Sunday, August 2, 2009

Beware Taurus handguns: Where customer service goes to die

I learned one lesson about handguns shortly after I went to work in a gunshop in January. Leave Taurus handguns alone. I heard the owner getting irate on the telephone with somebody, which is totally unlike him. He's the most polite person with customers I ever saw, even when it's some idiot asking "duh!" questions. My gun shop is a family-owned business and we all work very hard at customer service, trying our utmost to please customers even when they are unreasonable.

So I asked Billy, the father of the family, who he was hollering at on the phone? He said it was his weekly call to Taurus customer service, demanding they fix or replace a defective revolver we had received broke in the box in September '08. The distributor refused to take it back, causing Billy to cease doing business with that outlet, and he was forced to send the gun back to Taurus, knowing their customer service is pretty much nonexistent.

Which proved to be true. He called once a week to raise hell with Taurus, always receiving promises that a new revolver was on the way. Finally a replacement showed up in May '09.

If that's customer service, you can call me Pope John. And how many customers are going to be persistent enough to call and raise hell every week for nine long months? Few to none.

So I was interested when I saw that at least one other gun nut agrees with us on Taurus pistols.

Here's an exchange I stole from Tamara's View From The Porch with her gun-nut buddy Caleb.
On Taurus semiautos:
Caleb: I also predict that in the comments, someone will accuse me of having a soft spot for Taurus…they would be correct, I do have an affinity for Taurus’ semi-automatic pistols.

Me: I have a soft spot for mentally-disturbed homeless alcoholic vets on the side of the road, but I wouldn’t bring one home.
I've seen PT-111 Millennium 9mm's with more frequent-flier miles to Miami than a Colombian cocaine mule.
I'm with Tamara. I won't buy a Taurus handgun myself and I won't recommend them to a customer. If they want to buy a Taurus I won't try to talk them out of it, but I will show them the Smiths and tell them they're worth the extra coin. And if that fails, I'll show them the Charter revolvers, which are comparably priced with Taurus and provide actual customer service.

I bought a Charter .327 Magnum that was one of the first 1,000 made and it developed a minor problem I decided not to ignore. I sent it back to Charter and they fixed it, free. Great service.

So if you're looking at handguns, buy a Smith. Or a Charter. Or a Ruger. Anything but a Taurus.

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