Well known music store

I had an unpleasant experience with a well known music store today specifically one of their salesmen. He was arrogant, cocky and rude. I started with a operator for the store and specifically requested to talk to someone in the drum section or someone that knows drums as I had planned on asking some questions about drums. She transfers me to this guy. I first asked what section he worked in and he was immediately rude and said he worked all areas what do you need? I need someone that knows drums as I have some questions. He said go ahead I can answer. So, reluctantly I asked do you guys price match or beat a competitor’s price? He immediately took an attitude with me and said No! We don’t do price matching, all our stuff comes with an extended warranty with no extra cost. So I’m thinking this can’t be right as most any retail store that I have ever dealt with will always try to price match their competitors to get the sale and earn your business. So I asked again if they would match a competitors price on a drum set? He got irritated and spouted off something in an angry voice at which point I saw that this conversation went south fast so I hung up on him. I am 57 years old and I did not call to get into an argument with a salesman.

So………….could I be off base here that not all big retail stores don’t try to match their competitor? Yes I guess so, but I find it hard to believe in this day and age of retail stores. I was/am close to buying a drum set shell pack and maybe stands and cymbals also. But he didn‘t even want to listen to what the other two stores had the item priced at. I didn’t try to call back and may never with that type of customer service or lack there of!

What I wanted to see about was a 5 piece set of Gretsch Renown drums. Two music stores are advertising this kit NEW at $1,199 regularly at $1,649. That’s the lowest I have seen anywhere!! But I thought I wanted to buy from this store as I see a lot of people giving them rave reviews. I also had other questions about other brands that I wanted to ask, but never got the opportunity due to his unprofessional attitude.

Thoughts?

Thanks!!!!
 

Steve30907

Well-known member
I'll call and discuss if I'm ready to buy and I'll tell the salesman the price I've already found. If I have a question about the kit I'll ask but I don't call tire kicking either.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
There are many other places to buy gear, you don't have to tolerate rudeness especially when you're not even getting a price break.

Also, in the interest of saving a bad experience for your fellow drummers, it would be helpful to know what store it was. If it's an indie shop and they're on the drum shop list, I'll remove them.
 
There are many other places to buy gear, you don't have to tolerate rudeness especially when you're not even getting a price break.

Also, in the interest of saving a bad experience for your fellow drummers, it would be helpful to know what store it was. If it's an indie shop and they're on the drum shop list, I'll remove them.
I didn’t know if stating the store name was appropriate. I’m not trying to bash this store. I called them thinking that is who I might go through due to me hearing a lot of positives about them. The store name is Sweetwater.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Well, there is no reason for store staff to be rude.

But on the other hand, having previously worked at many drum shops:
You didn't actually have a question about the drum's quality, availability, color or anything he could have helped you with, you just wanted to haggle on price. That's kind of rude as well. You went in looking for a fight over price, and you got one. You may have been nice about it, but your intention was not coming from a nice place.

The quest to get the lowest price is why stores can't afford to hire/keep anyone with any quality. I stopped working in music stores a long time ago because I got tired of not making any money because customers only wanted to hangle about the price and the quality of the product or service.

I now run a service company. Granted we don't sell a product, only a service.
If people are only interested in the lowest price and not the quality of our service, then they're not the customers for us.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
This thread reminds me that every story has two sides. I don't doubt that the OP had an experience that didn't meet his expectations, but we don't know anything about the tone of voice or actual words spoken in the conversation. Peoples' recall of conversation is notoriously poor, and perceptions vary among people who experience the same event.

My point is, I'm sorry the OP had an experience he didn't like, but I'm not prepared to throw Sweetwater under the bus, either. I've had superb service from them.
 
I respectfully disagree with DrumEatDrum. You stated: “You didn’t really have a question about the drums quality, availability, color or anything he could have helped you with, you just wanted to haggle on price. That’s kind of rude as well. You went in looking for a fight on price and you got one. You may have been nice about it but your intention was not coming from a nice place.”

In my original post I clearly stated “I also had questions about other brands that I wanted to ask, but never got the chance due to his unprofessional attitude.” I also had questions about colors (satin vs gloss as it relates to wear), availability of this Renown set and cymbals questions. I stated in my original post that I intended on buying a whole set to include hardware and cymbals.

I was coming from an honest place where I found a new Renown set cheaper at two different places but thought I wanted to buy from Sweetwater due to a lot of people here talking them up as a great store and they wouldn’t buy from anywhere else etc. I had real questions about the Renown as well as other questions. So I had good intentions of buying and was not looking for a fight or to haggle over price as I thought they would just match the price to get the sale and I could move on to my other questions.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I didn’t know if stating the store name was appropriate. I’m not trying to bash this store. I called them thinking that is who I might go through due to me hearing a lot of positives about them. The store name is Sweetwater.
There is no “drum salesman” at Sweetwater. You get assigned a sales engineer who dishes out the deals.

I had an unpleasant experience with a well known music store today specifically one of their salesmen. He was arrogant, cocky and rude. I started with a operator for the store and specifically requested to talk to someone in the drum section or someone that knows drums as I had planned on asking some questions about drums. She transfers me to this guy. I first asked what section he worked in and he was immediately rude and said he worked all areas what do you need? I need someone that knows drums as I have some questions. He said go ahead I can answer.
This isn’t how Sweetwater operates. They don’t have an operator who connects you to a “drum section”.

Sorry, @Brianziggy64 , I call BS.

Either you didn’t call Sweetwater, or you did and had no idea who you were talking to while hassling them.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
Many years ago I worked in retail car sales and the MD of the company introduced a policy whereby we didn't discuss any prices over the phone. We all railed against it and said it was a bad idea, however it worked. The thinking behind it was that no one could buy a car over the phone (to be fair that's now changed) what we would mainly be doing is cutting our own throats by racing to the bottom, and where part exchanges were concerned how could we possibly do justice to someone's pride and joy unseen?

None of us were privy to the OPs interaction but the other party's description of what happened could cover the same points but be a totally different interpretation. He might not have been cocky, he might have been proud that he could help the customer with whatever they want to know across departments for example. Is him saying "no" a bad attitude or is it that people don't like being told no? I genuinely don't know the answer but from what I hear about Sweetwater from several thousand miles away it seems to have a great reputation.

Now that the OP has joined Drummerworld perhaps it's worth drawing a line under the event and creating a new post asking for advice on deals here? The staff member's opinions on durability of finishes would just have been his and not necessarily cast in stone facts, ditto cymbal questions.
The beauty of internet and telephone sales is that if we know what we're after we can buy sight unseen and at the lowest price. The downside for both parties is that not having face to face interactions doesn't allow the customer to learn, touch and hear or the staff member to impart their knowledge.
 

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
There is no “drum salesman” at Sweetwater. You get assigned a sales engineer who dishes out the deals.


This isn’t how Sweetwater operates. They don’t have an operator who connects you to a “drum section”.

Sorry, @Brianziggy64 , I call BS.

Either you didn’t call Sweetwater, or you did and had no idea who you were talking to while hassling them.
Agreed.
I'd say this is a typical experience with Guitar Sucker & Sam Ass (I call them that on purpose from my own experiences).
I've dealt with Sweetwater for many years & have never had a sales engineer do anything remotely like this. They don't transfer you to anyone other than themselves as their training for the job is beyond extensive.

Only the above mentioned stores transfer people to a department that's rarely staffed by anyone who knows anything.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
Online retailers also have their pricing policies listed on their website, usually in the "about" section. Sweetwater makes zero mention of price matching anyone. GC/MF will price match, as is stated on their sites.
Once again, a modicum of research and reading would have avoided any of the "unpleasantries".
I think someone just wanted to throw Sweetwater under the bus, you know, like the people that clearly troll YT and thumbs down everything they come across.

and like @cbphoto...
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Ghostin one

Senior Member
Once again, a modicum of research and reading would have avoided any of the "unpleasantries".
I think someone just wanted to throw Sweetwater under the bus, you know, like the people that clearly troll YT and thumbs down everything they come across.

Holy cow, did you even read the thread?? The o.p. didn't name the store until a moderator suggested it.

Anyway, most of Sweetwater was sold to a private equity company recently, so don't be too surprised at any changes.
 
“Some of you“ don’t read well obviously. I stated early in this thread that “I did not want to bash this store.” I even did not state the name of the store in my original post. But was asked by one of this sites administrators to give the name of the store, at which point I did. I still stand by my statement that this was not and is not my goal to bash Sweetwater. I do not believe one employee represents the whole company. I did have a bad experience with one employee at Sweetwater whether you want to “call B.S.” or not, I was on the call, you were not. I know what company I called and I can only state what happened when someone answered. They asked how they could help me and I asked to speak to someone with drums knowledge. But the attitude from this employee did happen and it shouldn’t have, period. I’m ok with a company that does not price match, it’s their right. But he could’ve and should’ve stated it without attitude.

So to be clear again, I am not throwing Sweetwater under the bus nor have I advocated anyone to do so! They have a great reputation and that is exactly why I called them. I may even try again to contact them to ask my questions and maybe purchase a drum set from them. Every company has a bad employee in their ranks or maybe he was just having a bad day, who knows.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
Holy cow, did you even read the thread??
I did. I stated that the OP could have avoided the unpleasantries by reading what Sweetwater's pricing policies are before calling. Nowhere does Sweetwater state anything about pricing guarantees which is easy to see if one does a little reading. That was all.
Availability, color options, everything else he wanted to know is also clearly listed on the website or app.
I find he scenario highly implausible due to the design of SW customer service.
The OP also could have emailed Chuck and made his complaint there and had it settled rather than specifically joining this forum yesterday to post this grievance. It's fishy.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
In a community like ours, I think it's important to know where there may be friction when shopping, which is why I asked for the store to be named. While I'm surprised that Sweetwater gave a potential customer any grief, it's important to know that it unpleasantries may occur in person-to-person communications. Obviously if was a chronic problem with them, we'd be hearing about more instances.

Of course they'll remain in the Drum Shops Worldwide thread.
 
I did. I stated that the OP could have avoided the unpleasantries by reading what Sweetwater's pricing policies are before calling. Nowhere does Sweetwater state anything about pricing guarantees which is easy to see if one does a little reading. That was all.
Availability, color options, everything else he wanted to know is also clearly listed on the website or app.
I find he scenario highly implausible due to the design of SW customer service.
The OP also could have emailed Chuck and made his complaint there and had it settled rather than specifically joining this forum yesterday to post this grievance. It's fishy.
I know what’s on their website. But not everything that a person may want to know such as satin vs gloss wearability is listed on their website. I also know that I was inquiring about a Renown color option that I found on two competitors websites that Sweetwater does not list. Does that mean they don’t have it or they can’t get it but these two smaller music companies can? I highly doubt that given the size and volume that Sweetwater does which probably no competitor comes close to. But it was a question that I wanted to know. I also had quality questions between brands and even within the Gretsch lines. As far as ”pricing guarantees,” you are correct their website says nothing about matching prices, that`s why I asked! Sir I did read their site and many many other sites about drum brands and reviews and also watched many video reviews which left me as a educated consumer still with some questions. You can continue to battle for Sweetwater all you want by stating my scenario is “highly implausible.” You are entitled to your opinion, but I assure you are wrong.

Since you brought it up about emailing Chuck, You seem to know him and maybe even has his direct email address because it is not listed on the website. Which explains why you are defiant that Sweetwater could not have had one of their engineers act inappropriately as he did. But if you want to share Chuck’s personal email with me, please do! I highly doubt the man at the top of this company would even respond to an issue such as this, maybe one of his direct reports, but not him.

I’ll say it again………..I am not trying to bash Sweetwater here or get into an argument with any of you. But to challenge me and call the whole situation B.S. and say it didn’t happen and or blindly defend them because of a real interaction I had with one of their engineers that was just plain wrong on the engineers part is very questionable on your part.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
I've had nothing but stellar service from Sweetwater. I'd suggest the OP call back and be assigned a Sweetwater rep. That rep is your primary contact going forward for purchases and questions. I think this can all be ironed out in no time.

That being said, I don't haggle over pricing with Sweetwater. I'll watch for sales or for pristine demo models to get a lower price. I'm paying for exceptional customer service in the event anything be less than satisfactory or go south.
 

Steve30907

Well-known member
The deep discount on that finish at the other 2 stores is more than likely old stock so Sweetwater will not have it if not shown and will not price match. The same kit in different finishes can be a couple hundred difference regularly.
 
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