A reader’s email about International Tool has me concerned, as I have shopped there and recommended the retailer in the past.
Hi love the site and all the guidance you offer! I saw that international tool is a shop that’s often mentioned here and bought something a few weeks ago. However after calling their number, there is simply an automated message saying their location is closed. Unless I’m misunderstanding something, you may want to give your readers the heads up.
I called the 800 phone number on International Tool’s website, and an automated message conveys that their Florida location has permanently closed and that customers can shop their website.
They give a text message number for customer service inquiries, or you can email them at a zendesk email address.
There doesn’t seem to be any other valid customer service phone number to call.
I emailed a couple of people at International Tool, but have not yet received any responses.
So, I started calling people. One voicemail box is full. Someone else’s office and cell phones went straight to voicemail. A third contact’s phone rang and rang until the call disconnected with a Verizon “your call cannot be completed” message.
International Tool’s website still features July 4th tool sales, more than 3 weeks later. Their social media accounts are still posting about summer sales, but I cannot tell if they were scheduled in advance.
I called their parent company’s corporate phone number as a last resort, and was informed that the parent company is in the process of merging right now, and that email addresses are changing and might not work.
They redirected me to one of the people I tried calling, as their status indicated they were available, but the phone kept ringing with no answer.
I tried calling back to speak to the person who informed me about the temporary systems issue, but could not reconnect.
All that said, it looks like International Tool is simply going through some backend complications right now, which at least explains why nobody has emailed back yet.
But, if I can’t reach an independent retailer’s customer service by phone, and my only recourse is a text message or email to 3rd party ecommerce customer service for existing orders, I’m not going to place a new order at said company.
And if I’m not willing to place an order at a particular retailer, even if only temporarily, I can’t recommend them.
I should add that International Tool has been fantastic in the past, and extremely responsive anytime there was an issue.
I hope that this can all be explained by backend systems complications due to the corporate merger.
However, I still have to put my recommendation on hold, hopefully temporarily.
I’ll update this post if or when I learn more. If anyone has any insights as to what’s going on here, please let us know in comments or with an email!
That’s unfortunate. I’ve dealt with them in the past a decent bit and never had any issues. I hope everything turns out to be ok, but am interested if anyone who placed orders the past month or so have heard anything about their orders.
Everything could be fine, but ToolGuyd’s affiliate policy necessitated this post.
We don’t have a lot of links to IT, but I can’t encourage or profit from sales to a retailer that I would at least temporarily avoid myself.
A google review from Dec 2020 showed their Fort Lauderdale building with the sign removed. Maybe they have been online-only for some time.
I have not bought anything from them in quite a while. But when I did, their customer service seemed decent and responsive. This seemingly 180-degree shift may not bode well. Supply chain and other issue have forced other retailers to have problems. Since I always think that competition is good, I hope this doesn’t represent the demise of International.
On a peripherally related note, I recently posted about a sale being promoted by Toolbarn. A comment by another Toolguyd reader opined that he sort of had lost track of Toolbarn to the point that he didn’t know that they were still in business. I posted back that they (and their parent Southern Carlson) had been acquired by Kyocera in 2019. So, I guess that mergers in the Internet tool sales business do happen.
I placed an order with International Tool at the end of April. My initial order did not generate a confirmation email and I didn’t see the order within my account page. I emailed the support address to inquire and received this reply the next day:
“I apologize for the inconvenience. Our website recently crashed and our development is working to get everything back up and running. I do not see that an order came through with this email yesterday or today.”
I was able to reorder; again I did not receive any shipping or notification and lost the ability to login to the site completely. Several days later the package just showed up. Everything was fine with my purchase, but it was obvious that their ecommerce side of the business was having issues.
The site still appeared to have issues loading pages at the end of May.
They did have website issues – I talked with them about it on March 24th, and they told me on April 19th that the technical issues were resolved.
Definitely not the case – I had received the aforementioned email from International Tool on April 25; my second attempt at ordering was April 28th, and there was plenty of community discussion about the issues well into May. I was still seeing website errors on May 24th, which was the last time I had logged into my account there.
Your first sentence. I believe you may have meant to say “and” instead of “are”.
This is interesting… I’ve been a customer of theirs long before they had a website and used to send out catalogs printed on yellow paper. I still have and use the heavy-duty D-handled right angle Milwaukee drill I purchased from them more than 30 years ago. I still remember the Panasonic cordless drill kit that I bought from them back in those days. Back in that era, Panasonic was the 12V Ni-Cd battery drill king!
I have continued to buy tools from them through the years with good to excellent service. I even regularly shop their site when looking for a new tool or to browse their specials.
Unfortunately, this has all the signs of the end of an era at IT as we knew it. No stable business would execute a ‘merger’ without an announced and visible transition plan. I hope I’m wrong…
I just got an email today from IT for new Milwaukee promos, and the main page has changed to reflect as well. Just thought I’d mention
International Tool was sold to Ram Tool back in 2017 and after that I started hearing complaints about customer service, orders not being filled, etc. They closed the physical location and I guess were servicing out of one of Rams other locations. Ram Tool has since been bought by HD Supply so now if there is anything left of the company I guess you are essentially dealing with Home Depot.
Yes, Ram Tool owns/owned International Tool. Ram Tool was acquired by White Cap, which is NOT owned by Home Depot.
2007: HD Supply is purchased by private equity firms
August 2020: HD Supply Co sold White Cap to an affiliate of private investment firm CD&R
November 2020: The Home Depot acquired HD Supply Holdings
December 2021: White Cap Supply Holdings acquires Ram Tool