Emerson WD1450 - Black/Orange - Vacuum Cleaner Reviews
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Emerson WD1450 - Black/Orange - Vacuum Cleaner

4 ratings (4 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Excellent
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Great wet/dry vac, abysmal customer service.

Mar 9, 2007 (Updated Apr 9, 2007)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Very Good

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Ease of Cleaning:
  • Style:

Pros:Powerful vacuum force, quiet operation, good filter, well designed.

Cons:Trying to buy parts and/or accessories from Ridgid is a nightmare.

The Bottom Line: Despite good design/excellent performance, can't recommend product, due to poor customer service. That's the sole reason for the "average" rating. If it didn't perform so well, rating would be worse.


The Craftsman wet/dry vac I owned previously held up for over 25 years, and I'd probably still have it if I could have found a replacement switch for it. But I finally trashed the old one and replaced it with a Ridgid Model WD1450, based largely on its excellent performance ratings by a leading consumer magazine. I own a few Ridgid brand pipe wrenches, but had never owned a Ridgid power tool previously.

To be honest, I'm sorry I waited so long. The performance of this new vac is far superior indeed.

THE BASICS

Claimed Liquid Capacity (volumetric): 14 gallons
Motor specs:

* Peak Horsepower 6.0
* Voltage 120 VAC
* Amp draw 11.0

Cord Length: 20’
High Impact Polypropylene tank with bottom drain and drain valve
U.L. Listed
VF5000 Recommended replacement filter
Accessory Size: 2-1/2"
Integral casters
Accessory storage bag (mounts on tank)
Accepts filter bags for collection of fine dust particles

Accessories included:

* 2 Extension Wands
* 2-1/2" x 7’ Positive Locking Hose
* Utility Nozzle (approx 3" x 8" opening)
* Wet Nozzle
* Multipurpose (Car) Nozzle
* VF5000 filter

IMPRESSIONS DURING USE

The product is essentially completely assembled out of the box. All that needs to be done is to install the casters and 4 retaining screws for the caster mounting feet on the tank. The design is well thought out, with a convenient accessory storage bag that installs easily/quickly in to mounting holes on the tank and storage mounts for the extension wands on the 2 rear caster brackets. The locking "pull-along" hose connection to the tank is a nice innovation.

The vac is squat, with a broad wheel base and has a surprisingly low center of gravity for a machine with all its weight (motor & blower) up high at the top, hence it is very stable when you move it or pull it around. A large, sturdy lifting handle is integral to the motor housing, making filter replacement or emptying the tank a breeze. The handle also doubles as a cord storage caddy. Simply wind the cord around the handle.

This machine produces a very powerful vacuum force that picks up large, heavy debris with ease. It also benefits from modern technology in that is very quiet in operation (particularly compared to my old vac). Another substantial benefit is the fact that this model can accept filter bags to contain dust and fine debris particles, making emptying the tank far easier/cleaner and saving the usable life of the relatively expensive filters.

If you've ever cleaned out the tank of a wet/dry vac before, you know what a great feature a filter bag is. Without a filter bag, you're basically spreading a sizable portion of the dirt you vacuumed up around wherever it is that you're emptying the tank.

Like most wet/dry vacs, it has a blower port to which the hose and nozzles can be attached, in addition to the vacuum connection. The motor and blower housing on this model is not removable for use separately, however.

Notably missing from the accessories furnished with the product are a wide, floor cleaning nozzle, a crevice tool, a dust brush nozzle and the filter bags described above. I retained the floor nozzle and crevice tool from my old Craftsman vac. The only accessories I found in stock or on-line at Home Depot were replacement filters and a high-dollar hose and accessory upgrade kit, so I headed to Ridgid's on-line parts operation to buy filter bags and a brush nozzle (my old one was shot). This is where problems ensued.

YOU WANT WHAT? WHEN? CUSTOMER SERVICE? - LOL!!

The on-line order process at the Ridgid (an Emerson Electric subsidiary) parts center is innocuous enough. I found the accessories I wanted, placed an order and received the typical automated e-mail order acknowledgment in a matter minutes. No problems, so far.

After 4 days, the promised e-mail confirming shipment hadn't arrived and the order status showed "unfulfilled" at Ridgid's web site. Wanting to get the filter bag installed on my vac promptly, I e-mailed a follow-up inquiry to customer service. Not receiving a reply after a day, I called their toll-free parts/service line. After negotiating the ubiquitous automated call handling system and eons on hold waiting to talk to a human, I finally spoke to Rachel. A nice lady, but obviously unfamiliar with the attributes of a modern parts fulfillment system, as is her employer.

After further eons on hold, I was advised of the following (according to Rachel):

- Parts orders take 7 to 10 days to simply be picked and shipped. That's NOT the time to delivery folks - that's the time it takes them to figure out they have a parts order and send somebody stumbling out in to the warehouse with a picking ticket. Adding delivery time would undoubtedly push actual receipt of the parts by the user out to the 14 to 17 day time frame (for a pair of stinking filter bags!).

- It even takes them 7 to 10 days to figure out whether they have a part in stock or not(!!!). I guess computerized inventory management isn't the happening thing at Ridgid just yet.

- Simply canceling my order in frustration took another extended period on hold (to contact the finance department, I was told), and ending ultimately in the promise of a return call, so as not to keep me holding any longer, which was never received.

I haven't seen a customer service operation quite this antiquated, slow and generally inept since the advent of modern, computerized supply chain and logistics management processes and protocols. I'm stunned that this company can stay in business doing business like this.

Further, unlike Shop Vac brand wet dry vacs that have a plethora of brick and mortar store as well as on-line parts and accessory availability, google searches for Ridgid shop vac parts turn up a thin page of poor choices, with limited availability.

THE BOTTOM LINE

This is truly a shame. It's a classic example of really wanting to like and recommend a product, and based on it's design, performance and price point, I do like it very well. But God help you if you want to buy an accessory or part beyond the standard filters (which are available at Home Depot). I can only imagine the nightmare that buying a service part for this product might entail.

If you can live with this product as it comes out of the box from the retailer, absent any non-standard options, accessories or service parts, this could be the vac for you.

If you expect to be able to buy even the simplest parts or accessories in an efficient manner, in order to maximize the utility of this item to you, look elsewhere.

PARTS ODYSSEY UPDATE!!!

Just had to share this gem with you. I downloaded my credit card activity in to my personal finance software today, and what should I find? You guessed it! A charge for the parts ordered from Ridgid, but never shipped. Better yet, the charge was processed by Ridgid on the date I placed the order on-line, you know, 7 to 10 days before they'll even know if they had the items in stock, let alone get around to shipping them.

Talked to the nice lady Rachel in parts again, who promised to send yet another e-mail to those crazy wingnuts in finance (who just love taking other people's money from them before providing them with any kind of part or service), asking them to issue a credit. I wondered before why she had to go through finance to cancel an unshipped parts order and this explains it, they bill for the parts weeks before they ship them. Why do I smell a fight to get my credit forthcoming that will entail protesting the charges through the credit card issuer? One last snippet from my last conversation with Rachel in parts, who said:

"You sent an email to info@ridgidparts.com?" (The address from which the order acknowledgment came.) "Oh," Rachel says, "you need to send your e-mail to info@ridgidvacs.com." Further proof that Ridgid is in desperate need of some quality IT staff upgrades, to fix both their inventory management and web development/e-mail communication problems.

In a happy ending to the filter and nozzle fiasco, I found Endust brand aftermarket filter bags for a 14 gallon Shop Vac brand vacuum on-line that fit my Ridgid vac perfectly (they were shipped promptly and charged to my credit card when shipped, not when ordered). I found a 2.5" dust brush nozzle on-line at Sears, and picked it up at a local Sears store.

I still love the Ridgid vac, but I hate the company who made it, and I'll never do business with them again.

HUNTER S. THOMPSON AWARD - THE FINAL UPDATE

Hunter Thompson has been credited with the line, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

In that spirit, Ridgid wins the Hunter Thompson Award going away. On the day I finally received the credit for the canceled parts order on my credit card account, UPS shows up at my door to deliver the filter bags and dust brush from Ridgid, nearly 3 weeks after the order was placed and some 2 weeks after it was canceled. The packing slip indicated the order was printed and processed 5 days after I canceled the order.

Truth is stranger than fiction.




Recommend this product? No


Amount Paid (US$): 100


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