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My first, and last SWR by FENDER dealing

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Tim Cole, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    As some of you may have read, I had my SWR rig for sale on the "for sale" forums. A fellow TB'er agreed to buy this, and is coming half way across the country to pick it up, this Sunday evening.

    I recently had the misfortune of losing one of the fuse caps, which unfortunately are a very scarce piece, and have to be ordered from SWR. My past dealing with SWR have been great, super friendly people, and great attention to detail, no matter how small, or large the inquiry. Rehan Jacobs was the man!

    Rehan (to my knowledge) is no longer working for SWR, so I go to the SWR site, and drop them an email, letting them know what happened, and that I needed one asap. They replied to the email, with a website that sells their parts. I try to call that place to get my part, and their answering machine informed me, that they were closed due to a serious illness.

    I go back to the SWR site, and find a phone number for Fender HQ, and give them a ring expressing I needed this part, and needed it ASAP....I told them I had a gig this weekend, and the head was worthless without it. He told me that FENDER had recently bought SWR (like I didn't already know this), and Fender does not sell any parts directly to the public. I once again let him know the urgency of the situation, and he got really snotty with me: "WELL IF I HAD ONE SITTING IN MY DESK I WOULD SEND IT TO YOU, BUT WE DON' DO BUSINESS THAT WAY!"

    He went on a bit of a rant explaining things like I am an idiot, which I sat quietly, and tuned him out.....in so many words, he was telling me there's no way in hell that part will be here by the weekend. When he was finished I told him I will make sure to sell all of their crap, since that's the way they do business. He replied with a sarcastic "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOK" and hung up on me.

    I think the greedy big corporations that buy up the smaller sucessful corporations forget WHY these companies are so sucessful, to me the friendly, prompt service is as much of the deal as a good product is. There are plenty of good manufacturers our there, I don't NEED to use SWR, which I no longer will. RIP SWR.

    PS., on the 10 minutes I was on hold LONG DISTANCE, I was informed my conversation may be recorded for "quality assurance". I hope someone from Fender reads this, the call was yesterday 6-24, at about 12 pm EST.
  2. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    PS, I got lucky and found the cap, undamaged in my driveway this afternoon.............everything is A-OK, no thanks to those guys.
  3. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    i would call fender and see if you can talk to a manager in that department and find out. I'd LOVE to hear how that went.
  4. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I'm considering sending them the link to this thread.
  5. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    I feel lucky that I ordered those caps before the sale became public knowledge.

    That said, aren't we getting out titties in a twist a bit early? I mean, the FMIC structure probably hasn't yet had the time to deal with absorbing SWR, much less their clientelle. Crappy service sucks for sure but blowing a gasket at a company in transition seems like misdirected anger to me. Just my .02.

    Oh, and I discovered that the fuse caps and holders are available at Mouser.com; they are made by Littelfuse who also have their own informative site.
  6. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Thanks for the heads up, I did searches everywhere looking for them, with no luck.

    I'm not mad they are in transition, I'm mad because this guy was a total ass, and couldn't of expressed more he could care less about my $3 part, or my problem. As I said before, Rehan and the guys were great at taking care of someone, and did NOT want to lose a customer, and treated you as such. Rehan asked me to call him personally with any problems, and deal direct with them, verses messing with a dealer that may, or may not be prompt with the inquiry. Fender wants nothing to do with customers problems, they want the dealers to sort it out and take care of it, instead of inconveniencing them. I think the SWR crew could have made a good company out of SUNN, unlike Fenders attempts.

    Sure I'm no major label jock, but I did have some influence on the local players, I know of 2 players that bought SWR strictly because they liked my sound, and the great things I had to say about them as a company.

    GK anyone?
  7. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    that really sucks :(

    swr has been great to me in all my dealings with them, but that was about a year ago after getting my interstellar overdrive.
  8. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I emailed with a service question a week or two ago and have gotten no response. I ALWAYS got a response back within 24-48 hours before.

    I understand that they're in transition now and all, but loyalty is like love - it's mine to give and take away when I no longer feel it. (Whacks loyaltyometer strapped to wrist) I'm just not getting much of a reading on this thing right now...
  9. Milo Desmond

    Milo Desmond Guest

    Oct 13, 2002
    Salt Lake City
    Personally, I am glad you found the cap. ;)

    I dealt with SWR once before "the switch." They were extremely accomodating and mailed me the part I needed within 3 days....FREE!!!

    I hope that this is just a switch-over issue, and not ongoing. Customer service is easily one of the top 3 things I consider when purchasing new gear. (As my luck always sees to it that my new item will break, get lost, get stolen, or be damaged in shipping.)
  10. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Milo is the proud new owner of this rig, I too am very glad to have found the cap, what shouldn't have been no prob whatsoever, ended up a mess, and had me sweating bullets!

    PS., I got a call today someone wanting to rent the rig for tomorrow night, you may have heard of him........RUDY SARZO!

    I told them #1 I am missing a part to make it work (at the moment it was), and that it was sold anyway.

    Even if it wasn't sold, I wouldn't of loaned, or rented it. My band was supposed to open that gig tomorrow (Quiet Riot), and we got bumped off of the gig, because according to the club owner, QR was bringing their own backline that no one was supposed to go around, and he wanted to hire a local 3 piece band, instead of my 5 piece, due to space restraints. Turns out, QR for some reason isn't bringing their backline, and the club owner had the nerve to call me and ask, after he dropped us from the show!

    Milo, if you would like, I would be glad to get you rudy's autograph.....if I end up going (IE: if he offers me free admission). I bought an old metal health album back when we were still booked for the gig, to have them sign because I thought it would be cool to have, memento's from a cool gig. Now I may take it and get it signed, as I think it would be pretty cool on ebay :D
  11. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    PS Milo, your supporting membership is coming soon, the lady thought I wanted her to deposit ALL the money from paypal into the account, as soon as funds show back up in it, I will send it to Paul on your behalf.
  12. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    Fender makes great products, but they are world class assholes. A piece of paint chipped off of my jazz for no apparent reason, so I called them to ask if this was a common problem, and they laughed at me.

  13. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    I was really concerned when I heard about Fender taking over SWR, because I've heard nothing but horror stories about their customer service, and I can't help but worry that Fender's just gonna use the fact that they purchased a premier bass amplification corporation to boost the sales of their own inferior products. This story is not encouraging to me, and it comes at a time when I'm looking into purchasing some of SWR's higher-end products. I guess I better buy quickly or not at all, since at least what's in stores now was made before the big money machine took over one of the more consumer-friendly outfits in the industry.
  14. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Oh well, IMO the modern day "Fender" hasn't designed anything decent in quite some time, if ever. Major corporation buying out the real innovators in the business, buying their name and design, and making it as cheap as possible, but it still carries the premium price. Simply riding the coat tails of other inventors.
  15. First time I heard about Fender buying SWR...man I'm slow sometimes...but that will explain why www.musiciansfriend.com isn't carrying the SWR LA-15 anymore...probably too much of a hassle to deal with Fender...thank god I'm not buying (hopefully) a Fender Jazz V FROM Fender...anyways, glad to hear you found the piece for the amp :D ~ Tyler
  16. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    SWR's customer service was excellent. I have delt with them on one major issue and one minor issue. Each time I hade a positive experience.

    I have never been a Fender fan (after reading this I probally never will) not beacuse of the customer service issue, because I just do not like their gear. I never knew that their CS was that bad.

    I would love a Jazz Bass as a backup to my Lakland. I would gladly go Warmoth and pay more than buy a Fender, even if it was considerably cheaper.

    I too think they are a**holes.
  17. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I'm glad you found the part you needed & everything went well.

    I worked at Sam Ash for about 2 years & their customer service is non-existant. If you have a problem with one of their products, you have to go to an "Authorized Service Center". I don't know who authorizes these places but the few we used to use for guitar problems were....... (kep it clean) ......aweful. The guys we used for amp repairs were very good & reliable but I hated having to send someone to for a guitar problem. In the end it made me look bad for recomending the Service Center. <img src="http://www.talkbass.com/forum/images/icons/icon13.gif">
  18. aladdin


    Mar 7, 2003
    Chiba, Japan
    Damn shame! SWR used to be a good company.
    No one better try to buy the Ernie Ball company!
    I don't think I could stand it if the other "good
    company" gets bought! Well... G&K is still going

  19. I know Ernie Ball's grandson, he's one of my friends and right now their based here in San Luis Obispo, California but might be moving it soon because it costs too much for the workers to live here and so they are more than likely moving it, but I don't think they will ever be bought out. ~ Tyler
  20. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Whoa, that's pretty cool you know them. Is Sterling your friends Dad? I've never heard anything about them moving, and I really hope they never sell out as well....they make a truly great product!

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