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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Mcmaster-Carr does not respect Canadians - don't waste your time

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Old 01-23-2013, 02:04 PM   #1
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Default Mcmaster-Carr does not respect Canadians - don't waste your time

For the other Canadians who also spent two hours searching the McMaster-Carr website for equipment and parts, placed an order and paid, please share with us how you felt after getting this email the next day:

-----
Due to the complexity of U.S. export regulations, McMaster-Carr accepts international orders only from our established customers. This decision also applies to orders shipping within the United States, because it is based on the final destination of the items. We cannot accept this order or future orders.



Your order has been cancelled.



Lauren

330-995-5983
-----

I wasn't even shipping the parts to Canada; I was shipping them to the US and was going to pick them up.

I phoned Mcmaster-Carr and they pretty much just repeated the same cryptic email over the phone. The woman was extremely rude. Her answer was that "this is just their policy." It says a lot about a company when the people working there don't even understand their own policies.

I asked her why they didn't put this on their website so that Canadians wouldn't waste their time. They obviously don't respect our time.

My advice to Canadians: You can find most brewing parts on Amazon.com at a better price than Mcmaster-Carr. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME WITH THEM.

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Old 01-23-2013, 02:20 PM   #2
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:22 PM   #3
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I don't see the problem- they don't want to deal internationally with new customers. That's up to them, I'd think.

I wouldn't expect a Canadian company to work with me either. Even with shipping to the same country, dealing with money exchange rates and stuff probably isn't worth it for them.

Next time, before spending time trying to order internationally, maybe send them a quick email or call them. That would save time and frustration.

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Old 01-23-2013, 02:37 PM   #4
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I don't see the problem- they don't want to deal internationally with new customers. That's up to them, I'd think.

I wouldn't expect a Canadian company to work with me either. Even with shipping to the same country, dealing with money exchange rates and stuff probably isn't worth it for them.

Next time, before spending time trying to order internationally, maybe send them a quick email or call them. That would save time and frustration.
There's no money exchange issues when you're paying with a credit card.

Sorry, I forgot to mention that I did phone them before I placed my order and the girl said that they do ship to Canada. She must be as confused as me.

There are a lot of stores in the US that won't ship to Canada -- I have no problem with that. This is why some Canadians cross the border to pick up items at a special receiver or UPS store. Mcmaster-Carr is the first store that I've ever seen that won't allow me to ship within the United States because I'm Canadian.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:39 PM   #5
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I wouldn't expect a Canadian company to work with me either. Even with shipping to the same country, dealing with money exchange rates and stuff probably isn't worth it for them.
What might that other "stuff" be? What other "stuff" is there, besides potentially the exchange rate? If you're paying by credit card, the bank takes care of the exchange conversion anyway. Beyond that, it's simply shipping to a US address. What's the problem? What other "stuff" could be complicating the process for them?

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Next time, before spending time trying to order internationally, maybe send them a quick email or call them. That would save time and frustration.
Well that's just silly. We're going on a Caribbean cruise next week that departs from Fort Lauderdale and we're showing up 2 days early to see some sights in the city before the ship embarks. I needed to book connecting flights in the US, the cruise cabin itself, a hotel in Fort Lauderdale for a couple of days beforehand, and a rental car. Should I have called all of those people directly, just to make sure it was OK that I'm Canadian? What the heck is the point of the Internet then?

McMaster Carr - and any other business unable to handle the "complexities" of the new global economy - should get their act together.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:39 PM   #6
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They sell a huge variety of industrial equipment. Sure, for some o-rings and bolts, there's nothing much to worry about, but for some of the bigger equipment, the export and customs rules are complicated. That's not their fault, they have to comply, and it happens to be the case that they are responsible for not only things they ship to foreign destinations, but for things they know are intended to be exported after being sold.

It's a simple question: is it worth the cost of ensuring compliance (and covering the penalties for the inevitable errors they'll be dinged for) in order to get some business from across the border? Apparently not. Similarly, is it cost-effective to give every phone representative the detailed training to understand the nuances of the export laws? I doubt it.

If the rep was rude, that's a valid complaint, but hardly worth indicting an entire company over (and I have to say, based on your message here, I'm not convinced you were likely to have been entirely polite in the exchange). None of any of this has anything to do with respect for Canadians.

My experiences with McM-C have been exceptionally positive. For those who are in an area served by them, they're great. For those in Canada? Well, it's kind of a moot point since they won't ship to you anyway.

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Old 01-23-2013, 02:43 PM   #7
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For those in Canada? Well, it's kind of a moot point since they won't ship to you anyway.
Please read the OP. Nobody was asking them to ship to Canada. The OP was trying to ship to a US address, but McMaster-Carr refused the order because the OP's IP address revealed he was using a computer in Canada.

That said, there are IP anonymizing services out there that can "spoof" an IP address to make it look like you're in the US (or wherever you want). In cases where a part is unavailable anywhere else, I would suggest the OP could employ one of those services to work around M-C's absurd policy.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:50 PM   #8
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Someone respected Canadians??


I agree they can have whatever shipping policy try want but the site should have that posted. Besides, it seems every site I go to these days knows what country I'm in by my ip, you should have been told earlier.

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Old 01-23-2013, 02:53 PM   #9
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Please read the OP. Nobody was asking them to ship to Canada.
Yes, I know that. That's why I said, "for those in Canada," not, "for those asking for products to be shipped to Canada."

The OP is displaying a very naive understanding of McMaster-Carr's business. As easy as the Internet makes it to place an order with a company in a foreign country, this doesn't guarantee that it's easy for that company to fulfill the order. There's more involved in selling to a foreign buyer than just running a credit card, loading up the box, and dropping it off at FedEx. For the types of equipment McM-C sells---industrial equipment, chemicals, handling supplies, etc, they have responsibilities for exporting* and record-keeping that they can't just ignore. Even though not every item is subject to this scrutiny, they have to have a procedure to determine that for every item.

Do you really think they're refusing business just to screw with a foreigner?


Edit:
* - Note that export rules can apply even for a domestic shipment if they know the end-recipient is foreign. Since they know that he's coming from a foreign IP, they have to follow those rules.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:56 PM   #10
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I remember a while back there was a similar rant by a US soldier stationed in Germany. He has a US address, and a US credit card, and he was having it sent to a family member in the US. McMaster-Carr would NOT take his order, even though it was destined to be sent to a family member and not him in Germany.

Their policies may be liked, but because industrial equipment has to meet certain requirements I can sort of understand. They do these things for previous/current customers from what I understand, but decline to take on new international clients.

I didn't say it was a "good" policy, but I think they have the right to set their own policies.

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