Earlier this month, I mentioned the new SOG Powerlock multi-tool that I had purchased. When the tool arrived, I looked things over. Okay, the handle cover on one side is a little stuck, but no big deal – that’ll probably stretch a little with use. So where is the tool made….?
I examine the box. Nothing, no country of origin information. I look at the tool. No country markings anywhere. I look again. Nothing. Not a good sign.
So then I emailed SOG’s customer service where they promise to send responses in a timely manner. Maybe a week or so passes, no response. I checked their webpage, and it says that the tool is “assembled in the USA.” Along with “made in the USA from foreign materials”, this is one of my most-loathed cop-out phrases.
So then I emailed SOG again through their email form. Again, no response. Over a week ago, I emailed them again, this time sending my inquiry to their general information address. No response.
Fed up with my inquiries being ignored, I gave them a call. After little waiting, someone picked up. I asked her where the tool is made. “Here in Washington.” I then point out that the website says it’s only assembled in the USA. Where are the tool parts manufactured? “China, Taiwan, Japan.”
During the whole 1-minute phone conversation, I felt like I was being treated like a distraction, like the customer service rep was trying to get rid of me, get me off the phone as quick as possible. I’m all for skipping pleasantries and getting to the point, but the tone of the conversation was overly bitter.
In the beginning of the call I explicitly named the PowerLock EOD multi-tool, so either she didn’t hear me the first time, has absolute zero familiarity with the SOG product lines, or really was trying to end the call as quick as possible.
What if I had a quality concern? A warranty request? These days I don’t have much time for phone calls, even those with modest holding times, so I rely on email. For smaller companies I expect a response of 1-3 business days before I get impatient. It’s now been more than 2 weeks.
Aren’t manufacturers required by law to include country of origin information on retail goods? Maybe it’s on the printed use & maintenance instructions that aren’t included with the tool.
So to summarize, SOG’s customer service proved to be frustrating in a multitude of ways. They ignored my 3 emails, and a quick phone call for information turned into a sour experience. This was my first experience with SOG, and it will be my last.
I’ve had nothing but great experiences with Gerber and Leatherman’s customer service, so they’ll be the ones getting my hard earned money in the future. It will take quite some time or an incredible sale price for me to be willing to buy SOG anything in the future.