CALIFORNIA -- I wrote this letter to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission: On 02-12-10, UPS delivered an Airsoft rifle I purchased for my son from Airsoft Megastore online. I charged the battery according to the owner's manual, loaded the weapon with the proper plastic BB's and handed the rifle to my son to shoot at targets. The rifle worked perfectly for approximately one minute. I smelled an electrical burning odor however the owner's manual stated this smell was "normal" during the breaking in period. I then noticed white smoke coming from the battery area of the rifle and immediately took the rifle from my son.
I opened the battery compartment in an attempt to disconnect the battery. I burned my hand and fingers as I grabbed the battery. The wires and fuse area of the rifle caught on fire at this time. I managed to disconnect the battery and extinguish the fire.
I immediately contacted Airsoft Megastore via email (it's the only option they offer for products already purchased). I sent pictures of the burned wires and fuse box and advised them of my safety concern for other customers who may have purchased this product. I finally received an email from "Sam" in customer service. He advised me to send the rifle back UPS at my expense and I would hear back from them in a week or so.
I attempted to explain to Sam that Air Soft Mega Store should be concerned about the fire and the safety of its customers and expedite this complaint. Sam refused to let me talk, told me that was policy and my complaint would be handled in the order in which it was received. Sam refused to give me a supervisor's name and was beyond rude. I told Sam that I was recording everything he was saying in writing at which point he quoted a California State Statute, threatened to have me arrested and then he hung up on me.
I will get with VISA and work out the refund part of this situation. My main concern is consumer safety. The rifle caught on fire! Kids commonly use the products offered by this company. Sam, representing Airsoft Megastore did not feel the fire was a big deal and basically told me to try to get a refund if I was not happy. I ask that this product (and similar products offered by Airsoft Megastore) be investigated for the benefit of consumer safety. Thank you very much.
Problem solved thanks to Mike...the operations manager.