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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  STORM (Moderators: RRio, Major 2)  |  Topic: R & D customer service question 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: R & D customer service question  (Read 21735 times)
Lone Oak
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« on: December 19, 2008, 08:06:33 pm »


Almost a year ago I ordered a conv. cylinder for my '51 Navy directly from R & D after talking to them on the phone. They told me the item I wanted was in stock ready to ship. I foolishly sent them a money order (don't do credit cards) and from then on I have gotten a run around from them on the rare occasions when they answered email or the phone. I am quite sure the money is gone and I'll never see the cylinder. Anyone else have similar experiences with them? I was hoping they were different than that but I'm not sure now.
L.O.
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Daniel Nighteyes
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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2008, 08:42:59 pm »

I'm VERY sad to learn of your experience with them.  I have a pair of Uberti 1861's that I'd like for them to work their magic on.

With that said, however, I've had much better luck ordering R&D conversion cylinders from folks like Taylors.  They buy in quantity, and so have a much greater influence with the folks at R&D.  You might wanna try to get a refund from R&D, and re-place your order with folks like Taylors or EMF.

Regards,

-- Nighteyes
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Fox Creek Kid
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2008, 10:46:45 pm »

Quick answer. Kenny Howell is a lousy businessman. I know people who have waited over FIVE years and had to retain attorneys.
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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2008, 10:59:01 pm »

Sad but true.

I was a dealer for Kenny at the very beginning of the "conversion cylinder" phase.
I have quite a few of his complete conversions and bought them all second hand (never received the one I paid for and lost the pistol I sent him). By the way these pistols run from poor to decent quality (I guess they had "Friday" guns too).

I spoke to his son in law? a while back and he told me that he now owned the "drop in" business, but his "customer service" is no better. Seems Kenny was going to make "runs" of complete conversions and the son in law was going to handle everything else.

It's really a shame Embarrassed I'd be embarassed if I was them.

Kinda funny how much different Walt Kirst is, he'll bend over backward and his word is that of a true gentleman.
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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2008, 11:00:26 pm »

Hmm, I had no problem at all when I sent in my 51 to get a cylinder fit. Took about 2 weeks, free of charge. Very nice action when I got it back.
DM
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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2008, 12:05:03 am »

    After over a year Im still wating for him to return my calls about the improperly heat treated firing pins in two cylinders,I purchased,aint holding my breath. Skined that cat  a different way,had Happy Trails make up replacement pins. His pins are properly heat treated, he made some extras for stock, I used them in every match from last july on. Two to three matchs a month from july to end of Oct., well its late and math wasnt my best subject. The original pins didnt make it 50 rounds,very deformed on both ends of the pins,very unhappy.I wish Id waited a few months more and went with Kirst,at the time I ordered the R&D cyl. Walt hadnt made any conversion cyl. for the 1860.Just my experinces,yours may vary,Good Luck.                Adios  Sgt.Jake
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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2008, 06:05:45 am »

Like just about everything else .... Mileage will vary  Undecided

I have a Kenny Howell 1860 Type I conversion .... At the time, Krist refused to even do 1860's Drop in Cylinders.
It's a fine pistol....

I also have one of R&D's Drop in's in another 2nd Gen. Colt ( very minor adj to get it the run smooth as Glass )
and n issue in three years.
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Lone Oak
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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2008, 06:27:10 am »

Thanks, everyone,  for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

I'm not doubting that R&D makes good quality products. I've seen and handled some of their conversions and was impressed, that's why I decided to get it  from them. Just damned disappointed with them. I'm sure Kirst has top quality too.

I have sent for another conv.cyl. from another reliable source and requested a refund from R&D. I figure if I ever see the refund it'll be a nice surprise. This might turn out to be an expensive lesson for me or I might someday see the refund-either way, it's a lesson learned!

L.O.

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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2008, 06:49:03 am »

I actually bought mine slightly used through the classified ads here.
It had been in a Uberti 1860... it was like new , I did not buy the Uberti though.
Price was about 1/2 and I bought it with the intention to drop it into my 32 year old (I'm the orginal owner) 2nd Gen Colt.
Not wanting to go $ 240 experimenting (if it did not fit)...
As I said only very minor adj (lighten the handspring) and it was a dead nuts fit , that was three years ago.
 

It is the gun I'm most fond of...of course I've had it 32 years and 29 of those it was my favorite C&B
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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2008, 10:00:21 am »

I actually bought mine slightly used through the classified ads here.
It had been in a Uberti 1860... it was like new , I did not buy the Uberti though.
Price was about 1/2 and I bought it with the intention to drop it into my 32 year old (I'm the orginal owner) 2nd Gen Colt.
Not wanting to go $ 240 experimenting (if it did not fit)...
As I said only very minor adj (lighten the handspring) and it was a dead nuts fit , that was three years ago.
 

It is the gun I'm most fond of...of course I've had it 32 years and 29 of those it was my favorite C&B

Not being defensive here Wink Lust trying to clarify!

I didn't say they HADN"T and I didn't sat they COULDN"T make good parts or guns.
I did say that some of their custom gun work was spotty.
And that their customer service was LOUSY.

I also said it was a shame and shame on them Embarrassed
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2008, 11:32:16 am »

I agree with Daniel Nighteyes suggestion.  I have had good luck with Taylors.  In fact what I have done is order the revolver and  RandD cylinders at the same time from Taylors through my FFL Andy Fulks at Fall Creek Sutlery.   Taylors makes sure the gun and cylinder are a good fit before they ship them.  You might have to ask them to do that, but they will do it free of charge.  I have RandD cylinders for all of my percussion guns except for my Uberti Paterson only because they dont make one for it!!
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« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2008, 03:50:36 pm »

Hoof... I was not arguing  Smiley
Just offered different mileage as it were ...

I contacted R&D about 3 years ago to have a 2 Gen. Navy conveted, took about 4 weeks for them to respond.
That responds stated the turnaround time was 9-11+ months and the price something on the order of $975-1100 on my Donor gun. 


 





 
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« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2008, 07:37:23 pm »

Hoof... I was not arguing  Smiley
Just offered different mileage as it were ...

I contacted R&D about 3 years ago to have a 2 Gen. Navy conveted, took about 4 weeks for them to respond.
That responds stated the turnaround time was 9-11+ months and the price something on the order of $975-1100 on my Donor gun. 


I completely understand! That's why I used the disclaimer Wink

But R&D's lack of customer service really is not the same thing as whether or not their drop in conversion cylinders are any good or not (and they are! I have half a dozen or so).

It's kinda like buying a "Made in China" tool from Lowes; We all know the Chinese manufacturer ain't gonna stand behind it..........but Lowes will Cheesy Same thing goes for buying an R&D clyinder from Midway, Taylors, Brownells, etc.

Just don't expect R&D to Roll Eyes
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« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2008, 09:15:23 am »

ive sent two pistols off to r&d for work,got them back promtly and really love shooting them both,no problems at all Smiley
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Lone Oak
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« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2008, 10:13:06 pm »

Since R&D has not responded to me emailing them canceling my order and requesting a refund, I tried calling them but of course no answer except the machine that picked up and said they were closed until Jan. 5th or 6th. I had their web site in my favorites and just tried to go there and a message comes up saying  the "account has been suspended" so I don't know what that may mean but no doubt my $250+ is gone. What a bummer.
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warbucks16
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« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2008, 08:44:06 pm »

Lone Oak:

I had a similar situation several years ago except they were in to me for over $700.00.

No E-mails returned or phone answered so I wrote a letter to them demanding they contact me concerning my order and sent it by Certified Mail with Proof of Signature and time of receipt to be returned to me.  In addition I sent a copy to the State Better Business Bureau.

I received a phone call from them within a week and had my refund shortly thereafter.

I know we all hate to do things like this but it is better than losing the money.

Regards,

Warbucks16

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« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2009, 07:26:11 am »

In another post... we just learned of the passing of Kenny Howell's Wife  Cry
this is very sad and suggests Health issues may have been the reason for the non responces , as she ran the Business side of R&D.
I am saddend and offer my condolences to Kenny and the family.   


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« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2009, 12:12:14 pm »

In another post... we just learned of the passing of Kenny Howell's Wife  Cry
this is very sad and suggests Health issues may have been the reason for the non responces , as she ran the Business side of R&D.
I am saddend and offer my condolences to Kenny and the family.   
Major

Just to clarify, she passed about a year ago. So sad Cry
I believe that was the reason the son in law? took over the retail end of the business.
Here is the thread that I believe you are referring to:
http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,15612.msg259414.html#msg259414

and a quote:

Well, I wish that these threads would have been available quite a while ago.

I sent Mr. Howell an original Sharps barrel and receiver, which he inspected and was going to rebuild into an 1869 transition period business rifle for me. He came highly recommended and the terms seemed to be reasonable; 50% down and balance on delivery - take about 1 year to build, more if I bugged him. So I sent him a check for $1,200 to get started.

Well, that was in August of 1999 - and I'm still waiting for my rifle. I never got the "receipt and build agreement" sent to me either.

While Mr. Howell was available on the phone back then, about 2001 he stopped being available and I always talked to his wife. And she stopped being available over a year ago. I have since heard that she has passed on, which I am sorry to hear and wish Mr. Howelll my sincerest condolences. His wife was always a pleasure to talk to and tried to give me some indication of what was happening - we talked just frequently enough that she was often able to recognize my voice after I said 'hello'.

If anyone has an idea about how I might contact Mr. Howell, I would be very appreciative of their help.

Tom Tilley
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« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2009, 01:30:50 pm »

Kenny has since remarried.  Wink
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Lone Oak
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« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2009, 05:20:50 pm »

I have to report here that the place I had ordered another R&D gated conversion cylinder from was out of stock. As happens to me often when I put my foot in my mouth, today, the UPS truck drove in the yard and handed me the conversion cylinder  I had ordered from R&D! So, Ken Howell came through and I hope I didn't bad mouth them too badly here. I called them right away and got things right with them and they apologized for taking so long. The parts are wonderfully made and the chambers line up exactly with the barrel w/o any mods to the internals. Now I will get the ring mounted and cut the loading groove and start having fun with it. Oh that's right, it's January here in MN......

Lone Oak
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« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2009, 06:55:46 am »

Does anyone have contact info for r&d? I placed an order on Dec. 28 and then the site went down. I know they were closed untill the 6th but I have had no contact since my order.  I did not copy the phone number or email. I do have my order number. Thanks for the help.
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« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2009, 09:37:13 am »

    102511    I was given these numbers a little over a year ago,by the company who I purchased my cylinders from,he had tried to contact them for me. One of the numbers was the published #. and the other was not ,I can not remember which is which.All I ever got with either number was a voice mail,I left a message each time ,for over two weeks,never recivied a return call or e mail. I wish you LUCK.    R&D- I think this was the published one - 608/289/3241   the other #. 608/676/2518 when I looked at the note I wrote, and on the side was another number with the same area code,you might try it.608/291/2594  I wish you Good Luck     Adios  Sgt.Jake
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Lone Oak
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« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2009, 05:09:41 pm »

608-676-2518 was the one I used the other day and Regina answered. I don't think they have a website anymore and they are using a new name now-"Howell Old West Conversions".
Lone Oak
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« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2009, 05:33:52 pm »

Thanks Lone Oak. I got a call today from R&D. My cylinder has shipped.  Ill try to get some pics up when it comes in.  Grin
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« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2009, 07:25:01 pm »

It seems that they have finished a "run" of cylinders Wink
That's a good thing!

It can be very dis-heartening when a business fails to communicate with it's customers. You have to wonder why their priorities are like they are Huh
The guy is EXTREMELY talented, but the customer service fails miserably. If they could get up to speed in the communication department, they could probably double their sales!
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