When I was a child I remember vividly a bargain jewelry store chain here called Ratners, the sort of place you could go in with a modest sum of cash and come out with a Gold ring or necklace and still have money left for a bus ride home. The chairman Gerald Ratner described one of its products as “total crap” during a speech and in turn Mr Ratner’s ill-judged comments accelerated a spiral of decline for the jewellery group, which plunged £122.3m into the red in 1992 and closed 330 shops in Britain and the US.
A simple misjudged joke cost the company everything, PR is a very fickle animal you see and you have to judge the market if you want to survive in business. It’s all too easy to ruin a good retail reputation if you misjudge the game. So why am I reminding you of one of the UK’s biggest business blunders in history?
Because we are seeing it once again only this time it’s firearms not gold chains and as someone that promotes shooting it’s rather worrying to me.
Lantac from my own experience produce firearms that are quite sufficient, they shoot straight, look good and I know a few shooters that have owned one and they didn’t have many complaints, so all in all a solid pass in anyone’s book.
However the CEO of the company has appeared to become a little……… irratic as of late in regards to social media.
Now I realise social media has a habit of showing people with warts and all however, the Lantac ceo has been targeting other British Firearm manufacturers and prominent shooters in what appears to be a now regular occurrence.
Mr Oglesby in recent days has repreatedly went out to insult (in all honesty) good firearm makers at North West Custom Parts and Smerald firearms, Wayne is one of the true gents of the British shooting scene and Daniel Smerald I also have a lot of time for.
I really do try to support British shooting businesses so it strikes me as highly unacceptable for a CEO of a company to be very publicly insulting others in shooting forums online.
What I don’t support however is one company trying to throw others under the bus and from the talk in the UK shooting community people have taken note. I’ve seen many shooters openly state they will no longer buy Lantac or support their products, and I can understand their reasoning.
Mr Oglesby not content however with targeting both men for days then focused his attention on my colleague Callum Long Collins from Englishshooting and Gunroom.tv.
Callum as I’m sure most UK and some American shooters are aware has had a very tough time as of late in regards to false accusations and having his FAC revoked, for now that is. I’m very happy to say however this hasn’t stopped him launching gunroom.tv or shooting for that matter but I digress.
Mr Oglesby went on to say about Callum in a message screenshot sent to me by a concerned shooter,
On a post the same day I seen it for myself in a thread and approached him,
No response, so I messaged him directly to try to get a dialogue flowing.
Again no answer, now I’m sure in what is a complete and utter coincidence Daniel, Callum and myself were all removed and blocked from the British shooting Facebook group “Pew Pew UK” which has close ties with Lantac and where some of the posts above were appearing.
My quireing of the CEO’s comments rapidly caused an accusation to appear from a Mr Lain Clark about me using “fake profiles” and this is an apparent dire breach of “Pew Pew UK” rules. The truth is I have a couple of alt profiles yes, but they are only used when I end up in Facebook jail and they have the same name to allow me access to my own page.
I tried to approach Mr Clark yesterday for comment after the accusations however I had been blocked so as to have no recourse to the charge he levied. I think that speaks volumes on the situation.
My point is and the purpose of this article is simple, I think this is entirely unprofessional for anyone that high up in a firearms company to be engaging in such behaviour and it is very bad for the brand image.
Not only have they engaged in malicious rumour concerning Callum but the company is putting down wrongly other manufacturers. A quality brand would not feel the need to partake in such nonsense, nor would it censor those who point it out on a flimsy premise on forums they have a share in.
However, this is the same man that put down the 2nd amendment in one of the biggest firearm markets in the world, so I’m not entirely surprised.
So would I recommend a Lantac now? no I’m afraid not, I’m not saying they aren’t good firearms I’m just saying I prefer to do business with professional people. Customer service is paramount as is the brand’s image and unfortunately I no longer view either in good terms.
Which is a great shame however the shooting world is always full of drama, Lantac is the latest chapter.
*Edit* An example of Mr Oglesby customer service I encountered shortly after the publication of this article. If there IS a list please put me on it.