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Bosch: A Lesson in Customer Service

February 1, 2007

Not too long ago, I upgraded my table saw from an ancient Craftsman handy-me-down (thanks Watt, it served me well and is now in the possession of another n00b woodworker) to a sweet Bosch 4000 table saw and stand. I opted to get the rear and side outfeed extensions based on the advice of some woodworking friends to increase its usefulness. The rear outfeed worked worked great- it had a thumb lock screw, and fit well. The side outfeed however didn’t have a lock screw, and worse, would interfere with the rail locking mechanism. It would only be possible to lock the rail once you extend the side outfeed a bit. And without the locking screw, every time you collapse the stand, the outfeed extension would work its way out– it needed to be lashed to the table to prevent it from doing so.

This being my second Bosch tool, I was somewhat surprised at the oversight- Bosch makes good stuff, how did this get by their QA department? Luckily I read somewhere (can’t find it now) that Bosch recognized the issues with the side extension and was collecting names, to send the replacement- once it was built- out free of charge. Nice! I gave their tech support a call, and in just a few minutes added myself to the list. (Talk about efficient support staff.)

That was easily 6 months ago. I didn’t think much of it, except on the rare occasion when I rolled out the saw to make something for the odd project. But by then, I thought Bosch must have been playing lip service to customers complaining about the design flaw…

When I arrived home tonight, I had a box waiting for me from Bosch– and I knew right away what it was. The replacement for the overly long side feed rod– as promised! It took just 5 minutes to install, and corrected the interference with the rail lock.

Sure, you could argue that Bosch shouldn’t have shipped a poorly designed accessory to begin with- that was mildly annoying. But they more than made up for it by making good on it like they said they would. I’m more likely to buy another Bosch tool *now* than I would had they shipped a non-defective product in the first place. Weird, eh?

It makes me wonder how effective Sun is in this regard… and make me appreciate it more when our CEO makes a public effort trying to correct a wrong.

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One Comment
  1. Bosch made a mistake with the table saw and did the right thing 1) admitted it, 2) fixed it it, and third 3) sent the fix free of charge to existing customers. How much did it cost Bosch to do this? I don’t know. But in the long term they have strengthened their relationship with you. And like you said you are now more likely to purchase additional tools from Bosch.
    From your post, I will now consider Bosch power tools when I am upgrading / replacing power tools in my woodshop.
    Too bad other power tool manufactures have not learned this lesson from Bosch.

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