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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Don't Do Business With RGuns.Net

As promised...

LET IT BE KNOWN THAT THE PUBLIC BEATING HAS NOT GONE OUT OF STYLE.

This is the second one of these that I've had to write. It's a bit embarrassing to me, because this is twice now I've been taken fool by a vendor, and I'm letting everyone know just what a fool I've been.

But say what you will about my faults -- and there are many, to be sure -- I cannot be accused of not owning  up to my mistakes. When I screw up, I admit it. And I screwed up by not thoroughly researching this company.


I first encountered RGuns while searching for AR uppers back in December. This was just after Sandy Hook, when the crusade against dem ebil black gunz was in full swing, and my mother had said to me "I think we should finish building your rifle before they become impossible to get," and then offered to pay for it.

Now, I was of two minds about this. On the one hand, I didn't think that an AR ban would ever go through, and since there was a run on AR patterns anyway, finding an upper in a reasonable price range was becoming a unicorn hunt. I figured that eventually the hysteria would die down, and the units that had been built during the demand would flood the market and prices would stabilize.

On the other hand, I had someone offering to bankroll half a gun. This happens approximately never.

So yes, I got a bit greedy and decided "What the hell, let's see if I can find something within the price range I've been given."

It took me several weeks, but eventually I found an AR upper that had everything I was looking for*, and was only slightly more than I had been allocated. So I dipped into my own savings to make up the difference.

I would like to state, for the record, the following facts:
  • The item I ordered was listed as being in stock. 
  • Per the RGuns webpage, there was a delay in processing the orders, but they clearly state, and I quote: 3. RGUNS does not charge a credit card used for an order until it is ready to be shipped.  If your card has not been charged, we have not shipped your order.
  • I did indeed look online to see if the company was reputable or not. Maybe I did not dig as deeply as I should have; I will not argue that. However, I feel (perhaps wrongly, perhaps not) that I performed my due diligence. The website was recommended to me by a gunnie friend (name withheld to prevent embarrassment), and a casual Googleing did not indicate "HOLY SHIT DO NOT BUY FROM THESE ASSHOLES."  Yes, there was the usual bitching on Arfcom that the owner was rude and the service was slow, but nothing indicated to me that they would violate their terms of service by charging me for something and not delivering. 
So, on January 6, I placed my order, received the confirmation email, and tried my best to be patient.

Time passed. Days turned into weeks, weeks to months, and winter became spring. The package never arrived, but then mom's card hadn't been charged either, so no harm, no foul.

In mid-March, mom showed me her Visa statement, and it indicated that as of 03/13/2013, she had been charged the requisite amount. Hooray! I was thrilled! Maybe I would get an AR upper as a late birthday present!

March ended; no AR upper. Okay, that was two weeks, maybe they were behind in getting the stuff off the loading dock or whatever. 

Mid-April; still no upper. After 4 weeks, I had begun to wonder. Mom sent them an email with a copy of the confirmation, asking if we could get an approximate ETA on the upper, and they didn't bother to reply. I called them on the telephone, and get a message that is so curt that it is just this side of being rude, basically saying "If you placed an order in December, chill the fuck out, it will get to you eventually. DO NOT MICROMANAGE YOUR ORDER." That last line is a quote, by the way. Their telephone number is 847-428-3569, call it and hear for yourself.

I left a message with our order number etc and asked them to call back. Did they? Of course not. 

At this point, it had been 6 weeks. Mom had gotten her second Visa statement, and didn't like the notion of paying for what is had effectively become Schroedinger's Upper. I was starting to get a bad feeling, so I did some more Google-ing, and lo and behold!  Since the end of January, lots of complaints have been levied against RGuns. They even have an F rating with the Better Business Bureau, with 28 complaints (out of 30) in the last 12 months!

Mom asks me what we should do. "Call Visa and tell them you want to begin chargeback proceedings," said I, because the 60 day limit for disputes was fast approaching. 

"Don't you want Visa to see if they can get your upper to you?" she asked. 

"NO," I thundered, fist upraised with lighting striking dramatically in the background. "They have taken our money and ignored our legitimate queries. For this they must be punished! Begin the chargeback forthwith, such that they not only lose our business but also must suffer the chargeback fee from their merchant bank! AND LET THIS BE A LESSON UNTIL ALL WHO WRONG ME THUS! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHH!


Because, you see, I understand that fecal matter occurreth. I understand that shipping is slow, and demand is high, and maybe they were swamped with orders. If they had just taken five minutes out of their busy schedule and replied with a simple "Hey, I'm sorry, we are running behind, but you are totally going to get your upper by X date," then it would have been fine. But they ignored us, and if you read those reviews I linked you will find multiple instances of people ordering things that don't show up for 6 months or more, and when they call to complain the owner cancels their order and charges them a $100 cancellation fee.  I have no idea how RGuns stays in business, and frankly, it doesn't deserve to.

We began the chargeback process on Monday. As of today, the charge has been cancelled, and mom has received credit for what she already paid. So we aren't out anything, thank God, except for whatever little trust I may have held in online vendors.

Now that I've been burned twice, I'm closing the book on "Erin Builds an AR." People would rather steal my money than legitimately sell me a product, so I'm done shopping. Maybe in several years, when/if the market bottoms out, I'll be able to buy an upper at a gun show or from someone I personally know -- but unless I can pick it up and take it home right then, to hell with it. I'm done with spending my money on promises that turn out to be lies.


DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM RGUNS.NET


*For the curious, what I ordered was: 16 Inch Upper with Fluted Barrel, M4 Handguards, QuadRail Gas Block and Vortex Flash Suppressor.

24 comments:

  1. Midway USA has always been pretty good to me, you might want to try them.

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  2. No. I'm done with ordering AR parts online. It's in person, or not at all, because if I can't physically see it, then I don't believe they have it in stock.

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  3. Well, if you'd mentioned you were going to order from the fly by nights before you ordered, maybe we could have helped. Rguns has an evil reputation in the FAL world for a long time.


    They're definitely a "if it sounds too good to be true" story.

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  4. As I said, a certain gun blogger who has assembled ARs sent me a link to their website. I assumed that meant RGuns had his blessing.


    Clearly, one of us was mistaken.

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  5. My roommate's AR was constructed solely out of parts he ordered online, but he never had any issues with the places he bought from. Sorry to hear you got jerked around by a bunch of douche-nozzles, but glad you helped put the word out about 'em.

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  6. I...wow..okay. Differences in believes or not, I feel bad for you, Erin. Genuinely do feel bad for you.

    I hope it all works out.

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  7. That sucks. I wish I had mentioned DSA to you before this happened.

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  8. Thanks for the warning. I'll be sure to pass it on

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  9. Put the money towards a nice SVT instead

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  10. I expected this would happen, so I bought an SKS. Close enough.

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  11. I ordered a stock from Black Horse Armoury last November. They charged my card immediately. After a few weeks, I called to check on the status and got (in hindsight) a bit of a runaround. Well adjustable LOP stocks for a PSL-54C are kind of hard to find, so I was patient. At the beginning of April I did more research and ran into a huge number of complaints. I figured I would never see the stock and probably never get my money back, so I chalked it up to being another learning experience. Then I checked my PO Box for the first time in a few weeks and it was there. That was a surprise! There are lots of complaints about BHA and the state of Oregon has a number of complaints on file, so I wouldn't give them any more of my money, but I do have to admit I got what I ordered. Eventually.

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  12. DSA is great if they have what you want in stock. They've a nasty habit of listing parts they no longer routinely carry on their web page and letting back orders accumulate until there's enough for them to feel that it's worth their time to actually fill orders.

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  13. You should rat out that gun blogger too! That's a gun writer we need to stop listening to unless they've got an excellent explanation. The FAL files complaints about RGuns goes back to 2001.

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  14. No, you have to have one of every Russian surplus there is. You're not done until you buy a Nagant revolver you dont really want, just because its the only one you don't have.

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  15. TheRedneckEngineerMay 3, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    I ordered a bunch of stuff from RGuns in the past, and had no problem getting it in a timely fashion, but even then, even the nicest communication I had with them bordered on "meh".
    I bought a box of AR raw lower forgings from them in January, and had it within a week. I ordered a dozen raw upper forgings in February, and still haven't received them, or been charged for them. At this point I have given up on them and will just buy them somewhere else.
    It really sucks that they've taken this path, because I myself referred a number of people to them in the past with the caveat that the customer service was decidedly lacking, but that they were prompt in their shipping and had good product. Of course, I have since ceased to refer anyone to them.

    Best of luck to you in finding a functional upper in these challenging times.

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  16. I wouldn't say you need stop listening to them. They made one "bad" judgement call that wasn't completely bad. It also wasn't the bloggers fault.


    ..and I can't believe I'm sitting here depending a gun owner.

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  17. Thank you, Lou. I gotta say, I'm surprised to hear this, but I certainly appreciate it. Hoofbump! /)

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  18. Yeah, everyone can screw up, which is why I haven't mentioned his name yet.

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  19. Like I said, despite personal believes, I don't want to see anyone been swindled.

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  20. I wouldn't release his/her name at all. They didn't know this was going to happen. They might have had excellent service from this company and that's why they recommended them.

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  21. I can see why you wouldn't try to buy any more parts online, but I wouldn't close the book yet if I were you. I would suggest keeping your credit card handy and if you have any extra time when you're out and about, stop into any unfamiliar gun store you happen to see. I do it mostly to see if I can wander in just when they're unloading a shipment of .22LR, but I'm frequently surprised to find somebody stocking some weapon that everybody says is unavailable.

    I know for a fact that both of the local shops I frequent most have had AR uppers on display for sale within the last couple of weeks. I don't know what passes for a reasonable price for them, but I bought a new carry gun from one of them a couple months ago for below MSRP, so I'd assume that not everybody has jacked up their prices on high demand items.

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  22. I had an experience sort of like Redneck Engineer's. Back in December, I ordered three raw AR forgings (0% lowers), as a "stretch project". If I screw up one, I still have potential. They said they were overwhelmed with orders and would get to it when they got to it.

    About two months later I heard from then that my credit card had bounced - I had forgotten that card 's number was stolen and then cancelled. All I have to do is get them the new number, right?

    I emailed, called and left messages, and emailed again. I eventually only got them to suggest I send them the card number in unencrypted mail. I don't think so.

    I think the pattern is that if everything is perfect, they'll get to your order eventually. But maybe not. Maybe never. And if you need to contact them, good luck. I've written them off as a source.

    For your case, though, I'd echo that Midway is reputable and professional. So are Brownells/Sinclair and a lot of others. I built my AR with an upper and parts kit I ordered from Midway, and promptly received (this was late 2010, and people just didn't list things they didn't have in stock).

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  23. I knew it would be those clowns.
    Like you i figured everything would settle, but was poking around for any available stripped lower late December time.
    Fortunately I did find all those negatives and tales of unfilled orders without refunds (as well as serious quality issues wiht sloppy machining) so decided not to use them.


    As far as online gun stuff goes I have never been burned by sticking with Midway or Brownell's or straight from a big name manufacturer's (5.11, Blackhawk, Tactical Solutions) website directly for anything over $40 or so.

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  24. That sucks. :(

    Ordering from hobby businesses online seems to be inherently fraught with peril. :(

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