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 yourvoice@guitarcenter.com?

Thanks for bringing this to our attention,
Courtney Stookey