Crisis? What Crisis?

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Forum topic by KnickKnack posted 08-15-2012 11:11 AM 1783 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View KnickKnack's profile


1088 posts in 3564 days

08-15-2012 11:11 AM

Are you really sure there’s a financial crisis going on?
Because I’d have thought, when times were tough, people would, if anything, try harder to sell you stuff.
I’m finding it almost impossible to buy anything, basically, because it’s nigh on impossible to even get a price for something.
The latest saga…

I thought I might like to buy a bandsaw.
Here in Portugal we don’t have a lot of choice, but I know I’ve seen DeWalt logos around, and, sure enough, DeWalt have a Portuguese website.
I write to 5 of their “authorised suppliers”, in Portuguese, this being Portugal, with the simple question…
”I want a band saw. Please can you tell what are the choices, and how much they cost?”
I’ve downloaded the catalogue, – I know there are 3 – I know what the specs are – I just want a price so I can spend the money I have. I would have thought this was a pretty easy question for an “authorised reseller” to answer.

I get one reply.
I guess the other 4 are just way too busy making bucketloads of money to care about the 1000 euros I want to spend. I have a shopping list – they don’t know this, and now, they never will.
The one reply I do get says “we only sell DeWalt”, well, OK, not a problem, and send me to the web site, where, he says, I can get my question answered.
I go there, but without a login I can see nothing.
I ask for a login – but get no response, so I write to them.
I get a response, asking for company name etc etc – it’s totally obvious to me that this is the wrong place, but I reply, saying I’m not a company, and that I just wanted a price for a bandsaw. I tell them I’m heading towards despair since all I wanted was to swap my money for one of their machines, but I can’t find out how much money to swap.
I get a response from them, apologising (good), which says ”...but unfortunately Tool Commerce is set up for distributors. We do have a website for individuals to receive pricing & purchase parts/accessories directly from our company. The website is”
Why did the “authorised reseller” send me to a distributor site?
OK. Another webwite. I go there. I type in the number of the bandsaw I was interested in – no search results. This is a parts place, prices only in US dollars, with a shipping address that requires a US state and zip code. Again – the wrong place.

What is wrong with these people?
I’m 4 emails down now just trying to get a price – heaven only knows what their “service” might be like once they have my money.

This isn’t a unique case, just in terms of woodworking related enquiries I’ve had no response (on other items) from Amana, CMT, Freud, and Bosch (to whom I sent 5 emails and I still got nowhere).

People often complain that the “small shops” are going out of business in favour of internet purchases.
Is it any wonder?
I can click a “buy” button on a web site with no physical store and buy these things without any of this frustration.
Portugal is in deep deep deep financial trouble.
Is it any wonder?
I can click a “buy” button on a UK web site and have it delivered here to Portugal for less money.

I wonder why these companies spend all this money on web sites when they either can’t be bothered to answer a simple sales query for a price, or they man the response lines with people who can’t be bothered to read the question.

End rant.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

19 replies so far

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2802 days

#1 posted 08-15-2012 11:52 AM

Sounds like a lot of other places where someone just doesn’t want to do their job. There seems to be more laziness in the upcoming generation/s. Good luck

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2690 days

#2 posted 08-15-2012 12:10 PM

I have no idea as to how things work over there in Portugal But if I wasn’t getting results via the internet I’d be calling them up by phone and saying – I have some money and I want to swap my money for one of your machines (I like that phrase!). How much for xxx machine? If you get a poor response or the run around, say hey guy I’m trying to stimulate our economy here. Don’t you want to help our country out? Sometimes around here, in the USA, you just have to be sarcastic to get people to notice that you are serious. Well enough said, hope you get to swap some of that money for a tool you like. As another thought why not build your own? Plans available on line. Good luck.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2967 days

#3 posted 08-15-2012 02:15 PM

Yes, it’s amazing. Ireland is having a rough time too, I haven’t had the need to buy any new machinery for a while but when buying accessories and small items, I’ve been given the runaround. It seems some places simply can’t be bothered. A lot of places too are not keeping any stock of anything – so if you are in the market for a new machine, you can’t even look at one on the shop floor. Of course, there are exceptions out there, one tool shop I go to is a small family run outfit who will bend over backwards to get you what you want.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4216 days

#4 posted 08-15-2012 02:33 PM

It’s not just material goods either. In the spring, my wife and I wanted to do some major landscaping around our home and have a deck built. We were looking to spend $10K – $15K, had cash in hand, and were ready to go. Three different contractors stood us up for appointments without even calling. One of them, who we gave a second chance, did it again!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3306 days

#5 posted 08-15-2012 02:57 PM

When I built my shop in early 2008 I needed alot of tools. I went to a tool store about 58 miles away in Metairie, La since they were having a tool show with displays set up by many of the major tool manufacturers. their arrangement was that anyone wanting to purchase would buy it from the store putting on the show.
I asked if they delivered and they said yes…but when I told them I lived 58 miles away they said they did not deliver that far. I went to another huge woodworking tool store about 30 miles away from my home (no tool show but a great store) and I spent quite a bit buying a jointer, bandsaw, mortising machine, miter saw, drill press, a scroll saw, a thickness planer, a lot os spiral metal pipe for my dust collector, and a load of smaller tools.

Obviously not everyone goes the extra mile for exceptional customer service…and in the long run it will only hurt them.

View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2262 days

#6 posted 08-15-2012 04:18 PM

Charlie, I completely understand that. I’ve had that experience twice so far with a contractor to come out and level my conventional foundation home (I called over 20 companies: 5 said they were booked for months, 5ish said they’d get back to me later, the other half said they’d send someone out, 1 company actually came out and did the work). Mind you, this is expensive work (about $12000). You’re telling me these people couldn’t send a person out to do an estimate on what could be over $10k for 3-4 days work?

The other was with tree cutters (I don’t drop trees near houses… I just mill them). Same kind of numbers except 4 guys actually came out instead of 1.

I just don’t understand why some of these people don’t take the time to send someone out or at least give you an estimate. My pet peeve is when someone says they can’t even provide an estimate until they start working on it. What kind of sense does that make?

KnickKnack, it seems it’s like that all around the world right now.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2222 days

#7 posted 08-15-2012 04:24 PM

I have had similar experiences – sometimes even with a sole proprietor. Rarely do I give a no-show a second chance. I wish I could bill them for MY time they waste. I have no idea how they stay in business.

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3306 days

#8 posted 08-15-2012 04:41 PM

Charlie…Quality contractors are professional enough to call and do quality work…but obviously mediocrre contractors are a dime a dozen anespecially if they fail to show up in this day when everyone from grammar school to the grave has a cell phone. Anyone not responsible to call if they are a wee bit late of not able to come is not worth a dam. A quality responsible contractor values his customers and obviously the worthless do not.

View AandCstyle's profile


3052 posts in 2255 days

#9 posted 08-16-2012 12:31 AM

My son lives in the Washington, DC area. He has had a few home improvement projects in the $3-10K range for contractors. So far he hasn’t used the same contractor twice because of the “quality” of their work. The latest is that contractors now are charging a fee to come to his house to give him an estimate. Based on this I can only surmise that they have all the business they want.

-- Art

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2108 days

#10 posted 08-16-2012 12:36 AM

I was just having this same conversation in my kitchen today, with a local painter.


Every situation like KnickKnack describes is an OPPORTUNITY for someone…

Successful businesses, large and small, fill an unmet need.

For the solo and small acts, call people back QUICKLY, even if it’s just to acknowledge the inquiry. Soon enough, you’ll be busy enough to be pushing work off to trusted others…

View chrisstef's profile


17385 posts in 3004 days

#11 posted 08-16-2012 12:40 AM

People are amazing. I was at the meat market the other day and as i walked in the young worker sat and ate his cole slaw salad, right at the table, in front of a customer, mouth wide open like slobbone. The old man was in the back .. what he was doing i have no idea … the kid sat there as i stood patiently, with my money, to purchase about $50 worth of delicious red meat. 3 Minutes later the old man finally walked out of the back, slobbone sat there licking his lips enjoying his cole slaw. I ordered my steaks and as the old man went in the back slobbone was finally done with his snack. Simultaniously the phone rings and a woman walks in. Slobbone answers the phone, doesnt speak to the woman. He stands in the back yakkin away for almost 5 minutes … the woman customer walked right out. Once again people amaze me … i hope she went dow nthe road and dropped $300 on the super duper barbeque package.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View KnickKnack's profile


1088 posts in 3564 days

#12 posted 08-16-2012 06:40 AM

Simultaniously the phone rings and a woman walks in. Slobbone answers the phone, doesnt speak to the woman.

Don’t you just hate that with avengance?
That someone who phones gets higher priority than you standing in a queue?
I mean you were there first and the person on the phone is being allowed to jump the queue!
I remember once unplugging the phone at the reception desk of the Paris Hilton (don’t worry, someone else was paying) – I’d been waiting, patiently, to check in while the receptionist answered call after call and eventually I’d had enough – they were not amused.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View EMVarona's profile


437 posts in 2833 days

#13 posted 08-16-2012 10:06 AM

You are not alone there. There aren’t much choices here (Philippines) either. At the same time one would come across ads of big name brands. Communicate with them you seldom get a response. Most of these are managed by Chinese. I suspect that they prefer to communicate in chinese. You contact them by phone. You get a response from a call center agent who gives the impression that I am asking a stupid question or he doesn’t know anything about the tools they sell. On one occasion I wanted to ask about a Makita tool. When I did not get a response, I wrote the company in Japan. Only then did the local agent attend to my query. I find it a lot easier to communicate with companies in the US and Australia. At least most of my questions get answered.

-- Ed "Real happiness is one that you share."

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3235 days

#14 posted 08-16-2012 10:32 AM

I’d start searching classified’s for a used bandsaw. In the last year I’ve found a lot of great tools on my local Craig’s List and other local classified’s. I got a Ridgid 14” bandsaw for $125 that only needed new tires on the wheels. I bought a new Rikon 10-325 bandsaw because it was the only 14” saw I found that could resaw a wide board without a riser kit. I got it new and I’ve never seen one used for sale. Good luck finding a saw. The next time someone asks for the name of your business, give them one. For years, I used the business name: “Adventures Unlimited” because life is an adventure and I don’t put any limits on it. Be sure to ask for a price quote on 100 units and the price of your first sample or demo tool. You’ll be surprised how cheap that first purchase can be. Also tell them your first purchase for a sample is to check the quality of their merchandise and the level of service and support the provide.

I wanted a kayak several years ago and the factory only supplied dealers. The smallest order was 3, but the total cost was way less than the retail price. Two other people I knew also wanted kayaks, so I bought 3, sold two of them, made a profit plus mine was free. I ordered 3 more and always carried a new one on top of my truck when we went on a weekend adventure. I sold 3 or 4, a year for the next 10 years. The sales I made paid for my expenses for those years, plus I got to deduct my expenses from my taxes. What started as a made up business name turned into a very profitable side business.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View KnickKnack's profile


1088 posts in 3564 days

#15 posted 08-16-2012 12:18 PM

So I wrote (to B&D in the UK – they are the only people answering) asking ”Please can you supply me with the email address of someone at a HIGH level who is responsible for customer lack of service.”
At least they are getting something right the reply was ”Unfortunately, I am unable to give out internal email addresses.”
Quite right – you can’t have the people at the top of the customer service tree actually having to deal with customers – that would be quite wrong and open the flood gates for all kinds of terrible things.

In other news, the original Portuguese guy, to whom I had replied (in Portuguese) saying that the web site to which he had sent me required a password was very apologetic, and told me to go to This was, of course, the place where I’d got his details from in the first place, and contains no pricing information!

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

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