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Bad situation - opinions please
Old 24th June 2005
  #1
Lives for gear
 
StuartMac's Avatar
 

Bad situation - opinions please

I'm in a crappy situation right now and I just want to gauge opinion a little. Without naming any names / products at this stage here's the scenario:

I recently bought a high-price piece of kit which straight out the box was faulty. Part of it just plain didn't work and I identified it immediately and told the dealer. The unit also had some loose screws when I took it out the box (as in, hanging out of the screw-holes).

The dealer agreed it should be replaced and tried to get one from the distributor to do so - who refused to supply one. Instead they offered to send me the replacement part to do the repair myself. When I said this was unacceptable they completely refused to supply a new unit and insisted they would only repair the one I had - remember it was faulty right out the box. They also explained that they don't carry any stock anyway, despite being the distributor.

I then wrote to the manufacturer to explain the situation - also explaining that to send the unit back for repair would mean closing the studio whilst I waited for my unit back (whilst I could get by with it in its current state it is central to the studio) all the time losing the studio money. As far as I was concerned I should have a new unit sent out without question, or at least a suitable replacement or loan unit for the time being.

The response from the manufacturer was that all his dealers should have spare units to send out and that it was up to the dealer to sort out - and that his distributor was in no way to blame. This surprises me, considering even his DISTRIBUTOR - which is also a dealer - does not carry any spare stock!! He kept saying the dealer should provide me with another unit, even though I repeatedly asked him where they were meant to get another unit from, since the distributor refused to supply them with one!

Finally, I was told that the best the distributor was willing to offer was to repair the new unit, but that they'd turn it around in a day so I wouldn't be shut for too long. They called me the day the unit got to them - and asked what the problem was, despite previous LENGTHY discussions on the matter. They then said they'd need to order the spare part (couldn't this have been done in advance??) and that I'd get the unit back at the end of next week.

In other words, instead of being closed for three days, I'm looking at two weeks, which will cost the studio over £2000, with the possibilty of losing an album project I was due to start in July.

I just want some objectivity from you guys; am I being totally unreasonable in expecting a new unit and better service?
Old 24th June 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Dangerous Dave's Avatar
 

Hi Stuart

I feel for you bro, not a good situation and for what it's worth you should have a new box, no question.

As you know we are in the middle of a build which won't be finished for a while and I have a load of high end gear in storage, so in true gearslutz style I'll help out if I can.

PM me your requirements and if I have something you can use I'll bring it up (I am in Northumberland)

Lemmee know if I can help..

Cheers mate

Peace

DD
Old 24th June 2005
  #3
Lives for gear
 
AlphaDingo's Avatar
 

Call your lawyer. Defective unit, lost wages, under warrenty I assume. Sometimes just a letter from a lawyer works wonders. Letters are pretty cheap too. Once you get it resolved you may want to let everyone know who it is so others may avoid them.
Old 24th June 2005
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartMac
I'm in a crappy situation right now and I just want to gauge opinion a little. Without naming any names / products at this stage here's the scenario:

I recently bought a high-price piece of kit which straight out the box was faulty. Part of it just plain didn't work and I identified it immediately and told the dealer. The unit also had some loose screws when I took it out the box (as in, hanging out of the screw-holes).

The dealer agreed it should be replaced and tried to get one from the distributor to do so - who refused to supply one. Instead they offered to send me the replacement part to do the repair myself. When I said this was unacceptable they completely refused to supply a new unit and insisted they would only repair the one I had - remember it was faulty right out the box. They also explained that they don't carry any stock anyway, despite being the distributor.

I then wrote to the manufacturer to explain the situation - also explaining that to send the unit back for repair would mean closing the studio whilst I waited for my unit back (whilst I could get by with it in its current state it is central to the studio) all the time losing the studio money. As far as I was concerned I should have a new unit sent out without question, or at least a suitable replacement or loan unit for the time being.

The response from the manufacturer was that all his dealers should have spare units to send out and that it was up to the dealer to sort out - and that his distributor was in no way to blame. This surprises me, considering even his DISTRIBUTOR - which is also a dealer - does not carry any spare stock!! He kept saying the dealer should provide me with another unit, even though I repeatedly asked him where they were meant to get another unit from, since the distributor refused to supply them with one!

Finally, I was told that the best the distributor was willing to offer was to repair the new unit, but that they'd turn it around in a day so I wouldn't be shut for too long. They called me the day the unit got to them - and asked what the problem was, despite previous LENGTHY discussions on the matter. They then said they'd need to order the spare part (couldn't this have been done in advance??) and that I'd get the unit back at the end of next week.

In other words, instead of being closed for three days, I'm looking at two weeks, which will cost the studio over £2000, with the possibilty of losing an album project I was due to start in July.

I just want some objectivity from you guys; am I being totally unreasonable in expecting a new unit and better service?

I'm not exactly sure of the legal position in Scotland, but I am assuming that (in this case) it will be similar if not the same in the UK.

If this is the case then it is for your dealer that is responsible. Sure all of us at times have dealt with the distributor or the manufacturer for speed or OUR convenience, however this doesn't sound like the case here. I would imediately gp back to your dealer and ask for a full refund and purchase a new unit from either another dealer, or another product from another rival manufacturer. It isn't your business to have to sort this out, thats your dealers problem. If the goods had developed a fault after being used for some of the guarantee period it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect you to accept a repair even if it meant you going without a unit for a resonable period of time (again your dealer should help to cover you here), but if the unit is faulty from the word go they have failed to supply you with goods fit for the purpose for which they were designed, therefore you would be entitled to a new unit or a complete refund. If they are unwilling to do this, I would imediately contact their (the dealers) local trading standards dept whom should pay them a visit and have a word in their shell like.

Good luck

Regards



Roland
Old 24th June 2005
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaDingo
Call your lawyer. Defective unit, lost wages, under warrenty I assume. Sometimes just a letter from a lawyer works wonders. Letters are pretty cheap too. Once you get it resolved you may want to let everyone know who it is so others may avoid them.
Yep call the lawyer, I would not play games with my income.

Also I want to repeat the point about just outing the distributor, the manufacturer and the dealer. Sounds like the dealer is trying to help so that is cool but it sounds like they are not doing enough. The manufacturer and the distributor are not doing their part either...

I just don't understand why people shield the manufacturers, dealers and the distributors when crap like this goes on. I know Jules does not like when people flame companies and I agree that it can get out of hand....

but.....

On the other side of the coin if the distributor and manufacturer would have done their part this would not have been an issue right?

I come to Gearslutz to share knowledge with other professionals. Knowing the companies to stay away from is exactly why I am here.
Old 24th June 2005
  #6
Lives for gear
 
StuartMac's Avatar
 

The only problem with that is that the dealers agreed I should have a new unit, but the distributor refused to provide them with one. I know they would give me a refund if I asked for one (they have actually been really helpful and supportive throughout this) but there are no replacement units available anywhere and I actually have no alternative (for various reasons) but to use this item. Sorry to seem all cryptic, but I'm waiting to see what the next move from the manufacturer is. It is them and their distributor who say I'm not entitled to a new unit - the dealer WANTS me to have a new one but can't get supplied with one!
Old 24th June 2005
  #7
You seem caught between some bad voodoo between the dealer & the distributer..
Old 24th June 2005
  #8
Lives for gear
Hi Stuart,

very sorry to hear about your quandry. You are completely correct to expect a brand new unit. I'm not exactly sure of the details of your consumer rights in the U.K. but you should be able to refuse the unit you were offered. You have several options as it seems patience and reasonable expectations have let you down,

1 - out the manufacturer and distributor on Gearslutz, they usually spring into action when they know they are acting out their moves in front of an audience.

2 - refuse the unit, return it and dispute the charge on your credit card. You could then replace it with a funtional unit from another company (if this company has let you down at the first hurdle what will they be like in 5 years?)

3 - Get heavy with a letter from your solicitor

I hope you resolve the situation soon and big props to Dave for his offer of a replacement loaner,

cheers,
Ruairi
Old 24th June 2005
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartMac
The only problem with that is that the dealers agreed I should have a new unit, but the distributor refused to provide them with one. I know they would give me a refund if I asked for one (they have actually been really helpful and supportive throughout this) but there are no replacement units available anywhere and I actually have no alternative (for various reasons) but to use this item. Sorry to seem all cryptic, but I'm waiting to see what the next move from the manufacturer is. It is them and their distributor who say I'm not entitled to a new unit - the dealer WANTS me to have a new one but can't get supplied with one!

Out them then.... I am a strong believer in capitalism but it only works when the customer has a choice and is educated in that choice. The manufacture knows this and so does the distributor. If the word gets out about their poor service the market will catch up with them at some point and that is the name of the game.
Old 24th June 2005
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartMac
The only problem with that is that the dealers agreed I should have a new unit, but the distributor refused to provide them with one. I know they would give me a refund if I asked for one (they have actually been really helpful and supportive throughout this) but there are no replacement units available anywhere and I actually have no alternative (for various reasons) but to use this item. Sorry to seem all cryptic, but I'm waiting to see what the next move from the manufacturer is. It is them and their distributor who say I'm not entitled to a new unit - the dealer WANTS me to have a new one but can't get supplied with one!

Thatws not your problem. Technically your claim is with the dealer, his claim is with the Distributor and their claim is with the manufacturer. Whatever your dealer is telling you I am sure if he gets a unit dumped back on him by a customer the distributor will do something about it. He needs dealers to stay online with him to sell products, as does the manufacturer. Remember they also have comeback against each other all the way up the line. If the unit was supplied recently I'm sure the distributor hasn't been paid for it by the dealer and they in turn probably haven't paid the manufacturer.

Refuse to replace something I haven't paid you for! Yeah, right!

I don't think they have any problem. I suspect the dealer isn't being as upfront with you as they could be over this.

Regards


Roland
Old 24th June 2005
  #11
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I used to work in a music store. The way to resolve this is for someone at the store to get on the phone with the manufacturer and DEMAND that this is taken care of. The best way to accomplish this is to first have a list of everything that has happened so far, with all the names of the people at the distributor and manufacturer to use in their conversation with the highest level of employee that they can get on the phone. Then the seller needs to NOT HANG UP until the issue is resolved in his customer's best interest. I've done it, it does work.

Good Luck!
Old 24th June 2005
  #12
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

the right thing is for the dealer to do *anything* he needs to make this right for you. i deal regularly with mercenary audio, i could not begin to imagine anything like this happening with them.

it's nice that your dealer appears to be siding with you, but i've never been one to confuse effort with results. in the absence of solving this issue, his words are the definition of lip service.

i agree with others, dispute that charge on the credit card, nothing gets people going like the absence of payment. here in the states we have the better business bureau (bbb), and a complaint to them is the last thing any company wants. i've only had to do it once, but it worked like a charm. so keep a record of who you've spoken with, letters you've written, timetable, etc.

always be reasonable and calm, but relentlessly firm. let us know how it goes, and let us know who this is too. word of mouth is the most important thing for a business, and it's not vindictive or petty to share the bad with the good among the community.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 25th June 2005
  #13
Lives for gear
 
orange's Avatar
 

stuart,

what Roland says is correct - your contract is with the dealer - the manufacturer have nothing to do with your transaction at all. Have no further corresponence with the manufacturer because it will only confuse the issue.

Was this bought as a private purchase or by a company ? - on private purchases the goods must be "fit for the purpose intended" and "of merchantable quality" ie not broken. If not then you are elibible for a full refund. How long ago was the purchase made - if it was bought over the internet/phone then you can use the distance selling law - you have about 2 weeks (best check with trading standards) to reject the goods and get a full refund.

First - whatever happens - dispute the thing in writing with the credit card company now - this has worked for me in the past.
Write to the dealer explaining the situation and asking for a refund.
Tell them that if they want to repair the unit that they should supply a replacement unit for the period of the repair.

PS name and shame them here - dealer and manufacturer - it won't damage your case, it will warn others and might well have an effect if the manufacturer/dealer reads these boards.

PPS i'm a little confused as to why you need to shut down your studio to replace an item that "just doesn't plain work !" ?

good luck

si
Old 25th June 2005
  #14
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
At this point Stuart....I'd give the Dealer 2 days to resolve the issue ,or else.Nice or not..Its Their responsibilty..PERIOD!..maybe next time they'll have a spare.OR ,at VERY least a loaner for the duration of the repair
this YOUR livelyhood ..and don't hesitate to OUT them on it if it doesn't happen..
I personally want to know who to avoid when spending my hard earned dollars
It's amazing how quickly things get resolved when you threaten to go public with the problem..And the credit card thing has worked for me as well..
Can you PM me with the specifics?
Old 25th June 2005
  #15
Rab
KMR Audio
 
Rab's Avatar
 

This seems a bit nuts? If the unit was faulty on receipt you are entitled to a refund or replacement. Period.

Did the dealer order the unit from the distributor at the time you placed the order, or was it a unit they have had in stock for some time? I can't understand why the distributor is being this difficult unless they have a bad relationship with the dealer (which ultimately is neither here nor there) or they did not supply the dealer with the unit (ie. it was grey imported), in which case they have no responsibilty to you whatsoever.

If this is a "boutique" piece, there is a high chance it was ordered specifically for you and it is garbage that the dealer should keep replacement units in stock... that's the distributor's job. In any event, it really isn't your problem. The vast majority of UK DISTRIBUTORS for high-end kit understand the needs of professionals, so without knowing exactly who is involved, it is hard to comment further. But it sounds like there's something fishy going on?

If you're getting messed around by your dealer (or you feel they are taking advantage of a previously good relationship), send it back for a refund and pre-order from another dealer.
Old 25th June 2005
  #16
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rab
If the unit was faulty on receipt you are entitled to a refund or replacement. Period.
Old 25th June 2005
  #17
Lives for gear
 
GP_Hawk's Avatar
Yeh, this really blows when it happens to you. I've been there. You ARE entitled to a full refund/replacement immediately. I think going public is a good option. Once they know the rest of the world is watching, they will suddenly become angels. Why companies put themselves through this is beyond me. tutt

And Dave, what an offer. Wish I had this kind of support base in my area. That's the way it should be. Stand up Guy!
Old 25th June 2005
  #18
Lives for gear
 
MadGuitrst's Avatar
You need to everything listed above.

Now, I don't know how business is done in Scotland but...
..... but first, if you used a credit card, I'd:
Dispute the transaction (and make sure you have your facts straight and documented)
Buy a different unit to get you going.
Send your unit back (you already did) and make sure you have confirmation that they received it.

If you could do that, it would most likely be resolved and you'd be back on your way.
Heck, if you really needed that brand you could just buy another one from a different distributor (although I sure would never buy even a guitar pick from them).

If none of this fits:
Contact an attorney and have him write a letter AND make a phone call.
Make yourself such a pain in their arse that sending you a new unit would cost them less than dealing with you.
Go public on every forum you can and send them links to it.

I have been lucky and have had very few problems.
I bought everything with a credit card just because of the protection it gives you.
PayPal is used for ebay for the same reason.

With two rpblems I had here are the results:
Credit card - disputed the charges. They sent information to be filled out. I did. They removed the charges. I still had the unit dfegad .
PayPal - I never received an item and received only vague email communications.
I disputed the charges (a $200 item). I had my money back in 24 hours AND got and extra $20 for my troubles (a payoff for not leaving negative feedback I guess) thumbsup .

Good luck.......don't be worried be mad.. ...be very mad......
Old 25th June 2005
  #19
Lives for gear
 
StuartMac's Avatar
 

Many thanks for the messages and opinions - and all the PMs.

A replacement part has been sent over yesterday (Friday) and I will have the unit back at some point next week. My main gripe now is that I was told the unit would be repaired by the distributor within a day. However, despite them having identified what the problem was over the phone WEEKS ago, they hadn't even ordered the spare part. So they got my unit back on Tuesday - I was fully expecting it to be returned (repaired) on Wednesday or Thursday at the latest, but instead the part wasn't even ordered until then by the distributor and sent over on Friday. I hope it arrives in the UK on Tuesday at the latest!

Without going into too much detail (and I really respect Jules wishes on this one) it's not the kind of gear I can just pop in a replacement for, and it is central and crucial to my set-up. It's also made to order, and the manufacturer has told me a new unit is only ever ordered and built after several unsuccesful attempts to repair a faulty one.

I'll get by, and hopefully won't lose the next project I'm due to work on after all - but I've learned a couple of valuable lessons here.

Thanks all those who offered help. Jules is an absolute star, as if you didn't already know
Old 25th June 2005
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
cfjis's Avatar
 

Glad to hear that things seem to be straightening out, Stuart...

But, as a friend who owns a large re-sale business said, 'when the customer disputes a charge on their credit card, they always win.'

As consumers, we all should know that.

Regards,
Charles
Old 26th June 2005
  #21
Lives for gear
 

hi Stuart Mac,

I sympathize with your situation. I wonder if you are sympathetic concerning the manufacturer's and distributor's plights. Seems to me you are in the same bind: none of you can afford to have the back-up that would allow you to conduct business seamlessly.

Dangerous Dave has offered to help - that's not good enough. The dealer is willing to give you your money back - that's not good enough. The distributor has offered to send you the replacement part - that's not good enough.

There's been a lot of talk in this thread about various laws. And yet none of the postings has mentioned THE law of show business: The Show Must Go On.

What would you do if the cat pee'd on the piece of gear just before the client walked in? What if the country where the part was manufactured was obliterated by a natural or man-made disaster? What if...? Those are the sorts of thing 'plan B' is designed to address. A friend of mine in live audio lost almost all his A-rig and his B-rig in a truck fire at the height of his season, and yet with ingenuity and the help of some friends managed to not only complete the season, but to sound great doing so.

Go ahead and be perturbed at the parties involved, you probably have a right. But if you plan to base your hopes on high-quality, low-production-volume gear, expect for this sort of thing to happen and be prepared. Or plan to pay a much higher price. Or buy mass-market gear from whatever the UK version of Guitar Center happens to be.

Most of the 'boutique' manufacturers are in the business because they love the gear, even a number of the mainstream folks are in it for love, not the money. I respect you for not blaring the product name all over the place: thanks to the internet, bad publicity over a misunderstanding can kill a small company.

best,

John
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