Penguin’s Grips: Custom Hard Wood 1911 Pistol Grip Review

Discussion in 'Rate your transactions' started by Owl63, Jul 31, 2016.

  1. Owl63

    Owl63 New Member

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    I recently got custom grips made by Penguin’s Grips and want to post a review about my experience so that others in the future will have information I wish I had. I commissioned a set of matching grips for my brother and I. Overall, I had a poor experience and would not recommend anyone to use this company.

    Product Quality: Fair to Poor

    The grips are okay in quality with the big exception of centering and alignment of our ranch brand on half of the grips (see attached pictures). The brand we had put in the middle of the grip is not centered and the diamond outlines around it on some panels don’t match. It doesn’t appear that the philosophy of “Measure Twice, Cut Once” is followed. Before they were even made I pointed out that the brand wasn’t centered in the template he sent for review, but they are still off-center on one side of each pair.

    There are also several smaller issues such as different panel widths (not sure how this happens if you use a planer), off center mag release cut out and not quite enough clearance for the safety. Ignoring the brand centering issue, the quality is still disappointing since the cost was $600 for both sets, even though I provided the wood and once things were set up for one grip, the second was just a duplicate.

    Customer Service: Very Poor

    The only positive I experienced in this category was getting the work set up. When the grips were complete, the company owner sent a picture and asked how they looked. I responded that overall they looked good, but the brand appeared off center. From there things really went downhill. He quickly became defensive, ornery, and condescending. It was frustrating that the mis-alignment was easily visible in pictures, but he refused to admit it. The respectful tone that I emailed my concerns to him with was certainly not returned.

    After we received the grips the flaw was even more apparent. When I relayed to the owner that I was not satisfied with the centering on two of the four grips and wanted it fixed, he told me to send them all back for re-inspection. This didn’t make sense as he had the grips for days after I told him there was an issue, the issue was clear in his photographs and mine, and no re-inspecting was needed. When I asked him multiple times for the reason he needed all of the grips back, he refused to answer every time. The combative nature of his emails, lack of transparency, and refusal to admit what was easily apparent made me suspicious that he had no intention of working out the problem. I was worried that he already had the $600 I paid him and wanted to take the grips away too because I had questioned their quality. That was literally how bad his tone was. When I respectfully pointed this out to him, he refused to answer my emails anymore.

    I then called PayPal and they were very understanding on the phone and rescinded all of the payment even though I only asked for half. However, the Customer Protection Service doesn’t cover custom made items or things paid in multiple installments (my brother and I paid separately) so after reading through the documentation they ultimately couldn’t help and he was returned the money. Ironically, as soon as he found out about Paypal doing an inquiry he reached out to my brother to see if he could smooth things over. He was obviously only motivated by the money, continued to refuse to admit there was a problem, and wouldn’t work to find an answer fair to us both.

    Satisfaction Guarantee: Horrendous

    The Penguin’s Grips webpage claims a 100% guarantee that you will be satisfied with the work or he will fix it or refund you money. In the simplest terms; this is not true. I am not satisfied with the work and he neither fixed the problem nor gave me any money back. I was trying to be fair about the problem and offered only having half of the grips re-produced (the worst alignment offenders), or giving me half of the money back. He didn’t even bother to discuss how to work it out, all he would do was tell me to mail all the grips back to him. As I mentioned before, given his combative nature I didn’t trust sending it all back. I don’t know if he doesn’t understand how a customer satisfaction guarantee works or if he just lacks the integrity to follow through. Only after Paypal opened the inquiry did he admit it might be possible to re-make one side, but his story didn’t add up, he still would not admit a flaw, would not commit to re-making the problem sides, and had already burned any trust that we would need to send them all back to him.

    In summary, it was a distasteful experience that I would not recommend to others. He is either not honest enough to admit a mistake or can’t see well enough to know there was one, which is hard to believe. The company advertises “handmade perfection” as its slogan, but if you find a flaw you will be told that “perfection is not possible with handmade” (direct quote from him). I didn’t want perfection, just not clearly flawed. Still the result was not adequate. Other options I have since come to learn of I would suggest others to investigate are Challis, RMH Knives, Bunker, Yost, Harrison and CTB.
     

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