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Discussion Starter #1
I ordered an AL4 a few days ago for a saxophone quartet I'm organizing. Today I received the mouthpiece from Pro Winds. When I opened it up, I couldn't believe my eyes. The mouthpiece had several ligature scratches, there was a mouthpiece patch on it, there was also an outline of a previous patch, discoloration on part of the beak, and the walls and baffle have some kind of residue on them. I just can't believe that this is what they sent to me as "new." Maybe I'm overreacting, but I've done business with Pro Winds for almost 10 years, have always been pleased, and recommended them to my friends and students. Any chance of future dealings with them will hinge on their response to the email I sent them explaining what has happened.
Has anyone else had a similar experience with Pro Winds?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Fair enough, but it's not so much that it's a mistake as much as it is the kind of mistake. For instance, say I order a box of reeds and get the wrong strength, I don't think that's a big deal, but ordering a new mouthpiece and getting one that looks like it's been used for a month or two is a different matter altogether. I do think that Pro Winds will take care of this. Like I've said, they've been good to me for 10 years.
 
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I would say it was a mistake. Probably a returned MPC that was thought to be unopened or unused.

I used to manage a high end Audio/Video store, and we had a customer return a $1500 cd transport. The box was checked over and determined that it had never been opened. The salesman was quick to make this assumption since the guys story was that his wife freaked when he brought it home, and he never had a chance to open it. Weeks later, it again was sold, and then returned by one angry and confused customer. It seems the first guy had opened the box, removed the transport, and replaced it with a crudely fashioned wooden insert. It weighed about the same and fit into the foam packing pretty well so it wouldn't shift or rattle about. It took some very close examining to see where it had been opened. Of course the guy had bought the gear at the end of the previous day (Sunday), paid cash , and brought it back the following morning (Monday). Since no deposit had been made yet, the cash was still there, and was returned to the guy.

The guy knew exactly what he was doing, and taught us an expensive lesson !

I would not be surprised that your MPC was returned under some other, similar, bogus story. 10 years of decent service tends to support that theory . But, if it proves to be otherwise, let us know.
 

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Eddie: I think you may have been too quick to post a negative about a respected business. EVERYONE makes mistakes. Maybe the shop should have first been given the chance to respond to you in private. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey Dave,
I did think about that as I posted and you may be right. Hopefully, I'll get the chance to tell everyone about how well this all turns out. I'm definitely not trying to detract anyone from shopping with Pro Winds. Especially after reading Toobz reply, I'm sure this is just an honest mistake on their part. I won't post on this again until I have heard from them. Thanks for an honest and sensible reply.
 

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Eddie,

I wouldn't be happy to pay new retail prices for something, and get a used item, but let's wait until Dean Foster or one of the Pro Winds staff contacts you about working this out before we go active with this complaint.

I like to see some time go by and a reasonable attempt on both sides to rectify any issues before letting bullets fly.

Cheers.
 

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yeah, I agree with the others...

I know Dean, in fact I was his only employee when he opened the store 13 years ago. He is very meticulous. These guys are moving a lot of mouthpieces these days and every so often something will slip through the cracks. Maybe they inherited some stock from another store and didn't check each one, or maybe a brand new employee forgot to check as it went into the box...

Mistakes happen, but take it from me - Dean runs a tight ship and I'm sure this was not an attempt to pass off junk on an unsuspecting customer.
 

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Prowinds experiences

I have had both positive and negative experiences with prowinds. I tried them out for the first time last year-they are very helpful on the purchase side with advice, etc., and the first order (mouthpiece trial-3 mouthpieces) was shipped promptly. I did have problems with the prompt refund on the return, and they gave me a credit towards another purchase for the trouble. I tried again, and it took 2 months to get the mouthpieces (another trial) and one arrived very used (and with the white crusty stuff on the inside). Once returned, it took 2 months to have the credit posted to my card. Additionally through this second order, I kept getting mixed messages about order and credit status, and commitments that weren't met.

Here's what I think is going on: Prowinds has staffing and business processes created based on a certain expectation of volume. In recent months, they have experienced a surge in volume that has overwhelmed their "system"-meaning their whole set up, not just computers-which has caused these issues based on shear volume.

In my opinion, they are not a shady business, nor uncaring about their customers, nor are they incompetent. I think they are struggling with a significant change in market conditions. That being said, they do need to quickly adapt and get things running smoothly to keep their customer base and attract new, repetitive business customers.

I'm trusting that they will succeed, so much so that I'm "putting my money where my mouth is", and just placed an order for a horn. We'll see how it goes.

AND, I have no personal or professional affiliation with the owner or any employees.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I did expect this from Pro Winds.

Ok, I've just gotten off the phone with someone at Pro Winds and their response to my complaint was exactly what I hoped for. They will be sending me a new mouthpiece (like open up the box and check it out first) tomorrow complete with a return label for sending back the used one. I'm really happy about how this has turned out.

I guess I owe some apologies for coming out so hard and heavy about this. I've said it earlier, but I was not trying to slam Pro Winds. I was pretty steamed about this when I wrote that, but I wasn't trying to give them a bad name or anything like that. I know they have a great reputation and I know there's a reason for that, especially with the customer service they've just provided. Also, thanks rdf2. That's exactly the kind of story I was looking for.
 

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I have had problems getting refunds from prowinds too. It once took them 3 months to refund a $3,000 selmer soprano sax I returned (I ordered two and kept the best one). They said their bank flagged the refund as fraudulent. I'm not sure how that could happen. In the end I got the refund and I would purchase from them again. I understand they are a busy store but its frustrating to constantly be told the refund will come by the end of the week, then have it not show up.
 

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KCSaxophone said:
I have had problems getting refunds from prowinds too. It once took them 3 months to refund a $3,000 selmer soprano sax I returned (I ordered two and kept the best one). They said their bank flagged the refund as fraudulent. I'm not sure how that could happen. In the end I got the refund and I would purchase from them again. I understand they are a busy store but its frustrating to constantly be told the refund will come by the end of the week, then have it not show up.
That doesn't sound like prowinds to me. They've always been great when I order stuff, even though 99.99% of my orders are through junkdude now.

Your experience sounds like the calling card of Saxalley's Tim Glessman, not prowinds.
 

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I don't think your postings, and the subsequent comments, have harmed Prowinds, at all.
Quite the contrary, just about everyone has said what straight shooter they are, albeit suffering somewhat from their own success.
This gives some confidence in dealing with them while also 'managing expectations' regarding occasional glitches.
 

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Sax Alley

jacobeid said:
Your experience sounds like the calling card of Saxalley's Tim Glessman, not prowinds.
I take exception at that Saxalley sniping for 2 reasons:
1. I have had excellent service and support from Tim. He's even been understanding when I've been a bad customer, ie returned a trial mouthpiece late.

2. Making a snip like that is beneficial to no one. If you had an issue, post it with details.
 

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eddierich said:
I guess I owe some apologies for coming out so hard and heavy about this. I've said it earlier, but I was not trying to slam Pro Winds. I was pretty steamed about this when I wrote that, but I wasn't trying to give them a bad name or anything like that. I know they have a great reputation and I know there's a reason for that, especially with the customer service they've just provided. Also, thanks rdf2. That's exactly the kind of story I was looking for.
eddierich-I don't think you owe apologies. I think many of us agree that Prowinds is a good company with some growing pains. HOWEVER, they do need to get things tightend up soon. The timing on their refunds is definitely unacceptible-even WWBW is better than that.
 

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I'm betting Pro Winds is seeing an increasing number of WW&BW's unsatisfied customers. This may be over loading their customary work load and they're having to readjust for the increase.

It still is no justification for delays in refunds.

BTW, I've ordered reeds and supplies in the past with no problems from them.
 
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eddierich said:
Ok, I've just gotten off the phone with someone at Pro Winds and their response to my complaint was exactly what I hoped for. They will be sending me a new mouthpiece (like open up the box and check it out first) tomorrow complete with a return label for sending back the used one. I'm really happy about how this has turned out.

I guess I owe some apologies for coming out so hard and heavy about this. I've said it earlier, but I was not trying to slam Pro Winds. I was pretty steamed about this when I wrote that, but I wasn't trying to give them a bad name or anything like that. I know they have a great reputation and I know there's a reason for that, especially with the customer service they've just provided. Also, thanks rdf2. That's exactly the kind of story I was looking for.
Glad to hear it how it's turned out ! I agree with rdf2, no apologies were necessary. You're not expected to be thrilled with what you received. I know I wouldn't be either. It's good to know they will do the right thing and resolve the problem .

I suppose I try to see the retailers side of the issue after all of my years in retail. But that doesn't make me immune to feeling slighted when I'm the one at the receiving end. I've seen many customers react far worse, for less. You impressed me by being open to both sides of the issue, I wish more customers were like that.
 

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rdf2 said:
I take exception at that Saxalley sniping for 2 reasons:
1. I have had excellent service and support from Tim. He's even been understanding when I've been a bad customer, ie returned a trial mouthpiece late.

2. Making a snip like that is beneficial to no one. If you had an issue, post it with details.
Instead..read this thread. Yes, my situation was in there. http://saxontheweb.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=52165&highlight=saxalley

I do believe that the "snipe" like mine is necessary wherever possible to warn people from potential bad dealers, which I firmly believe saxalley was. Tim was the absolute rudest and biggest jerk to me in the world. Frankly, I'd rather not repeat some of the things he said to me on the phone and via e-mail. He was completely unprofessional. My two month transaction (which should have taken no more than 3 weeks) felt like trying to have an ebay dispute with a 12 year old kid who sold his dad's prized possesion and wants to get it back. I think I would have had better service sending my horn to be overhauled by Steve Grossman and in the mean time trying to trial Gary Sugal pieces from the man himself.

That's all I have to say. Prowinds is a top notch dealer.
 

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I remember trying to order from Prowinds. It was like ordering from a nonexistant being.

I ordered an alto sax, two boxes of reeds, two mouthpieces, a ligature, and some patches. After three months, nothing ever came. One by one I canceled my item, and by the fourth month still nothing had come. They never even charged my credit card. I don't think I'll ever order from them again, since I won't receive anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I didn't get a discount at all. I really thought about just asking for one and keeping that mouthpiece, but it was more a matter of principle. That said, when I spoke to the guy in customer service at Pro Winds, he told me they only had two more AL4s in stock and there was about a 100% chance they've been played. As long as they don't show the signs of wear and use the first one they sent has, I'm okay with that. I can wash the mouthpiece myself before I play it and probably would anyway because you really never know. I've tested pieces at WWBW before that were shrink wrapped, but once you opened the box, you could tell they'd been played before.
Brass, I can appreciate where you're coming from and your passion (when I first opened that box and saw that mpc. that's how I felt), but I can live with it. I imagine if something happened where the legality of the practice of selling tested mpcs. for new prices came into question, the retailers would raise the prices and charge the current price for tested pieces.
 
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