by B.B. Pelletier
There’s been a lot of talk on the forums recently about how long you have to wait on the line with Pyramyd Air before a customer service representative picks up the phone. I remember the days when you could just call and get right through, but Pyramyd Air has grown tremendously in the past two years, and it now takes time to get through.
Last year Pyramyd bought Airgun Express and absorbed their clients and inventory. AGE was probably the second-largest dealer in the U.S. after Pyramyd Air, so combining the two companies really boosted their business. They were already in a fast-growth mode, and this move boosted them into orbit! To deal with the increase, they added to their workforce, upgraded their phone system and made several tweaks to their office operations, but sales continued to outstrip their call center.
While all this was happening, Pyramyd expanded their warehouse space twice. Tom Gaylord took a tour in August, which he wrote up as an article (see I spent the day at Pyramyd Air), but Pyramyd expanded once again after he was there! He reported seeing at least 10 customer service reps, but even that didn’t alleviate the problem of phone waits.
Hire more people!
Well, that’s the obvious solution, isn’t it? And, that’s what they’ve done. They just added three more reps to handle your calls. These are all experienced call center employees, but it will take some time for them to become familiar with the Pyramyd Air inventory, which keeps growing by the day. Still, you’re going to hear some new names when you call in the future. But that won’t solve all the backlog of calls by itself because Pyramyd continues to grow.
Use the internet
Another no-brainer. Pyramyd Air has set up their website for ease of navigation and for speed. They are also pioneering several ways of displaying their products better. Take a look at the Walther PPK/S, for example. On the left side of the page is a blue icon with the number 360 in the middle. If it doesn’t show up on your screen, you may have to click on the green OVERVIEW tab in the MODEL ASSISTANT box.
Click on this blue icon to see the product in full rotation.
Click on that icon, and you’ll be taken to a page that shows a side view of the gun. Once you’re on that page, click on the word PLAY below the image, then pause a moment and click PLAY a second time. The product will start rotating in a full circle. If you want to control the view, click and hold your mouse button down to stop the rotation. You can then control how the gun rotates by sliding your mouse from side to side. Release the mouse button, and the gun rotates on its own again. Several Walther pistols, the Beretta XX-Treme and the Magnum Research Desert Eagle already have this feature. More will be converted.
There are also video clips about several guns. The CP99 Compact, for example, has a video clip in the description. Simply click on the movie projector icon next to the pistol to watch it. Don’t forget to turn on your computer’s sound! If you want to see a real fun video, look at the one on the Jackal 9mm page.
Click on the movie projector to load the video.
And there are models that can be configured by the customer. Look at the Logun S-16s, for example. Click on the Configure button in the description, and you can accessorize the gun to see how it looks, plus add the cost of all the items you’ve selected.
So, there are several ways the Pyramyd Air website can assist you, but the fact remains that they’re growing very fast at this time, and there are still going to be phone delays. They are continuing to work on new ways to improve service, and they want you to know how much they appreciate your patience. They know as well as you that the unanswered phone soon grows quiet and takes care of itself, and they don’t want that to happen.
Having said all of that, I’m sure Pyramyd Air would like to hear how you feel about this situation, and what your experiences have been.
39 thoughts on “Growing pains”
I am glad to hear that Pyramyd Air is doing well! I think they have one of the best airgun web sites out there.
Just one word of caution. Growth is good, but growing too fast can kill a company. I worked for a company that grew too fast and ended up another corpse along the road…
Yes, that is on everyone’s mind. If you don’t control growth it can get out of hand quickly.
B.B. At times I e-mail Pyramyd with a tech query and the responce is slow (weeks) or it never is answered. Will this service also improve? Most of my queries are related to possible purchases.
Pyramyd Air will see every one of these comments.
Thank you for the information, B.B.
Let me get this straight. By writing, “Having said all of that, I’m sure Pyramyd Air would like to hear how you feel about this situation, and what your experiences have been,” are you soliciting discussion of this topic… in your blog?
What do you know about Airgun Depot?
Yes I am. Tell your story – warts and all. Pyramyd Air can only improve thigs when they know how they are broken.
I have heard the nome. Nothing more.
I recently had a very good experience with Pyramyd. My 2 new tins of .177 FTS pellets were hitting 3/4″ from the previous POI. The groups opened up from tight one hole cloverleafs to .5″ ctc (@ 10M). I checked the pellets and both tins were 9.4gr (supposed to be 8.8gr), very odd! I called pyramyd, after waiting a short time the customer service rep forwarded me to Chris in the tech dept. I told him my tale and he told me to send them back and would personally make sure I’d get FTS of the correct weight.
I received the pellets and my B40 is now happily punching one hole cloverleafs with 8.8 gr FTS pellets. The problem was obviously a QC problem with Beeman but Pyramyd stood by their product.
I ordered a Dragon Claw Bipod a couple of weeks ago online. No hassle there. I received the bipod within a few days and was very happy. Much to my surprise, the Fedex man brought me another package from pyramid a couple of days later. I opened up the box and found ANOTHER Dragon Claw Bipod. Somehow they had double filled my order. I called pyramyd and the girl I talked to said to just keep the extra one and that I didn’t really even need to call. WOW! I wish they would have done that with my Talon SS!
Yes, growth is a double edged sword, but it sounds like Pyramyd is aware that call center staffing is an issue and is putting resources toward that. VERY, VERY, good to hear. Proper training takes time, I know, and a good staff retention policy is also important. With some big corporations purposely understaffing to save money, I’m glad Pyramyd doesn’t plan on following that model, and instead will remain customer oriented. A little patience now and we all benefit in the near future.
My most recent Pyramyd order was for several items ordered via the website, and my order arrived promptly and correctly. However, I had a question about which B-Square adjustable would fit my gun and tried 3 times on the phone, gave up after 10 minutes wait each time, and finally guessed at the mount. Of course I picked the wrong one, duh, so now we’ve got an exchange to deal with.
All that said, the website, selection, prices, the order handling, and my personal favorite: THE blog, are all great and I will be a continued customer.
Now, a question about the TX200 vs. the TX200 carbine in .22 cal. Is the accuracy POTENTIAL (with scope) the same for both for hunting and targets? Same innards and cocking effort? Anything else that comes to mind in that choice? I prefer the carbine length, but am open.
So far I have had only good experiences with Pyramyd staff, but I think the website could be improved with respect to the search functions.
each link on the left brings up a list with a single matching feature (like “CO2”). It would be nice to be able to pick multiple features in a boolean manner. That is, each feature has a checkbox so that I can easily pull up a list of “CO2 – Pistol – Multishot – 0.177” products.
The current search box would probably do the same thing, but it includes all products which match at least one term. The advanced search page is rather unhelpful too.
Also, although the values can be rather subjective, including c-t-c distance @ 30yards, actual tested velocity and energy with “pellet name” on the product page might be nice.
I’ll tell you what, I’ve called much smaller companies and not got near the service I’ve gotten from Pyramidair! If Pyramid ‘IS’ reading this—give “SHARON” a raise. She knows her stuff, is quick and always polite. I talked with her the other week when she was obviously sick-(coughing)-and she was still a joy! ……Bloostreek
I love the website and expecially the blog. The only thing I can think of to make the site better is to have customer reviews with products (for things that haven’t already been discussed in the blog). I always think hearing someones personal experience with a product is better, granted that its serious.
Just thought I’d add my two cents, Kyle.
I’ll tell you what, I’ve called much smaller companies …
I’ve noticed that as well. There are a few airgun outlets that offer very good support and service ( e.g. Straight Shooters), but many are run like hobby businesses.
I’ve dealt with warranty and repair issues w/ pyramyd. They’ve come through when other retailers would have balked.
a few months ago i ordered 4 tins of pelletts some pellgun oil amd a peepsight for the 392. i recieved the order very fast and opened the box. i found my crossman prmiers and oil but there was another box of 5 tins of beeman .25 lazer pellets. or so i thought. i figured i better keep the box of beemans sealed in case they wanted them back. i got on the phone and they said they would ship the missplaced items and to keep the beeman pellets. i opened the pellet box and there were my three other tins of pellets and my peep sight! they had sealed up the box so well it looked like it had never been opened. so i got back on the phone and told them what happened and they canced the order. so next time open all your boxes.
Yes, the accuracy potential is exactly the same. I do think the carbine is harsher firing, but that is a personal opinion formed from testing just one Hunter Carbine.
Since Sharon can’t thank you herself, I’ll do it for her. It’s always nice to be recongnized.
And I didn’t include the illnesses Pyramtd has gone through. I figured nobody would care, but the flu has ravaged them over the past two months.
Customer reviews are in the works!
Hi again B.B.,
Thanks for the TX200 accuracy comment. In the past you’ve said the TX200 is a relatively quiet gun, and I guess the carbine’s shorter barrel might be a hair louder; or maybe not? I hadn’t thought of the harshness issue: another instance of not knowing what you don’t know.
I liked Bert’s comment about a more advanced search function. Overall, I think the website is first class and if folks knew how much development effort and daily support went into such a site, they would be shocked. A dedicated, knowledgeable team of techies is hidden back there somewhere.
being in canada, it is very hard to get my hands on any supplies. wholesale sports has been sold out of gamo match for a few months now- ever since i cleared them out. their website is a catastrophe, with items blatantly placed in teh wrong sections, and various bits and pieces of the wrong items pasted below. its like eating “cheap” crab meat- way too many bits of shell to be very enjoyable. pyramyd, on the other hand, has a very organized site with an effective search engine. from what i’ve read on this blog, theyre like western cycle, my bike shop- they treat you so well, you feel the need to return those extra tires they sent you, to be more careful when opening the package of those mud-guards so if you exchange it, they can re-sell it withot anyone knowing better. unlike the chainstores, where a black little devil tells you to keep those spare powerlets, and to return the scope you broke, they’ll just absorb the losses. my retailer’s site’s search engine doesnt even work because of the mix-and-match descriptions and names.
their staff, like all sporting goods shops, consists of people who scoff at airguns and turn their heads towards the .308 gleaming on the wall. pyramyd, i think, would do okay in canada. although the market is small, and customs is a constant pain, i’m sure everyone would order from them. just a modest warehouse where they keep a few of everything in stock, and order as needed to replace inventory. a quarter million is no small fee, though. maybe, they could rent out a small place to test the waters. ah, but who am i kidding? still a dreamer.
Once again Thank you and Pyramyd for this blog. I have had many good shopping experiences with Pyramyd. Yes I’ve shopped elsewhere, but always seem to return and buy here. Great selection, good prices and good service. They have even called me when my pellets were out of stock, and suggested substitutes! Someone went out to the warehouse to measure a scope bell diameter for me! Can’t get that kind of service everywhere. Keep up the good work.
I cannot express how happy I have been with your answers to questions and with Pyramid Air in the past. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only person who has had a hard time getting through to them. I bet that a lot of the increased business is due to your blog-I know I started picking up airgunning again after randomly finding it on the internet one day-great job.
Okay, one bad comment. I wrote you last month about my Big Bore 909. I am still waiting for a solution regarding my problem with my fill probe not fitting the gun. I haven’t figured out the problem, and haven’t been contacted about it. I wonder if I can just go get some thicker O-rings from a hardware/autoparts store or what. Just getting antsy, I guess, with the weather getting nicer and all.
Thanks for everything
I must commend Pyramyd’s effort to solicit customer feedback in order to improve. That takes guts, and so here it is:
#1: All of the comments in my Feb 14 Hardball post still stand.
#2: Consider this direct quote from CSR on 2-7-2007, and as of today I’m still waiting to see the credit posted to my AMEX account. Words are easy, action is what matters.
“Dear Mr. xxxxxx
Thank you for contacting us. We apologize for this misunderstanding. We will issue a refund for you. We apologize for this misunderstanding.
#3: To those posters who benefit from order/shipping mistakes, consider that very likely just as many negative situations arise, and are resolved as in #2 above.
I’m still hoping for Pyramyd to succeed, but I just rxed my RWS 850 ordered from a competitor because I don’t really trust Pyramyd to deliver as promised.
Now to turn to the positive. Pyramyd has a great web page for what it is. Why else do all of us check it everyday? Minor quibbles about search features, etc… are just that, minor.
Try to keep up what appears to be good service with orders that run smoothly. But, pay very careful attention to exception handling, and make absolutely sure its done right, every single time.
How about some kind of function that lets us know what scope mounts work with what scope, and on what guns.
I was having kinda the same problems as PestBgone. I was told that I would need high mounts for a 44mm objective scope. When I think of high mounts I picture a Air Force gun.
What is the maximum objective size scope that I can have on a BS17101 or BS17130 on a RWS52? Anyone
Pyramyd Air made two attempts to email you the answer to your fill probe question and the answer bounced back both times as undeliverable. Below is the answer they sent twice:
I am sorry that contacting us has been such an issue for you. I assure you that is not common. I am listing below some steps you should try, if these don’t work, please call me and we will try to work this out or come up with alternate solution, like sending you a new probe.
The problem is that there are so many factors that need to be accounted for, especially when using a hand pump.
1) Probe needs to be perfectly straight in the loading port
2) gun needs to be laying flat as can be
3) hose needs to be positioned in a way that it is not moving the probe so that it can stay straight in the loading port
4) many guns need to be cocked to open the check valve so that air can enter
5) need to pump as fast as you can till the seals catch and air stops passing out the side
many people stop pumping because they hear the air coming out the sides, but they need to just push on through it
6) need to make sure the probe is screwed in properly into the hose.
Product Specialist/Lead Technician
Phone: (216)896-0893 ext. 229
Here is the email address you provided them:
That’s a very tall order! Scopes come and go yearly and mounts change almost as fast. Guns change even faster. Not the classics like the Dianas, but the Chinese and Turkish rebranded ones from Crosman and Daisy.
I have seen attempts to do what you ask. They are good for the first six months, but almost useless after two years. That’s a lot of work for such an ephemeral result.
Thanks B.B., I meant to get my reply done yesterday, but you know how it goes… ‘first your money, and then your clothes.’
A few days ago I read ‘discussions’ in a well known forum, about some folks having long holds on telephone calls to Pyramyd Air. Someone mentioned that Pyramyd Air posted a bulletin board announcement, to the effect that quite a few staff have been on sick leave. Thank you for confirming what until now I was taking as an unverified ‘rumor.’
I always try to take what I read in open discussion forums with a grain of salt. I’ve never seen the alleged Pyramyd Air bulletin board even after purposely searching for it, so I’m guessing it’s on the “Dealers” portion of the web site. Perhaps it’s a good idea to have a ‘Public’ bulletin board to inform customers about unusual circumstances… no advertisements please… just the facts! Web site maintenance. Telephone center overload. Staff shortage. Etc.
When I first started doing business with Pyramyd Airgun Mall (PAM) I figured emailing customer service regarding order problems would be doing us both a favor. Well, I was wrong. Not only did I never received acknowledgment that my email was received, but after several days waiting for a response from customer service I had to get on the telephone and wait my turn.
When I spoke with the customer service representative I was very impressed by her knowledge & professionalism. She handled my order problems in a manner beyond my reasonable expectations. And, we discussed the email deal too. She explained that situation with what I found to be astonishing honesty!
But, that’s still my second suggestion. I believe PAM could figure out how to handle the undesirable email SPAM and email attachments security issues, to make email customer support a viable alternative to telephone customer support. Many companies I do business with handle email customer support with aplomb, so I know it’s possible.
For example, every time I place an online order I provide my “real” email address which in effect makes me a ‘known customer.’ If PAM had an email filter sorting all incoming mail, from known customers into a “Known Customers” mailbox, wouldn’t that help eliminate the e-chaff, from the e-wheat? :o)
Regarding the PAM web site, I think there’s something to that old expression, “The devil is in the details.” Sometimes it’s just a seemingly minor detail, a seemingly tiny bit of incorrect information, that can change the whole nature of a problem.
For example, what happens when an airgun seller claims an air rifle is capable of 1150 fps, the distributor claims that rifle is capable of 1050 fps, the manufacturer of the rifle claims it’s capable of either 720 fps or 780 fps (depending upon whether it’s the web page specs or the PDF rifle manual specs)? And, all those claims made without ever disclosing velocity test conditions including the pellet weight!
Or, what about when an airgun pellet seller claims a pellet’s nominal weight is 14.xx grains, but the airgun pellet manufacturer changed the specs on that pellet, months ago, to a nominal weight of 16.x grains?
In my opinion, even when a customer does clearly understand the limitations of unsubstantiated airgun velocity claims, and does clearly understand the difficult logistics involved in keeping web pages 100% up-to-date in every detail, over a period of time tiny bits of incorrect information may chip away at customers’ trust and confidence. It’s a PITA loose-loose situation for both the customer and the business. Returns which could have been avoided cost everyone involved time and money.
[Begin rant.] The above two examples are purposely vague, because I’m one who believes in taking *my* order issues and general complaints directly to the folks with whom I’m doing business… first and foremost. In my opinion, anonymously airing order issues, general complaints, and taking cheap shots in some discussion forum is… immature, disrespectful behavior, to say the least. [End rant.]
In the upper right corner of the PAM main page [https://www.pyramydair.com/] is the URL “Want to get 5% off?” I don’t know who is handling that email support, but it’s the one exception I’ve found to my previous comment about PAM email support. When I find an error on the web site I use that link, not because I need/want yet another 5% discount, but because in my experience it gets results. To date, I’ve always received an email reply from the folks that handle reported web page errors. I’ve got more 5% discounts than I’ll ever be able to use.
So, my third suggestion has two parts: To Pyramyd Airgun Mall (PAM), I suggest trying hard(er) to make your web site as accurate and up-to-date as humanly possible. To PAM customers, I suggest taking the time to use the web page errors feedback form I mentioned above, to help Pam, to help us.
Field Targetier wrote, “I opened the pellet box and there were my three other tins of pellets and my peep sight!” LOL! That is funny, because almost the exact same thing happened to me, but in my case it was two Beeman 5-pack boxes. Fortunately, I decided to see what was inside the boxes, before calling customer service.
In conclusion, all the customer support folks at PAM that I’ve ever spoken with are without a doubt among the very best in the business. I don’t know what their paychecks look like, but I’ll bet it’s not what I think they should be making. I think the customer support folks who have been at it the longest, without crumbling under the stress, deserve hazardous duty pay!
Even if/when I find some item that appears to cost less elswhere, after I factor in shipping cost differences, and customer service differences, it’s really not a difficult decision to make. As far as I’m concerned, Pyramyd Air is my go-to airgun stuff supplier of first resort.
You’re all right too, B.B. ;o)
Wow! I don’t think we ever received a comment that was twice as long as the original posting!
I read everything you said and I am bringing it to the attention of Joshua Ungier, the owner of Pyramyd Air. This is the kind of feedback they need to make things better.
Thank you for taking the time to write this.
I ordered some items online, and one of them, unbeknownst to me was out of stock. Unlike other vendors where a big sign comes up at the checkout (or earlier) the order proceeded. It wasn’t until after it was placed that I got a notification that the item was out of stock. This has held up my entire order. Sales staff have worked with me, and today been able to “modify” my order and send me everything else.
Frankly, if it there wasn’t this blog, and the clear commitment to advancing the sport and education, I would have cancelled my order and gone somewhere else. I support the intent of the company, but dang, work on that cart functionality. I shouldn’t be able to easily order stuff you don’t have and then be forced to wait for stock resupply.
B.B. wrote, “Wow! I don’t think we ever…”
LOL, well I did ask first. I also purposely limited myself to only three suggestions.
What the anon poster mentioned about back orders… me too!
After telephoning customer service and substituting another brand of pellets for the ones that held up my back order for about three months, we had a pleasant discussion about how back orders work, what possible fixes wouldn’t work, and etc. This customer service ‘goddess’ whom shall remain nameless possesses detailed knowledge, understanding, and refreshing honesty.
Okay, don’t get me started, again. LOL!
My experience with pyramid air support so far:
early this AM Pacific standard time, I e-mailed a question. There was no automated response saying that my message had been received. While this is a minor issue, its actually a important one-especially if wait times are higher then normal.
My question was regarding the crosman quest 1000, and if it could fire the gamo pellets at faster then the speed of sound-ie its rated at 1000 fps, the gamo rounds claim 25% increase, reality I suspect was 950 fps or so, and a 12% increase, which would put it at the edge of being able to do it, I wanted to know if they knew if it would or would not. [and yes I DO know the accuracy would be lower-I just want to know if it could do it, and if not what the most inexpensive rifle was that could].
Anyways i expected a delay, or even a answer of “heck if we know”….but silence…..hmm…..and with spam filters etc, you have to wonder these days “did they even get it?”
So as a customer I have to choose-do i try calling? I am anxious for the answer, but if I call-then this question will get answered twice, once on the phone, and once in e-mail eventually, all because I as a customer don’t even know if my e-mail made it there.
Wow some good posts her and some saying that I never heard. dbar said “Growth is good, but growing too fast can kill a company.” gadgethead said “The devil is in the details.”
I think gadgethead hit it on the nose. Nice writing skills!
B.B when I was typing about web features I realized that it maybe asking for too much. A improved search function , manufacture specs on items and a spread sheets kinda like the ones SS uses would be nice.
I bet a lot of people would get a Gamo case if they knew it would fit a Gamo s1k or a RWS 52. You just can’t put the gun in the cases pockets that are made to hold the barrel and stock. It’s nice cheap and has a sling.
Are you aware of the specifications tab on the left of the rifle descriptions pages? All the manufacturer’s specs are there, except when they did not provide them. Then, Pyramyd Air measured the guns themselves.
Speed of sound,
I’m pretty sure the Raptor will exceed the speed of sound in a Quest 1000.
Of course the sound barrier is variable, based on barometric pressure, humidity and air temperature, so it’s not always the same speed. Where I live it stays between 1030 and 1100 f.p.s.
I live in India, and was glad to note that Pyramidair does ship internationally to Indian addresses as well. However the shipping costs, when compared to other (much smaller) retailers are much higher on Pyramidair, something that holds back many of us here from making purchases on this store. I use “us” as I run an online forum for Indian enthusiasts (by the name of http://www.indiansforguns.com) and there are many air-gunners there.
Well, being from India, you have access to something of value to trade with American airgunners. BSA pattern air rifles were made in India before World War II. They show up here from time to time, but they must be much more accessible in India. They would make excellent trade goods to get the other brands of airguns you want.
Is this what you are talking about? http://www.indiansforguns.com/viewtopic.php?t=1280
Yes, that’s one of them. There were several models, including a breakbarrel.
South Africa and Japan also copied the BSA.