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Old December 19, 2018, 10:00 AM   #1
Winny
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Poor Customer Service

About a year ago, I purchased a stainless steel guide rod for one of my pistols from a reputable manufacturer of aftermarket parts.

I had some issues with my guide rod that were a cause for concern (the guide rod was getting stuck in the pocket of the slide, needing to be tapped out with a mallet)

I addressed the issue with the company, who was fast to respond, but refused to acknowledge any fault of their own, even when shown a picture of a clear burr on the guide rod.

There was no way that the part could have been mismanufactured and it was surely the fault of my pistol or me.

The company took the part back and refunded my order, but the experience left a very poor taste in my mouth. I will never shop there again.

How far does quality customer service go for yall? To me, it is the make or break of a company, especially when it comes to firearms.
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Old December 19, 2018, 12:57 PM   #2
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I always remember how I was treated by any person or entity. When no issues arise, Great! But when there is an issue with any product or service purchased, I believe the company's response will tell you what kind of outfit you're dealing with...
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Old December 19, 2018, 02:26 PM   #3
HiBC
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reputable manufacturer of aftermarket parts.

You bought a part.It did not work out for you.They refunded the money.

I don't understand what more you want.Its a guide rod.I don't know what you mean by "The pocket in the slide" I see the guide rod as positioned in the frame. The flange may have fit a little too tight in the ??? frame??That's why one 1911 tool is a file. There are enough variations in the population of "1911's that it behooves you to make sure a new part fits properly. Frankly,I'm not picturing the problem.I have had to file the edges of a flange before.


One job I used to have at an industrial controls manufacturer was identifying and managing non-conforming parts. I know this dog pretty well.


The first requirement is a blueprint that defines the specs of your guide rod.

Then you inspect the features of the guide rod.If you find a dimension out of spec,then it IS the manufacturers problem.

But its equally possible that your frame is out of spec.

Apparently you bought a 1911 that worked,and it was made without a guide rod.(Note,we are NOT talking about the original JMB part called a "Spring guide" A "guide rod" is different)


I don't know how your conversation went.Its possible you were diplomatic and the manufacturer was not.That can happen.Its equally possible,from where I sit,that you were expressing how you felt,rather than an accurate description of an identified problem.It might be a $20 part? Sometimes the best solution is "Sir,I'd be happy to give you your money back"

Its also possible the manufacturer was correct,that (whether you know it or not) the problem is not the guide rod.I can't tell,you can't tell,and the manufacturer can't tell without checking to see if your part meets print.


In any case,if you got a full refund,I'm not going to jump to the conclusion you received poor customer service.You also might check the fine print for "Some fitting by a competent gunsmith may be required"

Last edited by HiBC; December 19, 2018 at 02:37 PM.
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Old December 19, 2018, 03:02 PM   #4
n4aof
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winny View Post
About a year ago, I purchased a stainless steel guide rod for one of my pistols from a reputable manufacturer of aftermarket parts.

I had some issues with my guide rod that were a cause for concern (the guide rod was getting stuck in the pocket of the slide, needing to be tapped out with a mallet)

I addressed the issue with the company, who was fast to respond, but refused to acknowledge any fault of their own, even when shown a picture of a clear burr on the guide rod.

There was no way that the part could have been mismanufactured and it was surely the fault of my pistol or me.

The company took the part back and refunded my order, but the experience left a very poor taste in my mouth. I will never shop there again.

How far does quality customer service go for yall? To me, it is the make or break of a company, especially when it comes to firearms.
Like HiBC, I can't quite figure out what this "pocket of the slide" is, none of my pistol slides have pockets and there aren't even many places were a guide rod could be stuck where it would require a mallet to hammer it out.

Assuming that your slide did have a "pocket" and that this guide rod did somehow become stuck in that pocket only brings me to your "clear burr on the guide rod" which makes me wonder how you failed to notice the "clear burr" before installing the guide rod. I might understand a guide rod with some flaw that wasn't immediately visible - perhaps a very slight bend or being very slightly oversize, but a burr large enough to be clearly visible in a photo would almost certainly be clearly visible when inspecting the part before or while installing it.

Since you didn't see anything wrong before installing the part, but the part was visibly damaged after you had installed it, got it stuck, and then hammered it out, I would have to think the same thing as the manufacturer thought: that the part was most likely damaged by you or your gun.

Despite the highly suspicious circumstances, the manufacturer still gave you a full refund -- what more did you want?
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Old December 19, 2018, 03:23 PM   #5
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Apparently you bought a 1911 that worked,and it was made without a guide rod
At no point did I say the firearm was a 1911. It was not.

Excuse my poor choice of words with “pocket” it was the verbiage used by the manufacturer of said part.

It is the indentation at the front of the frame in which the guide rod sits.

The tip of the rod would get stuck in that hole (whatever you call it) and I would need to remove the barrel around the guide rod, which is not an easy task, and take a punch and tap the guide rod out of the slide.

Quote:
what more did you want?
Nothing. By the time I was through with the interaction I wanted nothing to do with the company.

Being told that there was nothing wrong with their part and that it’s all me was frustrating. The factory rod set fine and did not require any “muscle” to remove. Nor did the OTHER aftermarket rod that replaced it, so I have a hard time accepting blame when the only issue was one part from one company.

I sent photos, videos and detailed explanations of the issue and tried to troubleshoot it and even asked the manufacturer if I could file the part to make it fit and was continuously met with comments along the lines of “not our fault. No need to file. It’s impossible that burr is from us” etc.

I am pleased to have even gotten my money back (minus shipping both ways, of course). But the way the company continuously blame shifted bothered me.
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Old December 19, 2018, 04:20 PM   #6
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At no point did I say the firearm was a 1911. It was not.

True. My mistake and my apology.
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Old December 19, 2018, 07:40 PM   #7
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Where I don't thing the name of the aftermarket seller should be revealed, your "mystery", and avoidance to reveal the make of the gun negates credibility.
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Old December 19, 2018, 11:27 PM   #8
KyJim
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It was an aftermarket part but, "There was no way that the part could have been mismanufactured and it was surely the fault of my pistol or me." If it was the fault of the pistol, then your recourse is with its manufacturer. If the fault lies with you, then suck it up. If the part was faulty, the aftermarket manufacturer did the only thing it could do. It refunded the money for the part. You didn't want the parts company to buy you a new pistol did you?
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Old December 19, 2018, 11:34 PM   #9
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Where I don't thing the name of the aftermarket seller should be revealed, your "mystery", and avoidance to reveal the make of the gun negates credibility.
It was a SS guide rod for a Ruger SR9 about a year ago.

There are only a handful of folks who make the part and I’d rather not point fingers. The company did nothing wrong in my eyes, I just won’t use them again because of the way the interaction went.
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Old December 19, 2018, 11:38 PM   #10
Winny
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You didn't want the parts company to buy you a new pistol did you?
Absolutely not. As I’ve said, I have no qualms with the company’s recourse. They refunded my order and took the part back.

All I’m saying is that the way the interaction went with the company left a poor taste in my mouth and I won’t be shopping there anymore.

This post was not meant to single out a company or manufacturer, but to pose a question on the importance of customer service.
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Old December 19, 2018, 11:44 PM   #11
Winny
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On a positive note:

Clinger holsters:
Had a holster that would disengage the safety on a Ruger Security 9. The holster was replaced and I was sent additional clips.

AlienGear:
The same SR9 had a shell that was a little too tight and would also disengage the safety if the gun was inserted after the holster was in the belt. A second shell was sent to replace the defunked one.

Winchester:
After a day shooting clays before duck season, the front bead fell of my SXP. I called CS and had a new one within days.

Browning:
Had my great uncles citori O/U sent in for light maintenance. A larger issue was found and repaired at a negligible cost.

THESE are companies to which I am loyal. To me, quality service and respect go a very long way.
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Old December 20, 2018, 12:11 AM   #12
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The company did nothing wrong in my eyes, I just won’t use them again because of the way the interaction went.
I’m confused.

I’d they did nothing wrong, what was wrong with their interaction with you?

From the outside looking in, it sounds like they handled it ok. I’m not sure what else they could have done besides send you another guide rod, which it sounds like you wouldn’t have been interested in.

ETA: Did you have the guide rod for a year before you contacted the manufacturer? Or Did this get resolved a year ago, and you are just bringing it up now?
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Last edited by Crankylove; December 20, 2018 at 12:19 AM.
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Old December 20, 2018, 01:21 AM   #13
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even when shown a picture of a clear burr on the guide rod.
Think I would have just sent you back a picture of a file!
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Old December 20, 2018, 08:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rock185 View Post
I always remember how I was treated by any person or entity. When no issues arise, Great! But when there is an issue with any product or service purchased, I believe the company's response will tell you what kind of outfit you're dealing with...
I think a lot of companies these days forget what 'customer service' is. Remember the old retail saying..if you have a good experience, you'll tell 8 people, if you have a bad experience, you'll tell 21..or some such thing.
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Old December 20, 2018, 11:33 AM   #15
heyjoe
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its amazing how when someone has a customer service problem or a product defect problem and post it on a gun board how the wagons are circled to attack them. apparently they have never experienced the multitude of companies and services out there that have non existent quality control and atrocious customer service. what blessed lives they live.
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Old December 20, 2018, 12:04 PM   #16
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A customer is always a customer and should always be treated as a customer. I've dealt with companies that "don't want to hear it", they are never wrong or just don't want to hear it if you have a complaint. I try not to deal with them again in most cases. Even some good companies have some strange answers to your problems. I've dealt with 2 pistol mfgs that did not care that the pistols in question shot 6" low at 25 yards. One offered to replace the slide but no guarantee it'll be any better. The other, "we don't care where it shoots, just that it will group". I haven't bought another pistol from either company, I would buy again if they had something really special that I wanted knowing
there could be problems and I may have to deal with it myself.
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Old December 20, 2018, 12:34 PM   #17
Winny
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Quote:
not sure what else they could have done besides send you another guide rod, which it sounds like you wouldn’t have been interested in.

ETA: Did you have the guide rod for a year before you contacted the manufacturer? Or Did this get resolved a year ago, and you are just bringing it up now?
I absolutely had interest in a replacement part. At first, at least… They claimed that a replacement part wouldn’t do anything because there was “nothing wrong with the first one.”

And no, did not wait a year. Addressed the issue within a week of receiving
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Old December 20, 2018, 01:26 PM   #18
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Recreational outrage. It's well documented that the internet can be an addiciton. Social media can be especially attractive to certain demographics. People who are lonely or with fragile ego's will retreat to the internet, where they are mostly anonymous, and their audience is anonymous. Posting something on the net and receiving complimentary feedback results in the release of endorfins and will make you feel good. Anonymity also has the benefit of the person being able to instantly dismiss negative feedback. It's win/win!

Some people go so far as to turn this into a hobby. A person will browse the internet looking for an outlet, and within that outlet, initiate a discussion on a topic. When that discussion is in the form of a complain... "I'm mad about something? Who's gonna be mad with me!!!" When people jump on the post expressing support for that viewpoint, the person receives their chemical reward.

Allow me...
Why yes, I do value good customer service as a metric when evaluating what producers I will consume from. It's not the only thing however. I also value price, quality, shipping time, communication, and community responsibility.

I hope you feel better.
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Old December 20, 2018, 08:17 PM   #19
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its amazing how when someone has a customer service problem or a product defect problem and post it on a gun board how the wagons are circled to attack them.
Usually when the complaint seems a bit petty, then accompanied by "I'll never do business with them again". By the very description of the problem it seems a couple strokes of a file or rubs with emeroy cloth could have resolved the problem. No communications needed.
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Old December 21, 2018, 01:16 AM   #20
Winny
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Quote:
it seems a couple strokes of a file or rubs with emeroy cloth could have resolved the problem. No communications needed.
I did not file, but sanded the burr off the rod. I was told the burr was from my gun. Don’t think shooting would cause enough heat to weld steel on steel, but what do I know?

Petty or not, I didn’t appreciate the service I received. One of the few jobs I work is in FTF customer service within a hotel.

My post was meant to address modern customer service, not go on about an unnamed company.

What is your “baseline” for customer service, Cheapshooter? I understand this was a small, small example, but for some reason the interaction I had resonated with me. Where do you draw the line?
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Old December 21, 2018, 09:28 AM   #21
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For the most part, it doesn;t matter what you buy, price points are very similar on products with similar quality. Doesn't matter iffin it's a gun part or automobile insurance. What does differ greatly is customer service and how issues, if and when they arise are handled. It isn't just getting your monies back after an irritating phone call.

I agree with the OP, In my eyes, CS is a big part of why I stick with some brands and shy away from others. I don't see as to where he should have been responsible to file off any manufacturing burr. Expecting him to is not just a lack of CS but of QC too.

The OP didn't name the company outta respect. Just brought up the subject of what denotes good CS. Part of the problem in this country is folks and their low expectati0ns of products produced here.
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Old December 21, 2018, 09:45 AM   #22
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Quote:
How far does quality customer service go for yall?
Most of the guns I buy are used. I fit gun parts myself. So, I don't rely on customer service at all. Almost all guns can be made to work. Most decent gun parts can be fitted to work well. I would have just polished the burr off of the guiderod myself.

In fact, when I lost a small part to my Fostech Echo trigger, I simply made a new part - made it better than the original Fostech part. Now, they sell the part in a replacement kit......don't need it, though.

Here's my bottom line. Good guns will work for centuries - long after any crappy warranty wears out and long after the company is no longer servicing the gun or perhaps even in business. Warranties won't do a lick of good when your gun doesn't work when you most need it to - they are worthless, IMHO. Buy good used guns that have parts available for them. Buy good parts that can be polished and fitted if necessary.

Quote:
Think I would have just sent you back a picture of a file!
I would have tried to buff it out using stainless steel polish before I'd take a rough file to it. The "burr" must have been small enough to miss when OP installed the guide rod"

Last edited by Skans; December 21, 2018 at 09:56 AM.
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Old December 21, 2018, 12:22 PM   #23
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What is your “baseline” for customer service, Cheapshooter?
They resolve the problem. Which it appears the company you are complaining about did.
I have had aftermarket, and replacement items related to firearms, automotive, marine, and household that I had to do a little tweaking, and justin, or slight finishing to in order for it to work properly. Never bothered calling CS unless the item were obviously beyond a little TLC.
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Old December 21, 2018, 03:41 PM   #24
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This post shows how one single employee can impact the reputation and good will a company works very hard to achieve. You don't know if it is an employee intentionally trying to damage the employer he is unhappy with, whether the employee is untrained or just a jerk. The OP based his opinion of the entire company on the actions of one or a very few. It's a shame when something like this happens to what is probably a good company.

I recently had an unpleasant experience with a vendor of my insurance company. I wrote a detailed letter to the insurance company CEO letting him know of my experience. I got a call yesterday from a representative of the CEO and she thanked me for writing. She said they have no way of knowing about poor customer service until they are made aware of it. She assured me that they would investigate the problem and get it corrected.
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Old December 21, 2018, 05:20 PM   #25
Brian Pfleuger
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You guys crack me up. If you think "Fix it yourself" is an acceptable answer, you don't understand customer service or business 101.

This isn't about the issue with the guide rod or how it could have been fixed. The issue is with the company's response. Customer service.

On such small financial matters, the only acceptable answer to such a problem is, "I'm very sorry our part didn't work for you, sir, would you like to try a replacement or would you like your money back?"

Trinkets are cheap... customers are *damned expensive*. It's no different than going to a food joint and getting cold fries. Even if those fries came out of the fryer 15 seconds ago, the answer is "I'm very sorry, let me get you some new fries."

Would you rather lose 5 cents worth of fries or a customer from whom you stand to profit $1,200 or more over the life of their visits?

Would you rather replace a guide rod that you believe is perfectly fine and probably cost you $2, or lose a customer who may spend hundreds of dollars in the future?

Would you rather that customer went online and said "Let me tell you how awesome this company's response was" or "Let me tell you what kind of run around I got over a simple guide rod!"?
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