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View Full Version : MGM & John Kitakis for Presidents!... no, EMPERORS



Rubbertoe
07-09-2008, 07:57 AM
I hope this isn't considered spamming. After posting this on another thread, it was pointed out to me that this totally deserves it's own thread.

So, where do I begin? Earlier, I had written about my Pono PKT-2 (see: My new Pono arrived! (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3361) ). It had some (minor) cosmetic flaws. There were more than I could easily ignore, especially for what I had felt was a fair amount of money ($664 USD). After reading about other issues of quality control from Pono, I decided to contact them and see what they would say.

So, here’s where this story begins. I contacted Pono via an email address I had found on their website. It was a generic sales@ email addy so I was expecting a generic reply or even an automated response in reply to my inquiry. To my surprise, I was contacted by the owner, John Kitakis, himself! He suggested that I send the ukulele back to Ko’olau for assessment to determine whether they would replace it or provide me with a refund. I then informed him that I loved the ukulele and that the cosmetic flaws were indeed minor and if it wasn’t possible to replace it with a better model than I would (reluctantly) live with the flaws. Yes, I know, I’m a little anal-retentive about cosmetic flaws on my equipment. I then mentioned that shipping it to Hawaii from Canada is very expensive and asked if he would reimburse me for the cost of shipping. Again, always concerned about customer service John told me to send him the invoice for the cost of shipping after I sent it back and he would reimburse me. So far, I was a happy camper!

A week or two went by and I hadn’t heard anything from John but assumed that shipping plus assessing the uke would take some time. So I waited. Shortly after that, I was contacted by MGM who told me that the cosmetic flaws were indeed so superficial that it would be better off for everyone to simply refund the cost of the ukulele. I contacted him and asked him if he could hold off on refunding my money because 1) I didn’t want to lose the $150 worth of initial shipping and tariffs I paid when I received it 2) I really did like the uke and 3) I might be interested in upgrading to a higher-end uke. He replied (even though he was in the middle of watching a movie – uh, sorry about that Mike) saying that he’d hold off for a bit.

I decided that I really didn’t want a refund and I was still thinking of upgrading a little to make up for everyone’s effort to help me out. I was considering the same uke with pick-ups (the PKT-2E) but MGM had just listed a Kanile’a K-1 DLX (upgraded koa) for $999 USD. MGM let me upgrade to that one, discounted the price of the uke and offered to have it shipped as a gift so I wouldn’t have to pay the taxes for a second time! So now, I’m waiting for a new Kanile’a but no word from John about the reimbursement of the $175 dollars it cost to get the original Pono from Canada to Hawaii.

John contacted me today and… wait for it… said that it would be more worthwhile for both he and I to, instead of sending me a cheque for $175, send a Pono PCM instead (a solid mango concert-sized model). I couldn’t believe it! I now eagerly await a Kanile’a and a Pono.

I have nothing but respect and admiration for both John Kitakis and MGM. This is customer service that goes well beyond the call of duty. John, Mike, you are gentlemen and scholars – we are definitely not worthy!

So for all of you people who are not familiar with MGM or Pono/Ko'olua (yeah all three of you), buy from them with the utmost confidence! They both go well beyond the extra mile to make sure that you are happy! I am so frikken' happy!

deach
07-09-2008, 07:59 AM
Great to hear there are still good businessmen out in the world today.

uke142464
07-09-2008, 08:27 AM
:bowdown: were not worthy:bowdown: were not worthy!!
-wayne cambell, garth whatshisface

nikolo727
07-09-2008, 08:34 AM
we arent worthy.....i completely agree.

I knew MGM was one of the kindest persons on the planet but this is just extreme!

He is the MAN!

And Ive heard a lot of complaints from pono buyers lately, and now that Pono is stepping up and dealing with it, it makes me the happiest of men!

Three Cheers for MGM and John from Pono!!!

hip hip hurray!

Boozelele
07-09-2008, 09:05 AM
Great to hear there are still good businessmen out in the world today.

I can not agree more. This helps to confirm my opinion that there is something about playing Uke that attracts the kindest, most honest, most humble, friendliest people. I'm not suggesting that we do a group jam on "Kumbaya" or "We Are the World"...I'm just saying....

deach
07-09-2008, 09:08 AM
...This helps to confirm my opinion that there is something about playing Uke that attracts the kindest, most honest, most humble, friendliest people.......and then there's me....

nikolo727
07-09-2008, 09:33 AM
...and then there's me....

the kind, honest, humble, friendliest dude that gives out free ukuleles.


not to mention funny as heck.

thats you deach

lol

Craig
07-09-2008, 11:35 AM
John K. and MGM are the best! I once interrupted MGM in the middle Thai food!...

Bassukuguy
07-09-2008, 12:28 PM
MGM kindof makes the Ukulele World go round... seriously, i got really lucky on my kala because my paypal was set to send the uke to my college address... which is no good because they are closed during the summer... franticly i sent him a message on here, i got his AIM, i sent him an ebay message... i did everythign but call, what can i say im cheap and calling to HI isnt cheap.

Luckily i got to him in time and he had not shipped it yet, what other buisiness man would go to that much trouble for his clients/customers? Three Cheers for MGM!

and as for the Pono owner, never had any experience with he or his company. but its just amazing that he could do something like this for someone... fender would never do this for anyone... simply amazing!

just my two cents,
Bassukuguy

Ukulele Dude
07-09-2008, 06:19 PM
Customer service is such a lost art in this world. Good to know it still exists in some places. Pono/Ko'olau just moved up a notch in my book.

cMejilla
07-09-2008, 06:33 PM
maybe one day both of them will just give us all ukes just for generosity's sake. haha.

Rubbertoe
07-10-2008, 05:22 AM
I can not agree more. This helps to confirm my opinion that there is something about playing Uke that attracts the kindest, most honest, most humble, friendliest people. I'm not suggesting that we do a group jam on "Kumbaya" or "We Are the World"...I'm just saying....

Maybe it's a cultural thing. They really do represent the "Aloha way of life" that you don't experience very often in the dealings with the rest of the world. And to our good fortune, we know two great embassadors of this philosophy.