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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been following harleys thread for the last several days with interest. I actually sent an e-mail to kimber expressing my concern. You can view the e-mail I sent in the original "kimber - what a let down" thread if you want. Anyway, I sent that e-mail a few days ago. So, now its monday and they get it, I was curious what they would do. My wife called me at work and said that a gentleman named Dennis had called for me at home and wanted to know if he could reach me at work. He left a number and an extension so I gave him a call. Curiosity, more than anything I guess, as it was not my gun and not really my business; but being a gun buyer I l felt like I had an interest in it in some way. I want to try to be objective here so I am just going to try to recreate the conversation as best as I can. I did take notes during the conversation. I called them on 02 July 2001 at 1130.

Me: "Dennis, this is Jake Salyards returning your call"

Dennis "Jake, I was just about to hit the send button on my computer, can I talk to you about this issue?"

Me: "Please"

Dennis: "There is a lot of stuff circulating about this topic and I feel you are not getting the complete story. First of all, when I got the gun it had a one line note with it that said simply "Please fix this". That was it. I thought it was a recoil system problem. I called Dane and he told me it was a slide problem. Every gunsmith here, including the head gunsmith looked at that gun and we all determined that there was no way a slide could ever go on that gun again, ever."

Me: "Mr. Burns put another slide on the gun. He already did it and it runs fine."

Dennis: "Fine, I would never have done that. This is a liability concern. If someone uses that gun and it fails they won't sue Dane Burns, they'll sue kimber because that's where the money is. If we had that gun and knowingly sold a slide so it could be repaired and used in what we know to be an unsafe condition then we would be liable, no one else but us. We can not do that, it is not safe. The fact that we knew about it and allowed it would make us liable for it. We do not sell slides retail, we don't sell frames that way either. We do repair guns for our customers all the time. Just last week a guy sent in his super match and we repaired it with a whole new top end. We had the gun a total of two days and then shipped it back with a whole new top end. We did not charge for the labor either, just for the parts. That gun could still be safely used. This gun could not still be safely used. If it could have been safely used we would have been happy to sell him a new slide. Also, the a letter was sent to Mr. Burns explaining all this. And on top of that the head gunsmith here sent him an e-mail about it explaining our position."

Me: "Why don't you post that then?"

Dennis: "We have an official policy not to respond to internet threads but only to individual customers, we can't respond to every claim on every site, so we don't respond to any of them. However, please feel free to post all this if you want to. Post my phone number and extension and tell the guys that if they want to talk to me about this to call me. (Phone number is: 914-964-0742 extention: 228)"

Me: "Okay Dennis, thanks for your time."

This is all a reconstruction to the best of my ability, I didn't tape the phone call I just made some notes on a piece of paper because I thought if I had information on this topic I should go ahead and post it. I understand kimber's position on this better now. I also think that if Dane says the gun is safe then the gun is safe, however - given the litigation and safety concerns surrounding this matter, I also think that kimber's position is understandable. I am ending my one-man 2 day boycott. I'm not making any suggestions to anyone about what they should do; again, I am just adding this in because I thought the extra information would be interesting.

Mr. Burns - I in no way mean any disrespect to you. I like this site and I appreciate being able to come here and learn. None of this is meant to call your honor into question, that is why I tried to recreate the conversation with quotes so it would be clear that I am only posting what was said to me. If you told me a gun was safe I would trust my life to it.

Jake

_________________
A bad attitude or unsettled mind will destroy focus, guaranteeing failure regardless of training and preparation.
- Mark F. Twight, "Extreme Alpinism"

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Jake Salyards on 2001-07-02 11:57 ]</font>
 

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Thanks for posting your conversation with Dennis, Jake!
 

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I just got off the phone to Dennis myself. It would be nice if he would actually tell the entire story of this transaction.

Which he did not. The parts he left out of the conversation are what is important.

I never said "it was a slide problem". The damn gun had been blown up! That was obvious to anyone with a set of working eyes and a gunsmith's education.

No one EVER asked for anything FREE here.
 

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This is not right, I posted this to give a heads up on Kimber customer service and a kimber rep calls someone else, and calls my integrity into question, by saying I'm only telling half truths. this is bullsh**.
If Kimber thinks I'm a liar why did they call a third party and not myself, if I'm a liar why not sue me for slander?
As far as dennis saying he thought it was a recoil spring problem, I have to wonder how much experience he has with guns. The slide was bowed very noticeably. If anyone would like to call me about this my daytime phone #
is 219-268-0194 and I'll be here all day and all day tomorrow. Not fixing my gun and not selling me the parts to fix it is one thing, calling me a liar is a whole new ballgame.
 

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Dennis: "I called Dane and he told me it was a slide problem."
Let me be clear here. If this is a direct quote then Dennis it is sadly mistaken. I did not say that. Nor would he repeat that accusation to me on the phone moments ago.

What Dennis Madonia leaves out of his converstaion is that he did in fact tell me that "the gun would not be returned". After that was resolved and the gun was to be returned he agreed to return a new slide with the gun. That never happened.

Nice spin Kimber is attempting here, but sorry it is not the facts.

Makes no difference to me what Kimber does or does not do about Harley's gun. IMO it is a closed issue.

Some one starts lying or not telling the entire story and I am going to get a case of serious ASS here and post ALL the emails I recieved from Kimber over this topic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did try to recreate the conversation as faithfully as I could, and again, I did get a piece of paper before I called him to write down what was said. I knew it would be of interest and I wanted to get my facts straight.

Dane - I certainly believe you. I was wondering how he could think it was a recoil system problem, but I figured he was more knowledgeable than I and he had seen the gun. I'm not going to call anyone here a liar because I have absolutely no first-hand experience on any of this. I do wish they had handled it differently for their own sake. Anyway, here is the e-mail that I received that Dennis sent right after our conversation. And with that I am going to butt out of this, because it would be pretty easy to come to the conclusion that I enjoy stirring up shit-storms, and that is not a reputation that I want to have.

Jake

Subj: Re: comments from a customer
Date: 07/02/2001 11:31:31 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: [email protected] (DENNISM)
To: [email protected]

Jake - The reason why we did not sell him a slide is because the frame was damaged beyond repair. I spoke to Dane & told him such. I never spoke to the owner of this pistol. When we shipped the entire gun back I enclosed a letter explaining why we would not sell or install a slide on that frame. Any customer that blows up a gun which can be repaired is repaired. Sometimes the gun should be scrapped as in this case. If you would like more info regarding this issue please call. By the way we sold & installed a slide & barrel on a customers blown Super Match last week. Dennis (914)964-0742 ext 228.
>
 

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From: [email protected] (DENNISM)
To: [email protected]

Jake - The reason why we did not sell him a slide is because the frame was damaged beyond repair. I spoke to Dane & told him such.
Yes at some point that was mentioned in the original conversations, frame and slide damaged beyond repair.

I NEVER agreed with the observation made by Kimber on the frame being damaged beyond repair. I would have agreed about the slide. Turns out both of us were wrong. Frame and slide are both still usable. George at EGW welds problem guns all the time and the crack in this slide is going to be fixed by him. The real point here is that the gun is working now AS IS so besides the obvious fact that Kimber is attempting a little damage control at the expense of Harley and myself the gun was repairable.

I too keep hearing of all the guns they fix....but ZERO effort was made to repair or replace this one until today.

This morning Kimber did offer to replace the gun in question for $500.

Now as we get some feed back indirectly from Kimber, riddle me this?

Why would I endanger my reputation and professional relationship with Kimber or my future customers by pointing to a obvious defect in the Kimber customer service program?

It is obvious that I can indeed fix a 1911 that Kimber declared "not repairable". I also build better guns out of the very best their custom shop offers on a daily basis.

I had nothing to gain from this exchange except anomosity from Kimber. I certainly didn't gain anything finacially or in reputation. I also offered Kimber several ways to solve this issue to their benefit in public and in private.

I expected Kimber to do, no more and no less, than I do for any of my own customers.



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-07-03 02:40 ]</font>
 

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On 2001-07-02 16:49, Dane Burns wrote:

I had nothing to gain from this exchange except anomosity from Kimber. I certainly have nothing else to gain.

I expected Kimber, to do, no more and no less, than I do for any of my own customers.
I totally agree with this... Sadly... Dane had everything to lose, and not much to gain by exchanging words with Kimber on this.

He had little to lose, or gain on the repair... If the gun works reliably, great, if not, of well... It WAS "beyond repair" anyway...

By Dane vocalizing an obvious defect in the service level Kimber approaches some customers with, he stands the chance of having Kimber NOT sell him anything directly...

Even beyond that, it says much about the product in that Dae still feels they produce a good base for his Custom's... It's just clear that he doesn't have to deal with the Service they provide, or don't provide.

This isn't new for Kimber. I know a few instances where a little "Good Will" on the company's part would have gone MILES in good press, and customer loyalty. Often, when a company grows large, they forget what got them there... I hope they choose to remember that they need us as much as we need them so that we can all benefit from a good product.
 
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Although it may seem to be a debate of he said she said this is indeed a serious issue that can and will affect a great many consumers who will purchase Kimber products down the line.

If we cannot examine this situation thoroughly then how many customers who do not have internet sites will receive good service form Kimber?

I have had the opportunity to know a great many CEOs of some very large corporations with a lot more at stake than the relatively small company Kimber America.

I do know what I speak of and I do count my clients as including two royal families and W. Ross Perot, Microsoft, Oracle, US Air, Sunoco, Home Depot, and the State of Kuwait.
This evening I had the opportunity as an aside of “what would you do” to discuss the "official policy" of Kimber not to respond to internet posts and this situation with the president of the largest software company in the world and his response was that this situation is just plain poor and not one professional organization of standing would follow this same "party line".


Additionally at an early dinner were three attorneys from the two of the largest law firms in the US (I went back and edited this post removing the names at their request) Of the attorneys two are former state supreme court justices and one is a former US Supreme court justice and of the three each related that on the surface Kimbers in house counsel may not be aware of product liability law in reality and may be making such statements based on a overall lack of experience as a preemptive general counsel statement.

The basis of the conversation revealed that Kimber cannot be held civilly liable for making a "good faith" gesture in fully replacing Eric's pistol and in NY where Kimber is based they are also provided with additional safeguards available to them.
Eric could and can if he chooses to, pursue litigation against Kimber at this time.

More importantly, Dane has gone to both considerable length and personal risk in his relationship with Kimber to hopefully safeguard them from their own stupidity and I would hope that Kimber were able to see this and finally act properly in this situation
as it would be incredibly short sighted of them to view Dane’s actions in a punitive light.

It may only be my opinion but I believe that this has gone on long enough and it really is time for Kimber to stand up and resolve this issue by doing the “right thing” by a good customer and a good pistol smith.


_________________
Think, Plan, Train, Be Safe.
Thanks,
David

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David DiFabio on 2001-07-03 21:03 ]</font>
 

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David,

I appreciate your queries and response.

AFAIK here was the official response from Kimber. (but who's to know what is "official" via email or the phone from Kimber :roll: )

Harley's damaged pistol was his responsibility alone. (Which has been agreed to by all parties from the beginning)

No actual offer to fix the original gun or sell the appropriate parts was ever made by Kimber. SEVEN weeks (and this thread) after the original inspection at Kimber, the head gunsmith at Kimber, offered via private mail to exchange this gun with a new one for an additional $500.

What actually happened is I repaired the gun to a working condition and EGW is in the process of recieving and welding the small crack in the slide for their typical fee of $25.

Problem solved for Harley and case closed.

Jury on Kimber is still out.
 

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Geez...seems like it's a little late at this point. The time for them to stand up has come and gone. I don't know how many people are aware of this thread, but I know of at least a few who won't forget what Kimber will do for you in this situation...

... as much good publicity as they get from Dane, you think they would be bending over backwards to do something for him...If they won't for "him"...what chance have "WE" got?


_________________
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>g2<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

..!...then, we fight in the shade!..

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: gyp_c2 on 2001-07-04 04:14 ]</font>
 

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I can only vouch for my personal experiences w/Kimber, which have all been good. I've dealt directly with Dennis and a couple of other folks in the custom shop, and have nothing but praise for them and their company. I'm not attempting to invalidate Dane's experience in this one instance, just offer another, different perspective. If it's still here, I have a message posted about a recent personal experience w/Kimber support.

I was so dismayed by some of the things I read by a few posters on this site a few months back that I wrote a letter of thanks and affirmation to the senior management at Kimber, with a copy to Dennis. I received a very nice reply from their national sales manager. We all have our experiences with companies, and sometimes they aren't good. No company is perfect. One downside to boards like this is that you rarely hear even a tiny fraction of the literally thousands of positive experiences expounded, just the few bad ones. That can cause a skewed perspective when folks join/view the board for help. Folks like RMLamey pass up opportunities to own really fine pistols as a result. I prefer the FoxNews approach--fair and balanced.

Last year, after just 4 or 5 years in the business, Kimber outsold the next 5 manufacturers of M1911 pistols combined. Some of those competitors have been in the business for many decades. I guarantee you Kimber achieved that by providing performance and value significantly superior to that competition. If this thread's instance--on which we only have one first-hand point of view--were typical, Kimber would be out of business in a heartbeat. Obviously it's far from typical, assuming that Kimber's folks were incorrect. I'm not conviced that they were wrong at all.

I think that we need to give Kimber some credit here. Dane has a lot of experience and fans. Still, I wonder about the non-visible structural damage to the frame and slide in this case. As an experienced engineer, I know that not all damage to a material's structure is apparent on the surface. A violent explosion can alter the local internal structure of the metal. Sure, you can weld the visible cracks. However, internal damage may only become apparent after the stress of many rounds being fired. Unless Dane NDI'd the frame and slide for this kind of damage, neither he nor anyone else can declare the gun safe for use after such an explosion, especially for the long term. I think that Kimber is being prudent on this incident. I wouldn't want the liability for returning a frame and slide to service under this circumstance w/o NDIing them for internal damage. JMHO, FWIW.

Again, this post isn't intended to slam anyone, just offer a different perspective. Bottom line is that, in my experience, Kimber is a solid company making quality M1911s at a good price, and they stand behind their products. I own my share of Kimbers and will certainly own more without hesitation.

Regards,
TBob
 

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""I prefer the FoxNews approach--fair and balanced. ""

...Fox...now there's a great example...LOL
 
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Interesting assumption as to the "fair and unbiased" statement.

All of the major network and cable news services are owned by two yes, only two companies.
As an advertiser I can purchase major market time/bias from the UK to China with one check.

Mr. Murdoch, the bastion of credibility?

According to The Wall Street Journal 4/9/97, Rupert Murdoch is aggressively lobbying Congress to change copyright laws that will allow him to broadcast local television station signals over the planned A Sky B satellite service. Apparently Murdoch wants to have the law changed as part of a spending bill. This would circumvent possibly lengthy reviews by Congressional panels. The Wall Street Journal reports that Murdoch has already met with Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens and Rep. Bob Livingston about the measure.

In 1993 Murdoch gave a speech in which he said that satellite television "has proved an unambiguous threat to totalitarian regimes everywhere." Later the Chinese government objected to the inclusion of BBC World News on Star TV because of a documentary that the BBC produced about Mao, although it never aired on Star. Murdoch then dropped BBC World News from Star TV, which currently airs no news. Now News Corp has invested 3 million into ChinaByte which is a joint venture with the People's Daily Newspaper, the propaganda organ of the communist party. The site is at http://www.chinabyte.com/

According to an article in the London Telegraph July 20, 1997:
Federal authorities in the US are investigating the MCI deal with News Corp for possible criminal breaches. A grand jury in New York is looking into the role Michael Milken (who was barred for life from the securities industry as part of his sentence) had in the 1995 deal where MCI agreed to invest $2 billion in Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

_________________
Think, Plan, Train, Be Safe.
Thanks,
David

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David DiFabio on 2001-07-07 07:56 ]</font>
 

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On 2001-07-07 07:55, David DiFabio wrote:
Interesting assumption as to the "fair and unbiased" statement.

All of the major network and cable news services are owned by two yes, only two companies.
David...Thanks for pointing out our 4th branch of the government...I think our free speech is severly impeaded by having a few own all of the networks.

As much power that our national press has...I for one believe they need oversight by the people.

sorry for the rant...It just burns me up that the press can say anything they want as truth...with no oversight.

Greg

EDIT: sorry for the off topic.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Bronco on 2001-07-07 11:37 ]</font>
 

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The "manufacturer liability" issue Kimber is hiding behind is hypocritical. Kimber won't sell Harley a new slide and they won't sell me a new beavertail because of "liability" issues. Yet, there's no liability issue when they ship guns with improper extractor tension, overly tight breech faces and match barrels that won't reliably feed certain kinds of ammo. Is there more liability involved in selling me a beavertail or selling a gun that someone believes is reliable because it shot a few mags with no FTFs? If Kimber is stressing "liability," they need to make sure that EVERY gun that ships is reliable. The real liability comes when someone assumes their gun will work in a life or death situation and it doesn't function.
 
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No liability expressed or implied.
The use of proprietary products and patented designs allow for a very monopolistic practice.
I may get a phone call or two for this but it is the equivalent of Microsoft releasing their source code for open use.
 

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It just burns me up that the press can say anything they want as truth...with no oversight.
Greg what everyone seems to miss is that ANYONE can say anything and represent it as "truth". Good example and I think the gun industry is the WORSE abusers of this..two major gun companies, one mnakes a 1911 another a SAA clone claim forged frames...having seen the pieces of two of their guns, I doubt it, but both make that statemnt in the gun press and their ads.

I could continue this thread forever but it has nothing to do with Kimber. Their guns are what they claim they are.
 
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