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What's wrong with (some) dealers in the UK

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Rockin John, Jan 31, 2003.

  1. To be honest, I'm really not sure how some of them survive. The customer care attitude leaves a lot to be desired, IMHO.

    The business over the problems with my new bass was resolved by the dealer doing, really, the bare minimum that he could do. Another dealer from whom I asked a quote on a related matter never rang back nor responded to the follow up email I sent because he'd not phoned back!!!

    I left 3 answerphone messages with a local guitar repairer.....no response.

    When I was looking around for a bass about a year ago I had to pester yet another dealer to give me a price: 3 unreturned phone calls later and I gave up and bought elsewhere (the place who did the bare minimum, above :eek: ).

    Another dealer never responded to a problem relating to a set of strings I'd bought from him: I even sent an SAE to make it easy to return the replacement string. Nothing...........

    I mean, what's going on? Are these people so awash with money that they don't need anymore?

    No wonder the country's going down the tubes:( :( :(

  2. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I blame New Labour. :D j/k
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    "Natural Selection" or Market Forces - the people at the Bass Centre in Wapping are great on customer care and service - so I have bought my last 3 basses from them.

    I wouldn't buy anything from a shop that gave bad service.
  4. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Well I started playing when Callahan was in power and it was the same then. It was the same under Maggie and that circus bloke.

    There is a very old tradition of having contempt for the customer that is peculiar to dear old blighty. Also we as in residents of the UK tend not to complain (ok the Scots seem to whinge about everything) and vote with our feet. The (non)vendor is unaware and carries on. Ok if we had a punch-up with them they might carry on anyway.

    It's trendy to have customer care initiatives and mission/vision statements (normally companies get them mixed up) and still not give a fig about anything other than yourself, your pay packet/expenses/company car/sex/whatever.
  5. I've heard good things about The Bass Centre. 'Shame there isn't one in Nottingham. Getting to such places represents genuine problems for me.

    Trouble is, Bruce, you've often got to experience something bad before you know they are bad.

    Now, c'mon, Moley, I'm sure Mr Blair and his cronies....err....staff must take the blame for somethings but bad service in music shops.... :eek: :eek: j/k

    It's like these people just don't want your money.

  6. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Now I understand why Lakland does great business in the UK. It's not just his basses, but it's mostly his CS! :D
  7. You make an interesting point, Chris. I think you're probably right. UK outfits do seem to have contempt for the customer. It's a management failing, IMHO. Over here we seem to offer managerships to those who are least likely to succeed in such a roll. Then we stand back and wonder why it's all gone wrong. Or we soldier on unaware whether it's wrong or not.

    Supermarkets seem to be different, though. Most will bend over backwards to give the customer satisfaction. Is that an American influence, I wonder?

  8. :p

    Anyway, it's similar up here; there's two shops with excellent CS (they're sister shops, one is the second hand arm of the other) and then there's loads more that are really bad.

    I've often wondered just how they stay in business?

    Has anyone else noticed how the shops that deal almost entirely in modern instruments are better than those that deal with more classical intruments?

    Or are they just like that because I look like a student?
  9. I'm not so sure about that.

    It always seems to me like it's the "salesmen" that let it down, that they just don't care about us.
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Are you sure about that - they are incredibly expensive here and I don't know anybody who bought one or people in bands who play them over here? While they seem much more popular in the US.

    I mean, I go to loads of gigs and watch programmes like Jools Holland's "Later" where they have live bands on and I've never seen a British Bassist playing a Lakland - loads of Fender, MM, Warwick, even Sadowsky and Ken Smith - but no Laklands!
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Errr - not always - I have come across some very bad CS in some.

    I think it is to do with how much people are paid and how they are motivated - if they are paid little, given little chance for initiative and no motivation for improving CS - then why should they do it?

    I think shops make the mistake of trying to go for the lowest pice and hence cut their cloth accordingly - whereas they are never going to be cheaper than net/mail order and would be better charging more and giving better service.
  12. I was thinking more generally, Parrott. You train to be a plumber, accountant, brain surgeon etc. But you often find managers are promoted from the ranks because they're good within the ranks. That doesn't make them good at managing. It's a skill that can be learned like any other. But British commerce, industry doesn't seem to know that.

    Music shop managers may well the same. But it's often the shop owners who are to blame IMHO. Their attitude filters down to their staff with the result I noted at first.

    It's really poor sometimes.

  13. ceeprm


    Jul 15, 2002
    Edinburgh Scotland
    For my next bass- hopefully very soon I will probably go to the bass centre/gallery- definately good service there. I think you get bad service when shop assistants don't know sh!t about bass- and my #1 gripe is going into a shop picking up a bass and it looks like its been set up by a monkey!!!
    Martin Petersons good to deal with and Overwater in Carlisle are pretty knowledgable as well....
    Is the bass cellar any good?
  14. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Hmm loads of points...

    1 Please stop referring to Customer Service as CS, my eyes are going squiffy trying to see if I'm getting a slagging. Although the improving CS comment would be a challenge. wheres the ;)

    2 The business of making a manager of someone who was good on the 'shop floor' and they fail at it, is known as promting into incompetance or the David Principle. You will always lose an argument with someone like this over your job/conditions/pay because they will say that they could do it better, faster and cheaper (and did). The new trend is the Dilbert Principle where the boss is singuarly useless at everything.

    3 I dont like the bass cellar. My top two are the gallery and the bass centre. I've met and talked with Chris May at Overwater on a few occasions and he is extremely helpful. I'm still procrastinating in an EA cab...
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think the Bass cellar is an example of bad CS - whooops sorry!! ;)

    They are getting worse as well - blocking the door so you can't even get in or out easily. The staff seem more interested in playing the basses themselves than helping you and I have heard them say some totally ridiculous things to customers - obviously wrong!!
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Go for it - I bought two EA VL208s from him - very good customer service - they sent them and I got the items next day and they phoned up to make sure everything was alright!!
  17. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I know I should, especially with the payment terms but there are other toys to buy. One day...
  18. Robbie Williams' bassist Yolanda Charles uses a Lakland 4string.
    the bassist for the Corrs uses a 5.
    Pino Palladino also has a 5.
  19. It confuses me that everyone is raging on about the customer service at the Bass Centre. I guess they just haven't quite managed to master the mail order side of things, because they were quite pathetic at it. I won't go into specific details, because after two and half months of waiting I was (and still am) very annoyed at them, and therefore I could end up ranting for years :oops::mad:.
  20. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    I was down in London yesterday (Thursday) and had an hour spare. I thought I'd make the trip out to the Bass Centre, given that I've never been there before and they're moving soon.

    NOT worth the trip in my opinion. I don't know if they're packing up for the move or what, but their range of stock was pathetic - more variety in the Bass Cellar (which is an awful shop - I didn't dare walk in there yesterday as I wouldn't have been able to stand the pressure of being the only customer in there!). Back to the Bass Centre, I thought it was very uninviting from the outside and in desparate need of a refurb inside. The stock consisted of some MTD kingstons, a handful of Fenders and some old Burns stuff, that was essentially it. The most exotic stuff in there was a pair of NS EUBs.

    The Bass Gallery is THE shop in my book - no pressure to buy anything, and Martin Peterson is very friendly. I had my Yamaha bass set up there and he did a great job.

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