Harbor Freight Tools dishonest advertising by issuing FREE LED FLASHLIGHT coupons in ad flyers all over the Dayton, Ohio area, home office: Dayton, - Harbor Freight Tools
December 4, 2010, Anonymous
My complaint is against Harbor Freight Tools, Store #125, 1941 Needmore Road, Dayton, OH 45414. Their home office is located at 3491 Mission Oaks Blvd, Camarillo, CA 93011-5034, voice: 805-445-4912; fax: 800-905-5215. The body of the complaint is as follows:
On November 9, 2010, there were seven of us senior citizens that I talked into going 10 miles after our meeting in order to shop at the Harbor Freight store. Two of those had never been in their store before but all of us had the free LED flashlight coupons that Harbor Freight publishes in the various papers around Dayton, OH.
Their manager said "we are out of flashlights and when we get more in...if your coupon has expired we WILL NOT honor it and there are no rainchecks". I replied "you have 3 display racks in the store loaded with these flashlights..hundreds of them on-hand". He replied "they used to let us give those red and blue flashlights away but they put a stop to that. We can only give away the black ones now". I replied "I won't ever be back in your store again. I can't afford the gas to run back over here later and my coupon expires in 2 days. That's a kick in the face for all of the thousands of dollars I've spent in here. I'm tearing up my membership application to the Inside Track Club since you told the first person in my group that you were out of flashlights when I can plainly see that you are not".
Some of our group was going to buy merchandise but when we heard one member get turned away we all left with nothing. That is bad PR and all 628 members at the Senior Center I belong to will see my message in the next monthly bulletin. The "munch bunch" meetings we have every morning is having a real buzz about this company's false advertising and the cell phones are ringing. The word is "don't waste your time going to that store to cash your coupon. It is a scam to get you in the store." We have tight budgets and gas is too expensive to make empty-handed trips to their store.
The store employees say that a supply truck brings in the flashlights on Thursdays but I just got some feedback from a friend that went to investigate. He reported that they have no more flashlights by 24 hours later (the specific black one that is designated for the giveaways). He also reported that they now keep a sign on the door that says "We are out of stock on the FREE flashlights". This sign stays on the door 5 days per week. They still have hundreds of the blue and red flashlights which are the exact, same specification.
I believe they have this trickle supply game so that the majority of the coupons that have been distributed will expire before they can be used. I have written a complaint letter to the home office via email but have gotten no response. They are obviously too big to care.