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Substandard Service with online violin shops
I'm sorry but I need to rant
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
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Amateur
Advanced member
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March 11, 2019 - 3:55 pm
Member Since: August 29, 2017
Forum Posts: 58
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I don't know why this is and maybe I'm just really unlucky but this has occurred with multiple online violin shops. They seem to lack the common courtesies that are standard with every other online store that I've done business with.

They will gladly accept the order for an item that they don't have in-stock. Understandable. It's difficulty to keep every item on a website updated.

But this is where they drop the ball. Unlike in other industries, they do not send "shipped" nor "backordered" e-mails which in every other industry occurs by the next business day or two. In each of these cases, I've waited near a week before having to call them to find out what was going on. I find out in each of these cases that they likely never would have contacted me.

They always tell me they haven't been able to get the product from the distributor for some time. It's a good explanation for why they can't get the product to me but not why they should not bother to inform me(you may know but how am I supposed to know if you don't contact me?).

The worst offender was with another shop with a multi-item order. They got all the items to me but one. On the invoice they wrote a handwritten note that it was "on its way". Yet another phone call from me days later confirmed that this wasn't true at all with the usual script read to me.

At least they all refunded my money but why do you have to keep a customer in suspense? Is firing off an email too hard? Am I asking too much?

Long story short, I no longer have the confidence in online violin retailers that I do with other businesses. 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 11, 2019 - 10:23 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14138

@Amateur

I imagine that something happened with a Fiddlershop order. We have good routines that are for the most part fool proof but mistakes happen from time to time. I think we have a great reputation that we have worked hard to achieve.

I agree 100% that if you make an order and it's not in stock you should be notified immediately. Please contact me about your order if it was made at Fiddlershop so that I can better the system. I can't do anything if I don't know what happened. I do not want you to loose faith in us. My apologies if this was the case.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Amateur
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March 12, 2019 - 4:35 pm
Member Since: August 29, 2017
Forum Posts: 58
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The most recent issue wasn't with Fiddlershop. I was mostly venting hence I wasn't trying to name any stores or anything. There was one time in the past that did involve Fiddlershop but that was the only issue I've ever had with your store. All other orders were quick and handled well which is more than I can say about other places. I figured this was an isolated incident.

I'm just mildly frustrated. As I've been refunded each time, I can't say that I have any serious problems.

For the most part, I do trust Fiddlershop, especially with more major orders such as instruments and bows. It always seems to be the smaller, more unique items that creates hang-ups with everyone.

Speaking of Fiddlershop, did you mention before there's a trade-up program? I've been mulling over how I would upgrade in the future. I currently have one of the Fiddlerman Apprentices.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 14, 2019 - 3:06 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14138

Happy to hear it. I was a bit concerned. I do honestly want to know whenever someone has a negative issue with us so that I can work on resolving the issue.

Yes we do trade-ins.
I depends on what you are interested in purchasing and the condition of the instrument that you are trading in.
Thanks for the clarification. I'm relieved.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Gordon Shumway
London, England
Honorary tenured advisor
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March 15, 2019 - 7:53 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 529
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Amateur said
 I've been mulling over how I would upgrade in the future. I currently have one of the Fiddlerman Apprentices.  

It's risky to buy online from plain-old music stores - buy from luthiers. They may or may not cost a little more, but what you'll get is a set-up violin.

I see bargain fiddles online (I can see a Stentor Arcadia for £440), and the shop may even be superb if you buy a keyboard, but if that violin isn't right, you have to send it back for a refund or replacement, or take it to an independent luthier and pay extra. (I see that Arcadia on sale for £695 from an expensive luthier. Do you take the gamble or not? I got my own fiddle from a recommended, less expensive luthier, but even he put the chinrest on in totally the wrong place - maybe the apprentice luthiers get to attach the chinrests, or maybe the Chinese maker put it on wrong, and the importing luthier didn't notice it)

In your case, definitely upgrade with fiddlerman.

I always wanted to be a juvenile delinquent but my parents wouldn't let me.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 18, 2019 - 11:56 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14138

Once again, I must give my 2 cents worth in this discussion without being too repetitive.
We have 6 full time luthiers that spend way more time than you would imagine on each instrument, we gladly do in-home trials, and we give you a 45 day satisfaction guarantee.
I hand pick instruments for many and will demo instruments that are not too much of a budget instrument for your comparisons. We have a terrific track record for satisfaction and a great recommendation base based on our services.

I realize that you guys are warning against the typical online store and I couldn't agree more about that but please understand that we are doing everything to make it easy for you, the customer.

I have had many encounters with customers that have been looking for their dream instrument for what they describe as forever until we were finally able to help them find it. These are customers who visited many shops and luthiers but couldn't be satisfied. We also have more experience and knowledge than most shops and luthiers. We have learned how to handle instruments in ways that others cannot. We have experienced players and teachers and luthiers working for and with us. That knowledge pays off.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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intrepidgirl
Bragg Creek, Alberta
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Regulars
March 18, 2019 - 1:41 pm
Member Since: March 8, 2015
Forum Posts: 225
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@Amateur I will give my two cents worth here about online shops, specifically this shop. We have a great advantage when purchasing and dealing with Fiddlerman and their products. They are truly a grassroots family business, very small, and they have a number of very skilled luthiers employed. It is a small enough shop that you can get a personal video of Pierre playing the exact instrument you would like to purchase, and you can chat with the luthier and Pierre about how exactly they will set your instrument up and why. I have ordered music books and strings the odd time from other sources, but I am committed to Fiddlershop for instruments due to the phenomenal personal support they offer. I have also visited their shop and have seen the back room luthier work, in addition to the front room order work. I think they are dedicated to both. Good luck with your purchases, I hope you have better luck in the future.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 18, 2019 - 3:15 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14138

Thanks intrepidgirl 🙂

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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