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Bad Experience at Woodworkers Supply

by BoardSMITH
posted 12-28-2013 01:04 PM

29 replies so far

View Hacksaw007's profile


619 posts in 3749 days

#1 posted 12-28-2013 01:19 PM


-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

View coachmancuso's profile


259 posts in 2491 days

#2 posted 12-28-2013 01:33 PM

Good job some business need to know what is going on with their employees because unless you complain they will never know. Good job and the letter was great and to the point

-- Coach Mancuso

View Don W's profile

Don W

19381 posts in 3127 days

#3 posted 12-28-2013 01:39 PM

It amazes me were customer service for these larger companies have gone. I’ve had my car insurance through Met life for 35 years. My wife hit a deer an did about $3500 worth of damage to her car. We discovered we didn’t have rental coverage, it took forever to get an adjuster so the body shop could start work and the rep on the phone was was an absolute a$$. Our 35 year relationship has ended. Is the new company any better? Probably not, but its different any how.

Has the general idea it’s cheaper to keep a customer than find a new one changed?

I hope you find a decent sander. I agree it shouldn’t be such a struggle to spend your money.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 3035 days

#4 posted 12-28-2013 01:40 PM

David, I realize that you did not have an enjoyable time with the 400+ pound sander and that you made a good decision in returning it to the store. We do not have a Woodworkers Supply store in my local area but I notice that you were happy with the store and speak rather highly of Benny. Perhaps Benny and Eric can spend a few hours discussing amp draw electrical theory and at least give you an answer as to where the fault originated from. Additionally I think that Mr Wirth and / or the local store should reward your loyalty to them and the effort you put out to resolve the non performance issues with a substantial percentage of the purchase price as an in-store credit.

View waho6o9's profile


8799 posts in 3137 days

#5 posted 12-28-2013 02:03 PM

” One year parts and workmanship warranty. Imported.”

They didn’t even try to make good on their written warranty? That’s bad.

Is this the sander?

View ScrubPlane's profile


190 posts in 2755 days

#6 posted 12-28-2013 02:15 PM

Sad isn’t it? Most employees go through some form of ‘new hire’ orientation to cover health insurance, sexual harassment, etc…it’s a shame companies don’t spend at least that much time teaching the concepts of good customer service.

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 3006 days

#7 posted 12-28-2013 03:33 PM

I would have insisted on another new replacement(not just the motor) and must be tested in the store to my satisfaction,then I would have taken it home and enjoy ,refunding your money was the easiest way to brush you off,very unprofessional.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View KS_Sparky's profile


26 posts in 2183 days

#8 posted 12-28-2013 04:00 PM

Just playing devil’s advocate, for a moment.

Troubleshooting is not always an easy affair. It is much less so over the phone and dealing with customers with varying levels of experience, often none. Oftentimes, troubleshooting is best left to the professional, in his controlled environment. It certainly is easier for him, anyway. It is also safer for the customer and ensures warranties are not violated. From my own experiences, mistakes are more often made by an avid DIYer or a “handyman” than by the manufacturer, though I have seen those mistakes as well.

This, however, doesn’t take into consideration how he treated you or the situation. It also does not factor in distance between the store and your shop or the awkwardness of transporting the heavy machinery. Maybe, though it may shed some light on why he handled the situation as he did…or maybe he’s just a jerk and a moron with no people skills, I wasn’t there!

-- apprentice Electrician, IBEW L.U. 226

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3851 days

#9 posted 12-28-2013 04:05 PM

“Has the general idea it’s cheaper to keep a customer than find a new one changed?”

Yep. The new customers are others just like you (all of us?), disgusted with their long-time companies, now looking for a new one. They just shift around and the process continues.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2172 posts in 3410 days

#10 posted 12-28-2013 04:26 PM

Interesting scenario. You tell your story well and in great detail. However, in your letter to Mr. Wirth you did not ask for anything. Bottom line is, he wants you back. Could you give him a week to make it right? It would be fun to see how the company responds. I have a hunch there might be a new sander delivered to your door.

Had it been my sneakers and my feet in them, I would have agreed to have Benny & co. replace the motor, specified when I will return to pick it up, and if it’s not done or not running properly, I’ll have my refund thank you very much. I would have stated that in a friendly way with smiles, no threats. In this way you set them up to be the heroes and you’re just out an additional trip and the bumpy spot is paved over. Stuff happens, and the best outcomes are when we work together to make things right.

And next time you went in the store, you’d be greeted, genuinely, as a longtime friend.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View BoardSMITH's profile


124 posts in 2823 days

#11 posted 12-28-2013 04:35 PM

Yes, that is the sander. They are available from several different sources on the internet ranging from $1145 for the Laguna model to $2399 for the Powermatic. All the same sander just different paint and name tags.

I am sure Mr Wirth will never see the email I sent but some underling will and kick it under the carpet. At least this way I have the satisfaction of letting other woodworkers here on LJ and NCWW know of the issues I had.

No I didn’t ask for anything. What I did ask for was help and when that wasn’t forthcoming I voted with my wallet.

One more thing; as a troubleshooter I do have experience. I was Navy trained as an electrician and worked for phone companies for more than 12 years after I was discharged. In the Navy I specialized in electric motors and controllers.

On the flip side, had it gone better I would have been just as eager to post a good comment.

-- David

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5834 posts in 3053 days

#12 posted 12-28-2013 04:47 PM

>“I am sure Mr Wirth will never see the email I sent but some underling will and kick it under the carpet. At least this way I have the satisfaction of letting other woodworkers here on LJ and NCWW know of the issues I had.”

That may be the case; my experience with e-mailing companies is really uneven. Some of them monitor e-mail, and others seem to ignore their e-mails completely. If I’m really trying to make a point, I’ll snail mail a letter…and keep my fingers crossed the USPS delivers it.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4208 days

#13 posted 12-28-2013 04:51 PM

I’ve never bought a machine from Woodworkers Supply
but I’ve dealt with them for years. While they ignored
my email inquiry about getting some parts for a Wirth
Machine (which they probably don’t have), I’ve never
had any problems with them getting my orders right.
Honestly, they have some good stuff I cannot easily
get elsewhere in one place (dyes, shellacs, milk paint)
and the prices are fair.

View a1Jim's profile


117782 posts in 4137 days

#14 posted 12-28-2013 05:12 PM

I’m a little confused ,In your account of what happened it does not seem that woodworker supply was unreasonable in their response to your problem,Ok they did not respond in 5 hours ,that could have been better ,was this during the holiday season ? if so they may have been understaffed. From your account they spent a 1/2 hour helping you how to load,usually when you buy equipment it’s up to you to be prepared to haul what your buying not the store.Stores don’t come home with you and unpack and clean up what you have purchased either. Yes it’s awful when a big heavy piece of equipment doesn’t work properly,but this can happen with any tool you buy from any store and it can be equally frustrating if you don’t think your getting the answers you want ,but you had a problem with the motor so Benny ask you questions about what kind electrical service you have,(many times it’s the nut behind the wheel causing the problem not the equipment) It seems to me that he did try an solve your problem and no other choice but to have you return the sander. They gave you a complete refund and offered a motor a new motor the only course they could take with out having another sander in stock.
I’ve had dealings with Woodworker Supply and Mr. Wirth and they have always provided good products and good service to me.
There are other 20” disc sanders out there, but I would research there customer service before you buy I know of one company that has terrible reviews here on LJs.
I know I have been rather blunt with my opinion on your problem this is not meant to be personal attack just another point of view from the facts you have listed. I hope you find the perfect sander that meets your needs.

View BoardSMITH's profile


124 posts in 2823 days

#15 posted 12-28-2013 08:11 PM

a1Jim – I titled the post as problems at rather than problems with. My point was that I asked for help from their expert and he failed miserably to help at all. I will continue to purchase from them if they have what I need but in the future I will not rely on their expert for any guidance or troubleshooting assistance.

I know of the problems with Laguna from other posts so they aren’t at the top oif the list. Baileigh is the one I will contact Monday.

-- David

View a1Jim's profile


117782 posts in 4137 days

#16 posted 12-28-2013 08:56 PM

I can seen your point about the difference between “with versus at” . You were there and I was not. From the way I was interpreting what had gone on is they were offering help and you didn’t get it. I’ve been on both ends of those types of situations before myself,as the person who didn’t get it and as the person trying to solve the customer service issue.
Best of luck with your next purchase,a 20” disc sanded will be a nice piece of equipment to have.
Happy new year and best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2014.

View KS_Sparky's profile


26 posts in 2183 days

#17 posted 12-28-2013 09:38 PM

You may have lots more experience troubleshooting motors and machinery than the company man (and me put together) that’s not the point. You called him. He doesn’t know that you have experience, in fact over the phone he probably has to assume that the customer can barely tie their shoes. He doesn’t know what diagnostic and testing equipment you have. He doesn’t know what branch circuit you are trying to use, thats why he asked. Can you honestly imagine trying to direct someone to troubleshoot and systematically disassemble, then reassemble, a complicated piece of machinery, over the phone?

I can no longer count on my fingers the number of service calls that were solved by resetting a tripped GFCI or circuit breaker. Customers were asked to check these items over the phone before scheduling a service call, and they swore that was not the issue. After over a decade working for phone companies, I am sure that you have had similar experiences to the multitude I have had in my three short years.

Again, I’m not saying that he handled the situation in the best manner or that you are overreacting. I wasn’t there and cannot make that determination. I’m not excusing how long it took to return your call. I can’t say that he treated you disrespectfully. What I am saying is that it seems a bit unreasonable to expect that the matter be troubleshot over the phone. Sometimes you might be able to, but more than likely not.

Reverse the situation. As a man with your extensive experience, how would you handle the situation over the phone. Sure, you would do things different, but would you really expect to solve the problem. Wouldn’t your first assumption be that the customer was using an improper branch circuit? If the customer says the branch circuit is correct, wouldn’t you think inspecting the equipment first hand would be the most prudent course?

Again, I wasn’t there and am not saying that your angry rant is unjustified. All I’m saying is that you can agree that troubleshooting over the phone is probably not the best idea.

-- apprentice Electrician, IBEW L.U. 226

View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3235 days

#18 posted 12-29-2013 01:45 AM

Stores don’t come home with you and unpack and clean up what you have purchased either.

I ordered a DELL computer on the internet. It had a problem when I set it up so they DID have a computer expert drive 45 miles one way to look at my problem. HE told me before he started that sometimes wires shake off in shipping. He opened the case and there was a wire hanging loose. He connected it and put the case on. Asked if I had any other problems. He was gone. Maybe some of the tool manufacturers should look at this method of taking care of their customers.

One thing you should always do when you write one of these letters is don’t let them think you are never buying from them again. When they decide that they toss your letter in the trash. Let them know you are not happy and ask them what they intend to do to keep you as a customer. In all honesty you really want that machine and you want it to “function as designed”. What can they do to make you happy. Don’t ever tell them you will never buy from them again unless you are leaving for the LAST time.

View BoardSMITH's profile


124 posts in 2823 days

#19 posted 12-30-2013 04:20 PM


Just to be fair, Mr Wirth did respond yesterday and stated the sander would be tested to find out what the problem was and I would be notified. In order to be fair to Mr Wirth and Woodworkers Supply, I will hold off ordering from another source until I hear back from them as to what problems they found and if they will do anything to rectify the situation.

-- David

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2846 days

#20 posted 12-30-2013 04:36 PM

Thank you for the update and please let us know the final outcome.

-- John, BC, Canada

View BoardSMITH's profile


124 posts in 2823 days

#21 posted 01-07-2014 02:48 PM

Final Outcome

So I received an email from Mr Wirth stating I would receive a call about the problems with the sander once they had a chance to inspect it fully. The Operations Manager called and told me they saw the sander spin too quick in forward then trip their breaker and refuse to move in reverse making a loud hum. I was asked if I was still interested and I confirmed I was since I decided to wait on their results before making a move. I said I preferred to buy local and that was still of prime importance.

There was another sander in their store with a broken base so they removed the motor from that sander and installed it on the one I had and reported it ran normally. We made a deal on the price and I agreed to come back down and pick it up. They did make it worth my while for the third trip, 45 minutes there and 45 minutes back.

So I can report that Woodworkers Supply did more than I expected to correct the situation and I will send Mr Wirth another email thanking him for his help and consideration.

-- David

View waho6o9's profile


8799 posts in 3137 days

#22 posted 01-07-2014 02:54 PM

Very good, thanks for the update.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11902 posts in 3988 days

#23 posted 01-07-2014 03:24 PM

I like a story with a happy ending. Glad you got it worked out.

-- Gene '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

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 3035 days

#24 posted 01-07-2014 05:16 PM

I am also glad to hear a happy ending, but I have two questions. Are they ever going to tell you what the problem was? Also, I can not Resist This, did they get eric’s electric theory input themselves?

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2846 days

#25 posted 01-07-2014 06:49 PM

Glad it all worked out for you.

-- John, BC, Canada

View MrRon's profile


5783 posts in 3803 days

#26 posted 01-07-2014 09:23 PM

Could it be it was around Christmas that you bought the sander? I don’t think everyone would be interested in your problems at that time.

View a1Jim's profile


117782 posts in 4137 days

#27 posted 01-07-2014 09:52 PM

Good news Daivid, glad it worked out. Maybe an edit is due in the title of your post,to something like “how woodworker supply turned a bad situation around” ?

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4652 days

#28 posted 01-08-2014 12:35 AM

I’m glad this has worked out for you. I hope one day you can provide a review of the machine.

Woodworkers supply is one of my favorite places. I’ve been a loyal customer of theirs since 1988 when I move to NM.

I’m with Jim, maybe an edit on the title is in order if they made it right. Just my opinion.

-- Nicky

View Woodbum's profile


898 posts in 3625 days

#29 posted 01-08-2014 01:49 PM

David: I can see why you are pissed off. Sometimes the whole attitude of the company feels wrong, and you are tired of messing with it. I have purchased a lot of stuff from these folks in the past 25 or so years and have been pleased with their pricing and service. But it takes just one bad experience from one employee of a company who might be having a bad time with something other than work to sour a business relationship. I hate to see anyone get what they feel is poor service, after they have plunked down their hard earned money, but again, playing the devil’s advocate here, I imagine that they conduct thousands of transactions every day to the satisfaction of everyone involved.

Customer service, or lack thereof is a major hot button with me. I was in the wholesale beverage biz for 33 years and we focused on customer service very intently. Did all of our employees do the same, no, probably not leading to some customer service issues. So you see, I am very intolerant od bad customer service. The absolute worst is when the squid at the drive through window jams your order sack out the window to you and can’t even manage a thank you. That is a training problem and CAN be corrected if the management staff really gave a damn too about your business,

Good luck with your new sander, whichever you buy. I hope Mr. Wirth gets your letter and thinks enough of you as a potential customer to respond. But I wouldn’t hold my breath. Have fun and work safely!

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

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