John Bradberry is a straight shooter, not just at the gun range, but in life.
That’s why when he found USA Ammo, a Houston-based retail website for guns and accessories, he expected to get what he paid for.
The problem? He says he didn’t.
“All I want is my product or refund,” Bradberry told the KHOU 11 News I-Team at his home in Houston. “I’d rather have the product.”
Back in January, the gun enthusiast ordered an AR-15 rifle from USA Ammo and paid for it with a $1,500 check.
Nearly nine months later, the check has been cashed, but as for the rifle, Bradberry claims it’s a no show.
Also missing? He says some straight answers from USA Ammo.
“Nine out of ten times they do not answer the phone. They never return your phone call,” said Bradberry. “They never return your email, ever and I’ve probably sent about ten to 12 emails.”
The Houston Better Business Bureau is very familiar with USA Ammo and complaints from customers.
“We’re seeing a lot of in terms of complaints are unfilled orders and in some cases defective items,” said Monica Russo with the BBB. “There are a number of consumers that have been waiting six months or more.”
And the I-Team found that there are dozens of consumers from all over the U.S. with complaints similar to Bradberry.
Like a Maryland man who says he paid the company about $800 for an AR-15, or a Las Vegas marine who claims he sent over $900 for a rifle, and closer to home, an Austin man who says he paid about $200 for gun magazines. All of them claim they didn’t receive what they paid for, that is, anything at all.
In Mobile, Alabama we found a different kind of complaint.
“Never have I had any problem like this,” said Mobile County Sheriff’s Deputy Travis Long.
Deputy Long says he’s been working with guns most of his life, but says one day he used reloaded ammunition bought from USA Ammo and got a surprise: His rifle exploded.
“My magazine was blown out the bottom,” described Deputy Long. “The bolt flew past my head.”
He says the incident left him with three scars on his arm to remember it all.
In addition, Long claims that when he called USA Ammo that he got a memorable reaction.
“Her first words were, ‘Oh no, not another one,’” recalled Long about the person answering the business phone.
I-Team: “Not another one?”
Long: “Not another one.”
And since then?
Long: “I probably made over 100 phone calls to USA Ammo.”
I-Team: “Have you ever gotten a response?”
I-Team: “Never an ‘I’m sorry’?”
So we called USA Ammo and got that same recording that some of their customers have heard dozens of time.
We sent the owner, Robert Dunlap, emails and a Federal Expressed letter telling him we wanted an interview. And suddenly, the website was shut down and the phone was disconnected.
So we went to the shop itself for some answers. We caught up with Dunlap in the parking lot, but he jumped in his car and drove away.
One of his employees, who does not want to be identified, was more cooperative.
I-Team: “And customers are not getting what they paid for?”
Employee: “No, not their guns especially.”
I-Team: “Do you feel bad for them?”
Employee: “Yes, I feel bad for them.”
But she says since the I-Team got involved satisfying customers has become a priority for Dunlap.
“Him and the rest of the company has been making advances to try and get these customers, either their rifles, they’re going to go out and buy them themselves, or their money back,” the employee told the KHOU 11 News I-Team.
The employee also characterized Dunlap as a “good” man and good employer and said that not all customer complaints about misfiring weapons ultimately turned out to be caused by USA Ammo ammunition.