All Replies on Is good customer service a thing of the past?

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View bendwriter's profile

Is good customer service a thing of the past?

by bendwriter
posted 02-23-2018 08:30 PM

22 replies so far

View Fresch's profile


507 posts in 2806 days

#1 posted 02-23-2018 09:20 PM

Yes, customer service is terrible.
I needed a replacement fold for my truck bed cover call local gave them the part numbers, called cheapest dealer online gave numbers, online after long time on hold could only sell it if they revamped their website? Local guy I’m still waiting for call back, called factory- parts are sitting in my garage waiting for install.
I think that the self absorbed, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, people believe they are owed respect having never earned or shown any; a failing of their upbringing, schooling, and mainstream media, I think it will only be getting worse as time goes on.

View Woodknack's profile


13503 posts in 3265 days

#2 posted 02-23-2018 09:41 PM

And it wasn’t great at most places in the past either.

-- Rick M,

View ajshobby's profile


103 posts in 3193 days

#3 posted 02-23-2018 09:55 PM

Customer service has pockets here and there. Over all I have seen nothing but a state of decline since the turn of the century. Though my recent experiences makes me think there maybe is a start to the resurgence of customer focused companies out there. I recently bought a new house and of course the wife wanted new furniture, a bed and kitchen appliances. Happy wife happy life and all that. Out of everywhere we went JC Penny’s actually not only met what i would consider acceptable customer service but they went way above and beyond. Totally surprised me as I would have assumed just normal big box type crap service from them. They actually took care of dealing with the shipping snafu’s for me without me even having to ask for them to do that. I also find our Bloomington Wood Craft store is exceptional but the local Rockler’s are comparable to Lowes. Another way i find good customer service is through some commercial and industrial company sales reps i have access to, mainly for tools and supplies, due to my work. I utilize them whenever I can and usually get better than online pricing.

AJ in Mpls

View Lazyman's profile


5866 posts in 2272 days

#4 posted 02-23-2018 10:51 PM

I bought a variable speed motor from PSI last year. It was defective. I called them and had a replacement within 3 days. If the Chinese factory had decent quality control, I would not have had to call for customer service but when I did, I was very pleased. Their tech guy that they transferred me to was a little gruff but I was only on the phone for 5 minutes at most. Your mileage may vary.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View corelz125's profile


1603 posts in 1861 days

#5 posted 02-24-2018 12:37 AM

Amazon is one place I have no issues with their customer service. I find the opposite with the packing the stuff is usually way to small for the box it comes in. It’s hit and miss in other places but in home depot i dont expect good customer service so it’s a surprise when I do get the occasional person who actually is helpful.

View pete724's profile


71 posts in 1694 days

#6 posted 02-24-2018 01:18 AM

customer service.

*warning 7 minutes long.

View lightcs1776's profile


4261 posts in 2539 days

#7 posted 02-24-2018 01:24 AM

Yes and no. I find customer service is low or non-existent in many stores. However, there are some that are still quite exceptional. For example, Wynn Environmental provided incredible customer service. Highland Woodworking also provided impressive customer service. Outside of woodworking, I purchase shave soap from Sterling Soaps (yes, I use a safety razor, brush, and shave soap). No one has beat their customer service. So there are companies that realize that they will keep customers by providing exceptional service. They are just far and few in between.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View LittleShaver's profile


695 posts in 1505 days

#8 posted 02-24-2018 04:09 PM

Lee Valley and Lie Neilson have some of the best customer service I’ve ever run across. HD and Lowes are spotty. Usually do better asking someone with gray hair for help. Youngsters can barely find their way to the store. I’ve been shopping through Amazon for 12-15 years and have only had to return one item that arrived broken. Not Amazon’s fault, but the return couldn’t have been easier. We had such bad service at Sears a few years ago that my wife refuses to even enter the store any more.
For the worst customer service, call a doctor’s office or wait for them to make you an appointment with a specialist. You’d better call six months before you’re sick or you’ll be dead before you’re seen. (rant complete)

-- Sawdust Maker

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 3918 days

#9 posted 02-25-2018 02:29 AM

Yes & No. It depends on the particular store. Overall? YES!

I went to Home Depot & Canadian Tire. I asked for the whereabouts of 2 Items. “We Sold Out of that.” and “We’re Out Of Stock on that.” After looking Myself, I found them BOTH!

I Went to the Manager, told him. “Did you get their Names?” NO! “Nothing I can do about it. Good Help is hard to get these Days.” “OH! Thank you very much!” He says “No Problem!” ( I hate that answer to “Thank You.”)

DONE: Rick

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View marc_rosen's profile


175 posts in 4066 days

#10 posted 02-25-2018 03:52 AM

Hey Bendwriter,
I apologize if this is a hijacking of your thread but in addition to bad customer service I get annoyed with many of the companies’ websites. Some of you may think I’m impatient or intolerant but it really annoys me when I “add an item” to my shopping cart and this huge pop up , which is supposed to be my cart, obliterates half the viewing page and does not go away unless I click somewhere else on the page or click “continue shopping”. Woodcraft and Rockler are the worst- and I have complained to them by phone and email, to no avail. I now refuse to spend my money with those site. PennState had been like this but I did not see this when I just “tested” it a few minutes ago. I did complain on my last order, don’t know if that had any effect. Even Lee Valley suffers from obtrusive ( or is it intrusive?) shopping carts.
My favorite sites do not invade the webpage with these interfering carts; Highland Woodworking and Lie Nielsen both have subtle shopping carts that I can view if want to see what’s in them. They don’t get in my way and I can check out when I want without having to be reminded with each item I enter into it.
So to me crappy customer service can also be defined as annoying websites.
Back to my shop now, Marc

-- Windsurfing, Woodworking, Weaving, and Woodducks. "Most woodworkers are usually boring holes"

View bendwriter's profile


15 posts in 1178 days

#11 posted 02-25-2018 06:56 AM

No apologies necessary Marc, because you’ve touched on another sore spot, and here it is. I casually look at one thing on a website – say a router fence on Rockler or maybe a shop vac on Home Depot – and for the next week I can’t turn on my computer without a dozen ads for router fences and shop vacs popping up everywhere. It’s especially irritating around the holidays, when I shop online for my wife. Suddenly my computer is taken over with ads for cloths and shoes and especially quilting items (you might guess she’s a quilter – and you think woodworking is an expensive hobby!) Like Marc I’ve complained, but apparently these pop-up ads work, so they keep using them. Hate ‘em!!

-- "Rescuing one dog won’t change the world, but it surely will change the world for that one dog"

View bendwriter's profile


15 posts in 1178 days

#12 posted 02-25-2018 06:59 AM

Oh yeah – it unfortunately happens all the time here on Lumberjocks as well. As I post this, an ad for the shop vac hose I looked at today on Rockler’s site is now staring me in the face at the bottom of this page. I guess it’s the way of the modern world….

-- "Rescuing one dog won’t change the world, but it surely will change the world for that one dog"

View Woodknack's profile


13503 posts in 3265 days

#13 posted 02-25-2018 07:21 AM

Pop ups are the work of the devil. I’m pretty sure a 10th level of hell is under construction where nerds will have to click through a 100 pop ups every time they want to do something. And all passwords will be 100 characters long minimum and will have to contain at least 1 capital letter, 1 number, and 1 special character; and even though it’s your home computer the password will be asterisk’d out so you can’t see it.

-- Rick M,

View JCamp's profile


1229 posts in 1436 days

#14 posted 02-25-2018 01:22 PM

To me the very worst is Menards. They are cheaper but they just about could fire everyone but the cashiers and I wouldn’t notice any difference. Lowe’s ain’t great but it’s better ( not sure if it’s connected but my Lowe’s tends to higher older folks) Locally my two Ace Hardwear stores (one is a nice lumber yard too) are the best. I rarely get in the door 10 feet without a employee asking if they can help. There is also a Carter lumber near me and they suck. Their prices r 3 times (literally) of Menards and CS sucks. I hope they put a Home Depot in front of that store and run them out of business

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View Pixxture's profile


44 posts in 956 days

#15 posted 03-22-2018 12:40 AM

From both sides now
I have a love/hate relationship with rockler. Ordered a laguna ts. A week later i called to verify order status, NOT delivery date. The cust srvc rep told me i needed to wait two more weeks b4 she would check order status (ie order was placed?, order is back ordered? etc). I called back 1 day short of my 3 weeks and was told i was 1 day short of 3 weeks. I talked the lady into checking my order status and found it was on back-order for another 7+ weeks. I cancelled. Yet on their products, not drop shipped ones, they are very good, order status is automatically sent within hours.
At the same time i work at a big box store in tools and hardware, and find that with low staffing there is no way i can give proper service to all.

Very frustrating being on both sides

View JDK01's profile


1 post in 890 days

#16 posted 05-25-2018 03:05 AM

Happened upon this thread while thinking about a recent experience I had with CS, and I should like to share it, if it helps…I recently purchased a new Industrial Base for my Sawstop PCS, and had noted a couple of finish imperfections [ that were admittedly inconsequential, but I’m ridiculously anal] and not wanting to submit a warranty claim for something so trivial, I purchased a new part from the Sawstop store, which was very quick, easy and surprisingly inexpensive, however, when the part arrived, it appeared to have been dropped at some point, and was unacceptable [to me], so I called Sawstop, explained it to him, and sent photos. They were completely understanding, agreed that the part never should have gone out [I sort of felt like I just got some warehouseman jacked up] and said a new one would be sent right out, and double-checked. When I said that as I had a project coming up and had just used the original part, he said ” well, would a Dado Brake and ZCI help??” I was astonished, that they would go to such lengths to make it right. Parts arrived in 3 days, perfect. Errors happen, to us, because of us, sometimes just bad luck. But Sawstop put that aside and just made it right. Needless to say, the saw, base, and customer service are beyond excellent. I know, some will say “well for that price, they oughtta” but I believe the saw alone is worth every nickel, and regardless of price, any company can start with a mindset of quality and customer first. Some don’t , and that’s really unfortunate, and I too have had some of those same experiences with the companies you mentioned. Best of luck in the future. Jim

View Andybb's profile


2884 posts in 1489 days

#17 posted 05-26-2018 06:02 PM

Guess it’s the luck of the draw. I have had nothing but great customer service from all of the vendors that the OP mentioned. If anything I think CS has improved over the years as the internet can crush sales because of the instant feedback that can be posted. “Back in the day” you could write a letter to CS and complain. Today a negative Google review will be read by thousands of people within hours of its posting.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25341 posts in 3991 days

#18 posted 06-05-2018 04:59 PM

Customer service depends on the person you get on the line. Some go out of their way for you and others look at the job as 9-5 and I’m outta here. Sometimes it is the attitude of the company but I think the rep is the key to service. For Example.
I bought a new Henry 22 mag pump. I did not like the action at all and called to complain and wanted to trade it for an nice lever gun for which they are famous.

1st rep ( Bob): Send it back with a note on why your are unhappy with it and we replace it with a Frontier model. I thought about it and then I wanted to send it back and get a Golden boy and pay the difference.

- Second rep ( Dina). I told her the problem, and that I wanted a Golden Boy instead of the plain Frontier model. She said here on E mail is a postage paid UPS label, use that to return it and you will be sent a Golden Boy extra charges at all!!!!!!! Now that is Customer Service!!!!!!!!! I love then New lever 22 mag.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View BroncoBrian's profile


894 posts in 2844 days

#19 posted 06-05-2018 08:05 PM

The operator of your local store makes ALL the difference. In Denver, the Rockler shop is awesome. I enjoy the people who work there. In Colorado Springs, Woodcraft is great. Happy to shop there any time.

Amazon’s service is incredible, but that depends on your rating. If you use Amazon a lot like our family and do not return most stuff you buy, they are very happy to solve any issue.

SawStop, Forrest, Dewalt, Jet/Powermatic, and Whiteside have been helpful when contacted. Same with Bob’s Festool (great company!).

Generally, big box stores are for buying stuff because you need it now. I don’t expect anyone there to be of much help.

Powermatic sent me a PM1500 that had a part shear off in at the top wheel. I called them about it, sent a quick video of it running, and they sent an advanced replacement right away. 3 Days later a new bandsaw was there and I was able to slide the first unit into the packaging. That afternoon they had a guy pick it up. Their comment was that it was not my job to rebuild a new saw.

SawStop was missing a pin to lock the height adjustment of the blade. It took 10 minutes to install when I got it but they also said that it should not have been missing and sent a spare break cartridge for the trouble. I asked about the best paint to seal a small chip on the front rail at the same time. The support guy answered the question AND sent me a new rail because he thought it should have been perfect.

In my experience, talking to the company the right way makes a huge difference! Also, having a realistic expectation and know who you are talking to.

I’ve had to be CS in my own businesses. I guess I know which customers were worth helping out more and which were going to be difficult no matter what you do.

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View Fresch's profile


507 posts in 2806 days

#20 posted 06-05-2018 09:20 PM

I think the human race is getting dumber by the day; here we have, The Dave Matthews Band, other big names back to back playing at our new multimillion venue only we just tore up the parking lots.
The State Fair is held here, big dirt track, only they tore that up last year and the new track fell through. So much for 100 yrs. of race history; but we now have room for more rappers!
I see miss USA will now be xgender, open to “all”.
I just cancelled two chainsaw loops from the local guy after never hearing back from him in 3 weeks, he told me they shipped now he is saying Oregon is out of the chain. It’s in stock 20 miles down the road, so much for not buying through the internets.
Get OFF my lawn!

View grnjames's profile


14 posts in 880 days

#21 posted 06-06-2018 06:21 AM

Well, even a good samaritan is hard to find these days so it’s pure luck when you get a good one.

-- Installation of headache rack for wood panel support I got from

View Dustin's profile


707 posts in 1626 days

#22 posted 06-06-2018 12:33 PM

In my experience, talking to the company the right way makes a huge difference! Also, having a realistic expectation and know who you are talking to.

- BroncoBrian

Man, I can’t agree with this enough. When my wife and I were moving back to KY from CA, we had to start the lease process on an apartment remotely. We both knew the area and the complex well, so we were all set to rent a 1 bed/1 bath. Filled out all the paperwork, paid the security deposit, had it lined up to move in the day 2 days after we got back in town.

Well, we go to the complex to pick up our keys (the moving truck was set to arrive in 3 days at this point), and they inform us that the tenant, at the last minute, decided to re-up their lease, leaving us high and dry. I didn’t see a point to get upset with the situation (if that was within the tenant’s rights, so be it), but I could see the anxiety building in my wife. I asked her to step out for some air while I talked to management. I didn’t rage, or even raise my voice, I just pleaded my case, person-to-person. Explained that I knew it was complicated, but that our truck was arriving within a few days, and I was under the impression that all the paperwork and security deposit up to that point guaranteed us a place to live. Well, they ended up having a vacant 2bed/2bath unit available, and offered it to us at the same cost as the 1/1 for the duration of our lease.

That was by far the best experience I ever had with an apartment complex’s management. Of course, now we own a home, and the management there really slacks off :p

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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