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Page AR-15 » AR Discussions
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Posted: 5/8/2003 4:59:30 AM EDT

I am pinning over a custom barrel order.  I ordered and 100% paid for the barrel in early February.  I was quoted a lead time of 6 weeks.  6 weeks roll by and nothing, so I e-mailed for an update.  He said the barrel was about done but still had to be sent off to be finished.  Well now we're approaching week 13, and still no update.  

How would you guys handle this?  Sit back and shut up, and when it arrives it arrives?  Politely ask for another update?  

I guess my business sense says he's over booked with orders and way under-estimated the time it would take him.  (always way over estimate jobs and make the customer happy when the product arrives ahead of time!)  I would just feel much better if I heard something from the horse's mouth instead of hearing nothing.  When I don't hear anything after weeks and weeks I begin to wonder about fraud, and those sorts of things...  This is not a well established household name gunsmith or corperation...

Link Posted: 5/8/2003 10:19:21 AM EDT
I am sorry I can't help you with your specific case, but I can tell you that this is a common occurance. In early December, I ordered a custom upper which I still have not recieved. I have talked to the smith and he is waiting on parts from his supplier. In other words he is facing the same problem at a different level. In late December I ordered two suppressed .22s. Nothing yet. In February I sent an upper away for some work. Nothing yet.

These waits seem to be the rule rather than the exception. I told one of these guys; I am glad this phenomenon seems to be just a gun related issue. If our whole economy operated like this, we would deteriorate into a third world country. Imagine ordering a cutting edge computer, only to have it delivered six months later. At that point you could buy the same machine used for 1/4 the price because it is now hopelessly outdated technology.
Link Posted: 5/8/2003 10:39:32 AM EDT
Well if he's legitimate and just swamped or a lousy in the planning dep't business person, you don't want to piss him off.  You might want to check on a weekly basis.  Ask for a status, and if he can't tell you where or what's happening ask for your money back and when he's actually ready to ship you'll pay him.  That should get him off the dime, he oughta understand that.

If you paid by credit card you might have some recourse, or dealing by mail with Postal Inspectors (theoretically - depends on what are other fish to fry)

If things are still honked maybe you oughta think of letting folks know his name, but supply an accurate description of the dispute.  When you ordered, what the agreed upon dates was and why in both your points of view he hasn't shipped.  But let him know that if you get what you paid for and it is special you'll give him some public attaboys (which increase his business and put him further behind)

Little late now, but you do have a written contract or estimate or something  don't you?  Then if you need to you can send a certified delivery confirmed letter, stating that having failed to meet the contract requirments and after having been given the opportunity to make things right, he has failed to deliver, ask for your $$ back.  If nothing at that point you have what you need for Small Claims Court.  This is probably way too small to get a lawyer involved, unless you have one in the family or one of those legal services contracts.
Link Posted: 5/8/2003 12:02:46 PM EDT
I saved all the e-mail corespondence from day one.  In that he states his terms and the "6 week lead time."  When I sent the Money Order I sent it with delivery confirmation, and kept all those papers too.  I am thinking mail fraud if it ever came to that, but I don't think it will.  Most likely he's working a full time job and doing this on the side...    

You're right I don't want to piss him off.  I came in contact with the guy here, so I am being carefull not to name names until I feel things have truly gone sour.  Right now I'd say I'm dissapointed in the lack of correspondence, but that's it.  I may try another gentle e-mail asking for an update.  

One word of advice to any and all business owners:  If you promise a delivery date, set it WAAAAAY long, then make the customer happy by beating that date.  Or at the very least hit the date by a week or two on either side.  If you see you're passing the delivery date and no end in sight, PLEASE re-advise the customer and let them know what's going on.  Communication communication communication!  It's a lack of comms that pisses me off the most.  OK hypothetical situation, you and the wife go out to dinner on a Friday night.  It's a well known restaurant with great food.  The hostess tells you the wait is only 10 minutes, but you see a bunch of people in the lobby already.  30-40 minutes later you're still waiting...  You might be a little agitated at that point?  BUT if the host tells you 30 minutes and seats you in 10-20 minutes you might be a little happier right?   Now what do you tell your friends about the restaurant???  

Link Posted: 5/8/2003 12:07:05 PM EDT

Some guys on here have been known to uproot their shop, move, re-situate and then get back to work.  Any possibily that might be it?

Does he have a website?

Sorry for your wait, but I bet there is a good explanation if he came recommended from here.

Link Posted: 5/8/2003 12:41:09 PM EDT
You really only have two choices. You bug the shit out of him so he will hurry and finish it to get you off of his back. Second choice is call every couple of weeks and be polite and suck it up. No matter how backed up he is if he wants to he can finish yours if he wants. Often it's the squeeky wheel that gets the oil. On the other hand he could be a jerk and do poor work to spite you. If it were me I would suck it up and after I get the barrel and make sure it is right I would go on every site you could find and flame him big time for the poor service. There is no reason in the world that he can't give you a call and let you know whats going on.
Link Posted: 5/8/2003 12:57:10 PM EDT
Join the club. I ordered an upper from one of the ABC's (it wasn't B and it wasn't C) in February, and was told it would be ready in 30 days.  30 days go by, no upper.  I call.  I'm told that nobody ordered any of the parts to make it, but they'd get right on it.  This time, they WOULD NOT give me an ETA, but said only they'd call me back to let me know when the parts were expected to arrive.  No one ever called back.  I waited another month.  Yesterday, I call again and am told that the whole thing was ordered wrong the first time (in-house, not by me), and that the product didn't even have to be special-ordered at all.  I was also told that I had been overcharged on my initial order and that my actual price would be about $25 lower than previously quoted (the only good news for 3 months on this thing).  My new ETA:  2-3 weeks.  Doing the math, that's FOUR MONTHS to get an upper which isn't even a special order.

I'll just be happy to get the damn thing at this point.  I've passed up so many other deals and fought temptation to just cancel and go w/ another mfgr so many times, that I think A owes me an award for patience and loyalty.  Good luck to you, watersniper.  You'll only get what you want if you go after your guy like a terrier.

Link Posted: 5/8/2003 1:37:47 PM EDT

The guy who does my barrels always takes at least six weeks. (IT&D) That's why I always plan on having that stuff done in late fall/early winter.

Guess you wouldn't want McMillan to do a custom stock for you,,,12-15 weeks minimum [BD]
Link Posted: 5/8/2003 5:32:06 PM EDT
Guess you wouldn't want McMillan to do a custom stock for you,,,12-15 weeks minimum
View Quote

OUCH!  I am resisting...  a direct reply to that.

I guess it comes down to the custom gun parts business operating with a "you'll get your sh_t when you get your Sh_t, shup up and sit down!" mentallity...  

I sent an e-mail tonight, we'll see what gives.  If it's going to take another 6 weeks, that's fine.  I'd just like to hear from the guy.. without me having to bug him about it.  He has a web site, and I haven't seen anything from him here for a while.  

On a lighter note, I will give a full review of the project once it arrives.  I have the upper, scope, etc. all lined up and ready to go.    
Link Posted: 5/8/2003 7:36:26 PM EDT
If ya'll think this is the rule rather than the exception, ya'll are taking the work to the wrong people.

I understand being backordered on parts, but that is the only excuse for this behavior.

If he's that busy, he would have known ahead of time and quoted you the proper delivery date.

Good Luck,
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 12:27:03 AM EDT
I waited 3 months for one barrel and 9 months to have a bolt rifle re-barrelled at Oly. I probably could have gone elswhere, but at a higher price.
Link Posted: 5/9/2003 3:39:42 AM EDT
This is typical gun smith marketing. If they told you how long it would really take no one would leave thier stuff to be worked on, let alone pay in advance.
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