Becoming a Grumpy(er) Old Man - Router Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-18-2013, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Default Becoming a Grumpy(er) Old Man

It seems the older I get the grumpier I get at least with some things. Customer service, make that good customer service is something I expect when I pry the pennies from the palm of my hand to purchase a product.

One well known woodworkers supplier irked me 2 months ago when it took 3 working days just to process an order to then turn around and strap it on a pack mule and herd it towards my house in hopes that it would make it in a week or so.

I did complain to them and was served a hollow I'm sorry and did not feel like a valued customer. My mind set then was to overlook the order processing delay and remember to order well in advance when buying from them. Well I did just that roughly a month ago when I ordered a well researched and recommended frame clamp. They took their restful time to process the order and tape it to the mule and the frame clamp arrived before I had forgot that I had even ordered it. To my well researched frame clamp dismay, the frame clamp was a major disappointment and had no use in my shop so returning it was the only option.

Little did I know their return department was 5 levels below the quality of their order department. After paying $14 for shipping to receive $38 back the returned frame clamp package sat in their building one week before they processed it. Then it took 2 more days for the money to get back to me. I emailed them on Tuesday after the return was there Monday and asked how and when the order would be processed. Wednesday I received their email that said their returns department was running behind and that they were working on returns received Friday and that when my return was processed the money would be sent back to the card from which it came.

My first thought was here it is Wednesday and they are working on Fridays returns? Wow! 2 days later (Friday) I call them up to speak to a live person and was told that The company had an outing and they were running behind followed by a very hollow Sorry. Boy did I feel like a valued customer!

The order was finally processed this past Monday and the money showed up on the card tonight. My snotty emails of how bad their customer service is and how I would never order from them again and would cancel my account if and when my refund was processed came to fruition this evening.

I would not have wrote this long winded grumpy old man complaint but when a company has employees that seem to not care if you do business with them or not, I had no choice. I thought that with a handful of emails and a phone call that I would have reached someone at Rockler who cared but this was not the case

Galatians 5:13
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-19-2013, 06:56 AM
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I had a completely different experience with Rockler. Ordered a Laguna table saw from them in their Ontario CA store and a guy from their Orange CA store loaded it on his truck and delivered it to Ontario on his way home so it would be there in time for my son in law to pick it up that evening. That is going above and beyond. Doesn't change your experience at all, but they've always been very helpful to me.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-19-2013, 08:12 AM
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Rockler prices are too high.... Plenty of other places to spend my money....
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-19-2013, 08:28 AM
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Jimbo, unfortunately and as Tom has said: sometimes that kind of thing happens. I am the sole inventor of Pocket Form Isolator - which is sold manufacturer direct through people that I have trained, but every once in a while a "distributor" gets an order - because my penny-penching former partner thinks any sale is a good sale (I disagree). Our rate of repeat business with manufacturer-direct sales people is in the high 90 percentile. Our rate of repeat business with distributor sales is in the low 20 percentile.
People that have a vested interest in a business work hard to satisfy customers, people that do not have a vested interest in the business are often easily distracted and never achieve peak performance. It is usually as simple as that. You cannot take a dud employee and raise their pay to a point that they become a good employee. You can, however; spot a good employee, raise their pay and train them and keep them through mutual loyalty!

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-19-2013, 08:46 AM
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I'm grumpy right now,I ordered a router kit from Hardware sales inc. in America and on the morning of the fifth day it arrived, BRILLIANT! BUT, I ordered an inverter at the same time from a company here in Australia and eight days later it still hasn't arrived.


Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend. - Plautus

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-19-2013, 09:31 AM
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I understand what you are saying.
I purchased a HF mini wood lathe that was on sale and when I unboxed it at home, I found the power switch was broken. I got no where with HF so I went looking on line for a similar looking machine. Rockler had one so I called them to see if I could purchase a replacement switch. The very helpful??? man on the other end of the phone told me to try the company I bought it from.
Customer service is going to pot in this country.
Grizzly had the switch I needed for a decent price.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-19-2013, 10:39 AM
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I can certainly understand Jim's frustration and ire. In the case of Rockler and some other retail tool sellers, the reasons may be as Otis describes. OTOH, it may be the culture within the company. i.e., Over a week ago, I ordered a Freud router edge guide from an online supplier in CA. When several other orders placed the same day, from different suppliers, had arrived, I became concerned and called the co. in CA. I was told by the owner that they were out of stock and a new shipment wasn't due in their warehouse for two weeks. Now, he has my phone#, PO mailing address and email address. Some notification of the delay would have been appropriate, I think.
As to Rockler specifically, I've ordered several items from them and have had no problems. However, I've not needed to return anything, either. A couple of times, I've ordered items to be delivered to a store for pickup (saved shipping) with no difficulty.
On the bright side and, to give credit where credit is due, Amazon, Peachtree, MCLS, and Lee Valley, to name just a few, are outstanding in their customer service.

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'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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Last edited by Gene Howe; 09-19-2013 at 12:24 PM.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-19-2013, 11:21 AM
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I second Gene's comment, on both Lee Valley and Amazon (no experience with the others). Locally, I've had great service from KMS Tools.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-19-2013, 02:10 PM
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Default Woodworker's Warehouse

I have had similar (disappointing) experiences with Rockler and now order pretty much all of my tools from Tool When you want to talk about customer service, Tool Nut is the highest standard of excellence. Just them, guarantee you will be amazed!

Now my turn to be grumpy. Ordered some drawer slides from Woodworker's Warehouse. Fourteen sets. Arrived one week later in a package that consisted of two boxes taped together with yards and yards of packaging tape. Very unimpressive. Nothing was damaged but sent the message that they aren't very proud of there merchandise. No screws which were clearly part of their catalog advertisement. I sent them an email and two weeks later, still no response. Last order from me.

Bottom line with all of these threads today, customer service, customer service, customer service has to be a top priority for any business to succeed. No rocket science here.

Best regards to all!
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-19-2013, 02:31 PM
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Jim just before I read your post I was on the phone with one of the customer reps at Rockler. I called the customer service number and had to hold for a rep to answer. I did not have to wait long before a rep answered the phone and I let her what I was calling about but had to be transferred to another department to get the help I needed. I was put on hold again but the new rep answered the phone in less than a minute. She was very helpful and resolved the problem without creating any more problems. She was very apologetic about my having the problem in the first place and ask if there was anything else I needed before we ended the call. This was a great experience with Rockler customer service but I do realize this could have been a disaster and I could still be on hold waiting for the rep to answer the phone and then be treated like I was a stupid moron.

You can have bad experiences even in a brick and mortar store. I was looking for a new computer and did my research before I went shopping. I walked into the store and found the exact computer that I was looking for and found a salesman to help me. He ask several questions and I gave answers to all those questions. Then he said he would go get the computer from the storeroom but before he left he said that he was sorry but the store required him to ask if I wanted the (way over priced) extended warranty. I told him that I was not interested because they would replace defective parts with the equivalent outdated parts and I would rather replace a defective part with an updated improved version. It did not bother me that he ask the question. He went to get the computer.

When he returned he again said he was sorry but his supervisor told him to ask me again about purchasing the (way over priced) extended warranty. When I said I have already explained that I did not want the (way over priced) extended warranty the salesman looked toward the back of the store where the supervisor stood watching him and shook his head no and said to me that he was sorry again. The supervisor hurried to where we were and ask me if the salesman told me about their " Great Extended Warranty Plan". When I told the supervisor that he had ask me ounce like the store required and then again after the supervisor told him to ask again even after I said no, the supervisor
said "You are stupid for not buying the (way over priced) extended warranty to cover a computer purchase for that much money". I apologized to the salesman because he was just following orders , turned to the supervisor and said " Thank you for pointing out that I am so stupid that I did not even realize it but I am probably so computer illiterate that I should save my money and take some computer classes so I won't be so stupid.", then left the store with the supervisor following me all the way to my car trying to save the sale.

Needless to say I purchased the computer from another store for the same price and they gave me a mouse pad of my choice and a gift card for $25.00 for merchandise from their store. They only ask me once about their extended warranty which was about half the price of the first stores plan.

So you never know what will happen.

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