More Fun With Guitar Center

Discussion in 'What's left to Talk About?' started by Mossman, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    6,220
    Likes Received:
    7,396
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    I only know my speed
    Has anybody ever had to exchange an item bought online from GC? I haven't until now, and it's been quite an experience... As has the entire buying process.

    On Saturday, I bought a Yamaha acoustic guitar case for my new Guild that was on sale for $59. It wasn't in stock at the time, and it said estimated delivery would be at the end of the month. I wasn't in a big hurry to get the case and it was a good price, so I said "what the heck" and bought it.

    On Monday, I got an email telling me that my order had been successfully cancelled. Having not anticipated the success of an action I had never taken, I was quite surprised, so I called GC and they said that the case was a discontinued item and that's why my order was cancelled. I thought it was odd that they would promote it as a sale item in their email blast if they had none in stock, and they were never gonna get any more. I actually kinda doubted that the case had been discontinued, and though somebody just made a mistake, but I didn't think arguing about it would get me anywhere, so I asked what else they could offer me for that price...

    She said: "Musician's Gear", I said: "No thanks!".

    She suggested some other cases for $99, but then I remembered another case that I was looking at before I bought the Yamaha (and actually considered buying instead). It was a "Silver Creek" vintage-style dreadnought case that (according to specs) looks like a better case than the Yamaha, and much better than the MG. It's a little more expensive than the Yamaha sale price ($79.99), but it has an arched top, 7-ply construction (as opposed to Yamaha's 5-ply and MG's 3), a leather handle and emerald green crushed velvet interior (that's what really hooked me TBH :) ).

    silver creek case.jpg

    But I decided to buy the Yamaha instead because my last acoustic case was pretty bomb-proof, but it was heavy as the whole damn town, and I didn't relish the idea of lugging around a 5 pound guitar in a two-ton doghouse.

    HOWEVER, the Silver Creek will provide better protection for the guitar for shipping (which I'm going to have to do when I leave this unholy place) and I have a pretty nice gig bag that came with the guitar that I can use if I don't think a case is necessary. Plus, I got the nice lady to give me a 10% discount.

    So this was Yesterday... The case arrived this morning! I thought at first that it might be the Yamaha case that I originally ordered, because I couldn't believe that anything comes from Guitar Center in less than 24 hours (unless you pay for it). When I opened the box, it was a Musician's Gear case!

    WTF?? Really trying to push their house brand, I guess.

    So I get on the phone and call the rep with whom I placed the order, and left a voice message. By the end of the day, I still hadn't heard from her, so I called their CS number to talk to anybody... I wanted to get this cleared up sooner rather than later.

    Here's where the fun starts...

    I was on the phone for like an hour (most of it on hold). When she asked me if I wanted to ship it back, or return it to a store, I opted to ship it back. Usually when I return something, I bring it to the store, but I didn't feel like schlepping this thing home, and then across the valley when I can just have UPS pick it up right from work. It was their mistake, let the inconvenience be on them.

    So then she put me on hold for like half a week, and when she came back she said that when they receive the case, they'll issue me a refund... I said: "Refund? Wait a minute, I thought you understood that I want to send this back and get the case that I was supposed to receive. I didn't say I wanted a refund".

    She responded with: "Of course, you must understand that we have to receive the item back from you first, before we can issue a refund". I said: "Fine... I understand you have to get the case back first, but I DON'T WANT A REFUND... I just want the case that I ordered!" This went around in circles like three or four times, and I was starting to think I was speaking a different language than her. Basically, I guess the way this works is; they have to issue a refund (which takes 3-5 days after they receive the item) and I have to buy it again.

    Then she said: "Well if you bring it back to a store, they can issue your refund right there". Which will still take 3-5 days and I'll still have to buy the item again.

    I told her: "You're offering me two options and both of them are inconvenient. I don't understand why this is such a complicated process when NO other online retailer seems to have a problem with exchanges (some of them will even send you the replacement before they get the first one back). I would think you'd be a little more accommodating, considering this was your mistake".

    She said: "Well that's just the way it works, sir". I said: "Nah, this doesn't work in any kind of way". Then I told her that since an exchange wasn't possible, then maybe I'll take the case back to a store after all.

    Problem.

    "Oh, well we already issued you a return label, so I don't know if you can return it to a store now... Lemme put you on hold for another fifteen minutes while I check on that..."

    Argh!

    Then she came back and said it was ok if I returned it to a store. I said: "Good... and since I have to be inconvenienced to return this thing, I think I'll just take the refund, and buy a case from Sweetwater instead... They never give me a hassle about exchanges".

    "Oh, oh... Hold on a second sir, let me go ask my supervisor if you can ship that back and we'll ship you out the case that you ordered".

    Grrrrr....

    After all that going around in circles, she came back and told me that I could ship the case back and they'd send me out the correct one when they receive it. EXACTLY what I suggested in the first place!

    Why couldn't she have done that at the beginning of our conversation?? I had to threaten to buy from a competitor to get them to give a fuck?? A fucking hour of my life wasted?? Thanks GC.

    And who ever thought this is a good way to handle exchanges anyway?? This is just BAD business sense. If a customer gives you their money and something goes wrong, you don't just give them their money back and let them go somewhere else, you do everything you can to FIX the problem so they don't walk away! Am I taking crazy pills or something?? Does this not make sense?? It sure doesn't seem to make sense at Guitar Center.

    Between this and the whole keyboard fiasco, I'm gonna go ahead and take back everything I said about GC's customer service improving.
     
  2. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    6,220
    Likes Received:
    7,396
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    I only know my speed
    Hey, guess what? I just checked my email, and I got a notification from GC telling me they already shipped the case out to me. :LOL:

    [edit]

    False alarm... It was an order confirmation.
     
    jimytheassassin, RockYoWorld and DonM like this.
  3. Jaymo

    Jaymo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2017
    Messages:
    895
    Likes Received:
    787
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Georgia
    What a clusterf*ck GC is.
     
    Mossman likes this.

  4. uwmcscott

    uwmcscott AGF Survivor Champ

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    10,688
    Likes Received:
    12,176
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Northern Wisconsin
    Perhaps you should edit the OP then? Seems like a lot of drama about nothing to be honest.
     
  5. Manodano

    Manodano Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Messages:
    2,259
    Likes Received:
    3,738
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Nashville
    Mossman, this is like watching a car wreck. I hope more bad luck is not coming your way. If so, I'd report it in detail right here in this thread, and invite the other forum members to detail their bad Guitar Center experiences.

    At the end of the thread, list the other forums and social media outlets where you've posted a link to this thread so you can really spread the word.

    Then send Guitar Center Customer Service and the Guitar Center CEO a link to this thread, cc'd to the Sam Ash and Sweetwater folks.

    That's probably all the satisfaction you're going to get.

     
    Mossman likes this.
  6. BatUtilityBelt

    BatUtilityBelt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2017
    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    733
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Omaha
    I just hate it when I can't talk to a whole human! Sorry to read about it, and hope you get a case you're happy with finally.
     
    Mossman likes this.
  7. dearlpitts

    dearlpitts Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,680
    Likes Received:
    2,482
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    central ca.
    Wow I feel ya, I was on the phone for hours with PayPal Today, never got the situation fixed. So I just had to do the best I could myself. Long story but same type crap. It sucks
     
    Mossman likes this.
  8. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    6,220
    Likes Received:
    7,396
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    I only know my speed
    It's not drama, Scott, it's just an annoyance... Kinda like snarky forum comments.

    Forgive me for blowing off some steam... No one forced you to read it.
     
    doc-knapp and MarkW like this.
  9. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    6,220
    Likes Received:
    7,396
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    I only know my speed
    That sounds like a lot of work. :) I'll just be happy to get the case I ordered, I just didn't appreciate having my time wasted like that. And seriously, the way they handle exchanges is messed up. If they make a mistake, they should fix it, and not make it onerous for the customer. When I bought my Casino from Sweetwater back in 2016, the first one they sent had wiring and finish issues. When I called them to exchange it for another one, the call took less than five minutes, and I had the replacement within 48 hours, with the return shipping label for the first guitar in the box. Now I don't expect everybody to operate like that, but I don't expect to get jerked around and have my time wasted, either. The treatment I got from Sweetwater made me a loyal customer for life. It makes a big difference when you're treated like a person and made to feel like your satisfaction is important to the people you're doing business with. Guitar Center just takes you for granted.

    And that's the reason why they're perpetually circling the drain, I think. With the exception of only a couple of occasions, I've always felt like a nameless, faceless, human annoyance to Guitar Center's CS department. Even when I've called them actually interested in buying something, I get the feeling like I'm keeping them from their smoke break, or something.
     
  10. Fat Jack

    Fat Jack Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Messages:
    1,001
    Likes Received:
    1,216
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I feel your pain .Had to deal with GC customer noservice once, and have only bought from them twice both times only because it was absolutely my only choice and would not be returning it.
     
    Mossman likes this.
  11. Partscaster

    Partscaster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Messages:
    2,892
    Likes Received:
    3,662
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    NH
    I'ld rather pay more to Sweetwater. I dont even consider GC.
    I wish dealing with one of my stupidest bosses could be so avoidable.
     
    howardlo65 and Mossman like this.
  12. Mossman

    Mossman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    6,220
    Likes Received:
    7,396
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    I only know my speed
    Maybe they think if they make the exchange process as frustrating as possible, then nobody will want to exchange an item? What if you get a defective item? I imagine you get the same treatment...

    What if it was something I needed for a gig or an event? I'd be SOL, and GC would just shrug and say: "oh well, here's your money back, now go away".

    Guitar Center is never my first choice when buying new... I usually hit Sweetwater first. But I occasionally get roped in with a sale item or some special. I may still shop their used section, but I don't think I'm going to reward them with my new item business anymore. I should just unsubscribe from their mailing list, if that's even possible.
     
  13. slowhand84

    slowhand84 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,779
    Likes Received:
    5,099
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Yep, I never buy anything new from GC...there's just no point. Used only so I can grab the steals when they have no clue what something is...and I always buy cases used too. You can usually grab a nice case on Craigslist for like $40ish without any of this hassle provided you don't live in a one horse town :).
     
  14. ID10T

    ID10T Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2019
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    119
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    SE AZ
    "Putting the cuss in customer service."
    "We're not happy until you're not happy."
     
    BrianSkeezer and nomadh like this.
  15. uwmcscott

    uwmcscott AGF Survivor Champ

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    10,688
    Likes Received:
    12,176
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Northern Wisconsin
    No offense or snarkiness intended, sorry if it came off that way. But yeah, i don't think it's any big secret that GC is not exactly the best vendor out there - you've had plenty of experience in that department and i'm not sure that any of this really should be a surprise to you or anyone.

    Bottom line, GC/MF are all about selling as much stuff as they can for the best price they can offer. Customer service and the overall quality of the product is not their #1 priority nor their business model. But as you mention you get "sucked in" by the good prices sometimes - and thats exactly what they bank on - the fact that people want a deal and will keep coming back for it.
     
    honyock likes this.
  16. Razzle

    Razzle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Messages:
    2,344
    Likes Received:
    1,623
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    AL
    It's just an institution. You're dealing with a clerk.

    But they SHOULD have better business practices and processes, such that ANY mindless clerk (including me) can do ANYthing they need to.

    Yea I returned that schecter I bought for repair, the push/pull pot was damaged and I wanted it FIXED. What a kludge. In order for my LOCAL GC to take it back, I had to officially "return" it (and I got the refund then) and they they were to fix it, and then I was to re-buy it locally. That is a PROCESS FAIL.

    GC needs their business practices fixed, and some rigor in their implementation. I'm come in and fix their ass, if they give me a free R0 for my efforts.

    (P.S. I'm still waiting for them to call me to say the guitar was fixed, it's been about a month)
     
  17. Fat Jack

    Fat Jack Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Messages:
    1,001
    Likes Received:
    1,216
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    South Carolina
    @Razzle Sine you sold it to them one of their clerks got it for cheap, that's why you haven't heard from them.:sneaky:
     
    Razzle likes this.

Share This Page