michael h.

Level 3 Contributor

Contributor Level

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About Me

Experienced woodworker, specializing in Greene & Greene and Arts&Crafts furniture. Also make Civil War-era items using hand tools and finishes appropriate to the 1800's. Luthier and instrument restoration.

How I Can Help

I have repaired some clocks and have built many from small 'cottage' style to tall clocks (sometimes called 'grandfather' clocks). I have dealt with many clock vendors and can relate the good and bad experiences.


Fine wood and old clocks.

12 Reviews by michael

Verified purchase

Order received on time, well-packaged. Food was fresh and delicious. Ordering process was simple and easy-to-follow. Quite the special treat for us and the next time we crave some of those delicious lobster rolls, we will order again! Bravo!


I've purchased a few items from Sweetwater, and their follow-up customer service is pretty good. One product I bought had an instruction booklet that was a bit confusing to me, so I called one of their tech experts who pretty much blew me off. I called back later and got a different expert who was not much better and suggested that maybe it was 'pilot error' and that maybe I should have gotten a less-complex device. I've been using all kinds of equipment for years, but this one has me flummoxed and the tech pros aren't exactly helpful in some cases. I've turned to other musician friends who have helped me muddle through to a point, and they agree that the user manual leaves something to be desired. That being said, I now wish I hadn't spent so much on the one I got, and maybe one with fewer features would have been a better choice.


I've been a subscriber for years and I've noticed in the past couple of years how bad earthlink is at filtering out spam from email. Every day I get lots of spam with the '. Info' tail. I have reported these to earthstink numerous times, and have even sent messges to them asking if they will do something about it, to no avail. It seems apparent that earthstink derives a financial benefit from plastering this junk on my email account. A robot firewall would be an effective means to keep this crap away, but since earthstink obviously gets paid for these ads, it will never get better. Had I not been using this email addy for so long so that my legitimate correspondents know where to send my messages, I would go to another provider.


I ordered two items from this outfit to restore a guitar through ebay. One WRONG item came, so I contacted them through ebay with an explanation of what I had gotten - and had NOT gotten. Two days later they responded with a question about what I got. I had already explained that in my original query. Now I have a disappointed client who was expecting her guitar this past weekend and mlaval has an angry never-again customer. There are plenty of other vendors of the same products, and I'll use them - ANY of them - from now on.


I ordered the skybell camera doorbell through Amazon. It came without a tiny but necessary mounting screw. The tel# listed in the user manual did not work, so I sent an email to them. The response I got back required me to jump through a bunch of hoops to prove that I had their product. I am sending the product back to Amazon for a refund. For want of a miniscule part, they earned an "I hate it" review on Amazon, and because of their customer (dis)service, they've lost a customer and prompted this review.


I ordered a cover for my Weber grill, and waited more than a week. I sent an email to customer service after checking the shipping status (which was three more weeks out) and stated that if I had known it was going to take that long, I would have ordered it from another vendor, even if I had to pay a little more plus shipping. The somewhat snarky response from them was that the estimated ship date was clearly on the product description and that the three weeks more was the correct date. (I don't remember seeing that, but I could be mistaken). The next day, however, an email arrived that said the item had been shipped and would be delivered the next day. It did, the product is perfect, well packaged, and my grill is now protected from the elements. Apparently there was some disconnect between the shipping department and customer service, or perhaps my complaint got the required action. Either way, the next time I order something from Wayfair - and I probably will - I'll check the estimated ship date more carefully. Had the response from customer service been worded differently and with a message that showed better concern for the customer - ME -, I might have given them five stars instead of only four.


I do business with USAA, both in banking and auto insurance, and I have had good experiences with them over the years. Their website is easy enough to navigate and seems to be well-maintained as I have never had any problems with it. I agree with one review that says that USAA makes a vet feel valued, both as one who has served in the military and as a customer; other banking entities and auto insurance companies could learn much from USAA and their webmasters. I say bravo, USAA!


I'm a woodworker; I have a Swedish-made miter saw, and I need a replacement part. The company from which I bought it doesn't carry any parts for it, and they suggested I contact the maker. The maker referred me to thebestthings.com. I now wish I had bought the saw from them instead. While the email link on the site didn't work for me - probably something on my end, I assume - I did get a telephone number and called. I had one of the nicest conversations (with the owner, I presume) and he said that, yes, indeed, they do have that part and took my order. We chatted about a number of things; he didn't seem to be in a hurry to get me off the line, and I look forward to doing more business with them. The site is a wonderful place to find a number of things, some of which are vintage tools as well as new, fine tools, and a host of other items. So many company websites can be overwhelming, but this one for me is a delight; I hope you won't miss it!


I'm receiving router bits from this outfit and when I try to pay the bill on line, I input all the contact information, but this stupid 4-poit star just sits there and rotates - nothing happens. Their web developer sucks. I'm really sorry I ever got involved with this bunch of creeps. They're associated with something called Scout.com somehow. Worst experience with a website I've ever had.


This organization (Handyman Club of America) purports itself to be for distributing things - tools and such - for "Life Members" to test and keep. Of course, that "Life Membership" comes at a hefty price. At one time, they were what seemed to be a standalone group, but have fairly recently aligned with Scout.com. Since that time, their service and response to my complaints have been dismal.
For a time, I was receiving Chinese-manufactured router bits every so often, which I looked forward to using in the (again, probably Chinese-made) router that was promised to me once I had fulfilled my "Lifetime Membership" dues. Those dues were paid up for several months, and as soon as that happened, there were no more router bits sent, and the router never showed up, either. Numerous calls to their customer service department resulted in sincere apologies and the excuse that 'due to overwhelming response' those items were on back order. Similar response came back from their online complaint location. Four months of back-order seems excessive to me.
I finally contacted the Better Business Bureau in their area and Handyman Club of America responded to them and me that they would issue a refund and cease all contact with me. Frankly, I'll believe it when I see it; 'your check is in the mail' comes to mind, given their past performance.
I have read many online reviews of this bunch since having had the bad experience, something I wish I had done prior to hooking up with them in the first place. I have added my angry voice to some of those in the hopes that future prospective victims will steer clear.
I have also contacted a few of the many 'craftsman' (woodworking, primarily) magazines to which I subscribe that have had advertisements in them touting Handyman Club of America relating my experience with them. I hope that results in those mags turning down ads, but since the mags make a lot of money from advertising, I have my doubts.
Bottom line: if I had to do it all over again, I'd be better off had I never dealt with them.


The Better Business Bureau SELLS the A+ rating; it is not an indication of the quality of the business. Check it out, any company can get that rating if they join the BBB and pay an extra fee for the sticker. I don't trust the BBB any more than I trust a cobra.


I ordered Klockit's Tavern Clock kit recently. When I received it, it was packed well and came fairly quickly. Given the $70 or so price, I was pleased with the case. One should be careful choosing the finish as it doesn't take stain consistently, but a paint finish would probably do well. The movement that was included, however, was a piece of junk. Three AA batteries are required - one for the movement, two for the chime mechanism with a wire between the movement and the chime mechanism, and another wire to the speaker. The sound that comes out is tinny and sounds very fake. While the movement mounts in the center dial hole, the speaker and chime mechanism require some imagination for mounting and location. A hole must be cut somewhere close to the movement (most likely in the back) so that the chimes can be heard. The main problem seems to be that the movement stops, or keeps inconsistent time. When I reported the problem to their tech department, they suggested that I buy another movement. Let me repeat that: they want ME to buy a different movement. My view: either include a better movement or none at all and make it clear that a separate movement is required. Fortunately, I have another one purchased from a different vendor which I had intended to use elsewhere that I used in this case. I'll buy another movement from another vendor (ANY other vendor), but I won't be buying anything else from Klockit. I have bought many things in the past from Klockit, but based on their response to this customer's complaint, I have purchase my LAST thing from them.
UPDATE 11/12/2014:
Within a couple of days of my original review, Klockit contacted me and offered a 15% refund on my purchase. While they often give discounts of 10,15, or 20%, depending on the amount ordered, at least they did respond through SiteJabber. Had my original contact with their tech department been handled in the same manner, I probably would not have issued my initial one-star rating. Thus it is that I have upgraded that rating to three stars for "OK."

michael Has Earned 79 Votes

Michael H.'s review of Wayfair earned a Very Helpful vote

Michael H.'s review of Scout earned a Well Said vote

Michael H.'s review of Klockit earned 2 Very Helpful votes

Michael H.'s review of USAA earned a Very Helpful vote

Michael H.'s review of Earthlink earned a Very Helpful vote

Michael H.'s review of VetFriends earned 40 Very Helpful votes

Michael H.'s review of SkyBell earned 5 Very Helpful votes

Michael H.'s review of Scout earned 24 Very Helpful votes

Michael H.'s review of Handyman.com earned 4 Very Helpful votes

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steve h.
3 Reviews
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