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Pedal repair drama... Is this normal procedure?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by handofseven, Jun 4, 2012.


  1. handofseven

    handofseven Soaking up the cathode rays...

    Mar 23, 2010
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    My favourite dirt pedal recently gave up the ghost.

    I contacted the builder/manufacturer to arrange to have the pedal repaired.

    The reply I got stated that shipping to Canada is expensive and that I would need to send him the pedal and $100 US funds to get the pedal repaired. He told me it could cost more, but if it cost less he would certainly refund the surplus.

    Is this normal procedure for having something repaired? My experience has always been to send the item in for analysis, get a quote for repair, make a deposit if necessary/applicable and pay the balance on completion of the repair. Is it normal to have to ship the pedal AND money, before ANY WORK has been done?

    So in my response, I indicated to the builder/manufacturer that I thought this was a rather unusual request, but that I love the pedal, and couldn't think of a better place to send it for repair. I agreed to send the pedal and money, and asked what address to send it to, what was the best way to pay (did he accept PayPal), and approximately how long he expected the repair to take.

    His reply:

    "Look Charlie (and yeah, you guessed it, my name's not Charlie), if you don't trust me (I've been in business for 17 years) then why should I trust a known nobody like you?
    Let's just forget about my offer and drop the whole thing."

    :eyebrow:

    I replied with the standard "no amount of time in business buys you the right to treat me like a jerk" and an "as far as I'm concerned, you owe me an apology" and "I'll find someone else to repair my pedal, if I can get over the bad taste you've left in my mouth"... Etc.

    Anyone else had a similar experience? Since when is the burden of trust on the guy who owns the pedal to be repaired? How does this guy have anything to lose if he has my pedal, let alone my $100!?!?!?!

    I can't wait to see what his response is. Not. :spit:
     
  2. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Take it to Backline in Vancouver just off of Clarke between Venables and Hastings. They do good work for fair prices and won't jerk you around.
     
  3. handofseven

    handofseven Soaking up the cathode rays...

    Mar 23, 2010
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Thanks for the tip, bro! I'll check them out for sure. :bassist:
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Sheesh, Charlie! Either you said something really obnoxious that you didn't tell us about, or this guy is a loony! Having seen some of your posts on here, I'd have to say the guy is likely a loony.
     
  5. Spencer!

    Spencer!

    Jun 25, 2006
    Seattle
    Owner, Pike Amplification & 3Leaf Audio
    Wow! And this was a pedal that HE made? Who was it? Name names!
     
  6. RonSound

    RonSound Proud Registered Supporter of Talkbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 24, 2008
    owner: RonSound effects and repairs
    Complete crap. I repair pedals that I built at no cost to the owner other than shipping.
    I'll even offer the same deal to you even though I didn't build your pedal.
     
  7. handofseven

    handofseven Soaking up the cathode rays...

    Mar 23, 2010
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    I received a response to my last communication this morning. For the sake of transparency, here's an unedited copy of the dialogue in its entirety, unbroken, starting with his last response. Normally, I don't believe in naming names, because even bad publicity is still publicity, but in this case, perhaps it's warranted. I thought I was very polite at all times, or at least until he called me Charlie.

    Apparently, you are not allowed to ask questions.


    First of all you are not in the position to tell me how to operate my business. Not caring how long I've been in business hmmmmm. I laid out "THE EASIEST WAY TO DEAL WITH THIS". If that isn't the way you want to do business then find someone else to whimper to.

    Maybe you should be more careful what you put in your mouth. "Do ya' Think?

    I do agree an apology is in order. I'm sorry I have to deal with delinquents and a "NO KNOW NOBODY"

    You are now on my Blocked Senders List.

    Are you sure you aren't a drummer?


    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Darren Bennet
    To: 'PEI/JACK'
    Sent: Monday, June 04, 2012 2:21 PM
    Subject: RE: Depth Charge needs repair...

    First of all, Jack, I don’t care how long you’ve been in business, I didn’t do anything to deserve being treated like this.

    YOU are in the position of trust, not me. You’re not sending me a pedal and $100. So, yeah, no reason to trust a known nobody like me.

    All I did was agree to send you money and a pedal (as unorthodox as that is), ask where to send it, what was the best way to pay, and about how long the work would take to complete. Somewhere in there I said the you’re the best place to get the work done, and that I love the pedal you make.

    At this point, I don’t care whether you fix my pedal or not. I will find someone else to have a look at it or maybe I’ll buy another used one, if I can get over the bad taste you’re leaving in my mouth.

    As far as I’m concerned, I deserve an apology. Somehow, I’m of a mind that 17 years in the business probably affords this to be beneath you as well.

    Thanks for nothing, Charlie.


    From: PEI/JACK [mailto:peiexp@europa.com]
    Sent: May-31-12 5:38 PM
    To: Darren Bennett
    Subject: Re: Depth Charge needs repair...

    Sorry Charlie, If you don't trust me (I've been in business for over 17 years) why should I trust a no Known nobody?
    Let's just forget my offer and be done with it.

    Jack

    PEI
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Darren Bennet
    To: 'PEI/JACK'
    Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2012 12:25 PM
    Subject: RE: Depth Charge needs repair...

    Hmm. Seems rather unorthodox that I should be sending you my pedal AND $100. I understand that there won’t be any funny business, and that you are not interested in cheating me, I’m just not used to paying for things before they are completed. I love this pedal, and want it to be repaired properly, and I can’t think of a better place to send it. Can I send the $100 US funds through PayPal? My PayPal is handofseven@hotmail.co.uk , if you’d like to send a request. Also, please provide me with the proper address to send to. I’ll ship the pedal on Monday, Canada Post AIR, and it should take approximately 4-6 business days to arrive. How long do you think, worst case scenario, will it take to complete the work?

    D!

    From: PEI/JACK [mailto:peiexp@europa.com]
    Sent: May-31-12 11:03 AM
    To: Darren Bennett
    Subject: Re: Depth Charge needs repair...

    Hello Darren, Without seeing the pedal I can only guess that it may just be a loose connection or it may need a whole new circuit board. Shipping to Canada is not cheap. I insure the pedal and request a signature confirmation. The easiest way to deal with this would be for you to send the pedal to me and include 100.00 US funds. If it is a quick fix the repair will only be 20.00. If it needs a new board the cost would be 70.00. At this time I don't know how much shipping will be. I promise you that I will not cheat you. I will be honest and fair about the repair and I will refund any excess payment.

    Thanks,

    Jack Brossart

    PEI
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Darren Bennet
    To: peiexp@europa.com
    Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2012 7:47 AM
    Subject: Depth Charge needs repair...

    Hey Guys,

    I recently bought a second hand Depth Charge from a gentleman on Talkbass forum. It’s fast become my favourite dirt pedal. When I first started to use the pedal, I thought the switching was pretty quiet (almost noiseless) but the last time I used it, it started making a really loud POP when clicking on and off... Also, it seems that it would make a clanky noise if you tapped against the housing. Now, it doesn’t work at all. I would assume that this issue is not going to be covered under the original warranty (I have no idea how old this pedal is, only that it sounds amazing!!!). Please let me know what it’s going to take to get this pedal repaired. I’d buy a brand new one in a heartbeat, knowing now what it’s capable of, but it would suck to be lose all the money I spent on this one.

    Thanks.

    All the best!


    Darren Bennett





    I have been in contact with a fair few other pedal manufactures, boutique builders, luthiers and just regular guys who make stuff, and in all my years of doing so, I have never been reacted to in such a manner.

    The hilarious part is that he really seems to think he gave me the business end. Whatever. :D
     
  8. RonSound

    RonSound Proud Registered Supporter of Talkbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 24, 2008
    owner: RonSound effects and repairs
    ridiculous
     
  9. handofseven

    handofseven Soaking up the cathode rays...

    Mar 23, 2010
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Thank you very much. I really appreciate the offer. If I can't get the work done locally, I may turn to you for help.
     
  10. If you post pictures of the insides, maybe we can help you fix it yourself. Or at least give a good suggestion.
     
  11. RonSound

    RonSound Proud Registered Supporter of Talkbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 24, 2008
    owner: RonSound effects and repairs
    Yeah, the symptoms you described in your email sounds like a bad solder joint.
     
  12. handofseven

    handofseven Soaking up the cathode rays...

    Mar 23, 2010
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Thanks Jimmy. I like to think I'm not overbearing or obnoxious, but I can't always be sure. :D
     
  13. handofseven

    handofseven Soaking up the cathode rays...

    Mar 23, 2010
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Thanks for the suggestion... I'm not sure how much you'll be able to see, but I'll take some pictures and post them, just in case.
     
  14. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    Dang, I wouldn't be able to own a pedal made by a jerk like that guy. Sheesh.

    No Prescription Electronics for me. Never heard of them anyway.

    Dump it and check out a Wren & Cuff Pickle Pie B. From the sound clips, it sounds like the PPB destroys the Depth Charge.
     
  15. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    What a jerk.... I don't know if you have tried the B3k, it is a bit pricey but the customer service I have received (granted not for repair) has been nothing short of amazing!

    Big +1 to Hugo at Darkglass!

    I am never going to buy anything from that manufacturer for sure! What a d-bag.
     
  16. Konigstiger22

    Konigstiger22

    Mar 22, 2011
    Kenosha, WI
    Yeah I would have a hard time keeping that one on my board after that exchange of emails...
     
  17. Definitely post pics. What I would do: mend it if it's an easy fix, then sell it off.

    Guess I won't be buying a Depth Charge. :rolleyes:
     
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I wouldn't sell it if it's a good pedal just because the guy who runs the company is a horse's ass. I would, however, tape over the logo and never tell anyone who makes it a la Jeff Berlin and his TC chorus ;)
     
  19. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    Builder for FUZZROCIOUS PEDALS
    Willikers...
    $100 is steep, but I can say that insured shipping to CAN is about $28-32 depending on location via USPS. $20 is fair for a bench fee, so you're up to say $50 out of your pocket. Unless I've had previous business and regular communication with a person, I will take $ up front and also agree to refund a difference, but again, $100 seems steep.
    His snarky reply to you was unwarranted.
     
  20. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    There's no need for money up front if he's going to have your pedal as collateral should you not pay anyway. I see no reason for that policy, regardless of how he phrased it (which is completely unacceptable).

    Yikes :eyebrow:
     

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