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Thread: Goodbye Harbor Freight!

  1. #1
    Happy Camper hcpookie's Avatar
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    Default Goodbye Harbor Freight!

    For me, at least.

    Been shopping there for at least the last 5 years. Loved their value for the price point. Never had a problem when something broke down... took it back, the manager simply replaced it with a new one from the floor. "no problem".

    Yesterday I went to HF and had one of the worst shopping experiences, ever. My angle cutter stripped the screw. WELL... the guy at the counter semi-explained to me that they have a "new" policy of not returning "used merchandise". Now, at least in the Norfolk store, if you don't have a pre-purchased "extra" warranty, you must contact the manufacturer to get relief. No exceptions.

    Well I would be OK with that and just go buy a new one, since I did only pay $25 for it and it has served its purpose well. I've worn down many cutting disks with it, and it was even the tool I used to build the first bolt cutter rivet tool.

    HOWEVER... here's the rub - the manager for the day (the associate manager) was called to help... and instead of that wink and a nod and let's go get a new one attitude, I got looked at like I tried to shoplift something:

    "It has been used... look at how the wheel is worn down"

    "How come the wheel retainer pin is missing?" He asked. "It broke on day 1, I've been using a screwdriver to secure it whilst replacing wheels"... said I. I've never bothered to replace it because it hasn't bothered me". "pushaw.." said he. "We can't work on it without the right tools... I don't know..."

    "Look at the sheild at how it is all bent up"...

    OH MY GOSH - a work tool that was actually used!!! How could it be?!?!?

    After one last "go fuck yourself" scowl, he walked away chanting something about "I can't help you"... So I took my busted-ass made-in-China angle grinder and left the store.


    LESSON LEARNED - YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. PERIOD, END OF DISCUSSION.

    The fact that they have a new policy doesn't bother me. The fact that they treat their PAYING CUSTOMERS LIKE CRIMINALS does. Yes, my tools are actually used!!! They get dirty. If I never use them, then I wouldn't need the !@#$%ing warranty, would I?!?

    So for me, from this day forward, I am not buying cheap-assed tools from HF. I may buy some sanding disks from them, or then again I may not. The cheap bolt cutters are probably all that I'll ever buy from them again. Off to Home Depot I will go. Hell, before I shop at HF again, I'd even give the ANTI-GUN people who own Lowe's my money! There is a poetic irony in buying tools from Lowes to make guns.

    YES I KNOW - there are about 5 tool factories on the planet, and all the "Made in USA" people buy from them. I know that. I know that Craftsman tools are made in the same building that makita or ryobi or whatever are made in. Understood. These people will stand behind their tools with a warranty, however, and not give you that "go fuck yourself" attitude that I got yesterday.

    This has me worked up enough that I'm going to write them a letter (on paper!). That, and I will decide with my checkbook to support those 'other' companies.

    BUYER BEWARE. This is the end of my PSA. Sorry for the semi-rant.
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  2. #2
    Resident Curmudgeon Karl/PA's Avatar
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    Why not copy this post and send it to them at their website?
    Karl

    I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine. - Ayn Rand

  3. #3
    GuncoHolic scubadvr's Avatar
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    I have a problem with any company that wants me to pay for a warranty. In fact depending on how long you had the tool, it still may be covered by the initial warranty from purchase. Under the uniform commercial code, you also get warranties. Sounds to me like HF maybe looking at a class action law suit.
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  4. #4
    Self-Proclaimed Armorer bloodsport2885's Avatar
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    The fact that thier cheap chinese crap gets returned 50% of the time is why they do that now. The tools that count I try to buy from craftsman or someone with a similar warranty principle because I cant get over my experiences taking tools back to sears after they break and just walking out with a brand new one without paying a cent. Sorry about your experience.

  5. #5
    Gunco Regular COYOTE3's Avatar
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    I buy HF power handtools on sale with the idea of them as being disposable. If they last through more than one job, I consider myself ahead of the game. If I want a tool that lasts, I buy a respected brand-name. As was said before, you get what you pay for.

  6. #6
    Gunco Regular Tailgunner's Avatar
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    I'm a tool snob. I use mine day in, day out and I've always been willing to pay more for something that'll last. A decade ago, I lived about 20 miles from HF's main warehouse in the PRK, and while I'd stop at the outlet store there to window shop there was VERY little there I'd concider buying. HF has spread their outlet stores nationwide now, and once again I'm about 20 miles from one. The same thing still applies, I'll stop by to look around if I'm close by, but it's not a place I'd go first when I want/need a tool for something.

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    GuncoHolic D.B.Cooper's Avatar
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    I quit going there a couple years ago when I walked in and there was three people at the checkout line and about 10 waiting in the return/refund line with broken tools. One guy had a 4-way lug wrench broken like glass, another with an orange drill in onehand the chuck in another. I turned and walked out.
    After that I vowed to spend the few extra pennies on quality tools.

  8. #8
    DADDY WARBUCKS Custer's Avatar
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    They opened one up near my house last year. I went in and did not see anything that overwhelmed me.

    Probably all I would buy there would be consumables or maybe an oddball tool that I would use once in a blue moon but would be nice to have in a pinch.

    I am more comfortable with spending more dough on the stuff I use frequently.

    You kind of build up tools over a lifetime.
    Everyone had you pegged.

  9. #9
    Gunco Regular thegundude's Avatar
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    I usually buy from Northern Tool.

  10. #10
    Moderator ptannjr's Avatar
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    as with any thing you just have to be careful in what you buy. I think i would buy a press from them but not a drill press. I have bought some items from them but others i pass on. If they are with in 10% of the competition i will probably buy but if they are 50% or more i get leary.
    Consider this, Amateurs built the Ark, Professionals built the Titanic





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