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Heres To You, Guitar Center.


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I hate Guitar Center.

At the end of last summer I bought a Marshall 1960A cab and decided it would be a good idea to buy a "no questions asked" replacement plan with it seeing as how I would be using it a ton and taking it all over. That sounded like a great idea, no problem, pay $70 extra and get a little peace of mind knowing that if something happens like a speaker blows or someone falls into the grill and destroys the thing it will be fixed or replaced at no charge to me. Great. Well at the end of the semester I noticed the casters (wheels) on the bottom of the cab are pitted and completely trashed. Two weeks after this one of them rips out of the insert that connects it to the base. Its MADE OF PLASTIC. Who the heck designs a "road worthy" speaker cabinet with a cheap plastic threaded sleeve? No problem, its ok, I can get the casters and new sleeves replaced for free. Cool.

Last Saturday:

I go into GC with the parts taken off the cab, showing my recept and slip with all the coverage information. They tell me to call a company called AEON who manages their replacement plans. Fine.

Last Monday:

I call AEON. They quickly tell me to call GC to get Marshall's phone number. Fine, I'll live.

Wednesday:

Call GC during my lunch break, they tell me to come in after work. I do so. They again tell me to call AEON. Now I am starting to get annoyed.

Friday:

I call AEON again. After spending my ENTIRE 30 MINUTE LUNCH BREAK on the phone with them giving them every detail they need, they tell me I need to deal with GC or Marshall. Then they tell me that after I settle the information with GC I would have to SHIP MY SPEAKER CABINET TO THEM. Are you serious? The parts I need can fit in a padded envelope, and I can screw them in myself. O my, I'm dripping with frustration now.

Today:

Back to GC, ready for destruction. Walk in, immediately asking for a manager. I don't have any more patience. I tell them I've been getting the run around, and that if this isn't settled this week I will never walk into a GC again. I also add that I've spent more money than I can even image on amps and guitars in the time that I have been playing, which is 11 years of my life. Thats over 1/2 of my life, and I'd say thats a loyal customer. Also I added I was considering buying a Les Paul as a college graduation present for myself at the end of my senior year if I had any money put to the side from this summer. They tell me they will call Marshall tomorrow when they are open and sort things out. DOUBTFUL.

Heres to you, Guitar Center.

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A thread like this popped up on the ERB forum a couple years ago, all chains are pretty bad at smaller things like this. Infact, a very similar thing happend to me last year.

I finally had the money to shoot for a fullstack for my bass (3 years ago) for gig reasons and went the cheap route for a Behringer 2x10. I got the extended plan etc.etc extra $20 for full repairs? I'll take it! Well eventually I get to selling it because I need the cash and I'm no longer with a band anymore, so I explain to the guy that I'm selling it to that I paid an additional $20 for full repairs on this cabinet and that you have 14 months left on it. Two weeks after I sell the guy the cab, one of the freakn speakers falls out of the cab! So I go with him up to GC and explain, they give us a number. Guess where the story goes from here? He gets run around to 3 or 4 different people all telling him that it's only dealt with thru GC. What a joke!

I'll pop in to GC from time to time for used gear, monster cables, or networking. Anything else is a waste of time.

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I have given up on GC...They are the used car salesmen of the guitar world.Some of the people in the one in Austin are decent guys,but they are forced to sell as much of that inferior equipment as they can.

Musicmakers in austin is a much better place...better equipment,better salesmen.

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You have to go in and make a friend with someone that works there. I have 3 guys at 3 different stores that would bend over backwards for me, and all I do is once in a while, take them out to lunch, and talk about gear. I also have them pull any guitars that need work aside for me to look at for future purchasing. Usually, they have to sell it at a discount because its damaged. Bought a 99 Ibanez s7420 with a finish chip for 200 bucks....thats 1100 dollars less than list with Org hang tags. Was just sitting on the wall way to long, and my bud called me up and told me to make an offer....so I did, and now its hanging on my wall. Just my two cents.

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I never buy the warranties either. Stores don't offer that because they are looking out for your protection. They offer it because it makes them more $$. That's true for everything, not just guitars and amps.

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Last Saturday:

I go into GC...

Last Monday:

I call AEON...

Wednesday:

Call GC during my lunch break...

Friday:

I call AEON again. ...

Today:

Back to GC, ready for destruction....

Hehehe....I'll bet you've never belonged to an HMO, have you? That's routine for every billing screwup (which happens about once a month if you have kids). For an entire year, once a month our pediatrician was billed as "out of network" when they very clearly weren't.

If you ever have a choice, go PPO. You'll cut your phone time by 90%.

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Thats why I don't like dealing with chains. Little or no real customer service.

Totally understandable, but for me its either GC or the internet :D

I've had to return stuff to musiciansfriend a couple times and it's always been a very quick and a nice experience. I would buy from musiciansfriend all the time if the only other option was GC.

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wheres musicmakers at? the only other shops in town that are decently large that I see are Bass Emporium and Strait Music now that Brook Mays went under.

Lamar and Riverside. We're pretty lucky to have a number of good shops in Austin. Guitar Rez has always treated me right, and the people at South Austin Music are way too cool. The people at Bass Emporium are also awesome, but I feel bad going in there a lot because I'm only there to kick tires. Their stuff is mostly very high end/expensive. A lot of folks have good things to say about Heart of Texas, but I've never felt very welcome in there... maybe I just keep catching them on bad days.

FYI, all the times I've been in the south Guitar Center, they've been very friendly and willing to just about bend over backwards. I think they're hurting for business there, which makes them much more responsive than the GC at Northcross. Also, I've never liked Strait too much. Nice people, but their guitar business seems secondary to their band instrument stuff.

Also (for Austinites), if you make any money whatsoever playing, you can call yourself a professional musician and buy your gear tax free at GC (and maybe other stores... I'm not really sure).

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Also, if you make any money whatsoever playing, you can call yourself a professional musician and buy your gear tax free at GC (and maybe other stores... I'm not really sure).

hmm, didnt know that! ill see what i can do to get some good prices. only if they fix my cab though!

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Also, if you make any money whatsoever playing, you can call yourself a professional musician and buy your gear tax free at GC (and maybe other stores... I'm not really sure).

hmm, didnt know that! ill see what i can do to get some good prices. only if they fix my cab though!

That's an Austin thing... other cities may have it, too, but I don't know. Edited my previous post to make that clear. Sorry for the Austin-centric derail. Warranty issues can be a real pain at the big box stores. Maybe you could try bringing the whole cab back and demanding a full refund.

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This is what happens when you don't buy Mesa. Marshall sucks balls. Next time, buy a real cab. Go Mesa.

BTW, your RA must've just loved that big 4x12 in the dorm...

i live in a dorm where we have a music venue dedicated to the 20 of us that run it, so i practice with my bands there and have a smaller amp in my room :D

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In all fairness to the salesperson, they're probably required to maintain a quota of extended warranty sales. I know when I was working retail at Sears, we had to have at least 8% of our gross receipts in warranty sales. That wasn't 8% of sales, that's 8% of the income we generated! If we didn't hit our target, we had to come in at 7:00 AM on Saturdays for a weekly PA meeting, our hours would get severely cut if it happened more than two pay periods in a row (like from 50-60 hours on the floor to maybe 10 hours on the floor, death for a commissioned salesperson), and if it happened for a few months, you were probably going to get fired.

The sad thing was they also kept cutting the commission rates on the actual merchandise and kept boosting it on the warranties to give us extra "incentive" (read: you can't make a living otherwise) to sell the PAs. They did this especially on the good stuff that never broke. Normally, we'd sell the good stuff so that we wouldn't have to worry about losing the commission when the crappy stuff came back, but if you're forced to sell the crappy stuff just to hit your PA percentage and make a living, it makes you do some stuff you'd rather not do.

Now say what you will about the choice of working commission, but some people are damn good at it. You can make a good living with it, but with the advent of every store pushing extended warranties, the honest salesperson is going to disappear and you're going to see a lot more lizards in there trying to foist the stuff how ever they can.

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In all fairness to the salesperson, they're probably required to maintain a quota of extended warranty sales.

Naw, last I knew that wasn't the case. But as I said, it's 100% profit so it's very possible the only profit made on a deal could be the extended warranty.

What still blows my mind is 15ish years after I worked for 3 different GC's for about 5 years....they still haven't changed at all! Everything is exactly the same! Well other than they have computers now. :D

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You know, it's funny we're talking about warranties...

I was having a conversation with a co-worker today about the fact that she'll never buy an RCA TV or anything from Sears again. Her RCA TV she bought from the store I worked at quit working a month after the year warranty was up. She vowed never to return to Sears because they wouldn't exchange it for a new one. She didn't buy the warranty that would have replaced it, either. So she goes to Wal-Mart and buys the cheapest TV they sell just to spite Sears and RCA. A Sylvania TV. It still works three years later and she feels vindicated.

Then I told her the same manufacturer made and distributed the Sylvania that did the old RCA, too. All she did was wind up spending another $300 on a new TV when she could have protected the old one for $30 in the beginning. She told me she shouldn't have to spend $30 on a warranty when Sears should stand by their products like they used to. To which I replied, "Okay, so they can go out of business like Montgomery Ward, Curtis Mathis, and Silo. Great idea."

Stuff is made cheaper and cheaper every day. The only thing I'd never worry about buying a warranty on is a Mesa.

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Stuff is made cheaper and cheaper every day. The only thing I'd never worry about buying a warranty on is a Mesa.

dont they have a standard warranty period anyway ?

most amps ive bought come with 5 year limited warrantys , whatever all that means i dont know but 5 years seems good to me.

most televisions ive bought only have a year warranty and the failure rate seems a lot higher with tv's wonder why this is...

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