BEWARE: Harbor Freight poor customer service...

Page 1 of 6  
I made the mistake of placing a $300+ order with Harbor Freight just before the Holidays.
Items never arrived. I tried calling customer service but got repeated busy signals.
Finally, today, I was told that item was delivered last week and left on the "porch" -- the porch however is in clear open view to the public and covered in snow.. (we live in northern New England)
Rather than take responsibility for it and attempt to quickly correct the error, the customer service person offered the following non-solution: - Wait another 8-10 business days for them to follow up with UPS - Then, order again and wait another 10-14 days for item to be reordered and redelivered (assuming of course that items are still even in stock)
In all (at best) it will take more than 2 months for them to fulfill my order.
The customner service droid and supervisor said that is the "policy" and they were not open to any other solutions, even if I was willing to back it up with my credit card.
They showed no empathy and refused to even admit that they or their agent (UPS) may have done something wrong here (like leaving large boxes of expensive metal tools out on an exposed porch in the snow)
I guess there is a reason for their cheap prices...
If you have had any similar negative customer service experiences with Harbor Freight, please feel free to share them so that the next newbie can be fully "cavet emptor" before purchasing.
I WOULD RECOMMEND AVOIDING HARBOR FREIGHT LIKE THE PLAGUE!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@harborfreight.com wrote:

IMO, your local UPS delivery person made a mistake not HF. Tony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
yeah, Brown let you down
and took a shit on your porch
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com writes:

They did but Harbor Freight who "contracted" with them as their agent is not doing anything to rectify...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Haven't looked at their shipping terms, but it wouldn't surprise me if they were shipping FOB their warehouse -- as soon as it leaves their dock, it's yours, not theirs, and straightening out shipping losses is up to you. Dirt cheap discounting includes the service.
--
snipped-for-privacy@phred.org is Joshua Putnam
<http://www.phred.org/~josh/
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well, that is all I was saying... maybe HF's discount is not worth the lack of *effective* customer service.
On the other hand in other industries, players like Dell, Amazon, Buy.com, and Newegg all offer rock-bottom-pricing and high quality service.
Heck, it constantly amazes me how even the "super saver" or "free" shipping from Dell and Amazon often arrives after only a day or two.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

UPS's problem for sure! Next time have it delivered to a more secure lacation, next door neihbor perhaps. Greg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Agreed (we just moved into the neighborhood)... but still Harbor Freight seems to be doing the bare minimum (at most) to resolve this situation.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
blueman wrote:

Yep, that's why I never have anything other than US mail delivered to our home. UPS does the same thing to us (also in New England.) anytime they deliver to us during the week, 'cause we spend more time at the business than at home.
All my HF shipments and anyting else too big to fit in our mailbox goes to our office.
Certainly HF isn't bending over backwards to help you, but that these days you never get more than you pay for, and you're often lucky to get even as much as you pay for. Don't expect to get Tiffany style treatment at a flea market.
Jeff (Who once got so pissed at UPS he filed a small claims suit against their local business presence --- That got the problem fixed quickly.)
--
Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

And he paid the bare minimum he could. Sounds symmetrical to me :-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Agreed... but Harbor Freight has contracted with UPS as their agent and therefore morally and legally bears responsibility for making things right.
I never said that HF is doing anything illegal... just that their resolution policy is not customer friendly and puts all the burden on the customer.
Amazon, Dell, Newegg etc. first try to make the customer whole and don't set up absurdly long delay periods to resolve a situation that is not the customer's fault.
The Harbor Freight policy is only adding insult and injury to injury...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
blueman wrote:

For what it's worth...
I had an order totally obliterated by FedEx Ground. My package even contained things that weren't mine, such as, GET THIS, a spray can of pure silicone. Just what I want in a wood shop! <G>
After contacting a very nice person at customer service, the order was reshipped that day via a different carrier, and a call tag was sent for the damaged package.
Oh, that was Lee Valley. <G>
I've had a similar experience with Tower Hobbies after UPS destroyed a 4 foot long box of balsa wood. Tower TOTALLY took the ball back, ran with it, and provided me with a satisfactory ball.
UPS was chosen by Harbor Freight to deliver the package, it's up to HF to make good on the deal and then take it up with their subcontractor. I had a similar negative experience when asking HF to follow up on a long overdue package.
Barry
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oh come on!!! Lee Valley is a great vendor and provides great customer service. But they charge a premium price for that. Harbor Freight is a pretty crappy vendor who provides basic less than steller customer service but charges low prices. Anybody doing business with Harbor Freight expecting Lee Vally service is living in la-la land. Anyone paying Lee Valley prices but getting Harbor Freight service is getting ripped off. I think we all have a pretty good idea of what we are doing when we buy stuff from Harbor Freight - getting cheap stuff at cheap prices with bare bones service. I have to go now I am getting my Harbor Freight order ready...
Dave Hall
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dave Hall wrote:

If HF wasn't making a decent profit, they wouldn't have lasted as long as they have. Some HF items are probably throwaway on a wholesale level. Major shippers have good access to the right local people at their shipper. They can choose to insure the package for extremely low costs, but often choose to self insure.
I've also received stellar problem solving service from Tower Hobbies, a deep discount, mail order supplier. We can toss Lee Valley out and compare to tower, if you'd like. The one reship I needed from them was $30 of balsa wood. Based on a $15 wholesale cost, the box, labor, and the additional shipping charges, they probably lost money in an attempt to keep me happy. But they did it.
At typical Chinese factory prices, HF probably runs at a HIGHER margin than Lee Valley! My wife has actually gotten good service from a vendor called "Oriental Trading Post" who sells crap that literally costs less than a penny retail. <G>
Barry
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@some.more writes:

things without a signature unless the package so stipulates. I suspect it did not get shipped UPS, if shipped at all. If they did, indeed, ship it, they (or you) can print a complete tracking of when it was put into UPS's "hands" and when UPS delivered it. In over 30 years of dealing with UPS, I've never had a package lost or mishandled and through my home business years ago and where I work now, we are talking about thousands of packages through those years. We ship many, many packages UPS every week. The only time we have had a problem was with USPS!
Someone seems to not being completely legit here.
Glenna
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That used to be the way it worked but it's not anymore. I remember the days when the package had to stipulate "no signature required", but now everything I receive just gets dropped on the porch. It's not a problem for me and we receive a couple of UPS deliveries every week with no real problems over years of service, but I do know that the old days of them not leaving a package without a signature are gone. Today the shipper has to stipulate a required signature.

I've had the tracking system work and I've had it not work. I've never tracked a lost package (truly lost - never to be seen again), but I have tracked delayed shipments and as other posters have said, I've found spotty accuracy in the information that is available to the recipient - either directly from UPS customer service, or via their web sites.

Oh man - you gotta try Airborne - or what ever they're called these days. That's a real treat. Talk about shipments that are guaranteed not to arrive...
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I once had UPS deliver a $5k shipment of server ram. I got into my car and was about to drive a away when a neighbour saw me and pointed to my front tire. Thinking I had a flat, I got out to look. There was the box of ram, right under my front tire. The vendor's shipping policy with UPS is signature required for every shipment. I was home at the time, and the UPS driver didn't even bother to knock on the door. But he was considerate enough to hide the shipment where it wouldn't readily be seen by passers by.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org (Glenna Rose) wrote:

snip
UPS stopped getting signatures here several years ago. UPS offered good safe service in the past but not any more.
My first problem with them was about 10 years ago when I bought a classic Nikon F camera and it was shipped to me via UPS. It arrived sooner than expected, and I was still out of town but unlike past policy they didn't keep the box until they could deliver it to a person. I found a notice that it had been left by the side of my house - right beside the garbage can. It was long gone when I got home, and I never found out if it was stolen or went to the dump with the garbage. UPS investigated and eventually I got my money back, but the camera could not be replaced (I never found another one in such good condition at a good price). The UPS supervisor I talked to said that getting signatures was more expensive than paying off a few claims for lost packages.
These days UPS not only doesn't get a signature, they don't even knock on the door. Several times I have had packages sit in the rain outside when I was at home and this includes some packages that specifically required a signature. After many many problems with them, I avoid UPS whenever possible.
If you continue to get good service from UPS that's great, but watch out.
PDX David
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I should point out that my experience is with UPS deliveries to a home address. When delivering to a business where the driver can walk in and find a person, there should be very few problems.
PDX David
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 11 Jan 2005 07:09:40 -0800, Jane & David

Here, UPS still gets an electronic signature on every package or notes that they left it. If you want to make sure you get packages without having them left somewhere be sure to add shipping instructions (i.e. Deliver to North entrance only - Signature required), and the first time they don't follow the instructions call the head office and the BBB and complain like crazy. I've gone out of my way to get to know the regular UPS, FedEx and USPS guys here. They now bring things to the house and we don't have any problems. During the holidays I check all possible places a package might end up every day, since substitute drivers are prone to taking shortcuts. I also always get tracking numbers (for UPS and FedEx) and follow the package as best I can so that I know when to expect it.
For the OP, HF has handled several complaints from me very well. I've never tried during a holiday period, but I've bought a lot of stray junk from them here and there and had a few that have had to go back or that have never arrived. They have invariably taken care of the problem, although often with considerable delay. Of course I'm lucky and I always treat the low-level drone like he was the president of the company "This is my problem, sir", "Thank you for your help, sir", "I hope you have a good day, sir". They seem to like it and it doesn't cost me a cent.
YMMV
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.