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I've never had a company refuse an owners manual

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Nowhere Man, Jul 19, 2011.

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  1. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Member

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    Until today. I called Taraus and asked for an owners manual for my Judge. I was told no and told to download it off their website.

    I found this odd especially, living in a world of "CYA" a company would refuse to send an operating manual.:scrutiny:


    Dave
     
  2. khegglie

    khegglie Member

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    if you can just down load the PDf and it will be right there for you to review
     
  3. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

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    They didn't refuse you a manual. They pointed you towards their site, where you can download it. What's the point of sending you one if it's readily available elsewhere?
     
  4. wh!plash

    wh!plash Member

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    In the year 2011, a manufacturer offering an electronic copy that's accessible instantly anywhere in the world 24/7/365 should be sufficiently checking the CYA box.

    I don't think thats completely unreasonable that they don't want to deal with the effort involved to field those phone calls, take requests, keep printed copies in stock, mail them out, etc. Its a bigger expense than you think, and less accessible by the customer. Maybe I'm biased since I work in IT for a manufacturer (medical equipment).
     
  5. ants

    ants Member

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    More frequently, companies are referring requests to PDF downloads so they can update quickly if they find errors in the manual.

    In this day of CYA, that is even MORE important to them.

    I think Taurus did the reasonable thing for you, Dave. If you want an original printed manual to complete a gun in its original box with documents, follow ebay and gunbroker and auction arms until one pops up.
     
  6. wh!plash

    wh!plash Member

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    Another point I should add. Plenty of consumer products these days are shipped without printed materials at all. Many computers and other devices just come with a single CD containing all the PDFs, or even just include those PDFs on the device itself.
     
  7. gym

    gym member

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    This is true, several of the electronic/ kitchen devices I bought recentlly had no manual, you are expected to download it or read it on the computer
     
  8. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    Oh come on.... good customer service would have been to at least print the dang manual from the PDF and mail it to him....

    Personally, I've had very good luck with Taurus customer service, but I didn't need a manual.
     
  9. forindooruseonly

    forindooruseonly Member

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    This. Believe it or not, but there are people who don't own a computer or know anything about them, especially in the older age groups.

    They should have sent him a copy.
     
  10. wh!plash

    wh!plash Member

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    Eh, I disagree. I think clicking a link to read a PDF should be something well within the technical ability of someone who can participate in an online forum enough to complain about said PDF. I don't think its unreasonable expectation by the manufacturer.
     
  11. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

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    They do it for him, he tells his friends about it, then they end up printing the dang manual for everyone who calls asking for one - thus negating ever having it available on the website.

    I agree with Wh!plash - IMHO, if the customer can't be arsed to download their own manual, I feel sorry for that customer.
     
  12. Mikee Loxxer

    Mikee Loxxer Member

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    Companies are under a great deal of pressure to control costs, especially in this economy. The expense of printing out a manual and mailing it to you is not insignificant. The manufacturer I work for charges $50 per paper manual.
     
  13. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

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    In the case of this thread, it's clearly evident that the OP owns a computer and has internet access.

    Sorry, but this is the way of the future. Internet access either via landline or cell phone is nearly ubiquitous for everyone in this country, including even some of the most poor or rural. Furthermore, with the advent of laptops, smart phones, ereaders and digital pads it's much more convenient for both the business and the customer to simply download a PDF that you can read at your leisure or print if you wish to have a hard copy on hand.

    What's the point of going to the trouble to have tens of thousands of extra manuals printed, and then mailing them out to people who ask for them, when you can have the entire manual, right now and ready to go in a format that can be distributed for practically nothing?
     
  14. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Indeed. In today's environment, sending out a paper manual everytime someone calls asking isn't a cheap proposition, particularly when a manual has been made available in a fashion that will not cost either party anything.

    People love to come in and say things like "See! That's what buying a cheap gun gets you!", but realistically this is the type of things companies with low cost products do to keep their costs down. Some people prefer to reap the benefits (ie, cheaper prices) of buying from a company that DOES try to run efficiently and keep costs down.

    Heck, why would I want a PRINTED manual anyways when I could have an instantly searchable and indexed PDF copy?
     
  15. wh!plash

    wh!plash Member

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    Agreed, I'll always take the electronic copy. Or better yet, a link to the original electronic copy. Because there is one other benefit to mention: revisioning.

    If the manufacturer makes a change to the document, they need just change it in one place on their website. That's a huge advantage over having reprint their stock and ditch entire boxes of previously-printed manuals that are now out of date. How about all those boxes of product in the warehouse that were packed with the previous revision of the manual, not to mention all the unsold units in your distributors possession? Especially with a product like a firearm where improper use can cause bodily injury, I imagine it would be a big deal to be shipping units with incorrect info in the outdated printed materials.
     
  16. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    I think the business needs to look beyond the immediate cost of an act of customer service and analyze the long term effects of their decisions.

    What would have happened if the call went like this:

    "I need a manual for my Taurus Judge"

    "Sir, are you aware that the manual is available online at www.taurususa.com? We make it available that way so that you can have instant access to it and not have to wait for it to get to you in the mail. In order to save expenses we order only enough printed manuals to include in new guns we deliver to dealers; but if you have no way of downloading the manual, we can print the same file for you and send you a paper copy for the cost of processing and postage."

    That answer is likely to satisfy the customer and they are more likely to purchase a product from that company again.

    The answer of "we can't afford to help you" is likely to drive that customer to do business with other companies and take friends and family with them.

    In today's economy, which costs a company more, mailing out a few documents that they print from a .pdf file, or losing customers and getting a bad word-of-mouth reputation?
     
  17. Nushif

    Nushif Member

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    I am pretty sure the Taurus answer was not "we are too cheap to help you." That is us talking.
    Their answer was probably something along the lines of "Oh, it is easily available! Just go to [the interwebs]"

    I know we all hate Taurus, but they are a functional business, give them some credit. 8)
     
  18. EAJ

    EAJ Member

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    I agree with NAVYLCDR’s business philosophy and would conduct business with his company if he had one. Customer service should always be a top priority. :)

    Personally, I dislike working from an owner manual supplied by the manufacturer on a CD. It may be convenient and inexpensive for the manufacturer, but it’s not always convenient or accessible for the customer when you have the PC in one room and your product in another.
     
  19. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

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    i would actually be glad they pointed my to the PDF.......ide much rather have the manual now, than wait a week for it to arrive in the mail.

    if i want a printed copy( which i do prefer)....simply print it out...


    now if the gun was collectable....or somewhat valuable......then i could see calling the manufacturer to see if they had an original copy.
     
  20. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Customer Service costs money though, which drives prices up. Everything a company does raises costs which in turn means we pay more. While I do want swift warranty work for things that are broken, I don't mind trading off the "customer is always right we'll send you whatever you want at no cost" bit if it means that I don't need to pay as much up front. Sure a lot of companies used to be like that, but realistically the vast majority of customers never, ever called the company for anything after the sale. Why should they subsidize the ones who demand "full service"?

    It's not like you have no choices. There are companies out there that are still like that. If you want that level of service, do business with them. You can't really buy a budget-priced pistol though and expect premium price treatment.
     
  21. CWL

    CWL Member

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    If you guys ever run your own business, you'll understand why companies are turning to electronic data files only.

    You may think it's easy, but it isn't easy to print, keep warehoused and then ship the dozens (or is it hundreds) of manuals they have to maintain for every firearm they ever manufactured. Don't forget that they have to do this in multiple languages, and they need to hire additional manpower in the shipping office just to maintain this.

    Not only are these expenses passed-on to the gun buyer, but these are the kind of expenses that can sink a company.
     
  22. Ole Coot

    Ole Coot Member

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    I'm of that "older generation" and even if a manual is available I still download the free pdf file and have them for all my firearms. It is no problem to burn all I need on a CD and store it in a gun safe. I don't know anyone that can't use a computer or knows someone that can print them a manual. I have downloaded manuals on firearms I was considering purchasing just to learn more about them. For what it's worth the first computer I worked on or used was 1964.
     
  23. RyanAnchors

    RyanAnchors Member

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    Personally I prefer the company puts the PDF online and I can print it out it I need it in person.
     
  24. ants

    ants Member

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    Here's a good question:

    Does a product manufacturer have an absolute responsibility to get you a manual?

    EITHER:
    The man bought a used gun, the seller didn't give him the manual.
    What is the original manufacturer's responsibility?
    To make up for the seller's failure?

    -OR-

    The man bought the gun new, and lost the manual.
    What is the original manufacturer's responsibility?
    To make up for the original buyers failure?



    Does the manufacturer have added obligation because guns are dangerous?
    So is a car.
    So are power tools.
    So are electric appliances.
    And more than half the consumer products you own.



    Manufacturers make manuals available so they can defend themselves when you do something stupid.

    They distribute manuals only to protect themselves.
    They can do that in print, or pdf, or CD, or any other medium. Their choice.
     
  25. wh!plash

    wh!plash Member

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    That reasoning always sounds good, but again, it comes down to numbers. Real measurable business metrics, and calculating ROI.

    What percentage of unit sales come from customers who:
    1. Had that 'favorable' customer support experience in the past
    2. Purchased this unit directly as a result of #1
    3. Wouldn't have made this purchase had #1 not occurred

    I'd say that number is pretty low. Or at least, low enough to justify not having an documentation team on staff to create, update, print, and stock your literature inventory, etc etc etc.

    Moral of the story:
    Unless you have a customer that just has a god-awful, nightmare of a customer support issue, most people aren't going to swear off a brand for something like that. Likewise, something as simple as this won't normally influence the purchase of something they wouldn't have needed/wanted/purchased otherwise (considering the item is in the hundreds of dollars). The majority of consumers make a purchase primarily because its a product they want.

    Real life example. OP, are you saying you'll never purchase a Taurus ever again as a result of this issue? If they had printed a manual and mailed it to you, would it directly influence another firearm purchase that you wouldn't have made otherwise? There's your answer right there. I'm guessing if they come out with another product you like, you'll buy it, otherwise, you won't. And just think, you're one of the vocal minority of customers who will actually take the time to go to an online forum to post a complaint...
     
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