LumberJocks

customer service (lathes)

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodturning forum

Forum topic by 3285jeff posted 10-16-2014 04:52 PM 1207 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View 3285jeff's profile

3285jeff

152 posts in 1183 days


10-16-2014 04:52 PM

Needless to say im still undecided on which mini lathe i want to buy,,,i have read reviews on all of them,,,delta,,,rikon,,,trucraft,,,jet,,,and in all honestly,,,the truecraft sold by penn state ind seems to have the best customer support,,and i dont know the quality of there lathes vs others but it just seems by the reviews,,,the other lathes just dont respond or take care of the customer,,,,any options would help


18 replies so far

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3128 days


#1 posted 10-16-2014 06:04 PM

I have had my Delta 46-460 (Type 1) for 3+ years now … have never had any reason to contact their customer service. It has been a rock solid performer.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View gwilki's profile

gwilki

121 posts in 938 days


#2 posted 10-16-2014 06:25 PM

I have an older Jet mini VS. As I am in Canada, and as Jet is not available here, I bought it when I was travelling in the US. Even then, when a part failed, Jet in the US sent me a warranty replacement. This was against their policy, but they did it anyway.

One thing on the lathes that you may want to look at is the locking handles for the tail stock quill and the tool rest. When I bought my Jet, those handles were metal, not plastic. Other minis were using plastic handles. That was one of the selling points for me.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3942 posts in 1958 days


#3 posted 10-17-2014 12:27 PM

If I was that concerned over CS, I think I’d try to buy one locally if you have that option. Personally, I don’t worry too much about such things; but that’s just me.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View hairy's profile

hairy

2384 posts in 2997 days


#4 posted 10-17-2014 02:19 PM

Many people say Jet has great customer service. They screwed me more than once, and I will badmouth them every chance I get.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3128 days


#5 posted 10-17-2014 02:44 PM

Many people say Jet has great customer service. They screwed me more than once, and I will badmouth them every chance I get.

- hairy

Not the first person I have heard that from.

<2cents>Just my two cents … I think customer service is pretty much a crap shoot anymore, especially on the lower cost machines. Robust, for example, builds premium quality lathes that sell for a premium price and come with first rate customer service. My Delta, by contrast, sells for about a tenth of what a Robust goes for. Should I realistically expect the same level of customer service? I’m not saying you shouldn’t consider customer service, but I certainly wouldn’t let that be the deciding factor. </2cents>

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1886 posts in 1599 days


#6 posted 10-17-2014 10:13 PM

Hairy, some people would complain if hung with a new rope, could you explain your problem with Jet wood lathes.

I have owned a Jet mini 1014 and still have my 1642. Bought for that 1014 for $199 new and sold it seven or eight years later for $125.

Common problem with Jet 1014 was tightening down the tailstock. Not sure Jet ever addressed the problem. I just tapped the tailstock lever few times with mallet and did not worry about it. I cleaned and tried every adjustment could make before mallet attack. An aftermarket vender sold replacement part JML-44 tailstock clamp that goes under the ways. One on my lathe (older version was rectangle, new one looks round). Aftermarket version also rectangle but thicker than OEM.

If not buying a lathe made in North America today all about how many fit into a shipping container. True about spare parts too! Some vendors better with providing spare parts than others. Waiting sixty days or more for spare parts not uncommon today. Also understand vendors policy on damaged packing and right to refuse delivery!

So very important reading vendors return and or exchange policy plus shipping cost or restocking fees. Those limited warranties just that limited!

-- Bill

View Bill7255's profile

Bill7255

354 posts in 1750 days


#7 posted 10-18-2014 10:43 AM

To me the most important part of customer service is the person you end up talking to. I have had only positive experiences with Jet. Neither was regarding my lathe. Really you need to concentrate on the lathe features. That is what you will be using. Penn State, Jet, Delta, or other brands decide what lathe has the things you want and fit your budget. I have the Jet and Delta lathes. Both are good with Jet having more features, but more money. I would expect the Penn State to be a good lathe as they want someone to enjoy turning. The only problem I have had was the toggle switch on the Jet went bad. Got one from Radio Shack for about $3. Doesn’t matter how good the CS is if you get a AH on the other end of the line.

-- Bill R

View hairy's profile

hairy

2384 posts in 2997 days


#8 posted 10-18-2014 02:25 PM

I had the same problem with the tailstock clamp, twice. First time they sent the part, second time they told me I am abusing it and would not cover it. It’s a poor design that they won’t admit. They sent the wrong parts, and would not send the right parts until I sent back, and they received, the wrong parts. I have had different answers for the same questions. Those little clamps that lock the toolrest height and tailstock quill, they wouldn’t replace when they stripped, I must be a serial lathe abuser.

And yes, when a company brags about their customer service in their advertising, I expect what they promise.

I have a set procedure for when I call customer service, for tools or appliances or anything else that I don’t want to rely on memory. I write everything down. Phone # I called, who I talked to, time and date, disposition, anything that might come back up later. I keep that with the tool owner’s manual and receipt. I threw that away when I sold the lathe. There’s more that I forgot, but I remember being treated badly. Maybe I bought a lemon, maybe that person had a bad day, maybe 999 out of 1000 people love it. I guess now I’m a 1/10 %er.

I’d recommend buying old American iron, much better build quality, plus extra mass/length. What is a Chinese mini lathe going to be worth in 30 years?

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View 3285jeff's profile

3285jeff

152 posts in 1183 days


#9 posted 10-18-2014 04:50 PM

Thank you for that info,,,,im sure you were speaking of turncraft at penn state ind,,,im like you when you brag about your customer service,,,,STAND BEHIND IT!!!!!!

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7923 posts in 1845 days


#10 posted 10-19-2014 03:11 AM

Sometimes I research a buy so much I can’t make a decision. Happened to me on a sander. My wife got irritated and just went out and bought one, lol, it works just fine.

If it were me I’d buy the Delta. Why? Because what minimal exposure I’ve had with Delta’s customer service has been head over heels positive. I also own a lot of other Delta machines and except for my planer which is 2nd hand, they have all been very good to me. The Delta 12.5” lathe gets glowing reviews. My local woodworking store doesn’t even sell Delta but guess what they use to demonstrate turning—a Delta 46-460. I’m not saying to not buy the other brands, just what I would do.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2410 posts in 1979 days


#11 posted 10-19-2014 12:43 PM

I believe you do your reviews and research on the actual lathe up front – because the BEST customer service is the customer service you never have to actually use.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1886 posts in 1599 days


#12 posted 10-19-2014 08:36 PM

Hairy, sorry to hear about your experience with Jet customer service. Jet is not the only vendor to get nasty with customers! Either venders (factories) do not stock repair parts on some or all models or have to wait until a ship gets here. Since most times you pay to ship the item back to them do you think customer service cares?

Some years back over at Woodnet, man got a Grizzly lathe for xmas, motor DOA and other problems. Long story short ended up paying to ship it back. You name the brand and will find complaints with quality control & customer service on every woodturning-woodworking forum.

Goes back to what Gerry had to say about warranties. Both store that sells you a lathe and company importing them not shy about exercising ability to say no servicing products under warranty.

Also what I said about number of units that fit into a shipping container. With so many units shipped from “manufacture,” to customer not uncommon to get a lathe with cosmetic damage or completely inoperable.

Jet’s 1014 notorious for tailstock problems even before moving manufacturing to mainland China. My problem did not start until couple -three years after use. Cleaning and few taps with a mallet solved my problem.

Woodcraft stopped selling Delta products for awhile due to customer complaints over poor quality or unable to get items restocked or optional accessories for them.

-- Bill

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7923 posts in 1845 days


#13 posted 10-20-2014 04:24 AM


Woodcraft stopped selling Delta products for awhile due to customer complaints over poor quality or unable to get items restocked or optional accessories for them.
- Wildwood

One of their store managers told our woodworking club Woodcraft wanted lower pricing and Delta refused, after that negotiations broke down and that’s why they no longer carry Delta. I’m unaware of any quality issues other than B&D’s lower end Shopmaster line they sold under the Delta brand name, much as they did (are doing) to Porter Cable. There were some restocking/parts issues around buyout time but recent posts lead me to believe those problems are past.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View hairy's profile

hairy

2384 posts in 2997 days


#14 posted 10-20-2014 01:13 PM


Cleaning and few taps with a mallet solved my problem.

- Wildwood

I had a different problem on a 12-20, same result. Tailstock would not secure to the bed. It uses a lever and cam to lift a bolt, pulling the clamp up against the bed. The bolt stretches, right at the nut holding the clamp on. You can not tighten or loosen the bolt when it’s stretched, the threads are stripped, inside the nut. It had to be cut off and replaced. The bolt is 3/4” diameter, for some odd reason they cut it down to 3/8” to cut the threads for the nut. If they left it at 3/4” it would never fail. There is nothing to stop you from going over center with the lever, that’s when the bolt fails.

The way I look at it, C/S and warranty aren’t free. It’s factored into the sales price. It’s one of the reasons that some tools cost more than others. There’s not a lot of difference in Asian lathes, but there is in price.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3128 days


#15 posted 10-20-2014 02:19 PM

The way I look at it, C/S and warranty aren’t free. It s factored into the sales price. It s one of the reasons that some tools cost more than others.

Amen! That was exactly my point with the Delta/Robust analogy.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

showing 1 through 15 of 18 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com