Ruger Customer Relations are Horrid!


July 13, 2008, 08:51 AM
Some of you may remember my previous post and my damage from an overcharged reload. Well I sent it in as many suggested on here and other forums and even by my dealer. I found Ruger’s customer relations to be horrid at best. Now I said relations not service because I didn’t end up with any work done so I do not want to speak out of line.

My first clue should have been their response to my filling out there online contact form; Call. I then called to be told go online to find how to send the gun in. I tried to tell the woman that all I want to know if it is even possible to be fixed; but to no avail just told to send it in. That should have been my clue not to send it; a company no matter how big or small that offers any kind of customer service should be able to take a couple minutes to have a conversation.

So $52 later I sent it in NextDay air as instructed on the web, a week later I receive a letter notifying they have it. Almost 2 weeks later I receive a letter stating it’s been damaged due to Overpressure and cannot be repaired but we know it’s discouraging and are willing to offer you another gun for $354.64 but if has to go to a FLL. So add another $20 for me for paperwork. I only paid $429 for the gun new!! So I declined with a letter expressing my frustration with their customer relations, enclosed a check for another $52 to send it back and over a week after they cashed my check I now have my old gun back with another slap in the face letter of we will honor our offer for 30 days and no response to my letter as if to say we don’t care what our customers think it’s our way or nothing.

Maybe it’s just me but I found the experience a complete joke and a mark against Ruger. I was up front and honest with them, and all I wanted was the same in return. If they would have told me something like 'From the description the gun should be able to be repaired. Or From the description it most likely can not’ I would have been satisfied and sent it or not accordingly. I’m not a smith or a metallurgist I was looking for some simple direction not the standard company line “Send it in”. I could have sent it with lies and stupid stories to try and get them to fix it, I could have wasted much more of there time; I didn't. It would have saved them and me time and money if they could have given me 2 minutes in the beginning. Instead I’m out $104 from shipping this thing only to be told it’s from being over pressurized. DUH! I told them I doubled the charge. Thanks for nothing Ruger.

Don’t misunderstand I’m not trying to smear Ruger, they make great firearms I have 5 1/2 revolvers, 3 rifles of there’s and I even replaced the SP101 yesterday with another. But I do want to get word out that their customer relations SUCK and they need to improve it! It’s that lackluster arrogant type of attitude that looses people to the lower cost imports. If I wasn’t obviously a Ruger fan, they certainly would have lost me, but I guess on some levels they did.


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July 13, 2008, 09:01 AM
OK, so you broke your gun due to an overpressure load.

You called Ruger to see if it could be repaired. I can't imagine a company giving you an answer over the phone one way or the other. What if they tell you "yes" and find out the answer is "no" once they see it? They're not going to give you that kind of answer sight unseen.

The cylinder's in three pieces and the frame is bent. That seems like a not repairable condition to me. I'm no metallurgist or anything, but I do a bit of knife forging. Steel that's been flexed and flexed back into shape is weaker than it's original condition. I'm not surprised personally that it can't be fixed.

They offered to sell you a new SP101 at 339.00? I'd have taken it and told them to keep the old one. What good did it do you to pay 52.00 to have a paperweight delivered back to you? I'm surprised they even agreed to do that. If I were a major firearms company I'd be afraid of sending a badly damaged firearm back out to a customer, who may then take it to a local 'smith of unknown skill who does some sort of 'fix' to get it back in operation, then the gun blows up again and someone gets badly hurt. Whose name is on the side of that gun afterall?

Just my personal .02........

July 13, 2008, 09:02 AM
I could have told you they wouldn't have repaired it! Not with the top-strap bent and the cylinder blasted off.

Ruger wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole! Too much liability. I don't think any company would do much for a deal like that.

The new gun offer does seem fair.

July 13, 2008, 09:08 AM
Sounds fair to me! You screwed up with your reloading and expect Ruger to give you a new gun? Nope, you need to figure out how to reload without doubling up your charge and if you do something wrong you take the responsibility for it.

July 13, 2008, 09:13 AM
Everyone including my dealer and Ruger said to send it in. I asked for where I could send pictures if that was all they needed, but no. I wasn't asking for a firm quote on repair cost. If Ruger knows their not going to fix it for the reasons you (rantingredneck) suggest they should have told me that over the phone. That is all I was asking of the manufacture, and I don't think that is too much. It wasn't about the money, I bought another yesterday, it's about the waste of money because they can not answer a few questions over the phone and insist on communicating by mail. That's stupid on there part, that's not customer service. If I treated my customers that way I wouldn't have any.

July 13, 2008, 09:16 AM
Yeah... uh...

Guy, they gave you a very fair offer under the circumstances. Maybe not what you wanted, but pretty darn fair. They could have got back to you a little faster maybe, but I don't see what they did wrong.

I know you're mad because you had a gun blow, that sucks, but sometimes you just have to shrug, realize these things happen and go on. I know it's easier for me to say that when it's not me in the hot seat, but that's why I'm telling you this: you can't see it because you're in the middle of it.

As for this:

Everyone including my dealer and Ruger said to send it in. I asked for where I could send pictures if that was all they needed, but no. I wasn't asking for a firm quote on repair cost. If Ruger knows their not going to fix it for the reasons you (rantingredneck) suggest they should have told me that over the phone.

I don't think it's unreasonable for Ruger to request you send them the firearm. It may seem superfluous in this case but it allows them to make a better judgment, because maybe just maybe they can find something they did wrong after all.

So there you go, my 2 cents, advice worth exactly what you paid for it.

July 13, 2008, 09:23 AM
They're not going to tell you over the phone that it can or cannot be fixed. They will want to have the weapon in hand to see for themselves. Expecting that of them is unreasonable IMO.

July 13, 2008, 09:39 AM
Euclidean probably makes the most sense, I'm in the middle and not looking objectively at the situation. I'll keep reloading, shooting and I'm sure buying Ruger firearms.

I give, I give, uncle, uncle

Nuf said game over,

1 old 0311
July 13, 2008, 09:42 AM
Rugers 'customer relations' is the reason I won't buy any more Rugers.:fire:

July 13, 2008, 09:48 AM
I completely agree with Euclidean.

July 13, 2008, 09:53 AM
I have to agree with most everyone else. I would not have suggested you ship it to Ruger. It is damaged beyond repair.

They did make you a nice offer after you blew up one of their guns. I don't know why you wanted them to ship that back to you.

July 13, 2008, 09:56 AM
I guess I'm missing something here. YOU blew up your gun due to cartridge that YOU overlaodedand seem to expect Ruger to tell you what they can do to it without having the gun in thier hands to examine? :banghead:
That's like calling your garage and saying "my car makes a noise, how much to repair it?" The service writer won't know until the mechanic looks the vehicle over. They NEED to handle the gun to determine the amount of damage. :banghead:
Anyways, so they say it cannt be repaired yet still offer you a completely new firearm and a reduced cost even though hey had NO fault in the damage YOU caused to the firearm. Sounds more than fair to me. Very good chance had the gun ben repairabel they'd have do the repair for very minimal if not at no cost to you.
I've read but a few reports of ppl having negative dealings with Ruger's customer service dept and yet at this same time and for years there's been seemingly countless positive reports about them. Free repairs, freeparts, etc... Usually I've found the negative reports were simply becuase the customer expected too much and expected thier own mistakes to be the responsibility of the manufcaturer. :rolleyes: I've ben a long time Ruger fan and have always had very positive dealing with their service, parts, and CS folks. They've gone above and beyond my expectaions many times.
While you may see the $100 this cost you as unreasonable, good chance this whole incident and that $100 will keep you paying closer attention to your charges.

Marlin 45 carbine
July 13, 2008, 10:01 AM
lighten up dude. it's a bad scene with that blown revolver but if ya still got a gang of five on yer mitt you're lucky!:)

July 13, 2008, 10:07 AM
He's over it. No need to dog pile on the guy.

July 13, 2008, 10:12 AM
After loading 40 years if I blew up my gun I would quietly bury it and buy another.

Note: suggestion when you want a bigger bang purchase a bigger caliber
max loads do little in accuracy and harm your firearms, I know its fun to
tell buddies at work how much pressure you got out of a 44 mag but its
a no win.;)

July 13, 2008, 10:15 AM
It wasn't about the money, I bought another yesterday, it's about the waste of money because they can not answer a few questions over the phone and insist on communicating by mail.

Where did you find a new replacement Ruger SP101 for less than $339? Even with $20 for paperwork, $359 is a good deal.

$450 including shipping is the best price I've seen on a new SP101. Since you paid $52 to have your damaged revolver sent back to you, that would make your replacement cost around $500.

Not that I'm trying to rub salt in a wound...

I know how you feel...

I put a hole in one of my walls with a floor sanding machine that got away from me. I told the rental business that I knew what I was doing, but evidently I did not know what I was doing.

I was pissed off and wanted the rental business to give me my $100 back for the machine; however, after I had cooled down and looked at my situation objectively, I realised it was my fault.

I'm sure everyone here has a similar story of screwing something up and having to own up to it :o

July 13, 2008, 10:44 AM
1. I think their offer was fair, and I would have accepted it.

2. I have dealt with their Customer Service before with a new Vaquero that was shooting FAR to the left right out of the box. Their attitude on the phone was somewhat argumentative and arrogant, but they did finally pay for shipping and turned the barrel properly and test-fired it, and when I got it back, it shot perfectly to POA.

Dealing with them was not an enjoyable or reassuring experience, but they did fix the gun after some discussion. I can understand why you are upset with them because of their attitude, but I do think their offer to you was fair.

July 13, 2008, 10:57 AM
Your user manual specifically says that you should not reload, and that any damage done by using non-standard, non-factory ammo would not be covered under warranty. Obviously, reloads aren't unsafe if they are done correctly, but there is always a chance that mistakes can be made. Ruger, along with almost every other gun manufacturer, will not cover these types of mistakes. I don't have an sp101, but page 11 of my GP100 user manual has a paragraph in huge, bold, red font which warns of this. That warning is pretty hard to miss.

The fact that they offered you a discounted gun, after you violated their warranty conditions sounds pretty nice to me. They didn't need to offer that in the first place. After the shipping and transfer fees, the gun will be about the same price as if you would just buy a new one. They didn't have to do this. If you would have read your manual, you would known that they wouldn't cover the damages. They were nice enough to help you recover your shipping fees.

I'm sorry for your loss, but you shouldn't get mad at them for your mistake. If you reload long enough, these sorts of things can and do happen. It is the risk involved in reloading. Just be grateful that nobody got hurt.

July 13, 2008, 11:13 AM
I don't think ANYone warranties against a handload blow up. I don't see the problem here.

July 13, 2008, 11:26 AM
I had a similar service problem with Ruger back in 1979. I sent the revolver in and received a receipt that they had logged it in to their service dept. for warranty. After several letters and calls, (before email and faxes) I was told they had lost it, I asked about replacement, took them another 6 months to send me a certificate for a new gun. Elapsed time 13 months. I still like Ruger arms but I will never talk to them again, I will pay a smith to do repairs I don't do myself. They were and are insulting and condecending as if it was my fault they lost the gun in their plant.

July 13, 2008, 11:39 AM
I had to go into the office to check the cost on the letter, it was $354 not $339, still not the point. There offer may have been fair, but I told the woman on the phone that if the cost to repair is going to be too much or doesn't make sense I want to keep it. At that point I didn't know what my options were and that is why I contacted them, for their professional opinion. So for the $55 difference from what I paid new for the gun only 8 weeks prior to the damage the $354 offering + $20 FFL fee I wanted to keep it as-is.

I apparently didn't describe my frustration properly, my bad. I'm in customer service and the first rule is always: LISTEN to your customer! No matter how good, bad or stupid the story or customer may be! You have to LISTEN to your customers. 2) Then after laughing if you must, you have to give the customer their options. If that's telling them they screwed it up beyond economical repair fine, or it will cost "X" amount and it may be ok, or it may cost "X" amount non-refundable to try and fix it. All of which I feel are fair questions and fair answers which could have been given over the phone and I could not have complained, it was the lack of even trying listen that is frustrating. I'm more upset about the $104 dollars in shipping than the $429 blown up gun. At least I got to blow it up for my money, the $104 was just completely wasted.

Oh well, I'm off to the Range with my Ruger's and my Reloads. :what:

BTW: The one I bought yesterday was used, but priced good at $350 OTD!

.38 Special
July 13, 2008, 12:08 PM
I'll sort of defend Nickelboy, in that it's a shame he was not dealt with politely. There's no real reason not to insist that customer service people bend over backwards to make a customer happy, even while explaining to him that he's turned his gun into trash and there's nothing they can do about it.

Having said that, I do think it should have been apparent right off the bat that this is not a repairable gun. As a general rule of thumb, if your top strap is visibly bent, it's new gun time.

July 13, 2008, 12:16 PM
Yeah, I feel I must defend Nickel a bit too. Ruger should have been a bit more polite and they should have DEFINITELY acknowledged his frustrations rather than brush them off. However, to Ruger's credit, this could have just been a bad situation (maybe you had the misfortune of happening to deal with some of their less than stellar reps) and I wouldn't let this tarnish your view of Ruger. Most, and I do mean most, people that I hear (never had personal experience) that have dealt with Ruger report great experiences.

Also, congrats on your $350 OTD snag. Great price

July 13, 2008, 12:19 PM
Look as an "old-timer" I find customer service sucks in most areas of modern America but if you exceed the limits of any tool and you know that, its simply best to discard it. I find "most" products to be lacking in our greed dominated society but guns and tools do still have some quality even still more care must be given in use, just my thoughts in 50+ years as a consumer.

July 13, 2008, 12:29 PM
Look as an "old-timer" I find customer service sucks in most areas of modern America ....

I agree. Regarding Ruger's Customer Service, I don't think it has been the same since Bill Ruger's retirement in 2000 and his death in 2002. The company has changed drastically.

July 13, 2008, 01:03 PM
You know whats bad here really?

Is that about 6 years ago I bought a Ruger SP101 .357 for $249 brand new!

July 13, 2008, 01:15 PM
Nickel was not treated unfairly but certainly has reason to complain.

The lesson that should be learned is not to spend all that cash sending it back. Find a good gunsmith to advise you before you make the decision.

I am confused though. I thought Rugers were unbreakable, build like tanks, used as deck guns on battleships.

Jim March
July 13, 2008, 02:41 PM
Yeah, I have to lay some blame at Ruger's door myself on this one.

Look, if this had been anything computer-related, and he called in saying "it's broke" or anything like it, they'd have put him through to tech support. A geek would have walked him through, tried to figure out if it was really broke and if so, is it fixable? And THEN figured out what to do.

A Ruger receptionist was clearly reading from a script that said "if gun broke, mail it in". Well when shipping was $15 each way, that made sense. When it's $50+? I don't think so!

The gun wasn't fixable. Anybody knowledgeable at Ruger who heard the words "bent topstrap" would have said so instantly.

As is, the gun is worth (at absolute most) $100 in parts. That's a Lett grip and with them out of biz, supplies will run out as they already have on the GP100 and Ruger will replace them with some other design that may not be as good (if you don't believe me, look at the latest GP100s with oversize Hogue rubbers!). The original poster may have a spring kit in there worth recovering, and the hammer/trigger/etc. should still be good.

So it's worth his keeping the wreckage.

(WARNING: do not re-use the crane parts or anything related to the cylinder's lockup. The barrel is questionable but probably survived intact.)

In Ruger's defense:

Quality control on their guns of late has been exceptional. They're now building some of their best work, and better than most 1980s/90s production. We're seeing fewer "bad monday guns" of late and better designs, including the mid-frame SAs such as the NewVaq and 50th 357 Blackhawk. I'm not saying "don't buy Ruger". I do think the OP would have been better off showing us a pic of his gun and asking "do I send it in?".

Then again...they did offer him a discount on a replacement (sounds like a wholesale price level?) that they probably wouldn't have offered had he not sent it in.

July 13, 2008, 03:15 PM
I have had some problems with ruger customer relations. I bought a brand new gun and it had problems day one. I sent it back to ruger, they failed to fix it and sent it back to me. I sent it back a second time, and they sent me on a wild goose chase to do some non-existant paperwork at the store where i bought it, the store that was sending and receiving for me. I finally got a total replacement, but no free extra goodies to make up for their mistake of #1 letting a bad gun out #2 not fixing it the first time #3 wasting my time with wild goose chases.

Now, YOU broke the gun, no fault of rugers. Ruger can't diagnose over the phone. Lets say they did pull a tech from fixing a gun and had him listen to your description. He'd say 'humm, doesn't sound good, the chances of us being able to repair it are slim, but I couldn't say for sure without seeing it' But then, you should have already know the chances were slim.

So why send it off at all? Were you hoping they'd be able to repair it, and even though the warranty was negated, they'd repair it for free out of pity? That's a big gamble for $52 shipping.

What would you have done if they said 'it is repairable for $700'? or what if they just said 'it is repairable for $350'?

Did you decide on a 'break point' were it wasn't worth fixing?

Why did you not choose to take the replacement purchase? I can understand choosing not to buy a replacement on your own, just have one less gun, tight economic times and all, but you sent out a gun that you damaged knowing they'd charge you to fix it, so apparently you were willing to shell out a decent chunk of cash for it.

Finally, why pay to have it returned? figure it is $52 worth of parts?

July 13, 2008, 03:35 PM
Query: Why would one have to overnight a box of broken parts to Ruger? I thought the shipping rules were different for repair as opposed to transfer, especially for a firearm that is physically impossible to fire.

Priced a new SP-101 at Sportsman's Warehouse today: $460.00. At $359.00 that sounds like cost.

Next time you blow up a Ruger, see if you can send it in as "Parts" and avoid overnight shipping. Let the manufacturer keep it and take the replacement offer.

Jim March
July 13, 2008, 03:37 PM
Ruger can't diagnose over the phone.

When the topstrap is bent, wanna bet?


Finally, why pay to have it returned? figure it is $52 worth of parts?


* Lett is out of business - those are Lett grips. Value may rise to $50 (used in good shape) once Ruger starts shipping something other than Lett on the SP101. If that "something else" is as ghastly as what's on new-production (post-Lett) GP100s, $50 might be the starting point on EBay in as little as six months...

* He likely has a spring kit in there worth $20.

* The hammer is worth $35, trigger is worth $25, and I don't think Brownell's will sell them to you...

July 13, 2008, 04:51 PM
So why send it off at all? Were you hoping they'd be able to repair it, and even though the warranty was negated, they'd repair it for free out of pity? That's a big gamble for $52 shipping.

What would you have done if they said 'it is repairable for $700'? or what if they just said 'it is repairable for $350'?

Did you decide on a 'break point' were it wasn't worth fixing?

I was told by many including my dealer to send it in. I did have a breaking point, up to $250 fix it, over that I'm keeping it as-is. To me I'm looking at worst case is a bad frame and cylinder the barrel, crane, trigger group, hammer, grips all are in working order so if the frame can't be straightened a new frame and cylinder. There are many more still working pieces than not working? Not to forget the manual, lock and box included with a new one I still have not needing to replace. To me it looked like swap out the bad with new, how expensive or hard can that be it's only 2 pieces, but again I'm no smith or metallurgist. I didn't think it was worth seeking a local smith if Ruger could just swap a couple pieces? How am I to know what they are capable of, they are the experts that's why I called them.

I'm the fool that double charged it, and maybe I'm a fool for sending it in and wanting it back as-is. But there is no excuse to me for the lack luster customer relations, calling any manufacture for help should be their pleasure to assist.

Anyway the new to me one I got yesterday shoots fine today even with my reloads! And I can swap hammers for hammerless DAO pocket carry or hammered single action at the range, best of both worlds.:)

July 13, 2008, 04:51 PM
I won't pile on but I will say be thankful your hand is still able to fire a gun. Yikes:what:

July 13, 2008, 05:13 PM
Ruger customer relations have been good to me. When one trip back to their factory didn't help the POI problems with my Mini 14, they replaced it with a new one, free of charge.

July 13, 2008, 05:15 PM
And, far from considering them "ghastly", I like the grips on my '08 GP100 a lot.

July 13, 2008, 11:33 PM
Well, I would not have sent that to Ruger. I do not need a weatherman to tell me it's raining. I think your dealer isn't a very sound judge of anything, either. 20/20 hindsight, but that's life.
I will not give Ruger 100% on customer relations on every contact, but I have managed to get everything resolved properly in one pass every time, so far.
You admit you blew up the gun. They offered you a good deal on a replacement gun and you turned it down, and blew another $52 getting your junker sent back to you because you were what, mad? I'd be mad too if I just pi$$ed away $125.

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