Friday, April 8, 2011

Lancaster Arms Now Up To 35 Better Business Bureau Complaints

Well, you can’t say Lancaster Arms isn’t efficient. Unfortunately, the thing they are most efficient at is pissing off customers.

When I posted about Lancaster Arm’s shockingly high number of Better Business Bureau (“BBB”) complaints back in January, and their “F” rating with the BBB as a result of those complaints, they had amassed an amazing total of 28 complaints. (And keep in mind, these are just BBB complaints. Other complaints have been filed against Lancaster Arms with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and others.) There is no other company in the firearms industry of which I’m aware, that has such a terrible complaint history with the BBB.

While a reputable business might understand that such a high number of complaints was an indicator that they needed to make serious changes to their operations, Lancaster has apparently continued on with “business as usual”, and as a result is now up to 35 complaints…and growing. Apparently they are hoping to achieve sales by relying on the old P.T. Barnum saying, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

Worse yet, the BBB states that Lancaster has not even responded to 31 of the 35 complaints. Anyone familiar with the ownership of Lancaster Arms would not be surprised by this. The owner of Lancaster Arms, Chet Durda, has an unenviable reputation in the AK-owning community. Which stands to reason, as the factual record (as documented on this blog and all over the Internet) shows that Mr. Durda has no problem whatsoever with, uh, “being less than entirely truthful and forthright” in his business dealings. This clown would be a fantastic used car or mattress salesman.

Sure enough, a sampling of recent Internet forum posts validates that nothing has changed at Lancaster.

In this forum post, a gentleman discusses how he ordered some receivers from Lancaster back in January, sent payment, had the payment cashed by Lancaster, and never got the receivers or his requested refund. If I had a dime for every similar post I’ve read on the Internet (Lancaster cashes a check, and then doesn’t send product in a timely manner, if at all), I’d be a rich man.

And in this post, a guy bought a milled Lancaster AK rifle, it had problems, and he got the standard Lancaster Arms runaround. After trying to get them to fix the problem, and Lancaster being unresponsive, he eventually just gave up on Lancaster. And as often happens in such threads, other people also chimed in with the same familiar stories: “I ordered something in November and it still isn’t here”, “they keep telling me the gun will ship soon or that they will rush the order”…but the gun or product never ships.

As always folks, if you insist on doing business with Lancaster Arms (and I can’t state strongly enough how much I would advise against doing so), NEVER, EVER send payment prior to your order being ready. And even then, get a firm commitment IN WRITING from Lancaster as to when the product will ship, and send only a money order or other payment that can be traced and refunded by the issuer if necessary. Do not send cash under any circumstances. And if you speak with Chet Durda about your order, how will you know if he's lying to you? Simple: His lips will be moving.

Failure to follow these instructions will only result in much frustration on your part.


  1. Okay, and update to my Ak receivers never having been shipped.

    Back in January of this year, I ordered two AK 74 receivers from the Psychopathic Liar. I waited and waited, nothing. Sent emails as to where they were, nothing. Called, no answer to their B.S. message machine. Finally, a few weeks ago, Lancaster sends me an email to route all inquiries to their 'sales' email. Nice. Another stalling tactic. But I did, still nothing.

    Okay, I've had it by now. I wrote the Phoenix BBB and they sent out an inquiry to Lancaster.

    They too, were stiffed. Just for the record, I am customer #29 (read Chump) of the BBB complaints. On the same day, I also wrote a complaint to the Arizona Attorney General's Office about these fine individuals.

    Ag's office send a letter to Lancaster on March 14, 2011 inquiring as to the status of my order- with a notification clause that the letter must be answered within 10 days of receipt.

    In usual fashion, that deadline was ignored too.

    As of today, April 9, I now have a letter in hand from the Arizona AG's office stating that they (Lancaster) has sent me a refund check on 3-31-2011.

    Hmmm. Really? I look outside, no crack heads, no illegal Zombies. Could it be that Chet Turd-A lied to the Arizona AG's office?

    Nawwwwwwwwwww Say it ain't so!

    So, here it is, April 9, 2011 and no check! Since Reno is but a two (maximum 3 day haul for any 1st class mail from Phoenix) I'm wondering what line of B.S. they are going to give on this one?

    I have to respond back to the AG's office on whether or not I received a check.

    Wanna take a bet on how I answer?

    I can hear the jail cell door slamming now... and Chester receiving his much deserved cell bitch 'Welcome Wagon' party.

    No offense to Welcome Wagon, they are a fine bunch of folks.

    Burn in hell Chet Durda.

  2. Sorry to hear about this, Plain Brown Paper Bag.

    Yes, by all means, write back to the AG's office and let them know you have not received the check.

    You are certainly not the first person to be told by Lancaster that "The check is in the mail", when it wasn't. MrLockandload, a well-known and well-respected blogger and Youtube figure with thousands of followers, got stiffed in much the same manner. He ordered several barrels from Lancaster, and when those barrels still hadn't shown up months later, he asked for a refund. After much hassle, Lancaster agreed to refund his money. But Lancaster didn't send a check until several of his followers called Lancaster to ask why they were stalling.

    In yet another episode, Lancaster stole a photo of a guy's AR-15, and tried to pass it off as their own build. The owner of that photo called them on it, and threatened to sue. Lancaster said they would send a check, but didn't actually do so until the guy called them several times asking when they were going to do what they said they'd do.

    When writing to the Arizona AG, you may want to mention that this is a disturbing pattern with Lancaster. Perhaps something like, "I've read that Lancaster has claimed they've sent checks before, when in fact they didn't do so. This is all documented in detail on the 'Lancaster Sucks' blog."

    I'll tell you one thing...Lancaster's luck is going to run out on them one of these days. The AG has the ability to fine them, or take other punitive action for lying to a governmental authority. That Durda would actually lie to a government agency, shows you just how brazen and wreckless he really is. This guy absolutely does NOT care what he does!

    I sorta get the feeling that at any given time, Lancaster Arms is barely staying afloat. The way they stall, stall and stall on matters relating to money simply isn't how normal, healthy companies operate. It almost seems as if they are waiting for new money to trickle in to make good on pre-existing financial obligations. Or, it could be a more simple explanation...that they're just crooked.

    Let us know how it turns out.

  3. I was LUCKY. I bought a POS TURD from DURDA... it was a mess. Front sight migrated from center to far right and could not be fixed. Failure to feed, failure to fire, failure to extract... a total POS.

    I was lucky in that I was an early victim... had it back to them and came out whole. Just crap and crap company. CRAP customer service and crap excuses as tto why they would not answer their phones...

    Dumped on a lot of good people.... where are all those AKs now? The concept was awesome, the execution was abysmal.

    THANKS for the update this month.... ANyone that would buy from the new company should rethink. If one employee remains I would be scared.

    WIth all that ILL WILL out there, WHY WOULD YOU KEEP ANY name that resembled the old fiasco???? I would not buy from them if you GAVE me the money.


You are welcome, and in fact encouraged, to leave your comments about experiences with Lancaster Arms. The only requirement is that you stick to facts, or well-documented opinions.


About Me

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

Welcome to

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...