Monday, April 06, 2015

The Ridgid Conundrum

Ahhh... the Ridgid Conundrum.

  1. a confusing and difficult problem or question.
    "one of the most difficult conundrums for the experts"
    synonyms:problem, difficult question, difficultyquandarydilemma;
    "the conundrums facing policy-makers"

When people catch the woodworking bug, they inevitably want to buy a few tools and get a woodshop assembled in their garage. And they ask me for tool recommendations. 

Of course, it all depends on their budget and what they want to make, but for years, I've been recommending the Ridgid brand for someone's first tablesaw. It's affordable, pretty accurate, and best of all - their lifetime warranty is hard to beat.

But I've noticed a troubling pattern with Ridgid, and I actually wrote to them about it, in hopes of getting an answer. (Still no good response from them...) -  


It started when I bought this Spindle / Edge Sander combo tool. 

It took me nearly three months to register this tool, even though I did every single thing they asked me to do. In the end, I had to send every single bit of paperwork to them by snail mail, because they claimed I wasn't filling out their online registration form correctly. The kicker is that I had to send it via registered mail, which I now think they require as a deterrent. They figure after three months of screwing around with the registration process, you're either going to lose some important piece of paper that you should have saved (like the label from the original box, for example) or you're just going to give up out of sheer frustration. 

The sander eventually got registered, but I've encountered simpler paperwork clusterfucks applying for my passport or registering for a college class. The first time - I thought it was a fluke. 

Fast forward to this weekend, when I bought this Shop Vac. A nice product,to be sure. 

But when I went online to register for the lifetime warranty - again... I encountered a sea of paperwork. There were login problems; my original login password no longer worked. It took hours to get a new password, and then when I did - I couldn't register both tools on the name account; I had to set up a new registration for each tool.

There's something fishy about their registration process.... has anyone else encountered that?

What a joke... 

I'll go back to recommending other tools that are much more consumer friendly. 


Vegas Lupe said...

I didn't know Ridgid had a "lifetime warranty"... I have the same sander and I never registered it. By now, I think I have gotten rid of the box and the receipt is filed in some box in the garage. Sigh... I think they count on that so that they won't honor warranties. Disappointing to hear about their customer non-service.

BH75 said...

That's kind of what I've suspected for a long time about this LSA, Jamie. They make it as difficult as possible to sign up so they're less likely to ever have to service a claim. I've told Ridgid for years that they should have service centers in Home Depot stores, or at least one in each major metro area. I know with dead batteries you have to return the battery to them, then they analyze it, and then either repair or replace it. You could be without it for months. Unfortunately, this warranty seems like a hollow promise sometimes.

Wayson said...

I got a ridgid random orbital sander in 2006 and did not have a hard time getting the warrant then. But it died last month and went on line to ridgid and they said I can take it to Home Depot. So on April 10 I drop it off and I'm still waiting for it. The local Home Depot repair desk said they're waiting for the mother board from ridgid. I will let you know the outcome. Wayson hokama