29 October 2008

BSA comes through

Earlier in the month, Midway sent an inexpensive laser sight. It was really a $25 bet on a dry fire training aid as the laser makes any movement obvious. I can practice dry firing while keeping point of aim.

But one of the threaded holes for the mounting screws was a little too large. A replacement screw helped but didn't cure. So I called the number for BSA service. First off, the number is a toll call. Who these days does not have an 800 number for customer service? When the line answered, it put me on hold saying "All operators are busy helping other customers, please hold for the next available agent." This went on for 10 minutes then forwarded me to voicemail. I tried again. Same story. 10 minutes on hold just about to the second. I left my name and number and (politely) expressed my disappointment. This gave me lots of time to carefully read through the fine print on warranty support: you have to pay shipping both ways. They want $10 for S&H on their end and roughly $5 outbound. So in effect any warranty service on this item will cost 60% of a new item.

Given the strikes against them (toll call for help, voice jail & exorbitant shipping fees), I chalked it up as a "you get what you pay for" lesson learned. So I was genuinely surprised to get a call back. Jessica asked a couple questions including when did I buy it. She came back with "replacement of defective parts is free for the first 30 days. Just fax your receipt and a description of what is wrong."

A week or so later I got around to writing the letter and faxing it with the receipt.

The replacement parts arrived within a week and seems to have solved the problem.

BSA could learn a lesson from RCBS, but they made good on the defective part. Will I buy another BSA product? Well this episode served to reinforce the old saw "you get what you pay for." With BSA, you don't pay much and it's a fair deal.

The laser itself is not bright enough for daytime use at the local outdoor range. But indoors and as a training aid, not to mention "Helping bad guys make informed choices". I'll say the $25 BSA you do have is better than the $300 Crimson Trace you don't. If it fails, I'm no worse off than without it.

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