Grizzly customer service--awful in this case!

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Forum topic by exoticwoodman posted 08-31-2011 07:18 AM 3087 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 2664 days

08-31-2011 07:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: grizzly customer service poor problem tech support technical support resource question

I had a recent issue with a 21” bandsaw with 5 hp I bought in November 2010. It is still under the 1 year warranty, and the 5 hp motor stopped working. So far I have about 5 hours on the phone with customer service about this. They never call back even when supervisors are supposed to call within 2 hours (no response at all).

Before you gulp down all the great reviews I have seen elsewhere about Grizzly’s great customer service, look at the specifics of what I have been through.

This 21 inch bandsaw has less than 30 hours of very light use so far:

Called on 7/21 and reported my problem, told them that most likely the motor has burned out.
They decided it was the start capacitor. After 4 days of no action, I called them and then the next day they shipped it to me first class mail. I got it 12 days later. Went to put it on the machine but it was the wrong capacitor. They told me to try it anyway even though it had the wrong rating. Did not work of course. Told me they would get right back to me about a solution. No reponse for a week. Called and they wanted me to explain it all over again. Did that. The new tech (you can rarely talk to the same person twice) said that the computer catalog they use to order parts has the wrong part number and that is why they sent me the wrong capacitor. They said mine was on backorder for 4-6 weeks. They said they would try to find another one and would get back to me in a couple of days. No response for 4 days. Called again. Talked to a new person . He found the last guys notes. He said they do have one in stock that is the correct one. It had now been one month since the process started. I asked if they would use expedited shipping. He said it requires a supervisors approval. The supervisor doesn’t look at the request until 1.5 days pass, he then approves it for 2 day air. Another day passes and grizzly ships the part. First Class Mail ! I call and ask for the tracking number and they say they don’t have one since they shipped it the wrong way. Right Part get there for the first time after 32 days, but guess what, the capacitor is not the problem. I call back and get a guy named Victor out of their Pennsylvania office. He says he can’t help me because I don’t have the activity number ( I was in my shop 2 miles from my house). I told him to look it up by my name and zip like everyone else but he said that wasn’t possible. I told him I was writing a letter to the President of Grizzly and wanted hisl name to include. He didn’t answer that but said “Give me a minute, I am looking through your notes!” . Miracle was, he found it within one minute when I threatened to write the letter. He told me the next thing to try was to go into the motor and remove the wires for the motor brake. Did that, made no difference. Called back, talked to yet another tech in another city. He said removing the wires to the motor brake could not possibly fix the problem and the other tech did not know what they were talking about. He didn’t know what to do, so I let him listen to the motor trying to start===and he said it sounds like the motor is burned up! My original diagnosis from 36 days before. At this point I’m 5 hours into calls and a couple hours into other diagnostic stuff they told me to do too long to list here. Ok, so we need a new motor, BUT it is on backorder. I told them to take one off a new machine, but they said they don’t do that. A few days later, someone must have done just that as they then shipped the motor by truck. It will be my responsiblity to change it and that will require an additional two strong men and/or a motor crane because it is so heavy. Also my reponsibility to get it off the back of the 18 wheeler as well. I asked them, “since the motor broke so prematurely, even though the warranty ends on the saw in November, won’t the warranty on the replacement motor last for a year?” “No” was the response I got. It has no warranty past November. Lets face it, there is something seriously wrong with tech support if this series of events could happen with so many techs and two supervisors. The big question is: Is there really a good machinery company out there?

15 replies so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6305 posts in 3398 days

#1 posted 08-31-2011 07:40 AM

Sorry for all your trouble you’ve gone through, but you’re not the first person (and probably not the last) that’s had trouble with customer service from Grizzly here on LJs. There have been a bunch. I hate Grizzly, and will never, ever own another piece of machinary from them again….ever. I’ve had two (several years ago), and both litterally flew apart, and broke everything in pieces. Customer service sucked then, just like it sucks now…...

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3264 days

#2 posted 08-31-2011 07:57 AM

I’m not supporting Grizzly or any other companies.

Just want to say this.

Every customers service is different. You will get different answers each time you call. This person might be an expert in bandsaw. This person might be an expert in jointers, etc. Ask for person who is specifically knowledgeable in band saws.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3118 days

#3 posted 08-31-2011 02:26 PM

”The big question is: Is there really a good machinery company out there?”

The answer is probably NO in that every company, over time, will have one or more instances just like you have had with Grizzly.

Let’s face it, most companies like this, NOT just Grizzly, are off-shored and CS ends up being not much more than a storefront/outlet for retail product. And to be honest, IMO the increasing initial reliability of these machines may actually hinder CS since so few products actually need repair/service. Just my 2-cents…

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

View syenefarmer's profile


512 posts in 3284 days

#4 posted 08-31-2011 07:08 PM

The biggest portion of the blame for these kinds of situations has to rest on the sholders of the Company however a rather large chunk of the problem is due to the CS employees basically not doing the job they are being paid to do. The Company is responsible for training them and setting the guidelines they must follow but the employee is responsible to caring those out. If a CS rep isn’t servicing the customer then they aren’t very good at their job. It’s unfortunate, especially in this age of high unemployment, that so many workers would rather just do as little as possible to get by than actually do their jobs the way they should. Oh, and don’t think asking to speak to a supervisor will do you any good, remember, they’re the ones that supervise the dolts that answer the phone.

View a1Jim's profile


117340 posts in 3781 days

#5 posted 08-31-2011 07:19 PM

Send a link of this post to Grizzly.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6305 posts in 3398 days

#6 posted 08-31-2011 07:56 PM

Jim has the right idea….in fact, I would send a copy to the President of Grizzly, and explain to him just what has happened. Maybe he would get the ball rolling to get this straightened out. My old Mama used to say:
“it pays to get to know people in high places”.....Good luck in your quest.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2897 days

#7 posted 08-31-2011 07:59 PM

I can guarantee there’s someone at Grizzly that cares. Someone that would freak out if they read this. They (Grizzly) wouldn’t enjoy their reputation if there wasn’t. The word’s not getting back somehow. It’s weird.

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

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3474 days

#8 posted 08-31-2011 08:28 PM

I would second what Jim said….if the administration does not know what is happening…how can they correct the problem.

My answer to that though is that a good company will understand that this can happen…and build some safeguards in their training. Unfortunately, most companies today do not consider CS a high priority and will hire their CS outsourced…these folks are not trained in their product and only have a script to follow….If you are more technically savvy then an moron….the script is both frustrating and a barrier to getting to the solution.

With customer support, I have found that I can hang up and call back until I get a person that speaks decent english (insert your native language here) – it is due to the fact that I understand and can discuss the situation in english and do not want to spend additional time overcoming a language barrier (If I purchased the product in another country – then I would expect to have to discuss the problem in their language). Second, if I am not getting the response that I request – then I will ask them to send me up the food chain. If that doesn’t work…then I will contact the highest on the food chain…and discuss. Once completed, I always send a letter or email detailing my experience to their president, owner or other responsible administrator (I do not have to contact them that much – but when I do – I want them to know the good or bad experience I had).

So far I have had good experience with Grizzly on the two times I had to contact them. They try hard to get the problem corrected which is a good start in a CS department. You will always find some deadwood in every department – with feedback you can help a company weed out the undesireables and hopefully you will not have to suffer the morons on your next call.

If a company keeps failing on CS, I will stop buying their stuff. Laguna comes to mind here. Once I cross them off my list – I will not buy from them until I see current possitive feedback.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Manitario's profile


2689 posts in 3087 days

#9 posted 08-31-2011 08:42 PM

another poor report of poor CS at Grizzly to add to the pile. Too bad, their strongest selling point used to be that they had exceptional CS, now it appears that every week a new post is on LJ’s about Grizzly’s poor CS. I’ve gone from them being high on the list of companies I’d buy from, to almost putting them on the same level as Laguna. I agree with some of the other LJ’s that their admin needs to hear about this.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3436 days

#10 posted 08-31-2011 08:59 PM

I hate to say it, but chances are this is a budgetary issue within Grizzly. My own experiences with them have been first rate. Even when my item was back ordered, it came in well before the back order ship date. Customer service has been good, and I haven’t ever had the run around the OP has talked about. I have no doubt that there are low skilled, low paid people on their support line that feel like their job is to say no to everything… Without a doubt they have dedicated highly skilled people working the same lines. Escalate your call if you feel you are getting the run around. If you individually have a problem with Grizzly customer service or products, just to let you know, the President’s name is Shiraz Balolia and he is a fairly active member at Sawmill Creek… If you can’t get through to him through Grizzly, try there… Barring that, you could try the Better Business Bureau.

I am saving up, and hoping to buy some upgraded equipment from Grizzly, and hope and pray my experience with them as a company remains strong. I hope that whatever is behind this rash of poor customer service with them can get fixed before I go to spend the cash for my upgrade machines.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View TheKingInYellow's profile


233 posts in 3734 days

#11 posted 09-01-2011 12:00 AM

I’m in the midst of my own CS issue with Grizzly.

My table saw came with a mis-tapped guide tube for the fence. The holes are not cleanly tapped and two of the three cap screws could not be tightened. I called on the Saturday that I discovered this.

The first contact was pleasant and friendly, a new part was to be shipped on Monday. On Monday, I was emailed to let me know the part was backordered until mid-October. This was a brand new saw, so I suggested they pull the guide tube off another new saw. The parts manager approved this and the tube was sent out within 48 hours.

The tube arrived on Friday and it was the wrong tube. It was for the version of my saw that had extended rails. I called on Saturday again, and was told the new part would ship on Monday.

We are now on Wednesday and although the part has been identified as ‘released and ready to ship’ I am still waiting for a shipping notice.

I can see two honest mistakes here: First the poor QA on the original guide tube, the second is the wrong tube being pulled from inventory and shipped. However, every time I call I speak to someone in North America, who has been very good about finding my info, discovering the error and making an immediate attempt to correct it. Pulling apart another new saw to correct the defect is also a plus in my book.

Has my experience been perfect? No. Do I think Grizzly has a systemic CS problem? No. These things do happen, and a no point have I felt that the company is working against me as a customer. I’m okay with my experience, and I fully expect that my problem will be resolved when the new part arrives.

If not, I may change my opinion :D

-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...

View TheKingInYellow's profile


233 posts in 3734 days

#12 posted 09-01-2011 01:26 AM

For what it’s worth I just got my tracking number. Sorry your experience has been so different than mine.

-- I'm just learning how to cut the stuff with some other stuff...

View ferstler's profile


342 posts in 3724 days

#13 posted 09-01-2011 02:29 AM

It always pays to buy locally, since if there is a problem you can usually return the entire tool for a replacement, and you will be dealing with sales people (or their bosses) face to face. Not so with mail-order operations.

Most big-box local stores have lengthy return-time options and some cut you quite a bit of slack. (This may depend upon the specific manager at a store.) Any time you are dealing with an outfit of any kind from a distance all bets are off when it comes to customer service. The more they do for you, the more it costs them (in terms of doing warranty or replacement service free of charge), and so they (or their accountants) probably have figured out that having you sink rather than get proper service works in their financial favor in the long haul. Not always, but usually. Hence the stonewalling or stalling approach.

Of course, that approach might backfire the way it probably has with this series of posts. Grizzly is obviously going to lose some potential customers who are reading this. Their catalogs are still fun to look through, though.

Howard Ferstler

View exoticwoodman's profile


4 posts in 2664 days

#14 posted 09-10-2011 03:24 AM

I just wanted to say that Grizzly did eventually follow up with me and a supervisor called and apologized. They agreed to give an incentive for the next machine I purchased. They also have resolved the motor problem as I now have a new one. Hopefully, I won’t have this problem again, and they did apologize. So, I have to say I feel it was not a good situation, but they did at least make a gesture and that is the end of it for me. I also gave them feedback about the fact that supervisors are not available enough and they said they would work on that.

View jevarn71's profile


83 posts in 3364 days

#15 posted 09-20-2011 08:54 AM

It looks as though you got things taken care of, however if should need to contact him in the future Shiraz Balolia is also available over on Sawmill Creek:

-- Jason, JEV Woodworking

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