When four days went by without a call from the president, I sat down and wrote a detailed letter to the president, with all of my photographs, notes, receipts, email correspondence, etc. I knew the people at their office were not going to give me the president’s email address so I sent him the documentation via FedEx. I ran this by my friend again to ask him if I should send this and he told me to do so.
I waited a week and still did not get a response from the president. At that point, I told my friend what had happened, via email, and without asking me he sent an email to the president telling him that I was a very unhappy customer.
In the midst of all this, a friend of mine from California who has an FFL sent me a link to another website with a thread by an owner of the same type of gun. The gun owner went to their factory multiple times since he lives in the same state and they could not get the gun to work for him satisfactorily. Ultimately, he returned the weapon to the dealer he bought it from who refunded his money against the purchase of a different firearm
Two days later I got a phone call from the president. He was not conciliatory at all. No apology was offered in any way. He suggested that I send the product back and he would personally go through it and ensure it was working before he returned it to me. I told him that was not what I wanted, that I wanted a refund for the purchase price, ammo, and spare parts (unused) I had bought. He said “No.” He then offered me a brand new model that was just released this year and 1000 rounds of ammunition. Again, I refused. He finally agreed to refund the money to the distributor who would in turn reimburse my dealer. I could see his logic in that perspective. There was no offer to reimburse me for my ammunition.
I had been in to the see my local dealer since my ultimate attempts began to get the product taken back. He was extremely helpful and called the distributor, who was not especially enthusiastic about getting involved.
Once the president agreed to take the product back for a refund to the distributor, he asked that I secure the purchase order number my dealer had bought it under. When I had the last bit of documentation he insisted on having, I called the tech rep and asked for RMA numbers to return the firearm and spares. I told him I was very sorry as I seriously wanted this product to work. He then admitted to me that while they had very few returns, when one of these firearms came back they could not figure out why there were problems. I was dumbfounded at his admission.
On the positive side, my local dealer ordered me a replacement for this firearm from another manufacturer as soon as the manufacturer of the defective weapon received it back. He may have to wait a month or two before he gets reimbursed. He really went out of his way for me.
Here are the lessons I learned:
1) When you buy a firearm, do meticulous research on how it performs. I did, but there wasn’t much I could do about a review that came out after I had taken delivery.
2) Keep everything that came with the firearm until you are absolutely sure it functions properly.
3) Keep all of your receipts.
4) If you have problems with the firearm from the beginning, keep detailed records on what the problems are. Take notes, take photographs with your cell phone, and be sure to record what happened with what ammo.
5) Don’t threaten or yell. Be polite but firm.
6) Maintain a good relationship with your local dealer. You never know when you might need their help.
7) I was prepared to go to the Utah Department of Consumer Affairs if the issue was not resolved. I spoke to the agency here in Utah and they said they were interested in the case. I would have taken the manufacturer to small claims if I had to.
I think most of this is common sense but it was a rough road for a couple of months and if it saves someone else some grief it was worth my time to write this.