Thought that I would add this to Yahoody's (tongue in cheek) "USFA's Really Suck" post. While going through years old posts, trying to gets purchase dates to go along with serial numbers (to add to Yahoody's admirable serial number quest post), I ran across this posting that I made back in February of 2006. It pretty much sums up the typical quality of customer service that one could expect from USFA "back in the day." Can't, for the life of me, imagine Colt ever going this far for a customer! Here it is:
"I have three "special order" guns that I have purchased from USFA. As a result, I have had several personal experiences with USFA customer service and have always come away happy.
In another post I alluded to a rather long and drawn out episode with USFA but gave no details. In a nutshell, here it is: About 4 years ago I ordered a 4&3/4" nickel .45 with elephant ivory grips and a personalized serial number (my police department initials followed by my department ID number). I ordered the gun thinking that it would be something nice to one day pass along to my grandson. When the gun arrived I noticed that the polishing job on the frame was not exactly perfect, something that REALLY shows up once the nickel plating is applied. I thought that I could live with it - that after time I would get used to it. It continued to bug me. After about 2 years I contacted their service department to inquire about getting the gun engraved to cover up the polishing flaws (and knowing that, after waiting 2 years, I would be pretty much responsible for the work being done - considering the circumstances, I was offered the engraving at the dealer price and was quite satisfied with that). Big job! Gun had to be sent out to have the finish stripped, repolished, then sent to the engraver, then replated. All this at a time when USFA was terminating their association with one plater and searching for another. To confuse issues even more, I changed the engraving order in mid stream from master A to master B. Somewhere along the line word of the change from A to B did not make it to the engraver and the gun was done in A coverage. All of this took several months.
I was dissappointed! When notified of this the service rep asked me, "What do you want us to do?" I told him that what I really wanted was what I had originally ordered, a nickel plated .45 with my PD initals and serial number and that my only reason for getting the engraving was to remedy what I felt to be a less than perfect finish on the gun. I was told that if that was what I wanted, that would be what I would get. Several weeks later I received a new gun with a flawless nickel finish, aged elephant ivory grips and my serial number (they had to destroy the old frame in order to make a new gun with the same serial number). No charge.
As stated, throughout this whole affair there were delays but I was always appraised of what was going on. Sure, it was frustrating at times but in the end USFA did what was necessary to make me happy."
And THAT is why I preferred USFA over Colt. Too bad those days are gone.