DISPUTANTA, VA (WWBT) - - A Disputanta man is hoping he'll somehow get his money back after he ordered a firearm from a company and paid in full... but now that dealer appears to have gone out of business. He turned to 12 On Your Side Investigator Eric Philips, who went to work for him.
Bruce Smith is a gun enthusiast.
"We enjoy shooting guns, we do hunt," Smith said.
Last July, Smith was attending a gun show at Richmond International Raceway and Fairgrounds when he placed a special order for a semi-automatic rifle. He purchased it from a company called Rev-Arms out of Danville - he'd gotten a recommendation from a friend. The receipt shows he paid $1,500 cash for the special order.
"So it'd take two months to get it so, no problem," Smith said. "I gave him payment full, in full."
But two months passed and he had not received the gun. After Smith made repeated calls, company reps told him the machine shop was having a problem making the parts and needed more time. It was the same story when Smith saw them at the next gun show in September.
After that, Smith says he had more and more trouble getting someone from Rev-Arms on the phone. Finally, a rep told him the gun would be ready by the next gun show in November. But that was a dead end.
"Couldn't find him nowhere, so I went up to the front and talked to the lady that sets up all the gun shows, and she looked it up and they didn't have him set up for this gun show at all," Smith said.
Fed up, Smith told the company he wanted a refund.
"I've given you ample time, I said 'you can't deliver, I'd like to get a refund,'" Smith said. "He said, 'well, I'm not approved to do that and the guy Jay that does the refunds, he had a heart attack and he's not here no more.'"
Smith says he's not heard from the company since then. That's why he reached out to 12 On Your Side for help. Investigator Eric Philips tried calling the company, but the numbers were no longer in service. Philips emailed them but received no answer. He tried finding contact information for the listed owners in Danville. Those numbers no longer work. The company website is taken down.
The company has a "D" rating with the Better Business Bureau, though only two complaints have been lodged against them - one of them resolved.
"Right now, I just want a refund. I don't trust them," Smith said.
But it doesn't look like that will happen anytime soon, even if he goes the legal route. Another example as to why experts say consumers have to be careful and do their homework before doing business.
"I regret putting the full payment down, learned the hard way," Smith said.
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