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Thread: Musicians Friend...more like Musicians Enemy

  1. #1
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    Musicians Friend...more like Musicians Enemy

    I just recently had the most awful experience with Musicians Friend. So for the rest of this review I will refer to them as Musicians Enemy. I wanted to pass it along to everyone so that they can avoid this company at all costs.

    A few weeks back I purchased a new Les Paul Axcess from Musicians Enemy. I have done business with this company for years. The prices are high but they get the cool guitars (Musicman) that you can't find in most stores. Plus you have 45 days to check out the merchandise. If you don't like it for any reason you can send it back. In the past I had no issues returning items.

    However, over the last year or so I order several items that were defective or I just didn't like the equipment. What most people don't know (including me) is that Musicians Enemy just changed their policy on guitars over $2000. These items must be returned within 10 days. In addition, they have some magic formula that calculates your ratio of returns to orders. If you go above a certain number/percentage of returns, they will no longer honor their 45 money back policy. Of course they never told me that when I ordered an Axcess guitar for $3499.

    I was never told that I could not return it if I was unsatisfied with the instrument. Why would I even question it since I have returned items for years? A few days later I get the guitar and low and behold as is to often the case with Gibson – there is something wrong with the electronics/pickups. The neck pickup was dead, had no life or tone.

    I own 4 other Les Pauls so I know how these guitars are supposed to sound. I immediately call up Musicians Enemy and tell them that I want to return the guitar. Before I was asked why, I was put on hold and then the rep came back and said that I can no longer return items unless they are defective. I was amazed because I never had an issue returning items in the past. I told her that this was news to me and they should document this somewhere so that people are aware of these “revised” polices. I then told her that the guitar is defective anyway so there shouldn’t be a problem. I also indicated that this undocumented policy was not fair and that I will take all my future business elsewhere. So she sets up the return and they mail me a pre-paid label.

    At this point I thought the issue was resolved. However, today I saw a very large package on my porch when I arrived home from work. Upon closer examination I realized that the Axcess guitar was sent back to me. I immediately called Musicians Enemy to find out why the guitar was shipped back to me. The rep indicated that the guitar was checked and was found to be functioning properly. I then realized that they probably had an 18 year old kid plug it in just to see if it makes noise. Which it does but that doesn’t mean it isn’t defective.

    At this point, I start to get extremely aggravated. I let her know that even if the guitar wasn’t defective (which it is), they have no right to arbitrarily change their return policies. After going up the chain of command multiple times, I reached a supervisor who basically told me that I was stuck with the guitar. They would not accept a return on it. So I realized the only course of action would be to dispute the charge on my credit card and file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (which I did).

    To add insult to injury, after I get off the phone, I opened the box and confirmed yet again that there is something wrong with the electronics or neck pickup. It sounds like a single coil pickup with no life/tone. The bridge pickup is fine…the problem is with the neck pickup. So please be very careful when you deal with Musicians Enemy. I will never do business with them again.
    Last edited by rsetlock; 10-03-2008 at 04:43 PM.

  2. #2
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    Do you think that this is an EBMM problem?

    I really think that if you are on a campaign against their policies then there are a lot of open and public forums for this.....I dont think ours is....
    Two requests, please
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  3. #3
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    That is too bad, I have had nothing but good dealings with Musiciansfriend,.....I should buy stock in them, I use them all the time. I wasn't aware of the policy of guitars over 2,000,...I have had tons of stuff shipped to me here (Okinawa Japan) with no problem, fast and no mechanical / electronic issues. Free shipping too, 2 amplifiers, full 7 piece drum set, numerous pedals, strings, all free, ..waiting on my EB as we speak. Good luck.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Poppa View Post
    Do you think that this is an EBMM problem?

    I really think that if you are on a campaign against their policies then there are a lot of open and public forums for this.....I dont think ours is....
    Understood...I posted this other places as well. This is one of my favorite forums. My goal here was just to make people on this forum aware of the policies just in case they decided to buy an Musicman guitar from them.

  5. #5
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    Yeah but the problem is that I have hundreds of customers that use Musicians Friend as their source for our stuff and you are on our forum discouraging sales.

    I really want you to consider this as a friendly idea and Im not attacking you but maybe you inadvertently abused the return policy? THat policy is there to take the sting out of buying stuff sight unseen......if you hit their number and triggered the no return clause, you probably have been a litle aggressive. Now your problem is that you actually have something that you feel is bad and they probably think you are crying wolf . If you think about it Musicians Friend is there to make a profit and provide stuff to players. If you are constantly returning stuff eventually they are going to have to fire you.

    I guess before the public assisination of a company maybe put yourself in their shoes......Have you ever bought something knowing that you were going to return it?
    Two requests, please
    Please contact customer service prior to posting instrument issues
    Please don't PM me
    Thanks

    Please dont add me as a friend on facebook....my life is an open book here as it is.

  6. #6
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    Relock,

    I agree with the consensus following your thread. I have nothing but "good" to say about MF, regarding their prices & policy!!

    Do you realize how many people buy gear, then don't like it, and because they want to avoid paying the return shipping, make up an excuse or purposely damage the gear!!

    I'm not saying this is what you do, however, if anyone has "repeatedly" done this over the course of time, and has surpassed the "normal odds" for this type of free return, than in that instance they should be cut off.

    It only hurts the rest of us who appreciate this convenient and safe way to purchase on-line/sight unseen with little or no risk.

    I hope things work out for you.

  7. #7
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    I have used Sam Ash as well. The only issue I have with Sam Ash is that they don't ship to P.O. boxes, and being overseas Military,....that is pretty much out of the picture. I had the Steve Vai 7 String Ibanez guitar for about a week and a half, purchased through them. Was nice (not 1,800 nice), but the free-floating bridge was a nightmare, and the guitar was impossible to tune or play. Returned it to them after 10 days or so,...I paid for return shipping, but they credited my account, no problem.

  8. #8
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    Sam Ash doesnt sell our stuff. Maybe we should close this....
    Two requests, please
    Please contact customer service prior to posting instrument issues
    Please don't PM me
    Thanks

    Please dont add me as a friend on facebook....my life is an open book here as it is.

  9. #9
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    This policy is not unique to MF. There have been many articles in for example, The Wall Street Journal, over the last year stating many companies are going to this due to abuse of the return policy and the current economy.

    This always seems to become a hot topic around Christmas time. I can recall a story I heard just last month that made me think of this policy and why it has become more popular. I was talking to an older bassist in Boston and he remarked that he always has 4 or 5 basses sitting around waiting to be returned. I asked him what he meant by this and he stated he liked to order them and just "try them out". He also remarked that the basss would have to be pretty special for him to end up keeping it. This to me is just abuse of a companies lenient policies. I am willing to bet that the basses he returns are not resold as new and because of this the company loses money on each of these instruments. It is because of people like this that policies like the above have to be instituted.

    I am sorry you have ended up on the short end with the Les Paul, but I am afraid I am in agreement with BP about the situation.
    You can never have too many balls!

  10. #10
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    This is small by comparison, but I've recently encountered a less liberal return policy from MF. But in my case I was merely disappointed in the quality of a gig bag. It wasn't defective, and I was asking them to pay return freight as well refund the purchase. I don't blame them for refusing, considering the losses they must take on excessive returns. The fact they they've kept records of return ratios says there must have been regular abuses of their return policies. For me, overall, they've been great to deal with.

  11. #11
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    BP is right -and also Kirby pointed out what fuels distributors to enforce return poilicys-that said I do understand your point as well - my thought is ask MF if they will send your instrument -or you send -back to the factory - a factory tech puts it through all functions and detirmines if the its electornicly malfuntioning -go from there -Its either defective or -and yes im a musicain - (and you are not crazy about the tone and or feel- )or the instument is defective-- then MF -the manufacturor and you- will go from that diagnosis -ill take this a little further take your favorite guitar- and amp let 1000 other musicians - let them play it in the same room 1 at a at a time--well known ( high profile ) and not known-play the set up and write a reviews--im not saying you are wrong -but as BP stated try to be a bit less aggressive-but still state your case-and buying anything sight unseen or hands on -its tuff- i sympathize

  12. #12
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by ampegjoel View Post
    BP is right -and also Kirby pointed out what fuels distributors to enforce return poilicys-that said I do understand your point as well - my thought is ask MF if they will send your instrument -or you send -back to the factory - a factory tech puts it through all functions and detirmines if the its electornicly malfuntioning -go from there -Its either defective or -and yes im a musicain - (and you are not crazy about the tone and or feel- )or the instument is defective-- then MF -the manufacturor and you- will go from that diagnosis -ill take this a little further take your favorite guitar- and amp let 1000 other musicians - let them play it in the same room 1 at a at a time--well known ( high profile ) and not known-play the set up and write a reviews--im not saying you are wrong -but as BP stated try to be a bit less aggressive-but still state your case-and buying anything sight unseen or hands on -its tuff- i sympathize
    -wait-what--??-!-?


    [/-]

  13. #13
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    discouraging people from shopping at MF doesnt help us one bit. They have those policies for a reason and it isnt random when they enforce them This is like the boy who cried wolf...when he really has somethin bad they ignore him. Im sorry that you had the problem but I really cant see what went worng.
    Two requests, please
    Please contact customer service prior to posting instrument issues
    Please don't PM me
    Thanks

    Please dont add me as a friend on facebook....my life is an open book here as it is.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Poppa View Post
    Yeah but the problem is that I have hundreds of customers that use Musicians Friend as their source for our stuff and you are on our forum discouraging sales.

    I really want you to consider this as a friendly idea and Im not attacking you but maybe you inadvertently abused the return policy? THat policy is there to take the sting out of buying stuff sight unseen......if you hit their number and triggered the no return clause, you probably have been a litle aggressive. Now your problem is that you actually have something that you feel is bad and they probably think you are crying wolf . If you think about it Musicians Friend is there to make a profit and provide stuff to players. If you are constantly returning stuff eventually they are going to have to fire you.

    I guess before the public assisination of a company maybe put yourself in their shoes......Have you ever bought something knowing that you were going to return it?

    Well I can say that Musicians Friend did the right thing. They called me over the weekend and apologized for this mess. They have already issued me a full refund. The rep indicated that they made a mistake in not allowing my return. They just looked at the last couple of months history on my account. I had 3 returns (2 of which were defective items). But over the past 10 years I kept the vast majority of equipment that I ordered.

    That being said....my only complaint initially is that they didn't tell me that the guitar would not be returnable when I purchased it. I am not against them setting policies to prevent misuse of their return policy. My beef was that 1) I knew that I kept the vast majority of items that I purchased over the years and more importantly 2) they did not inform me at the time of purchase that I had reached the magic quota and the $3500 guitar was not returnable and finally 3) the guitar is defective.

    But in the end they did the right thing. Unfortunately their mistake has cost them a loyal customer.

  15. #15
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    If you look on MF's website, the following is in big bold words and stands out.
    I cut and pasted their exact verbage.


    **Stringed instruments priced at $1999.00 or more, must be returned within 10 days of shipment. Return items not meeting these requirements may be refused or a restocking fee of up to 25% may be assessed.
    2008 BFR JP6 Amethyst Burst
    Mystic Dream JP 7

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