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View Full Version : Uke Maker caught in a lie



southpawmark
05-29-2014, 02:54 PM
Ok, I figured this is worth sharing with you all for giggles. I won't mention names because I'm not out to destroy the reputation of a Uke maker but this issue ticked me off.

I ordered my second Uke recently. I'm a nice Uke but I know my next one will be either a Pono, KoAloha or Kamaka Uke. Anyway, here's the issue. I paid for the Uke and added a special request that was written in the comments section of the order. What I wrote under special instructions was simple. "Please do a lefty-handed setup on this Ukulele for me". One week passed and I had no email from them so I sent a specific email asking for my Ukulele to be setup for a lefty-handed player and I requested any information about shipping my instrument and/or when it would be ready. No response. Three weeks later I sent another email asking if they were having a problem with my emails. No response. I used the option to contact them from their website and I finally get a response. This is what I asked them. "I have contacted you twice regarding the setup of my instrument and received no response. Did you get my previous emails"? Their response to me, and I quote "Dear Mr. Gailmor, we apologize for any inconvenience you have had in contacting us. We didn't receive any email from asking for a left-handed setup. However, if you know how to restring a guitar then restringing a Ukulele should be easy." Did you notice their response? I never said anything about left-handed setup when I contacted them through their website. They had two options: email or website contact. Now, the final message I sent was simply asking them if they had received any of my messages. I never mentioned left-handed. How would they know this unless they had received my messages and ignored them? My suspicion is this. Someone saw all of my messages and ignored them. They also ignored the special instructions on my original order when I specifically asked for a left-handed setup. I think they were embarrassed in the end and tried to backpedal out of a sticky situation. I suspect they knew that I was on to them and realized that they were lying. I would have had more respect for them if they had been honest with me. Best part? This is the second time this has happened to me. Next time I'm ordering a Pono, KoAloha, or Kamaka Ukulele. I know those Uke makers will not ignore my requests.

Anyway, just wanted to share this. I find it funny that this has happened to me 2x's with two different vendors. See what we southpaws have to go through? lol

Icelander53
05-29-2014, 03:07 PM
Unfortunately lying has become a normal business practice all over the place. I recently had an issue with a major seller that promised a set up and did not provide and that was only the beginning of the BS that I saw.

Today I experienced another issue with a ordered Kala. I was sent the wrong model and they tried to blame it on Amazon when I could easily verify, and did for them that the problem happened in their warehouse. They finally admitted that they had not done what they promised and they were at fault. What a crappy attitude to have. Lie until you are caught then pretend to be sorry. I'm sending it back and will not allow them another shot anytime soon.

The problem is that if you cut out all these vendors for doing less than right you are left with maybe one or two places to buy if you are lucky. Dishonesty is the norm from my experience.

Everyone makes mistakes. The best policy is to own it 100% in the beginning and then make it right with the customer. What I hate is knowing I'm being lied to and then being expected to go along with it like a good guy and not make waves. Not happening in my world.

Kayak Jim
05-29-2014, 03:07 PM
See what we southpaws have to go through? lol

A sinister plot no doubt!

Papa-Ooke
05-29-2014, 03:10 PM
This couldn't be one of the "go to uke dealers" we all use here on UU. That's horrible customer service, making up a lie to get out of another lie.

coolkayaker1
05-29-2014, 03:11 PM
Next time I'm ordering a Pono, KoAloha, or Kamaka Ukulele. I know those Uke makers will not ignore my requests.


So this was a uke maker that screwed up your request, or a uke retailer?

iamesperambient
05-29-2014, 03:48 PM
Ok, I figured this is worth sharing with you all for giggles. I won't mention names because I'm not out to destroy the reputation of a Uke maker but this issue ticked me off.

I ordered my second Uke recently. I'm a nice Uke but I know my next one will be either a Pono, KoAloha or Kamaka Uke. Anyway, here's the issue. I paid for the Uke and added a special request that was written in the comments section of the order. What I wrote under special instructions was simple. "Please do a lefty-handed setup on this Ukulele for me". One week passed and I had no email from them so I sent a specific email asking for my Ukulele to be setup for a lefty-handed player and I requested any information about shipping my instrument and/or when it would be ready. No response. Three weeks later I sent another email asking if they were having a problem with my emails. No response. I used the option to contact them from their website and I finally get a response. This is what I asked them. "I have contacted you twice regarding the setup of my instrument and received no response. Did you get my previous emails"? Their response to me, and I quote "Dear Mr. Gailmor, we apologize for any inconvenience you have had in contacting us. We didn't receive any email from asking for a left-handed setup. However, if you know how to restring a guitar then restringing a Ukulele should be easy." Did you notice their response? I never said anything about left-handed setup when I contacted them through their website. They had two options: email or website contact. Now, the final message I sent was simply asking them if they had received any of my messages. I never mentioned left-handed. How would they know this unless they had received my messages and ignored them? My suspicion is this. Someone saw all of my messages and ignored them. They also ignored the special instructions on my original order when I specifically asked for a left-handed setup. I think they were embarrassed in the end and tried to backpedal out of a sticky situation. I suspect they knew that I was on to them and realized that they were lying. I would have had more respect for them if they had been honest with me. Best part? This is the second time this has happened to me. Next time I'm ordering a Pono, KoAloha, or Kamaka Ukulele. I know those Uke makers will not ignore my requests.

Anyway, just wanted to share this. I find it funny that this has happened to me 2x's with two different vendors. See what we southpaws have to go through? lol


Im a lefty but i play 'righty' thats how i learned i still have a hard time understanding the 'lefty' set up how it benefits leftys. to me the strong hand makes sense as hand you chord with i think it takes much more strength of the hands to fret chords etc. anyway thats my 2 cents on that (as a lefty ).

As for this situation i would be very upset if it happened to me they should be professional and apologize for their mistake not try to cover up for it and in the progress make a snide remark. If i were you I would find a new maker to buy from, there are tons with great quality and customer service, like you said kamaka would never do something like that.

iamesperambient
05-29-2014, 03:53 PM
Unfortunately lying has become a normal business practice all over the place. I recently had an issue with a major seller that promised a set up and did not provide and that was only the beginning of the BS that I saw.

Today I experienced another issue with a ordered Kala. I was sent the wrong model and they tried to blame it on Amazon when I could easily verify, and did for them that the problem happened in their warehouse. They finally admitted that they had not done what they promised and they were at fault. What a crappy attitude to have. Lie until you are caught then pretend to be sorry. I'm sending it back and will not allow them another shot anytime soon.

The problem is that if you cut out all these vendors for doing less than right you are left with maybe one or two places to buy if you are lucky. Dishonesty is the norm from my experience.

Everyone makes mistakes. The best policy is to own it 100% in the beginning and then make it right with the customer. What I hate is knowing I'm being lied to and then being expected to go along with it like a good guy and not make waves. Not happening in my world.

I know you are referring to elderly and i'm sorry you had a horrible experience. but for me i can only speak for my experience which
was great customer service the shop did exactly what i requested and the shipping department was fast, and the sales team offered
me a discount i think retailers make mistakes it happens. I think its worse if its a maker its their brand its their instruments
they should always make a good image since its their line of instruments their selling representing the instruments it's self and
the team of represents them. I feel like a store like elderly has a 'bad day' or you could get that one staff member who is new
who doesn't know a whole lot etc. But from what i know elderly is a great place to buy from.

iamesperambient
05-29-2014, 03:57 PM
So this was a uke maker that screwed up your request, or a uke retailer?

it says 'uke maker caught in a lie'
so i would assume its a uke maker it doesn't say 'uke dealer'.

stevepetergal
05-29-2014, 04:03 PM
So this was a uke maker that screwed up your request, or a uke retailer?

Yeah, sounds more like a retailer, than a builder.

iamesperambient
05-29-2014, 04:07 PM
Yeah, sounds more like a retailer, than a builder.

if it was a retailer than he should have made the post 'ukulele retailer caught in a lie'
not sure if it was a retailer, again retailers make mistakes people have bad days
not all retailers are flawless. If it was a maker this is bad, very bad for their image
and business.

Tigeralum2001
05-29-2014, 06:08 PM
A sinister plot no doubt!

Nice (and intelligent) pun, Jim!

southpawmark
05-29-2014, 06:26 PM
It was a Uke maker, not a retailer. Yeah, very sad and it leaves me disappointed in customer service because I'm planning on going to luthier school so that I can build awesome guitars. I was raised to believe that if you make a mistake you own up to it. The worst thing one could do is to try to cover up one lie with another because someone always gets caught. Oh, and after all was said and done, the maker sent me an automatic request to provide a review of their customer service. :D

experimentjon
05-29-2014, 06:27 PM
A sinister plot no doubt!

I see what you did there. :cool:

But seriously, that's pretty funny that they messed up the lie like that...unfortunate, but funny.

southpawmark
05-29-2014, 06:37 PM
You said it. Stuff happens though and I understand. That's why I didn't mention their name. They're not one of the big Uke Makers but they do have a reputation.

hawaii 50
05-29-2014, 06:48 PM
Is this a custom build than?
did you get the side fret dots put on the correct side for a lefty....

igorthebarbarian
05-29-2014, 06:59 PM
Buy a Flea or a Fluke. Tremendous customer service there!

southpawmark
05-29-2014, 07:24 PM
Is this a custom build than?
did you get the side fret dots put on the correct side for a lefty....

That would be a "resounding" no. It wasn't a custom build. I would have been beyond furious if it was. Oh, and If they had actually altered the fretboard then they would have to admit that they read my request to set up my Uke for a lefty.

Dane
05-29-2014, 07:57 PM
I have always noticed an exceptionally long wait time on responses from anyone in the uke business in Hawaii. I think it's because they're all out playing ukulele and surfing. Darned Hawaiians, stop having fun!

southpawmark
05-29-2014, 08:14 PM
One more thing. I know one guy commented on the thread and said he's a lefty but plays right-handed. I say to you "more power to you my friend". When I first started on my journey of stringed instruments I listened to everyone that told me to learn the "right way". I tried it this way and was miserable. When I tracked down my first lefty guitar and started to play I felt that someone had switched a light bulb on. For me, my left hand prefers to strum or pick.

Dane
05-29-2014, 09:06 PM
One more thing. I know one guy commented on the thread and said he's a lefty but plays right-handed. I say to you "more power to you my friend". When I first started on my journey of stringed instruments I listened to everyone that told me to learn the "right way". I tried it this way and was miserable. When I tracked down my first lefty guitar and started to play I felt that someone had switched a light bulb on. For me, my left hand prefers to strum or pick.

That's funny because I am right handed, and I actually naturally wanted to fret with my right hand. But I chose not to because I knew how difficult it would make it later on with not being able to play others instruments, and I didn't think I was smart enough to pull off the up-side-down style.

southpawmark
05-29-2014, 10:27 PM
Dane, sometimes it's about wiring and sometimes it's a personal choice. In the case of me, it was my wiring. It didn't feel natural to play the guitar, or any other instrument right-handed. In fact, I was slower. I suspect if you are right handed you will find that if you learn how to play a guitar left-handed you will be slower. It's because of the way your brain is wired. Lefties who have been forced to play righty may not admit it, but it's true. Most of the folks on this forum are righties and you all cringe at the idea of playing your instrument left-handed. Well, this is how we lefties feel. In fact, when someone "tells me" to play righty I feel my elementary school teacher trying to force me to write with my right hand. Oh, and I'm that old. I just had an old school teacher. I tell you this. My parents went up to that elementary school and raised holy hell. The principal of the school backed my parents. The teacher was a sub. She never worked at that school when her contract was up.

I share all of this not to debate which way is right. That's up to the individual. I'm just stating how upsetting my specific situation was and the state of customer service nowadays.

eor
05-30-2014, 01:10 AM
Nice (and intelligent) pun, Jim!

Went right over my head...that was an awesome pun...

what name
05-30-2014, 01:16 AM
I wonder if they saw the last message, then back tracked to see the other messages, to see what the last message referred to. That takes dishonesty out of the equation, and leaves simple negligence.

pixiepurls
05-30-2014, 01:36 AM
Ok, I figured this is worth sharing with you all for giggles. I won't mention names because I'm not out to destroy the reputation of a Uke maker but this issue ticked me off.

I ordered my second Uke recently. I'm a nice Uke but I know my next one will be either a Pono, KoAloha or Kamaka Uke. Anyway, here's the issue. I paid for the Uke and added a special request that was written in the comments section of the order. What I wrote under special instructions was simple. "Please do a lefty-handed setup on this Ukulele for me". One week passed and I had no email from them so I sent a specific email asking for my Ukulele to be setup for a lefty-handed player and I requested any information about shipping my instrument and/or when it would be ready. No response. Three weeks later I sent another email asking if they were having a problem with my emails. No response. I used the option to contact them from their website and I finally get a response. This is what I asked them. "I have contacted you twice regarding the setup of my instrument and received no response. Did you get my previous emails"? Their response to me, and I quote "Dear Mr. Gailmor, we apologize for any inconvenience you have had in contacting us. We didn't receive any email from asking for a left-handed setup. However, if you know how to restring a guitar then restringing a Ukulele should be easy." Did you notice their response? I never said anything about left-handed setup when I contacted them through their website. They had two options: email or website contact. Now, the final message I sent was simply asking them if they had received any of my messages. I never mentioned left-handed. How would they know this unless they had received my messages and ignored them? My suspicion is this. Someone saw all of my messages and ignored them. They also ignored the special instructions on my original order when I specifically asked for a left-handed setup. I think they were embarrassed in the end and tried to backpedal out of a sticky situation. I suspect they knew that I was on to them and realized that they were lying. I would have had more respect for them if they had been honest with me. Best part? This is the second time this has happened to me. Next time I'm ordering a Pono, KoAloha, or Kamaka Ukulele. I know those Uke makers will not ignore my requests.

Anyway, just wanted to share this. I find it funny that this has happened to me 2x's with two different vendors. See what we southpaws have to go through? lol

FYI if you order a pono through HMS, and you want to CHANGE Your order after you make it (lets say you forgot to write a note) you MUST call them as an email will never be responded too, this was my experience anyway. So be careful when you order your pono :) I adore mine but I never got my strap button installed because my email was never replied to, however the order was exactly as I originally ordered it. I am not in any way hating on HMS, I like them and will order from them again but knowing you email your vendors I wanted to give you a heads up...

FrankB
05-30-2014, 02:39 AM
One more thing. I know one guy commented on the thread and said he's a lefty but plays right-handed. I say to you "more power to you my friend". When I first started on my journey of stringed instruments I listened to everyone that told me to learn the "right way". I tried it this way and was miserable. When I tracked down my first lefty guitar and started to play I felt that someone had switched a light bulb on. For me, my left hand prefers to strum or pick.

I'm left-handed when writing, but right-handed for throwing, golfing, and playing guitar and uke. My brother is right-handed when writing, but plays sports left-handed. I can't even begin to imagine fretting with my left hand, and writing with my right hand is nearly impossible. Weird.....

Dane
05-30-2014, 08:29 AM
I don't like that we label stringed instruments as righty or lefty. If anything, I believe the names should be switched. You can make a lot more mistakes with your strumming/picking hand and not be noticed. But if you make fretting mistakes it sounds terrible. I feel my left hand (fretting) is really doing all the work while playing.

The only thing I do left-handed is open bottles, and that's because I was smart enough as a child to notice that the leverage advantage on bottles is to the left hand (pulling vs pushing). But I have always felt that I had much more pinpoint accuracy with my left hand and that it has a stronger grip. Perhaps that's from 20 years of computer and console gaming, where my left hand was always a part of what I was doing in way that was just as important as what the right hand was doing.

The Big Kahuna
05-30-2014, 09:19 AM
There's been a lot of talk about emails not being replied to in this thread. I wonder how many of you check your spam email folders regularly. After checking my email at home every morning, I also check my spam folder to make sure that an email from a legitimate contact hasn't somehow managed to trigger the spam filter.

Spam/junk mail filters aren't "fire and forget", they exist for one reason; to keep your inbox as free of unwanted clutter as possible.

Gmail, for example, seem to be having issues with condemning emails from senders who have previously been marked as safe to the spam folder. A reply to an enquiry about a uke may be seen as marketing spam by the filters.

You have to check your spam daily.

southpawmark
05-30-2014, 09:26 AM
I check my spam daily. No choice because between my main mail handlers: gmail and zoho, a lot of my mail ends up in spam until i teach them not to put it there.

4stringjonty
05-30-2014, 09:30 AM
i hope they learned their lesson.

The Big Kahuna
05-30-2014, 09:40 AM
a lot of my mail ends up in spam until i teach them not to put it there.

Even then, previously trusted email can still end up being identified as spam. There seems to be no pattern to it. Just recently I've had a number of emails from both HMS and American Airlines, some of which correctly end up in my important folder, others from the same address end up in spam. These have both been identified previously as trusted addresses.

hawaii 50
05-30-2014, 10:15 AM
Even then, previously trusted email can still end up being identified as spam. There seems to be no pattern to it. Just recently I've had a number of emails from both HMS and American Airlines, some of which correctly end up in my important folder, others from the same address end up in spam. These have both been identified previously as trusted addresses.

Hey Kahuna..i know you in England..but what ever happened to using the phone is the USA....if the builder was in Hawaii with the time changes you can always call at a decent hour.... :)

my 2 cents

The Big Kahuna
05-30-2014, 11:06 AM
Hey Kahuna..i know you in England..but what ever happened to using the phone is the USA....if the builder was in Hawaii with the time changes you can always call at a decent hour.... :)

my 2 cents

Can't disagree with that. :)

peaceweaver3
05-30-2014, 11:27 AM
So did you ever get the uke and if so, was it the way you wanted?

AndrewKuker
05-30-2014, 12:29 PM
I wonder if they saw the last message, then back tracked to see the other messages, to see what the last message referred to. That takes dishonesty out of the equation, and leaves simple negligence.

I would bet this was the case. Stringing left handed is easy and no added cost or time to the builder. To see you wanted that and decide to ignore it is just too counterproductive. The slew of emails and problems that will incur far outweigh any slight adjustment to routine. Perhaps there's a small percentage of insanity in business but most of us just fail for other reasons. Not because of our desire to sabotage the people that support us.

iamesperambient
05-30-2014, 03:01 PM
Dane, sometimes it's about wiring and sometimes it's a personal choice. In the case of me, it was my wiring. It didn't feel natural to play the guitar, or any other instrument right-handed. In fact, I was slower. I suspect if you are right handed you will find that if you learn how to play a guitar left-handed you will be slower. It's because of the way your brain is wired. Lefties who have been forced to play righty may not admit it, but it's true. Most of the folks on this forum are righties and you all cringe at the idea of playing your instrument left-handed. Well, this is how we lefties feel. In fact, when someone "tells me" to play righty I feel my elementary school teacher trying to force me to write with my right hand. Oh, and I'm that old. I just had an old school teacher. I tell you this. My parents went up to that elementary school and raised holy hell. The principal of the school backed my parents. The teacher was a sub. She never worked at that school when her contract was up.

I share all of this not to debate which way is right. That's up to the individual. I'm just stating how upsetting my specific situation was and the state of customer service nowadays.


i disagree. when i started playing guitar i used my dads guitars and taught myself. It never felt out of place playing a normal 'righty' guitar. I also had a friend who was learning guitar at the same time she had a 'lefty' guitar and it did in fact feel very weird and awkward.
To me I feel comfortable because my left hand is holding the chords my strong hand i think the strumming hand needs to be loose and more relaxed. My strong hand is more 'tense' because its used all the time but because its stronger i never had a problem holding down chords. I don't each person is different but as a lefty i still never got the concept of a 'lefty' instrument.

mds725
05-30-2014, 03:33 PM
I'm a righty. When I first started playing ukulele, my first stringed instrument, I wondered why a "righty" instrument would require me to fret with my non-dominant hand and strum (which seemed like the easy part at the time) with my dominant hand because fretting was so difficult for me as a newbie. Eventually, I got pretty good at fretting and began to work on more intricate strums. it was then when I realized why my dominant hand needed to be my strumming hand ratyher than my fretting hand. I've since heard from other stringed instrument players that the real "magic" comes from the strumming hand, and now that I'm trying more intricate strums, I understand why that is. Everyone's different, of course.

iamesperambient
05-31-2014, 07:41 AM
I'm a righty. When I first started playing ukulele, my first stringed instrument, I wondered why a "righty" instrument would require me to fret with my non-dominant hand and strum (which seemed like the easy part at the time) with my dominant hand because fretting was so difficult for me as a newbie. Eventually, I got pretty good at fretting and began to work on more intricate strums. it was then when I realized why my dominant hand needed to be my strumming hand ratyher than my fretting hand. I've since heard from other stringed instrument players that the real "magic" comes from the strumming hand, and now that I'm trying more intricate strums, I understand why that is. Everyone's different, of course.



I'm really not tooting my own horn
but I think my rolls , strums , triplets
etc is really good for a self taught musician
when I attempted to play in the beginning with
a lefty guitar it didn't feel right for me
I don't know I know a few other leftys
who play their instruments righty.

I broke my finger 6 sixth grade
which forced me to use my right hand to write
and I was able to pull it over slower less comfortable
and ledeable. I always natrually wrote with my
lefty had it feels natural and comfortable
but I can adapt my ability to adapt is why
I know I will survive the zombie apocalypse.
so maybe I don't under stand because I'm not
a lefty who has trouble adapting. than again
I had the chance to try lefty I tried it from
the beginning and it felt "off" to me.

kissing
05-31-2014, 03:38 PM
I wonder if they saw the last message, then back tracked to see the other messages, to see what the last message referred to. That takes dishonesty out of the equation, and leaves simple negligence.


I agree with this perspective.
Still doesnt put them in the right, but its less than blatant dishonesty

Icelander53
05-31-2014, 03:58 PM
That's a beautiful collection of ukes in your sig. And you make a good point. I would always prefer negligence over dishonesty but often the result is the same. You get the short end.