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We recently managed to lose the key to our favorite Foose toolkit. It’s happened to countless people over the years and is most likely very annoying to mechanics should this ever happen to them. So we decided to see how good Mac’s support really was and called to get a new key for our box.

To begin with we called the Mac support line 800.622.8665. Of course it was Friday evening and the call center was closed until Monday. As instructed by the voicemail system, we waited until the appointed 8am — 6pm Eastern time on Monday and called again.

After a quick one-and-a-half minute wait we explained that we had lost the key to our Foose toolbox and a very nice lady told us that we would need to fill out a lost key request form, which she would email to us after we hung up. To our surprise it arrived about 15 minutes afterward.

It was a standard type of form that called for basic information like name, address what kind of box it was and to describe it as best we could as well as a four digit key number — written on the lock — and a box serial number that was supposed to be stamped on the back. This was our first clue something was wrong — no serial on the back.

We filled out the form anyway and sent it off to the email address indicated on the form and waited about 16 hours. The next day we received a call with bad news. Because our Foose kit was a short run limited edition they didn’t keep track of what key/lock combos went on them and couldn’t replace the key. We could order a new lock for it and they would ship it out in a jiffy but that didn’t really help us with the current problem.

This was timely but crappy news. We had learned, however, that within 48 hours of notifying Mac of a lost key you could get a replacement or a new lock sent to you anywhere in the continental U.S. It was good service except that our toolbox was still mocking us over in the corner.

Lesson learned: Look for a serial number on the back of the box if you want it to be fully covered by the Mac replacement program; and better yet – don’t lose your key

We know what you’re thinking, “But wait, clearly you got the box open it’s in the picture.” Well as it turns out there’s another, faster way to get a keyless Foose toolbox open. All it takes is a Stanley demo screwdriver and about five seconds. Just jam it under the flap by the lock, get a good hold, and yank once. We don’t know if that works with all toolboxes, but after we saw how easy it was to get into, replacing the lock seemed kind of stupid.

Mac Tools Customer Support [Website]
Hands-On: MAC Tools’ Foose Special Edition Tool & Box Set [Toolmonger]

 

17 Responses to The Key To Mac Tools’ Customer Service

  1. Pepster says:

    Just goes tro show, Locks only keeep the honest people out.

  2. ChrisW says:

    I wonder if you have to be the registered owner before they send you a key.

  3. Jerry says:

    I’m underwhelmed by the response that it is a limited edition so they don’t keep a record of the key numbers for it. Sort of like a mechanic telling you he can’t fix your Ford “Whatever” because it was a limited run vehicle. If you made the product, maintain some form of support – gain support of your customers. I would think this article and experience would steer many away from Mac. It’s not the point that the lock could be easily defeated – maybe you somehow damaged a Mac Tool only to discover it was a “limited edition” and not covered by any warranty. Hope they read Toolmonger and see that a better response might have been expected.

  4. Andrew says:

    The best thing to do is to learn to pick locks.

    The locks used in these types of applications (desk drawers, cabinets etc) are really cheap and super easy to pick. Youtube surely has dozens of videos on the topic. I’ve done it even without my pick set using a paperclip as a rake and pocket knife as a wrench.

    As a toolmonger, it is a great skill to have and an excuse to get a cheap pick set. You’ll amaze your friends with your prowess. Once you get good at these, a kwikset house lock is the next easiest. After that the curve in much steeper.

  5. Toolboss says:

    For what it’s worth, that isn’t *really* a Mac Tools toolbox. The entire box and it’s contents were special orders, brought in as a promotion. The reason Mac doesn’t have a record of the keys is because Mac didn’t build it, just contracted to have it and the tools inside built to sell at an inflated price, whoring out their former good name.

  6. Shopmonger says:

    jerry, i will tell you another one about custom cars, i owned up until 5 days ago ,…. a 1995 subaru svx…. i got rid of it on trade in because i needed a windshield for it…… until i found out there were only 3 left new in the country….all in cali and it would have been $950 at cost…(i have a shop) now that is crazy……

    ShopMonger

  7. Toolhearty says:

    Reminds me of the time I locked my keys in a running car (at home, fortunately). I was smart enough to keep a spare key for everything in the house. However, I was stupid enough to keep said spare keys in a locked box with the key to the box (yep, you guessed it) on the keychain that was locked in the car.

    It came down to wreck the box or the car window, the box went in the trash the next day (I’ve since gotten fairly good at opening locked car doors, handy skill to have).

  8. Mac says:

    Yeah, all those locks are stupid easy to pick. So easy, it’s really a waste to even have it on the box.

  9. george says:

    not just mac but most tool boxes are easy to get into as you found out. snap on isn’t any better. i make numerouse keys for all my locks if they are important. just the way it is.

  10. LennyNero says:

    Unrelated to your toolbox issue; I have a wonderful story of a company whose customer service I had the absolute pleasure to deal with recently.

    Our shop has a 33 ton mechanical press brake for bending sheet metal made by Chicago (now Chicago/Dreis & Krump), which had a part wear out in the main drive section. Since the machine was made in 1943, I had little hope of finding a spare part and was drawing up plans to get the part machined by a shop when I had the idea to see if the company still existed. They do, and their wonderful service department not only faxed me a complete parts breakdown of the whole machine, but also informed me that not only did they have the part I needed in stock, but they keep spare parts available for ALL their machines made back to 1900. WOW. Talk about a commitment to the customer!!!

    Suffice it to say, I got the part promptly shipped, it was packed neatly in its own little crate, covered in kraft paper and painted with cosmoline. Machine is back in service for another 67 years I’m sure! :D

  11. Zathrus says:

    I did the exact same thing with the locks on IBM PS/2 computers back in the early 90s. We’d unpack them from the box and the key would frequently be missing. A cheapo flathead screwdriver and a pair of pliers would lock/unlock them just as well as the key.

  12. Toolhearty says:

    LennyNero Says:

    …I have a wonderful story of a company whose customer service I had the absolute pleasure to deal with recently…

    Thanks, LennyNero. Your story brings a tear to my eye.

    I spend a not insignificant amount of time on the phone trying to find parts to service oddball and aging equipment. My dealings with “Customer Service” people often leave me wanting to just hang up the phone and bang my head against the wall (it would be about as productive).

  13. shopmonger says:

    Lenny it is good to see that some companies still think about thier customers before thier bottom line……

    ShopMonger

  14. Mike says:

    I’m surprised that Mac actually responded. I had a horrible time trying to get Mac to replace a bad ratchet. Their toll free number was polite, gave me a number of a district manager who after three weeks finally returned my call. Of course, he was not the same district manager, the local guy was laid off. Instead of providing a fix for my ratchet, he tried to recruit me. Not a chance, the average tenure of a mac dealer in this part of virginia is one year. Mac promised to ship me a return label. Twice….never arrived. A month goes by and one day I get a “ratchet repair kit” in the mail with instructions on how to fix it myself.

  15. Gerald says:

    I ran into a similar problem but that was back when we had a mac man. Apparently one key fits many boxes and he was able to open it for me and later sell me a replacement lock. Too bad, not seen a mac man in years and hate dealing with the arrogant snappy folks.

  16. Dennis R says:

    Interesting box set. I bought one just like it but apparently it was a prototype. It has the identical layout and tool set up but the box and tools both say Mac Tools.

  17. Don S says:

    This was interesting to stumble upon because I have the same exact set but does not have Chip Foose or Mac tools on it. Most of the tools say Stanley but I paid roughly $250 for this at a tool fair.

    On a similar note, I see that Mac Tools and Stanley Vidmar have joined forces. Our shop was looking to purchase several Tech1000 from the local Mac dealer but when we talked to the Vidmar rep, his prices were almost half off of what Mac would of charged for the identical box. Besides, the mac dealer went out of business but we went with Vidmar anyway.

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