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Avoid the GC in North Houston/Spring TX

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by BioDriver, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I'm going to be blunt because I'm still in such amazement about what happened at this store. One of my cables finally went belly up and I decided to make the trek to GC and buy a Mogami replacement. To get the positive out of the way they did price match a lower advertised price, so there's that. But that really wouldn't warrant a buyer beware, now would it?

    The first thing I noticed is that this was right next to an *ahem* "adult entertainment superstore." Not the best location but Houston has no zoning laws. Walking inside I find the cable and decide to scope out the bass section. The first thing I noticed was how small it was. It only took one narrow wall and some change. The sales associate was trying to sell an Ibanez bass to a young woman who asked what the difference between normal and short scale lengths was. Her response was

    She was quite literally yelling the capped locks parts. It was at about that time when a sales associate asked if I needed any help looking for something. Feeling adventurous, I told him about my shoulder issue and that I was looking for Warwick Streamers or Modulus basses. He didn't know either brand, even after I pointed out a Warwick Rockbass on the wall. He said he'd never noticed it before.

    Frustrated, I went on to look for Genz-Benz cabs. I asked a different associate if they had any GB cabs and he said he'd never heard of that brand. Ready to give up, I went to the accessory section to grab my cable (which they thankfully had) and a pair of flatwounds. Of the dozen or so they only had round wounds. Knowing I'd regret it, I asked someone if they had any flatwound strings. Puzzled, he asked why I'd want to play flat strings. It was at this point I said "nevermind" and went to pay for my cable.

    As I said, they price matched it, but tried selling me a warranty on it. After pointing out the lifetime warranty on the package, they said "oh yeah, right." As I was leaving I was fussed at by the door checker from the other side of the store who needed to stamp my receipt. When I said I didn't see him he just said "I was here the entire time, kid."


    I haven't been in this part of Houston long but I've loved every place I've been to so far. The GC on Westheimer was awesome, as was the one in St. Louis, so I thought all the previous threads about horrible Guitar Center experiences were exaggerated or just bad days. After looking at the Google reviews I can see that this was par for the course at this location. I won't be back and I urge all of the Houston TBers to skip this one and go to one of the many local places nearby - if you need a GC go to the one on Westheimer.
  2. Though I enjoyed your story and even chuckled in a couple of places, I gotta tell you: This is the typical GC experience.

    In fact, if I had to guess, I'd say it was your first time in a GC? If you've been to others that didn't have these idiosyncracies you outlined, THOSE GC's are in the small minority.

    IME all over the nation, and with the three GC's right here in my hometown: (1) sales associates are often woefully inexperienced and say silly things to make a sale (2) the bass and string selection is anemic and (3) there is a TSA-style check in and check out procedure for gear.

    Now, as you learn the ins and outs of the GC shopping experience, you can actually play things to your advantage. But you have to know who to talk to over there, and who to avoid. And finally: GC Online Shopping, with free delivery and merch returnable to the nearest retail outlet, can be your best friend.
  3. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Another week, another "I h8 GC" thread............ ;)
  4. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    No, I've been to ones in west Houston regularly and visited ones in St. Louis, Oklahoma City, and north Dallas. From what I've been told the west Houston one is one of the more hospitable and "here to help you" types in the US (IIRC there's one in SoCal that's good, too). I suppose I've just gotten lucky with my visits to the others.

    Yeah well :p I'll stick to the web for my shopping needs.
  5. silvertripper


    Mar 12, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Ive been going to the GC in North Houston for about.... ooooooohh.... 12 years give or take. And they have ALWAYS been this way. If you see "Sean" working you can ask for him and he'll be happy to help and he is extremely knowledgable given the fact that he's a musician for a living when he's not working at guitar center and can play every instrument so he has pretty good knowledge of all gear. I havent had much luck with anyone else. I usually will go to GC to try something out, then go across I45 to TME (Texas Music Emporium) and tell the owner to order what you need.... might as well support the mom and pop shop whenever possible.

    The GC on westheimer is solid. Ive had nothing but EXCELLENT experiences going there. They also have a pretty large bass room with wall to wall basses and gear. Great experience with GC on westheimer and well worth the drive for me.

    There's always TME on the north side acroos I45 from GC. Also try Rocking Robins at 59 and Shepherd and ask for Ernie... they have a nice bass room as well.
  6. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Rockin Robin and Ernie are indeed awesome. When Chris was working there he was was sharp as a tack and would always work out a deal if he felt you were being robbed. As I'm in the Woodlands now it's kind of out of the way. I'll definitely check out TME when I need something else, thanks for the heads up!
  7. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    You should check out All Pawn/Kats Guitars. They are on 45 south in Spring, great prices and good selection. Their inventory is kind of scattered all about the place though.

    That sex shop used to be a golf store, they kinda got moved in on. Their bass selection is limited, but that is the smallest store in the Houston area. GC isn't a Genz-Benz dealer so its understandable that their employees don't know much about them.

    The GC on Westhimer and the one in Sugarland are very nice. The ones on the north and south side on Hwy 45 are both pretty small, though the Clear lake store (the one in my area) has pretty good sales people. I don't go to the one on the north side often.

    Rockin Robin is one of the coolest music stores in Houston, but their prices are insane, though they will come down if you haggle a bit. The problem with Rockin Robin is they seem to only have one bass guy, and if he isn't there the rest of the guys seem to have no interest dealing with anything involving bass. Ive been told on more than one occasion to come back tomorrow because the bass guy wasn't there and the other guys didn't know the price of something.
  8. I side with those who yawn at this.

    A very long, repetitive book could be written about the uninformed stuff GC staff spews forth. Then again, once in awhile, you find a decent person just trying to do his job.

    We could turn this story around in a flash - why don't you know that GC doesn't carry Genz Benz? :rollno: Their website has Modulus basses but I've NEVER seen a new one in the stores - what, you didn't KNOW THAT? :eyebrow: And flatround strings? At GC? Why would you even think they stock those?

    :) Just poking fun. GC is what it is - the Walmart of music stores. You don't go to Walmart for the wine selection, and you don't go to GC for the quality selection.
  9. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    I've gone to better GCs and not so good GCs. Towson MD is a pretty solid store, so I guess I'm lucky.
  10. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I guess they are good for some things. I wanted a cover for my practice amp, a GK 2 10 combo. They wanted 59.00 bucks up front then they would order it.

    I called my guy at Uncle Bob's and he says "I'll order it it should be in by Friday, $28.00. They didn't ask for money up front.
  11. I dig Sam Ash. They've been good to me. My dad befriended one of the old Sales Associates and the guy who worked there hooked up my dad up with an Epi Casino for like.. 25% off when there wasn't even a sale going on. Sadly, this guy moved to California. Oh, and the bass guy at the SA here is really awesome. He finalized a sale to these people looking at bass amps by saying "And, it has wheels!" Best dude ever!

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