Customer service is the best in the business.
A lot of people talk about their customer service being the best in the business and when you experience it, you find out it was all just lip service given with the hope you would never call their bluff. Let’s face it, when you buy a new gun, the last thing you want to have is any customer service experience, but hey, sometimes, things just happen. Please take the time to read my review, you’ll be glad you did.
I purchased my Bond Arms California Big Bear 45 Long Colt knowing there was a flaw in the grip area (split rubber seam) and decided to take a gamble and rather than have my dealer order a new one, purchase the one he had in stock and ask Bond arms to replace it.
I sent an email on a Monday, and by Tuesday a new grip was in the mail along with an envelope to return the old one. I don’t think I could have even asked for better customer service than that, and while customers usually expect that kind of service, Kelly from Customer Service delivered it in spades, but it didn’t stop there.
Before I go on about my experience with customer service however, I would like to take a few minutes to tell you about the product, the California Big Bear Derringer in 45 Long Colt. Anyone that follows 2A issues and California knows about “the list,” but for those that don’t, the list is a list of weapons that can be purchased in California. With ever stricter controls and requirements mandated by California, more and more small gun makers are just calling it quits because it’s too expensive to keep up with ever more stringent regulation. Derringers in particular were all but extinct until Bond Arms stepped up to the plate and decided that California gun enthusiasts deserved better and set upon redesigning an existing product to meet those regulations and now give us two offerings, the Big Bear and Brown Bear. As an owner of multiple Derringers, I can tell you that the Big Bear is a well thought out and very functional and task oriented weapon.
From the moment you palm it, it immediately feels right in your hand (in your whole hand actually) and it shoots surprisingly well despite its size. Recoil is very manageable and hits on torso sized targets at 15 meters were consistent and lethal. These are not only my own comments, but that of two smaller middle aged females, and one 14 year old girl. Granted, none of them were first time shooters, but to be fair, they also don’t describe this weapon as mild either – one commented that felt recoil was about equal to her 38 snubbie and I would tend to agree with that. Another surprising thing about this were the consistent groupings considering the short barrel.
My own personal thoughts on this weapon is that it is a solid, high quality, easily concealable, and fun, yes I said fun, weapon to shoot – instantly a regular for my range bag right alongside my GP100 .357, and Glock 20 SF (strange bedfellows indeed). In that company, the Big Bear is usually the first one others want to “try out.”
Now, back to my customer service experience. In spite of the quality of the rest of the weapon, the 2nd set of grips that arrived came with the same defect. I cringed at the idea of calling customer service and telling them this because I feared they would say that it was my fault, or that I was too picky and that they would not provide any additional grips, but they didn’t. Instead they said that the rest of the grips in inventory also had that problem, and that sending any more would be a waste of time and instead offered me another rubber grip found on one of their other models which they checked and found to not have the defect. Because it did not have the Bear on it as found on the California model, they offered to let me keep the original grip and send back the 2nd replacement OR select any other grip they sold and simply pay the difference.
The back and fourth, the checking of inventory, the follow ups (via email and yes, an actual personal phone call!) the absolute level of respect I received as a customer, was above and beyond, and what I’ve come to expect from a Texas owned and operated business.
Bond arms has quickly become one of my favorite manufacturers, and Kelly in particular, one of my favorite representatives I have ever come across within the industry. She’s helpful, polite, and handles difficult situations with grace. Be it because they recruit the right people, provide the right training, or take a genuine interest in product issues, Bond Arms does it right, and because of that, I will continue to add to my collection and spread the word.