Forgive me for not discussing skeptic or science issues for a moment. But I need to get this off my chest. Musicians: You would do well to read this post, it just may save you a lot of time and aggravation.
As some of you know, I'm a music teacher. I love my job, and frankly, I'm good at it. Over the course of a week, I teach just under of 60 students in a primarily one-on-one setting. I mainly teach guitar and drums, but I also teach saxophone, piano, ukulele, and bass. I accept payment in money. My students range from age 4 to 55. As a teacher in a position of trust and authority, my voice holds a certain level of sway over many people within the community.
You'd think that if you were a company that dealt with me, you'd want to make sure I was a happy customer.
You would think that, wouldn't you? But if you were Ibanez Canada, you would be thinking of several other things first. Most likely, "DUM! DUM! DUM! DUM! DUM! WE LIKE TO SAY DUM! DERP!"
Through one of the schools I teach at, I ordered an Ibanez bass. Like most responsible, well-run private music schools, they make sure that teachers can get affordable access to the materials that they need to be a good teacher, and I am afforded a generous discount when dealing with certain companies. I ordered a transparent red Ibanez GSR 200. Not a great bass, but it was all that I needed. It's hard to teach bass if you don't own a bass. I've lost students (and hence, income) because they didn't like being taught to play bass when the teacher only had a guitar.
I placed this order in the second week of September of this year, 2010. Ibanez told my employer that it would be in, in 2 weeks, tops.
My employer quite reasonably assumed, as just about anyone would, that the bass would be delivered to me in 2 weeks.
What the Ibanez guy on the phone really meant, we found out when three weeks had passed, that it was being shipped to THEIR warehouse. But now that it was here, we were assured, it would be shipped shortly.
But, foolishly, we assumed that it would be shipped once it got off the trucks. No, it had to be sorted, accounted for and wait in holding for the mysterious Ibanez Goblins to play out all the kinks first.
A month passed. One of my co-workers had earlier ordered an adapter from the same company, and was experiencing a similar experience with their unpredictable business practices. "What happened to that adapter I ordered?" My co-worker asked.
"Oh" Said the sales rep,"That's sitting here on my desk."
To which my co-worker replied, "Great. How are you going to get that over to my desk?"
"I can ship that out right now!"
"Great", said my co-worker, "While I got you on the line, where is that bass that you said was going to be shipped?"
"Oh! I have that bass! It's sitting right here on my desk!"
"Great....wanna ship that too?" Replied my co-worker, no doubt smacking his forehead.
"Sure thing! I'll ship it today!"
Three weeks pass.
We call again, "What the crazy-sauce is going on with that bass?"
"Oh! We were waiting for all the adapter to get here before we shipped the bass out"
The bass, which had been sitting in their office, was waiting for the adapter, which was also sitting in their office. The sales rep lead my employer to believe that they had already been shipped.
30 minutes later, my employer gets a call from the Ibanez billing department, asking for the school's credit information. Translation, the bass was getting shipped immediately.
On Monday, I got the bass. Nearly three months late. IN THE WRONG FUCKING COLOUR!
|Pictured, my new bass, NOT in transparent red.|
This was a miserable fucking experience with Ibanez Canada. You would think that if you dealt with a music SCHOOL, you would do your best to make sure the teachers ordering their products are kept happy. I mean, who knows, maybe one of those teachers is a regular blogger and has a reach of several thousand readers here, and via other outlets.
Over the course of this excruciating waiting, I have told nearly every single one of my students (who can understand, and/or care enough to remember) about this experience. My voice as a teacher to these students, some of whom are at a very impressionable age, carries considerable weight.
To anyone who has ever taken music lessons: if your teacher told you to never buy a particular music product because you won't get what you ordered and you'll wait forever for it, wouldn't you remember that for a long time, and probably listen to this advice?
Now, Ibanez products are perfectly fine. If you see one on the shelf that you like, by all means, buy it if you're willing and able to. Buy them as gifts. I'm not saying this just to avoid getting into trouble, I like their products, I truly do. Ibanez has some especially great guitars and basses for intermediate players (which are, let's be honest, most players). The bass that I now have plays just fine. It's got a fine tone, and is fun to play slap style. But, the moral of this story is...
Buy them on the shelf if you like, but if you order them, you'll be treated like a piece of trash.
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