Online gun and shooting accessories manufacturer not a straight shooter
August 5, 2011 | 1607 views | Post a comment
Consumers out thousands of dollars when company doesn’t deliver
AUSTIN, Texas -- Better Business Bureau advises consumers to do their research before making expensive gun and shooting purchases online. One Coastal Bend area company earned an F rating from BBB and left a string of frustrated customers who paid in full for their products but never received them.
Mike's Gun Sales & Service is an Aransas Pass, Texas, company offering rifles, suppressors and shooting accessories for sale to consumers nationwide on its website, www.jetsuppressors.com. The company claims to specialize in building custom precision rifles.
Consumers allege they paid an average of $1,500 to this company in advance, some as much $3,900. Unfortunately, some consumers have contacted BBB after their gun or gun related products were not delivered in the expected timeframe, if at all.
Corpus Christi resident Richard Epstein told BBB it’s been a year since he paid Mike’s Gun Sales & Service $1,300 and he still has nothing to show for it. Initially the company tried to blame the lag on paperwork required by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for approval of the application.
“[The company] says it could be up to 13 months for the government to handle the paperwork,” Epstein said.
However, he told BBB that when he contacted government officials to confirm, they estimated the process should take only three months. Additionally, Epstein was told he could verify whether the paperwork had even been filed if he got a serial number. In his last phone call with the company, he asked for that serial number, but never received it.
Nearly 11 months after paying his money, Epstein filed a complaint with BBB. Unfortunately, Mike's Gun Sales & Service did not respond, and he still has received “no refund and no product,” he said.
He’s not alone. BBB has received five complaints in the last 12 months from consumers who allege this company failed to deliver products when promised, the company has not responded to any of those complaints.
Based on recent complaints, BBB requested that Mike’s Gun Sales & Service provide an explanation of the cause of the disputes as well a statement explaining what action the company would take to address consumer complaints and prevent them from arising.
BBB contacted the company again on June 1, after receiving another consumer complaint alleging the same concerns. Once again, the company did not respond.
Epstein found Mike’s Gun Sales & Service online while searching for shooting and marksmanship products. He admits he did not do enough research before agreeing to work with the company. If he had, he said, he would have seen BBB’s F rating and read the numerous negative reviews.
To help consumers avoid paying hundreds of dollars to online dealers for firearms or related products they may never receive, BBB offers the following tips:
- Federal laws should be followed. If the gun must be shipped, then it must be shipped to a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder. Before a gun is released to the buyer, the FFL holder will often charge a small fee for required background checks. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has a full list of restrictions on its website.
- Review the return, refund, shipping and handling policies. If you can’t find them, ask the seller to provide them to you in writing.
- Use a credit card. If you have an unauthorized charge on your credit card, under federal law your liability is limited to $50. In fact, some credit card issuers and website operators say that under certain circumstances they will even pay this amount for consumers. In addition, some credit card issuers grant extended warranties or other advantages for purchases made with the card.
- Print the terms. Date and have a copy of terms, conditions, warranties, item description, company information and confirming emails and save them with all records of the purchase.
To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit BBB.org .
About Better Business Bureau:
BBB's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.
Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization's high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.
Contact BBB serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin at (512) 445-4748.
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