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View Full Version : Another day of customer service...or how to destroy a Pono. Lol



MGM
01-30-2012, 09:52 PM
Here is a tongue and cheek yet serious video. Customer said uke was received in serious cracked condition but case and box showed no damage....upon receipt of return a careful inspection was made and due to stress cracks perfectly in line at the bottom bout right at the block edge it had to be done by an impact damage on the bare ukulele...maybe I am wrong but here's how I tested the damage in the case...and in which it was boxed with paper surrounding the case....well lol....see for yourself. Ha ha

Check out this video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBnvi6eQYVY&feature=youtube_gdata_player


Sent from my iPad

vlad88850
01-30-2012, 09:55 PM
poor thing :(

mr moonlight
01-30-2012, 10:07 PM
Low humidity maybe? Who knows.

Either way, that is a pretty sad little uke and it's good to know how well that case protects the it.

mm stan
01-31-2012, 02:37 AM
Auwe Bruddah,

Hey Brah, You was mad no.... test??? ha ha all dat and no damage until the end....and still wasn't da same.. couldn't be one of those luggage conveyer belts and the case would be jammed.
but then is would have damage on da box and case... or a stress crack from altitude pressure or cold in the luggage compartment of the plane...

Plainsong
01-31-2012, 02:47 AM
My Kanilea made it from MGM to Charleston, from Charleston to Helsinki in the dead February, untouched by severe temp swings. Is that kind of crack even possible JUST from opening the case when it was still cold? You always have your scammers out there. If the buyer sees this post and is offended, let em be offended. As dad said to a customer that it was far past time to cut loose: You wanna good buy? Goodbye.

ukuraleigh
01-31-2012, 03:13 AM
Wow, I'm glad the Pono I just bought from you guys arrived in perfect condition. :)

Sometimes it can be hard to believe what a customer tells you, but based on how hard it was for you to break the other side--you really had to smash it--I would be inclined to believe that the crack wasn't from a simply drop.

Top marks for sending the customer a replacement, regardless!

vanflynn
01-31-2012, 03:17 AM
I wonder what those customers walking in the door were thinking when they say you wailling on that beautiful Pono.

ukuraleigh
01-31-2012, 03:26 AM
I wonder what those customers walking in the door were thinking when they say you wailling on that beautiful Pono.

Hah! Maybe "Wow, and I thought I got frustrated playing Dm7!!!" ;)

csibona
01-31-2012, 03:33 AM
I laughed heartily at the end of this video. Thanks. I had no idea that ukuleles were so hardy (that said, I assume not all drops are the same - some are worse than others).

vanflynn
01-31-2012, 03:45 AM
I guess that anwers the question of how hard Acacia is. It reminded me of the old "El Kabong" comics on sunday morning.

I also noted that HMS is out of this model. Keep Mike out of the stockroom!

cantsing
01-31-2012, 03:51 AM
Ouch! That was painful to watch!

itsscottwilder
01-31-2012, 03:58 AM
I do think that it's interesting that the kind of damage that was created in the test by forcefully "dropping" was much different than the damage that was reported.

So I wouldn't call the test conclusive.

But Kudos for replacing the uke. That's service!!!

mm stan
01-31-2012, 04:06 AM
You could have donated it to the Mystery Man's Poor man ukulele foundation...he he

gokidd
01-31-2012, 04:19 AM
Mike, you sure learned a bunch of new sales techniques at NAMM.
OK ... no more nasty cracks.

Jason Paul
01-31-2012, 04:24 AM
Mike - it's good to see you continue to get your strength back. :)

Jason

MisterRios
01-31-2012, 05:14 AM
Ouch. As a possible future Pono owner that was painful to watch, but very very interesting.

Keep up the great (and entertaining) work!

Trinimon
01-31-2012, 05:20 AM
Note to self, don't piss MGM off! lol

Gmoney
01-31-2012, 06:06 AM
The good news for many of us out of that video is that the cheap foam "hard shell" case actually seems to do a pretty good job of protecting the uke from physical damage during transport! When you tossed it about, it appears to have absorbed the impact well.

The bad news is that some perhaps a bit less than honest customer decided to get one over on you guys by inflicting the damage him/her-self. I'm sure that particular customer will remain on an "official" no-fly list at HMS for future shipments. Instant Karma's gonna get him!

And yo! MGM? What price would you sell the neck & fretboard from that now defunct uke?? A cigar-box uke could use it to at least get a bit more music out of the firewood stack!


Mahalo!

MGM
01-31-2012, 06:20 AM
email me at the store or call if you want the neck and fretboard no problems....unless you tell me its cracked lol

OldePhart
01-31-2012, 07:13 AM
It's a good thing Mike explained that vid - I thought it was a UPS training film... LOL

John

PedalFreak
01-31-2012, 07:18 AM
Haha, I love it! If you don't mind Mike I'm going to use that video in our store to show how great those cases are! People don't believe me when I tell them how safe they are.


Low humidity maybe? Who knows.

No humidity issue there, that uke was dropped, probably on the corner of something. Great customer service at HMS to replace that. I would've gotten that in and had to call the customer back. No way it was damaged like that in shipping.

Drew Bear
01-31-2012, 07:52 AM
I remember when this uke was discussed here (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?57589-Bad-Luck-with-new-ukes). This was my initial reaction:

I'm pretty sure MGM Mike is right and that is shipping damage rather than temperature related cracks. Looks like the box/uke got crunched on the side.
The customer then reported:

The Uke was in a hard case and there was no physical damage to the box and it was shipped via UPS. I talked to Music Guy Mic shortly after my original post and got things figured out. A replacement is being 2nd day shipped to me and the cracked one is being returned. I am thankful for the excellent service from HMS :)
Although I was very skeptical such damage could have happened to the uke without any damage to the box or case, I didn't comment further because HMS had already taken care of the situation. Now we know the rest of the story.

Plainsong
01-31-2012, 08:41 AM
Well isn't that interesting.

MadMatt
01-31-2012, 09:38 AM
I am just wondering... Could it have been dropped at the factory and simply packaged up before anyone noticed (so no one could get in trouble) or did MGM set it up first? I'm simply curious and hope the question does not open a can of worms

-M@

ksiegel
01-31-2012, 12:52 PM
If the uke came from HMS, it was set up before shipping. If MGM had anything to do with it, it would never have made it out of the door with so much as a scratch (Speaking as one of Mike's VERY satisfied customers!) And from what I've heard of Pono, packing a broken instrument to avoid trouble would not have happened, either.

Even before Mike tormented the stone floor with it, it is hard to see how simply dropping the uke would break the side like that - it ain't a crack, it's a fissure! And when Mike did finally break it, the problem was on an entirely different portion of the grain. We can speculate, but unless the guy who originally bought the Pono took pictures during the unpacking process (as some of us do, anally documenting the "New Uke" experience) we'll never know 100% what happened after he received it.

But my money is on Mike and HMS sending out a quality, well-packaged instrument that wasn't abused during shipping.



-Kurt



I am just wondering... Could it have been dropped at the factory and simply packaged up before anyone noticed (so no one could get in trouble) or did MGM set it up first? I'm simply curious and hope the question does not open a can of worms

-M@

UkuleleAdventure
01-31-2012, 01:41 PM
This video just made my day. :)

hprop
01-31-2012, 01:44 PM
It looks like I'm the only one that feels this way but that video leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I have purchased from HMS and MGM and the experiences have been nothing but pleasurable. I have recommended them to others. In my mind they were the BEST. Now, unfortunately, that video leaves me a little conflicted. I guess they're still better than anyone else that I've personally dealt with, but I'm disappointed. I thought they were above this.

Dan Uke
01-31-2012, 01:56 PM
It looks like I'm the only one that feels this way but that video leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I have purchased from HMS and MGM and the experiences have been nothing but pleasurable. I have recommended them to others. In my mind they were the BEST. Now, unfortunately, that video leaves me a little conflicted. I guess they're still better than anyone else that I've personally dealt with, but I'm disappointed. I thought they were above this.

I disagree...they are a business and they have every right to question returns. They did this in a very fun way...the only thing I wish they did was donate it but they could whatever they want.

Plainsong
01-31-2012, 02:29 PM
Someone is always bound to be offended at something. No race, creed, religion, cultural group was attacked. No one was stalked, outted, shamed without the cover anonymity. A uke was given the same treatment that your average guitar at the end of a concert gets. The customer even got his new uke. And still, someone is bound to be offended.

I don't know what really happened, but it sure is interesting.

hprop
01-31-2012, 03:52 PM
Coincidentally enough, I agree with everything nongdam says. They have every right to question returns. They did it in a funny way. They have the right to do whatever they want as a business. And like I said in my first post. I think they are a tremendous company that I have had nothing but positive experiences with personally.

In response to Plainsong - Apparently I chose my words poorly. When I said it left a "bad taste in my mouth" I did not mean to convey that I was offended. For some reason I sympathized with the buyer/returner of the uke, who had nothing negative to say about anybody in his prior posts on the issue, and I felt compelled to stand up for him a little bit after reading through the thread. Just intended to provide a little food for thought. But apparently I am a poor cook and you are not hungry. I guess I came across much stronger than I intended. Sorry about that.

MGM
01-31-2012, 03:55 PM
I am sorry if you feel offended but i named nor blamed anyone....but i know definetly it did not leave the shop in that condition. I was just showing what i go thru on a daily basis...and having to give the customer always the benefit of the doubt...I have some really good examples of what we face daily as a retailer with boards who track every persons opinions and thoughts as to customer service...we only do the best we can and when we eat hundreds on a mistakes or errors or just not informed decision. No single person was targeted nor meant to be..just a humorous example and overkill of what happens to us to stay in business. Personally I could retire but continue in this field as it is a passion not a job....

Trinimon
01-31-2012, 04:08 PM
I worked a number of years in retail when I was in college and the amount of BS you get from some customers is unreal. You work long enough in any industry and you can tell a lie when you hear/see one in a heartbeat. Not that accidents don't happen, it's when they lie about it straight faced and expect the clerk/tech to take it as gospel. Yeah yeah, customer is always right and all and for 90% of the cases I do the exchange. The other 10% I let my boss deal with them. :p

I've been in the IT business now for over 11yrs now and I get users bringing their laptops into my office complaining that it's a POS and it crashes constantly and even has viruses on it that they don't know how it got there. Well the ones that really push their innocence and irritate the heck outta me even though I know they're guilty (we get server alerts as soon as a virus etc is flagged on a system), I say to them, "Well let me check the network logs and virus reports... Oh, I see you were on piratebay and icefilms and you opened an attached file from an email." and then watch them turn ghost white and walk out of my office with their tails tucked. Better to be honest than try to BS a BS'er ie don't play someone a fool who's been there and seen it all. You'd be surprised how far a little honesty and respect can go.

Hat's off to MGM for making that a fun video to watch... and squirm at. I hate seeing a uke die. :( The folks walking in the door must have been freaked out. lol

haolejohn
01-31-2012, 04:21 PM
I have a question for everyone. This thread makes me think of the Mele thread, where a uke was returned and deemed damaged by customer. Mele was the bad guy even though they had a legitimate claim not to replace the uke (can't remember if they offered or not and I'm not digging it up). HMS sent the replacement uke back before receiving the damaged uke (which was outstanding customer service BTW) but now show a video. I personally am glad they are kind of standing up b/c I don't think that the customer is always right. I'm just surprised at all the pats on the back at what i feel is slightly unprofessional. Maybe I just see a double standard...maybe I am just trying to ask a question...maybe I shouldn't post this response...But I am:)

Paul December
01-31-2012, 04:23 PM
Wow, I'm glad the Pono I just bought from you guys arrived in perfect condition. :)

Sometimes it can be hard to believe what a customer tells you, but based on how hard it was for you to break the other side--you really had to smash it--I would be inclined to believe that the crack wasn't from a simply drop.

Top marks for sending the customer a replacement, regardless!

Funny, I was thinking the exact same thing after watching the video. In addition to your observations, did you notice the original cracks went with-the-grain, while the smash was far more messy? Unless the uke also had scratches or a dent, I think the video actually vindicates the buyer and proves the opposite.
Either way, it is comforting as a potential future customer to know that HMS took care of it.

haolejohn
01-31-2012, 04:26 PM
I am sorry if you feel offended but i named nor blamed anyone....but i know definetly it did not leave the shop in that condition. I was just showing what i go thru on a daily basis...and having to give the customer always the benefit of the doubt...I have some really good examples of what we face daily as a retailer with boards who track every persons opinions and thoughts as to customer service...we only do the best we can and when we eat hundreds on a mistakes or errors or just not informed decision. No single person was targeted nor meant to be..just a humorous example and overkill of what happens to us to stay in business. Personally I could retire but continue in this field as it is a passion not a job....

Mike...No worries. You guys really should stand up for yourselves a little more often. I think if you did...less people would take advantage of the customer service provided.

haolejohn
01-31-2012, 04:51 PM
Funny, I was thinking the exact same thing after watching the video. In addition to your observations, did you notice the original cracks went with-the-grain, while the smash was far more messy? Unless the uke also had scratches or a dent, I think the video actually vindicates the buyer and proves the opposite.
Either way, it is comforting as a potential future customer to know that HMS took care of it.

My thoughts exactly. Not that I doubt that there was damage done to the uke but could it have happened at the ko'olau factory or China even? Could it even be the fault of Acacia's instability issues?Think back to KPK's line of acacia ukes. Lots of cracking issues. I also know of three uke companies that I was told by reps, where they were hesitant to build with the acaica woods that are being used by some b/c of the instability concerns they had.

Plainsong
01-31-2012, 05:00 PM
CSI UU, my hypothesis is the guy was at a desk, scooted up and shifted around to settle in, and oops.

That said, I agree with you that maybe there's some way possible to hit the side without the case or box showing damage.. Or maybe the box did show damage. I don't want to witch hunt and at least he got his uke instead of an argument.


Coincidentally enough, I agree with everything nongdam says. They have every right to question returns. They did it in a funny way. They have the right to do whatever they want as a business. And like I said in my first post. I think they are a tremendous company that I have had nothing but positive experiences with personally.

In response to Plainsong - Apparently I chose my words poorly. When I said it left a "bad taste in my mouth" I did not mean to convey that I was offended. For some reason I sympathized with the buyer/returner of the uke, who had nothing negative to say about anybody in his prior posts on the issue, and I felt compelled to stand up for him a little bit after reading through the thread. Just intended to provide a little food for thought. But apparently I am a poor cook and you are not hungry. I guess I came across much stronger than I intended. Sorry about that.

Dan Uke
01-31-2012, 05:15 PM
Funny, I was thinking the exact same thing after watching the video. In addition to your observations, did you notice the original cracks went with-the-grain, while the smash was far more messy? Unless the uke also had scratches or a dent, I think the video actually vindicates the buyer and proves the opposite.
Either way, it is comforting as a potential future customer to know that HMS took care of it.

OK...we are all wood experts. Vindication seems a little dramatic but then again, we are uke players...s**t ukulele players say!!

ItsAMeCasey
01-31-2012, 05:46 PM
I'm a little confused about the ukulele destruction. That video did nothing to convince me that the ukulele was dropped, that is, if the point of the dropping/smashing the ukulele against the floor was to create an identical looking crack to the original. So I guess I fail to see the point of the video, besides learning how to destroy a pono lol. But the uke was replaced and everyone is happy now, so all's good I suppose.

Ground Loop
01-31-2012, 06:08 PM
I have to agree with the others saying the cause of the first crack is still a mystery after the video. I'm no expert, but it looks more 'crushed' or stressed than smacked/shattered.

The mystery makes it more interesting -- a wood expert should get in there and study the original crack. Maybe something more interesting than UPS handling going on. The no-box-damage is also interesting, since it would seem to refute most of the "crushed case" scenarios.. where someone stood on it or put something heavy on it. If the box was large enough, would it be possible to crush the center without leaving box damage?

Just thinking out loud.. curious to know how these things really happen. Forensics.

didgeridoo2
01-31-2012, 06:14 PM
Mele's rep didn't help Mele's rep if I remember correctly. MGM (and hms) smiles and takes care of the customer no questions asked...then he smashes a uke on video to entertain us. You can't make everyone happy, but at least he tried.


I have a question for everyone. This thread makes me think of the Mele thread, where a uke was returned and deemed damaged by customer. Mele was the bad guy even though they had a legitimate claim not to replace the uke (can't remember if they offered or not and I'm not digging it up). HMS sent the replacement uke back before receiving the damaged uke (which was outstanding customer service BTW) but now show a video. I personally am glad they are kind of standing up b/c I don't think that the customer is always right. I'm just surprised at all the pats on the back at what i feel is slightly unprofessional. Maybe I just see a double standard...maybe I am just trying to ask a question...maybe I shouldn't post this response...But I am:)

cahaya
01-31-2012, 07:06 PM
My thoughts exactly. Not that I doubt that there was damage done to the uke but could it have happened at the ko'olau factory or China even? Could it even be the fault of Acacia's instability issues?Think back to KPK's line of acacia ukes. Lots of cracking issues. I also know of three uke companies that I was told by reps, where they were hesitant to build with the acaica woods that are being used by some b/c of the instability concerns they had.

That bad??? I was saving up for a solid acacia tenor. I guess now I will save up even more for koa. Thanks for this infor.



I do think that it's interesting that the kind of damage that was created in the test by forcefully "dropping" was much different than the damage that was reported.

So I wouldn't call the test conclusive.

But Kudos for replacing the uke. That's service!!!

I went back and have a look at the picture (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?57589-Bad-Luck-with-new-ukes)and replayed the video a number of times. I couldn't find any sign to indicate the uke was dropped. In addition, Mike showed in the video, that he actually had to put some force in order to cause any damages to the instrument. In addition, the broken pieces that resulted from hitting the ground is VERY different from the fissure we see from the video and picture.

I don't know how the instrument is damaged. But I tend to think it is not from a accidental or simple drop as suggested.

But one important thing I learn from this video though, HMS customer service is truly NUMBER ONE

MadMatt
01-31-2012, 07:37 PM
I am sorry if you feel offended but i named nor blamed anyone....but i know definetly it did not leave the shop in that condition. I was just showing what i go thru on a daily basis...and having to give the customer always the benefit of the doubt...I have some really good examples of what we face daily as a retailer with boards who track every persons opinions and thoughts as to customer service...we only do the best we can and when we eat hundreds on a mistakes or errors or just not informed decision. No single person was targeted nor meant to be..just a humorous example and overkill of what happens to us to stay in business. Personally I could retire but continue in this field as it is a passion not a job....

Thanks Mike, this shows your commitment to customer satisfaction. BTW, my Kanile'a was originally purchased from you and sent to Germany... It has no cracks :D

-M@

Drew Bear
01-31-2012, 07:38 PM
Just another theory, but I also don't think the damage was caused by a fall. The scenario I imagine is someone resting the uke on its side on top of something (pen, keys, whatever) on a desk and then accidentally leaning on the opposite side. Crack.

ricdoug
01-31-2012, 07:44 PM
Thanks for the laugh, Mike. Are you auditioning for Pete Townsend's position in The Who? Ric

experimentjon
01-31-2012, 08:35 PM
Thanks for sharing this video and the experience. Great to know for anyone looking to go into online retailing.

buddhuu
01-31-2012, 10:57 PM
I'm not sure if there is much more to be learned from this.

Mike was careful not to name anyone when he started this thread. IMHO, linking to another thread that identified the customer was not a classy thing to do. In light of that I'm closing this to consult the other mods.

In closing I would just remind you all that the customer has - so far as I have seen - had nothing but praise for Mike. The net result is another boost to Mike's already awesome reputation, so maybe it'd be cool to spare the customer any more veiled accusations of dishonesty.

Thanks.