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Thumbs Up To Ameristep


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#1 Jeremiah

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 03:27 PM

Opening morning of PA spring gobbler did not see me in the woods. As many know, I've had some health problems the past year which have kept me from being on the go in that capacity. So, I'm forced to wait until a hunting partner (usually my father) can help me. During the first week of the season, I (we) finally got to head to the field.

Over the past few years, I have come to know the advantages of hunting turkey from a ground blind regardless of one's weapon of choice. So, we were armed with my Ameristep Brickhouse blind. (Think Double Bull hub-style blind.) Once on the scene, we took the blind out of its bag only to have not one, but two of the fixed fiber poles fall out of one of the side wall hubs to the ground. We were able to snap them back into place well enough to use the blind for the morning hunt. However, further inspection revealed that one half of the "T" on the end of the fiber poles that locks them into the hubs had snapped off. (It turns out the "Ts" were made of cast aluminum.)

I contacted Ameristep yesterday to find out what, if anything, could be done about my broken blind. Truthfully, I had a simple fix in mind. So, I wasn't too worried or upset. Without questions asked or a receipt for verification, a Jennifer B. from Ameristep replied to my e-mail today letting me know that my blind carries a one year warranty and that replacement "Ts" will be sent as soon as they come off back order. (It appears as though these will be new "Ts" made of a different metal from the look on the website.)

Sure, I am disappointed to have had to go through this at all. (Especially when the blind has been used so little since I bought it last spring.) But, to have such a positive service experience deserves definite praise.

P.S. If it ever happens again... A solid axle pin through the end cap to form the "T" will make sure it never does again. And, you had best believe I will take that step as 74" from hub to hub makes the Brickhouse one of the roomiest blinds for bow hunting in it's class size. It's worth it!

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#2 Hatchet Jack

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 06:52 AM

Glad to hear that Jer.

I bought the Brickhouse this past winter for use in the spring - love it!
"The Lord bless and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace." Num 6:24-26

#3 RicF

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 08:04 AM

You bet they are great and are very affordable.
I have been using one for the past several years and thats the only way to hunt turkey.
PATIENCE - Kills Turkeys !!

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#4 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 03:06 PM

It's always good to hear about outstanding customer service instead of the negative encounters, thanks Jere for sharing this with us.
"Keep the sun forever at your back, the wind forever in your face, and may forever God bless you out there on the trail."

#5 Jeremiah

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 05:47 PM

Now hopefully I get these "Ts" in time for next spring season. :worry:

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#6 Jeremiah

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 05:02 PM

I got my "Ts" today! They are made of steel which is a big upgrade over the original cast aluminum ones. Unfortunately, they only sent me enough to do one hub (four "Ts" total). It took a blow torch to get the old "Ts" off. It was a lot harder than I anticipated. I also discovered I actually had three broken "Ts" in just that one hub, not two.

IMO, this should be a recall as it appears all Ameristep hub-style blinds are coming standard with steel "Ts" this year. I'm going to contact them again and see what they say. If they tell me to pay $4.00 a piece plus shipping for the remaining "Ts" I need to swap out the rest of the blind I'm not going to be a very happy camper.

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#7 Leo

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 06:09 PM

Well Ameristep did send you twice as many as you thought were broken.

Word of advice. Tell them when replacing the broken ones you noticed the others were about to fail and you don't think they are going to make it.
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#8 Jeremiah

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 07:02 PM

Well Ameristep did send you twice as many as you thought were broken.

Word of advice. Tell them when replacing the broken ones you noticed the others were about to fail and you don't think they are going to make it.


Already ahead of you. ;)

Unfortunately, however, it's actually the truth. :(

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#9 Leo

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 07:10 PM

I honestly expected as much based on the design change you already noted. Pretty obvious when a manufacturer does that it's an admission of under design.
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#10 Jeremiah

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 07:35 PM

I honestly expected as much based on the design change you already noted. Pretty obvious when a manufacturer does that it's an admission of under design.


As much as I like Ameristep products, this is, admittedly, par for the course. I bought an original Doghouse blind only to find it tight for bowhunting. The next year they redesigned it and made it bigger. (I bought the newer model too when seeing this.) A buddy of mine bought a Grizzly deer cart only to have an issue with overloading the ABS wheel spokes. The next year they went to all steel wheels/spokes. (Luckily, I didn't buy the original. However, I did buy the redesign. They mixed up and shipped the old wheel washers which were wider to compensate for the old narrower wheels. I just went and bought thinner washers from the parts store on that one.) Last year I bought a Brickhouse blind and the aluminum pole ends broke. This year they went to steel... You get the picture. LOL
All told I own 4 Ameristep blinds, a deer cart, a tree stick, some tree steps and a body harness. Half I've had issues with. They've always made it right though. Makes you wonder why they don't turn it around and get it right the first time to keep some of that "replacement" money in their pocket. But, then again, it seems a lot of consumers don't even bother to follow up when they have a problem if the item wasn't "expensive".

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#11 Chrud

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 09:18 AM

I have three Ameristep blinds, with a few minor problems and one that is going to require some work.

I have one of the older Doghouse blinds. No black on the inside. It's smells a bit from the "scent free" water repellant I applied. Other than that it is a great blind.

My Brickhouse and Outhouse have had a couple similar problems. The stakes both pulled up during a wind storm. I now use 10" tent stakes. The Outhouse seems to have lost some of the spring in the spring steel. I have yet to hunt from it, so I don't know if it is useable or not.

The Brickhouse has had mostly minor problems. One of the stake loops is broke, and the loops that you pull to pop the hubs out are mostly gone. There is a 8" or so tear along the bottom, but nothing major. The biggest problem I have that needs some creative fixing (ie duct tape) is one of the pockets that the hub poles are in along the bottom has blown out. I just need to fix it so it holds the poles in place. I have a couple ideas of how to fix it.

It sounds like you did good with contacting Ameristep about "future issues". I know I bought a box of Federal rifle shells a couple years ago and one had the primer missing. I contacted the and only mentioned the problem and said it was just an FYI so it isn't a future problem. I didn't ask for anyting but got a box of bullets free. :D

#12 Jeremiah

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 10:10 AM

The Latest Scoop:

Ameristep has gone to the steel pole tips in all of their 2007 blinds as a "design upgrade". Pre-existing blinds with the non-steel tips are not under recall. However, if your purchase has been within the one year warranty period you can contact Ameristep for replacement of broken parts. Replacement tips will be the new steel tips.

In my case, it seems all of the side walls in my blind had damage. So, I hopefully have another dozen tips on the way. Only the roof in my blind has faired well. (Perhaps this is because of the way it deploys and collapses, just straight up and down, versus the side walls which require a little flipping over each other. I do not know for certain.)

All told, I still love this blind and it will soon be better than ever. I look forward to using it again next year. :D

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