The Horrible Stories About Laguna Are True

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Review by Rockne posted 10-22-2014 08:11 PM 10387 views 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
The Horrible Stories About Laguna Are True No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I hate to sound like a complainer, so let me start out with something positive: the Minimax MM16 that I picked up when the Laguna purchase fell through is AWESOME. I’m fortunate to have some pretty nice machines, and the MM16 is a wonderful example of how things should be done. The only thing I would change about the mm16 is to give it a rack and pinion table . . . otherwise, color me very impressed. Now for the not-so-good:

I ordered an LT14 SUV bandsaw from Rockler. Rockler’s website did indicate that the item would ship directly from Laguna, so I’m having trouble faulting them in this process, though it would be nice if they held their vendors accountable. Ultimately, my frustaration with Laguna bleeds over to Rockler, so it is in their best interest (in my simple mind, at least). After waiting for the specified seven days and hearing nothing from Rockler (or Laguna), I called Rockler who asked me to call Laguna. They told me that they had had some trouble getting the saws out of customs, but that they would be shipping it the next day. The transit time they specified would span the weekend, but they projected delivery by the following Wednesday. When I didn’t hear from them on Wednesday, I called AGAIN. This time, they said that the stevedore (ship unloader) had dropped the entire shipping container (that purportedly contained 72 saws) and that Laguna was in the process of dealing with the damaged saws (if you’ve ordered a saw in the last month, I would encourage you to VERY closely look at your saw!!!!!). But, they said, they had another shipment arriving that week and there were LT14SUVs in that shipment. Fine. I can’t remember the days specifically, but enough time had passed without hearing from Laguna that I called again (AGAIN!). This time, they said that there had been a fire at the Port of Los Angeles (there was a fire there, but I have no way of knowing whether it affected Laguna . . . but I would grant them the benefit of the doubt if that had been an isolated incident). More than 20 days had passed at this point, and they wouldn’t even give me a projected delivery date at this point, so I decided to cut bait. My thinking was that if they are going to take orders, they ought to have enough supply to fulfill those orders. I fully understand the principles of JIT inventory management, but Laguna isn’t successfully managing their interruptions. But it gets worse . . .

I ordered over $600.00 in accessories from Laguna to accompany the LT14 SUV. When the bandsaw didn’t come through, it obviated the need for a lot of what I ordered, so I sent them back to Laguna (having received their permission first). It occurred to me today that I hadn’t seen a refund from Laguna, so I called Again, Again, Again. The same lady who always answers the phone (and calls you “my dear” so many times it becomes really annoying), was not only difficult to deal with (having to spell out the tracking number VERY Slowly and repeatedly), but was unable to verify that they had received the item. Well, that’s the beauty of UPS tracking, Laguna. They had received it 8 days prior, but as she said, “lost it in the paperwork.” I’d bet anything that had I not called, I would have never seen the refund. What do you think?

So, moral of the story is if you are brave enough to buy from Laguna (which I would not recommend), be sure that you have PLENTY of lead time. And, if you meet both the bravery and lead time requirements (or have recently ordered from them), be sure to very closely inspect your machine because it may have been one that was dropped during unloading and/or been subject to potential fire damage. Finally, don’t order any accessories from Laguna unless and until you actually have possession of the machine, and have satisfied the inspection suggestion above.

View Rockne's profile


48 posts in 3452 days

24 comments so far

View rhett121's profile


15 posts in 2120 days

#1 posted 10-22-2014 11:04 PM

Not to defend Laguna but…

You ordered the saw from Rockler. It is entirely Rockle’rs fault! They should have never asked YOU to call Laguna. Did you know you can call Laguna and order directly from them? So why are you paying a middleman to mark up the price and give you nothing in return? Rockler is the one selling product they do not have in inventory. Rockler is the one who should have given you the refund. Customer service is their job as the retailer. I think your anger is misdirected. I don’t forgive Laguna for the lack of communication but it should have been Rockler doing the calling, not you.

I used to own the LT16HD and it is an AWESOME bandsaw!

View Rockne's profile


48 posts in 3452 days

#2 posted 10-22-2014 11:13 PM

Rhett, I take your point, partially. I should clarify that I’m not angry, as you suggest. I’ve read so many horror stories online that I was just updating/confirming their accuracy. In some ways, I’m happy they screwed up because I’m sure my Minimax is a far superior saw. Why did I order from Rockler? Because they were a lot cheaper than ordering from Laguna. The aforementioned accesories WERE ordered directly from Laguna, just to substantiate, though I suppose I didn’t make that clear in my initial review. I guess shipments coming to the Atlantic (like your HD) are perhaps better than those coming in from the Pacific, like the Asian-manufactured LT14 SUV.

Where I think your point is valid is that with respect to the actual machine that was ordered through Rockler, they should have been the ones running inbetween on my behalf. Next time (should there be one), I’ll keep that in mind.

View descolada's profile


54 posts in 2606 days

#3 posted 10-22-2014 11:51 PM

I’ve had a different experience with Laguna. I recently got the LT18HD and love it, and I have one of their large dust collectors as well.

I bought the bandsaw through Rockler (same reason, it was cheaper than through Laguna) and I must have gotten lucky with the shipment in that it came very quickly.

I ordered the base for the saw from a different 3rd party (woodwerks) and that did take a while. Apparently they were having an issue with the manufacturing of the base causing installation issues. I got a call from woodwerks ~2 days after i made the order saying he had been contacted by laguna and filled in the info. I told him i’d like to take the chance and risk a return, so he forwarded the mail to laguna and they shipped it the same day (they were right: the mounting holes weren’t perfectly aligned, but they were close enough). I’m guessing in your case it was having Rockler as the middleman that was causing the communication issues.

Last year a I had a problem with my dust collector and they thought it was an electric issue in the control panel, but couldn’t be sure exactly what it was when diagnosing it over the phone. So they 2nd day shipped me a replacement for the entire electrical control unit along with detailed replacement instructions. Took about an hour and worked like a charm. This was a heavy unit that, had i needed to buy it myself, would have been $250.

View Ken90712's profile


17888 posts in 3996 days

#4 posted 10-23-2014 09:09 AM

I have talked with the owners of Laguna at the Woodworking Show in Vegas. I mentioned to them that the internet has not been kind to them in the Customer Service Dept. They replied, they replaced the whole dept and were fixing the problem. That was yrs ago, Seems it’s the same, I almost bought one of there table saw but couldnt get past there customer service problems.

Sorry you had trouble.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 3249 days

#5 posted 10-23-2014 11:37 AM

Sorry to hear about your troubles. Seems like they can’t get out of their own way to get what otherwise seems like a top notch product into people’s shops.

Have to also agree with rhett121 though – your beef should have been with Rockler just as much as with Laguna. That’s the whole point of ordering through a retailer – not like you ordered directly with Grizzly or something (not that I expect them to behave like this). Based on my experience, this actually seems kind of par-for-the-course for them. I ordered my SawStop PCS directly from a store; also ordered with it the ICS base, which requires the purchase of a separate “conversion kit.”

When the saw arrived at the store a week later, the conversion kit was missing and basically they told me to just take it up with SawStop. I called SS and while they couldn’t disclose any information to me because I technically wasn’t the buyer, they really went the extra mile for me. In a nutshell, they found out that while the local store placed the order through Rockler corporate, whoever it was in the corporate department never actually placed the order.

Glad I got to see how good SS customer support was, but in both cases, seems to me that after taking the order, Rockler was very content to just have you deal with someone else at that point.

I still love going to my local Rockler, but I’m also very fortunate to live within a stone’s throw of Woodcraft, Peachtree and Highland. As a result of my experience, my large equipment purchases have tended to go elsewhere. Haven’t ordered anything big from Woodcraft, but IMO both Peachtree and Highland took better care of me.

View jakep_82's profile


105 posts in 3114 days

#6 posted 10-23-2014 04:23 PM

This should haven’t been posted in the reviews section in my opinion. When I saw the title and a picture of smoke I thought the saw caught fire and burned your shop down. Then I wasted my time reading your “review” to find out you never even received the saw. It’s fine if you want to complain about Laguna or Rockler, but don’t do it in the form of a review for a product you’ve presumably never used.

View Rockne's profile


48 posts in 3452 days

#7 posted 10-23-2014 04:52 PM

Sorry you feel that way, Jake. I’ll spin it and say there was a review (however cursory it may have been) of the MM16. That should count for something, right? I’ll take this opportunity to point out something, though. Everyone who has commented to the contrary of my experience has mentioned that they have a Laguna HD (of one size or another). I’m left to conclude that purchasers of Laguna’s Italian saws (which, of course the LT14 and the new black and red model are not) receive better treatment (whether purposeful or not) than the purchasers of their “lower end” $1,600 bandsaws.

View MrRon's profile


5925 posts in 4051 days

#8 posted 10-23-2014 08:09 PM

For the obvious reasons, I don’t make large purchases on line. I prefer driving 500 miles and seeing it first hand; then hauling it home. After paying freight and dealing with returns, driving is a better alternative. No one can ever be so busy that they can’t find time to pick up a new toy.

View Fettler's profile


206 posts in 2805 days

#9 posted 10-23-2014 08:17 PM

The HD models are made in italy IIRC. The SUV line and 3000 series are made in .tw. Completely different levels of quality.

-- --Rob, Seattle, WA

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4496 days

#10 posted 10-24-2014 02:43 AM

I have to agree with jakep_82. This is NOT a review of the saw, but rather your poor experiences with both Rockler and Laguna. Rating the saw in your “review” at 1 star when you never even used the thing is just ridiculous and downgrades the saw itself for no logical reason.
There are plenty of other forums here at LJ to post your disappointment with CS on without having the quality of the saw itself suffer in your non-review of it. Buy it, use it, own it for a reasonable length of time and then you might be qualified to post an actual review of the product itself, which is what TOOL reviews are all about.

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

View Bill729's profile


241 posts in 3889 days

#11 posted 10-24-2014 05:42 AM

In my opinion, a buyer’s buying experience definitely may be relevant as part of a review. It just depends. Future buyers may learn to avoid certain distribution channels to improve their experience involving the product. If you were writing a restaurant review, wouldn’t you rate the service along with the taste of the food? This is absolutely no different.

View ellen35's profile


2748 posts in 4240 days

#12 posted 10-24-2014 11:35 AM

Maybe this should be a review of either Rockler’s or Laguna’s customer service. Now that WOULD be helpful to anyone thinking about purchasing through them. Reviewing something you have not used is disingenuous at best.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Rockne's profile


48 posts in 3452 days

#13 posted 10-24-2014 03:52 PM

In order to post a review, one has to select the manufacturer and then a machine. My review covers more than just Laguna’s customer service (or lack thereof). I would think that the container stoppage and/or fire damage would be VERY interesting for purchasers (past and future) to know about.

View Gary Scoville's profile

Gary Scoville

27 posts in 2332 days

#14 posted 10-25-2014 12:13 AM

I personally find it quite comical that people are reviewing the reviewers reviews! I’m just saying.

-- Gary Torrington, CT

View ScottStewart's profile


120 posts in 2940 days

#15 posted 10-25-2014 12:13 AM

Negative reviews are just as important as positive ones. Failure to deliver a sold product in a a reasonable time frame is just as bad if not worse than a problem with initial quality defects.

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