View Full Version : KBC Canada service ???

12-13-2004, 07:49 PM
Just wondering what kind of luck the rest of you Canadians are having with their service? I've found them to be the absolute worst out of anyone I deal with. The last three times I've ordered I asked them NOT to send by UPS (they are very hard to track down and I have to take an hour or more off work to meet them)...sure enough, they ship via UPS after they agreed to ship by mail. Last order, they said everything was in stock. The order never showed up. I finally got tired of waiting, phoned them up and was told that indeed my order had JUST been sent...a week late....to a different business in a town 600 miles away...oh yes and only half the order because they where out of stock with the rest (after they said all was IN stock). Perfect...I had to tell a customer that I couldn't do a $450 job because they never sent the things I needed. Now it seems that when one of the back ordered items shows up in their warehouse, they send it to me via UPS. Last was a $6 trinket that I'm sure will cost me $15 or $20 shipping. It's too bad because for us in Western Canada they have most of what we want at a reasonable price. Now I know why I was warned about dealing with them from the last shop I worked for. They quit dealing with them altogether. Are they any better back East? Thanks.

12-13-2004, 07:56 PM
The last time I ordered from them I ordered a set of 1/8" number punches. They sent me a set of alphabet punches instead. I called them and arranged to have them send me the set of number punches and I agreed to buy both sets. They agreed to subtract the cost of shipping that they would incur if I sent the alpha punches back collect. I got the number punches in due time but a month later I received an invoice marked "overdue". I had authorized them to bill my card but they didn't do so. I'm not too impressed.

Al Flipo
12-13-2004, 08:01 PM
I don’t think they charge for shipping back orders, or orders, which are shipped from Toronto, in the event that it is not in stock in BC.
I have dealt with them for a good number of years and can’t complain about their service all that much.

12-13-2004, 08:05 PM
Travers is much better to Newfoundland.
I get the FULL order every time in 3 days and that's from New york!!!
ps Just a happy customer

12-13-2004, 08:21 PM
Well I'm not Canadian,but we do order a lot from KBC,something on the order of $2000 every month or so in Taps,dies,drills you name it.

All I can say is,don't feel like the Lone Ranger,EVERY order is screwed up.Boxes torn open,items lost,over counts,under counts,wrong items backorders and the list goes on.Last week we ordered 26 5/8 S&D drills and 2 -5/8 double endmills,what did we get? 28 5/8" endmills and 2 drill bits.

We knocked the b/o problem in the head,we tell them and print it on the order "cancel all back orders" we order open account with them,the only real reason we put up with them is they do give us a 15-20% resale discount.

I did tell them to leave the crack pipe at home when they filled my order once http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

12-13-2004, 09:27 PM
I've not had any problem with the KBC Toronto location. Most of the time I drive in to get my stuff over the counter. When items are back ordered I get them within a week, usually less. The UPS guy just drops the stuff off at my place. I've never gotten a shipped order messed up, and as far as I can tell, KBC does not charge for shipping back orders.

As for Travers, I don't like the fact that I have to order $100 minimum. That means I sometimes have to buy more stuff than I want if I need just some small item ASAP. KBC's minimum is $25. Plus I don't like how Travers continue to advertise Kasenit in their Canadian sale flyer, but they refuse to ship it to me. They've been advertising the stuff over the span of 3 or 4 flyers now, but they won't sell me any. Yes, I know they have this thing about shipping chemicals across border, but they said the same thing about Mobil Vactra oil and they shipped that to me. Seems the folks at the Montreal office don't know if they're coming or going - especially the female order taker (don't know her name), who I found to be particularly rude and clueless.

Given the choice I prefer KBC. They're cheaper than Travers on the same items.

12-13-2004, 09:30 PM
I have been to the KBC in Toronto, but I don't order from them when I am in Canada, I order from Travers. Short shipping time, good prices. In the states a different story, KBC, order by 4 and get it the next day.


12-13-2004, 09:36 PM
When I am home in Valleyfield, I do get stuff from Traverse in Montreal, You are right about the lady, she is rude. But I can go get my order if I need to.


12-13-2004, 09:43 PM
"They're cheaper than Travers on the same items"
Travers prices include the HST and all shipping costs. ie What you see is what you pay.

"I don't like the fact that I have to order $100 minimum"
Not fussy on this either, but it does not take long to get a $100.00 worth in a machine shop.2-3 good end mills!!

"Seems the folks at the Montreal office don't know if they're coming or going - especially the female order taker (don't know her name), who I found to be particularly rude and clueless."

I only deal with New York and I find them to be excellent in every way.

"Given the choice I prefer KBC. They're cheaper than Travers on the same items."

When you factor in freight and the time it takes to get to Newfoundland,Travers prices are better.I can not get the same package from T.O. in 3 days unless I pay AIR Freight.

12-14-2004, 03:29 AM
I buy locally if possible - a lot of times I can get a better deal from Thomas Skinner & Sons or the others just by "razzing their ass a little about the fact the bastards are even more expensive than the jerks at KBC" (even when they are not) - I always get price breaks and they usually have the stuff in stock. Skinner treats me very well.

Edmonton Nut & bolt has the best metric & inch selection and they do carry W1 and some O1 but not in all sizes (cheap too).

Westool Production Supply carries some O1 and W1 and some HSS stock as well as cutting tools and most metalworking supplies.

Kennametal, DoAll, United Tool Supply, Precision Tool Supply, Sowa (only sells through other dealers - no direct sales), Akhurst Machinery, Modern Tool, BFG Machine Tools. The first five sell tooling (and some machinery), the last have some tooling, mostly machinery - new & used.

You can buy Diamond plated and grit tools from a company in Calgary.

12-14-2004, 03:34 AM
BTW - for what it is worth, KBC has screwed EVERY order up that I have placed and overcharged me $35 in freight charges that I have never gotten a credit on yet despite my protests and explicit written shipping instructions.

They want me back, I expect freebies first. The 10% off specials price isn't enough.

12-14-2004, 06:53 AM
Well it's good to hear that I'm not the only one with problems. I was wondering about the Toronto store as that seems to be the head office. Was thinking they may be better but when I phone I always get the Vancouver store. The Kennametal sales guy left me a KAR catalogue. They have good stuff but are pretty pricey and from Montreal they can't ship to BC overnight. Thrud...You've mentioned T. Skinner before. Guess I'll have to try them next time I need something in a hurry. Just pisses me off to loose a customer when they tell you it's in stock and it'll be shipped asap...so the guy tears his machine apart so we could do it on the weekend...then has to put it all back together (not repaired) for Monday. Almost makes me feel like starting up a tool store...lol! Thanks.

G.A. Ewen
12-14-2004, 07:56 AM
I used to have problems with KBC but in the last two years everything has been fine.

I have it figured that those that work there are more like robots than people. If you try to get them to do something that they are not programmed for you are in for trouble.

If you phone your order in the chimp won't take it down right; always fax your order in.

If you ask them to ship by mail instead of UPS there is bound to be a screw-up, the robots are not programmed for Canada Post.

Canadian employers hire a lot of imigrants so if you have a problem that requires phoning them and the person that answers can't speak english; 'A' - say "sorry wrong number" and call them back later, or 'B'- ask for another department. ( I have no prejudices against other races but I feel that they should learn english before the employer lets them talk to customers on the phone)

I haven't had any problems since I started Faxing my orders and letting them ship UPS.

I guess they have me trained http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//redface.gif

Herb W
12-14-2004, 10:46 AM
I placed an order with them once about a year ago - by email. They confirmed the order, but never did ship it...

So, even though their sale prices can be tempting, I continue to buy locally.

12-14-2004, 11:50 AM
Thrud is right, buy locally if you can. I order a fair amount of stuff from KBC and have had lots of problems. When I do order, I order a lot of stuff, every time I get charged shipping for the stuff they have in BC ( I am in Alberta), a seperate charge for shipping from Ontario for the stuff they ship from there. The stuff they b/o they usally don't charge shipping on, but half the time it never arives.

The worst thing I have had happen was a C.C.reciept out of the blue for several hundred dollars of stuff that I never bought. It was listed as a walk in sale, and even though I informed them I live 600 miles from them and didn't even know where the city they are located in is, it took them a month to straighten it out. They acted as if they were doing me a favor when they did refund my money, and never did apologize.

Last week I was connecting a new TOS lathe for our companies biggest customer, and was talking to the maintenence managger. Acording to him there are two catalogs for KBC, a list cataloge for most customers and a different one with a lower set of prices for their big users. I guess I should not be suprized, Acklands and every other wholesaler We deal with have a graduated set of prices, from list on down depending on how big a customer you are.

12-14-2004, 02:56 PM
KBC does have problems with back ordered items. Because I live 10min drive from their Toronto office, I always arrange for a pickup. When items are back ordered, they ship without additional charge. On smaller orders, I think they lose money. They are pretty good about exchanging or returning items, and their price is also decent when they are on sale.

[This message has been edited by rotate (edited 12-14-2004).]

12-14-2004, 04:09 PM
I agree with Thrud, I buy locally, mostly from BDI Canada. I get great service from nice people who live in my community. No hassle from the STUPID brown guys (UPS) and I usually get next day delivery.
Some of the stuff actually comes from KBC, and I usually get at least the same or lower price and I don't pay shipping.

I haven't bought from KBC in 3-4 years.

in sudbury

12-14-2004, 07:47 PM
I have nothing but good things to say. The stuff is comming out of Toronto. I get it very very fast and the orders are complete.

12-14-2004, 08:07 PM
I've been tempted to order from KBC because of some of the prices and now I'm glad I haven`t. I've been buying locally from an outfit called Quality Cutting Tools, Inc. (in Saskatoon) and I'm almost embarrassed by the level of service they have given me every time I go there. You would think I was spending hundreds of dollars on tooling instead of the usual $25 or so. I can't say enough good things about these people.

12-14-2004, 08:41 PM
I havent bought anything exept a catalogue, but ive noticed the prices are too extreme in canada. I mean the exact same model of 9 x 19 lathe is 250 dollars cheaper at BB

12-14-2004, 10:15 PM
Actually, I must correct my statement that I've never had a problem with the Canadian KBC. I did only in that I couldn't get on their mailing list. I called and also went down to their store, but no luck. Finally I decided to call the chief honcho there. Her name is Carla (Karla?) Bass. Turns out that this Carla Bass is related to the original founder of KBC. Might be his daughter or grandaughter. Once I talked to Carla all was well. She seemed to be very helpful and interested in making things right. Later on I actually met her at the store. Not sure if she is Canadian by birth or if she was parachuted into Canada to run the Canadian operation. As a last resort it might be worth a try calling her.

Also, at least at the Toronto store, I've never found any of the behind-the-counter staff to be mindless droids. Most of the guys I've dealt with seemed to know their stuff and were very helpful. Even to the point of dragging out of the stock room different versions of an item to show me so I could make a better choice. I guess some people have good luck, and others not. Seems to happen with a lot of companies in my experience. Go figure. Must have something to do with the weather, the time of year, the phase of the moon, etc. etc. etc.

12-14-2004, 10:20 PM
El...I agree that their machines look over priced but I'd like to see/try them before passing judgment. Well it continues..lol..the dreaded "Brown guy" (good one Pete!) chase continued yet again. Ran him down and sure enough...another tiny little package with one Niagra end mill and a 2" side mill cutter. Ho hum..this is the third trip now and still three more things to come. It does appear that I'm NOT being charged for all this shipping. I think. Hard to say, they have the invoices so screwed up nobody will ever make sense of them. I like the idea of faxing the order and I do agree that some of their people should have a better grasp of the English language. That being said I have to think of Busy Bee. Some of the people you talk to there are terrible. I can't understand a word they say but they never screw up and they almost always ship over night if I need it. The rest they ship by mail like I ask. Too bad they don't handle better consumables.

12-14-2004, 10:55 PM
jmh..Is this Carla in the Toronto store? I hate to say it but the order desk people in Vancouver are all young (sounding) girls and they really have no clue what this "machining " stuff is all about.

12-15-2004, 02:39 AM
I havent bought anything exept a catalogue,...[/QUOTE]

Laddie, laddie, laddie - never PAY for a stinking catalog they give them to you for free - and if they won't - the bastards don't need your business bad enough. Trust me on this.

One tip though - unless you really do know more than them humility and bowing to their expertise (i.e. sucking up a little) will get you farther than being a weiner - being nice to people never hurts and you never know how far it can get you.


All my orders to KBC were via fax and typewritten and they still screwed them up - I was not taking any chances that they might mistake my handwriting for chicken poop. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

12-17-2004, 11:52 AM

Yes, Carla is at the Toronto store. Sounds like maybe all the good staff are located in Toronto. I've actually sat there in the Toronto store, while I was filling out my order, and watched how the staff interacted with customers. I'm not saying they were out of this world, but they were helpful, seemed to be cheery, and seemed to know their stuff for the most part. I don't expect miracles, given the large number of items places like KBC carry, but I also don't expect attitude when they don't know the answer to a question. I can respect someone who owns up to their limitations. I can't tolerate the BS and attitude from some droid who is just trying to cover their posterior. Why don't you try emailing the head office or calling them? Might be worth a try, seeing as how there seems to be quite a difference in service between the Vancouver and Toronto stores.

However, lousy staff seems to be the wave of the future, no matter which company you deal with. It seems like more and more, the staff at any kind of retail outlet (electronics, cameras, hobby shops, big box stores, whatever) are just mindless droids who know just enough to get them by. Ask them some "deep" question and their heads explode, or they give you some BS answer and then get all rude and testy when you question what they are telling you. Gone are the days when the person behind the counter was a good source of info. Maybe not all of them are gone, yet, but it's getting that way more each day.

12-17-2004, 02:09 PM
jmh...Thanks for the info. I'm going to try to get ahold of Carla. I hear you in spades about the "new" counter people. My favourites are the new kids in the auto parts stores. The worst is the current trend here to hire as many good lookin young blonde girls as you can find. Seems like a competition to see who gets the best looking one. Do I need to tell you how awful the service is now! It's bloody awful! I'm used to the old guys who actually knew how to pull a wrench and knew a ton of part numbers by heart.

12-17-2004, 06:05 PM

12-17-2004, 09:48 PM
madman....If you don't like KBC...be sure to let us know eh! LOL! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

12-17-2004, 10:19 PM
Well, I just ordered a dozen different spiral point made in USA taps from them yesterday. We'll see if they get it right. Oh yeah, specified priority mail, NOT UPS. Tried to use Purolator Courier but they said that Purolator won't pick up from them. She said they are having a little dispute of some sort. Does this mean they aren't paying their bills?

12-18-2004, 06:09 AM
I just wish Madman would make up his mind about them, and tell us if he likes them or not.
David from jax

Have gun, will travel.

12-18-2004, 09:08 AM
Evan, that's pretty funny! They told me the same story about Purolator. Said that the customers hadn't been paying their shipping bills so Purolator refused to pick up from them. I prefer them because the guy here is a friend of mine and will bring the stuff to where ever I happen to be at the time. the UPS guy...whew.. he works out of a little hole in the wall a minute away from me but delivers to four other towns first...then comes back. The nice part is there is no way to get ahold of him.
Sandman...you got snow down there yet???..lol!

12-21-2004, 12:44 PM
Well, KBC comes through again, NOT. I ordered 10 spiral point taps last Thursday. I was told they were all in stock and would be shipped Friday. I received the order this morning. There are four taps in the box with 5 to come from Ontario and one on indefinite backorder. I need these taps for work I am going to do over Christmas. I called them and reamed them and ordered the ones I really need from a different brand, English made and a lot more expensive. Now we see if they can make here in time. Grr.

12-21-2004, 01:35 PM
the problem is that Canada is so big and the population is so spread out that there is no local supplier for a lot of people.

Evan, is there an Aucklands/Grainger in williams lake ? There must be one in Kamloops or Kelowna. I don't know how they are with mail order.

I live in Calgary and still have a hard time getting stuff locally imedieatly, but Aucklands can get anything not in stock usually in a day from Edmonton.Even paying list, stuff is usually chaper then KBC, the choices are much more limited with Aucklands though.

I am currently trying to find 30 mm w-1 drill rod, it looks like I might have to deal with the dreaded Metal Supermarket.!

Now they are expensive, and rude and stupid ...

[This message has been edited by quasi (edited 12-21-2004).]

jim davies
12-29-2004, 10:46 PM
Have done a fair bit of traffic with KBC Vancouver. On the way home, so that helps. Some of the staff are good and some less so. One of the ladies that works the phone sounds JUST like an old girlfriend [no physical similarity, though] so I can talk to her all day. She is pretty thorough, too. My luck on mail order from them has been mixed. Post is the only option 'cuz my shop is so far in the boondocs them Other Brown Things are never seen here. That's okay, there's plenty of cow turds to fill in for 'em.

12-29-2004, 10:58 PM
Just go order it from Thomas Skinner & Sons (A Haas Factory Outlet) in Calgary and tell them you want the same price or better than KBC - you will get it. Maybe it might take longer, maybe not, but they won't screw it up - chances are they can get you to pay for it at Skinner and you will be able to pick it up from their supplier in Calgary the same day if you are in a hurry for it or they will get it for you and you can wait.

[This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 12-29-2004).]

12-29-2004, 11:45 PM
Ha...I got my last piece of the order...where EVERYTHING was in stock. Been so long I can't even remember when I ordered everything...lol! To put a finishing touch on everything they sent my reciept with a credit card statement with all my card info in an unsealed envelope. The glue for the flap was never slobbered on and the flap was swingin in the breeze. Nice huh? Have to take the time to write the whole thing out and send it to Carla. Surely she will be proud http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif!!!

12-30-2004, 02:32 PM
THRUD, thankyou I will give them a try.

12-30-2004, 03:28 PM
I finally got the rest of my taps yesterday.

Russ, just send her an e-mail with a link to this thread. Wait until after New Years, no reason to spoil her weekend.

12-30-2004, 03:31 PM
Evan...I was thinking the same thing!

12-30-2004, 06:24 PM
I sent one 2 weeks ago , but not directly to her just attention manager. A few more would not hurt. I placed an order befoe Christmas had no problem except back order stuff. They sent one item prepaid, still waiting for the last item .

02-11-2005, 08:20 PM
Hey Guys!!! Just an update...I finally heard back from the "brass" at KBC! Oh Boy...the lady I talked to...manager of Western Canada Division..Is NOT happy about what I told her. I talked on the phone with her today for almost an hour. I told her about this thread and that even pissed her off more. She "says" she is going to correct this situation. She was really sincere actually. I had a problem with a set of boring bars from them. She is paying to have them sent back and is testing the new set she's sending me back to make sure they are good. She's pissed at the quality of the tools they sent. She's also really pissed about the order desk not paying attention to my request that my stuff be sent by Cananda Post instead of a courier. She also said that if any of you guys in Canada have problem..send an email to KBC...Att. Alana, Delta division. She said she is going to demand a meeting with the head office to solve these problems. Hmmm...seems the old adage is true..the squeaky wheel gets the grease!!!