I guess this is semi-OT because sears gets discussed (or maybe just
dissed) here. Anyway, here's my story - maybe to make up for one of
the many bad things I've said about Sears in the past.
We needed a new TV, and found a pretty nice Toshiba at Sears, floor
model so it was about 30% off. Bought it, got it home, and realized it
didn't work. (Well, sort of worked, but it turned itself off whenever
the screen was white). It was under warranty, so I considered taking
it in to get it fixed, but then I saw a Sony of the same size on sale
at Circuit City that would have only cost $30 more, since I had a 10%
off coupon there. Sears claimed they had a satisfaction guarantee, so
I took the broken Toshiba back there to get my money back, expecting to
get a hassle because this was a floor model and it was broken. No
hassle with the return, and when I told them about the Circuit City
deal, Sears had the same Sony model, and they matched CC's price (and
honored my coupon) plus gave me 10% of the price difference (which was
almost $50). So I upgraded to a nicer TV that works for minimal $, and
almost no hassle! Amazing. So Sears customer "service" isn't totally
dead, at least in their electronics dept. Now if tools, just one aisle
over, would take some lessons from them...
(Good job on the TV! We've had Sony's for a long time with good luck
But, since brought up Sears and tools:
[warning, this is long ...]
Found myself in the market for a CMS. (Annivesary present from SWMBO
First CMS was the Hitachi, bought, then returned to Lowe's -- defective
out of the box, but I think this was Lowe's fault; I think it was a
customer return put back out on the shelf. The whole handle was darned
near busted off (3 of the 4 plastic mounts for the screws were broken.);
the only other one in stock was in a badly damaged box, and the nearest
other Lowe's was quite far away. Back to the drawing board.(Other than
the busted handle this looked quite good out of the box).
We'd been at Sears at some point in the meantime. Browsed through the
tool area .. hm. Foolishly went back a few days later and bought one of
the near top-end Craftsman 12" CMS. Laser (*not* arbor mount), upfront
controls. On sale for $270 -- so definitely not at the cheap end.
Piece of crap. Really. Much runout in the arbor. Fence way out of
square. Busted bevel control (I'd played with the one on display, so I
know how it was supposed to work.). Saw blade moved way off the zero
clearance kerf when set to a 45 bevel (as in more than the width of the
Took it back -- they gave me zero hassle about the return. This was
really too bad as the saw was quite well engineered -- just really
poorly executed.(It really seems like they are trying to get better; but
they are not there yet, at least with the CMS).
Back again to square one. Finally opted for the P-C 3802 (12" Twin
laser). Now *this* is a sweet saw. Dead square out of the box. Lasers
perfectly aligned, and very crisp. To boot, found a good, actual tool
supplier (Western Tool- www.westerntool.com ) near home with great
prices, friendly staff (same price as amazon, no shipping hassle). I'm
still in the "make practice cuts" stage, but expect great things out of
this saw. I've got one outside project to get done before the rainy
season (PDX) sets in..
Morals: I've got a great SWMBO; avoid Sears tools (but their return
policy was great); look for local suppliers and support them. Oh, and I
really, really, like the laser, but an arbor mount (where you'd have to
turn the saw on to turn on the laser) woulda scared the hell out of me.
This is the only part of your post that got to me John. Why would it scare
the hell out of you? Miter saws have been used for decades with no laser at
all and now all of a sudden one with a laser that only turns on when you
pull the trigger scares you?
Many companies, especially the big office supply/electronics stores,
have a 110% competitor price matching program, though a lot of them
will refuse to take coupons. Some refuse to take online coupons but
will accept newspaper or catalog ones. However, most companies will
also give you a big hassle so as to make sure you never actually try
this, even though the policy plastered all over the board over the
service desk (The ad 'isn't clear enough' that it's the exact same
item, we don't honor buy one get one free, we don't honor that
store's prices because they're not a 'direct' competitor, etc). Or
they'll conveniently forget to do the 10% difference. However, if you
find stores that don't give you a big hassle, then you can save a lot
of money by doing all your shopping there (unless, of course, it's
their ad which you would have to take to their competitor). Also
useful when the store with the ad is out of the product within the
first hour, such as the rare occasions when stacks of 50 blank DVDs
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