August, September, October 2009: GSC does trials to determine the best drill for our application. Guhring states they can supply a conical point, HSS, standard helix, TiAlN coated drill for X price and we start using the coated Guhring item 205. During the trials they also offered item #207 but the faceted point and tight helix made it unsuitable, with high breakage and the price was 3 times the price of item #205.
November 2009 to June 2010: We have no trouble with the item #205 and experience good drill life.
June 2010: We start experiencing intermittent very short drill life. It is nothing dramatic and I put it down to operator inexperience with the coolant feed.
July 2010 to November 2010: The drill breakage increases markedly and I spend much time troubleshooting the worsening situation. Eventually I take the offending machine out of production for a thorough investigation.
November 2010: I find that the drills supllied by Guhring are now faceted points and discuss this with the internal sales lady at Guhring. She will investigate and come back to me. We go to an alternative supplier as Guhring states that all their drills are now with faceted points. All the remaining unused drills are returned to Guhring.
November to December 2010: I visited Guhring SA twice and called three times. Every time the internal sales lady states that she has not had any reply from Germany.
13 December 2010: I sent an email explaining the above and asked for a refund of drills I purchased since mid year.
January 2011 to 3 March 2011: A variety of excuses from Guhring culminates in a call to the dealer principal, Mr. Lance Gauld.

After the call I sent a mail to Mr. Gauld containing:
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3 March 2011
Herewith a summary of our phone call:

1. Guhring is not willing to reimburse GSC for tooling that was incorrectly supplied to GSC.
2. Guhring took part in trials that was done by GSC that determined that cobalt content, relief ground points and fast twist drills do not work in the GSC application.
3. As a result of these trials, GSC specified standard twist, conical points, HSS and firecoating as a condition.
4. Guhring undertook to supply such drills.
5. At some point during 2010, Guhring departed from supplying this product and, without any indication to GSC, started supplying split point drills.
6. This caused no small loss of production, raw material and time. I checked the machine on which we used the drills for alignment, and spent countless hours on troubleshooting before noticing that Guhring had started supplying split point drills.
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The only reply I received was:
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Dear Mr. Schultz,

my name is Cengiz Göcmen and i'm the responsible Sales Manager for the Middle East and Africa area.
I have got your email concerning your complaint about wrong delivered tools.

I will discuss this case with our MD in South Africa and we will comeback to you until Tuesday coming week.

I hope for your comprehension

and remain

with best regards

Cengiz Göcmen
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On Monday 7 March mr. Gauld wrote a lengthy mail in which he stated:
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The tooling you have purchased (cash) from Guhring is a standard general purpose jobber drill Art.No.205 (1.5mm & 2.0mm)

Being such a general purpose tool Guhring is continually improving their products & in this instance Guhring change the point from a relieve point to a facet point – these decisions to change the standard ranges are made in Germany for the improvements to the millions of customers which would purchase Guhring’s standard range of tooling.

As Adriaan (technical engineer) Thomas (technical sales manager) Colleen (internal sales) all have told you many time Art.No. 205 is not best suited for your material – but Art.No.207 which is more suited. Yes – Art.No.207 is more expensive which you are not prepared to pay.

Being a general purpose standard tool – Art.No.205 – purchased by millions of customers all over the world - for Guhring to notify every customer using this tool of such changes would be impossible – Guhring has the right to make these improvements – it would be the responsibility of the customer to check what he is purchasing is best suited to do the job.

As I have told you over the phone – Guhring SA will be willing to credit you for the Art.No.205 tooling which has not being used – all other will not be credited.

If you are still not satisfied the person to contact is Mr Cengiz Goecmen Sale Manager for Guhring Germany responsible for the export of tooling to South Africa.
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Same day (Monday 7 March), I replied:
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I am curious. Which part of items 2 and 3 in my mail did you not understand? I set the specification and Guhring made the recommendation. I did not choose the product, Guhring recommended it. Your item 207 is not cost effective in my application and does not conform to our requirement, because it has a tighter than standard helix. It does not work as well as the 205 which, even when coated, was far more cost effective. Both Adriaan and Colleen agreed on this. There is nothing in the Guhring Terms and Conditions that imply or state the terms you have mentioned. It is not printed on your invoices to GSC and therefore I hold Guhring to the T&C as published.

In response to a mail received from Mr. Göcmen on Friday, I undertook to wait until close of business tomorrow. I will honour that commitment.
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Same day (Monday 7 March) Mr. Gauld responded:
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Dear Mr Gerard Schultz – I have discussed you issue with Mr Goecmen – he will reply to you regarding the tooling you purchased & the rights Guhring have when changing standard tooling.
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Tuesday brought no reply from either gentlemen and, on Wednesday I asked here if anyone had experienced a similar problem from a supplier and how one should handle it. Almost immediately I received this mail from Mr. Göcmen: (Guhring, or someone who thought it important, watches this forum. Nice to know.)
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Dear Mr. Schultz,

actually i have to mention that we as Gühring are very unhappy about your statement in the forum specially when things in the statement are not correct.

Our Mr.Gauld informed me about the history of this case. According him you were informed that the new type of tools will not be suitable for your material. Even they asked for a quotation for special tools in Germany but you were not ready to pay the higher costs. In such case you have to understand that we are not able to keep the price for 10 pcs special tools compared to an standard item which we produce with 50000 pcs in one batch.

In my opinion our team in South Africa did the right job.
You will understand that companies will have always technical changes to improve their products and due to that we will always have customer which will prefer this or not. In any case a company have to make decisions and this happens in relation with the demand of the majority customers.
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I replied that the issue was not about whether we were using the drills they thought we should use, we used the drills that worked, until Guhring changed the point grind. The issue is the fact that the drills that worked, stopped working as a result of the change.

The special tooling he mentioned, is a smokescreen put up by Mr. Gauld, as it pre-dates this matter by almost two years. It was a quote for a stepped drill we requested for something completely different. I asked Guhring three times for a quote. It took Guhring SA four months to produce a quote and, by that stage, we already had the drills made by another company at less than half the price Guhring SA quoted eventually.

Late on Wednesday I got this reply from Mr. Göcmen:
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Dear Mr.Schultz,
unfortunately i can not understand your problem.

You will understand that our Mr.Gauld is our responsible person is South Africa and our decisions are made in acquisition of his information. Unfortunately I`m not in South Africa that i can get my own impression. As i have no detail information about the history of your problem i can not make any technical statement too

If your problem is the toollife our staff can check and make an official claim.When we find any quality problem we will replace our tools. But this should be checked incl. other parameters.

Todiscuss the details please contact Mr.Gauld as i have not the information.

By the way this emails or problems and my statements i will not see in any magazines or forums.
We are professional people and not actors from forums.

with kind regards

Cengiz Göcmen
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An hour later I sent:
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Dear Mr. Göcmen,

My problem is not difficult to understand:
1. GSC established with trials what we require for our application and established a set of requirements.
2. Guhring stated that they can meet these requirements with item 205 with fire coating.
3. GSC used Guhring item 205 from late in 2009 until middle 2010 and had no problem. GSC was happy with the cost per hole drilled.
4. Middle 2010, Guhring changed the point grind of the Guhring item 205 and it stopped working in our application. The cost per hole went up more than 5 times.
5. Guhring did not inform GSC of the change.
6. GSC spent much time and money to establish where the drill life problem was.
7. Guhring now refuses to reimburse GSC for the item 205 it supplied, that did not meet the GSC set of requirements.

I feel it is in the public interest that it be known that Guhring will change the specification of a product and leave it to the customer to find out if it works better or if it is worse.

Therefore, I will summarise the Guhring position and publish that this evening.

Sincerely,

Gerard Schultz
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This was followed by the mail below, yesterday morning:
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Gerard – you where correct in one of you mails – GSC spend very little with Guhring – we do not have the time to read & write long emails – it a pity you “slam” the people that tried to help you. Never the less return the broken jobber drills - GSA will credit the small amount you request as now it has become very time consuming with all the bad mouthing & mailing.
Please do not respond to this mail just return the drills – broken or not.

thks

Lance Gauld
Guhring Cutting Tool South Africa
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