Parker Metal Working – My experience

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Parker Metal Working started selling plasma cutters on eBay. When a Pirate4x4 member named SeaBass44 purchased one, the company joined the Pirate4x4 forum under the name DIVTEC and started promoting their china made plasma cutters on the premise of awesome customer service. I chose to order from them because they pride themselves on customer service, and promote themselves this way through Pirate4x4. This is my personal experience with Parker Metal Working:

  • Thursday 4/24/08 – I ordered the scratch and dent 200amp pulsed DC-only TIG welder (PT200PSV) from Parker Metal Working on the phone. The salesman told me it would ship either Friday 4/25 or Monday 4/28. This welder is advertised on their website for $699.99, the pirate special is $599.99, and I had purchased the scratch and dent for $499.99 + $95.99 shipping & handling. Before hanging up, I confirmed with the salesman the shipping date (again) of either the next day or the following Monday.Arizona UPS, where the order originated, estimates travel time to be two days or less to Sacramento. Therefore, I should have received the product by Wednesday.

  • Wednesday 4/30 –No welder.
  • Saturday 5/3/08 –The rest of the week passed and still nothing. I checked my AMEX bill only to find that, yes; they did in fact bill me on Monday 4/28 for $694.99. While I’m no math wiz, I do know that $499.99 + $95.99 S/H and does not total $695. In fact, they appeared to have charged me the pirate special price and not the scratch and dent price. Oops, I better call and find out what happened on my bill…and where the welder is.
  • Monday 5/5/08 –I called the company Monday morning and spoke with Jim, the welder/fabricator for Parker Metal Working. Jim told me the welder shipped Thursday 5/1, but he was unsure why I was charged that much. He promised to bring it to the attention of Phil Sr., in charge of customer service and the only one who can make changes, and call me back later that day.

By the afternoon I had not yet heard back so I called them. Jim told me that Phil Sr. was out sick, and that Phil would give me a call after he went through the paperwork that Jim faxed him. Phil called me back and left me a voicemail since I was out. He said he did not understand Jim’s note so we’d work it out when we talked next on the phone.

  • Tuesday 5/6/08 –I called Parker Metal Working Tuesday afternoon to speak with Phil Sr. about the overcharge and the missing welder. Phil told me the welder was never offered in scratch and dent. He went on to tell me that the 200amp pulsed TIG at the pirate special of $599 is a great deal, and I should be more than happy to have gotten it for that price. I was taken back by his tone and defensive attitude. I then asked why I should be happy to have been overcharged for the item, and he exploded. He called me names, told me he did not want a customer like me, that I hated his company, and that they were not going to sell the welder to me (although it already shipped). I tried to tell him that if I sounded upset it was because I hadn’t received my item, that I was overcharged, and that his outburst was offensive. His yelling at me was not going to help his company sell units! Continuing to yell, he told me to call back when I had calmed down. Then he hung up on me.

Parker Metal Working Company has been described on Pirate4x4, eBay, and their website as priding themselves on customer service. What was going on here?

  • Two minutes later –I called back, and this time I spoke Jim, telling him what happened. (Jim is very levelheaded and calm. I think he would make a better public voice for sales, support, and customer service. Kudos, Jim!). Jim alerted me that Phil is having a “problem,” and he will try to talk it over with him. Jim then asked what they could do to make it right. I told Jim I either want the welder soon for the agreed upon price originally, or I want a refund (In reality I want the unit to see how it works. I had hoped this would be my first TIG welder of many –my stepping-stone into TIG land!) I also let Jim know that Phil’s while appalling attitude has not hurt me, it may hurt their business because I have documented my entire purchase (as I do with every online purchase) and plan to share my Parker Metal Working experience with the world. Jim notified me that he would talk to Phil about it and get back to me tomorrow. I told Jim I looked forward to resolving the whole thing and thanked him for taking the time to listen to me.
  • 10 minutes later –I decided I did not want to put any money into Phil’s hands. His business tactic of selling a product based on customer service and then providing none made me too uncomfortable to continue doing business with Parker Metal Working. I asked Jim simply to cancel my order and refund my money. When he heard that, of course, he said he would talk to Phil right away and get back to me soon. When Jim called me back, he told me to refuse the welder upon delivery, and they will refund the money once they get the item back. I agreed to this. As of 5/8/08 I have received my refund on my American Express from Parker Metal Working.

So what have I learned? I have learned that if someone appears to have no real technical knowledge about their product then they probably don’t –stay clear of their company and their product. For example, I have e-mails from Phil stating he is unaware of what consumables the torch on this TIG unit requires and also asking me if I can provide input on what replacement parts they should carry. This was to be my first TIG welder so, of course, I didn’t know –that’s what I rely on customer service agents for! Again, Jim to the rescue –he was able to tell me right away what consumables to purchase when I called. Jim knows his stuff and is very easy to talk to, but shouldn’t the customer service representative be equally knowledgeable? (This was prior to the outburst by Phil Sr.)

I cancelled my order with Parker Metal Working to save myself more hassle, so I cannot review the performance and construction of the 200amp pulsed DC-only TIG welder.

If you have a Parker Metal Working product and wish to write a review, please contact us and we will post your review. Good, bad or somewhere in-between.

Update: 5-14-08

Parker Metal Working via Phil Sr. posted on Pirate4x4 that they do have the 200AMP pulsed DC only TIG in stock NEW and S&D… you can see for yourself by the attached screen shot.  More proof that he was not telling the truth on the phone about never offering that model in S&D.

parker metal working ripoff

Update: 9/22/08
SeaBas44 shares his own personal Parker Metal Working Experience

22 Comments »

  1. I live only 3 miles from their Apache Junction shop. I went over to the shop and got a demo from Jim. I was impressed and the price he quoted me was pretty good.

    Not long after using the unit it failed to arc. I called over and was told to bring it in as it is still under warrenty. Well I get a call from Phil and he says I owe him $360. I said I was told it was under warrenty. He gets all pissy and says no one said it was under warrenty.

    I asked why he would go ahead and fix a machine knowing that the repair cost was only $100 less than the price I paid. He threatened to keep the machine.

    When I went to pick it up after about an hour of arguing on the phone, the note was still on it saying warrenty work that Jim had put on it.

    Now the Apache Junction shop is closed. No one answers the phone and I cannot get tips. I’m not going to pay for shipping on a part I can pick up myself.

    Save your $$$ and get a real machine. Hell, I can run a gas torch better and it doesn’t eat so many sonsumables. Customer service? Not at this place….

    Comment by jetdriverphx — October 1, 2009 @ 7:12 pm

  2. Sounds familiar to other stories floating around.

    Comment by admin — October 2, 2009 @ 3:19 pm

  3. This is Phil Sr the owner of Parker Metalworking Products.

    We expect our customers to abide by the terms of our warranty and purchase agreement… just as they expect us to. That simple!!!

    The ONLY (I again say… ONLY) time I get “Pissy” is when people are uncooperative and show disrespect to me or my company. The reason I get “Pissy” is because anyone with a brain would understand and clearly see that we provide great service as it relates to the purchase of their machine.

    When people purchace a product from us… agree to the terms of the warranty and purchase agreement… and then try to move the goal-post in the middle of the game… THAT’S WHEN I GET “PISSY”!

    Later… Phil Sr

    Comment by Phil Sr — October 29, 2009 @ 9:41 am

  4. Yeah Phil you get pissy when
    A) You get caught in a lie
    B) Your product breaks within warranty and therefore is a cost to you
    C) Someone doesn’t want to put up with your nonsense

    Just plain stay away from the snake oil salesmen at parker.

    Comment by Ivan Nickel — February 14, 2010 @ 8:31 pm

  5. I bought 2 units from Parkermetalworking. The 200amp acdc and the 40/160 dv plasma tec. The 200acdc worked ok but that is it, just ok. It seemed to have an unstable arc as did the 40/160. I coulldn’t count on these units operating the same 2 days in a row. I traded the 200acdc for a project vehicle. The 40/160 plasma tec broke down twice. The second time it broke I sent it back to Phil Sr. He said he would get it turned right aroung for me. He had it for 2 days and didn’t know it was there. After 8 days it still hadn’t been fixed and it took him a bit to find it. When I ask when will he get to it Phil got pissy and accused me of expecting too much. The flowmeters on both welders quit working very soon after being put into service. Phil told me that he wasn’t going to warranty them, that I was being too nit picky. I told him that I simply expect new things to work. I wont ever buy another Parkermetalworking product again or deal with Phil Sr. That’s why I bought a Miller diversion. I can’t say it enough, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. The customer service that Phil tries to sell just isn’t there.

    Comment by Jim Whitaker — March 22, 2010 @ 8:05 pm

  6. It’s simple Jim… you called with an attitude… and I just gave back what I received.

    Ever heard of the saying… “you can dish it out… but you can’t take it”.

    Yep…. I get pissy… if I’m not treated with common respect. THAT IS ABSOLUTLY THE ONLY TIME I GET PISSY!

    BTW… you say your machine never really worked correctly. Well, for sure that means either the machines have a technical problem (which we gladly cover under warranty) OR IT’S THE OPERATOR!!!

    Our machines out perform others in so many ways! No shit!

    Before I started this industry in June 2004. The only choice was plasma cutters of a non-inverter design for at minimum $1500 for a 40amp.

    When people can’t appreciate these facts… and act like they are owed more than what they bought… I get pissy!

    Phil Sr

    BTW… we moved to Oregon

    Comment by Philip Parkerson Sr — March 24, 2010 @ 11:15 am

  7. I can not reach anyone at the 888-281-2820 or 480-983-6030 both have a message saying the in boxs is full

    Comment by Keith — September 10, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

  8. I need parts

    Comment by Keith — September 10, 2010 @ 12:01 pm

  9. I’ve been trying to call Parker Metal Working for a week and their phone goes straight to voicemail, which is full. I had them repair my welder earlier this year and it’s now broken. I need to get it repaired. Anyone know if they went out of business?

    Comment by Matt White — September 10, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

  10. Sorry for the full voicemail from time to time. Been busy moving, building, and generally going crazy with all the demands that brings.

    I’ve emailed God asking for 28 hours a day… still waiting for a reply though.

    BTW… to those that experienced the occasional voice mail full during the past year (been moving ya’know)… you can always send an email. parkermetalworking@yahoo.com

    I’m think’n it may be a sign of the times… that people seem quite eager to find fault… not features. Hmmm.

    We have in the past, currently, and in the future really interested in offering great products at great prices to provide great value. Hell, we’re just GREAT!

    Comment by Philip Parkerson Sr — April 6, 2011 @ 9:12 am

  11. Wow, thank you Phill Sr…
    I saw a link to your machines on another site and thought i’d check it out. I am in the market for my first plasma cutter and like others the price of your machines was impressive. I have had a few bad experiences with customer service in the past and been burned by bad purchases so i thought i would do a quick google review search. Just so you know this was one of the first few links that came up using your company name. After reading the first couple posts i was open minded then i read yours and Jims. You have no clue as to what customer service is. All the bad experiences I had in the past were always resolved peacefully and the customer (me) was never blamed. Eventhough “I” lost my cool. In the end i remained a satisfied customer and i even apologised for what i said. You expect people to pour their hard earned money and trust into your company and expect a good product, and knowledgable and understanding customer service in return. After reading your posts i an NOT purchasing from you! Ever heard “The customer is always right”?

    Comment by Dillon — August 28, 2011 @ 5:42 am

  12. Just from reading the comments from Phil, I will not be sending any money to this company. Thank for the honest reviews. This is what the net was made for.

    Phil, Yes costomers are a pain. Business is thankless and even when the customer is wrong. It’s your job to make them think they’re right, and have them smiling as you charge them for service.

    This site makes some BIG claims about customer service and avalibility. Well. The reviews speak for themselfs. And Phil, you may want to check some other forums where people are talking about your “awsome” costomer service, or MASIVE lack there of.

    Just because your right doesn’t mean your not a jerk.

    Comment by one welder — September 8, 2011 @ 7:03 am

  13. I bought 3 super 160’s mig/tig/arc/plasma cutters from Phil Sr 5 years ago. First thing he did was over-charge me $900 which he did refund after I contacted him about it. These units werent done yet and I was told that the mig portion of the unit would be shipped to me in about 3 month to install myself. I was told specifically that my receipt wouldnt list the super 160 or the mig attachment because they werent in the system yet. I called and called and called for 3 trying to get the 3 mig attachments that I paid an extra $500 each for, finally after about 3 years one day he started screaming into the phone that they werent on the receipt so I didnt buy anything from him. Phil, dont kid yourself, you get pissy, you rip people off, you dont remember deals that you make and you are terrible to deal with. I sold 2 of the units and the 3rd one welded about 20 feet before it quit working, not very good for a $3000 welder. I spoke to him on the phone extensively before I purchased almost $10,000 worth of products from him, he went on and on about how these machines were built to his specifications and how they were so much better than other “chinese” welders on the market. He said his product, warranty and customer service were the best in the industry. All I can say is that everything changed once he got my money. Hey Phil, it really looks like you have a history of ripping people off and being pissy with your customers. I know that I will never get the mig attachment or my $1500 back and the $3000 welder you sold me is broken. I hope anyone thinking about buying from Parker Metal Working reads every one of these testimonies and Phil’s responses and then changes their mind.

    Comment by Tony — December 20, 2011 @ 10:01 am

  14. Wow, glad I googled Parker Metal Working and found this info about their service (or lack thereof).
    I am in the market for an ACDC Tig and was considering a buy from them.

    The ranting of Phil at Parker has convinced me that they will not be making a sell to me.

    The search continues….

    Comment by Welder in school — February 11, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

  15. I purchased a 3 in one welder from Parker Metalworking in 2006. Upon receiving this unit I noticed that it was damaged inside. The glastic supports holding the inverter part up was broken. Called Parker, he apologized for the problem and said new supports would be send out right away. I received them about a week later. Installed them, hooked everything up and thought I was in for a long stint of TIG welding and Plasma cutting. Within a couple of weeks unit quit working. Once again I called Parker and they apologized and said box it up and send it back and we will fix it however, you must pay shipping. Was a little perturbed that a brand new unit with warranty would not cover shipping. So I agreed to this and sent unit back. 3 weeks later I received new unit. This one lasted 3 months before it quit cutting again. Sent it back once more and 3 weeks later I had my “refurbished” unit sent back to me stating it was better than ever. 6 months later after minimal usage unit quit again. Finally got a hold of Parker after several days of calls and was informed that this unit was no longer in warranty and a service charge would have to be paid after unit was fixed (again). Figured since I already had spent $1200 for this unit that it would be best that it get fixed so I could at least use it. Stated my displeasure of ther fact that this unit was down more than I actually used it and Phil SR. got real angry with me saying that his machines were of high quality and the reason they broke was because inexperienced people were buying them and using them wrong. I sent the unit back to maybe get this fixed one more time and when they called telling me it was done, they told me it would be $375 to get it back. I was pretty upset about this but figured I needed to have my machine working so I could use it. l paid the bill and after 3 weeks, received my unit. To this day I am scared to use this machine for fear that it will break down if I do. The one thing I learned? Pay the money for a name brand welder/plasma cutter. At least the warranty is worth the price you pay!

    Comment by NOVADAVE — July 2, 2012 @ 11:16 am

  16. I realize this is an older post, but still applies. After reading some on these plasma cutters I was excited to see at least an American company profit from Chinese machines…decided to do a quick google on Parker metal and can honestly say Phil helped my decision process not to buy from them. I will just save a bit more for a hypertherm.

    Comment by ducter — February 19, 2013 @ 10:33 am

  17. i know that i found this a couple of years late but….
    there is absolutely NO WAY that i will ever buy my plasma from them (currently on the market for one).
    like what has been said before, you dont speak to customers that way.
    “anyone with a brain”, etc etc….you will never see business from me.
    how dare you speak to customers that way! they are the people that keep your doors open and your lights on!
    you seem to have real mommy-daddy issues phil. waaah. im not appreciated. waah.
    trust me phil. people didnt buy your product to sign themselves on to a list of calling phil to kiss his ass!
    customers are tired of being screwed over by people like yourself that should not be operating businesses! that is why we are fortunate to have forums such as these to communicate. just look at me. i found this old forum that has been dead for a couple of years.
    and it just cost you Another sale!
    you actually made it worse by coming on here to speak your mind. you have concreted all of our thoughts as far as exactly how little you respect your customers.
    from the sound of it, id say that you only respect them while they are paying you for a machine and they had better Not come back for a warranty service or its going to be a problem and you are going to get
    “pissy”.
    who in the eff do you think you are telling customers that you will be pissy to them because they are mad that youre not meeting your end of the deal!
    and i guess the worst part is that you obviously search the internet to see whos bashing you today for your ways so that you can spend all of your time typing back on forums!
    wouldnt it be nice to read NICE things and not have to type back at all and just sit back and let your business run itself because you treat people fairly??!
    THAT is all that people want- not some dead beat douchebag business owner barking at them when they feel slighted.
    enjoy watching your business crumble away. just do us all a favor and dont question why it all failed once it does fail.

    Comment by frank — March 6, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

  18. just glad i found these posts prior to purchasing from said company, too much BS and i am staying clear of Parkermetalworking. Please continue to update the activities of phil sr and his company, i see a NAME change to cover his tracks as his current name has too much negativity sort of like his attitude towards his customers! looks like “miller” gets my money.

    Comment by chuckycheese — January 13, 2014 @ 6:11 am

  19. I have a Parker Metal Working 40Amp plasma. I have probably used 50 plasma cutters in my life, and this one is great in some ways, and not so great in others.

    Comment by Anonymous — November 22, 2014 @ 12:58 pm

  20. Apologies, the dog hit ‘enter’ mid review, continued:

    I have a Parker Metal Working 40Amp plasma. I have probably used 50 plasma cutters in my life, and this one is great in some ways, and not so great in others.
    The good: It’s resilient. I have had it drawn into over-current at least ten times, and was able to get it up and going just by disassembling/ reassembling. It’s accurate; thin arc , very steady and consistent amperage. Holds well at 1/4″ standoff distance (most do their best at 1/8″). But most importantly, it drags very well without the aid of a drag nozzle. For the price, I’m up in the air on it.
    The bad: For a 40Amp, I’d simply disagree. It has the power of a 20Amp. It cuts surgically through 1/4″ plate, but anything more than that, the cut J’s and lags, and the dross buildup is significant. I contacted Phil Sr. about this, and he told me that it was my outlet. I drew the amperage from my outlet; just fine. I even stopped by the a couple different fab shops with it (all and all, tried several different 220 outlets) and had the same results; weak. I ended up sending it in to Phil. His response was that it was “about to blow up.” And that me sending it in was a great thing, “crisis averted.” He then offered me a 50Amp “turbo upgrade.” I opted for it, thinking that maybe he would notice a power deficiency and resolve it. He stuck me with a bill of $350, which is damn near the price of the original 50Amp. It came back, only to struggle through 3/8″ plate. 1/2″ plate – not a chance. When inquiring about this, he said he had no problems using my machine cutting 3/4″ plate, and that the issue is the outlet. Hmmm. I don’t think so.
    More bad: The consumables are over priced for their worth; they burn up in about 10 cuts (the tips, that is). Very sensitive to heat. The cutter itself is also very sensitive to anything coated. Although this is a characteristic of many plasma cutters, this one is particularly so, even having the nozzle shatter on me mid-cut on one occasion, flying 20′ across the shop. The trigger on the gun is poorly designed, and very susceptible to destroying the trigger wires, as they HAVE to be kinked to fit properly. Phil even sent back them more twisted than I had. I eventually built my own trigger for the gun with a proper setup.

    Phil? What say you?
    Anyone else still out there?

    Comment by Anonymous — November 22, 2014 @ 1:14 pm

  21. Forgot to mention, he sent me the wrong gun on a separate repair (broken plug). Sent me a completely different style from the one I had sent in. I had to pay for return shipping. When I asked why, he said it was because Obama has made shipping too expensive, and no way would he pay for that.

    Classy

    Comment by Anonymous — November 22, 2014 @ 3:29 pm

  22. I found this forum researching a Parker Plasma tec 40/160. It is posted on the Denver Craigslist. 5 minutes of reading just saved me a few $$$. Thank you to those that took the time to share their stories.

    Comment by 5280 — July 8, 2015 @ 9:34 pm

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