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FinalSalvation

What's wrong with GC

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I'd sooner buy from Ebay than Guitar Center.

 

I'm not kidding.

 

Done lots of both.

Had much better luck, fewer headaches, and no bullsh!t on Ebay.

Just be careful either way.

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Where I live... it may be the true geographical center of the U.S.A., which it is, but it's ain't the center of guitar sales. A couple mom and pops but... nothing really to write about and even that is more of an hour one-way. A couple pawn shops but they tend to sell used stuff for new prices. Sheesh.

 

Heck, I'd never heard of GC until the past cupla years. But it does look as if the company that owns them also owns a large piece of the entire U.S. guitar-oriented business, thereby in ways making MSR a laugh regardless of quality control, etc.

 

I've been buying strings and stuff mail order. I'd love to swap a Washburn 335 clone that needs a good setup for an epi. But here... it ain't gonna happen.

 

m

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Where I live... it may be the true geographical center of the U.S.A.' date=' which it is, but it's ain't the center of guitar sales. A couple mom and pops but...

[/quote']

 

That's what I'm talkin' about milod. My closest GC is Evansville Indiana, and it's a joke. There is a Mom & Pop Gibson dealer about an hour from here that is very good, but those are getting rare.

 

I would buy from a GC if I had to, but I know what I'm looking for, and what I'll pay. I've bought several Gibsons from MF, and never had a problem, even when I had to return one it went quick and smooth, no sweat.

 

I think it's just a matter of being careful, which is actually always the case, eh?

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Murph...

 

Yah nailed it.

 

In ways I wish there were something closer. I understand the difficulties of a ma and pa but on the other hand, I think that service is where they've gotta make it work in today's world. That and making sure people don't feel ripped off if a price is higher than what they see on line. That's a matter of internal PR and emphasis on service, imho.

 

As for the pawn shops - typical around military installations for sure - I dunno. Again, imho overpriced around here for what's available.

 

Problem is that "kids" seem willing to buy regardless, and I don't think they do much research at all. Of course, I didn't either in my teens and 30s - but I didn't have the Internet, either.

 

m

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I've said for years that Guitar Center is aimed at kids' date=' and their clueless parents with the cash.[/quote']

 

 

Agreed.

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Okay, I'll give you my story on why I try to avoid Guitar Center. Sorry, it's a long annoying story...

 

About 5 years ago I got the crazy idea that I wanted a Schecter Tempest. So, I went to my local GC. They didn't have the guitar in stock, but the sales associate assured me that they could order it, and have it delivered to the store...as long as I paid up front. Rather than take my cash, he talked me into getting a GC credit card. I figured they get a bonus every time they sign someone up for a GC card (I used to work in retail), and the sales guy seemed cool, so I signed up. No problem. Besides, his selling point was I'd get three months no interest, so it was pretty much like cash. The associate took my driver's license & copied my name and address into the form, entered it into the computer, and went to the manager's office to call to make sure I was approved & for how much $. I got approved for the card, and the guitar was ordered. I was told my new GC card would be mailed to me in about a week. The sales associate told me it should be about two weeks to get my new guitar... Two weeks later, I called, and couldn't get a hold of the original associate that sold me the guitar, but the person I talked to on the phone assured me they'd give me a call as soon as my guitar showed up. Two more weeks past, then two more. I called again, and got the same story as before from another associate. I should also note that by this time, I had also not received my GC card in the mail. -That got me worried, so I called the company that issued the credit cards. Somehow (and I have no idea how) my credit card was mailed to my college dorm room (as were my first two bills). That was fine, but I had graduated from college four years earlier, and changed my addresses, etc. So, some college kid had my credit card. Lucky for me, they didn't buy anything. I had them cancel that card, and mail me a new one at my correct address. Something that sucked is the guitar I bought didn't qualify for the no interest promo that the sales associate had originally sold me on, so since my bills and card were mailed to the wrong address for about two months, my account balance reflected finance charges, interest, and two late fees. Awesome. I called the card company to fight those, but they didn't do anything. I started making payments, and still I had yet to even receive my guitar.

 

Fed up with the generic answers I was getting from the GC associates (they seem to just want to get you off the phone, rather than actually help you) I called Schecter to see if they even shipped a Tempest to the GC where I had purchased it. The person I talked to at Schecter was able to find the guitar in their system when I gave him my transaction # from my receipt, as well as the date, and the store # where I bought it. It turns out that they did receive an order for a Tempest on the date that I ordered it from my GC. -Only thing is, they shipped it to some store in California, not Pittsburgh. By now I was really angry. I called the GC, and got the manager, and they assured me that they'd get me a Tempest there asap, and they'd hook me up with some extras for my trouble. Finally almost two and a half months since I ordered it I got my Tempest. I think I got some strings and picks for my trouble. Unsatisfied, I wrote to GC's corporate office with my complaint (about the late guitar, and the problems with my GC card), and a customer service rep contacted me with a form that I needed to fill out. I filled it out, and nothing happened. Nothing ever got resolved, I still wound up paying all the interest, and finance charges, and late fees. So, my $600-ish guitar (that I could have paid cash for) wound up costing me about $750 or so. I never got an apology or anything.

 

Basically what this taught me is that they're too big & too busy (and their employees don't get paid enough) for anyone working there to really give a &%$# about anyone. They want to get you in and out of the door as fast as possible, and once they have your money, (at least with my experience) they really don't do anything to help you. If you do have a problem, there's a lot of time spent waiting on hold, and usually when someone does pick up, it's to tell you that who you need to talk to isn't there. I know that the problems I had all stemmed from a lack of attention to detail, and communication, and that's cool. I don't really blame any one person, but they sure were crappy about fixing anything after I pointed out all their errors.

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Wow that story is certainly up there, but on par with a lot of stories involving GC. Maybe you should educate them on the Golden Rule. I've had to yell at them a few times but I seem to get results for the most part. Of course, when I introduce myself I say "I'm Dr. so-and-so" and then give them a serious lecture. That seems to work well for me most of the time, but I wonder if they treat the younger crowd differently...

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I think Guitar Center is a great store and has some great benefits, but you need to know what you want because those salesmen will try to sell you anything. The last time I went, some lady told the worker, "If i'm going to buy another acoustic, I want it to be a step up from what I have." The worker says "this is better than what you have", trying to convince the old lady to buy it. The lady says "I'm playing this guitar right now, and it's actually worse than what i have". And sure enough, as somebody said that they refuse to admit they're wrong, the worker argues with the customer trying to convince her that it's better than what she has, which is crazy when you're talking about something as subjective as tone.

 

So my two cents: Great deals there, just make sure the workers know that you know what YOU are talking about and don't fall into their sales tricks. I've mad myself some great deals, and you can't beat a 30 day satisfaction guarantee and the warranties they offer. Plus, you also get to try before you buy.

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I have seen many people buy a ton of amps' date=' guitars, other expensive gear from them without a hitch. That being said, for my big purchases, I will probably be going to sweetwater.com because they have a great reputation as well as no sales tax and free shipping [biggrin']

 

All of that about sweetwater is true, but you need to make damn sure you won't need to return it, because not only will you pay to ship it back, they'll charge you for the initial shipment.

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Sad lesson learned, Twizz. I NEVER have GC order anything. If they don't have it, I go someplace else. "I" (and anyone) can order anything I/We want, from countless other on-line dealers. This "We can order it for you," mentality, that seems to have taken over a lot of retail businesses, anymore...is one of (many of) my "Pet Peeves," on the current state of "retail," all too often. So...whether it's guitars, hardware, tires, etc...if it's not in stock, I don't buy from them. And, I definitely would never pay "up front," in that situation...EVER! The exception "might" be, if it is some real "specialty item," that only this store carries, and they just happen to be out, of it...or, don't usually carry it, but can get it...and I "know them," then yeah...in that case, I'd let them order it. Otherwise...there's plenty of dealers/businesses, that would love to sell you something. Always, Check around, first! "Let your fingers, do the walking" as they used say...and call to confirm, and have the item held, or put back, for you. And, get the sales associate's name, price quoted, and the item store stock number. That way, they can't say they didn't know about it, or don't have it, in stock, when you've driven 100 miles, to pick it up.

 

CB

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[biggrin] wierd[blink]

 

Never knew that purchasing/looking for a guitar was so painful for some[blink]

 

We call them pussies in new york.

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[biggrin] LOL!!!

Im just saying we should be thankful for be able to purchase an fine intrsument while some cant even afford guitar strings.

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Sad lesson learned' date=' Twizz. I NEVER have GC order anything. If they don't have it, I go someplace else. "I" (and anyone) can order anything I/We want, from countless other on-line dealers. This "We can order it for you," mentality, that seems to have taken over a lot of retail businesses, anymore...is one of (many of) my "Pet Peeves," on the current state of "retail," all too ofter. So...whether it's guitars, hardware, tires, etc...if it's not in stock, I don't buy from them. And, I definitely would never pay "up front," in that situation...EVER! The exception "might" be, if it is some real "specialty item," that only this store carries, and they just happen to be out, of it...or, don't usually carry it, but can get it...and I "know them," then yeah...in that case, I'd let them order it. Otherwise...there's plenty of dealers/businesses, that would love to sell you something. Always, Check around, first! "Let your fingers, do the walking" as they used say...and call to confirm, and have the item held, or put back, for you. And, get the sales associate's name, price quoted, and the item store stock number. That way, they can't say they didn't know about it, or don't have it, in stock, when you've driven 100 miles, to pick it up.

 

CB[/quote']

 

If my local GC refuses to order something in so I can try it first, I just order direct and the store and sales "expert" loses the sale.

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[biggrin] wierd[blink]

 

Never knew that purchasing/looking for a guitar was so painful for some[blink]

 

 

 

Same here... always went to a store, took a look, if there was something I wanted I bought it.

 

But there was this one time at samash, they did all Neo says guitar center does and more. I never went back to that store again (the SamAsh at dolphin Mall in florida)

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I've mad myself some great deals

Eh' date=' I have my doubts about that.

If you didn't pay less than the Minimum Advertised Price, you got no "deal" to speak of.

Trust me, they aren't losing money on anything they sell you - no matter what they tell you.

 

 

and you can't beat a 30 day satisfaction guarantee and the warranties they offer.

Have you ever actually returned something there? Oh, the stories I could tell you....

Just last week I returned two speaker cables for $30 and I did NOT want store credit - that changes everything.

When all was said and done, they wouldn't give me cash.

They cut me a check so I would have to drive to their bank.

For thirty fxcking dollars?

 

[angry]

 

Plus' date=' you also get to try before you buy. [/quote']

So has every snot-gobbling ten year old in town.

Would you buy clothes from a store like that?

 

[cool]

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Im just saying we should be thankful for be able to purchase an fine intrsument while some cant even afford guitar strings.

What?

 

The speech from your Mom at the dinner table about "children starving in Ethiopia" doesn't really apply here....

 

[angry][cool]

 

 

I refuse to apologize for my "good fortune" when it has involved me having a job for 30 years.

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I went to my local GC.

I paid up front.

Rather than take my cash' date=' he talked me into getting a GC credit card.

I'd get three months no interest, so it was pretty much like cash.

I called, and couldn't get a hold of the original associate that sold me the guitar

I had also not received my GC card in the mail.

I called the company that issued the credit cards.

So, some college kid had my credit card.

didn't qualify for the no interest promo that the sales associate had originally sold me on

my account balance reflected finance charges, interest, and two late fees.

Awesome.

I called the card company to fight those, but they didn't do anything.

I started making payments, and still I had yet to even receive my guitar.

they shipped it to some store in California, not Pittsburgh.

I wrote to GC's corporate office with my complaint

a form that I needed to fill out. I filled it out, and nothing happened.

Nothing ever got resolved, I still wound up paying all the interest, and finance charges, and late fees.

So, my $600-ish guitar (that I could have paid cash for) wound up costing me about $750 or so.

I never got an apology or anything.

 

they're too big & too busy for anyone working there to really give a &%$# about anyone.

once they have your money, (at least with my experience) they really don't do anything to help you.

 

FINALLY, somebody who gets it....

 

Ever notice who has to do all the work here?

If you don't, the screwing will keep on coming your way forever...

 

 

Another trick of theirs - 12 months no interest.

Trust me, something will go wrong and your account will NOT be settled at the end of twelve months.

The 30% interest rate is retroactive to day one, you get assessed all sorts of fees and penalties.

That $600 guitar will cost you $1,500 when they're done with you - and it's no longer the store.

Your account is owned by a finance company.

The store was paid the day you bought the guitar so they don't care.

And you CAN NOT return the guitar to them - they don't want it.

 

Oh, they might "help you out" and buy it from you - for maybe a hundred bucks...

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I returned something one time too, and they took like 45 minutes getting me a check......then I went to cash it and the bank was like we can't

cash this because of some hold or policy or something........I said naw we are calling them right now, I got my money. What a F-cking hassel.

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With all due respect, that's when South Dakota's consumer affairs division of the Attorney General's office would get a call from me. I would wager that a lawsuit from a state AG would make somebody wake up.

 

The address where they sent the card was incorrect? Where did it come from? The product had not been delivered?

 

I'd say there are at least two lawsuits possible there. Also, because of nexus in your state spelled as "storefront business," the parent company also could be pretty open to a lawsuit.

 

Of course, that all depends on whether the erroneous address was their discovery and not what you'd written somewhere. Bad deal, though, regardless.

 

Also, if there's a local newspaper or tv station, they might be interested in a news story on that type of business practice.

 

m

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Milod, those are all very wise observations and comments but the Guitar Center bastards are incorrigible.

They are seriously as slimey as ANY used car dealer you ever saw.

 

They get plenty of bad-mouthing, and it means nothing to them.

 

I think the biggest thing is the sheer number of people they draw with all their advertising.

You can attract new people faster than the ones you screwed get wise....

 

Mom & Dad will call the store (if they're proactive enough) and it might get fixed.

If they don't call, then Guitar Center will assume you're fine with being a victim and proceed normally.

 

 

I've noticed one thing in their favor - human nature, and more specifically, shame.

 

The people who get screwed REALLY bad (way worse than Twiz) are ashamed to admit it.

They won't tell anybody because they're afraid everybody will think they're stupid for getting fleeced so easily.

When credit is involved, most people tend to skip any details - especially when they aren't flattering.

 

 

This is one company where we really can't say enough bad things about them - they're worse still.....

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WTF?

 

[angry][cool][-(

 

We're talking about Guitar Center - they don't HAVE to do anything....

I've personally witnessed missed sales over exactly what you decribe' date=' and I've been told myself that the

display piece on the floor was IT, and they would not be ordering anything in.

Oh, wait, we could find one in another store and ship it in for you - after you BUY IT....

 

When I bought my ES-335 in 2002, Guitar Center in Tempe had a beautiful one.

Except for the ding right in the middle of the back.

The flame Maple was beautiful, it played and sounded incredible.

Bizarre had the exact same guitar, for the same price - with no haggling. Just not as pretty.

 

I went back to Guitar Center to see if they would deal because of that single dent in the back.

Nope.

Those guitars are "really hard to get" so the price was very firm.

30 minutes later I was walking out of Bizarre with my new ES 335, and a new Fender Hot Rod DeVille amp.

 

 

I've spent twenty years watching their sh!t, and I've gotten to know many people who worked there.

I still go into Guitar Center to see what they have - we have FOUR of them in Phoenix.

You guys who still wonder what the big deal is, I hope one of two things for you when you buy from 'em.

 

You fully realize you're swimming with sharks paid on commission.

 

OR

 

You don't mind that prison sex/gang rape feeling in your butt as you leave.

 

 

 

 

That's the ONLY reason to go there.

 

Not saying I would never buy another guitar from them, I've came close a few times since 2003.

The price was decent, the (used) guitar was in great shape, but it just wasn't a smoking deal.

 

Technically when I applied there, one of the rules was if a customer ask for a guitar from the back you have to get it for them, and if you don't have one in the back your supposed to order it for them.

 

BUT the manager said that sometimes if a guitar has been out too long without being sold he'll ask the employes to get rid of it and brake rules if you have to.

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I've been dealing with GC for 5 years now. I know their issues and its a trade off because of the variety of products they carry that my local does not.

 

I've been in the game long enough and have a pretty good BS meter so I know when a salespunk is full of it.

 

I've returned items and not been hassled but certainly others here have had problems and I understand the frustration.

 

I've bought Items with cash and a GC card. I know how long I have to pay it off and budget accordingly. Never had a prob.

 

Issues? Sure I've had them with GC but also Macy's, Sears, Best Buy etc.

 

The free market system is here for a little while longer. Embrace it while you can.

 

Know what you want. Know what you're willing to pay. Know what you can afford.

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