May 09, 2013

Dear Guitar Center

Are you particularly unhelpful and condescending to all your customers, or just the women? Here's my story.

I get a call this afternoon from the yoga studio. A national yoga teacher is coming in to town, and a week after I inquired as to his A/V needs (and being told "some place to plug in an iPod"), I get the word - he needs a lavalier mic. For tomorrow. Too late to order something online - we have a very high end wireless headset (one of those thin wire systems they use for theater) but hey, we can get him a lav, no problem. The studio owns an Electro-voice wireless rig, I hoarded (from the "to be tossed" pile at the studio, that's how I roll) an Audio-Technica rig, and I own an el cheapo NADY rig. If I could score a lav mic for any of those, I'd be set.

I wander over to the Guitar Center website, and find a whole pile of low cost wireless lav set-ups - a good 10 or so under $200. So I decided to truck over there, might just be easier to buy an entire rig. Called en route, and was told by the dude $300 - $600, and when I asked about the lower cost ones from the website, was told "too much trouble to stock those". OK, I'll ride over to Manchester anyway, see what they got.

When I got there, I said "I have three wireless belt packs from three different vendors, do you sell mics?". "No, they are device specific, we don't stock those", and then proceeded to show me a Shure system for $300. As I scanned the display rack for options, I see an Audio-Technica lavalier mic hanging there for $99. "What about the Audio-Technica mic, right there?" must have been a blind spot because the guy refused to see it at first, then when he did, worked hard to convince me it would not fit my Audio-Technica belt pack.

It does, however, fit, and works just fine.

That did not stop him from offering me the $17 service contract (no thanks, I know those things are gravy for the shop) and then cutting that it half (again, no thanks, its a mic we'll be lucky to use 4x in the next two years).

::sigh:: this seems to happen every time I walk in the door over there. GSWF - Guitar Shopping While Female. Never mind that I was patching together MXR effects boxes before the kid at the desk was born.

Just checked, and I guess the Guitar Center has opened a shop in Southington (sad for the Music Shop, one of my favorite little gems). With any luck the staff there will be a bit more helpful, or at least I'll burn less gas to get annoyed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jude,

My name is Courtney and I work for Guitar Center. I'm so sorry to hear about your experience in one of our stores. I can assure you we do not discriminate against any of our customers, and I apologize if you were given that impression.

I'd really like to follow up with you on this further. Can you please email me at

Thanks for bringing this to our attention,
Courtney Stookey