crap, and do not care they are selling crap and have no intention of fixing it.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11659 posts in 2344 days


#3 posted 06-27-2012 03:07 PM

Sounds like they’re at least making an attempt . Could just be blowing smoke as well.
Looking forward to the “New and Improved” product labels coming out , but I won’t be holding my breath in the meantime : )
Joe, I’m interested in the issues you had with the hook and loop. I know myself that different papers stick very well to my PC H&L sander , and others I almost need to glue them to it. LOL
I also noticed that my oldest PC H&L disk had worn down from heat and use over the years , contributing to the issue. A new disk solved that.
I also wonder which grit you were using that was more aggressive than you expected it to be.
Thanks
Len

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 904 days


#4 posted 06-27-2012 03:17 PM

The hook and loop backing is just terrible. I am lucky to get 4 to 5 removal and reapplications. This was both with 80 grit and 150 grit. I have 2 sanders I use a lot, a fairly new Milwaukee and an older Bosch. The Bosch has a replacement hook and loop pad. I have never had this problem with ANY other paper, including the super cheap HF stuff. In all other cases, the abrasive wears out long before the hook and loop gives up. This was not isolated to a few sheets. Every single Freud sheet I used (10 80 grit and 10 150 grit) exhibited the same symptoms. On the 6th application, the disk went flying as soon as the sander turned on. NO adhesion at all – even after cleaning the pad and paper backing with compressed air, and I sand with a vacuum attached. Also I felt the 150 was too aggressive. In sanding pieces thinner than the 5” pad while in a vice, if you caught the edge of the ROS it would leave a gouge deep enough to warrant a pass through the planer. I understand that it is partially operator error, however no other brand of 150 grit has ever cut that hard. Kept completely flat it operated as expected.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

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b2rtch

4330 posts in 1704 days


#5 posted 06-27-2012 03:20 PM

I believe that a company like Freud really cares about its image.
I also believe that if you mention Lumberjocks that also add to the pressure on the company to do the ‘right thing”, no one can afford a bad image.
I work for a pharmaceutical company and I can tell you that customer’s complains are taken extremely seriously.
We saw that with the HD and the WorkSharp 3000 situation.
Taking about abrasives, I personally always had an excellent experience with Klinspor

-- Bert

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lumberjoe

2833 posts in 904 days


#6 posted 06-27-2012 03:25 PM

b2rtch, I agree. I love the Klingsopr paper. I probably have enough of it to last me a year at this point. I would be nice to have other options though of decent quality – which is the reason I got the diablo stuff in the first place. I was late Sunday afternoon and I was out of 150 grit. Woodcraft was closed, so I had to go to Home Depot. A crappy piece of sandpaper that going to leave scratches in your work because it isn’t adhering correctly can ruin your entire project or create a ton more work.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11659 posts in 2344 days


#7 posted 06-27-2012 03:31 PM

Thank you , Joe.
I’ve also used the compressed air trick on mine.
I don’t know how the Milwaukee and Bosch are constructed , but my PC units have a small “rubber band” that acts as a brake to prevent the disk from over-revving and also maintaining its orbital nature when lifted off the surface or when not in full contact with the wood. When the band gets worn or breaks , the orbital sander then acts like a grinder ,spinning in a circle , rather than maintaining its orbital motion. You probably already knew that, though , and I’m not saying this is /was related to your issues.
Just offering up some personal findings of my own : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2833 posts in 904 days


#8 posted 06-27-2012 03:48 PM

Yes, I have seen the “grinder” effect, however I have never been able to sand a concave divot in hardwood that easily with other brands of 150 grit. I’m talking belt sander style gouges.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2305 days


#9 posted 06-27-2012 03:54 PM

I agree that Frued DOES listen and DOES have good customer service in general.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11659 posts in 2344 days


#10 posted 06-27-2012 03:54 PM

DAMN ! That’s some serious aggression !
Time for lunch…have a great day , Joe : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View rance's profile

rance

4132 posts in 1816 days


#11 posted 06-27-2012 03:54 PM

Spinning – Does the DeWalt use the same rubberband method? I know of 4-5 units that have that same problem. I would like to get the parts and fix them if it would not break the bank.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View JayT's profile

JayT

2277 posts in 867 days


#12 posted 06-27-2012 04:01 PM

Overall, I have been impressed with my dealings with Freud in both personal and professional capacities. They really do seem to care about their products and image. Home Depot, not so much. Whichever company initiated the process of improvement, it works out for you and hopefully future consumers, as well.

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11659 posts in 2344 days


#13 posted 06-27-2012 04:02 PM

@rance, I would either take the H&L pad off and have a look , or look at the parts manual (if you have one) or look it up online for your model number. Basically , if the sander runs at full speed like a grinder with little to no orbital action , then you have a problem with the braking mechanism, no matter what they use : )

Did a quick search not knowing your model number(s) and found this for you
http://www.ereplacementparts.com/dewalt-d26456-type-palm-grip-sander-parts-c-1009_2742_157678.html
part # 18 is the Brake on this model.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

3998 posts in 984 days


#14 posted 06-27-2012 04:02 PM

Whether the customer service is motivated by altruistic good will or just good business practices, I appreciate it when I get it….

I’ve had a couple consultations with the “Nail Doctor” (a phd engineer) at Stanley-Bostich, when the rep that services our account at work couldn’t answer my questions. This guy really new his stuff and new all of the specifications (some were old mil. specs) I was trying to comply with.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View Everett1's profile

Everett1

208 posts in 1190 days


#15 posted 06-27-2012 04:46 PM

I’m a huge fan of Klingspor personally, but I had some cutting boards that I was on a really tight time budget to get finished, so I couldn’t wait for an order of Klingspor to arrive. Lowes sells that Gator paper, which is COMPLETE garbage. If I needed paper in a jam, I always go to Home Depot, since they always had Norton paper. They’ve switched to Freud, so I got that in my most recent jam, and it worked totally fine for me. Lasted a good long while sanding the endgrain on the boards.

It says it’s a “ceramic-blend”, which from what I have read, is harsher and lasts longer than typical Aluminum Oxide which I get. So, being “cheap” i bought 50 packs of 60, 100, 150, and 220. They will be my end-grain cutting board reserve.

My theory as to the adhesion problems the tiny holes allow dust onto the backing

-- Ev in Framingham, MA

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