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Ruger's customer service... WTF???

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Modeler, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

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    Ok everyone, tell me what you think.

    I bought a Ruger 22/45 Lite in late September and wasn't able to take it to the range until late October. Before taking it to the range I made three modifications: aftermarket burl grips, Williams Fire Sights and a Sam Lam hammer bushing (this replaces the magazine disconnect). At the range I put 80 rounds through the gun; later that evening while cleaning it I found some dark spots in the barrel that I was unable to remove. I tried a bore snake, I tried a copper brush, I tried solvent-dipped patches, then I repeated everything just to be sure. The dark spots were still there; I decided there might be a manufacturing defect, so I called Ruger. They e-mailed me a shipping label so I could send the firearm back. I included a short note telling them about the problem and the modifications I made so they wouldn't be surprised.

    Fast forward to this week. I was told during my initial call that I would get some sort of a status update via phone or e-mail prior to receiving the gun regarding what had been found, but on Tuesday I got an alert from UPS that my gun was being shipped back without any sort of other notice from Ruger.

    A package arrived from Ruger today, I opened it up to find my gun with another magazine disconnect installed and a note that did not address the original problem for which I had sent it in; the note did say that they had reinstalled the magazine disconnect, as it was missing. My hammer bushing was no where to be found.

    So I called Ruger and spoke to one of the service representatives. He put me on hold while he talked with the service technician, then came back on the line and said that the dark spots were lead fouling and that they had cleaned it for me (I admit, I'm the dumbass there... I've never had a problem with lead fouling on any of my .22's before). I asked about the hammer bushing and he advised me that it is their policy to return the gun to factory condition in regards to any parts involving the hammer or sear and to not return any modified or aftermarket parts.

    I asked for the bushing back; he said no, that it was gone and that even if they still had it they wouldn't send it back.

    I asked to be reimbursed the $12 I had spent on the bushing, since it wasn't theirs and they kept it; he put me on hold while he talked with his supervisor. He came back on 5 minutes later and said "if you're not happy with the service we provided you then you can reimburse us for the shipping costs and time we spent with your gun". I asked just to be sure "so you're telling me that you kept my property and if I'm not happy with that my only recourse is to pay you money and you still won't send my property back?"

    He confirmed that that was correct.

    I told him that wasn't acceptable and asked for that statement in writing. He said he wasn't sure he could do that, and that he would have to put a note in the file and talk with his supervisor; I told him that I would hold.

    10 minutes later he comes back on the line and says he spoke with the technician again and that he did indeed still have the bushing and that they would be sending it back to me in the mail tomorrow. He also informed me that if I ever returned the firearm for service with the hammer or magazine disconnect modified that they would void the warranty and charge me $80 for service; I told him that was acceptable.

    So, tell me what you all think. Was I unreasonable to expect them to return my property intact? Were they unreasonable to keep the bushing? Were they unreasonable to tell me that my only recourse was to give them money and that I still wouldn't get my bushing back?

    This is my first time ever sending a firearm back to the factory; was my expectation of having my gun returned to me intact unreasonable?
     
    Mongo1 and (deleted member) like this.
  2. krivey

    krivey mcminnville oregon Active Member

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    You are not unreasonable to feel the way you do. The problem I see is, the reason their policy is to return the gun to you in factory form is the same reason they put magazine safety and LCI in the gun in the first place. Those "safety" features are a combination of wanting 1 firearm to be able to be sold in every state and county possible without having to produce different models for different states, and insurance and liability purposes. A gun leaving their hands from shop services is the same as for retail sales purpose. They have guidelines to adhere to solely for the purpose of cover their a$$. Was it right of them to withhold your property? In my eyes, Absolutely not. But legally? Yes, their policy in writing from the website:

    "Ruger firearms are designed to function properly in their original condition. Sturm, Ruger will not be responsible for any alteration of any part of the firearm, or for the addition or substitution of parts and accessories not manufactured by Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. If firearms sent in for service are found to be altered, they may be brought back to factory specifications at the discretion of Sturm, Ruger and at the expense of the customer. So please remove any custom parts and accessories prior to shipment to Ruger for service."

    Sucks, but that is just what this world is coming to.
     
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  3. jluck

    jluck Really,Really, Close to Newport Oregon 97365 Voted #1 Member

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    I'll bet your bushing was already installed in the technicians personal gun. Wrong way for them to handle your property but I do see there angle for returning it to OE.
     
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  4. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

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    I understand where they're coming from returning it to OE specs (mostly), although I'm curious why they inspected the trigger/hammer group when the problem I was having involved the barrel.

    I guess what I'm really angry about is that they kept the bushing and when I asked for reimbursement they told me that I should be paying them.

    My short list for purchasing new firearms next year includes at least three Rugers, now I'm starting to rethink it a bit.
     
  5. DeanfromOregon

    DeanfromOregon Wilsonville Amateur Ascended Master Platinum Supporter

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    Consider it a cheap life lesson.
     
  6. simon99

    simon99 Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Hi Modeler,

    sorry about your experience. While I have never personally shipped an entire firearm back to any factory I have had several friends who have. Per their experience, they always have removed any modified items off their weapons prior to shipping so as not to run into the same issue(s) that you have.
    While I don't feel you were being unreasonable in any way, I do see the stance Ruger and other OEM's have taken.
     
  7. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

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    The strange thing is that I even asked if I needed to remove any of my aftermarket parts when I was talking to the lady before I shipped the gun. She said no, so I left it all in place. The sights and the grips were still there.
     
  8. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    So your surprised Ruger followed their own warranty policy? The one posted in the manual that came with your gun?


    hmmmmm. I can see why you would be upset.
     
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  9. Liberty97045

    Liberty97045 Oregon City Well-Known Member

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    I had excellent customer service from Ruger earlier this year. I was putting on a scope rail on a 10-22 and the threads came out with the screw that they fill the hole up with. Ruger replaced the whole gun.

    Earlier this year I had to return a high end rifle to Savage Arms for repair work on the bolt because it was nearly impossible to cock. They sent it back to me with some work done but with the same symptoms and some new scratches on my camo stock. This time I did some research and found that a hard cock :) is a common problem in Savage bolt rifles. This time they fixed it right and replaced my stock.
    What it took to get this done was being an involved consumer. I got a person's name, number and e-mail and kept checking in and asking questions to make sure that it was attended to correctly. I guess the point I am making is that more communication on your part is better than less.
     
  10. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

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    Here's an electronic copy of the manual. Show me where it says that they'll keep any aftermarket parts they don't like being on my gun.

    https://ruger-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/_manuals/markIII.pdf

    Let me save you some time. I assume you'll cite the sentence on page 34 that says:

    "Please do not include holster, custom grip panels, or custom accessories with a
    firearm being shipped to the factory for service."

    It doesn't say that they'll keep the aftermarket parts I put on the gun.
     
  11. Sstrand

    Sstrand La Grande OR Well-Known Member

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    Isn't there a message imprinted on the gun to the effect: Read the manual before you use it??

    There may even be a warning in the manual that ANY changes will VOID the warranty . . .
    Sheldon
     
  12. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

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    There actually is no warranty; last page of the manual.

    https://ruger-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/_manuals/markIII.pdf
     
  13. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    As a rule of thumb I would expect them to return the weapon to original configuration, hence I always keep any original parts I replace in case I need to send it in for repairs. In your case I would have only sent the receiver/barrel in as they had no need to examine the rest of the gun. You can thank the lawyers for them replacing the mag disconnect. Ruger has no desire to be sued over an "accident" that may occur with the safety measures removed and not replacing the disconnect might appear that they approve of bypassing the safety features in court.
     
  14. Nickb

    Nickb Moxee Active Member

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    I've always heard good things about their customer service. I have heard about a lot of replaced 1911's by them.

    I always make sure to run a gun pretty hard before I do ANY modifications to it. I am sure the warrant on my CMD is long gone, since the frame, slide and barrel are about the only "ruger" parts left, they are modified from factory condition anyways.
     
  15. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    They should have sent the gun back with the aftermarket parts included in the package.
     
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  16. PX4WA

    PX4WA Tacoma, WA Active Member

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    this is normal and standard practice... almost any gun maker will do the same...

    you were lucky the bushing was found, most of the time it will be thrown away. and no the technician does not need to steal your bushing, he has the ability to make them onsite if he really needed one...

    anytime you send a gun in for warranty, you have to remove any non-factory modification or expect them to return it to factory spec, some will even charge you for doing so or refuse to service the gun under warranty...

    again this is standard industry practice...

    on the the leading issue... this is a known problem with the ruger 22/45 lite version which is what I assume you have... somehow there is a change in the barrel support as it transitions to a hollow sleeve and this causes uneven heating of the barrel which leads to a higher than normal deposit of lead at that junction...

    easy enough to clean, does not affect function and maybe a little bit of accuracy if you don't clean it...
     
  17. PX4WA

    PX4WA Tacoma, WA Active Member

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    that could be construed as endorsing the use of aftermarket parts which is specifically discouraged due to liability reasons...
     
  18. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I blame California.
     
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  19. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    THey will also automatically convert an unconverted 3-screw SA if it is sent back for warranty work regardless of the customer's wishes. I have read that they used to send back the old parts, but no longer.

    I understand both sides of Modeler's issue; our litigious society creates these situations, and no-one benefits.

    Keith
     
  20. Cameron72

    Cameron72 Harrington, WA Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    You sent back your gun to Ruger over leading in the barrel. Leading you created and failed to identify and remove. You disabled a safety device on your weapon and returned it to the company. Now your shocked it was returned to you reverted back to factory specs. An aftermarket part is a grip or muzzle device. Not a bypass of the factory built safety system. Yes, they kept your part but it's just a $12 part. Buy a new part and move on to life's next challenge for you.