Abeaty1387

My first mistake at smithing

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So I didn't want to post this but maybe some other green horn can learn from it. When I decided to take on the hobby of smithing me and my wife had one rule. I was only allowed to fund my new hobby by selling stuff from another hobby (hand gun collection) so I did. I sold a Springfield range officer 1911 for 550$ and used that money to buy some basic tools and about 200$ worth of lump charcoal. With the money I had left over I bought a anvil from HF(your allowed to laugh at me now) well I had the anvil for a total of 3 hours I got it home gave it a nice flat black paint job let it dry and started the forge. My metal was hot and I was happy to have what I thought was a anvil insted of a block of cement i was using before. Three strikes in with a 2# hammer and the front of the anvil cracks off. I was a little more than furious when I returned to HF to return it the same day and they refused me because I had painted it black. Moral of the story. Don't buy your anvil from HF. Will post a pic of the anvil later today

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That has to hurt. I'd be pushing a bit to try and get them to deal with the issue, but understand that they might not due to you painting it. If nothing else, I'd ask the store manager for the name and phone number of their district manager and complain, if nothing else about the poor quality of the product and your disappointment with the customer service. Getting the national customer service number and calling wouldn't hurt either, but the district sales manager usually gets you more response. Ask for his name and the store number so you can identify the store and manager on duty to whomever you decide to call. You might be surprised to find the manager becomes more agreeable with you at that point. Most don't really want thier boss bothered about things like this if they can deal with it themselves.

 

Many times calls about poor customer service that make it up the ladder to the regional or corporate level tend to get a disproportionate level of response. While the store manager might just brush off your dissatisfaction as "typical", you can bet that if he gets a call from his boss about a dissatisfied customer, he'll pay a bit more attention. Also you might find since the district manager doesn't have a "stake" in the game such as far as making sure his return numbers don't exceed a certain percentage, and he may be more willing to do a return to satisfy a customer. The fact you went thru the trouble to identify the district manager to complain shows you aren't the average customer and are a bit more serious.

 

I'd down play the paint, and stress the fact it broke day 1 when you bought it. My guess is they aren't sending this back to a supplier most likely for credit, so the paint really won't change much. My guess is they get a quantity allowance against "defective" units when they get these in. So if they buy 100, the company ships 104 lets say, to cover any "bad" ones. Any extra is pure profit. That's different from say a name brand tool where the store either ships the bad items back, or a vender comes around to check the bad units before initialing either their destruction at store level for a credit, or authorizing a return to vendor.

 

 

I worked a lot of years doing receiving and returns for a major retailer. I know how the game gets played. I know a lot of times the managers would take things back they knew we couldn't return just to satisfy a particularly determined customer. Note I said "determined", NOT annoying.  If you irritate the manager or become too much of a hassle, they'll often just say "NO" and stand firm. Be polite and reasonable, but don't accept the brush off. If you can't get the response you want, thank them and politely ask for the name and number of the next person up the food chain so you can express your dissatisfaction with their reply, No threats, just let them know you intend to take this further...  We also had the district managers office in our store, so I know how fast issues that get brought to their attention get resolved. If you are persistent, but reasonable about this, I'll bet you get some manner of satisfaction, even if it's a higher than usual discount coupon for a later purchase, a gift card or something else other than your money back.

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i had a similar issue with store return ... the manager at store level said they would not accept return of a defective item , because they had already exchanged it 3 times ... i pointed out that as long as they were sending me junk ... i would return it ... ( it was a large expensive item ) i went to regional and the backed up the store manager. After filling out the paperwork for small claims court, i called national head quarters, long story short ... i had my return picked up by the store in less than 48 hrs with full credit. i also had a long chat with our " better business  bureau " they suggested i use more honey ( ultimately less vinegar ) and small claims court. 

the item which initially cost me $1200, would have cost them about 5 k in court ... but potentially way more in bad PR.

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First welcome to the addiction. Second The old Russian anvils that the use to sell were pretty good. I have had good luck with there hammers. And you cant beat the price. I tell my new students find a metal supplier and pick up a block of steel. Until they can find a serviceable anvil. Your location would be helpful our local group help new blacksmith get anvils all the time.

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I've called about 3 times now talking to different people. But they keep saying because I painted it they won't return it. I'm from Toledo Ohio I think the closest smithing group to me is in ft Wayne with Steve sells I think. First lesson learned I guess

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I average about one screw up a day, sometimes two, so don't feel bad. As far as HF, most of their stuff ain't worth the gas it costs to bring the junk home. I have had a few tools from them, last a while but it's VERY rare indeed. My frequency of purchasing from them is rare as well. I'd take the junk back and sit with it on the tail gate of the truck in the parking lot with a sign on it for sale, and start telling everyone the story. And when they ask you to leave tell them selling it on CL will be easer anyway and a LOT more noticeable to all their customers too. 

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What did it look like originally?  I'm wondering if it was powder coated possibly. If so you might be able to easily remove the paint off the unit and leave the powder coat alone.  I know graffiti remover or paint stripper would work, but it might remove the original "paint" as well if it wasn't powder coated. Acetone, MEK, and a few other good nasty solvents are other options.

 

If it was uncoated, so much the better.

 

 

I'd also wouldn't bother calling the store. I'd go in person and talk face to face and get the contact info for the district manager. It's a lot harder to say no when the person is in your face. It also shows you are serious.

 

Oh the comment on the " better business  bureau " is a good way to light a fire under a company. THAT usually has some teeth as far as getting issues resolved.

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Talked to them in person before and they didn't seem to care much. It was blue when I first bought it and I painted it black. I will get a pic up ASAP just been busy with work. Thanks for all the replies

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Welcome to the group, sorry to hear about your experience at HF.  My suggestion for anything you buy from there is to always keep the receipt and packaging with the intent of returning it in 90 days for the smallest possible reason.  And their extended warranty that they always try to sell you is a one shot thing meaning if you have to replace the first item you bought the warranty isn't good for the replacement item.

 

I'm in a similar situation as you are as far as my hobbies have to support each other, rarely do I have money to waste.  IFI is invaluable for researching anything you plan on purchasing and the subject of anvils has come up countless times.  You don't need a London pattern to begin with, my first anvil was a piece of free RR track mounted vertically and the proceeds from what I made on it eventually bought the anvil I use now.

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Why did you paint an anvil? They're not decorations, paint does nothing at all for it's quality. We, this one probably is a decoration. Forget getting your money back or good GRIEF forget about getting ANOTHER one from them!

 

Mistakes are school, if you're not making mistakes you aren't doing anything. Go find yourself a heavy piece of steel, start learning the craft, make key chains, bottle openers, wall hooks, garden tools, hangers and such. Sell them and it won't be long before you've turned enough to buy one of the anvils you've found applying the TPAAT.

 

Harbor Fright has a good team of lawyers to avoid having to pay out on legitimate claims if there's any excuse. You painted it, it's yours. The time and money you invest in trying to get a replacement or maybe your money back will be better spent learning the craft on whatever you can find to use for an anvil.

 

I'm sorry if I'm not very sympathetic but you've made a couple bad decisions, we all have and hopefully we all learn from them. Throwing more into a bad decision trying to fix it isn't learning from it. Sure, keep sniping at them you may fire a golden bullet and get lucky but don't count on it, move on.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Yea I gave that up frosty. And I wasn't looking for anyone to feel bad for me. Was only posting so that someone may see it and avoid making my mistake. Other than that it's a lesson learned. I'd rather waste time trying to make leafs or flower hangers than fight with HF.

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Yea I gave that up frosty. And I wasn't looking for anyone to feel bad for me. Was only posting so that someone may see it and avoid making my mistake. Other than that it's a lesson learned. I'd rather waste time trying to make leafs or flower hangers than fight with HF.

 

Sorry, I misread your intent. I must betting grouchy in my old age.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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We had talked in PM I advised him to post about it here so others are warned, and maybe HF will get the idea they are not lilving in a bubble,  blacksmiths talk.

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Not a problem frosty. Like I said lesson learned. I don't dwell on things that's my wife's area. Smithing has became my favorite hobby in a very short time span. More than anything I just want to meet some real blacksmiths and watch or pick there brain. So far I've only been able to watch videos to see how things are "supposed" to work/look but I'm more the hands on learner

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I'm just surprised it doesn't have more negative reviews. HF advertises it using words such as heavy duty and stout. What a joke.

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I can't really complain. I seen real anvils in my area but didn't want to shell out 500$+ on just one tool. You get what you pay for and I chose to pay for junk rather than the real thing

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We had talked in PM I advised him to post about it here so others are warned, and maybe HF will get the idea they are not lilving in a bubble,  blacksmiths talk.

 

Talk . . . US? Oh heavens noooo! Good advice Steve, I haven't heard recently how many members on IFI now? Last I read it was more than 80,000 in more than 140 countries.

 

Now, how's that word of mouth thing work, like TPAAT?

 

Frosty The Lucky.

 

Mod note: As of now 29,483 Total Members not including spammers

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I missed one of your questions frosty. I had painted it black because the god awful blue it was when I bought it seemed out of place around all the old hammers/tongs I had just bought.

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not many HF customers would be here, we are mostly into better stuff.

I have made things more public in the past by posting things on facebook including copies of their messages to me.

like the carrier for a parcel I sent, should have been 3 to 4 days

dropped off at the local store they use and was 2 days to show collected from there, another 3 days and nothing new on tracking, I contacted them and they say they did a search and found it and that it was on its way, 2 more days and no new tracking, I contacted them again and they did another search, they found it had not been collected from the store even though tracking said it had and told me it would now be on its way and delivered the next day.

next day still no tracking.

contacted them again, another search, they said they had now found it and the previous searched had not, it was finally delivered after 15 days.

I posted copied and pasted tracking results each day and all correspondence in a page I created.

 

I posted a link each day and all of that days posts on their own FB page

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Some tools quickly pay for themselves, an anvil is one of them. Money is tight but I wouldn't flinch at $500 for a good anvil cuz I know even as a hobbyist in a good 1-2 weeks I'd make it back.

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You might want to post a video on YouTube.

 

Given that the item was obviously defective, and that THEY are wrong for not refunding your money, regardless of whether or not it's painted – it's not as if they could resell a BROKEN anvil, after all, whether it's a POS or not, and it should never have broken in the first place! – I'd say you have a perfectly legitimate claim. You've been screwed.

 

There's  a guy I recently saw on YouTube who apparently bought a real lemon of a Porsche ... people are cross-posting this video EVERYWHERE to try to spread the word and help the guy out, and I wouldn't be surprised if it works for him (he wants his money back, and it seems to me he deserves it, considering all he's been through).

 

( Video removed off topic )

 

It might work for you, too.

 

Some will say you're better off forgetting about it and driving on ... but I'm one of those people offended by injustice, and I'll cut off my nose to spite my face to get some satisfaction when I feel I've been wronged.

 

Good luck.

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