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?Business ethics ?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by gun fitter, Oct 17, 2008.

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  1. gun fitter

    gun fitter TS Member

    Joined:
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    I'm hoping you can help me with a decision I'm trying to make.

    I have always given a guarantee with my work. If something goes wrong or your not satisfied I will fix it to your liking. It's basically a life time guarantee!
    Yours or mine who ever dies first voids the guarantee.

    Recently a customer sent me a Perazzi stock to glass bed since it was a stock from another gun he wanted to make sure that the stock would not crack.
    I bedded the stock with epoxy and atomized steel and relieved the contact points which I have found to cause cracking.

    A few days ago I received an e-mail from the customer stating that after shooting 100 light 1 oz loads the stock had Developed a slight crack and that he would like me to refund him his money. I did make the mistake of not having the barrels sent and test firing the gun.

    Now there could be several reasons that the crack developed. Improper through bolt tension. The stock did not have the typical factory lock washer arrangement. Slapping the gun closed or barrels too loose on the hinge can also create cracks. Even the factory stocks on the guns they are built for crack. I was shooting with a Perazzi owner last week who had his stock built by perazzi on a new gun this year who had developed a crack in his stock.

    Wood is an unknown quantity in the equation. Everything can be perfect and it can go bad.

    It is actually much easier to correct a crack that is developing than to prevent one. I repair at least a dozen major stock cracks each year and to my recollection I have had 4 come back to me in the last 15 or so years. One I had to fix 3 times in order to get it right. That one was cracked when someone else bent the stock.

    I feel really bad! I e-mailed him and told him that I was sorry and I would like him to send it back to me so that I could see what was wrong. I offered to repair it or return his money after my inspection at his discretion.

    I further told him that would not charge him any more for the shipping or any further repairs.

    Here's my problem I do not doubt this customer but I cannot make a habit of sending out refunds sight unseen.

    I really want to see his stock to determine what went wrong. I have no problem with refunding the money if It's my fault but I need to inspect the gun. I need to know so this doesn't happen with any more customers.

    What should I do. This is a first!
    Joe
     
  2. shooterIII

    shooterIII Member

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    Joe:
    Is he refusing to send the stock back for inspection? If that is true than I would not refund his money until I saw the stock. Just my opinion.

    Stan
     
  3. Big Dave

    Big Dave Member

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    I also like to back my work 100%, but would not make a refund without be able to inspect the problem and have a chance to correct it. In the past 40+ years I have had several customers that have requested a partial or full refund without letting me inspect the problem, on three of these occasions I discovered that there was no problem, but only an attempt to get some free work done. If it is my fault I will repair or make a full refund, if it is their fault I will usually repair the problem without charge, unless I can determine there was intensional damage done.
     
  4. gun fitter

    gun fitter TS Member

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    I'm pretty much in agreement.

    I really believe this guy; but I just need to see what happened.

    First I may have done something incorrect in which case I would want to know and then would be in a better position to correct the problem in the future. Second I want an opportunity to make things right. Simply a refund does nothing to foster customer relations. If I fix it I should have a customer for life.

    Joe
     
  5. mixer

    mixer Well-Known Member

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    Strange that the first thing the customer wanted was a refund. I would have thought that he would have said "there's a problem and I'm going to send the stock back to you for evaluation & possible repair". To me that's what stand up people would do.


    Eric
     
  6. Dickgshot

    Dickgshot Well-Known Member

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    JOE: So what do you want me to do?

    KRAMER: I want restitution.

    JOE: Restitution? You want restitution? Why should I give you restitution?

    KRAMER: Because it's no good.

    JOE: When you put that fruit out, that's where it ends for me.

    KRAMER: It's still your fruit, you gotta stand behind your fruit.

    JOE: I stand behind my fruit.

    KRAMER: So...

    JOE: Hey, you got a bad peach? That's an act of God. He makes the peaches. I don't make the peaches, I sell the peaches. You have a problem? You talk to him.
     
  7. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    Although I was going to accept this deal as "Stupid Tax", and was not going to throw salt on a wound, I am the customer who sent the stock in for work. It was a take off, and had no problems. I performed warranty service and repair for Ithaca when the Perazzi was imported by them.

    I am very familiar with their operation and handling quirks. I wanted the stock glass bedded, as I am going to shoot a lot of standard trap loads through the gun. The factory stock on the gun had cracks at both the top and bottom tang.

    After 100 rounds of light ammo, the receiver settled into the stock enough for the top tang to split the stock. It would appear that the glass bedding was not properly applied. Although I wanted to send the whole gun in for the stock fitting, Joe insisted he did not want the barrels or trigger.

    Fact is, after being told I probably caused the stock to crack, I did not trust another attempt at repair. I sent the gun back to where I bought the stock.

    I am sure there are many folks who have had good luck with a repair or service by Joe. I am not one of them.

    I am not angry or vindictive. After Joe offered a refund and I told him I would accept it, he then said he wanted to see the gun. No thanks, Joe.

    Have a nice day.
     
  8. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    Well, Joe offered a refund and then wanted to see the stock ..? If this is fact then Joe owes him a refund but should be able to see the result of his work and see said crack before extending the refund ...

    If the customer demanded a refund and did not mention Joe being able to see the stock, that would be considered unreasonable and in turn said customer has nothing coming ... I am trying to be subjective and reasonable and thats the best I could come up with after reading both sides of the story ... I think thats the same thing Judge Judy would say in this case ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  9. 5spd

    5spd TS Member

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    I would have to inspect said stock before issuing any refund. How do I know that the customer didnt over tightend a bolt or what not casing said problem.

    No standup customer would refuse a simple return for inspection before any refund or fix is taken place.
     
  10. chessney

    chessney TS Member

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    I have seen some of Shooting Coach's posts. This don't suprise me...Ziggy
     
  11. gun fitter

    gun fitter TS Member

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    No offense taken by the salt.

    I really wanted to hear from some others I was considering just sending the money back. I'm very upset by the situation and a bit conflicted about what to do.

    I am truly sorry if there is a problem I want to make it right. I can't tell what happened I don't have a crystal ball. Really I just want to see what happened.

    I never insinuated that it was the customers fault or that the stock was not indeed cracked.

    I believe him. However there were a myriad of reasons that could have caused the problem. I e-mailed him 3 or 4 times the day he contacted me. I offered to inspect it and repair it and return it with no additional shipping charges. I even offered to refund the money If he did not want me to repair the stock I just wanted to have it returned for inspection. Of course I would prefer to fix the stock for him. I would have probably fixed it and returned the stock with the refund. I didn't offer that because i would have liked to have done it in order to foster better customer relations.

    My problem is this situation sucks for both of us. It may or may not be my fault. He does not know why it cracked and I haven't seen it. To blindly assume responsibility would be foolish. I can tell you that It would have been repaired by now if he had shipped it to me when I first heard from him.

    It seems that there was an excessive amount of setback on the stock especially since I relieved the wood where he said it cracked. I assume that the wood was extremely soft or the through bolt tension or angle was at fault.

    Having worked for Ithica I would think my customer would have understood that my request to inspect the stock was reasonable. I don't think that anyone at Ithica ever issued a refund on work without having the gun returned for inspection. In fact Giacomo and his wife Agusta are great friends of mine and even if I had a problem with anything done by Giacomo sporting that they would have requested it back before any resolution.
    Joe
     
  12. jimx200

    jimx200 Member

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    The customer needs to return it to you for inspection. I'm surprised shooting coach identified himself here and wants to hash it out on TS. The common procedure is to let the craftsman identify the problem and resolve the issue.
     
  13. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    I recently retired from a corp that had a motto. Customer is always right, do whatever it takes to satisfy that person even if they are unreasonable. It can be expensive sometimes but in the long run you will be the winner. Our policy was no questions asked lifetime warranty!!! Period!! It was the key to our success.
     
  14. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    I would never expect a vendor to give me a full refund, sight-unseen.


    ...but then again, if I had never been able to maintain an ATA registered 16-yard average over 93% for more than 100 birds, I also probably wouldn't go to a trapshooting site under a name like "Shooting Coach," and proffer all manner of shooting advice to anyone who will listen, either.


    So I guess it's, like, apples and oranges, you know?
     
  15. GARMASTERS

    GARMASTERS TS Member

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    Tell him to send you multiple PICTURES.
     
  16. mette56

    mette56 Well-Known Member

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    Cuban,

    Customer is always right...

    I practiced those same policies all of my career and glad I did. Not researching what or where the problem was is a foolish business practice because no body really wins and that practice, without study and research produces sub quality results in the end. My company was an award winning Gvt. Subcontractor and never got booted for sub quality work. In fact, nominated by McDonnell Douglas as Subcontractor of the Year nationally in 1986. Always research the source of the complaint and/or problem. Those who did not participate or coorporate in that research were not worthy of being our customer. Hold your standards high while letting the customer always be right!

    Joe, your business ethics are just fine...imo.

    milt
     
  17. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    There is absolutly nothing wrong with wanting to see the problem before making any adjustments.

    Don
     
  18. KENENT1

    KENENT1 Active Member

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    I would never refund or credit money with out inspecting parts.


    Tony

    KenEnt Screw Mach. Products.
     
  19. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

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    Even Dillon's life time, no BS warranty where they'll repair or replace a loader damaged in a home fire requires you send in the damaged item for their inspection. This is a no brainer. The questioned item goes back for inspection first.....breakemall.....Bob Dodd
     
  20. otnot

    otnot Active Member

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    Gunfitter I have been in business for myself for 29 years and have found that though it is at times a tough pill to swallow the customer is always right. I have had customers that had complaints and I rectified the problem and they are still customers 20 years later. You did the right thing in offering to redo the stock or to refund. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. I recently shipped $1200 worth of King Crab to a customer and it was delayed by weather and spoiled, since it was weather related FedEx would not insure the shipment. It was not the customers fault but neither was it mine. I replaced it other than go through the hassle with the customer and then ultimately have the customer dispute his credit card. Just remember you can't always make the customer happy and there are times that you know they are wrong but when your offering a service you have to go beyond the call of duty and bite your tongue and smile while doing it. LOL
     
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