Good and bad customer service.

ncc

Silver Member
After reading a (rather unjust) thread about bad products, companies, and customer service, I was curious to see what other people have experienced - both good and bad - over the past few years from the big retailers and manufactures they contacted because of an issue, for information or to buy parts.

Ill start with only the customer service from companies that I've had first hand experience with that had to deal with any issues.

Sonor Germany: Excellent and fast to respond. Replacement parts sent withing a few days of initial email. Very responsive to any and all questions about new and old parts.

Horner (Sonor USA): Mediocre. It seems that they will only react if contacted by Sonor in Germany or pressured by a dealer.

Guitar Center: Excellent if you can find the right person to talk to. Just calling or emailing does not really work too well. You need to dig a bit but in the end they will take care of you.

Sam Ash: Excellent. After contacting them, someone from a higher level will follow up with you within a few weeks and will go 'the extra mile' for you to make sure you are satisfied.

AXIS: Excellent. Some people said they are slow but i never saw that. I have got replacement parts as well as information from then in a very acceptably time frame.

Aquarian: I never had any issues with Aquarian but have contacted them on several occasions and they are immediate to respond.

Humes an Berg: Great products, terrible customer service. It took me 3 emails and several phone calls to finally get through to them. I have a 16" Enduro floor tom case that over the years the glue dried on on and the foam got ripped up. I simply wanted to *buy* replacement foam. When I finally got through to them, it took 2 more phone calls over the next few weeks for them to tell me they would not sell me replacement foam unless I shipped the case back to them and they installed it, and i would have to pay for the foam, shipping both ways and their labor. Understandable, but the total cost would be more than buying a new one off amazon! What was not acceptable was that it took them almost 2 months before they could tell me that.

D'Addario: Excellent. Promark division replaced sticks for me without question, Puresound responded to questions in an acceptable amount of time.
 

EssKayKay

Senior Member
YAMAHA (USA): Excellent -- I had a problem with a PCY135 eCymbal originally purchased from Guitar Center. I sent an email to GC explaining the problem. GC told me it was still under warranty with Yamaha so I forwarded the same email to Yammie. I heard nothing back from them but about a week later a new PCY135 showed up at my door. Thank you Yamaha.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
you consider someone getting back to you in a few weeks is excellent customer service ?

ok

I personally don't think anyone should ever spend a cent of their hard earned money at Guitar Center or Sam ash .....ever!!!.... horrible service with little to no knowledge of the product .... absolutely terrible generic item selection

there are actual drum shops in almost every city in this country with people who live and breathe the product and we need to support them

these monster chains trap you with convenience and offer you subpar service and subpar product

if at all possible I urge all of you to drive the extra few miles to the drum shop and give them your business instead of these monsters who offer crap and know nothing about the crap they offer
 

ncc

Silver Member
you consider someone getting back to you in a few weeks is excellent customer service ?

my bad for the wording. yes, if i can get a problem *resolved* in a few weeks I'm happy.

I can only relate to my own experiences. I usually do a lot of research on what I want to buy way before I buy anything, as there are so many choices these days; so I'm not depending on the guys in any store to know much of anything. :) As to where to buy, I was not advocating buying from either Sam Ash or GC, just what my experiences were when I had a problem with something purchased there. If I can get what I want locally from an independent (by local I mean within an hour drive) for a reasonable price and I don't have to wait several weeks for them to place an order, I'm all over that. But then those stores 'customer service' dept are always good and more personable as they are the same folks you buy from, not an 800 number or email address.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
GC: Is very hit and miss, depending on who it is.

Sam Ash: Never had a good experience at the Sam Ash in the valley. It's like the music store time and all their employees forgot. The Hollywood location is much more on top of things.

Aquarian, Yamaha, Pearl, Evans since D'Addario bought them, Sabian, Zildjian and KMS have generally always had great service.

Tama service is rough. Sonar is next to non-existent.
Roland used to be horrible, and I assume still is.

The absolute worse service was from Gretsch before KMS took over. Lost orders, misplaced orders, shipping the wrong items, canceling orders. It's a wonder they never went out of business.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
It blows me away how many problems people have with their equipment. I never have these stick or head problems where I feel that I need to contact a customer service to replace sticks or heads. I've Never had to contact a customer service period. Maybe I'm just too easily pleased.
 

thunderstruck

Silver Member
On November 1, 2014 I was doing my annual tear down and cleaning of my drum kit, A Gretsch Catalina Maple. While reinstalling one of the lugs on my 14" floor tom, the screw broke off in the lug. I think I may have started it crooked, it snapped and I was unable to remove the broken part of the screw from the lug casing. After searching for a couple days, and not being able to find the correct size "mini" lug, I contacted Gretsch customer service via e-mail and requested the part number for the "mini" lug so I could possibly find it online or special order it from a retail music/drum shop. The Gretsch Representative e-mailed me back and requested the type and age of my drum kit. After I e-mailed the information, the Gretsch Representative supplied the correct part number for the lug casing and also wanted my mailing address so a new lug casing could be sent to me.

Saturday - November 8, 2014 I recieved 5 complete lug assemblies in the mail. I in no way expected Gretsch to replace the lug assembly, let alone send extras and at no charge. This is customer service at its finest and I am very impressed by, and thankful, to this Gretsch Customer Service Representive for going the extra mile for a customer.
 

Blisco

Senior Member
I tend to shop locally or online for certain things.

My most recent purchase at Stage Drop.com was excellent. Although the wrong size riser section was sent, fast follow-up, a return auth and the correct part was sent within a week. Allowing for shipping times, this was excellent from a dot com.

I also find that choosing sellers on ebay, for instance, it's important to read the feedback and send a message. That usually gives you a clue to how the transaction will go.

The best relationship is by far the local store. Spend money with them and get to know them by name and they will take care of you.
 

steadypocket

Gold Member
It blows me away how many problems people have with their equipment. I never have these stick or head problems where I feel that I need to contact a customer service to replace sticks or heads. I've Never had to contact a customer service period. Maybe I'm just too easily pleased.

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. I've bought tons of gear over the past two years and only had to deal with two companies' customer service departments: Pearl and Ludwig. Pearl's customer service was just extraordinary. Ludwig eventually got things right. Was a challenge to locate customer service for them. Dealer wasn't much help. Can't imagine ever contacting anyone for a pair of sticks!
 

ncc

Silver Member
It great to see the good and bad here! I just wanted to point out a few things. You don't necessarily contact a customer service department just to complain. You may need parts, help, service, advice, etc. You also may want to let them know something is wrong. For instance, regarding sticks, I have used ProMark for almost 40 years, and always buy them by the (now six pair) box. I would break, on average, one stick in a 7 or 8 gig period. After opening a new package, I broke 4 sticks in 2 rehearsals and I knew there was a quality issue, so I contacted them. I was not looking for 'freebes', however they said they recognized this could be an issue and wanted to replace them. (The replacements, by the way, are not breaking.) As for heads, I contacted Aquarian for help and a suggestion for a particular situation. I doubt if anyone would ever call if they break a head, however I could see contacting a head company if the head separated from the ring.

Bottom line is that there are always cases where you need to interact with any large company's customer service department. The intent of my post was not to promote where or what to buy, but just to hear experiences of others had with those major companies, with the hope that some expectations on customer service - good or bad - would be set for others buying from those companies.
 

Starship Krupa

Senior Member
there are actual drum shops in almost every city in this country with people who live and breathe the product and we need to support them

What country is this to which you refer?

I live in the United States, specifically Northern California, and within 45 minutes' drive from me are San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and Sacramento.

San Jose is the 10th most-populous city in the country, San Francisco 14th, Sacramento is the state capitol of California (about half a million people), and Oakland is no slouch, with about 400,000 residents.

I will be visiting my mother and her husband in the 8th-largest city in the United States, San Diego, next month. Would love to do some drum shop crawling.

However, there has not been an "actual drum shop" in any of these places for at least a year.

Even leaving out San Francisco, these cities' music communities spawned Metallica, Tower of Power, Sheila E., Stone Temple Pilots, the Deftones, Tesla, The Doobie Bros., Smash Mouth, Louis XIV, and so many more.

But not a drum shop in the lot.

Just a heads-up, and it emphasizes your point, which succinctly, was, I believe, use 'em or lose 'em.

If you value the presence of a dedicated drum shop in your area, patronize them and encourage others to do so.

I make do with Starving Musician in Berkeley, which is managed by a drummer, but is a small full-line store with a small drum department, and Guitar Center, who, fortunately, have friendly, if not encyclopedically knowledgeable, employees in my area.

It's okay, but I would love to be able to visit a "real" drum shop. I went to Sam Adato's just before he packed up for Oregon, and I made a big detour to just drive past Professional Drum Shop in Hollywood.

Maybe next time I go to NAMM I'll detour to Fresno and visit Bentley's.

Re: customer service, I was restoring an old DW5000 pedal, and while DW suggested it might be time to retire it, they also sent me the old obsolete part I needed for free.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
I purchased a cymbal off a gentleman on Ebay a few months back. I always buy from Ebay, second hand, because I find it a far cheaper, and just as reliable, place to shop than my local drum store.

Furthermore, when I needed to replace some gear for my Sonor, the guys are my local shop were quite proud not to support Sonor for some bizarre reason so "ce la vie", off I went.

Anyhow, I digress.

It turned out that I was visiting an area local to the seller a couple of weeks after purchase and happened to mention this to him. So we agreed to meet up in the grounds of the hotel I was staying at. I had discussed with him that I thought I'd like the cymbal, but that it's always a risk buying online.

He brought the cymbal. A small stand. And stick. Let me pfaff about for 10 minutes before he'd take the money off me.

Needless to say I left positive feedback
 

Super Phil

Senior Member
I got really good customer service from SKB. They replaced a 10 year old clip that broke on one of my cases free of charge.
I don't mind going to Guitar Center...sometimes it's a necessity on the road. The guy that runs the drum section in the GC closest to me knows more about drums than i do, and he hooks me up best he can whenever i go in. Their sticks and heads are no different than what they have at a local shop, lol
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
It blows me away how many problems people have with their equipment. I never have these stick or head problems where I feel that I need to contact a customer service to replace sticks or heads. I've Never had to contact a customer service period. Maybe I'm just too easily pleased.

To be clear, I used to work in several drum/music shops, and spend some time as a roadie.

My numerous customer service experiences are often in regard to OTHER people's equipment, not just my own gear.
 

drum4fun27302

Gold Member
I supported my local drum shop. They ripped me off on a used hardware bag (a rock bag by Warwick) .sold it to me for $99(+ tax) come to find out , one can buy a new one for 120 ish.
No more supporting them , they can just go down like the other ones.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
I supported my local drum shop. They ripped me off on a used hardware bag (a rock bag by Warwick) .sold it to me for $99(+ tax) come to find out , one can buy a new one for 120 ish.
No more supporting them , they can just go down like the other ones.

no offense intended ... but that is on you for being uneducated

they are just charging what they charge ... YOU bought it

know what you are buying and you won't get "ripped off "

I could all but guarantee you that if you said I'll give you $80 he would have taken it ... try that at GC or Sam Ash
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
I've written and called Yamaha several times.
Not for problems, but with questions.
Last time I was given bad information, but received both an email and a telephone call within a couple hours correcting that information.
An updated web site with more info could have saved us both time though.

About chain and mom/pop stores.
I've gotten both good and not so good deals. But the only time I was actually lied to and ripped off, it was from a mom and pop store.
 

drum4fun27302

Gold Member
no offense intended ... but that is on you for being uneducated

they are just charging what they charge ... YOU bought it

know what you are buying and you won't get "ripped off "

I could all but guarantee you that if you said I'll give you $80 he would have taken it ... try that at GC or Sam Ash

Not really. The way I run my business, I offer a very fair price for my services. Always. I support the businesses who do the same. Percussion 2112 or whatever their name is doesn't , so I do not support them , simple as that.
And I do plenty of dealing at GC with sticks and heads (only things I buy new)
 
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