PDA

View Full Version : Warning about Calton cases



Ukeology
02-27-2011, 12:19 AM
Hi All,

It is with some reluctance that I post this, but I've finally had enough, and feel that I should warn you of my experience trying to buy a case from Calton Cases (www.caltoncases.com).

I paid for a custom case for a Kanilea concert ukulele in July 2010, and have been fobbed off by Calton ever since.

Over the course of time there have been many excuses offered, including:

Threat of hurricanes;
Lost/misplaced orders;
Confusion about the delivery address;
Verbal and written commitments to have the order filled and delivered within 4 days;
Profuse apologies and requests for an opportunity to "make things right";
Emailed photo's of "my case" supposedly just out of the mould, and ready for finishing and despatch.

It has been at the stage where my emails are no longer answered for some time now.
More recently, I have even had someone in the local area attend their place of business (Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada) to enquire about my order on my behalf. Calton cases are now not even prepared to answer the door, once they see who it is.

These cases are billed as being custom made to order, and are *not cheap*.

Despite promises of my order being filled, or a refund being forthcoming, neither has eventuated. I have alerted Paypal, who might like to consider removing them as a merchant as a result of their behaviour.

Please all take this as a warning - do not do business with this organisation.

joeybug
02-27-2011, 02:10 AM
Thanks for the advice! Sorry you had a such a problem and I hope it gets resolved soon!

wickedwahine11
02-27-2011, 05:47 AM
I'm so sorry you had all those issues. I had sent them some emails inquiring about getting a Calton for my Kamaka and they never answered them. I also didn't like the fact that they insisted you pay so far in advance. Did you use a credit card for payment - I would initiate a dispute through the credit card company.

Teek
02-27-2011, 10:37 AM
Sorry to hear about the problem you are having. I looked at the site and wonder about a company that would use this photo (http://www.caltoncases.com/products/Calton-Deluxe-Fiberglalss-Case-%252d-Martin-14-Fret-Dreadnought.html) to promote an $800 case? They couldn't find a bit of blank wall?

I can't understand from looking at them what makes them worth $500 - $600 more than a $200 guitar case? I have a carbon fiber Yoshimura RS3 on my motorcycle, yeah it's light but isn't any stronger that an aluminum or stainless can. And there is a pic that says they've moved. That can't be good. Especially when they post it as a product option because they apparently don't have the ability to access the text in their own website....

erivel
02-27-2011, 11:57 AM
You can read about the Calton saga on all the guitar/mandolin forums. It's too bad because they make a fine product. Company changes ownership, moves to a new location, and the rest is history...

ksiegel
02-27-2011, 12:10 PM
I looked at the site and wonder about a company that would use this photo (http://www.caltoncases.com/products/Calton-Deluxe-Fiberglalss-Case-%252d-Martin-14-Fret-Dreadnought.html) to promote an $800 case?

You mean the fiberglalss (sic) case?

Tudorp
02-27-2011, 12:36 PM
Actually that picture i dont think is too out of line. Many craft shops do "busy" pictures like that on purpose, altho I personally think they are distracting. It gives the image that they are a legitimate, busy thriving craftsman shop. So, lots of times, those busy photos are even staged to look like they are full of stock in the background and activity of hard work. So, it may have been intensional with them too. But on the other hand, sometimes it can detract from the product and turn some off. Just sayin..

Bill1
02-27-2011, 12:59 PM
I don't know much about the company, but the story has the hallmarks of a buyout to get rid of pesky competition.
I have found that keeping the cardboard boxes and packing the ukes come in is a good practice. Most of the boxes that get sent through the mail are compact and relatively strong, and you have already paid for the packing material. And they have already survived a trip on an aeroplane and handlers in the mail system. If you work out a way to put a handle on the box, and seal the cardboard with a coat of paint or varnish, many boxes make a useful carry case. If you are really keen and the box is suitable, you can buy some glass fibre and resin and coat the box in fibreglass for a lot less than a Calton Case. This would not work for guitars and bigger instruments, but can work very well for the right ukulele boxes.

Ukeology
02-27-2011, 03:06 PM
Yes, I paid using Paypal, so I'm in contact with them now. Perhaps Paypal will revoke their merchant status if mine isn't the only complaint.

Shame really, I was looking forward to getting a good case.

OldePhart
02-27-2011, 03:07 PM
Myself, I just never got past the idea of an $800 (or more) case. Maybe, maybe, if you've got a $30k vintage Gibson mandolin to protect - but for everyday use? bah- humbug. I've never had a situation yet where a ~$100 SKB case (or factory equivalent) wouldn't handle the job and that includes dropping one off the top of a car.

John

Tudorp
02-27-2011, 03:15 PM
Well, if it were that precious, I can make a box out of carbon fiber and well padded myself for less than half that. So, just sayin..

haolejohn
02-27-2011, 03:43 PM
Myself, I just never got past the idea of an $800 (or more) case. Maybe, maybe, if you've got a $30k vintage Gibson mandolin to protect - but for everyday use? bah- humbug. I've never had a situation yet where a ~$100 SKB case (or factory equivalent) wouldn't handle the job and that includes dropping one off the top of a car.

John

I agree John.

To OP I am assuming you bought this case for a uke? How much was it?

Doc_J
02-27-2011, 03:46 PM
Kamoa will soon have some nice "custom" cases listing for $258 to $198.

http://kamoaukulelecompany.com/line/cases/

Plainsong
02-27-2011, 06:22 PM
If you purchased last year, you're way way way too late to make the Paypal claim. Paypal gives 45 days max. They'll reject your claim on that basis. You're better off going through your credit card company. You'll be beyond their time limit too, most likely, but they may have more leeway for exceptional claims. You may need to talk to a lawyer who knows about claims for compensation across boarders.

Threat of hurricanes is my personal favorite. Jeez.

And the only thing left to do is get the word out online as best you can to avoid these scammers. I wish you luck in getting your money back. :(

peterp
02-27-2011, 07:49 PM
I ordered a mandolin case thru a guitar shop a few years ago. $400 and I waited 10-12 months for it. It was well built, they got the colors right, and I didn't mind spending that kinda money for a $4500 instrument. Anyone who travels a lot with a guitar has one of these because they're indestructible. I wouldn't check a guitar as baggage with any other case.

chiefnoda
02-27-2011, 08:01 PM
Hi folks

For what it's worth, Calton changed hands neat the end of 2009. Before that, they were slow but it was a honest 6 - 9 months. Since 2010, they claimed a waiting period of one month but (as far as I know) nothing was delivered in that time frame, plus their customer service went to ero (first) and negative lately.

I personally own three Calton cases for my guitars, and I don't regret the purchases (all pre-2009). Each case is fitted to a particular instrument (you're not supposed to buy a Caton off-the-rack) and the fit is amazing and offers an exceptional protection. You also get a sandwiched nech/headstock support which is very important for a guitar. If you haven't seen one, go check it out. Then decide the cost is justified. A friend of minetravels quite a lot, and his Calton gets bashed beyond beief. Usually once a year, a latch or a metal foot gets torn off. A $1000 case is well worth.

Cheers
Chief

freckleduker
02-27-2011, 08:12 PM
I don't know much about the company, but the story has the hallmarks of a buyout to get rid of pesky competition.
I have found that keeping the cardboard boxes and packing the ukes come in is a good practice. Most of the boxes that get sent through the mail are compact and relatively strong, and you have already paid for the packing material. And they have already survived a trip on an aeroplane and handlers in the mail system. If you work out a way to put a handle on the box, and seal the cardboard with a coat of paint or varnish, many boxes make a useful carry case. If you are really keen and the box is suitable, you can buy some glass fibre and resin and coat the box in fibreglass for a lot less than a Calton Case. This would not work for guitars and bigger instruments, but can work very well for the right ukulele boxes.

I "fashioned" one of my boxes into a case. I couldn't justify spending more money on a case than I did for the cheap uke. :) That's too bad to lose so much $$. I hope it all gets resolved.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4OI2oN_jDI

mds725
02-27-2011, 08:37 PM
Maybe you should contact the consumer fraud division of the office of your district attorney (or whatever equivalent office there is where you live). Companies don;t like to get letters that suggest they could be charged criminally.

Ukeology
02-28-2011, 03:43 PM
Haolejohn,

Yes, I bout the case for a concert size ukulele. It cost approx $800.

I have a very expensive Kanilea ukulele that I treasure, and I travel regularly and like to take it with me.

Given there are few alternatives for solid piece hardshell cases currently in the market and given the reputation of the product, the cost seemed justifiable to me.

I have since contacted the Canadian Better Business Bureau, who have taken my complaint, and will be in contact with Calton Cases.

fhorndog
02-28-2011, 05:17 PM
http://www.caltoncases.com/products/We-Have-Moved!!.html

Bill Mc
02-28-2011, 05:18 PM
How about small claims court ?

Ukeology
03-14-2011, 04:14 PM
Hi All,

Well I'll be. My case finally arrived, 9 months after I ordered it.

And it is an excellent case - fit to fly on the space shuttle.

It fits my ukulele like a glove.

It's just a shame the company kept playing dead - if they'd been honest about the timeframe earlier on, it would have saved both sides lots of grief.

Whilst it is a beautiful case and I'm happy with it, I wouldn't recommend the company, at least until they get their ordering and logistics sydtems sorted out, not to mention their customer service.

All's well that ends well, I suppose.

Many thanks to those members who posted sympathy and suggestions.

erivel
03-14-2011, 04:25 PM
Glad you got it! Could you post a pic of it when you have time?

Ukeology
03-14-2011, 11:37 PM
Here are some pictures of the case with my Kanilea pride and joy safely tucked into its new home. Note the snug fit.

Lexxy
03-15-2011, 02:58 AM
Wow that really is pretty. Somehow reminds me of Jake's Calton case as well :)

Btw, is that a Kanilea K3?

Lori
03-15-2011, 06:53 AM
Wow, pretty case. Love the teal interior. How heavy is it with the uke inside of it?

–Lori

mds725
03-15-2011, 08:32 AM
That is quite a case! Your uke looks very comfortable in there. It's a shame that Carlton put you through purgatory before getting it to you.

erivel
03-15-2011, 11:54 AM
The Calton looks great! I've owned three Calton acoustic cases which offered a great amount of protection. Your uke will definitely be safe in it.

ceviche
03-15-2011, 12:44 PM
Sorry to hear about the problem you are having. I looked at the site and wonder about a company that would use this photo (http://www.caltoncases.com/products/Calton-Deluxe-Fiberglalss-Case-%252d-Martin-14-Fret-Dreadnought.html) to promote an $800 case? They couldn't find a bit of blank wall?

I can't understand from looking at them what makes them worth $500 - $600 more than a $200 guitar case? I have a carbon fiber Yoshimura RS3 on my motorcycle, yeah it's light but isn't any stronger that an aluminum or stainless can. And there is a pic that says they've moved. That can't be good. Especially when they post it as a product option because they apparently don't have the ability to access the text in their own website....

Yeah, I looked at that picture and used the zoom feature. WOW! Like what's up with that 55 gal. drum that looks like the plastic is all burned and melted off from around the top of the metal can? And all those rolls of carpet? All of that says to me, "Shall I stay or shall I go?" on their part, and "Not good!!!" on my part.

--Dave

ceviche
03-15-2011, 12:45 PM
Here are some pictures of the case with my Kanilea pride and joy safely tucked into its new home. Note the snug fit.

Looks nice enough for Lady Gaga!

--Dave E.

Ukeology
03-15-2011, 04:58 PM
Hi All,

Thanks for the compliments and questions.

The ukulele is a Kanilea K1 concert. A thing of beauty and a joy forever.

The case is heavy, as you would suspect, so it is actually not much heavier once my precious is inside - hardly noticable in fact.

wickedwahine11
03-16-2011, 04:01 AM
Since the OP has resolved the situation and is happy with the case, I am closing this thread.

I'm glad you did receive it and it looks really nice, enjoy it!