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HS Precision IMPORTANT quality control and customer service.

 
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Old 04-25-2006, 06:51 PM
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Location: Aussie in Italy
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HS Precision IMPORTANT quality control and customer service.

This is a rant, it's about bad customer service and I think it's a valid one. Please read on.
I had some troubles with a HS Precision HRT rifle last year.
If you run some searches to my user name you'll find some of the post about it.

This is the only link I could find have specific to the problem, I con't remember if I posted more on the matter, here or elsewhere:
http://forums.accuratereloading.com/...871088#5871088

This is a link relating to another problem I had with HS and the same rifle:
http://longrangehunting.com/ubbthreads/s...=true#Post45141

I got the rifle here in Italy from a local dealer through the national importer Bignami, I'll add that it cost me 2,800Euro, approx $3,470US after import tax and shiping.
Initally I was concerned with the bedding. The alluminium blocks had spillage of the stock material and it really was messy.
Nonetheless, the rifle came with a test target of .178MOA I got it to shoot to .3MOA with my handloads so I let it go.
Apparently the test target was shot with Federal Gold Medal Match ammo, which I only got to trying later on when it was ruined.

Back in August or September 2004 the groups started opening up and I started to get frustrated. I tried everything I could, a mechanical shooting rest that blocks the rifle, had a ex army sniper try it, tried shooting my other rifles to see if it wasn't my shooting. Nothing, th rifle was shooting around 3 inches @ 100.
I got some Federal Gold Medal Match ammo, 67Euro later and still no joy.
I checked the scope, mounts, inspected the bore, everything looked ok. I changed the scope and found it still shot uncontrollably.

It wasn't until I picked the rifle up off the bench that I felt the barrel turn in my hand that the penny dropped.
The barrel had come loose. I had never done anything that could have loosened, nor would I have any reason to, nor do I possess (or have access to) a barrel vice or any such equipment.

I contacted HS and expressed my concern, they were happy enough to carry out whatever work need to be done to fix it so I went on happy with the knowledge that I could get it fixed. In the mean time I tried tightening it by hand, together with a freind to see if it would fix it. The two of us twisted the barrel and action holding it rith rags as tight as we could and tried it. Still the same.

I called HS and told them I was going to send it in for repair as well as giving some very specific instructions and requests.
I made it absoluately clear that I would not be satisfied by any means of repair other than those of the HS Precision factory in the US.
I reitterated that I did NOT want the rifle to be handled by the Bignami gunsmiths because I do not have suffecient faith in them.
I also did not want Bignami to deal with the rifle because I feared it would be a year before I got the rifle back. Sending it back and forth would take the same amount of time but I figured at least I was going to get the most competent people to deal with it.
This is based on past experiences.
I also wasn't happy because I had a rifle that was supposedly capable of shooting .178 groups and I had ascertained that it could shoot at least .3 so I would have been slightly pissed to get a new rifle out of the deal and get one that only "just" made their .5MOA garantee.
That might sound a bit nitt picky, but after you shell out that much money for a rifle, I think it's reasonable.

I spoke with a man named Todd from HS Precision, (not the first time; see bedding link) who has handled the case. He was appolagetic enough said he would speak to Manfred and Andy, their correspondants from Bignami, and instruct them to send the rifle to him rather than deal with it in house.
He also rightly expressed concern about the incedent and wanted to get a chance to inspect the rifle himself.
Assured that the matter would be handled properly and also content that after I mentioned the trigger was very bad on the rifle, Todd said they would slip in one of their new triggers which are said to have been improved. Bonus.

I took the rifle to the local dealer I got it from, who, among other things, being a total wanker started a big argument because I told him exactly why I didn't want Bignami to touch it and he, being a gunsmith himself took offence it to all, going so far as to threaten not to send the rifle at all and accusing me of having unscrewd it myself... (why?)

After some time, I tried e-mailing Todd several times and got no response, it wasn't until I called that he told me that the e-mail address on their website does not work.
He still hadn't heard anything from Bignami, and I coudln't get in touch with Bignami. They do not deal with mere mortals, so I had to sit tight.

Time passed and I spoke with Todd at HS again about it, same response. Bignami hadn't mentioned the rifle.

At this point I'm wondering why I didn't ask him nicely to CALL Bignami and find out about it...

Well two weeks ago I heard from the local dealer that the rifle has arrived, repaired. He doesn't know who fixed it or what they did, it's still sealed but he does not think it went to the US.

I call HS again and Todd tells me he heard nothing of it. The rifle never made it to HS Precision, nor did Bignami mention it.

So...I have made maybe 5 phone calls to Todd at HS regarding this matter, sent numerous e-mail that never were answered or recieved, been fobbed off by Bignami because they don't deal with private persons, only dealers, argued with the local dealer and still didn't get the work I had requested.
My request was not only absolutely clear, but aslo I was told that it would be granted by Todd from HS, all along.

Again he was appolagetic enough but still hasn't been able to offer any kind of solution.

I think this is absolutely pathetic, on the part of HS Precision I hadn't expected it, I had put blind faith into the famed American customer service and diligence.

The rifle is still with the dealer, I have been out of town but tomorrow I'll go pick it up.
I have conceeded that if it still shoots .3 groups with the same ammo I'll keep it, because, as it has become clear, there is little hope of getting anything done about it.
Todd agreed that if the rifle should not shoot as it did before or if the repairs are not satisfactory then he would have Bignami send it to him and another look.
What is that worth to me now?

I do not have much faith that the rifle will be the same as before, I came up with and heard all manner of theories of what shooting with a (very)loose barrel(untill I realized it) could have done to the headspaceing, barrel/reciever threads, throat, chamber...I just don't know, but I know it didn't do it any good.
Bignami didn't ask HS to send for a new barrel, so at a guess they probably just screwed it back on to spec torque. Todd believes they are capable of fixing the headspace(if it is a headspace issue) and said he is optimistic that it will proove to be a good repair job.

If the rifle does not shoot as it used to I would like to send it back and have HS reimburse me the full amount I paid for the rifle, but I don't know how that will go over, nor do I have any means of enforcing my wishes from here should it come to that.

I feel that people should know about this, it I hope it casts the desired amount of bad light on HS Precision because I have only them to hold responsable, the barrel most likely came unscrewed due to an assembly error, and they promised to take it in for repair/replacement or whatever was in order.

What should I do? And if and when I discover that the rifle is not up to scratch and opt to return it to the factory for a full refund, do I have any legal ground to stand in on the US? Is there a cumsumer affairs agency who could take care of such a matter on behalf of a foreigner?
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  #2  
Old 04-25-2006, 08:13 PM
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Re: HS Precision IMPORTANT quality control and customer service.

dude that sucks. I'm sure that their is something that can be done if HS doesen't act right. I don't see where a refund is out of the question.
How many rounds do you have throught he gun and exactly how long have you owned it? they may try to give you some sort of run around with a depreaciation type deal. PSE gave me that crap with a couple bows several years back they said they can only "pro-rate" your cost

Anyhow I hope everthing works out for ya.

I have shot several HS guns that were sent for a demo for the local LE guys. I wasen't at all impressed especialy for the asking price
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  #3  
Old 04-26-2006, 07:35 AM
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Re: HS Precision IMPORTANT quality control and customer service.

Most here know that I am a big HS stock guy, I have not however been impressed with the package rifles I have worked on or shot. Kind of bummed to here about the service issues, I believe that follow up service is the corner stone of a business. Wish you the best of luck.
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  #4  
Old 04-26-2006, 08:39 AM
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Re: HS Precision IMPORTANT quality control and customer service.

Express,

I also use alot of H-S handles and when bedded properly are great stocks, from the factory not so impressed with their bedding fit.

All that said, and I do feel you need to be corrected for something here, but is it really H-S's fault? Sounds like the middle man screwed both of you on this one and that is where I would focus my fight.

It sounds like HS may have been able to be a bit more aggressive at trying to get the rifle but its very difficult to fix a rifle if it never comes through the shop door.

Again, not saying you do not have a reason to be angery but it seems you are giving HS a pretty bad rap when they had no chance to serve you on this problem.

As far as the test target sent with the rifle, I am not sure but I would suspect this was fired from the barreled action from a machine rest, not shoulder fired.

It can be pretty deceiving when a customer gets these targets and expects their rifles to do the same for them and that simply is not practical to expect all the time.

I know Cooper rifles here in Montana make some fine shooting rifles and they send test targets with all their rifles. They are all nearly identical little one hole groups. Only thing most customers do not realize is that these groups are fired a 50 yards off a machine rest, not shoulder fired.

Again, not sure what HS does but I suspect that was not a shoulder fired group.

I have shot several HS rifles that I would say would not meet the 1/2 moa requirement. I even know one customer that had a 338 Lapua rifle that was hard pressed to hold 1 1/4 moa. The response from HS was that was within spec for that size of a rifle and that their 1/2 moa quote was for sub 30 cal rifles only.

All that said, its hard to blame HS for poor customer servive when they never got the rifle, thats all I am saying. Seems like Bignami is the one you need to go after here.

Hopefully when you get the rifle back it will shoot great and all this will be easy to forget about but that is where I would focus my attention, not with HS as they never even got to try to correct the problem.

Hope it all works out for you and the rifle shoots great. If it does not I am sure HS will be stand up on either a replacement rifle of refund.

Good Luck,

Kirby Allen(50)
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Old 04-26-2006, 01:12 PM
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Re: HS Precision IMPORTANT quality control and customer service.

Mr. Allen,

I quote, "The response from HS was that was within spec for that size of a rifle and that their 1/2 moa quote was for sub 30 cal rifles only".

Kirby, No flame on you at all. I understand that you were just quoting them. <font color="red">But, that is garbage, period! </font>

I have several factory stock, modified M700's, to include: a 375 RUM (with brake), a 338 RUM, and a 300 WM (with break), that all do routinely shoot under a 1/2 inches if I do my part!

Modified to me means: a Jewell trigger, the recoil lug area glassed, H-S Stock, and the right reloads.

Rifle Stock 750.00
Jewell Trigger 225.00
Glass 1/4 ounce or about 5.00
Reloads cheaper than factory.
H-S Stock 280.00

So for about $1200 or so bucks, without blue printing the action, I've produced consistent large-bore sub half inch groups.

H-S is full of crap! If I had paid $2500 - $3500 for a rifle, it had better shoot under 1/2 inch every time, no excuses.

Hell Kirby, you and Chris Mathews, just to name two on this site alone, produce rifles that are incredibly accurate for way less than Express paid for that piece of junk.

The way I see it, once a gunsmith/company goes big (ie military/law enforcement contracts) and or gains a large reputation, the customer service goes out the door.

That is exactly why I like the little man who lives and dies by his or her word, and his performance with each and every customer.

I had Colonel (Ret) Billy Stevens (Brundidge Alabama) build me up a WM last year.

Stock Rifle was 750.00
Trigger 250.00
Action Work 200.00
Barrel Shilen Select 300.00
MBR Tooley 550.00
Brake 200.00
Smithing 250.00

So for $1750.00 ($2500.00 total with my stock donor rifle figured in) I got a 300 Win Mag that shoots 200 gr SMKs into consistent 5 shot groups of .100 - .210 at 100 yards all the time!

Hell, he even paid shipping to me in Alaska from Alabama (about $75.00)!

No, H-S builds a sweet stock, and it on an accurate rifle is deadly after skim bedding. But I for one will never give them any of my money for a complete rifle package.

Rant over.

v/r
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  #6  
Old 04-26-2006, 01:29 PM
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Re: HS Precision IMPORTANT quality control and customer service.

[ QUOTE ]
That is exactly why I like the little man who lives and dies by his or her word, and his performance with each and every customer.


[/ QUOTE ]

I agree as will so many others I suspect.

EXPRESS,

Any way to talk to someone higher up at HS Precision? Or is Todd as high as it gets?
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  #7  
Old 04-26-2006, 05:30 PM
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Re: HS Precision IMPORTANT quality control and customer service.

Fifty, I can agree with you to some extent, but I spoke with HS directly and asked that they deal with the situation exclusively and they have the power to do so. My wish simply was not respected.

It is almost impossible to speak with Bignami, they will not talk to private citizens and their telephone receptionist just pushes you back on to the dealer.

After reciecving the rifle and seeing the test target I called them to ask about it. I suspected it was a machine rest group fired at 50 yards(or a mistake) but, I was told that they have a man who shoot the rifles off sandbags. I may be incorrect but I recall it was again Todd who told me this at the time and the joke was made toungue in cheek that he was surprised they let such a rifle out off the factory for retail.

I got the the dealer today to pick up the rifle to find he had closed early so I do not yet know what has been done to the rifle.

Unfortunately all I can do is take more of my time to test it and see if the job was up to scratch. If it is anything but perfect I will demand that Todd from HS, who I have heard may be Todd Haughton, the son of the founder of HS Precision contact Bignami and organize the shipping of the rifle back to them and ask for a full refund.

Fair is fair and enough is enough. I have had the rifle for nearly two years, and most of this time it has been unsuable to me, nor has there been any solution offered HS, other than the one requested, which was deemed reasonable and promised, but was not granted.
I have decided to flame HS about it because they has the means to avoid this happening and satisfying an unhappy customer should be the number 1į priority for any business.

Bignami may be HS's agent here but it is in the interests of HS that any middleman they authorize to carry their name not be the cause of unhappy customers.

The cost issue is an unfortunate product of the taxing and markup regieme here. I have found that many national products locally produced in their entirety actually cost less in the US for instance, even after shipping and import tax. Pedersoli and Uberti are two such examples.

Unfortunately I may not have time to test the rifle tomorrow and will be laeving home again for some time which will mean more time is lost.

If I am not satisfied I intend on making my dissatisfaction as public as possible and bringing it to the direct attention of HS. I have been nothing but courteous and fair with HS, more than flexible enough but in the end I feel they have not given enough importance to my problems, most likely because of the fact that I am so far away and because they have a middleman to pass these thigns onto.

The real issue here is; I had a problem with a HS product. I asked HS to fix it and exclusively within their facility. They agreed promised(verbally) that it would be granted, and it wasn't.

What isn't clear about this?
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