PDA

View Full Version : Poor marks for Elderly



Icelander53
05-09-2014, 09:25 PM
First off let me say I have bought from them before and have had a satisfactory experience.

However this time it was definitely not. I ordered a Moku tenor uke. I got a notice just a couple of hours after placing the order that it had shipped. My first thought was, "I hope they set it up" but passed it off as paranoia on my part. I had requested a low action due to arthritis in my hands. Anyway I was excited to know it would be here quick.

Until I opened it that is. First off I'd like to say the packing would make Amazon proud. It was just in it's cardboard box with that almost tissue thin foam wrap. That was inside a large box with a tiny bit of crumpled brown paper thrown in. I'm amazed it wasn't damaged in transit.

First thing I noticed on taking it out was that the action looked and felt high. Then I noticed a loud buzzing in the E string that no one could have missed or should have missed had they played it.

I immediately contacted them and they insisted that it had been set up properly. I told them I would be taking it to a luthier for evaluation. They changed tone at that point and offered to pay if anything was found up to $42.

The Luthier took one look at it and said that it was plain to see it hadn't really been looked over. One of the nut groves was too wide and deep and was causing the loud buzz when played. He fixed it with glue and bone dust.

So I'll give them a FAIL on their professional setup and resent the fact that on the phone they initially disputed my claims about the set up issues. It was not what I would call good customer service.

Sadly they are no longer on my A list and have gone down to questionable.

I know that many here have good experiences with them and may take exception to this report but so be it. I won't be using them as a go to source except as a last resort.

chuck in ny
05-10-2014, 05:24 AM
it's easier to just shuffle boxes around than to actually perform work.

Olarte
05-10-2014, 05:29 AM
I would not buy a Uke from them expecting the kind of setup that I would get from a dedicated Uke dealer...

However elderly is excellent for general music supplies, some good prices on instruments, and vintage old instruments... For all that they are in my top 5...

bearbike137
05-10-2014, 05:32 AM
Undoubtedly, you are going to see a whole bunch of posts here praising Elderly - and certainly those folks had a positive experience. For me, it has been more of a mixed bag. I have bought some nice stuff from them and have had some nice service. I like their prices - and their guitar inventory is pretty great. However, I have also had the three following experiences:

- They once shipped me an electric guitar. It was shipped with no padding or packing material of any sort. Honestly, just the guitar (in its case) bouncing around loose in a big cardboard box. I was stunned.

- The sent me an acoustic guitar for which they had to cut a new saddle. When it arrived, the set-up was horrendous. The saddle was horribly cut (I have cut a bunch of my own saddles in my life). When I returned the guitar because of the set-up, they contacted me. Apparently the repair guy (Johhny or something like that) disowned the set-up and blamed ME for the shoddy saddle work! He accused me of having messed with it. I was livid, to say the least.

- I was trading in a guitar against a new high end guitar they had in their shop. The guy working the "trade" desk (Larry someone) gave a look at the guitar I was buying, then looked at me and said "I am proud to say that I have never paid more than $400 for a guitar." Yeah - thanks buddy for making feel like a guitar snob. lol

Personally, for anything ukulele related - I don't know why anyone would go anywhere other than Hawaii Music Supply (when possible). Andrew and company are the best. Ever. Period.

ralphk
05-10-2014, 06:27 AM
I just got a tenor from Elderly and the packing was excellent. Could not asked for better packing.

It, like Islander's uke, seemed to be shipped very quickly from when I placed the order and I was concerned that their statements regarding setup was more promotional than actual.

But this Kala tenor turned out to be fine. Maybe they checked it out before putting it in inventory. More likely Kala did a good job. Regardless, a nice uke, at a nice price, very satisfied, and I have no current UAS!

Ralph

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 06:35 AM
Thanks for posting this. Now I know my feelings aren't off base altogether.

I can only contrast this experience to my last one with HMS and my Gretsch. It's the best playing instrument I own now in great part due to the stellar set up done by HMS.

I contacted my gf about canceling a backorder for a solid koa Gretsch but she had already beat me to it. They are going to at least lose our business over this. Had their attitude towards me been better much would have been forgiven on my part. I try not to be a hard ass when people treat me respectfully and I know that mistakes happen.

So to add more here I had talked to someone there on that first day and when I said I was taking it to a Luthier they said Elderly would be willing to offset some of the costs of it depending on what needed to be done.

So the next day I called to confirm and ask what the amount would be they would be willing to cover and I would appreciate it in writing in an email. I was nastily told that they don't need to do that and I should just trust them and the amount they would cover would be $42. At this point I was getting a little pissed off and said I'd like to see it in writing anyway which they, after some more conversation agree to.

Within an hour or so of that conversation I received another call from this same person telling me that I had already been told all this by another person earlier and why was I calling back when I already knew they would pay. That was the moment I told myself they wouldn't be getting any more of my business anytime soon. I explained to him I did not know the dollar amount I had to play with and was confirming that and wanted it in writing. He actually laughed at me and told me to have a good day. I wished him the same and hung up.

kohanmike
05-10-2014, 06:42 AM
From past experience with online line dealers, I learned never to do any customer service over the phone, I always email them and specifically ask to reply only by email, no phone calls.

The Big Kahuna
05-10-2014, 06:43 AM
Personally, for anything ukulele related - I don't know why anyone would go anywhere other than Hawaii Music Supply (when possible). Andrew and company are the best. Ever. Period.

This ^^

There are other dealers here who I've never dealt with, and who I'm sure are excellent, but both my HMS ukes are setup to perfection.

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 06:59 AM
I would not buy a Uke from them expecting the kind of setup that I would get from a dedicated Uke dealer...

However elderly is excellent for general music supplies, some good prices on instruments, and vintage old instruments... For all that they are in my top 5...

Well what is a set up then? They state it proudly on their website. Is buzzing strings acceptable and considered "set up"?

I don't doubt their good prices. I was lured by the 10% off. But in reality I would have gladly paid full price to have it really set up, saving me a huge time and emotional hassle. That 10% hardly compensates me for any of this. I'll pay extra or know going in I have to pay for a set up once the instrument gets here. I don't mind that but I want to know it going in.

coolkayaker1
05-10-2014, 07:14 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elderly_Instruments

Elderly does such high volume, they have their own wiki page!

I think retailers like Elderly do not set up every single instrument, even though they might say they do. They probably inspect them, and maybe even strum them and fix anything they might catch, but to actively set up each instrument for Elderly is unlikely. This may well be brother O's point.

This is what makes a dedicated ukulele retailer like HMS pure gold. HMS is no Elderly, so Andrew sees every uke, and God only knows he doesn't want to pay return shipping all the way to HI due to a buzz. ;-)~. So, he's got it down to a win win science.

I'm so glad you brought this up, I53. I got a Kamoa from Elderly and it, too, was in the original box and I'm sure un-handled by any human since the manufacturer. So, what you say is true. No doubt. I buy vintage or used instruments once or twice from Elderly, but I buy anything new from HMS.

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 07:24 AM
Well live and learn. I heard some accolades on the set up that Elderly does and believed. But saying they do a set up and not doing anything is just dishonest period and I'd rather not be a party to that in the future. The fact is that had any one plucked the strings on my uke before packaging it they would have realized that there was something very wrong and it wasn't playable.

Bill Mc
05-10-2014, 07:40 AM
I had a similar experience with Elderly some months ago with a Gretsch New Yorker mandolin I purchased. The string height at the first fret was nearly 1/4" - impossible to even fret the string from that height. I set the mandolin up myself as I'm able to do my own set ups, but I called Elderly to let them know the condition in which I received the mandolin because "expert setup" is clearly advertised on their mandolins. The person I got was completely dismissive of my observations and stated that the mandolin had received the set up promised! This experience has changed my opinion about Elderly as obviously they have people working for them who do not care to provide the service they advertise and whoever is in charge there is not on top of his/her game.

Teek
05-10-2014, 08:08 AM
I only use them for strings. Their prices are high and the one time I called about purchasing a ukulele I got kind of a snotty attitude when I asked about any possible discount (used instrument), did they do setup, was there a customer satisfaction guarantee? I spoke with a woman who sounded kind of put out and disinterested in making a sale. maybe there was an impatient RL customer standing right there she could have given the phone to someone else or put me on hold if so, but it makes me agree, HMS.

However I just bought a Collings from Hill Country Guitars in Austin, TX and I give them credit for taking me seriously (although by email I had to ask the same questions a few times; they did not blow me off as a faceless internet waste of time), and they sent me extra pics and made a sound file. Every email was answered even after hours or late their time. When a price was agreed upon I called them to ask about clearing my check and shipping and to say Hi, and the owner Kevin was personable and patient and has a good sense of humor, and so do the other guys there. It was a good transaction overall and the Collings is lovely. :)

I think a store needs to have the attitude that every contact is a potential sale, and that every customer is a potential repeat customer. MGM was one of the best at this even when he didn't answer all the questions either; he always replied back, with characteristic spelling errors and garbling of words from his phone's keyboard. I miss him a ton!

Captain Simian
05-10-2014, 08:16 AM
I've ordered a few minor things from Elderly (strings, banjo uke head) and had no problems with my order. However, from other friends of mine I've heard a few negative things about them, very similar to some of the issues stated in this thread. Personally, I suspect they do have someone who does repairs on staff but probably only knows how to deal with guitars and basses. Besides comments that have been made to me by other uke, banjo, and mandolinists that I know, the main basis of my theory is that they have a few mid-to high end used ukes that are being sold as is because they need setups and/or a seam re-glued. If they provide "expert setups" shouldn't the expert be able to knock out a setup in a reasonable amount of time? Just seems odd to me. While I'll probably still get simple items from them I highly doubt I'll ever make a major purchase from them.

pixiepurls
05-10-2014, 09:29 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elderly_Instruments

Elderly does such high volume, they have their own wiki page!

I think retailers like Elderly do not set up every single instrument, even though they might say they do. They probably inspect them, and maybe even strum them and fix anything they might catch, but to actively set up each instrument for Elderly is unlikely. This may well be brother O's point.

This is what makes a dedicated ukulele retailer like HMS pure gold. HMS is no Elderly, so Andrew sees every uke, and God only knows he doesn't want to pay return shipping all the way to HI due to a buzz. ;-)~. So, he's got it down to a win win science.

I'm so glad you brought this up, I53. I got a Kamoa from Elderly and it, too, was in the original box and I'm sure un-handled by any human since the manufacturer. So, what you say is true. No doubt. I buy vintage or used instruments once or twice from Elderly, but I buy anything new from HMS.

I love the setup i got from http://fanguitarandukulele.com and they also ship instruments. My instrument sounds perfect.

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 09:38 AM
The owner at Fan used to be a store Manager at HMS. I've talked with him several times. He recommended my Moku over instruments that he carries knowing he might likely lose a sale. That's the kind of people I want to do business with every time.

BlackBearUkes
05-10-2014, 11:25 AM
Blaming the dealer for a poor setup on an import is a bit over the top. Why don't the people who make the things do the set up? Should the dealers also have to glue the bridges on or install the tuners? Why does the dealer have to do what should be done from the factory. When I bought a Martn guitar years ago, the set up was fine, the dealer didn't do anything. Why is it expected that the uke or guitar will need a setup by the dealer. Its not just ukes that have this problem, import violins are almost always is poor setup condition when they arrive from the factory. Seems this has become the norm for cheaper instruments which in my mind makes them even cheaper.

The Big Kahuna
05-10-2014, 11:40 AM
Blaming the dealer for a poor setup on an import is a bit over the top. Why don't the people who make the things do the set up? Should the dealers also have to glue the bridges on or install the tuners? Why does the dealer have to do what should be done from the factory. When I bought a Martn guitar years ago, the set up was fine, the dealer didn't do anything. Why is it expected that the uke or guitar will need a setup by the dealer. Its not just ukes that have this problem, import violins are almost always is poor setup condition when they arrive from the factory. Seems this has become the norm for cheaper instruments which in my mind makes them even cheaper.

Someone else point out how entirely stupid this post is. I can't be bothered.

Condor
05-10-2014, 11:43 AM
Blaming the dealer for a poor setup on an import is a bit over the top. Why don't the people who make the things do the set up? Should the dealers also have to glue the bridges on or install the tuners? Why does the dealer have to do what should be done from the factory. When I bought a Martn guitar years ago, the set up was fine, the dealer didn't do anything. Why is it expected that the uke or guitar will need a setup by the dealer. Its not just ukes that have this problem, import violins are almost always is poor setup condition when they arrive from the factory. Seems this has become the norm for cheaper instruments which in my mind makes them even cheaper.

What an absolutely ridiculous post!
The dealer OFFERS "expertly setup" instruments, so nothing "over the top" about expecting to get the deal they are offering and that you have agreed to! Yes, dealers should have to ensure that the instruments they sell and stock are in good playable condition, and if setup is offered, that is what should be given! Anything less is dishonest! If dealers do not wish to keep lower end instruments whose factory set up and finish is poor, then that is their choice, but if they keep factory assembly line instruments, they are always likely to need checking and setting up -

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 11:49 AM
Blaming the dealer for a poor setup on an import is a bit over the top. Why don't the people who make the things do the set up? Should the dealers also have to glue the bridges on or install the tuners? Why does the dealer have to do what should be done from the factory. When I bought a Martn guitar years ago, the set up was fine, the dealer didn't do anything. Why is it expected that the uke or guitar will need a setup by the dealer. Its not just ukes that have this problem, import violins are almost always is poor setup condition when they arrive from the factory. Seems this has become the norm for cheaper instruments which in my mind makes them even cheaper.

I'm blaming the dealer for saying they set up these instruments and not doing it. That's a legitimate complaint. If they aren't going to do it then don't say they will. That's called honesty. They make sales by stating they do set ups. That's in the same category with bait and switch to me.

As to your point. I've wondered that myself. I'm guessing that quality control to that extent would make for a much more expensive product plus not everyone wants a low action etc. But I think you asking that question is worthwhile. I'd like to see better quality control myself. If it was binoculars they would just get sent back to the company. I've heard that stores often send back a fairly significant amount of ukes that come in due to poor quality.

stringy
05-10-2014, 11:58 AM
GREAT POST BlackBearUkes!
I have been saying this forever. Ukuleles should not have to be set-up to play correctly. Buy a brand that is made properly!
You should be able to take an ukulele out of the original box, tune it, and play it.
I am not talking about someone that wants to make personal changes, I am saying that an ukulele should play correctly, have a good action, intonate properly, and not have buzzes WITHOUT A SET-Up.

Mass produced, low quality ukes are high profit for stores. They get them dirt cheap. Then set them up (which is cheaper than buying quality), and IMO you end up paying way more than you should.

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 12:02 PM
You may both have a good point. This Uke costs about $350. Not a fortune but not exactly a starter. I would think it would be playable out of the box for that kind of money. But I'm willing to be educated if that is an unreasonable view.

But on topic, if the seller says they are going to do a professional set up then they obligate themselves to doing it. Otherwise they are just liars in the vein of the used car salesman who states the auto has been put in top running shape by their mechanics when nothing of the sort has happened.

stringy
05-10-2014, 12:07 PM
You may both have a good point. This Uke costs about $350. Not a fortune but not exactly a starter. I would think it would be playable out of the box for that kind of money. But I'm willing to be educated if that is an unreasonable view.


I agree with you that if the store is buying low quality but promising they will set it up...then that is what they should do. Understand that they make a lot more money buying cheap and then "fixing" it. The profit margin is higher than if they bought "proper" instruments.

I always ask "which ukes are not being set up by the store, and that pass inspection right out of the box.
I prefer those brands that take pride in their work.

Neal
05-10-2014, 12:10 PM
Blaming the dealer for a poor setup on an import is a bit over the top. Why don't the people who make the things do the set up? Should the dealers also have to glue the bridges on or install the tuners? Why does the dealer have to do what should be done from the factory. When I bought a Martn guitar years ago, the set up was fine, the dealer didn't do anything. Why is it expected that the uke or guitar will need a setup by the dealer. Its not just ukes that have this problem, import violins are almost always is poor setup condition when they arrive from the factory. Seems this has become the norm for cheaper instruments which in my mind makes them even cheaper.
It's odd, these forums. One uke, maybe a few others that have passed thru Elderly's hands are suspect. Thousands of others are not, including the many instruments I've purchased thru Elderly. Never had a problem returning, never an issue with setup. Yet now, because a few folks have had new instruments that should have been taken care of at the factory fail their initial play test, the whole company is now on the shit list here at a popular uke forum, having it's good name dragged thru the mud on the posts of a few people that are unhappy with something that could have been sent back, or dealt with easily locally. Sure, "it's the principal". Yeah, they say they set every one up, as well as most others, but in reality the factory, as Blackbear says, should have that under control, and as much as big operations try, sometimes things are not correct.

I've never had a problem having Elderly take care of any issue I've ever had, and have been an online customer since I've been buying things off the internet.... geez, that was '99... maybe a little later with Elderly. So feel free to dissect my post and talk about the principal of the whole thing, but no one's perfect. Yeah, maybe an employee had a bad day, maybe someone said these ukes always come in good, maybe someone simply effed up. It happens to every business, even your hallowed Hawaii stores. A few questions to the OP, did you ask if you could have it set up locally and would they reimburse? Did you ask if you could send it back for a refund? Of course, you'd pay shipping, but if you nudged enough with the setup thing, they'd probably pay, they've done it before when things weren't right. As any business that does it on the internet, these sorts of posts are a nightmare, and most businesses will do what it takes to avoid these nightmares. I suggest you didn't pursue it, and came here with sour grapes. My opinion.

Good post Duane, glad you brought that up.

bborzell
05-10-2014, 12:11 PM
Blaming the dealer for a poor setup on an import is a bit over the top. Why don't the people who make the things do the set up? Should the dealers also have to glue the bridges on or install the tuners? Why does the dealer have to do what should be done from the factory. When I bought a Martn guitar years ago, the set up was fine, the dealer didn't do anything. Why is it expected that the uke or guitar will need a setup by the dealer. Its not just ukes that have this problem, import violins are almost always is poor setup condition when they arrive from the factory. Seems this has become the norm for cheaper instruments which in my mind makes them even cheaper.

Yours is a very good point. Manufacturers and distributors who deal in large volume appear to have no incentive to ensure that each instrument is in the same condition as one of their products that they proudly display on a wall at a trade show. Considering the nature of the transaction chain from them to the end buyer, they are so far removed that a comparatively small number of "oversights" from their hand in the transaction can easily be overlooked without serious damage to their bottom line, and they all know that fact.

If we truly lived in an economic structure where people can affect production and marketing decisions of a company by moving on along to another manufacturer, that would be good, but is should be clear by now that it is possible for most companies to ignore their promises in a small number of instances (lower priced ukuleles, for example) and never be the worse for having done so.

Having said all that, however, I would direct attention in this case not to the manufacturer or Elderly but to the guy or gal who might have gotten to work 20 minutes late with a hangover who simply couldn't bring himself to tweaking another uke right then. Count the strings, give it a few strums and in the box it goes.

Not to say that Elderly isn't in the obligation loop here; they clearly are, but the guy who answered the phone call about the lack of setup might possibly have been the same guy who did the non setup in the first place. A lot of "stuff" can happen (or not happen) beyond the awareness of those in charge. I don't think it would be too far off to suggest that, if the guy who regularly sends me those personal notes on the inside cover of the Elderly catalog knew that his personal assurance that you, as a buyer, will get that which he says you will get, is being blown off somewhere down the line of authority, he would do something about it.

If a contact with management at Elderly results in getting blown off, then getting a poor setup is the least of the potential worries of a potential Elderly customer.

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 12:21 PM
Well then I'm obligated to let them know. Which I have to some degree already. I'm also thinking of linking them to this thread.

But having worked in sales up until early retirement I know that poor management is usually at the bottom of things. Were managers actually checking up on their employees this problem would rarely arise. I personally put the blame (mostly) in managements lap on this one. That's my educated guess anyway.

As to who I talked to I think I talked to the head of the complaint dept and also to a general order taker. I got basically the same song and dance from both. Both, likely without knowing what actually happened, defended the company and attempted to convince me I was being somehow ignorant. I had to use the Luthier card to get them to pay attention. Which then at least one of them did. Now we get to see if they actually pay me back for the work I had done or if I have to hound them over $12. Which btw will be nothing to me other than the principle of the thing.

Neal
05-10-2014, 12:30 PM
12 dollars? A luthier charged you 12 dollars to do what you say Elderly should have done?

You're being serious? 12 dollars? You dragged a companies name thru the mud over a disagreement in setup, and the setup was 12 fricking dollars? My god man, that's the difference between the setup guy thinking he'd leave the action a little higher, as it's easier to leave it higher and you to take care of the rest, than for him to leave it too low and you bitch about how much it cost you for a new saddle!

12 bucks for this?!? Jeebus crist.

Yeah, they'll pay you the 12 dollars. Fret not.

Condor
05-10-2014, 12:33 PM
I've never had a problem having Elderly take care of any issue I've ever had, and have been an online customer since I've been buying things off the internet.... geez, that was '99... maybe a little later with Elderly. So feel free to dissect my post and talk about the principal of the whole thing, but no one's perfect. Yeah, maybe an employee had a bad day, maybe someone said these ukes always come in good, maybe someone simply effed up. It happens to every business, even your hallowed Hawaii stores. A few questions to the OP, did you ask if you could have it set up locally and would they reimburse? Did you ask if you could send it back for a refund? Of course, you'd pay shipping, but if you nudged enough with the setup thing, they'd probably pay, they've done it before when things weren't right. As any business that does it on the internet, these sorts of posts are a nightmare, and most businesses will do what it takes to avoid these nightmares. I suggest you didn't pursue it, and came here with sour grapes. My opinion.

.

you haven't read the thread then, clearly - OP mentioned contacting the store and the reaction he got from them, so hardly sour grapes! Why should a buyer not get what they were sold?

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 12:34 PM
Nonsense, the problem as I explained was a string that was buzzing when played because the nut was cut too deep. How about knowing what you're talking about before you talk.

bearbike137
05-10-2014, 12:34 PM
Blaming the dealer for a poor setup on an import is a bit over the top. Why don't the people who make the things do the set up? Should the dealers also have to glue the bridges on or install the tuners? Why does the dealer have to do what should be done from the factory. When I bought a Martn guitar years ago, the set up was fine, the dealer didn't do anything. Why is it expected that the uke or guitar will need a setup by the dealer. Its not just ukes that have this problem, import violins are almost always is poor setup condition when they arrive from the factory. Seems this has become the norm for cheaper instruments which in my mind makes them even cheaper.

Well, if you go to Elderly's site and look up Moku ukes - right next to every Moku uke that is for sale, there is an icon that says "Why Elderly"? When you click on that icon, it takes you to a page that says:

"Ready-to-play instruments: Our repair staff inspects and sets up every new instrument we sell so that you get the best playing and sounding instrument possible. Fresh-out-of-the box is not necessarily a good thing for an instrument, we make sure it's right or it goes back in the box and back to the factory. (Our set-up)"

It seems that even Elderly feels that set-up on a new uke is their responsibility...

Condor
05-10-2014, 12:37 PM
12 dollars? A luthier charged you 12 dollars to do what you say Elderly should have done?

You're being serious? 12 dollars? You dragged a companies name thru the mud over a disagreement in setup, and the setup was 12 fricking dollars? My god man, that's the difference between the setup guy thinking he'd leave the action a little higher, as it's easier to leave it higher and you to take care of the rest, than for him to leave it too low and you bitch about how much it cost you for a new saddle!

12 bucks for this?!? Jeebus crist.

Yeah, they'll pay you the 12 dollars. Fret not.


Having a bad hair day? The company treated the OP shamefully and with disrespect. The uke was not a cheapie and the sale was offered with full set up. That is not what he received. He has every right to say what he likes about a company who treated him so badly, its not about the $12.

Neal
05-10-2014, 12:40 PM
you haven't read the thread then, clearly - OP mentioned contacting the store and the reaction he got from them, so hardly sour grapes! Why should a buyer not get what they were sold?
They did, which is the whole point. What he got was absolutely nothing to get upset about, it happens. We have his version of the dialogue, and this is the internet. And now that it's known a 12 fricking dollar job that any big company dealing with a large volume of instruments can overlook, yes. They. Can. Overlook. Minor. Things. Now we know that this whole forum post is bullshit, simply dragging a good retailer into the mud and allowing for a few to state their preferences for other "good" companies who would "never" do that....... yeah. No, I don't work for Elderly, and have no financial interest. I even buy from other dealers.

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 12:41 PM
It's odd, these forums. One uke, maybe a few others that have passed thru Elderly's hands are suspect. Thousands of others are not, including the many instruments I've purchased thru Elderly. Never had a problem returning, never an issue with setup. Yet now, because a few folks have had new instruments that should have been taken care of at the factory fail their initial play test, the whole company is now on the shit list here at a popular uke forum, having it's good name dragged thru the mud on the posts of a few people that are unhappy with something that could have been sent back, or dealt with easily locally. Sure, "it's the principal". Yeah, they say they set every one up, as well as most others, but in reality the factory, as Blackbear says, should have that under control, and as much as big operations try, sometimes things are not correct.

I've never had a problem having Elderly take care of any issue I've ever had, and have been an online customer since I've been buying things off the internet.... geez, that was '99... maybe a little later with Elderly. So feel free to dissect my post and talk about the principal of the whole thing, but no one's perfect. Yeah, maybe an employee had a bad day, maybe someone said these ukes always come in good, maybe someone simply effed up. It happens to every business, even your hallowed Hawaii stores. A few questions to the OP, did you ask if you could have it set up locally and would they reimburse? Did you ask if you could send it back for a refund? Of course, you'd pay shipping, but if you nudged enough with the setup thing, they'd probably pay, they've done it before when things weren't right. As any business that does it on the internet, these sorts of posts are a nightmare, and most businesses will do what it takes to avoid these nightmares. I suggest you didn't pursue it, and came here with sour grapes. My opinion.

Good post Duane, glad you brought that up.

So we are only supposed to post accolades about favorite sellers? You don't hear me complaining when you promote them. IMO it's just as fair to share an experience about ANY company that is not positive if it's true. I have made plenty of posts praising good work and I'm not afraid to post about it when the work isn't any good. Sorry you don't like it.

stringy
05-10-2014, 12:42 PM
Set-ups are inexpensive to do. The only real expense is time and the worker doing the set-up is on the clock anyway, so the store owners do not have to pay them extra for the time. This is what I meant by "Higher Profit Margin". There is no other reason for a music store to carry this unacceptable (from the factory) junk than dollar signs.

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 12:47 PM
They did, which is the whole point. What he got was absolutely nothing to get upset about, it happens. We have his version of the dialogue, and this is the internet. And now that it's known a 12 fricking dollar job that any big company dealing with a large volume of instruments can overlook, yes. They. Can. Overlook. Minor. Things. Now we know that this whole forum post is bullshit, simply dragging a good retailer into the mud and allowing for a few to state their preferences for other "good" companies who would "never" do that....... yeah. No, I don't work for Elderly, and have no financial interest. I even buy from other dealers.

I feel no shame in talking about poor quality work. Again I guess we are only supposed to post accolades about these companies no matter what they do and never hold them accountable for poor work or even god forbid dishonesty. I guess I should have told the Luthier to charge more. The fact is the instrument was not playing right out of the box and they claimed it was checked out and even set up. According to the Luthier that was unlikely. I had no idea what was actually wrong and no idea what it would take to make it right. The fact that it was an easy fix does not change the fact it was worthless to me without that fix.

igorthebarbarian
05-10-2014, 12:48 PM
I have only bought a Firefly banjo uke online from Elderly before since the price was on sale. And I know that Flea/Fluke/Firefly are actually setup universally well across-the-board.
I always see the "Elderly setup" advertised on their ukes, and assumed that it's going to be as good of a setup as someone like HMS or MIM does.
A really useful site/sticky would be someone to compile a listing of what sellers do the best set-ups, and not just a cursory QC glance at it (which is probably what happened in this case).

Neal
05-10-2014, 12:50 PM
Nonsense, the problem as I explained was a string that was buzzing when played because the nut was cut too deep. How about knowing what you're talking about before you talk.

And what if, just what if... when they played it, it didn't buzz? It happens. We have your word and righteous indignation that they effed up. Sure, they did, and offered up to 42 dollars in setup. That's actually pretty close to shipping back money... and it only cost TWELVE DOLLARS. Yeah, that's enough to trash a business. 12 dollars, because you're a man of principal, and everything should be as you expect. When it's not, that company needs to pay, not in simply making it right, but more. That's just wrong.

We only have your word that you were treated poorly, which in my experience over 15 years of being their customer has never happened. Never heard that online either, oddly enough, yet over a 12 dollar "fix", that they'll pay for, btw, this is an issue?

TG&Y
05-10-2014, 12:53 PM
Since you've stated that you don't work for Elderly, is it fair to assume you sell popcorn? 66714

$12.00, $100.00, $1.00 - it's the service and customer service experience that's being related. If accurate it should be a nightmare for Elderly, or any other seller, and could lead to more attention to detail in the future. Yes, fricking $12.00.

stringy
05-10-2014, 12:54 PM
"simply dragging a good retailer into the mud and allowing for a few to state their preferences for other "good" companies who would "never" do that......."



I always say "follow the money" :uhoh:

Neal
05-10-2014, 12:58 PM
I feel no shame in talking about poor quality work. Again I guess we are only supposed to post accolades about these companies no matter what they do and never hold them accountable for poor work or even god forbid dishonesty. I guess I should have told the Luthier to charge more. The fact is the instrument was not playing right out of the box and they claimed it was checked out and even set up. According to the Luthier that was unlikely. I had no idea what was actually wrong and no idea what it would take to make it right. The fact that it was an easy fix does not change the fact it was worthless to me without that fix.

You had no idea. Yet you come here on a busy site to trash a well respected company, and you've got quite a little posse in your wake of traildust. And it only took 12 dollars.. 12 dollars from a competent tech to make it right. Everything else you said is simply internet banter trashing a company.

Here are the facts, you tell me if I'm wrong, and don't go about the stuff that's simply heresay-
1. You bought a uke from Elderly
2. It came setup unsatisfactorily
3. You told them
4. They offered up to 42$ in setup
5. It cost you 12 dollars
6. You are awaiting your money.

Is that about right? Are the facts simply stated? Any more we should know?

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 12:58 PM
Well, if you go to Elderly's site and look up Moku ukes - right next to every Moku uke that is for sale, there is an icon that says "Why Elderly"? When you click on that icon, it takes you to a page that says:

"Ready-to-play instruments: Our repair staff inspects and sets up every new instrument we sell so that you get the best playing and sounding instrument possible. Fresh-out-of-the box is not necessarily a good thing for an instrument, we make sure it's right or it goes back in the box and back to the factory. (Our set-up)"

It seems that even Elderly feels that set-up on a new uke is their responsibility...

Bingo! There is no foul in holding a company to their word.

Condor
05-10-2014, 01:00 PM
They did, which is the whole point. What he got was absolutely nothing to get upset about, it happens. We have his version of the dialogue, and this is the internet. And now that it's known a 12 fricking dollar job that any big company dealing with a large volume of instruments can overlook, yes. They. Can. Overlook. Minor. Things. Now we know that this whole forum post is bullshit, simply dragging a good retailer into the mud and allowing for a few to state their preferences for other "good" companies who would "never" do that....... yeah. No, I don't work for Elderly, and have no financial interest. I even buy from other dealers.

nonsense, the OP did not get what he paid for. Elderly's website shows clearly that the ukes they sell are set up. This uke was clearly not properly checked out before shipping, hardly likely a string buzz would suddenly appear from nowhere just in a box being shipped ! And even if they felt they were "right" to be snotty to a customer with a complaint, they could have gone about it in a better way. Mistakes happen,people are people, it's how companies react to rectify problems that is really important - the store seemed to adopt a very arrogant attitude in this instance. Anyway, whether you like it or not, people are absolutely entitled to post about their experiences with retailers, good or bad.

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 01:03 PM
You had no idea. Yet you come here on a busy site to trash a well respected company, and you've got quite a little posse in your wake of traildust. And it only took 12 dollars.. 12 dollars from a competent tech to make it right. Everything else you said is simply internet banter trashing a company.

Here are the facts, you tell me if I'm wrong, and don't go about the stuff that's simply heresay-
1. You bought a uke from Elderly
2. It came setup unsatisfactorily
3. You told them
4. They offered up to 42$ in setup
5. It cost you 12 dollars
6. You are awaiting your money.

Is that about right? Are the facts simply stated? Any more we should know?

That's pretty much all I've said from the beginning outside of them stating to me that the set up was done properly and not believing me until I said that I'd have to take it to a luthier to prove it to them.

I'm not trashing anybody. Trashing is lying and I've done none of that. So quit with the "trashing" nonsense already.

Neal
05-10-2014, 01:05 PM
Having a bad hair day? The company treated the OP shamefully and with disrespect. The uke was not a cheapie and the sale was offered with full set up. That is not what he received. He has every right to say what he likes about a company who treated him so badly, its not about the $12.

Having a bad hair day? Shame on you. What sort of bullshit is that? Do you intend to troll, or is it just happenstance that you blundered into it? I thought this forum was about ideas and the uke. I have nothing against you or the original poster, just against ganging up on a respected institution on the word of one anonymous person on a popular forum, and if you don't have respect for that, shame on you again.

Condor
05-10-2014, 01:06 PM
You had no idea. Yet you come here on a busy site to trash a well respected company, and you've got quite a little posse in your wake of traildust. And it only took 12 dollars.. 12 dollars from a competent tech to make it right. Everything else you said is simply internet banter trashing a company.

Here are the facts, you tell me if I'm wrong, and don't go about the stuff that's simply heresay-
1. You bought a uke from Elderly
2. It came setup unsatisfactorily
3. You told them
4. They offered up to 42$ in setup
5. It cost you 12 dollars
6. You are awaiting your money.

Is that about right? Are the facts simply stated? Any more we should know?

Part of Elderly's self-appointed policing department, are we? Why don't you lay off the bully boy tactics? The OP had a bad buying experience from Elderly. He has every right to post about it, they are a large store and they make claims in their sales blurb which state they set up each and every instrument they sell. Peope make purchases based on such claims as they are reassured they will receive what was advertised! There are numerous posts on mandolin and guitar forums about non-setups on instruments received from them, so no need to belittle or bully the OP about his negative experience with them, he certainly is not the first or probably last person who will have this issue.

Condor
05-10-2014, 01:08 PM
Shame on you too! You obviously have an agenda here and respect for other forum users certainly is not part of it. Your bullying posts inferring the OP is lying are pretty shameful, too. Shame on you! Oh, and you are the one trolling the thread! Seems anyone who posts about a negative experience with your favourite retailers runs the risk of being viciouslyattacked and belittled by you, as do those who come to their defence - you were the one who quite obviously hadn't even read the details in the thread before you started ranting as was quite obvious much earlier in the thread.

Neal
05-10-2014, 01:08 PM
That's pretty much all I've said from the beginning outside of them stating to me that the set up was done properly and not believing me until I said that I'd have to take it to a luthier to prove it to them.

I'm not trashing anybody. Trashing is lying and I've done none of that. So quit with the "trashing" nonsense already.

You came on here to give Elderly some of your righteous indignation because of something overlooked that ended up costing a mere 12 dollars. The fact that they could overlook that is common sense. The fact that you came here to tell the world and give them "Poor Marks" is trashing them. Call it what you will. I use "trash".

Neal
05-10-2014, 01:09 PM
Shame on you too! You obviously have an agenda here and respect for other forum users certainly is not part of it. Your bullying posts inferring the OP is lying are pretty shameful, too. Shame on you!
WTF are you talking about? Are you 16?

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 01:12 PM
Having a bad hair day? Shame on you. What sort of bullshit is that? Do you intend to troll, or is it just happenstance that you blundered into it? I thought this forum was about ideas and the uke. I have nothing against you or the original poster, just against ganging up on a respected institution on the word of one anonymous person on a popular forum, and if you don't have respect for that, shame on you again.

Ganging up? Not that I've seen. People have shared their experiences both good and bad. Even in my OP I stated that I have had satisfactory transactions with them in the past. If it was ok for me to praise them when I felt they did a good job it should be ok to say it when I think they haven't.

Bill Mc
05-10-2014, 01:16 PM
Neal, I also posted an experience with Elderly strikingly similar to the OP's. The guy who answered the phone only had to acknowledge the possibility of a screw up and give assurances that he would look into it or report it to the proper manager. He did not do that but rather insisted it had a proper set up as advertised when the information I gave him indicated otherwise.

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 01:17 PM
You came on here to give Elderly some of your righteous indignation because of something overlooked that ended up costing a mere 12 dollars. The fact that they could overlook that is common sense. The fact that you came here to tell the world and give them "Poor Marks" is trashing them. Call it what you will. I use "trash".

I have also praised them in the past for a job I considered well done. Have no compulsion to feel that I have to give praise when it's not due.

How do you know it was "overlooked" btw. How do you know that? I'm curious as to where your expertise comes from.

Condor
05-10-2014, 01:20 PM
WTF are you talking about? Are you 16?.

People seem to resort to swearing when they are clueless.........as your posts seem to be on this thread......
Why is my age important to you? Have you not yet reached the all-important (to you) mental age of 16 ?
Your attitude and the language you have used directed personally at the OP and myself has been offensive for no apparent reason other than the OP dared to post about a poor experience with a big music store. Plus, as pointed out twice to you, someone else had the same issue with the same retailer..........

everyone has the right to let others know about their buying experiences and to say what they like without being policed by you!

igorthebarbarian
05-10-2014, 01:21 PM
It's not about the $12.00 minimal cost.
It's the time, energy, and extra effort for something that is advertised as being expertly setup.
Most of us have a job, so then it's finding time off work to go find a luthier - a reputable one at that, maybe extra time too researching to find a reputable luthier -- then driving there, driving back, gas, etc. All when it should have been taken care of ahead of time.
Even shipping it back to the seller is a pain for the same exact reasons.

Neal
05-10-2014, 01:24 PM
Ganging up? Not that I've seen. People have shared their experiences both good and bad. Even in my OP I stated that I have had satisfactory transactions with them in the past. If it was ok for me to praise them when I felt they did a good job it should be ok to say it when I think they haven't.
I know you think they messed up. They probably did, to agree with you. Yeah, there have been times where a company I've dealt with did something that I felt was incorrect, called them, sometimes twice, and they took care of it. Everyone messes up, and all companies try to cover their asses when they do, depending on which hourly employee is at the helm that day. But I never took to the internet to tell anyone, never crossed my mind, because you know how the internet is.... all of a sudden that company is crap, when they're not, they just erred.

In this instance, you over reacted, which is my point. Not saying Elderly is in the right, not at all, but they took care of it. If you put every praise and every little gripe you ever had with a company you did business with, you'd end up looking like Chicken Little or the biggest shill ever. Save those posts for the BIG gripes, when they send you a cracked instrument and refuse to take any responsibility, when they double bill your credit card and fail to make it right, when they sell you that Martin and it turns out to be an Ohana and refuse to take a return.

This is a small fix that anyone could overlook, you must admit that yourself, people are not perfect, but they ended up offering you recompense. What really is to complain about? The phone calls? Did anyone call you an asshole and hang up? Did they try to pass it off? Ahhhh, there. Yet in the end they came thru. Just like any decent company you've dealt with in the last 50 years. That's all I'm trying to get across. Not sure what Condor's problem is, but he's even more upset than YOU at Elderly! :)

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 01:24 PM
It would be really neat if we could stick to the the subject and keep all the personalisms in check. If you disagree with the OP (me) that's fine but personal attacks on anyone are completely unnecessary. Nothing that important is going on here. Nothing worth going after each other.

Neal
05-10-2014, 01:25 PM
It would be really neat if we could stick to the the subject and keep all the personalisms in check. If you disagree with the OP (me) that's fine but personal attacks on anyone are completely unnecessary. Nothing that important is going on here. Nothing worth going after each other.

Wholeheartedly agree.

bearbike137
05-10-2014, 01:27 PM
Ever since the Fat Sound Guitars fiasco (where the owner lied and stole for quite some time before it caught up with him), I will not hesitate to share a subpar dealer experience on a forum (where the rules allow it). Part of the reason the Fat Sound's owner was able to get away with it for so long was that so many fanboys would shout down anyone on the forums who dared speak against Fat Sound Guitars.

If sharing my Elderly experience makes me part of a "posse". So be it.

ichadwick
05-10-2014, 01:29 PM
My experience is simple:


I tried to buy a ukulele from Elderly. Mid-range uke in the $300-$400 range.
They wanted more in shipping to Canada than any other distributor or dealer I've encountered in THE WHOLE WORLD. That includes buying directly from China and Australia.
I bought the same instrument AND a case from the late MGM from Hawaii for less money and LESS THAN HALF the shipping costs.
My conclusion: Elderly doesn't want Canadian customers.


I see a lot of positive posts about them on the UU, but my experience is that they discourage customers from Canada. Can't speak about their setup or service, but in the six years since I started playing, I've bought dozens of ukuleles from the USA, Canada, Europe, China and Australia. NONE of them have has as high shipping costs as Elderly wanted.

Condor
05-10-2014, 01:29 PM
Igorthebarbarian - Spot on! Absolutely right.

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 01:34 PM
I know you think they messed up. They probably did, to agree with you. Yeah, there have been times where a company I've dealt with did something that I felt was incorrect, called them, sometimes twice, and they took care of it. Everyone messes up, and all companies try to cover their asses when they do, depending on which hourly employee is at the helm that day. But I never took to the internet to tell anyone, never crossed my mind, because you know how the internet is.... all of a sudden that company is crap, when they're not, they just erred.

In this instance, you over reacted, which is my point. Not saying Elderly is in the right, not at all, but they took care of it. If you put every praise and every little gripe you ever had with a company you did business with, you'd end up looking like Chicken Little or the biggest shill ever. Save those posts for the BIG gripes, when they send you a cracked instrument and refuse to take any responsibility, when they double bill your credit card and fail to make it right, when they sell you that Martin and it turns out to be an Ohana and refuse to take a return.

This is a small fix that anyone could overlook, you must admit that yourself, people are not perfect, but they ended up offering you recompense. What really is to complain about? The phone calls? Did anyone call you an asshole and hang up? Did they try to pass it off? Ahhhh, there. Yet in the end they came thru. Just like any decent company you've dealt with in the last 50 years. That's all I'm trying to get across. Not sure what Condor's problem is, but he's even more upset than YOU at Elderly! :)

My issue at bottom and I've stated this repeatedly is that they claimed I was wrong about the non or poor set up without knowing it themselves. Had they made the offer of me taking it in to a luthier that would have been different then them waiting until I said I would have to take it in to show them that there was a real problem with the playability of the instrument.

I haven't seen anyone here trashing Elderly. I have seen people sharing experiences similar to mine which "may" indicate a problem within the company that other potential buyers should be aware of as a possibility. I certainly never heard anything before but accolades about Elderly and the stellar set ups they always do. I'm no longer convinced that is the case. Based not only on my experience but on the experience of others.

Not rating a company would be like Amazon forbidding reviews of products so customers can't make informed choices when making a purchase. I use that rating system all the time in buying and for lot less expensive items. If people are having bad experiences I want to know about it. I'll listen to what everyone has to say and then make up my mind. That seems perfectly legitimate. But to be attacked because I state a bad experience just seems like censorship to me.

Condor
05-10-2014, 01:37 PM
I know you think they messed up. They probably did, to agree with you. Yeah, there have been times where a company I've dealt with did something that I felt was incorrect, called them, sometimes twice, and they took care of it. Everyone messes up, and all companies try to cover their asses when they do, depending on which hourly employee is at the helm that day. But I never took to the internet to tell anyone, never crossed my mind, because you know how the internet is.... all of a sudden that company is crap, when they're not, they just erred.

In this instance, you over reacted, which is my point. Not saying Elderly is in the right, not at all, but they took care of it. If you put every praise and every little gripe you ever had with a company you did business with, you'd end up looking like Chicken Little or the biggest shill ever. Save those posts for the BIG gripes, when they send you a cracked instrument and refuse to take any responsibility, when they double bill your credit card and fail to make it right, when they sell you that Martin and it turns out to be an Ohana and refuse to take a return.

This is a small fix that anyone could overlook, you must admit that yourself, people are not perfect, but they ended up offering you recompense. What really is to complain about? The phone calls? Did anyone call you an asshole and hang up? Did they try to pass it off? Ahhhh, there. Yet in the end they came thru. Just like any decent company you've dealt with in the last 50 years. That's all I'm trying to get across. Not sure what Condor's problem is, but he's even more upset than YOU at Elderly! :)

I have no issue with Elderly,at all - but I do have an issue with retailers who claim to sell certain services and then do not not do so and give customers a load of trouble when they complain.

Plus I will defend the right of anyone I see being attacked and vilified as you have done to the OP, to post their experiences openly as he has done. Oh, and the world does not default to male BTW, that's really making assumptions........I am not "he".

kohanmike
05-10-2014, 02:13 PM
Neal, you are absolutely wrong.

FrankB
05-10-2014, 02:29 PM
Ahhhh....... Why Not put in my 2 cents... :D

I've purchased several instruments from Elderly, and they were all fine except one. The bad one was a uke with a slightly lifting bridge in one corner. This is something that OCDs like me check for, and I use a thin sheet of paper on all new bridges to check. I called Elderly, and told them about it. They (Brandon) immediately told me that he'd have Fedex pick it up the next day, and at no cost to me. I really liked this instrument, and asked Brandon is a slight hair of lifting corner was something to worry about on a uke. He transferred me to one of the repair guys, and he told me to have Brandon send out Fedex, just to be sure. I called the maker, and spoke to the rep who handles the Elderly account. He told me they had another in stock, and that they would ship it to me directly as soon as the other was returned to Elderly.

I bought a Martin T1K from Zzounds.com, and it was in a sealed Martin box. The fret ends were awful, and its tone was not to my liking. I called Zzounds, and they answered immediately (they're very good with that), and the rep emailed a shipping label for a free return. They state on their site that their instruments are factory sealed, and I like that idea, as I prefer to set up guitars and ukes myself. I could have filed and dressed those frets in very little time, but its tone wouldn't have changed. Zzounds was glad to have me ship it back on their dime.

The big dealers like Elderly and Zzounds ship the same day, if the order is received before 2pm. It's tough to inspect every instrument thoroughly with that sort of shipping schedule. When I ordered a Kamaka from Elderly, they did say they'd want it run through their repair department to make sure everything was okay. I guess when you go above a certain dollar amount, they spend more time. Is that fair? Probably not. It's also kind of goofy that all of these dealers advertise "list" and "sale" prices. I was in Sam Ash about 10 years ago, and a customer asked the salesman if the sale price would still be available the following week. We both laughed, and told him that they were always "On Sale". The forum favorite dealers give list and sales prices as well, but.....whatever. Elderly ships for free on orders $49 and over. You have to pay shipping from the dealers that spend more time (unless a certain dollar amount is spent...$400?).

I bought a $470 uke from one of the "trusted dealers" a couple of months ago, and received a uke with a nut slot cut several millimeters from the end of the fretboard. A company rep was sent a picture of the nut, and the space between it and the fretboard. He apologized, and said it should have been caught at several points along the way from factory to dealer, and finally before it was shipped to me. I called the dealer, and shipped it back within the hour. I paid for shipping back, but whatever. The brand is carried by two of the trusted three, and I don't want to name the dealer. They messed up, but I'd buy from their shop again. In the end, buying without trying is a leap of faith, and keeps me up while waiting to see what's in the box.

EDIT: One of my several business ventures was a bike shop partnership. We sold many very high-end bikes, as well as cheaper stuff. They were all set up by one of our three trained mechanics, including our least expensive $200 bike. We sold a custom Klein frame (back when Klein was still making frames, and the name hadn't been sold to Trek), and assembled the bike from parts chosen by the customer. He was delighted to see it, and we were as proud as ever to be able to offer such a fine bicycle. He came back the next day, and was furious. Klein glued the bottom brackets in with green Loctite. The bottom bracket is the axle assembly that the pedal/crank arms attach to. Well, Klein failed to glue the bottom bracket in place on this particular frame. There was little we could have done to know this, even though quite a bit of time was spent assembling and adjusting everything. The customer had to ride it for about 10 miles before the whole mess slide to one side, and the chain was jammed against the frame. He threw the bike at me, and said it had better be done by the end of the day. We called Klein, and he said he could overnight green Loctite, but that wouldn't have been soon enough. We then had to jump through some hoops, and buy it from an industrial supplier. They didn't want to sell it to us at first, but Klein and cash both came to the rescue. The guy was a good customer before, and remained a good customer after that. He even apologized for flipping out, but he did spend $3,000+ on a bike in the mid 1990's. That price is pretty common now......

BlackBearUkes
05-10-2014, 02:48 PM
Any uke that costs $350 should be set up at the place it was made and should be playable out of the box, unless of course it comes with a notification that some work may be require after purchase, which of course is BS.

Since Elderly says it does set ups, they should have checked it out better. Its too bad they didn't, but a simple communication should have taken care of the problem. There is no need to go on the web and rant about this transaction to this extent on a public forum IMO.

This kind of stuff does have a negative consequence. I once sold a $1000+ uke too customer and they played it for over a year before they said the uke had developed a buzzing sound that they could not figure out.They asked if they could please send the uke back to be repaired or could they have a refund. Since I don't offer a refund after a full year, I had the uke returned to me for repair. After full inspection inside and out, I could fine no structural problems except for a string that was left too long on the inside and was buzzing against one of the bridge pins. I changed the strings, problem solved, and sent the uke back. A couple of months go by, again I was notified that now the uke had developed a strange harmonic on the second string and could I please take another look at the uke. I asked the client to take the uke to another luthier friend of mine in their city and get back to me with his thoughts. He found nothing wrong with the uke but did hear the harmonic sound they had also experienced.

I asked that the uke be returned to me so I could hear this harmonic for myself. I also asked if they has changed the strings I had install, and they had. After receiving it and testing it, I also heard this weird sound. Fortunately for me, this wasn't my first time with this problem. I measured the string diameters with a micrometer and discovered that the 2nd and 3rd string had been swapped. Both strings sounded off, especially the third string. Again I changed the strings and the harmonic was gone. My luthier friend did not check the strings so he didn't find the cause. He's a damn fine luthier but this one got by him. It happens.

Now my point to this story is, if the client had gone on to this and other uke sites and started to get pissed off at me on a public forum, how do you think that would have helped me or the client? The client did the right thing even though it took time to correct the problems and even though they weren't really serious problems at all and it wasn't any fault of mine!!!

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 03:11 PM
Since Elderly says it does set ups, they should have checked it out better. Its too bad they didn't, but a simple communication should have taken care of the problem. There is no need to go on the web and rant about this transaction to this extent on a public forum IMO.


Yes a simple communication should have taken care of the problem. However they weren't willing to own any problem until I told them I'd have it checked out so a luthier could establish whether this instrument had been adequately checked out as Elderly makes full claim that they do. Had they taken my word for it off the bat and directed me to a luthier I certainly would have appreciated that approach. And again since you obviously have not been listening to me, I feel it's just as valid to state a problem with a company as it is to praise one unequivocally. Had I known what I know now I very likely would have searched elsewhere to make my purchase or at least considered it. Others might feel the same. If you can't share information about a company that is in any way negative that amounts to censorship IMO.

The internet is a great way to let others know about sellers and such. I have yet to hear anyone complain about positive "ranting" even if it may not be fully justified. All one has to do is use their powers of discernment to see if a complaint has merit or if it is a solitary incident. Then they have the information to make an informed decision about where to put their money and what could happen if they purchase somewhere and if that "could happen" is likely at all.

What I found out from posting is that others have had the same experience with this company. If I had found myself a lone voice then I would have realized it would likely never happen to me again should I choose to deal with them.

BTW your story of your experience really bears no resemblance to what happened here but you likely know that. Had I been at fault in this issue the Luthier would have let me know right away. I let an expert look at it to make sure I was hearing what I was hearing and there was an actual problem.

bearbike137
05-10-2014, 03:15 PM
There is an asymmetry to these types of threads that is odd. When an OP starts a thread with a negative comment about a dealer, a bunch of folks will step forward with posts in support of the dealer and often take the OP to task. However when an OP starts a thread with a positive comment about a dealer, rarely does anyone follow with a negative experience (as it is considered bad form).

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 03:22 PM
Agreed. If someone related a less than positive experience with HMS (a fave of mine at the moment) or Mim or anyone, I wouldn't take it personally. If I disagreed I wouldn't need to call them out for complaining. I'd take the feedback and file it to see if it comes up again. I really don't get the point of view that states that publicly relating a bad experience is some kind of personal affront to a person who happens to like that company.

BlackBearUkes
05-10-2014, 03:22 PM
Yes a simple communication should have taken care of the problem. However they weren't willing to own any problem until I told them I'd have it checked out so a luthier could establish whether this instrument had been adequately checked out as Elderly makes full claim that they do. Had they taken my word for it off the bat and directed me to a luthier I certainly would have appreciated that approach. And again since you obviously have not been listening to me, I feel it's just as valid to state a problem with a company as it is to praise one unequivocally. Had I known what I know now I very likely would have searched elsewhere to make my purchase or at least considered it. Others might feel the same. If you can't share information about a company that is in any way negative that amounts to censorship IMO.

The internet is a great way to let others know about sellers and such. I have yet to hear anyone complain about positive "ranting" even if it may not be fully justified. All one has to do is use their powers of discernment to see if a complaint has merit or if it is a solitary incident. Then they have the information to make an informed decision about where to put their money and what could happen if they purchase somewhere and if that "could happen" is likely at all.

What I found out from posting is that others have had the same experience with this company. If I had found myself a lone voice then I would have realized it would likely never happen to me again should I choose to deal with them.

BTW your story of your experience really bears no resemblance to what happened here but you likely know that. Had I been at fault in this issue the Luthier would have let me know right away. I let an expert look at it to make sure I was hearing what I was hearing and there was an actual problem.

My point was is there is really no need to make such a big stink about all this. We don't actually need you to point out any of your dealings with anybody, we can figure this stuff out on our own, thank you. You are now pissed off at Elderly and won't deal with them again. I have been dealing with them for over 20 years, have had a few problems which were resolved privately, and will contine to deal with them. To each their own.

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 03:28 PM
I got your point but don't agree at all. There is a "need" because I choose to relate my experience in the same way you need to be pissed off at me for doing it. To each their own.


And how is it that you get to speak for everyone else here? I'm not complaining because you're plugging them, we don't need to hear that, we can figure that out on our own. Right?

And I may deal with Elderly in the future. They are off my A list but if I could get a uke nowhere else I might buy but I would do it knowing there might likely be problems.

Neal
05-10-2014, 03:31 PM
Any uke that costs $350 should be set up at the place it was made and should be playable out of the box, unless of course it comes with a notification that some work may be require after purchase, which of course is BS.

Since Elderly says it does set ups, they should have checked it out better. Its too bad they didn't, but a simple communication should have taken care of the problem. There is no need to go on the web and rant about this transaction to this extent on a public forum IMO.

This kind of stuff does have a negative consequence. I once sold a $1000+ uke too customer and they played it for over a year before they said the uke had developed a buzzing sound that they could not figure out.They asked if they could please send the uke back to be repaired or could they have a refund. Since I don't offer a refund after a full year, I had the uke returned to me for repair. After full inspection inside and out, I could fine no structural problems except for a string that was left too long on the inside and was buzzing against one of the bridge pins. I changed the strings, problem solved, and sent the uke back. A couple of months go by, again I was notified that now the uke had developed a strange harmonic on the second string and could I please take another look at the uke. I asked the client to take the uke to another luthier friend of mine in their city and get back to me with his thoughts. He found nothing wrong with the uke but did hear the harmonic sound they had also experienced.

I asked that the uke be returned to me so I could hear this harmonic for myself. I also asked if they has changed the strings I had install, and they had. After receiving it and testing it, I also heard this weird sound. Fortunately for me, this wasn't my first time with this problem. I measured the string diameters with a micrometer and discovered that the 2nd and 3rd string had been swapped. Both strings sounded off, especially the third string. Again I changed the strings and the harmonic was gone. My luthier friend did not check the strings so he didn't find the cause. He's a damn fine luthier but this one got by him. It happens.

Now my point to this story is, if the client had gone on to this and other uke sites and started to get pissed off at me on a public forum, how do you think that would have helped me or the client? The client did the right thing even though it took time to correct the problems and even though they weren't really serious problems at all and it wasn't any fault of mine!!!
This is the problem I have with posts such as the original one. There are so many variables, and oftentimes the original poster doesn't even realize it. The internet is the new deal. The things you say on Yelp and other social sites really do have an impact on the livelihood of businesses. Sometimes it's warranted, others not. Angie's List, etc.. You live and die with comments regarding your hard-fought reputation. In this case the most negative that could be said is miscommunication, as finally admitted in a post previously by the original poster. This was all about miscommunication, and as such, not a big deal.

There is an asymmetry to these types of threads that is odd. When an OP starts a thread with a negative comment about a dealer, a bunch of folks will step forward with posts in support of the dealer and often take the OP to task. However when an OP starts a thread with a positive comment about a dealer, rarely does anyone follow with a negative experience (as it is considered bad form).
See above, but I understand your comment, as well as agree to a point. When the minor thing happens, folks can sometimes turn it into a major event, and this is not a major event.

itsme
05-10-2014, 03:37 PM
Any uke that costs $350 should be set up at the place it was made and should be playable out of the box, unless of course it comes with a notification that some work may be require after purchase, which of course is BS.

Since Elderly says it does set ups, they should have checked it out better.
I agree with you. We're not talking cheap ukes here.

I tend to think of factory made ukes as being on a bell curve, where a few at one end with be exceptional, most in the middle are varying degrees of acceptable or at least playable, and a few at the bottom that turn out to be duds.

In fact, I cringe when I hear the neverending chorus of "setup, setup, setup!" from some here. For $350, I don't expect a uke to need alterations to make it playable and free from annoyances like buzzing.

OP has a right to voice his/her opinion and relate their experience with a particular retailer without being slammed for it. I was recently taken to task for daring to go public with an experience with a certain "reputable dealer" before trying to work it out directly.

BlackBearUkes
05-10-2014, 03:37 PM
I can only speak for myself as do you. If I where you, I would be pissed off at the company who made the uke and sent it out with a bad nut. But not one word from you about this company. I would think they are equally to blame for your frustration. But not to worry, all this will settle down and you can enjoy your uke as it should be.

Neal
05-10-2014, 03:38 PM
I got your point but don't agree at all. There is a "need" because I choose to relate my experience in the same way you need to be pissed off at me for doing it. To each their own.


And how is it that you get to speak for everyone else here?
Why do you assume that everyone is pissed off at you? I'm not, neither is Blackbear. I may have been a little harsh because this is a nothing problem. Yes, a nothing problem. Much ado, as a matter of fact, about absolutely nothing. That's the only reason you, as well as a few others, took me to task for calling you on it. We've all been there. No big deal. It's all about reputation, and you are anonymous, Elderly's not. You could change your handle after this, Elderly can't.

stringy
05-10-2014, 03:38 PM
There is an asymmetry to these types of threads that is odd. When an OP starts a thread with a negative comment about a dealer, a bunch of folks will step forward with posts in support of the dealer and often take the OP to task. However when an OP starts a thread with a positive comment about a dealer, rarely does anyone follow with a negative experience (as it is considered bad form).


This is true but it goes even deeper when the store owners/sellers are frequent posters on UU. Click on their information and you can see their list of friends which even include the moderators! If you say anything negative about them. YIKES! Everyone else is fair game.

I always look to see who is supporting a friend. (I call it the good 'ole boys club) Even worse if money is being contributed. These are just blatant endorsements to me.

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 03:40 PM
I haven't done that at least in my world. I've just related an experience in the same way I might relate a positive one.

The only major event I personally know of is death.

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 03:46 PM
Look, anyone can take what I've said and do with it what they want. It isn't like people don't have the ability to exercise their own discernment on these issues. If I hear one bad review of a company and 99 good ones I can pretty safely ignore the negative review but I still want to hear what they have to say and I'm not going to vilify them for it. But if I hear 25 bad reviews out of that 100 I'm going to think twice. If no one posts a less than positive review then I'll never know and I'll have to find out the hard way.

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 03:49 PM
I can only speak for myself as do you. If I where you, I would be pissed off at the company who made the uke and sent it out with a bad nut. But not one word from you about this company. I would think they are equally to blame for your frustration. But not to worry, all this will settle down and you can enjoy your uke as it should be.

I hear that. But Elderly was the company that promised me it would be playable out of the box. Had they not done that I would take it to Moku.

And I think we have discussed the responsibility of uke makers to make their ukes playable. You must have missed those posts.

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 03:53 PM
Why do you assume that everyone is pissed off at you? I'm not, neither is Blackbear. I may have been a little harsh because this is a nothing problem. Yes, a nothing problem. Much ado, as a matter of fact, about absolutely nothing. That's the only reason you, as well as a few others, took me to task for calling you on it. We've all been there. No big deal. It's all about reputation, and you are anonymous, Elderly's not. You could change your handle after this, Elderly can't.

I assume it because you choose to be "harsh" about it. And I'm not selling anything or making promises to anyone.

Elderly is. They could welcome all feedback so they can make improvements if they are warranted.

If it's much ado about nothing "to you" then drop out of the discussion. Simple as that.

bborzell
05-10-2014, 04:08 PM
Might sound like a redo here, but the resolution is still really simple; put in a call to the owner. If he say "Whoops", sorry, how can I fix this to your satisfaction", case is closed and you can report back here. If he refuses to take your call or the lower level staff won't pass you through to him, then you will have a report to pass on here that nobody can argue with.

Seems a bit odd that it should take 79 posts to get to this point.

Neal
05-10-2014, 04:09 PM
I assume it because you choose to be "harsh" about it. And I'm not selling anything or making promises to anyone.

Elderly is. They could welcome all feedback so they can make improvements if they are warranted.

If it's much ado about nothing "to you" then drop out of the discussion. Simple as that.

So then as long as I agree with you, I'm welcome to participate? Short of an apology for the admittedly dismissive way I started, I've really tried to offer you a way to soften your post on a retailer that depends on goodwill from people like those that frequent this forum. You, yes you, even stated it was simply miscommunication. That deserves a "Poor Marks For Elderly" post, including mentions of rudeness and a dismissive attitude only corrected by a threat from you, at which time they reluctantly offered a 42 dollar refund if you took it to a tech? And then the issue was resolved with a 12 dollar fix? At least that's the way I read your post. The high road was offered a few times, you continually choose not to take it. It is a topic about an employee from a company that you felt didn't treat you right, but finally did. And now you feel you must put that company up on the internet for all to "reconsider" doing business with. If not that, than what could possibly be the reason for your "warning"...

Yeah, I have an issue with that. That you don't, and can't see it that point, is odd.

Neal
05-10-2014, 04:11 PM
Might sound like a redo here, but the resolution is still really simple; put in a call to the owner. If he say "Whoops", sorry, how can I fix this to your satisfaction", case is closed and you can report back here. If he refuses to take your call or the lower level staff won't pass you through to him, then you will have a report to pass on here that nobody can argue with.

Seems a bit odd that it should take 79 posts to get to this point.
They did offer to fix, and it cost 12 dollars, they resolved it, he still felt he should post. 81 posts.

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 04:19 PM
They did offer to fix, and it cost 12 dollars, they resolved it, he still felt he should post. 81 posts.

Neal this is obviously a big deal for you.

And it's not resolved yet.

I haven't been paid or responded to. I emailed them and told them the cost and asked if they wanted a receipt and to give me an address to send it to. I have yet to hear back from them. But I have done my part and all the leg work taking it in to have it repaired on my time.

And more than a few of those 81 posts are yours.

FrankB
05-10-2014, 04:21 PM
However this time it was definitely not. I ordered a Moku tenor uke. I got a notice just a couple of hours after placing the order that it had shipped. My first thought was, "I hope they set it up" but passed it off as paranoia on my part. I had requested a low action due to arthritis in my hands. Anyway I was excited to know it would be here quick.

First thing I noticed on taking it out was that the action looked and felt high. Then I noticed a loud buzzing in the E string that no one could have missed or should have missed had they played it.

I immediately contacted them and they insisted that it had been set up properly. I told them I would be taking it to a luthier for evaluation. They changed tone at that point and offered to pay if anything was found up to $42.

The Luthier took one look at it and said that it was plain to see it hadn't really been looked over. One of the nut groves was too wide and deep and was causing the loud buzz when played. He fixed it with glue and bone dust.

Looking back 8 pages, how is the action? I missed the part where you asked for low action. They might very well have lowered the action at the nut, as I've never seen a factory guitar or uke that didn't have high action at the nut. A couple of extra passes with the file/wrong file, and you get more than you asked for. Not your fault at all, and just another reason why I'd rather to my own set ups. ;)

P.S. I like very low action at the nut. My set up check is to fret at the 3rd fret, and be just a hair above the first fret. Sometimes I have to tap the string to hear it plink off the first fret; I go that low.

Bill1
05-10-2014, 04:24 PM
UU is a well moderated board, the fact that this thread has gone 8 pages with any need fir moderator input is an indication that the OP is a legitimate topic for UU. There is no need to feel sorry or bad about starting it.
It does not hurt to start a discussion about contemporary views on what is value for money, and seller's responsibilties.
The Moku is your classic secret ukulele. It has a Hawaiian name, it is designed in California, it is made in a secret factory in Asia, out of a secret wood known only as "african mahogany". The secret factory seems to be unable to secretly produce a product that does need a retailer to add $50 of work in a set up to make it saleable. If the retailer does not do the extra work, as we see in this case, the instrument is not much better than a theatrical prop for a play written for the hearing impaired. So if you are going to be buying these secret instruments, you do need to pay attention to the retailer set up, even if the price tag is above $159. This is the lesson in the OP.

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 04:25 PM
The action is high compared to my 6 other ukes. The Luthier said he felt though it was not unreasonably high and I should try and get used to it and let my fingers adjust to the extra pressure needed for fretting. He said I would gain in volume and he didn't like actions that were real low. He told me if I had sore hands, (I have arthritis in my hands) in a week of playing to bring it in (now it will be on my dime) and he would lower it for me. So that's what I'm doing. But my fingertips are feeling it. But I'm going to hope that resolves itself because I do like the volume it has.

FrankB
05-10-2014, 04:30 PM
I like low action at the 12th fret as well, as my hands get tired. I started playing ukulele because my classical guitars were creating too much pain from the elbow down. I've gone too low a couple of times with guitars and ukes, but then make a saddle just a hair taller. I might have noticed a loss of volume on a couple of guitars, but my ukes don't seem to suffer at all....and neither do I. ;)

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 04:33 PM
UU is a well moderated board, the fact that this thread has gone 8 pages with any need fir moderator input is an indication that the OP is a legitimate topic for UU. There is no need to feel sorry or bad about starting it.
It does not hurt to start a discussion about contemporary views on what is value for money, and seller's responsibilties.
The Moku is your classic secret ukulele. It has a Hawaiian name, it is designed in California, it is made in a secret factory in Asia, out of a secret wood known only as "african mahogany". The secret factory seems to be unable to secretly produce a product that does need a retailer to add $50 of work in a set up to make it saleable. If the retailer does not do the extra work, as we see in this case, the instrument is not much better than a theatrical prop for a play written for the hearing impaired. So if you are going to be buying these secret instruments, you do need to pay attention to the retailer set up, even if the price tag is above $159. This is the lesson in the OP.

I agree with your assessment. I did a lot of homework on this purchase. I read a lot of reviews and talked to stores that sold them or knew of them and asked for their input. I felt that they would be on par with what I have heard about Ohana and a good value for the $$.

The sound of the instrument is pretty nice to my ear so far and the Luthier told me it was a "keeper". I'm still evaluating the sound. I do think my Gretsch at about $150 less is a better deal and sounds almost as good but different due to mahogany vs spruce. I'm going to keep it. I like it that much.

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 04:37 PM
I like low action at the 12th fret as well, as my hands get tired. I started playing ukulele because my classical guitars were creating too much pain from the elbow down. I've gone too low a couple of times with guitars and ukes, but then make a saddle just a hair taller. I might have noticed a loss of volume on a couple of guitars, but my ukes don't seem to suffer at all....and neither do I. ;)

The strings are really higher as you go down the fretboard toward the bridge. I'm no expert here which of course is a problem when figuring out issues. But I trust this Luthier as he had nothing to gain.

NewKid
05-10-2014, 04:37 PM
I didn't think the OP's post was anywhere near "trashing" Elderly. "Poor marks" was a fair grade for the buzzing uke he received as well as the "Fail" in customer service. He was disappointed in how he was treated by a store rep and the store lost credibility with him. Too bad for Elderly, but hopefully they can learn from the experience and reaction.

I still like Elderly and will continue to order from them. I'm glad the OP's new uke was easily fixed and hope he enjoys it for a long time.

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 04:38 PM
Thanks. I appreciate that after all this. :D

FrankB
05-10-2014, 04:49 PM
I'd go lower sooner, rather than later. Your luthier should have a box of saddles, including some used ones. He can try to get the string height around 2.5mm above the 12th fret without buzzing. It's better to lose a little volume, than the use of your hand, and you might not lose any volume at all. Even if he uses your saddle, and you get buzzing at that height, a new saddle is quick and easy.

***Trying to turn this thread in a positive direction, but I'm sincere about lowering the action rather than playing through the pain. ;)

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 05:04 PM
Thanks for that bit of advice. I'm going to give it the week that he advised. He seemed to think I'd adjust. If it's a problem then I'll have it corrected.

Personally I have gotten a lot of information from this discussion. I hold no hard feelings and I've tried to take in all opinions and consider them.

A week or so ago I made an observation about a company that discounts instruments below the "agreed to" price discounts. I felt that I was being lied to about set ups there and if they actually had luthier as they claimed. No one. NO ONE. that I remember said anything about my right to speak my mind about that. Where were all these folk then? Why wasn't I told to mind my own business then?

I have a very good feeling about this thread. A lot of information and opinions were shared and I think I know more about Elderly as a seller than when I started this. I'm guessing some other people benefited from this discussion. My only regret was that a few times it seemed to get personal for some people but that's no big deal. It's human nature and one of my other interests besides ukes is observing human nature. :cheers:

bborzell
05-10-2014, 05:15 PM
They did offer to fix, and it cost 12 dollars, they resolved it, he still felt he should post. 81 posts.

If all that is wanted is compensation for a $12.00 fix, then I might agree with you. But, what is lost with that resolution is the point of the contention in the first place. Elderly advertises setups with the sale of an instrument and there appears to be a reasonable case that this instrument was simply put in a box and shipped out. Were I the owner at Elderly, I would want to know how well my employees are keeping my promise to the customer.

If 1/10 of the energy spent here were directed at helping Elderly (at the highest level) know that, in this case, a basic promise to setup instruments was not kept, the likely outcome would be direction from the boss to do what we advertise. That would be a service to anyone who is edgy about ordering from Elderly as a result of this thread. As is often the case, this issue seems to have created more heat than light.

coolkayaker1
05-10-2014, 05:24 PM
Things I learned from this thread:

$350 does not get a ukulele that is always playable without issue straight out of the box.

Elderly, a long-thriving and popular company, does not set up every single instrument, even when advertised as "expert set up".

It's good to hear both positive and negative experiences with a luthier, a dealer, etc. when presented maturely, as it was here.

It's good to hear counterpoints, of both a positive and negative nature, to any post when presented maturely, as they are here.

It's not good to judge or police others: we should all just freely state our own personal experiences and opinions, and leave the judging of others out.

:D

TG&Y
05-10-2014, 05:38 PM
Amen (plus this to make the 10 character minimum)


Things I learned from this thread:

$350 does not get a ukulele that is always playable without issue straight out of the box.

Elderly, a long-thriving and popular company, does not set up every single instrument, even when advertised as "expert set up".

It's good to hear both positive and negative experiences with a luthier, a dealer, etc. when presented maturely, as it was here.

It's good to hear counterpoints, of both a positive and negative nature, to any post when presented maturely, as they are here.

It's not good to judge or police others: we should all just freely state our own personal experiences and opinions, and leave the judging of others out.

:D

Icelander53
05-10-2014, 06:04 PM
All good then.

I have contacted Moku by email to let them know they dropped the ball on their quality control. After all this is their "Select" series which is the top of their line. I'll be curious to see what response I get if any.

iamesperambient
05-10-2014, 08:05 PM
First off let me say I have bought from them before and have had a satisfactory experience.

However this time it was definitely not. I ordered a Moku tenor uke. I got a notice just a couple of hours after placing the order that it had shipped. My first thought was, "I hope they set it up" but passed it off as paranoia on my part. I had requested a low action due to arthritis in my hands. Anyway I was excited to know it would be here quick.

Until I opened it that is. First off I'd like to say the packing would make Amazon proud. It was just in it's cardboard box with that almost tissue thin foam wrap. That was inside a large box with a tiny bit of crumpled brown paper thrown in. I'm amazed it wasn't damaged in transit.

First thing I noticed on taking it out was that the action looked and felt high. Then I noticed a loud buzzing in the E string that no one could have missed or should have missed had they played it.

I immediately contacted them and they insisted that it had been set up properly. I told them I would be taking it to a luthier for evaluation. They changed tone at that point and offered to pay if anything was found up to $42.

The Luthier took one look at it and said that it was plain to see it hadn't really been looked over. One of the nut groves was too wide and deep and was causing the loud buzz when played. He fixed it with glue and bone dust.

So I'll give them a FAIL on their professional setup and resent the fact that on the phone they initially disputed my claims about the set up issues. It was not what I would call good customer service.

Sadly they are no longer on my A list and have gone down to questionable.

I know that many here have good experiences with them and may take exception to this report but so be it. I won't be using them as a go to source except as a last resort.


I had quite the opposite experience.
I ordered a blue star konablaster from them
October last year. they set it up for me exactly
how I wanted packed it super well
shipped fast and best of all have me a huge
discount! I think everyone has their off days
maybe that's what happened from my experience
I can only give them praise.

mm stan
05-10-2014, 10:42 PM
Congrats to all, this thread made 5 stars.....

seneystretch
05-11-2014, 02:15 AM
Things I learned from this thread:

$350 does not get a ukulele that is always playable without issue straight out of the box.

Elderly, a long-thriving and popular company, does not set up every single instrument, even when advertised as "expert set up".

It's good to hear both positive and negative experiences with a luthier, a dealer, etc. when presented maturely, as it was here.

It's good to hear counterpoints, of both a positive and negative nature, to any post when presented maturely, as they are here.

It's not good to judge or police others: we should all just freely state our own personal experiences and opinions, and leave the judging of others out.

:D

I will add some advice for Elderly, after working with them:

In each shipment, include a piece of paper stating "This shipment was proudly inspected and packed by xxx.", with a first name first initial of last name signature. It really works.

Telephone manners. Elderly needs to send employees to telephone answering classes, and only allow the more tactful and musically knowledgeable employees represent them. Chewing gum on the phone? Oh man.

The owner/managers need to call in anonymously with problems to hear firsthand how their employees work with customers. Do the employees identify themselves with a first name? Do they ask for a return number in case of a cutoff? Do they take notes? They're not eating on the phone, are they?

Still, even though this call was badly handled, Elderly did admit a mistake and offer to cover what they promised and didn't do. Allow two weeks for the check to arrive, if it takes longer then you have a real case for truly terrible service.

Working with the public I have taped to my phone, "A customer may not always be right, but they are always the customer."

bborzell sez "Were I the owner at Elderly, I would want to know how well my employees are keeping my promise to the customer. "

Icelander53
05-11-2014, 02:22 AM
I've never believed that the customer is always right nor should customers be treated that way. Having worked in sales I know the customer is often wrong and it takes some patience dealing with that at times. You'd make a good manager I think. A good quality manager is much harder to find in my experience than a good on the floor employee. Most staff, in most places, are pretty darn good in my experience but I rarely find a great manager. I've been in both positions and frankly the managers job is the easiest one. They rarely get off their a_ _ and do it.:2cents:

And if you find a workplace where there are a lot of lousy employees you can rest assured the management is exceptionally lousy. The manager sets the tone of the workplace.

seneystretch
05-11-2014, 02:28 AM
I've never believed that the customer is always right. Having worked in sales I know the customer is often wrong and it takes some patience dealing with that at times. You'd make a good manager I think. A good quality manager is much harder to find in my experience than a good on the floor employee. Most staff, in most places, are pretty darn good in my experience but I rarely find a great manager. I've been in both positions and frankly the managers job is the easiest one. They rarely get off their a_ _ and do it.:2cents:

Customers can be wrong, sometimes they didn't understand what they ordered, didn't realize what choosing price over quality means, sometimes just angling for a better price. But substandard occasionally does make it out the door. And if you want to keep their business...

Ukejenny
05-11-2014, 04:20 AM
Sorry to hear that Elderly struck out on this one, but hey, even Babe Ruth had an off day every now and then. I am not comparing Elderly to Babe Ruth, though...

If I was that unhappy with it out of the box, I would send it back and get a refund, then go to a different dealer (MIM, HMS...) and get something I would be happy with.

I think it is a good thing when a dealer/maker/seller is able to send the ukulele to you with the personal choices you want, as in the action you are most comfortable playing with, and string choice.

Icelander53
05-11-2014, 04:57 AM
The reason I went to Elderly was a combination of price and expected full set up. They have a place to request the kind of set up you want when you place your order. Live and learn.

Now that the instrument is playing I'm enjoying it. Considering what's gone on so far, the thought of sending this instrument back to Elderly for a refund gives me the willies. If they pay for the set up work I've had done I'll be glad to put it all behind me.

I'm going to play this Moku for a week or so and then post my amature review of it if anyone is interested.

dsummers
05-11-2014, 05:51 AM
As a person with severe UAS (close to 40) not at all talented but extreme love of the instrument and all my purchases of ukes online- retailers, custom builders, and individuals, my take on Elderly (please nothing said is meant to get anyone uptight- just my perspective): my first uke (tenor)was a K brand from Elderly- the individual at Elderly that I dealt with was extremely helpful, played the various K brands over the phone for me and gave me his opinion without knocking (which is what I wanted being my first uke purchase) any other K brand and he let me know that neither would be a bad choice. The person did seem a little hesitant about my requesting to change to low G and I wished he would have told me that it didn't come with a case. My second purchase thru Elderly was a vintage soprano, beautiful uke but to me the online description of the sound wasn't to my perspective wasn't that great- but hey, it was different sound than the tenor, now I love the soprano sound. My 3'rd uke purchase thru Elderly was a Martin S-1 which was set up perfect- I don't know if they did a set-up or if it came of the shelf, but it did appear to me that it was sent straight of the shelf because of the packing/boxing. Later I inquired about a vintage baritone described as in excellent condition so when I inquired about what it would cost to fix it up I was told it would be $750 which seemed to be a lot for something described in excellent condition so I didn't make the purchase. My most recent purchase thru Elderly was a Loprinzi hog soprano. Called the 800#, talked to an individual and when I asked about talking to someone in the uke department about the set-up he said that this was for ordering only but did not volunteer to send me to the uke department. I ordered anyway and a gig bag for it- which the uke was in the gig bag when received so I assume they gave it h once over, set up great, but it also could have been because the builder had already set it up- don't know either way. There is an import uke that they have that I am interested in but set-up is very important to me and I am a little hesitant as this would be the first import to purchase thru them but I will probably pull the trigger. All in all I have been happy with Elderly's services.
The thing (I know this is like not like beating a dead horse to the ground but beating the dead bones of a 100 year old horse to the ground) if they claim to set-up every new uke then that is what should be done and I am not saying that wasn't done maybe just a mistake on this particular uke. The biggest thing to me is some of the comments made by a few practically calling the OP a liar and another claiming manufacturer responsibility (which I agree to a point). But it should be remembered that the retailer is in business to make money and to satisfy the customer or no business (and I realize that customers can be unreasonable- as I deal with citizens on a different level of customer service but it is their money). Also where is it the responsibility for the retailer to go to the manufacturer and fight for their customers or simply not to carry their product if problems are consistent as the retailer would be the first know of problems by the customer comments or if they have to do consistent set-ups on products? It would lead a person to believe that to make an offer at sale, the profit margin is good regardless if there has to be a set-up or not. It is a problem when we purchase anything that is not as promised
I personally think this site is for all kinds of info positive or negative for people buying ukes and we should post all of our concerns on positive/negative on custom builders, retailers, manufacturers and individuals truthfully and honestly and hope that we are all intelligent enough to sort out the fluff.
I also know that in the ultimate end when we head for the big dirt nap that none of this is going to matter- but unfortunately in this case we live in the present and deal in that manner. Sorry for the rambling and Happy Mother's Day to all you uke moms!!!

OldePhart
05-11-2014, 08:12 AM
The strings are really higher as you go down the fretboard toward the bridge. I'm no expert here which of course is a problem when figuring out issues. But I trust this Luthier as he had nothing to gain.

Just an FYI - your luthier is basically right - a reasonably high action up the neck (i.e. towards the bridge) really is a good thing. I used to like really, really low action but then I found that a) I couldn't play with much dynamics because I couldn't lay into it and b) doing finger rolls without clicking the fretboard was really difficult. I actually moved the bridge-end action back up with shims on a couple of my ukes.

KoAloha ships their ukes with what I once considered outrageously high actions at the bridge - and they are higher than just about anybody else - but they still play in tune.

Basically, action at the nut HAS to be low because otherwise your first-position intonation will be terrible. Action at the bridge end has relatively little impact on intonation unless it is really extraordinarily high.

So, if the action at the nut is good try to get used to a little higher action up the fretboard and you may, like me, come to appreciate it. With nylon strings the action at the bridge end has far less impact on how easy it is to fret the strings than happens on a steel-string guitar or mandolin or what have you.

Just my $0.02.

Oh...and just for the record I didn't get the sense that you were "trashing" Elderly at all. If they had responded well on your first contact with them over the issue then, yeah, no need to mention it here. Everybody makes mistakes, even HMS, but what is really telling is how they handle the occasional mistake (and in that regard HMS is amazing). But, since someone at Elderly tried to give you attitude that's something that I, and I'm sure many others on this board, appreciate knowing about.

Nor should Elderly be upset - you tried to give them a gift and they initally spurned you - I work in an industry where clients pay tens of thousands of dollars for a week or two of training and we charge more than our competition. As you might imagine, our company lives and dies on customer service and reputation. Every employee from the "customer facing" reps to the guys cleaning the bathrooms gets annual customer relations training. One of the most famous customer-service gurus put's it this way...your customer who complains is giving you a gift - you'd better appreciate it and act on it because his next complaint will be to his friends. That is exactly what happened here and, IMHO, with good reason.

It sounds like Elderly may be a victim of their own success. They probably have some new hires who don't share the attitude that built their reputation. As you've stated, that's a management/training issue and they need to straighten up those employees sooner rather than later.



John

OldePhart
05-11-2014, 08:31 AM
Oh...and on customer service...one of the things that really irritates customers is if they perceive that they are being bounced around like a football. It's the customer's perception that makes or breaks a company's reputation. When my company really started taking this stuff very, very seriously several years ago they instituted a very simple policy to ensure that customer's issues are resolved as quickly as possible at the lowest level possible. It's simple, every employee knows that they are expected to solve a customer's problem without introducing any avoidable delays to pass the football to someone else...to that end any employee is authorized to spend up to $3k (or to obligate the company for up to $3k in the case of employees who may not have a corporate Amex) to solve a customer's need, now.

This has resulted in customers who lost their pre-study books a few days before an upcoming class getting replacements because a clerk working late took a CD with the "for print" Quark files to a speedy-print to get the manuals printed and then sent them DHL high priority to Europe on a Friday evening. Yes, it was the customer's "fault" for losing the originals. The point is that customer is going to keep coming back to us and the few hundred dollars that the clerk spent on her own initiative is going to have positive returns, if not this year then next.

Obviously, a retailer of $300 instruments can't go to that extent - but they would be well advised to do something similar, scaled down to match their operating budget, of course.

John

peaceweaver3
05-11-2014, 08:42 AM
I bought 2 Fleas from Elderly in the past, and they were fine. But they would be no matter what--they were Fleas after all. I only chose Elderly because of the free shipping and at the time, one Flea was on sale. I placed a 3rd order with them last year, small items and no uke, and had no problem.

However, a month ago I placed an order, again small items and no uke. They sent the order to the wrong address. When I asked them about it, having received a FedEx delivery confirmation and no package, they asked if my shipping address was correct. Looking at my order confirmation, I had given them the correct address. However, for reasons no one admits, they shipped the package to an address I haven't used in over 3 years. Keep in mind I've placed successful orders in between, and my current shipping address hasn't changed in 2 1/2 years.

So how did Elderly respond when I said:
1. I provided the correct shipping address.
2. I still had no package.
3. They sent the package to the wrong address, and it was their error.
4. I requested that I either receive the items, or a refund.

They told me to retrieve the package myself, either from FedEx or from whomever received it. Now, had I known who received it, I may have been able to get it back. But I don't know the people, and it was Elderly's error. I told them this, and again asked for replacement or refund. I received neither, am out the purchase price, have no order to show for it, and will not do business with Elderly again.

Icelander53
05-11-2014, 09:25 AM
As a person with severe UAS (close to 40) not at all talented but extreme love of the instrument and all my purchases of ukes online- retailers, custom builders, and individuals, my take on Elderly (please nothing said is meant to get anyone uptight- just my perspective): my first uke (tenor)was a K brand from Elderly- the individual at Elderly that I dealt with was extremely helpful, played the various K brands over the phone for me and gave me his opinion without knocking (which is what I wanted being my first uke purchase) any other K brand and he let me know that neither would be a bad choice. The person did seem a little hesitant about my requesting to change to low G and I wished he would have told me that it didn't come with a case. My second purchase thru Elderly was a vintage soprano, beautiful uke but to me the online description of the sound wasn't to my perspective wasn't that great- but hey, it was different sound than the tenor, now I love the soprano sound. My 3'rd uke purchase thru Elderly was a Martin S-1 which was set up perfect- I don't know if they did a set-up or if it came of the shelf, but it did appear to me that it was sent straight of the shelf because of the packing/boxing. Later I inquired about a vintage baritone described as in excellent condition so when I inquired about what it would cost to fix it up I was told it would be $750 which seemed to be a lot for something described in excellent condition so I didn't make the purchase. My most recent purchase thru Elderly was a Loprinzi hog soprano. Called the 800#, talked to an individual and when I asked about talking to someone in the uke department about the set-up he said that this was for ordering only but did not volunteer to send me to the uke department. I ordered anyway and a gig bag for it- which the uke was in the gig bag when received so I assume they gave it h once over, set up great, but it also could have been because the builder had already set it up- don't know either way. There is an import uke that they have that I am interested in but set-up is very important to me and I am a little hesitant as this would be the first import to purchase thru them but I will probably pull the trigger. All in all I have been happy with Elderly's services.
The thing (I know this is like not like beating a dead horse to the ground but beating the dead bones of a 100 year old horse to the ground) if they claim to set-up every new uke then that is what should be done and I am not saying that wasn't done maybe just a mistake on this particular uke. The biggest thing to me is some of the comments made by a few practically calling the OP a liar and another claiming manufacturer responsibility (which I agree to a point). But it should be remembered that the retailer is in business to make money and to satisfy the customer or no business (and I realize that customers can be unreasonable- as I deal with citizens on a different level of customer service but it is their money). Also where is it the responsibility for the retailer to go to the manufacturer and fight for their customers or simply not to carry their product if problems are consistent as the retailer would be the first know of problems by the customer comments or if they have to do consistent set-ups on products? It would lead a person to believe that to make an offer at sale, the profit margin is good regardless if there has to be a set-up or not. It is a problem when we purchase anything that is not as promised
I personally think this site is for all kinds of info positive or negative for people buying ukes and we should post all of our concerns on positive/negative on custom builders, retailers, manufacturers and individuals truthfully and honestly and hope that we are all intelligent enough to sort out the fluff.
I also know that in the ultimate end when we head for the big dirt nap that none of this is going to matter- but unfortunately in this case we live in the present and deal in that manner. Sorry for the rambling and Happy Mother's Day to all you uke moms!!!

I posted to you but somehow lost it so I'll respond again.

This Moku is louder than my other ukes, this luthier (Thadious) said he likes that action and feels that if I can get used to it I'll come to prefer it. Actually he's a friend of mine that I lost track of for about 6 years and a tremendous banjo player. He used to live less than a block from my house with a bunch of guys that were a bluegrass band. I used to hang with them, get high, (it's beyond me how they could play that well in that condition) and listen to them practice several times a week. Finally the band broke up and they all moved off to live separate lives and I lost track of him. Then when I got into uke playing seriously about four months ago I decided have a set up done on my first uke and went to see the luthier at Cripple Creek music store and lo and behold the luthier was Thad and a merry meeting it was for me. He'd been working there for three years. He's a guy I know I can trust. He won't try and sell me on something he doesn't believe in his guts. He's one of the most unassuming nice guys I've ever met. All he really likes to do is play music and kick the gong around.

And thanks, I think you summed up my goals pretty well in making this thread. I was angry when it all came down but by the time I made the thread I'd cooled off for the most part. I wanted to let others know what I hadn't known and I wanted to see if my experience was an isolated incident.

seneystretch
05-11-2014, 11:47 AM
it was Elderly's error. I told them this, and again asked for replacement or refund. I received neither, am out the purchase price, have no order to show for it, and will not do business with Elderly again.

Not knowing you and not hearing Elderly's side and assuming this is an accurate depiction of the transaction, that's absolutely inexcusable.

If you paid with a credit card, recently, call your credit card company with your story and ask for a chargeback. Most likely you'll get it and it will set off alarm bells within Elderly, bigtime. Chargebacks cause all sorts of unpleasant discussions in any organization. Chargebacks teach the right kinds of hard lessons.

If you paid with a check, money order or debit card, you're likely stuck. If you have a credit card always use it, the buyer protections are real.

I'll give you an example of customer service. I volunteer for an organization that accepts car donations for resale and uses the money for operating. They hired a new director who accepted an otherwise good looking donation and quickly resold it for $2100. Truck turned out to be utter garbage and unsuitable for purpose intended (it happens). A month later buyer came in with her tales of woe and repair bills that didn't fix anything, new director said too bad so sad, vehicles are sold as-is where-is live-and-learn. I heard the whole thing and said you can't do this, we do refund for lemons. Reply was I'm the new director with a new policy.

That afternoon I pulled the board president aside and told him what happened, also this would cause the end of vehicle donations. Emergency meeting convened to hear director's side, the still on initial probation executive director was gone and buyer had a full refund check in hand that day.

Ukejenny
05-11-2014, 11:53 AM
The reason I went to Elderly was a combination of price and expected full set up. They have a place to request the kind of set up you want when you place your order. Live and learn.

Now that the instrument is playing I'm enjoying it. Considering what's gone on so far, the thought of sending this instrument back to Elderly for a refund gives me the willies. If they pay for the set up work I've had done I'll be glad to put it all behind me.

I'm going to play this Moku for a week or so and then post my amature review of it if anyone is interested.

I'm very happy to hear that things have been made right. I had a similar experience - wanted a certain ukulele and no one had them. Everyone was out of stock. I found one, the only one in stock and for sale here or in GB, in Washington State. I bought it and they sent it. It wasn't set up, but at that point, I just wanted the darn thing. So, I took it to a reputable local guitar shop and explained the kind of setup I was looking for, and they did it for $10.00.

I paid for the setup and paid more for the actual instrument, but in the end, I got what I wanted. There's nothing wrong with keeping it and working it out - whatever makes you happy. That's the ticket.

Icelander53
05-11-2014, 01:04 PM
Well things have been made right by my efforts if that's what you mean. I'm still working on the action on this guy. It's challenging to play but it does sound pretty good. At this point I'll just pay out of my pocket rather than try to get some kind of satisfaction that will never be satisfying.

I'm wondering if I changed the strings that might improve things a tad. These strings just feel stiffer and tighter than all my other strings and that includes wound strings. I wish I knew more about this but I'm just in the early learning stages. I've barely been playing four months.

I'm open to suggestions on some kind of softer strings. Maybe something thinner. These are pretty thick strings. Otherwise if things don't get a little easier for me I'll be back at the luthier. But in the end things usually work out pretty well if I'm patient and relaxed about it.

I think the strings are the basic Aquila that everything seems to come with for some odd reason.

itsme
05-11-2014, 01:22 PM
I think the strings are the basic Aquila that everything seems to come with for some odd reason.
I'm not fond of Aquilas, although a lot of people like them. I have a set on my concert Fluke and I think they sound bright, but on other ukes I prefer fluorocarbons like Worths. They just sound and feel nicer to me. :)

Icelander53
05-11-2014, 01:30 PM
I'm not so much thinking about sound right now. I'm thinking how can I find something that I can be comfortable playing.

FrankB
05-11-2014, 01:55 PM
I use Oasis strings on all of my ukes, and they are a one size fits all set. The tension is what I'd consider medium. I bought a set of Southcoast Light Medium strings, but haven't had a chance to try them yet. Southcoast makes even lighter strings, so you might want to look there. Using a thinner gauge string might require an adjustment to your nut slots, putting you back where you were at the beginning. :eek: ;) I actually enjoy making nuts and saddles, so changes like that are okay with me. You could always try D'Addario nylon strings. They might be lower in tension.

Icelander53
05-11-2014, 02:25 PM
Thanks Frank, I actually have some Oasis and D'Addario here. This instrument will not get the better of me. No it will not. no .... no... (please god)

:wallbash:

Nickie
05-11-2014, 02:37 PM
The reason I went to Elderly was a combination of price and expected full set up. They have a place to request the kind of set up you want when you place your order. Live and learn.

Now that the instrument is playing I'm enjoying it. Considering what's gone on so far, the thought of sending this instrument back to Elderly for a refund gives me the willies. If they pay for the set up work I've had done I'll be glad to put it all behind me.

I'm going to play this Moku for a week or so and then post my amature review of it if anyone is interested.

I'd LOVE to hear your review of your Moku....I have had issues with my Elderly Moku, and have written to Mike Mulqueen....he's been very helpful....
I found that the stock Aquila strings are VERY poor for this uke, and changning to d'Addarios didnt stop all of the buzzing, but I think it sounds a whole lot better.....I really wanna keep it, the workmanship is top notch....and now it sounds like a mahogany/spruce uke is supposed to....so everyone else, if you have a Moku, consider changing the strings....

Icelander53
05-11-2014, 03:57 PM
I'd LOVE to hear your review of your Moku....I have had issues with my Elderly Moku, and have written to Mike Mulqueen....he's been very helpful....
I found that the stock Aquila strings are VERY poor for this uke, and changning to d'Addarios didnt stop all of the buzzing, but I think it sounds a whole lot better.....I really wanna keep it, the workmanship is top notch....and now it sounds like a mahogany/spruce uke is supposed to....so everyone else, if you have a Moku, consider changing the strings....

Thanks very much for posting. I think the strings are terrible on this uke also. Since I'm taking it back in to have the action lowered I'll have them put on new strings at the same time. Really, thanks for posting.

Nickie
05-11-2014, 04:25 PM
You're welcome Ice....I think this is a perfectly good place to air out things....as long as we've given the seller/maker every chance to make amends....we are also very good at praising thier good work....I gave Elderly my biz because of a good friend on UU....I bet Mim and HMS and the other good sellers get a lot of biz from members of this forum. Being an informed customer helps us avoid poor decisions....and being screwed by the unscrupulous....

Icelander53
05-11-2014, 04:42 PM
I'm glad to hear what you said about those strings. I had a feeling they might be part of the playability issues I'm having but I'll know a lot more after I take it back in . I agree it is a beautiful looking and seemingly well made instrument and I really want to get this thing set up. I feel it should/could sound better than it does at this time.

FrankB
05-11-2014, 05:04 PM
Blaming the dealer for a poor setup on an import is a bit over the top. Why don't the people who make the things do the set up? Should the dealers also have to glue the bridges on or install the tuners? Why does the dealer have to do what should be done from the factory. When I bought a Martn guitar years ago, the set up was fine, the dealer didn't do anything. Why is it expected that the uke or guitar will need a setup by the dealer. Its not just ukes that have this problem, import violins are almost always is poor setup condition when they arrive from the factory. Seems this has become the norm for cheaper instruments which in my mind makes them even cheaper.

Well.... After all this talk about Moku, I looked at Elderly's site. There selling a factory second, but this is the goofiest second I've ever seen: http://elderly.com/new_instruments/names/moku-mst-85-tenor-ukulele-factory-second--MCH2F2-TEN.htm

C'mon! Moku decided to tack an inch wide strip of spruce to make the top wide enough?!?!? Is spruce becoming an endangered species, or was the majority of this soundboard so spectacular that they would intentionally make a top like this? To me, a factory second is an instrument that has a finish blem, dent, crooked tuners,etc, but not something that was intentionally built to be a second. This is just weird......

Ice,
I just played my wife's tenor for the first time in weeks. Her strings are .5mm higher at the 12th fret than my tenor, and it was so much more annoying to play. These are the same brand, with the same fret height and neck profile. I'll probably just leave it where it's at for now, but only because neither one of us plays it. If we start using it again, the strings will get lowered. John has a point about whacking the fretboard, but I barre above the 5th fret enough that I want comfort first. Most of my playing is done south of the fretboard anyway, but I know many play over the fretboard, including my wife.

rustysmith3
05-11-2014, 06:35 PM
This is one long thread. I may have missed a few posts but there is one thing I haven't seen discussed. Set up can vary depending on personal preferences. A player with a light touch will have requirement much different than a hard driving player. Wood can change with environment and/or time. I have had instruments go without setup changes for many years. Also had ones built light enough to require 2 saddles. One for high humidity and summertime and one for lower humidity and lower temps. Yes I am a little picky on setup. I have dealt with many dealers for decades. To me the bottom line is will the dealer make it right with the least effort possible. Doesn't matter if you're a pro or nubee we all want good customer service so we can get back to playing ASAP.

coolkayaker1
05-11-2014, 06:40 PM
Off topic: I wanted to mention that, if you see a used instrument at Elderly that is "on consignment", and it says so in the listing, do feel free to email Elderly with an offer on the instrument. I did so for a vintage Gibby and Elderly emailed me back and said they will bring the offer to the owner and get back to me; they did, and my price was accepted (actually, I think the seller wanted a few bucks more, and then I said "yes"; sort of like buying a house). The point is: a firm, written offer on a consignment uke, Elderly will bring it to the owner. I have tried similar negotiation with ukes owned by Elderly with no success whatsoever.

Okay, now back to your regularly scheduled Elderly lambasting and roast.

(Kidding!;))

Icelander53
05-11-2014, 08:57 PM
Well.... After all this talk about Moku, I looked at Elderly's site. There selling a factory second, but this is the goofiest second I've ever seen: http://elderly.com/new_instruments/names/moku-mst-85-tenor-ukulele-factory-second--MCH2F2-TEN.htm

C'mon! Moku decided to tack an inch wide strip of spruce to make the top wide enough?!?!? Is spruce becoming an endangered species, or was the majority of this soundboard so spectacular that they would intentionally make a top like this? To me, a factory second is an instrument that has a finish blem, dent, crooked tuners,etc, but not something that was intentionally built to be a second. This is just weird......

Ice,
I just played my wife's tenor for the first time in weeks. Her strings are .5mm higher at the 12th fret than my tenor, and it was so much more annoying to play. These are the same brand, with the same fret height and neck profile. I'll probably just leave it where it's at for now, but only because neither one of us plays it. If we start using it again, the strings will get lowered. John has a point about whacking the fretboard, but I barre above the 5th fret enough that I want comfort first. Most of my playing is done south of the fretboard anyway, but I know many play over the fretboard, including my wife.

I saw that instrument. That's not their select line but I was interested in it anyway because I loved that dark rosewood back and sides. But the discount for it being a second was less than $20 off a first. Anyway it was weird to me too. But some uke are made with three piece tops so it was probably just fine.

Condor
05-11-2014, 10:44 PM
It is a real shame that for a fairly expensive uke, you can't get to enjoy playing it without spending even more on it, but maybe lowering the action is really best given your joint issues and strings will definitely make a lot of difference - I have found Living Waters strings easily playable and the sound from my Pono tenor has definitely improved with a Low G set of Living waters strings, am going to try a set on my concert next. I also need a low action due to arthritis, I struggle these days to play my guitars and mandolins, even though their action is fine, the metal strings are that much more difficult for me. I would definitely give the Living Waters strings a try, I have been really pleased with mine, they are bright and resonant, not muted or muddy, and are easy on my hands.

Icelander53
05-12-2014, 04:26 AM
Thanks for the advice. I've heard nothing but good things about those strings. I have some Oasis in both low and high G. and I believe they are similar. I'll take those in along with some La Bella and see which the luthier thinks would be best.

And yes it's turned into a real saga and a test to see if I can just let go and let things unfold without getting my pants all in a bunch over this now. Things in life go this way sometimes and fighting that has always made me miserable. Lets see if age has made me any wiser. I'm just going to relax and see it through now. If Elderly pays or if I pay it hardly matters in the long run of my little life drama. In the end I hope to have a uke I'm happy with. If it's not to be then I better get used to it. I mean hey, it's not like it's my only uke or the only one I'll ever have.

So... I'm going to get out my fabulous Gretsch and play that today and sing some songs to drive the blues away. It's going to be sunny and 80 here today and I've got nothing to do but enjoy it.

I do appreciate any and all advice. I'm quite new to the game and I know I have a lot to learn. Had I the knowledge many of you have I'd just fix all this in my basement in an hour or two and it would be fun. I'm doing my best but I'm playing catch up to most of you all. This site has been amazingly helpful to me. I can get some expert advice from my computer chair.

And a thought about the comments that airing these issues on the internet is bad form. The internet has been one of the greatest learning tools I've ever had. If people keep all their less than positive comments to themselves that would really not be the case then for me at least. The fact that I can hear all sides of an issue and then make up my own mind is a great thing IMO.

Icelander53
05-15-2014, 06:16 AM
UPDATE: My further communications with Elderly via email have been much more satisfying although they still refuse to acknowledge either a poor or lacking set up in spite of the overwhelming evidence. Reminds me of the court cases where they settle with the stipulation that they get to admit to no wrong doing. :p Anyway they have paid for the repair and full set up (I had the action lowered) which in the end was a total of $34.

I'm glad to put this all behind me and play with this MOKU.

And for those interested in the actual instrument that caused all the fuss here's my amateurish review.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?96552-Moku-MS-90T-Select-series-Tenor&p=1524251#post1524251

HBolte
05-15-2014, 08:39 AM
There are two sides to every story, iceland gave his. We don't know the other side of the story. I agree with the others that if the fix only cost $12, it was extremely minor.

Icelander53
05-15-2014, 08:43 AM
No one said otherwise but the instrument could not realistically be used without that fix. The total fix was $34 for the lowering of the action and the repair of the nut to stop the buzzing. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here that has not been addressed repeatedly.

If you think about it, it would be hard to conceive of a motivation on my part to lie about a company I have had positive experiences with in the past and have recommended on this forum and to friends. No one from Elderly has been sleeping with my gf (as far as I know);)

Condor
05-15-2014, 11:06 AM
There are two sides to every story, iceland gave his. We don't know the other side of the story. I agree with the others that if the fix only cost $12, it was extremely minor.

Nothing minor about a retailer which promises a specific service then fails to provide what you purchased. - That is either negligent on their part, or dishonest, one of the two. Price has nothing to do with it at all, fact is the promised setup was clearly not provided - if a retailer states clearly in their advertising that a full setup is provided, then that is what a buyer is entitled to receive. Also, as I read it from Ice's latest post, the initial fix was just to stop the string buzz and a setup has now been completed at additional cost. Even if the cost was not a lot, the enjoyability and playability of the uke was adversely affected by the retailer not delivering on the service they sold.

Dan Uke
05-15-2014, 11:21 AM
Here we go again...same topics being discussed. We should drop this like a bad habit.

The Big Kahuna
05-15-2014, 11:26 AM
Here we go again...same topics being discussed.

Only because Ice and Condor have had to spend time summarising the thread for someone who couldn't be bothered to read it from the beginning, and who just jumped in with an inaccurate assumption instead.

wickedwahine11
05-15-2014, 11:33 AM
UPDATE: My further communications with Elderly via email have been much more satisfying although they still refuse to acknowledge either a poor or lacking set up in spite of the overwhelming evidence. Reminds me of the court cases where they settle with the stipulation that they get to admit to no wrong doing. :p Anyway they have paid for the repair and full set up (I had the action lowered) which in the end was a total of $34.

I'm glad to put this all behind me and play with this MOKU.

And for those interested in the actual instrument that caused all the fuss here's my amateurish review.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?96552-Moku-MS-90T-Select-series-Tenor&p=1524251#post1524251

Since the matter has been pretty much resolved, and this dead horse has been beaten enough (and because this thread will never die otherwise), I think the time has come to close this one.