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False advertising?


Bruiser

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I've been playing 4-string basses for several years, and have decided that a 5-string would sound good on some of the songs my band does. Our singer likes the key of D, but I don't like playing up in the guitarist's range, and I don't like detuning.

 

I couldn't find exactly what I wanted in the local stores, so I decided to buy on-line.

 

So this past Monday, 1/6/09, I placed an order with an on-line store (which shall remain nameless for now) for an Ibanez 5-string bass. Their web page said "Available 1/7/2009." I thought Great, the order will be shipped tomorrow.

 

Tuesday came and went and I hadn't seen a shipping notice yet, so I checked their web site. Now it's Wednesday, the 8th, and the web site says "Available 1/8/2009."

 

But that evening, I got an E-mail saying the bass was backordered, and was expected 1/21/2009.

 

Every day this week, they have changed the "available" date on the web site. Today it says "Available 1/10/2009."

 

To me (and the dictionary), "available" means on-hand, ready to use. It does not mean "Give us your order, and we might have what you want, or it might be a while."

 

Am I just being too anxious, or am I right in feeling that I've been lied to?

 

I've bought items from this company before, and have always been satisfied. Now, I wonder if I should cancel and order from another company that has the item in stock. At least, they claim they do. . . maybe they just mean it's "available."

 

Ed

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That does seem dishonest if they're posting it as fact, not speculation. (I.e. it doesn't say "Weeell... maybe it'll be available tomorrow"). I have no idea if this is common practice or not. If you get too frustrated (i.e. if by the 21st they keep pushing back and you can't take it) you should try eBay, unless you feel like you have to have a warranty.
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I presume this online retailer is somebody's buddy, pal or friend? :rolleyes:

 

I've seen that whole "Available on XX/XX/2009" crap. And I think it's just that. Crap. Especially with some of the instrument manufacturers they rep. Like Rickenbacker, who have proven to be quite unreliable when it comes to their delivery dates.

 

It's all well and good to list products that you have in stock. You're a significant online store that can manage inventory on your own. But when you're dependent on the shipping irregularities of your suppliers, I think the ethical thing to do would be to list the item as temporarily out of stock. Offer the option of an email alert when the item is back in stock and leave it at that. Listing something as available on a specific date solely based on the word of your rep could leave someone in a lurch. Like you.

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"My concern is, and I have to, uh, check with my accountant, that this might bump me into a higher, uh, tax..."

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I didn't buy directly from Ned's website when ordering the WAV 4 late last month. I had already made the decision to order from Bob.

 

I did check some of the superstores and back in November I was given "availablity" dates from January 20 to as early as January 5 depending on what color I wanted. Bob stated "the middle of next quarter and now, suddently, all the superstore are quoting the same date - February 16. I think it's safe to assume that Bob is better connected at NS Design than Brad, or Bambi or Clyde at SuperGuitarMusicSamash123CenterMart-dot-com.

 

If you ordered this beast from SuperGuitarMusicSamash123CenterMart, the pinhead doing the web updates and the one answering the phone have no idea what is in stock and what isn't.

 

I don't know that it's false advertising (intentionally) or just being arrogant (Ric), just more along the lines of this is the way large stores do on-line business - 65 large stores nationwide, 100 smaller stores, a call center in India an no way to accurately determine - in real time - inventory (in store and receivable).

 

On-line purchasing is a wonderful thing. Next time, call the toll-free number and ask for sales. When Brad, Bambi or Clyde answer the phone, ask them "Is this in stock?"

 

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

 

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On-line purchasing is a wonderful thing. Next time, call the toll-free number and ask for sales. When Brad, Bambi or Clyde answer the phone, ask them "Is this in stock?"

 

Bingo.

You could call it lots of things (like ineptitude) but for them to keep you on the hook is just wrong.

I would cancel your order and find one somewhere else.

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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Thanks for your replies.

 

This is interesting--I posted this same question on two forums, this one and another one related to flight sims, in their "Off-Topic" forum. There are a lot of musicians on that site, as well, and they are very computer-savvy, so I thought it would be a good place to chat about on-line purchasing.

 

Responders here used words like this to describe the company's advertising: "crap, dishonest, ineptitude, arrogant." One person said I should cancel the order and buy elsewhere. NO ONE said "Be patient and wait."

 

On the flight sim site, two people told me "If it's a company that has given you good service, be patient with them." One said I should notify the FTC (I was thinking more of their state Attorney General) and the rest went off into a side discussion about how four strings were enough for Jaco.

 

I guess it's not surprising that flight simmers are more patient than a bunch of GASy bass players! Some of those guys fly for virtual airlines, in real time. I'm NOT that patient.

 

Thanks again, Ed

 

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Do what I did to Bass Centre when they did that to me after I've ordered a flight case.

 

-"Hi there everything ok?"

guy the other side of the line. "yeah everything is good"

"When can I expect to receive my flight case I have a gig on saturday and I don't want to go case less?"

"erm...humm...the manufacturer delayed their suply so I only have cases next week I think."

It's worth to say that I'd called them before at least 3 times and they kept saying tomorrow.

me again:

"Oh cool, you know what? Cancel my order co's I need the case for saturday and today it's tuesday and you don't have one for me so I'll go elsewhere"

"Wait...let me see what I can do..."

I got a case delivered on Friday morning via next day UPS.

 

If I were you, I'd cancel my order...You don't go to a restaurant look at the menu and ask for a burger and they say... ups...we don't have burgers right now...but wait while I go to the butcher to buy some. That just doesn't happen.

 

 

www.myspace.com/davidbassportugal

 

"And then the magical unicorn will come prancing down the rainbow and we'll all join hands for a rousing chorus of Kumbaya." - by davio

 

 

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Responders here used words like this to describe the company's advertising: "crap, dishonest, ineptitude, arrogant." One person said I should cancel the order and buy elsewhere. NO ONE said "Be patient and wait."

 

I think my own impatience is linked to what this online retailer is doing to you. They advertise one date, and they're not meeting that date. In fact, the date seems to keep shifting on you. That's what led to my reaction. That's just not good business.

 

It's the business of Ibanez to produce a good instrument for you. That's what they do. It's the business of the online retailer to offer you a good transaction that is transparent, with accurate product and delivery information, along with good shipping from their facility to your home. And when you are paying that online retailer several hundred dollars in the process, there should be certain assurances.

 

Now have I dealt with other online purchases? Sure. Some of which were pre-orders, where the retailer was unsure of the date when they would receive the product from the manufacturer. Their orders from the manufacturer were guaranteed, but the delivery date was not. But in those cases I was dealing with products that cost under $100.

 

I think that when you're dealing with a higher end product, there should be an increase in what the buyer can expect from the seller in terms of service. Moving delivery dates repeatedly is not one of the things I would expect when I'm prepared to drop some serious cash.

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"My concern is, and I have to, uh, check with my accountant, that this might bump me into a higher, uh, tax..."

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It may be less dishonesty that just institutional stupidity -- they may not have the ability to properly track when inventory will arrive, so they automatically post the "expected by" date updates out of hope.

 

Frankly, that's not much better than dishonesty and it doesn't do anything for you as a customer. Go someplace else.

 

Okay, you can tell us who it is now, so none of us will go there.

"Tours widely in the southwestern tip of Kentucky"
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Musicians' Friend/Music123 are pretty clear that this is the estimated availability based on the manufacturer's information. I prefer this to just a "back-order" tag, personally; makes it easier to decide if you want to wait.

 

If anything, blame the manufacturer.

 

Musicians' Friend never charges for non-special order items before they ship. I ordered my Gallien Krueger MB2-500 head in November with a 15% coupon, and the estimated ship date was late December. It shipped earlier than estimated and I was not charged until it shipped. Good stuff.

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If anything, blame the manufacturer.

That was my first thought. I know there was a warehouse move a few years back that really screwed things up, but I suspect the manufacturer is more likely to blame in this case. Perhaps the retail company shouldn't be so wishy washy, but they are probably being fed a story as well.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Just to bring closure, it was Musician's Friend, and the order was cancelled. The customer service person I spoke to agreed with me that saying something is available when it's not available was deceptive, and he said he wished they wouldn't do that.

 

I've always been happy with MF in the past, and will probably do business with them again, but now I know that "available" does NOT mean "in stock" to them. But for now, I'm giving Sam Ash the sale.

 

Thanks to all who weighed in on the matter,

 

Ed

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