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Author Topic: My GC Experiences  (Read 3616 times)
GCnightmares
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« on: May 18, 2015, 06:50:38 AM »

Well, I must be a slow learner.  I have many horror stories of GC shopping, and  even now I think I've given them the benefit of the doubt too many times.  Get a comfortable seat and a bottle of your favorite adult beverage, this is gonna be a long read.

Incident #1: In my college days, I was a new player and had a Fender Frontman 1x12 amp.  I was concerned something internal was malfunctioning.  After this whole ordeal, I discovered the problem was actually coming from my multi-fx pedal, but I was a total noob at this point.  The point is, that means this amp was in perfect condition - zero cosmetic or external damage, and still functioned perfectly despite my confusion.  So I take the amp to my local GC, and ask them if they fix amps (this is not the place I bought it).  They take a look at it, see its condition, but say no, they dont fix amps, and refer me to a local place that does.  Fair enough at this point.  So I take my amp in and drop it off at this place, which turns out to be not only an authorized repair center for many brands, but also the biggest backline and sound rental place in town.  Describe my problem, leave the amp, done.  Fast forward two months and a phone call every couple weeks to see what's up, finally ready.  I go in and the prick at the front desk tells me oh yeah, we had a look at it, Fender never sent us the schematics though, so we gave it a once over and didn't see anything wrong.  Oh, by the way, it fell off our tech's bench while he was working on it, and it landed on its face and the jewel light is broken.  Keeping in mind I know nothing technical about amps at this point, he goes on to tell me that the preamp section is still functioning fine, but the output transformer isn't working now either.  I thought he meant something in the effects loop, which I didn't use, so not the end of the world I guess, although I wasn't feeling great at this point.  For how much I knew, he might as well have told me my flux capacitor was broken.  As you will soon see he was obviously getting technical to confuse me and avoid confrontation.  So he says it's just the $25 bench fee and I'm all set.  I pay, he brings me my amp and the jewel light is punched in through the face of the amp, and one of the tone pots is broken off, knob and shaft.  At this point I'm pretty confused and just want to get the hell out of there.  So I get it home and of course it doesn't even work - zero sound.  NOT the same amp I brought in.  So, I call this place back and they start offering to give me a deal on one of the amps they've fixed up, thanks but no thanks.   I tell this whole tale to the GC manager that sent me there in the first place, and he offered me any amp in the place at cost as an apology.  I actually appreciated that quite a bit, he owned a problem that wasn't really his fault... this time.

Incident #2: I buy a DeltaLab delay pedal at the same GC.  A few months in, the footswitch breaks and falls off.  So I take the defective unit back to GC, and the stoner chick at the front desk where you have to have your gear tagged walking in tells me I'll have to deal directly with the manufacturer.  Contact the manufacturer, turns out DeltaLab is a GC exclusive and GC basically is the manufacturer, and they tell me I can return it to GC.  So I call the store and explain what I've been told, manager tells me ok, bring it in and we'll exchange it.  Get there, he takes my defective unit and hands me a "new" one in a box that looks like it has been through the gates of hell and back, and from his crappy demeanor I could tell that this was his way of expressing his irritation with actually having to deal with the consequnces of a purchase made in his store.

Incidence #3: I moved out to Boston about 5 years ago, and decided that I would try GC again since it would be a different store.  So over the course of 3 years, I bought 2 guitars and 3 amps there, usually from the same guy.  He was really nice at first, and I even complimented his great service.  He asked if I would write a Google review for the store and I happily did.  I went in the store regularly, but never asked to play anything unless I intended to buy, and in fact ALWAYS made a big purchase when I tried something in store - to the point where he put me in the platinum room as soon as I asked to try something.  Well, they had a used 50 watt Plexi reissue in store and I asked to try it.  He sets me up on a Marshall 4x12 in the platinum room and leaves me to do my thing... and this amp is dead quiet.  It makes sound, but literally the quietest tube amp I've ever used, you could have it cranked and have a conversation in the room.  Now I'm starting to understand why it's marked a few hundred low.  To avoid being unpleasant, I told him I would think about it.  He emailed me later that week, so I told him I thought it might be malfunctioning.  He replied that he thought the power tubes were going bad, and he would throw in a new set.  Hmm, really?  So I can pay $100 to have it biased somewhere?  Oh, did I mention that they had a tech in store?  So if it were as simple as a set of new tubes, they easily could've gotten this amp ticking again and sold it for a lot more.  Buy a broken amp and pour money into it?  No thanks buddy, way to burn a paying customer.  That was the last time he had a chance to sell me anything.

Incident #4: GC Pro Coverage, Extended Warranty, or whatever they want to call it, the real name is "The Biggest Joke in GC History."  I purchased Pro Coverage on a new Egnater amp, and about a year later it burned up a couple resistors and stopped working.  So, assuming since it's still under manufacturer warranty, I might as well take it up with Egnater directly.  Turns out GC isn't the only biz in music with super sh*tty customer service.  Via email, Egnater confirmed that it was covered, but got mysteriously quiet every time I asked for the service center address and a repair authorization number.  Well, after a few weeks of that nonsense, I decide to just cash in on my extended warranty from GC, since the manufacturer clearly wasn't playing ball.  Take the amp in to the store, and they give me a phone number for the outside company that actually handles their extended coverage.  Are you freaking kidding me?  If I buy a warranty in your store, then any issue related to it should be handled in your store!!! I do not want to call third parties on the phone, especially ones that know jack sh*t about musical equipment, which it turns out was the case here.  I call and describe my problem, which was very easy as I had visually seen the charred components in the amp, and the woman on the phone says "Oh, I see you're still covered under your manufacturers warranty, one moment while I forward your call to Egnater customer service."  SON OF A B!!!  The whole reason I'm trying to use my extended warranty is because the manufacturer won't honor theirs!  What's the point of a 2 or 3 year plan to cover my gear if you're just going to default to the manufacturers warranty when I have a problem?  If I buy a warranty plan from your store, I want to walk in with my gear, tell you what's wrong with it, and have it HANDLED.  I do not want to UPS ship a guitar amp.  I do not want to talk to Wanda at Generic Protection Plans Inc.  I want to leave my amp in store and wait for you to call me when it's fixed and replaced, I did not pay for a huge PITA!!! 

Screw you GC!
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drummerdude182
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2015, 06:08:19 PM »

Hey GC Nightmares,

Would you mind posting your 4th experience the one about Pro Coverage in the comments of this video? I think more people should read your experience.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DT0MrTlIn4o
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GCnightmares
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2015, 09:31:15 PM »

Will do!
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SalesAss
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2015, 03:39:50 AM »

Indeed...  unfortunately they don't build amps like they used to...   However I have had better luck with warranties at an Indie Gibson dealer.

Gibson Guitar 1  (electronics issue)....  Store calls gibson on my behalf...  unit is shipped to Gibson on their dime and fixed.   Good.

Gibson Guitar 2 (electronics issue)   Store refers it to the authorized warranty center who picked up the guitar at the place of purchase.  The guitar was repaired and returned to the store.

Epiphone Amp...   Still under warranty.   Past 90 days at the store,  so arrangements are made for me to ship it to Gibson on my dime... ok...   It gets fixed and returned on their dime.   Happy happy.

I've also been able to befriend a few indie guitar and amp repair guys in the area,   although I now tech out my own amps for the most part.

Extended warranties are usually a complete flop.
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Guitar Center Sucks...  It has for a long time, and keeps sucking more day after day.
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