Annoying store experience.

incrementalg

Gold Member
After a 15+ year absence from drumming, I'm in the process of putting together a kit. I'm making a point to buy as much stuff as I can from local and even somewhat local, independent brick and mortar stores. I used to work in an incredible independent music store and even a small chain for a time after moving to Boston. I love the indy vibe and I'm compelled to support it as much as I can. I had the experience of working with and meeting some fantastic fellow musicians in my day.

I went yesterday to a local shop with the intent to buy some heads, boom stand and potentially a tune bot. As soon as I walk in I said hello to the guy at the counter. He didn't say a word and just continued looking at a computer screen. Before getting to my purchase I took a few minutes to check out some gear. Not a word was said by the guy at the counter. Finally, I made my way to the counter and inquired about some basic Evans heads and the guy was visibly annoyed about being asked anything. Without looking up or looking behind him to the wall of Evans and Remo he said they didn't have the heads. I then inquired about a tune bot and an Evans torque key. Again, he didn't look up and declared they didn't have either. (I saw the torque keys hanging in a display, btw). Finally, I asked about ordering a tune bot and was told they could be ordered, but there was no way of knowing how long something would take to arrive. (clearly he didn't want me to order it) I also needed a boom stand, but didn't bother asking.

I was the only person in the shop and this guy refused to sell me anything (passively). In fact, I think he refused to look at me. I was looking to spend maybe $300 between the heads, stand and tune bot, but ended up spending $0.

I'm less annoyed about how the guy working the counter treated me than about how he treated his boss' store. I've met the owner a couple of times and he's a guy who cares tremendously about his shop and customers. What a shame.
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
What a shame. Local shops should be patronized, the world needs them and it'll be our loss if they all go away. In my opinion, the guy "working" the counter doesn't seem too concerned about being employed. I would contact the owner and let him know that because of his employee, he lost a $300 sale yesterday.

This way, the sales guy can sit and do nothing all day, everyday. It seems to be what he prefers anyway.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
I'm glad you said that about contacting the owner. I was thinking of doing that. Not because of the service I didnt get, but because of the poor representation the shop got. I know $300 isn't a lot of $$, but multiply that by several sales a week this guy is blowing and it becomes real money. Even more so when people decide they don't want to go back.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
If you care about the store, tell the owner and get counter-dude's arse fired. Sounds like an awful employee. Good of you to try shopping there.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
The counter lad is not on commission for sure and the manager should know about this visit.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
After a 15+ year absence from drumming, I'm in the process of putting together a kit. I'm making a point to buy as much stuff as I can from local and even somewhat local, independent brick and mortar stores. I used to work in an incredible independent music store and even a small chain for a time after moving to Boston. I love the indy vibe and I'm compelled to support it as much as I can. I had the experience of working with and meeting some fantastic fellow musicians in my day.

I went yesterday to a local shop with the intent to buy some heads, boom stand and potentially a tune bot. As soon as I walk in I said hello to the guy at the counter. He didn't say a word and just continued looking at a computer screen. Before getting to my purchase I took a few minutes to check out some gear. Not a word was said by the guy at the counter. Finally, I made my way to the counter and inquired about some basic Evans heads and the guy was visibly annoyed about being asked anything. Without looking up or looking behind him to the wall of Evans and Remo he said they didn't have the heads. I then inquired about a tune bot and an Evans torque key. Again, he didn't look up and declared they didn't have either. (I saw the torque keys hanging in a display, btw). Finally, I asked about ordering a tune bot and was told they could be ordered, but there was no way of knowing how long something would take to arrive. (clearly he didn't want me to order it) I also needed a boom stand, but didn't bother asking.

I was the only person in the shop and this guy refused to sell me anything (passively). In fact, I think he refused to look at me. I was looking to spend maybe $300 between the heads, stand and tune bot, but ended up spending $0.

I'm less annoyed about how the guy working the counter treated me than about how he treated his boss' store. I've met the owner a couple of times and he's a guy who cares tremendously about his shop and customers. What a shame.
Dude, tell his boss, that sucks!
 

Mart61

Silver Member
I agree - report your experience to the boss if you know him. If not and they are on Twitter I've found that to be a good way of getting an organisation's attention. I've had multi-national corporations respond to a negative tweet within minutes.
 
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imtombstone

Senior Member
im in retail , not music, but ever $ counts!
even if you just wanted sticks only, you should have been helped !
and cared about as a customer
complain
he will be replaced!
unless its his son ! lmao
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
Your experience is not unique. NAMM publishes a newsmagazine called The Music and Sound Retailer, and they have some secret shoppers they call the MI Spy that visit music retailers to judge the service they receive. Needless to say, pitiful customer service shows up a lot, as does exemplary customer service. You owe it to the owner to tell him about your treatment. He can do nothing about it unless he knows about it.

GeeDeeEmm
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
I'll let the owner know. I think I'll do it in person. If it were a chain I'd do it on Twitter, but it's an Indy shop and I don't want to put a bad vibe out publicly. There's a GC now 5 minutes away and I don't want to drive business away from this shop.
 

boomstick

Silver Member
I just went through a similar experience of buying a bunch of new gear after a drumming hiatus of a few years. I also went into a local independent music store, and got a similar attitude from the employees. I next went to Guitar Center, but that was also a bust. The sales guy in the drum department was friendly and helpful, but they didn't have what I wanted. Then I went over to check out the cymbals, but just couldn't do it because some kid was banging away on one of the kits, loudly and badly, the entire time. (Not an infrequent occurrence, by the way.) I finally just gave up and left. Long story short, I spent hundreds of dollars online instead of at the local brick-and-mortar stores. I know there is a lot of talk about the decline of these stores in the internet age, but damn. They're not offering any advantage over online sales. In many cases, it's not just a pricing disadvantage that's squeezing them out.
 

EssKayKay

Senior Member
I'll let the owner know. I think I'll do it in person. If it were a chain I'd do it on Twitter, but it's an Indy shop and I don't want to put a bad vibe out publicly. There's a GC now 5 minutes away and I don't want to drive business away from this shop.
Like Tombstone alluded to, I don't think this is unique to music shops. I'm seeing more of this everywhere. Keep us posted as to the owner's response.

Good luck,
SKK
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
They're not offering any advantage over online sales. In many cases, it's not just a pricing disadvantage that's squeezing them out.
This, this, this. The local shops have only two advantages over internet shopping: They have gear in stock and on hand ready to take home (hopefully), and they can offer one-on-one customer care. The first point is really a two-edged sword, because brick and mortar stores often serve as showrooms for internet stores where people can touch, handle, and play the gear, then go on line to buy. That leaves customer service, and if a B&M store wants to survive, service needs to be the number-one-with-a-bullet concern of every employee in the store. Store owners had better wise up to this and be willing to unceremoniously fire any employee who is not on board. You are right to tell the owner face to face instead of posting it online, as he may be unaware of how this employee acts when he is not around. If he knows about it but does not address it . . . . well . . . .

GeeDeeEmm
 

Dave A

Member
What was the kid doing on the computer? It seems to be the way of things now that people are just disconnecting with reality and the world around them and losing themselves in cyberspace.
I'm just quitting a local independent fitness studio, because the woman who owns it just stands behind the counter the whole time and never comes out to see if the people are using the equipment correctly or give them any advice. She spends the entire time on her laptop.
There is definitely an increase in the clueless fraternity working in various shops be they music shops or DIY stores.
 

Chollyred

Senior Member
im in retail , not music, but ever $ counts!
even if you just wanted sticks only, you should have been helped !
and cared about as a customer
complain
he will be replaced!
unless its his son ! lmao
BINGO!

Last experience I had like that I went into the store with $75 store credit I was given as a gift. I picked up a nice leather strap, a new heavy duty cord, and some miscellaneous guitar stuff just to use up the credit. I couldn't find a capo (which I needed) on display. When I asked the guy behind the counter, he mumbled "You wouldn't know what to do with it anyway..." and walked off.

Turns out he WAS the owner's son and the store closed soon afterward.
 

tcspears

Gold Member
It saddens me when things like this happen. I always try to support local stores, but they either close down, stop carrying things that I want, and/or hire the worst staff.

Guitar Center really doesn't carry anything that I'm interested in either, but whenever I've stopped in there the service has always been attentive and friendly. Corporate places always have a considerable amount of customer service training.

I noticed you're also in MA. I went to a used music store just outside of Boston (natick/framingham) the other day (also 5 minutes from a GC), and they wanted nothing to do with me. They answered my questions with short one word responses. Why would I go back to that??

I've been going to Steve Weiss Percussion, which is a smaller online store, and I've been happy with them, but I miss being able to go into a brick and mortar store and feel a cymbal or drum head before I buy it...
 

MisterZero

Senior Member
You're in Boston, Mass? Heck, you're only about 6 to 7 hours away from Buffalo Drum Outlet. The greatest drum store in the World. Go there and see Paul Musilli, the owner. he'll hook you up....:)

I only go there....
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
You're in Boston, Mass? Heck, you're only about 6 to 7 hours away from Buffalo Drum Outlet. The greatest drum store in the World. Go there and see Paul Musilli, the owner. he'll hook you up....:)

I only go there....
I was planning to check this place out in the fall while on a business trip to upstate, NY. But, the trip got cancelled. I might have another trip to upstate NY this summer or fall...if so, then I'm going for sure.
 
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