• Report: #810072
Complaint Review:

Sweetwater Sound, Inc.

  • Submitted: Thu, December 15, 2011
  • Updated: Fri, December 16, 2011

  • Reported By: AVOID SWEETWATER — Massachusetts United States of America
Sweetwater Sound, Inc.
5501 US Hwy 30 W Fort Wayne, Indiana United States of America

Sweetwater Sound, Inc. (AKA Sweetwater, Ryan Murray, ryan_murray@sweetwater.com) Creates the problem, offers the solution: Spamcall from Ryan Murray. Inappropriate email. Disrespectful. Overzealous. Fort Wayne, Indiana

*Consumer Comment: They SPAM via Phone

*General Comment: This Issue Did Not Justify Creating A Report Here

*Consumer Comment: I agree

*Consumer Comment: You're a real corker, you know that?

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. [continued below]....
....I placed an order for an inexpensive and self-explanatory item. It retailed for around $50. It was nothing special at all. I did not require any customer service, sales support, or technical assistance.

But just 10 minutes after the order was placed, I received a call from "Ryan", an employee at Sweetwater.

Well, it turns out he was calling (as a courtesy) to confirm that he received my order. (?!?) At that point, I became confused as to what was happening. Why would an order for such a low-risk and self-explanatory item need to be confirmed? Who does this? Almost nobody!

Ryan Murray of Sweetwater then told me that the shipping would be free (which I had already known), no signature would be required (which I had already known), and that my order would be delivered in about three business days or so (which I had already known). All of the above-mentioned were readily and clearly apparent during the simple and fast online checkout process.

Ryan Murray asked me whether I had any questions at all. And I told him that I did. I asked Ryan Murray why I received any phone call in the first place. Ryan Murray claimed that Sweetwater calls to confirm ALL Internet orders. (!) And he asked me whether I would prefer to continue to receive these so-called confirmatory phone calls.

I told Ryan Murray that Sweetwater does not need to confirm any of my orders with me over the phone. But, as if that were not enough, Ryan Murray insisted in asking whether I was certain that Sweetwater should no longer make any future order-confirmation phone calls. I of coursed re-confirmed (!) that I do not want to receive any order-confirmation phone calls in the future.

To make matters worse, Ryan Murray stated that an order of mine may not go through "as how I want it" unless Sweetwater initiates an order-confirmation phone call.

In all, when one does not turn a spammer away, eventually it may escalate into up-selling or seasonal sales calls (per complaints from customers against Sweetwater as easily found on the Internet). I do not want a more expensive item, an upgrade, or an add-on. But Sweetwater wants more profitable sales apparently.

See, when I turn to the Internet for shopping, I appreciate the fact that I am not badgered by salespersons, especially the ones who "groom" the customer.

I assume the executives at Sweetwater came up with this nonsense about the salesperson-initiated order confirmation calls. So, shame on the Sweetwater executives for making the employees perform revenue-generating, unnecessary, overzealous, and overwrought spam phone calls disguised as customer service/order confirmation. To some this is viewed as badgering and high-pressure.

Please be aware that I had *no* opportunity to opt-out of these order confirmation phone calls when I was placing my order. If I had been given a chance to opt-out, then I would have clicked the opt-out button. And by right, each and every customer should have to *opt-in* first.

I am most certainly not alone in filing this complaint.

"i hate having some sweetwater rep call me after every order or web purchase. that drives me crazy... I use to be in sales...never again."

"The up-selling. You can't just buy something. They Sweetwater ask you if you want a microphone or a plug in or a new computer etc. Also, they call you randomly throughout the year, trying to get you to buy more things. They are like telemarketers."

"My Sweetwater rep doesn't call me after orders (he usually sends and email instead) but will call me every 3 or 4 months to see if I need anything. I don't know why he bothers as I don't really buy much from there..."

"They used to do this to me, too. It's very annoying when you work at a busy studio where the phone is often very busy and it's important to keep the lines free. In my situation, these calls seemed particularly superfluous."

"I've heard people talk about this before and my advice would be to request a different representative or just tell the one you have how you feel."

I complained via e-mail to make certain that there is a written record of my preference (opt-out) in case Ryan Murray of Sweetwater failed to input my preference into his end of my account.

Unfortunately, Ryan Murray sent an *INAPPROPRIATE* follow-up email to my complaint.

"Hey XXXXX, I received your email the first time, but I wasn't sure if you wanted a response. We call our customers to confirm their orders for a few reasons.

1. It helps prevent millions of dollars in fraudulent orders each year.
2. It helps us make sure the customers are really getting the product that will solve their problem.
3. It helps us build a relationship with the customer. This is something that 99% of the customers we talk to really appreciate.
4. It gives the customers a point of contact in case they have questions or concerns. It puts a face to the website. Most companies just take your money and process an order. If you prefer to just be treated as an order, and not as a customer, then we can surely process your orders in that fashion in the future.

Ryan Murray
Sweetwater Sales Engineer
1-800-222-4700 ext. 1311"

The last bullet-point was outstandingly nasty and cocky. So, we'll start with that one first.

"4. If you prefer to just be treated as an order, and not as a customer, then we can surely process your orders in that fashion in the future."

I most certainly do *not* prefer to be treated as just an order, not a person! However, you must understand that I prefer to initiate the communication. I'd prefer to contact customer service according to my own preference and during at a convenient time. Why is this so apparently difficult for you to appreciate and most importantly RESPECT? When I need help, I'll ask for it. OK?

If each and every order I placed on the Internet were to be followed up with a pesky call by a salesperson/service-rep like Ryan, then I would have received about 1,000+ phone calls per year. Sweetwater is the one and only website I have encountered which initiates these superfluous sales calls which they disguise as customer service. There needs to be an opt-in process as explained here in the link.

"3. It helps us build a relationship with the customer. This is something that 99% of the customers we talk to really appreciate."

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts--for support rather than illumination." Andrew Lang

You must give all customers a *fair* opportunity to opt-out before reaching that conclusion.

"2. It helps us make sure the customers are really getting the product that will solve their problem."

Pre-sales after the sale? That was *not* the purpose of your phone call. You did not ask me what my needs were or whether the item I had purchased would resolve them. But given that the item I purchased was so stupid, cheap, and easy to use, item #2 is moot.

"1. It helps prevent millions of dollars in fraudulent orders each year."

Complete nonsense. My billing address matched my shipping address. My shipping address matched my billing address. My phone number matched the number on file with Discover Card. The CV2 code matched as well. Moreover, I'm familiar with these addresses verification systems and they can be configured to work in an automated manner. If anything is flagged, then it will be reviewed manually. Nothing about my transaction was to be flagged. It was a low-risk item which was going to an address which matched the address on account with Discover Card.

Even worse, this was a Christmas present for someone. When I answered the phone call, my answering machine had picked up at the same time and the friend of the intended recipient of this present heard the entire phone call!

I would have marked my order as "gift" if Sweetwater had given a prior warning about spamcall.

I would like to switch to a new salesperson. And I - the customer - will INITIATE all communications.

In all, please at least issue an apology.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/15/2011 08:26 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/sweetwater-sound-inc/fort-wayne-indiana-46818/sweetwater-sound-inc-aka-sweetwater-ryan-murray-ryanmurraysweetwatercom-creates-t-810072. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

They SPAM via Phone

AUTHOR: zack - (USA)

I wouldn't call this a ripoff or a scam, but in my opinion it's annoying and bad practice. It's not just the follow up call after the order. That I could write off as kind of a nice gesture even thought the intention is clearly to attempt to get you to add things to your order. However, after receiving the call, I asked not to be contacted again. I received a call a month or two later from "my sales rep" where he actually said, "I know you prefer not to be contacted, but..." and proceeded to try to sell me on something. Again, I asked not to be contacted. Yet last week I got another call (a voicemail). I called back and kinda lost my cool... hopefully that will be enough to get them to stop calling me. Perhaps it's worth mentioning the original item ordered was an eight dollar cable!?! Anyway, I won't order from them again, period. Their prices are about the same as any other major dealer and the other guys leave you alone after.

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#2 General Comment

This Issue Did Not Justify Creating A Report Here

AUTHOR: DaedalEVE - ()

I've personally been doing business with Sweetwater since about 2007-2008. After reading your entire report I have to say that I agree with what Ramjet wrote in his comments above; that you simply are not accustomed to the level of service given by the staff at Sweetwater.

I, like Ramjet, have a sales rep assigned to me, and if I ever receive any calls (which rarely ever happens) it's always from the same person. I know his name by heart, his voice, and even what he looks like thanks to the Sweetwater website and YouTube channel (you are likely to run across a lot of the staff in their channel videos if you ever watch any of that stuff).

Also it's worth pointing out that the first time you order from Zzounds or Musicians Friend online they will both call you as well to confirm your order (Regardless of it's value). However they do not assign you to a long term rep the way Sweetwater does. They also don't send candy with your order, or other interesting promo stuff they have around at the time.

Trust me, it's not Sweetwater that has the issue here, it's you. You're either too used to bad service, or there is a larger problem, perhaps a mental health issue of some sort. Either way, you have completely overeacted. 

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#3 Consumer Comment

I agree

AUTHOR: Ramjet - (U.S.A.)

I have purchased many things from Sweetwater as a private customer and as a business customer when I worked for a school system.  I have even visited their awesome facility in Fort Wayne Indiana.  They are very professional, very ethical and a joy to do business with.

You are used to doing business with uncaring and impersonal companies on the internet and are not use to dealing with a company of this caliber.  Maybe you are too low class for them. I thought his EMail response to you was on-point and appropriate.

I greatly appreciate a confirmation call, I have been assigned a rep. who is the one who always calls me.  There are never any misunderstanding or mistakes because we discuss the order personally.  I have NEVER had them try to upsell me, never.  Once or twice when an item was out of stock, the rep. asked me if I wanted him to make any recommendations for something that was in stock.  When I said "no, that I would wait for this one" he was fine with that.

The executives at Sweetwater came up with this idea to provide exemplary service to differentiate them from other companies.

Do they ever make mistakes?  I'm certain they do although I have not experienced any, in part, due to the confirmation call.

My rep.  even came in to their store on a Saturday (his day off) to help me shop for music keyboards.

It's an awesome company, but no matter what you do, you can't please some people.

I expect they will not miss you, you are an obnoxious a*s.

And before you even try it, I do NOT work for this company, I am just a very satisfied customer.
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#4 Consumer Comment

You're a real corker, you know that?

AUTHOR: voiceofreason - (United States of America)

Sweetwater, for all the issues you might have with their practices and the somewhat justifiable pique that perhaps this salesman had after an unpleasant exchange with you, is probably one of the more on the level merchants out there. I've ordered from them with no issues. They also cater to a professional class and experience has probably taught them that a follow up call can prevent unnecessary returns and headaches. It's not like a gun was put to your head forcing you to buy more.
You can't please everyone. I didn't even bother reading the 2nd half of your rant. The first half was enough to convince me you're just one of these impossible people who have to find a reason to give anyone and everyone a hard time.
The internet is filled with crooks who would be more than happy to take your online order and never contact you ever. Most of them will never ship you what you ordered, or think you ordered as well, which you'd probably enjoy because it means not having to carry a package inside, or open one.
Instead of appreciating being able to order safely from one of the few honest firms out there, who make a point of assigning a dedicated rep for you to deal with if something were to go wrong, you got to come here and blast them full of holes.
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