Now I am not usually the sort of person to go bad mouth a business based on one experience but the way I was treated in this place today really needs to be shared.
I've been in J&R several times and while not the warmest gun store in the East Bay, it wasn't unfriendly. My wife has even purchased a firearm here as I've bought accessories, targets and magazines. All of this has happened within the limits of good customer service.
All that changed today.
I've had issues with an AR I threw together for some time. Was told to bring it by. Now I'm no AR expert but when I bought my lower, it was purchased as "complete". I through an upper on it , made sure everything fit and started taking it through the paces. I've put about 800 rounds through it and never had an issue save for one. I noticed that my bolt wouldn't stay back after the last round and I'm no fan of the platform anyway so thought I'd sell it.
The first contact with the guy who "helped" me was annoyance, that set us off on the wrong foot but hey, maybe he's having a bad day. Told him my story and he seemed to become more annoyed. that's strange, I'm just asking what I need to do here but shoot, I'll grin through it. He opens the rifle up and after several condescending comments about my choice of cheek rest ("I know it looks cool in movies but you don't need this") all the way to the hardware itself ("look at this, what a piece of junk"), he finally decides to tell me what the problem is and how I need to stay away from guns and not quirt my day job because there is $10 worth of pins and springs that were not installed on the lower when I bought it.
Okay, I get being annoyed by "mall ninja" crap, I get being annoyed by all the armchair gunsmiths, I get having a hard day and I get dealing with a population of know-it-alls or complete buffoons that may ruin your livelihood BUT I came in as a customer with honest questions and no ego about the fact that I didn't have the answers and I was reaching out to others who enjoy my hobby for help.
The up side may be that at some point things turned about 2 seconds shy of me losing my **** and telling this place where they can shove their attitude. I refused to engage the personal insults and the tone shifted when the manager was asked if she could sell it. The original guy even said the rifle was fine and "don't worry about it". They agreed to sell my rifle on consignment as long as there is nothing too crazy that needs repair and the gal that helped with the paperwork was fast, professional and got me out
I sincerely hope that I caught this guy on a bad day and that others are not being treated like this. I'm a volunteer with the police department, a member of the local range and have enjoyed shooting for over 20 years so it isn't like I'm the bubba off the street trying to duct tape a grenade launcher to my sks. My wife found this to be the exact environment that kept her from the hobby for so long and as she said, why she is "afraid to go in places like that because I don't want to be treated like a moron."
So to this store, I apologize for not realizing I was missing a few pins and springs that hold my buffer tube in. My experience is with soviet weapons that apparently don't need these things to keep it from blowing up in your face. I'm sorry I use a cheek rest because it is comfortable and gives a place to store a mag and sorry I use a scope because my eyes are so bad.
I decided to post this here over Yelp or Google so that other calgunners could read my experience and more importantly, the store could have the space to respond in the event that I was somehow out of line or otherwise deserved this treatment. I'm happy you offered to sell the rifle and for the fast service that got me out the door. I hope our business concludes with money in our pockets but this will likely be the last business we do together and I can't say I'll be in a rush to refer others here in the future.