Recently a fellow instructor discouraged a student from investigating a Taurus firearm based on their own past experience with the company. Best I can recall from a foggy brain that happened over five years ago, but it is apparent the pain is still felt from poor customer service and slow warranty service. When that happens we often steer clear of a particular manufacturer as a result. I’m not exactly sure that is fair, especially if the sins are sins of the past. Let’s take a look at a recent incident with customer service which happened to a friend of mine and you decide if you would buy their firearms knowing what could happen should you need a warranty repair and have to deal with customer service.
I mentioned the incident back in September in the post Accidental Discharge?. My friend was at a sporting clay event and loaded the magazine and then used the cartridge drop feature to load the chamber. When he did the gun went off. Everyone thought he had his finger on the trigger, so he repeated the sequence of events and the gun went off. He called me to ask what to do and I told him to call the manufacturer. From here I am going to miss part of the story since it did not happen to me, but basically they asked him to ship the firearm to them so they could investigate. He took it down and at the shipping place they wrapped it in bubble wrap and then boxed the firearm for shipment. It was in perfect condition when he shipped it. I should point out I suggested he get a firearm with a plastic grip and stock for sporting clays, but he liked the wood furniture and spend over $1,000 on the shotgun. After he did not hear anything from the manufacturer for several weeks he called and was told they could not replicate the discharge. He explained how that happened and they told him they would try again. After a few more weeks passed by he called again and they could not locate his firearm. He called many, many more times and finally got a tech on the phone who said the firearm had numerous broken parts, scratches, and dings and was on the way back as damaged before they received it. He told them it was in perfect shape when he sent it and had some photos of it. He asked them to recall the package since he was not going to accept it from them. They did as he asked and when the firearm came back they called and indicated it was almost destroyed in the latest round of shipping. What is very odd about the entire incident is the person who could not replicate the discharge made no mention of damage and later another tech mentioned his gun was beaten nearly to death. In the end they agreed the damage was something he did not cause and sent him a new firearm. None of this gets to the root of the problem which is why did the gun discharge without having a finger on the trigger. The secondary problem is why would a manufacturer destroy someone’s firearm while it is in their possession and where is the customer service? The manufacturer of his shotgun is Benelli and I think most of us would agree their firearms are considered some of the best. OTOH based on this singular experience of a friend should we all stop considering purchasing their firearms? I say no. If you want to consider a Benelli then by all means do so, but be aware of what you may face if you need warranty service and document the packaging and condition of the firearm.
My experiences with firearm manufacturer customer service have all been positive. I can imagine with one bad personal experience and numerous complaints in the past they would not top your list, but don’t count out a company based on poor past performance. Think of Hyundai. Their first cars in the US were so awful when they fixed the issues no one would buy them so they offered a 10 year warranty. With the extended warranty people started to buy the cars and eventually they became known for their reliability.