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Thread: Kimber Manufacturing, Poor Customer Service Experience

  1. #1
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    Kimber Manufacturing, Poor Customer Service Experience

    I have been a life long advocate of Kimber Manufacturing and own or owned several of their 1911′s and rifles. That was until recently…

    For years now I have had conversations with people or read online that Kimber has gone down hill over the last 5 years. Product coming from the factory not in perfect working order, a magnitude of problems with the newer models and just an overall sour taste for the company. But I had defended Kimber to the end, always pushing that even the best manufactures can produce a lemon from time to time.

    I recently had knocked my Pro Carry from my night stand and it unfortunately landed on the bobtail. Not being a light firearm, I shattered the top of the main spring housing and caused the rear safety to not function. Additionally, the hammer would not remain in the cocked position. Fearing I had done some real damage, I thought it best to send it to Kimber for repair, after all they are the manufacture.

    So I send off the firearm after getting an RMA as well as provide the Kimber customer service rep with my credit card information for processing. It was received by Kimber on the 10th of January. I finally hear back from them about 5 weeks later. While the agent was very nice, she claimed that I had modified the trigger group (trigger job) and that they would need to charge my $260’ish dollars to return it to factory specs before they could repair anything which would be another $60.00 or so. Additionally, they did not have the necessary parts to even perform the repair.

    Now, I can certainly understand that for liability reasons they would not wish to work on a modified firearm but she pushed me so hard to do the repair that I told the agent that I would need to call her back so I could think for a second. In the meantime she had emailed me and stated that I could pay for the repair or they could ship it back and I could have the service done elsewhere. I opted for the second choice since I did not care for the way this was being handled. I emailed her my credit card information (2nd time) and she indicated that she would get the firearm out very soon. I was a little distraught that my firearm had been sitting on a shelf for 5-6 weeks and I just paid for it to make a round trip to Kimber with nothing to show for it.

    A week goes by and I get another call from Kimber indicating that they needed my credit card information (3rd Request). I asked why they had not sent it out at the beginning of the week as discussed and are just now getting back to me about the credit card information, again. He had no clue. The very next day I get another call from the representative indicating that they needed my credit card information for the 4th time. I was again very polite but frustrated that they could not be more organized with how they do business. She claimed that it would be sent off on Monday. Come Wednesday of the next week, I receive an email that the firearm had finally been shipped via UPS. About two weeks after I had asked that the firearm be returned and over 7 weeks after they received it. My broken firearm was back in my hands.

    I took the firearm to a local gunsmith. Upon actually taking the firearm apart, which I do not believe Kimber ever did, the gunsmith was able to determine that what they thought was a trigger job actually was a result of the fall from the nightstand. Apparently since the hammer was back when it fell and under tension, the part of the hammer that locks into the sear was sheared right off. This is what caused the hammer to not remain in the cocked position. Additionally, Kimber’s MSH is made out of a composite plastic and not metal like others. The local gunsmith did the repairs replacing everything they would have at Kimber for less then $130.00 in less then a week.

    I share this as I have decided I can no longer support Kimber by giving them my business and ultimately my money. There are a lot of fine gun manufactures out there and I am sure they would be happy to have my business. Not sure if I was being pressured as part of an up sale or if they simply were trying to scam me but they clearly did not have my best interests as their customer in mind. I am only left with the conclusion that the gunsmith at Kimber made zero effort to accurately assess the firearm and was quick to dismiss the damage as modification.

    Just remember my story if you every find yourself possibly doing business with Kimber. In my opinion, they truly have gone downhill.

    A few other posts about Kimber problems:
    This Story
    Kimber Handgun Buyers Beware
    Calling out Kimber on Quality…
    My first…and LAST Kimber





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  2. #2
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    I have even more reason to avoid their products, I have owned their 1911's in the past and they are not worth the money they claim their "custom" guns deserve. Avoid their products at all cost. Save your money for a real custom 1911, they are far from it.
    Last edited by zack991; 03-18-2013 at 08:53 PM.
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  3. #3
    Regular Member tomrkba's Avatar
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    I also had a terrible customer service experience with them. My problem with them is their "Custom" Shop lied to me. They promised they would fix up a replacement gun and all they did was pull a gun off the shelf. It had the same quality control deficiencies as the original gun and it malfunctioned the same way. Never again.
    Last edited by tomrkba; 03-28-2013 at 10:05 PM.

  4. #4
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Bought a Kimber, Kimber couldn't fix it, sold it, bought another ( I learn slowly), Kimber couldn't fix it, sold it, never going there again. Some shops (Wilson) will not even work on Kimbers - at least that was the response I got.

    In the past most all of the internals were MIM (another way of saying cast), which I have come to detest.
    Wasn't aware that they were using plastic parts now. Is that cast or forged plastic?
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  5. #5
    Regular Member Alamo Jack's Avatar
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    I just got a Taurus 1911 a few months back. Been very happy with it so far. Shoots straight, no malfunctions. Lock, slide, and safeties are all tight and solid. I tried out a couple of Springfields and Kimbers before I settled on the Taurus. Springfields are nice guns, fit well in the hand, and are cheaper than most, but don't have the option for an ambidextrous safety, nor come with 8 round mags. I did NOT like how the Kimbers felt. Like a brick in the hand....

    I know some people report bad experiences with Taurus, but I'm very happy with mine. First thing I did when I got it was to completely disassemble it. The manufacturing is very precise, all parts are well-machined and fit perfectly. The only thing I did was to polish the slide rails a little, but I'm a perfectionist.

    And they're a heck of a lot cheaper than a Kimber!

  6. #6
    Campaign Veteran OlGutshotWilly's Avatar
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    Deepdiver,
    Thanks for the heads up. I have owned a Kimber SIS for a number of years now and love it. Incredibly reliable, accurate, and a very nice gun. I have been thinking of getting another Kimber, but with your report and some others I've come across on other forums I've decided not to go there again.

    Interesting turn of events, in that Kimber started out very good and is losing reputation fast. I own two Para Ordnance .45's, even with their past bad reputation, but they have been seriously upping their game and reputation.

    Quality is up after moving to the US, and customer service is becoming excellent now. A very interesting juxtaposition of reputations and quality.

    I've decided to hold out for a very upper end custom .45 for my next one, when I can afford it someday.

    Thank you again.
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  7. #7
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    I'm sorry for necro-posting but I had something to add to this discussion that I think everyone should know.

    I'll start off with a comment - it was VERY unprofessional of Kimber to ask for your credit card information via email. Not only is it unprofessional, but it is seriously unsafe.

    Without getting into the technical aspects of how email works, and how information is transmitted from one email server to another, I will tell you that email is sent in a plain text format. Anyone on the internet who intercepted the email (it's not hard to do) can read the contents of a normal email message as if they were the recipient.

    Never put information that can be used to steal your identity in an email unless it is an "encrypted" email.

    Knowing that Kimber requests credit card information via email could potentially make them a target for hackers.

    If a company ever asks anyone for your CC info via email, decline for security reasons, and do it over the phone. If they will only take it via email (chances are if they are that low tech, they won't know how to deal with encrypted email) then I would decline to do business with them.

    Stay safe everyone

  8. #8
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    Kimber Manufacturing, Poor Customer Service Experience

    That's good information to have. In this case it was by phone all four times. No email to worry about but good stuff nonetheless.


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