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Heres my story its sad but true. Its about a

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  • Heres my story its sad but true. Its about a

    scroll saw by DeWalt!!! With much excitement I finally saved up enough money and purchased ol’ yeller in November 2008. It was a HUGE improvement from the tiny lit’l saw I had been making sawdust on! Overall it was the scroll saw I thought (and heard) it was. Until one day in October 2009 it quit working to my disbelief!!! I searched the internet for authorized service centers and found one here locally in OS. When I dropped it off I was told 2-3 weeks…you know what that means – lol! Well after calling every Monday for a status report and hearing constant excuses (the warehouse was out of parts, shipping was delayed, the warehouse was closed for inventory, blah, blah, blah). Finally after THREE MONTHS of frustration my SO got on the phone and found the district office and called to complain. To both our surprise my beloved saw was there, it arrived the day before! It needed a new motor; it was being replaced and would return back here in OS within the next week or so. When I went to pick it up (from the idiot I initially dropped it off with) he tried to give me a big line of bull and I told him that I had talked to the regional service center and they told me all about my ‘repairs’. He never once offered an apology or nothing…and sadly he is still an ‘authorized’ service center – imagine that!

    So now lets skip forward to August 2011…ol’ yeller starts making sounds, not acting right and finally blowing fuses every time it is switched on. I took it apart to see if I could see anything visibly such luck. Researched on the forum and clues. Discovered that there is a 3 year warranty, so believing the statements made on the DeWalt site – ya, right what a joke, live and learn. Anyway, I find ANOTHER authorized service center about an hour away and take it to them. They pretty much tell me it will be ‘out of pocket’ repair – more than likely a new motor (the most expensive part), look at me like a ‘dumb female’ not having a clue about a power tool…and the list goes on! Frustrated I leave and look at my work ticket and it says ‘new motor $259’…hmmm they have already diagnosed it without looking at it. Same story 2-3 weeks for repair; first week goes by – no phone call. Check service net for status...that's another joke! So I call them on Monday - ‘haven’t looked at it yet’, second week goes by - no phone call, call them on the next Monday - ‘haven’t looked at it yet and we are a month backlogged’ – NOT MY problem…I NEED my saw! OK…serious withdrawal has set in, not to mention an extreme backlog of orders that need to be completed. I try and convince them that it needs to be put on priority and that this is how I make my living these days…reply, ‘we will see what we can do’. Of course another week goes by and I call again...'Oh, we forgot to call and let you know that the circuit board is bad and that there is not one to be found in the country'…yes, my saw is down INDEFINETLY!!! I searched all over the internet and NO ONE has the part!!! I call back to talk to the district manager and here is the deal (I use this term very loosely) he wants to make me…I will SELL you a NEW one for the price of the highest repair - $259. Now the circuit board is only $60…why should I pay $259!?! Speechless and just not understanding their so-called policy I hand the phone to my SO…the man can get things done a lot better than my mousy demeanor!!! To my surprise he mentions this forum (as I never thought he really paid attention to all my ramblings about this wonderful site and friends) and suggests that DeWalt may want to get on the internet and check it out as they are not getting rave reviews at the moment! Well after a lengthy conversation they come to the conclusion that the district rep needs to call his supervisor and see what can be done, and will call back. Now this is all happening late Friday afternoon, so I don’t expect to hear anything…to my amazement I receive a phone call after five and a NEW saw is being shipped and should be here within 7-10 days! WOW…I think I will let my SO handle all my battles from now on – lol! Low and behold, the following Friday there is a bright yellow box on my porch…YIPPEE!!!

    You would think the story ends here…WRONG!!! Unfortunately, my partner in crime’s heart decided not to beat correctly and we ended up in the ER and hospital for the weekend. He is doing much better now…THANK GOODNESS!!! So with everything going on I finally got back in the studio and spent two days giving it a thorough cleaning, re-hanging shelves that were full of wood that decided to come crashing down and FINALLY got my new saw mounted and table assembled (I forgot how big of pain that was for the seeing impaired and fumble fingers-lol). Install a new blade, get it all squared up, find my scrap of wood and READY, SET, GO...NOPE!!! Hit the switch and NOTHING!!! Hit it again, NOTHING!!! Check the plug and NOTHING! Switch the outlet, NOTHING!!! Blow out the switch…which hasn’t seen any dust yet and still NOTHING! Check the fuse, NOTHING!!! What the blankety, blankety, blank!!! I am at my wits end with DeWalt!!! Unfortunately it was too late to call the service center…so the saga will continue tomorrow and I will keep you posted!

    For anyone that has purchased a NEW saw I cannot stress enough…REGISTER THE WARRANTY and hopefully your life with ol’ yeller will be a lot longer than mine!!!!

    Sorry for the lengthy diatribe…but I just had to vent!!!
    ~ Kim (still not making sawdust)
    Last edited by lkbraa; 09-29-2011, 12:10 AM. Reason: Oops - wrong dates
    ~ Kim

    A day in my shop is like a day at the beach...full of sunshine and ya never know where the sawdust may end up!

  • #2

    At least with a LOT of fighting they tried to make it right... I hope you can get things going right without too much more hassle. The so-called service you get from these "authorized repair centers" is appalling.

    It seems that this is the Stanley/Black and Decker (&Dewalt/Delta/Porter Cable) business model. I always cringe when people try to push Delta... IMO Delta is even scarier because they aren't owned by Stanley anymore but Stanley is still supposed to be handling repairs (and warranty too I think?).

    Unfortunately you don't have much to choose from in alternatives. For scrollsaws, I say General International IMO, I also have a nice General International lathe that I love. Some RIGID tools are ok for budget stuff.. at least you can get service and replacements in a reasonable time frame and some of the tools seem decent enough.... Better than Black and Decker junk with no service.

    Good luck getting this all straightened out.
    Keith Fenton
    Scroll saw patterns @


    • #3
      Kim -- DeWalt service centers seem to view scroll saws as strictly hobby machines and give them the lowest priority. They cater to the construction worker types. I had a less than satisfactory experience the service center too, even though the new saw they gave me does work.

      Do keep us posted. I want to know how this turns out.
      Mtnman Jim

      taking life as it comes and trying to make the best of it


      • #4
        That is truly sad. I'd remind them that we on this forum are watching to see how you are treated. Several have already switched over to the Excalibur due to better service. Please do keep us informed and I hope So is doing better and is out of the woods that had to be scary.
        "Still Montana Mike"

        "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
        Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC


        • #5
          OMG. I have had great luck with Dewalt and Dewalt Service in the past. I hope this is not a sign of the new times.
          Creator of fine designer sawdust.


          • #6
            Kim, the appropriate reaction to your tale of woe would get this post removed immediately, and probably get me banned from the forum for life.

            At least in terms of priorities, you SO seems to be out of the woods--that must be a huge relief.

            As far as your DeWalt story, the lack of customer service is simply not acceptable. I think the low regard in which the scroll saw is held in the world of mainstream woodworking is part of the problem, but certainly not the only part.

            However, I do have an idea. Since so many people have had experiences that echo yours, perhaps we could generate a letter that could be downloaded and sent by a lot of people, to a decision-maker in the company. I'd be willing to do the first draft, but only if there's support for doing something. And perhaps someone else could research the person to whom the letter should be sent.

            If something is wrong, it's best to try to do something about it, and if we can speak as many voices, we're a lot louder than only one.

            Follow me on my blog:


            • #7
              That's tough all the way around. I'm glad your SO is doing better.

              I assume you didn't keep the "tiny lit’l saw." It's nice to have a back up for times like this.

              One thing - I'm sure you did this and it's a long shot, but just in case - did you plug something else into the outlet to make sure it worked? You mentioned shelves having fallen, etc, and perhaps something pulled out of an outlet and the circuit breaker tripped.

              Please let us know what happens with Dewalt.


              • #8
                Carole I would support such a letter if kept professional which i would have no doubt if drafted by you. Lets get behind Kim and support her cause. It will benefit a lot of folks ultimately.
                "Still Montana Mike"

                "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
                Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC


                • #9
                  Of course it would be professional, Mike. Let's see how much interest this generates, since "big yeller" was the go-to saw when I joined on in 2006, and now it's anything but.

                  Follow me on my blog:


                  • #10
                    One thing we may also address in the same document is the sad lack of tolerances for the back and forth movement of the blade front to rear. This along with poor customer service seem to be the most common complaints about the dw788.
                    "Still Montana Mike"

                    "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
                    Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC


                    • #11
                      It's sad to see how Dewalt CS has neglected you Kim. That is shameful and reprehensible. I've said it before on this board and I'll say it again, I have a Dewalt and fortunately have had few problems with it, but if I were buying a replacement today, I would not seriously consider getting another one. It pains me to say that, because I believe the Dewalt is a fine saw, with an excellent, user friendly design. However, your story and others like it that have been posted over the past couple years has really turned me off. I don't even like to recommend the Dewalt if someone is looking for a new saw.

                      As for the letter to those in positions of power & influence at the corporate office, I support that effort. Until someone of authority realizes the problems they've created, it's unlikely anything will improve. I would prefer to see the company cease production of this saw rather than allow it to continue to decline, as it has recently.
                      Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."


                      • #12
                        Kim -
                        I'm glad your SO is doing better! That has to be scary.

                        I've had a DeWalt for about 14 years and have been happy with it (until now). When I did have to take it in for service, the semi-local guy was good to work with. But, when I get a new saw, it won't be a DeWalt - because of everything I've been reading on this forum.

                        You shouldn't be treated the way you were at either of the service places. I'm glad your SO spoke up for you - too bad it took that.




                        • #13
                          Wow Kim....what a pain...and I don't mean your SO...Thank God he is feeling much better. As for old Yeller, well, having gone through many of those saws to find one that would work (never did find that one) I understand what you are going through. I know it's a large expense to purchase a good tool and we always have hopes it will work just fine for years to come...but for some reason, the 788 does not do this. Those that have had good luck with the one they purchased are far and few between it seems. It will be interesting to see the out come of this for you. I do not regret the day I gave up on the Dewalt and bought my first Hegner...Costly, yes, but well worth the price in knowing the saw will start and work when I need it to. As for fixing it, the parts are very easy to change out. I have only had to do it one time in the past 12 years. Good luck and let us know the outcome.


                          • #14
                            I have never been a big fan of the big Yellow saw but I am a fan of many of their other tools. Even if the SS market is small poor support there will also sour peoples thoughts on the rest of their tools.
                            We have an annual visit from Dewalt reps to our club meeting I will certainly bring it up to the marketing people.
                            RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                            Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                            Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                            And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association


                            • #15
                              If you are on any social networks-Facebook, Twitter, etc.--consider airing your complaints there. If you do so, make the issue Black and Decker customer service, not jusr DeWalt. Far more people but Black and Decker devices than buy DeWalt 788 saws. Many of the major corporations use software that moniters the social networks for mention of their company and do not want extensive badmouthing online. Many corporations now employ people to watch the networks and respond to major complaints.


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