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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ordered a holster from them in late September for my CZ-82 (contured belt slide). When I called them a month ago to check on status, I was told that Bill has been ill, and that a young lady was being training in to mold the holsters. She told me at that time that it would be a couple of more weeks.
Since that time, My emails have not been answered, and their phones are not answered. Their voice mail is full, so I can't leave a message.
I paid with debit/credit card, and they do have my money.
Does anyone have a clue as to what is going on over there? :hairpull:
 

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This is not the first time i heard this and most stories run like yours.. No one seems to know what is going on and its probley to late for a charge back with the CC company but i would call them and tell them the same story and see what they say ..
 

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Their products are pretty good------when you get them. I had the same prob. I eventually threatened to call the state's AG to see what my options were, but got lucky enough the local gunshow came around and Bill (wasn't there) had an employee or friend man his booth. When I complained face-to-face, it got some attention. You just gotta stay on it. There's been a couple of these threads over on the "other 1911 forum". Face to face is the only way I would do business with him. I want a 5" Speed Scabbard REAL bad, but can't push myself to buy one from him.

"The Belt Man" used to work for him, and has as good products. Tracy
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Their products are pretty good------when you get them. I had the same prob. I eventually threatened to call the state's AG to see what my options were, but got lucky enough the local gunshow came around and Bill (wasn't there) had an employee or friend man his booth. When I complained face-to-face, it got some attention. You just gotta stay on it. There's been a couple of these threads over on the "other 1911 forum". Face to face is the only way I would do business with him. I want a 5" Speed Scabbard REAL bad, but can't push myself to buy one from him.

"The Belt Man" used to work for him, and has as good products. Tracy
One of the fellas on the "other 1911 forum" lives nearby, and deals with them face to face. He's going over there on the 26th or 27th and check things out for me.
Communication doesn't seem to be their strong suit!
 

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I don't know why but communicaion by a lot of the holster makers seems to be a problem. That and not being realistic on the delivery date. I'm not saying they are all like this guy, and there are certainly some good ones out there so I'm not painting them all with a broad brush, but even with the ones that always deliver SOME of them are pretty poor at communicating and giving even a close delivery date.

Good luck with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't know why but communicaion by a lot of the holster makers seems to be a problem. That and not being realistic on the delivery date. I'm not saying they are all like this guy, and there are certainly some good ones out there so I'm not painting them all with a broad brush, but even with the ones that always deliver SOME of them are pretty poor at communicating and giving even a close delivery date.

Good luck with them.
Poor business planning and organization, Jerry. He may offer a good product at a competitive price, but customer satisfaction is what keeps the door open.
 

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Well, I know two holster makers and I can tell you they sure try hard. But then I don't hear a lot of complaining about them either. I've made my living as a craftsman and small business owner for over 20 years now and until you've been there you can't believe how tough it is. You only make money when you are at that bench producing. You are not making money while answering innumerable questions on the phone, answering e-mails, etc. All the experts say to hire some help. Ever tried that? Hire someone who is skilled and cares about the quality like you? That's a gut buster there! Then they tell you to train someone, yeah right. They take away all your production time, that means less income, break your tools, ruin material and then demand a raise.

I'm not making excuses for people but the folks I know are positively buried with the rise in concealed carry. They've tried everything to make it more efficient and tried bringing in help with the predictable mess following. We either need more makers who are not cheap rip off artists or lots of patience with the few top shelf craftsman we've got! I'm not commenting on Wild Bill's but the lot of holster makers and craftsman in general and probably *****ing about the lot of the small businessman in general.

There was a whole thread on a similar topic here on another forum....

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=186871&page=2
 

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Old Sheepdog
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El,

Never been in business so I can only imagine the trials and tribulations a business owner goes thru. That being said, I've talked face to face and bought from one of Wild Bill's former employees who got tired of Bill's work habits and struck out on his own. To quote him, "Bill would rather be surfing than working". I know this is 3rd hand info and only gossip, but that's what I was told. I went to Him to try to fix a prob a had with Bill's products (dye coming off on my clothes) and he did a pretty good job of taking care of me. Liked his stuff right there in his shop enough to make a purchase while I was there. Tracy
 

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Well, I know two holster makers and I can tell you they sure try hard. But then I don't hear a lot of complaining about them either. I've made my living as a craftsman and small business owner for over 20 years now and until you've been there you can't believe how tough it is. You only make money when you are at that bench producing. You are not making money while answering innumerable questions on the phone, answering e-mails, etc. All the experts say to hire some help. Ever tried that?
While I can appreciate that it's no excuse for miserable service. There are PLENTY of people that manage to run a business and still treat customers like human beings. Telling someone they are going to get a holster in 3 months, taking their money up front and still not gettin it 9 months later tells me this person is only interested in getting the money and don't give a whit about the customers. What you are asking is the customer accept the business owners poor ability to run a business. When did this type of service become a standard and when did people start expecting customers to accept it?

There's a difference in someone being on the phone all the time and at least being honest when an order is taken on how long it will take. If I put in an order and am told 3 months and almost a year later I still don't have it then the person lied, period. Especially if there others having the same thing happen. So I don't feel sorry for someone that blatantly lies.

If someone can't run their business good enough to treat their customers like decently I think they should look for another line of work, period. If they were working for someone else and provided service like that they would be fired.

Now, I hate to focus on holster makers as this applies to everyone and I got excellent service from Mark Garrity of garrity's and Nate of UBG. I highly recommend them and they delivered when they said they would, gave excellent service and concentrated on being a well rounded business.

Take Eric Larsen as an example. He took tons of orders payment up front, got a lot behind and wound up filing bankruptcy. Lots of people got ripped off and never got nothing for their money. Brommeland got way behind, I have heard a lot of complaints on him and his answer? Stop all phone communications and severely limit emails. This is how to run a business? Either file bankruptcy or stop dealing with the customers? Either hire someone to help or don't oversell, period. If you don't want to pay someon enought to get good help, then don't sell multiple times what you can actually put out as a one man shop.

If you can't get the product out when you tell customers you can you have poor business practices as frenchy said. I think most of it is blatant lying, by some of course, as they know well it won't be out by when they are telling their customers even when their lips are moving.

I HAVE ran businesses not owned, automotive repair businesses, and I can tell you there are other parts of running a business than just the money making part. Dealing with costomers and problems are all part of it. Just working on the cars and not dealing with the customers or warranty work would indeed be pure heaven but again that's miserable business practices as is just working on holsters and not dealing with the customers.

That's my rant but then I was raised to believe you don't have to accept bad service. If someone wants to run their business themselves and not hire someone/pay them enough to help them out then that person should only take in the orders they can actually handle for a one person operation while fulfilling their delivery date and being able to treat their customers like customers and not just take their money and treat them like garbage.

It's not all holster makers by any stretch, but there are sure several that are focused totally on the money and barely, if at all on the service. Vastly overselling what one can put out when they say they can is greed pure and simple. I don't have to run their business to see that.
 

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Hey guys, I was talking about holster makers and craftsman in general. I'm not going to bat for Wild Bill or Mr. Larsen. It just seems like everybody lumps the guys that are trying with the problem children. The good guys never take money up front. They charge when they start. If they are 1 day late the customers accuse them of being a crook. They call every week or even more often demanding they get put to the head of the line, often offering extra as a bribe. You get sick with the flu and lose a few days and it could take a week to answer all the back phone messages.

Just don't trash all of them because of long leads or taking a few days to get back to you. Most of them are working 50 to 60 hours a week these days trying to keep up!
 

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I understand what you are saying crusier but I don't see anyone bashing the good guys or talking about them getting the flue or delivering one day late. Coming in with a defense then appears to be defending the guys being discussed, (wild bill), as that is who is being talked about. There IS also a problem with some of them vastly overselling, delivering months late and ignoring the customers. That is what I see being discussed here and there is no defense for that. Nobody is trashing the good guys, but there ARE a lot of holster makers that are putting out bad delivery dates to get the money/work and that alone moves them from the good guy list in my opiinion.

If people refused to pay up front then canceled when they pass the delivery date (by a significant amount) a lot of it would stop. I have no problems at all with doing it as I won't pay up front anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I must say that in all of the years that I've been dealing with vender's both online and mail order, this is the first real problem I've had. That's a lot of good businessmen.
 

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I've had good luck buying online also and I buy just about anything I can online.
 

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I must admit I wont buy a holster online becuase of the horror stories I have heard. I prefer to buy at shows or from dealers in my area. I know this means I cant get the vaunted Milt Sparks VM2 but with his lead times, so be it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I must admit I wont buy a holster online because of the horror stories I have heard. I prefer to buy at shows or from dealers in my area. I know this means I cant get the vaunted Milt Sparks VM2 but with his lead times, so be it.
I'm one to trust until I've been burnt. My experience over all with online purchasing has been 100%. This I will consider a bump in the road, and give the vendor the benefit of the doubt. However...It will be the last time that I will use his services.
 
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