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Custom cab...Kinda Concerned

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by VincentGrim, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. VincentGrim

    VincentGrim Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2008
    First off, let me clarify that this has been my first experience ordering something from a custom builder, and I am not including the name of the builder until things get a little more resolved. Just need to rant and get some friendly advice. Now, I have wanted a cab from this company for a long time, a Looonng time, and this summer sold my Deluxe Jazz bass so that I could finally get one (I have many basses and needed a new cab badly). Basically, the customer service has been so sub-par and the wait has been so long that I don't even know if the final product will be worth it in the end.

    My issue is that every time I email requesting an update and/or pictures, it takes a week or two to get a reply and they never include some pictures. Isn't it standard custom shop practice to hook your customers up with some pictures of where their money is going? Since placing my order, which took three separate phone calls that they answered or returned almost immediately, they haven't answered one of my calls. I know they are busy, but I have been waiting what seems like a long time. Every review I've read was pretty impressed by the accuracy of their 3-4 week build time and I have been waiting roughly 9 weeks, maybe 10.
    At what point should I start thinking about pulling the plug on this? I have bills to pay and a tour coming up, I already paid my 50% deposit, which they tried to tell me I did NOT pay and I had to get the paypal receipt for, but it's really hard to sit on the other 50% when times are a little on the tough side...I told them they could send me the invoice for the other 50% two weeks ago and they have yet to do that anyways! Not that I'm sure I want to send them $500 more dollars for something I haven't even seen.

    I just feel kinda trapped in this I guess. I love the cabs the company makes, I know mine will be beautiful, but I loved my deluxe jazz bass too, and so far parting with it has been nothing but regret with nothing to show for it.
  2. Dont know what to tell you. You should just spill on the builder though. Only way to get real help...
  3. will33


    May 22, 2006
    That sucks....10 weeks is nuts.

    Don't know what else to do. I guess tell the builder you get a cab or a full refund immediately, if not, spill the beans, talkbass, craigslist, any other place to leave reviews where their name comes up in a search, their local newspaper, etc. Perhaps the prospect of losing future business/getting a bad rep. will get him off his ass.

    Everybody runs into issues/delays, etc., but the lack of communication is just stupid.
  4. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    I believe PayPal will reverse the payment if there's a legitimate claim for non-performance of services. You might check out its exact terms just to understand the options. Sounds like a tough situation. I've had cabs built by three custom manufacturers. One provided fantastic communication/performance, one was ok, the other not so great. Some of the negative aspects might have been situational. The odds are he'll eventually come through. Good luck.
  5. will33


    May 22, 2006
    The guy might make very nice cabs, but if he can't keep the financial end of the business straight, he could be robbing Peter to pay Paul. Meaning he maybe used your deposit to finish someone elses cab and has to wait for a new order so he can use their money to finish yours.

    It's time to get on top of this and stop being so nice. Once they start down that road, it's a hard hole to climb out of and things usually end badly.
  6. Sliderbass

    Sliderbass Dr. Bass, The best cabinet you'll NEVER own! Supporting Member

    Get out of the deal now before you loose any more time or money! There are plenty of cab builders out there that are above board and keep you informed throughout the process.
  7. MCS4


    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    No. I feel your pain (I'm *way* past due on receiving a custom bass), and it sounds like you may have a legitimate gripe, but not getting any pics is not part of it unless they were promised to you before. Some builders do it, and it's great when it happens, but that's about as far as it goes.
  8. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
  9. I feel you owe it to the community here to spill the beans on the builder. Get the word out and prevent other potential buyers from falling in to the same trap.
  10. Do your homework. Are the first 17(of 18)reviews bad? Does the builder seem to make deadlines or not? Is this cab worth the hassle? Who will hear the difference between your custom rig and a borrowed Behringer at the gig anyway? Sorry to be harsh, but it amazes me how much BS people put up w/to obtain their particular *Holy Grail* sometimes. I'd threaten legal action,.and mean it
  11. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I'd be nice enough to give the guy one chance to square the deal, like an ultimatum. If I didn't have either my cab on the way or my money returned by the end of this week, I'd spill the beans.

    Running any business like that is not easy, but the shenanigans have gone far enough.
  12. I guess I have seen enough guys get screwed by Robby at AoN to have little regard for the builder that puts themselves in this kind of situation.

    I will be the most patient buyer if there is communication and logical justification. But if there isnt that communication, I say Eff them and let them fry.
  13. will33


    May 22, 2006
    10 weeks is 2-1/2 months. I built my cabs in my backyard using only handheld power tools during what spare time I had while working 2 jobs and gigging 2-3 times a month, and even doing it that way, I could turn out quite a few cabs in 2-1/2 months.
  14. It isnt even the turn around time. Some shops are busy, and have back orders. So you wait 3-5 months for them to get to your build. That type of information should be communicated ahead of time though. It is fine to wait, if you know why you are waiting. I would also caution pre-paying far in advance to when your build is starting. Put the build on the schedule, and I will cut a check when you are ready to make saw dust.

    That is the way I have done it with all five custom cabs I have ordered. I have known the details of their arival well before a check was cut.
  15. will33


    May 22, 2006
    The lack of upfront communication is what would really make me nervous about my money hanging out there that long.
  16. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality

    Aug 16, 2010
    Last time I checked, the time limit to submit a claim through PayPal was 60 days. If you haven't hit that time frame yet, and are getting really uncomfortable with the lack of customer service, I'd say file a claim ASAP to recoup your deposit.

    If you're further along than 60 days, if you paid through PayPal but used a credit card, contact your credit card company about filing a dispute.

    I've been through this situation multiple times, and ended up having to file a claim to get my money back twice.

    It all comes down to if you think the builder will pull through or not, and if the experience is bitter enough to make you dislike your cabinet solely based on the experience you went through acquiring it.

    It doesn't sound like they've done anything that horrible yet, but there are definitely some red flags.
  17. bassboysam

    bassboysam Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Is it Monolith? ;)
  18. They haven't sent you pictures because your cab isn't being built. If you have the materials and tools at the ready and your process is streamlined (as would be the case with someone who does this commercially), it only takes a few hours to build a cabinet.
  19. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Being busy is good, but you gotta let people know that.

    The design work and prototyping is what takes forever. Once that's done and you're down to just building wood boxes, it's a fairly simple process and doesn't take very long. If I had an actual garage with a table saw, router and jigs, I could make enough boxes in a week to run out of room to store them.

    Now, if this guys cab is a one-off totally custom job, it very well could take this long to finalize a design and get all the parts and material together, but he should let the customer know that up front.

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