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View Full Version : A tale of two companies - How not to do business



Richard Dooling
04-03-2009, 10:23 AM
Not really sure which forum to post this in so decided that this would be as good a place as any to post a rant.

When my dad passed I inherited a pretty expensive Leatherman Wave multi-tool. I know he never used it much as the blades were still very, very sharp and it looked fresh. When I got it I noticed that the body halves did not meet properly when folded. Leatherman honored the warrenty but I had to pay shipping to them and it took a good bit of time before I got it back. That was OK Ė no big deal.

Well it came back in worse shape than it was before they serviced it with the saw blade recessed so deep in the body that I have to use something flat to pry it out. The capper was that the body halves still donít line up and the action seems loose Ė like someone clamped it in a vise and tried to strong arm it into shape.

I was pretty disappointed and wrote back to let them know they have a QA problem. Not interested in going through the return rigmarole again Ė just letting them know. So I get an e-mail saying they are willing to send a return postage envelope if I want to return it again. Thatís OK but short of the mark in my eyes.

I received a Veritas dovetail saw as a gift in mid March. E-gads, the handle didnít look like it was properly aligned and it was difficult to remove. I called Lee Valley and spoke to a woman who, while familiar with the saw, wanted to be sure we were on the same page so she WENT AND GOT ONE to look at while we discussed the issue. I said that I imagined the saw body was OK so maybe I just needed a replacement handle. She wasnít too comfortable with that and couldnít fine a separate part number for just the handle.

So the upshot is that Lee Valley sent me a replacement saw with instructions to pack the old one in that box and ship it back using the paid shipping label they provided.

Now thatís how itís done!

Michael Poller
04-03-2009, 10:31 AM
Very sorry to hear about your father passing. My condolences.

That experience with Leatherman is not what I believe is the norm, or it at least wasn't last year when I had to use my warranty. (no affiliation with Leatherman other than being a satisfied customer)

I too own a Leatherman Wave and take it everywhere as it has gotten me out of quite a few jams when I was away from home and without tools.

Mine had the tip of one half of the pliers break off due to heavy use.

I had it shipped out and a new one returned in perfect condition (couldn't even tell if it was my old one cleaned up and fixed or a new one) within a week and a half.

I had such good service it prompted me to get one for a friend as a birthday gift (so he wouldn't borrow mine so much! :) ) and a second for myself. I now keep one at all times in my car and one is always in the house or with me traveling.

Ben Franz
04-03-2009, 10:59 PM
I also had a good Lee Valley experience this week - cust. service rep. (also a woman) went to warehouse to get item in question and called back in 15 minutes with the answers. Kudos to a well run business.

Karl Brogger
04-03-2009, 11:55 PM
Wow, I've warranteed 3 leathermans. They've never fixed a one. I always recieved a new one as a replacement. But then again, I've always sent them back with more broken stuff than not. The Wave is kick ass, especially after years of pinching my hands when really bearing down on something with the original leatherman.

I'd take them up on their attempt to make things right.

Josh Davis
04-04-2009, 6:59 PM
I always carry a Gerber Suspension. I abuse them pretty badly. Broken the pliers on one job where I was prepping non ferrous metals. I was prying on a piece of metal, trying to decide if it was stainless, or aluminum, and broke the pliers. Shipped it back to Gerber, in no time flat a new one was back to me. I have broke a few blades too, same service. I own two, and every time im at the store, i eye up buying another one. Pretty hand thing to carry, who knows what you might need it for one day.

Mat Ashton
04-05-2009, 4:10 AM
Oneway Lathes is another that have service that goes well beyond the call of duty. I had had an intermittent problem with the VFD for the lathe for over the space of a year where it would without warning quit. I phoned Kevin at Oneway and we weren't able to figure out what the problem was by the tests he had me run. So he gave me his home number and cell number and said phone him the moment it happens again so I could tell him what error message was on the VFD. Well it didn't happen again for months. When it finally did the machine wouldn't restart and I had a fairly big job that I needed to finish ASAP. I phoned Oneway and told them what the scenario was and they informed me that Kevin was on holidays. Oh bugga was pretty much my reaction - not in a bad way... The lady said why don't you leave me your number and I'll see what I can do - fair enough I said. About an hour later Kevin phones. My first statement was why are you phoning me. You're on holidays, go and have fun... He was at Disney World in Florida of all things! To make a long story short he organized a new VFD be shipped to me ASAP and all I would have to pay was their cost for it as mine was out of warranty (which was about 80% less than retail). And if that weren't enough he said if I send him my old one he would send it to the manufacturer and have it tested for free and send it back to me with the results. It doesn't get much better than that. Sadly Oneway aren't available in Australia.

Mat Ashton
04-05-2009, 4:19 AM
I always carry a Gerber Suspension. I abuse them pretty badly. Broken the pliers on one job where I was prepping non ferrous metals. I was prying on a piece of metal, trying to decide if it was stainless, or aluminum, and broke the pliers. Shipped it back to Gerber, in no time flat a new one was back to me. I have broke a few blades too, same service. I own two, and every time im at the store, i eye up buying another one. Pretty hand thing to carry, who knows what you might need it for one day.

I remember breaking the pliers on my Gerber about 6 years back. When I contacted them they said no problem send the knife back with proof of purchase... I said you've got to be kidding this things 10 years old. Who keeps a receipt for ten years for anything? The guy on the phone said I see what you mean... Just send the knife and we'll take care of it. If I tried that in Australia for anything they'd say get stuffed. There's a world of difference when it comes to service here as compared to North America.

Brad Wood
04-05-2009, 10:19 AM
so, did you send it back in the return envelope they provided?

Richard Dooling
04-06-2009, 2:34 PM
I told them I was'nt interested. If they wanted to do the right thing at this point they should have done what Lee Valley did and shipped me a new unit with a return enevlope for the old one.

I sent them a picture of the warranty shop's error and at that point they should have taken the "risk" on just shipping a new one.

Anyway I just decided to try to fix it myself, I just need to get the proper star tool to disassemble the piece.

1. The unit was defective.
2. I returned it at my expense and they took quite a while to get it back.
3. I sent them pictoral evidence of the botched job they did fixing it.
4. I think they should have made more of an effort to solve the problem.

This doesn't seem that difficult to figure out and it's not that big a deal to me. Then again I guess it isn't that big a deal to them either.