Gemtech Products and Support Horror Story

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Dalaram
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:15 pm

Gemtech Products and Support Horror Story

Post by Dalaram » Fri Oct 30, 2020 4:17 pm

Warning: Long

tl;dr - Gemtech suppressor technical support is hot garbage, despite their warrantee. All other things equal, find another suppressor manufacturer with decent customer support and avoid Gemtech.

I currently own 4 Gemtech suppressors, which I had been adequately satisfied with. I have a Tundra in 9mm, a Trek in .223, a Sandstorm in .30 cal, and an Outback IID in .22. They are older models, that I got as part of a group buy about 5 years ago. I have cared for them well, and have maintained them within factory guidelines. They are older models, but are provided with Gemtech's limited warrantee. I've got somewhere near $3k in them, plus another $800 in stamps. They worked fine, up until I had a critical failure of on my 9mm Tundra that led to a 16 month escapade outlining Gemtech and Smith and Wessons utter failure in technical support.

About 16 months ago, (May of '19) I was shooting my Tundra on a pistol 9mm AR, and it just fell off. I checked for baffle strikes, and saw nothing. I packed it up, and brought it home for further investigation. When I got home, I saw that the 1/2x28 adapter piston tube that can be interchanged for different threading had extremely cracked and chipped threads. Do note - this was not serialed hardware. This was not baffles, the tube, or anything other than a replaceable, interchangeable adapter part. This is not class III hardware we're talking about. Per their warrantee within their manuals, the offer lifetime repair/replacement under a limited warrantee. I contacted Gemtech support (At the time, it was still Gemtech, they were later purchased by Smith and Wesson), and they created an RMA. I packed up ONLY the thread adapter, plus the piston blocking tube (this is important) that you use when you have a non-reciprocating slide - per their directions. Put it in the mail, and waited.

T+3 months later: I had not heard anything. I emailed Gemtech, and heard nothing. I called their support line and left messages, but heard nothing. I finally managed to reach them by messaging them through facebook, where they gave me a ticket number through messenger chat. This is the first ominous sign. (Also note, they were being acuquired by S&W somewhere in this timeline, which I could forgive comms problems with, if they hadn't utterly bungled this. )
T+ 4 months. Nothing, and not acknowledgement of receipt of my hardware. They promise to send a replacement piston.
T+5 months: Still nothing. I remind them to please include the blocking tube, that I need to operate the suppressor.
T+6 months: Still nothing. I contact again, and they finally agree to send me a replacement piston. So in the December timeframe, I get a replacement piston, but of course, they have forgotten to either return my piston, or send a replacement blocking tube.
T+8 months: I inquire again. They promise to put an order in, and ship the part in 7-10 days. The part shows as available on their website.
T+10 months: Nothing. they now tell me that the part is on back-order
T+12 months: It's been a year since I've been able to use my suppressor. I ask when they have ETA, and they note that the Tundra is discontinued. I ask if they can send me back my tube I sent them; they note that it was probably destroyed or thrown out.
T+15 months: I note that it has been a year, the product is under warrantee, and they are not likely to produce the part again. I inquire about a product replacement with an equivalent model, since I cannot use the hardware without this part. They don't have an ETA for getting the part manufactured, but it still shows as an active part in their inventory. So they can't do a replacement since ostensibly it will get produced again. (Note: It wont). They point my to gunbroker of all places, where the last piston blocking tube on the planet is for sale for $40. (every other website that I search has the part not in stock) This is a $30 piece of aluminum, that is probably worth $.10. But S&W/Gemtech won't cut me a check for more than the MSRP of the part, because their inventory still shows it as an active part. So they cut me a check for 75% of the value, I buy the part from gun broker and move on.
T+16 months: I get a new tech contacting me about the tickets, to my surprise. I ask if they can cut me a check for the remaining $10, since it was 16 months for a part under warrantee that they ultimately were never able to produce or provide. But because the part is on indefinite backorder, they can't offer more than MSRP, even if I provide a receipt because in their words "we are a publicly traded company".

So there we go. I've also got all the mails from our correspondence saved. After 16 months of having an expensive paperweight, and getting fleeced on a part that they even admitted they are not making, this is where I'm at. This was a $30 MSRP part. It was a year, and they couldn't have the decency to replace the product in a timely fashion, or even reimburse me when I bought the only person that had their hardware available on the planet. I have been patient, professional, and reasonable in my communications. This was not serialed hardware, this was commercial off the shelf pieces of metal. If I had been told the parts were discontinued, or that they couldn't replace them when this first started, I would have gladly moved out to solve this myself. But after more than a year of out right lying, forgetting, and neglecting this problem, this has become a point of pride for me. I will never get another Gemtech product again.

So with a little bit of bitterness, I wanted to share this story with a warning about this "publicly traded company" - if you are considering a Gemtech suppressor, do not. I could have been reasonably happy with my otherwise fine hardware if they didn't go out of their way to utterly bungle their customer support. And when considering hardware that is difficult to purchase, source, and transfer - factor in the responsiveness and support as part of your expensive hardware purchase. I can only imagine how bad this would be if I had to send serialled hardware to them; and how I might never get them to own up to their own warrantee.

Kramer
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Re: Gemtech Products and Support Horror Story

Post by Kramer » Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:59 pm

I own a bunch of Gemtech cans but I bypassed the tundra. I also avoided their Blackside can too. So far I have had good luck with their Trinity, multimount, M4-02, MK9K, sandstorm, alpine, and Halo.

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