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Airgas is a failing enterprise

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  • #16
    There is a local Airgas in Northern California near me. I use them to exchange my customer-owned cylinders. I'm a home machinist and welder and I have one CO2, two Argon, one Oxygen and one Acetylene. I've not had any difficulties with periodic exhanges in more than 25 years. Where I am, they treat customer-owned just like the rentals. The only exception is that for Argon or Argon/CO2, I would be limited to the 160CF sizes. That's not an issue for me since I only go through two cylinders per year on the average.

    The only complaint I might have is their prices, but that's a problem nationwide with gases and other welding consumables.

    If they fail, it wouldn't be a big deal where I am There are literally hundreds of companies that have gone out of business, including auto dealerships, several Harley-Davidson stores and many. many small stores. There are two other LWS's in my area that have comparable prices if Airgas goes under.

    In any case, the people at Airgas are very pleasant and helpful when I go there, which is usually once every two or three months so I can't complain.

    With such a large company, I can see where the customer service might be highly variable, but then it's like that at Sears and Home Depot, too.

    Just my opinion.
    Miller Syncrowave 200
    Milermatic 252
    Lincoln AC/DC "Tombstone"


    • #17
      Airgas is failing at customer service but thriving as a heavy handed corporate entity. They are very good about hiding the fact that they can come into a market and buy up every little player in the welding supply arena. The ones that refuse to sell are then beaten to death by pricing that only airgas can afford to swallow.

      I'm shocked they haven't been investigated by the feds yet.

      I feel sorry for the old time reps that were legacy's left over from the company's airgas swallowed up and digested into $hit. They remember what it takes to serve and keep a customer and were allowed to do what it took. Now they have their hands tied and their mouths gagged by airass corporate bean counters.

      I know several high ranking regional airgass managers and they have set me up where I get smoking hot pricing. The only thing that keeps me going back is that fact. even then the bean counters and corporate BS is taking their powers away one by one.


      • #18
        I'd have to take a close look at their finacnials to see if I can tell if they are failing or not in the business sense. On the other hand, I bought my last machine from them...they were maybe...MAYBE 1 percent more expensive than the cheapest of the other 5 LWSs in my area (Reno, NV), but I'd rather have the force of a good sized company behind me if I ever have any kind of service issues with that new Lincoln machine. I had to order it, as they didn't have it in stock, but it was here AMAZINGLY the next day IIRC. I do buy gas from them on occasion and I have never had any problems/questions/hesitation to either trade out or refill my owned bottles, no matter which gas I wanted. I have also bought some misc. accessories/supplies from them and usually find that their stock is no better or worse, on average, than any other welding shop around here.

        I do believe that the quality of the local employees is what the average welder sees most and, therfore bases judgment upon. Until recently our local Airgas had a gal there (Estes or Ester?) that was very knowledgeable, service oriented and would always go the extra mile to be helpful, EVEN with a small-time customer like me. Sadly, she quit and went elsewhere, but I do not know where or even if she is still in the welding related biz or not.

        I have never dealt with Airgas in any other locale, so can't make a blanket statement as to whether or not they are getting better or worse overall, but my experience here in Reno, NV has been 95% positive with them.
        Last edited by dondlhmn; 01-19-2013, 09:09 AM.
        Don J
        Reno, NV

        Never pick a fight with an old guy. Old guys are too smart to fight and get hurt. They'll just kill you and get it over with.


        • #19


          • #20
            I buy at Airgas,but no more than necessary. I'm in Michigan and Airgas also bought up what little competition in my area,and it didn't take them long to jack up their prices. I bought a Lincoln 300 Vantage from a competitor out of Oklahoma, and it was about 500 hundred dollars cheaper,with free shipping right to my door. On their rod prices they sell at list,which is quite a bit more than what I have to pay from another local supplier that I found. Airgas has not bought them out yet. On some rods they are about 80 cents a pound cheaper.