Heads Up re National Builders Supply Toilet Shipping

gbsim1November 5, 2012

I'm writing to vent about the packing from National Builders Supply and their Toto toilets.

The main reason that I went with NBS despite several failed attempts to get them to price match (they found wiggle room everywhere) was because of everyone's praise for their great packing for toilets.

My husband accepted delivery for our 4 Totos. Eight boxes (three 2-piece, a one-piece and a box of lids. And I finally got around to asking him how long it took him to unpack them. He looked at me like I was from another planet.

There was NO packaging. None... Nada. Just eight boxes strapped to a pallet. Within the boxes not even a piece of paper. Just porcelain toilets slid into cardboard boxes.

On top of that he said that they were strapped together in such a haphazard way that he couldn't believe that they held together.

Things have been crazy here and I had no time to worry about unpacking toilets. So now here I am about 10 days after delivery, realizing that I should have checked each box and NBS says tough luck if one is broken since we accepted delivery and it was a freight shipment. According to their customer service whom I called this AM we should have opened and inspected the contents of each box before the shipper left.

Here's there blurb from their website:

"Why buy a toilet from National Builder Supply?...

Our industry-leading packing methods keep your delicate porcelin products safe during shipping.

What a bunch of baloney. When I called this AM to complain they admitted that you only get peanuts and styrofoam for a single toilet. Order more than one and you get a cardboard box. Do you see anywhere in that blurb where it says "industry leading packing methods for single toilets"?

So maybe the best option is to order your toilets from NBS one at a time. .... Or not at all.

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So, are they actually damaged?

Palletizing and shrinkwrapping is how plumbing fixtures, including breakables like toilets, are shipped to whatever warehouse that they are picked from. They do not have any additional fluff from the manufacturer to get to wherever they are going, and end up just fine 99% of the time, unless there is a forklift accident. With a careful freight company, that should be sufficient for home delivery, if you paid for a liftgate. Only shipments that are smaller than pallet sized generally have problems being shipped freight, and thus that's why they brag about their shipping methods for individual items.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 10:00AM
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What GreenDesigns said. This is normal. Your perception of how they are packaged was different from the way it is. Everything a freight forwarding company delivers should be inspected by you or a contractor when it is delivered. Usually the driver will insist on it. They even opened the box of my ping pong table and had me look it over before leaving.

My toilets from Homeclick arrived on pallets like that too. Be happy.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 12:53PM
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Gina and Green Designs, you're right that that's how I'd usually expect such a shipment to arrive. But that's not the way that NBS advertises and has their customer service reps present their shipping methods.
After speaking to a customer service rep and reading the website promotional blurb, I knowingly paid MORE for the toilets because I was assured that their packing was "Industry-leading" to use their words.
I knew that I would have gotten a palletized shipment from Home Perfect or Faucet Depot both of which were offering the toilets for about 25.00 less each but was told by both the NBS website and a live person that their packing methods were special..... not true.

My point in posting is just to say that if you're ordering multiple toilets get them from the cheapest source because NBS only offers their special packing when you order one at a time. I overpaid by about $100 in order to get their "industry leading" packing. Don't make my mistake.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 2:21PM
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gina_w: "Everything a freight forwarding company delivers should be inspected by you or a contractor when it is delivered. Usually the driver will insist on it."

Two years ago, we ordered a (single) toilet from NBS (HM Wallace of Austell, GA). When it arrived, if we had asked the UPS driver to wait while we unpacked it, we would have had to provide food and lodging for the driver overnight. Between the foam and the packing peanuts, it took us almost three days to get the toilet clear of the packing materials. (Admittedly, we could work only an hour or two per day on the unpacking itself; the remainder of the time we spent trying to keep the room -- and adjacent rooms -- clean, because the styrofoam had a wicked static charge and migrated to and stuck to everything, including clothing and shoes.)

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 8:48AM
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herring, UPS is different from a common carrier delivering bulk on a pallet. You either accept the delivery or refuse the delivery, they give you 24 hours after the delivery to check product after that your at the mercy of the trucking company and the company you purchased the product from.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 9:45AM
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I am sorry I did not read your post before ordering my Toto toilet from national Builders Supply. Same thing happen. I did inspect but way in the bottom the toilet was broken when the plumbers took it out of the box. National Builders basically told me "tough luck:" you did not inspect it completely within 2 days. Plumbers said was not properly packed. National Builders said they would send a new one for 50 less because this time no free shipping I will never order from them again. They do not stand behind there product.
any suggestions

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:19AM
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Wow, that is a bummer. I just ordered a toilet through amazon and it was packaged very carefully. Double boxes and foam.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:32AM
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I think there I something shady going on with this company. They ship under HM Wallace they contract for shipping and don't allow consumers to file claims with fedex after 48 hours. If you research online it appears there's numerous complaints about broken toilets and they gamble with saying there is a 48 hour to 5 day window to replace the toilets, as I waited 10 days and they are trying to not replace and make me purchase another one at cost plus pay shipping. They will be explaining to the need, an attorney snd the better business bureau .,, all over a couple hundred dollars just to expose their scaming tactics to consumers .,,

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 9:14AM
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That is so strange, I had excellent packaging on two Totos. They were wrapped in a heavy duty plastic trash bags then the space around them was filled with that spray foam insulation. There was no movement at all and we had trouble getting them out of the boxes because of all the packing. I apologize if I mislead anyone but frankly, l do plan on ordering from them again, that is how positive my experience was.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:52PM
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I received a broken toilet-didn't open box to inspect within 48 hours of it being left in my entrance way-the company will not honor my request to do the right thing and ship another one-their packaging was inadequate-the foam was not totally around the inside of the box. I sent pictures. They told me they would charge me 215 for unusable toilet instead of the 315 I paid. Wow thanks.

Don't bother buying from them-buy locally. Very bad PR.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2014 at 2:08PM
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