consumer service rant.


May 15, 2003, 02:13 PM
I just had the misfortune to need to go shopping in Austin, texas. I would like
to hear from other parts of our great nation and see if you can find a "clerk" in a gun store, or any store for that matter that will, can, or has the education to help with anything.!!!

It really seems bad in this area, and I
can't blame young folks alone for it includes all age ranges, they seem
lazy, unconcerned, etc. I could go on
for hours, I am old but it seems much,
much worse then 20 years ago. Perhaps
I have become cranky, but If I find a clerk
who will smile, be polite, and helpful in
the next 10 days I will give him/her a
kiss,(and put a stop to that happiness
right on the spot.)

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May 15, 2003, 02:22 PM
It's rough here in Austin . . . one smaller shop I frequented changed hands and the new owners are ethically challenged, the fanciest store in town - always expensive - raised prices even more to pay for their recent remodeling, another couple of stores (with ranges) have limited selections and middlin' high prices . . . another small store is run by an ornrey unsociable old cuss . . . yet another one of the stores always seems to have a couple of the guy's buddies inside who get 100% of his attention (interruptions by YOU are not welcome) . . . it's getting harder and harder to have - as modern usage would have it - "A Good Shopping Experience."

May 15, 2003, 03:02 PM
I have always found the gang at the Pistol Parlour, in Mesa, to be helpful.

May 15, 2003, 03:31 PM
Finding a great dealer in Maryland is like trying to find a candy bar in a manure pile, especially for those interested in buying "assault rifles". Little or no people skills, very high prices and ignorance about the laws are commonplace amoung the dealers I have shopped at.

Luckily, I found a nice kitchen-table guy near my college (no luck so far finding one near my house, on the other side of the state) who is absolutely awesome. I called out of the blue asking if he could get me an Imbel FAL reciever, he said "Sure, got a phone number for the distributor and a way I can contact you?" and he ordered it without ever seeing me in person or getting a dollar in advance. His prices are very nice, and I'll definitely be spending a lot more cash with him next school year.


May 15, 2003, 03:34 PM
Funny... I think of gunshops as small holes in the wall that barely have enough shelf room and back room space to hold the guns boxes and accessories. Best gunshop I've been to in Indiana has room for about 80 rifles and they're the highest volume Bushmaster (no small claim) in the state. Good prices; good, though small, selection and has a way of getting things that other guys will tell you are on indefinite back order. 17 ammo is still a problem though.

Remodeling... pfft.

May 15, 2003, 03:46 PM
It's not much better than that in Dallas. I won't ever step foot in Bullseye in Duncanville again. K2 in Plano is nice, but they are by appointment only and don't stock much. They're staff is great, but their primary business is LE, so the store itself isn't much to look at.

May 15, 2003, 04:23 PM

Let me test myself-

Changed hands: Heritage

Remodel: McBride's

Range/limited selection: Red's

Ornery cuss: John's

buddies: ??

Who did I miss?

BTW: The ornery cuss in question was one of the worst gunshop experiences I've ever had. He badmouthed the brand my wife wanted to price ($1,900 pistol he could have sold), didn't help her at all, then insulted the people who had recommended we patronize his business. we won't be back. This also illustrates that poor customer service isn't exclusive to "younger" workers.

May 15, 2003, 08:08 PM
You want a good experience? Try Bullseye in Lawrenceville, Ga.

Been trading there over 10 years. Lately he's had a couple of kids (teenagers) helping out but not even any trouble from them. They show me what I want, nice, helpful, no attitude and don't offer unwanted advice.

Buddy of mine bought an M1 garand from him, found out it was a rewelded receiver. Randy(owner) apparently didn't know it, took it back without a quibble. My buddy ended up spending even more money on something else there.

May 16, 2003, 12:06 AM
There is a store in College Station, Champion Firearms - Knowledgable staff, decent prices, lack of BS. Some of the employees can be a little short sometimes, but it may just be a personality difference between them and me. Either way, they don't argue when I tell them what I want, and always seem to be adequetly staffed. Great store, I drive an hour to go there, bypassing both stores that are within 5 minutes of my house.

May 16, 2003, 01:08 AM

There is a gunshow in Austin this coming wkend at the Crocket Center. Perhaps you will have better luck there.


May 16, 2003, 08:53 AM
Slabside, I usually hit the Austin show and one dealer I will say has been
very good to me is Collins guns of
Bryan ,Texas. So far he has transferred
at least 5 guns,"no charge".. There are
some good ones just tough to find.

Collins Small Arms Co
818 E Villa Maria Rd, Bryan, TX 77802
Phone: (979) 822-1418

May 16, 2003, 09:58 AM
In Austin, try Red's Gun range in south Austin. I always got good service there.

In Dallas, try Ammo Depot in Mesquite and talk to Mickey.

Tell 'em Bonker sent ya! :)

May 16, 2003, 10:44 AM
I can second the plug for Champion in College Station. I drove out there from San Antonio for my Sig P239 and got a much better deal on it than anywhere here in San Antonio.

I've visited a few shops in Austin and haven't been impressed. Red's in South Austin gave me the impression that they didn't have the time to deal with me, so I left and never went back.

There are some good stores here in San Antonio, which might be worth the hour and a half drive. Texas guns is overpriced, but they've always been helpful. Ho Guns is a good store, and the owner is an awesome guy, just to name two...

May 16, 2003, 12:22 PM
Wingman, have you been to Collins' store in bryan or just the shows? I am interested in his selection at the store, does he just have a few guns on display or is he fairly well stocked? Also, how busy does his store get? That is my one gripe about Champions, they always seem to have a lot of customers...

May 16, 2003, 04:59 PM
kharn, who is it that you delt with in Maryland? and where is he located. Its very hard to find a good dealer in MD that knows anything. I have found one guy in Frederick that is good to deal with (nice guy, not bad on price, and willing to work with you ie trades/ tranfers)

May 16, 2003, 10:26 PM

Ornery cuss: Cost +10%, an itty-bitty place in back of a shopping center. Has signs up all over that if you work the gun's action, you've bought it.

buddies: tex-guns. Went there 2 or 3 times, and each time the same guys were in there BS-ing with the saleman.

I will admit the guys at Red's have always been courteous, but they just don't have much, and what they do have isn't, shall we say, aggressively priced. (And that includes ammo and accessories, as well as guns.)

The SAXET show in Austin has deteriorated in the past few years. Prices up, selection down. But if you bring your better half, she'll have a chance to browse through things like jewelry and makeup (!) at this show.

May 17, 2003, 10:26 AM
"If it looks too ugly, too pretty, or doesn't run away from you; don't touch it."

I wish someone had told me that before I met some of the women I've known...:scrutiny:

Walther P99
May 17, 2003, 11:51 PM
I visited Austin several weeks ago and went into McBride's and found the sales rep to be very helpful.

As far as San Antonio, I've had good experiences with Firearms Training Pluss - their prices always seem to be lower than others here. I took my CHL class there, had a gun transferred through them, sold two other guns (may sell a third there shortly), and bought my P99 there. An added bonus is the fact that most of the employees there seem pretty knowledgeable.

May 18, 2003, 01:16 AM
Heritage changed hands? That's a shame. I always liked them. Got good service and the best prices around here. Red's has always been real friendly, but, yeah the selection isn't much to speak of. McBride's definitely has the selection, and a pretty knowlegeable staff (if you can actually get to speak with one of them...), but the prices are pretty high. About the only times I've bought anything there, was during those twice yearly 12-month no interest sales, and 1 time when they had a HK P7 PSP in really good condition for under $800.

May 18, 2003, 04:25 PM
I've had poor customer service experiences at a local range/gun store.

1) I wanted to buy a PC629. I opened a magazine, pointed to the gun and asked the manager if he could get me one (for $999.99). He turned, looked, said "no", and turned away to continue a conversation about put-put golf. That night, I made a call to another store (Carl at FourSeasons), he had one for me in 10 days.

2) I wanted a PC952. I asked the manager about the 952 he didn't know anything about it and showed no interest in finding out. I stopped at another store on the way home, got the information I needed, and ordered it right then (it took awhile to come in but it's nice).

3) I want an SVI! I asked the manager if he could get me availability and pricing for the gun. He didn't know what it was, but said he'd have the information by Friday (cool!). On Friday I asked him what he got. He had forgotten all about the gun, he couldn't even remember the brand. He said he'd have the information by Wednesday. Well, It's been a couple months without any information.

That's about $4,000 total they havn't had time for, and yet they get upset when I come in with a new gun to shoot on their range.


May 18, 2003, 08:44 PM
Mickey's spending most of his time at Ammo Depot II. It's East of Dallas on I-30 about 5 miles before you get to Greenville. Mickey and his crew have always treated me right at both stores. The Mesquite store is (972)285-1288

Accuracy Arms on Highway 276 east of Rockwall is also a nice place. Stop in sometime if you're in the neighborhood. Kim is mostly a rifle guy, but he usually has a bunch of pistols in the safe. He doesn't have enough display room to get them all out. (972)771-8977

I avoid B&S Guns in Garland like the plague. A more ignorant and unpleasant pack of sphincters you would be hard pressed to find. The ones that know something are jerks, and the ones that are nice are idiots. Even the gal who answers the phone lets you know that you're keeping her from finishing her nails by the tone of her voice. They have a great selection and prices, but they've never gotten any of my $$ cause they can't be civil long enough to make a sale. For the record, everyone I've ever talked to who has been in the store agrees with me. Unfortunately, some people will buy where the prices are lowest, regardless of the Bravo Sierra they have to put up with.

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