Buying A "Black Friday" Guitar From Guitar Center's Website Is Extremely Difficult

I have a story to share about an ongoing problem I’m having with Guitar Center’s 20% off Black Friday sale. The sale was last Friday morning from 8am-10am. I woke up a little before 7am Friday, and had NO desire to go out at all. So I looked online and realized I could get the sale price on the Gibson SG I wanted (and free shipping) online. Perfect! Below is a brief rundown of what has happened so far (they still have not let me buy the guitar at the sale price):

1) I had to call their 866 number to order the guitar. OK, a little annoying, but I’ll deal with it.

2) Their phone lines were completely down within minutes after the sale started at 8am. I just got a generic phone company message, no busy signal or anything. For an hour.

3) I found their live chat, and got in Queue….at number 21

4) After almost 40 minutes I finally was number 1 in line, then got a message that all agents were busy, with a button to click for an email form.

5) I filled out a fairly polite email as my children and wife ran around me getting ready to meet my sister for breakfast.

6) I finished and moved my mouse over to scroll to the submit button……..NO SCROLL BAR. Just a word of advice to etailers out there, you MIGHT want to support Macs. It is the 21st Century.

7) After much cursing I managed to copy and paste the web address into Safari where the form did have a scroll bar, but I also forgot I copied the text of my email prior to that, and lost it. So I had to type it all over again, much angrier this time.

8) I hit submit and got a page that said nothing about my message, and had a “create account” button. WTF? So I clicked the button and got a page that offered generic solutions to problems I didn’t have, then in small type at the bottom of the page was a line of text asking if I was sure I wanted to submit my email. I did. At 10:05am. My wife and kids were now waiting in the car at this point, and we ended up 20 minutes late for breakfast with my sister.

9) 11:30pm Friday night I got a reply from what sounded like a high school kid with bad grammar, but he said I could call any time and still get the 20% off, b/c “We only had a few reps on the phone and there were hundreds of calls in cue.”

10) Sunday night at 5pm after family had left I finally had some time to call and order (again), so I called their 866 number. Another high school aged “dude” told me (after putting me on hold for 5 minutes) that I needed to respond to my email and tell them to create an account for me with a note that I could get the 20% off. I asked if he had any way of doing that. He said no. I offered the “incident number” from my email, but still no go. Ridiculous.

11) I sent a quick but slightly obnoxious response to my email from Friday, and asked for them to create an account for me, blah blah blah. Then I went downstairs to make/eat dinner.

12) 2 hours later I checked my email to find a generic response stating that my response had to be written between 2 very specific lines in the email or they could not process it. WHAT?! I then sent a very nasty response back about how it seems like they are trying very hard to keep me from purchasing the guitar at the sale price. This all happened almost 72 hours ago, and their email form states that a reply will be given to all communication within 24 hours.

13) I just checked back through my communications with them, and found a link to their site that has cataloged the emails I’ve sent. This is probably the only thing I can say they have done well so far. Yet it says the status of my complaint is “solved.” Great, now I get to start from scratch–thanks Guitar Center. I wonder how many other 20% off purchases they successfully stopped this way? I’m going to continue until I get my guitar at the sale price!


Sounds like they’d rather not sell you a guitar. We’d just as soon not give our money to people who clearly don’t want it, but that’s just our personal philosophy. We admire your tenacity.

Anyone have any advice for Jon?

(Photo:Random Hero)

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