Midway USA does it again

I ordered my targets for the Gun Blog e-rifle league from Midway USA the other day.

While I was there, I also ordered some ammo and a fine ceramic triangular stone for trigger work.  
I got them yesterday and, sadly, the stone (which had been packed in with the ammo and not protected very well) was broken.
I called Midway USA’s toll free number.  After pressing a couple of selection numbers, I immediately spoke to a Customer Support agent…no hold time at all.
She cheerfully took my information, expressed apologies for the broken item and assured me that a replacement would be sent right out.  Before the end of the day yesterday I had confirmation that it had been shipped and I should have it in a day or two.
That, my friends, is how customer service is supposed to work.
Kudos to Midway USA (as usual) and their employees.  I’ve never had an experience with them that was less than outstanding.  I can’t recommend them enough.

I dispise FEDEX

I’m tempted to just never do business with a company that only ships FEDEX.

I don’t know how many times I’ve had them deliver or try to delver packages to the neighbor’s house…it always seems to be the same neighbor too. How hard is it to look at the house number (that’s right there on the front porch in big black numerals) and think “hey, that’s not the right number”?

I mean, the last time I didn’t get something and it had been left over there, it had been put on a chair DIRECTLY BENEATH the numbers. The delivery guy had them right at eye level directly in front of him and less than 18 inches away when he put the package on the chair…is it too much to ask for them to actually, you know…look at them?

I’ve actually had to go to the FEDEX distribution office to pick up a package that required a signature because the delivery guy tried to deliver it to the wrong house THREE TIMES. How do you go to the wrong freaking house THREE TIMES and not bother to look at the house number on at least one of those occasions? I made it very clear when I spoke to the manager that I was not happy. Someone from their customer service called and apologized…but they don’t seem to have improved their reliability any.

I’ve NEVER had UPS deliver to the neighbor’s house.

The other thing I despise about FEDEX is their tracking system. UPS’ tracking system seems to be virtually real time. As soon as they pick up the package, they project the delivery date and I’ve only seen them have to change it once. At every stop in between the origin and my door, it’s location is updated so I have a very good idea of where it is and how long it will be to get to me at any given time. When the status changes to “out for delivery”, I am confident that I’m going to get it that day.

With FEDEX, the status can go days without changing. It seems to take forever for them to update it and when they do, it seems to be subject to change at pretty much any time, and the posted “delivery date” seems to be more of a wish than any type of actual prediction. Is Tom Hanks stuck on a deserted Island again? Who’s running the place over there?

Take my computer for example. Since it left Sacramento CA on the 18th, the “scheduled delivery” date has been today. There have been no updates since then. This morning, SIX DAYS LATER, it finally arrived in Hagarstown MD. And now, the “scheduled delivery date” is tomorrow. I have to wonder what it will have changed to tomorrow.

When the “scheduled delivery date” changes ON THE DATE that it is scheduled to be delivered…it’s not a “schedule”…it’s a “fantasy.”

UPS would have reported its location every time the package stopped somewhere. Why can’t FEDEX do that? It wasn’t apparent two or three days ago that it wasn’t going to make it by today?


Note to internet businesses everywhere: if I’m paying for shipping, I expect to have the option of paying UPS instead of FEDEX. If the only shipping option you offer is FEDEX and you aren’t paying for it, I’m going to purchase my products elsewhere. In fact, even if you ARE paying for it, I’m going to seriously consider finding another vendor rather than giving FEDEX any money even by proxy.

By the way…my employer uses FEDEX for most of their shipping…go figure.

So, even after I’ve instituted my new purchasing policy (like, as of right now) you can be pretty confident that there will still be future FEDEX rants for your edification and entertainment.


Product Review 2

I’m going to do another quick product review on something that I actually bought a while back.

This product is what convinced me to actually try out Midway’s house brand range bag. Normally, I wouldn’t expect much from such a reasonably priced product (even if it was at a special dealer price) but I had purchased another of Midway’s house brand products and I was extremely happy with it so I thought I’d give the range bag a chance…I’m glad I did.

Anyway, the other product was their Shooting Mat.

I had been looking for one for quite some time and every time I found one that looked decent it was $80 or more. I happened to run across Midway USA’s offering when it was on sale for $24.99. It is on sale for that price right now (and, honestly, seems to be available for that price on a regular basis). Basically, I was looking at a mat for about $50 less than anything I’d seen anywhere else. I decided, what the heck, I might as well give it a try. Even if it only lasts me a season or two, I’ve got something to use for now.

After getting it, I was very surprised by the quality of the product. It was at least as good as many I’d seen match competitors using that they’d paid four times as much for.

I’ve had this mat for going on two years now and it has held up extremely well. It is well made, of good quality materials and suits my needs perfectly.

As I said before, the quality of this product is what made me comfortable with trying their range bag. I have to say that, based upon these two items, I’m pretty much sold on Midway USA branded textile products. These products are easily as well made and functional as the most expensive on the market for a fraction of the price. Unfortunately, these are the only two products of this type in their current lineup. They have a couple of rifle soft cases listed as “coming soon”; my question is: when are they going to expand their line and offer other competition shooting products…namely shooting coats and gloves? As soon as they do, I’m in for one of each.


Product Reviews

I’m starting a new category (of which this is the first post) called “Product Reviews”. I’ve reviewed products before, but generally embedded in the post to which the product purchase was related.

There probably won’t be a huge number of posts in this category as I’m simply too poor to purchase that many new products to review…if any companies out there want to submit free samples for review, I’m available.

Click all pix to make bigger. The pistol is included in some pix for scale.

Anyway, what is prompting this is the fact that my range bag was getting a bit ratty. I bought the cheapest one I could find a few years ago and re-discovered the old apothegm “you get what you pay for.” The zippers began ceasing to function shortly after its first use. It was also a bit too small and the outside pockets were too small to really be useful.

Always on the lookout for a bargain, I noticed that Midway USA had their house branded large range bag on sale, reduced from 59.99 to 39.99. It was a “dealer special” last month so because I have a C&R FFL, I got an even deeper discount which I won’t reveal lest you become jealous.

The BBTOJ came today. As you can see, it is significantly larger than my old one. I used a ruler and some imagination to visualize the overall size of this bag before ordering but the sheer dimensions just didn’t sink in until I took it out of the box and had it in hand. It is a very large bag. I like it at this point, but It may become a bit unwieldy to carry around. Time will tell.

The best thing about it to my mind is that it comes with lots of goodies. It has three large external pockets, two on the front and another on one end. The other end has a smaller pocket and a drink bottle pouch.

The rear has a single very large panel that completely opens to reveal a row of pouches perfect for pistol magazines and an elastic shell/cartridge/tool holder on the flap. There is also a long pocket behind the magazine pouches. This would be a perfect place to carry paper targets, shooting logs, paperwork etc to keep from having to roll, fold, spindle or mutilate them too much as well.

Opening the bag reveals two padded, zippered pouches for handguns or other small storage needs. The roomy inner compartment features pouches on both sides for more organization.

It also includes a removable inner bag that has movable dividers that are attached with Velcro and a clip on, mesh bottom cartridge case bag.

At first blush the bag seems to be very well made with solid stitching and heavyweight nylon handles and straps. The zippers are very beefy (albeit plastic) and open and close smoothly. The clips that hold the cartridge case bag and the carry strap in place are metal, not plastic, and the nylon sides are heavy with good padding and hold their shape even when empty.

Only time will tell how well this bag will hold up to use, but I am extremely pleased with my purchase at this point. I’ll keep you updated on it.

On an unrelated note: Is this one of those “You might be a gun nut if…” observations? I buy Hoppes No 9 Solvent by the quart and it still doesn’t seem like it lasts long enough.