Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ramsey's (terrible) Music Experience

As I mentioned yesterday, we bought a new piano recently. We also bought a new piano four months ago, but ended up returning it to the store a couple of weeks ago. In the process, Ramsey's Musical Experience in Tucson earned a big nastygram from the Palmer family.

We bought a beautiful Casio AP-80R from Ramsey's back in September, after returning from Jordan. We pitted an online dealer against a Ramsey's salesman and had them compete for our business. In the end, Ramsey's gave us a great deal and even said we could take home the floor model that very day while we waited for a new-in-the-box piano to come in. They said it would take about two weeks.

We agreed, paid for our new piano, and took home the floor model. I loved the piano. We had lots of good times together, and Miriam loved playing with all the interesting sounds it could produce.

The problem was, the supposed "new-in-the-box" piano that we had actually purchased never materialized. Ramsey's never called us, even though they said they would as soon as it came in. So we called them. Again, and again, and again, and no new piano. Every time, they told us it was coming in next week, or next month, or call back at the end of this month and then they'd tell us what the situation was. Also, each time we talked with them, they would ask why we didn't want to just keep the floor model - was there something wrong with it? they always wanted to know.

Well first of all, it doesn't matter. We paid for a brand-new piano, not a used floor model. And second of all, you supposedly ordered a new piano for us, so we shouldn't have to even consider keeping the floor model.

Finally, earlier this month, we went in person to the store. We were fully prepared to at least threaten to take them to small-claims court (because, as Jeremy's lawyer-brother put it, "sometimes you have to do that when you're dealing with slimeballs."). To our surprise, the boss lady agreed to give us a full refund and cancel the order for the new piano, which by this time I suspected had never existed. I honestly believe they just expected to be able to pawn off their floor model on us and we wouldn't put up a fight.

When the time came to physically bring the piano back to the store, two things happened. First, they decided to charge us a 15% restocking fee ("a restocking fee for the floor model?" our friend Jonathan astutely pointed out). Of course, we refused to pay that. Then, while Jeremy was driving on his way to the store, with the piano, I received a call on my cell phone from a Ramsey's salesman, asking what he could do to have us keep the piano and be satisfied with our purchase. Basically, I told him that there was nothing he could do, and that Ramsey's did not deserve our money. That's what's nice about America - if a place doesn't deserve your business, you can always take it elsewhere.

So we returned the piano and got all of our money back. And the best part is that when we started re-shopping for the same piano, we were able to get a better deal, not to mention way better customer service from a place called Guitar Center here in Tucson. Our shopping experiences - and so far, satisfaction - could not be more opposite.


Matthew said...

That's great. I love it when capitalistic forces work out so nicely. I wish I had that same freedom here!

Nancy said...

I, uh, do invoices for Guitar Center...kind of. I work for the company that Guitar Center buys pedals from. It's called Harman Music. Happy day! I'm glad to hear that they have a satisfied customer!

Happy piano playing!


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