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Axminster - customer service debate

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RogerS

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I have bought a fair bit of kit from Axminster over the last year and a bit. Things like the AWSBS bandsaw and their CT150 planer.
On a fairly regular basis as well and, until today, saw no reason not to continue doing so.

At the weekend I was tuning up the bandsaw and noticed that one of the lower guide bearings was truly duff. I reckon it's always been like that ..just that I never noticed. At the time I thought that the bandsaw was about 6 months old. I asked Axminster if I could have a replacement.

This is their reply.

hi,
im afraid this item is no langer under warranty as you purchased it 14
months ago.
you can purchase the parts from us, they would cost as follow
25003039 at 2.12
gb27889 at 2.94
plus 3.95 p/p
kind regards
amanda


My reply was

Hmmph...bit disappointed that Axminster want me to pay for something that has not had that much use and is only just outside the warranty period. If the spare parts cost more than say £10 or so then perhaps I might understand. I've spent a fair bit with you in the last year and a bit.

Is this Axminsters' final position on this, please?

Many thanks

This then came back

DEAR MR SINDEN,
REGRETFULLY I'M AFRAID IT IS.
KIND REGARDS
AMANDA


Well, guess what, Axminster? You will never get another penny from me again.

I could understand it if the part was a major item but - sheesh - their p&P is greater than the cost of the item.

Roger - ever so slightly peeved.
 

Jake

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Sorry Roger, but I don't see anything wrong in that.
 

Alf

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Well to be honest that seems to be within the parameters of what they're obliged to do, so I can't see a problem either. From their POV they don't know what you might have been doing to your saw. From your POV they might have done a little more as a gesture of goodwill. Unfortunately this is the UK, and that only happens when a company know they're wrong but won't admit it. At least the replacement parts are available, which is a minor miracle, and not too costly, which is a major one. :?

Cheers, Alf
 

Mcluma

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Sorry Roger, but i also agree with Jake,

Axminster doesn't know how much you use the machine, and I think they were very helpfull with finding the part numbers etc

Ok maybe the signoff was a bit duff, but once again do not see anything wrong there either


McLuma
 

Gill

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Axminster has fulfilled its contractual obligations and has operated within the terms of consumer protection legislation from what I can make out. Any gesture on their part would be entirely voluntary and I don't see how a customer could complain when Axminster declines from making such a gesture. It's true that other companies might have been more co-operative, but to my mind it would be better to praise those companies for offering service beyond their contractual obligations rather than criticizing a company that has merely fulfilled its duty.

Gill
 

Mcluma

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Sorry Gill

But which company will exchange a band saw after 14 months of use just out of goodwill

McLuma
 

Gill

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Mcluma":sneffw2u said:
Sorry Gill

But which company will exchange a band saw after 14 months of use just out of goodwill

McLuma
I can't have expressed myself properly. None that I know would do so and I wouldn't blame them either. However, Roger was seeking replacement parts worth a tenner, not a new bandsaw.

Gill
 

Chris Knight

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Roger,

You are prbably cutting off your nose to spite your face here. Axminster is a pretty good company and they have stuff you can't easily get elsewhere. I don't think their response was unreasonable at all.
 

RogerS

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Looks like I'm out on a limb here!

McLuma - small point - I provided them with the part numbers.

Yes - I agree that they have fulfilled their contract. I just happen to think that customer goodwill goes a long way.

I do also go out of my way to praise where praise is due. For example, I have had consistently excellent after-sales service from Screwfix.

Roger
 

mudman

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Hang on a mo'.
Am I correct in thinking that this is an Axminster bit of kit? That is, they are not just the supplier but the manufacturer as well?
'Cos in that case, I would say that they are liable to replace the parts. If you had noticed the problem within the first 12 months, there would be little problem. Under the Consumer Protection Act, if a fault is discovered in the first 12 months, the consumer doesn't have to prove that it was there at time of manufacture, it is assumed to be the case. However, the manufacturer (and maybe the supplier still?) is still liable for up to 6 years from the date of manufacture for any manufacturing defects. However, after the first 12 month, the onus is on the consumer to provide proof that it was a manufacturing defect.
I think that bearing this in mind, that Axminster are a bit daft to not offer a replacement, especially if they have accepted that is is a manufacturing defect as I reckon they are still liable for it.

If I was you Roger, I'd have a last go after reading up on the act (quite a few good rescources out there that explain it) and quote a few sections at them. Mention something about getting an expert's report if necessary.
If I was them, I would have offered to waive p&p or something similar. I know it isn't a lot of money, but it is very irritating especially when it is a manufacturing fault.
 

Jake

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These are bearing guides, so they are parts that are subject to wear and tear, not necessarily a manufacturing defect at all. From their point of view, it must seem unlikely that guides were duff for the first 14 months of ownership but went unnoticed until now. It must look like wear and tear to them, which is why I think their response is reasonable. If it was something that must have been a manufacturing defect I'd have expected them to take a different line and would have condemned them if they hadn't.

I'm sure Roger is being perfectly straightforward about this, but from Axminster's position adopting a "goodwill" position would basically require them to provide free replacements of consumable or worn out parts for what, 14 months, 2 years ...

I do think they could have offered to send them by mail saving the extortionate £4 in p&p!
 

ike

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Roger,

How can you justify trashing the whole company over a couple of piddling little items that will cost you next to b*****r all? Axminster have to draw a line somewhere, and they are within their rights to do so as your machine is out of guarantee. They are not responsible for manufacturing the item. I think they have been helpful in making the parts available. You don't come from a farming background by any chance?

cheers,

Ike
 

RogerS

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Jake makes a fair point and I should have removed the bottom cover sooner and checked them earlier. But, in my defence, I'd read somewhere that these were 'factory set' and so didn't need adjustment.

The amount of use that the bandsaw has had over the period is approximately 10 hours tops. That is probably a generous estimate. It is a manufacturing defect IMHO. Learned a lesson.

ike..it's a point of principle. Value doesn't come into it IMHO

Roger
 

Dr. Thrax

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To be brief, it is rare I will order from Axminster these days as I tend to use other companies with as good/far greater range but I did recently order an Axminster white sliding mitre saw from them. The outer box was not damaged, the inner box was fine but the saw, well you wouldn't believe it!

There were bits broken, bent, snapped, scratched, foul threaded bolts, bits missing, chips off the paint in fact someone had actually tried touching up the paint over the scratches. The motor was rough and jerked when started...hmmm....a quick phone call to customer services to explain that I had wanted and paid for a 'new' saw and not the ex, ex, ex demonstration model and the next day TNT arrived, collected the 'knackered version' and delivered the new, perfectly alright replacement.

The reason I ordered from Axminster wasn't anything to do with them, it was the free CMT blade that caught my eye. For the money I could have bought a cheaper sliding mitre saw but then I would have had to buy a decent blade to replace the supplied rubbish blade found on cheap saws in this price bracket.

To sum up, Axminster was good on this occassion, not a day old and they replaced it but in your case Roger I think you would probably have got a replacement a few years back but Axminster as a company has changed very much as it has become bigger and bigger over the years and not only that but there has been a lot of abuse by customers claiming that orders hadn't arrived when in fact they had, hence the need now for delivery signatures, re-Screwfix, same problem = big loss of profits.

Buy the bits you need and carry on woodworking :wink:
 

wizer

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I'm with you Roger.

I bought a Makita drill from them. The drill sensationaly cracked across the point where the handle meets the drill/motor whilst screwing a chipboard floorboard. I called them, they told me that as it had been 14 days since I bought it that it would have to go back to makita for inspection. I was a bit miffed at this but agreed. They told me this could take up to 30 days. This was the day before
I was starting the decking and a drill was essential. They refused to send me a replacement drill until my one had been 'inspected', making me pay for a new one! I got the new drill, they picked up the faulty one and 2 weeks later I got the refund.

Fair enough they followed the line of the law. But the good will was terrible.

I think its the same with your situation Roger. They have done all they need to, but haven't even inched over the line.

Also a pet hate of mine is grammar. If you are replying to a customer then I think it is common decency to use clear english. 'amanda' seems to have a problem with her shift key.
 

trevtheturner

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Looking at this dispassionately, it occurs to me that the problem perhaps arises from the medium (e-mail) used for communication. E-mails tend to be brief, purely factual, impersonal and 'cold' and from which no sense of attitude or personality might be deduced.

In this case, Roger sends a message to Axminster (I presume by e-mail as the replies seem to have used the same medium) explaining, in all honesty, but mistakenly, that he has had the machine for about six months. On receipt Axminster check their records and find that it was actually supplied 14 months ago. Reaction by Axminster? - again mistakenly, but perhaps in the light of their previous experiences understandably, 'looks like this guy is trying it on.' So they say, "sorry, out of guarantee" - being unaware that it has probably been used for no more than 10 hours in 14 months.

I know e-mail is the modern way (such is progress?) but it can have its failings. By way of illustration it is not unknown for a posting on these forums to provoke an unintended reaction, to be quickly followed by another posting from the originator - "sorry, didn't mean to offend/ wasn't having a go/ didn't mean it like that/I was only joking ............." All ends well on here, of course, but in a business dispute any lack/perceived lack of communication can so easily create a 'barrier' in the eyes of one or both parties.

I know I will be considered old-fashioned, but in my experience the rapport which can, almost immediately, result from speaking to someone can be invaluable. If I have a problem with an order/delivery my first course of action is to pick up the 'phone.

I have used Axminster on many occasions and on only one was there a problem (so far!): couple of years ago, just before Christmas, LOML orders a lamp for my lathe bench. Parcel arrives and I can see by its shape that it not right, confirmed when I opened it to find the wrong lamp inside. 'Phone call to Customer Services, answered by a pleasant and polite lady to whom I explain the situation, she offers profuse apologies. In view of the festive season I suggest, tongue-in-cheek, perhaps the packer in the warehouse was suffering from too much Christmas spirit. We have a laugh. She promises to send the correct lamp out the same day (done). I ask about arrangements for returning the incorrect one (value about £60), she says, "no, that's okay, please keep it with our compliments!"
So, I'm still very much a believer in the telephone in the first instance - I find it invariably works and I doubt that I would have got the same 'lamp' result if I had dealt with the matter by e-mail. :wink:

FWIW. Cheers,

Trev. - up late 'cos it's too hot to sleep!
 
A

Anonymous

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:oops: I've no axe to grind with Axminster (sorry for the pun).

Would you replace a turned item after it had been sold over two years ago. Course you wouldn't.

I've always found their stuff to be excellent value and their service great - but - they are friendlier if you phone them rather than e-mailing.
 

Woodythepecker

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From looking at members "posts and gloats" :roll:, be they from pros or the diyer, there is a great deal of us who have spent a few £1,000 on both tools and machinery, and i am sure that a great deal of this has been spent with Axminster.

Bearing this in mind and with hand on heart can any of you say that you would not be a little miffed if you had received the same sort of reply that Roger did?
Forget who the company is, and just think of the £1,000's of pounds you have spent over the years with any particular company, and then tell me that you would not be a little hurt when they refuse to take into consideration that you have been a good customer and the gesture of goodwill would only cost them less then £10?

Granted some may not post there thoughts on the internet, but there cannot be many people who would not be a little upset.

Regards

Woody
 
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