i got great service from IOC after the sale, when i got my TA-185 i told him the torch kit was missing a bacl cap and the foot pedle plug did not have a wire clamp on it, he said no problem. shipped me out a new clip for the foot pedle and a new back cap, got it in about 3 days, then found out the foot controle plug had been drilled out to large to hold the screws and that was why the clamp fell out, he got me the phone # to the TA-185 corpret servic people and told me he could call them for me but it would be better if i delt with them direct. i said no problem and made the call
this is where the problems started. and probly why you got sent to a local service center. apearently local sales people (or internet sales people) cant just request parts, they have to be seen by a authorized service center, then the service center can call to request the needed parts, so i had to take the foot controle to rochester to show them it was broken as the TA people would not take my word for it. i had to send them the part or take it to a service center. well i did not want to send off my foot controle i wanted to be able to use it wile waiting on the part and the service center is 100mile round trip. the service guy was nice enough to make the call unseen and TA sent him a new foot controle then called me in to exchange it. so even if i had bought it at my LWS they would have done the same thing send me to rochester to a service center because they are not authorized to say if something is broken or not. so even if you get a welder localy or threw the internet service, repair work will still need to be done threw an autherized service center and if your local store is not an autherized service center they will not be eny more help than a internet sale, well they might ship the welder out for you insted of you having to take it but it will still need to get to a service center befor any thing can be done.
my guess would be this stems form people that do not have a clue how to weld trying to get a working welder replaced because it dosent work when they are using solid wire without gas, or have the setting all messed up and its operator not the welder thats the problem.
so after dealing with a repair isue, and talking with several repair people and places, i give IOC an A+ on after sale service. i could have mailed the peddle back to him and he would have maile it to TA but by him giving me the phone #'s needed and alowing me to do it localy saved me down time as i could still use the controle wile waiting for the new one, and i got a good look into the repair process. and i can tell ya its not as simple as just give me a new one, even right out of the box.
after the repair expereance i will be giving IOC all my future buisness, i think he did the best he could in my situation. witch is the same thing my LWS did when i took it to him, he said it had to go to rochester, just as IOC said.
i have a new foot control now and all is good.