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 Attitudes of Gun Shops in Cities? 
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:52 am 
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mnlitig8r wrote:
You make a good point that the reason the Frontiersman was hands-off could have been because Ruger wants it that way, and if that's right they really should have told me that rather than leave me with the impression that they just didn't care.
Yup. That's basic customer service chops, and I'm surprised that somebody there goofed up on that; they're usually much, much better.

That said, I like Gunstop, too. Probably about the same number and variety of handguns in both stores. (Frontiersman definitely has more long guns by a lot.)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:56 am 
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My experience in general has been that it's easy for a retailer to be great up to the point of sale. It's after the sale that shows what they're really made of.

This cracked sight set screw was a perfect opportunity for the Frontiersman to earn a customer for life, but instead they sent me to others for the subsequent firearms purchases by at the very least appearing to be indifferent to the defect in the gun I had bought from them just days earlier. They may not have actually been indifferent, but that's how it seemed, and that's why my last two handgun purchases have been from Gunstop.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:47 am 
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I"ll chip in my $.02 FWIW. I really like the customer service aspect of Frontiersman when I was looking, although price-wise they seemed a little high. Gunstop....well, from a customer service aspect, it seemed to me more like I was bothering them when asking to see particular guns, asking their opinion of different brands (CZ vs Bersa at the time, I went with Springfield). My second visit was with my 9-yr old son, and I got the same reception. It felt like a club that I wasn't a member of, and I was intruding. However, the third time I visited was much better. The person I dealt with (sorry, I don't remember his name, but he was btwn 35-40), was very helpful, turned me on to the XD clip packs someone her had mentioned, and I was able to pick up the last one they had for my XD40. So, it's been a mixed back. I'll definitely go back, primarily because of their prices. And maybe, as they get to know me, my experience will be different. But the selection is definitely awesome!!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:54 am 
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zimme71 wrote:
I"ll chip in my $.02 FWIW. I really like the customer service aspect of Frontiersman when I was looking, although price-wise they seemed a little high. Gunstop....well, from a customer service aspect, it seemed to me more like I was bothering them when asking to see particular guns, asking their opinion of different brands (CZ vs Bersa at the time, I went with Springfield). My second visit was with my 9-yr old son, and I got the same reception. It felt like a club that I wasn't a member of, and I was intruding. However, the third time I visited was much better. The person I dealt with (sorry, I don't remember his name, but he was btwn 35-40), was very helpful, turned me on to the XD clip packs someone her had mentioned, and I was able to pick up the last one they had for my XD40. So, it's been a mixed back. I'll definitely go back, primarily because of their prices. And maybe, as they get to know me, my experience will be different. But the selection is definitely awesome!!


That is exactly how I felt at first there. You're right, the younger guy (can't remember his name!) is far more outgoing.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:54 am 
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mnlitig8r wrote:
My experience in general has been that it's easy for a retailer to be great up to the point of sale. It's after the sale that shows what they're really made of.


That's always been my take. As a business you need to earn customer loyalty. As in many/most things the cheapest price for goods might be of importance, but brand loyalty often trumps pure economics. Once you have a boo boo it can be very hard to get a customer to come back. The old saying goes "once bitten; twice shy".

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:45 pm 
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A long time back I used to plug J&S pretty heavily, but not so much anymore. I found a case for my AR Pistol for $20 at Frontiersman, compared to the $120 that J&S wanted.

Marv also took the time to order .32 cal snap-caps for me when I couldn't find them on the shelf, and chatted for a while about the new Ruger no one can seem to keep in stock so far.

Anyway, my opinion is starting to lean towards Frontiersman. The staff seems to genuinely enjoy what they're doing, and to want to make the customers happy.

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 Post subject: Anybody else notice this on Bill's Forums?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:51 pm 
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On Bill's forum there was a longtime customer who had a very politely worded comment complaining about the attitude of a few employees at the Robbinsdale location.

While a number of us were watching for responses, the post magically got deleted. This is Pathetic (note the capital "P").

The poster was looking for a polite response from Bill's management, and instead they delete the post.

I had a good time at the show this past weekend, but I think I'm done giving them money, at least at that location.

Someone there needs to read a definition of the following terms:

Public Relations
Customer Service

For shame.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:53 pm 
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Mark,

I think it's time for a phone call.

I've never consistently used Bill's forum because of deletions, censoring, and the risk of having your post edited / changed. That just rubs me wrong.

Tie that to the recent staffing changes up north and I find fewer and fewer reasons to stop in.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:29 pm 
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plblark wrote:
Mark,

I think it's time for a phone call.

I've never consistently used Bill's forum because of deletions, censoring, and the risk of having your post edited / changed. That just rubs me wrong.

Tie that to the recent staffing changes up north and I find fewer and fewer reasons to stop in.


What's happened at Circle Pines? Don't tell me they're moving more of the commando-types into sales up there, that location was pretty decent...

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:28 pm 
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Hey all, I'm new to this site so forgive me if I mess up my post... I stopped into Bills in Circle Pines for the first time about a week ago. I got great customer service from a guy named Ben. He was apparently new to that store and from Robbinsdale. The guy working with him (mid to late 20's with tattoo's on arm) was not only rude to customers but to Ben as well. If it had not been for the good service from Ben I'd have walked out and never gone back. I'll still likely buy elsewhere but only because of price.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:22 am 
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Welcome to the forum Alex. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience the first time you entered into the gun world. I have had great experiences at both of Bills shops and I believe they are currently spending a LOT of the time out on the range at the south store promoting safe gun handling. Every person that enters that range now is reminded of safe gun handling procedures and practices. There are some folks that don't seem to get it so they are talked to again out on the range. How complicated is "Please carry your firearm to the line in a case." Yet you will still see people loading guns on the shelf and swinging around with loaded guns going to the line.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:42 am 
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MNBud wrote:
Welcome to the forum Alex. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience the first time you entered into the gun world. I have had great experiences at both of Bills shops and I believe they are currently spending a LOT of the time out on the range at the south store promoting safe gun handling. Every person that enters that range now is reminded of safe gun handling procedures and practices. There are some folks that don't seem to get it so they are talked to again out on the range. How complicated is "Please carry your firearm to the line in a case." Yet you will still see people loading guns on the shelf and swinging around with loaded guns going to the line.


I agree with MNBud, but this is still a customer service based business - shooting is not exactly a cheap past time. Not wanting to pile on, but the young tattooed gentleman that Alex referred to is probably not the person Bill's wants representing them behind the counter. In mid-March I was there sitting at a table when what looked like a Father/Son came out of the shooting range. Just as they were clearing the second door the person behind the counter pointed at them and said in a loud enough voice for everyone to hear, "come here!" He then began to loudly chastise them for packing up their gun bag on the back shelf, not the line.
Obviously embarrassed they gave a sheepish "okay" and left. A dozen different ways that could have been handled.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:06 am 
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alexa071 wrote:
Hey all, I'm new to this site so forgive me if I mess up my post... I stopped into Bills in Circle Pines for the first time about a week ago. I got great customer service from a guy named Ben. He was apparently new to that store and from Robbinsdale. The guy working with him (mid to late 20's with tattoo's on arm) was not only rude to customers but to Ben as well. If it had not been for the good service from Ben I'd have walked out and never gone back. I'll still likely buy elsewhere but only because of price.


If that's the Ben I've dealt with a couple times at Robbinsdale, he's very nice and helpful. I've had both good and not-so-good experiences at the gun shops I've stopped in, same as any other retail really, there's people who are helpful and good with customers and people who aren't. It can be pretty individual too, since it's a perception, like a couple employees I avoid at Bill's locations and one of the guys at Frontiersman who was nice but irritated the crud outta me (the other two were awesome). That said, it sounds like there are enough consistent problems with certain people at the Bill's locations that the management ought to maybe work on customer service a bit.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:17 am 
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Do you really think they're going to work on their customer service after deleting the thread on their forum? Personally, I highly doubt it. The ONLY reasons I'll go to Bill's now is for the Shooter Show, and if there is no other way for me to try a gun before I buy, and they have one for rent. I've been disappointed with their customer service repeatedly, and their pricing is outrageous. Its pretty safe to say that they will not be getting any more of my money.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 10:21 pm 
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I have been going to Bill's South for years, ever since I moved to N MPLS. I have bought many firearms and other items there. I try to stop in about once a week or so. This has provided me with enough exposure that many, if not most, of the employees, while they may not know my name, recognize me. This has limited my bad experiences.

That said, I have witnessed poor CS at most retail places today. Few employees understand what good CS is. I would further estimate a lot of owners/managers don't understand what good CS is and fewer of those know how to teach CS. And there is the problem.

When leaders do not understand a basic principle and then do not have the skills to teach those they lead, we all experience a lack of good CS.

To those who claim they will not spend money at certain locations, good luck finding an outlet were everyone jumps up to meet you at the sound of the door opening that is not a Car dealership. And when you find the fountain of youth, please let the rest of us know.

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