Musician's Friend Responds To Guitar Center Shipping Mix-Up

Bob Weibel at Musician’s Friend contacted us only a few hours after we posted Mitch’s story of the used guitar shipping screw up. He writes, “This kind of thing simply can’t happen, ever. We’ve tracked down Mitch’s order information and have been attempting to reach him on the phone to make things right.”

I’m Bob Weibel, Director of Editorial & Content Management at Musician’s Friend. I work closely with Paul Christensen, Director of our Contact Center and customer service operation.

Paul, myself, and all of the upper management team here at Musician’s Friend are particularly concerned that we failed Mitch so miserably after he trusted us with his hard-earned money and desire for a new, pristine Fender Telecaster electric guitar. We’ve tracked down Mitch’s order information and have been attempting to reach him on the phone to make things right.

It’s a sad thing for us to have so severely disappointed a customer and fellow musician, especially since we’ve actually put extensive new efforts into improving our warehouse efficiency and accuracy, retraining customer service staff, and doing everything possible to improve the customer experience.

So this kind of failure — albeit rare — is what we call a “sentinel event,” in quality-assurance terms. It forces us to go back over our operation from top to bottom in order to track down the odd set of circumstances that led to this mix-up and to the insensitive response Mitch received. We won’t accept that “mistakes are made.” This kind of thing simply can’t happen, ever.

In the 10 years I’ve been here I’ve watched Musician’s Friend grow into a large company, based entirely on enthusiastic, loyal customers. My feeling is that folks like our large product selection, attractive pricing, generous return and price-matching policies, and informative web site, to name a few benefits. But with growth comes challenges: we’ve moved through three warehouses and are now in a fourth, a highly efficient operation designed to fulfill a huge amount of orders without delays. We continue to fine-tune all of our systems so that an incident like the one Mitch experienced won’t occur again. Mitch has our sincere apologies, and we’ll definitely make things right for him.

Bob Weibel
Director of Editorial & Content Management
Musician’s Friend

Say what you will about Guitar Center or Musician’s Friend, this is one of the fastest management-level responses I’ve seen to a story on Consumerist, and other than the promotional boilerplate in the last paragraph, it’s the sort of honesty and openness that we wish more companies would embrace: “it was a mistake, we are deeply sorry, we are correcting it and looking at how to prevent it from happening again.”

Mitch contacted us shortly thereafter to say he’d missed a call from the company, and was hoping to speak with them later today. We hope Mitch writes back soon with his own update that he finally got the new Fender he paid for.


Update: Mitch writes,

Actually I talked to Paul from GC. They have expressed their genuine regret and embarrassment and have done more than needed to make things right. As we speak a new guitar (this time an American Standard Telecaster) is being shipped overnight to my house. This is actually about a $550 upgrade from my previous. Very, very, very nice. Paul reiterated over and over that he wanted to not only make things right, but retain me as a customer… and you know what? He has.