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Comment No. * from:

Email to Shelly Curtis, head of customer services Stihl GB

Dear Shelly Curtis

Since Monday 6th I have been trying to purchase a clearing saw with immense difficulties, that are still not resolved.

I will stress myself out by relating all the problems I have encountered with dealers and your offices but needless to say, as I'm sure your colleagues will confirm I have called tech and customer services, when tech are unable to resolve issues, dozens of times.

Part 1
Yesterday I placed an order with a local company Radmore and Tucker for the aforementioned FS460 plus three extra cutting blades and guards etc. The dealers recommend and indicate the appropriate fittings needed to attach these items. [teaserbreak]

Although not directly related to you, as I ordered over the phone I have no confirmation of the order earlier today, so to get ahead I downloaded the manual from your website, which led me to question the dealers recommendations.

They assured me that they had included everything and they didn't know what I was talking about so reluctantly I called your tech staff.

Here is the first problem.

In the manual it suggests changing 'a guard ring' and tech confirmed that this was correct and gave me the part number.

Back to the dealer: They don't have the number in their system and wonder again what I am talking about. I explain this is the guard ring for the saw attachment. They reply they have never known of such thing and regular customer buy the saw blade and associated guard only.

I wonder if the guard ring is really necessary and as the saw blade and guard are out of stock I ask them to check it will fit the standard guard ring before posting them on to me.

OK back to the manual: I see a note saying the user should not change the guard ring personally but ask the dealer to do so

Recommendation: The guard ring must
be mounted with particular care. Have
this work performed by your servicing
dealer. STIHL recommends a STIHL
servicing dealer.

So now the problem develops
a) The dealers don't know of the guard ring
b) they are supposed to fit something that doesn't exist to them
c) they were about to sell me the saw blade and guard without the appropriate guard ring
d) It seem pointless buying an attachment that every time I want to use I have to got to the dealer some hours away.

Do I need to go on

Back to your tech about needing the dealers to change the guard fitting

1 First your tech don't know what I am talking about
2. They get a manual and confirm the recommendation
3. They have no understanding of why but to toe the line they say there must be a reason and they will look into it.

Back to the manual with reference to the circular saw attachment
I find a note about an item called the 'rider cup' again something my dealers did not mention.The manual indicates a specific 'rider cup' for the saw blade.

Back to Tech
They confirm there is a specific 'rider cup' and give me the number

Back to the dealer who again don't know what I'm talking about

The outcome is that I decide not to buy the saw blade and guard as I have no confidence in the dealer or tech providing me with full details and information.

Part 2

Just a note to say I had at least six similar problems to resolve this week which took up all day Tues and Wed and part Mon and Thurs.

Your staff where fed up of me calling and today when I called customer services they would not talk to me.

Part 3

This is a query I would like to address to tech, but they have already indicated a) they do not know and inferred they would not find out. So maybe you could address this query to the manufacturers for me.

The problem is about a part called 'The rider cup' in two instances and a 'Guard Ring' in another.

There is a problem in the description the later item 4116 717 2702 is a small version of the 'rider cup' recommended for use with a 'shredder blade' 4007 713 3903. It is not a 'Guard Ring' in the sense that it is a ring on the gearbox adjacent the guard. What it does is protect the securing nut as do the 'rider cups'. The fact that it is considerably smaller that the two 'rider cups' and may look more like a ring could provide the name 'rider ring' or 'nut guard' but not 'guard ring'

OK having tried to normalise the nomenclature I will get to the material problem around these
 objects that protect the securing nut from abrasion.

Here to the questions.

I have already stated the obvious that the items are there to protect the nut, so why are there three versions? The question tech could not answer, other that to say 'recommended' but why?
Don't forget the dealers are not aware of some items and so inappropriate items are being used.

If this is a safety factor then important mistakes are being made.

There can be two possible reasons for different nut protectors,
more functional or safety.

Let's rule out safety for now as I can see no difference.

I am left with functional

Here comes the engineering side.

The main difference in the 'nut protectors' is their diameter.

In two of the cases, where they are called 'rider cups' they are wider than the trust washer that they sit upon and cover.

In the option for the shredder blade the 'nut protector' here called a 'guard ring' 4116 717 2702 is much different. It is so narrow that rather than cover the thrust washer it sits upon it.

Now here comes the logic.

It the first two the load applied by the nut forces not only the 'rider cup' onto the thrust washer but onto the cutting blade and in doing so adds rigidity to the blade and helps stop it warping in use.

Now with the circular saw blade that can be quite a significant benefit, yet I have yet to discover if the 'rider cup' for the saw blade is for that reason wider that the standard most other blades: and even if that is the case how does that reflect on the difference between a 200mm and 225mm blade.

In fact it may well be smaller and offer less rigidity that the standard as one of your tech guys indicated that it a different size to get a deeper cut from the circular saw.

Well if your tech guy's assessment is true then I could use the standard 'rider cup' which may be slightly wider and a) would provide a more rigid blade albeit with a slightly shallower cut by some millimetres but b) would also put less strain on the engine.

So I would like to know the diameters and why they are different.

This then lead to the question about the 'nut protector' for the shredder blade which is significantly smaller.
Why is it so?

I can see no reason not to use the larger cups?

As you can see I don't like to be in the dark as to what a) is recommended and b) why it is recommended and neither the dealers or your tech see able to provide answers.

I have not gone into all my thoughts on this but this is enough to go with

So to summarise
1. I have had multiple queries that took all week to look into
2. I am very frustrated by the lack of knowledge by all I have spoken to
3. Your staff are clearly annoyed an my persistent querying
4. I have resorted to contacting you in hope of a co-ordinated communication of the problems I have, not just in tech help and cust serv response; but to enlighten you to the fact that even the dealers are at a loss on some occasions and are not providing even the basic information that is available in the manual.

A manual which I hope arrives with the product
that is unlikely to be read in full, else others, dealers and end users would have come across these problems.

Well thank you if you have read this.
Top marks if you understand it.

All the best anyway

but I have little expectation of any suitable resolution.

Roger Lovejoy
12/07/15 @ 20:07

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