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View Full Version : Dr McMaster-Love, or How I learned to stop complaining and love their service



RobbieKnobbie
10-01-2010, 05:29 PM
So I order a few parts for my mill early Monday morning. A belt, some bearings, that sort of thing. Prices were as good as anywhere else, but I was more interested in the turn around.

Their web site says the package was delivered Monday afternoon, but when I get home... nothing.

I give them a day... then Wednesday I send them an email. They respond that the package was delivered monday and even sent me a .pdf of the signature. Problem is... that's someone else's writing. I respond that it looks like they delivered to the wrong house and within minutes I get an email saying that they are sending out a replacement package THAT DAY.

No hassle, no questions, they just shipped it.

So you can complain about McMaster all you want, they've done pretty good by me. (no affiliation, of course)

KiddZimaHater
10-01-2010, 06:38 PM
I've never had a gripe with McMaster.
They're my faviorite supplier for doo-dads and widgets.
I live in South Texas, and I always get my package within 3 or 4 days.
Sorry, but I just don't understand the McMaster complainers.:confused:

wierdscience
10-01-2010, 06:51 PM
McMaster's service RULES!

Michael Edwards
10-01-2010, 07:07 PM
I live in South Texas, and I always get my package within 3 or 4 days.
Sorry, but I just don't understand the McMaster complainers.:confused:

I live in NW Washington, and if I place an order before 11am, it arrives the next day. I don't know how they pull that off but I like it. :)

ME

MotorradMike
10-01-2010, 07:09 PM
Well, OK, they were awesome when they were there for me but they cut me loose.
They won't ship to Canada and I miss them terribly.
KBC Tools is VERY good but they don't have the range of McMaster Carr.

Bob Fisher
10-01-2010, 07:14 PM
I've used Mc Master Carr for over 25 yrs at work and at home , and have never been disappointed in their handling of the seldom encountered problems. I get one day service and can find almost anything I need. Their prices are not unreasonable, considering the variety of quality products offered, and they never rip you off on shipping.

gvasale
10-01-2010, 07:22 PM
High marks for MMC. Say b+...A-. Got a package from them today, was supposed to be yesterday. But wait... two pcs bronze, 1ft each, 1-1/4x3/4 oversize (cored) and 3/4 solid (round) oversize, for $5.50 shipping& handling.

Of course, the material cost almost $70.00, but the freight was a pleasant surprise.

Gravy
10-01-2010, 08:35 PM
So I order a few parts for my mill early Monday morning. A belt, some bearings, that sort of thing. Prices were as good as anywhere else, but I was more interested in the turn around.

Their web site says the package was delivered Monday afternoon, but when I get home... nothing.

I give them a day... then Wednesday I send them an email. They respond that the package was delivered monday and even sent me a .pdf of the signature. Problem is... that's someone else's writing. I respond that it looks like they delivered to the wrong house and within minutes I get an email saying that they are sending out a replacement package THAT DAY.

No hassle, no questions, they just shipped it.

So you can complain about McMaster all you want, they've done pretty good by me. (no affiliation, of course)

That's exactly the kind of service I've learned to expect from McMaster.

" I get an email saying that they are sending out a replacement package THAT DAY"

I'd bet it went out within 20 minutes. I've tried to change orders a couple of times within that time period. Too late - already shipped.

As I understand it, McMaster is privately owned. No shareholders to please by cutting costs, so they can concentrate on delighting the customer.

Works for me. Seems to be working for them, too.

MichaelP
10-01-2010, 09:36 PM
They are really good. And their Web site is the best one I've ever seen for this kind of merchandise.

EddyCurr
10-01-2010, 10:05 PM
Well, OK, they were awesome when they were there for
me but they cut me loose. They won't ship to Canada
and I miss them terribly.
Likewise.

.

Kenwc
10-01-2010, 10:40 PM
The title of the thread cought my eye...not because I've ever had a bad experience with Mcmaster Carr....in fact....they are outstanding and my number 1 go to vendor.

What caught my eye was that I thought I'd see the first ever complaint I'd seen here or in any forum. I've just never seen a single complaint about their service that I would attibute to them.

I "HOPE" they stay in business. Can't say enough good about them.

RobbieKnobbie
10-02-2010, 01:22 AM
There was a thread a few months ago where a bunch of people were pretty angry with McM. It started with someone who was mad they wouldn't ship to our northern neighbors, and then a few more guys chimed with other issues.

I think when you have an unusually positive experience you should let others know just as if you had an unusually bad one.

S_J_H
10-02-2010, 01:42 AM
Yeah Mcmaster is top notch in my book.

Nothing but outstanding service. I have even received my orders the very same day a couple of times.

Steve

oldtiffie
10-02-2010, 02:13 AM
There was a thread a few months ago where a bunch of people were pretty angry with McM. It started with someone who was mad they wouldn't ship to our northern neighbors, and then a few more guys chimed with other issues.

I think when you have an unusually positive experience you should let others know just as if you had an unusually bad one.

Some outside the USA were disappointed that Mc-M C no longer ships outside the USA.

It turned out that if was not their fault as the US Homeland and other US government departments and agencies had made it too hard (paper-work, regulations, time, Customs, costs etc.) that it was too much hassle.

I am in OZ and I could understand that.

I wonder if this sort of impediment to business and trade/manufacturing will affect any hope of the USA improving its economy by exporting.

Most/many other currencies have appreciated markedly against the US$ and so it would be a good time to buy US products and merchandise.

But McMaster-Carr aside, I am having no problems getting stuff from the USA from CDCOMachinery.com and LittleMachineShop.com and a few others.

MrDan
10-02-2010, 02:29 AM
+1 for MK. Great website.

Weston Bye
10-02-2010, 07:35 AM
When writing articles for Digital Machinist I need to provide the reader with reliable sources for the materials I use in my projects. For most of the purchased gears and bearings and such I use McMaster-Carr. Indeed, when designing the project I turn first to the Yellow Catalog as a reference to whats available and design around that.

wierdscience
10-02-2010, 07:52 AM
When writing articles for Digital Machinist I need to provide the reader with reliable sources for the materials I use in my projects. For most of the purchased gears and bearings and such I use McMaster-Carr. Indeed, when designing the project I turn first to the Yellow Catalog as a reference to whats available and design around that.

+2 for "Yellow book" engineering especially when a special fastner is needed.

gellfex
10-02-2010, 06:55 PM
My only beefs with M-C is sometimes you get poorly cared for or packaged goods. Bowed sheets of 6061 and delrin. Coils of expensive stainless wire rope strapped with tape that sheds it's glue all over it. Roll of nylon .010 sheet that has a ripple running through3 feet of it and a half a foot unusable due to more tape.

But on the upside, I live inside a "messenger zone". If I get an order in by 11:30 am I get it that afternoon around 3 at the same price as UPS!

I don't know how I could live without them.

gregl
10-02-2010, 10:55 PM
One more vote. I order some rather obscure stuff that I have yet to find anywhere else and they always have it in stock. I have never, ever, had a backorder, and the stuff always is here when they say it will be.

And given the size of their inventory and their overall operation, and considering that it is all run by human beings, I certainly wouldn't fry them for a mistake once in a while. According to other folks, they seem to be quick and right up front when an error is made.

And I wish others would take a lesson from their website. There are a couple of outfits out there whose websites are so awkward I don't even bother to look at them any more.

squirrel
10-02-2010, 11:15 PM
I buy most of our catalog type items from McMaster, they will be a good company until MSC decides to buy them out and start pushing all the cheap import stuff at same price as the high quality stuff.

tmbg
10-03-2010, 09:48 AM
Their service is always impeccable in my experience. Their return policy is "ship it back, we'll figure it out and credit you." On more than one occasion I've gotten parts and materials delivered same day.

Also, their website is absolutely top-notch.

garagemark
10-03-2010, 10:22 AM
Only issue I have with MC as opposed to, say, Grainger, is that I don't know the BRAND NAME of some of their items. OK, most of their items.

I use Grainger when I want/ need to know the brand name, but MC is a Godsend to our company. If I need something pronto to get things back up and running, they are usually second to none in service.

I will use MC until they do something stupid (like sell out to MSC) or go out of business!

Teenage_Machinist
10-03-2010, 08:50 PM
I find it to be pretty great. Only annoying things are large package quantities and a few strange omissions in the machining department.


Some Random Person: ... What the hell? There's just a bunch of bolts and giant unstretchy rubber bands?

jkilroy
10-03-2010, 10:16 PM
Nobody can touch McMaster's service.

thistle
10-04-2010, 09:15 AM
Some outside the USA were disappointed that Mc-M C no longer ships outside the USA.

It turned out that if was not their fault as the US Homeland and other US government departments and agencies had made it too hard (paper-work, regulations, time, Customs, costs etc.) that it was too much hassle.

I am in OZ and I could understand that.

I wonder if this sort of impediment to business and trade/manufacturing will affect any hope of the USA improving its economy by exporting.

Most/many other currencies have appreciated markedly against the US$ and so it would be a good time to buy US products and merchandise.

But McMaster-Carr aside, I am having no problems getting stuff from the USA from CDCOMachinery.com and LittleMachineShop.com and a few others.

Macmaster is all screwed up in their overseas shipping policy.
Macmaster says they wont ship overseas, but in some cases they do.

So they will ship to my employer(Not in the US) but they will not ship to me at my home adress.(also not in the US)
so i can order items at work but not at home.
So to further complicate things i simply send the items(for me ) to a US shipping address, they forward the items to me.

by not shipping overseas, it means that those who want their items simply go around them and still get the stuff they need.

the reason they are apparently upset about shipping overseas is that

(copied from wikipedia)
In July 2003, McMaster-Carr was fined $8,000 by the US Commerce Department for multiple violations of the antiboycott provisions of the US Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security charged that McMaster-Carr failed to report its receipt of boycott-related requests within the time period required by the EAR. The alleged violations occurred in eight transactions involving sales of goods from the United States to Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. McMaster-Carr voluntarily disclosed the alleged violations to the Department.[4]


so yes great service from macmaster, but bunch of ****wits regarding shipping overseas.(edit thats forkwits or something similar )

Harvey Melvin Richards
10-04-2010, 09:58 AM
I live in NW Washington, and if I place an order before 11am, it arrives the next day. I don't know how they pull that off but I like it. :)

ME
McMaster uses Ontrack for my next day shipments, if ordered before 4:00 pm. It arrives in the afternoon, and half the time they are a day late. If I order after 4:00 pm I get the stuff in the AM, next day by FedEx.

BTD
10-05-2010, 12:08 AM
+1 for McMaster-Carr....great selection, good pricing, fast shipping.

Two of my other favorites....Enco (machine tool stuff) and Digi-Key (electronics)...just like McM-C, selection, pricing, shipping...top notch.

I've bought from Grizzly...sometimes been disappointed in the quality, always disappointed in the shipping.

Also bought from Shars....really cheap crap...I tend to shy away from them these days.

lazlo
10-05-2010, 09:38 AM
Macmaster is all screwed up in their overseas shipping policy. Macmaster says they wont ship overseas, but in some cases they do.

So they will ship to my employer(Not in the US) but they will not ship to me at my home adress.(also not in the US) so i can order items at work but not at home.

(copied from wikipedia)
In July 2003, McMaster-Carr was fined $8,000 by the US Commerce Department for multiple violations of the antiboycott provisions of the US Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

I know it sucks, but I think it's unfair calling McMaster ****wits because they ran afoul of the Patriot Act. The Commerce Department EAR's now require the shipper to scan the Homeland Security list of "Persons of Interest" (people or organizations suspected of terrorism). McMaster probably had 100 shipments a week to Saudi Arabia, and one of the customers turned out to be on the Bad Guys list, so they got burned.

In one of the cases, McMaster shipped to a Canadian citizen, who turned out to be on the Bad Guys list.

So, faced with multiple counts of export felonies, McMaster decided it was less hassle to just stop shipping to individuals overseas. Pretty sad that we let fear drive our export policies.

I also agree that McMaster is the gold standard for shipping and customer service. I placed an order for some kind of chemical (I think it might have been mold release spray), and literally 30 seconds after I placed the order, a McMaster customer service rep called me asking if I was an individual or a business. Apparently the item required a hazmat fee if it was shipped to a business, and she wanted to save me the hazmat fee (since I was submitting the order as an individual).

On the downsize, their prices are usually retail + X%, and they go out of their way to hide the manufacturer of many items, I've never figured out why...

jkilroy
10-05-2010, 09:42 AM
You are correct, we let fear determine our export policies, fear of our own Government.

ckelloug
10-05-2010, 12:30 PM
I was told by someone who worked at Fastenal that there is a way to subscribe to a super expensive version of the online Macmaster catalog that has the manufacturers of everything. It's apparently used by some industrial concerns to figure out how to simplify sourcing things.

I don't think McMaster's prices look too bad either, sometimes, they look like a bargain on items home depot carries.

JohnHarbeck
10-05-2010, 03:23 PM
Only had one bad experience. Many years ago, I ordered a bundle of wool waste. Being oversize for the then UPS rules, it was truck shipped from Chicago. Naturally, that was the one day no one was home to sign for it, so back to Chicago it went. Trucking company wanted a $50.00 redelivery fee, :mad: even though they neglected to be sure someone would be at a clearly residential address to accept it. McMaster fixed the problem, and material redelivered the next day with no redelivery charge.:)

I just wish I could get an occasional 'yellow book' for browsing for 'in case I ever need one of those' ideas. Yes, I know it's on line, but much harder to stumble onto a solution when you are just doing 'air designing' for a future project. McM replaces a whole book case of other catalogs, and has some really unique products I've yet to find elsewhere.

lazlo
10-05-2010, 03:50 PM
I was told by someone who worked at Fastenal that there is a way to subscribe to a super expensive version of the online Macmaster catalog that has the manufacturers of everything.

Wow, the Necronomicon of the industrial world! Is it printed in human blood? :p

Which reminds me -- I have an extra copy of the rare and mysterious McMaster paper catalog. I'll post it in a separate thread.

Ausserdog
10-05-2010, 05:48 PM
McMaster is just down the street from work, so my orders are always "will call". :D

We love the online catalog at work and for many items they have the 3D CAD files, so we can insert them into our Solid Works assemblies. Makes life a breeze and speeds up our design times. It then tends to lock us in to using stuff from them, so it turns out to be a decent symbiotic relationship.

If you need to know something specific about an item they sell that goes beyond normal catalog info, they've been really good about giving us the manufactures name and contact info so we can find out the info for ourselves.