Archive for September, 2009

Treewalker Treestands: Great Customer Service!

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

It seems like I have been writing posts recently about poor customer service, or poor products. I am happy to be able to write about great customer service for a change!

Many posts ago, I wrote about the treesstand I bought at the WV Hunting and Fishing Show back in 2006 (I think…).  It is a Treewalker Treestand, and it is the best stand I have ever hunted out of.  After hunting out of it for several years, I still love it!  In fact, I continue to recommend this stand to anyone I know who is looking for a stand.  I know that Treewalker must be getting more and more popular, as I get several hits per week searching for them.  If you do a Google search, you will find that my review of the Treewalker on Associated Content is listed right under the homepage for Treewalker, and my post about the stand is right below the article.  That means these pages are getting a lot of hits!

Last year, the netting of the seat of my stand started tearing.  I forgot about it until just a few days ago.  This year, West Virginia is having an early bow season, and I was afraid that I had let it go too long to get the seat replaced.  I looked on the website, and couldn’t find the replacement seat, so I emailed Treewalker.  I got a reply back the next business day, and was told that if I would send them my address, they’d get one out to me.  Well, I needed to get one for me, and one for my dad, so I emailed them back about it.  Today, a box arrived in the mail with two net seats, and a company t-shirt!  Talk about great service.  They took care of me, not even charging me for the postage to send the seats.  I don’t know that this is their typical policy for replacing seats (the invoice had them marked at $22 apiece) but I am certainly thankful for their generosity!  I knew when I bought this stand that the netting of the seat wouldn’t last forever…I didn’t expect it to.  So, it is a nice bonus to have them send them out to me for free!

I have to tell you, there isn’t another climbing stand I would hunt out of at this point.  The Treewalker is the most solid stand I have ever used.  I am afraid of heights, so the large platform is ideal for me.  I feel secure in the stand, and never have had any fear of it failing (and I have had stands fail on me before!).  The stand bites into the tree enough to make sure that it will not slip at all.  I have never had any problems with it creaking or making noises to spook deer.  It is, in my estimation, the perfect climber.  Add to the great quality the great customer service, and I can’t recommend Treewalker enough.

If you are in the market for a new stand, make sure to check out the Treewalker.  I don’t think you will be disappointed!  It is great to see a company that is dedicated to their product, and dedicated to making their customers happy.  It is good to be able to write positive things about an outdoor company.  Throw your business their way!

Starting Them Young…

Monday, September 7th, 2009

I have tried to introduce my kids to the outdoors at a very early age.  Some people have asked me what I would do if my kids grew up and didn’t like hunting.  That may happen.  I certainly don’t plan on forcing them to like it.  I try to be very patient with them, as they learn about hunting and fishing.  But, if my kids’ attitude right now is any indication, I think they are going to love the outdoor sports.  You’ve read some about my older kids, and how much they have taken to going to deer camp, shooting guns and bows, and fishing.  Now it is time for the youngest, JonDavid to join the exploits of his older siblings.

Recently, JonDavid has taken to watching hunting shows on TV.  For the record, JonDavid will be two in November (he’s our hunting season baby, and got the middle name “Hunter” without much complaint from my wife).  He enjoys watching the animals, and hunts so much that he asks for the Outdoor Channel to be put on when he comes in the living room.  When he gets TV time while my wife is teaching school to the two older children, he asks for hunting shows.  This morning, a friend came over, and I was showing him the new scope I installed on my muzzle loader.  When JonDavid saw it, he shouted out, “hunt deer, hunt deer.”  I think he is getting ready for deer season too!

A few days ago, I got out the camera and videoed JonDavid as he was playing in the living room, and watching hunting shows.  If anti-hunters stumble on this they will say he is being “brainwashed”, but in reality, he has developed this love of all things hunting on his own, as he watches the hunting shows.  He doesn’t even remember hunting camp from last year!  Here is the video of JonDavid:

I think I definitely have another little hunting buddy! It won’t be long till Jacob will be shooting, and from the looks of it, JonDavid won’t be too far behind him. It is great to share the love of the outdoors through 3 generations. I know my dad loves sharing time with the grandkids in the woods as well. This is the type of activity that I hope we can continue to share through 3 more generations!

Bad Customer Service Experience…

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Here is an outdoor related post, just to balance out the last one…

Recently, a friend and I went to Gander Mountain in Charleston, WV, to get some stuff for the upcoming bow season.  Unfortunately, when we got there, we could not get anyone to help us!  We spent a lot of time in the archery department, and then spent more time at the gun counter.  In more than 30 minutes, we didn’t have a single associate come around the departments we were in to offer us assistance.  I decided today that I would send an email to complain, as I figure nothing will change if no one ever complains about such bad service!  Here is the email I sent to them:

I just filled out the customer survey, but thought I would go this route as well, just to make sure this gets to someone who may be concerned about it.

Recently, I shopped at the Gander Mountain in Charleston, WV, and was extremely disappointed in the customer service available.  We were in the Archery department for 15 to 20 minutes, and never saw an associate.  We went over to the gun department, and stood at the counter for another 15 minutes, and only saw a couple of associates behind the gunsmithing area.  One associate was on the phone, but looked up and saw us waiting for them at the counter.  He finished on the phone, hung up, and then disappeared behind the wall.  Neither associate came out to assist us.  After this, we decided to leave (since we could not get any help).  Walking out, we passed a couple of associates, who did not even acknowledge us, or ask if we could use some help.  I should not have to go hunting associates in the store to get help with merchandise!

Just so you know, we decided to go across town to Dick’s Sporting Goods, where we spent over $200 that day, and where we went back and spent about $100 a week later.  When I go back out to purchase the rest of my equipment for this year, I will most likely be going to your competitor because of the bad service in your store.  It would be nice to see people who are excited about hunting and fishing in your store, and who are excited about helping the rest of us outfit ourselves for the great outdoors!

Kris Brewer
http://www.jakesoutdoors.com

I wish these specialty stores would be diligent to hire people who are going to be helpful.  I don’t go to the store to walk around aimlessly.  I want someone available so that they can help if I need it.  By the way, I was going to be asking about a special order gun stock, or barrel to outfit a gun for my son.  There’s no guarantee that I would order one, but because I got no help, they certainly are not going to get my order.

So, do you all have Gander Mountain in your areas?  If so, is the service better than what we experienced?

I have used Gander Mountain as affiliate advertising on this site in times past, but I will not be doing so any more, unless they are able to make amends for their poor service!

EDIT:  I got a very fast response (less than 30 minutes) from Gander Mountain.  Here is what I got:

Hello, Thank you for your email, I do sincerely apologize for the bad experience you had in our store. Our goal is to fully satisfy every customer in our stores. I assure you that this is something that we do not want to ever happen again, I will forward this to the store and district manager so this problem can be addressed. Hopefully you can forgive us for this occurrence because you are the most important part of Gander Mountain. Thank you very much and have a great day!

Sincerely,

Daniel M.
Gander Direct
1-888-5GANDER

Visit us at gandermountain.com

I am happy to get this response, and will await further response from the local store.  I’ll keep you posted!

A Plugin Must Have

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Ok, this post doesn’t really have anything to do with the “outdoors”, but I found a plugin for the blog yesterday that is a “must have”.  It is called “WPTouch iPhone Theme”, and it makes all WordPress blogs instantly compatible with iPhones and other smart phones.  I am systematically installing it on all of my blogs, and it is working great.  It pares down the site to pretty much the basics so that posts are easy to read.  It looks a lot like a blog reader on your phone (such as in google reader or something similar).

You can find the plugin by going to the “Plugins” tab on your WordPress dashboard, and entering “WPTouch” into the search box.  I know, as I now read a lot more info from my phone, that this will be a valuable tool!  Hope it helps, and makes your small device reading a bit easier!