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Are We asking Too Much?

I've followed very closely an ongoing thread regarding a customer's problems with an airgun vendor who happens to be a sponsor of this forum. I've had interactions with the vendor in question and those past experiences with the vendor influence my take on the issue at hand.

I know that customers can sometimes be demanding and maybe some of us have unrealistic expectations of the products we purchase and the service we receive from vendors. However, considering the amount of money we invest in our toys (I personally have spent 10s of thousands $$$ on airguns and accessories since taking up this hobby) and the claims made by gun manufacturers and vendors with their paid YouTubers, maybe those expectations are not unreasonable.

I happen to be a retiree with much free time and adequate disposable income to keep myself busy and active in pursuit of my expensive hobby. When dealing with the various vendors, I always try to keep in mind that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes.

With that in mind, I have essentially two requirements (of vendors) when deciding where to spend my hard-earned pension funds:

1) Integrity

2) Communication (keep the lines open)

Everything else in the customer/merchant relationship proceeds from there.

What are your expectations?
 
Considering the cost of many of the guns and much of the related equipment required for this hobby, I think your two requirements are right on track with how I feel.

I would hate to spend a ton of money on an item and then be ghosted by the seller if a problem were to arise.

That said, and I don't mean to say that I think it's the case in the thread referenced above, I do understand that some customers can be a bit vexatious.
 

delooper

Member
Jul 7, 2020
480
86
BC, Canada
    It's probably pretty easy as a vendor to come to the opinion that if there's one loud and unreasonable jerk hogging the oxygen on a forum, drowning people out with unreasonable opinions, then maybe the entire forum is poison so just give up on it. i.e. the forum is perhaps not conducive to productive relationships with customers, so just back away -- do less, and do it in a more controlled, constructive fashion.

    I don't know what thread you are referring to, but that's me responding to the general tone of your post. 

    A major constraint on vendors (and employers in general) is time. You have to use your time efficiently, and internet forums don't really allow for that. 
     

    dizzums

    Member
    Feb 5, 2021
    1,992
    144
    FL, United States
      in the current climate expecting anything is questionable .. alot of things are out of anyones control theres shortages and delays and labor problems everywhere not to mention a general lack of integrity morality and good work ethic ... older people remember how things should be ... but expecting that now isnt realistic ... i try to serve at my job and be a positive contributer to the community and be as gracious as i can be, and theres nothing worse than an overly demanding customer, some things are out of my control, and really theyre lucky to be getting what they are way i see it .. so, its going to get worse, not better .. alot is on 'you' to have a strategy to acquire what you want with an acceptable risk .. but demanding premium service these days is fanciful thinking .. if you findca place that can provide that definitely stick with them and realize thats the exception not the rule anymore, and if they slip its probably because they cant keep up ..
       
      A product should have a range of tolerances because no two devices can be expected to be identical in every aspect with mass production. As long as the product functions consistently within the set range of tolerances the vendor/ manufacturer has met their goal. If it doesn't met stated tolerances then it should be refunded or replaced with one that does. Now if the customer can't make the product fit his own expectations that's not the vendor/ manufacturers problem. We have to have a certain level of knowledge to put these products together and make the system work. Some people just can't be satisfied. I'm not familiar with the referenced issue stated above. If I have an issue and the vendor will communicate with me we can resolve said issue. 
       
      I've followed very closely an ongoing thread regarding a customer's problems with an airgun vendor who happens to be a sponsor of this forum. I've had interactions with the vendor in question and those past experiences with the vendor influence my take on the issue at hand.

      I know that customers can sometimes be demanding and maybe some of us have unrealistic expectations of the products we purchase and the service we receive from vendors. However, considering the amount of money we invest in our toys (I personally have spent 10s of thousands $$$ on airguns and accessories since taking up this hobby) and the claims made by gun manufacturers and vendors with their paid YouTubers, maybe those expectations are not unreasonable.

      I happen to be a retiree with much free time and adequate disposable income to keep myself busy and active in pursuit of my expensive hobby. When dealing with the various vendors, I always try to keep in mind that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes.

      With that in mind, I have essentially two requirements (of vendors) when deciding where to spend my hard-earned pension funds:

      1) Integrity

      2) Communication (keep the lines open)

      Everything else in the customer/merchant relationship proceeds from there.

      What are your expectations?

      Agree.

      I would add: transparency. People are not dumb and when we get the run-around, we know it. If they mess up, they need to own it and then make it right.
       
      • Like
      Reactions: bamavet55
      I've followed very closely an ongoing thread regarding a customer's problems with an airgun vendor who happens to be a sponsor of this forum. I've had interactions with the vendor in question and those past experiences with the vendor influence my take on the issue at hand.

      I know that customers can sometimes be demanding and maybe some of us have unrealistic expectations of the products we purchase and the service we receive from vendors. However, considering the amount of money we invest in our toys (I personally have spent 10s of thousands $$$ on airguns and accessories since taking up this hobby) and the claims made by gun manufacturers and vendors with their paid YouTubers, maybe those expectations are not unreasonable.

      I happen to be a retiree with much free time and adequate disposable income to keep myself busy and active in pursuit of my expensive hobby. When dealing with the various vendors, I always try to keep in mind that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes.

      With that in mind, I have essentially two requirements (of vendors) when deciding where to spend my hard-earned pension funds:

      1) Integrity

      2) Communication (keep the lines open)

      Everything else in the customer/merchant relationship proceeds from there.

      What are your expectations?

      Agree.

      I would add: transparency. People are not dumb and when we get the run-around, we know it. If they mess up, they need to own it and then make it right.

      Well said.

      +1
       

      Vetmx

      Member
      Dec 4, 2017
      3,284
      262
      Pa, United States
        It’s easy to walk around with rose sunglasses until you actually have to deal with customers. People come in all shapes and sizes and that also goes for the gray matter between their ears. When a hobby explodes, the percentage of people who are just plain difficult or don’t know what they’re doing increases also. AGN only sees a small percentage of actual airgun customers and we all know the diverse personalities we have here. Top that with the complexity of these guns and some people completely needing their hand held after getting in over their head. I don’t know how places like Utah or AOA deal with it. My hats off to them so therefore I’m not real quick to jump on a bashing bandwagon about any of them. It’s 2022 so basically all I expect from a dealer is a gun on my porch that holds air. I’ll handle the rest.
         
        I am not sure if it is appropriate to chime in here but I will tread lightly. I agree that there are customers that can be very much me me me me when it comes to things. The feeling that once I give you money, sometimes lots of money I own you in a way and I expect you when I need you at a moments notice. This is definitely a very wrong attitude and is very self centered. Just because you open you wallet doesn't mean you are the top priority for the business. A company can and should prioritize issues, triage the situations as they come if you will. But at least let the customer know where they stand.

        With that said, the post that is being referred to is mine and my experience with a PCP company. I just want to say that I feel (opinions may very) that I was very gracious for months with this company and very patient. I never felt I should be treated different but I should be treated fairly. At least get get some customer service. I never pressured them. I was gracious and understanding, almost probably too much. I would only call every few weeks to "check on my concerns" and to see if any progress was made. Did they even think of getting to my issues? I used the media hat was given to me provided by them for contact. But at a point when the items are defective and there is no way to get anything done and you are not shooting your gun you need to reach out for advice, you need to expose the issue, which can be done tactfully, which I believe I did and hoped for the best. Sometimes you can't go at it alone. I so much want an amicable ending to these issues. I simple want a working product that I paid for. Yes, I am putting some pressure on them, but doing it with integrity and honesty. I am not bashing, only telling the truth and let that will speak for itself. I never asked a member here to form any type of opinion to side with one or the other. Just my experience. 

        Please it you are curious of the issue see the post if you are not familiar. You will see that there is no malicious intent. 

        - Greg. 

        https://www.airgunnation.com/topic/a-little-long-but-worth-the-read-edgun-west-and-the-l2/?referrer=1
         

        L.Leon

        Member
        Aug 29, 2018
        4,261
        356
        NY, United States
          I agree with @vetmx, I buy a PCP expecting only that it works as advertised. The vendor? If there are no issues with the PCP, then they're completed a successful sale. But if the customer has legit, non user induced issues? Then it's just good business practice to make it right. A happy customer may buy again. An unhappy one will surely not.
           
          I agree with @vetmx, I buy a PCP expecting only that it works as advertised. The vendor? If there are no issues with the PCP, then they're completed a successful sale. But if the customer has legit, non user induced issues? Then it's just good business practice to make it right. A happy customer may buy again. An unhappy one will surely not.

          This is very well stated and very true. Customer in the end holds the power. 
           

          Ranchibi

          Member
          Feb 19, 2018
          2,635
          172
          CA, United States
            Bamavet, I am with with on your expectations from "vendors" (vendors should make sure guns shoot as advertised, hold air and communicate). I think manufacturers need to take a large load of responsibility for "their" products that they build. I don't own an FX gun now, did before, but their presence here and how they reach out to owners of their guns (awesome communication) here that are having issues makes me want to get another one of their guns. Good thread, kudos to FX for standing behind their great products.
             

            Vetmx

            Member
            Dec 4, 2017
            3,284
            262
            Pa, United States
              Unfortunately when you own a business that’s product is in such high demand and your selling faster than you can produce, a few unhappy customers is meaningless. I’ve seen plenty of topics about about bad experiences with this guy or that dealer with plenty of people jumping on board. But when that guy or that dealer gets a shipment of guns or other products, they magically all get sold. With people in general becoming buyaholics, spending money on dumb sh#t like cash is coming out their butts, it puts the consumer at an extreme disadvantage compared to how it used to be. It very unfortunate.
               
              Unfortunately when you own a business that’s product is in such high demand and your selling faster than you can produce, a few unhappy customers is meaningless. I’ve seen plenty of topics about about bad experiences with this guy or that dealer with plenty of people jumping on board. But when that guy or that dealer gets a shipment of guns or other products, they magically all get sold. With people in general becoming buyaholics, spending money on dumb sh#t like cash is coming out their butts, it puts the consumer at an extreme disadvantage compared to how it used to be. It very unfortunate.

              Well put!
               
              I’ve owned most of the top selling brands of airguns and purchased these though all of the dealers listed in the advertising section and have had good service from both dealer and Manufacturers, some of the guns had small issues or even BIG issues, but between Manufacturer and dealer they have all been resolved with no cost to me (other than return postage)

              Now I’ve not been the best in giving credit to Manufacturers, that’s due to me being upset and selfish! These guns are very expensive and that’s what makes myself and other’s get so upset, which a lot of time brings premature judgment. I chose to buy these expensive rifles when I didn’t have to and nobody else.

              To be entirely fair I’ve been one to pass premature judgment on Manufacturers which anyone in this forum over the yrs. Can attest to.
               
              Unfortunately when you own a business that’s product is in such high demand and your selling faster than you can produce, a few unhappy customers is meaningless. I’ve seen plenty of topics about about bad experiences with this guy or that dealer with plenty of people jumping on board. But when that guy or that dealer gets a shipment of guns or other products, they magically all get sold. With people in general becoming buyaholics, spending money on dumb sh#t like cash is coming out their butts, it puts the consumer at an extreme disadvantage compared to how it used to be. It very unfortunate.

              Having a monopoly on a specific product enables a business to ignore customer complaints. Any business owner who ignores and alienates his customers does so to his own peril. Competition makes our economy function at a high level, that same principle applies to individual businesses.

              Short-sightedness in business decisions will surely lead to dead-ends, as enterprising individuals capitalize on our demand for quality goods and services.

              The internet enables customers to access merchants the world over. Unhappy customers will opt to patronize businesses that cater to the customer; businesses who understand the benefits of dealing honestly and forthright with them.

              I say, give it time. The laggards will be weeded out.
               

              Bigragu

              Member
              Jul 8, 2018
              3,610
              284
              CA, United States
                Great thread. Lots of good, intelligent responses. 
                I personally know the OP from “the other thread”, and honesty along with integrity is what he’s all about. He’s also mechanically “saavy” on pcp’s, not someone that’s all thumbs. So if there is a problem, there truly is one.

                Coming from an industry that deals directly with the customer, I was raised that customer satisfaction is number one. I was taught it, I followed it. But, and there is a but, there were some customers that were given that extra attention just because. In my opinion, COYOTEGOD from the other thread doesn’t fall into that “extra attention” category. He just wants his big investment gun to work, period


                 
                I believe some people have unrealistic expectations. This transcends air guns as I see it in all kinds of hobby and special interest groups. Firearms, amateur radio, Jeeps and other hobbies I have, all have interest groups with threads complaining about really minor issues as though they are intentional conspiracies against the posters.

                A lot of common ground with the complaints are people that expect "Amazon" levels of customer service, inventory and delivery logistics from people turning out boutique product at small scale. 

                I've worked in many facets of retail and also in big tech and have comprehensive understanding of what it takes to accomplish effective service delivery and most of the public simply doesn't comprehend the issues and complexity. It's just not a standard that small operators can achieve, particularly if they begin to have high volume success. The transition between very successful sole operator scale and mass corporate logistics is a point where companies often pile up and fail.

                In this recent example, and I'm making some assumptions here, the brand questioned just recently went very broad in distribution expansion. If the one vendor being scrutinized had anything to do with the logistics of this major brand expansion, it's a wonder they have any time at all for individual customers. This doesn't excuse the issue entirely but geeze it's a parts issue, order another one or try fixing the issue and move on. Is this your only means of feeding yourself? Go carve a nice spear or lash a piece of flint to a stick to make an axe until you find a workaround.

                It's frustrating to even watch go on, but definitely not unique to air gunning.