HF Rant

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Blog entry by tt1106 posted 02-16-2011 02:49 AM 1696 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Harbor Freight, Why must you torment me with open hardware packs and missing pieces. So today I called HF after picking up March’s Wood Magazine from the BORG. I promptly called them up with Christmas like excitement. Although the woman that answered seemed unimpressed with my mention of a coupon, she did offer, nicely, to check and see if they had the big green machine in stock. I waited for quite some time and just when my apprehension had reached it’s limit and I was leaning over to pound the speaker button and terminate the oh so gooey aggravating hold music, a sweet voice came on the line and said, It shows 3 but I’m still looking for them Hun. Back on Hold I went…Rockin to ipanema and Chicago favorites, I patiently awaited her return. And return she did, Todd, we’ve got em and I put your name on one. Thrilled, I snuck out early from work and drove across town. Lo and behold one of the grunts wheeled it from out back.
My first impression: Wow, that box looks like it came on a ship, through turbulent seas, from another planet….or China. I raced home and sliced open the packing tape, which alerted me to the possibility that it had already been opened. I pulled the items out one by one. Fail. Two of the three hardware packs open. Only 3 nuts in the whole box. Hmm, just enough to put one caster almost all the way on. And adding on the missing inlet duct…...a complete failure. Back in the box…..Back to HF Thursday. I presume they will be sold out and I will have to backorder it. :(
The similarities to the Mortiser mishap are not lost on me.
Thursday…......seems so far away.
I died a little on the inside today. <tear>

Ps. I’ll be checking the box in the HF parking lot, Thursday. Fool me once, Shame on you, Fool me twice and well….I’m an idiot.

-- -Todd

13 comments so far

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3334 days

#1 posted 02-16-2011 03:25 AM

Today I made another purchase at Harbor Freight with the 20% off coupon…. When I looked at the receipt after paying I realized that the 20% was not deducted. This is not the first time this has happened… I pointed it out to the cashier and he said to wait until he checked out the other three people in line up and then he would correct it. Well, I was in line now at the register and why should I have to wait.
They did the same thing about a month ago when I purchased (with the 20% off coupon) a pair of halogen work lights with the stands…They forgot to deduct the 20%. I realized this when I got home and when I went back they asked for the coupon…”Well, I gave it to you when you were supposedly applied the 20%”..Needless to say they wouldn’t make it right. And besides, the quality of the worklights are a piece of crap when compared to what is available at Home Depot.
Customer service at Horror Freight is like most of their their products…low class and poor quality. I do not see me going back there.

View a1Jim's profile


117116 posts in 3602 days

#2 posted 02-16-2011 03:32 AM

Even worse when I went to the market and gas station and nether one would would take my HF 20% off coupon. LOL

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View wasmithee's profile


58 posts in 2718 days

#3 posted 02-16-2011 04:03 AM

I never had a problem as you have described, however, I will say that I do not recommend most of their tools.

I have a band saw, dust collector, sanding station (disc and belt), expandable roller cart, drill press and a jointer from HF. I can only recommend the dust collector and that due to having paid only $75 for it (2 HP unit). The other tools I have qualms with and in some cases have spent more than it would have cost to buy a name-brand version fixing them up to make them usable.

If I had it to do all over again, I would have went with Grizzly or even purchased Powermatic tools ( in the case of the band saw at least). I would have spent a bit more in the end and have tools I could be happy with. For now I get by and save up to replace each HF tools 1 by 1. Too bad I saved up all of my money, grabbed some nice coupons and bought all of these tools at the same time… If I had purchased them 1 at a time I surely would have learned my lesson with the first or second tool.

View ichbinpete's profile


110 posts in 2717 days

#4 posted 02-16-2011 06:40 AM

can i ask what the big green machine is that you are referriing too?

-- It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18288 posts in 3701 days

#5 posted 02-16-2011 10:55 AM

I have never had a probl;em with them. Their tarps do not leak. all the parts are always included on them, gromets and all :-)) I don’t waste any money on their power tools.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View tt1106's profile


136 posts in 3094 days

#6 posted 02-16-2011 12:46 PM

Alas the Big Green machine was their 2 HP Dust Collector. Before turning the first bolt, I counted 12 missing just on the casters, missing air inlet, several missing bolts and I’m not sure what else.

-- -Todd

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3134 days

#7 posted 02-16-2011 04:26 PM

I have always had problems with included hardware, whether it be tools or some household item, and not just from HF. I have only had one purchase that was the exception. When I opened up my Ridgid tablesaw package, I was elated to find that the hardware was in vacuum sealed packaging and each item clearly labeled with a part number associated with the directions. Never seen any company do that before and never made a purchase after that which had the same thought in packaging.

I feel your pain,


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View tt1106's profile


136 posts in 3094 days

#8 posted 02-17-2011 07:14 PM

Well. Went back today. They said they had 2 but they couldn’t find them. I found at 10, that they keep extra stock in a truck trailer behind the store. I got a new one. Shane the manager gave me the discounted price (even though I no longer had the coupon) and I used the 20% off to buy the hose and blast gates. Assembly instructions were horrible. But I am getting it together. It does run and all the pieces were there.

-- -Todd

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3199 days

#9 posted 02-17-2011 07:52 PM


Talk about … Best Practices.

I wish EVERY manufacturer copied THAT practice, from Ridgid.

It’s amazing how such a seemingly little thing … totally changes the customer experience !

Go, Big Orange :-)

-- -- Neil

View BobG's profile


172 posts in 2987 days

#10 posted 02-17-2011 08:05 PM

a1Jim I don’t think I will ever stop laughing. Right now i’m on the floor because of you and wondering if an attorney will take the 20% off coupon should we sue? Just kidding!!

I bought an Hitachi TS everything was in it except one half of the rip fence rails and the protective inserts for that half. Darndest thing the packaging for that rail was there and SEALED just like one was in there! Not to knock Hitachi they made it right by overnighting the missing parts. Took 3 days to get here but it wasn’t their fault!

-- BobG, Lowell, Arkansas--------My goal in life is to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am! Make more saw dust!!

View ChuckC's profile


828 posts in 2960 days

#11 posted 02-17-2011 08:36 PM

I bought the same DC and was missing a lot of the hardware too. Luckily I had enough on hand to finish it but it was frustrating. I think we all come to expect that from HF.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18288 posts in 3701 days

#12 posted 02-18-2011 01:51 AM

That is how they keep their prices at 1/2 of others. only ship 1/2 a product ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3199 days

#13 posted 02-18-2011 02:29 AM

The more hardware I’m missing, the more GOOD hardware I’ll wind up with, for the assembly … since … most of the time … 10+% of the hardware they DO remember to include … is trash, and unusable :-/

-- -- Neil

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