Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thinking of buying a Lancaster Arms rifle? Think again.

For those new to this blog (there are many of you), please read this ENTIRE blog before attempting to buy anything from Lancaster Arms. They have a terrible habit of taking your money, and then not delivering product as agreed-upon. This blog contains complaints from dozens and dozens of people who, over the last 18 months, have been burned by Lancaster Arms and its owner, Chet "The Pathological Liar" Durda.

Lancaster is still apparently refusing to provide refunds on orders that are months overdue, as evidenced both by an email I received this week (where the victim literally had to call the police to get his refund), and recent posts like this, where a guy had to do a chargeback because he still hadn't received his refund more than a month after Chet Durda promised it.

Even worse, Chet Durda knows this blog exists, and he knows that when he lies to people it is going to be broadcast to the entire Internet...and yet he still does it! Folks, that's the sign of a person who is recklessly brazen, and who just doesn't give a damn about what he's doing.

So, if you ignore the warnings on this blog, and decide to order from Lancaster Arms anyway, understand that you do so at your own very significant risk! I can't tell you how many emails I've received from people who state, "I wish I had found this blog before I ordered from Lancaster! They've had my money for months now, and all I can get are empty promises, excuses, and the constant run-around."

Caveat Emptor.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fail: Lancaster Arms Rifle Blows Itself Apart

I hadn't planned on putting up another post so soon, until yet another defective Lancaster Arms rifle caught my attention today.

Apparently, the rifle in the picture below was being used in a tactical course when the top cover blew off of it. Being a tactical rifle course, the operator of the rifle did what he might need to do in a "real" tactical situation: he tried to make lemons out of lemonade, and unwisely fired the rifle again.


This rifle essentially blew itself apart. The entire story on what happened to this rifle can be seen here. Apparently, this was not an old or high round count rifle. So why did it do this? While we can't be sure just yet, AK expert Jim Fuller of Rifle Dynamics thinks this catastrophic failure was probably the result of Lancaster using "substandard rivets" to build this firearm.

And while Lancaster recently had a significant batch of rifles recalled for overdrilled gas ports, this particular rifle was not on the recall list. Which makes the failure even more scary. How many other Lancaster AKs are out there that were built to this same, low standard of quality?

I wish I could say I was surprised. But to any of you regular readers of this blog, you already know what I think of the owner and management of Lancaster Arms. Due to their extensive, documented history of engaging in questionable business ethics, I don't trust any of 'em as far as I can throw them. The fact that they've now also put out rifles (with both known and, apparently, uknown defects), only solidifies my extremely low opinion of Lancaster Arms.

As always, Lancaster...you are free to comment here if you'd like. I will not edit your comments in any way (although I will most certainly respond in-kind).

Lancaster Screw You Over? Here's How To Deal With Them:

I continue getting emails on a weekly basis, and this blog continues getting user posts, where current Lancaster Arms customers are claiming some familiar things: Either they ordered their rifle months ago and it still hasn't been delivered (even though they were given a delivery date of weeks instead of months), or they called Lancaster to get a status update, were told "Your rifle is shipping tomorrow", and then 3 weeks later they still mysteriously don't have this rifle. In other words, nothing of substance has changed at Lancaster. Still the same ol' BS.

Since I am getting a lot of "What should I do???" emails, here is what you should do if you have become one of Lancaster Arms and Chet Durda's most recent victims:

1. IMMEDIATELY call Lancaster and demand that your money be returned to you within 48 hours. Explain to them that you are a reasonable and patient person, but that you don't appreciate being blatantly lied to, and that Lancaster will need to return all of your funds without further delay.

2. At this point, Chet or Shane will themselves immediately switch into damage control mode. Chet or Shane will try to "feel you out" on the phone, and will tell you whatever they think you want to hear so that you don't cancel your order. They will throw out every excuse in the book..."the CNC machine is broken", "everyone has the flu", "the wood isn't finished yet", "the dog ate your AK", "blah blah blah".

But don't buy any of it...Chet's word means nothing, and Shane isn't much better. At this point, they will take one of two tacts with you: either they will continue trying to "sweet talk" you into waiting just a little bit longer (they'll give you another empty promise of a delivery date they again won't meet), or they'll be outright rude and tell you that you can't cancel, or in some other way they'll cop an attitude and try to bully you. Don't fall for either of these tricks! A person who has already lied to you once, will have no problem lying to you again. When dealing with Lancaster Arms, don't forget this! Chet knows that you probably still want the rifle, and he will use your own emotions against you. He's very manipulative like this. But make peace with the fact that you've been screwed over and lied to, and demand your money back. Not doing so, only sends the message to Lancaster that "Yes, in fact, you CAN get away with lying to your customers!". That is not the message Lancaster needs to hear. Stay strong. Do not "wimp out". Get your damn money back! (And BTW, document this phone call you make to Lancaster. Note the time, who you spoke with, and the outcome. You can even use a cheap service like SpoofCard.com to record the phone call. It's completely legal to do, and I would advise that you do it so that there's no "confusion" later on as to who said what.)

3. If you were smart enough to have paid with a credit card, call your credit card company 48 hours after your phone call with Lancaster, and make sure your money has been refunded. If not, do a chargeback. Your bank will credit you the money, and will notify Lancaster of what has happened. (Lancaster will lose its ability to accept credit cards if they get too many chargebacks. And in fact, Lancaster currently claims they won't take credit cards...although at least one person has told me they will if you demand it.)

If you were foolish enough to have sent a check or a money order to Lancaster, things will be more difficult, as Lancaster knows your options are more limited. They HAVE been known to tell you "We'll refund your money", only for weeks or months to pass by with no refund in sight. Here too, if Chet Durda's mouth is open...he's probably lying. So, again, give them only 48 hours to have a check back in your hands. Notify Lancaster that if this does not occur, you will immediately contact law enforcement. And do NOT, under any circumstances, accept any excuses from Lancaster.

4. If you were told you were getting a refund and it doesn't appear, or if Lancaster refuses to give you 100% of your money back, your next step is to contact the Attorney General's Office in Arizona. I've spoken with them myself, and unfortunately, they are already familiar with Lancaster Arms. Nonetheless, they will help you get your money back if Lancaster exercises its common habit of not doing what they say they're going to do.

There you have it, folks. If you're tired of excuses and lies from Lancaster Arms and Chet Durda, the above steps are what need to be done to get your money back. And I can't emphasize enough: When dealing with Lancaster Arms, do not let Lancaster call the shots. After all, trusting Lancaster is what got you into this mess to begin with. Do not try to be a "nice guy" when dealing with Lancaster, as Chet Durda will smell your weakness a mile away and will play it for all its worth. Do what you need to do, and send a message: "Lancaster, you can't expect that when you repeatedly lie to customers and constantly give them the run-around, that those customers are simply going to put up with it." No more.


About Me

But quite willing to "help" Lancaster Arms fully understand why the way they run their business, is completely unacceptable.

Welcome to LancasterArmsSucks.blogspot.com

This site exist to help police a firearms manufacturer that has decided to run its business using questionable ethics. Too often, there is not enough complete, accurate information on the Internet about companies engaged in the manufature of firearms. It is my hope that this blog shall serve as a useful tool to help guide potential customers of Lancaster Arms to a fully-informed decision. As of the start date of this blog, many, many people feel as though Lancaster Arms does not run an honest business. We'll let the chips fall where they may...