Your points are well made and, for the most part, I agree.
Yes, I guessed that McM may have large military orders. I appreciate that and good for them.
I have no problem with either that, or that this implies falling lower in the production ranking (provided I'm given a choice to pull out and advised immediately this becomes apparent to the supplier). Depending on my needs I may opt to make an informed decision and still go with their product. I would probably have cancelled; timing was important to me when I ordered.
However, I do have a real problem with the poor communication and what eventually amounts to a misrepresentation regarding delivery (although this may not be the case, or intention when the represntation was made). The simple (and cheap) solution is to at least put up a banner on the website indicating delays with a rough indication as to the length thereof and preferably explaining them (and definitely offering cancellation as an alternative). These are alternatives that I will suggest to McM.
Better still would be to issue order numbers and provide a tracking system on the website, or to contact customers and advise them directly, but sure that’s likely not feasible.
Don't offer an e-mail system if you don't have e-mail. I had no luck by phone yesterday either. I do know when McM is closed there’s an appropriate message on the phone line.
Part of my frustration arose from my own internal desire to "deal with it right" - I suggested cancelling, but only if production hadn't begun ; as I know that a TRG is not an order that will easily be moved onto someone else. The problem is that I could never establish where I stood, McM didn’t say “No” or “OK” and the information that I was given regarding production seems to have be wrong. Which I don’t like.
What has happened....
On the positive side I received a response on e-mail from McM giving me details of progress and indicating a completion date, which is a week or so off and giving me a contact person to deal with.
I was given the option to cancel and McM indicated where I may be able to buy their bottom metal separarte from a stock.
I have no doubt that the product is superb and that is why they are busy.
Maybe I have unreasonable expectations, but the communication side of customer service should not suffer because of production being behind. Avoiding the problem doesn’t solve it, admitting it and offering alternatives keeps everyone happy/ier. Just my approach in my business.
FYI shipping is apparently 18-20 weeks and with some custom fitting mine is expected at 22 weeks. Although you will obviosuly need to check yours as it is product specific from what I understand.
What I intend to do:
I’ll take the stock, it’s completed and just having some fitting done. Cancelling now would simply be a “proving a point” type decision and will cost McM money unnecessarily; which was never my intention.
As an aside, if McM had let me know early on I would probably have cancelled prior to production beginning and would likely have done business with Joel who does seem to have a highly rated product and seems very client oriented.
Oh, and it seems I won't get that barrel shot out before delivery after all!
I will agree that in your case, McMillan should have handled things differently and could have prevented you alot of frustration. One thing to understand though is that you never tell a manufacturer that you want to cancel the order "Unless its under production."
In my experience, if they have the order, its under production to them and they do not want to give up an order so you know what they say, "Its already in production."
Once McMillan actually starts making your stock, it takes very little real time from start to finish, its getting it to that starting point that seems to be the problem.
I will be honest in saying that I have not ordered any custom or semi custom inlettings from McMillan. I suspect this may have as much to do with the delay as anything.
I did order a stock quite a while back for a Lilja #8 contour barrel inlet. I got a phone call to send the barrel down so that they could use it to write up a program for their CNC inletting machine.
This would have been fine but the barrel had just been ordered and I did not want to wait for +12 weeks after I got the barrel to ship the barrel down and then have the stock made after that. My customer really did not want that.
As such, I called them up and told them to change the barrel channel contour to a simple 1.250" straight cylinder barrel. I had the stock right on the 12 week shipping date.
As far as the wood A-5s go. Yes, the time is right, and the price is right but they are unfinished and if someone is not able to finish their own stock it will cost them quite a bit to get a professional to do it. Also you need to add the cost of recoil pad and installation as well as swivel studs and installation. WHen they are finished they are beautiful stocks and stable as anything out there if pillar bedded properly.
STill though, there is one thing about an A-5 laminated stock, you better not be worried about rifle weight because they are heavy! Very heavy compared to the same design in a composite stock.
Personally I like a little stock weight. I use alot of 30" relatively heavy barrels and the heavier stocks balance a rifle much better but many want this type of stock on a lighter weight portable style rifle. For those, the laminate stock is not a good choice in my opinion.
I guess basically where we stand is if you want a McMillan you will have to wait for one. If you do not want to wait, there are other stock makers out there that can be used to full effect as well. Just what you want and what your willing to wait for.
I have also ordered custom receivers that were supposed to be shipped within 4 months of order and they showed up twice that far down the road. Just part of the custom componant game I guess because most companies are like this to some degree.
Even gunsmiths [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]!!!
Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.
Building a truly custom rifle is much like sitting down with an artist to have them make a sculpture that will match your taste and color scheme.
I was in a unique position to be able to individually purchase components for the caliber and purpose I specified. Many of these components have a long lead time, including the McMillan A5 with a thumbwheel cheekpiece and adjustable buttplate. I had my dealer ask the barrel maker what is the best twist, length and taper for my needs. At this point I sat down with the smith to discuss the build itself, including bedding, setup, finish tolerance and recoil lug specifics. I realize this will more than likely be the only rifle around exactly like this one because of everyones input and my tastes. I have ABSOLUTELY no intention of rushing anyone, I make mistakes when I get in a hurry, so does most everyone else. I expect this rifle will take more than six months to get everything ready to be shipped to the smith. I have every intention of keeping this piece of art for the rest of my life, so the wait is nothing.
We live in a fast food society where speed is more important than almost anything else. Price has become more important than quality.
I'm a big believer in the small family owned business, where quality is key and the price is reasonable for the quality recieved. Customer service is always great and the people genuinely care about you as a person and not just a number towards their bottom line. It's been 8 years since I stepped foot inside a Walmart, their brand of sacrificing quality, customer service, and treating their employees poorly makes me ill.
I've exceeded the weight limit on this soap box so I'll stop here. Bottom line, quality comes at a price, don't let that deter you from getting the best. You will be happier with your investment in the long run.
Beware the fury of a patient man....