Some companies have it, and others…not so much.
The Dealer Showroom out of Klamath, Oregon, falls into the latter category. This is a small internet-based company that seems to offer for sale small bits of old ammo and miscellaneous military surplus junk. I recently came across this company while looking for some .577-450 cartridges for my new Martini Henry rifle. Their internet website offered some of the ammunition at what I thought was a bearable price (There’s no such thing as “cheap” .577-450 these days) so I bought two boxes for evaluation, planning to buy more if I liked the ammunition. The website also invoiced me a shipping rate of $9.00 for the two boxes, which, based on the size of the two boxes, was reasonable. Shortly after I placed the order, I received an e-mail notification on August 15th telling me that my order had been shipped, and it included an invoice showing the price and the $9.00 shipping charge. So far, so good.
But then the ammunition did not arrive. It didn’t arrive the next week, or the week after that. Efforts to reach the Dealer Showroom via their listed phone number were unsuccessful because they apparently don’t answer their phone during normal business hours and they apparently don’t have an answering machine, either. Three weeks later, I e-mailed asking about my order, asking for information about it’s ship date or a refund if it had not been shipped yet. Two days went by without a reply, so I e-mailed again. I also found an e-mail for the company owner, a man calling himself John Bush, and I cc’d him on the second e-mail.
Another day went by and I contacted my bank to put a stop payment and/or charge-back on the order that I figured was not ever coming. But the bank could not find any charges on my account for the sum total of the ammunition and the quoted shipping rate so I wasn’t able to complete that charge-back. Before I could investigate further however, I received an e-mail from Bush asking me if my order was received ok. I told him that it had not been received and he replied by sending me a tracking number who showed the ammo en-route, with a departure date from his place a day AFTER my first unanswered e-mail query. Checking my bank statement again, I saw a charge from his company for $4.00 more than the quoted price, which explained why my bank could not find it when they searched by the transaction amount. I wrote Bush back, letting him know that I was unhappy with the delay and asking him to explain both that and the reason for the apparent overcharge. He responded, ignoring my question about the delay and stating that his website stated on another page that all ammunition would ship at a higher price than that quoted in the ads. Well as I found his ad via a Google link that took me right to that page, I never saw that line nor was it made clear by the ordering page information. In fact, his own system invoiced me $9.00 for shipping. I told him that I was not happy with this or any other aspect of the transaction but his only response was to tell me to just send the order back for a refund if I didn’t want it. Apparently he would rather eat the UPS fee entirely when the shipment gets returned than just do the right thing and offer even a token apology and a charge back the $4.00 in dispute.
Well screw that. I’ll keep it, only because I don’t trust John Bush or his company (assuming that he even actually has any employees and is not just some guy operating out of his garage) to refund my money after receiving the merchandise back. I told him that I’d be blogging this and letting other people know about his business methods but that didn’t seem to faze him one bit.
So here’s the tale in its entirety. John Bush, aka The Dealer Showroom, will quote and invoice you one price then bill your credit card another one. He’ll sit on your order for weeks after taking your money and ignore letters inquiring as to it’s whereabouts, and the only thing that seems to make him ship the product that you’ve paid for is a request for a refund. In short, my experience shows that he is unprofessional and not to be relied upon or trusted with your credit card information. And it’s telling that when given the opportunity to fix things with a simple apology and/or an explanation, he’s not even willing to take that small step in the name of keeping his customers satisfied and reassured. Now you may have had a better experience with him once, or you might in the future, but you cannot say that you have not been warned. As for me, I would not do business with him again if he was selling $5.00 gold pieces for $4.00.