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Customer support as it SHOULD be

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Midnight

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I’ve seen a few posts here tearing down manufacturers and retailers alike for pitiful customer service, and rightly so… Surprisingly though, not too many posts about the opposite.. Maybe this will help correct that…

2 years ago I made my first major tool purchase (as opposed to cheap an nasty) in the form of the Rexon GPT 317A thicknesser. Outa the box, the thing oozed quality; built like a tank, good service manual and half decent tools to maintain it with too. These latter points weren’t entirely a surprise as this wasn’t my first Rexon purchase. To date, the machine’s performed perfectly… that is, until yesterday..
I noticed that the boards I’d just finished milling had a taper across their width, not much, but enough to be noticeable; 1mm in 300mm. I stripped down the cutter head to see where the prob was. To my surprise and relief, the cause was self evident; one of the gibs retaining the knife was buckled, allowing debris to collect between the cutter block and the underside of the knife. The gib looked like it’s been ran over by a tank.
The manual supplied with the thicknesser has an exploded diagram of the machine, c/w a parts list. One quick and helpful call to Rexon’s tech helpline later, the replacement part’s on its way…

Getting customer service like this these days seems to be all to rare… more’s the pity.
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Mike

Well done to Rexon. The company who never fail to impress me with their customer service are Wealden (excellent cutters too).

I'd agree that there are probably more posts about poor service but, I believe, that is a positive thing. Is it just a coincidence that Rutlands have stopped charging your CC when an item is out of stock? Why should a product have a three-year warranty in the States and only two years over here?

I believe, that we are the largest UK group of on-line woodworkers and we have a voice that should be heard.

We deserve excellence in customer service.

Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now. :oops:

Cheers
Neil
 

Martin

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I would like to add Stiles&Bates to that list (you may not have heard of them unless you're into turning). On two separate occasions they've surprised me with that little extra touch that reminds you that you're the "customer" (as opposed to someone who makes them money, which I'm convinced is many other retailer's model).

About a year ago I ordered some spalted beech from them (along with a number of other turning blanks). Unfortunately they didn't have the exact dimensions I was after and couldn't say when they would (such is the nature of spalted beech) - so, after emailing me for confirmation, they put in the nearest sized blank that they could find free of charge (worth about £10).

More recently I ordered a sharpening jig from them - it was over the bank holiday weekend, and I got an email back from them to say that due to being busy with an open day they wouldn't be able to get it in the post until the following Tuesday (after the bank-holiday). I wouldn't have expected them to anyway (they're not Amazon after all) - but how many other retailers would have even bothered to let you know.

Now for a few less favourable accounts:

Axminster
I recently bought an angle grinder from them that is supposed to come with a free diamond disc (for cutting bricks etc.). It arrived without it, and I ended up almost having an argument with them about it (she ended up having to check on their own website because, according to her, the product I'd ordered didn't come with a free disc). After checking she grudgingly admitted that I was right and said they'd put one in the post ( which of course never arrived!). I ended up buying one at B&Q.

Rutlands
I recently bought a new 15gauge (Dakota) finish nailer from them, but the fittings didn't fit my existing compressor kit (which I'd bought from Rutlands about 3 yrs earlier). To be fair to them they did get Senco (the maker of the compressor) to give me a call (but I suspect this was a case of large retailer wealding buying power on manufacturer) but this was little help because it was so difficult to explain what I had over the phone.

Perhaps I'm being to harsh on Rutlands, but I kind of expected them to know what they'd sold me before, and what they were selling now - and therefore to be able to advise me of the solution (I even forwarded the original invoive email for the compressor kit).

Just my 2c worth...

cheers,
Martin.
 
A

Anonymous

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Mike

Fully agree with Rexon comments.

I had a mitre saw a while back and couldn't get two accurate cuts in a row no matter how hard I tried. I repeatedly set it up, only to find that it didn't cut square after doing a 45 etc.

Finally realised that the problem was down to end-float in the main bearing allowing the blade to wander. I passed it on to a jobbing carpenter (told them of my problems) as he did not make furniture and the small inaccuracies were OK in his line of work.

In the end I replaced this with a Rexon. Dead-on 90 and 45 degrees from the box !!! Repeatable too

Well, moving it around I smashed the laser guide off. One call to Rexon, fully explaining that it was my fualt and I received a new laser head within the week. :lol:

Would I buy Rexon again? You bet :wink:

Cheers

Tony
 

Midnight

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Neil…… While I agree with you that consistently poor suppliers should be named an shamed, if only to fore-warn the unsuspecting, I can’t help feeling that GOOD suppliers need some positive reinforcement too…
Speaking purely personally…. Some of the comments about Axminster fly in the face of my own experiences…
For Example..
I’ve mentioned in a previous post re my disgust in my Stanley #7’s ability to cause massive tear out from a hollow in a board I was working on… I called Axminster the same morning…just before lunch as I recall, placing an order for the L-N #7… You can imagine my surprise the following day when there’s a knock at the door…at 09:30…. A parcel containing the L-N….
I mention surprise initially because of the timing; the delivery was Christmas eve, and Aberdeen isn’t exactly next door to Englandshire…

More recently…
I was building a Nelson tail vice to retrofit to my bench and hadn’t yet got around to ordering the bench dogs I intended to use. Their tech description in the catalogue was a little ambiguous, so I called them for clarification. A little while later, a friendly Scots accent calls from their tech dept, congratulating me on finding a discrepancy in the wording for the bench dog. Apparently, in order to answer my query, someone had pulled a bench dog from stock to measure exactly….
My order went in the following week….

Bottom line… I’m pretty disgusted that shoddy service has been allowed to grow to the extent that it has…. Disappointed that the expectation of less than prefect service seems to be the norm…
Personally, even though my job isn’t the most rewarding Ahem… I try to stick to the ethic that a fair days pay deserves a decent days graft….and that there’s never an excuse for shoddy workmanship…. I’m not the only guy that feels like this….. surely…????
 

trevtheturner

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Agree with your sentiments exactly in your last para. Mike. I believe it's important that we complain, in a proper manner, when we don't get the service we should. I know that things can go wrong, and mistakes can be made (who hasn't made one?), but I will always give a supplier the opportunity to put things right - but only the once. If they cannot do that I never go back, and let them know that they have lost a customer!

Re: Axminster - I have always found them excellent. I always order by 'phone and goods normally arrive the following day. Only hiccup I've had with them was when they sent the wrong item, a workshop lamp. A quick 'phone call as soon as I opened the box, they despatched the correct lamp which arrived the following morning - and told me to keep the incorrect one (worth, I think, about £40) with their compliments!

In general, my experience has been that most suppliers I have used are pretty good (including Rutlands on the one occasion I have ordered from them) and do what they say they will.

Now, carriers.........that's a different story, and almost impossible to influence.

Trev.
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Mike

That's great. Well done Axminster, a real example of excellent customer service.

Midnight":34q2zsyg said:
Neil…… While I agree with you that consistently poor suppliers should be named an shamed, if only to fore-warn the unsuspecting.....
Yes Mike, I agree entirely with your comments.

Perhaps I'm Ralph Nader in disguise. 8)

Midnight":34q2zsyg said:
I can’t help feeling that GOOD suppliers need some positive reinforcement too…
Again, I agree entirely with you. It has to be a two-way street, carrot and stick.

Here are some examples of my posting about good service: -

Axminster
https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=727&highlight=service

Wealden
https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=729&highlight=service

Toolshopdirect
https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=577&highlight=service

Cheers
Neil
 

devonwoody

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TRITON the Australian machinery firm with an agent named Hill in Wales, have given me good sevice, even had a replacement part from Australia direct ,3 days later. I don't know how they did it, a European mfr. couldn't do it could they?.
 

Alf

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Midnight":3bddum26 said:
I mention surprise initially because of the timing; the delivery was Christmas eve, and Aberdeen isn’t exactly next door to Englandshire…
Which is probably why I get so annoyed when it takes them so long to get it just over the border into Cornwall...

When they earn it, I praise a supplier, and these days earning it simply involves a simple, untroubled delivery of goods from them to me within a week (expectations have lowered somewhat :roll: ). Trouble is, all too often I'm struggling to sound positive because of the bad stuff, so I tend to mention neither. For instance, I failed to report on the prompt delivery I had from Chronos - but then it also meant I didn't pass on the information about their attitude to me on the 'phone when there was a problem*. I've frequently mentioned how impressed I am with Axminster's heavy machinery delivery, but then there was also the month-long wait for the correct apron when they'd sent the wrong one (the invoice and the apron sent matched up mind you, but the person on the 'phone had taken down the wrong stock code). No sending me the right one first in this case, but rather having to wait for them to find the returned one in their post bag (just in case we were apron thieves I s'pose). And we had to prod them to get them to even do that. Still, it was over Christmas, right? But wait, what was that Mike just said about his #7...? D'you know, it actually reached the stage where I emailed them to ask what it was we'd done to offend them?** :shock: I still use 'em mind you, they're the "local" store after all, but sometimes I really, really wonder why. :roll:

Still, praise is due to Tilgear. I posted my order in their pre-paid envelope last Sunday, they dispatched it on Friday, next day delivery yesterday and the account only debited on Friday. And it was all there. Nothing was broken, bent, incorrect etc etc. Practically spooky in fact... :lol: And I suppose, on that criteria, Axminster getting an internet order placed on the 30th April to us by the 5th May isn't too bad at all, bearing in mind the Bank Holiday. Long may it continue - I'd much sooner come to praise than damn.

Cheers, Alf

*I'm still wondering if that was a classic case of "Is it 'cos I's female?"... (not that I usually get all feminist about stuff, but you begin to wonder)

**"Is it 'cos I's in Cornwall?" :D I did ask, honest. As a joke really, but they didn't laugh. Swine. :wink:
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Alf

Alf":1ti7pqlz said:
"Is it 'cos I's in Cornwall?" :D I did ask, honest. As a joke really, but they didn't laugh. Swine. :wink:
Therein lies you're answer, it's all your fault for being in Cornwall. :wink:

Hang on, I just need to take my tongue out of my cheek. :roll:

All the best
Neil
 
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Anonymous

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Now I am making furniture for a living, I payed out for what I thought would be the "best" ,a DEWALT bandsaw from my local GODFREY`s Store, here in Lowestoft.
8 weeks later the blade needed changing but whilst tensioning it the tensioner went. Suspected the bolt so phoned Dewalt and they said 10-12 days to post part after I had posted proof of purchase to them.
Not able to afford 2 weeks loss of income ( use a bandsaw all the time ) I went back to Godfrey`s and the chap on the tool section told his assistant to give me the part out of his display model.

Thanking him I left to repair the band saw but discovered it wasn`t the bolt but the M6 nut (cost 20p).

I would have lost 2 weeks production if I had waited for Dewalt, luckily I had bought local and will continue to do so !!
 

Alf

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koolwabbit":3ukc8mxe said:
Thanking him I left to repair the band saw but discovered it wasn`t the bolt but the M6 nut (cost 20p).
Do yourself a favour, KW, and get an M6 connecting nut. It helps spread the load on the threads so you'll get more life out of the tensioning bolt. If that goes (and assuming it's the same as mine, and it sounds like it) you'll need to find a 150mm M6 coach bolt and a die to cut sufficient threads further up the bolt. A pretty easy job, and worth having one kept by - DeWalt charges about a tenner for a replacement. :shock:

Cheers, Alf
 
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