“Whether someone calls customer service or the service department, the first thing we usually always ask first is: what type of gun someone has, whether it’s an older gun that we don’t carry any more or something in the line now,” said Jackie Love, customer service manager for Browning. “With the serial number we can pinpoint issues and begin to figure out where to go and what to do to resolve the problem.”
Detail the Problem
Even if you can’t break down and reassemble your firearm blindfolded, being able to accurately detail the issue as much as possible helps customer service get to the heart of the problem and decide how best to resolve it.
Knowing when the problem occurs and what’s happening, right down to technical specifications like bullet weight, powder charge, shot size, chokes and other details can help the agent on the other end of the line determine the issue and a course of action.
“We do try to have authorized service centers in as many areas as we can, but we don’t have them in every state,” said Love. “If there’s one nearby and the firearm is still under warranty, they can take it to them. If there isn’t one nearby, then they’ll have to send it in to us.”
If you have to send your gun in for repairs, don’t expect to get it back in two weeks. Your best bet is to address issues as soon as possible or during the offseason so you’re not without your favorite gun on opening day or during a big hunt.
“Our service times are generally six to 12 weeks─it’s a good three months for a regular repair,” said Love. “If it’s a rebuild or something that needs to go to Belgium, it can be a year-long process.”
Older Firearms: Prepare to Search
Older guns that need parts but are no longer offered in a company’s line might present some issues for you─be prepared to search for parts and ask the manufacturer for a list of possible outlets where they can be found.
“When a firearm is discontinued, we generally try to keep parts for that gun for 10 years and then we sell them off to service houses,” said Love, noting that online repositories and gun shows are great places to find the pieces you needed. “Some people get upset that we don’t have what they need, but we can’t carry all of them forever.”
Ship it Back the Right Way
If you need to ship your gun back to the manufacturer, be smart about it and use a service that allows you to insure and track the firearm. Jamming a firearm in packaging and sending it through regular mail is a gamble that’s not worth the risk.
“We do prefer to have people send their guns via UPS because they can track it. A lot of people won’t do that and they have no recourse if it gets lost,” said Love, noting that once a firearm is received by the Browning service department a postcard with a service tracking number is sent to the owner so that they can find and track their gun online at any point in time.