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Forum topic by live4ever posted 04-18-2010 03:32 AM 4400 views 1 time favorited 116 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3403 days

04-18-2010 03:32 AM

I had a weird interaction at the local Woodcraft and it has been sort of bugging me. So I thought I would post it and see if maybe I was being hypersensitive.

First off, I’m not your usual woodworker. I’m not white, not tall or burly, fairly young, don’t wear plaid (lol) and the list goes on. So I tend not to really fit in when I go the local woodworking store or lumberyard.

Today I was inquiring about purchasing a Sawstop PCS. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Hi…I was hoping to place an order for a Sawstop PCS. Is it possible to have it shipped or delivered?
Guy: (gruffly) Well, where are you located?
Me: San Francisco
Guy: Probably like $40.
Me: Oh, that’s not bad. Do you have any in stock?
Guy: Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. When they’re in stock they go pretty fast.
Me: The promo runs ‘til the end of April, right?
Guy: What promo?
Me: The free blade promo Sawstop is running.
Guy: Why would you want a Sawstop blade – they’re not any good anyways. If I was getting a Sawstop I’d get a nice high-quality blade like a Forrest or Tenryu. (shaking head, muttering to himself, walks away)
Me: Uh….ok….

He was clearly done with me. Then he started helping someone else.

I’m not sure what I did to deserve the attitude this guy gave me. It’s a fairly common experience for me at these types of stores, too. Is it just because I don’t fit in? Am I forgetting the secret handshake? I must have done something to really piss the guy off. My wife was with me and now strongly feels like I shouldn’t get my SS from there. Funny thing was, I was ready to place an order today. Oh well.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

116 replies so far

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3684 days

#1 posted 04-18-2010 03:52 AM

Wow. Definitely go back, or call, and talk to the owner. Every specialty store has one of those guys (gun stores, for example, are notorious for this). They act that way because they get away with it. Don’t let him. Make sure the owner knows who it was, and how he acted. Don’t accept any, “Oh, well, that’s just Fred.” Ask the owner why you should buy from him after the way you were treated; ask him what he’s going to do to get you back. And, maybe show him this thread.

-- "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 JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3684 days

#2 posted 04-18-2010 03:57 AM

No difference. Be more of an asshole than he was. Assholes respect that.

-- "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 juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 4158 days

#3 posted 04-18-2010 04:00 AM

I doubt that was the owner…....... and if it was, he only owns the rights to the name. There’s always a “higher-up” to go to. I’d make a hell of a lot of noise over this. No reason for anyone to be like that.

View Wood_smith's profile


261 posts in 3418 days

#4 posted 04-18-2010 04:29 AM

See, it’s the plaid, that’s the problem… just kidding. I think you should call the store and get the owner’s name (hopefully, tom1, that wasn’t the owner who waited on live4ever). Then, I’d write the store a letter, and maybe cc it to your lawyer. Make sure the cc at the bottom of the letter shows the firm’s name (e.g., Mr. John Doe Doe, Smith and Assoc.).

Ask the owner what he is going to do to ensure you return as a wanted customer.

If you get no reply, you could always mention the store’s name to all your friends….

-- Lloyd Kerry; creator of the Kerry-All Pouch,

View CoolDavion's profile


458 posts in 4217 days

#5 posted 04-18-2010 04:52 AM

It is your money, if you are going to make that kind of investment, you might as well feel comfortable with where you are going to spend it.

I would try talking to the oner also.
If that fails

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

View cstrang's profile


1832 posts in 3561 days

#6 posted 04-18-2010 05:31 AM

I would defiantly contact the owner of this store. Did you happen to get the guys name? I work in a lumber/hardware store myself and I can say that unfortunately, people like you had your encounter with flow in and out of our staff as well, we would just like to see more of them flowing out than in. This can only be done if these people are brought to the attention of management. JJohnston mentioned to be more of an asshole than he was… Unfortunately, I have to admit that this tactic works most of the time. But before you go in, plan your attack, be very respectful to the owner and convey that your business can be brought elsewhere very easily, even if that means spending slightly more money at a competitor. The kind of customer service (or lack thereof) that you received is unacceptable. You may even get a better price on the saw. Basically try your best not to stoop to that salesmen’s level. On a personal note, if somebody comes into my store with a respectful attitude I will do everything in my power to make sure they have an enjoyable visit; I even see what I can do as far as prices go… though I do not personally have the power to do much in that category. In a nut shell, it’s the old “do on to others…” even if the salesmen was treating you improperly, it doesn’t mean it’s ok for you to treat others this way, even if that may return faster results. I am a firm believer that if you treat others with respect, they will do everything in their power to treat you with that same respect (most people that its) Best of luck and let us know what you do in the end of it all.

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3864 days

#7 posted 04-18-2010 05:35 AM

You could always buy your SS some place you do fit in. Fitting in sometimes takes effort on the fitters part.

View japanesewoodworker's profile


75 posts in 3445 days

#8 posted 04-18-2010 05:58 AM

I am “like” you…..I am not White, and I don’t wear plaid, ...YES I live in San Francisco too.

I can guess which Woodcraft Store you are talking about. This guy even said to me that my “ENGLISH” was pretty good for an “Oriental” . I responded, Orientals are only for RUGS.

I am also in the market for a Saw Stop PCS. I am NOT buying at Woodcraft.

BTW- I am Third Generation Japanese-American. My English should be good it came from the UNIVERSITY of CALIFORNIA !

View RobWoodCutter's profile


116 posts in 3623 days

#9 posted 04-18-2010 06:26 AM

Live4ever I can see where you would get frustrated, but I looked at your conversations and put myself in your shoes. If I had gone over to my local Woodcraft with the actual intent of buying/order a tool, I think my conversation would have been more like:

Me: Hi…I have been looking at the Sawstop PCS and ””I am ready to buy one today.”” Do you have one in stock?
Guy: Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. When they’re in stock they go pretty fast?
Me: Could check your stock now, and if you don’t have one here at the store, how soon can you get one?
(If they had one in stock, I would have then asked about delivery. If they didn’t I would have asked how long it would take for them to get one in or if they could have it dropped shipped directly from the manufacturer.)
And if the guy just walked away, I would have just went and got another salesperson and then I would have made a comment to the second salesperson about the first salesperson, blowing me off and walking away.

When he told you “sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t”, If you had followed up with “could you check if you have one in stock, I am ready to buy one”, I believe his reaction may have been more positive. But you moved on to “promo” blade issue.

Also when he said:
Guy: Why would you want a Sawstop blade – they’re not any good anyways. If I was getting a Sawstop I’d get a nice high-quality blade like a Forrest or Tenryu. (shaking head, muttering to himself, walks away)
Me: Yes it probably is a crappy blade, but it will do for now, beside I am sure Amazon has them for cheaper than you guys sale them for. (Even though he is right, I never use the blades that come with any of my tools. I picked up several Forrest blades when I got my PM2000. )

I guess I would have been a little more agressive in letting him know, I have cash and I am ready to buy it. I am not the type to spend an hour driving somewhere to buy something and get put off by one lousy salesperson.

I would presume that they see hundreds of folks coming in day in and day out asking about the SS and most folks that ask about them at the store never buys them on the spot. Whenever I go over to my local WC, there are always folks hanging out around the big power tools, but it is rare for someone to come in a buy one.

Maybe the guy was just burned out about folks spending a half hour yanking his ear about the big tools, when he would actually get very few sales of them. So he may have figured you were just the same.
I would go back over and find the store owner and let him know you are ready to buy one. While he is ringing up the sale, I would make mention that you almost took your business else. And when he asks why, TELL HIM!


-- Rob-Yorktown "Shop's still not done, Tools are bought, Wood is bought, need to find time to start a project.."

View Russ's profile


357 posts in 3470 days

#10 posted 04-18-2010 06:41 AM

Live4ever as suggested I woulld go to the owner. If the crappy attitude continues I would notify Woodcraft corporate as I understand these storea are franchises. They don’t need this kind of service issues tarnishing their image. Also you can vole with you’re feet and buy elsewhere.

-- Russ

View FordMike's profile


155 posts in 3864 days

#11 posted 04-18-2010 07:42 AM

I am white , wear plaid (when it’s cold), 6’ tall and extremely burly (290lbs) and live in the Bay Area. I have been in forestry/ construction my entire adult life, and I know there are only 3 Woodcraft stores in the Bay Area, Dublin, San Carlos and Santa Rosa. I’ve done lots of business with both San Carlos and Santa Rosa, and my best friend is a regular at the Dublin store. Sounds like you found someone having a bad day thats it. There is no great conspiracy against non-whites,or non-burly sensitive types bringing there wifes to the store, you just found someone having a bad day, go to any Walmart-K-mart,Home Depot, or any other store and you are just as likely to get the same treatment. Drive twenty minutes to another Woodcraft and try again and if you get the same treatment then your probably right, there’s something about you that pisses people off.

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3495 days

#12 posted 04-18-2010 08:42 AM

Ya, like FordMike said. Blow your nose, walk in like you got a pair and tell em what your interested in. If you don’t got a pair, then act like you do.

-- mike...............

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4267 days

#13 posted 04-18-2010 09:53 AM

Well, it sounds like I’m your stereotype of a woodworker … or close to it … and this happens to me, too.

Specialty stores always seem to have at least one guy … he’s a grumpy, opinionated coot who manages to insult almost everybody, but he’s forgotten more about the specialty than most of us will ever know, which makes him indespenible – well, the stuff he hasn’t forgotten makes him indespensible!

My Woodcraft has a guy like that, and somehow he is almost always is the guy who helps me. I tell him what I want, and instead of showing me where it is, he asks, “why?” ... he mumbles … he points across the store to the general area where I might find an item … he walks away the instant he finishes a sentence so I can’t ask a follow-up question … but if you can manage to pry some information out of him, it’s usually worth it.

So … all that to say that I wouldn’t take it personally. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t contact the store owner – the owner would want to know that they missed a sale because of the treatment you received. And if this person was the owner, you should tell him that he missed the sale because of his behavior. Maybe he’ll treat the next guy a little better.

One more thought: I don’t think you should have to wave cash around to get decent treatment. If that is the the customer service philosophy of a business, I’d take my cash somewhere else.

-- -- --

View studie's profile


618 posts in 3540 days

#14 posted 04-18-2010 11:40 AM

When on a job close to a WC store I bought stuff weekly. They were all friendly but once I bought about $100 of router bits & other stuff and when I got home I saw a $600 bill that was on my debt card. The next day I went to cheerfully ask them to explain the bill. They said that I bought a $500 mini lathe. When I said I didn’t & also don’t even want one, the salesman that I dealt with said we will have to look into this. He could not figure out why it happened or that their inventory list showed the lathe was even in or out of the store. It was an error from a previous customers price check on that item that was not deleted just prior to my purchase & was some how added to my bill. Hey great then just credit my card & it’s all good. The guy then told me that they had all rights to charge me for it anyway and it was the good grace of the company that they would refund MY MONEY. I reminded him that I’m a hard working carpenter not a sales jerk I mean clerk and before he could call for MaMa i will slam his head into the cash register for treating a loyal customer in a undignified way as this when it was their fault & I had to take the time to go there to make it right. I jerked my arms & he went running to get the manager. I always treat everyone with respect, even when a simple mistake is made. Don’t care about race or anything like that. But when someone is disrespect-able when they should be helpful, that makes me MAD.

-- $tudie

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4167 days

#15 posted 04-18-2010 12:25 PM

I agree with your wife, buy it some where else. Then go back to the store and tell the boss what had happened. Tell him you just wanted to let him know that you have been giving him a lot of free advertising. None of it good! You could also give him a picture of your new saw and write on it LOST SALE! Give him the lumberjock site so he can see what we think of service like this. You should not have to put up with crappy service and disrespect like this! I also would contact the Woodcrafts corporate office.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

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