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I'll NEVER visit Guitar Center again (long)

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Jim Dombrowski, Dec 14, 2003.

  1. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I've been playing bass for over thirty years, and in recent years have been fortunate to own a number of high-end basses (MTD, Lakland, F-Bass, Roscoe). But, after all these years of the hi-fi stuff, I want to get a bass with a more "traditional" sound, so I thought I would look into a moderately priced 5-string Fender Jazz Bass. Yesterday, I stopped at the Guitar Center here in Colorado Springs (which is a bit smaller store than most of their other mega-stores).

    I'm looking at the wall of Jazz Basses when the salesman asks if he can help me. I ask him if they have a 5-string Jazz Bass. He looks kind of puzzeled and says "I don't think we've ever had a 5-string Jazz Bass in the store, but we have some nice SWR and Warwick 5-strings".

    I said "No, I'm looking for a Fender 5-string."

    "Well, if you know the specific model number, I can order one for you."

    So, I tell him I don't want to order one, I want to play one first.

    "Well, I can get one from one of our other stores, but you'd have to buy it."

    Then I asked him if he could explain a little about the differences in the various jazz bass models.

    "Well, there's the P-Bass and the Jazz Bass, but that's about it. They're pretty much all the same."

    So I said: "No, there's a number of different models of Jazz Bass; some made in different countries, and some with active preamps."

    Dimwit: "No, the only way to get an active preamp in a Fender bass is to special order it through the Custom Shop."

    End of conversation.
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I didn't know that SWR made basses. :p
  3. bplayerofdoom


    Aug 6, 2002
    unfortunatly im still confined to my GC cause it with out a doubt has the lowest prices within 100 square miles of my home.
  4. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Next time just end the conversation and ask another salesperson.

  5. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    You mean a 100 mile radius?
  6. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    MY GC r teh rox0r!!

    They make me killer deals.
  7. I'm not a big fan of GC. In fact, I hate walking in there.

    But you've got to have some empathy for their sales people. There is a lot of merchandise to know about, and they can't be experts on everything. You've just focused on bass, so of course you'll know more about what you're focused on.

    Chances are, this sales dude won't be there in a few months anyway.
  8. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    My mistake on the SWR thing. I meant Ibanez (with whatever 3-letter acronym they use on their headstocks - SGR or something).


  9. Same here.

    I'm having the resident bass-wizard build me a bass as well. :D
  10. I ALMOST pity that salesman. How the hell did he get hired ?
  11. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I feel your pain, brother, but I never understood the need to argue with someone that knows less than you do. I mean, it's obvious by your account of the conversation that you are more educated than the salesman, why continue to argue with him? Just accept the fact that you're dealing with a dumbass and walk away. I've heard some real bull**** come out salesmen's mouths, but I don't argue with 'em, I quietly take my business somewhere else.

    There you go.
  12. NioeZero


    Sep 2, 2001
    What did you expect?

    GC : music store :: White Castle : restaurant

    My guitarist went in there awhile back to buy a mic for use on a djembe, and the sales associate kind of cocked his head and asked, "What would you want to mic a djembe for?"

    :confused: :spit:
  13. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Hategear: I did not argue with him at all. It was a brief conversation where I asked some simple questions and quickly realized he was completely out of his element. Since they didn't have a 5-string in the store, I left (shaking my head).
  14. I can't have empathy for a salesman that won't admit to not knowing something. If I was in that position, and being an instrument salesperson I get in that position, I atleast have the sense to say "I don't know, but I'll find out for you." If that means I have to ask another store employee or even another store, go to the company or product brochure, the product website, the manufacturers rep or the company myself, I will.

    From my experience, customers appreciate that a whole lot more than being lied to. Guitar Center lost a customer because a cocky "know it all" sales person wouldn't admit to not knowing it all. It's unfortunate that things like this happen. Nobody won in this situation.

  15. I recently made a large purchase from GC (I've just started to play) and because I was lied to by a salesman, I refuse to ever set foot in another one of their stores. I have since found a small local shop with people who actually know what they're talking about.
  16. Fishbulb nailed it: a good salesperson will not answer with made up BS, they will find the right answer for the customer. A really good salesperson will even send a customer elsewhere to get the right item.

    I've done it (sent a customer to another retailer for a purchase I couldn't help them with).

    (...not that I think I'm "all that" as a sales geek :eek: )
  17. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I don't think he was making up any BS. He simply had no clue what he was talking about.
  18. tea


    Sep 30, 2003
    I'm a retail manager (former sales associate) and sometimes, man, you're just having a bad day, or you're off your game or just elsewhere. I was a decorated sales person and the youngest promotee to manager in a very long time in my district and I know I've hasd transactions like this...hell, i've pissed some people off terribly when I was out of it. BIG THING: Remember this is Christmas, and he's a retailer. Think of the busiest, most stressful time of your year and apply that to this situation. Also, he may very well be Dec. 26th fodder and will not be there past X-mas.

    P.S. i do not work for guitar center, im a shackhead. :-(
  19. DW


    Jun 22, 2000
    GC is far from my favorite place, but condemning the whole chain because of one ignorant sales guy? That's cutting off your nose to spite your face. If you're going to stop shopping every place you encounter a dumb salesman or cashier, pretty soon you won't be be able to buy groceries.

    Chain music stores don't have a monopoly on ignorant salesmen. I've heard more BS at certain independent stores than at GC.
  20. You're not alone there, Gard... I've done it too. Actually happened twice this weekend, I had two requests for ESP guitars and I pulled up the ESP website and gave customers the names and phone numbers of the nearest dealers.

    Especially this time of year... if a kid has ESP Bass on his xmas list for mom and dad, I'm not gonna sell 'em a Yamaha. It just doesn't work that way... of course, if the kid was there I might make some suggestions, but I'm not going to set up a kid or parent for dissappointment.

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