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In your opinions, which company provides the best customer service?

Attached is a pic of the new Colt Officer model given to me for Christmas along with my others. Now, that completes the "family" of 1911s, at least for now!
 

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In your opinions, which company provides the best customer service?
Attached is a pic of the new Colt Officer model given to me for Christmas along with my others. Now, that completes the "family" of 1911s, at least for now!
Nice guns you got there. Congrats on the new COLT.

Clarify a bit......

Major market production guns?
Semi-custom shops?
Custom gun shop?

Springer seems to have one of the most solid reputations for good customer service. They proved it twice by me thus far.

Personally, also a good service experience with S&W and Kimber on mods to guns sent in.

Word of mouth here says WILSON provides very good service also.

Be safe, shoot well. :rock:
 

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What do you mean by "customer service?"

What I see in many reports of "good customer service" is a willingness to sell you a defective product and then do you the favor of fixing it. As one poster here said, "You should only have to send a name brand 1911 back to the factory one time to have a functional weapon."
 

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What do you mean by "customer service?"

What I see in many reports of "good customer service" is a willingness to sell you a defective product and then do you the favor of fixing it. As one poster here said, "You should only have to send a name brand 1911 back to the factory one time to have a functional weapon."
It would be really awesome if 100% of anything never needed service. Well we live on planet earth and quite frankly stuff happens. Those manufacturers with really outstanding customer service and lifetime warranties can only afford to provide that level of service if they are not getting a lot of returns as a percentage of product shipped.

Let's take S&W as an example. Grabbing a number out of the air let's say a basic SW1911 wholesales for $700. SW1911s are made in the USA with forged frames and slides and well paid workers. There isn't a whole lot of profit in a single pistol. If a customer has an issue and has to call S&W's world-class customer service team with a real problem it's just cost S&W $10-20 in labor and overhead depending on the length of the call. If the weapon has to go back to S&W they pay for FedEx both ways... $60-100 depending on distance. Plus another $35-70 in gun smithing labor and overhead, plus parts. Call it $100-200 in shipping, labor and overhead per return. A company that provides eager to please customer service, a lifetime warranty and free shipping can only do so if A) their rate of return is infinitesimal, or B) they charge an arm and a leg for their products. S&W's production products obviously fall into category A.

A company that is charging a similar amount and yet provides a far lower level of service does so for a reason. For example trains its CSRs to argue that the pistol just needs another 300-500 rounds to break in, or that the customer must be limpwristing - anything to avoid returns does so for a reason. A company that limits its warranty to one year does so for a reason. The resulting hit in customer good will and and the company's reputation only makes business sense if the rate of return is too high to economically allow a long term investment in better service. Buckets of Kool-Aid and marketing hype can only cover for this for so long, and it should be sending up red flags and enough distress flares to rival the national 4th of July party. "You should only have to send a name brand 1911 back to the factory one time to have a functional weapon" comments are obviously Kool-Aid induced.

Companies like Wilson and Baer turn out far fewer pistols and yes do produce the rare lemon, yet are able to maintain outstanding customer service. I'm fairly sure that they fall into both categories A and B. Obviously if you ship fewer than 1000 pistols in a year (grabbing a number) a 0.1% rate of return for repair of $2000+ pistols is going to ding the bottom line but that one unlucky true believer isn't going to trash the company's deservedly outstanding reputation.

So yes inquiring about a company's reputation for customer service is a very valid question.

BTW, this bit of Business 101 also goes a long way toward addressing MIM myths. Like anything else MIM can be done well or it can be done dirt cheap. A company offering eager service and free shipping for life can only afford (dollars and customer good will) to do so if the rate of returned product is infinitesimal. Certainly less than 0.01%. The production cost savings vs service costs and loss of customer good will just would not make economic sense. Therefore it behooves them to choose components that they feel confident will last the life of the pistol. Think about it...

The use of cheap, low quality "throw away" MIM parts only makes business sense if the warranty period is very limited. Where a cost savings today isn't going to bite them in the butt in 5 or 10 years.
 

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Wow! First of all, beautiful collection, there. Congratulations!

In my experience, Wilson has provided me with the best service so far. Fast, friendly, never had the feeling of being rushed while talking to them, knowledgeable and competent. The other companies I had experience with requesting service(Baer, Sig, Glock and S&W, were also very good / good). Worst was H&K, but this was 2 years ago, I hear they are going great now.

Good Luck,
Jess
 

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I think CS can be spotty at best, HELLFIREman06, even with the companies who garner the best feedback here on the forums. Personally, I think they all do a pretty good job, at least the ones I've had to use...

Now if they all took care of their customers like Dillon or Leupold does, none of us would have to even ask such a question about who is the best or better than others...

Nice photos -- looks as if that M1 carbine just had a bath in Liquid Gold - nice!
 

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Without a doubt in my personal experience it is Springfield Armory.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks

Thanks guys!

Awesome inputs!! I have wonderfull things to say about Springfield, especially their custom shop ops., and also S&W. Awful things on Kimber.

BTW, I got the M1 Carbine from the CMP program. It is manufactured by Underwood and is in fact 100% Underwood, which floored me. The metal and bore are very impressive, little to no wear. The stock, however, was the worst thing I had ever seen. No cracks but it would make your skin crawl to touch it. I did a "Beechwood" oil refinish job and left it in gloss. The final step is to put a satin finish on it, but I am wondering if I really want to go there or not at this time. It would probably look more 'military' with the satin finish. I almost wish I had done the Tung Oil finish, but now it is done, I think it will do.

Again, thanks for the input - a good friend of mine will soon be visiting this site as he prepares to purchase a 1911, and I think you all have really contributed nicely with information he can use.
 

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Scholling is right, it's all just a form of statistical process control.
S&W et al have carefully calculated that they can operate at a level of quality control that brings them X number of warranty claims. Their selling prices are established to pay the production cost, profit, and to cover the fixes. If they get more complaints, they are either going to have to improve quality or do more fixups, either of which will increase their total costs. They will also consider whether bad press on the internet will hurt sales, or whether they can get enough praise for "customer service" to outweigh the reports of duds. They will normally act to minimize costs and maximize profits as best they can calculate.

My outfit, operating in a VERY different field, got sufficient customer complaints one year that I, as the junior engineer on the project, was assigned to provide 100% inspection after all the usual QC measures, and schedule reworks as required. That lasted several months until the process problems were corrected and we could turn out normal - if not perfect - material once more.

Now S&W, Springfield, and Colt, etc., are mass producers and I can understand them operating on statistical process control. I'll just hope I don't get one of the duds and have to spend time and energy on "customer service."

But the boutique makers like Baer, Wilson, and Nighthawk have lower output and higher prices. I view any defective gun in that price range as a major liability to the company's reputation and the desirablility of their product. If I got a faulty gun from a true custom gunsmith whose products you see illustrated here and in the gunzines, I would be horrified and angry.
 

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I would say S&W has the best customer service. But they rarely get guns sent back ,...so...

Turn around is quick for S&W and they are quick about sending you a label so you don't have to pay ship. None of this refund stuff.

Springfield I would have to pick second or first. Mostly because when they get a gun to fix they go over and above customer satisfaction. Basically you get a better gun back than you thought.

The lowest has to be Colt. I sent them a gun back 4x and they could not get it right. They also keep the gun the longest. It is also hard to get a check from them to compensate for shipping even though they tell you they will refund after return the gun. They refuse to send shipping labels out so you can just stick it on the box and send it... Matter of fact they still owe me for shipping.

I have never had to send a Kimber in because i only buy series I Kimbers. :)
 

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Don't know for sure, but it should be Kimber, as they get more practice than anybody else! :)
 

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In no particular order. I have had limited dealings with a few. Best? I don't really have a best but I do have a worst.:biglaugh:

STI good, called talked to knowledgeable people, sent in broken parts got new ones.

Les Baer good, called and talked to a nice lady, sent in part got it back as promised perfect.

Kimber good, sent slide in got sight replaced as promised.

Springfield Armory poor, called and talked to a woman with a major case of the a$$, early V16 missing recoil spring and sight issue, would not even sell me the parts, fixed gun myself and sold it.

Glock poor, called a couple times got different nice people but their "policy" would have cost me $80 to ship it back for a $8 part and 5min. job, factory rebuilt gun with wrong slide stop :confused: which some how there was no record of the gun being rebuilt although it came in a brand new factory sealed box with all the paper work and new mags inside :(, fixed it myself.

These are the Reader's Digest versions of each the poor ones anyway.:biglaugh:
Just my run with them, YMMV as I read everyday others did well with the few I did not.:(

As stated before seems kind of hit or miss, luck of the draw as to who you get on the other end. IF you get somebody good on the other end get their name & EXT no. and treat em right it goes a long way to get your stuff fixed IMHO.:)
 

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Kimber treated me extremely well when I called with questions on my 2 year old gun. The immediately asked me to send it in to them so they could look at it and fix it. They supposedly have just a 1 year warranty.

I'll let you know how it ends up when I get it back from them.
 

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Me personally I think Springfield has the best customer service. Look back a ways in the Springfield Armory threads and see the thread on the poor guy who lost his SA out of a backpack on a motorcycle and see what they did for him, that really says alot. Besides SA now has a full lifetime warranty on whoever owns the gun wether bought new or second or third hand.

Roy
 
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For my money I'd have to vote for Wilson Combat. The few times I've had to deal with them have been an absolute pleasure. They definitely go out of their way to help you. .. usually over and above expectation.
 
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