#$%#$^ Customer Service -- NOT

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Forum topic by Greg In Maryland posted 05-27-2011 03:52 AM 1919 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Greg In Maryland

553 posts in 3020 days

05-27-2011 03:52 AM

Topic tags/keywords: customer service

Hey all

We all have our horror stories with incompetent, inept and and annoying customer service. It seems we hear about these all the time, but the good stories don’t get mentioned as much. I would like to share some recent interactions with various companies as a way to say thank you for their attention and caring

So, here goes:

Lee Valley—I ordered some brad point drill bits that were not packaged appropriately and arrived in less that perfect condition. For the price, I expect perfection. I called and explained the situation. The customer service representative told me to sent them back, postage paid and that she would immediately send out replacements that were packaged appropriately. They arrived the next day or so as promised.

Ryobi—I have a five year old bt3100 that the switch stopped working. I read on the bt3central forum that folks were able to get free replacements. Guess what, I just called the service number, explained the situation, gave them my model number, my serial number and poof, they were asking me for my shipping address. It was only a $15 part so I could have sprung for it, but I am glad not to.

Ridgid—this is a biggie. I recently purchased a used Ridgid TS3650 that had the defective arbor. Basically the arbor had a groove in it that prevented the use of a dado stack. So here I am, a 2nd owner of a tool that again is five years old, out of warranty and they willingly, with no persuasion directed me to a local service center for repair.

Fastenal—I ordered a rather large piece of flat aluminum bar that had a estimated ship time of 14 days. Since it was for the above Ridgid table saw that was in repair, I really wasn’t in a hurry and this was acceptable. Well, 14 days came and went and no aluminum bar. A call and some email exchanges and it became apparent that the order somehow got screwed up. Ok, I still don’t have the saw so no big deal. In the process, they offered to ship it next day air to make me happy. Next day air for a oversized package was going to cost more that the item itself. I appreciated the gesture, but declined.

Now, with all the above examples, according to my rendering there was something wrong/defective to begin with and perhaps the best customer service by these companies would to be avoid the problem in the first place. This is quite true, but not the point I am trying to make.

These companies fixed what needed to be fixed and did the right thing. That’s customer service and I am a happy customer of Lee Valley, Ryobi/Ridgid and Fastenal.

Now, if you would like to hear a horror story, let me tell you about my HP all in one printer, fax and scanner …...


8 replies so far

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3454 days

#1 posted 05-27-2011 12:52 PM

It is great to hear these stories on LJ. Too often someone posts a first post that bashes a company for poor service. Every company has a screw up at some time. When they fix it to our satisfaction, it never gets noticed and rarely gets corrected. I agree about Woodcraft and would like to add Rockler to the great service list. While we may pay a few $$ more at these woodworking stores (as opposed to the places that just sell some tools), the advice, attention to detail and knowledge of the clerk is well worth the price. I know there are folks out there that have had problems with Woodcraft and Rockler, but it is the exception rather than the rule. At the big box stores, it is far more often the rule rather than the exception. BORGs have their place in woodworking, it is just not for their knowledge or skill set when making specialized purchases. I guess there is a place for all in this world.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2936 days

#2 posted 05-27-2011 01:26 PM

I second the kudos for WC. While expensive for my tastes (most of the time) Gary is correct. Most of the WC employees know me by name and I don’t even go there that often. Plus, when I bought my 14” Rikon BS on the Friday of Memorial weekend of LAST year I was given a $25 Gift card. Then on Tuesday after Memorial Weekend the Rikon’s June SALE price was dropped from $799 to $699. Geez, I thought, I had screwed up! But when I went to the local WC, they gave me the June SALE price (now as a rebate) and let keep the original $25 Gift Card as well (the May Special). So I ended up paying only $675 for my new 14” Rikon BS!

To say the least, that rebated $$$ never made it into my wallet, as I immediately spent it on BS accessories and other things for the shop. Thanks WC!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Dabilene's profile


23 posts in 2713 days

#3 posted 05-27-2011 03:42 PM

I was in Houston a couple of weeks ago and stopped by Rockler. I browsed the store and picked up a few router bits and various things. The manager checked me out. He told me that several of the things that I was buying were going to be on sale the next Saturday for a store special. I told him I lived 6 hours away. He said he’d hold the transaction and run it on the date of the sale – giving me 25% off. I thought that was a pretty nice gesture. I’ll definitely stop by there next time I go to Houston.

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2715 days

#4 posted 05-27-2011 03:47 PM

It’s nice to hear these stories. I’ll share one of my own with JET. I have a wet grinder that had been in storage for a year. When I fired it up, there was a knocking sound like the belt had formed a kink. I called JET and was surprised when a human being answered the phone. She transferred me to tech support and a HUMAN picked up on the first ring. He walked me through the solution and asked if I wanted him to send me a new machine! Needless to say, I’m a JET guy for good now and I’ve since bought their mortiser, air filtration, and other knick knacks. It only takes one GOOD experience like this to change the way you shop. Companies seem to forget this.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View wiswood2's profile


1138 posts in 3718 days

#5 posted 05-27-2011 04:04 PM

I have a HP printer like you discribe, and I bet you are having the same promble s I am having with mine.Never another one of their machines.

-- Chuck, wiswood2

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2715 days

#6 posted 05-27-2011 04:10 PM

^I gave up on HP a long time ago. What a mess.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3750 days

#7 posted 05-27-2011 04:31 PM

I’ll say the same thing about my HP. An expensive paper weight after at least 10 hours on the phone and multiple replacements.

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2715 days

#8 posted 05-27-2011 04:35 PM

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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