Poor and Insulting Service at LI Drum Center

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KdeBruin

Junior Member
June 17, 2011

Long Island Drum Center
1460 Old Country Road
Plainview, NY 11803

Dear anyone considering patronizing Long Island Drum Center,

Today I walked into Long Island Drum Center with the intention of purchasing a few pairs of drumsticks. I quickly picked out three pairs of Vater 7A Sugar Maple drumsticks and approached the counter where the register was located. These sticks were exactly what I was looking for.

There was no staff near the front of the store when I was ready to purchase the sticks, I spotted one employee helping a customer look at stuff in the rear part of the store and it seemed Dennis Ricci was ushering a young student and his mother to the rear for lessons. I waited until I saw Dennis Ricci walking towards the counter area from the rear half of the store. When he came nearer to me I placed the drumsticks on the counter, We made eye contact and greeted eachother.

Dennis Ricci walks behind the counter towards me and asks me if that's all I'm purchasing. I reply, 'yea that's it,' with my wallet in my hand. He's still standing about three casual steps away from the register and is not showing me any sort of body language that he intends to ring me up and let me pay for the drumsticks.

Looking around, not at me, he moseys two steps over to his left, then moseys back to his right to the other side of their U shaped counter, looks at some stuff on his counter, passes some paper or a book to an employee who I didn't spot before and gives him some instruction, checks out the stack of paper a couple seconds longer... THEN he decided he was ready to begin processing our transaction, he tells me $18 for the sticks. I pull out my card; I only had ten bucks in my wallet. Dennis Ricci refuses my card, informs me of their $25 dollar minimum for card purchases and he turns his head and his body away from me. I'm livid, standing at the counter, being ignored, considering persuading/arguing with Dennis Ricci about why it would in fact be in his best interest to sell me these three pairs drumsticks using my card... but it didn't take me long to decide I'm not forking over any of my money to this place ever again because I was just treated like garbage. "Okay!" and I walked out of there, but I was livid. What a waste of my time, gasoline, and restraint.

Was Dennis Ricci hoping I'd buy another pair of sticks to meet his minimum(a pretty steep minimum too, considering I usually only encounter these policies at non-chain convenience stores and slummy delis, yea it's low class too)? Or did he just want me to shew if I couldn't produce cash? Dennis Ricci seemed absolutely uninterested in my measely $18 purchase from the very start. To recieve this kind attitude and disservice from an owner of the store is really sad and shows a complete lack of understanding of customer service.

Visa allows their merchants to place a $10 minimum on purchases at most(they state they have to, I guess that's the government's fault), making LI Drums center's policy in violation with their contract as a Visa merchant. Credit card usage fees are paid to the credit card companies by merchants(LI Drum Center), as an individual card user I do not DIRECTLY pay these fees. It's the business's job to work those fees into their overall price structure, just like they do for taxes, rent and utilities.

I've bought drums, cymbals, the big Roland drum amp, lots of hardware, loads of sticks and heads from this store over the years(This adds up to thousands of dollars, you all know that). Today I only wanted three pairs of sticks, unfortunately for me this wasn't enough money for Long Island Drum Center to be bothered with. I'll never spend another dollar there.

Sincerely,

Kenneth de Bruin
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
Having to endure rude service is never pleasant; however, it seems to be becoming the norm rather than the exception. The idea of "The customer is always right," is fading into the sunset. Do what you gotta do.

But... in the big picture of life, it was not that bad. No one shot at you; no one took away your food or water or shelter.

I hate being treated badly in a place of business, and there are some establishments that I will not go to, for example the local Burger King. But we get to play drums, which is just about the coolest thing there is. Peace and goodwill.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
If it was a Visa card I would report his business to Visa. His contract with them will most likely say that under their agreement he is not allowed to have or set a minimum sale. He pays no more for that transaction than any other. Visa's fee is based on either his days, weeks, or monthly transaction. But make sure as I don't wish to cause you more frustration.

From Visa Site
Check with your acquirer regarding the minimum purchase amount that you are allowed to charge . U .S . merchants may establish a minimum purchase amount on credit card transactions . The minimum purchase ]amount must not exceed $10, must not differentiate between card issuers or card brand, and does not apply to transactions made with a debit card

Here is the link if you would like to print it and take it to the store

http://usa.visa.com/download/merchants/card-acceptance-guidelines-for-visa-merchants.pdf
 
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mrmike

Silver Member
Very poor business practice. Even when enforcing a policy it's always in the best interest of everyone to make the customer feel as comfortable as possible. It may have been only $18 but how much more would you spend in the years to come?
 

TTNW

Pioneer Member
Gee, you received rude customer service in a store in New York. No big surprise there.

I wouldn't bother pursuing it. Just don't give him any more of your business.

I remember a long time ago when I lived in New York, I went downtown to get some gear from B+H Photo. They used to have a long standing policy that all counter clerks were to start a stopwatch when they start talking to a customer and if the customer did not buy something within two minutes, they were to walk away and help another customer.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
So that 900.00 camera I'm asking about shouls only take 2 minutes.
 

TTNW

Pioneer Member
haha I don't know if it's still their policy and I've never had a problem with them over the phone but most of those discount retailers want you to know exactly what you want and get right down to it and buy it. No chit chat.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I emailed the store and sent them a copy of the Visa policy and got a reply saying, Thank you for that info. Cant tell of course if there was any sarchasm in the reply.
 

dantheman

Member
This is so sad to hear. One might expect that from a young kid working at a guitar center, but not from a drum sprcialty shop. I guess I have been spoiled by living by and dealing with Dales Drum shop in harrisburg PA. The treat you with the same professionalism and respect weather you are buying a DW drum set or a single copy of Modern drummer magazine! I have seen them pull a set doewn from a 2nd or 3rd tier shelf just so a customer can look at it up close & play it if they want to. The staff there are all drummers and dale is a former drum tech for THE Buddy Rich. If you ever need drum gear, I will tell you it is worth the trip!
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
If you bought those three pairs of sticks in an Oz shop you'd be paying around $70 - no drama with credit card limits :)

I'd happily to cop plenty of bad attitude if for a charge of $6 for a pair of sticks!
 
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Bernhard

Founder Drummerworld
Staff member
The treat you with the same professionalism and respect weather you are buying a DW drum set or a single copy of Modern drummer magazine!

This is quite obvious: The DW-Drums buyer is not buying a set every week, but from time to time some sticks or a MD Magazine. So why not treat a stickbuyer as a gentleman?

Bernhard
 

aydee

Platinum Member
...

If a sale isnt in the personal and direct interest of a salesman, comission-wise or company benifit-wise, chances are that people will be indifferent and lazy.

Thats a fact of life in any business.

For a company to enforce corporate etiquette and good manners 24X7 is impossible and went out in the 80s I think.

Online is going to take over everthing. In the meanwhile we have to suffer the fools.

...
 

BillBachman

Gold Member
The thing I love about stores like Fork's Drum Closet here in Nashville is that everybody's friendly, knowledgeable and they serve their customers well. Columbus Percussion in OH is another great drumshop in the same way.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
...

If a sale isnt in the personal and direct interest of a salesman, comission-wise or company benifit-wise, chances are that people will be indifferent and lazy.

And of course that will vary from person to person. I don't know who Dennis Ricci is that was mentioned in the original post, but if he's an owner or partner, it is incumbent upon him to have an interest in every sale from a felt washer to a set of timpani. If he's just an employee, then I guess his indifference is explained, somewhat.

For a company to enforce corporate etiquette and good manners 24X7 is impossible and went out in the 80s I think.

Online is going to take over everthing. In the meanwhile we have to suffer the fools.

But as mentioned, Fork's is top notch. Pro Drum, Donn Bennett's, Bentley's, Dale's, Explorer's, Drum Circuit, Drum Pad, Atlanta Pro, Tommy's, etc etc etc. are all top notch, all the time. They will outlast the shops who make the mistake of giving poor customer service. That's an important reason why these shops continue to exist and do fairly well in the face of the online merchants. It's the personal touch that both beginners and pros recognize and appreciate. Indeed, the internet has probably helped some of those shops become a welcome alternative to going online.

But you're right, suffering the fools won't last too long. It's people like that who, if allowed to continue to work in the independent stores, will gradually put them out of business.

BTW, I've never been to LIDC, but I'll still go there some day just to see what it's about. And if they happen to have an amazing snare or cymbal, I'll make sure not to give the sale to Dennis Ricci!

Bermuda
 

Dunnett

Classic Drumsmith
I just did an in-store tour of 2 of the finest shops I've ever set foot in - Fork's Drum Closet and Memphis Drum Shop. In contrast to your experience with Long Island Drum Center, Gary and the crew at Fork's and Ji and his crew at MDS are just...amazing. And dedicated to their customers - something you can tell the minute you walk in the door.

LIDC must be doing exceptionally well in this economy when any other shop would welcome your business and treat you with the respect you deserve.

Enjoy these video clips!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXKuooOF5OU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtogYe6K4BE&feature=related
 

aydee

Platinum Member
And of course that will vary from person to person. I don't know who Dennis Ricci is that was mentioned in the original post, but if he's an owner or partner, it is incumbent upon him to have an interest in every sale from a felt washer to a set of timpani. If he's just an employee, then I guess his indifference is explained, somewhat.



But as mentioned, Fork's is top notch. Pro Drum, Donn Bennett's, Bentley's, Dale's, Explorer's, Drum Circuit, Drum Pad, Atlanta Pro, Tommy's, etc etc etc. are all top notch, all the time. They will outlast the shops who make the mistake of giving poor customer service. That's an important reason why these shops continue to exist and do fairly well in the face of the online merchants. It's the personal touch that both beginners and pros recognize and appreciate. Indeed, the internet has probably helped some of those shops become a welcome alternative to going online.

But you're right, suffering the fools won't last too long. It's people like that who, if allowed to continue to work in the independent stores, will gradually put them out of business.

BTW, I've never been to LIDC, but I'll still go there some day just to see what it's about. And if they happen to have an amazing snare or cymbal, I'll make sure not to give the sale to Dennis Ricci!

Bermuda

Jon, I guess, as an exception, some retailers do manage to create a heathly and friendly atmosphere which is then imbibed by all salespeople regardless of comissions.

I havent been to Forks but have had very postive experiences at Washington Music Center, and at Sam Ash and Manny's of old. I've been on the phone many times with LIDC sales reps about info on gear and I must say that the guy on the other end of the line has always been courteous, well informed, and knows what hes talking about...

...dont sound like I ever spoke to RIcci, it seems?

..
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Anyone note that the OP has just "one" post here ... I'm just sayin'​
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Yeah, if Drum City isn't any good then we'll go to Billy Hyde's and, if that's no good, then Allen's Music. That'll teach 'em!

We have tons of choice here ;)

But doesn't... isn't... aren't they all....

heh heh
 
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