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Could we revisit excellent customer service?


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This is a mildly self-serving post. I seem to recall one of these threads years ago where everyone chimed in with stores, manufacturers, and individuals with exemplary customer service. I know that lately, businesses are having trouble retaining good talent, so let’s share our great experiences, especially unexpected ones. I will start:

 

Electro Harmonix

I’m not a very good guitarist, but I love pedals…not as much as Josh Scott, but I collect the real oddballs to use with my Eurorack rig. So of course, I have plenty of EHX weird boxes. One of them, a Lester K (Leslie simulator designed expressly for keyboards) that simply stopped powering up. For months, I inquired locally about repair places and I was quoted diagnostic fees that were close to what I paid for it. On a whim, I thought I’d reach out to the company itself. I got back a form letter with an RA number, instructing me to send it in with a check for $25 and a letter explaining what the issue is. That’s pretty amazing in 2022. I will buy EHX pedals even more in the future.

 

Zippo

I’m hoping you will excuse this tangent. Zippo has always had a lifetime transferable warranty on their lighters since the beginning of time. I sent a slew of antique Zippos in with $7 for each, and they repaired all of them and included new inserts. All without human interaction. Amazing service.

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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I definitely like the idea of this thread. My experiences may not mirror others as much, because most music biz companies know who I am, so they're not going to blow me off. So, I'll mention only companies where others have told me positive stories of customer service.

 

Waves. Their use of "Waveshells" instead of standard plug-in installations can cause confusion and/or problems, but people who've contacted Waves directly have always mentioned they were taken care of expeditiously. Their web site also has articles that often obviate the need to contact customer service...what I call "pre-emptive customer service."

 

PC Audio Labs. I've been using their stuff for years, but still, the head of the company meeting me at noon on a holiday weekend to take care of a graphics card issue was above and beyond the call of duty. I don't know anyone who hasn't been happy with their service. 

 

Sweetwater. This is an obvious one, they do bend over backwards to make things right. But I also mention this because I've had good results from my "sales engineer." I needed a mic stand and asked for advice. He came back with three different models at different price points, but recommended one of them. I bought it. It was exactly what I needed, and met my main requirement of being able to hold heavy mics without drooping or becoming unstable.

 

Non-music: WithItGear. I ordered a replacement band for a Fitbit from Amazon, but the description wasn't clear and the band I got wasn't compatible with the Fitbit. I called the company to confirm which band would be correct so I could order the right one, but instead, they sent me the correct one at no charge. When I asked about sending the wrong one back, they said to keep it, in case I knew someone with a compatible Fitbit. Not only that, the lady at the other end was downright cheerful. 

 

Since the purpose of the thread is to share good customer service experiences, I won't mention how much AT&T sucks. Ooops, I just did. Never mind.

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I could and have written volumes about and to AT&T. LOL.

 

I forgot to mention Sweetwater, so I'm glad you did. When music stores, namely GC and Sam Ash, simply stopped negotiating in any meaningful way, suddenly there was no reason NOT to consider Sweetwater, and in my experience, they have been exemplary. They aren't always perfect, but they TRY.

 

Cymbalfusion

I know very little about their brick & mortar presence in Houston, but I made a relatively major purchase from them last year. It was initially nerve-wracking because it was high-ticket (for me) and they had the double whammy of a sort of janky website and unrealistically low pricing on these boutique brands. But not only did they deliver ahead of time at a great price, but they followed up to make sure I was happy. And that little thing goes a long way with me. (by the way, I did try to purchase these items at Sweetwater even though they had a more logical (higher) price, but they were backordered 6 months)

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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Applied Acoustic Systems has been treating me very well since I bought Chromaphone 2 and then Strum. Both are based on physical modeling, yet the former is a wild tool kit of experimenter's dream options while the second is a pure source of acoustic and electric guitars. They've offered me some nice breaks as a customer, free version upgrades and the few times I had operating issues, the turnaround for an answer was just a couple of days.👍

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"Your Honor, according to witnesses,
    Miss Congeniality led the attack
     with a kick to the groin."
           ~ Dan Fielding

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Sweetwater. I think any Sweetwater shopper agrees.

 

Norton Music (It's a self-serving plug, but I do have a reputation for excellent customer service)

 

PG Music (Band-in-a-Box)

 

 

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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Not music but most of us probably drive a car. 

I got a set of new tires at Discount Tire for a Subaru that I was driving.

I got the warranty, at that time it was $11 per tire.

About 2,000 miles in, a chunk of sharp metal leaped from out of nowhere and slashed the sidewall of the right rear tire wide open. It was hosed, unrepairable. 

 

I put the donut spare on and drove to Discount Tire. They took a look and said "With a Subaru, we have to replace all 4 tires or it will cause wear on your differentials from uneven rotation ratios."

I was thinking "Oh boy, here it comes."

Then they said "If you pay the $11 warranty for each of the 4 new tires we can have you back on the road in 45 minutes or less."

I jumped on that and 40 minutes later I was driving on all new tires for $44. 

I consider that to be outstanding service and I've taken my vehicles there for tires ever since. 

 

And I agree regarding Sweetwater and Native Instruments, both great companies.

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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Sticking to the music biz - I'll give a shout-for Rogue Amoeba. I encountered a rather obscure bug in their excellent Fission software; I contacted them through normal channels. I was given a test version of the app which fixed the bug in about a day, and the fix was rolled into the next official update in about a week. They were total pros. Tech support just doesn't get any better than that. If only all software vendors were that responsive to their customers....

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