Milwaulkee warranty problems?

OK, here's the saga so far. I burn lots of wood for heat. During the winter every week or so, I grab 4 or 5 clean pallets before they end up in the dumpster and cut them up for supplemntary firewood. Great stuff for getting the stove going. Anyhow, needing a reasonable way to cut pallets into stove sized pieces, about 18 months ago I bought a Milwaukee worm drive saw (model 6377). A bit heavy, but great for my purposes. I am the only one who has ever used it, and only for cutting pallets about once a week during the cold months. I figure that this saw has maybe 20 or 25 hours on it, tops. Using it a couple of weeks back, I end a cut, pick the saw up off of the wood, the blade guard snaps shut and the the little rubber stop for the guard snaps off and gets shot out of the front of the saw by the coasting blade. I figured that it just came loose and fell out, but on closer inspection see that the aluminium post on which it mounts (which is part of the saw body casting) has snapped off. Lacking this stop, the saw is very awakward to use and perhaps a bit less than safe as it now always requires you to manually pull the guard up with your left hand to start a cut.

This tool has a 5 year warranty. So I bring it to the local Milwaukee authorized service place. They call me a few days later and tell me that the Milwaukee rep is refusing the warranty repair because there are "scratches" on the bottom of the blade guard that suggest that it was dropped. I counter that:

a) It was not dropped, I was using it.

b) The overall appearance of the tool is near new. It has clearly not spent its life on construction sites. He agrees that it is very obvious that it was never dropped from a roof or a ladder or otherwise abused.

c)Whenever one sets the saw down, the design is such that it rests, at least partially, on the blade guard. As the saw weighs in at 16.8 lbs, I don't think it is surprising that it is scratched and dinged up a bit.

d) it is enough that a $235.00 "pro-grade" tool with the reputation of Milwaulkee Electric behind it would have parts flying off of it, but seems silly to then have the company refuse to repair it. I know nothing is perfect and that stuff breaks, it's the second part that I find most bothersome.

e) I know nobody will believe this, but if I broke it, I would just fess up and buy the casting (which costs 37 bucks, not outrageous, IMHO) and change it myself. That's just how I am. But I DID NOT break it!

As I am only talking to the bench guy at the repair place, and it is not his decision to make, I politely ask if he could please refer me to the Milwaulkee rep to ask him to reconsider. He said that he would pass my complaint along to the rep, along with my phone number. I have not yet heard back from the rep. I have a call in to the regional manager as well, am awaiting a call back. To be fair, I just called the reigonal guy this morning, so it is still early on that front.

Have any of you guys had this sort of experience with Milwalkee? I own lots of their stuff, and love it all. I have never had occasion to seek a warranty repair, so I found it rather annoying that I get this sort of thing for the one time in 25 years that I do.

Am I being unreasonable here?

Reply to
Al A.
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"Al A." wrote: (clip) Am I being unreasonable here? ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ No.

Reply to
Leo Lichtman

Dents would be dropped. Scratches are from a sliging action (such as, for instance, using the saw).

Mine is, I'm sure. It's also scratched.

Sounds like you need to escalate to the idiot's boss. Be polite but firm, and don't hesitate to mention, if you choose, that their customer base will only stay that while they have good tools and back that up. Weaseling on a warranty repair isn't good for reputation.

I believe you; I'm the same way.

See what the regional guy has to say. The bench guy is making policy decisions that he shouldn't be, seems to me. That needs to be fixed one way or the other.

Not at all; if anything, a bit too passive. "I'll pass your info on to the guy" wasn't a reasonable response from him, and I don't think you'd have been out of place to insist at that point, "No, I will call _him_. How do I do that please?"

Please let us know how this works out. I don't buy a lot of tools, but if Milwaukee has gone downhill, I'd like to know it. Green/grey is as good as red, from a color scheme perspective...

Reply to
Dave Hinz

Not good enough, given the price of the tools. If the cheapie from the Red Dragon noodle and tool company, sold as the house brand at the local Borg, can have a "no questions asked" replacement warranty, then Milwaukee need to get their act together. Side note: this is not the first time i have heard of Big Name companies stuffing up on warrantee issues. A friend had a new, expensive DeWalt cordless drill in which the gearbox died 3 weeks after purchase. They wouldn't replace it(and it was well looked after - he makes a living with it) and it took over a month to fix. He was not impressed to say the least. Even with the cheapest Black and Decker, he would have walked out with a new tool within minutes. When a tool is only 3 weeks old, and it has a terminal failure like that, it is a no brainer. Similarly, with our German made hedgetrimmer. Gearbox dies second time of trimming our small, short,(then) 1 year old hedge. We bought this brand after good reviews in the Consumer mag, and paid extra for the privilege. They weren't going to replace it, saying that the importers said they wouldn't fix it as it "must have hit a wire, or been abused". Uhh, no. No wire in there. Took the words "not my problem with the importers", "Consumer Guarantees Act", "Small claims court" and "publicity" to get some action. Not a good look. Give them heaps. Geoff

Reply to
Geoff M

I buy good tools to use it like the contractors and now if it has scratches on it (not grom abuse) will void the warranty? Nonsense! Not just you but I hear others having problems getting it fix under warranty too. Milwaukee is no longer American own if that has anything to do with it. You may want to post this on rec.woodworking and see what the response is.

Reply to

Doesn't sound unreasonable to me. Get the mailing address of the president of the company, and send him a personal letter. I bet you get a new saw back.

- - Rex Burkheimer Fort Worth TX

Al A. wrote:

Reply to
Rex B

It doesn't sound like you are being unreasonable, it sounds like you have a factory rep that does not have a clue.

Here is what I would do. Pay the bill, keep the old parts and take a few good snap shots of the saw showing it's condition.

Now get the name and address of the factory rep from the repair center.

Write to the company requesting that they refund your costs and cc the factory rep and the repair center. If you are declined, then file a small claims suit. My bet is they will send the stupid factory rep to the court house with a check in hand if they don't send you a refund upon review of your case.

Reply to
Roger Shoaf

Thanks for all of the replies, guys.

I am not being too hard on the bench guy, who was very sympathetic. Sounded like he felt dumb making the call. I figured I would give his boss or the Milwaulkee rep a day to reply. When I got no call, I called the 800 number on the website for customer service. I was able to reach a real human after beeping through just a few menus. She was very nice, and both understood and spoke English! Imagine that. Anyway, after hearing my tale of woe, gave me the name and number for the "Northeast regional manager". I got voice mail for him and left a very detailed message. That was earlier today. If I don't at least get an "I got you message" return call by midmorning tomorrow, I will likely call again and if I can't get him, call back and ask for his boss.

Like I said, I have a fair number of Milwalkee tools, and for a number of years made my living with them. This was a bit of a disappointment.

The suggestion to post this all to rec.woodworking is a great one. I am going to do that as soon as I am done with this message.

Again, thanks for all of the ideas and comments. I will certainly keep you all posted as to how this develops. Perhaps if this ends up being one of those lengthely threads, I may email a link to the folks at Milwaukee. I think it may be good for them to know how fast word travels these days.

Anyone here that remembers when MSC tried to "quietly" buy ENCO? RCM made pretty short work of that secret, as I recall.

Thanks, AL A.

Reply to
Al A.

Your position sounds logical to me. I don't buy my tools from the internet or from the box stores. They may cost an extra 5%, but I buy through a commercial construction supply house. I expect them to hand me a fresh tool and let them fight with the manufacturer. They have some pretty good clout. I needed brushes in the Milwaukee core drill (long out of warranty). He did not have any, took them out of brand new machine to get me running and replaced them in his tool when the replacements arrived.

You might contact someone through the Milwaukee Heavy Duty club:

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I'm wanting my battery stuff to die to justify getting into the V28 volt stuff. But then, I'm still waiting for some of the cord tools to die to justify getting a battery version.

(top posted for your convenience) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens)

Reply to

On Thu, 06 Oct 2005 16:03:32 -0400, Al A. wrote

No. My experience with Milwaukee has been quite different. My portable bandsaw developed a slight oil leak around the gearbox after a year or so. I took it to the local Milwaukee repair center and explained my problem. The guy didn't even ask when I'd bought it, said "Sir, I think you're mistaken. If you'll come back in a half hour or so I think you'll see that you were mistaken."

He was right, of course. I must have imagined that oil leak. That was some years ago, still no trace of oil seepage.

You might try Milwaukee's "contact us" email addy:

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Reply to
Don Foreman

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