Osborne Manufacturing - Worst Customer Service Ever!

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Forum topic by JoeMags posted 07-12-2009 04:54 AM 3210 views 0 times favorited 36 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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46 posts in 4213 days

07-12-2009 04:54 AM

I’m sorry for the long post but I just have to share this. I wanted to pass along a horrible customer service experience I had yesterday with Osborne Manufacturing. I ordered their EB-3 miter gauge directly from their Website about a week ago. While I was unpacking it and going through the instructions, I noticed the aluminum fence had some damage at one of the front corners. A nice flat spot with the resultant burr overhanging the front of the fence. It had obviously been dropped and landed right on that corner. I put it all right back in the box and called Osborne. They asked me if they could send just a replacement fence and I would return just that part. My instinct was to ask for a replacement of the entire unit but I agreed to just the fence with the caveat that I had not assembled the unit or inspected any other parts and didn’t know if there were any other problems. His response was, “well, let me send you the fence and we’ll go from there.” So far no big deal, things happen. But it gets worse, much worse. I received the replacement fence and the first thing I notice is that it is filthy. I begin to inspect it and wouldn’t you know that this fence has damage to the same corner as the one I received. Not nearly as bad mind you, but it’s there. This was minor enough that a few minutes with a fine file or emery cloth would take care of it. Now I start to remove the fence from my unit to replace it and I notice that the the new fence has two small rubber O-rings that are part of the mounting system. My unit does not have them. It’s at this point that I start to get one of those “really bad feelings”. I then notice that some sort of decal on the miter bar has been removed from my unit. All the glue from the decal is there but no decal. The next thing I see is the vinyl decal on the top of the unit that says Osborne manufacturing has a gouge in it about the size of my pinky nail. It’s painfully obvious at this point that I have someone else’s returned unit. I box it all back up and send it back to Osborne. I call them in a few days and this is where it goes from bad to laughable. The guy starts berating me telling me I’m being unreasonable. He says things to me like “Are you sure it was like that when you received it?” and “well, it’s my word against your’s then isn’t it?” He proceeds to tell me how he should have referred me to the manufacturer. This was odd. Isn’t Osborne “Manufacturing” the manufacturer? Aparently not… At this point I had enough, so I asked for a brand new factory fresh unit or a refund or I would have my credit card company reverse the charge. Before anything is resolved he tells me to “go buy someone else’s miter gauge” and hangs up the phone. Needless to say I did file a claim and after being contacted by PayPal they agreed to refunded my money. I am just dumbfounded by this experience. This is the type of customer service I would expect from some company running a late night infomercial for a haircutting vacuum attachment or something. Anyway, they say when one door closes another one opens. This morning I found the top of the line Incra 1000HD on sale at for $149.00! Yeah, even on sale it’s forty bucks more than the Osborne but it seems like an awesome unit and is very well reviewed. I feel very sorry for the next unlucky sole that will receive this same unit from Osborne. Sorry for the long post. I just had to share this.

36 replies so far

View Karson's profile


35227 posts in 5282 days

#1 posted 07-12-2009 04:59 AM

Thanks for the post.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View patron's profile


13710 posts in 4223 days

#2 posted 07-12-2009 05:05 AM

i must have gotten mine before you got yours off the bottom of the barrel !
there was 1 o ring on the floor after i had it toghether , and no referance in the assembly instructions .
so i put it in a drawer , maybe ill figure it out someday .
i take everything with a grain of salt these days ,
i buy what i can afford , and do the best i can with it .
things just aren’t the same as the ” good old days “

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View a1Jim's profile


118142 posts in 4459 days

#3 posted 07-12-2009 05:26 AM

I’ve had a Osborne for a number of years in it works great. I have not dealt with the company before and it sounds like You’ve had a real bad experience.


View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4704 days

#4 posted 07-12-2009 01:07 PM

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View knotscott's profile


8386 posts in 4257 days

#5 posted 07-12-2009 01:54 PM

David Osborne is a member here. He recently offered free shipping on a miter gauge to a disable police officer from the Netherlands.

I’d bet he’d be very interested in learning who you dealt with and correcting any issues. He was wonderful to deal with IME, but any company’s reputation is only as good as the weakest link, and sometimes people have bad days. Give David a heads up…I’ll bet he’d appreciate it.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Miterguy's profile


7 posts in 4399 days

#6 posted 07-12-2009 04:43 PM

Thanks for the heads up. In 99% of customer issues, we do all we can to satisfy our customers. I think we have demonstrated that. It is not to our advantage to make people angry. We appreciate the fact that they chose our guide over the dozens of others available. There are, as we all know two sides to every story. I don’t think anyone believes that we just arbitrarily tried to fight with Joe for no reason. One post like this can erase years of exceptional customer service.
I also don’t think it is appropriate for me to go tit for tat on his description of the incident, we will take the hit, but do think I should offer a little insight.
In fairness, much of the factual data Joe stated are true and correct. Much more was left out. Yes I saw where the angle chart sticker had been mistakenly applied to the bottom of the guide bar and removed, yes he was told to buy a guide from someone else, and yes, as the conversation escalated to a shouting match he was hung up on. Not something we are proud of, and I offer my apologies for that, but once in awhile you can be pushed to the limit by unreasonable demands from exceptionally “meticulous” individuals. Based on Joe’s complaint about the replacement fence being damaged, which two of us looked at carefully and saw no damage at all it was clear that we would not be able to satisfy him. The exchange was adversarial and heated and it was clear that he would probably not be happy with anything we sent him. I know we will be criticized for it, but regrettably he is not a customer we can satisfy. The incra is a fine guide and I hope it serves him well.

-- David Osborne,

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1919 posts in 4554 days

#7 posted 07-12-2009 04:55 PM

WOW, that’s unbelievable! I bought mine a few years ago, and to my amazement, it was spot on perfect when it arrived! The only thing I had to do was put the fence, and the sandpaper on. When my g/f accidentally threw away the remainder of the sandpaper, I called Osborne, and they sent me another one free!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View cabinetmaster's profile


10873 posts in 4440 days

#8 posted 07-12-2009 05:28 PM

Thanks for the explanation David. Sounds like quite a bit was left out.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2824 posts in 4472 days

#9 posted 07-12-2009 05:52 PM

quite a bit is always left out. I’m surprised at how some of these companies stay straight faced when a customer goes gung ho. I’m also surprised at how it ends up on LJ’s, gets supported until the truth is told, and then flips when the supplier defends himself.
I actually appreciate Davids response to this. He was honest and feels the same as I do. You can’t satisfy everyone. Sending them to the competition just gives the problem to someone else. In this situation the problem isn’t the product, it’s the client. If the supplier is willing to work with you to rectify the situation, stay calm until you’re happy. Getting loud and in their face doesn’t help. And trying to deface their company here doesn’t help either.
Are we going to see a compaint post on a new incra guage…hhmmm….we’ll see

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4903 days

#10 posted 07-12-2009 06:25 PM

David: ” I know we will be criticized for it, but regrettably he is not a customer we can satisfy”

What a lot of consumers don’t know is that there are a number of horrible customers out there .

They find fault with anything and everything. They are aggressive, rude and many times dishonest.
They are complete strangers to the truth and when they don’t get their “justice” they come to forums and present one sided descriptions of how they were treated.

There are very honest people who do not think that they have had a bargain unless they have cheated a merchant.
In a just world retailers should keep a “sh-t list and ban the buggers from purchasing ever!

The other 99% of you are welcome in most establishments and the aim is to please you and in turn receive your support.

My remarks are not directed at anyone here but intended to speak to a constant and ever growing problem.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View knotscott's profile


8386 posts in 4257 days

#11 posted 07-12-2009 06:37 PM

Nice to hear both sides David. You’ve been more than fair with me in the past, and I had no doubt there was more to this story than we knew. Your candid response is much appreciated, and I respect you for posting it.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View CharlieM1958's profile


16289 posts in 5100 days

#12 posted 07-12-2009 06:45 PM

Nothing against the original poster at all, but I never take individual horror stories like this too seriously. Even if the company did screw one up royally, those things are bound to happen on occasion. I look for a pattern.

Joe, I appreciate you sharing your experience, because if I hear similar stories from several other customers, I’ll know to avoid this company.

And David, I appreciate you stepping forward and taking your lumps for things that could have been handled better.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 4208 days

#13 posted 07-12-2009 09:43 PM

No offense to ANYONE…ecspecially the original poster…I have been shopping around for a new miter gage for my new Grizzly for awhile…and had it narrowed down between the Osborn and the incra…basicly I was just waiting on one or the other to go on sale…and buy that one.

I know there will ALWAYS be bad experiences out there on both sides….customers who receive bad service…and company’s who have customers that expect the moon and throw a fit when they do not get it.

But if anything, David Osborne’s reply has convinced me to buy a Osborn miter gage (When I find one on sale lol)...his prompt reply shows to me anyways, that he cares about his company’s reputation and tries to please his customers. I am not taking sides and not saying Joe lied nor that David did or is. But the fact that David did not slam Joe or call him a lier says volumes in my book. All he said was “There is more to the story and two sides to every story”...then proceeded to say he “The incra is a fine guide and I hope it serves him well.”

Again NO offense to Joe…..but of the several dozen reviews I have read about the Osborn ….ALL have given it glowing reports…This is the first negative one I have seen. And as I said…after seeing Davids response….I am pretty sure I will try his miter gage.

-- Don S.E. OK

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 4367 days

#14 posted 07-12-2009 10:11 PM

Hi Bob:

If you want the Osborne miter, it is now on sale for $110 verses $165 with FREE SHIPPING and I would suspect no taxes (depending on your location). This is as good as it gets for anyone looking for a first rate miter gauge at a rock bottom price. At this price, I’m so tempted to buy one for my router table.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4903 days

#15 posted 07-12-2009 10:20 PM

David roberts:
I have one and did a revue of it a few weeks ago. I just made a jig for it so I could back it up on the tablesaw far enough to do 18” cuts without binding on the table edge on the forward movement.
I should post a picture of it I gues.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

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