Tuesday, 10 January 2017

My Old Friend Called...

I am backing off my complaints about Lee Valley's proprietary restrictions that I encountered last week when I tried to purchase some plane parts.


Carol Litwack, Assistant Manager, Customer Service, Lee Valley Tools Ltd., called me late yesterday afternoon and politely explained to me why I could buy a short Norris Blade Adjuster, but not a long one. Simply put, they don't make them and they just don't have enough to go around.

She was also quick to point out that the run-around that I got last week from three different Customer Service Reps shouldn't happen again. Ms. Litwack explained that she saw how the wheels fell off the bus during my first contact with Lee Valley about this purchase and she has taken steps with her staff to minimize the possibility of this type of thing happening again. She handled the conversation well, didn't over-do the sorry-syrup, and said all the things that mattered.

Ordinarily, Lee Valley has one of the best Customer Service programs I have ever seen, which is why it is such a shocker to me that this came up. This particular screw-up was a result of their representatives not understanding the situation fully, not getting a clarification and, once another rep got it sorted out, mistakenly thought that being straight with the customer wasn't the wisest move. In general, retail customers are often a royal pain in the butt, but even the worst ones can spot bullshite from a 1000-yards. Ms. Litwack was straight with me and I appreciated it.

I am still not getting a long Norris-type blade adjuster from Lee Valley Tools, but now I know there is a rational reason for it being that way. 

I have taken my design a little further. While I can't define it completely until I have the blade and adjuster in, I have kicked the look of the plane up a bit. I am also thinking of adding a brass blade bed to it, as well as a brass sole, all for durability, but a little polished brass wouldn't hurt its looks, either.

Here is my version 2.0 for this Edge Plane...

Peace,

Mitchell