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Guitarcenter.com Experience

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by EBMan, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. EBMan

    EBMan Guest

    Oct 10, 2006
    Two weeks ago I tried to order a bass from Guitarcenter.com using some gear cards. They didn't have most of the basses that I was interested in stock. Finally, they verified a Warwick Corvette in stock. So I ordered it. All was well.

    I called back the next day to inquire about shipping. I was told about the warehouse move and the slight delays. Everyday I called and was told it was in the warehouse ready to ship. I called back a week after ordering it to inquire about cancelling the order. They said it would be no problem. I asked if I could receive a check instead of a gear card. The CSR said that was standard operating procedure to issue a check. I called back once more before cancelling the order to verify that I would receive a check. The CSR got off of the phone to speak to her supervisor. After five minutes she returned to the phone and verified that I would receive a check in 5-7 days if I cancelled the order. I cancelled the order and went to the local GC to make some purchases.

    I called back several days later to confirm the check was being processed. The CSR said he had no way to tell. I called back again last Saturday (five days after cancelling the order) and was told I would be receiving a gear card. First of all, why had nothing happened? Second why the change from check to gear card? He said it had something to do with the Patriot Act. Perhaps that is true, I don't know, but I was told several times that I would get a check.

    I called back today to speak to a supervisor and was told it had to be a gear card. No apologies for the delay or errant information. It didn't matter what their CSR told me. I spoke with a local GC store manager for advice. He was very helpful and gave me the name of GC.com's VP. I left him a message early this morning and later this afternoon. Hopefully, he will right the situation. If I don't hear back from him by tomorrow afternoon, I will call Marty Albertson, their President. I met him at a Musicman workshop and found him to be a very nice individual. BTW, I am waiting on a $920 refund! I'll let everyone know how this turns out.

    Scratch the Corvette from my signature.
  2. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    That's the kind of story that makes corporate america so great.

    No one gives a #$%^ anymore
  3. No,

    No one knows HOW to give a &*#$ anymore. Too many things outsourced and no accountability.
  4. EBMan

    EBMan Guest

    Oct 10, 2006
    I left a detailed message with Marty Albertson, GC's CEO. I met him last year at a Musicman Clinic. He seems like a good guy. Hopefully, he will step in and assist.
  5. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    You want bad service? Go to my local mom and pop music store.
  6. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    Geez, I hope the next time someone is moderately unhappy with your performance at work, they go right to the President or CEO and complain about you.
  7. IMHO, if you have access to the CEO, go for it. He might appreacite being made aware of what's going on. My local GC is so screwed up, I gave up on them. I travel 45 minutes to Sam Ash in Tampa. That place has it's act together!!
  8. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    If I were unhappy with your performance, and it cost me significant money, and your supervisor stonewalled me, I would probably do just that.
  9. sb69coupe


    Aug 9, 2004
    Raleigh NC
    Sorry, despite what the CSR said on the phone, I think it's reasonable for them to issue you a gear card instead of a check. You used a gear card for the purchase, and that is what you should get in return.

    I agree that the customer service experience sucked, since you were given wrong information. However, every retail establishment I've dealt with has the poilcy that any return which was purchased on a gift card will receive credit on a gift card as their refund.
  10. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    No one has lost any money so far.

    I know that GC is just a nameless, faceless corporation. Greedy Cyborgs work there; money making, emotionless machines.

    Or maybe it's a company with lots of human employees who make mistakes sometimes.

    Jumping that high over the ranks could get a lot of people in the middle into a lot of trouble they don't deserve.
  11. +1.
  12. EBMan

    EBMan Guest

    Oct 10, 2006
    I understand if a credit needs to be issued in the same form as payment. But I asked them twice before making another financial decision. They confirmed that a check was SOP. The gear card was from a local GC that would have issued me a check. I asked the CSR to put it back on the gear card that I had. I would have then gone to the local GC to get a check since that was my original option. They have to put it on a new gear card. The local GC can not refund a gear card from their online operations. I went out to a local GC and spent $500 cash on items the same day I cancelled the order. If I get a gear card I will have to return the items to GC, have them refund the money on my credit card, and then repurchase them with the gear card. That is a waste of everyone's time. In addition, I'm still left with a balance of over $400 on a gear card that I don't immediately need. Furthermore, I purchased some household items based upon using the balance of the return.

    I hired employees for a call center. We had to carefully train our CSRs to provide accurate information. We stood by what our CSRs told members. Members did not pay the price for inaccurate information. We ate it if a mistake was made. We then reviewed our training to ensure it was adequate. We didn't immediately blame the CSR.

    I will say that all of the people that I spoke with were pleasant. But their on-line process is flawed. Nothing was happening on my refund (gear card or check) one week after I cancelled the order! I did speak with the CSR's team lead who then referred me to an account manager. The account manager had nothing to offer and was not very helpful. The helpful store manager at GC gave me the name of the on-line businesses VP. If left him a detailed message, but didn't hear back. So I then proceeded to leave a courtious message with Marty Albertson. I explained that my problem was not with an individual but that as a customer the system wasn't working very well.

    I like GC and have faith that they will come through.
  13. malicous


    Apr 25, 2006
    Los Angeles
    A guitarist I regularly work with told me just last night about his bad experience with guitar center online. He ordered a sweet Nashville made Gibson SG, and they didn't ship it out until two weeks after he placed the order (presumably due to the warehouse issues mentioned by the OP). They finally shipped it out when he threatened to cancel the order. Five days after they ship it out (three weeks after he placed the on-line order) he received the guitar, but with a broken headstock. He says that the packaging looked in good condition, so it may have been broken before it left their warehouse, and they didn’t properly inspect it. When he calls them to complain (and finally gets up to the supervisor) the guys says to him "I don't understand what you are so upset about." Can you believe the bally gall? I have never spoken like that to a customer, even when they are completely unreasonable (though it is not unreasonable to be upset when you receive a guitar after three weeks and it is broken). When my friend asked him what could be done to get him a replacement ASAP, the guy said "Well, the ball is in your court. The sooner you get it back to us, the sooner you will get a replacement." Unbelievable! It seems like GC doesn't train these people in proper customer service (or, for that matter, that they lack the most fundamental characteristics of politeness and decorum).
  14. EBMan

    EBMan Guest

    Oct 10, 2006
    I received a call yesterday from the VP of GC's on-line business. He was very pleasant and helpful. Their CEO also got involved. The VP apologized for my problems and said that I should have no trouble getting a check. He then said that he would call the accounting group to get it down. Less than an hour later another individual called and said that a check would be mailed out to me. He also said that he would follow up with me the next day (today) to verify it happened. He called me today to let me know that they had mailed out a check yesterday. He also provided me with a $50 gift certificate. I'm am very pleased with the way their management handled my issue.

    I explained to their VP that the people were courteous, but tha things just fell into a black hole and that it was frustrating as a customer. He acknowledged the problems and said that they were actively addressing their issues. FYI, their on-line business is basically in a start-up phase so a few bugs are to be expected.

    I am very pleased with their response. Kudos to GC corporate and GC on-line.
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I tell every one of our clients I meet that, if they do not receive the service they require, they can always call me. I don't make a habit of bludgeoning people who are the subject of complaints, but I investigate what caused the lapse in service, and help the employee find ways to avoid it in the future. I act pretty much as an ombudsman between the employee and the client.

    As far as the case in question, I don't think "moderately unhappy" is an accurate characterization of the OP's feelings. I'd say he has a right to be overtly pissed off about the situation and, if the CEO can do something about it, he's talking to the right guy.
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
  17. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    I don't think it's the employees at GC who are the problem. (majorly biased because I am one atm) Working at GC is incredibly stressful, mostly because of . . . . the customers. Customers come in thinking they're incredible at everything, they're short with the employees, they make us take down 5 vintage Gibsons only to make a lowball offer that isn't possible through the computers anyway, they yell, they b****, they moan, and they make it the absolute end of the world if an employee makes a mistake.

    Yeah, so lay off GC employees, because it's YOU GUYS who are driving us totally insane. The whole thing is a vicious circle that the customers should try to stop.
  18. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    All due respect, Snarf, the customers are what drives the business. Without them, your paychecks would be few and far between.

    To the OP, glad to hear you were taken care of - Marty Albertson, no matter what your opinion of Guitar Center's policies and so on, is a class act.
  19. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Sometimes it's a matter of talking to the right person to get an issue resolved. GC is not my favorite store (b/c they don't carry all the stuff that I'm interested in) but the local GC that I go to has been nothing but good to me. The manager recognizes me when I'm there and always comes over to chat, has always been more than helpful. Heck, I was inquiring about a CS shop Fender and he jumps on the computer and then on the phone to see if he can track one down in the system.

    I've been to a few other GC's where you're lucky if you can get someone to acknowledge and assist you but not at this one location.

    I've never used GC online but have purchased many times from MF with no problems.

    Glad to hear that it worked out for you.

    And it's tough to beat the return policy at GC.
  20. tkozal

    tkozal Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    thanks for this,after seeing all the CONSTANT WHINING here about retailers..the last thing I would want to be is selling "high three figure" items to kids whose entire ego, drive and the very essence of their existence being tied up in some hunk of wood and metal. I have witnessed some of the behavior you describe.... I have sold multi-million dollar items in my day job, and don't see such bitching I see about buying musical instruments, especially guitars and basses...

    yes the customer is alwasy right, but that doesn't mean you have to be an a***ole customer

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