1. Welcome to TalkBass 2014! If you're new here, we just went through a major site upgrade. Please post all concerns and bugs to the Forum Usage Issues forum. We will be monitoring that forum. Thank you for all of your feedback.

    The TalkBass iphone/android app is NOT WORKING currently. We're working on it. Tapatalk IS working, so if you need to use an app, use Tapatalk. Try using your browser though - TalkBass is now 100% responsive to your phone/tablet screen size ;)

    Please read the TalkBass 2014 FAQ for lots of great info on the new software.

Buyer Beware! - Musiciansfriend.com

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Neuroman, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. Neuroman

    Neuroman BHPD - Previously Stage 2 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hello fellow TBers.

    I am posting to share info and experiences with recent purchases on Musiciansfriend.com so that you can be more aware than I was when I made the purchases.

    In short, you need to read the fine print on ALL Musicians Friend promotions. They have established a pattern of making it sound like one thing when in reality it is really something different. They justify their practices by saying everything is fully disclosed in their T's and C's.

    Couple of recent examples:

    1) They currently have a "Customer Satisfaction Guarantee" whereby the customer receives a "FULL REFUND" if returned in like condition within the specified time frame.

    Here is what they advertise: "If you’re not satisfied, neither are we. If for any reason you’re not completely satisfied with your purchase of a new item, simply return it in its original condition within 45 days of purchase (see exceptions below) and we’ll give you a full refund. It’s that simple."

    Apparently it is not. In truth, it is virtually impossible to receive a FULL refund under this policy. You will out of pocket the initial shipping charges to get the product to you no matter what the condition and no matter whom paid for it. They will deduct it from any refund granted if it was "free" and it will NOT be refunded if you paid it. That is NOT a FULL refund but a NET refund. You will pay for shipping BOTH ways regardless of what the circumstance. You have to get to the very last line in the full terms and conditions to find this out.

    2) They recently ran a "pick your match" price matching guarantee whereby you could pick what type of price match you wanted. One option was a gift certificate for 50% of the difference sent after the 45 day return period ends. The catch - there is a $50 cap. I couldn't find this cap anywhere when I went through the options and I studied the options page pretty carefully. The sales rep happily let me pick this option even though it was giving me a substantially smaller benefit. They subsequently terminated the promotion and took down all of the information from their site. They assure me that it was included somewhere in the detailed Terms and Conditions covering their price matching policy.

    Here is the point - whether or not you agree with the details of the policies, just beware that Musicians Friend is now a Company for which you DO NEED TO READ THE DETAILED FINE PRINT in their detailed TERMS and CONDITIONS elsewhere on the site in order to find out the truth. They have no problem with splashing great sounding promotions all over the site that are flat out misleading.

    Just a heads up for you all while heading into our Holiday Shopping.
  2. TXLawDawg

    TXLawDawg Put some stank on it... Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've never had to return anything from MF nor have I experienced any difficulty with a purchase. In fact, I've experienced nothing but them going above and beyond by offering a serious discount to gear that I've purchased and all I had to do was ask via an email or phone call.

    I will say that when I decide to purchase something, I never do so with the mentality that I'll just "try it out" with a return as a possibility. So, when I end up purchasing, essentially the only reason I would return the item(s) would be in case of defect or damage. I wouldn't expect a retailer to reimburse me for shipping charges should I try something and simply not like it.

    I've never heard of the "pick your match" promotion that I can remember. Honestly, they've discounted items that I've purchased enough there was not a chance that I could have found it for less.

    As always, IMO and YMMV (and obviously does).
  3. Spectrum

    Spectrum

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Likes Received:
    1
    2 years ago MF sold me a Rickenbacker 4003 and the plastic hardshell case had a crack in the foot.

    When I called them they first suggested I send the whole thing back, since the cases don't come seperate from the instruments. I told them I really liked the instrument and wanted to keep this very bass.

    So, with basically no arguing at all, they sent me a bran new vintage Rickenbacker HSC, and didn't even ask to see the one I already had (I managed to make one of my other basses fit inside it by crushing some foam, so it's not going to waste).

    I can't complain about that, they made me a regular customer that day.

    But the OP is right to tell you to read the fine print. Unless you just fell off the turnip truck you should obviously know this.
  4. superjesus

    superjesus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Likes Received:
    5
    So in the course of one week, the OP has had serious CS issues with not one but two major online retailers of musical instruments, both of which are generally known for having outstanding customer service.

    Maybe it's time for the OP to just start buying things in person.
  5. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Likes Received:
    1
    Irregular customer of Musicians Friend and NEVER had any problem. Great to deal with and don't mind discounting if you ask. I've never had them balk on a discount, and I've had them give special discounts on items not included in that particular promotion simply for the asking.

    Then again, I've never bought anything I wasn't sure I wanted so returns have never been a problem. They once screwed up and sent me the wrong length of instrument cable from what I ordered. Since it was longer I didn't complain but since cost more it was only fair to offer to pay the difference. When I called the CS rep he not only turned down my offer to pay the difference, a few days later I got another package with the correct cord and a handwritten note from my CS guy thanking me for my honesty.

    I've called to check on used gear and the CS rep took my number, went back in the warehouse and personally inspected the item, then called me back and gave me a brutally honest assessment of it.

    My experience with MF has been nothing short of great. it's like calling a local music store only you don't have to make the trip down to pick up your stuff.

    In a time when crap customer service is the rule, MF is a most pleasant exception to this rule.
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Loud Mouth Know It All Blowhard Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah...... uh..... perhaps it should be in the paperwork somewhere, but I would never expect for a company to cover shipping of a returned item. That would be a ridiculous policy. Can you imagine how much money they would lose each year from people buying things just to try them out? Heck, I would buy a new bass for every gig if shipping cost me nothing. Just receive it on Thursday and ship it back on Monday morning.

    Seriously, assuming a company would do that is a bit naive.
  7. BadJazz

    BadJazz

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Likes Received:
    0
    A few years ago they had an Alesis handheld video/audio recorder as a Stupid Deal. They were so discounted I bought seven of them, intent on keeping a few and selling the rest to get my money back. They included a free gift of a 2 gig thumb drive PER purchase. After using one of the Alesis units I was completely unsatisfied with them. They were pretty much garbage, even at the Stupid price. I wanted to return them but couldn't find the packaging for one of the seven thumb drives, so I called and asked them about returning six of the units/thumbdrives.

    The saleswoman put me on hold for a minute and told her supervisor of the situation. She came back and said that for my troubles I could keep all seven thumbdrives; just return the Alesis units for a NET refund. All told, I spent 10 bucks on about (back then) 30 bucks worth of thumbdrives. I'm still a customer.
  8. Humbled

    Humbled

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    Likes Received:
    1
    Time to call the Waambulance.

    Attached Files:

  9. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Likes Received:
    0
    No retailer refunds shipping on a return or pays for return shipping unless the item is damaged. NO ONE. If they did, people would abuse it. They'd buy something just to try it out essentially and then when they decide they don't want it, they send it back. The retailer would lose a ton of money.

    As for the promotion, I don't see what the big deal is. So they screwed up and didn't give all the information about it. If you didn't lose money, which you didn't because you'd figure out the limitations before you paid, yeah it sucks, but it's hardly worth complaining about.
  10. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Likes Received:
    0
    My wife does a lot of online clothes shopping. Most of the companies she's shopped with have provided a prepaid satchel if something doesn't suit her or fit her. At least one company sends such a satchel along with the order from the outset (i.e. they frequently expect things to be returned).

    It's a different case because it's clothing, but my point is that some retailers do pay for return shipping. I've had some gadgets needing to be returned and the company has sent me a prepaid return satchel. I had an amp that needed repairing at a repair store interstate, and the company sent a prepaid postage sticker to go on a box (company was Behringer, if you're interested).

    So let's lay off the hyperbole regarding what services online retailers do or don't provide, yeah? It's not standard across the board.
  11. two fingers

    two fingers Loud Mouth Know It All Blowhard Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's not "standard" for many companies here in the states. Also, your amp was defective. And clothes weigh ounces, not pounds. So, it is not hyperbole to say that EXPECTING a music gear company to pay for return shipping of items that tend to weigh AT LEAST 20 pounds or more and cost a lot more than your wife's blouses is ridiculous..... yeah?
  12. Bugeyed Earl

    Bugeyed Earl

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ever heard of Zappos.com?
  13. Martin89

    Martin89

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Likes Received:
    0
    Disclosures:
    Unofficial Endorser: Ibanez, D'Addario, Zoom
    The only time I had an issue with it is they had a promotion Presidents' Day weekend one year that was a "free shipping on anything/everything" kind of deal. I took that as an opportunity to order an 8x10. Save shipping, save sales tax compared to buying locally. But, when I tried to order it online, it tacked on some overweight freight fee. The thing was the promotion didn't have any fine print asterisks attached to it, links to their terms and conditions etc. So I called them and they ate the cost and I got a new 8x10 and head. Everything with MF I've done has been pretty awesome actually. They're probably my main online retailer I use for music. Great customer service, they weren't happy about it and were kind of reluctant on the phone but they did the right thing and they have a loyal customer.
  14. TXLawDawg

    TXLawDawg Put some stank on it... Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Likes Received:
    0
    Zappos sells music gear??? :D
  15. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    Likes Received:
    2
    but it is hyperbole when you CAPSLOCK some WORDS
  16. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Likes Received:
    3
    Disclosures:
    HPF Technology: Protecting the Pocket since 2007
    I've noticed one interesting thing, and this covers all online vendors: Convenient typo's in the specs. I always double check the specs for an item (if it's important) at the actual manufacturer's website. An example is the weights of bass amps and speakers.
  17. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nope. But then I'll rephrase what I said to say most retailers. It's not common.
  18. peledog

    peledog Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Likes Received:
    0
    They're price match, or 'seen a lower price' form is pathetic. It just sits there after you fill in the info - the ajax 'loading' gif or whatever it is just sits there and spins. What a load of crap.

    Attached Files:

  19. Neuroman

    Neuroman BHPD - Previously Stage 2 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    1
    Lots of folks seem to be missing the point here.

    1)It is not the cost to ship BACK an item. That is on the customer unless a defect issue and probably always will be.

    Rather, it is the "free" shipping you received to buy the item in the first place. Just a heads up that even though they call it a "full refund" they will deduct this from the amount refunded. You pay freight both ways.

    2) The post is only addressing the means of DISCLOSING these policies not the promotional policies themselves. If you don't like the promotion, don't buy. Pretty simple. The issue is that you can very easily be mislead by one of these promotions how it is presented only to be surprised by the fine print. Happened twice, so I thought it might be worth a heads up.

    I have had good customer service experiences with MF, too. They tend to be pretty committed to keeping you happy once you get to the human on the other end. So, again, this is just a heads up to check the fine print. That's all. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    Some pretty critical posts in this thread. Only posting to try to help out fellow TBers from being similarly surprised.
  20. Neuroman

    Neuroman BHPD - Previously Stage 2 Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yes, it would. You may want to actually read the post if you want to try to get benefit from what is being shared.

Share This Page