Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Catching up...

For ye faithful blog readers, I can only apologize that yesterday, today, and most likely tomorrow will be 'quiet' as I'm filling in on my former early AM shift, these days for the Charlotte side. In itself that doesn't preclude my tending to my blog, but with the unsettled weather and my being 'fixated' on working on a new "Branch" flute that is really a cane-flute, it's taken up my free, creative time. Nice low C# (at least for now) that 'got its legs' yesterday afternoon. Pics will be coming when I get done...

Anyway, that's pretty much it. Oh, yeah, yesterday was a Red Letter day. Part of me wants to rejoice with gladness, and part of me wants the world to know that a particular company is dropping a huge customer ball that is inexcuseable...

Ridgid Tools, right down I-85 in Anderson, SC. They make all the orange power tools you see at Home Depot, their market 'corner'. I'd blogged some time ago that I use their oscillating belt sander as it is the only such product available that's not in the $1,000+ range of production-level machines. I have seen several in my day as I ultimately wear them out.

So they proudly exclaim and push their 'lifetime warranty' as long as you follow all their steps to register it, send in codes, etc. And when my sander quit working one day, it was time to find the warranty service center and let 'em have at it.

The store wasn't too far away, so no long trek...they ask for $30 up front for the tech's bench time just in case a company says it's not a warranty repair and the tech can get paid for his work...in the event it is covered, you get the $30 back when you pick up the repaired tool. Fair enough.

When I took the tool in, I knew I had to make a huge decision because that particular tool is critical in my flute making process. Buy a second one or wait? I hemmed and hawed as many of us do with our limited funds in a tanked economy...but I decided I couldn't afford to stop the ball rolling for a few weeks and purchased a second unit.

A few weeks my @ss.

Dropped off that bad boy FEBRUARY 20th...and just got it MAY 4th. 2-1/2 months it took Ridgid to 'okay' the repair and send the part. What was the culprit? A motor winding? Faulty short in the motor leads? Misalligned gear boxes and broken teeth?

How about a switch.

We're talkin' a small rectangular plastic box with a big plastic yellow on-off switch, that simply rocks a piece of copper up and down to simple contact points to complete a circuit and start the machine. THAT is what 'broke', the points probably burned out because dust got inside it.

What gets me most is that factory is just down the interstate a couple of hours. They are making these sanders and many other tools every day. I can see certain motors and intricate parts might be hard to come by, but a basic, basic switch should have been up to the shop in a week or two.

So, I'm glad to have a 'back-up' unit with my production ramping up, and in the same breath I'm screaming "BOOOOOO, RIDGID!!!!!" Still might find an email addy and send the CEO a short, professional note letting him/her know that this type of service will ultimately come back to bite them unless they correct this lapse in customer service and warranty fulfillment. One poor guy's tools at the same center, turned in in January, had faulty rechargeable batteries that were back-ordered until late June. Imagine HIS frustration...

Oh, look, MA, a blog post, afterall! HA! Time to pull weather data and head into the station. Happy Cinco de Mayo today, y'all!


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