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Kanaka916
04-12-2008, 04:56 PM
I've been looking over some of the older threads, especially the ones about brand name instruments and ukulele purchases, I noticed that Mele Ukuleles (http://www.meleukulele.com/default.asp) aren't mentioned. They do have a varied assortment of styles and options and their prices are very comparable. Just curious! Just for the record, I am in no way associated with them if anyone is wondering. This is just an observation I made.

UKISOCIETY
04-23-2008, 07:37 AM
I sampled a Mele tenor while in Portland OR over a year ago that I thought sounded great. But since then Ive become a bit more discriminating. I'd be curious to hear it again to see if I still liked it.

ChiyoDad
04-23-2008, 07:43 AM
Haven't tried them.

They're set-up in Hawaii. I think most of their ukes are made in the province of Cebu in the Philippines. That's the center of the country's fretted-instrument industry.

SMillette92
04-23-2008, 02:08 PM
Hey guys.
I have a Tenor Mele ukulele made of Mahogany and with two holes. I bought it last summer and I love it! if you want to see it, check out my youtube videos.

dnewton2
07-21-2008, 06:11 AM
Thread revival.

I was wondering if any one else has a mele uke or has played one and what their opinion of it is. I have been thinking of getting one and have not seen many reviews, but they seem to be pretty nice.

Kanaka916
07-21-2008, 06:28 AM
I know LoMa is selling an 8 string Mele, see this thread (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4288).

LoMa
07-21-2008, 06:33 AM
I've had several Mele's over the years and liked them a lot. I've had baritones and tenors, 4 string and 8 string isntruments, and an old Braddah concert. They all had fan bracing, excellent balance from string to string, very good resonance, and very good to excellent volume and dynamics. Slim fast neck with low action. Very pretty tones, in my opinion.

Except for the Braddah, all my Mele instruments had sitka spruce tops with mahogany back and sides, ebony fretboard, tie block tie bridge, peghead overlay, and top and back binding. Rope purfling on the sides. Satin finish. Very nice appointments, and well-made. I think they're made in the Philipines (or maybe Java? I don't remember which), and are set up by Michael Rock in Hawaii. They'll set it up for anyway you want. The only thing I've noticed about Mele's is that the fret ends could be more finely filed - but they areen't anything like some of the Kanile'as I've played that had very sharp fret ends. But I've just been kind of aware of the fret ends on my Mele's. Otherwise, the Mele's were all very nicely finished with very nice build quality.

The Braddah was a cheaper all-mahogany uke with simpler appointments (this is a long-discontinued line of cheapo Mele instruments - in the days when an all solid uke for under $200 was shocking!!!). Playability was as good as on this little guy as on its more expensive brethren, but the tone was not as nice on the Braddah as on the regular Mele's. Not sure exactly why.

I've heard stories about Mele's having humdity/drying problems, but I have never experienced anything like that. All the Mele's I've had have been super stable. I think though, a lot of folks had bought some Mele ukes from an ebay seller who stored the ukes in a garage - so the storage method was problably the problem rather than the brand of uke.

The only reason I've been selling my Mele's is because I can't handle the longer scales anymore because I have arthritis - looks like I'm concert gal now!

By the way, Mele's Cheryl Rock is a super nice person to work with.

Oh yeah, Mele supplies balck Hilo's on their ukes - which I don't think bring out the best qualities of these ukes. I like Aquila's on them - never tried any of the flourocarbon strings on 'em though.

LoMa
07-21-2008, 06:46 AM
Oh, another thing about Mele's - the satin finish on them is very thin, so the finish sure ain't deadening the sound, that's for sure! But the finihs will show plaing wear pretty quickly if your nails tend to hit the face of your uke or if you use a pick.

Just something to be aware of!

For some reason, my Mele's have never shown playing wear except for that old Braddah I had. Not sure if it's because of my playing style or if the spruce tops are tougher or something. I'm certainly a better player than I was when I first got my Braddah, which was the first uke I bought as an adult!

dnewton2
07-21-2008, 08:48 AM
Thanks LoMa and Kanaka. I wish I could help out by taking that 8 string off your hands but I am looking to get a soprano or maybe a concert if I find a good deal.

JohnBoy
07-21-2008, 12:50 PM
I have a Mele concert. It is a beautiful uke made of solid Koa. The face is flaming Koa. It plays as good as it looks. Very nice action. My only negative is the fret ends. Someone else also pointed this out. Next time I change strings I plan to fix that minor problem. I have had no drying problems but keep a case humidifier in the case.:music:

tad
07-21-2008, 05:00 PM
Never played one, but that vintage-style mahogany for 300 bucks looks really nice...

LoMa
07-21-2008, 07:50 PM
Don't worry about my 8 string tenor!!!

If you call 'em up, Cheryl will make sure you get a very nice instrument. Really nice people to deal with, in my experience!


Thanks LoMa and Kanaka. I wish I could help out by taking that 8 string off your hands but I am looking to get a soprano or maybe a concert if I find a good deal.

ukemike
07-22-2008, 06:12 AM
My X had a 6 string tenor Mele that I did a lot of my learning on. It was a great instrument. A friend has two Meles, and rather simple one and a fancy one with the pickup and the control panel. Both sound great and are very nice instruments. The simple one has high action and very stiff strings I get tired playing it. The fancy one is setup better. Bob is playing it in SF Bay Blues here:

http://youtube.com/my_videos#

you can hear how bright and clear the tone is.

tozan
09-10-2008, 11:47 PM
Just found this if you want to hear what one sounds like.
I'm not associated w/ Mele.

Carlos Rock plays "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=E40iJ91i3Ug

another guy: Mele's Daniel "Pohaku" Osorno

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=QPBOpiQ0p-c

deach
09-11-2008, 12:21 AM
I have a Mele. I consider it a keeper and I've been through a few ukuleles.

haolejohn
09-13-2008, 04:19 PM
I own three Meles. Two Braddah (6 string tenor, 4 string concert) and a 4 string low g tenor with koa top mahaghany back and sides with fishman pick-up (only the best pick-ups imo). I love them. Cheryl taught me my first 3 chords and I want a Kamaka but I can't justify the extra price when i have heard both and the Mele sounds just as good. You can't beat the Mele for the price IMO.

haolejohn
09-13-2008, 04:28 PM
Don't worry about my 8 string tenor!!!

If you call 'em up, Cheryl will make sure you get a very nice instrument. Really nice people to deal with, in my experience!

I have to agree with Loma. Cheryl is the most helpful person i have ever talked to. She was friendlier than MGM and Shawn from Ukulele Friend and that is saying alot because both those guys helped me out tremendously. maybe I am a little partial to Mele since they did teach me my first few chords and I own three but it is an injustice that they aren't mentioned more often.

MGM
09-13-2008, 05:11 PM
quote from above...?? Meles handmade ukes (koa models) are made on Maui


I don't think so.. All Meles are made in the Phillipines none are made in Hawaii..

haolejohn
09-14-2008, 01:46 PM
Correct you are MGM. They are set up on Maui. I stand corrected. I think in my unluthier mind I got set up with built confused.

PickNStrum
01-27-2009, 08:33 AM
I've been a dealer for Mele for many years now and really love their instruments. Value wise they are really a good buy. I really enjoy the thin neck on their instruments as well. They are able to do this as a result of the added truss rod. I don't know any other builders with this feature? I much prefer these to any of the Chinese made ukuleles. They truly have a handcrafted feel to them and excellent tone. Favorites are the koa tenor double puka, koa concert, Great sound and lower price for the tenor is the mahogany back and sides with a koa top.

Noob
03-19-2009, 11:38 AM
I have the 4 string Koa Tenor double puka and love it. Granted, I'm a beginner just starting out, but I did have a previous guitar infatuation so am not totally blind to quality in fretted instruments. This thing sounds fantastic to other similarly priced models. A good buy if you ask me.

Ahnko Honu
03-19-2009, 11:58 AM
I LOVE my MELE Koa concert pineapple, sweet sounding, and a concert most pineapples being only available in soprano.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v504/Ahnkochee/My%20Ukuleles/P1010164.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v504/Ahnkochee/My%20Ukuleles/P1010165.jpg

franulele
03-22-2009, 04:43 AM
This is an interesting thread, because I am thinking of getting a concert or tenor uke. I've been considering three: 1)Kala solid cedar top, 2)Mainland mahogany, or 3)Mele concert pineapple. (If I had more $$, KoALoha would be ideal!)

I am wondering if anyone knows:

1. Does the Mele neck more resemble the Kala, Lanikais & KoALohas? Or is it wider, with wider string spacing like the Pono?

2. Does the Mele Concert Pineapple have a truss rod ?

Mahalo!
Franulele

My Ukes:
Kiwaya KS-a Soprano
Barkcloth Flea Concert
Lanikai CK-TEQ Tenor
Pono PT Tenor

sharp21
11-02-2009, 12:11 PM
I just picked up a Baritone Braddah Uke & it is a really nice instrument.
S.

Bighead
02-05-2011, 06:08 AM
Hey all, new to the forum. But I must warn all of you off MELE Ukes. I traveled to Maui in 2000 and purchased a Koa Concert Uke. At first I was ecstatic about the price and sound of the instrument. While in Hawaii, I played it for hours every day. I returned to my home in New Jersey and put the Uke in my humidity controlled room where I keep about twenty of my vintage, hollow body guitars (some as old as 50 years). Within a few months the MELE uke started to collapse upon itself with several long cracks in the top and back of the instrument. I was distraught! I contacted Cheryl in Maui and she at first told me that she would replace the uke with her apologies. But after a couple of weeks I received the same instrument by UPS, with the cracks and separations along the binding sanded down so that they were slightly less noticeable. I was quite angry and disappointed. By email and by phone Cheryl accused me of keeping the instrument in "an oven" to have caused such damage. I explained to her that I gave the uke the same care I would to any hollow bodied instrument and that she should replace it, not (a half-assed) repair it according to the company's guarantee. She flat refused. This is not the kind of company anyone should have to deal with and I cannot urge any of you strongly enough to avoid MELE ukes. A company is not only judged by what products they sell but by how they deal with trouble. MELE is the worst company I have ever dealt with in this regard. If you bought one and it has been issue free then you're okay....but if anything goes wrong with the instrument God help you! You're out of luck and out whatever you paid for it. As I understand it, MELEs are constructed in the Philippines and then shipped to Hawaii. Clearly the Koa of my uke was not completely conditioned and split horribly after a month.

Sorry to be a downer but I hope to help everybody on the board.

Thanks,

LenieC

musiccityuker
02-05-2011, 07:12 AM
I own three Meles (so far) 1) Koa Pineapple Soprano 2) Mahongany Low G Tenor 3) Concert Spruce top mahogany. I love all three of them. Play and sound great! Very nice. May be one of the more underrated ukes for the price... I love 'em. Action and sound is excellent. And you won't find a nicer person to work with than Cheryl Rock.. the owner! Hope this helps.

musiccityuker
02-05-2011, 07:13 AM
1) It's a narrow neck with very nice playability.

2) No truss rod... only on their tenors.

Gmoney
02-05-2011, 07:18 AM
Hey all, new to the forum. SNIP
Sorry to be a downer but I hope to help everybody on the board.

Really? You join this forum & the first & only post you make is to vent about an alleged bad deal you got w/a Mele you purchased in 2000?1? I have to believe that there's another side to this story as there are MANY satisfied UU'ers who have many, many separate ukes purchased. And another as many who IF they had problems w/their ukes, Mele stood behind them.

musiccityuker
02-05-2011, 07:18 AM
Bighead.. with all respects... there MUST be more to the story on YOUR end. That is not the Mele I know... quite the contrary! I had an issue with one of my ukes... something that I caused. BUT... they took care of it... no questions asked... couldn't have been more promt and responsive. Cheryl is a quality person and the shop and luthiery attached to her busines is as good as any! I'm sorry you have such a bad experience and I hope it worked out in the end. Just had to add my 2-cents worth because my impression has been so much different for the many years I've done biz with Mele.

Bighead
02-05-2011, 07:33 AM
Well, I thought i was doing everyone a favor....sorry, but if any of you had the experience that I had dealing with Cheryl and her company, you might thank me rather than calling me a liar. Tell me what you would have done if your uke split in several places after a couple of months of perfect care. I'd like to hear it. I'll post photos of the offending uke soon.

Thanks,

LenieC

Bighead
02-05-2011, 07:41 AM
Really? You join this forum & the first & only post you make is to vent about an alleged bad deal you got w/a Mele you purchased in 2000?1?

Did you read my post? I said that the uke gave me trouble after a month. I just discovered this forum today so how could I have told my story any sooner?I did not join this forum just to denigrate MELE but to inform and be informed. Now that I have made more than one post does that make my tale of woe any more believable? Geeze! Nice welcome!

Gmoney
02-05-2011, 08:17 AM
Did you read my post? I said that the uke gave me trouble after a month. I just discovered this forum today so how could I have told my story any sooner?I did not join this forum just to denigrate MELE but to inform and be informed. Now that I have made more than one post does that make my tale of woe any more believable? Geeze! Nice welcome!

Sorry if you took exception to my reply - re-reading your post, you actually said "Within a few months ..." which is different than "after a month" as you restated above. I can't guess all the details of your experience w/Mele those 11 years ago, but if anything can be stated with certainty, there are many more satisfied Mele customers that I've heard from here before I bought the Mele Pineapple that I owned a few months back.

And though you may find it hard to believe, I do welcome you to UU & hope that you find it a more open & encouraging forum than my "open rebuke" seemed to indicate.

Paul December
02-05-2011, 08:25 AM
Bighead, you are not alone...
...I briefly had a soprano Mele, and was very disappointed. So much so, I returned it. Mele not only made me pay for the return shipping, they also deducted from my refund the original shipping to me. :mad:
My observations of the soprano Mele sent me:
- poor, uneven, overall finish with multiple blemishes
- sharp crude frets with chipped trim on the neck
- cheap, ugly "Mele" sticker on the headstock
- sounded absolutely dead (even after I changed the cheap stock strings to Aquillas)
Basically, the uke looks like I made it myself...
...and that isn't a good thing! :D

Bighead
02-05-2011, 08:46 AM
Thanks, happy to be here! Here are a few photos of the offending instrument. I'd welcome comments or opinions on what caused these cracks. In re-reading the MELE guarantee it's kinda confusing. In one instance they say they will repair or replace the uke "as they see fit" and in another they say they will replace the instrument no questions asked. Brace yourselves, the following photos are pretty ugly!! btw, Cheryl had, after a few years, agreed to replace the instrument on a visit to NYC three years ago, at one of my live gigs. I guess she figured it would be good publicity....she and the promised new uke never showed up.


Sorry all, figured it out....see below.



LenieC

Bighead
02-05-2011, 09:07 AM
Okay, I think this works
http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc337/LenieC/DSC00725.jpg
http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc337/LenieC/DSC00720.jpg
http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc337/LenieC/DSC00722.jpg
http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc337/LenieC/DSC00723.jpg

Bighead
02-05-2011, 09:08 AM
Gad, I'm almost in tears looking at this thing again. back in the case it goes. Saving my pennies for a Kamaka. Any other recommendations would be appreciated.

Thanks,

LenieC

mds725
02-05-2011, 09:15 AM
Hey guys.
I have a Tenor Mele ukulele made of Mahogany and with two holes. I bought it last summer and I love it! if you want to see it, check out my youtube videos.

I followed the link to your YouTube page, which says "no videos available," maybe because your post is a few years old.... I found a few other videos, though, including this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH-v0uCBny8

Kanaka916
02-05-2011, 09:19 AM
All we see the majority of the time are favorable reviews/opinions on a certain brand of ukulele. I think it's also good to see they are susceptible to flaws/deficiencies. Whenever that happens, the tendency is to disagree with the individual making the post. Read it with an open mind and empathize before responding. One or 2 bad experiences shouldn't tarnish/diminish the companies rep. There will be lemons in the batch. Just my dos centavos.

Paul December
02-05-2011, 09:33 AM
All we see the majority of the time are favorable reviews/opinions on a certain brand of ukulele. I think it's also good to see they are susceptible to flaws/deficiencies. Whenever that happens, the tendency is to disagree with the individual making the post. Read it with an open mind and empathize before responding. One or 2 bad experiences shouldn't tarnish/diminish the companies rep. There will be lemons in the batch. Just my dos centavos.

Mistakes happen, but what really counts is how a company responds to them. In Bighead's case, and to a lesser degree mine, IMO Mele fails :(

pdxuke
02-05-2011, 09:48 AM
Mistakes happen, but what really counts is how a company responds to them. In Bighead's case, and to a lesser degree mine, IMO Mele fails :(

I have had no experience with Mele, but have had many experiences with life. :old: And what those experiences have taught me is, if one is in business, one must go out of their way to make things good. A reputation is an important part of the trade value of a company. We will never know whose fault bad experiences are--customer or business--but one thing I think is certain--the business will always take the hit.

My father taught me the customer is always right (even when they're wrong.)

Maybe that's why, for example, KoAloha has the rep it does--the instruments are good but the customer service is better. Isn't that the reason we keep mentioning MGM? I've bought many ukes from Mike, and he's made some mistakes (shipping errors, wrong uke sent to me) but here's the thing: I'll do business with him for years--he has my business--not because of the mistakes, but because he made them right. Everybody makes mistakes, but making them right is what sets apart a great business.

I also believe that there is no statute of limitations on making things right. Better late, than never. ;) Get me?

My 2 cents.

Bighead
02-05-2011, 10:04 AM
Amen pdxuke!

LenieC

pdxuke
02-05-2011, 10:13 AM
Here's one more thought:

here in the Pacific NW the department store Nordstroms is known for taking any returns--any--forever. No questions asked.

The most famous story is the guy who rolled in 4 tires and asked for his money back. The manager gave him a refund. And here's the thing--Nordstrom doesn't sell tires. But they do value their reputation, and if the guy thought he bought them there, Nordstrom was going to make sure they kept him as a customer for life.

strumsilly
02-05-2011, 10:16 AM
from their ebay ad :A fabulous gift for yourself or someone special, the Mele concert is set up by a top professional luthier and has great tone, intonation and playability. It will delight one and all for many, many years to come. Read our LIFETIME WARRANTY at meleukulele.com

went there and couldn't find it???

Bighead
02-05-2011, 10:31 AM
Here is their warranty from their website. I think they edited it after my complaint, LOL! As i stated, I did take excellent care of the uke but what does this warranty say? If you take the uke anywhere outside of 100% humidity it'll probably crack.
Warranty

As stated on the hang tag that comes with each Mele Ukulele, "All Mele Ukulele instruments are guaranteed to be free from defects in quality of materials and workmanship. If your instrument fails, we will repair or replace it as we see fit." We feel that this is a clear and comprehensive warranty. It is incumbent on the customer, however, to bear in mind that your Mele Ukulele is a fine handmade instrument constructed from top quality tonewoods and hardwoods.

Although it may cost far less than a handmade guitar, violin or other fine stringed instrument, it is of equal quality and requires the same kind of care.

The solid woods of which your Mele is constructed have been very carefully dried and seasoned before being cut and planed to their present thickness. The wood is naturally hygroscopic, meaning that it will soak up moisture in humid climates and lose moisture under dry conditions. In very hot or cold temperatures or any time relative humidity falls below 40% (common in mountain & desert climates and in heated homes and apartments), your ukulele will dry out and the wood can warp or crack.

This, of course, is very serious damage and IS NOT COVERED BY THE WARRANTY.It can, however, be easily prevented by keeping your instrument in its hard case and using a good quality humidifier.

You can find these in our store or on our website (or at any good music store), and we will gladly instruct you in their proper use. We recommend those made by Herco and Planet Waves, and we also suggest you add water to them once a week rather than every other week, as the instructions advise.

An instrument that has warped or cracked due to extreme temperatures or dryness is usually not repairable. Even in cases where a repair can be performed, it usually will cost more than it would cost to buy a replacement instrument, especially on high-quality handmade instruments (like your Mele) where the sides, back, top, and neck and tail blocks are solidly fitted and glued together and cannot be non-destructively disassembled.

The best we can do in such a situation is to offer a replacement at a discounted price. Of course, we would much rather see you and your Mele live happily ever after! So please take good care of your Mele Ukulele! If you treat it well, it will treat you well for a long, long time to come!

silverjet
02-05-2011, 10:47 AM
I've owned a solid mahogany Mele Tenor since July and can report that there have been absolutely NO problems with the instrument, even here in the Sonoran Desert.... Really nice ukulele.....not as warm and full as my Kanilea, but definitely more punch and presence. Really one of the better buys out there, IMO!

musiccityuker
02-05-2011, 10:49 AM
We don't know bighead. Our introduction to him was a blast at the past and a slam on a company and it's owners that a lot of us really appreciate. So, yes... we react! We just have to assume we're hearing all the facts. If so, he has a good argument. If not... our friends are being dissed. Sometimes one Herco dehumidifier isn't enough. I use three in every case and I live in the sticky south. My Meles are many years old and in excellent condition. So many variables could cause that problem.

Mistakes happen, but what really counts is how a company responds to them. In Bighead's case, and to a lesser degree mine, IMO Mele fails :(

haole
02-05-2011, 10:53 AM
Maybe that's why, for example, KoAloha has the rep it does--the instruments are good but the customer service is better. Isn't that the reason we keep mentioning MGM? I've bought many ukes from Mike, and he's made some mistakes (shipping errors, wrong uke sent to me) but here's the thing: I'll do business with him for years--he has my business--not because of the mistakes, but because he made them right. Everybody makes mistakes, but making them right is what sets apart a great business.


This, times a million.

Bighead
02-05-2011, 10:57 AM
Well, mine's made of Koa and you saw the results after careful care and humidification. I mean, just look at how the glue dried and flaked....I ask you, what would any of you have done in the same situation?

LenieC

musiccityuker
02-05-2011, 11:00 AM
Bighead...

There's a great tutorial on the Taylor Guitar site to show you how to fix this yourself... or at least make is sooo much better than it is. Check this out ... http://www.taylorguitars.com/guitars/features/woods/Videos/video.aspx?file=Humidity_2_High.wmx

I had a cracked uke once (my fault). It looked a lot like this one. I followed their tutorial to the letter. It worked. And yours is repairable... at least to a large extent. Best of all... it's a FREE process that'll take less than a week and very little effort. Good luck... your uke is still alive!

Bighead
02-05-2011, 11:08 AM
Thanks musiccityuker! Great tutorial and although I have invested in many dampits to little avail, I'll try again.

LenieC

Gmoney
02-05-2011, 11:20 AM
Since this OLD (last post before today 11-02-2009) thread was resurrected, I think that this will be my last post to it. Its a bummer that Mele seems to have delivered a uke sometime in 2000 that was defective & possibly failed to live up to its own values & stated warranty in effect at the time. But... this thread (again IMO) still has a bit of hyperbole such as:


If you take the uke anywhere outside of 100% humidity it'll probably crack.

Note that the also quoted Mele warranty states:


In very hot or cold temperatures or any time relative humidity falls below 40% (common in mountain & desert climates and in heated homes and apartments), your ukulele will dry out and the wood can warp or crack.

The 40% is what many of us are told repeatedly on this forum is the bottom end of safe for our solid wood instruments. I would guess that 100% humidity might also actually do some damage (storing your uke in a full bathtub seems contraindicated).

And finally, at least for me, I'll respond to this:


I ask you, what would any of you have done in the same situation?

At the time of the problem, I would have made every effort to get the product replaced w/as little cost to me as possible, as long as I thought I had taken care of the instrument to the best of my ability. Then, if I ended up being the "loser" of this transaction, I'd think twice before buying again from that same mfg/maker. And, then I'd get over it.

pdxuke
02-05-2011, 12:21 PM
Yes, I agree. Again I have no experience with Mele. But human nature being what it is, I just wonder why this thread keeps coming up again. Since I'm a former New Yorker, I think, "because there's some truth to it." Ha.

I may be wrong. I hope I'm wrong.

Still, last year when there was a question about Kala's customer support, Mike Upton was on this site in hours setting it straight. I've never seen a question about Mainland, but my guess is that Mike would be here too. Last week we saw Fred from Kamaka step up and set the record straight.

I guess if I ran the circus, I'd do what I could to make things right. Even at this late date.

The End. :o

Paul December
02-05-2011, 12:33 PM
And, then I'd get over it.

Easy advice to give ;)

...besides, the guy isn't going-out-of-his-way to bash Mele. All he did was post his (negative) experience, then responded to posts.

Bighead
02-05-2011, 12:39 PM
At the time of the problem, I would have made every effort to get the product replaced w/as little cost to me as possible, as long as I thought I had taken care of the instrument to the best of my ability. Then, if I ended up being the "loser" of this transaction, I'd think twice before buying again from that same mfg/maker. And, then I'd get over it.

Hey, thanks for your condescending comments! I did make every effort to get it replaced ( I was rebuked). I did end up the "loser" in this transaction and I did "get over it". What I thought I was doing however, was warning my fellow forum members that I, at least, did not have a great experience with my MELE ukulele or the company that sold it. Take it for what it's worth. Isn't this thread about MELE ukes?

LenieC

haolejohn
02-05-2011, 01:05 PM
Well, I thought i was doing everyone a favor....sorry, but if any of you had the experience that I had dealing with Cheryl and her company, you might thank me rather than calling me a liar. Tell me what you would have done if your uke split in several places after a couple of months of perfect care. I'd like to hear it. I'll post photos of the offending uke soon.

Thanks,

LenieC

Well, I bought a double puka solid koa from Mele (my 4th Mele purchase). I left it out in my classroom by accident. It was snowing and I grabbed a load of materials to take out to my car, only to discover that the custodians had already locked the doors. My uke was laying on the table by the back door, right next to it's case. Anyways, the snow shut the schools down for four days. When i returned, I discovered a cracked ukulele. My district has been strapped financially for the last few years and one way to save money was turn heat off at night. I didn't know that they did this. THe lows over those four days was single digits. I left my uke out of it's case in single digit weather. I caused the damage with mother nature's help. I contacted Mele and I was offered a new uke or a free repair. Even after I stressed the fact that the ukulele damage was my fault. I decided to take Cheryl up on the offer and I got myself a mahogany 6 string tenor.
I will always be a Mele supporter and every experience I had dealing with them has always been very good. I know that your experience might have been different and I see nothing wrong with asking for the other side to the story.
I'm not calling you a liar, I do not know you or of your experience.
If it ended up the way you describe, that sucks. Will it deter me from buying from Mele again? Nope. I have had too many good experiences with them to stop being their customer.

haolejohn
02-05-2011, 01:16 PM
Well, mine's made of Koa and you saw the results after careful care and humidification. I mean, just look at how the glue dried and flaked....I ask you, what would any of you have done in the same situation?

LenieC

We have to take your word for the careful care and humidification. I would have contacted them just like you. I would not have slammed them the way you did.

There is a very reputable online dealer that I will not deal with. He mislead me and bashed an ukulele company, but I have never openly bashed him and I won't. It is my one word against others that have had only great experiences. I just figure, I got a bad day from them and move on.

haolejohn
02-05-2011, 01:20 PM
Yes, I agree. Again I have no experience with Mele. But human nature being what it is, I just wonder why this thread keeps coming up again. Since I'm a former New Yorker, I think, "because there's some truth to it." Ha.

I may be wrong. I hope I'm wrong.

Still, last year when there was a question about Kala's customer support, Mike Upton was on this site in hours setting it straight. I've never seen a question about Mainland, but my guess is that Mike would be here too. Last week we saw Fred from Kamaka step up and set the record straight.

I guess if I ran the circus, I'd do what I could to make things right. Even at this late date.

The End. :o

Thom, this thread was originally asking why Mele wasn't mentioned in the makers or something to that effect section. THe bad rep was posted for the first time today.

I will say that I have tried to get Cheryl to join UU and I think they do have someone that monitors it.

I'll be honest with ya. Kamaka just joined. After how long? Some folks don't have time for online forums.
I'd love to see them here b/c next to koaloha, Mele is my favorite uke.

haolejohn
02-05-2011, 01:23 PM
Hey, thanks for your condescending comments! I did make every effort to get it replaced ( I was rebuked). I did end up the "loser" in this transaction and I did "get over it". What I thought I was doing however, was warning my fellow forum members that I, at least, did not have a great experience with my MELE ukulele or the company that sold it. Take it for what it's worth. Isn't this thread about MELE ukes?

LenieC

You did. I think it was just the way you came across. Your very first post here was to bash Mele. You just discovered UU today? It is no big deal. I think there needs to be more of the negatives to companies posted. No one is perfect. No company is perfect. Your experience was your experience. Mine have been totally different.
Hopefully you get the uke repaired. Then again, if it doesn't effect the sound, just play the heck out of that bad boy.

pdxuke
02-05-2011, 01:31 PM
Thom, this thread was originally asking why Mele wasn't mentioned in the makers or something to that effect section. THe bad rep was posted for the first time today.

I will say that I have tried to get Cheryl to join UU and I think they do have someone that monitors it.

I'll be honest with ya. Kamaka just joined. After how long? Some folks don't have time for online forums.
I'd love to see them here b/c next to koaloha, Mele is my favorite uke.

Yea, I get the time thing. It is good that someone with 8000+ posts shares his positive experiences. That's helpful. I do hope Mele joins these boards and lets their own light shine! It would do us all some good and I think it could only broaden the appeal these ukes have to many.

haolejohn
02-05-2011, 01:52 PM
Yea, I get the time thing. It is good that someone with 8000+ posts shares his positive experiences. That's helpful. I do hope Mele joins these boards and lets their own light shine! It would do us all some good and I think it could only broaden the appeal these ukes have to many.

I once brought up a Mele bashing to Cheryl and I was told there are two sides to a story. THat was the only elaboration I got which to me was a good thing. She didn't bash a customer b/c that would appear to be unprofessional. THere are always two sides to a story. I always take a negative and cut it in half and that is what I choose to believe. Until confirmed by both sides.

Now about my 8000+ posts, 7000 of them are worthless.

Bighead
02-05-2011, 02:27 PM
I'd love to hear Cheryl's "side" of the story!! How could it differ from mine? Unless, of course, she thought I was using it to hit baseballs with! Either you think I abused the uke or not. Since it lived in a humidified (70%) room along with twenty-three other (and far more valuable and undamaged) hollow bodied instruments, you can either choose to dismiss that or believe it. If you knew me you'd know I care for my instruments in a most fanatical way. But I'm done trying to convince anyone here of my honesty. I'll just browse the other threads on this cool forum that are more helpful and less suspicious. I'm eager to hear what folks around here think as it will influence my next purchase. Thanks for the input folks.

LenieC

cletus
02-05-2011, 02:33 PM
Hello Bighead and welcome to the UU.

:cheers: Have a 'natural ball' hanging out, talking and learning about ukes. It's some good fun.


Cheers!:old:

pdxuke
02-05-2011, 02:36 PM
Hello Bighead and welcome to the UU.

:cheers: Have a 'natural ball' hanging out, talking and learning about ukes. It's some good fun.


Cheers!:old:

Yes, welcome! As for your next uke, may I suggest a Mele? (Joke.)

Seriously, consider a Kiwaya for a good mahagony traditional sound. I have a KTS4 and love it.

Bighead
02-05-2011, 03:05 PM
Wow Thom, I see you have a Favilla uke! I once owned a Favilla tenor uke for about a year but sold it to buy another guitar. Since the uke was tuned like the last four strings of a guitar it was a little too close to an actual guitar. I did not weep at the parting. But seeing your post it gave me a twinge of regret. Do you have any photos?

Thanks,

LenieC

Bighead
02-05-2011, 03:07 PM
...and are there any inherent advantages in mahogny vs. Koa?

LenieC

pdxuke
02-05-2011, 03:26 PM
...and are there any inherent advantages in mahogny vs. Koa?

LenieC

Just a different sound. Koa is the choice,, I'd say, for that "island" sound, mahogany is a more Martin-esque, mainland sound. I love mahogany ukes. Search the forum under Favilla, I have pics up.

OldePhart
02-05-2011, 05:49 PM
I know when I first got into this uke thing several months ago I spent a lot of time doing research online. At that time it seemed like every used Mele I saw on eBay had what I considered pretty serious issues (cracks, separating tops and backs, etc.) There were somewhere around four to six such instruments over the month or so that I was doing my research. What was significant was that there weren't many used Mele ukes listed - so it was almost 100% of the used ones that seemed to have issues.

I simply mentally added Mele to my "do not buy" list back then - and that's long before I'd read any forum posts for or against them. Now, to be fair I haven't seen those issues over the last few months (though I haven't seen many used Meles at all for that matter, which in itself is often a good sign). It was probably just a fluke (pun not intended) or maybe, as someone has indicated here, a single dealer or batch that were a problem. Still, in spite of all the positive reports from folks here I'd tend to be very shy of them just because of what I observed with my own eyes six or eight months ago. There are enough choices out there that I simply haven't found a strong enough reason to take what I still see as somewhat of a risk.

John

haolejohn
02-05-2011, 07:37 PM
I know when I first got into this uke thing several months ago I spent a lot of time doing research online. At that time it seemed like every used Mele I saw on eBay had what I considered pretty serious issues (cracks, separating tops and backs, etc.) There were somewhere around four to six such instruments over the month or so that I was doing my research. What was significant was that there weren't many used Mele ukes listed - so it was almost 100% of the used ones that seemed to have issues.

I simply mentally added Mele to my "do not buy" list back then - and that's long before I'd read any forum posts for or against them. Now, to be fair I haven't seen those issues over the last few months (though I haven't seen many used Meles at all for that matter, which in itself is often a good sign). It was probably just a fluke (pun not intended) or maybe, as someone has indicated here, a single dealer or batch that were a problem. Still, in spite of all the positive reports from folks here I'd tend to be very shy of them just because of what I observed with my own eyes six or eight months ago. There are enough choices out there that I simply haven't found a strong enough reason to take what I still see as somewhat of a risk.

John

I always search for used Meles and there is one beater that keeps surfacing on ebay. I bought my first one used. No issues with it. Traded for a martin backpacker guitar. Tried to get it back, no dice. I then bought my first 6 string from FMM. It had two repaired cracks. Story I got was the previous owner lived in Arizona and knew nothing of humidifying an instrument.

I think every uke company has some sort of issues.
I always recommend Mele and I always will, until I have a bad experience with them.


Bighead, I'm sorry you had a bad experience and I am sorry that you feel unwelcome in this thread, but we tend to take up for each other. It happens. None of us have been to your house and none of us were with you when you dealt with your issues.
We can only compare your experience with ours. It was 1o years ago, so maybe Cheryl and the company grew and learned from the experience. I lived on Maui during your visit. I was a frequent visitor even though I didn't play the uke then b/c all my froends played either Meles or Kamakas and Kamakas were out of my price range.

The good thing about your post is that you do mention that it happened 10 yers ago.

As I mentioned, I had a bad experience with a very reputable online dealer. I choose not to deal with them ever again. But I know that their reputation is well deserved and if I shared my story, many would not believe me. I wouldn't get my feelings hurt. I'd understand their support of their dealer.

haolejohn
02-05-2011, 07:39 PM
I will make one last comment about Meles. I just traded a Koaloha concert for a Mele mahogany tenor. Straight up. I have no regrets (it helps when you still have two KoAlohas:))

iDavid
02-05-2011, 11:18 PM
DUDE!
I would never trade my KoAloha concert.....

You must really love Mele.

haolejohn
02-06-2011, 04:10 AM
DUDE!
I would never trade my KoAloha concert.....

You must really love Mele.

and i really love koaloha, but one can only play one uke at a time.

JDMaui
02-07-2011, 12:06 PM
Aloha, everybody! My name is Jonathan and I work p/t (freelance-web assistant and sales) for Mele Ukulele, so clearly I have a bias. I also own 3 meles, 2 kamakas, 1 Maui Music, 1 koa Sam Chang, and at least 10 other ukes-mostly vintage sopranos (Gretsch, Regal, Harmony, etc.) My main axe (uke-wise) is a Mele mahogany tenor 4, which is 7 years old. I have played it on every kind of gig you can imagine, from baby luaus to large concerts. That uke has never given me any trouble whatsoever. It plays and sounds better now than when it was brand-new!

It is EXTREMELY GRATIFYING to see how many of you have rushed to Mele's defense. It's very clear that 99% of our customers are EXTREMELY SATISFIED with our products, our lifetime warranty, and our SUPERB customer service.

It's possible that the one disgruntled customer on this thread got a "lemon", which happens even with "custom" handmade instruments costing thousands more, as well as mass-produced Chinese ukes. However, in my 7 years with Mele, I have never EVER seen a legitimate or even a questionable warranty claim denied.

We are an small company, NOT a Nordstrom or a Wal-mart. THEY can afford to make refunds on used or damaged merchandise. We cannot. When you contact us with warranty issues you are dealing with Cheryl or myself, and both of us will bend over backwards to help you if you are decent and civil with us. In this particular 10-year old case, though, you can see for yourself what kind of person Cheryl had to deal with. Let's face it, she's only human.

"You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar", they say, and most everyone we deal with (like HaoleJohn and everyone else on this thread except one) has the "Aloha Spirit" and is pleasant to deal with, which is why Mike and Cheryl are still in this business after 20 years, rather than something more profitable.

Moral of the story: if you want good customer service, be a good customer. When a customer is decent and sincere, we often give them the benefit of the doubt on warranty coverage, even sometimes when the instrument has CLEARLY been abused or mistreated. Treat people with Aloha, and you will receive the same in return, not just with us but with any small business person (or most anybody, for that matter!)

Mahalo nui loa to all you loyal Mele Ukulele supporters!

pdxuke
02-07-2011, 02:26 PM
Aloha, everybody! My name is Jonathan and I work p/t (freelance-web assistant and sales) for Mele Ukulele, so clearly I have a bias. I also own 3 meles, 2 kamakas, 1 Maui Music, 1 koa Sam Chang, and at least 10 other ukes-mostly vintage sopranos (Gretsch, Regal, Harmony, etc.) My main axe (uke-wise) is a Mele mahogany tenor 4, which is 7 years old. I have played it on every kind of gig you can imagine, from baby luaus to large concerts. That uke has never given me any trouble whatsoever. It plays and sounds better now than when it was brand-new!

It is EXTREMELY GRATIFYING to see how many of you have rushed to Mele's defense. It's very clear that 99% of our customers are EXTREMELY SATISFIED with our products, our lifetime warranty, and our SUPERB customer service.

It's possible that the one disgruntled customer on this thread got a "lemon", which happens even with "custom" handmade instruments costing thousands more, as well as mass-produced Chinese ukes. However, in my 7 years with Mele, I have never EVER seen a legitimate or even a questionable warranty claim denied.

We are an small company, NOT a Nordstrom or a Wal-mart. THEY can afford to make refunds on used or damaged merchandise. We cannot. When you contact us with warranty issues you are dealing with Cheryl or myself, and both of us will bend over backwards to help you if you are decent and civil with us. In this particular 10-year old case, though, you can see for yourself what kind of person Cheryl had to deal with. Let's face it, she's only human.

"You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar", they say, and most everyone we deal with (like HaoleJohn and everyone else on this thread except one) has the "Aloha Spirit" and is pleasant to deal with, which is why Mike and Cheryl are still in this business after 20 years, rather than something more profitable.

Moral of the story: if you want good customer service, be a good customer. When a customer is decent and sincere, we often give them the benefit of the doubt on warranty coverage, even sometimes when the instrument has CLEARLY been abused or mistreated. Treat people with Aloha, and you will receive the same in return, not just with us but with any small business person (or most anybody, for that matter!)

Mahalo nui loa to all you loyal Mele Ukulele supporters!

Welcome to UU.

This answer pretty much assures that I will never buy a Mele.

Best of luck to you!

Aloha!

Gmoney
02-07-2011, 02:35 PM
This answer pretty much assures that I will never buy a Mele.

And pretty much guarantees that I will buy Mele another soon - been eyeing one of their Concert Koa Pineapple's. Each to their own conclusions - too many ukes, too little time.

Paul December
02-07-2011, 02:51 PM
Welcome to UU.

This answer pretty much assures that I will never buy a Mele.

Best of luck to you!

Aloha!

+1 ... Mele would have been better off staying quiet, rather than posting like this.

Last year I had a problem with my Lanikai and posted about it. The Lanikai rep simply responded that they will "make it right"... and they did.
No preaching "Aloha Spirit", or requiring me to me a "good customer".

Give the guy his replacement uke already!

didgeridoo2
02-07-2011, 03:37 PM
I missed this the last couple days and I am surprised at Mele's response here. I'm curious if JDMaui has recollection of this transaction, or if he is just posturing for the company he works for.

In this particular 10-year old case, though, you can see for yourself what kind of person Cheryl had to deal with.
What I "see" is a customer who had a bad experience with Mele and a new forum member who found an opportunity to share his experience with other forum members. Good for him, I say. I have no experience with Mele and find all input invaluable. As pdxuke said earlier, what happens when a product does not live up to its promise is the important thing here. Who knows why your customer is still unhappy, but your comments and suggestions on customer behavior certainly don't help your cause if you're here to defend Mele.

cletus
02-07-2011, 03:43 PM
+1 ... Mele would have been better off staying quiet, rather than posting like this.

Agreed! I am also a bit dismayed at the tone of this post. It's not what I would consider to be polite:old:.

rasputinsghost
02-07-2011, 04:06 PM
"In this particular 10-year old case, though, you can see for yourself what kind of person Cheryl had to deal with. Let's face it, she's only human."

Nothing inspires more confidence in the moral superiority of one party than passive-aggressive, backhanded sniping.

Good show.

Additionally, let's not jump to conclusions about this guy actually being a representative of Mele - we're not actually sure if his opinions represent those of the company.

Plainsong
02-07-2011, 04:32 PM
We've all had a handful of ban-worthy customers in our business lives. We do know in our heart of hearts, they're not always right. Especially if they look for any excuse to hurl profanity and abuse at you no matter how much you try to help them or make it right. I'd like to think that's the type of customer JD is referring to, that tiny part of a percent of all of them, who are unstable and just trolling you because they're unstable.

But he has to be careful, IMO when he starts using absolutes. He's NEVER seen a LEGITIMATE claim denied? Well that's a bit backhanded. That's saying "If we turned you down, you're a liar!" How does a dissatisfied customer who has to their mind a real grievance respond to that? You not only turned down their claim but insulted them.

And it's a warning to others that they might get the same treatment from Mele.

I'm sure JD is a nice guy and he's proud of his company and of what they sell. But be careful with the absolutes of always and never. It's always and never until it happens to you. If there was going to be a response, it should have been specific to this case, the other side of the story. "We're not Walmart" in response to why promises were broken and why the choice was made that the customer was lying, leaves too much to the imagination.

It's nothing personal against Mele, but no more light was really shed on the subject, so I suppose we draw our own conclusions then.

I've gotten a lemon uke before, and I've been lied to and ignored about it, and no way in hell would I tell the story on any uke forum. No way. Not worth the aggro. Not worth being called every name in the book. That has to change. We have to allow for the bad to be told as well as the good.

OldePhart
02-07-2011, 04:48 PM
Welcome to UU.

This answer pretty much assures that I will never buy a Mele.

Best of luck to you!

Aloha!

+1 on that. All the cheerleading around here had almost convinced to change my "do not buy" opinion of Mele that I'd formed from eBay searches months ago. Not anymore.

I'm sure management and full time staff at Mele would never be stupid enough to post something this embarassing - but I'm also reasonably sure the poster probably reflects the real behind-the-scenes flavor at Mele. There is almost always a disconnect between the public policy of a corporation and the opinion of the staff and management - but sometimes that gulf is pretty wide. I've known small business owners who would be sweetness and light on the telephone with a customer - then curse them and belittle them as soon as they hung up. My guess would be that this guy has heard that happening sometimes at Mele - maybe fairly often, who can say?

OldePhart
02-07-2011, 04:58 PM
It's possible that the one disgruntled customer on this thread got a "lemon", which happens even with "custom" handmade instruments costing thousands more, as well as mass-produced Chinese ukes. However, in my 7 years with Mele, I have never EVER seen a legitimate or even a questionable warranty claim denied.

And therein lies the problem - I don't think anyone questions that you can occasionally get a lemon from anywhere. What matters is how the company responds to make it right - and that should not be contingent on the customer being a good little customer who prefers using honey to vinegar. When a company ships a lemon it's on the company to make it right - and until they do the customer has every legitimate right to be unpleasant - the customer is not the problem unless you make them the problem!

John

Bill Mc
02-07-2011, 06:13 PM
JDMaui, usually I just read these posts for amusement and move on without commenting. But do you have any idea of how damaging your arrogant post has been to the reputation of Mele Ukuleles ?

sailor
02-07-2011, 06:50 PM
yikes. that's a pretty big whoops....p.r. backfire.
i deal with customers every day with my businesses and it can be trying, but they're the ones who decide how a company does...you don't get to.
no product can be 100% perfect coming off the line and having the attitude that the customer has to preform as you see fit to get what's coming to them is bad business.

JDMaui
02-07-2011, 11:50 PM
I didn't say that he actually GOT a lemon. The uke he returned literally looked like it had been baked in a 350 degree oven for several hours, according to Mike, who shipped it to him originally and knew exactly what it looked like when he shipped it out. Mele would, nonetheless, have done our best to help him, would have worked with him to make it right, had there been ANY civilized discourse.

A number of the posters on this thread can tell you from experience that we ARE the good guys who do anything within reason, and sometimes beyond reason, for our customers, because we care about them. The others have never dealt with us, (except for one, whose case was rather unique-more about that at a later date!) so while we value their opinions, actual experience carries a bit more weight. I suggest anybody who wonders, read this whole thread, examine what both the badmouthers and the boosters have to say and how they say it, and then make an informed decision.
PS- Yes, I am a nice guy. But a bit arrogant sometimes. As Homer Simpson would say, "I make no apologies. I'm sorry, that's just how I am!"

cletus
02-08-2011, 02:51 AM
PS- Yes, I am a nice guy. But a bit arrogant sometimes. As Homer Simpson would say, "I make no apologies. I'm sorry, that's just how I am!"

Perhaps the folks at Mele need a new hire in their customer service department. Someone more like Lisa Simpson.:rofl:

Paul December
02-08-2011, 02:56 AM
Jeeze ... Just replace the guys uke already!

Plainsong
02-08-2011, 03:25 AM
Wow, so that's how it is at Mele. If someone gets a uke made of some koa that was just going to crack no matter what - then the customer is a liar.

Well, if you make no apologies, and that's who you are, then Mele just lost a ton of money. Dude, we're not the only ones reading this. Anyone who searches google about Mele and customer satisfaction, is going to see this thread. No wonder the disgruntled customer got so angry so quick. With that attitude, it's perfectly understandable. FAIL.

Quoting it in case he edits it away. If someone better than this guy comes here and makes it right, I'll remove it.


didn't say that he actually GOT a lemon. The uke he returned literally looked like it had been baked in a 350 degree oven for several hours, according to Mike, who shipped it to him originally and knew exactly what it looked like when he shipped it out. Mele would, nonetheless, have done our best to help him, would have worked with him to make it right, had there been ANY civilized discourse.

A number of the posters on this thread can tell you from experience that we ARE the good guys who do anything within reason, and sometimes beyond reason, for our customers, because we care about them. The others have never dealt with us, (except for one, whose case was rather unique-more about that at a later date!) so while we value their opinions, actual experience carries a bit more weight. I suggest anybody who wonders, read this whole thread, examine what both the badmouthers and the boosters have to say and how they say it, and then make an informed decision.
PS- Yes, I am a nice guy. But a bit arrogant sometimes. As Homer Simpson would say, "I make no apologies. I'm sorry, that's just how I am!"

rasputinsghost
02-08-2011, 03:33 AM
Perhaps the folks at Mele need a new hire in their customer service department. Someone more like Lisa Simpson.:rofl:

or Ralph. Ralph would be better.

Paul December
02-08-2011, 03:55 AM
Mele Customer Service Department

http://www.simpsoncrazy.com/content/lists/billboards/board-05-local-bullies.jpg

cletus
02-08-2011, 03:56 AM
or Ralph. Ralph would be better.

Man, that boggles my mind.:uhoh: Ralph Wiggum on uke. What song would he play?

Sorry, not to hijack the thread...

cletus
02-08-2011, 04:00 AM
Mele Customer Service Department

http://www.simpsoncrazy.com/content/lists/billboards/board-05-local-bullies.jpg

:bowdown:Impressive, but is JDMaui really:anyone: a representative for Mele?

Paul December
02-08-2011, 04:12 AM
:bowdown:Impressive, but is JDMaui really:anyone: a representative for Mele?

I hope JDMaui isn't authorized to speak for Mele and someone with more business savvy responds.
I can only imagine how much bad PR for Mele JDMaui's responses have created :rolleyes:

Nuprin
02-08-2011, 04:42 AM
I didn't say that he actually GOT a lemon. The uke he returned literally looked like it had been baked in a 350 degree oven for several hours, according to Mike, who shipped it to him originally and knew exactly what it looked like when he shipped it out. Mele would, nonetheless, have done our best to help him, would have worked with him to make it right, had there been ANY civilized discourse.

A number of the posters on this thread can tell you from experience that we ARE the good guys who do anything within reason, and sometimes beyond reason, for our customers, because we care about them. The others have never dealt with us, (except for one, whose case was rather unique-more about that at a later date!) so while we value their opinions, actual experience carries a bit more weight. I suggest anybody who wonders, read this whole thread, examine what both the badmouthers and the boosters have to say and how they say it, and then make an informed decision.
PS- Yes, I am a nice guy. But a bit arrogant sometimes. As Homer Simpson would say, "I make no apologies. I'm sorry, that's just how I am!"

Guess I'll throw in my 2 cents...really disappointed by JDMaui's response to this whole situation. I work in retail and we have customers who can definitely push our buttons. You don't go onto a forum and publicly air those problems for everyone to see. No matter which side was right, the classy thing for a company to do is just keep quiet and work with the customer to make it right...not bad mouth the customer.

"Mele would, nonetheless, have done our best to help him, would have worked with him to make it right, had there been ANY civilized discourse."
You'll only help make things right if the customer is meek about the whole thing? I'm not one to fly off the handle but I'd be quite upset if one of my ukes cracked (especially when I have been maintaining it in a humidified room as the customer stated). To then be told that you won't make it right because I'm upset? Terrible, terrible customer service.

"The others have never dealt with us, (except for one, whose case was rather unique-more about that at a later date!)"
Please, for your best interests, do not come back and trash another customer. Keep it to yourself. The last thing Mele's reputation needs (although you've already hurt it) is to dig up stories about your customers and how bad they are.

I had a Mele that I bought used from HaoleJohn which I really liked...from the good things I had heard about the company and the experience with that one uke, I was a Mele supporter. Not so much anymore.

Edit: I really hope it will come to light that JDMaui is not associated with Mele in any way as I really want to think good things about the company...his posts have definitely tarnished my opinion of them.

pdxuke
02-08-2011, 05:00 AM
I didn't say that he actually GOT a lemon. The uke he returned literally looked like it had been baked in a 350 degree oven for several hours, according to Mike, who shipped it to him originally and knew exactly what it looked like when he shipped it out. Mele would, nonetheless, have done our best to help him, would have worked with him to make it right, had there been ANY civilized discourse.

A number of the posters on this thread can tell you from experience that we ARE the good guys who do anything within reason, and sometimes beyond reason, for our customers, because we care about them. The others have never dealt with us, (except for one, whose case was rather unique-more about that at a later date!) so while we value their opinions, actual experience carries a bit more weight. I suggest anybody who wonders, read this whole thread, examine what both the badmouthers and the boosters have to say and how they say it, and then make an informed decision.
PS- Yes, I am a nice guy. But a bit arrogant sometimes. As Homer Simpson would say, "I make no apologies. I'm sorry, that's just how I am!"

Business schools all over America are lining up to study this as an example of what not to do when a customer is unhappy. This keeps getting worse and worse. Please, somebody at Mele who owns this business, make this right!

molokinirum
02-08-2011, 05:12 AM
I have not bought a Mele uke, almost did. I talked to Cheryl, she was very, very nice. But that was when she was trying to make a sale. Based upon prior reviews about Mele ukes, there have been no real negative ones, just this one.

Folks, I would hold off on painting Mele Ukulele as evil until we hear (hopefully) from one of the owners. We all have no idea who JDMaui is! Maybe haolejohn could help in getting Mele uke to respond.

Kanaka916
02-08-2011, 05:25 AM
I'm gonna be Big Brother on this thread . . . just in case this one goes beyond finger pointing. IMO, I feel there was a lack of communication between customer service and consumer. A classic case of "I said, he said" . . .

Plainsong
02-08-2011, 05:39 AM
I'm gonna be Big Brother on this thread . . . just in case this one goes beyond finger pointing. IMO, I feel there was a lack of communication between customer service and consumer. A classic case of "I said, he said" . . .

I agree. It was probably the case at first where the customer was more right than Mele. But as this went downhill, it seems to me that any high ground anyone could claim probably eroded. I imagine from the tone of his posts that he got pretty hot pretty quick, and it sounds like Mele responded in a childish and spiteful way. Both sides come out a bit tarnished, but the company still comes out looking worse when it can be judge and jury on who it honors the warranty claims of.

And JDMaui isn't doing ANY favors for Mele. It's like OldePhart said, it sounds like a disconnect between the public and private culture in the company, and what we may be seeing should have stayed private.

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 10:55 AM
I'm gonna be Big Brother on this thread . . . just in case this one goes beyond finger pointing. IMO, I feel there was a lack of communication between customer service and consumer. A classic case of "I said, he said" . . .

Ten years ago. This incident won't change my opinion on Mele, I have had too many good experiences with the company (with issues that were my fault yet they ate). That is all I'm going to say.

Plainsong
02-08-2011, 12:23 PM
Yes, but someone came here from Mele within very recent history, and was kind of a jerk. There's too many great uke companies out there for me to take a risk with these guys. If Mele was going to comment on the case, they should have sent someone here who would give some specifics, and not just preach about Aloha. Why do they suspect he lied? At what point was the choice made to not honor the warranty? Why would they send back a poorly repaired instrument? Why would they lie about finally replacing it?

If there are two sides of the story, what is their side? All he did was come here to preach. So I draw my conclusion from what he said, and that conclusion is that they honor claims at their whim. I wish I had more to go on, but I don't. And promising to dish on another customer? Come on! I don't hate Mele, it's not like that, it's just not worth the risk. If they would like to correct this perception, the forum is always here.

I could count on one hand the number of times a customer needed to just be cut loose, but what I did in those situations was to refund as quick as I could. You gotta make it right in some way. Seeing what we've seen thus far from both sides, Mele has yet to do that. (And according to what we've seen here, even if they do make it right, they'll still penalize you in some way.) It's not just one customer who had a negative experience here.

BadLands Bart
02-08-2011, 12:41 PM
This back and forth can go on and on!!! Maybe it's time to shut it down! :deadhorse:

bbqribs
02-08-2011, 12:46 PM
Um...I tried the Mele double puka 6 string tenor, and I liked it very much--it was just too big for my hands to span.

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 12:56 PM
Yes, but someone came here from Mele within very recent history, and was kind of a jerk. There's too many great uke companies out there for me to take a risk with these guys. If Mele was going to comment on the case, they should have sent someone here who would give some specifics, and not just preach about Aloha. Why do they suspect he lied? At what point was the choice made to not honor the warranty? Why would they send back a poorly repaired instrument? Why would they lie about finally replacing it?

If there are two sides of the story, what is their side? All he did was come here to preach. So I draw my conclusion from what he said, and that conclusion is that they honor claims at their whim. I wish I had more to go on, but I don't. And promising to dish on another customer? Come on! I don't hate Mele, it's not like that, it's just not worth the risk. If they would like to correct this perception, the forum is always here.

I could count on one hand the number of times a customer needed to just be cut loose, but what I did in those situations was to refund as quick as I could. You gotta make it right in some way. Seeing what we've seen thus far from both sides, Mele has yet to do that. (And according to what we've seen here, even if they do make it right, they'll still penalize you in some way.) It's not just one customer who had a negative experience here.

that is your right as a consumer. You don't have to buy from them.
It is the company's decision to make a stand???
I'm not a fan of "the customer is always right". I think it breeds greed.
That is my opinion and there are many that will disagree with it.
I am glad that Mele didn't come out and share their side of the story. IMO, that would be scooping down to a certain level that a company shouldn't.
I know how Mele handled my situation. I paid for shipping to them, but they shipped it back to me. I was not charged for the repairs, even though it was my fault. I left the uke out in single digit tempatures in a cold room with no heat. I let them know up front. I expected to have to pay for return shipping b/c it is plainly stated.
I'm not sure how they didn't honor their warranty. I have to take their professional judgement about the condition of the uke. There is a difference between humidity/weather cracks and what we are seeing. I'm not expert. I don't claim to be one.

JD's response wasn't the greatest, but it wasn't the worst either. Maybe I am a little different than most folks. No one is perfect. and I do not expect perfection.

Plainsong
02-08-2011, 01:28 PM
I hope this thread doesn't get shut down. No one is flaming anyone or being in any way uncivil. It's just a problem that needs a better resolution than it got IMO. To shut it down would be to say that we would always rather sweep things under the rug, which is a poor attitude to take. As for haolejohn's opinion, I don't really understand it at all, but that's alright. :)

I can only say that JD's response could only have been worse if he'd mooned us. It was really bad, like as in a shining example of what not to do type bad. Does he speak for Mele? Hope not! In fact, I wasn't going to say much about this at all until his attitude provoked me and others into responding.

I hope we can keep it open to give Mele another shot at it.

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 01:44 PM
I hope this thread doesn't get shut down. No one is flaming anyone or being in any way uncivil. It's just a problem that needs a better resolution than it got IMO. To shut it down would be to say that we would always rather sweep things under the rug, which is a poor attitude to take. As for haolejohn's opinion, I don't really understand it at all, but that's alright. :)

I can only say that JD's response could only have been worse if he'd mooned us. It was really bad, like as in a shining example of what not to do type bad. Does he speak for Mele? Hope not! In fact, I wasn't going to say much about this at all until his attitude provoked me and others into responding.

I hope we can keep it open to give Mele another shot at it.

LOL!! The mooning:)

Gmoney
02-08-2011, 01:59 PM
SNIP - I hope we can keep it open to give Mele another shot at it.

I would hope it gets locked. For one reason. It was a 2 year old thread to begin with. And what got appended didn't really help anyone, IMO

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 02:08 PM
LOL!! The mooning:)

i just went back and read all the posts again.
I can see how JD reacted the way he did. Did that make it right? No.
We had a thread revived over a year after the last post by someone with a Mele issue from 10 yrs ago.
That is my first red flag. How would you discover UU by searching for Mele 10 yrs after an incident?
I see two people speaking of a bad situation with Mele. One two presidents ago and the other recently (a year or so).
I know many of you, and to some extent myself, are not satisfied with JD's response. does he work for Mele? IDK.
It doesn't matter that I am the big Mele supporter here on UU. I can not tell you how many emails i have received from memebers looking to buy a Mele. in reality, Mele gets nowhere near the press that other uke brands get on here. I have a theory to that but that is a different point.
Even if this was an attack on let's say Kanile'a (think ukulelereggae issue) I would have the same concerns.
There are two sides to every story. I think that JD shed a little light that the customer might have been an issue without saying that. I am inferring that was the issue. I also know that there are times a company has to bite their tounge. Maybe this was one of those issues.
No one here except bighead and Mele know the full story. A story that happened 10 years ago. I can't remember anything in complete full details from last week.
I take Bighead and JD's comments and somewhere in the middle is the true story.
The damage has been done by those looking for the damage.
the damage never occured for those of us not looking for damage.

Paul December
02-08-2011, 02:11 PM
I would hope it gets locked. For one reason. It was a 2 year old thread to begin with. And what got appended didn't really help anyone, IMO

It hasn't helped anyone....Yet.
Mele only responded the other day, so things just started moving on the issue.
This would also give Mele a chance to correct things (if they want to).

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 02:18 PM
It hasn't helped anyone....Yet.
Mele only responded the other day, so things just started moving on the issue.
This would also give Mele a chance to correct things (if they want to).

I disagree here. Is there really something that needs to be fixed? We automatically assume that bigheads issue was real.
then again we automatically assume that Mele is correct:)
I think everyone needs to look back at the time difference. 10 years. Seriously.
Paul?(did I get that correct?) you had an issue with Mele fairly recently right?
You have a legitimate right to complain. It was recent. What are the statue of limitations?

Paul December
02-08-2011, 02:42 PM
I disagree here. Is there really something that needs to be fixed? We automatically assume that bigheads issue was real.
then again we automatically assume that Mele is correct:)
I think everyone needs to look back at the time difference. 10 years. Seriously.
Paul?(did I get that correct?) you had an issue with Mele fairly recently right?
You have a legitimate right to complain. It was recent. What are the statue of limitations?

By correct things, I meant clarify. They really come-off looking bad with their last 2 posts. I would hope no company would want the conversation to be frozen on that note. I think many of us actually just can't believe they are ok with how this looks. People have even hypothesized (including myself) that the posts were not made by someone authorized to do so.
Anyone who has run a business or worked retail can tell you there is no "statute of limitations" right-or-wrong.

didgeridoo2
02-08-2011, 02:50 PM
Why should it matter that this incident happened 10 years ago? This forum didn't exist 10 years ago. Does that make his experience any less legitimate? Should Mele do something about it? Who's to say? They should try to represent themselves better if they feel it necessary to be involved in this part of the discussion. It's clear that JD's self-proclaimed arrogance has turned off some people here. Since he's claimed to be one of the two people you deal with when you have an issue, its understandable.

cletus
02-08-2011, 02:57 PM
Well, it seems that someone with a dog in this fight might want to call the Mele company(808.244.3938) and inform them about this dispute. Perhaps then, there will be a clear and official statement from Mele regarding their position on their warranties, and on this particular issue.

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 03:09 PM
Well, it seems that someone with a dog in this fight might want to call the Mele company(808.244.3938) and inform them about this dispute. Perhaps then, there will be a clear and official statement from Mele regarding their position on their warranties, and on this particular issue.

Bighead or someone else. THis isn't my fight. I've received PMs asking me too.

pdxuke
02-08-2011, 03:12 PM
This thread would be over had not someone claiming to be from Mele come here and raise all kinds of alarm bells for those of us who have never dealt with Mele.

It doesn't matter what happened 10 years ago. It matters what happened now. And what happened now was a customer was trashed by someone claiming to represent a business. If this gentleman does represent that business, then all the positive experiences that the people I respect here have had will not matter to me, because I can't do business with anyone who treats any customer this way. And if this fellow does not represent Mele, then it would be in their best interests to make time to come on this Goggle searchable forum and disavow him--right now-- and make this right.

So that's why this forum should not be locked. Because we all need to give a company that has given many people pleasure, the chance--again--to make this right. I hope I'm not the only one to see that it's in Mele's best interests to do that!

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 03:14 PM
By correct things, I meant clarify. They really come-off looking bad with their last 2 posts. I would hope no company would want the conversation to be frozen on that note. I think many of us actually just can't believe they are ok with how this looks. People have even hypothesized (including myself) that the posts were not made by someone authorized to do so.
Anyone who has run a business or worked retail can tell you there is no "statute of limitations" right-or-wrong.

Clarify? YEs we would all like to see that but do they have to? I read somewhere where people were slamming JD for his absolute statement.

If we say that Mele has to, then we are making an absolute.

I will say again, JD's statement was not the best and might do more harm than good. But he admits that he is a little arrogant. Honesty is a good thing:)

We expect Mele to come back but what about BigHead? where has he been?

I get upset when we, the consumers, expect dealers and makers to make things right sight unseen. I felt there are times that MGM, KoAloha, and others were expected to make things right. We believe everything that we read. There are always two sides to every story.
These companies that we see on UU are members here. I expect them to respond b/c they are participating members here. Is anyone from Mele actually a member here?

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 03:16 PM
This thread would be over had not someone claiming to be from Mele come here and raise all kinds of alarm bells for those of us who have never dealt with Mele.

It doesn't matter what happened 10 years ago. It matters what happened now. And what happened now was a customer was trashed by someone claiming to represent a business. If this gentleman does represent that business, then all the positive experiences that the people I respect here have had will not matter to me, because I can't do business with anyone who treats any customer this way. And if this fellow does not represent Mele, then it would be in their best interests to make time to come on this Goggle searchable forum and disavow him--right now-- and make this right.

So that's why this forum should not be locked. Because we all need to give a company that has given many people pleasure, the chance--again--to make this right. I hope I'm not the only one to see that it's in Mele's best interests to do that!

I agree Thom.

But I disagree too.

pdxuke
02-08-2011, 03:18 PM
Clarify? YEs we would all like to see that but do they have to? I read somewhere where people were slamming JD for his absolute statement.

If we say that Mele has to, then we are making an absolute.

I will say again, JD's statement was not the best and might do more harm than good. But he admits that he is a little arrogant. Honesty is a good thing:)

We expect Mele to come back but what about BigHead? where has he been?

I get upset when we, the consumers, expect dealers and makers to make things right sight unseen. I felt there are times that MGM, KoAloha, and others were expected to make things right. We believe everything that we read. There are always two sides to every story.
These companies that we see on UU are members here. I expect them to respond b/c they are participating members here. Is anyone from Mele actually a member here?

But John, we are now dealing with practical matters. And as a practical matter, this fellow JD has injected Mele into the fight. If he works for them, they have a real public relations problem--right now. If he doesn't work for them they still have a public relations problem. As a practical matter, it's in the interest of the company you love to deal with this!

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 03:20 PM
Aloha, everybody! My name is Jonathan and I work p/t (freelance-web assistant and sales) for Mele Ukulele, so clearly I have a bias. I also own 3 meles, 2 kamakas, 1 Maui Music, 1 koa Sam Chang, and at least 10 other ukes-mostly vintage sopranos (Gretsch, Regal, Harmony, etc.) My main axe (uke-wise) is a Mele mahogany tenor 4, which is 7 years old. I have played it on every kind of gig you can imagine, from baby luaus to large concerts. That uke has never given me any trouble whatsoever. It plays and sounds better now than when it was brand-new!

It is EXTREMELY GRATIFYING to see how many of you have rushed to Mele's defense. It's very clear that 99% of our customers are EXTREMELY SATISFIED with our products, our lifetime warranty, and our SUPERB customer service.

It's possible that the one disgruntled customer on this thread got a "lemon", which happens even with "custom" handmade instruments costing thousands more, as well as mass-produced Chinese ukes. However, in my 7 years with Mele, I have never EVER seen a legitimate or even a questionable warranty claim denied.

We are an small company, NOT a Nordstrom or a Wal-mart. THEY can afford to make refunds on used or damaged merchandise. We cannot. When you contact us with warranty issues you are dealing with Cheryl or myself, and both of us will bend over backwards to help you if you are decent and civil with us. In this particular 10-year old case, though, you can see for yourself what kind of person Cheryl had to deal with. Let's face it, she's only human.

"You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar", they say, and most everyone we deal with (like HaoleJohn and everyone else on this thread except one) has the "Aloha Spirit" and is pleasant to deal with, which is why Mike and Cheryl are still in this business after 20 years, rather than something more profitable.

Moral of the story: if you want good customer service, be a good customer. When a customer is decent and sincere, we often give them the benefit of the doubt on warranty coverage, even sometimes when the instrument has CLEARLY been abused or mistreated. Treat people with Aloha, and you will receive the same in return, not just with us but with any small business person (or most anybody, for that matter!)

Mahalo nui loa to all you loyal Mele Ukulele supporters!
Maybe I am dumb, but what is wrong with this post?

has anyone hear heard of love and logic?

pdxuke
02-08-2011, 03:22 PM
Maybe I am dumb, but what is wrong with this post?

has anyone hear heard of love and logic?

Sorry John I'm a teacher too, and this is not love and logic.:) This in a business class is a customer relations FAIL.

70sSanO
02-08-2011, 03:25 PM
So does anyone have an opinion on their ukuleles?

Sorry... couldn't resist.

John

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 03:27 PM
I didn't say that he actually GOT a lemon. The uke he returned literally looked like it had been baked in a 350 degree oven for several hours, according to Mike, who shipped it to him originally and knew exactly what it looked like when he shipped it out. Mele would, nonetheless, have done our best to help him, would have worked with him to make it right, had there been ANY civilized discourse.

A number of the posters on this thread can tell you from experience that we ARE the good guys who do anything within reason, and sometimes beyond reason, for our customers, because we care about them. The others have never dealt with us, (except for one, whose case was rather unique-more about that at a later date!) so while we value their opinions, actual experience carries a bit more weight. I suggest anybody who wonders, read this whole thread, examine what both the badmouthers and the boosters have to say and how they say it, and then make an informed decision.
PS- Yes, I am a nice guy. But a bit arrogant sometimes. As Homer Simpson would say, "I make no apologies. I'm sorry, that's just how I am!"

I bolded what I think is key. If JD is from Maui, he is taking second hand information since he didn't work there when this issue happened. Myself and musiccity uker had issues with Meles that was our fault and Mele still took care of. Is it b/c we were honest and polite? Is it b/c I offered to pay for repairs? IDK.

With my dealings with Mele, I think in order for them not to "make it right" there had to be a reason. had there been any civilized discourse sheds a lot of light on the situation.

I would love for Mele to come and tell their side of the story. I hate seeing people who have never dealt with them, judge them.

The good thing is that if I ever have a disagreement with them, i do not have to worry about them telling everyone our business.

They took a hit here. Will they still survive? Yes they will. Will any of you buy a Mele? Probably not but that is ok. It leaves more for me:)

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 03:28 PM
Sorry John I'm a teacher too, and this is not love and logic.:) This in a business class is a customer relations FAIL.

But it is love an logic. Remember he made all his points using retail. Anytime I have a disagreement with anyone or business, I use love and logic.
It works. Almost every time:)

didgeridoo2
02-08-2011, 03:30 PM
I will say again, JD's statement was not the best and might do more harm than good. But he admits that he is a little arrogant. Honesty is a good thing:)


Unfortunately, arrogance, where customer relations is concerned, is never a good thing. Believe me, I've been visibly arrogant in front of clients and it didn't turn out so well. And that was in front of one difficult client. I can only imagine the implications if I had such a vast audience of willing customers reading my comments. Since I was arrogant to begin with, I'd probably chalk softer-sales-than-usual up to "poor economy".

cletus
02-08-2011, 03:30 PM
So does anyone have an opinion on their ukuleles?

I've browsed Meles online, never wanted to get one yet. But, I wouldn't buy one now.
That could change, depending on the veracity of the alleged employee posting here.

pdxuke
02-08-2011, 03:32 PM
I bolded what I think is key. If JD is from Maui, he is taking second hand information since he didn't work there when this issue happened. Myself and musiccity uker had issues with Meles that was our fault and Mele still took care of. Is it b/c we were honest and polite? Is it b/c I offered to pay for repairs? IDK.

With my dealings with Mele, I think in order for them not to "make it right" there had to be a reason. had there been any civilized discourse sheds a lot of light on the situation.

I would love for Mele to come and tell their side of the story. I hate seeing people who have never dealt with them, judge them.

The good thing is that if I ever have a disagreement with them, i do not have to worry about them telling everyone our business.

They took a hit here. Will they still survive? Yes they will. Will any of you buy a Mele? Probably not but that is ok. It leaves more for me:)

I really wasn't trying to judge Mele at all, until someone who, I'm told, works for their company came on this forum and gave me an opportunity to judge them.

I also don't know why I should care so much. I guess it's just the waste of seeing a company light themselves on fire before our very eyes, and make no effort to put the fire out.

And now I go lie down; I'm done with it--I've got ukes to play!

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 03:33 PM
Unfortunately, arrogance, where customer relations is concerned, is never a good thing. Believe me, I've been visibly arrogant in front of clients and it didn't turn out so well. And that was in front of one difficult client. I can only imagine the implications if I had such a vast audience of willing customers reading my comments. Since I was arrogant to begin with, I'd probably chalk softer-sales-than-usual up to "poor economy".

arrogance is never a good thing. I wonder if they even get much business here. Mainland and MGM have the monopoly on UU. They may feel that what damage done isn't that bad in the great scheme of things.

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 03:34 PM
I really wasn't trying to judge Mele at all, until someone who, I'm told, works for their company came on this forum and gave me an opportunity to judge them.

I also don't know why I should care so much. I guess it's just the waste of seeing a company light themselves on fire before our very eyes, and make no effort to put the fire out.

And now I go lie down; I'm done with it--I've got ukes to play!

I was just thinking the same thing. I feel like the unofficial spokesman:)

70sSanO
02-08-2011, 03:37 PM
This has been a tough decision...

Rocky on AMC or the Mele Ukes thread.

Hmmmm

John

didgeridoo2
02-08-2011, 03:40 PM
But it is love an logic. Remember he made all his points using retail. Anytime I have a disagreement with anyone or business, I use love and logic.
It works. Almost every time:)

It's logical to conclude that you love Mele. ;/ This isn't the first thread I've seen you proclaim your loyalty to them and I think that's great. The problem with JD's second post is that he doesn't try to right the impression we all got from his first post. Also, he has the details of the transaction wrong. He claims Mike shipped the uke out and bighead said he bought it on island. Maybe he meant when it was shipped out after repair, but that's not how it reads.

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 03:41 PM
This has been a tough decision...

Rocky on AMC or the Mele Ukes thread.

Hmmmm

John
LOL!!! aThat is too funny.

knadles
02-08-2011, 03:42 PM
Sheesh. I've been watching this thread for a while now, and...well...just sheesh.

Fact: Some guy went on a rant about something that happened ten years ago. Maybe Mele screwed up. Maybe he did. None of us know a damn thing one way or the other, but I've been embittered by enough internet trolls to wonder why the hell he showed up here out of the blue to post a rant about something ten years after the fact.

Fact: Someone claiming to have an association with Mele posted a response, which was not an official response from the company. He tried to smooth things over. He missed his target. At best, he has an association with the company and isn't a PR person and probably didn't respond well, but we still lack an official response. At worst, he has nothing to do with Mele and is another potential internet troll.

Conclusion: We know nothing. NOTHING. We don't know that there was a problem. We don't know that Mele knows anything about this. We don't know what Mele's response was if there was in fact a problem. And we don't know what Betty White had for dinner tonight either, although if someone posts up and says it was Spam, we can have a nice discussion on that. All we have are 4-5 posts from two people we don't know and have never heard from before and may never hear from again.

Your mileage may vary. I'm not making any decisions based on this recent spate of posts.

-Pete

cletus
02-08-2011, 03:43 PM
in reality, Mele gets nowhere near the press that other uke brands get on here. I have a theory to that but that is a different point.

:wtf:My curiosity is piqued now.

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 03:44 PM
It's logical to conclude that you love Mele. ;/ This isn't the first thread I've seen you proclaim your loyalty to them and I think that's great. The problem with JD's second post is that he doesn't try to right the impression we all got from his first post. Also, he has the details of the transaction wrong. He claims Mike shipped the uke out and bighead said he bought it on island. Maybe he meant when it was shipped out after repair, but that's not how it reads.

you are correct. I wonder what uke he is talking about then? Or is BigHead lying? This whole situation is stinky. Smells like a do-do diaper.

I just like seeing closure when conflict is involved.

I'm done. It doesn't change my stance with Mele.

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 03:45 PM
:wtf:My curiosity is piqued now.

you will have to come to a SEUker meeting and I'll share it with you. I have heard a few stories from dealers and makers and ukers and I have a very solid theory but I'm not putting it in print. I don't want to get lynched.

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 03:47 PM
Sheesh. I've been watching this thread for a while now, and...well...just sheesh.

Fact: Some guy went on a rant about something that happened ten years ago. Maybe Mele screwed up. Maybe he did. None of us know a damn thing one way or the other, but I've been embittered by enough internet trolls to wonder why the hell he showed up here out of the blue to post a rant about something ten years after the fact.

Fact: Someone claiming to have an association with Mele posted a response, which was not an official response from the company. He tried to smooth things over. He missed his target. At best, he has an association with the company and isn't a PR person and probably didn't respond well, but we still lack an official response. At worst, he has nothing to do with Mele and is another potential internet troll.

Conclusion: We know nothing. NOTHING. We don't know that there was a problem. We don't know that Mele knows anything about this. We don't know what Mele's response was if there was in fact a problem. And we don't know what Betty White had for dinner tonight either, although if someone posts up and says it was Spam, we can have a nice discussion on that. All we have are 4-5 posts from two people we don't know and have never heard from before and may never hear from again.

Your mileage may vary. I'm not making any decisions based on this recent spate of posts.

-Pete

Pete, You sir are right on target.

cletus
02-08-2011, 03:51 PM
you will have to come to a SEUker meeting and I'll share it with you. I don't want to get lynched.

:stop:Nor do I.

Lunched, maybe:anyone:.

Nuprin
02-08-2011, 03:54 PM
Myself and musiccity uker had issues with Meles that was our fault and Mele still took care of.

That is great customer service! Things like this stand out, just like KoAloha's customer service. I owned a Mele and was very happy with it until I got my Kamaka at which point it sat relatively unplayed. They are very nice ukes and I think most of those who have owned them would agree (obviously there are a couple of exceptions).

My problem with this whole situation is how JD handled it...in my opinion it really should have been handled privately instead of trashing bighead (whether or not the trashing was justified).

Again, I really hope that JD does not speak for Mele as it has hurt their reputation.

Gmoney
02-08-2011, 03:57 PM
Sheesh. I've been watching this thread for a while now, and...well...just sheesh.

Fact: Some guy went on a rant about something that happened ten years ago. Maybe Mele screwed up. Maybe he did. None of us know a damn thing one way or the other, but I've been embittered by enough internet trolls to wonder why the hell he showed up here out of the blue to post a rant about something ten years after the fact.

Fact: Someone claiming to have an association with Mele posted a response, which was not an official response from the company. He tried to smooth things over. He missed his target. At best, he has an association with the company and isn't a PR person and probably didn't respond well, but we still lack an official response. At worst, he has nothing to do with Mele and is another potential internet troll.

Conclusion: We know nothing. NOTHING. We don't know that there was a problem. We don't know that Mele knows anything about this. We don't know what Mele's response was if there was in fact a problem. And we don't know what Betty White had for dinner tonight either, although if someone posts up and says it was Spam, we can have a nice discussion on that. All we have are 4-5 posts from two people we don't know and have never heard from before and may never hear from again.

Your mileage may vary. I'm not making any decisions based on this recent spate of posts.

-Pete

Wish I'd said that! Couldn't agree more.

And I heard that Betty White started regularly eating a plate of Spam musubi for dinner 10 years ago & its the reason for her success since - the Golden Girls wouldn't have ever happened w/o SPAM!

cletus
02-08-2011, 04:00 PM
- the Golden Girls wouldn't have ever happened w/o SPAM!

But, is it kosher?

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 04:06 PM
:stop:Nor do I.

Lunched, maybe:anyone:.

only if meat is involved:)

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 04:09 PM
That is great customer service! Things like this stand out, just like KoAloha's customer service. I owned a Mele and was very happy with it until I got my Kamaka at which point it sat relatively unplayed. They are very nice ukes and I think most of those who have owned them would agree (obviously there are a couple of exceptions).

My problem with this whole situation is how JD handled it...in my opinion it really should have been handled privately instead of trashing bighead (whether or not the trashing was justified).

Again, I really hope that JD does not speak for Mele as it has hurt their reputation.

I agree and the private thing goes both ways. Bighead should have handled it differently.
I contacted Mele once about a bashing I witnessed. i was told that there are two sides to every story. They dropped it at that. They didn't come here to UU and defend their honor. This was about a year to two years ago (I think). That spoke volumes to me. They respected their former customer yet let me know that things aren't always as they seem but they wanted to take the high road.

Plainsong
02-08-2011, 04:17 PM
I'm just curious now how it all went down. Undoubtedly things eroded pretty quickly. But Mele can't claim he "Literally" (unless JD doesn't know what literal means) baked the uke at 350 until a crispy golden brown, anymore than Bighead (Bigfoot?) can claim that Mele ukes need to be kept in a foggy rainforest. Lots of exaggeration going on there, on both sides. The few times I've had to cut a customer loose, I at least refunded them.

The above paragraph takes the leap that either of the stories hold any water of course. While I do come down more on the side of them not handling so well up to this point, please understand that it's just an opinion.

The passage of time has less meaning to me, because there's such a fear of causing drama and aggro in a tight community, it'll probably be ten years or more before I spill the beans on my scam story, if ever. And if I saw the scammer, I'd still want to punch them in the face, which is why I avoid being at the same jam sessions.

pithaya9
02-08-2011, 04:32 PM
And I heard that Betty White started regularly eating a plate of Spam musubi for dinner 10 years ago & its the reason for her success since - the Golden Girls wouldn't have ever happened w/o SPAM!

All this Mele thrashing is making me hungry for some spam musubi. Hopefully it will make me live as long as Betty White.

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 04:34 PM
I'm just curious now how it all went down. Undoubtedly things eroded pretty quickly. But Mele can't claim he "Literally" (unless JD doesn't know what literal means) baked the uke at 350 until a crispy golden brown, anymore than Bighead (Bigfoot?) can claim that Mele ukes need to be kept in a foggy rainforest. Lots of exaggeration going on there, on both sides. The few times I've had to cut a customer loose, I at least refunded them.

The above paragraph takes the leap that either of the stories hold any water of course. While I do come down more on the side of them not handling so well up to this point, please understand that it's just an opinion.

The passage of time has less meaning to me, because there's such a fear of causing drama and aggro in a tight community, it'll probably be ten years or more before I spill the beans on my scam story, if ever. And if I saw the scammer, I'd still want to punch them in the face, which is why I avoid being at the same jam sessions.

That made my night as well:)

I will say that regardless of how this thread ends up or this situation, everyone has been very respectful. This is a reason, why I love UU so much.

sailor
02-08-2011, 04:35 PM
The passage of time has less meaning to me, because there's such a fear of causing drama and aggro in a tight community, it'll probably be ten years or more before I spill the beans on my scam story, if ever. And if I saw the scammer, I'd still want to punch them in the face, which is why I avoid being at the same jam sessions.

I understand not wanting to trash companies for every little thing, but if you feel you were scammed, I can't imagine why you wouldn't warn people of said scammer.
sounds like the genial/uke version of the ghetto 'snitches get stitches'.
a scams a scam no matter what they're selling....no? or can you get away with more because uke players are 'nice'.

Plainsong
02-08-2011, 04:45 PM
I understand not wanting to trash companies for every little thing, but if you feel you were scammed, I can't imagine why you wouldn't warn people of said scammer.
sounds like the genial/uke version of the ghetto 'snitches get stitches'.
a scams a scam no matter what they're selling....no? or can you get away with more because uke players are 'nice'.

If I had thought at the time to take some pictures, I would have. But, I didn't, so If I claim X, they will claim Y and accuse me of witchhunting. Some local players know the story, and they side with the scammer because of a history of Personal Issues, that I don't know the backstory of. The verdict was that I should have kept my mouth shut and taken up the matter privately. Only I got no private response so... yeah. I just gave that uke to a guy who's never going to pay for it, just so I don't have to see it sitting there needing a few hundred euros worth of repair, silently mocking me.

And I know others in a similar boat to me, but no one wants to say anything.

It is a problem in the uke community. There's such a thing as being _too_ nice, so it probably contributes to my bias.

Kanaka916
02-08-2011, 04:54 PM
OK - caught up with what's goin on. Do we wait for a response or does it end here? Y'all lemme know. And fo da record, podagee sausage musubi is much bettah. HA!

haolejohn
02-08-2011, 04:57 PM
OK - caught up with what's goin on. Do we wait for a response or does it end here? Y'all lemme know. And fo da record, podagee sausage musubi is much bettah. HA!

Kanaka, it has remained civil, keep it open.

Kanaka916
02-08-2011, 05:00 PM
Not a prob . . .

sailor
02-08-2011, 05:02 PM
OK - caught up with what's goin on. Do we wait for a response or does it end here? Y'all lemme know. And fo da record, podagee sausage musubi is much bettah. HA!

I (for whatever that's worth) think that this is a conversation that needs to be had here.
I don't think that the fact someone makes ukuleles mandates that anyone should bury opinions on a company.

Good business is good. Bad is bad and the truth is usually somewhere in the middle....and if it doesn't, people should know.

Mele is more than free to give there input and I think everyone else is too. why not?!

As someone who's going to be in the business soon, I think it's healthy for everyone.
I can't think of many other products that would be able to have a thread locked because someone had an issue.

Uker's are to damn nice (which is 99% a good thing)...but nobody respects a pushover. :)

pithaya9
02-08-2011, 05:10 PM
OK - caught up with what's goin on. Do we wait for a response or does it end here? Y'all lemme know. And fo da record, podagee sausage musubi is much bettah. HA!

Love podagee sausage and love musubi so I will have to try podagee sausage musubi. Thanks for the tip Kanaka916

Kanaka916
02-08-2011, 05:10 PM
To really make this conversation worthwhile, I feel the parties in question need to be involved. We've had a similar situation/discussion and that was left unresolved. As mentioned earlier, I have no problems leaving this thread open and let it run it's course . . .

sailor
02-08-2011, 05:13 PM
To really make this conversation worthwhile, I feel the parties in question need to be involved. We've had a similar situation/discussion and that was left unresolved. As mentioned earlier, I have no problems leaving this thread open and let it run it's course . . .

has nobody popped mele a link to this yet? i don't know if this jd guy is mental or an actual spokesman for the company.
i'll send them a link. they responde or they don't (again or for the first time?).

JDMaui
02-08-2011, 07:08 PM
I was sent a link to this thread. That's why I registered and logged on in the first place. I presented MY side of the story, which clearly was unwelcome. You were right, I wrong- he bought it in the store, not online. As you pointed out, I was not yet working for Mele at the time, and I clearly AM "mental", as well as not authorized to speak for the company. Apparently, by jumping to Mele's defense, I have indeed put my small foot in my big mouth. So, please ignore everything I've posted. I have learned a painful and valuable lesson; IGNORE TROLLS! (INCLUDING ME!) Hopefully I have learned it well enough to not post here in the future, but I will continue to check back (maybe.) ANY OPINION I EXPRESSED WAS MINE ALONE, NOT THAT OF MELE UKULELE. 'bYE.

rasputinsghost
02-08-2011, 08:09 PM
I was sent a link to this thread. That's why I registered and logged on in the first place. I presented MY side of the story, which clearly was unwelcome. You were right, I wrong- he bought it in the store, not online. As you pointed out, I was not yet working for Mele at the time, and I clearly AM "mental", as well as not authorized to speak for the company. Apparently, by jumping to Mele's defense, I have indeed put my small foot in my big mouth. So, please ignore everything I've posted. I have learned a painful and valuable lesson; IGNORE TROLLS! (INCLUDING ME!) Hopefully I have learned it well enough to not post here in the future, but I will continue to check back (maybe.) ANY OPINION I EXPRESSED WAS MINE ALONE, NOT THAT OF MELE UKULELE. 'bYE.

Aaaand that's what would have been useful information eight pages ago.

cletus
02-09-2011, 12:25 AM
I was sent a link to this thread. That's why I registered and logged on in the first place. I presented MY side of the story, which clearly was unwelcome. You were right, I wrong- he bought it in the store, not online. As you pointed out, I was not yet working for Mele at the time, and I clearly AM "mental", as well as not authorized to speak for the company. Apparently, by jumping to Mele's defense, I have indeed put my small foot in my big mouth. So, please ignore everything I've posted. I have learned a painful and valuable lesson; IGNORE TROLLS! (INCLUDING ME!) Hopefully I have learned it well enough to not post here in the future, but I will continue to check back (maybe.) ANY OPINION I EXPRESSED WAS MINE ALONE, NOT THAT OF MELE UKULELE. 'bYE.

Duly noted. Thanks for the updated information.

PhilUSAFRet
02-09-2011, 03:24 AM
I have a Koa tenor, about 5 or 6 years old and the fret ends are pretty rough. I haven't played it much, but have recently started to play more. It still has the black strings on it which I plan on changing to aquila low g's. Sound is very good, nice neck. I got this as a gift, but my wife and son paid about half of what you'd have to pay for the same uke today. How it holds up with some real playing time is a future story.

knadles
02-09-2011, 03:54 AM
I was sent a link to this thread. That's why I registered and logged on in the first place. I presented MY side of the story, which clearly was unwelcome. You were right, I wrong- he bought it in the store, not online. As you pointed out, I was not yet working for Mele at the time, and I clearly AM "mental", as well as not authorized to speak for the company. Apparently, by jumping to Mele's defense, I have indeed put my small foot in my big mouth. So, please ignore everything I've posted. I have learned a painful and valuable lesson; IGNORE TROLLS! (INCLUDING ME!) Hopefully I have learned it well enough to not post here in the future, but I will continue to check back (maybe.) ANY OPINION I EXPRESSED WAS MINE ALONE, NOT THAT OF MELE UKULELE. 'bYE.

Thank you, JDMaui. I'm sure you meant well and were genuinely trying to help. The trouble is that you originally presented yourself in a manner that implied that you might be speaking for Mele. Unfortunately, context becomes extremely important when your only tool to communicate is text. I'm a professional writer and I often end up rereading, rewriting, and editing my responses (and resorting to smilies, with which I have a love/hate relationship), just to ensure that I won't be misunderstood or provide someone with the wrong impression. I've seen flame wars erupt between otherwise reasonable people, just because someone took a perfectly innocent statement or joke the wrong way. When we can hear vocal inflections and see facial expressions, these issues are less common.

I hope I'm not alone in saying that I'd like to invite you to stick around. I've found this forum to be a generally decent bunch of folks, and if you have ties to "the industry," that can be a valuable thing. I certainly hate to see anyone driven out. As I say, I believe you meant well. I'd just humbly suggest that if you say anything in the future about a company with which you have an association, that you add a disclaimer to make it clear you are not speaking FOR the company. A little disclosure goes a long way. :)

Peace,
Pete

countrybumpkin
02-09-2011, 04:21 AM
Painful to see threads like this. It would be interesting to see if someone in a mediator role could help iron things out to the benefit of everyone involved.
My friends from Maui have good things to say about the instruments and the company. No personal experience, but still interested in trying out a Mele.

Plainsong
02-09-2011, 07:43 AM
I was sent a link to this thread. That's why I registered and logged on in the first place. I presented MY side of the story, which clearly was unwelcome. You were right, I wrong- he bought it in the store, not online. As you pointed out, I was not yet working for Mele at the time, and I clearly AM "mental", as well as not authorized to speak for the company. Apparently, by jumping to Mele's defense, I have indeed put my small foot in my big mouth. So, please ignore everything I've posted. I have learned a painful and valuable lesson; IGNORE TROLLS! (INCLUDING ME!) Hopefully I have learned it well enough to not post here in the future, but I will continue to check back (maybe.) ANY OPINION I EXPRESSED WAS MINE ALONE, NOT THAT OF MELE UKULELE. 'bYE.

This doesn't seem too rationally thought out IMO. I think OldePhart hit the nail on the head with his post about business culture. Whatever works for them. I have no dog in the fight so all I can do is shake my head sadly.

BadLands Bart
02-09-2011, 08:00 AM
Give it a rest!!!!!

Paul December
02-09-2011, 08:14 AM
I was sent a link to this thread. That's why I registered and logged on in the first place. I presented MY side of the story, which clearly was unwelcome. You were right, I wrong- he bought it in the store, not online. As you pointed out, I was not yet working for Mele at the time, and I clearly AM "mental", as well as not authorized to speak for the company. Apparently, by jumping to Mele's defense, I have indeed put my small foot in my big mouth. So, please ignore everything I've posted. I have learned a painful and valuable lesson; IGNORE TROLLS! (INCLUDING ME!) Hopefully I have learned it well enough to not post here in the future, but I will continue to check back (maybe.) ANY OPINION I EXPRESSED WAS MINE ALONE, NOT THAT OF MELE UKULELE. 'bYE.

This does clarify things a bit, but shouldn't be a "Get out of Jail for Free Card".
You work for Mele, so simply get someone in charge to finally respond.
The situation went from a complaint of a defective uke to...
...a defective uke *plus* your fiasco of a post. If Mele didn't want to deal with the buyer before, it really should now. If they continue to stay quiet, that should say a lot to potential buyers.
Bighead, now that Mele can contact you by PM, please update this thread a final time before it gets locked.

http://prisonphotography.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/jail-card-monopoly.jpg

musiccityuker
02-10-2011, 04:34 AM
WOW!................... I would and will still buy a Mele... damn fine ukes for the money!

sugarinthegourd
02-12-2011, 03:55 AM
This thread is ridiculous. I feel so bad for Mele and the unfair slagging they have received that I am going to head over to eBay now and buy a Mele tenor.

Who would want to go into this business knowing you have to deal with insanity like this thread as well as the actual business of supplying and satisfying individual customers?

Madness, and I am impressed that Mele has stayed out of this ridiculous and embarrassing exchange.

Paul December
02-12-2011, 06:52 AM
This thread is ridiculous. I feel so bad for Mele and the unfair slagging they have received that I am going to head over to eBay now and buy a Mele tenor.

Who would want to go into this business knowing you have to deal with insanity like this thread as well as the actual business of supplying and satisfying individual customers?

Madness, and I am impressed that Mele has stayed out of this ridiculous and embarrassing exchange.

Very strong feelings there...
...and you are basing them off of what? You didn't mention anything. :confused:
So you are going to blow a bunch of $$$ just because you feel bad for them? :rolleyes:
...to quote you, "ridiculous" & "madness". Post some pics after you buy it! ;)

I'm done with this thread. It doesn't look like Mele is going to do right, even after their loose cannon employee got ugly here.

Back to the fun parts of the forum! :D

bazonkers
02-12-2011, 07:48 AM
It's ridiculous they didn't bother to say anything when one of their own EMPLOYEES starting spouting off nonsense. All they had to do was take 2 minutes to distance themselves from that crazy talk. This is all part of running a business. Reputation is everything.

After all this, the main thing I got from this thread as if you buy a Mele and have a problem, good luck. That might not be the case at all but it's the impression I get thanks to the lack of any word from them.

Plainsong
02-12-2011, 10:37 AM
What thread was it that you read? Because it must not have been this one. If it's ridiculous to you, tell us what you would do if your uke cracked under conditions where your other ukes don't crack. Please explain to us the proper method of reaction when they send back a very poor repair job. Tell us how we should proceed when they refuse to honor the warranty, as they don't seem to understand that some wood is just destined to crack.

Tell us how you would handle JDMaui, since he's one of the customer service people, you might get him. And his attitude is just so awesome. Tell us how you would react IF they take your uke, but ding your credit card again for shipping, like a restocking fee. What is the proper reaction?

Since you seem to have the solution, enlighten us. A post like this without detailing what your problem with it actually is, doesn't help much.



This thread is ridiculous. I feel so bad for Mele and the unfair slagging they have received that I am going to head over to eBay now and buy a Mele tenor.

Who would want to go into this business knowing you have to deal with insanity like this thread as well as the actual business of supplying and satisfying individual customers?

Madness, and I am impressed that Mele has stayed out of this ridiculous and embarrassing exchange.

NotsoGoodyet
02-12-2011, 11:27 AM
Wow, that was entertaining.
17 pages and I still don't know if I should visit the Mele store next month.

One thing I will say, as a person who works with wood (but not ukuleles) on a daily basis....
something nasty must have happened to the ukulele in question.
Somewhere, sometime, that thing got environmentally abused.
Wild temperature and/or humidity fluctuations caused that damage.
Most likely ANY ukulele would have suffered.

Don't know who to blame, don't really care.
But I do feel sorry for the ukulele.

70sSanO
02-12-2011, 11:36 AM
This thread is like one of those slasher movies, just when you think it is safe...

John

haolejohn
02-12-2011, 11:47 AM
This thread is like one of those slasher movies, just when you think it is safe...

John

I was sent an email from Cheryl Rock (the owner of Mele). I consider her a friend. She asked me to post the email here. I am. I really didn't want to but she informed me she was ok with it. She mentioned that Mele is in a no win situation here. Email to come soon. Just remember that I am just the messanger.

pdxuke
02-12-2011, 11:57 AM
I was sent an email from Cheryl Rock (the owner of Mele). I consider her a friend. She asked me to post the email here. I am. I really didn't want to but she informed me she was ok with it. She mentioned that Mele is in a no win situation here. Email to come soon. Just remember that I am just the messanger.

I respectfully disagree with her. She could very well be in a big-win situation. It depends on what the email says.

sailor
02-12-2011, 12:00 PM
I'm not sure how this could be a no win?! It can only get better, unless she has a similar pr style to the other dude.

cletus
02-12-2011, 12:00 PM
Just remember that I am just the messanger.

:uhoh:Dagnabit, :anyone: get a rope!:stop:

70sSanO
02-12-2011, 12:18 PM
Although I have poked fun at this thread and have avoided taking sides, there is one observation I would like to make...

The poster who originally stirred up all of this has only posted for one day on only this thread over a span of 9 hours.

There are over 30,000 UU members; thankfully they have not all replied to this thread. And there are so many wonderful people here who love the ukulele and have played anywhere from hours to decades.

So many experinces have been shared here from new uke days to bad uke days to personal tragedies and victories...

...it's like family. And that is really what UU is.

John

bazonkers
02-12-2011, 12:48 PM
I was sent an email from Cheryl Rock (the owner of Mele). I consider her a friend. She asked me to post the email here. I am. I really didn't want to but she informed me she was ok with it. She mentioned that Mele is in a no win situation here. Email to come soon. Just remember that I am just the messanger.

At this point, they don't even need to talk about the original issue. They just need to smooth over the PR disaster and reassure people that they really do value their customers and will try to do what ever they can to ensure a good experience.

sugarinthegourd
02-12-2011, 04:02 PM
What PR disaster??

All we have is a ten-year old story that quite frankly doesn't hold water...I just don't see that kind of damage happening to a uke at 70% humidity in one month. Sorry, but there is more to the story.

And we have a mfr who frankly has either the good sense or a lack of idle time and has stayed out of this fracas.

BTW, I've heard that Nordstrom's story many times and it only gets more inane with retelling. I suspect it's apocryphal but regardless, it's not a fable to draw any kind of moral from. I guarantee you if you take a set of used tires (or a cracked ukulele) into a Nordstrom's they will not be so stupid as to give you a "refund". They would have been out of business long ago and none of us would have ever heard their name.

No, the customer is not always right. But in this Internet age, they and their torch-wielding hordes sure can be a nuisance.

haolejohn
02-12-2011, 04:18 PM
I respectfully disagree with her. She could very well be in a big-win situation. It depends on what the email says.

Not really. Everyone (well most) thnk that the beighead guy should be given a new ukulele. Once I get back to my lap top, I'll copy and paste the email here. She shines some light on the situations. Regardless of what everyone else thinks, I'll still buy from Mele and recommend people to Mele.

haolejohn
02-12-2011, 04:19 PM
:uhoh:Dagnabit, :anyone: get a rope!:stop:

Me!! Me !!! ME!!!! I do, I do, I do!!!!

philpot
02-12-2011, 04:29 PM
I look forward to seeing what this email says...

pdxuke
02-12-2011, 04:33 PM
What PR disaster??

All we have is a ten-year old story that quite frankly doesn't hold water...I just don't see that kind of damage happening to a uke at 70% humidity in one month. Sorry, but there is more to the story.

And a mfr who frankly has either the good sense or a lack of idle time and has stayed out of this freakshow.

BTW, I've heard that Nordstrom's story many times and it only gets stupider with retelling. I suspect it's apocryphal but regardless, it's not a fable to draw any kind of moral from. I guarantee you if you take a set of used tires (or a cracked ukulele) into a Nordstrom's they will not be so stupid as to give you a "refund". They would have been out of business long ago and none of us would have ever heard their name.

No, the customer is not always right. But in this Internet age, they and their toadies sure can be a nuisance.

Welcome to UU.

I hope in the future to be able to read more posts from you about ukuleles. Forgive me for being blunt, but so far, of the 12 you've made, 8 were to sell us things, and now 2 are to tell us that our comments are a freakshow and our posts are stupid.

No matter how many posts you've made, you're certainly entitled to your opinion. I do take exception, however, to being characterized as a toadie, and find it completely unnecessary of you to come on so strong. We have all kept this thread pretty civil, and it would be a shame to see it disintegrate now.

didgeridoo2
02-12-2011, 04:35 PM
Not really. Everyone (well most) thnk that the beighead guy should be given a new ukulele. Once I get back to my lap top, I'll copy and paste the email here. She shines some light on the situations. Regardless of what everyone else thinks, I'll still buy from Mele and recommend people to Mele.

To clarify, I have no allegiance to either side and can't comment on what bighead should expect. It was the rep from mele's comments that prompted my opinion into this mess and his attitude regarding a disgruntled customer was extremely off-putting. It doesn't matter who's right or wrong. I buy ukes, but I'll think twice about one if I believe my purchase will not be supported if there's a problem.

You can call me a nuisance, but toadie is where I draw the line.

pdxuke
02-12-2011, 04:41 PM
Not really. Everyone (well most) thnk that the beighead guy should be given a new ukulele. Once I get back to my lap top, I'll copy and paste the email here. She shines some light on the situations. Regardless of what everyone else thinks, I'll still buy from Mele and recommend people to Mele.

And you should recommend them, because your experience has been good--actually, from the stories you tell us, first rate.

70sSanO
02-12-2011, 05:36 PM
I've re-read a few of bighead's posts and there are a few things that are a little odd...

I don't know what a 2000 Mele koa satin concert originally sold for, I'm guess a couple hundred give or take some, but it was not a massive investment.

He also says that he is almost in tears looking at it again and back in the case it goes. So 10/11 years later, he still has the ukulele, which is fine... and I'm glad he has spent all those years saving pennies for a Kamaka... which I guess means he hasn't been able to save enough in the time period.

Now all this happened in a humidity controlled room that housed, at the time, 20 vintage hollow body guitars. Generally the term hollow body refers to an archtop jazz type guitar, but it can also be a something like a Rickenbacker. Who knows what was in that room, but I do know guitars. And to spend the money to climate control a room may indicate that the guitars had some significant value. I have a few older guitars and I wouldn't spend the money to climate control a room.

I realize that everyone goes through some tough times, there was a time when my whole life could fit into a back of a pickup truck, (and it did), so he may have lost that collection somewhere along the way.

So why keep a ukulele that brings you to tears?

And why bring up a buying a Kamaka a decade after this happened?

We all know about UAS, and if I had an instrument that brought me to tears and wanted a Kamaka, I would have found a Kamaka somewhere in the last 10/11 years; even if it meant only having 19 vintage guitars.

John

PS... so much for the kinder gentler approach.

haolejohn
02-13-2011, 04:16 AM
To clarify, I have no allegiance to either side and can't comment on what bighead should expect. It was the rep from mele's comments that prompted my opinion into this mess and his attitude regarding a disgruntled customer was extremely off-putting. It doesn't matter who's right or wrong. I buy ukes, but I'll think twice about one if I believe my purchase will not be supported if there's a problem.

You can call me a nuisance, but toadie is where I draw the line.

i never call you a nuisance or a toadie (what is a toadie btw?) But the general feel was the customer is always right from this thread.
If you feel that I have called you a name, please show me the post b/c name caller I am not.

didgeridoo2
02-13-2011, 04:44 AM
i never call you a nuisance or a toadie (what is a toadie btw?) But the general feel was the customer is always right from this thread.
If you feel that I have called you a name, please show me the post b/c name caller I am not.

Lol. I know it wasn't you. I think there used to be a band called the toadies.

sugarinthegourd
02-13-2011, 04:54 AM
Sorry, the "toadies" comment was mine. I have since edited my post.

BTW, don't know what kind of hollow body instruments bigmouth was talking about but if I'm not mistaken he is one of the Pauls from Beatlemania. So presumably at least a few Hofner Beatle basses! I think those were laminated but could well be wrong.

In any event the uke pictured doesn't look like a very high-quality instrument (well below more recent Mele offerings I've seen) so I presume it was fairly inexpensive. This type of damage is of course very common on old Hawaiian ukes made from slab cut koa -- but even in the case of an inexpensive instrument built from slab-cut wood, I think this damage is virtually impossible in 1 month at 70% RH. Let's assume the worst and say the wood was poorly seasoned and the uke poorly built. I still believe that it's virtually impossible that such a uke, which spent its youth in the Phillipines and Hawaii, would crack in 1 month at 70% RH.

As far as why Mele has not weighed in, there are many reasons, including the indignity of such a public airing of a private disagreement. Their silence seems to imply their guilt among many here which is of course ridiculous.

I ask you to imagine if the same charges were leveled againt Collings, would Bill Collings register and post here? I surely think not!

Oh, and thanks for the welcome! I have lurked here for a long time, just haven't felt the need to post much.

John

cletus
02-13-2011, 05:32 AM
BTW, don't know what kind of hollow body instruments bigmouth was talking about but if I'm not mistaken he is one of the Pauls from Beatlemania.

John

:wtf:This thread gets better and better.:wallbash:

didgeridoo2
02-13-2011, 05:34 AM
As far as why Mele has not weighed in, there are many reasons, including the indignity of such a public airing of a private disagreement. Their silence seems to imply their guilt among many here which is of course ridiculous.
You did read JDMaui's posts, right? That's what incensed many of the toadies in this thread. All it implies is that you may feel that you won't be supported if you have any issues with your uke. Maybe we get spoiled by other maker's customer service, but I certainly don't want a company I give my businesst to tell me how to act when seeking help. And again, this is based solely on the response from the fella claiming to answer the phone at mele - bighead could be hypothetical for all I care.

Plainsong
02-13-2011, 06:33 AM
So what's your agenda? I've stated my opinion. I asked you how you would have handled the issue as the customer in either of the Mele busted uke cases (there were two, if you read the thread). And you didn't answer. All you're doing is stirring the pot... why? You disagree with most of us. Ok, that's fine. But why are you being so aggressive about it?

How many Pauls were in the Beatles. I remember there was a George who was very much a Kamaka man (among others I have no doubt), but I thought there was just one of those in that group. ;)

Edit - A Mele customer service expert did reply, and dazzled us with his customer service skills. Let's say I wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley... or if my uke was busted. He's the one that got most of us to say something. It's all there, if you care to read it.


Sorry, the "toadies" comment was mine. I have since edited my post.

BTW, don't know what kind of hollow body instruments bigmouth was talking about but if I'm not mistaken he is one of the Pauls from Beatlemania. So presumably at least a few Hofner Beatle basses! I think those were laminated but could well be wrong.

In any event the uke pictured doesn't look like a very high-quality instrument (well below more recent Mele offerings I've seen) so I presume it was fairly inexpensive. This type of damage is of course very common on old Hawaiian ukes made from slab cut koa -- but even in the case of an inexpensive instrument built from slab-cut wood, I think this damage is virtually impossible in 1 month at 70% RH. Let's assume the worst and say the wood was poorly seasoned and the uke poorly built. I still believe that it's virtually impossible that such a uke, which spent its youth in the Phillipines and Hawaii, would crack in 1 month at 70% RH.

As far as why Mele has not weighed in, there are many reasons, including the indignity of such a public airing of a private disagreement. Their silence seems to imply their guilt among many here which is of course ridiculous.

I ask you to imagine if the same charges were leveled againt Collings, would Bill Collings register and post here? I surely think not!

Oh, and thanks for the welcome! I have lurked here for a long time, just haven't felt the need to post much.

John

OldePhart
02-13-2011, 09:46 AM
Hmmm, wonder what's taking this mysterious e-mail so long to show up... :popcorn:

Honestly, if JD Maui had stayed out of it this thread would have died by now. Most of us here are smart enough to give a "hit and run" post or two all the weight they deserve - i.e. little. Unfortunately at this point, for Mele, a lot of us are also smart enough to realize what the kind of faux pas committed by JD potentially means.

I almost feel sorry for management at Mele even though I suspect that JD's attitude probably reflects the real "behind the scenes" culture there. At the very least, his post indicates that their customer-service training is poor to non-existent - otherwise he would have known better. His public foot-in-mouth disease is every marketer's nightmare.

In my industry we live or die on customer service. Even though we're a multi-million dollar business a single severely disgruntled customer could literally destroy our profitability for two or three years - potentially even bring the company down in today's climate. That's sobering. Every one of the hundreds of employees in our company receives mandatory customer-service training every year. Even guys like me who will probably never speak to a customer on the phone, let alone in person. Every single employee, from the boardroom to the stockroom, is authorized to spend up to $5k on their own authority to solve a customer's problem NOW.

After 13 years of annual training - studying a few dozen cases where companies have lived or died by their customer service - I can only echo the opinion expressed by a couple of others here that JD Maui's post is perfect fodder for a marketing or business course. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see it during my annual training in the next couple of years. :)

It's not about a split uke. It's not about something that happened ten years ago. It's about an attitude expressed days ago by a person claiming to work for Mele. At this point, unless "JD Maui" is a complete fraud who is completely unknown to Mele, Mele's only real choice is to apologize for that ill-thought post and explain what they are going to do to change the "backstage" customer focus at their company so that employees like JD Maui, whether full or part time, "in-house" or contract, know that the attitude he expressed is simply unacceptable in private, let alone to be published.

John

pdxuke
02-13-2011, 09:50 AM
Honestly, if JD Maui had stayed out of it this thread would have died by now. Most of us here are smart enough to give a "hit and run" post or two all the weight they deserve - i.e. little. Unfortunately at this point, for Mele, a lot of us are also smart enough to realize what the kind of faux pas committed by JD potentially means.

<snip>

In my industry we live or die on customer service. Even though we're a multi-million dollar business a single severely disgruntled customer could literally destroy our profitability for two or three years - potentially even bring the company down in today's climate. That's sobering. Every one of the hundreds of employees in our company receives mandatory customer-service training every year. Even guys like me who will probably never speak to a customer on the phone, let alone in person. Every single employee, from the boardroom to the stockroom, is authorized to spend up to $5k on their own authority to solve a customer's problem NOW.

After 13 years of annual training - studying a few dozen cases where companies have lived or died by their customer service - I can only echo the opinion expressed by a couple of others here that JD Maui's post is perfect fodder for a marketing or business course. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see it during my annual training in the next couple of years. :)

It's not about a split uke. It's not about something that happened ten years ago. It's about an attitude expressed days ago by a person claiming to represent Mele. At this point, unless "JD Maui" is a complete fraud who is completely unknown to Mele, Mele's only real choice is to apologize for that ill-thought post and explain what they are going to do to change the "backstage" customer focus at their company so that employees like JD Maui, whether full or part time, "in-house" or contract, know that the attitude he expressed is simply unacceptable in private, let alone to be published.

John


Yeah, John, that pretty much sums up how I feel.

mds725
02-13-2011, 10:11 AM
How many Pauls were in the Beatles. I remember there was a George who was very much a Kamaka man (among others I have no doubt), but I thought there was just one of those in that group. ;)

I have no skin in this game (I stopped using the expression "I have no dog in this fight" after Michael Vick's dogfighting activities became public and exposed the sick underworld of dogfighting as a sport). I just wanted to point out that sugarinthegourd said that he thought JDMaui was "one of the Pauls from Beatlemania," not one of the Pauls in the Beatles. "Beatlemania" was a long-running show featuring a Beatles imitation band. Given the number of years it ran and the number of traveling companies it spawned, there were probably lots of people who played Paul in Beatlemania. But I do otherwise agree with the general sentiment of your post.

70sSanO
02-13-2011, 10:54 AM
Well if bighead is Lenie Colacino of the The CAST of Beatlemania, then he definitely has a few Hofners... and a Ric. My younger brother had a early 60's Hofner 500/1 back in the 60's.

I never cared for it, and my brother turned into a pretty good lead guitarist playing Soutern Rock/Blues so he sold it.

John

haolejohn
02-13-2011, 11:09 AM
Hmmm, wonder what's taking this mysterious e-mail so long to show up... :popcorn:

Honestly, if JD Maui had stayed out of it this thread would have died by now. Most of us here are smart enough to give a "hit and run" post or two all the weight they deserve - i.e. little. Unfortunately at this point, for Mele, a lot of us are also smart enough to realize what the kind of faux pas committed by JD potentially means.

I almost feel sorry for management at Mele even though I suspect that JD's attitude probably reflects the real "behind the scenes" culture there. At the very least, his post indicates that their customer-service training is poor to non-existent - otherwise he would have known better. His public foot-in-mouth disease is every marketer's nightmare.

In my industry we live or die on customer service. Even though we're a multi-million dollar business a single severely disgruntled customer could literally destroy our profitability for two or three years - potentially even bring the company down in today's climate. That's sobering. Every one of the hundreds of employees in our company receives mandatory customer-service training every year. Even guys like me who will probably never speak to a customer on the phone, let alone in person. Every single employee, from the boardroom to the stockroom, is authorized to spend up to $5k on their own authority to solve a customer's problem NOW.

After 13 years of annual training - studying a few dozen cases where companies have lived or died by their customer service - I can only echo the opinion expressed by a couple of others here that JD Maui's post is perfect fodder for a marketing or business course. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see it during my annual training in the next couple of years. :)

It's not about a split uke. It's not about something that happened ten years ago. It's about an attitude expressed days ago by a person claiming to work for Mele. At this point, unless "JD Maui" is a complete fraud who is completely unknown to Mele, Mele's only real choice is to apologize for that ill-thought post and explain what they are going to do to change the "backstage" customer focus at their company so that employees like JD Maui, whether full or part time, "in-house" or contract, know that the attitude he expressed is simply unacceptable in private, let alone to be published.

John

and I disagree. THis is about a uke. Not customer service. There is not one company out there that has perfect customer service. Not one.

As far as the email. that is simple. I am a busy person on the weekends and do not get on my personal computer. If someone can tell me how to copy and paste from a droid, then I'll get the email out now. Until then, you guys must be patient:)

All I want to say, Is I am the messanger and was asked to use the email. No names were mentioned but some light was shined.

philpot
02-13-2011, 11:13 AM
and I disagree. THis is about a uke. Not customer service. There is not one company out there that has perfect customer service. Not one.

As far as the email. that is simple. I am a busy person on the weekends and do not get on my personal computer. If someone can tell me how to copy and paste from a droid, then I'll get the email out now. Until then, you guys must be patient:)

All I want to say, Is I am the messanger and was asked to use the email. No names were mentioned but some light was shined.

if its anything like an iphone you tap and drag over the text :P

pdxuke
02-13-2011, 11:30 AM
and I disagree. THis is about a uke. Not customer service. There is not one company out there that has perfect customer service. Not one.



Hello My Friend:

It started as a post about an issue with a uke. The employee made it an issue of customer service.

And no one here will shoot the messenger. It's kind of you to be the conduit.

T

haolejohn
02-13-2011, 11:34 AM
Hello My Friend:

It started as a post about an issue with a uke. The employee made it an issue of customer service.

And no one here will shoot the messenger. It's kind of you to be the conduit.

T

I know you guys won't shoot me. This is the reason why it is a no win situation for Mele. If they give a uke away, then they are the good guy but then that tells folks that all you got to do is go online and complain. I really wished I had never sent an email to them. I tried the click thing but it doesn';t work. I'll be home tonight after church, I'll send it then.

rasputinsghost
02-13-2011, 12:07 PM
Sorry, the "toadies" comment was mine. I have since edited my post.

I ask you to imagine if the same charges were leveled againt Collings, would Bill Collings register and post here? I surely think not!

Oh, and thanks for the welcome! I have lurked here for a long time, just haven't felt the need to post much.

John

Wait, "indignity"? Last I checked, Mele was a ukulele maker, not the President of the United States.

Fred Kamaka Jr posts here, and the reason he registered ostensibly was to clear up a misunderstanding about Bill Cosby and his uke. I think that demolishes the whole notion that uke makers posting here about customer issues is somehow undignified, considering that guys like Pete Howlett AND Chuck Moore amongst others post here regularly.

Nobody sane would want Mele to come out and settle this in a public forum, but considering their level of involvement in this issue some kind of statement seems logical. Maybe, just maybe, they'd want to post a message clarifying their side and stating that it'll be settled in some way or another privately. That makes a lot more sense than
letting a random employee appear to speak for your company and then delegating your message to a random customer to post to this forum.

pithaya9
02-13-2011, 12:08 PM
I know you guys won't shoot me. This is the reason why it is a no win situation for Mele. If they give a uke away, then they are the good guy but then that tells folks that all you got to do is go online and complain. I really wished I had never sent an email to them. I tried the click thing but it doesn';t work. I'll be home tonight after church, I'll send it then.

Thanks John for all that you are doing for this thread.

Plainsong
02-13-2011, 12:21 PM
I have no skin in this game (I stopped using the expression "I have no dog in this fight" after Michael Vick's dogfighting activities became public and exposed the sick underworld of dogfighting as a sport). I just wanted to point out that sugarinthegourd said that he thought JDMaui was "one of the Pauls from Beatlemania," not one of the Pauls in the Beatles. "Beatlemania" was a long-running show featuring a Beatles imitation band. Given the number of years it ran and the number of traveling companies it spawned, there were probably lots of people who played Paul in Beatlemania. But I do otherwise agree with the general sentiment of your post.

Today, I learned something. :)

I agree with OldePhart's assessment. Anyone still at business school could do a case study on it. It was about a uke, and then another uke, right up until JDMaui showed up. Even his last post was less of an apology and more an application for martyrdom. And who wants to deal with that when things go wrong?

In terms of failings at Mele, even their site design is a red flag to me. Front and center is a warning about humidity. Why? No other store or brand of wooden instrument that I know of has a warning before you even start to look at the product line. Yes, this information should be there, but not front and center. Has this been an ongoing problem for them? Have they always felt that customers were gunning for them in this regard, to put a warning first? It suggests something about the culture of the company beyond just wanting customers to be aware of what they're buying. That may not be the intention, but that's what happens if you don't think about how to organize your website.

If this isn't the message they want to convey, which is IMO a message of paranoia, then put the information in an About section or a FAQ section or a Care and Feeding section or a Warranty section.

Again, it's the stuff of case studies, the perhaps unintentional message you convey by the organization of your website. This criticism I know sounds harsh and no ill will is intended towards Mele, but it is a problem. It may improve their sales, if they need improving, to redesign things there a bit. Look at other brands of ukes and how their sites are designed. Yes, they have this same information, no it's not on the front page.

pdxuke
02-13-2011, 12:41 PM
Today, I learned something. :)

I agree with OldePhart's assessment. Anyone still at business school could do a case study on it. It was about a uke, and then another uke, right up until JDMaui showed up. Even his last post was less of an apology and more an application for martyrdom. And who wants to deal with that when things go wrong?

In terms of failings at Mele, even their site design is a red flag to me. Front and center is a warning about humidity. Why? No other store or brand of wooden instrument that I know of has a warning before you even start to look at the product line. Yes, this information should be there, but not front and center. Has this been an ongoing problem for them? Have they always felt that customers were gunning for them in this regard, to put a warning first? It suggests something about the culture of the company beyond just wanting customers to be aware of what they're buying. That may not be the intention, but that's what happens if you don't think about how to organize your website.

If this isn't the message they want to convey, which is IMO a message of paranoia, then put the information in an About section or a FAQ section or a Care and Feeding section or a Warranty section.

Again, it's the stuff of case studies, the perhaps unintentional message you convey by the organization of your website. This criticism I know sounds harsh and no ill will is intended towards Mele, but it is a problem. It may improve their sales, if they need improving, to redesign things there a bit. Look at other brands of ukes and how their sites are designed. Yes, they have this same information, no it's not on the front page.


+1. Well put. We're dealing with practical matters here, as the lawyers say. It's less about this individual case now, and more about a business problem.

d-mace
02-13-2011, 01:01 PM
My favorite part of Mele was always listening to Peter Delapinia play that chopstick style....wish I could do that! Here he is in the following youtube link that was posted by badbassjd. The jd at the end of his name reminded me of JDMaui.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxh03Wg-fLE

OldePhart
02-13-2011, 01:30 PM
I know you guys won't shoot me. This is the reason why it is a no win situation for Mele. If they give a uke away, then they are the good guy but then that tells folks that all you got to do is go online and complain. I really wished I had never sent an email to them. I tried the click thing but it doesn';t work. I'll be home tonight after church, I'll send it then.
We won't shoot the ukulele player. :)

"Giving the uke away" is not the issue. At least in the ten-year-old case that's certainly water under the bridge. The more recent case, maybe.

But the real issue really is the customer service "culture," or lack thereof. Just the very idea that they're afraid that if they "give a uke away" they're going to be inundated with people wanting replacements speaks volumes - either about the corporate mindset regarding their customers or their own perception of the quality of their product - or maybe a bit of both. I don't know anyone who wants to deal with getting a replacement uke. Ninety-nine percent of customers want to take care of their instruments and have them last forever - probably far less than one percent want to see their baby damaged even if they can easily get a replacement.

Now, this is where that corporate mindset thing comes in - if your opinion of your customers is that they're good people who want their instruments to last and therefore they treat them reasonably well - when something happens you replace the instrument. You don't try to second guess whether the customer is trying to rip you off. If they are, so what, they're the one percenters and they're not going to drag you under.

On the other hand, if your opinion of your customers is that they're a bunch of low life's who can't be trusted - that they have to be beat over the head with warranty information because they're just looking for an excuse to screw you. When that cracked uke comes in you immediately assume the worst and react accordingly. The absolute dumbest move you can make because, regardless of whether they are the one percenter who is out to screw you or a "good" customer - you've just created a public relations nightmare.

Again, it all goes back to that corporate culture. You treat all your customers the same. They're either upright folks whom you love and you just take the one percenters in stride - or they're all dirty low-lifes who want a free ride.

Finally, there is another thing that no one has pointed out yet in this thread that I think bares mention - solid wood ukuleles need to be humidified, that's true. But, no well-made ukulele built from properly seasoned wood is going to crack in a month of dry conditions (or a weekend in a cold building as has apparently happened to someone on this thread, for that matter). Manufacturers ship ukes all over the world, sometimes by air. Ukes sit in unheated warehouses and transfer points, in cargo holds, on ramps. If ukes were going to crack because of a cold night, or because of a few weeks without proper humidification, they'd be cracking left and right. It takes time for moisture to migrate out of wood into the air. After a month, you might be beginning to see the action change as the top begins to sink - another month or two, maybe, maybe a hairline crack beginning.

I bought a 40 year old classical guitar from south Florida on eBay - when it got to my dry climate in Texas it took nine months for the bulged by too-much-humidity top to return to normal (and thus lower the action that had been adjusted while the guitar was wet to the point where it I started getting fret buzz).

The fact that the uke in question was so ravaged so quickly should have told the folks at Mele that it was seriously defective - instead they accuse the guy of putting it in an oven. Really? If someone thinks their customers are putting their ukes in ovens maybe they need to find a new line of work!

John

philpot
02-13-2011, 04:13 PM
We won't shoot the ukulele player. :)
-snip-
The fact that the uke in question was so ravaged so quickly should have told the folks at Mele that it was seriously defective - instead they accuse the guy of putting it in an oven. Really? If someone thinks their customers are putting their ukes in ovens maybe they need to find a new line of work!

John

If I recall, did the Mele "representative" say it LOOKED like it had been baked in an oven? Nobody accused him of doing that, but the assumption was he must not have cared for it properly or it wouldn't have gotten that way. I dont agree completely but, w/e...

Still waiting with bated breath for that email :P this forum decides whether or not I want to get a Mele xD

haolejohn
02-13-2011, 04:41 PM
If I recall, did the Mele "representative" say it LOOKED like it had been baked in an oven? Nobody accused him of doing that, but the assumption was he must not have cared for it properly or it wouldn't have gotten that way. I dont agree completely but, w/e...

Still waiting with bated breath for that email :P this forum decides whether or not I want to get a Mele xD

WEll, if you take the email or the word of a few disgruntled folks or those of us that are very happy with our Meles, that is your choice. I lvoe mine and will buy a few more Meles just b/c I love them. Here is the email. is this going to be a magic pill? Nope. It does shine light on two stories. Not sure who they are but I am certain one is the bighead (who hasn't returned).
After looking at his pictures, I wouldn't have accepted the return. I went this week and looked at other makers warranties and the Mele warranty is pretty much standard. Ultimately it is up to the maker or business to decide whether or not they want to honor the warranty. I respect their decision based on my personal experience.
Read the whole email. My favorite part is the end. Last two paragraphs.
Aloha John,

Thank you again for your support and for bringing to our attention messages on the UU site. Here are a few thoughts which you may quote if you like.

Uke story in question:

First of all, here's the link to our product warranty statement that you will find in our homepage:
http://www.meleukulele.com/shopcontent.asp?type=terms This warranty is pretty much industry standard.

I remember this customer but not the specifics of the communication or exchanges.

From the pictures that the UU member posted online, I think it is clearly evident to anybody who knows anything about ukuleles or any handmade solid wood instrument that this is a classic example of what happens to an instrument that has been subjected to an extremely dry environment. If you will note from the pictures, the wood shrinkage and cracks can be seen throughout the instrument -- the 2 places on the back plus the open center seam, koa crack on the side, koa and ebony wood movement on the sides, etc. Therefore, in this case, the warranty is null and void. However, despite that determination, we offered to repair the instrument free of charge.

The koa wood we used to build that instrument not only was harvested years before we got it, but stickered and air-dried for a MINIMUM of three years once it was in our possession. So his allegation that it was not properly seasoned is as baseless as it would be with any of our ukes.

He states that he owns 20 guitars and knows how to care for his instruments. But in this particular case, the instrument clearly had been subjected to extreme dryness in our opinion. What we know after 20 years' experience is that the probability of wood movement due to dryness is a function of the following: 1) Location: here in Hawaii there's almost no incidence of wood movement brought about by lack of humidity. West Coast areas too, are mostly OK except for certain dry areas like Palm Desert, California. The East Coast is the most likely to experience dry conditions. 2) Time of Year: the spring and summer seasons are not likely to be as problematic as fall and winter. 3) Type of wood: koa, the least stable and most susceptible to shrinkage. 4) Care & Feeding: knowing how to take care of your instrument and actually doing so, using humidifiers when necessary, and playing and inspecting your instrument regularly will prevent issues from cropping up. So, in the instances when we hear of our instruments developing cracks or open seams, we can reliably assume that 1) The instrument is in an East Cost or desert-like area, 2) It's winter time or a hot, dry summer. 3) Usually, it's a koa ukulele. 4) The instrument has been exposed to dry conditions (see 1, 2.)

Just yesterday, we shipped another Mele koa soprano to a repeat customer from New York. I spoke to him on the phone and reminded him to be sure to keep the instrument humidified. He said, "Yes, definitely. My place is so dry right now that I am having to put 5 humidifiers in each instument case just to raise the moisture level to 40%".

Now consider this true story; On January 9, 2010, we received an order online for an all koa soprano with a hardshell case. We shipped it to our customer in New Jersey, in mint condition, within a couple days. In less than 3 weeks, on Jan. 26, we received an email from this customer informing us that he noticed the back seam of the uke starting to open up. Was this a case of the wood being "not completely conditioned", as LenieC claimed about his Mele? Probably not, as it was a vintage Kamaka dating back at least to the 1980s. It was, however, the East Coast and in midwinter, which makes it not very surprising. If Kamaka offered a lifetime warranty, would they be liable for replacement or repairs?


Other UU member Story:

First of all, here's the link to our Shipping & Returns policy:
http://www.meleukulele.com/shopcontent.asp?type=shipping Again, this is pretty much industry standard.

This UU member ordered, from our website, a Mele all mahogany soprano 2-hole ukulele. Price was $199, plus $23 for shipping totaling $222 which he paid for through Paypal. He emailed a request that we install geared tuners, normally a $40 upgrade, and we did it for free.

Next, we received an angry and highly offensive e-mail detailing what a terrible instrument we had sent him. Ironically, we are especially proud of our Mele mahogany sopranos -- Bill Tapia played a Mele mahogany soprano and his first reaction was: "sounds better than my Martin!"

We were shocked, but we responded civilly, as follows: " We are refunding your purchase as you requested, less our $23 shipping charge. Sorry that the uke didn't meet your expectations but it is most definitely not used or a "second". Actually, it is custom-made for you, with the geared tuners you requested at no charge which should have been a $40 upgrade. As clearly stated in our return policy on our website, refunds do not include shipping charge.

As a matter of fact, it is not at all uncommon for businesses to state that they will refund in full EXCLUDING shipping cost. Here's just one example: the Ebay seller (beachcamera) I just bought a camera from. (This ebay seller BTW has some 167,000+ feedback). To quote this "Top Rated" Ebay Seller's

Return Policy: "Refunds are applied to the payment method used at the time of purchase 5-10 days after receipt of the returned merchandise. We will only refund the value of the merchandise returned, not the shipping charge."

We promptly refunded the full purchase price of $199 (despite the fact that the instrument had been customized for him which would technically have invalidated any return options). He totally disregarded our return policy and demanded that the $23 shipping cost be paid back to him. He opened a dispute with Paypal for the $23 shipping charge. At that point, rather than make an ugly situation even uglier, I decided that he must need that $23 more than we did and let the claim stand. He prevailed in disregarding our return policy yet he continues to make us out to be villains in the matter.

In closing, we have been in the business of building solid wood instruments since 1992. That's a pretty long time. In fact, when we started, there were only a handful of prominent ukulele companies -- Kamaka, Sunny D, Maui Music. John Kitakis was only offering instrument repair services (no Koolaus and no Ponos), no Koaloha, G-String, Kelii, Kanilea. I remember many years ago when Jim Beloff came to our store and spoke of his dream of someday building Maccaferri type affordable ukuleles. The only uke brand from China was the Hilo brand ukulele -- imagine a world without the Kala, Lanikai, ukes... With almost 20 years in business, I'd like to say that it's been so far a richly rewarding experience. To date, we easily have over 30,000 satisfied customers, many of whom have become good friends. Each and every year, we continue to do great business with much of our sales derived from referrals and repeat business. And for as long as the ukulele keeps gaining in popularity, Mele Ukulele will remain committed to making better and better ukuleles.

I truly hope that people will ignore the badmouthing and check out our products and our customer service for themselves.

We wish everyone peace.

Sincerely,

Cheryl Rock
Mele Ukulele

OldePhart
02-13-2011, 04:43 PM
If I recall, did the Mele "representative" say it LOOKED like it had been baked in an oven? Nobody accused him of doing that, but the assumption was he must not have cared for it properly or it wouldn't have gotten that way. I dont agree completely but, w/e...


I'd have to go back and reread several posts - I was thinking the original complainant said something about accusing him of mistreating the uke (when he asked why they returned a poorly repaired uke instead of replacing it). I might be mistaken.

In any case, my actual point was that the ukulele simply hadn't been in the customer's hands long enough to suffer that severe damage under anything approaching normal - or even casually careless - conditions. At that point the corporate mindset kicks in. If you like your customers you assume you let a bad one out and you make it right with profuse apologies - and you might even get repeat business from that customer. If you don't like your customers you assume they're stupid clods who mistreat ukes in hopes of getting new ones. (Not even sure what the point to that would be, actually; if I have a good uke I'm not going to want to damage it so I can get another, right?) To continue with that mindset, you don't dare replace the ukulele because it might start a flood of requests for replacements (and at this point I think I'd begin asking myself if my products are really that bad...).



Still waiting with bated breath for that email :P this forum decides whether or not I want to get a Mele xD

Heh, heh. This is purely a guess on my part but I suspect that maybe Cheryl further shot herself in the foot with the email. John certainly seems reluctant to be the messenger and, as he put it, he's sorry he wrote her... Maybe she's working on e-mail 2.0. - LOL

John

haolejohn
02-13-2011, 04:46 PM
I'd have to go back and reread several posts - I was thinking the original complainant said something about accusing him of mistreating the uke (when he asked why they returned a poorly repaired uke instead of replacing it). I might be mistaken.

In any case, my actual point was that the ukulele simply hadn't been in the customer's hands long enough to suffer that severe damage under anything approaching normal - or even casually careless - conditions. At that point the corporate mindset kicks in. If you like your customers you assume you let a bad one out and you make it right with profuse apologies - and you might even get repeat business from that customer. If you don't like your customers you assume they're stupid clods who mistreat ukes in hopes of getting new ones. (Not even sure what the point to that would be, actually; if I have a good uke I'm not going to want to damage it so I can get another, right?) To continue with that mindset, you don't dare replace the ukulele because it might start a flood of requests for replacements (and at this point I think I'd begin asking myself if my products are really that bad...).



Heh, heh. This is purely a guess on my part but I suspect that maybe Cheryl further shot herself in the foot with the email. John certainly seems reluctant to be the messenger and, as he put it, he's sorry he wrote her... Maybe she's working on e-mail 2.0. - LOL

John

it's posted. The delay has come from me spending all weekend grading papers and looking for a house with a pregnant wife who is ready to have a baby anyday now. I have spent a total of 12 hours in my house this weekend and that was simply to sleep.

I am sorry that I wrote her b/c I do not see them winning. Those that want to see them fail have already made their minds up. THose that choose to support Mele have already made our minds up.

OldePhart
02-13-2011, 04:47 PM
it's posted. The delay has come from me spending all weekend grading papers and looking for a house with a pregnant wife who is ready to have a baby anyday now. I have spent a total of 12 hours in my house this weekend and that was simply to sleep.

Heh, heh. So, it was a bad guess. :)

Congrats on the baby, BTW.

haolejohn
02-13-2011, 04:49 PM
Heh, heh. So, it was a bad guess. :)

Congrats on the baby, BTW.

LOL!! It was. But that is ok. I do have a life outside of UU, which I neglect most of the time b/c I spend so much time here.

philpot
02-13-2011, 05:03 PM
If we're taking sides, I'll camp with Mele ^.^ if things went how they say, I can see where they are coming from. If you recall, the pictures we saw posted are about "10 years" later? So you can imagine that the damage has gotten MUCH worse if, as he described, it has sat in a case for years. So perhaps he may be over exaggerating the original separation and cracking? And if Mele did offer to repair it free of charge, well, I wouldn't ask for more considering something like that was at least partially caused by personal failure/error/lack of education. Thats where I stand, and I would have no problem buying an ukulele from Mele in the future. After I buy my dream uke ;)

haolejohn
02-13-2011, 05:15 PM
If we're taking sides, I'll camp with Mele ^.^ if things went how they say, I can see where they are coming from. If you recall, the pictures we saw posted are about "10 years" later? So you can imagine that the damage has gotten MUCH worse if, as he described, it has sat in a case for years. So perhaps he may be over exaggerating the original separation and cracking? And if Mele did offer to repair it free of charge, well, I wouldn't ask for more considering something like that was at least partially caused by personal failure/error/lack of education. Thats where I stand, and I would have no problem buying an ukulele from Mele in the future. After I buy my dream uke ;)

Mele was my first dream uke. Then I saw a KoAloha (PoiDog's) here on UU. I was struck with the koaloha bug.

Paul December
02-13-2011, 08:01 PM
Other UU member Story:

First of all, here's the link to our Shipping & Returns policy:
http://www.meleukulele.com/shopcontent.asp?type=shipping Again, this is pretty much industry standard.

This UU member ordered, from our website, a Mele all mahogany soprano 2-hole ukulele. Price was $199, plus $23 for shipping totaling $222 which he paid for through Paypal. He emailed a request that we install geared tuners, normally a $40 upgrade, and we did it for free.

Next, we received an angry and highly offensive e-mail detailing what a terrible instrument we had sent him. Ironically, we are especially proud of our Mele mahogany sopranos -- Bill Tapia played a Mele mahogany soprano and his first reaction was: "sounds better than my Martin!"

We were shocked, but we responded civilly, as follows: " We are refunding your purchase as you requested, less our $23 shipping charge. Sorry that the uke didn't meet your expectations but it is most definitely not used or a "second". Actually, it is custom-made for you, with the geared tuners you requested at no charge which should have been a $40 upgrade. As clearly stated in our return policy on our website, refunds do not include shipping charge.

As a matter of fact, it is not at all uncommon for businesses to state that they will refund in full EXCLUDING shipping cost. Here's just one example: the Ebay seller (beachcamera) I just bought a camera from. (This ebay seller BTW has some 167,000+ feedback). To quote this "Top Rated" Ebay Seller's

Return Policy: "Refunds are applied to the payment method used at the time of purchase 5-10 days after receipt of the returned merchandise. We will only refund the value of the merchandise returned, not the shipping charge."

We promptly refunded the full purchase price of $199 (despite the fact that the instrument had been customized for him which would technically have invalidated any return options). He totally disregarded our return policy and demanded that the $23 shipping cost be paid back to him. He opened a dispute with Paypal for the $23 shipping charge. At that point, rather than make an ugly situation even uglier, I decided that he must need that $23 more than we did and let the claim stand. He prevailed in disregarding our return policy yet he continues to make us out to be villains in the matter.


I know I said I wouldn't post on this thread any more, but since Mele has dishonestly reported what happened I feel it necessary to respond.
1st you say I sent an "angry and highly offensive e-mail" ... What planet are you on?!
All I did was name all the flaws on the instrument you sent me. You make it sound like I was cursing you and making inappropriate comments. I have never corresponded to you, or anyone for that matter in that way. I do not appreciate this down right lie. Interestingly I believe Mele made the same accusation on the other person with a return.
2nd I ordered the soprano with geared tuners, which I was told there wasn't any extra charge.
I guess that is "customized". The thing I don't understand is why this matters...
...I sincerely hope you weren't planning to sell it to someone else after I returned it. Let me remind you of the problems: overall finish was poor and uneven, matte finish had shiny spots in high wear areas (that's why I asked if it was used), several scratches, trim down the neck was chipped in several place...and a couple other things I no longer remember.
3rd I wasn't returning the uke simply because I didn't like it ... I was retuning it because you sent me one that was used or a factory second....or judging by its appearance possibly both: a used factory second. Are you saying I should still be required to pay the shipping on it.
To be clear to all those who read this, buy shipping I mean Mele deducted the original shipping cost to me from my return, and I still payed the return shipping of the uke back. OK, I know some companies make you pay for the return shipping, but making me pay for the shipping of a defective uke to me really is too much, and I actually couldn't see any legitimate seller doing that.

Mele clearly has lied about my interaction with them, so can only assume they are lying about the one with Bighead. It appears they interpret any return as "offensive" & "angry". If you get a defective uke from them, they think it is appropriate to make you pay the cost of shipping that defective uke to you...plus the return shipping.
If you are OK with that, then buy a Mele.

countrybumpkin
02-13-2011, 08:58 PM
Paul D, it is possible that the customer being referred to is not you...

OldePhart
02-14-2011, 03:31 AM
...Sorry that the uke didn't meet your expectations but it is most definitely not used or a "second". ...

Sigh. Sometimes I hate being proved right. :(

People don't order things hoping to find them inferior. Something made this customer think he had received a uke that was used or a second. The customer service gurus describe the complaining customer as giving one a gift. Two gifts, really. They're giving an opportunity to restore faith in your product or service and they're giving an opportunity to discover where your product or service could stand improvement. It's a gift because for every customer who complains there are several others who have exactly the same concerns but never voice them - they just go away never to be seen again, and they may not complain on a public forum but they will certainly tell their friends about their negative experience.

The customer wasn't complaining of something subjective, like maybe he thought the action was too high or the wood should have been prettier. The customer thought he had received a used uke or a factory second! That pretty strongly implies a clear defect or damage. Did this customer have unreasonable expectations? Quite possibly, but we'll never know, now. In any case, it seems fairly clear that an opportunity to improve was missed.

I don't think Cheryl's message is going to change many minds one way or the other but for me it pretty much seals the deal that I probably won't be buying a Mele any time soon. Not because I necessarily think they're bad instruments - but simply because the corporate mindset revealed by her email and JDMaui's posts is not one I have much interest in dealing with.

John

OldePhart
02-14-2011, 03:42 AM
Paul D, it is possible that the customer being referred to is not you...

Except that Cheryl indicates in her message that she is referring to "the other UU case" or some such thing. I've highlighted it in blue in the quote below:



Thank you again for your support and for bringing to our attention messages on the UU site. Here are a few thoughts which you may quote if you like.

Uke story in question:

First of all, here's the link to our product warranty statement that you will find in our homepage:
http://www.meleukulele.com/shopcontent.asp?type=terms This warranty is pretty much industry standard.

I remember this customer but not the specifics of the communication or exchanges.

From the pictures that the UU member posted online, I think it is clearly evident to anybody who knows anything about ukuleles or any handmade solid wood instrument that this is a classic example of what happens to an instrument that has been subjected to an extremely dry environment. If you will note from the pictures, the wood shrinkage and cracks can be seen throughout the instrument -- the 2 places on the back plus the open center seam, koa crack on the side, koa and ebony wood movement on the sides, etc. Therefore, in this case, the warranty is null and void. However, despite that determination, we offered to repair the instrument free of charge.

The koa wood we used to build that instrument not only was harvested years before we got it, but stickered and air-dried for a MINIMUM of three years once it was in our possession. So his allegation that it was not properly seasoned is as baseless as it would be with any of our ukes.

He states that he owns 20 guitars and knows how to care for his instruments. But in this particular case, the instrument clearly had been subjected to extreme dryness in our opinion. What we know after 20 years' experience is that the probability of wood movement due to dryness is a function of the following: 1) Location: here in Hawaii there's almost no incidence of wood movement brought about by lack of humidity. West Coast areas too, are mostly OK except for certain dry areas like Palm Desert, California. The East Coast is the most likely to experience dry conditions. 2) Time of Year: the spring and summer seasons are not likely to be as problematic as fall and winter. 3) Type of wood: koa, the least stable and most susceptible to shrinkage. 4) Care & Feeding: knowing how to take care of your instrument and actually doing so, using humidifiers when necessary, and playing and inspecting your instrument regularly will prevent issues from cropping up. So, in the instances when we hear of our instruments developing cracks or open seams, we can reliably assume that 1) The instrument is in an East Cost or desert-like area, 2) It's winter time or a hot, dry summer. 3) Usually, it's a koa ukulele. 4) The instrument has been exposed to dry conditions (see 1, 2.)

Just yesterday, we shipped another Mele koa soprano to a repeat customer from New York. I spoke to him on the phone and reminded him to be sure to keep the instrument humidified. He said, "Yes, definitely. My place is so dry right now that I am having to put 5 humidifiers in each instument case just to raise the moisture level to 40%".

Now consider this true story; On January 9, 2010, we received an order online for an all koa soprano with a hardshell case. We shipped it to our customer in New Jersey, in mint condition, within a couple days. In less than 3 weeks, on Jan. 26, we received an email from this customer informing us that he noticed the back seam of the uke starting to open up. Was this a case of the wood being "not completely conditioned", as LenieC claimed about his Mele? Probably not, as it was a vintage Kamaka dating back at least to the 1980s. It was, however, the East Coast and in midwinter, which makes it not very surprising. If Kamaka offered a lifetime warranty, would they be liable for replacement or repairs?


Other UU member Story:
First of all, here's the link to our Shipping & Returns policy:
http://www.meleukulele.com/shopconte...?type=shipping Again, this is pretty much industry standard.

This UU member ordered, from our website, a Mele all mahogany soprano 2-hole ukulele. Price was $199, plus $23 for shipping totaling $222 which he paid for through Paypal. He emailed a request that we install geared tuners, normally a $40 upgrade, and we did it for free.

Next, we received an angry and highly offensive e-mail detailing what a terrible instrument we had sent him. Ironically, we are especially proud of our Mele mahogany sopranos -- Bill Tapia played a Mele mahogany soprano and his first reaction was: "sounds better than my Martin!"

We were shocked, but we responded civilly, as follows: " We are refunding your purchase as you requested, less our $23 shipping charge. Sorry that the uke didn't meet your expectations but it is most definitely not used or a "second". Actually, it is custom-made for you, with the geared tuners you requested at no charge which should have been a $40 upgrade. As clearly stated in our return policy on our website, refunds do not include shipping charge.

As a matter of fact, it is not at all uncommon for businesses to state that they will refund in full EXCLUDING shipping cost. Here's just one example: the Ebay seller (beachcamera) I just bought a camera from. (This ebay seller BTW has some 167,000+ feedback). To quote this "Top Rated" Ebay Seller's

Return Policy: "Refunds are applied to the payment method used at the time of purchase 5-10 days after receipt of the returned merchandise. We will only refund the value of the merchandise returned, not the shipping charge."

We promptly refunded the full purchase price of $199 (despite the fact that the instrument had been customized for him which would technically have invalidated any return options). He totally disregarded our return policy and demanded that the $23 shipping cost be paid back to him. He opened a dispute with Paypal for the $23 shipping charge. At that point, rather than make an ugly situation even uglier, I decided that he must need that $23 more than we did and let the claim stand. He prevailed in disregarding our return policy yet he continues to make us out to be villains in the matter.

In closing, we have been in the business of building solid wood instruments since 1992. That's a pretty long time. In fact, when we started, there were only a handful of prominent ukulele companies -- Kamaka, Sunny D, Maui Music. John Kitakis was only offering instrument repair services (no Koolaus and no Ponos), no Koaloha, G-String, Kelii, Kanilea. I remember many years ago when Jim Beloff came to our store and spoke of his dream of someday building Maccaferri type affordable ukuleles. The only uke brand from China was the Hilo brand ukulele -- imagine a world without the Kala, Lanikai, ukes... With almost 20 years in business, I'd like to say that it's been so far a richly rewarding experience. To date, we easily have over 30,000 satisfied customers, many of whom have become good friends. Each and every year, we continue to do great business with much of our sales derived from referrals and repeat business. And for as long as the ukulele keeps gaining in popularity, Mele Ukulele will remain committed to making better and better ukuleles.

I truly hope that people will ignore the badmouthing and check out our products and our customer service for themselves.

We wish everyone peace.

Sincerely,

Cheryl Rock
Mele Ukulele

70sSanO
02-14-2011, 04:21 AM
This does not pertain to this thread but it is ironic...

...I went into Guitar Center the other day looking for an unused instrument.

John

bazonkers
02-14-2011, 07:37 AM
Maybe this thread should be locked now? We've heard from both sides and I doubt any additional information is going to get posted that clears this whole thing up.

Plainsong
02-14-2011, 07:59 AM
Her response deserved the Picard Facepalm Award. I think she and JD could benefit from some masters level marketing and management courses, and maybe something to do with supply chain management as well.

I wish them luck with their chosen methodology. (They're gonna need it.)


Sigh. Sometimes I hate being proved right. :(

People don't order things hoping to find them inferior. Something made this customer think he had received a uke that was used or a second. The customer service gurus describe the complaining customer as giving one a gift. Two gifts, really. They're giving an opportunity to restore faith in your product or service and they're giving an opportunity to discover where your product or service could stand improvement. It's a gift because for every customer who complains there are several others who have exactly the same concerns but never voice them - they just go away never to be seen again, and they may not complain on a public forum but they will certainly tell their friends about their negative experience.

The customer wasn't complaining of something subjective, like maybe he thought the action was too high or the wood should have been prettier. The customer thought he had received a used uke or a factory second! That pretty strongly implies a clear defect or damage. Did this customer have unreasonable expectations? Quite possibly, but we'll never know, now. In any case, it seems fairly clear that an opportunity to improve was missed.

I don't think Cheryl's message is going to change many minds one way or the other but for me it pretty much seals the deal that I probably won't be buying a Mele any time soon. Not because I necessarily think they're bad instruments - but simply because the corporate mindset revealed by her email and JDMaui's posts is not one I have much interest in dealing with.

John

OldePhart
02-14-2011, 08:49 AM
Oh, man, you just can't make this stuff up.

So I'm perusing eBay on my lunch break and what do I find but this "melemaui" auction: http://cgi.ebay.com/MELE-CUSTOM-KOA-TOP-8-STRING-BARITONE-UKULELE-/310293629382?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item483ef109c6

Here's a little snipped of their description of this $1300 baritone (emphasis mine):


The top is SOLID koa. The back and hand-bent sides are mahogany, as is the hand-carved neck. The fretboard, bridge and binding are of solid ebony. It's ENTIRELY HANDMADE by our seasoned staff of professional luthiers, many of them second and third generation Spanish guitar builders. Not only will you NOT find a handmade bari in this price range, but you won't find one of this quality and beauty for TWICE the price. Please be aware, however, that we do not strive for esthetic perfection; this is NOT a museum piece. It's meant to earn its keep by being played on a regular basis, and it's designed for tone, intonation and playability, like all Mele products.


So, that pretty much explains a whole lot. I guess Cheryl was telling the truth when she told the customer they don't ship seconds - because apparently Mele doesn't recognize seconds - they just don't even try for esthetic perfection (their own words). I guess their plan is that if you get a uke with chipped or discolored bindings, scratches, etc. - that's just tough luck and you should be happy to have such a wonderful-playing uke...

Call me old fashioned, but if I'm going to plunk down $1300 of my hard-earned money you'd better be at least trying for perfection!

Gaaack!

John

Plainsong
02-14-2011, 09:37 AM
And it could be the case that this is not what they intend to say. Maybe what they mean is "You won't find lots of bling here, but the bling is all in the feel and the tone."

But how it comes out is... as OldePhart said.

Another thing that I took from her response was that either she does not acknowledge or is unaware that multiple ukes that are cracking so quickly cannot just be coincidental cases of customer abuse. I say multiple from the case here, and from the cracked Meles you used to find on ebay. Also in John's case. The uke should have been out of tune and maybe the action all wonky or what have you after a weekend in the cold. It shouldn't have been cracked. I mean Mele was nice about it and they didn't have to give him a new uke per their terms, but at the same time shouldn't it have made the agenda to check why this is happening so quickly? And yes you do get the something for nothing jerk customers, but like OldePhart said, you either see them as the 1% cost of being in business, or you see every customer you have as the lowest common denominator. And that comes out crystal clear in both her tone and in JDMaui's. And dishing on PaulDecember, that's just not on.

John said that she felt that this was a no-win situation. That's only her perception. She chooses to believe that, and so it's true. It was really an opportunity, again, agreeing with OldePhart here. I really wish them luck, and with their customer's luck.

haolejohn
02-14-2011, 10:28 AM
And it could be the case that this is not what they intend to say. Maybe what they mean is "You won't find lots of bling here, but the bling is all in the feel and the tone."

But how it comes out is... as OldePhart said.

Another thing that I took from her response was that either she does not acknowledge or is unaware that multiple ukes that are cracking so quickly cannot just be coincidental cases of customer abuse. I say multiple from the case here, and from the cracked Meles you used to find on ebay. Also in John's case. The uke should have been out of tune and maybe the action all wonky or what have you after a weekend in the cold. It shouldn't have been cracked. I mean Mele was nice about it and they didn't have to give him a new uke per their terms, but at the same time shouldn't it have made the agenda to check why this is happening so quickly? And yes you do get the something for nothing jerk customers, but like OldePhart said, you either see them as the 1% cost of being in business, or you see every customer you have as the lowest common denominator. And that comes out crystal clear in both her tone and in JDMaui's. And dishing on PaulDecember, that's just not on.

John said that she felt that this was a no-win situation. That's only her perception. She chooses to believe that, and so it's true. It was really an opportunity, again, agreeing with OldePhart here. I really wish them luck, and with their customer's luck.

GO leave a uke out in single digit weather for 4 days and tell me what you see. The cracks were not that bad. I didn't notice them until a friend pointed them out.
The cracks that bighead show were pretty serious. Like something was done to the uke.

I have owned over 6 Meles in my lifetime. Mele makes a "players" instrument. It isn't going to be perfect like a Kamaka, KoAloha, kanile'a or ko'olau, butIt will be a quality instrument.

I always say, don't knock it until you try it. meh, it is what it is. Your choice is your choice. my choice is my choice.

Kanaka916
02-14-2011, 11:11 AM
Whether or not any of the issues were resolved, I do believe this thread has run it's course. I feel that everything that needed to be said has been said. This thread is now locked.