Through a contractor I work for I purchased nearly $2500.00 worth of professional audio recording equipment from Musician's Friend on Monday (6/14). Their shipping "guarantee" states that items ship in 3-5 days. The order was paid in full at the time of purchase; not financed to ensure this delivery promise have the highest likelihood of being met, as there were scheduled sessions and deadlines that this equipment was being purchased to support.
A day after placing my order, Tuesday (6/15) I received a notice saying that my items had been shipped, except for 2 monitor speakers that were on back order. The notice included UPS tracking information for the 5 items shipped.
On Friday (6/19) I received a box with 4 of the 5 items in it, missing an Mbox pro bundled with the Digidesign Pro Tools software. However, there was a packing list that listed all 5 items as having been in the box.
Sadly, the missing item was the integral part of what was needed for me to complete the assignments and conduct the sessions that would have totaled over $1500 in revenue for me. Needless to say I lost out on both opportunities.
After confirming with UPS that if the item was on their tracking list and on the packing list from Musician's Friend, then I needed to contact Musician's Friend, the shipper to uncover what had happened.
I called Musician's Friend just moments after the delivery arrived (Friday 6/19) and eventually spoke with a manager who told me that if the item was discovered in their warehouse on Saturday, then I could call back Monday and have another one shipped to me.
I then informed him that my investment was being severely devalued by the erroneous shipping service and that a simple late shipment of my order would not suffice due to the huge loss I was taking as a result of Musician's Friend's oversight or UPS' misplacement of the item. The manager Ron and I agreed that some kind of compensation would be necessary to make up for my loss. We agreed that it was not fair that I be held responsible and be made to lose out when I was the one investing the $2500 in the equipment. We agreed that I would be upgraded to an Mbox 2 Pro and that I would call back Monday to make arrangements with it's shipment.
At this point I clearly asked if the exchange or upgrade would be an even swap at no additional cost; Ron's answer was yes.
Well, I call Musician's friend back on Monday (6/21) and much to my chagrin, the customer service representative informs me that nothing had been done on my case - not even the Saturday check of the warehouse that Ron promised. She then informed me that an 8-10 day investigation would ensue before a decision was made at all. I immediately asked to speak to a manager; I was become a little perturbed.
I then spoke with customer service manager David who initially seemed pleasant, but who over time became extremely short and ill tempered towards me. I explained the situation to David and told him about my conversation with Ron. I also indicated that, as a result of missing the deadlines and the opportunity to conduct the recording sessions I was out of a lot of money and facing new time constraints.
He - as his script dictates - indicated that he understood, but that he was powerless to do anything as the situation had already been "handled" by Ron based on the notes he was seeing on my account. I thought that to be ridiculous considering that the Saturday inspection had not occurred and that I had no resolution or planned resolution that Ron promised would be available Monday.
Even worse was the fact that David stated that Ron told me that the upgraded Mbox pro would in fact be available only if I agreed to pay an additional cost. Supposedly it was offered at a "discounted" rate. This was completely opposite the conversation I had with Ron and David continued to ignore the specifics of my situation and read from his script.
In the end David's conclusion was, I could have the original product shipped overnight to me for (6/22) delivery, or wait 8-10 days for the investigation to occur and then pay more money and purchase the upgraded Mbox. Neither of these solutions addressed my loss, or my need for the equipment to meet deadlines, and it was his attitude that turned me off from accepting the former option most.
He seemed annoyed that I was upset at the fact that I was being held responsible for their error and that I wanted compensation as it had cost me money. And this was in spite of the fact that though I remained completely professional and cordial throughout the call, repeatedly offering that I knew he was not personally at fault.
All in all I can understand that they would not want to upgrade my product, but in this case, and for an order over $2000 it was the least that could be done. The customer service manager Ron saw this and agreed to it, but apparently noted it in a way that David could and would ultimately deviate from it.
I don't believe that it was fair for my time, obligations and income to be affected by an error I didn't make. This is only exacerbated by Musician's Friend's personnel apparently being trained to disregard my time obligations, and income relative to doing business with them simply to save a few dollars. I would like them to explain to me how I am to just eat the loss of $1500 on top of spending $2500 because they can't get shipping right.