What would you do? Kimber CS


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IMTHDUKE
April 20, 2011, 04:54 PM
I got a Kimber Solo right when they came out at $725. I really fell in love with the gun and I have a Kahr PM9 and a Robrbaugh R9. Only problem after 300 rds was the finish was rubbed off inside the frame where the recoil spring collar had evendently contacted it. That is not how it is supposed to roll.

Also, the mag release was hard to eject a full mag, but not an empty, but I felt that it should not be so hard you needed two hands to press. Of course, an empty was not an issue.

I explained the issues to Kimber CS. Was told they would pay the shipping both ways and would evaluate the issues. They received the gun back March 28th. On April 15th, I called back to get a status on the gun. Was told that they could not tell me, but were waiting for the manufacture of the mag release buttons. Was told that they would call me when they were ready to ship back. They said, they were running about 14 day turn around, of course it had been longer than that.

Now...as of May 20th, no word. I am getting concerned that it is an engineering problem or worse. Since then I have been told without verification that Kimber had ceased production of the Solo.

What would you do? Call and insist a new gun. Call and insist my money back. Call and get more info and hang on? I just don't like buying a new gun and sending it for a month or longer repair. Whata you think?

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StrikeFire83
April 20, 2011, 05:25 PM
Its a bad situation.

I've been following your original range report and you sending it off to Kimber. I was really hoping the solo would be reliable. I'd call Kimber and demand they give you SOME KIND of timeframe on getting the gun back. If they can't tell you anything, insist on either a new gun or your money back.

JohnBT
April 20, 2011, 05:33 PM
http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=314091

Post dated 4/18.

"Was told there is a running engineering and parts change for the magazine release and when the parts are available (no time line) my pistol will be sent back. It also got completley refinished. As was explained to me the Kim Pro II finish is very finicky and if not staged properly will not adhere as it is supposed to."

verdun59
April 20, 2011, 05:48 PM
This really is the pits. I also read your initial review and was quite interested; however with this news my PM9 looks better every day. Just keep pestering them.

Zerodefect
April 20, 2011, 06:06 PM
Ask them to swap the Solo for a basic 5" Custom II 1911!

Or a basic Pro model for a shorter 4" barrel for CCW.

cookmonsta
April 20, 2011, 06:46 PM
never buy a kimber again :fire:

MachIVshooter
April 20, 2011, 07:27 PM
Now...as of May 20th, no word. I am getting concerned that it is an engineering problem or worse. Since then I have been told without verification that Kimber had ceased production of the Solo.

Ummmm.........today is April 20th here in Eastern Colorado. Not sure where you're at.........

4-8 weeks is pretty normal for most manufacturers. Don't get too impatient until it actually is May 20th.

DAdams
April 20, 2011, 07:39 PM
I Never buy a 1st year model of anything (I made an exception for an I Pad). I'm even leary of year two items...but that is just me.

BTW the Solo I tried took both hands to release the magazine.

Me, I would want a refund and perhaps revisit the product a couple years from now. You have two great concealable 9s as it is.

Zerodefect
April 20, 2011, 07:52 PM
He's posting from the Future!

<-Needs stock tips, so can haz more ammo.

benderx4
April 21, 2011, 09:25 AM
It's amazing to me that Kimber would release a product to the public with a seriously obvious FLAW that they are aware of. That tells me more about the company than the gun.

If I were you, I'd try and get my money back - tell them to keep the gun.

PcolaDawg
April 21, 2011, 11:29 AM
I'd call Kimber and demand they give you SOME KIND of timeframe on getting the gun back. If they can't tell you anything, insist on either a new gun or your money back.

Good advice, but follow the call up with a letter. You'll be surprised how fast they'll get back to you with answers once you put your questions down in writing. Also, in your letter, put the time-line in it as to what's gone on before, including each phone call you've made with the date you made it.

They will fall all over themselves getting back to you. :cool:

JDGray
April 21, 2011, 11:42 AM
Sorry for your dilema. Kimber CS made it right for me when they paid shipping for me, after the 1yr time limit for free returns. I suspect their doing the best they can for you, just keep your conversations positive, and hope for the best. If you go demanding this or that, it may bite you in the a$$;)

StrikeFire83
April 21, 2011, 12:03 PM
^ So wait a minute, Kimber establishes an arbitrary no returns/refunds after 1 year, they've given IMTHDUKE absolutely NO timeframe, and your advice is to sit back, be nice, be positive, and everything will work out?

IMTHDUKE, forcefully advocate for your interests, my brutha.

MachIVshooter
April 21, 2011, 12:45 PM
your advice is to sit back, be nice, be positive, and everything will work out?

It wasn't my comment you replied to, but I'd like to point something out from the perspective of a business owner.

Now, I place extreme emphasis on my customer service, and will absolutely bend over backwards to always make things right. But..........If a customer calls me up screaming and yelling, making demands and threats/ultimatums, I am not inclined to be helpful, whether the problem is my fault or not.

You always try the friendly approach first, even project humility and an apologetic tone. That frequently guilts the other party, making them that much more willing to comply. Only become hostile if they meet your polite request with dismissal or aggression.

Sometimes it's hard to suck it up and exhibit that humble attitude when you're in the right, but it is almost gets faster/better results.

Thaddeus Jones
April 21, 2011, 01:38 PM
I gave Kimber three chances to earn my business.

I purchased a TLE, Stainless Target, and a Pro stainless. None of them worked properly. I paid all the shipping to and from Yonkers to get them fixed. Not one of them functioned properly, with any combination of mags or factory ammo.

I was treated with disdain by some moron named "Dennis" in CS. Told me I was limp wristing :rolleyes: and should allow for a 1500 round "break in" period for each pistol!!

I dumped all of them at a loss and was glad to be rid of them.

Never again. Hamburger, no matter how fancy the wrapper is still hamburger. TJ

JDGray
April 21, 2011, 01:45 PM
^ So wait a minute, Kimber establishes an arbitrary no returns/refunds after 1 year, they've given IMTHDUKE absolutely NO timeframe, and your advice is to sit back, be nice, be positive, and everything will work out?

IMTHDUKE, forcefully advocate for your interests, my brutha.

The OP asked a question, and I relayed to him what worked for me dealing with Kimber. You got your way, I got mine:)

StrikeFire83
April 21, 2011, 02:50 PM
It wasn't my comment you replied to, but I'd like to point something out from the perspective of a business owner.

Now, I place extreme emphasis on my customer service, and will absolutely bend over backwards to always make things right. But..........If a customer calls me up screaming and yelling, making demands and threats/ultimatums, I am not inclined to be helpful, whether the problem is my fault or not.

You always try the friendly approach first, even project humility and an apologetic tone. That frequently guilts the other party, making them that much more willing to comply. Only become hostile if they meet your polite request with dismissal or aggression.

Sometimes it's hard to suck it up and exhibit that humble attitude when you're in the right, but it is almost gets faster/better results.

It's true that you get more flies with honey than vinegar. I guess my issue is that I've been following IMTHDUKE's situation since his range report, I have my own negative experiences with Kimber, and he was calm and polite when he sent in his gun and now they're playing games with him. Also, I was interested in the Kimber Solo as a stablemate for my PM9, and now it appears they've halted production.

IMTHDUKE
April 21, 2011, 05:12 PM
What evidence do you have they have halted production on the Solo? I have heard that but the gun is still on their website.

And yes, I have been positive and respectful when calling....but my tone will be firm as in, "you gota be kidding me", if they tell me that they can't tell me anything. Going to wait till Monday and give then another call.

EddieNFL
April 21, 2011, 08:43 PM
But..........If a customer calls me up screaming and yelling, making demands and threats/ultimatums, I am not inclined to be helpful, whether the problem is my fault or not.


So, two wrongs do make a right?


You always try the friendly approach first, even project humility and an apologetic tone.

I definitely agree honey beats vinegar, but I'm not real big on shuffling my feet while looking at the floor mumbling, "Please suh, boss." If direct remarks bother someone in the CS field, they should consider another career.

StrikeFire83
April 21, 2011, 09:46 PM
What evidence do you have they have halted production on the Solo? I have heard that but the gun is still on their website.

Yesterday, after I talked to the a local shop owner who has stopped carrying Kimber products altogether http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=588482 I went to another local shop, they have an incredible selection but horrible prices and an entitled attitude, so I use them simply to browse. Asked a clerk about the Kimber Solo and he said they got one, a display model that they were instructed not to sell, and since then they've received exactly 4 pistols that have been sold to customers. But for the last 4 weeks, Kimber's sent them nada. Apparently, a higher-up at the shop called Kimber to find out what's up, and he was told production had ceased on the pistol while they deal with a magazine release issue. Again, this is 3rd hand, so take it with a grain of salt, but this shop's experience seems to be about on par with everything I've been reading across the net.

Anyhow, keep strongly advocating for your interests and you'll get somewhere, whether that ends up being your money back or a working pistol, who knows at this point.

MachIVshooter
April 23, 2011, 06:44 AM
So, two wrongs do make a right?

You misunderstand what I'm saying.

If a customer calls me with a concern and is courteous and unassuming, I'll help them immediately, and often take care of things for free that had nothing to do with the work I performed. Example: A BMW I did a head gasket on a few months ago. Just last week, the upper radiator hose plastic section blew up. Not my fault, just is what it is, but she was very polite, so I replaced both hoses and warrantied the thermostat, no charge for my labor or the coolant. She only paid for the hoses themselves at $64

On the other hand, if she had been hostile, rude and demanding, she'd have been charged in full for all parts and labor ($233), and it would have taken an extra day, rather than me driving to get the parts after hours and working late to wrap it up.

Her being respectful and courteous saved her $170 and got her car done a day earlier.

PabloJ
April 23, 2011, 09:21 AM
Are guns of this type designed to be shot hundreds of times? It's little defensive carry pistol like old time Walther PP.

MachIVshooter
April 23, 2011, 10:18 AM
Are guns of this type designed to be shot hundreds of times? It's little defensive carry pistol like old time Walther PP.

Hundreds? Yes. Tens of thousands, not so much.

JoeMal
April 23, 2011, 10:20 AM
What would I do?

Sell the Solo to one of the kool-aid drinkers around here that will pay top dollar for it

Then spend your hard earned money on something that will function properly

EddieNFL
April 23, 2011, 04:47 PM
I am not inclined to be helpful, whether the problem is my fault or not.

No, I got it.

You missed my point. If you replace the muffler bearing on my M5 and a month later it's rattling, I'm not going to rant and rave demanding a complete refund and immediate repair. I will be polite, but direct, but I won't be asking or saying please.

How you handle the problem determines if I will return. In Kimber's case, I elected to have it repaired elsewhere (rather than deal with them again) and move on the greener pastures.

MachIVshooter
April 23, 2011, 05:51 PM
You missed my point. If you replace the muffler bearing on my M5 and a month later it's rattling, I'm not going to rant and rave demanding a complete refund and immediate repair. I will be polite, but direct, but I won't be asking or saying please.

And the issue would be handled expediently, but that sort of approach neither helps nor hinders the process. If you came in and said "the (insert part) you installed is (insert complaint) and I need you to replace it under your warranty", I wouldn't be put off, but I also wouldn't feel that I owed you anything beyond that. And if you had eclipsed the warranty, you'd be paying again. You may be in the right, but trying to dictate to the company how or when a repair or product replacement will be handled won't get you further ahead, even if you are being polite.

However, if you came in and said "I'm sorry to bother you, but think there may be something wrong with (repair-related item, or symptom), do you think you could have a look?", your vehicle would be in right away and not only would the issue be handled ASAP (maybe even if it were a bit out of warranty), but you'd probably get something like a free oil change on top of it.

And yes, I will still deal with a warranty repair if the customer is a jerk. But it takes longer, I'll look with a microscope for any indication that the failure was a result of misuse/abuse or failure to handle a closely related problem (for which a warranty may be void), and future service may even be denied once the warranty has expired.

You can't really understand how this works from the business' end unless/until you're a business owner. But no matter the industry, a customer's/consumer's attitude has a tremendous effect on the outcome when dealing with warranty stuff. Remember, warranty costs a business money. Period. If they feel they've lost you as a customer already, why should they give anything they don't absolutely have to to make you happy?

And when it's a larger company like Kimber, you have to remember that you're dealing with multiple people. If you fly off the handle at the poor guy who happened to answer the CS line, he probably hasn't a clue about your particular case until that moment. Well, tick him off and he's liable to go out of his way to bump you down on the list. After all, it won't affect his paycheck and it'll give him some satisfaction in the getting even department, because this is the only way he can retaliate for your being nasty. And he's not gonna lose sleep over it, for sure.

Like I said, guilt the manufacturer (or service provider) by being humble and apologetic, you're likely to get more out of it. He's a fool who lets his pride get in the way of benefitting. There is a time and a place for being stern or even aggressive/nasty when dealing with a company. But that should be a last resort, when all other avenues have failed, and you should make sure the person you're dealing with is familiar with your problem, is deserving of the treatment, and has the power to do something about it. Otherwise, all you've done raised two people's blood pressure and no one is better off for it.

phrogpilot
April 23, 2011, 06:26 PM
Makes me feel better about my $279 KelTec PF9 which has over 1,000 trouble free rounds through it.

EddieNFL
April 23, 2011, 07:18 PM
Like I said, guilt the manufacturer (or service provider) by being humble and apologetic,

Guess I don't have enough civilian in me. Out.

MachIVshooter
April 23, 2011, 10:11 PM
Guess I don't have enough civilian in me. Out.

Seems to me one of the foremost things learned in military service is how to always be humble, respectful and polite to those who may not deserve it. The stakes of not being able to swallow your pride and do that are much higher in the armed forces (or paramilitary organizaions like LEA's & fire departments) than in civilian life............

EddieNFL
April 24, 2011, 07:59 AM
Polite, respectful and to the point. Groveling went the way of Rocks and Shoals.

We also learned to take the "high road" and correct our mistakes no matter how we were approached.

mljdeckard
April 24, 2011, 10:01 AM
This is why I don't really ever have warranty work done.

Now understand, I'm a Kimber guy and a Kimber defender, but I have a few problems with calling the manufacturer when I have a problem with something.

1. They screwed it up the first time. In calling them for help, you are saying; "I know you are the one who dropped the ball in the first place, but I'm sure you will know what you are doing the second time." Why should I trust the guy who messed it up in the first place to fix it correctly?

2. My time is more valuable than that. In situations like this one, you can send it, and it SHOULD be fast and simple, but any of a number of things might delay the process. I realize that they aren't magical, and that they can't teleport it back and forth, and some things just take time, but I don't want to wait. I'm not a guy who keeps duplicates on hand, and if my carry gun is down, I'm without it until it comes back. I would rather (especially for a small problem like a mag release) have a local guy fix it and pay for it out of pocket. Having it done quickly outweighs the principle of forcing the manufacturer clean up their mess.

3. This is why I don't really care how good their customer service is. I never use it. I have talked to guys in here who say, "Anyone can make a mistake, and the real test is giving them a chance to make it right." No. The test was wanting them to get it right the first time. My Kimber is the best handgun I have ever owned, I would buy another one in two seconds, because I have never had to find out whether or not their customer service is good.

If I was you, I would talk to a local smith, and tell them to send it back as-is.

MachIVshooter
April 24, 2011, 11:04 AM
Groveling went the way of Rocks and Shoals.

There is quite some distance between the approach I describe and groveling or begging. It's become obvious, though, that you either don't really see what it is that I'm saying, don't believe it actually works, or just feel like being argumentative. At no point have I suggested that a company shouldn't provide proper warranty service, only that there are several ways to get it handled, some of which work better than others. Your proposed approach isn't the worst, but it's also not one that is going to make anyone want to go out of their way to please you.

This is why I don't really care how good their customer service is. I never use it. I have talked to guys in here who say, "Anyone can make a mistake, and the real test is giving them a chance to make it right." No. The test was wanting them to get it right the first time.

Then you would be fine with no one ever giving you a second chance?

I bet you're not so staunch on this policy with your automobile warranty. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think only a fool would pay to have something repaired or replaced that's under manufacturer warranty. It's not just about giving them a chance to make it right, it's about sound financial decisions. I don't know too many people who can afford to throw away money like that, and I've never met a self-made wealthy person who got that way by unnecessarily parting with the money they now have to spare.

EddieNFL
April 24, 2011, 01:48 PM
Your proposed approach isn't the worst, but it's also not one that is going to make anyone want to go out of their way to please you.

In other words you expect more than politeness and respect. Got it.

mljdeckard
April 24, 2011, 05:29 PM
I don't have to mail my car back to Tokyo to get it fixed.

If I were in a business like that, I would consider second chances to be pure mercy. The gun market is far too saturated to expect loyalty after bad mistakes.

But like I say. My Kimber has been fantastic.

EddieNFL
April 24, 2011, 06:16 PM
I don't have to mail my car back to Tokyo to get it fixed.

And they give me another truck to drive and apologize (to me) for the problem. If you want a second chance I expect some groveling (that was a joke).

Drail
April 24, 2011, 06:53 PM
Having the finish rubbed off "inside" the frame is not a defect. Almost all semi autos do that. Having a mag catch that is out of spec is not all that unusual either. They should send you a new one and then you spend 10 seconds installing it. Pretty small potatoes.

MachIVshooter
April 24, 2011, 08:22 PM
In other words you expect more than politeness and respect. Got it.

Stop trying to read between the lines. I say what I mean, there's no need for it. Furthermore, I simply used my own experiences both as a customer and as a business owner to illustrate to the OP how one might better achieve what they desire. Why you chose to attack that by insinuating that there's something wrong with my business practices I don't really understand, though this exchange has given me an opportunity to go into more detail.

You can, however, abandon the self righteous and condescending tone. If there were a problem with my conduct, I wouldn't have been able to build a very successful business started at the height of this recession and using nothing but free advertisements and word of mouth. My business is 82% referral and repeat, and I have enough to do that I could work every hour of every day if I didn't need sleep and had no other obligations.

My original purpose in posting in this thread was having learned on both ends of the equation what works best most of the time to get what you want from a company. If you don't agree, that's your perogative. If you feel that getting more for free isn't worth the less prideful approach I suggested, that's your business and it seems that you accept that it'll likely get you nothing beyond what's expressly provided for within a warranty. That doesn't change the fact that it works. It gets my customers more than they're owed from me, and it's almost always gotten me faster service with greater benefits.

EddieNFL
April 24, 2011, 09:02 PM
Stop trying to read between the lines. I say what I mean

However, if you came in and said "I'm sorry to bother you, but think there may be something wrong with (repair-related item, or symptom), do you think you could have a look?"

I think we've both said enough.

MachIVshooter
April 24, 2011, 11:22 PM
I think we've both said enough

What, you want to cease this discourse because I've called you out on drawing indefensible conclusions?

What you chose to quote as a demonstration of my expectations shows no such thing. In point of fact, nowhere in this thread have I ever said what I do or do not expect. I've merely offered a few examples of how a customers actions may affect my reaction and subsequent service, and pointed out that this is not unique to me or the business I'm in.

And in keeping with the thread, I don't believe that any manufacturer or service provider, Kimber included, has expectations regarding the way customers behave when there is a problem with the product or service they received.

The customer, on the other hand, does have expectations, and it behooves him or her to analyze the problem and the expected resolution, and then decide what they can do in order to achieve the optimal result. The entire purpose of my posting (which has been readily understood by others) is that being more forgiving, more understanding, more willing to cooperate and more patient than necessary often invokes a similar response from the company of giving more than than they have to.

Very few warranties are so explicit that they outline timeframes or other compensation, and there are very few instances in which a company can't find a way out of providing that warranty service if they really try, even under the Magnuson-Moss act. Just something to keep in mind if you ever feel like becoming really nasty. The more pleasant you are to deal with, the more the company is going to want to help you. After all, you're dealing with other human beings.

EddieNFL
April 25, 2011, 08:10 PM
Okay.

StrikeFire83
April 25, 2011, 08:26 PM
MachIVshooter, I think we all know that you and EddieNFL have different concepts of customer service etiquette. Bla bla bla, I think he's acknowledging that fact. The meat of this thread is IMTHDUKE's experience with his Kimber Solo Carry and what the company is doing/will ultimately do for him.

Sapper771
April 26, 2011, 07:29 AM
DUKE,

I am sorry to hear about your troubles. I have dealt with Kimber in the past, and it only took once for me to realize that my money is best spent elsewhere. You may have to take a loss on this one, I did on mine...... but learned a valuable lesson in doing so. Good Luck.

IMTHDUKE
April 26, 2011, 05:25 PM
Just to dispell a statement that has been made.

I just got off the phone with Kimber...they called me in reference to the letter I wrote them about my Solo.
I asked....true or false? Has Kimber ceased production on the Solo. CS said, absolutely, false. We are running about 5 weeks behind on getting the guns to dealers, but they are going out.

gym
April 26, 2011, 06:34 PM
I have been stopped from purchasing Kimbers several times by members here and their horror stories and friends who have suffered dissapointments with many models. On this alone I would not touch their product even though I think they make a very pretty gun, and may be one of the main reasons "as Mass mentioned" for the resurgence of the 1911.
I don't want to be thinking of something going wrong before I even shoot it. But that's just me, I found that almost Half of the people who buy Kimbers have some kind of problem with them. And Kimbers attitude seems to always have been the same, we do it our way and that's it, you must be doing something wrong, the gun works great.
Who needs that crap in this economy. My local gunstore owner had a similar problem with another well known company- Para, and he was on the phone with Smith when it happened, to where the rep asked why he was so upset, gave him the same 1911 with more options from the performance shop for $300.00 less than the custom Para he was having trouble with,"he thought he couldn't afford the gun". Now "they" made it right, that's how you do it, give a competition shooter who owns a gunstore a super deal and have the gun there in a week. The rest is crap. He has all the big names in his personal collection , Brown, Baer, wilson, etc, the S&W outshoots all of them according to his scores. I dry fired it an it had one of if not the best trigger I ever felt, it broke before I had time to even think about it. I guess that's why the performance shop guns are so in demand, it did run him $1800.00, and he's a dealer, but he got it for the same price in half the time and with more options, with someone on the phone asking him what else they could do fo him.

StrikeFire83
April 26, 2011, 06:37 PM
IMTHDUKE, any news on what they're doing with your gun and/or when it'll be ready?

IMTHDUKE
April 26, 2011, 06:52 PM
They "said" in about a week....we will see.

I have one other Kimber with zero problems. I would think about selling this one when I get it back if it did not shoot so well and fit my hand like a glove.

First time ever dealing with any CS....so this is new ground for me.

StrikeFire83
April 26, 2011, 06:57 PM
^ Well, thanks so much for keeping us up to date with your experiences. A big help to others.

highlander 5
April 26, 2011, 07:02 PM
I got to back up a sec,you have to put FIFTEEN hundred rounds thru this pistol before it's considered broken in??? Am I missing something hear. I can see 500 rounds but 1500.
You paid "X" for this pistol and now you got to spend upwards of another $500 to break it in. I must be missing the punch line to a very bad joke.

JDGray
April 26, 2011, 07:25 PM
First time ever dealing with any CS....so this is new ground for me.
Kimbers not bad, try Para O:barf: They never returned a call, email, nothing!

SwampWolf
May 2, 2011, 06:34 PM
I've merely offered a few examples of how a customers actions may affect my reaction and subsequent service, and pointed out that this is not unique to me or the business I'm in.


So, if a customer fails your "attitude test", you will retaliate by being punitive in your response? I don't get that. It seems to me that if the problem is associated with the product, no matter the customer's posture, he/she should be accorded every polite remedy the business owner can muster. That's what good customer service should be all about. Period.

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