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Old December 14, 2018, 08:53 PM   #1
Road_Clam
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vendor welch how to recoup my CC charge ?

So back in late June of 2017 I ordered a LVT rifle stock from Sharp Shooters Supply . https://www.sharpshootersupply.com/ . A few email questions were immediately answered (was quoted "about a 12 week lead time"). Placed my order and CC was charged $479. As of 2/2018 still nothing, sent a polite email asking for an update, no reply. As of 5/2018 still nothing and now I got more ugly asking for either a REAL ETA on my stock or cancel and refund my order. This time I did get a very apologetic and vague reply. Gave them another month to complete my stock. Here we are friggin' 17 months later and I STILL have no stock. I did some research and they are know for doing high quality work, but you will wait a ridiculous and undetermined amount of time for your product. I'm sick and tired of being lied to. Gave them MORE than fair chances to honor our agreement. My question is can my third party debit/credit card company go after SSS and retrieve my money back ? Is this better handled directly with my bank ? Would like feedback from any of you that have had to take similar actions. Thanks,
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Old December 15, 2018, 12:29 AM   #2
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A few years ago, Jonathan Arthur Ceiner (the guy/company that makes .22 conversions for 1911s and Hi-Powers) was charging credit cards and not shipping product. Law enforcement was notified, and Mr. Ceiner barely escaped going to prison for fraud.

I would send them a registered letter cancelling your order and requesting a refund. If the refund is not forthcoming, notify the credit card company and the police in their city. File a complaint for unlawful conversion (I think that's the legal term for taking money without delivering product).

https://legal-dictionary.thefreedict...com/conversion

https://www.legalmatch.com/law-libra...onversion.html
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Old December 15, 2018, 03:59 AM   #3
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My course of action would be the same as AB's. Send a demand letter, giving them a date certain by which you want the refund, and spelling out the possibility of law enforcement notification and other legal action. Send it certified mail, return receipt requested.
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Old December 15, 2018, 12:10 PM   #4
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Went to their website and read their policies page. Interesting read. Send them a letter, which others have suggested, that you would like a full refund. That puts the ball in their court, don't think I would bring up any possible legal action, not at this point. You certainly do have a valid reason for cancelling, I doubt they would argue the point. They do seem a bit odd, for todays world, but as I always say, its their business and they get to run it as they choose. They remind me of some of the bullet casters that couldn't keep up with demand after the Obama election. They were one or two man shows that didn't really know how to run a bigger business. Several failed and just went away.

PS: You kind of already violated one of their policies by starting this thread.
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Old December 15, 2018, 12:58 PM   #5
Aguila Blanca
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I am not a lawyer, but I believe it is illegal to charge a credit card before the merchandise is even available to be shipped.

Looks like the company requires written (mailed, not e-mail) notice of cancellation, and they will charge a $25 "origination fee" and a 15% "restocking fee" -- even if there's no merchandise to put back in stock. Nice. But I would certainly mail the cancellation ASAP.

https://www.creditcards.com/credit-c...arged-1294.php

Quote:
The seller is not breaking federal law by charging your credit card before she ships. The Fair Credit Billing Act and the Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule protect you so you don't have to pay for merchandise you order but never receive.
Quote:
According to the Federal Trade Commission, however, many credit card issuers do not allow merchants to charge your credit card before they ship. If you want to pursue this, you should contact your credit card issuer and ask about its policies for prematurely charging your account. You can then send a complaint letter with specific information about this merchant. According to the FTC, "If you can't ship within the promised time (or within 30 days if you made no promise), you must notify the customer of the delay, provide a revised shipment date and explain his right to cancel and get a full and prompt refund."
This reminds me of an item I once ordered from a well-known on-line vendor of outdoor gear. It was a copy of a US Air Force "bomber" jacket. The price was VERY good -- probably too good, because they notified me that it was out of stock, gave an expected ship date, and offered me the opportunity to cancel. I decided to play the game, so I accepted the delay. 30 days later I received another notice, which I accepted. This went on for a full year -- during which time they offered the exact same jacket, but with a different SKU number and at a higher price, both on-line and in their catalogs. So they were obviously able to send me a jacket, but they didn't want to sell me a jacket at the price they had advertised. I kept accepting the delay notices. Finally, they gave up and cancelled the order.

So, especially since this company has charged the full amount, they are bound by federal law to have provided up-to-date status notices every 30 days, and each such notice is required to offer the customer the opportunity to cancel the order. So the company is in violation of federal law -- and I would be sure to mention this in my letter of cancellation.
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Old December 15, 2018, 03:15 PM   #6
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Good advice so far.

I would add one additional bit of general advice for anyone reading this thread.

If you want "custom" work, don't expect hard delivery dates. Or, said another way, if you expect/want/need a hard delivery dates, don't order "custom" items.

I'm not saying that it's right, just that from a practical, real-world standpoint, it seems that custom work and hard delivery dates are virtually incompatible.
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Old December 15, 2018, 03:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
but as I always say, its their business and they get to run it as they choose.
That would be incorrect. You cannot legally run a business that is defrauding customers. You can go to jail for that.

So yes I would send them a letter with all the legal aspects laid out.

I would also file a complain with teh BBB of the state regardless.

Having followed Sharp Shooters for a while now, that is their MO and the same excuse (same with Apache Barrels by the way - both with Savage supply connections and support of the Savage Shooters site)

Apaches had the gall to respond eto a guy who coul dnot get one of their so callec cuso barels (they just thead and chamber it for Savages) to shoot und 1 MOA and told them that was all the could expect.

The cheapest barrel from EBCW will do that for about half the price.

It does behoves us to check out those small operates before we buy.

Another hook is a Veteran owned business. One of the finest USAF fighter pilots (Duke Cunningham) who fought the most famous dog fight of the Vietnam war was convicted of Crimean actions as a congressman. We can honor their service but they are also like all of us, some really good, many in between and some bad.
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Old December 15, 2018, 04:13 PM   #8
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I totally understand that specialized gunsmith services take time, even take a LOT of time. If SSS would have been honest with me BEFORE immediately taking my money I would be far more understanding. But I just can't get past all the lies and stringing me along. Enough is enough. There are a ton of complaints on the net against SSS, on the flip they have a very small following of very satisfied customers and their work is excellent. I just ordered another "99%" stock from another vendor, 8-10 week lead time and they don't charge my card until 2 weeks prior to shipment. This gets my respect and buisiness.
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Old December 15, 2018, 04:20 PM   #9
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I didn't mean my comment to be an indictment of your complaint or an endorsement of SSS or companies like them. It's just an observation of what seems to be reality when dealing with companies that provide custom services.

Most such companies (SSS included**) will point out that delivery dates are fluid. However, most such companies, if pressed, will give you a delivery date. In my experience, and from what I've seen on the web, placing a lot of confidence in that delivery date, or trying to force the company to live up to it is generally only productive if you like stress.

**Here's the statement about delivery dates from their website:
One may be given an estimate of delivery at the time of their order but the estimate of delivery time could/may be affected by, vary and be superseded due to work load, material acquisition and market environment.
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Old December 15, 2018, 07:48 PM   #10
Aguila Blanca
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^^^ John, while that may be true, the notion of charging the FULL AMOUNT to the credit card and then not shipping or even providing an updated ship date as required by federal law is, IMHO, more than a bit "squirrely."
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Old December 15, 2018, 08:40 PM   #11
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I've tried to make it clear I'm not defending SSS, just making general observations on the nature of promised delivery dates for custom work.

So far I've not made any comments at all about the practice of charging the credit card at the time of the order vs. at the time the order ships but I will now. For what it's worth, I do not believe it is ethical to charge a customer until the product ships except, perhaps, in some special situations where the seller/craftsman must undertake unusual expenses on the customer's behalf well before delivery.
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Old December 16, 2018, 03:43 AM   #12
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I’ve waited over a year for a custom made item before, not a gun item, but still a custom item made by a craftsman. I mean it’s custom, if I wanted fast, there’s amazon.
Not saying that the vendor in your situation is correct, just saying it happens.
As a matter of fact, I’ve got another order (paid in full) from another craftsman since some time in 2017. I do know he had a serious illness for a bit and it’s ok.
I just don’t send money that I need to get custom stuff. Anything can happen. Again not saying your event is right. Just my philosophy on custom made products.
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Old December 16, 2018, 07:39 AM   #13
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I know your pain. I lost money in 2 custom deals. One was 2 pool cues from the Philippines. The other was a custom made US Pool cue.

The Filipino cues were the result of going through a reseller. That guy had a good rep. Seemed like within days or weeks the maker and the reseller had a falling out and now his son was going to resell. They never made those cues that I know of. Every for sale post and every post about their cues I posted my story until they went away. I know they cost me some money, but I hurt their ability to sell in that community which likely cost them more..still never saw money. I told them I would stop if they made my cues.

The custom US cue was truly a sad story. The guy was making my cue. Cues are a bit like stocks is why I am reminded of this. First you get aged wood, then you turn and hang, turn and hang. Everything is a rough cut followed by drying then a final cut. So there is often lots of wait time. This guy started making cues full time, got sick, had to go back to work (slowed down production) then passed away. I probably could have went after his estate, but did not. His story was confirmed by others that knew him.

My point is custom can be a rocky relationship.

For that reason, stand up custom makers always need a positive review online...

Milt Sparks
RG Custom Leather
Overland Custom Leather
Raw Dawg Tactical

All get a thumbs up from me!

Sorry, I don’t have a stockmaker to recommend.
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Old December 16, 2018, 08:06 AM   #14
Road_Clam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnKSa
I've tried to make it clear I'm not defending SSS, just making general observations on the nature of promised delivery dates for custom work.
JohnKSa , nothing taken negatively by your feedback, all good.


To add even more concern, I've also been reading that there is talk of SSS using a sub-contract supplier to manufacture their stocks although nothing credible. Seems a lot of very dis-satisfied customers over at accurateshooter forum all revolving around the same issue of ridiculous wait times, zero communication, and lies.
I ordered a custom hand made set of motorcycle exhaust pipes from a respected company over seas in the UK called Higgspeed performance back in early 2016. Was quoted about 8 month lead time. The pipes were delivered and sitting on my front porch at 31 weeks. Outstanding quality, HONEST communications.

Thanks everyone for all the feedback. Seems per the law I do have some protection and more importantly some legal leverage to attempt to get my money back. I've pretty much written off the $500 I have another custom stock on order and i'm going to "try" finishing the inlet myself, might prove to be a fun and gratifying winter task. I'm NOT going to miss another year of shooting my Savage FTR (I just cant grip the rifle comfortable enough with the awkward angle of my wrist shooting prone with the OEM stock) Here's the 99% stock i bought :

http://www.rifle-stocks.com/proneculbertson.htm
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Last edited by Road_Clam; December 16, 2018 at 08:15 AM.
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Old December 16, 2018, 10:11 AM   #15
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Have you talked to your credit card company? If you used a debit card you are probably
SOL. If you used a credit card call them and dispute the charge. What you have described may be considered fraud--and some of the card companies take that seriously.
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Old December 16, 2018, 10:25 AM   #16
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CC Companies do take that kind of thing very seriously. Definitely call them. You may end up talking to their fraud department, maybe not.

--Wag--
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Old December 16, 2018, 11:40 AM   #17
Onward Allusion
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I've never been charged before something was shipped, even custom products. Maybe I'm just impatient, but I would never wait more than a month for anything. There are just too many options out there. Sad, but this is one of the reasons most of the little mom & pop shops will disappear.
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Old December 16, 2018, 02:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onward Allusion
Sad, but this is one of the reasons most of the little mom & pop shops will disappear.
This is not one of the reasons Mom & Pop shops will disappear. There are countless small and one-person operations that don't lie and ignore legal requirements. Esmeralda's gun grips is one such. Another is holster maker Horseshoe Leather, in England. I don't think you can find a finer holster anywhere on the planet. I have two of Andy's holsters. I've had a third on order for well over a year. I know that he has been experiencing health problems, and he has been open about it both on his web site and in personal communication. But -- he doesn't ask for payment until he starts making your holster. His holsters are worth waiting for, so I'll wait. If his health causes him to shut down before he gets to my name on the queue I'll be sorry that I won't see the next holster, and I'll be sorry that his age and health have caught up with him ... but I won't be out any money.

IMHO, that's the issue with the company that's central to this discussion. Taking full payment up front and then neither delivering the product within the estimated delivery time nor providing the status updates required by the law is fraud. That's exactly what almost put Jonathan Arthur Ceiner in prison. Being a small operation is not a license or an excuse for engaging in fraudulent conduct and for ignoring basic legal requirements.
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Old December 16, 2018, 02:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Not saying that the vendor in your situation is correct, just saying it happens.
As a matter of fact, I’ve got another order (paid in full) from another craftsman since some time in 2017. I do know he had a serious illness for a bit and it’s ok.
There is a world of difference between craftsman and a known long lead time and someone like SSS or Apaches that advertise product that is off the shelf and then stick it to their customers by NOT supply what was agreed to.

Its called scamming.

Apaches came up with the same I had an illness in the family. Ok, shut er down, post on the website no more orders, I will let you know status when I can.

But that MO has been ongoing before said illness and its gone on since said illness.

Basically he wants to mess around with barrels and does not want to do the rest of the business.

When we order something, we are paying for services or product. We are not paying for their problems (or should not be) - I don't wish ill on anyone, but I also cannot support the world. My dollars are hard earned and I have my list of charities the optional dollars go to. People like SSS and Apaches are not on that list.
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Old December 16, 2018, 11:10 PM   #20
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Totally understandable, I know nothing of the vendor in question. I assumed wrongly that it was an item that didn’t exist at the time the order was made.
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Old December 16, 2018, 11:30 PM   #21
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rickyrick, it doesn't matter whether or not the item existed or was to be custom-made. In June of 2017 (that's eighteen months ago), Road Clam was given an estimated delivery time of twelve weeks. The company has had the use of his money for a year and a half, they haven't shipped the product, and they have failed to adhere to specific requirements set forth in federal law.

Off with their heads.
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