Bad customer service?

NDAR15MAN

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Feb 25, 2011
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233
NDking116… I agree with your post. Nothing wrong with asking questions and expecting a answer. If gunsmith will not take a few minutes answering your questions in a respectable manner time to change gunsmith. There is more professional gunsmiths out there than you think. why put up with a bad one and pay $ to do it. MD
 
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bdlesh

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Mar 4, 2019
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texas
So on one hand he is to busy to take a phone call...yet takes 3 months to assemble a pile of parts? I know....he has to wait for parts to arrive. That only gives more time to deal with customers. I waited 3 years to have a pair of boots made so I understand waiting your turn. Customer service is the same for any business. The one who pays the bill needs to be kept happy.....or you will have plenty of time to wish you did.
 

ndking1126

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Sep 12, 2010
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I don't know if it rises to the level of "most", but whenever I email, or speak on the phone to a potential customer it's all about "qualifying" the seriousness of the inquiry in the first email, or first minutes of the conversation.

Despite having pricing for some basic services right on my website, I still get inquiries as to "ballpark, how much $$?".

Without getting into the weeds, recently had a "customer" send me his rifle for rebarreling, along with stock, scope, etc.
Trade emails for days trying to finalize the scope and pricing. Then, he goes off into left field and thinks he'd rather leave the one he sent alone- and go for a new custom build. Kick around another half-dozen emails over a few days on that one.
Then, he starts sending me links to factory rifles he's interested in...

Trying to keep the "customer" happy, I explain I'm not a retail sales operation- but I'd be happy to order whatever rifle he wants and have it shipped to his FFL.

Ultimately, after several weeks of emails and phone calls, he emails "Sorry I've changed my mind constantly, never mind, can you ship my stuff back?"

Probably a couple hours of my time, between emails and phone calls. Unpacking, sorting, labeling and logging in his "stuff"- which was so horrendously packed when it was shipped that the box was trashed in transit. Re-pack all into packaging I supplied, then pay to ship it back to him. Sent it all back on my dime- didn't even care to ask him to reimburse the postage.

Yes, this was an extreme case. Most often, things work out fine- but be mindful that if you come across as a "tire-kicker", it'll likely be a very brief interaction.
Thank you for your first hand experience, and that story sucks for sure. I guess my only thought as a customer is personally I'm not wasting my time asking questions if I don't legitimately want the work done. I do however have to understand if my budget is big enough or based on my budget does option A or B get more accomplished. Armed with your pricing info I may have to walk away, but that doesn't mean I wasn't serious to begin with. I know not all customer's are good customers, and I think thats what you are getting at.
 

Alex Wheeler

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Jul 5, 2017
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Montana
Theres a lot to cover here. One thing I will say is that custom rifle building is like no other biz I know of. You have one guy doing everything. The profit margins are too low to pay help. So anytime the smith is on the phone the entire biz stops. So if you want to compare it to other businesses, then when your on the phone with your home remodeling company, the entire crew has to stop working. I have spent 5+ hours on the phone some days. It can be overwhelming. Its a balance between customer service, getting work done, and quality of life. And it seems like they all suffer. If you can find a retired guy or part time smith that actually knows how to do things right you will be happy. The good ones are not too common though. There are also semi custom assemblers that are geared toward production of a specific type of rifle. You wont get a lot of options, and you will have an hourly guy building your rifle vs the owner but it will happen faster and you will have people free to take more calls.
 

FEENIX

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Great Falls, MT
Theres a lot to cover here. One thing I will say is that custom rifle building is like no other biz I know of. You have one guy doing everything. The profit margins are too low to pay help. So anytime the smith is on the phone the entire biz stops. So if you want to compare it to other businesses, then when your on the phone with your home remodeling company, the entire crew has to stop working. I have spent 5+ hours on the phone some days. It can be overwhelming. Its a balance between customer service, getting work done, and quality of life. And it seems like they all suffer. If you can find a retired guy or part time smith that actually knows how to do things right you will be happy. The good ones are not too common though. There are also semi custom assemblers that are geared toward production of a specific type of rifle. You wont get a lot of options, and you will have an hourly guy building your rifle vs the owner but it will happen faster and you will have people free to take more calls.
Yep! Well said.
 

bdlesh

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Mar 4, 2019
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352
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texas
I dated a school teacher once and she claimed they have to hardest job. Working 9 months out of the year, having every holiday with a week for spring break, Thanksgiving and Christmas in the mix doesn't seem that bad to me.of course you are going to say " they dont get paid much". I say, work a full year like the rest of us. She was pulling in $60k which would be $90k full time.
Talk about bad customers. I have had them blame me for thr job dragging along because they can't pick the material to move forward or the material they ordered to save money hasn't showed up.
I am sure gunsmiths or dealers get more tire kickers and every ik ne is an expert because of some YouTube video they watched or in my case....HGTV and pinterest.....now where did I set my bourbon?
 

Rick Richard

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Jan 7, 2014
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North Carolina
I dated a school teacher once and she claimed they have to hardest job. Working 9 months out of the year, having every holiday with a week for spring break, Thanksgiving and Christmas in the mix doesn't seem that bad to me.of course you are going to say " they dont get paid much". I say, work a full year like the rest of us. She was pulling in $60k which would be $90k full time.
Talk about bad customers. I have had them blame me for thr job dragging along because they can't pick the material to move forward or the material they ordered to save money hasn't showed up.
I am sure gunsmiths or dealers get more tire kickers and every ik ne is an expert because of some YouTube video they watched or in my case....HGTV and pinterest.....now where did I set my bourbon?
What does school teachers have to do with this thread? With all do respect, you may have missed the mark on your assessment on the difficulty of being a school teacher.

Most put in more than standard working hours a day, use their own money including mine to supply their classrooms and take abuse from students and parents way too often. And, 60K per year? That would be very lucky in our part of the country.

So, sorry for getting off track but I sure dislike when teachers, law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics…..are discredited and taken likely. My apology to the OP.
 

mtbullet1

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Dec 31, 2015
Messages
49
i assume a person is asking a gunsmith to build/do something because they cant do it themselves. That being said, find one you like/trust and live with the situation
 

dgkypke

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Elverta, Ca
You two are obviously good guys. What you are describing is the changed world we are living in. Businessmen and customers are all tired. You try, they try and it is still difficult. Lack of people that want to work, extended hours searching for inventory, more demand for communicating and some idea of a predicable outlook is a strain. Good of you guys to discuss the subject with respect for each other. LRH members are the best!
Well said!
 

bdlesh

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Mar 4, 2019
Messages
352
Location
texas
What does school teachers have to do with this thread? With all do respect, you may have missed the mark on your assessment on the difficulty of being a school teacher.

Most put in more than standard working hours a day, use their own money including mine to supply their classrooms and take abuse from students and parents way too often. And, 60K per year? That would be very lucky in our part of the country.

So, sorry for getting off track but I sure dislike when teachers, law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics…..are discredited and taken likely. My apology to the OP.
Sorry if this hit to close to home. You made my point for me.....thank you!
 

P7M13

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Orygun
Good point.....a teacher has no customers and is God in the classroom. They are more like dictators. Thanks for pointing that out!
Maybe the teacher you dated was like that. I have three siblings and one college friend who all received their teaching certificate, and none taught more than two years. All are in Corporate America instead, where people listen to what they say, don't talk back, and things make sense.
A neighbor back in Detroit received her teaching certificate in night school and quit her menial job. She did have a "power" issue, and a decided lack of common sense, like reaching over my fence to pet my attack dogs. In her first year as a teacher in the Detroit Public Schools, a student put her in the hospital with severe brain trauma. Lucky to have survived, she's been on disability ever since. Not an outcome I'd wish upon anyone.
But back to customer service, not a single teacher I had cared one lick about how "satisfied" I was with their methods or delivery. They were even worse in college. Every gunsmith I have worked with has cared a lot more than that.
 

Kmccord

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Nov 30, 2016
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873
Location
Reilly Springs, TX
To the op, I know what you are saying, you are paying for a service, it would be nice to have some customer service on your build. I had a custom rifle built and it was very good working with them, they are based out of South Dakota and I am in Texas. They answered all my questions and they heard from me every two months asking, are we done yet. They never gave me grief they were great, ordered in April and received it in October, however getting it hear was not an issue, but the Pawn Shop I had to use for the transfer was like dealing with what you mentioned.. My town is small, and the Pawn shop that carries the most in reloading supplies, the owners are as warm as a frog for talking to you about supplies or anything. I had to use them for the FFL transfer for that custom rifle, the very first thing out of one of the owners mouth was, I don't do emails, the builder must send me his information via fax must be a paper copy in his hand before that rifle ships or I will not accept it. This was a week before they planned to ship it, I called the builder and he was like okay, I don't have a fax machine.. I went back in and talked to the other owner (brothers) and told him about the transfer, he asked what is the email address I gave it to him he sent his FFL to them said it is done. I was like all that F**** ng hassle about not doing email talking with the other brother. The rifle arrived according to the tracking number, I called and got the brother that was a PITA about faxing FFL, he said I don't know, if it came in then we will look it over, did we know about it before it was shipped, if not we would refuse shipment.. At this point I was boiling and in my truck breaking speed limits to get there with fire in my eyes.. I told them they dropped this off according to tracking and you should have it, he mentioned yeah we received a rifle, they had already unboxed it and was in the process of throwing the boxes away... They did ask do you want the scope box that came with it, there was no paper work, blah blah.. I was like I want everything it came with, box and all... I paid them the transfer fee and was like never using them SOB again. Luckily, I found another FFL dealer in town and I don't have to send them anything and it works like it should be..
 
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