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The Lost Art of Customer Service

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by cv115505, Dec 11, 2013.


  1. cv115505

    cv115505

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    Disclosures:
    Lakland Basses | Hanson Guitars | Augustas Guitars | Paul & Mills Amplification
    Just wondering with what companies you guys have had exceptionally good or bad customer service experiences. I can say that the 3 companies I have worked with that really took me back with their level of service would have to be Lakland, G&L, and Reverend.
    With Lakland, I only own a couple sets of the CHi Sonic pickups and a Hanson guitar (a 335-based design that I would put up against anything Gibson has limped to the barn with in the past decade), but whenever I need something, Mr. Pirruccello is simply amazing. I wish I could afford a US Lakland... I was looking at a Skyline, but the vendor I was using kind of sold it out from under me... it was a limited edition and I haven't been able to find another one so I ended up with a G&L JB and put the Chi Sonic pickups in it.
    Which brings me to G&L. In addition to their instruments being superior to Fender (seems to be easier to do with each year), their dedication to their product and your satisfaction is way above normal. I've never even heard of someone having an issue with them.
    Reverend is another company who is great with their follow-up... As I mentioned on another forum, I had a minor neck issue that turned out to be a combination of sitting on a cold delivery truck for over 9 hours and a very poor truss rod adjustment. When I called they were ready to do everything in the world to fix any issues. I didn't take advantage of it because it only really needed a good setup which is not a valid reason to send a guitar back.

    As far as big vendors, I work almost exclusively with Bass Central... They are some of the best people in terms of follow-up that I've gotten to work with, and they are very honest with gear recommendations and are very good with returning phone calls and emails.

    These are the ones I choose to give my business whenever it's time to buy... I have a Fender, but I feel it to be a diamond in the rough and I pray that I never have to work with them on a customer service level again and Gibson's quality control is such a joke that I wont even give them a try. As far as large vendors, Guitar Center is beneath the bottom of the barrel. Ignorance and apathy have ran through that company like a plague. That being said, most of the GC workers at the OKC location are great and will do anything for the people who walk in... they just work for a garbage company.
     
  2. Gorn Captain

    Gorn Captain Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Location:
    Queens
    Kala customer service is excellent. They're quality control is sub-par, but you can easily get an actual human on the phone that can help you.

    As far as retailers, I've always heard Sweetwater is the bee's knees.
     
  3. dalkowski

    dalkowski

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Location:
    Massachusetts USofA
    I've had very good experiences with Zzounds.
     
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass Gnarsty bass tones Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Location:
    Maryland, between Bawlmer & DC
    Every so often someone knocks boutique gear for "not being worth the $$$", but one thing you often get for your money (along with quality and myriad a la carte options) is outstanding customer service. I've had fabulous dealings with Bergantino (speakers), Sadowsky, and my recent experience with Nordstrand was second to none.

    For merchants, my first choice is JiveSound in VA. Atomic Music in MD is a second-hand gear store that will treat you right. I've also been happy with purchases from Sweetwater, BassNW, Bass Central.

    Gotta give props to bassstringsonline.com. The proprietor is a TBer who offers excellent prices and service, and a TB discount.

    I'll add anyone else I've forgotten when I think of 'em...
     
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  6. heynorm

    heynorm

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Sweetwater's always been good for me.
     
  7. Grateful

    Grateful Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    My top Customer Service experiences in the last few years (in no particular order)

    -Carvin
    -Hipshot
    -Bass Strings Online
    -Circle K
    -Sweetwater
    -Reverend

    Worst ever and permanent addition to 'Do Not Buy List':
    -Gibson
     
  8. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Location:
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    Disclosures:
    AFM 72-147 union card-carrying liberal academic musician
    +1

    Mesa and GK have been good for me with warranty and non-warranty issues. Sadowsky for pre-sale.
     
  9. Gecko 5

    Gecko 5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Location:
    South Milwaukee , Wisconsin
    Hopefully you never NEED the customer service, BUT.
    I had a great experience with GK. They got me a new amp 2 days before a gig, when my MB500 fried.
    Lakland is awesome too
     
  10. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    G.R. MI
    I really dig Larry Hartke! I don't own a Hartke amp, but I've seen him post his cell number on TB in response to customers of his having trouble.
     
  11. DiabolicLow B

    DiabolicLow B Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2009
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Gotta give kudos to Dingwall, fantastic customer service, the best I have experienced.
     
  12. phangtonpower

    phangtonpower

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Location:
    Fukui Japan from San Diego
    Jason at bass strings online is my vote for best customer service.

    Wasn't too happy with hipshots customer service. they didn't answer some questions. I admit after doing more looking into about a product, my answers where questioned, but then they could have answered a lot more quickly since they know their product better than I do.
     
  13. jeff62

    jeff62 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Second for Bass Strings Online... they've been very responsive to issues and have definitely earned my return business.

    Also had a great experience with Hodgy in Ampeg Technical Support. There are these little tabbed nuts that allow you to easilyt fasten the preamp tray of an SVT-CL to the chassis (the tabs hold the nuts in place). While rolling tubes in my Heritage SVT-CL I noticed that one of those little tabs was broken. Not a terminal issue but definitely a pain in the a$$. Hodgy answered my call. He immediately knew that this was a specialty part that I would be unable to find elsewhere. Although I was willing to pay to get a couple of spares, Hodgy just made it happen. Kudos to him and Ampeg.
     
  14. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    LA
    bass strings online
    dunlop
    sometimes guitar center
    sometimes mf
     
  15. BIGEJ2

    BIGEJ2 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Location:
    State College, PA
    I've had great experiences with Music Store Live, Bass Central, Dubaldo Music, The Perfect Bass and Rainbow Guitars. Musician's Friend has also treated me very well over the years.

    There are only two places I refuse to by from: Sweetwater and Grand Central Music (who I believe is now defunct).

    Fender seems to get a bad rap around here but I have had no issues with their customer service. Phone calls are answered timely, emails quickly responded to and the information provided has always been exactly what I needed. Their Custom Shop has also been fantastic to deal with. Music Man also gets a big thumbs up in the customer service department.

    I have not had any bad experiences with manufacturers or builders per se but one famous company left a very bad taste in my mouth while looking for a custom built jazz bass. The exact comment I got was, "that bass sounds ugly. There will be an upcharge if you want us to make it for you and it will have no return policy because we don't really want our name on it." Fortunately for them, they didn't have to. I went elsewhere and was very pleased with that decision.
     
  16. madbassplaya

    madbassplaya Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007


    Pics?

    Jason at bassstringsonline.com is THE best.
     
  17. LightGroove

    LightGroove

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    Happy Bottom, VA
    Me too...
     
  18. BIGEJ2

    BIGEJ2 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Location:
    State College, PA
    On the right. Maybe it is ugly.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. milkman-27

    milkman-27

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    ZZSounds sells factory seconds as new
     
  20. zachoff

    zachoff

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Location:
    Boulder Suburbia, Colorado
    Amazon. I'll buy anything from them because of their customer service and super liberal return policy.
     
  21. Mechanical

    Mechanical

    Joined:
    May 26, 2012
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I'll second the folks at Carvin. Class acts.
    Jason from bassstringsonline.com

    I've heard Bass Central has good customer service. It's a shame their website is so bad.
     

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