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Thread: I want my rifle back

  1. #1

    Default I want my rifle back

    Warning: the following has certain elements of a rant to it.

    Disclaimer: I'm a fairly impatient person in general.

    That being said, here goes.. Two months ago I dropped off a rifle at a local gunsmith/store to have some custom work done, to include cutting and recrowning the barrel, trigger/action job, refinishing, and some other odds and ends. I was told that everything but the refinish (hard chrome) would be accomplished in-house and that since they had to outsource the chroming to add about two weeks to the time frame. The estimate was 4-6 weeks for everything, with the standard disclaimer that it could take more/less time - and by the way don't call us, we'll call you when it's finished.

    I violated that policy three weeks into the process when I happened to be in the store shopping and casually inquired if I could get a progress check and estimated time of completion. I was given a response that unless I had been called to let me know it was ready for pickup not to bother them as this constitutes a time-consuming interruption. I let it go at that, paid for my other purchases, and left.

    Last week, Wed, hit seven weeks with no words and now I'm getting fairly impatient to get my rifle back - especially since I'm looking forward to enjoying the custom touches I was having done. I stopped in the store with the intention of no-kidding finding out what the status of my rifle is. After explaining who I was and what I was after I was told that the chroming could actually add up to 60 additional days to the process. I understand that estimates are just that, but 60 days seems excessive to me and the discrepancy between first being told two weeks and then 60 days is unsatisfactory - something that the shop needs to work out for itself in my opinion.

    They looked my rifle up in the computer and asked around the shop, finally determining that they had received it back from being chromed but that, oops, it turns out that there is a crack in the receiver and they had sent the receiver and barrel to the manufacturer for replacement/repair on 27 November. Naturally, my next question was what is the manufacturer doing to fix the issue and when was it going to be back to the shop (since now the receiver will have to be again sent out to be chromed). I assumed since it had been a full 10 business days since they sent it that they would have some notification or would have inquired about it themselves. As it turned out, the shop had no clue as to the status - nor did it seem that they cared much. I told them that I wanted them to contact the manufacturer ASAP and then call me as to the disposition. I was assured that they would get on it first thing the next day. The next day (Thursday) I received a messge that, unfortunately, they didn't get a call into the manufacturer before they closed (EST business hrs) and that it would be Monday before they'd try again.

    That brings us to today. Again, having heard NOTHING I went by the shop. Blank stares slowly gave way to recognition and the statement that they have not been able to get through to the manufacturer - something to the effect that "all operators are busy". I asked if they had been trying to call since Thursday and that they've been unsuccessful at reaching anyone for FOUR business days? Yup - shrug. Knowing that: 1. My patience was wearing thin. 2. Yelling is generally counterproductive, and 3. I don't want to piss them off since I still want my rifle back this year (we'll see about that one) I left.

    I then looked up the customer service number for the manufacturer and HUZZAH! I was connected to a rep after an excrutiatingly long 06:19 wait on hold, during which time I did other things. I found out that the manufacturer was replacing the receiver but that they couldn't tell me how long it was going to take (I'm getting really fed up with that answer). But at least I know something now, no thanks to the gunshop.

    Now that I've gone the long way around the barn with this: Should I just chill out? I'm fairly dissatisfied with the performance of the gunshop. I realize that some things are beyond their control (although the jury's out on how the receiver got cracked - I've only put about 40 factory rounds downrange) but the complete lack of customer service and the don't give a S**t attitude is really pi$$ing me off. At no time did the shop bother to update me of anything, which at a minimum I would have liked to know about the cracked receiver instead of having to pry the info out of them. It doesn't give me a lot of confidence that they are being up front with me.

    I'm trying to figure out how I want to deal with the shop at this point. I'd like them to push the issue with the manufacturer in an attempt to light a fire up their butt, but I'm not sure I'm going to make any headway. If I continue to get the cold shoulder I'm thinking about outing their name in follow-up posts to this and other forums. I'd rather not do that, but if they don't care enough to strive to make a customer (who put down a 50% deposit) happy why should I care if they lose business?

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2

    Default Frustration

    Sorry to hear about your situation. This type of customer service from local shops is what prompted me to send my rifle out of state. Took just about 4 weeks for a recoil pad, new barrel and chambering. The smith told me it would take approximately 3 weeks plus shipping time and he held to that. I would reccomend and use him again in the future.

  3. #3

    Default

    if my rifle left his shop with anyone other then me I better be ASKED first! the gunsmith allmighty attitude is one thing, but to send your rifle off without asking you first is way out of line

  4. #4
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    Default

    In Jan. 1990 I had a custom job done on a BKK-02 in 338-378 WBY. In Aug. 1991 I got too shoot it for the first time. This firearm was handled by no less than 3 different gunsmiths. Your rushing the job. Something always comes up. Estimates are exactly that, an estimate.

  5. #5
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by highcountry View Post
    if my rifle left his shop with anyone other then me I better be ASKED first! the gunsmith allmighty attitude is one thing, but to send your rifle off without asking you first is way out of line
    Well said. That guy had a lot of nerve sending out that weapon without preapproval. The estimate had zero to do with that. I'd tell him that I expect a reduced cost when it was done if he expects any kind of good reference.

    Consumers can fight back!

  6. #6
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    Default

    Sounds like the same situation I have only it's with my car and the local dealer. Seems like customer service in many industries has gone in the toilet nowadays.
    The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps! (Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945)

  7. #7
    Member EricL's Avatar
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    Default attitudes

    I would bet I know which shop this is if in Anchorage!! EricL

  8. #8

    Default

    Yes, in Anchorage - not that it narrows it down a whole lot, I've come to lower my customer service expectations quite a bit since I've been here. I've purposly not mentioned their name, hoping that it quickly burns through that I'm not happy and they need to change that. Basically, I'm giving them a much opportunity to make things right as I can stand before I crap all over them by name.

  9. #9

    Default Better man than me

    Quote Originally Posted by AlleninAlaska View Post
    In Jan. 1990 I had a custom job done on a BKK-02 in 338-378 WBY. In Aug. 1991 I got too shoot it for the first time. This firearm was handled by no less than 3 different gunsmiths. Your rushing the job. Something always comes up. Estimates are exactly that, an estimate.
    Allen, you've got WAY more patience than I do - a 20 month wait would make my head explode. It seems you could grow the tree and mine the ore for the rifle not to mention build a new one in that amount of time. As to things coming up, sure - but the work I'm having done should be easily doable in a month, the transit time for chroming notwithstanding. My perception is poor management and lack of caring on the part of the shop.

  10. #10
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    Unlucky occurrence sounds like on all accounts, namely yours.

    Let me start out by relating that customer service generally speaking is much less person to person personable nowadays.

    In this case --- I’d say you’ve had the unsuccessful venture of dealing with the faces and issues in the front office vs. the Smithing 9-5ers actually working on your guns. Also sounds as if somewhat extensive custom work was called for (a list of items) not all in-house (that you where made aware of) and that something/somehow may have caused the gun to fail in this whole process… TIME plus increasing the time… disconnect from the reduced shop to customer interactions and maybe the total failure in standards for customer care.

    This all points to the initial FACT… striving to get specifically or as close to all the important features you are looking for in a gun from the factory preceding any sales and later on customizations.
    --- Not to mention the warranty issues if they occur are much more comprehensible.

    Patience is a virtue so optimistically this will see you though.

    Experiencing & Knowing some of the story you now have at hand. The first thing to address are important questions… #1 Call the gun manufacturer again and attempt to get a straight-shooter answer as to how they believe the gun was broken & at what stage of workmanship… do they see it as their fault and a quality control issue or was it an obvious mistake by the Gunshop??? This is Key!!!

    Don’t get too mad & loose your cool… yet! Get the facts… write ‘em down and have some legit ammo when you step up to the shooting line.

    Worst case is you get a new un-customized rife back (maybe even an upgrade model) and a no thanks for shop work for the future.

    Best of luck

    Brian Richardson

  11. #11
    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Default

    Living here in the bush, all work is sent out, usually to someone advertising in mainstream magazines or thru word of mouth. Now if a rush job which is simple, something like a shortening of a stock and pad added I asked the local gunshop that sold the gun where to go and was directed to Percision arms there in Anchorage and it was done perfect and quickly. Sorry to hear about the issues of poor customer service there in Anchorage, not all are like that.

  12. #12
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    Drano,
    Please let us know what the name of the gunshop is so we never make the mistake of using them. I would also put the word out to my circle of influence to no use this shop. I have used two shops in the Anchorage Area lately and recommend them. (Accuracy Arms 907-346-2304 and Custom Firearm Finishes 907-694-4440)
    An unarmed person is a victim waiting to happen.

  13. #13

    Default Waiting until I get my gun back

    Then I'll let fly with the name - be the end result good, bad, or ugly... the subsequent post will reflect my overall satisfaction or lack of when all is said and done.

  14. #14
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    Default the good and the bad

    the good:
    I've had work done a few times by Hawk gunsmithing in Anchorage and he has been GREAT. He does great work and his turn-around time is really quick. He treats his customers good also.
    the bad:
    I took a Rem. 870 to another gunsmith in a local shop to get a receiver sight installed (drilling and tapping two holes). The first thing he asked was how many months I was willing to wait. My jaw hit the floor. We went around and around a few times on the wait and finally his assistant said he could do it in a couple weeks. I should have just left then. After the two weeks it still took a couple trips and a phone call to finally get the 870 back. If this 'smith treats all his customers like this I'm suprised he still has all his front teeth.

  15. #15

    Default Your rifle

    About all you can do at this point is wait for it or ask for it back. If it is the same well known Anchorage shop I dealt with a few years ago I do not envy you. I heard the same thing, "we will call you when it's done". So I sucked it up and finally got my rifle back after a long wait. After I paid them I told them due to their attitude and treatment of me, their customer, we would no longer due buisness together nor would I send anyone their way. They are not the only game in town. I will gladly keep sending my work to the states, even if it costs more. I know Alaska has some good gun smiths. I also know there are some very good ones in the lower 48 states.

  16. #16

    Default Gunsmith

    Not much need to say who it is. Most people probably know that already.

  17. #17
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by talkeetnakid View Post
    ...This type of customer service from local shops is what prompted me to send my rifle out of state...
    Quote Originally Posted by 4whlr View Post
    Not much need to say who it is. Most people probably know that already.
    I agree with talkeetnakid. That is why you don't have to tell me which shop it was.

    Here on the Kenai Peninsula the problem has yet another twist. Some of the locals (not just gunshops but also car dealers, funiture stores, etc) think we will deal with them or do without.

    THEY ARE SO WRONG!

  18. #18
    Member lab man's Avatar
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    Default

    I have no clue whats going on with outdoor shops, but I've been having my fair share of issues with archery. Everyone refers to stores like walmart when they talk about customer service, but I think sports shops are getting petty bad. Thankfully my gunsmith is a pretty good guy, and I haven't had any problems, but I can't shoot my new bow because my archery shop screwed up my arrows!!!! I already have my bait out and am getting hits, but I haven't even put 20 arrows through my hoyt. To say I'm frustrated would be an understatement. Drano, man I know where you're coming from, and I hope you get your gun back soon.

    -Eric

  19. #19
    Member bigswede358's Avatar
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    Default What about cost?

    Not to long ago I was thinking about having a Ruger Mk II rebarreled by a smith here in Ak, he said it would be between $600-$700. Last year in Idaho I had the same job done by a very well respected gunsmith plus some trigger work for $200. I know it costs more to get stuff shipped up north here, but I thought that was just ridiculous, just my .02.

  20. #20
    Member Alaskacajun's Avatar
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    Default

    It must be nice to have all that internet business, apparently they don't need local customers... and if you ever get a quote from them on getting some work done, they are hundreds of dollars more than everybody else!

    Yeah everybody has had a similar experience in that particular shop!

    - Clint

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