NUD Disappointment

rafter

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Yes, how do they get a #11, when only 10 were made? Something is fishy here. Makes me wonder if there is possibly a back door market going on, where defective ukes are being sold by some unscrupulous employee(s), without the factory's knowledge...

I have no idea about the numbering, but I think it's really unlikely that someone would be sneaking out ukuleles to sell, from what I know of KoAloha (small operation, family like relationships). And given their warranty policy, it would be far too easy for something like that to get back to them--especially if it was a defective limited Red. One warranty claim and the employee would be caught. It seems more likely that more than 10 were made, and/or there was at least one that was a dud. Or given the frequency of typos on the site's listings, maybe it's a typo? Although that's such a weird typo to make cause it's in the same sentence.

Looking at the other weird listing Contrails caught, it's definitely a typo. The listing is for a regular Silver concert, but the description says it's for a Red.



I do feel a little bad for all the piling on Terry and his business. His sales personality is, well, not everyone's cup of tea, and seeing his videos and listings, I think he needs to pay more attention to details. I definitely think what happened to Rooster's not right. But I'm still inclined to think Terry's not trying to be a dishonest seller. Again, I bought from him with no problems (although I basically asked for my uke untouched). If he had something I wanted that I could not get elsewhere, I might buy from him again. Maybe I'm giving him some benefit of the doubt because it's a small business and not a big corporation. And I definitely think he needs to rectify problems with his customers. I'm not really trying to defend the guy, I just get wary when it seems like a mob might form.

Big picture-wise, I can kind of see why some retailers like Andrew, Mike, and others might frequent UU less often than they used to. Aside from being busy running their operations, navigating social media and forums must be a minefield, and it seems so easy to run afoul of someone by saying the wrong thing or making a mistake. I think HMS and Mim are exceptional in being able to cultivate their great reputations (and even then I've heard complaints about both). I do wish more ukulele shops were like them, and that retailers would come around these forums more often.
 

necessaryrooster

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I do feel a little bad for all the piling on Terry and his business. His sales personality is, well, not everyone's cup of tea, and seeing his videos and listings, I think he needs to pay more attention to details. I definitely think what happened to Rooster's not right. But I'm still inclined to think Terry's not trying to be a dishonest seller. Again, I bought from him with no problems (although I basically asked for my uke untouched). If he had something I wanted that I could not get elsewhere, I might buy from him again. Maybe I'm giving him some benefit of the doubt because it's a small business and not a big corporation. And I definitely think he needs to rectify problems with his customers. I'm not really trying to defend the guy, I just get wary when it seems like a mob might form.

Big picture-wise, I can kind of see why some retailers like Andrew, Mike, and others might frequent UU less often than they used to. Aside from being busy running their operations, navigating social media and forums must be a minefield, and it seems so easy to run afoul of someone by saying the wrong thing or making a mistake. I think HMS and Mim are exceptional in being able to cultivate their great reputations (and even then I've heard complaints about both). I do wish more ukulele shops were like them, and that retailers would come around these forums more often.
I didn't have a big problem with the service I received until I saw that he was listing damaged ukes back up on the website with no mention of the damage and then came on here trying to paint it like it like I overreacted or it was somehow the camera's fault and picking up things that weren't there. I took pictures because I saw something with my eyes, not something only visible under magnification. I didn't even use the zoom on my camera to take the pictures. Also his claims that Koalohas are imperfect because they're handmade is totally bogus, and unfair to Koaloha.

All of that screams dishonesty to me. If he's not trying to be dishonest he's certainly not trying to be honest.
 

Sporky

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I didn't have a big problem with the service I received until I saw that he was listing damaged ukes back up on the website with no mention of the damage and then came on here trying to paint it like it like I overreacted or it was somehow the camera's fault and picking up things that weren't there. I took pictures because I saw something with my eyes, not something only visible under magnification. I didn't even use the zoom on my camera to take the pictures. Also his claims that Koalohas are imperfect because they're handmade is totally bogus, and unfair to Koaloha.

All of that screams dishonesty to me. If he's not trying to be dishonest he's certainly not trying to be honest.
Yeah.
It was also amusing to me the comment about cameras showing more imperfections. I've found it to be exactly the opposite :)
 

Cadia

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I have no idea about the numbering, but I think it's really unlikely that someone would be sneaking out ukuleles to sell, from what I know of KoAloha (small operation, family like relationships). And given their warranty policy, it would be far too easy for something like that to get back to them--especially if it was a defective limited Red. One warranty claim and the employee would be caught. It seems more likely that more than 10 were made, and/or there was at least one that was a dud. Or given the frequency of typos on the site's listings, maybe it's a typo? Although that's such a weird typo to make cause it's in the same sentence.

Looking at the other weird listing Contrails caught, it's definitely a typo. The listing is for a regular Silver concert, but the description says it's for a Red.



I do feel a little bad for all the piling on Terry and his business. His sales personality is, well, not everyone's cup of tea, and seeing his videos and listings, I think he needs to pay more attention to details. I definitely think what happened to Rooster's not right. But I'm still inclined to think Terry's not trying to be a dishonest seller. Again, I bought from him with no problems (although I basically asked for my uke untouched). If he had something I wanted that I could not get elsewhere, I might buy from him again. Maybe I'm giving him some benefit of the doubt because it's a small business and not a big corporation. And I definitely think he needs to rectify problems with his customers. I'm not really trying to defend the guy, I just get wary when it seems like a mob might form.

Big picture-wise, I can kind of see why some retailers like Andrew, Mike, and others might frequent UU less often than they used to. Aside from being busy running their operations, navigating social media and forums must be a minefield, and it seems so easy to run afoul of someone by saying the wrong thing or making a mistake. I think HMS and Mim are exceptional in being able to cultivate their great reputations (and even then I've heard complaints about both). I do wish more ukulele shops were like them, and that retailers would come around these forums more often.
I might sympathise with Terry a little bit if I found his responses to these valid complaints more honest and sympathetic to the customer who has forked over a lot of money for their dream ukes. I'm not seeing or hearing that. And I totally agree that KoAloha or Kanile'a would not allow blems out to be sold as firsts.
 

rafter

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I didn't have a big problem with the service I received until I saw that he was listing damaged ukes back up on the website with no mention of the damage and then came on here trying to paint it like it like I overreacted or it was somehow the camera's fault and picking up things that weren't there. I took pictures because I saw something with my eyes, not something only visible under magnification. I didn't even use the zoom on my camera to take the pictures. Also his claims that Koalohas are imperfect because they're handmade is totally bogus, and unfair to Koaloha.

All of that screams dishonesty to me. If he's not trying to be dishonest he's certainly not trying to be honest.

About that last part: fair enough, that might be more accurate than my take. I didn't mean to sound like I was minimizing your experience; I think you have valid complaints and raise valid concerns, and I'm glad you aired them. For what it's worth, Terry's, uh, way of doing things doesn't really fit my personality. I much prefer Andrew's "love everyone" and Mim's "be straight up" and "help the community" mentalities. I just get wary when pitchforks come out. Maybe I've been getting fatigued by all the angry mobs I see everywhere online. I like that UU is a community of (mostly) kind and civil people. I hope Terry makes things right with you and Sporky. I think you guys were wronged, and I'm sorry that happened to you. I hope he fixes his listings. But I also think it's easy for these things to escalate with bystanders and outsiders (like me) if we're not careful about pitching gas on the fire.
 

rafter

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I might sympathise with Terry a little bit if I found his responses to these valid complaints more honest and sympathetic to the customer who has forked over a lot of money for their dream ukes. I'm not seeing or hearing that. And I totally agree that KoAloha or Kanile'a would not allow blems out to be sold as firsts.

Yeah, I don't think you're wrong, and my opinions are probably closer to yours than not. It's not so much that I feel bad for Terry (I think he's kind of making his own bed here) as I'm wary about pitchforks and mobs. Maybe that last part's just me.
 

Cadia

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Yeah, I don't think you're wrong, and my opinions are probably closer to yours than not. It's not so much that I feel bad for Terry (I think he's kind of making his own bed here) as I'm wary about pitchforks and mobs. Maybe that last part's just me.
I getcha, and I agree as well. I'm not a mob kind of person at all, in fact just the opposite. :sneaky:
 

necessaryrooster

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About that last part: fair enough, that might be more accurate than my take. I didn't mean to sound like I was minimizing your experience; I think you have valid complaints and raise valid concerns, and I'm glad you aired them. For what it's worth, Terry's, uh, way of doing things doesn't really fit my personality. I much prefer Andrew's "love everyone" and Mim's "be straight up" and "help the community" mentalities. I just get wary when pitchforks come out. Maybe I've been getting fatigued by all the angry mobs I see everywhere online. I like that UU is a community of (mostly) kind and civil people. I hope Terry makes things right with you and Sporky. I think you guys were wronged, and I'm sorry that happened to you. I hope he fixes his listings. But I also think it's easy for these things to escalate with bystanders and outsiders (like me) if we're not careful about pitching gas on the fire.
@rafter Don't worry, I don't feel like you were minimizing anything. I totally understand where you're coming from regarding mobs and pitchforks. I've tried to mostly keep my comments objective, just stating what happened and who said what, but I did get pretty angry at the comments suggesting this is somehow Koaloha's fault. I really hate it when people don't take personal responsibility or when they aren't held accountable for their actions (kinda feel like this is the cause of like 75% of the problems in the world today). Definitely wasn't trying to grab a pitchfork or incite a mob, just wanted to see some accountability.
 

Spieler

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I am grateful for this thread, and @Sporky's, if saddened by both.

I'm sure there are many of us (most?) for whom shopping in person isn't practical unless already traveling to an area with a robust ukulele store-- and for me even then, so many of the models I've been interested in (and have been so thrilled to purchase) are not likely to be in stock at the same time (if at all, due to different lines being carried) for direct comparison, etc. The logistics are prohibitive.

A number of years back, I would not have believed I would be buying musical instruments online! But, neither were online purveyors as thorough as they can be now, given the advances in affordable technology and the realities of competing in this relatively new sales channel. So many are doing a fantastic job, 'busking' hard to serve their customer base.
However, no matter how well instruments are presented visually, sonically, and in written descriptions, the most important overriding factor is trust.

I appreciate the great care that everyone has taken in these threads, to support @necessaryrooster and @Sporky-- no matter what the situation, to feel awful when one had realistic expectation of being thrilled is hard, even in a much lower price range-- with an eye to objectivity and determinations to not cast aspersions unfairly.

Based on the information presented in these threads, a bottom-line takeaway for me is a new awareness that a particular seller's standard of acceptable instrument condition is different from mine-- valuable information, to be sure.

(Beyond this stripped-down conclusion, I have many thoughts re: customer service, etc. that most definitely feed into future purchase recommendations/decisions, but it's raining here and my torch won't light.... just as well!)

Thanks, all.

~ S.
 

Jerryc41

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Finally managed to get my hands on a Koaloha 25th anniversary edition uke. Ordered from a well-known dealer. Didn't rush setup, so it took a few weeks to get here and it arrived yesterday.

When I pulled the uke out of the case, I immediately noticed dings all up and down the fretboard at the ends of the frets, presumably from someone not being careful when leveling the frets. I refuse to believe it left the Koaloha factory in that condition. There was also a small but thick scratch just below the bridge, and some kind of sticky/greasy residue in random patches on all the strings. Also, the G and C string were weirdly scuffed/scratched just below the tuning pegs.

I took pictures of all the damage and sent them to the dealer and waiting to hear back. I don't think I want to return the uke, but I asked for a set of replacement strings and a partial refund, which I feel is more than fair on a $1300 instrument that was not advertised as a factory special or blem. Haven't heard back yet, but I did email after business hours.

If I don't receive satisfaction from the dealer I'll call Koaloha and let them know. I don't understand how a dealer selling thousand dollar instruments doesn't want to inspect them before they go to the hands of the customer. Very disappointed. Needless to say I will not be ordering from that dealer again, even if they make it right.

View attachment 135153View attachment 135154View attachment 135155View attachment 135156View attachment 135157
Return it - with a postage=-paid label from the dealer.
 

M3Ukulele

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I’ve read this whole thread and Sporkys thread. I’ve been in business and sales for 40 years. There is an old saying that a customer who has a negative experience will tell many many people of their issues. While you can’t alway please everyone you should try! Looking at the pictures, the responses…….I know where I won’t consider buying.

The goal is always to try to avoid issues but when they occasionally come up, fix them quick. Both Kanile’a and KoAloha have good product, good warranties and are vRey serious about the ukulele business. For the prices of these instruments I would expect flawless.

Sorry, I don’t buy the “hand made” argument!
 

Kenn2018

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I’ve read this whole thread and Sporkys thread. I’ve been in business and sales for 40 years. There is an old saying that a customer who has a negative experience will tell many many people of their issues. While you can’t alway please everyone you should try! Looking at the pictures, the responses…….I know where I won’t consider buying.

The goal is always to try to avoid issues but when they occasionally come up, fix them quick. Both Kanile’a and KoAloha have good product, good warranties and are vRey serious about the ukulele business. For the prices of these instruments I would expect flawless.

Sorry, I don’t buy the “hand made” argument!
Yes, agree 100%. I've often read that pre-internet, and word-of-mouth today, on average, consumers would tell 5 friends or relatives about a good experience and 12 people about a bad experience. Today, Social Media allows us to reach far more people about good or bad experiences.

Also, it's far easier to make a sale to your existing customers than to non-customers. In fact, an old data said that it cost 16 times more money in marketing and advertising to persuade a consumer who had a poor experience to give the seller another chance! With email and messaging that figure is much lower. But it takes far more contacts to woo them back.

With the Internet, we have many more choices for sources where we can buy the same or comparable items.