Lightfighter Tactical Let me down


March 7, 2003, 03:48 PM
Monday morning I am going to be taking the Carbine class (223, basic carbine) at Gunsite. I have never been to a formal shooting school before, so I need to buy all the gear. I posted a topic on gear on several forums and also did searches on several forums to find out what those that have gone before me suggested. One item that was recommended to me by everyone is knee and elbow pads. I never considered using them before, but as I practiced to get ready I realized how nice it would be out here in the desert to have pads for kneeling and prone. I read a few posts recommending Lightfighter Tactical as a place to buy gear so I placed an order with them for the knee and elbow pads among other things including a mag pouch. I promptly got an E-Mail back saying that the ship in two days unless the stuff is backordered. I placed the order last week and everyday this week expected the package to arrive. Finally today, the last day I can get a UPS shipment before the class, I called Lightfigher to see what was going on. They told me that everything on the order was backordered. All seven items on the order are not in stock. Now these items are not in any way related; mag pouch, mag puls, knee and elbow pads, gloves.............. But it just so happens that they are out of all of them. Ok, but that isn't the problem. The problem is that they never saw any reason to let me know. No e-mail, no phone call, they just left me expecting this stuff any day and COUNTING ON IT for this class. It is now too late for me to order it from anywhere else. To me, that is very poor customer service not to mention very poor inventory control. I cancelled the order and will never buy from them again. Just a heads up if you need anything, don't count on this or any other business to keep you informed.
Yes, I have to partially blame myself. Maybe I should have ordered this stuff long ago. But I didn't have the money to pay for the class and buy everything I needed all at once. I had to buy some of it each payday. It just so happened that this was the last of it.

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Bartholomew Roberts
March 7, 2003, 05:45 PM
I realized how nice it would be out here in the desert to have pads for kneeling and prone.

I'm betting you aren't the only desert-bound person to come to that realization lately.

Still, would have been nice for Lightfighter to tell you it was backordered. Of course as you noted, waiting until a week before class during a major mobilization for our military and ordering from a store in Ft. Campbell, KY probably didn't help you along much.

March 7, 2003, 05:50 PM
it's to bad you had a bad experiance with brad he is a stand up guy ,if he has it you will get it quick. the problem is right now with all the soldiers deploying neither him or any other gear suppliers can keep anything in stock and the gear manufactuers can't even tell the suppliers when they will be able to get their products to them to sell.
give brad a try sometime else you will like his service.

March 7, 2003, 05:52 PM
Lightfighter is a member of He posted in a thread the other day that he is out of EVERYTHING at this point.

He even went so far as to sell some of his own personal gear to one of the guys who was in the shop, getting ready to ship out.

I can understand your frustration but I think given the circumstances a little tolerance is warranted. :)

March 7, 2003, 05:57 PM
I also posted this on and have a running discussion about it there. I understand their is a war on, and I understand that GIs are buying up all the gear. I knew where the business was, and I anticipated that they would be busy. But that isn't the issue. The issue is that they didn't make any effort to inform me that everything on the order was out of stock. When I placed the order it wasn't mentioned, notihing was forthcoming since then. This is exactly the type of gear that people tend to need when they order it. These GIs are no exception. If they are shipping out and place an order, don't you think they would want to know that they are not going to get it before they ship out ? Is it too much to ask just to be told that they can't fill your order ?

March 7, 2003, 06:02 PM
I agree. A timely email to advise on a backordered item isn't too much to ask for.

March 7, 2003, 06:12 PM
never expect anything, you should have called before placing your order.

March 7, 2003, 08:48 PM
Dude go down to Big 5 go to the street hockey section and BAM-O exact same elbow and knee pads for 1/3 the cost.


March 7, 2003, 09:35 PM
But dude, hockey knee pads wouldn't be tactical.

March 7, 2003, 09:54 PM
Hockey or skate board pads are nearly identical, at least half the price, and should be readily available in your area. Or, stop in PHX on the way in from the airport and pick up same, Lastly, Gunsite usually has these in the Pro shop. I'd call ahead and reserve, just in case. The Pro shop is only open til 1200 on Saturday and closed on Sunday. Good luck.

March 7, 2003, 09:59 PM
Sorry I didn't mention it, as I said, I had this topic going on two boards. This is no big deal as far as the gear. I did call the Pro Shop at Gunsite, they have the pads and set a set aside for me. At the risk of beating a dead horse, it isn't the gear that I am upset about. It is the fact that they didn't say anything about the fact that they didn't have the products in stock.

By the way, not that it matter and I am sure nobody cares, but I won't be going through Phoenix, I am driving and coming in form the North.

Jeff White
March 8, 2003, 10:58 AM
In Brad's defense, he's swamped. He's a small operation and is having a lot of trouble keeping up with everything. He even posted a help wanted notice on his own forum.

We're not living in normal times. The gear business is soaring as our military deploys. And Brad has had to make some tough decisions when it comes to which customers to take care of first. A deploying service member will get the gear before the guy going to Gunsite or the airsoft player. It's not the way anyone prefers to do business.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but there are only 3 people in the shop to handle a sudden enormous increase in orders.


March 19, 2003, 09:25 PM
wish i had known. i am overstocked on the hatch neoprene knee and elbow pads.
i'd have sold you the set for $21.
i try to communicate personally w/ everyone i take an order from. it cuts down on confusion on my end. of course, i'm just a small shop owner who can afford to take that time w/ the customer.

March 22, 2003, 12:41 PM
Some dealers won't call you when items are back ordered. I waited a month for a holster from Botach Tactical .Was I Pissed?Yes but now I know to verify that it IS in stock.Don't be too hard on Lightfighter cause it's been a firedrill at all the suppliers.I have a vest ordered from them now but it's worth the wait to deal with people like Brad.

March 27, 2003, 07:14 PM
I ordered a Surefire Commander 8NX from Brad about five weeks ago and am still waiting. Good things are worth waiting for, I guess. :(

And, this was before the war started. ;)

I've purchased several items from in the past and have had top-notch service. I'll purchase from them again.

March 27, 2003, 11:08 PM
Gotta go with Jeff on this one.

Any gear store anywhere near a major US installation is going to be working hard right now. Deploying troops are loading up, and non-deploying troops are stocking up just in case they do deploy.

But dude, hockey knee pads wouldn't be tactical.

But dude, bruised and battered knees are?

Seriously I wouldn't care if the SOBs were blaze orange as long as they kept you from injuring yourself and made the training more comfortable.

March 28, 2003, 11:40 AM
I too am waiting for some Eagle gear from Lightfighter. Not a big deal, as I imagine he's snowed under and I know he will make good in the end. He's one of only two places I heartily recommend for Eagle gear. Good things are worth the wait.


April 3, 2003, 04:24 PM
I'm with you 444, I know exactly where you are coming from.

I don't care if he is a friend of every poster on this forum, (and I have read some super nice posts from him in the past) swamped or not, HE SHOULD HAVE E-MAILED or CALLED to say that the stuff was on backorder. You guys have boycotted places for less...

Botach did the same to me with a CamelBack. I called after a few weeks, and a VERY rude lady told me they had been backordered so what did I expect them to do!! I told her I expected her to cancel my order! I got a call from a supervisor within 15 minutes apologizing, and they overnighted the Camelback. Some backorder...

never expect anything, you should have called before placing your order.

B.S. Inconciderate, non-customer service oriented B.S.

If the man is going to have an ONLINE business, he should TAKE CARE of his ONLINE customers ONLINE. If I gotta call him on the phone to check availability, what's the point of using online ordering? Also, if he's got enough time ONLINE to keep up his own FORUM, then he should also have enough time to show a little CUSTOMER SERVICE ONLINE!

By ordering online, we are doing these stores a favor by not tying up their phones, and their time by answering the phone and writing down the orders. But if online orders are going to be treated as second class, unimportant business, then that shop should not be doing business online. A customer who orders online should be treated JUST as well as any phone order customer.

I'm sure that Lightfighter is a great place to order from, and I'm sure that "Brad" will probably want to make it up somehow. BUT as good a guy as he is, this was HIS mistake. To suggest that 444 was at fault because HE didn't stay on "Brad" to find out about his order is just ridiculous. I'll bet even "Brad" would agree with me. He made a slip-up. He should have let 444 know that all his stuff was on backorder. Period.

BTW, COHIBA's definitely a good guy to deal with. He's a 1 man, 1 woman operation, and he took the time not only to let folks know THAT he was out of town and away from the shop, but he even told us WHERE he was, WHEN he'd be back, and he kept up with e-mails in the meantime!

April 3, 2003, 10:28 PM
After digesting this for a month or so and listening to a lot of advice on the matter, my opinion hasn't changed at all. Lightfighter gave me poor service and referring to the owner by his first name doesn't change a thing. Since this incident took place, let me tell you about two other real businesses that I have dealt with since then. I ordered 4000 bullets from Midway USA using my Visa card. When Midway ran the credit card, it came back as having been reported stolen. And they called me on SUNDAY afternoon to tell me that the order didn't go through. I contacted my bank and found out that Visa had been hacked, my credit card number had been compromised and they cancelled it as a precaution, but the point is that Midway didn't just ignore my order, they tracked me down on SUNDAY afternoon to straighten it out. The difference here is that LARRY Potterfield is a real businessman. I ordered a Knights Armament RASII for an AR15 from Paul Ertsgaard at MSTN. He sent me back an E-Mail saying that his order of RAS IIs has been backordered for weeks and he doesn't know when he is going to get them in. About a week later, he gave me an updated status report that Knight was putting the finishing touches on the items in question and it shouldn't be long. Today I got an E-Mail telling me that he got some in. I know he had over 30 customers waiting on these RAS IIs and I assume he kept everyone of them informed. PAUL, is a real businessman who cares about his customers, not just an order taker.

I look at it like this, if you are willing to put up with sub-standard service that is fine, I am not. If the owner of the business happens to be a really nice guy but still provides sub-standard service, nothing changes. There are a lot of expressions that have made the rounds over the years such as "When the going gets tough, the tough get going". In other words when things are nice and easy and everything is going great, good performance is easy. When conditions get tough and you still perfrom with excellance; that is the mark of a serious player.

April 12, 2003, 05:39 AM
Lightfighter did the same thing to me when I ordered my Gemtech pitstol lanyard. I didn't get it until nearly 2 months after I ordered it, then after I canceled my order they finally sent it!!! I guess I got Botached! Ha ha! Oh well, live and learn.

June 2, 2003, 07:50 PM
Hi guys. Sorry to be so long in getting to this thread. I just found out about THR and have spent the afternoon reading the posts. I don't know how I missed this place for so long. To get to the point of this posting, I am very sorry that we were not able to take care of you before you went to Gunsight -- in any rate, how was the class (who taught it, by the way)? Though I haven't been able to get out west to take a class with them yet, I know some of the instructors and 'administrators' there from other venues and I wonder if maybe one or two of my friends were present for your stay.

About the time that all of the happenings in this thread transpired, there were 36,000 young men and women who work across the street from me that were on their way to a very important 'meeting'. Not only did they seem to take all of our gear that we try to keep in inventory, but we also gave them a priority for our attention as well. I made it my purpose to do everything that I could possibly do for them as they prepared for their deployments and often times this was at the expense of some other very important customers. I agree that it is poor service to not get an email with a status update; I know I prefer to be treated that way when I buy items online. I can say, with my head hung low, that I was not prepared for the human wave that came about with the departing soldiers and did not have enough resources to cover the explosive boom in sales. There literally were not enough hours in each day to take the orders, pack the boxes, service the three or four hundred customers who were visiting us in person, reply to the three hundred emails, and also update backordered customers. I don't believe my business should work that way; but even the express lane at Walmart gets backed up with a wait sometimes.

On the 1st of January 2003, we had four full time emplyees at Lightfighter Tactical. As of the 2nd of June (tomorrow, as I write this) we have nine full-time employees, including myself -- quite a long way since I hired my first part time packing assistant last March! Maybe it is the 90 hours a week that I work, or perhaps the fact that I started this business in my garage while I was still on active duty in the US Army; but I take a certain amount of offense at the insinuation that I am not a 'real' businessman because an order fell through our cracks during a very, very hectic time. I am a 'real' businessman and I am proud to call myself one because I have recognized where improvement was needed and have done all that I know how to do to make the changes and to grow as necessary. Again, I am very sorry that this order (or the other order for a Gem-tech lanyard that was brought up) were mishandled; but we have worked to a place where we can help that not happen anymore. My company's people and our service will probably never be perfect -- I don't think any person in any business could ever be perfect; but we will continue to make perfection our goal and I will continue to find ways to improve how we do things. We are better now than we were three months ago and are still better than anyone else that does what we do. My staff and I are committed to always working harder to do whatever it takes to please someone and to have them tell all of their freinds how we helped them; please just give us a chance to make something right if we slip a step or two on this journey.

Thanks guys for reading all that as I got it off my chest. If ever, and I mean EVER, there is anything that you need or need to know; I am the guy who is committed to getting, doing, or making it happen for you. If we get busy, just smack me in the side of the head, grab my attention, and watch me do backflips to help the best I can. I have a destination in mind and I will only get there if I do the right things at the right times. Just taking orders is only part of it...

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