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Gear4music - One To Avoid


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Gear4Music accepted my order for 2 NU6000 amps on the 25th of January, I paid for delivery on a specific date, the 1st of February, they were shown as in stock.

 

On the 1st of Feb they failed to arrive so I contacted them, they said they were not in stock but had been shown as such on the basis of an expected delivery. They gave me a revised delivery date of the 11th of February and offered to give me a £20 discount and free shipping. They also promised to inform me if the delivery date changed (as they had on the original order).

 

Yesterday - Saturday the 9th Feb - the delivery date on their tracking system changed to an estimated 15th May. They did not email me or contact me in any way.

 

I originally ordered from them, paying slightly more than I would have from another authorised Behringer agent, because I had the opportunity to test these at a non critical gig with their delivery date which I could not have with the other supplier's date of four days later.

 

They know we spend £10,000s a year and I would have expected them to bend over backwards to try to get our business but obviously they do not care about their customers. If I had been them and had difficulties meeting a date - especially if I had lied and said something was in stock which wasn't - I would have bought the items elsewhere and made sure I delivered to my customer rather than alienate them.

 

This is the most appalling service and I understand I'm not alone in having fallen foul of in stock items not being in stock. I hope you'll all take heed and avoid using this company, let's let them know this is not acceptable business practice and hurt them in their pocket.

 

A quick follow up, I have just been on to their web site and they are accepting orders for these with a promised delivery date of the 14th Feb 2013. What does that tell you about their business practices?

 

Please Guys and Girls steer clear of these con merchants. They may be fine a lot of the time but if this is how they conduct their business would you trust them to do anything they promise when you really depend on it?

Megasong A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. In theory it'll be fine in practise.... In practise it was fine in theory.
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First question, did Gear4Music take / process any payment from your credit card?. If not, then no contract exists between you and them, implied or otherwise.

 

Second question, have you complained directly to Behingers' head office?, if not why not?. It would serve two purposes, first it would highlight the fact that they have a poorly performing distributor, who are acting as an agent for them and second, I suspect that part of the problem was Behringer not getting stock out of the door fast enough

 

Look at it this way, Gear4music makes money from selling other people's goods, if they don't sell things they don't make any money, so why would they deliberately screw up an order or delay it if it meant they were losing money or at risk of losing an order?.

 

Unfortunately we are all somebodies' customer, Gear4Music included, who are reliant on Behringer firstly giving them updated information in respect of anticipated deliveries and secondly actually getting the stuff out of the door. How do you know it wasn't Behringer who was feeding them incorrect delivery information and moving the goalposts in respect of delivery dates?. This happens all of the time in retail, a manufacturer will promise to deliver something on a certain date, and then it fails to turn up....a bit like Plumbers.

 

I agree, that Gear4Music are partly in the wrong, they shouldn't show stock unless they physically have it in the warehouse and its poor customer service to do this, however I believe that Behringer are also equally to blame, for not getting stock to Gear4Music in a timely manner, and so I suggest a strongly worded complaint by recorded delivery to them also as they need to support their distributors better.

 

Unfortunately the "Stockgate" scandal isn't just limited to Disco Equipment retailers, with the economy screwed up banks and factors aren't lending the kind of credit that they used to, thus making it difficult for many distributors to buy in large amounts of stock in advance on credit to hold in stores for later sale, so the number and quantity of items actually in stock is dwindling, so expect to see more and more of this happening in the future on all manner of goods

Edited by McCardle

"The voice of the devil is heard in our land"

 

'War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left, and you wont win this war.'

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First question, did Gear4Music take / process any payment from your credit card?. If not, then no contract exists between you and them, implied or otherwise.

No, fortunately they are ethical enough not to take money until goods are dispatched and as you say there is no contract.

 

Second question, have you complained directly to Behingers' head office?, if not why not?. It would serve two purposes, first it would highlight the fact that they have a poorly performing distributor, who are acting as an agent for them and second, I suspect that part of the problem was Behringer not getting stock out of the door fast enough

 

I agree that the problem may in part be Behringer, but that is still no excuse for still having them on their web site with delivery for 14th Feb, for not keeping me informed as I am sure they sill know what is coming before it arrives, and for initially claiming something not in stock, was. I shall take your suggestion and contact Behringer. I have to say however before placing the original order with G4M I had concerns about them after looking at their company reports and filings, I raised these with them before the original order and was reassured. Perhaps I should have stuck with my gut instinct that there was a problem looming there.

 

Look at it this way, Gear4music makes money from selling other people's goods, if they don't sell things they don't make any money, so why would they deliberately screw up an order or delay it if it meant they were losing money or at risk of losing an order?.

 

I don't think it's a case of deliberately screwing up an order, I think it's more a case of having an order on the books by whatever means, whether it gets screwed up or not. I am of the opinion there are other things going on here and customers are at the bottom of the pile when it comes to delivering satisfaction. They have 'had' to raise a lot of money recently and have debentures and a loss of revenue on stock holding etc. etc. A look into their company report is quite revealing. I hope I'm wrong but I have suspicions.

 

Unfortunately we are all somebodies' customer, Gear4Music included, who are reliant on Behringer firstly giving them updated information in respect of anticipated deliveries and secondly actually getting the stuff out of the door. How do you know it wasn't Behringer who was feeding them incorrect delivery information and moving the goalposts in respect of delivery dates?. This happens all of the time in retail, a manufacturer will promise to deliver something on a certain date, and then it fails to turn up....a bit like Plumbers.

 

I agree, that Gear4Music are partly in the wrong, they shouldn't show stock unless they physically have it in the warehouse and its poor customer service to do this, however I believe that Behringer are also equally to blame, for not getting stock to Gear4Music in a timely manner, and so I suggest a strongly worded complaint by recorded delivery to them also as they need to support their distributors better.

 

Unfortunately the "Stockgate" scandal isn't just limited to Disco Equipment retailers, with the economy screwed up banks and factors aren't lending the kind of credit that they used to, thus making it difficult for many distributors to buy in large amounts of stock in advance on credit to hold in stores for later sale, so the number and quantity of items actually in stock is dwindling, so expect to see more and more of this happening in the future on all manner of goods

 

You are right in all your points but I do not think this is a mitigation for the complete failure to deliver even on the promise to let me know directly if the delivery date changed (twice) or for them to continue offering new customers the promise of a delivery which they either manifestly do not intend to honour or which is going to be to the detriment of existing promises to prior orders. This is just a case of getting orders on the books by any means as I pointed out earlier. Just these points alone should start to ring alarm bells with what I now know.

 

I would advise extreme caution if you feel you have to have any dealings with these people, make sure that they get nothing in advance, that you use a credit card for purchases which would qualify for protection, and that you have a back up in place in case they fail to deliver.

 

I also ordered the extended guarantee from them, which is not insurance underwritten, is offered solely by themselves. When you consider that their exposure is limited to years 4 & 5 after the 3 year Behringer Warranty and at 30% & 20% respectively with a 60 day fix/replace/refund I now question if there's much value here either. If they go down the tubes so does your money.

 

Make your own decisions but if this looks to you like a company that's heading for trouble no matter how much they try to dress things up my suggestion would be to give them a wide berth.

Megasong A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. In theory it'll be fine in practise.... In practise it was fine in theory.
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Gear4Music are certainly not alone in showing stock, where stock doesn't exist. Consumer Direct and CAB get inundated with complaints like this all of the time, whether its Disco Equipment, Washing Machines or Sofa's, and as commercial credit gets withdrawn and stock holding decreases and profit margins tighten it will get worse before it gets better.

 

I appreciate that you placed the order believing that the item was in stock, and that G4M was clearly in the wrong for advertising as such, however when you were told that this was no longer the case and stock wasn't available then the implied contract changed, and you accepted that the item(s) would then be placed on back order. At that point you had the choice of whether to cancel the order and buy from elsewhere, or to wait until stock became available. By choosing to wait and keep the item on back order was your decision and that that point you basically put yourself at the mercy of Behringer!. (cue spooky music)

 

Like I said previously, delivery dates in retail change all of the time, and are generally controlled by the manufacturer. Unless Gear4music were willing to fly out to Behringers factory, pick and pack your order personally and call DHL to collect it, then there isn't a lot else they could do, deliveries are controlled by the manufacturer and allocated logistically by a dedicated internal team, all that the Distributor can do is to pass on the delivery date information in good faith to the customer, from personal experience, manufacturers promises should be taken with a huge pinch of salt.

 

I'm not excusing or defending Gear4Music at all, the points you made are valid, and I do believe that G4M need to get their house in order and tighten up these sloppy practices, but I think that your original point would hold more weight if they had taken your money and refused to refund it (thus preventing you from buying elsewhere) and you had somehow have been ripped off and were now fighting to get a refund. Obviously this isn't the case, and technically in all fairness you could have cancelled the back order and purchased these items from elsewhere at anytime.

 

I'm not going to discuss the financies of any company on a public forum (although I do have commercial level full report access to 'RiskDisk'). Suffice to say that most retail businesses have taken a word of warning and got loosened sphincters from the demise of Comet et al and are now being extremely cautious in not saddling themselves with large amounts of debt created by stock they cannot shift. This highlights the point i've been making perfectly, in that most retail entities are only keeping small amounts of stock, or simply buying to order. This is common commercial business sense, and certainly not one which should be criticised. The ones who are holding £7 million of stock, and only making £4 million worth of sales are the ones which won't be around very long.

Edited by McCardle

"The voice of the devil is heard in our land"

 

'War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left, and you wont win this war.'

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As ever I agree with all your points, but the acceptance of the back order was on the basis that delivery would be on the 11th, tomorrow, not May, and the understanding they would keep me informed.

 

I shall needless to say be cancelling the order and will never do business with them again as they have completely lost my trust. They talk a good story but it's a case of all mouth and no trousers.

 

I agree it is not beneficial to discuss their finances etc. in a public forum.

Megasong A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. In theory it'll be fine in practise.... In practise it was fine in theory.
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