I went to HF today to get a fountain pump for my sink that I had set up.
They had a sale on them and a new one opened this week less than 40
minutes away. That's a 20 minute savings for me.
Well after she rung up the fountain pump she tells me there is a
restocking fee if I wish to return it. I'm like get out of here,
(remember she already rung it up). Well if it's defective and you
exchange it, or you upgrade there won't be a charge the manager says,
but if you don't like it HF is now charging a restocking fee on many items.
Guess what the pump didn't live up to it's specification. it was rated
at 158gph with a 3.6 foot rise. It only trickled at 30 inches... So it
is going back for a bigger one... But things are so hit and miss with
HF, that I'll be more reluctant to spend money there if they are going
to charge me if it isn't good enough.
How many of their customers might buy a tool there for 1 job and then
return it? I'd be quite surprised if the manager charged you a
restocking fee on your pump. It's hard to blame HF for trying to come
up with a strategy to dry to deal with the expenses incurred by the
former types of customers. The policy gives them something to point
to--no one says they have to apply it in every situation (I think).
I'm not a lawyer. I would guess that in general, the percentage of
unreasonable customers in retail is greater than the percentage of
I really like their Pittsburg bar F-clamps (the ones with metal frames),
and work gloves, and have even had good luck with their batteries as
well as a bird bath. I don't think HF would be my first stop for a
motorized pump. YMMV. Good luck!
If that is their new policy, it will certainly affect my buying, as well.
Like you said, they are too hit & miss to not be concerned with it.
However, most of their stuff is *still* so cheap that it won't be a
concern to me for a lot of their stuff.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
From their web site:
"90 Day Satisfaction Guarantee: Items are guaranteed to be as described and
illustrated. If for any reason you are not satisfied with any item
purchased, you may return the insured product within 90 days for a full
refund or replacement, whichever you prefer."
"Limited Lifetime Warranty on Hand Tools: Harbor Freight Tools makes every
effort to ensure that our products meet high quality and durability
standards and warrants to the original purchaser that eligible products are
free from defects in material and workmanship for the life of the product."
"Generators and other specific items are subject to a 20% restocking fee"
Makes a lot of sense as items like that are the most likely to be returned.
Why rent a tool when you can buy it, use it, then return it and spread that
cost over the rest of the customers?
Many retailers are making changes in the return polices. Clothing stores
get hit with prom dresses and the like.
Well, don't you think you should find out what requires a restocking fee
before you buy.
They only know when they ring it up.
And finally... if the pump doesn't live up to expectation and there is
no upgrade, why should I pay???
This is a fountain pump, not a pump to get rid of water in your basement.
So I think they ought to start marking which items are restocking on the
shelves. I would still buy that item (bigger), but I don't think it's
fair to let you know after you have bought it.
On 6/6/2012 10:31 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
Seems only fair, agreed.
But, just because they've "rung it up" doesn't mean I've yet paid 'em
(or will if they spring something on me that hasn't been up front in the
deal to that point). I've walked away from things at the checkout on
more than one occasion over something even if not very frequently.
Particularly at HF or others of their ilk where the quality is often
dubious at best, if the potential is more than what would care to lose
I'd surely not hesitate to "leave 'em in the lurch", so to speak.
On Wed, 06 Jun 2012 13:26:18 -0400, tiredofspam <nospam.nospam.com>
"Ring it up" does not mean you bought it. You have the option of
removing that item or voiding the sale and starting over with the
other items. Minor inconvenience.
If the pump does not meet specifications, they should take it back.
Note: I said specifications, not expectations. Specifications are
easily measured, but you may have expectations that a 12 ounce hammer
on sale is going to work in knocking down that concrete block wall.
Specs... 3.6 feet of lift and 158gph
Lift 30 inches to a trickle.
It didn't make 36 inches, just 30.. so expecting 43 inches based on
spec.. and getting 30... it didn't make it.
As far as the checkout. deciding while things are being rung up whether
you want to pay a restocking fee if you return it is unfair.
On 6/6/2012 5:55 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
On Wed, 06 Jun 2012 22:11:39 -0400, tiredofspam <nospam.nospam.com>
In that case, it should be returnable.
Perhaps some things should be marked at the POS, but it was brought to
your attention. If that is the hardest decision you have to make in
life, then life is good.
Similar pumps at Lowes are much more costly. A Tetra is about $25, a
Smartpond with auto shutoff if water is low runs about $40 and is
suppose to stream 4.1 ft.
The HF pump is listed at $9 on sale. It would cost me $12 in gas to
return it. I hope you live closer.
Its Harbor Freight! :~)
Do not expect anything more than half of what is stated on any out put
or capacity. If it performs better than that consider yourself lucky.
It's Harbor Freight! :~)
If their stuff was on par with like items from more mainstream retail
stores they would not need an restocking charge.
It's Harbor Freight! ;~)
Assume everything that you buy there will have a restocking charge as if
it does not now it probably will in the future. ;~)
It's Harbor Freight! ;~)
You pay less, you get less.
It's harbor Freight! :~)
I'm not coming to the defense of HF, however, most any pump that is rated
at X gph AND Y inches of lift won't put out X gph AT Y inches of lift. The
gph, unless otherwise stated, is usually a maximum output at minimum lift.
Often the output at 1 foot is used. At higher lifts, or with restrictions in
the inout or output ilines, output drops off. And really, 153 gph, about
2.5 gallons per minute, is not that much volume to start with.
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation
with the average voter. (Winston Churchill)
Probably, but it may be based on people using the tool once
(successfully completing their project) and then returning it, as
happens in HD and Blowes, too.
I bought and used their 1hp pump for flood irrigation for a year. It
worked to a height of 6' no problem. Another client had a pond with
fountain and the same model pump was nearly 12' down the slope from
the fountain, and it still worked for her. I have no idea how close
it came to volume specs, but I saw it work. I primed it and unstuck
the rotor and it fired right off. It was over 5 years old, too,
protected by a wooden box in the winter.
I don't see it in their current lineup, but I'll get the number off
the pump if you like.
The vast majority of HF tools work just fine, Leon. If you weren't
such a Festool bigot you'd see that. HF is not made for production
work, but for occasional work, they do perform. They're not as slick
as Festool, Fein, and other top brands, but they're TEN TIMES less
expensive, too. That counts to us po folks. I've found them to be a
very good value for the most part.
Yes, they also have a line of cheaparse shit, but I've learned to
check out a tool before I buy it. Because of that, I've only had to
return maybe a dozen of their tools over the past 40 years I've been
shopping their store. I'm still beating the shit out of the 5"
mechanic's vise I bought there in the early 1970s.
Delta, Milwaukee, and even Makita all have tools made in China these
days. Perhaps even Festool will go there soon. <gd&r>
Silence is more musical than any song.
-- Christina Rossetti
Don't get your panties in a wad Larry. It's Harbor Freight!
Yes there are items that they sell that are worth every penny that you
spend on them. That $9, "insert power tool item of your choice", is
worth $9. I did not say otherwise nor did I say that none of their stuff
is of any value. I simply indicated what to expect. And as you
pointed out, they are certainly not Festool or Fein in quality. But as
many have posted here many of the items and policies are less than
expected, plain and simple. My post was to simply point out that the
store is Harbor Freight. If you are expecting quality and or service
that can't be beat you are going to be disappointed.
Concerning you comment about their stuff is not made for production
work, I would think that a "fountain pump" would be run on a somewhat
similar basis as a production work tool, more than a few minutes at a
I don't have the time or patience to deal with inferior tools, been
there done that.
But you don't find them in HF. What is your point? I am absolutely not
saying anything derogatory about country of origin, only the type and
quality of tools that Harbor Freight specializes in selling. Its pretty
much bottom end of everything that you could buy. Bottom end may work
if you don't expect or need much.
Keep your expectations in the Harbor Freight mode and you will probably
be happy. If you are continually becoming more dissatisfied with the
service or merchandise, which is what most of this thread is about, you
need to set your sights a bit higher. After all, It's Harbor Freight!
And yes I do own some HF tools.
I can confirm what someone else described, they have more customers per
square foot than anywhere else I shop.
If I pay $6 for 4 pair of work gloves at HF, I don't feel bad about
tossing them out as if I paid $10 a pair at Home Depot. I get a lot of
use out of my 6" Pittsburgh F-clamps I bought from them, for
$1.99-2.99/each I think. I get a lot more use from them then I expected
and would recommend them to anyone who has any clamping needs.
Bessey is now making some of their clamps in China.
I bought a C clamp made in china (Bessey quick release) The same is 1/4
the price at HF... Same ...same .. same.
I bought the HF too, just as good. Took them both apart.. same...same..
Just because it's a name doesn't make it better.
But many names are much better. You just have to analyze it.
I needed a hand grinder for welding. I don't weld that often. I picked
up a HF grinder for $9.99... opened it up, repacked the gear box and it
is awesome for $9.99... I have used it way more than I ever thought I would.
I don't deny that there is a lot of stuff at HF that I would never buy.
But there is a world of stuff there that is equal to name brand stuff.
Sometimes there are inferior parts, sometimes not.
And like you said for us PO folk, or just spend thrifts there are good
bargains. Like their nitrile gloves. I boxes at half or less than other
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