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Ranger55
May 21, 2008, 11:21 AM
DO NOT BUY Ed Brown Custom products, unless you are comfortable doing business with arrogant people. I had a most unpleasant experience with them, and feel the rifle buying community should be warned before spending your hard earned money there.

So far this year, I have added 10 new rifles to my collection, including 3 recently purchased from Ed Brown Custom. A 7mm-08 and in planning for a safari to Africa, I looked on the Ed Brown Custom webpage and found two in stock that would do well. The first was a 375 and the second a 308 for plains game. I discussed my goals with the salesperson and paid over $8,000 for the two rifles. When they arrived I was confused as the 308 was a target model, and weighed at least 10 lbs.

I immediately called to make arrangements to receive the proper rifle. Renee was friendly and understanding and said there should be no problem getting the proper rifle out but should check with her manager first. I told her, that would be great and in addition to the proper 308 I ordered, I would like to order a 300 Mag.

A moment later, the manager said that there was no way he would take it back the rifle in exchange for the proper one. He said, “I should just sell it and order another one”. WOW!! Of course I politely asked questions of how this could happen and he said “it’s right there on the website”. Then he suggested for another $700 he could modify the target rifle for what I wanted. His tone during the conversation was condescending and patronizing, and it was obvious he wanted no part in talking to me at all, and with no intention of giving the rifle I ordered.

The website is confusing because it shows the rifle for sale listed on the inventory, and when you click on the link it takes you to a page with a photo. The specifications show the rifle weighs 8.5 lbs not 10. Perhaps someone who is extremely familiar with Ed Brown Custom code words, like RV barrel would know that it would be much heavier, despite what the website has as the rifle’s listed weight. Given the detailed conversation I had regarding the intended purpose of the rifle, it’s hard to imagine a “custom” shop would allow this to happen and not make good on their mistake.

It seems the only person who gets a custom rifle from ED BROWN CUSTOM is Ed Brown and his team. Needless to say I would never do business with people I cannot trust and will not spend that much money with people who have no interest in a partnership and will not correct their mistakes. What a shame! Save your money and spend it with a great company that works with both rifles and people. DO NOT BUY from Ed Brown Custom.

Don H
May 21, 2008, 01:16 PM
Two points:

1) I tend to be wary of people who join a forum just to trash a company.

2) I tend to avoid making judgements based on just one side of a story.

Ranger55
May 21, 2008, 02:33 PM
Don H

The purpose of my forum post was to use the power of the internet to express my frustration at the attitude Ed Brown's manager took towards me. Informing others of my bad experience may cause them to choose a different company to buy rifles from, or at least be extra specific and clear, and save themselves trouble and expense.

I did my best to repeat the conversation as carefully and fairly as possible.
No doubt I share some of the responsibilty because I was half of the transaction. I handle all of the burden of the expense and now have a $3500 target rifle that is useless to me instead of the hunting rifle I thought I was ordering.

There was a detailed discussion with the sales person about the intended use. And still I managed to get something I did not want. She felt that it would "be no problem to get the rifle I wanted instead, but just needed to check with the manager". I offered to buy an additional rifle on top of exchanging the incorrect one. She came back to say "sorry I cannot take it back" I asked to speak with manager personally. I pointed out the website had the weight incorrectly listed. As you read the original post, you know how it went from there.

It just seems bad business and I'm sorely disappointed to say the least.

The few friends I have in the sports writing community and shooting industry were not surprised at how things turned out either (they had colorful words and stories of their own) convincing me my experience is not unusual there.

There is a cost to poor service... a bad reputation. If someone at Ed Brown Custom wants to reply the other side, I'd be interested in hearing.

At most, my mistake was to misread the website. With a total of more than $14,000 invested in Ed Brown products, a few minutes of their time making sure we were discussing the same rifle is not too much to ask.

As for returning within a few days an unfired rifle for the proper one, there should be no issue. If there was a legal problem then ok. They didn't mention one.
But there is no cost to treating customers with respect even if they are not "experts".

To look at the bright side, I paid $3500 for a business class... with a free target rifle thrown in.

Phlebotomy
May 22, 2008, 10:07 AM
You can't get 'custom' from a phone call from a company that won't even adjust LOP. Ed Brown's off the shelf are no more custom than the stuff on the shelf at Walmart. They're pretty and expensive, but still basically a metal tube for bullets to fly down.

I figure if I order a pair of 'custom' suit pants I'm going to have some-one's hand in my crotch. And when they're done I'll get the tailor in there to do some measurements.

A custom rifle should be the same way. Except the crotch part.

JP Sarte
May 25, 2008, 09:36 PM
Ranger55:

I agree with you and I am happy you took the time to post your concerns where other gun owners / buyers could view them.

1. It doesn't matter to me why you joined this or any other forum. That is your business.
2. In my opinion, this is a great place to dicuss such issues.

If you had a bad experience why not share the information? You may save somebody a lot of trouble. In addition, if you are dropping $8000.00 on a couple of rifles the manager should act as though you are the King of England.

That kind of arrogance needs to be brought to the attention of as many people as possible. I for one won't buy from Ed Brown either. Why would would I? I might get the same treatment or worse.

This problem exists because not enough people take the time to share stories / information about bad experiences. If more people did, and less people bought from companies engaging in these practices, firms like Ed Brown would change their tune fast or face the possibility of going out of business.

Reputation does matter and it is built not by company propaganda or slick advertising but by these firms providing an exceptional product at a fair price.

JP

dipper
May 25, 2008, 11:33 PM
+1 JP---and if the story isn't true ( I personally believe it is) the company can always press charges.
People need to know the GOOD and the BAD companies out there so we as a whole can support the good ones.

Dipper

Mondo
May 26, 2008, 12:43 AM
<< Good for you Ranger55
Ranger55:

I agree with you and I am happy you took the time to post your concerns where other gun owners / buyers could view them.

1. It doesn't matter to me why you joined this or any other forum. That is your business.
2. In my opinion, this is a great place to dicuss such issues.

If you had a bad experience why not share the information? You may save somebody a lot of trouble. In addition, if you are dropping $8000.00 on a couple of rifles the manager should act as though you are the King of England.

That kind of arrogance needs to be brought to the attention of as many people as possible. I for one won't buy from Ed Brown either. Why would would I? I might get the same treatment or worse.
>>

+1

Based on his recount of the incidents, Ranger 55 seems to be an even keeled guy, kind, polite, and professional, who is just trying to solve an order fullfillment mistake as best as he could. Considering how much he has spent on the rifles he bought, I think he deserves some respect from Ed Brown.

But it seems that Ed Brown was disrespectful and arrogant. They don't seem to care about the customer. The minute you tell the customer "I don't care about you" the customer is completely within his right to respond in kind.

Ranger 55 did not act obnoxious nor loose his temper, after notifying Ed Brown of this order mistake, Ranger55 maintained his trust of the company and wanted to place another order for yet another high dollar gun. It is clear that Ranger55 was acting on good faith and is simply a victim of a erroneous order, a simple problem that most any decent, reputable company should immediate address to maintain their good name and reputation.

But it seems that Ed Brown is not that kind of company. I see them do a lot of advertisement in the trade rags and I have purchased their 1911 products before at shows and from dealers. But now I will think twice.

<<Reputation does matter and it is built not by company propaganda or slick advertising but by these firms providing an exceptional product at a fair price.

JP>>

Agreed, trust is earned, not given. Good reputation only comes from hard work and commitment to excellence and customer service. You always have to know where your next sale is coming from.

johnwilliamson062
May 26, 2008, 01:31 AM
In addition, if you are dropping $8000.00 on a couple of rifles the manager should act as though you are the King of England.

If you had just ordered it off the net I would not be surprised you had this problem and would tell you to grow up, but having talked to the sales person I would expect them to set you up with whatever they had closest to your needs and to get it right, irrespective of the cost of the rifle, or whether it is really custom. Considering the expense of the rifle I would expect them to throw in some extras for wasting your time.
I had a shipping problem with sierra trading post that originated from my mistake then was magnified by one of theirs. The CSR, once realizing what had happened, told me she was sorry and she would have a manager call me back. I ended up with better products than I had ordered at the original price, free expedited shipping, a gift certificate, and a number of sincere apologies. It was a $150 order and Sierra trading post operates on a relatively low margin model.
Needless to say I am going to check with them first on every outdoors item until I die or they go out of business. I will be avoiding Ed Brown.

Phlebotomy
May 26, 2008, 12:45 PM
It's surprising the attitude some manufacturers develop over time. They forget that at one time they were just some guy working in his garage and hoping to make a buck. If nothing else it would be nice if they at least considered that there's a thousand other people out there doing the exact same thing, just as well, and probably for a buck less.

Wildalaska
May 26, 2008, 12:55 PM
So let me understand, you bought a gun out of stock without checking the specs and are upset because they wouldnt take it back?:confused:

WildthatsallthatithinkisimportantAlaska ™

dipper
May 26, 2008, 01:07 PM
Wild,
I read the post as the OP saying that the rifle he wanted WAS IN STOCK and he ordered THAT one and they sent him a different one and told him to sell it and order another one.
BS to me---if you don't get what you ordered, thats on the dealer not on the buyer.
You'd think they would make it right since it was their fault and the customer spent good money with them.

Dipper

Wildalaska
May 26, 2008, 01:15 PM
Not how I read it, but hey, I got no bone in this kennel.

WildtherearealwaystwosidestoastoryAlaska ™

PS...I share Don H's views..

Joseywales3
May 26, 2008, 04:11 PM
I've bought 2 customs pistols so far:

1 - Custom 9mm 1911. The pieces were built by a known custom maker and asmebled by a known machinist who supplies many of the frames and slides used for custom guns. Outcome? $1,200 gun had a safety issue on the first trip to the range, because the safety was not fitted properly. Sent back for full refund, all parties very cordial.

2 - Custom Acusport 45 Colt revolver bought from one of the industry's most famous SA gunsmiths. You wouldn't believe it if I told you. Now I don't know much, but I know that the only weapon more simplified than a SA revolver is a spear. Well, my $1,400 Ruger would not even cycle when I first took it from the box. After breaking a nut trying to get the basepin out, I reassembled and took it to the range. After painstakingly getting it to shoot 15 rounds, I bailed. The famous maker had an attitude, as if somehow it was my fault that the cylinder on his "custom" revolver wouldn't turn. He didn't have to kiss my a$$, but how bout cordial at least??? I worked with him trying to diagnose the problem, after that he agreed to take it back. Of course, I'm out $100 in shipping and still no bang! I bought a used one with reamed cylinders for $475. Big bang, big smile!

Some of you mentioned the forums and guess what, that is where I got the answer to what was wrong with the gun. After talking with some less famous smiths online and even some shooters, I don't think it could have been anything other than an ill-fitted basepin. I just can't imagine what else would allow the revolver to function fine, then lock, then function fine, etc. The famous maker would never own up to that. The truth is, he probably didn't even perform the work himself, in fact, I'm starting to wonder how many smiths actually do. However, he sells it under his name, which I still don't necessarily have a problem with, as long as he oversees the more important aspects of the work and inspects the final product. I believe I paid for that much. Quality control, at least on my gun, was crap! I'm sure he got it back in hand, spent 3 minutes, and now it's a fine weapon for somone.

I've been in a service-oriented business for over 25 years and can tell you that the best opportunity one has to win a lifetime customer is when something has gone wrong. A lot of folks can get it right the first time, it's when things go bad that the character of the person/business come through.

My next customer revolver is on its way to me. A popular SA smith, but not the "fame", or cost, of the one listed above. For some reason, I'm much more confident that he builds each gun himself.

Just one man's story, which is exactly what these forums are for. It's up to each reader to determine, objectively, what their own course of action should be.

SOCOMII
May 26, 2008, 04:32 PM
and found two in stock that would do well.

Seems pretty obvious the rifle was not OOS.

PS...I share Don H's views..

I don't. Everyone has to have a first post.

For someone to take the time to find a forum, register, validate, and write about their experience, also taking the time to spell check, punctuate, and capitalize, and erase all the bitter hate language they really want to write but would only diminish their argument, takes alot more time that whipping out $.02 for every "what caliber is best for SD" thread.

i am less wary of 1 post company bashers than several thousand post $.02'ers.

Joseywales3
May 26, 2008, 04:59 PM
Agreed. Which reminds me, steer clear of Gypsum Valley Outdors Sports in KS. He sold me a Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter - NIB. The rear sight had been painted! He told me that the gun is NIB and refused to take it back - I'll admit it was a few weeks later because we moved. But he knew the gun was used! It was returned to him by one of his customers and since the guy never shot it (I guess God told him that, since I don't anyone else who could verify it whether a Ruger tank has 3 rounds or 30 through it) it was ok to be sold as NIB.

NIB means new, never sold, transferred, registered, etc. Am I wrong about that? I took a bunch of crap from a member on another forum, because he said I was being picky. Which brings me to another point. Everyone has a different level of tolerance, or what I like to call, level of give a $hit : )

Ok, last one, I promise. Welsh Subaru, in PA sold me a brand new Outback in 1999. After a couple days, I started noticing window trim that looked "off" and white resiude stains under the fender. Yes...the kind that are left from wetsanding. The car had over $1,000 of body work completed before he sold it as "new". He later admitted that 9 of his cars were damaged before being sold as new, but refused to make any consideration. Subaru of America was not very happy about that and forced him to take the vehicle back and provide me with a new vehicle. All I asked for was an extended warranty - would have been much for both of us in the end.

dipper
May 26, 2008, 05:04 PM
Great Post Josey and I'll bet you a GOOD steak dinner that I can name the Smith you mentioned in one try--but I won't.
+1 to you too Socom.

Dipper

Joseywales3
May 26, 2008, 05:08 PM
Oh come on...PM it to me. I won't tell..

PT111
May 26, 2008, 05:14 PM
Two points:

1) I tend to be wary of people who join a forum just to trash a company.

2) I tend to avoid making judgements based on just one side of a story

I tend to agree especially when it involves someone oredering A "custom" something unseen over the Internet and admits that the website is confusing.

I have been a hunter all my life but I do not hunt and kill what I do not plan to eat and although there may be something I don't know what one would be hunting on an African Safari that they would eat.

Ranger 55, I have no idea who you are or what kind of person you are and am not judging you but you sure come across in your first post as a spoiled brat.

dipper
May 26, 2008, 05:36 PM
Phlebotomy wrote:

"You can't get 'custom' from a phone call from a company that won't even adjust LOP. Ed Brown's off the shelf are no more custom than the stuff on the shelf at Walmart. They're pretty and expensive, but still basically a metal tube for bullets to fly down."

I couldn't agree more.

For sake of argument, lets say that a guy that just spent $8,000.00 for a couple of rifles from you MADE A MISTAKE when he placed his order.
I would think it would be good business to take back one of the two you sold him and replace it with what he wanted---BUT, I don't believe that is what happened anyway.

Ranger, if you wanted true customs and nice rifles, you should have spent your money on one or all three of these.
http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=100202605

They "LOOK" to be top shelf!!

Dipper

JP Sarte
May 26, 2008, 06:18 PM
After reading a few more posts on this topic I must posit the question where does it end? Bad service, lying, bait and switch, poor products, damaged goods, etc, etc, etc.

I can speak for nobody but me.

Only my opinion, but one of the reasons that this culture of poor service and bad products exist is because the majority of people simply settle and say things like "I'll just take it, I don't wan't to make trouble, it's too much hassle" etc.

However, I must assure anyone reading this that if I spend $4000.00 on a rifle I better be 1000% satisfied. Period. I am not picking up some $500.00 SPS off the rack at Cabela's. Unless your a physician or attorney or some other fellow with more money than he could possibly spend, this is serious money for a hunting rifle and the "custom" maker should know that and act accordingly.

If I am spoiled or demanding it's because I have earned the right to be that way by virtue of me spending my money with you. I am the customer. You say if I don't like it go elsewhere? Love to. Just happily refund my four grand and I will do just that.

JP

P.S. Any of you guys out there willing to accept bad service and inferior products ought to contact me for a little Florida real estate. Wonderful beach front and great views. Called the Everglades I think? Selling lots now!

Joseywales3
May 26, 2008, 06:27 PM
My wife will sometimes say, "things always get screwed up for us" - meaning big purchases, etc. The truth is, we notice more than most and care more.

JohnKSa
May 26, 2008, 06:58 PM
I feel compelled to respond to some comments made on this thread.I have been a hunter all my life but I do not hunt and kill what I do not plan to eat and although there may be something I don't know what one would be hunting on an African Safari that they would eat.First of all, if there could be a more irrelevant comment made, I'm not sure what it would be.

Second, the meat on African hunts is not wasted. Far from it! What is not eaten by the hunting party is given to people who need it far more than anyone reading this forum is likely to have ever needed a meal....you sure come across in your first post as a spoiled brat.I guess I qualify as a "spoiled brat" too. If the website says it weighs 8.5lbs (http://edbrown.com/htmlos.cgi/00360.1.473027100616163090)** then it better weigh 8.5lbs whether I pay $500 or $5000 for it. And let's just say I'd be less than enthused at the seller's suggestion that I pay him $700 to fix a problem generated by the errors on his website.

**It does, I checked. In fact, Ed Brown doesn't stock a hunting rifle that weighs more than 9 lbs if you believe their website--which doesn't appear to be particularly advisable.

PT111
May 26, 2008, 07:29 PM
I have not been to Ed Brown's web site and don't really have any intention of going there but the OP was the one who brought up the fact that the web site was confusing and I was going from his post.

If you can afford to spend $4,000 on a gun sighf unseen or not being absolutely sure what you are getting, and I again refer to the original posters comments about confusion on the website, then more power to you. The only people I know of that spend that kind of money for something they don't know what they are getting are those that really don't know what a gun is supposed to weigh and sure wouldn't get on the Internet complaining about it. They would either fly out to Ed Brown's place and show him what he could do wiht his rifle or have his lawyers do it if they thought they needed to.

My idea of custom is specially fitted for me and cannot be bought off the rack from existing stock. That is like going into Sears and buying a suit and saying it is tailored. Yep someone with the title tailor may have made it but it is not a tailored suit.

Mondo
May 26, 2008, 10:16 PM
The guy who pays my salary gets my undivided attention to everything I deliver to him. Imagine how your boss/customer would feel if I get a assignment at 10 minutes to five, and I pack up and am out the door at five on the dot. :eek:

If I were the boss, I'd tell that louse not to bother to come back tomorrow!

Same thing applies here. Especially if a guy is paying 8K for a gun. He deserves to get what he paid for.

Shorts
May 27, 2008, 02:50 AM
I immediately called to make arrangements to receive the proper rifle. Renee was friendly and understanding and said there should be no problem getting the proper rifle out but should check with her manager first. I told her, that would be great and in addition to the proper 308 I ordered, I would like to order a 300 Mag.

A moment later, the manager said that there was no way he would take it back the rifle in exchange for the proper one. He said, “I should just sell it and order another one”. WOW!! Of course I politely asked questions of how this could happen and he said “it’s right there on the website”. Then he suggested for another $700 he could modify the target rifle for what I wanted. His tone during the conversation was condescending and patronizing, and it was obvious he wanted no part in talking to me at all, and with no intention of giving the rifle I ordered.

From this, the entire complication should be made right so the customer can come away with what he needs to purchase. If Ed Brown really wanted to keep the reputation they have, they could have taken the rifle back and exchanged it. Sure, work out the details so you don't lose an arm and a leg, but I don't understand why there is refusal to satisfy the customer. What am I missing?

Musketeer
May 27, 2008, 05:19 AM
Two points:

1) I tend to be wary of people who join a forum just to trash a company.

2) I tend to avoid making judgements based on just one side of a story.

Reputations are earned, not given. Ed Brown has one, the OP doesn't. It would help if some others with a history around here encompassing more posts than I can count on one hand would corroborate this story or have equally distressing ones.

Phlebotomy
May 27, 2008, 01:33 PM
Agreed. No one opens their doors and has an amazing reputation, it takes time to develop. It also takes time to lose it, and that slide always starts with a single pebble.

But for reference, how many people on this particular board have thrown that kind of money down this particular hole? I personally wouldn't. If the $4k gun doesn't do anything a $100 gun doesn't do, then they've both got the same value to me.

If I wanted to complain about a part that failed on my indy car, I can't imagine I would receive too many corroborative stories or arguments based on real experience. That particular pool would be too shallow.

Simply put regardless of it being a $5 or $5000 item, especially an off the shelf item, an exchange to keep a customer happy is better business. If it was an actual custom and it ends up not working out, you're SOL and I hope it looks good on the wall.

Shane Tuttle
May 27, 2008, 09:26 PM
This whole thread smells worse than what was rotten in Denmark.

From the posts I've read and my own observation Ed Brown just lost business solely on what a newbie claims to have happened to him.

I don't give a rat's behind HOW CONVINCING one person's side of the story is. There's ALWAYS the other side of the coin. Some of you here didn't even take into consideration of that. Hope to God that none of you end up being a member of my jury of peers if I happen to ever be taken to trial. My attorney wouldn't even have a chance in hades to defend my case since y'all's minds would be made up after the prosecuting attorney gives his "woe is the victim" story.

(And NO, I'm not on trial. It's called figurative setting. I outta know. I just made it up.:D)

Musketeer said it best and is worth repeating:

Reputations are earned, not given. Ed Brown has one, the OP doesn't. It would help if some others with a history around here encompassing more posts than I can count on one hand would corroborate this story or have equally distressing ones.

RsqVet
May 28, 2008, 10:14 AM
Well I have a few problems with this whole thread.

First I have had the exact oppisite experiance with Ed brown and I have purchased 4 1911's from the man. They have been nothing but superior in customer service even with a mistake that was my fault.

Furthermore my FFL speaks glowingly of how easy Ed Brown is to deal with.

Second I have to ask the OP, is he a FFL? If not then why accept the gun as a transfer if it's not what you wanted? I mean how hard of a concept is that?

Once the gun is transfered to you it's used; period end of story and the maker has to take a loss unless they are going to be a lowlife and sell it as new which I don't see Ed Brown doing. I suspect if you had not transfered it, then maybe they would be saying something diffirent as they could take the gun back form the dealer, get you whatever you want and be none the worse for wear save for some shipping charges.

However your execution of the transfer to some degree implies satisfaction.... you took delivery of the gun what more is there to understand? Even if they sent you the wrong gun... well you took delivery of it... I mean get real....

Lastly you spent how many kilobucks sight unseen and seemingly at will? This seems reckless at best. Now ranting about it does nothing to add to your case.

ssilicon
May 28, 2008, 12:31 PM
You say it was their mistake, yet you allude to being confused by the web site. Did you, or did you not get the rifle (part #) you actually indicated you wished to buy on the web site? In other words, did YOU make a mistake in placing your order, and then expect to return it for the one you meant to or wished you had ordered? Remember, custom guns are not the same as a stock one as far as being resaleable. I'm not saying you did, but it sounds as though you may have.

I am aware how some people will characterize someone as rude or arrogant, simply based upon the fact that they aren't getting told what they want to hear. Again, not saying this is you but many people let that bias extremely color their judgment.

Ranger55
July 5, 2008, 03:02 PM
I just returned from Africa and sat down to catch up on emails.
When I looked back at this thread I was surprised there were so many replies.

I had a great trip with my father (priceless at this stage of our lives), and enjoyed everyday completely.
My PH was great, not only as a hunter, but as a teacher and companion.
14 days is along time to spend 12-15 hours a day with a person; we got along great.

The Ed Brown .375 performed well. With one exception all 14 trophy animals were one shot kills (and yes ALL the meat was processed to be eaten). The highlights were a 56" kudu and a 72 kg leopard (which was completely eaten by the hunting staff -they practically fought over it). The rifle performed fully to my ability to shoot it. Honestly, I had completely forgotten how upset I was with them during the hunt and happy to have it.

I didn't take the .308, instead taking a 22 year old Ruger M77 .30-06. My dad used it. Someone posted that an expensive rifle often shoots no better than a $700 one. On this trip, I have to agree. They both were flawless.

As to my original post, the bitterness I felt toward the attitude the Ed Brown manager gave me has faded considerably. Still I would never buy another of their products again. I plan to take a combat handgun course for fun, and I would have likely bought a 1911 from them, in fact, that was my plan. But the relationship and trust has been severed and that is an important issue to me.

There are no hard feelings anymore. I'm over it, just disappointed more than anything. As for the .308, I've decided to have a positive attitude and plan to top it with a long range target scope and use it as excuse to add another dimension to my shooting hobby. So it may turn out to be a good thing I ended up with that rifle. It doesn't change the events, but I'm more excited to have it now.

Thanks for your comments and the audience to complain. Of course each reader will use there own experiences and personal standards to decide who and how to handle their own business. The title DO NOT BUY ED BROWN was an emotional moment; I do not presume to tell anyone what to do. All I can say is what I experienced. It's all of little consequence in any case.
As always with any purchase from any company, Buyer Beware.

I'm off to Tanzania (Maasai and Selous) for a month next year to hunt dangerous game (a lion, buffalo, and elephant) along with the plains game of that region. I ordered two rifles from Empire, one in .404 Jeffery and the second a .300 H&H Magnum. (I love the classics) So far they have done everything possible to make sure I get the rifles I want, including lengthy conversations on the design of Mauser actions. We conducted fittings and looked over hundreds of blanks to find a great looking pair of matching stocks. I hope it turns out well. Good or bad, I'll try to remember to share my experiences and build my web poster reputation =)

Thanks again for your comments and Happy Hunting to you all !!

ps: I'm excited about the ruling in DC !! A good vote for those who cherish the right to bear arms, no matter who makes them.

Wildalaska
July 5, 2008, 07:46 PM
I ordered two rifles from Empire, one in .404 Jeffery and the second a .300 H&H Magnum. (I love the classics) So far they have done everything possible to make sure I get the rifles I want, including lengthy conversations on the design of Mauser actions. We conducted fittings and looked over hundreds of blanks to find a great looking pair of matching stocks. I hope it turns out well. Good or bad, I'll try to remember to share my experiences and build my web poster reputation =)


Good luck on of my customers had to send one back twice, and then we had to fix it anyway.

WildnobodyisperfectAlaska TM

Socrates
July 5, 2008, 11:40 PM
HMMMM.

I have a friend that builds customs, Jack Huntington. I recommended him to someone, and, that person had a gun built. The problem was the person ordering the gun had only bought guns that were already finished, and, his expectations of what was included, and what wasn't, were two different things. UPS gets rich on such deals, and, even though handled well, it cuts into the gunsmiths' profits. The buyer needs to know the right questions, and, the seller has to ask them. Both parties usually are at fault in these kinds of miscommunications.

My first custom was like that. For nearly 1k in 1980, I thought blueing the barrel and cylinder would be included by John Linebaugh. I was wrong...

RJM
July 6, 2008, 02:07 PM
If your story is true and you actually ordered the rifle that you wanted, isn't this considered bait and switch?

LanceOregon
July 6, 2008, 07:04 PM
I have to agree with RsqVet here, this doesn't make much sense at all.

Why accept the transfer of a gun that is so obviously the wrong product?

All he had to do was to simply not fill out all the paperwork and not pay his transfer fee and background check, and the gun would have still been the property of Ed Brown and still legally new merchandise. Case closed.

This story just doesn't add up in my book.

.

Ranger55
July 6, 2008, 10:58 PM
I wasn't there when the delivery arrived. My father accepted it, not knowing.

Maybe that legally makes a difference, I'm not sure and they didn't bring it up.
If that was honestly a problem, they should have explained it that way.

They could have offered to relap the barrel to a thinner size for free and the new stock could have been swapped as the groove was too wide for a hunting barrel. A nominal charge may have been required on my part and I may have still lost a little money, but at least I wouldn't feel insulted and could have ended up with the product I wanted.

The actual problem of the wrong rifle is one of two issues. How, after a long, detailed conversation about hunting in Africa they still managed to think I wanted a target rifle is a mystery to me. Next time I'll be ultra specific and get it in writing.
I feel it was their mistake, but that's debatable I suppose.
Either way I'm done with them.
Their arrogance and rudeness was the reason I posted.

My guess is they had made up their mind how to handle me and the legal side never was an issue because to them it didn't matter.
Just bad customer service, plain and simple.

poptime
July 7, 2008, 01:19 AM
As an employee in a shop that specializes in custom design jewelry, I believe I have a take on what a custom shop's responsibility should be. It is our practice first to work with a customer until they are completly satisfied. The customer is not happy, we work until they are.

To avoid errors ,the shop having the experience to know every aspect of the custom work, should give back to the customer a complete description of the work that will be done, and the work that will not be done. The gun will be unfinished? The paperwork will say so. Target barrel? It will be written down with copy to the customer before starting the project. Every detail of what will be supplied or not is given. For example, with jewelry, we can provide a detailed 3d image of the product and accurate dimensions before starting. Any hint of arrogance should be avoided. If the customer is not happy, our question is, what can we do to make you happy? Guns, like jewelry, are luxuries, and so both are in the happiness business. No one needs our product, so it should be perfect.

YMMV, but that is my take on it. No one should ever leave a custom shop unhappy. If they do, the shop screwed up.

squarepants
July 7, 2008, 02:00 PM
For a guy like me who eats in cafeterias, and hunts rats at landfills with with a secondhand .22, Ranger55's prose, "Just back from Africa" fires my imagination to a fare-thee-well. He writes well — he might possibly recoup the cost of his African sojourn by submitting a script to an outdoor magazine!

I'm speculating that a person who can afford to traipse all over Africa shooting all kinds of big stuff — has a rich daddy, hit the lottery, married well, or has a better job than I do. The chances are the man is not without some intellectual horsepower if one is prepared to accept the latter contingency.

I wouldn't know "Ed Brown" from Adam, but a guy whose business is building custom rifles can't be a rank imbecile either. Indeed, Mr. Brown seems to have a deep reservoir of respect in the shooting community.

Given, that the bone of contention is: a target barrel was delivered to where a hunting barrel was expected, is a misunderstanding of world record magnitude. Postulating that both principals were of sound of mind and good intent, how in a million years could a mistake so overwhelmingly gross occur?

Ever the fool — I blithely give it as my opinion that all things being equal (they weren't, of course, because Ranger55 is a rank amateur at ordering rifles, whereas Ed Brown is a seasoned pro in providing them), Ed Brown goofed. I'd love to know how a business man, whose reputation relies on satisfying customers, even unreasonable ones, can justify such a staggering misunderstanding. I would immediately withdraw that observation if I subsequently learned that sportsman customarily take heavy barreled rifles to Africa to practice target shooting.

LanceOregon
July 8, 2008, 01:06 AM
I wasn't there when the delivery arrived. My father accepted it, not knowing.


Well, all I can say is that it takes two people in order to miscommunicate. I think that there is partial blame here for both you and the staff at Ed Brown.

Some other custom shops that I have dealt with have a return policy, but only if the gun is inspected before the transfer, and immediately returned. For once a gun has been transferred, it legally becomes used merchandise, and can no longer be sold as new by the vendor.

CZ's Custom Shop, for example, has such a policy, and warns customers to make an inspection before accepting the transfer. They even prominently mention this in their ordering FAQ, as you can see here:

http://czcustom.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=52&products_id=270&osCsid=621839a66de481615b3c386b8fb8e64a

However, I see after checking the Ed Brown website, they have no such return policy. They offer no replacements or exchanges of any kind on firearms. Period. So you are right, this point of not accepting the transfer would have made absolutely no difference with them.

But a person should always research what a company's return policy on products is, BEFORE buying from any firm. Especially for big ticket items like this. So if you did not know this policy, you should have. And knowing that policy, should have then made you take every possible precaution to make sure that there were no misunderstandings of any kind. Since you would have known ahead of time that there would be no recourse.

You yourself admit that you had questions about the rifle, and did not know what the cryptic RV designation for the barrel meant. You have to realize that you were probably just talking to an order taker, a sort of clerk. They are not necessarily firearms experts or hunters themselves. So your stories of planning a hunt in Africa probably meant very little, if anything, to them.

It seems to me that you made some assumptions here with this order, and failed to do your homework properly, either regarding this specific gun's specs, or regarding researching Ed Brown's ordering policies.

You cannot blame Ed Brown for your own shortcomings in this matter. Nor can you blame them for following their own clearly stated policies.

If a person has a problem with these policies, then they should not purchase products from Ed Brown in the first place.

.

Hawg
July 8, 2008, 07:15 AM
Just a quick look at Ed Browns web site finds this. RV stands for Remington Varmint with a diameter of .825. It's a 24" barrel and the base models it comes on are his Marine sniper and varmint models. I wouldn't spend that kind of money without knowing exactly what I was getting. It took maybe 20 seconds to find this barrel guide. Seems to me the OP is the arrogant one that's so used to getting his own way he can't be bothered to find out exactly what he's getting to start with and got ticked when it wasn't what he wanted after it was already transferred. A tansferred gun is a used gun and I don't Blame Ed for not taking it back.

Contour Diameter Length Base Model
#1.5 Featherweight .550 22" Damara
#2 Lightweight .600 23" Damara
#2 Special Lightweight (includes a muzzle brake) .600 + .680 brake 24" plus 2" brake Damara
#3 Standard .625 24" Savanna
#4 Magnum .675 24" Bushveld
#4 Magnum .675 plus .740 brake 24" plus 2" brake Savanna, Express
#4 Ultra Magnum .675 plus .740 brake 25" plus 2" brake Savanna, Bushveld, Express
#5 Heavy Sporter .720 24" Express, 416 only
#5.5 Special .800 24" Express, 458 only
#RV - Remington Varmint .825 24" Marine Sniper, Varmint
#6 A3 Tactical .760 26" A3 Tactical
#7 A5 Tactical .850 26" A5 Tactical

RsqVet
July 8, 2008, 10:20 AM
Ranger ---

Glad you have mellowed some, Are you a FFL? Sounds like it from your e-mails.

You are missing out on great 1911's but there are many other fish in the sea other than Brown.

Ticonderoga
December 23, 2010, 01:12 PM
I am in the market for a new gun and saw that an Ed Brown model had the features I was looking for. I did a Google search for his name and the product and saw this string on the 2nd published Google page.

I read quite a few posts on this string that, well frankly, they surprised me.

I was going to take exception with Don H's comments, but as I've thought about it a bit more, he is right; we should hear both sides of the story. And as far as the original poster, he didn't stick around to be a "member" of this board so perhaps, Don's comment that he signed up only to bash, maybe it has some merit.

The reason Ed Brown is losing my business and why I'll likely buy a Kimber instead is this, why hasn't he done anything to fix this problem? When I say "fix," I don't necessarily mean a refund. I mean, has he posted a response here or anywhere else? How does he not know about this string, it's on page 2 of Google. I wonder how many dozens of customers have blown off his company after reading Ranger55's comments?

Whether Ranger55's complaint is even valid or not, it shows a lack of care of reputation that someone from Ed Brown's company couldn't at least make an appearance here. Perhaps he doesn't even know about this string? If he doesn't, shame on him.

Once when driving in the mountains above Los Angeles, I passed a home with a huge, "Subaru screwed me, don't buy a Subaru." Below it was a phone # and when I called on my cellular, I listed to a tape recorded message, about 7 minutes long explaining how his car was a lemon. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. Subaru must have heard about this sign, it was in all the newspapers. That they chose to ignore it tells me they don't care about their reputation.

I once had a cellular phone with Sprint in the late 90's. A call to customer service might take 45 minutes. From then on I swore I'd never do business with a company that can't answer their phone. I wonder if the president of Sprint ever called his own customer service # to find out the hold time. I doubt it. That shows a lack of concern for his customer and I see Ed Brown as no different.

At the Cabella website there is a review for the Winchester Mod 70 Safari .375 H&H. The reviewer gives it one star for five and pretty much bashes the entire Winchester manufacturing process, quality control and customer service department. That Winchester has not addressed this issue concerns me and makes me NOT want to buy a Winchester. However, the Winchester rifle is 1/4 the cost of the Ed Brown. For four thousand dollars, I'd expect that the link on the website would match the product.

Quite a few of you bash Ranger55 because he didn't read the "fine print." Suppose you go to Walmart and you read the advertisement that says Centrum Vitamins 250 count per bottle, you buy the bottle, get home, open it and find that its only 100 vitamins. You look on the bottle, sure enough, it says 100 vitamins. Well, you bought the bottle. Should you be stuck? I don't think so. The sign says 250 count & that's false advertising. Ed Brown's website was wrong and that makes it HIS error. That the customer missed it doesn't make him liable, especially after talking about a hunting trip to Africa.

Quite a few of you post that the buyer should have taken more care to read the fine print, that this barrel abbreviation means this and that. Well, sure, if he was at Walmart, Big Five or Bass Pro Shops. But when you're dropping $4k, you EXPECT that the sales person will guide you the right way. That's customer service. That the website was mislabeled is the same as the sign having the wrong price or the wrong item count at Walmart. Anything mispriced in most grocery stores and you get a discount or the item for free. Sure a gun costs more but a $4k gun has a much greater profit margin than a bottle of vitamins.

Why should Ed Brown's company be excused for negligence on his website? If you're savvy enough to put a page on the net offering business, its your commercial responsibility to make sure that every page is accurate. Just like the Sprint president who likely never called customer service, Ed Brown probably does not visit his own website. Shame on him and shame on his company. That's just sloppy and if they can screw that up, certainly they can screw up a gun. And we've heard, at least one account, of how they handle screw ups at their company.

I've been working outside the US for the past 5 years. I've got about 66 countries traveled under my belt and let me tell you, we are getting our *sses kicked by the Indians and Chinese daily. I do not fly any American air carriers any more. I'm trying to buy an American gun and am happy to find quality products - it looks like we have the gun market cornered. For now. The American air carriers are all crap. Turkish airlines economy class is as good as Continental business class. My point is this: so many on this board are bashing Ranger55, as though he were some hoity toity rich guy who's spoiled rotten and demands carte blanche service. Well, he should. We all should. We should EXPECT decent customer service. What is the difference between a rude manager at Ed Brown and having your Microsoft customer service call routed to Pakistan? Either should be unnacceptable. Perhaps when we start demanding better service we'll get it.

I'll vote with my wallet, maybe Ed Brown will hear that.

I suppose the reason I wrote this rant was that a few comments that I read here seemed so far off base that I wanted to comment on them directly.

Wild Alaska writes:

So let me understand, you bought a gun out of stock without checking the specs and are upset because they wouldnt take it back?

WildAlaska, let me pose this question to you: You go into a restaurant and the nice waitress chats you up for about 10 minutes. You mention to her your allergy of mushrooms and the two of you chat about it. Then, before you open the menu you ask if she has a recommendation (she is the expert) and she says that the meat-lovers is on sale and its really good. So you order it and it comes out with mushrooms on it. You complain and she says "tough luck," its listed on the menu, you should have read the menu.

True enough, shame on you you didn't read the menu. Shame on Ranger55, he didn't read the menu. You think that restaurant will stay in business? I don't think so either.

PT111 writes:

Ranger 55, I have no idea who you are or what kind of person you are and am not judging you but you sure come across in your first post as a spoiled brat.

Really? Wow, that seems a little harsh. I can only imagine what you would do in the pizza example above. I'd bet that you would be the town crier who would tell everyone about the rude service you received at the pizzeria. Or is it that you're jealous of Ranger55's (suggested) income based on some heavy purchases. Either way, bad form. Bad form.

And again you (PT111) wrote:

If you can afford to spend $4,000 on a gun sighf [sic] unseen or not being absolutely sure what you are getting, and I again refer to the original posters comments about confusion on the website, then more power to you. The only people I know of that spend that kind of money for something they don't know what they are getting are those that really don't know what a gun is supposed to weigh and sure wouldn't get on the Internet complaining about it. They would either fly out to Ed Brown's place and show him what he could do wiht [sic] his rifle or have his lawyers do it if they thought they needed to.

This paragraph does reveal a lot; it says that you are envious that someone can drop $4k or $8k on a gun. But what is most telling is your comment that someone who could afford to buy that gun would fly out to see Ed Brown himself. I think you are saying that if you could afford that gun, you would fly out. The fact that you would fly out, when you could just do it over the net says a lot about how you (would) handle your finances: unwisely. This is probably why you will never have that kind of money. 95% of lotto winners are broke in 10 years - you fit right into this category.

Muskateer writes:

Reputations are earned, not given. Ed Brown has one, the OP doesn't. It would help if some others with a history around here encompassing more posts than I can count on one hand would corroborate this story or have equally distressing ones.

Well, Ed's had 2 years to rebutt this thread and he 1. Doesn't know about it (shame on him), 2. Doesn't care (shame on him), or 3. Doesn't know how to use a computer but maintains a website (shame on him).

I was about to comment on Squarepants post - based on his opening two paragraphs - but after reading his entire post I can say that he is both witty and seems above par in the area of intellectual capacity.

LanceOregon writes:

Well, all I can say is that it takes two people in order to miscommunicate. I think that there is partial blame here for both you and the staff at Ed Brown.

Going back to my pizza analogy, say you go to the toilet, come back and find the pizza with mushrooms. Your wife accepted it and one of your kids took a bite. Does that mean you're now "stuck" with said pizza?

The website is wrong, that's the same as gas listed at $1.99 a gallon and after you pump you find out it was $2.99. Do you get a refund, you bet you do. Will Ed eat a little profit on this gun? Surely. In the grand scheme of the COST of his guns it is no different than Burger King taking back a Whopper, Coke and fries because you ordered it with no pickles.

Hawg Haggen - I can only imagine you with the mushroom pizza. Why do I get the feeling that you would argue the waitress and manager under the table. I'd laugh when your twin popped out of the next stall and read off the menu, in great detail (as you've done with the website) and grilled you on how you "missed" the fact that the special pizza has mushrooms.

Well, I've enjoyed reading all your posts, the good and the bad and maybe I'll post a little more often when I drop by.

Edward429451
December 23, 2010, 02:01 PM
What a great thread. Spoiled brat, or an off the cuff review of Ed Browns customer service that day? Doesn't matter, eight grand should buy lots of customer service.

The bigest thing I got out of this thread is that 4 grand for a new gun is worth a look see so a trip over there is in order. I think people are more polite in person and much frustration could have been avoided if these guys were face to face talking about what his wants and needs are in that rifle.

Wildalaska
December 23, 2010, 05:41 PM
WildAlaska, let me pose this question to you: You go into a restaurant and the nice waitress chats you up for about 10 minutes. You mention to her your allergy of mushrooms and the two of you chat about it. Then, before you open the menu you ask if she has a recommendation (she is the expert) and she says that the meat-lovers is on sale and its really good. So you order it and it comes out with mushrooms on it. You complain and she says "tough luck," its listed on the menu, you should have read the menu.

True enough, shame on you you didn't read the menu. Shame on Ranger55, he didn't read the menu. You think that restaurant will stay in business? I don't think so either.

Apples and oranges...I read the menus:D

The reason Ed Brown is losing my business and why I'll likely buy a Kimber instead is this, why hasn't he done anything to fix this problem?

Cool...make sure you dont read this Board about Kimber:p

WildyacantpleaseeverybodyAlaska ™©2002-2010

Shane Tuttle
December 23, 2010, 09:19 PM
Ticonderoga, being a fresh, new member here you might want to do more listening/reading and less commenting until you know the ropes. Digging up an old thread like this one and try to continue to debate with members that have long since moved on with the discussion isn't going to go anywhere.

If you have a beef with Ed Brown, then crank up your own thread. Otherwise, this goose is cooked.