Disappointed with Pearl Roadshow but it all turned out ok!

roncadillac

Member
Ron this has been hard to watch.


I'm a big fan of being a squeaky wheel.

At this point I would consolidate all your thoughts and your original order documentation into an email with the following people involved:

chuck_surack@sweetwater.com [chuck_surack@sweetwater.com]
Ryan Thorpe <ryan_thorpe@sweetwater.com>

And whatever customer service email you may have uncovered in your request - toss a high importance flag on there and cite this page as your guide:


If we determine the unit failed under warranty within 30 days of purchase, we will cover shipping costs within the US to replace the unit for you.

All you'll be asking for is either a like kind exchange (if you wanted to try another version of that kit...which I'm not sure I would) or a refund - which they should be able to process no problem.

While I doubt that Chuck or Ryan check those emails often - the person that does might be scared enough to see who is on the list that they can take action.

My final piece of advise is the same I remind myself of anytime I have issues like this : It's not a matter of IF it will get taken care of, but when. So just take a moment and relax and you'll get this straightened out.

I, like many, am surprised at Pearl's QC on this unit and REALLY surprised at the length of time Sweetwater has taken to respond...usually they've been super quick for me.

This is very helpful, thank you!
 

roncadillac

Member
Sent this message to Chuck and Ryan at sweetwater, hoping for the best:

"Hello,

My name is Ian [Last Name]. I took receipt of a Pearl Roadshow 4pc drum set from order L299390052 this past Sunday 2/21. Immediately upon inspecting the contents I noticed a number of quality control issues with this product and can say with certainty that these are factory defects as the box was not damaged in any way and the issues are not isolated to one component and/or area. I do not have the box any more as I disposed of it when I unpacked the kit (there was no damage so I had no need to keep it). I have been playing drums for 20 years and have owned over 15 kits in that time I know what to look for when it comes to quality and build issues.

The issues include:
-10" tom rim cracked
-several tuning lugs drilled crooked and/or off center
-bass drum shell out of round
-loose wobbly tom and cymbal holders
-splintered holes around mounting brackets
-floor tom ply separation/gaps in wood plys

To make a long story short and catch you up to speed I did reach out to Pearl and they refused to do anything about it with Joey in their customer service department telling me "we can't do anything about that here, just call sweetwater and they'll replace it". I spoke to my sweetwater sales engineer Ryan Springer after I sent him an email with pictures who put in a ticket for me, told me there shouldn't be a problem returning it even though I don't have the box, and told me to follow up with your claims department for a return or replacement. I have been calling all day, I spoke to Amanda several times who transfers me to technical support where I just sit on hold. I sat through both of my 15 minute breaks and my entire 30 minute lunch break today. I put in several call back requests and I'm getting nowhere.

I have a lengthy thread going in the drummerworld forum (https://www.drummerworld.com/forums/index.php?threads/disappointed-with-pearl-roadshow.174320/) where several people have been giving me help and advice on this. The one constant: everyone has faith in sweetwater taking care of this issue yet I can't even get someone to answer the phone (besides poor Amanda, she's probably tired of me by now).

At this point I don't even want a replacement, I don't appreciate the dismissive handling on Pearl's part and no longer want to support them. I want to send the kit back for a refund under your return policy ( https://www.sweetwater.com/help/returns-exchanges.php : If we determine the unit failed under warranty within 30 days of purchase, we will cover shipping costs within the US to replace the unit for you). Please advise as to how I can do so without a box. If you want to ship me a box and a prepaid shipping label I would be happy to pack it up and send it back.

I have every intention of giving you the return business, for a different company's product other then Pearl, if this situation is handled appropriately. I have included some pictures for continuity.

I appreciate your time and sincerely hope we can come to a positive resolution. If you prefer you can call me directly at [my phone number], I work during the day so feel free to leave a message and I will return your call asap.

Thank you,
Ian"
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Well... I'll be damned. Chuck from Sweetwater emailed me back literally in minutes to apologize and let me know I will be hearing from their Director of Customer Service tomorrow. I thanked him for his time and prompt attention of course and look forward to speaking to them tomorrow.
Well, good deal!
 

Sakae2xBopster

Well-known member
I concur with the earlier poster who said this has been a difficult thread to read. I'm glad you get to talk to a real person tomorrow who can actually do something. Also, I think Chuck should have a word with Amanda. She should have channeled you to the front of the queue IMO. My experiences at Sweetwater have been consistently good. I know they had severe weather issues, but that was last week. Anyway, tomorrow's a new day. Wishing you good luck--you're overdue for it!

This thread has got me thinking about the economics of $400 drum sets. As the proud owner of Sonor's rock bottom of the line kit from 5 years ago, I've really enjoyed playing it. The lugs line up on this kit, even if the rims are on the thin side! But how do these companies do it, seriously???

There are a lot of steps and each costs money. They buy all the components for a 4 piece kit--the wood plies, glue, metal, the wrap, heads, snare wires, etc. They put all of them together over in Asia, and then spend money on packing materials. Then the kit sails all the way across the Pacific where someone at Long Beach has to unload it. There might be tariffs taken out on arrival, I dunno. Then it gets put on a train to Fort Wayne where, again, someone unpacks it, puts the candy in, then repacks it. More packing materials to buy. Then the middle man pays for free delivery all the way down to Florida. All told, a 12,000 mile trip for a box of drums. How on earth does Pearl, or SW, or DCP or anyone make any money on a $400 kit? It seems impossible. I sure hope it's a machine putting those lugs in over at the factory, and not a 12-year-old kid.
 

roncadillac

Member
I concur with the earlier poster who said this has been a difficult thread to read. I'm glad you get to talk to a real person tomorrow who can actually do something. Also, I think Chuck should have a word with Amanda. She should have channeled you to the front of the queue IMO. My experiences at Sweetwater have been consistently good. I know they had severe weather issues, but that was last week. Anyway, tomorrow's a new day. Wishing you good luck--you're overdue for it!

This thread has got me thinking about the economics of $400 drum sets. As the proud owner of Sonor's rock bottom of the line kit from 5 years ago, I've really enjoyed playing it. The lugs line up on this kit, even if the rims are on the thin side! But how do these companies do it, seriously???

There are a lot of steps and each costs money. They buy all the components for a 4 piece kit--the wood plies, glue, metal, the wrap, heads, snare wires, etc. They put all of them together over in Asia, and then spend money on packing materials. Then the kit sails all the way across the Pacific where someone at Long Beach has to unload it. There might be tariffs taken out on arrival, I dunno. Then it gets put on a train to Fort Wayne where, again, someone unpacks it, puts the candy in, then repacks it. More packing materials to buy. Then the middle man pays for free delivery all the way down to Florida. All told, a 12,000 mile trip for a box of drums. How on earth does Pearl, or SW, or DCP or anyone make any money on a $400 kit? It seems impossible. I sure hope it's a machine putting those lugs in over at the factory, and not a 12-year-old kid.

I've thought this many times myself
 

wraub

Well-known member
Glad the momentum seems to be going forward this time... hoping for the best.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
How on earth does Pearl, or SW, or DCP or anyone make any money on a $400 kit? It seems impossible. I sure hope it's a machine putting those lugs in over at the factory, and not a 12-year-old kid.
When you build in mass, costs are cut substantially. When you build in mass, time is also a consideration. More things are going to get through than if made by hand in a custom shop.
 

roncadillac

Member
When you build in mass, costs are cut substantially. When you build in mass, time is also a consideration. More things are going to get through than if made by hand in a custom shop.

And the really sad part is it's usually cheaper and easier for a company to just say "sorry about that, we'll send you another one" then it is to implement any sort of proper QC process.

I've worked on several manufacturing lines, I almost guarantee their preventative quality measures goes something like this:

Employee puts their initials on a monthly spreadsheet indicating "shell lug drill #3" was within their acceptable tolerances.

As opposed to any sort of 'hands on' check.
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
Well... I'll be damned. Chuck from Sweetwater emailed me back literally in minutes to apologize and let me know I will be hearing from their Director of Customer Service tomorrow. I thanked him for his time and prompt attention of course and look forward to speaking to them tomorrow.

BOOOOOOOOM.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
And the really sad part is it's usually cheaper and easier for a company to just say "sorry about that, we'll send you another one" then it is to implement any sort of proper QC process.

I've worked on several manufacturing lines, I almost guarantee their preventative quality measures goes something like this:

Employee puts their initials on a monthly spreadsheet indicating "shell lug drill #3" was within their acceptable tolerances.

As opposed to any sort of 'hands on' check.

And I suspect, though I do not approve, that they implement more stringent QC measures for upper-level kits than they do for the Roadshow. Most Roadshow buyers know little to nothing about drumming. They're happy to unbox drums and start banging away at them. Terms such as "bearing edge" and "out of round" are foreign to them, so flaws will escape most newcomers. Still, a bargain kit shouldn't be a broken kit. If cutting corners is the only way to keep a series profitable, it should be discontinued in my opinion.

The preceding rebuke notwithstanding, I have reinspected my seven-year-old son's Roadshow Junior set and am pleased to report its sustained structural integrity. All parts and components function without glitches, and the shells are without deformity. Again, I'm not sure what befell in your case, Ian, but Murphy's Law seems to have imposed itself: Everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong.
 
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GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Wow turns out DW is Superman-we used the Phone booth posted in another thread. X-ray vision, superhuman strength, check, check. saved the day!! This is a great thread-lot of suspense I thought you were going to have to eat it.
 

roncadillac

Member
*big update*

Ok, as I mentioned last night I sent an email to Chuck (and a few others) from Sweetwater. He responded in less then 5 minutes and about 10 minutes later I got a call from 'Justin', their director of customer service. Super nice guy, not in a cheesey corporate customer service voice 'nice'... He genuinely was a down to earth cool guy.

To sum it up:
They are sending me boxes to ship the kit back and they already sent me a prepaid shipping label for the return. They took the information I gave, the pictures I provided, and our ongoing conversation here and are putting together a report for Pearl. While they understand QC issues can slip through the cracks they are not pleased at the multitude of issues with one kit as well as Pearl's dismissive handling. They also acknowledged areas for improvement in their internal handling (making me call back, repeated lengthy holds, etc). We discussed which kit I would like to get in it's place, that kit is unfortunately on back order until April. So, I'm sending the pearl roadshow back, getting a refund for it, was put on the wait-list for the other kit, and will buy that once it comes in.

In the meantime... I'm going to get over my 'mood' about the cocktail jam and beat it like it owes me money lol.
 
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Al Strange

Well-known member
I did this to myself and if I just kept the damn midtown I never even would have gone through this mess.
This debacle was none of your doing mate. I’m sorry you’ve had this experience but happy to hear that Sweetwater finally came through for you; ultimately they sold you a defective product and should themselves take it up separately with Pearl. As for Pearl, I can’t believe they didn’t apologise to you directly...shocking. :mad: Keep smashing it mate! (y) :)
 

graysonator

Well-known member
*big update*

Ok, as I mentioned last night I sent an email to Chuck (and a few others) from Sweetwater. He responded in less then 5 minutes and about 10 minutes later I got a call from 'Justin', their director of customer service. Super nice guy, not in a cheesey corporate customer service voice 'nice'... He genuinely was a down to earth cool guy.

To sum it up:
They are sending me boxes to ship the kit back and they already sent me a prepaid shipping label for the return. They took the information I gave, the pictures I provided, and our ongoing conversation here and are putting together a report for Pearl. While they understand QC issues can slip through the cracks they are not pleased at the multitude of issues with one kit as well as Pearl's dismissive handling. They also acknowledged areas for improvement in their internal handling (making me call back, repeated lengthy holds, etc). We discussed which kit I would like to get in it's place, that kit is unfortunately on back order until April. So, I'm sending the pearl roadshow back, getting a refund for it, was put on the wait-list for the other kit, and will buy that once it comes in.

In the meantime... I'm going to get over my 'mood' about the cocktail jam and beat it like it owes me money lol.
Glad to see things are getting better, my friend. I'm curious what kit did you order? Another Midtown?
 

Frank

Gold Member
I'm late to this.

I'm very surprised by it all.

First of all, I own two different Roadshow kits, and I gig with them. I continue to believe they are an outstanding value. With good heads, they sound great. I had no defects upon on arrival for either of the kits.

I Did have a bass drum develop a crack - a few years after purchase, but that was after lots of beating. And, a few years later, Pearl shipped me a replacement bass drum.

Th way joe random at Pearl responded to you was unfortunate and surprising. I have reached out to Pearl support several times in my life, and I have had great experiences.

While that rep didn't do a great job explaining it all to you, the fact is - they definitely had your back, and if you had failed with your retailer, they Definitely would have taken care of it. They were just putting you through the process, without doing a stellar job explaining it. Which is - right after purchase, they expect the dealer to manage it. After that, they Will take care of you. Even with a low end Roadshow kit.

Glad to hear Sweetwater is taking care of you.

If you ever have a next time with Pearl support, write to them, don't call joe random. When it is sent via writing, it is put in a public ticket that is seen by many, and I assure you, the support that comes with it is stellar.

50 demerits for joe "doesntcare" random at Pearl. But, it really is a good kit at a great price. You got a lemon.
 
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