Author Topic: Whiteside -- I owe you one  (Read 1583 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3171
Whiteside -- I owe you one
« on: July 25, 2017, 09:11 AM »
A few months back I picked up a 1/4" down cut flush trim spiral bit.  It sat in my router bit case for a couple of months, however, since most of the trimming work I did in the interim ended up being run with a 1/2" spiral bit.  But the other week I broke it out to do some trimming on a nice piece of walnut.  I wasn't halfway through the board when all of a sudden the bit started biting deep into the material, well past the edge on which the bearing was riding.  I stopped the machine, looked at the bit, and saw that the nut or screw keeping the bearings locked in had gone missing (along with the bearings themselves).  I eventually found the bearings, but despite fishing around through the sawdust piles on the floor I couldn't locate the nut/screw. 

I was able to finish up the job -- after making the board a 1/4" narrower -- with another bit, and I put on my to do list getting a replacement nut/screw for the broken bit (none of the extra router bit screws I had on hand were small enough to fit).  My initial attempts in the Home Depot small screw drawers were unsuccessful -- the hole was too big to accommodate an M2 screw, and the M2.5 screws, which seemed about the right size, didn't bite the threading inside the hole. 

Baffled, I took the bit along on my next trip to Tools For Working Wood, which has a full stock of Whiteside bits, to see if I could at least confirm the part I would need to get.  Looking at the 1/4" spiral they had on display, I saw that the nut was actually fixed into the bit, and could not be back-threaded out like a traditional screw.  So I decided to call Whiteside directly to see what could be done.

I'm generally affable with customer service people, to the point where I've sometimes felt I have gotten dead-ended by folks who let their own or their company's inertia get in the way of consumer satisfaction, so I decided I would be more assertive and gruff to make sure they understood how much I had been put out by the bit malfunctioning (I overstated a little how much damage had been done by their bit breaking while routing my really nice Walnut board).  Without even prompting, the tech guy I had been transferred to offered to send me a new bit free of charge.  And he was genuinely distressed by the failure of his company's product, and asked me to send it back in the same package in order to see whether and how it might be defective. 

Feeling self-satisfied for my assertiveness having been rewarded, I thanked him for standing behind their products and gave him my shipping info. 

Got the replacement bit three days later, and sent back the broken one.

Yesterday my phone rings and it's the customer service person from Whiteside to whom I had first spoken (and who had transferred me to the tech guy after I had made sure she understood how frustrated I was with my broken bit).  I said "Thanks again for your help the other week -- I got the replacement bit just a few days after we had talked."  She replied, "Right...We got your broken unit back Mr. Reno, and it's actually an Amana bit."  Me: "Oh." 

I apologized profusely, explaining that I had so many Whiteside bits I just automatically assumed it was one of theirs (this is half-true), and of course offered my credit card info to pay for the bit.  She was so nice that she just charged me the unit cost, and set aside the freight charges -- not just the back and forth freight but also the third round for her shipping my broken Amana bit back to me.  So yeah, egg on my face.  But I do have a new spiral bit.  And I will be buying some more Whiteside bits in the future to make up for the shipping.

If you were to ask me why I didn't simply read the shaft of the bit to discover that it was an Amana, I have no answer.  I do realize now that the place I originally bought it from only stocks Amana and CMT bits -- but I had forgotten that.  I think what happened was that after I couldn't fit any standard screws, and I went to Tools for Working Wood and saw that the Whiteside spirals had a proprietary nut for securing the bearings, my mind just fixated on the fact that I had a Whiteside bit.

There has to be a moral to this story beyond just "Read the shaft", but I'm not sure what it is. 

   
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 09:17 AM by ear3 »
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • DX 93 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/Long-Life Bag • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 503
Re: Whiteside -- I owe you one
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2017, 01:04 PM »
Could happen to anyone.

Situations like this are where the 'Measure twice, cut once" axiom comes from I think.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Bob Wolfe

  • Posts: 77
Re: Whiteside -- I owe you one
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2017, 12:58 AM »
Why not call Amana and see what response you get. I would be curious. Of the 30 or 40 bits I have most are Whiteside, I think one or two are Amana so not going to change my life if their customer service is great or sucks.  BW

Offline jjowen

  • Posts: 70
Re: Whiteside -- I owe you one
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2017, 02:16 AM »
I get annoyed with myself when I notice a little something odd, but I rationlise it away. Later, realise that I have made a mistake and the oddity I dismissed earlier was a clue that I should have picked up on earlier.
Disclaimer: All posts after 12:00pm on Fridays (GMT+10) should be independently verified for relevance and veracity.

Offline jaguar36

  • Posts: 162
    • Toolamanjaro.com
Re: Whiteside -- I owe you one
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2017, 07:26 AM »
There has to be a moral to this story beyond just "Read the shaft", but I'm not sure what it is. 
I think the moral of the story is that despite the much publicized death of real customer service, there are still some companies out there that offer excellent customer service.  I've always preferred Whiteside bits, and am glad to hear that they also have awesome customer service too!

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 3132
Re: Whiteside -- I owe you one
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2017, 10:56 AM »
I get annoyed with myself when I notice a little something odd, but I rationlise it away. Later, realise that I have made a mistake and the oddity I dismissed earlier was a clue that I should have picked up on earlier.

This is funny...   [thumbs up]  ...because it's so true. [not worthy]