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Before anyone starts complaining about the customers service in the US, I tought I might share my experiences with you. As a European (Belgian) citizen, owing and shooting a German made P99 Military, I have to admit that I'm better off with American companies if it comes to after sales service.

When I wanted to order the wooden backstrap for my P99, my local dealer (where I bought the gun) refused stating that the wooden backstrap only was available for 'La Chasse' owners (?). No big deal, I ordered (and got) it through Earl's.

Next thing was ordering a HiViz front sight. The people of the local gun shops looked to me like if I was speaking Chinese. Also ordered and got this item through Earl's.

When asking for the Sprinco recoil reducer (or any other available make that fitted my P99), same story and I had to order it at the Italian dealer of Sprinco USA (which I did).

Also wanted a Fobus holster for my P99. Couldn't find any dealer in Europe who wanted to sell to civilians and ended up ordering it through S&W. Very nice guys (and girls) indeed. I had to wait about 4 weeks before it passed through Belgian customs and I paid about the same amount of money for import taxes, custom charges etc. as I did pay to S&W (not blaming S&W though !!).

Finally I contacted Walther Germany to express my concern regarding the battered locking block of my gun. They answered my mail stating that the locking block didn't need any replacement (how could they judge that without seeing the gun ?) and they referred to the Belgian distributor for any questions left. Upon contacting him (by phone and later by fax) the guy didn't speak a word of Dutch (one of the three official languages here in Belgium, spoken by 60 % of the population). OK, I switched to French (which I happen to speak very good) but the guy seemed not very interested to help a civilian. They ended up sending me an e-mail stating they did not deal with individuals and they referred to my local gun shop (of which the guy knows nothing about gun smithing as he's merely a sales guy). So I ordered the new locking block at Earl's (thank you again Earl's !!!) and replaced the locking block myself, considering myself lucky that I'm handy and that I'm managing an engine repair shop with the proper tools and equipment (hydraulic press). Costs of the operation : 55 US$ for the locking block (including shipping), which I feel should have been taken care of by Walther.

Although only the last item was 'warranty related', it took a lot of searching and other efforts from my side in order to obtain what I wanted.

I think next time I consider buying a European gun, I'll move to the U.S. because gun manufacturers (not government or LE related) customer service in Europe really sucks.

Have a nice day, good shooting and keep it safe

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