My Nightmare with Laguan Tools

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Review by Caleb James posted 05-19-2010 05:13 PM 11320 views 0 times favorited 38 comments Add to Favorites Watch
My Nightmare with Laguan Tools No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I recently purchased a 16” jointer planer combo and 18” 3000 Series Bandsaw from Laguna Tools. It has turned into my worst nightmare. I have spent $6,245.83 on this order. It arrived damaged and I properly noted it on the freight bill. I contacted laguna about the most obvious damage to the band saw. The upper flywheel had come apart in shipping. I rebuilt it and it seems to work fine now.

My nightmare starts really with the jointer. In short this machine should edge join using the fence, face join, and plane. All three functions have defects due to either freight damage of very poor quality control issues. The exception seems to be the fence. It seems to be a straight quality control problem. The way it is packaged couldn’t, in my opinion, have caused damage from shipping. It has a buckle/twist in the center throwing out the fence 3/32 of an inch. I have pictures and have sent them to laguna. Second the jointer tables are out. I spent about 3 hours trying to adjust the out feed table to be level with the cutter head. I is close but doesn’t have enough adjustment in it to make it right. I didn’t bother going on to the in feed table yet. I decided to check the planer for parallel. It cuts heaver on the left side by an 1/8” of an inch! Totally out.

Here is my complant. I feel there customer service has performed very poorly. One person seemed to show concern and actually called me back yet he had no power to make any decisions, in fact everyone so far even the “manager” has to talk to the own to authorize a return for a damaged item. What? Really? This is simple. The item arrived in an unacceptable condition. Either the unit is out from damage or poor quality control. I don’t care but it is not my problem. Yet it is. I am also not going to start drilling out pins as I was told to give more adjustment room for the out feed table. They seem to expect me to do all this work for free. I want to know from others if you think this is right. They have so far refused to take the machine back and give a refund. Which is what I have demanded and I still do. I was threatened or reminded more than once that I would have to return the damaged/defective machine at my freight cost ($400?) plus take a 25% ($1561.45) restocking fee??! That doesn’t sound like standing behind your product to me. I did get and offer finally, after me calling them over and over, of a swop out. They send me a new one and I return the old one. If I don’t accept then too bad for me I guess.

I am now waiting to hear back from them to talk to the owners to see if they will do the right thing. They where already supposed to talk to them and get back to me which didn’t happen. I am totally frustrated. I don’t want to bash Laguna I just want them to do the right thing and accept that they have not satisfied this customer and should just take this return.

Laguna Tools: 1-800-234-1976. Call to comment if you think they should hear feedback from the community. Leave your feedback for me at my blog.


View Caleb James's profile

Caleb James

149 posts in 4173 days

38 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118258 posts in 4820 days

#1 posted 05-19-2010 05:48 PM

unfortunately there are dozens more unsatisfied customers on Ljs including myself


View KellyS's profile


78 posts in 4476 days

#2 posted 05-19-2010 06:33 PM

I’m not a brain about these things, but could you possibly talk to your credit card company about refusing the payment? I think you can sometimes do that and refuse to pay and then they have to deal with Visa or Mastercard. Visa and Mastercard could be the 800 pound gorilla you need to make things happen. It might be worth looking into. What about the Better Business Bureau? I’ve heard that sometimes helps too, although I’ve never really done that myself. I hate to hear about your bad luck. I’ll keep the Laguna Name in mind as a product to avoid.

-- He who dies with the most tools wins!.....Just wait, I'm going to win!..ERR my wife will at least.

View b2rtch's profile


4921 posts in 4292 days

#3 posted 05-19-2010 06:58 PM

I have been a lot of bad stuff on LJ about Laguna tools lately.
It would much cheaper for them to give you satisfaction than to receive all the bad advertisement.
Someone over there is not thinking straight and should be replaced.

-- Bert

View FatScratch's profile


189 posts in 4546 days

#4 posted 05-19-2010 07:00 PM

Sorry to hear about your disappointing experience. I don’t understand one thing – if the manufacturer has offered to finally replace the products, then what is the problem? Are they trying to charge you something for a replacement? If I misunderstood and they are not following through or trying to charge you additional fees, then I would do a few things:

1) Start documenting every interaction you have with this company – specific dates and times you called, who you talked to, etc. Always get names or employee numbers.
2) Don’t do anything to alter the machines, unless it is from written instructions sent by the manufacturer (see documentation above)
3) Get a copy, if you don’t have already, of the freight bill where you noted the damage.
4) Start communicating in writing, preferably a well written complaint letter, sent certified mail, to the company’s President/CEO of US operations (take the issue directly to the top where the decision can be made) addressing the specific problems with the machines, what you have done to try and remedy the situation (calls to customer service, etc.), and the specific problems you have encountered with their customer service (freight charges, restocking fees, etc.). Make sure you also highlight any safety issues which are present as a result of damage/manufacturer’s defects.
5) You could attempt to dispute the charge, if you paid by credit card (this can get a bit tricky, but could be worth pursuing)
6) If the manufacturer continues their course of dealing over the next couple of weeks/months and you have documented everything as I mentioned above, then contact your State Attorney General’s office ( ). There are a lot of consumer protection laws that exist, you just have to be willing to do some homework.

You have spent a significant amount of money on products which are damaged and/or defective, at no fault of your own. You need to pursue this problem as a legal matter if you want true restitution. Do not settle for restocking fees or paying shipping charges if these damages are not your fault. Well written communication is better than phone conversations, and try not to get combative with the manufacturer. If necessary, consult an attorney – you spent $6,200 on defective/damaged equipment, you may need to spend some money to get this problem fixed; I would just make certain not to pay any more money to the manufacturer.

View b2rtch's profile


4921 posts in 4292 days

#5 posted 05-19-2010 07:38 PM

In addition to what Kellys writes, when using Amex there is a customer protection plan for thing like this one.
Did you use an Amex credit card?

-- Bert

View Caleb James's profile

Caleb James

149 posts in 4173 days

#6 posted 05-19-2010 08:06 PM

I appreciate everyones responses. I am definately not soliciting lj’s to call and harass laguna. I started this blog as a way to express my frustation to other woodworks that might be able to relate to my problem. I hope this will be a positive blog where laguna takes care of a disatisfied customer.

By the way I was offered a replacement but I waited on this machine for 3 months. It was supposed to only take three weeks. I just sold my other jointer and planer and am not willing to wait all summer to get a replacement. I am still waiting to even here if they have one in stock. Just wait for a call back again. This is my frustration.


View Dusty56's profile


11866 posts in 4931 days

#7 posted 05-19-2010 09:41 PM

After all of the negative reports regarding Laguna Tools and their lack of customer service skills , why is anybody still giving them their hard earned money ?
If I read this correctly , You bought 3 machines and they are all defective ?? (1 bandsaw and 1 combo unit)
Did they reimburse you for your time spent to rebuild the bandsaw ?

Bottom line is still , Buyer Beware ! Do some research before laying out your cash….

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View nuttree's profile


280 posts in 4567 days

#8 posted 05-20-2010 12:11 AM

Unbelievable, I am in the market for a new band saw and will not buy a Laguna for this reason. This deal has just cost them at least a grand from me alone. I own my own business and that means I take responsibility for the actions of my business. Ownership is more than just cutting checks and investing profits. It is the requirement to take responsibility, or ownership, at every level of the firm. It is very unfortunate that, as Clark Howard puts it “Customer N0-Service” is so prevalent in todays larger corporations. I hope you receive a positive resolution, but for me, I’m out on Laguna tools and so is my buddy.

-- I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. -John Muir

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 4513 days

#9 posted 05-20-2010 12:20 AM

Please folks, read the reviews here and on other blogs about Laguna. There has been uncountable customer service nightmares detailed from customers of this company. They do not honor their commitments, their tools are crap, and customer service is and has been a complete travesty.

I would demand that they take the equipment back and refund your money. They are not entitled to a restock fee when the equipment is received in such disorder. To ask you to perform repairs/alterations to the machine is totally rediculous and would be a way to dissavow your warrantee.

How did you purchase the equipment? If you used a credit card you have recourse with the card company to dispute the charge and to get your money…if you paid by check…and it has cashed, you will be stuck dealing with them…if it hadn’t cashed…stop payment immediately.

I would definitely recommend you do as was mentioned above and keep detailed notes of your contacts with them, their promises and the results/lack of results from this, the monies you are out of pocket for (keep all receipts and mark what they relate too). If you must obtain legal assistance to get your money back, these items will enable you to receive compensation for your troubles – and can demonstrate to a judge or jury that these folks were not only negligent…but were willfully so (it could enable you to receive some punitive damages).

All in all folks….LAGUNA is a NO BUY—- anyone that purchases from them is doing so at great risk!

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 4971 days

#10 posted 05-20-2010 12:50 AM

when i go to the reviews page, there is only one bad review (not counting this one). I do get the overall impression that CS is lacking at this company from time to time, but if you read the other negative review, it certainly sounds as if thing might have gotten blown out of proportion. No one else on here has posted their own negative experiences. they are just posting hearsay.

View Sean's profile


156 posts in 4859 days

#11 posted 05-20-2010 01:04 AM

Hokie, i havent read more than this as a bad review, but i have talked to several people who havent bothered to write up their bad experience. From my research when i was looking to buy a bandsaw, they are not a quality company in my opinion. Ask a-1jim up at the top, he’s a customer who didnt write up a review, but has nothing good to say about laguna.

-- "Democracy is by far the worst system of government. Except all the others that have been tried." ~ Winston Churchill

View Caleb James's profile

Caleb James

149 posts in 4173 days

#12 posted 05-20-2010 01:45 AM

I just spoke to Ron at Laguna. (I hope he doesn’t mind me mentioning his name) He did offer to return the machine at there cost and give me a full refund. I was told that tomorrow I will have the info about when a freight carrier will be here to pick it up. I think they are really trying to work with me now. I do believe they will do what they said and I hope the customer service “hick up” I experienced was just that. I will update this to let everyone know how they are doing. I think if it is as Ron said then I will be a satisfied customer.


View PCM's profile


135 posts in 4288 days

#13 posted 05-20-2010 02:42 AM

If you paid by credit card contact the credit card company. If laguana is not standing behind their product the credit card company may be able to assis you.

View Chelios's profile


568 posts in 4309 days

#14 posted 05-20-2010 04:28 AM

Like I have said before…I am still in the market for a nice bandsaw and WAS considering Laguna. From all of your bad experiences I have been convinced not to look at that brand any longer. What brand do you guys really like for quality and customer service that is responsive?

I am glad it worked out in the end for you.

#15 posted 05-20-2010 08:58 AM

chelios look at the grizzly brand i have a shop full of them and i have never had a problem with them yet.i have had a griz table saw that is about twenty yeard old i bought used and had grizzly rebuild for me thay paid for the freight both ways when they did the work and only charged me 200 dollars well worth it so i bought my large cabinet saw from them.when the cabinet saw showed up before i asemebeled it the first thing i did was pkug it in to run the moter and found it wouldnt start i called them right away and they sent out a tech from bellingham to my shop the next day.a 5 hour drive i might add .he fixed the problem in about ten minutes and helped me set the saw up for no took me out to lunch on the company card.its that kind of customer service that has made me a true blue or should i say green grizzly customer.they have a large selection of band saws you should give them a try

-- i wonder if obama stood in a wind storm with them big ears of his would he start spinning like a drill bit

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