Top 10 Annoying Customers Gun Companies Dislike Dealing With

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Rather than rate the best customer service companies in the industry, I thought I would turn the tables a little bit on customers. Most people tend to think of themselves as great customers, and while most of those people are right, there are many that are not. To say it bluntly, there are a lot of arses out there.

This list hits home for me, having tackled Customer Service in various forms over my career. While this is my top list of customer types I dislike, there are many more types that can drive anyone crazy.

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Those of you out there who have been in Food Service or been a full-time CSR, please add to the list!

Now, before we go on, its important to note that I take Customer Service very seriously. In my day job, we didn’t build a reputation for superior service and support by being arses ourselves. On the contrary, we try hard to listen and always exceed expectations. In all the cases we can, we go above and beyond all policies to make someone happy.

But, if you are one of the below, know you are ticking off the person trying to help you.

  1. The Yeller
    • We all know this guy. The one who thinks that by yelling and screaming they will be able to bludgeon a CSR or company into getting exactly what they want. Nope. The moment you start yelling is the moment we start tuning you out.
    • Pro tip: Its okay to be upset. Be polite and assertive, not an ass, and its amazing what stops a CSR can pull to get you squared away.
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  2. The Multiple Individual Questioner
    • We get it, not everyone knows how to search Google or understands the deep technical information that can characterize a specification, but pinging with multiple questions, one… after… another… is bound to tick off a CSR. We want to help you, but at the point in time our time is not respected, don’t expect long or detailed answers.
    • Pro tip: Get all your questions lined up and ask them at once. It helps companies be efficient and often get you detailed special attention as we all love talking about guns!
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  3. The Ask About Other People’s Products 
    • Kudos to you on doing your market research, but its not our job nor our desire to speak about others’ products. Unless its publicly technical information that we can easily compare, CSRs dare not make personal opinions on various products unless it is effuse with praise. Why? Most companies make good stuff.
    • Pro tip: Ask about publicly available specifications we can compare to. For personal opinions, hit up forums where you will find plenty of them.
  4. The Know-It-All
    • Chances are the CSR knows much more than you about guns and the products you are speaking on. We have been living and breathing it since it was first discussed by Engineering and knew it by heart prior to it shipping. Stop trying to feed us knowledge, as you are likely wrong.
    • Pro tip: If you are wanting to discuss detailed technical information, e-mails are best as often engineers are used to write responses. But, know that a lot of technical information is often considered proprietary.
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  5. The Unreasonable Demander
    • CSRs are trained and want to assist with your needs, but the unreasonable Demander is one of the worst. Often coupled with other attributes on this list, the Demander feels grievously injured by some small issue and go out of their way to make the company go out of their way. Often, the Demander puts requirements on companies for issues that were the Demander’s or a third-party’s fault. For example, they demand next-day air shipping after a ground shipment was held up due to a shipping company issue.
    • Pro tip: Companies will typically make an issue right. Give them the chance. Ask for the service, don’t demand it, and often the company can meet you most or all of the way.
  6. The Swears its Broken but Won’t let Us Fix It Guy (Or the “Give me Free Stuff” Guy)
    • Sometimes undistinguishable from the Demander, these are the bane of a gun company’s existence. The Broken guy is the one that will call (or e-mail) about “my XYZ is broken and its a piece of excrement…” When the company offers to take a look at it (and pay shipping both ways), they immediately demand replacements in advance, or extra goodies to “make up for their troubles”. When the company insists on seeing the issue in-person, they go berserk doubling-down on the charade.
    • Pro tip: When a firearm or part breaks, especially if it is a novel malfunction, let the company get it back. They will fix it and it helps them make the product even better. Its OK to insist on the company paying for shipping both ways, but asking for overnight shipping to and from Alaska is pushing it…
  7. The Swearing Guy
    • Unless one was a Drill Instructor and can weave cursing into a beautiful litany of syllables, we don’t want to hear your mastery of The Dark Side of English. In fact, we don’t deserve to hear it, not matter how angry you are.
    • Pro Tip: Give unto others and they will give unto you. In many companies, if you start swearing, policy allows them to hang up on you.
  8. The “I want to Speak to Someone In-Charge” Guy
    • Typically, most CSRs have the power to grant you all the things you are asking for. Immediately asking for a supervisor without giving the original rep a chance is just plain rude. Often, the CSR who picks up the phone is the supervisor.
    • Pro-Tip: Give the CSR a chance. Only ask for a supervisor if you hear “I need authorization” or similar and its not granted.
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  9. The Spread Bad Reputation Guy
    • Everyone has a right to air their opinion anytime, but this guy wants to use the opinion as a weapon. This guy leaps to the “I’m a big deal on XYZ forum and I am going to speak badly about your company and how badly you treated me”. CSRs try to treat everyone with the same respect and service. Ay Carumba… Most of the time, the Rep Guy is the one in the wrong and treating the company like garbage. Don’t worry, we saved that recorded call and e-mails…
    • Pro-Tip: Rather than lead with a stick, use the carrot and offer to say good things about the company’s service.
  10. The “Recency Effect” Guy
    1. Its a weird phenomenon, but people tend to assume that the part that arrived last when attempting to build a weapon is the part that is bad. It doesn’t matter that the bolt carrier or bolt is a cheapy, but since it arrived first and it looked to be good, the barrel they just bought is “out of spec”. Typically this person has no idea why they are having an issue and immediately want a replacement. This is compounded when their “gunsmith” (typically the buddy who has tools to build an AR) says its the specific part and “that he’s never had a problem before.”
    2. Pro-Tip: Listen and help the CSR troubleshoot the weapon system. With basic tests and tools, they can often zero-in on the problem and help you get it fixed, even if its not our part or fault. We can save you lots of time and headaches.

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Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • JK

    I try to treat everyone I deal with, with respect, even though the few Customer Service reps I’ve dealt with have been first week, part-time trainees. Still, I’ve had enough experience with beligerant customers to know that approach rarely provides a favorable outcome, especially from the other end of a phone line.

  • thedonn007

    It all comes down to treating others like you want to be treated.

  • Major Tom

    Customer Service Departments: Where Idealism Goes To Die.

    • I think everyone should spend some time in customer service.

      • David

        Kawasaki makes their Engineers do a stint on the assembly line, so they can see and experience first hand how the parts assemble, how practical – or not the part is to get to, how serviceable it is at the end user level and it makes for a better end result. I had a 1990 Kaw ZX11 for 16 years, and in those 16 years only 2 parts broke. A foot peg that I broke through ham fistedness, and a front lever brake light switch, that failed at 15 years, 9 months. Easily sourced, it’s on every single Kawasaki street motorcycle, to this day. ok 3 parts, I did burn out a few headlights, but to be fair they were high wattage headlights.

        • Phil Hsueh

          I think that more companies should do that, if engineers were forced to use and work on the thing they design I bet we’d have a lot of much better designed things out there. This may not necessarily apply to guns but it definitely applies to cars, motorcycles, and aircraft.

          • Cynic

            I making them see how retarded the designs they make are from a maintanance pov would be awesome!

        • tazman66gt

          Wish our Engineers and Supervisors at John Deere would spend a stint on the assembly line to actually understand what is going on at the shop floor level. Might solve an issue or three.

          • MR

            More like a backwoods service department, way out in the sticks.

          • MR

            Preferably at an unaffiliated shop, so they have to order in any non-standard parts, fittings, and filters.

  • UninfringedTech

    Thanks for this, Nathan. I’m thinking about writing a similar list for my Sprint full service and repair store for some comedy and stress relief. The one thing I’d add is the person who makes their problems seem to be yours. Like when you tell them they fubared their product, and what the unfortunate demise or expensive solution is, then they follow up with “but I use this product importantly for important reasons and most importantly can’t be without it” As if your empathy could suddenly earn the ability to manifest a free replacement from your ass just because of the importance. Like you were hiding solutions to begin with.

    Then when you ask “do you have a backup really important product for that super important role that you importantly perform” Of course not.

  • Nicholas Chen

    The yeller is on point. People are not eager to help people who are belligerent. My friend works as TSA and he often gets those people “Do you know who I am?” mentality. They get aggressive and hostile. Well guess what? They don’t pass thru quickly and efficiently.

    • Mystick

      So your friend uses his position of authority to float his own ego by making people wait and giving them a hard time if they don’t instantly kowtow and submit to his “authori-tay”?

      • TJbrena

        You know how some people hesitate jumping into a pool because you’re gonna be a little too cold when you first jump in? Imagine other people at this pool are behind you waiting for you to jump off the diving board so they can get in too. His unwillingness to deal with a short discomfort is holding up everyone else.

        When you let your irritation at a mildly unpleasant event get to you, and there’s other people in line behind you, you’re making it longer for yourself and everyone behind you.

        My experience suggests most TSA just want you to get through fast as procedure (and varying levels of competence in a job nobody wants) allows.

        When a Businessguy with around a dozen people behind him and in front of me starts yelling/scolding TSAguy about how he deserves special treatment and he makes more in two weeks than TSAguy makes in a year (actually heard this once and I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or despair that people actually say that), what do you think people behind him see? Or the people a dozen or more people behind him?

        I see a Tier-One Delta-bag who’s already far ahead of me in this line. And he’d holding up everyone, including himself, because he couldn’t deal with stuff the rest of us have to.

    • Rock or Something

      Not me, I do the exact opposite. I love giving the TSA extra work, especially if I see only one lane open and multiple TSA agents standing around. When I see that, I always opt for the pat down. If I’m standing around in long lines, might as well get felt up while I am at it.

      Not to mention the TSA almost had me arrested by Philadelphia’s finest because they claimed I didn’t declare a firearm when checking in a bag, even though one of them saw me put the inspection tag into the case and gave me the go ahead at the counter.

      • wzrd1

        I always give the TSA extra work, whether I want to or not.
        Invariably, I end up with an enhanced screening, never did figure out why. I guess it’s my face or something, I don’t pop an attitude or anything.
        Then, there’s my laptop bag, with all manner of peripheral (it weighs in around 28 pounds), which I automatically tell them it’ll be a hand check.

        If memory serves, it was 2009 when I ran into one TSA screener at PHL, who said, “Don’t you remember me?”, I wracked my brain, knew him but couldn’t place him.
        We talked every day at a gig at Pep Boys HQ office, where I had a gig. He was the door security guard. He about crapped himself when, after hearing screeching tires and a thud, I remarked about “the driver’s got a Pep Boys drivers license” and the CEO, who was behind me, laughed his ass off. He remarked how he hadn’t heard that one in years.
        Now, he’s a supervisor at the TSA at PHL.

        Hey, don’t you know who I am?
        No.
        Crap, I was hoping you knew, I forgot. Can I have my ID back so I can find out?

    • Bill

      “Do you know who I am?”
      “No, don’t you?”

      “Call me a lawyer!”
      “You’re a lawyer!”

  • dbhm

    There have been times where I was furious with the situation, and I said to the CSR that I know that it isn’t their fault XYZ happened and the situation is crappy.

    Personally, I try to be as courteous to them as I would like to have them be to me.

    • DeathFromTheShadows

      when I call customer support I’m usually ticked off, the first thing I do before I even state the issue is calmly tell them I am extremely upset, and KNOW it isnt their fault, and an trying my best not to take it out on them, and if I do please forgive me, its the circumstance of having to call that is the worst part. Letting them know that they are unfortunately just the one getting stuck dealing with the issue that you know isn’t their fault, but has caused issues for you will make them bend over backwards before you even start. It is acknowledging that their job sucks as much as the problem you have that takes it from an adversarial issue and makes solving it a team effort.

  • ComradeCole

    This was perfect, a million times yes.

  • Isaac Newton

    Totally agree with the list.

    On 6. If something is physically broken maybe a technique is to have the customer send good pictures/video…this should be enough for the engineers to figure out if there is any design problems (unless its a material defect).

    • Its amazing how often people yell at us for asking for photos as they think we are doubting the malfunction. On the contrary, we are just trying to understand it.

      • Isaac Newton

        Ya some people are difficult…Had the thought…what about an ap where one of the functions among others is “report a warrantee issue” and the person is required to send in a picture? Other features of said ap could be instructions manuals, amorous manual, ballistics calculator, round count tracker etc.. but main function would be for CS.

        • Joe Hathaway

          “amorous manual”??

          Definition:
          adjective: amorous
          showing, feeling, or relating to sexual desire.

      • DeathFromTheShadows

        All too often people don’t have the knowledge to take the type of photos needed or te malfunction has been cleared, so it becomes problematic to get out and induce it again, due to time. Although the one I get a kick out of is what happened to me once. I Ordered a Solar battery pack/ charger for the cell phone, it was supposed to come with 2 cables one to charge it via USB and one to connect it to one of the included plugs to fit the phone. The second the adaptor cable was missing. They asked me to send them a photo of the missing cable… Say What???

  • The_Champ

    Luckily most of my guns are over 60 years old so I don’t have to worry about service departments 🙂

  • David

    I’ve got 15 years in various roles of customer service – a field which 16 years ago, I told myself there’s no way I could do that job…. funny that.

    All of these are certainly correct, and there’s certainly more.

    1) there’s a variant of “I want to speak to someone in charge guy” called “The answer shopper”. This cousin of in charge guy verbally jousts with the CSR in a prolonged discussion and upon the end of the discussion and presumed resolution of the issue, escalates the issue through various paths of corporate high muckety mucks essentially until they get the answer they want to hear, whether that answer is inconceivable, divorced from reality or just plain kooky.

    Now that said, it’s only fair to point out that some segments of the firearms business foment these consumer characters.

    1) Only read from a script Guy – You’ve probably dealt with him at a cable company, or wireless telephone company call center, probably located in India. They took on this contract and through no fault of their own ( it’s their management team’s fault ) they have no practical experience with the product you’re calling about. As a result, they are reading from a script. if you step outside the script, CSR cannot help you. In other words, they can’t troubleshoot, only facilitate a warranty or service ticket.

    2) By the book guy / gal. This CSR looks for any possible reason not to help. Did you lube your pistol with only 2 drops of oil on the rear slide rail only within the last 150 rounds? Are you sure? what kind of oil was it? Motor oil is not gun oil and therefore unfortunately you gun’s warranty is void. We can look at it for a $280.00 flat fee plus shipping and any parts and labor cost….

    3) Too busy with Facebook gal. You spend 3 minutes with your relevant symptom explanation, including round count, malfunction interval all the while hearing the distinct sound of iPhone keyboard clicks in the background, when you finish, there’s an awkward silence and you get a request to repeat everything. When you finally connect, you get the “ok, so what can we do to help” response. F/B gal is too busy for your concerns.

    4) The hammer. You spend 15 unproductive minutes with Facebook gal, and ask for a supervisor, who tells you in no uncertain terms you are wasting his company’s time, no you can’t speak to a manager because he’s the owner and he doesn’t like you very much. No, as a matter of fact he doesn’t care that your AR malfunctions every 15 rounds, it worked fine when it left the factory and it was your fault it malfunctioned because YOU.

    5) It’s never happened before guy. You buy a gun. For the sake of argument and discussion, we’ll say it is something new and innovative like.. say… a Beretta Nano. Let’s hypothesize that you have some malfunctions feeding some ammo, get home, google it and find 7,800 hits with ‘Beretta Nano FTF’, including some discussions on forums with company social media types commenting on the issue. You call the company and are met with “wow, we’ve never heard of that”. Sure, it’s possible that the CSR lives as a hermit in someone’s back yard shed whilst writing their anti-technology manifesto, or that the person is truly poor and cannot afford internet access or any number of reasons.

    Or it’s possible that they do know exactly what you’re talking about and in fact have read some of the 7,800 hits and simply cannot or will not acknowledge the issue publicly. who knows, but it’s frustrating nonetheless.

    6) You suck, we hate you and no you cannot have our parts guy. This is not really the CSR, but there is someone, somewhere in the company infrastructure who thinks this is a swell idea. He had better not find out any CSR has sent out a part or that person is going on double secret squirrel probation!

    7) failing memory guy. This is the CSR who listens patiently, promises, promises, promises and you never hear back. They’re profoundly apologetic when you chase them down but cannot give you a meaningful update. be wary, requests to escalate could land you with F/B gal, or the hammer above.

    7) best reputation guy. no matter the problem or issue, it’s irrelevant because the ACME Widget Accessory company is the leading manufacturer of Operationally used firearm accessories by those operating operationally in the world. So there.

    Working in non-firearm related C/S, I see a lot of room for improvement in the way gun and accessory companies handle customer service. About 80% of the time, it’s stellar. Sometimes you get a CSR who is a user and knows a trick or has a few suggestions. Even if they don’t pan out for you, this is still great to have access to. Sometimes you get C/S that is peerless – I’ve had manufacturers ship me parts and spares, along with some tips on replacement, wear interval etc. I’ve had some companies call and email back for follow up well after the issue was “closed” between us. IT’s not all doom and gloom.

    But there are examples out there, and we all know some examples, where C/S from our hobby could improve vastly.

    From the consumer perspective, remember the CSR didn’t break your gun, probably didn’t make the gun, and is just trying to facilitate getting it fixed. Treat them the way you would want to be treated.

    • May we use the above as a guest post?

      • David

        I think so.

    • Mystick

      I made a fairly mundane purchase from a music supply company called “Sweetwater”… off of their eBay distributor, no less.

      So far I’ve received a separate letter and email thanking me for my ($10 XLR cable) purchase, a (cool) catalog I didn’t ask for but appreciate, and to really seal the deal, a phone call (with an English-speaking AMERICAN) asking me if I was satisfied with my purchase and again thanking me for doing business with them.

      Needless to say, I feel that should I have requirements to purchase musical or studio equipment in the future, I will be going through them – solely based upon the level of commitment they have shown to making me happy with what I bought and their company. I don’t know for sure, but I would imagine that same commitment would carry over into the customer service realm if there ever was a problem.

      More companies need to be like this.

    • Paul White

      The script thing may be company/contractor policy (not sure if most firearm companies do CSR in house or outsource). But I’ve got some call center experience and there’s plenty of them where deviating from the script can get you written up or fired.

      Oh, and that typing may be facebook/internet or they may be recording what they’re doing on the call. Calls are (I hope) usually recorded as well these days but I know most of them still have to manually enter call information into customer management software.

      • David

        Paul,

        Absolutely agree. The mandatory script may exist for a good reason, or many good reasons, but there’s a point at which the script isn’t working. You have to know this and disengage the script / escalate when this happens. Otherwise, you’re just wasting the customer and company time.

        background typing may indeed be a CSR following your explanation and taking notes, but not after repeating the whole explanation > 1 time.

        And… I completely forgot about Mr. “My thoughts are more important than your thoughts”. Usually, Mr. self importance hangs out in company meetings and conference calls but once in a while a company lets him interact with the public and chaos ( and sometimes hilarity ) ensues.

        A good friend and former coworker once told me “I never learned anything while I was talking”. Sound advice. Listening is part of good customer service. Not just being quiet while the customer talks, vents, opines or relays their life story, but actually listening.

        • wzrd1

          I work in high tech, that script does exist for a good reason, to save the higher tier technicians time that could serve those in need of their level of expertise.
          You don’t refer someone to a CCNP when an operator with a script can make sure it isn’t a bad cable.
          If you waste a CCIE’s time with a bad cable, heads will literally roll.

          • David

            The issue with the troubleshooting script is that it is improperly advertised and enforced at higher levels as the “bible” so to speak of technical resolution. This combined with an overarching pressure to close cases quickly equates to a lesser customer experience.

            Are scripts or troubleshooting guides useful? Yes. but they are not the end all, be all of problem resolution. There is a delicate balance to be struck between maximizing the efficiency of the specialists or higher level technicians and engineers and engaging the right personnel to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Too often, companies go too far in an effort to deflect C/S issues in order to trim budgets or play games with expenses and it may reflect in the short term. Quantifying the long term effects are difficult though, but a bad C/S experience sours a customer on the vendor’s ability or willingness to resolve issues, and that can definitely affect future sales.

            I think you illustrate a good point here though; how does the problem resolution for firearms, and accessories differ from Tech as it regards problem resolution?

            I think many of us in the C/S field will share common themes but Windows or linux software will not only require a different skill set for resolving issues than say an AK-47, but different approaches. This would be an interesting comparison.

            It is said that Doctors make the worst patients, and I’m willing to bet that many in customer service make the worst customers when we have to engage a vendor’s customer service team 🙂

  • Jeff

    Oh, they know more than the customer? Of course they should. BUT, I once called a big gun company (whose color is green and makes famous bolt rifles and pump shotguns) to ask about a particular version of one of their bolt rifles I was looking at on a dealer’s shelf, but which was not in the company’s catalog. The CSR had no idea what it was since it wasn’t in her copy of the catalog either. But there it was, sitting on the shelf with their name on it. Polite, but not useful at all.

    Same company – I bought a brand new autoloading shotgun, in which the link (a cheap sheet metal piece retailing for about $10) between the bolt and bolt spring broke during the first box of shells. No “authorized” gunsmiths in my state, so they wanted me to ship the entire gun back to New York in the middle of hunting season instead of just sending the $10 part, which I could install. I ate the $10, but soon sold the gun and bought a different brand that cost 2 or 3 times as much, and am very happy I did. I have since bought several other expensive guns by that second company.

    For some reason, I haven’t been buying many of the offending company’s guns lately. And I bet we’re all happier, but the competing company is richer.

    A single $10 part cost them at least a few dozen gun sales, perhaps many more.

    • DeathFromTheShadows

      I know that company quite well. I was factory trained by them. At one time you were not put on phone support unless you went through the same factory training as the Gunsmiths were. half of the class we had were CSRs, they had to do the same hands on we did. Then ownership changed, and an investment firm took over and tried to increase profitability, and the customer was separated from the professional gunsmith in order to limit liability issues and we got the trained csrs and the end customers got the script readers. Since they didn’t sell directly, they didn’t worry about telling the callers if an item that wasn’t in the catalog was available. However, had you gone to a professional you would have had better luck as they would have had direct access to the parts department and inventory that they have on hand as well as inventory stocking dealers have. This is pretty much the norm with the biggest companies, and the smaller ones going the exact opposite, knowing that excellent end customer service brings in and holds more and better customer loyalty. In other words its all gun world politics, and there are two parties… those who look out for themselves and those who look out for the customer. Fortunately it isn’t about quality, bad quality on it own, takes that company out of the running

  • You left out one.

    Insane Guy:
    He calls me up and tells me we sent him the wrong gun or ammo or whatever. I apologize profusely and ask him what he received. I discover it is exactly what he ordered. He insists that it is not the thing he ordered because the box color is a different shade of chartreuse or the muzzle isn’t cut at exactly 11 degrees or that the primer is the wrong weight. He sends me pictures that show he got precisely what he ordered. He gets angry and there is nothing I can do to convince him he got the right stuff. He disputes the charges on his credit card.

    • Good one!

    • Patrick R.

      You should get back to work Red, Insane Guy is holding on line one.

    • Cymond

      My wife ordered some metal rings in copper and aluminum. Both say 3/32 inch diameter in the title. When they arrived, they were different sizes and wouldn’t weave together. She contacted CS, and they eventually told her that aluminum and copper rings are never the same size due to the “springback” when wrapped around a mandrel.
      And she was right. It even says so in the fine print on their website. Yet, the title of the item did say 3/32 inch diameter. In a sense, my wife and the CSR were both right and both wrong.

      • This is exactly what I’m talking about!!!

        You got exactly what you ordered, but the CSR rep is wrong cause you didn’t read the fine print?!?!

        You’re insane.

  • ZF

    One that I run into a lot (I work food services) are the customers who always look down on you because of your job. They may not outright say it, but you can tell by their body language and tone they have an air of superiority.

    Not sure if gun companies have to normally face those people.

    • B.K.

      Completely agree….I started bussing at 16 and worked in restraunts from then on. All the way through college and up until the stars aligned and somehow managed to finish my BA at at 28. Aside from PF Changs I always managed to work at our popular local mom an pops. I actually enjoyed serving as a young kid,but as I got older I can distinctly remember my insecurities boiling over when the family member of a friend, or an old coach would be seated in my section. Looking back ofcourse it’s rediculous that I felt that way. The worst thing is when you start somewhere new. I had been a server for something like 5-6 years. Was finally tending bar and was doing well for a college kid. Applied and was hired at high falootin steak house only to be relegated to busser status all over again. I just realized my rant has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand. Apologies! Just read your post ZF and couldn’t help myself.

  • DIR911911 .

    don’t be the person that calls a restaurant to order and then asks what everybody wants once you get someone on the phone. you do that BEFORE you dial the phone. it’s like waiting for the delivery driver to show up and then you ask if he has change for a $100. too late , the time to ask was when you were placing the order.

  • Ryan

    I think all of these are great points and I try to practice them when dealing with anyone doing their job in
    any industry. One big thing that should probably be the first item on the list
    is waiting until you have the right person on the phone before you jump into
    your situation. I’ve been known to do this myself after waiting in
    some touch tone directory H3LL but explaining what is wrong with your product
    to the receptionist, billing dept., or warehouse employee who got your call
    does not help your cause. If you don’t know who you need to talk to, keep the description
    of your problem short so they can get you to the best person to address your
    issue (e.g. I’m calling about a broken X on my Model Y). This is going to
    shorten your time on the phone a lot more than starting in on what you were
    doing and how you were using the product when it functioned improperly.

  • Rock or Something

    Insightful article for all industries, not just for firearms. But I do have to complain about the frequent images, they were a borderline distraction.

  • Vitsaus

    #4 is my favorite. I’d say at least half of customer service issues in the field of firearms and accessories are due to user error: lack of understanding, lack of experience with the type of product, or even laziness. The last one often can be demonstrated by guys trying to install things with the wrong tools, trying to install or assemble things with out checking the instructions, or having some one else do it for them who is equally unqualified.

  • Ryan

    While everything listed above can probably be boiled down to ‘Don’t be a giant flaming A-Hole’ I don’t think we should have to coddle the people who are being paid to listen/deal with problems. Sure we should be respectful but we should be respectful to everyone we interact with unless given a reason to do otherwise. If your job is to field
    problems and facilitate a solution that satisfies a customer then: Sack Up and Do
    That! I’ve had employees who want to whine about some upset customer or worse
    they take it out on the next person/s they talk to on the phone.

    I hate calling in to customer service. I don’t want to sit on the phone with someone after working for 12 hours and guess what… It’s your job to deal with annoying people. If people weren’t annoying and they knew exactly how to articulate their point in concise
    articulate terms you wouldn’t have a JOB!!! You are being paid to turn lemons into lemonade so if the person on the other end of the phone is mean, uninformed, or smarter than you… get over it or choose a different line of work.

    Ultimately I completely disagree with the title of this article “Top 10 Annoying Customers Gun Companies Dislike Dealing With” it should read “Top 10 Annoying Customers Gun
    Company Employees Dislike Dealing With”. The companies wants to produce a
    product and to take your money for the product. They would love nothing more than for their product/s to work perfectly every time and not need CSRs.

  • Kyle

    As someone who is calling a vendor later today to ask where the hell my stuff is I was amused by this. Should I just start at #1 and work my way down the list until I get what I want?

    /I’ve also worked in the service industry in both retail and restaurants so I’m just joking. Seriously though I want my stuff and they have not even mailed the stuff 2 weeks after ordering. What the hell?

    • Rick5555

      Sounds like Palmetto State Armory. At least PSA, does provide a disclaimer or announcement on their web page. Stating, when item(s) ordered, can take up to 15 days for delivery. And explain, uppers are made to order. So you at least know before hand, when ordering.

      • DeathFromTheShadows

        Ive never had issues with PSA… but you do have to remember with most high volume AR builders DO build on demand… and PSA is one of the fastest

  • Edeco

    So I didn’t catch the name of the company you’re with, Mr. S…

  • Charlie

    This article is spot on. I’ve worked in the firearms industry for 8 years in various capacities, but mostly in customer service. I have a saying that perfectly fits “The Unreasonable Demander:” If you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll want you to suck his d***. I once had a guy complain that the coupon he printed out and brought from home to receive 10% off of ANY firearm in our store used too much ink and demanded that we give him a deeper discount to compensate him.

    • Dan

      I hope you slapped him, if not name ans address i will go and slap him. He doesn’t even deserve the honor of being punched.

  • Paul White

    I’ve got one: someone that calls into your call center….and won’t believe you when you tell him you’re not HP/Social Security/Dominos/WIC/Sony/whatever.

    That was a daily occurence back in my phone days. Some of them would call back 3-4 times (we were a small center), before eventually giving up. It’s like….no, I can’t give you those numbers because we don’t have the number for every possible agency/company and we can’t use the regular internet. I don’t miss those days

  • iksnilol

    I would be kinda delighted to be chewed out by a Drill Instructor.

    I always like watching professionals do their thing.

  • Bj

    Here is one, generally the guy working in a shop doesn’t give 2 s**ts about every gun you have ever owned. The fact you bought a 870 in 1987 and its nice doesnt pertain yo the task at hand. Keep on topic.

    My biggest peeve is the guy who interejects into a sale with another customer and talks out of his ass.

    • Bill

      Everyone’s an expert, just ask them.

      • Jon

        Especially the guy behind the gun counter!!!!!!

        • Jason Lewis

          Kills me when I’m looking and hear the guy behind the counter tell the customer some b/s. I’ll still keep my mouth shut unless he ask me my opinion.

    • DeathFromTheShadows

      LOL Ive sold more firearms for idiots blowing sales because they didn’t know what they were doing, most often resulting in job offers, to which I simply reply “train your employees” This has always happened in gun shops that I am a regular customer, and have a vested interest in, due to on going good deals on everything I purchase there… its a take care of me and I’ll take care of you situation.

  • ozzallos .

    I thought this was “The Firearm Blog”, not “random BS that plagues every customer service industry everywhere”.

    Slow news day is slow.

    • Or, as a blog, we are OK to “blog” on something, not just report on the latest industry goings.

      But, if someone does not like the occasional entertaining piece, or lacks the ability to discern its meant for entertainment, so much to them.

  • UCSPanther

    Could be altered into a generic list of obnoxious customers for any business/industry.

  • Cal S.

    I need to write a book: “‘Good Customer Service’: Service for Good Customers.” Over the years I’ve had a few working both food service and banking.

    Food service:

    The “I’m going to create an artificial failure in customer service so I can get free stuff” Lady:
    She orders her food, asks about another type of food with a similar name so I re-confirm the food she first ordered is the food she wanted. She gets mad and condescending until she gets her food. She then says her food is not the right food that I mis-heard her and wants this other food that is nowhere close to the food she ordered first or even asked about. To take the cake, she then demands a free coupon for her…inconvenience…

    Banking:
    The “Will you commit a felony for me so that I can haz muh money sooner?” Guy/Gal:
    Let’s just sum this up by saying that between onerous federal regulations and company policies, there’s a five and a half dozen ways working as a banker can get you fired/jailed for what you do or even what you SAY on a daily basis. Asking Joe Blow on the street to rob someone at gunpoint for you would be considered taboo in most circles. That is, unless you’re a customer asking the teller serving you to forgo certain paperwork for your own personal benefit. The punishment is the same in either case. Except with the latter, the customer can’t be charged for their part in the crime.

    It’s both shocking and saddening how many people treat CSR’s like they’re less than dirt. They wouldn’t treat a dog the way they do a CSR, but it’s totes justifiable because their fries were half a degree cooler than they wanted them.

  • Brian M

    I got two more from my time as tech support.

    The Witless Wonder:

    This guy can and will find every single possible way to be more stupid than thought possible. Has a deathly phobia of manuals, searches, and common sense. Will absolutely come in with some sort of problem nobody has ever heard of before but it will sound grave. Fortunately, all that’s needed to fix these problem 9/10 times is doing something that anyone with half a brain in their head would do before they screamed about it being borked.

    I had one lady eat my time for a good 30 minutes between coming to the desk, asking for help, and going back to the computer lab to try again at least three times. Ultimately, I just followed her and discovered her “inoperable computer” problem was caused by her failing to realize the KEYBOARD AND MOUSE of a DESKTOP are not just for show and that the computers at the college are not touchscreen.

    For a gun example, I once was lane neighbors to a guy with an AR15. And he would call the RSO look at his gun every time it didn’t go bang, which happened, a lot. Every time he ran a magazine dry and hte bolt locked open, he’d call for help because his gun had “jammed”. Another memorable instance involved a guy trying and failing to rack an M1911 with the safety on. By far my favorite of all must be the time Nutnfancy’s kid epic failed at loading a Garand.

    The Quizmaster:

    This guy has a problem and it’s so urgent he’s sure the ripples from it have traveled through the aether and delivered a comprehensive report through your chakras. It’s just that he’s so sure you must’ve seen his exact problem a million times and have telepathic powers that he wants to play a game with you by testing your psychic skills. the only way he knows how: by telling you the bare minimum information and leaving out as much as humanly possible.

    I saw a few at the help desk. The most memorable one demanded to know why her computer wasn’t turning on. Cue 15 minutes of confused exchanges until she seethed that it was working just fine until the lights went out in her house, but she didn’t see why that had anything to do with it.

    On the firearms front, I had a friend tell me about this guy who went shooting with him, went home, cleaned his guns, went shooting again, and then called him up to say his rifle jammed after every shot. Following a fruitless phone conversation, my friend went over to his place and had a look at the gun in question. He solved it in 5 seconds flat through the magic of opening the gas regulator on the guy’s L1A1.

    Anxiety Guy:

    His gun’s broken! Okay, maybe not yet, but it will be. You see, he did this thing and it made this noise and then he did these other things and it made some more noise and something moved and he thinks it’s okay now, but it could blow up on the very next shot if it just doesn’t go off for like no reason without even any ammo in it.

    At the help desk, I had someone bring in a laptop for running slowly. They didn’t know what was wrong with it, but it was running slowly after having been run nonstop for 6 weeks with a half dozen Youtube tabs open, three different games, a long Steam download queue, and a GDoc containing all 85,000 words of their novel. The computer was working at top speed again after a quick restart and advice to not run so much at once.

    In the gun world, my friend actually was worried about my Mosin locking up, blowing up, or sending the bolt through his eye. Despite having fired a clip through it, he is convinced it’s a death trap.

    • Cymond

      Counter-point to Anxiety Guy:
      My first car was a 98 Oldsmobile Cutlass. It had numerous mechanical problems in the time I drove it, including replacing 3 front wheel bearings. Anyway, I kept hearing this weird rattling noise coming from the right rear of the car. Across several months, I took it to 3 different mechanics who couldn’t hear the noise. Eventually, the car was in the shop for some other problem when they discovered that a few of the springs supporting the right rear axle were cracked, and it was just a matter of time until the others failed. If the spring had completely given out, the car body would have slammed down onto the tire. It’s a scary thought considering I was driving 300 miles/week on the interstate at the time.

  • yvette99

    You forgot the “I just spent a significant chunk of the time I have left here on Earth giving my life history to your obnoxious IVR system just for the dubious pleasure of talking to a rep who is going to treat me like a complete moron, only to have the rep tell me that they don’t have access to the IVR info and I have to give it to them all over again” guy.

    • We, at least, do not have an IVR. We answer our calls personally or in the instance we are all on a line, call back from voicemails.

  • JamesRPatrick

    CSR1: Okay I’ve recorded your account info and issues on my report, let me just give you this reference number so that the next CSR can help you after I transfer the call.
    CSR2: May I have your account information?
    Customer: I have this reference number…
    CSR2: I’ll just need to get your account info and then we can get started figuring out where you’re having issues.

  • Rick5555

    There are some gun manufactures/accessories companies. I will do business with, even if their product is more….solely due to the excellent customer services. A lot of accessories I purchase from Primary Arms…because they have exceptional customer services, their prices are in range or cheaper than their competitors……………………………………………………………..
    One industry which deals with horrible customers/patients…is the Healthcare Industry. I’m a surgeon and always under time constraints. I work at a large level one trauma hospital in Nashville, TN. Being an attending, I only see patients in my office on Tues.for follow-ups, appointments, etc. I’ve had enough patients inform me, that I’m incorrect and don’t know what I’m doing. The patient comes these conclusions, because they (patient) read all about on the internet. Hence, the patient obtain their source of information via, you tube, google or even better…via Wikipedia. So I guess my 14 years of schooling (after HS) is useless. Or when I get a nurse, who does have good medical knowledge. Who tells me, I should do this or that. I mentioned the city and type of hospital for a reason. I’m employed at Vanderbilt University, Medical Center. It’s a hospital that has an excellent reputation and has won prestigious awards and accolades. Therefore, a hospital like a Duke, Sloan, Cleveland Clinic, Vanderbilt, Johns Hopkins, et. al. Is going to hire the best candidates, And that’s in all areas of employment. And yet, we still get patients, who thing they know better than us. If that’s so, then why seek out help? Patients are customers per se. And I treat all my patients as a person. And don’t see them as an interesting case/subject. Which some physicians do see patients in that manner. It’s why they have poor bedside manner. But an excellent and talented physician. In todays world, that isn’t enough. One must be compassionate and reflect some sympathy for their patient. And then you damn best to get that patient better. So, sometimes a patient/customers behavior is warranted. Which goes for all industries. However, I’ve found quality customer services is a win win for all parties. Treat people, as you would like to be treated. It will get you further than you realize. Companies rely on repeated business as much as obtain new business. Hence, a company usually goes above and beyond to keep you loyal to them. Its a simple and very useful business model, designed to ensure the success of said company. Some companies need to learn this or else they eventually go out of business. .

  • For very large companies, correct.

    Where we work, the CSR is typically our Operations Manager, our Floor Manager, or me as Director, depending on who can answer the phone or e-mail. In our case, when you talk to someone, we can take care of an issue.

    For the record, I HATE Time Warner Cable’s “customer disservice” as well.

    • DeathFromTheShadows

      You obviously have never worked anywhere else, as what you just describes is NOT a true Customer service department, it is just a handful of people who handle issues. Its situations like this, claimed but missing knowledge, that turn off so many TFB readers. However before you take this as a rant, I will give you this compliment You are the first “Staff Writer” that I have run across that has taken the time to respond, with reasonable comments and not flames, when responding at all, to readers comments. And while I don’t agree with all your comments in this article, your replies, makes me put more faith in your stance than any of the other authors on TFB. And trust me, that is a substantial thing due to the internets epidemic rise of self important self proclaimed experts. Expertise shows through, not just in content, but in actions, and for your actions, I tip my hat.

  • That’s awesome service. Glad some companies can provide it!

  • M

    Anyone remember the Spikes Tactical fiasco with the insane customer?
    He claimed his lower was out of spec and Spikes promises to make things right with him and to just ship the lower back.
    He then goes paranoid and chops his own gun up thinking they’re the ATF boogeymen trying to make him commit a felony by shipping guns.

  • Dan Atwater

    I’ve been selling guns for a few years now and the vast majority of my customers I used to deal with were just fine. Sometimes great.

    I could get pretty long-winded here talking about some of the crap I’ve seen and dealt with, but I’m gonna keep it to one right now:

    People who get angry with me about having to fill out a form and wait for the results of a background check before I can transfer the gun to them. It’s even worse now since I moved to a different state and I have to explain to people who have lived here their whole lives (where I’ve lived here four months and actually bothered to research the law before I moved), almost all of whom have bought guns before, how the process works. People are always complaining, as if this is some new policy that I just made up on the spot, just to inconvenience them. And then they get irate when I won’t transfer the gun to them before the check goes through, which would be pretty damn illegal, and I could go to prison for it, but hey. They feel inconvenienced and it’s my fault anyway, right? Maybe I SHOULD go to prison.

  • Jim_Macklin

    The illiterate guy who can’t read the manual RTFM and insists they know all about it.
    When they send an email, they can’t spell the words or put them in a coherent sentence.
    My favorite gun help question… I took my Ruger MK I apart and now I cant pull the bolt back…:-(

  • Guy working behind the counter

    Another missed one.

    The claiming discrimination after failed background check guy:
    Gets denied by the state police then claims it’s our fault. Followed by racist slurs, claims to discrimination do to his tattoos and skin color. Then proceeds to talk over our explaining that we have no part in the denial by calling us punks, racists, more racial slurs then threatens to go purchase a gun elsewhere to bring back and shoot us. Upon being kicked out he decides to broadcast even more ignorance before walking out. Upon his visit to the state police to inquire, he is picked up do to our calling about the threats. Brought back to apologize/ be banned from our gun shop forever, at which time it comes to light that the induvidual has out standing warrants in another state.

    • Bill

      I swear one of the larger LGSs near me should have a substation for the Gang Unit.

    • DeathFromTheShadows

      Ive seen the exact opposite and it makes me laugh. The states Largest volume handgun dealer is about 20 minutes from my home. over half of their customers are Law Enforcement, they have one of three indoor ranges in the southeast quarter of the state. I’ve lost count of how many times Ive been in there when someone was trying to make a straw purchase. They honestly have the local atf office on speed dial. every time Ive seen the attempt they called it in and it got so I got to know the ATF crew by face. Well recently the lost an UNLAWFUL law suit by two cops who were shot by handguns that were legally sold by them, that fell into the hands of felons. There is no record as to how the felons obtained them, be it via an untraceable straw purchase, theft, second party sale or what have you, in short, the felons didn’t buy the handguns from them, nor any proof that the person(s) that did intentionally delivered them to the felons. Yet a jury found the dealer guilty of delivering the firearms to felons. with no proof of them doing so. YET there is a federal law that states a dealer can not be held for the actions of a customer, which is exactly what has happened since the original sale was lawful.

  • Guy working behind the counter

    Just some others I thought of:

    The “which gun is deadliest” person
    Self explanatory

    The “slang gun shopper”
    That deuce deuce with the extendo jank and da beam

    The “call of duty gun expert”
    Self explanatory

    The “unattended children at the gun store”
    Self explanatory

    The “why don’t you know my states laws even though you live across the U.S.”
    if I had a law degree I probably wouldn’t be working at a gun store. Not to mention the fact that different states have different gun laws.

    And finally…

    The “walk in reeking of weed or alcohol”
    Please just don’t…

  • Nashvone

    One thing I can side with the CSRs on is that when I am on the receiving end of a tech support call, I have no idea what the abilities of the caller are. In order to figure out what may be wrong, I have to ask elementary questions. All too often, that leads to several of the examples listed in the article.

  • FightFireJay

    Don’t forget the guy that NEVER called customer service.

    The “Never gave ’em a chance” guy:
    Guy – I bought gun XYZ and it never shot right, so I sold it.
    me – That’s unfortunate, what did XYZ company say when you called customer service?
    Guy – …
    me – Did you give them a chance to fix it under warranty?
    Guy – No, why bother? I just sold it for half what I paid for it, someone else problem now, haha!

    • COL Bull-sigh

      I was that “someone else” who bought a like-new-in-box Mossy 835 Security 12 for $200 (List $495). The seller thought it was beyond repair because it sometimes double-fed. I did a little research and learned that some of the 835’s were shipped with the Model 500 extractor and interrupter. I bought it and immediately called Mossberg. They apologized profusely and sent the parts for free. Two years later I am still enjoying my $495 12 Ga. for $200!

      • That’s how you get a bargain on lots of stuff. Saiga 12s that the guy bought weak ammo for, paintball guns out of adjustment. I used to specifically search ebay for “stupid broke autococker” or similar and get $800 paintball guns with accessories for ~$50+ shipping.

  • Cymond

    I try to be a good customer, I really do, but sometimes CSRs just aren’t helpful. I think my #1 pet peeve is when I email a company and the CSR clearly doesn’t even read my problem.

    At one point, I was trying to pay my credit card online, but the “make a payment” link/button was *gone*. It was not there. I read through the FAQ and searched the forum before writing to CS. I politely and clearly explained that the “make a payment” button was no longer present. Their response? A copy-paste of the FAQ telling me to press the “make a payment button”. It took 2 more emails (and a bit of caps-lock “yelling”) before someone actually wrote a response.
    I’m currently having a similar problem. We lost a small piece from our modular couch during a recent move. I know the couch model number, but I cannot find the part number or the assembly manual. I wrote to CS asking for help and explained the situation. Their response wants the part number, the instruction manual reference number, and a photograph of the damaged part. It’s not even damaged, it’s just lost!

    • uisconfruzed

      Gun companies seem to do a better job serving their customers.

      • BigFED

        That is becasue they want to do a “bang up” JOB!!! 😉

    • DeathFromTheShadows

      LOL I was trying to order a reprogramming chip for one of my vehicles and the website was missing the order link. So I went to tech support and reported it. The web master came back and said it was there and there was no issue, in about a half hour, SO I retried it and nothing. I switched computers same thing. The next day I tried at the office, going over a government server, same thing. So I reported the results. the idiot webmaster told me I was to stupid to purchase their product. Well, having the access to the resources I did, I obtained the CEO’s email address both corporate and personal, and sent him the transcripts of all contacts with the web master as well as video of the secondary attempts to order the part. I also faxes the transcripts to his office. it took 3 months to get the issue fixed but it was done by a different web master, (the webmaster’s email address was the giveaway) meanwhile the State’s largest off road club dropped this company’s products from the recommended list and replaced them with their competitor When it comes to Customer Service, you never know who you are dealing with, or how far their reach can go, in this instance an employee AND the owner (who happened to be the CEO) dropped the ball, and cost the company the potential sales of over 10000 pieces directly and an unknown number through word of mouth down the road. Customer Service is the number one point in advertisement

  • BrandonAKsALot

    “Chances are the CSR knows much more than you about guns and the products you are speaking on.”

    Have you spoken to CSR’s at most places? Your company is different because you address everyone here and you know your product. Most companies use a tier system with CSR’s. Generally the first line is people who literally know nothing, read from scripts, and have a computer to answer general questions, next would be the people who are actually slightly familiar with the product and can sort of help and answer general questions through their knowledge. You’ll then get to people who have a basic working knowledge of the product(s) and can actually help for the most part. Engineering is usually after that.

    This is not just firearms, but most places operate this way and I understand why. There are people who call repeatedly over every insignificant thing imaginable. Having a line of defense to weed them out from people with legitimate issues is a necessity even if it is frustrating to go through the “have you tried turning it off and on again” steps when you know you have a real problem. If there is an office/store front, those frequent callers will be there to ask those questions and taking up everyone’s time over a problem they could have resolved over the phone in 30 seconds.

    I have worked in customer service all my life and you get all kinds of interesting stories from doing so. My favorite is, “I don’t understand what’s going on, so I’m angry”. It’s simple things like, “why does this archaic product not exist anymore! I want it because I’m used to it and I’m the only person still using it! I hate you because the company doesn’t make it anymore!” and this is a legitimate issue I have recently encountered: I had someone order a roast beef poboy (yes, I’m in Louisiana) and was absolutely furious because she has sliced roast beef on her sandwich. I’m talking full on rage. When I asked what the issue was, I was told “this is sliced roast beef. This is NOT what people want when they order a hot roast beef sandwich!” Apparently she wanted actual beef roast or pot roast on her sandwich which is not what you you get anywhere. Her husband was also angry because he had beef tips and two of them were not fully cut apart. He asked me if I would eat it and of course I would, but I ignore the asinine question and just apologized.

  • RantGirlRants

    Self-Entitled Guy:
    He usually starts out with how disappointed he is, that he’s a stockholder and he expects better, etc. etc. Totally expects CSR to bend over backwards and give him everything he wants plus extras the “normal” people don’t get due to his being a stockholder. Basically a sub-set of the Unreasonable Demander.

  • Michigan TrainingCounselor

    As a lifelong shooter, now many years a firearms safety instructor, I have owned many, repaired or sporterized some, and once I had one fail. Smith & Wesson sold me an early .22 airweight. Years later the frame cracked below the barrel. When I contacted S&W, they were concerned to see the firearm, assured me that if what was described was correct they would make it right. Another part of my good shooting sports is Cabellas, and they offered to send it to S&W for me. Cabellas did that as a customer service. S&W made clear that they valued seeing how the firearm frame failed, so they could assure it the problem was not widespread. Then they offered me a replacement firearm, and as a courtesy, offered an upgrade at a minimal cost. Which pleased me very much.
    They went so far past just making a product defect right, that I tell folks with some frequency how well they handled it. If you imagine that manufacturing in quantity can occur without defect, you are wrong. If you believe that American manufacturers want you to be pleased with purchasing their products you are right.
    So on your list, I aim for the reasonable customer with a brief factual description of an actual problem. Works great.
    ~Training Counselor

  • Slobberjaw

    Good article. Found I am guilty of at least one of these things without realizing it :/

  • Don Ward

    Top Ten Annoying Companies Firearms Owners Have To Deal With would be a better post.

    • DeathFromTheShadows

      “I don’t have a “supervisor”, Do you own the company? “no” Then you will get me your supervisor, or I will call corporate and you will be fired for harassing customers because I am recording this call as well, “One moment please” “How may I help you” Is this the supervisor? “she is on break right now” This is her boss GET HER NOW “Yes sir”… happens all the time.

  • Bill

    Them: “I want to speak to your superior.”
    Me: “I have no superiors, and few equals.”

  • raz-0

    “We want to help you, but at the point in time our time is not respected, don’t expect long or detailed answers.”

    Folks who dwell at the far end of a labyrinth of voice menus full of options that 99% of people calling have no use for followed by 20 minutes or more of on-hold queues REALLY, REALLY shouldn’t be talking about respecting people’s time. Not even a little.

    “Chances are the CSR knows much more than you about guns and the products you are speaking on.”

    Uhm… that really depends. Small shops? Definitely, but half the time the guy you are talking to is also engineering and 4 other departments. The big companies? People trained by someone other than marketing on the product line up really tend to be tier 2 or higher support, and tier 1’s goal is to keep you form talking to them.

    “Typically, most CSRs have the power to grant you all the things you are asking for.”

    For shooting related stuff, I’d say that’s about a 50-50 chance, which is way better than the CSR average in general, but many of the bigger places have tier 1 script monkeys operating form the standard CSR play book of running interference for any form of escalation regardless of having anything resembling a solution.

  • Leigh Rich

    Cobra Firearms had good customer service. Always answers their phone. Never e-mail. They Can’t seem to get the firing pin parts made to get my warranty returned 45 Patriot working since May 2014..Looks line maybe 2015?

  • Kivaari

    A customer came in the day after hunting season ended, demanding his money back. He said the bullet comes out of the bore, drops 7 inches and blew a hole in his truck. I asked how it did at 100 yards, and he said it shot fine. I asked, Are you telling me the bullet comes out of the barrel, drops the re-stabilized and hit where he aimed. Well, that’s what happens. These guys want to “rent” a gun for the season. I told him, don’t BS me, I’d buy the rifle for $150, would that be OK? Yep, that was just fine. I’d given him more if he hadn’t lied to me.

    • Zebra Dun

      Heard in a gun store before hunting season, “If I buy this rifle and don’t kill a deer I’m bringing it back, will you give me my money back?” gun store owner, “If it won’t kill a deer I’ll buy it back but for less than you paid for it, I mean after all…it won’t kill deer.”
      Novel answer to a dumb ass question.

      • Kivaari

        I like it. Not enough to open another store, but I like it.

    • DeathFromTheShadows

      We had one guy come in with a pre 1921 savage 1899 in 300 savage (YES a first year run) and wanted it drilled and tapped for scope mounts, between the casehardening and the work hardening of the rear bolt lug in the receiver, from the bolt hammering it the rear mount holes had to be spot annealed and even at that, destroyed a handful of carbide drills and taps. the job took 3 hours at close the night before opening morning of Deer season, when we normally are packing our gear and loading the truck to travel 300 miles to hunt ourselves. This customer brought his own scope, rings and mounts , purchased from a competitor, and was extremely upset at a 25 dollar fee for drilling tapping, mounting and bore sighting including tax. We finally told him to take his crap and get the hell out and don’t come back. At 25 bucks, not counting our time, we lost 15 bucks due to burned out bits and damaged taps due to the hardened metal of the receiver. Had he not waited until last minute, we would have spot annealed with a red hot plug drilled a short bit inserted a rod and heated the rod yellow and let the heat transfer, drilled more, repeat and then turn a plug with heavy rod to sit on the receiver itself and kept that hot long enough to fully anneal, between other jobs so there wouldn’t be lost time

      • Kivaari

        The sign at most gunsmith’s shows the customer saying, “If I wanted it done tomorrow, I would have brought in tomorrow”. O had quite a few rifles come in from Walmart that were drilled off-line. They came with package deals using the cheapest bases and rings and scopes without adequate adjustment range to “fix it”. They would be pissed at me for not being able to make their rifle get on target. Another favorite was the “package deal” where using the provided mounts and scope, it couldn’t be assembled thanks to the tube being too short, or too low so the bolt hits the rear bell. They wanted me to give them credit for the junk so they could afford the stuff I had recommended earlier. It’s a never ending cycle.

        • DeathFromTheShadows

          a dremel, lamp black, acraglas, a little modeling clay and 2 piece weaver bases, find which base is correct, open the other base up, glass it with the lampblack to color the acraglas using the scope and rings as a guide and the clay to hold the acraglas in place. when it is set bore site it and end it on its way. The glas acts to fill the gaps and will hold up to a 30-06 recoil. Ive done this on a personal 8mm mauser someone screwed up hat I picked up for a song. it was supposed to be just for one season, ended up being ten before I had a chance to get around to mig wlding the holes and redriling them

          • Kivaari

            Oh, I can fix them. They seem to think Friday night before the opener is adequate time to do it. Many think bore-sighting is all they need. When I tell them bore sighting, using a bore sighting tool (not the better ones today) takes out the gross error. Sometimes it is right on the money. I’ve stunned myself a few times, compensating for drop, and had perfect 100 yd. hits. It sure is nice. If I am at the range and I see people fumbling, and they have a good shooting rest, I show them the one shot zero. It takes either a fixed, anchored rest, or a really solid shooter holding the rifle while another person turns the adjusting knobs to coincide with the one hole. It is a real ammo saver and fast. Then with a similar rest, doing a real bore sighting. Looking down the bore at the target, and moving the crosshairs line up. I’ve never had it come right on, but it gets it on the paper. Today some of the laser systems are great ammo savers. People don’t understand the basics of doing iron sights. Put a high power parallax adjustment on the rifle and almost every time I see them set it on 100 yds. Get zeroed, then when they are done they turn the adjustment to infinity, “That makes it work at all ranges”. When you tell them how it is supposed to work, they get a blank look on their faces and don’t get it. Tell them to follow the directions in the manual, and that’s too much work. Those are written at high school level, but too many read at 5th grade level. Our training materials for the state had to be written for a 5th grader.
            Seeing $2000 scopes on a $2500 rifle in off-brand Chinese rings that I throw in the trash. Then they wont follow directions when you get them into high quality mounts. “This scope is junk”, and it’s a Mk6 Leupold.

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            I hear ya. the one I used to scream about is the Burris scopes of the seventies and they would try to use weaver mounts and rings. The scope had exceptional elevation adjustment, BUT at the cost of limited windage, so it needed a windage adjustable base and invariably it was “a bad scope” because it wouldnt get on the paper.

  • DeathFromTheShadows

    “Typically, most CSRs have the power to grant you all the things you are asking for. Immediately asking for a supervisor without giving the original rep a chance is just plain rude. Often, the CSR who picks up the phone is the supervisor.”

    WRONG So WRONG this one is pure Bovine Feces at the best! As companies have multiple CSR’s they all wont be Supervisors, in fact the phone rep is the bottom of the list of the Customer Support column. The Supervisor will be over those who actually do the hands on work, Further NO phone support personnel will be able to give you what you want with the sole exception of messed up sales issues where what you ordered is not what you got.

  • Zebra Dun

    The only problem I ever gave a gun smith was pronouncing his shops name wrong.
    He was finally spelling it out for me LOL but we got on just fine and they did an excellent job on my Colt Lawman.

  • J S

    I think its funny that you think the lowest wage earner in a “customer service” job is competent to give advice..
    whats the next joke, computer repair and home security advice from Comcast?

  • Rick A

    I’ve had a few minor issues with new guns. A couple I fixed myself at the expense of just a few dollars. The one sent back had a minor cosmetic issue requiring fitting that was best left to the manufacturer. It was handled professionally and promptly and they went above and beyond what I expected from them.

    Having been in retail too long it’s easy to deal with such minor things. If you ask nice most of the time you get nice responses.

    My favorite “issue” was a customer complaining that his pistol dinged his brass. He demanded the manufacturer take it back and “tune” the gun to not ding his brass for reloading. I advised him that it was probably best not to discuss reloads with the manufacturer as it voided the warranty. He would not take no for an answer and continued to make demands of me. Eventually I just told him that I was the wrong person to ask for such things. He could try the manufacturer but I could guarantee the answer would not be what he was hoping for. He then just stared at me intensely and I just had to walk away at that point.

    The only time I was ever an ass was a small mom and pop shop that sold me an airgun that keyholed pellets. It was a just a $60 gun with an obvious defect but the way they responded really escalated things. They eventually took it back and gave me my money but it was not pretty. They basically fired me as a customer and I was fine with that.

  • durabo

    You chose a good photo at the top to illustrate a jackass: the guy chambering a round with his finger on the trigger (the most violated safety rule).

  • CountryBoy

    The Adapter: Buys a part specifically listed as working in the following guns, but is stated as “does not fit any other makes or models”.

    The guy buys the item anyway, figuring he’s clever enough to “adapt” it to fit HIS gun, though it is wildly different than those it is made to fit.

    Guy gets the item, drills, sands and saws it until it is unrecognizable and no longer fits anything, including the guns it was originally made to fit. Handy Harry isn’t quite the engineer he thought he was.

    Guy demands a return, avoids mentioning what he’s done to the item, and will often lie about it if directly asked.

    Return arrives and is obviously so hacked up nothing can be done – not even a refund (of course he “forgot” to mention what he’d done to it).

    Guy promises to NEVER DEAL WITH YOU AGAIN!
    ————-
    As much as I’d like to say “thank you” in response to his “threat” to never come back, I keep my composure and politely say “We’re sorry to have lost you as a customer, sir”. In reality we don’t need a customer who is going to repeatedly lie to us about what he’s done and the fact that he’s literally trying to steal from us.

    This can apply to almost any gun part, and probably several other things as well.

    Adding to the frustration is that this guy will sometimes attempt a chargeback using his credit card, or try to game eBay into giving him a refund by claiming that the seller caused all his misery.
    ————-

    • BigFED

      Guy promises to NEVER DEAL WITH YOU AGAIN!

      I’ve had this type. As soon as they say the above, I ask “Promise?”

  • David169

    We have a reputation for excellent customer service. There is a way to diffuse this type of screaming and swearing customer and they like it.
    1. When they call and start up on our customer service representatives, the representatives take down all their information including a phone number and email address.
    2. About a minute or two later when the unreasonable customer is really getting wound up, hang up on them. Since our phones display the number they are calling from, when they call back don’t answer.
    3. Wait if they have given an email address send them an email that somehow we were disconnected and the line has been busy.
    4. Then call back about a minute after the hang up with an apology about being disconnected. Most of the time they have expended their anger at the inability to re-connect. The anger expressed earlier will now be deflected to the phone company and the customer service representative can get the information needed to process or deny their claim from a reasonably mellow person.

  • Dan Clay

    I feel for CSRs I really do. However, the know-it-all is usually me. Why? Because I casually perused through the company website and found the make and model of what I was needing. The CSR sometimes has no access to the company website apparently. They are using some other system that may not be updated or for some other reason deficient. Nothing is more frustrating than to be told something doesn’t exist or something similar by a CSR when it does exist and it is only their ignorance that is preventing good service.

  • CavScout

    Liked #10, or at least the example given. Those cheap parts… but at least it has a $200-300 keymod freefloated handguard. The ultimate ninja accessory.

  • Jason Lewis

    Is this the reason the guy at Bass Pro Shop’s gun counter is such a jerk?

  • One_Jackal

    Usually I just hang up when a customer rep blames the ammo and call the consumer protection department of my credit card company. If your gun cannot shoot ammo made by Hornady, Remington, Winchester or Federal it should be noted in the owners manual. Given that we only have a handful of major ammo manufacturers in the US the gun should be tested with popular ammo for that caliber.

    Every time I have kept a gun that would not shoot any type of factory ammo I ended up selling the gun at a loss. I am not losing anymore. I am using all the tools at my disposal for a refund when I hear “try another brand of ammo.”

  • James Madison

    I used to work in a ski shop when I was 17, the customer I really hated dealing with was the buddy/customer combo with the friend that thinks he knows about the product but didn’t really know jack sh*t. I would usually just leave them to their own devices.