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When should I start worrying about not receiving my Bill Lawrence Wilde pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by phishaholik, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    I ordered a Bill Lawrence P-46 over 3-weeks ago and they still haven't arrived. The pickups were stated to be in-stock on their website and that they would ship out the same week of the order. I never received an email confirmation or tracking number. I emailed Becky to check the status of my order and never got a reply. I know the holidays may delay things, but I ordered my pickups over a week before Christmas. I was hoping to install these pickups while I had time off during the holidays and it's well into the new year now.

    I'm really starting to wish I had just bought the Aguilar pickups I was also looking at. They would have been in my bass weeks ago.

  2. jessicabass


    Dec 22, 2009
    How about trying to call them?
    Number is on the site.
  3. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    This, I don't understand why people only rely on email, when a quick phone call and actual human conversation is much quicker, and easier to get a response. I miss emails all the time.
    hintz and jessicabass like this.
  4. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    I was planning on calling later today if they didn't come with today's mail, which they didn't. I can't call now as there is large time zone difference. I don't want to be harassing if this is pretty much standard from maker.

    Honestly, if someone places an order online and a website is the only way to purchase the product, then most people expect to be able to communicate online as well. It's fine for an individual to miss an email, but a business is a different story. I'm not really as worried about them not replying to my email as I am about the fact the pickups should have been here weeks ago and I haven't heard anything from the company since sending them money.

    fuzzychaos likes this.
  5. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Considering all I've heard in the last couple years about them, I'd be very reluctant to order anything direct from them. Between Bills death and their history of having a 'devil may care' approach to doing business, it seems to be a risky endeavor. From what I understand, most folks get their pickups or a reply...eventually. I hope it works out for you and you get yours.

    Becky and Bill (when he was alive) by all reports were great to deal with and put out a superior product, but if they can't perform the basic functions of invoicing, replying and delivering, they should probably take the site down or at least stop taking orders. Was there a disclaimer anywhere on the site that mentions delivery or turn around estimates?

    I was going to try one out, but all of the "mystique" kind of scared me off. Used probably is the best bet, but the pups must be good because you hardly see them pop up for sale used.
    jessicabass likes this.
  6. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    Yeah, I've been in the same boat about the pickups because before I had no idea when I would get them. Now, their website has an In-Stock page that states the pickups are already made and waiting to ship out to interested buyers. The website also states that orders placed by Wednesday will go out the same week. That's the only reason I went ahead and ordered them this time. I placed my order on December 17th and still no pickups.

  7. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    I just happened to order a set of P-46 last night from WildePickups. I'll update the thread on my experience whenever I get them, just as another data point.
    phishaholik likes this.
  8. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    Just called over to the shop and got an answer. The pickups haven't even been made yet and still need to be wound. I was told they would go out the beginning of next week. That means, if it actually ships out at the beginning of next week, I will get them over a month after placing my order when the website states they were in-stock, ready to ship and would ship out the same week I placed my order.


    I'm not happy. The ONLY reason I place an order was because they were supposed to be in-stock and ready to ship. I had several days off for the holidays and I wanted to be able to re-wire my bass in my off time. I could buy the Aguilars I was looking at today and would still get them before the Bill Lawrence pickups get here.

  9. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    Just FYI, if you paid via Paypal, you have a limited amount of time to file for a reimbursement, which I believe is 45 days. If they haven't fulfilled the order or refunded your money by the ~40 day point, I would file a claim.
    bassmeknik likes this.
  10. mmbongo

    mmbongo Dilly Dilly! Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    180 days now, but I concur. I'd file the claim and get the Aguilars...or even better Lace Sensor Man O War's!
  11. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Man has this song been played over and over again I'm getting the impression winding pickups is harder than building a complete bass? I hope everything works out
    petrus61 likes this.
  12. If the web page states that the pickups are "in stock" surely they should just send them out? I thought Lace were handling the manufacturer of the Lawrence range or did that stop?
  13. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    The only pickup maker I have complete confidence in is Curtis Novak you may pay a little more but the quality and peace of mind are well worth it in my opinion.
    andrew and hdracer like this.
  14. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    You definitely should be complaining to them. You ordered their gear, you paid immediately, and then they sat on your money.

    It sounds like they only got around to making your pickups after you complained. I wonder how long they would have waited to build them if you hadn't complained?

    No one is perfect, but it shouldn't take a month to BEGIN building pickups. And if it does take that long, they should inform customers of that on their website. But they won't tell you that, because they'd lose sales.

    I would cancel the order and buy the other pickups you mentioned. But that's just me... When the first company asks why, tell them it's because they don't communicate. Why have a website and an email link if they're not going to respond it?
  15. I ordered 2x P46 pickups on December 23rd, so 2.5 weeks ago.

    The only confirmation I was given was the PayPal confirmation. As I know they are hand made by a small company, I have not worried too much about the turn around time.

    I'll give it another week or two and then call. I'm in no hurry (although I don't want to call and give them that impression, when I'm getting impatient, I'll give them a ring).

    Keep me updated on your situation, perhaps mine will follow.

  16. Philonius

    Philonius Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    2k W of the Duwamsh
    Well, what a coincidence; I purchased a set of P-46 pups through paypal on January 4. It sounds like they have enough on order now to justify a production run. :bassist: I'll be curious to see how long my wait will be. Subbed.

    Had I known that they were going to ship "whenever" I might have reconsidered. It's all good though the bass they are intended for isn't here yet. USPS is, according to their stellar tracking service, shipping it from LA to Seattle via Jersey City, NJ, where is currently resides. :rollno:
  17. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    I've always had good experiences with Lindy Fralin and have ordered at least 5 different pups from them with zero issues and great communication. I keep forgetting to try Novak for some reason, but thanks for reminding me.

    As far as the Lawrence pups go, I imagine business has dipped quite a bit since Bill's death (tho I think Becky has been winding them for quite some time) and they're probably only winding per order. Their website has been historically antiquated in both design and execution and it seems phone calls are still yielding the best results.
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  18. If I read that the pick-ups were in stock at the time of purchase and that they haven't even begun making them 2 1/2 weeks later I would absolutely cancel my order and demand a full refund.
    MMiller28 likes this.
  19. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I ordered a couple sets of pickups (P46 + J45 and J45 + J 45) from Becky about three years ago and had no problems. Yes, it took a little longer to receive them than quoted, and yes I did have to communicate exclusively by telephone, as Bill & Becky were/are old-school and not exactly e-business savvy. But while I've not had experience in dealing with Becky since Bill passed away, frankly I would be amazed if she doesn't ultimately follow through.

    Here's the main thing I want to say: Though all of your concerns and complaints are apparently well justified, you may nevertheless need to temper your expectations somewhat. Realize that, taken in perspective, the Lawrence/Wilde product is considered to be in the same league as Bartolinis and Nordstrands - at generally less than half their prices. Realize also that, as a mom & pop business (literally), you can't expect the same degree of corporate-level efficiency as you could from Aguilar, DiMarzio, and all the rest. In my experience, this is simply one of the standard trade-offs of doing business with a small, boutique-level producer. It's just part of the way the world works.

    IMO, if your priority is/was getting a new set of pickups into your bass within a tight, limited timeframe, then maybe the Aguilars was the way to go. However, if your priority is/was getting the right set of pickups into your bass, for the particular sound and performance you had in mind, and evidence suggested that the Lawrence/Wilde pickups would deliver that, then sticking with the order would still be the way to go.

    If going with the Aguilars in any way represented a compromise of the tone and response that you really wanted, but you bought them anyway because you could get them fast, then six months from now would any of that really matter? Personally I advise taking the long view. IME, getting what you really want, the first time, is generally worth the wait - especially if you can't really live with the choice that you made instead. Over the long term, waiting for what you really want is generally the most efficient approach - as well as the most effective one.

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
    topcat2069, OEW3, DampSneaker and 8 others like this.
  20. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    I don't plan on cancelling my order at this time.

    I do understand that they are a small family owned boutique shop and their inability to give a delivery time is why I never placed an order before. The only reason I did this time is because their website plainly states, "Pickups Available NOW will ship the same week ordered --- as long as the order is received on Wednesday & to be processed on Thursday or Fridays. Also, there are more models and color options available to choose from so click on the corresponding index for more information. Our standard wait these days after ordering to ship is around 1 to 2 weeks!"

    If you are going to have a whole page on your site dedicated to in-stock pickups and to have it in caps that you can get these pickups right now with no wait, then they need to live up to this. It's not how the world works at all, it's how small business that don't survive long and are barely profitable work. I run a small family owned business and I know that there is no way we would stay in business with that kind of outlook and our patients would be furious if we worked on that model. All of these pickup makers and luthiers that have trouble all fall under the same "classic blunder" which is, you can't both be the talent that you are selling and the manager that runs the business. You can't be the person that makes the pickups and be the person that interacts with the customers, does invoicing, pays the bills, etc.

    I'm not going to call and be angry with an elderly widow, but these are the reasons that small business end up failing and we stop seeing great pickups, like Darkstars, or great basses, like Eshenbaugh. Normally I wouldn't order pickups from a place like this expecting them to be there in a tight time frame, but they have updated their site and added the In-Stock page, so I figured they had changed their business model and hired some outside help after Bill passed away.

    Honestly when it comes to tone, I've never heard these pickups or the Aguilars in person, so I don't know if these are the pickups that I really want. I've heard videos, but there are so many variables listening to an online recording that I don't know how much help they really are. I'm interested in trying both pickups, so I'm just frustrated that I could have had the other pickups and had the project done weeks ago. I don't plan on asking for a refund, who knows when I'll actually get the money back between waiting for them to actually follow through as well as the time it takes Paypal to process the refund and for it to transfer back to my bank account. I still want the pickups and I'll just have to wait.

    They need to hire someone to manage the company for them and raise their prices accordingly. They may be in the same league as Bartolini and Nordstrand, but those companies will be alive and well for some time, whereas the future of Bill Lawrence pickups is an unknown.

    StayLow likes this.

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