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#2691119 - Yesterday at 08:48 PM Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater.  
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Pologuy Online content
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Anyone deal with any honest, ethical, dealers when buying your digital keyboards, pianos, etc.

I contacted Sweetwater asking for a price on some keyboards and was told in their sales pitch that one of the reasons to buy from Sweetwater over the competition was because my purchase had "free shipping" - and stating:

“I want to make sure I can give you a quote for the correct items.”; “what's your zip code so I can calculate the shipping on my end.”

“We use your zip code to calculate how much shipping is going to cost us when we quote.”

"in order for us to know what kind of price we can get you, we need to know how much it is going to cost us, so we usually ask for an address or zip code so we can calculate.”


It is plain to see, Sweetwater conceals the shipping costs in its quoted prices – shipping is not “free”.

Sweetwater's website also states:

“Remember that if your order was shipped for free under our free shipping promo, the cost of outbound shipping will be deducted from your return credit”

“If you return your purchase, then the cost of shipping will be deducted from any refund or credit.”


Which means that the shipping is not free – it is included in the price.

As one poster stated in another forum he was upset that he was charged for shipping and called Sweetwater and spoke with management and was told - if his salesman would have given him the "free shipping", the salesman would have made that cost up in the product price quote - and Sweetwater refused to give him a refund on his shipping cost.

That is NOT "free shipping"

Sweetwater conceals the price of shipping in their price quotes and states that shipping is "free"

I contacted Sweetwater and spoke with both upper-management and the owner/president - and was basically told too bad.

Sweetwater makes a lot of money concealing the shipping costs in their price quotes - all the while telling the consumer that they are getting "free shipping"

Anyone deal with any honest, ethical, dealers that don't have to lie to you in order to try to convince you that they are "saving" you money?


Looking to purchase: Kawai MP11(SE), or Kawai VPC1(2), or Kawai Novus NV10, or something Yamaha...
Current: Yamaha Synthesizer
Previous: Kawai CP205, Kawai CP207, Yamaha Synthesizers
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#2691121 - Yesterday at 08:57 PM Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy]  
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Why the rant?
Why are you surprised?

Nothing is free.
Nothing.
Nothing.
Nothing.
Not ever.

#2691122 - Yesterday at 09:04 PM Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: MacMacMac]  
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Why the rant?
Why are you surprised?

Nothing is free.
Nothing.
Nothing.
Nothing.
Not ever.


Oh, I agree! smile

Why do some dealers (a minority - not all of them are "bad") think that they can just lie to you in order to try to convince you to purchase your merchandise from them instead of the competition?

All this does is force other retailers (if they want to stay in business) to "play the game" and lie also.

It sadly either forces the honest, ethical dealers to make a choice - either join the dishonest dealers and survive - or go out of business.

It's nice to find honest, ethical dealers out there to support - another reason to support your local dealers!


Looking to purchase: Kawai MP11(SE), or Kawai VPC1(2), or Kawai Novus NV10, or something Yamaha...
Current: Yamaha Synthesizer
Previous: Kawai CP205, Kawai CP207, Yamaha Synthesizers
#2691124 - Yesterday at 09:16 PM Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy]  
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I agree with MacMacMac, sort of. Though I'd also like to know what kind of shipping policy the other big names have, like Kraft Music, or Musician's Friend, if we're talking about the United States.

It's obviously very misleading, when Sweetwater says they decide the offering price from how far they have to ship the instrument. Then the transport is hardly free. It would be more honest to have a fixed price, and free shipping costs for states within a certain range from their warehouse(s).

I'm pretty sure, that if other dealers offer free shipping, they just raise the final price, to cover potential shipping costs. That way, the customers living in the city where the dealer has a warehouse, pay the shipping costs for the customers living further away. As MacMacMac puts it, nothing is free. It's just a question of who pays the bill.

About outbound shipping, maybe that's more understandable. If both inbound and outbound shipping were free, more customers would just order a piano, see how they like it, and just send it back if they don't.

May I ask, are there no local dealers near you, or are they too expensive? I would prefer to order from some store close by, and not have to worry about shipping costs. Besides, it's better to get more personal service, when you can just drop in and discuss the matter with a salesman, if something goes wrong.

Last edited by TheodorN; Yesterday at 09:22 PM.

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#2691125 - Yesterday at 09:18 PM Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy]  
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I've seen that free shipping but return fees from a few online music retailers. It bothered too and I pulled gear from the "shopping cart."

#2691127 - Yesterday at 09:27 PM Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: TheodorN]  
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Originally Posted by TheodorN
About outbound shipping, maybe that's more understandable. If both inbound and outbound shipping were free, more customers would just order a piano, see how they like it, and just send it back if they don't.


I think you misunderstood smile

According to the Sweetwater website - if you return an item to Sweetwater - they deduct the amount it cost them to ship you the item originally from any refund - you are responsible for paying return shipping on your own.

So, they are charging you for something they told you was free in order to try to convince you to purchase from them.

Like you said - this is just another reason to patronize your local dealer.


Looking to purchase: Kawai MP11(SE), or Kawai VPC1(2), or Kawai Novus NV10, or something Yamaha...
Current: Yamaha Synthesizer
Previous: Kawai CP205, Kawai CP207, Yamaha Synthesizers
#2691128 - Yesterday at 09:39 PM Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy]  
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I assume you were trying to negotiate a better price than what is listed on Sweetwater's site, so obviously they need to know how much shipping will cost to quote you a price. Some of the heavier keyboards like the MP11 state in their description that "free" shipping isn't included. Does their site claim "free shipping" on everything? I guess maybe a better way to put it would be "shipping included" on products where you don't pay shipping. I've never purchased anything from Sweetwater, so I have no idea about their business practices but this doesn't seem either dishonest or unethical to me. YMMV

#2691130 - Yesterday at 09:44 PM Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: jarobi]  
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Originally Posted by jarobi
I assume you were trying to negotiate a better price than what is listed on Sweetwater's site, so obviously they need to know how much shipping will cost to quote you a price. Some of the heavier keyboards like the MP11 state in their description that "free" shipping isn't included. Does their site claim "free shipping" on everything? I guess maybe a better way to put it would be "shipping included" on products where you don't pay shipping. I've never purchased anything from Sweetwater, so I have no idea about their business practices but this doesn't seem either dishonest or unethical to me. YMMV


Falsely telling someone that one reason to purchase from them is because they are giving you "free shipping" on your order in order to try to convince you to buy the product from them instead of one of their competitors - when, in fact, the shipping cost is not free and is concealed in their quoted price they give you - is the very definition of dishonest and unethical.

And then for those that find out, after the fact, that if they return the item their "free shipping" shipping cost would be deducted from any refund amount - meaning that their "free shipping" was not free - just adds insult to injury.

This is the very definition of dishonest and unethical - and false, deceptive, and misleading advertising.


Looking to purchase: Kawai MP11(SE), or Kawai VPC1(2), or Kawai Novus NV10, or something Yamaha...
Current: Yamaha Synthesizer
Previous: Kawai CP205, Kawai CP207, Yamaha Synthesizers
#2691132 - Yesterday at 09:55 PM Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy]  
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Do you expect honesty from a car dealer?
It’s no different for anyone out there trying to sell you something.

#2691133 - Yesterday at 10:05 PM Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy]  
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Do you really think a business is going to ship you something and let you return it to them and all that shipping cost to and from you .... is going to be covered by them ?

Are you kidding ?

So they are hiding the cost of shipping in their sales price .... so what ?

It still costs you what it costs. You decide if you want it at that cost. That is as fair as it gets.

Now .... if you later decide you do not want the item .... you pay the shipping back. That is also fair.

You just thought you were in la-la land and now you just woke up .... disillusioned.

Now you know the truth.


Don

Current: ES8, ProFX8 Mixer, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors, Pianoteq 5,TruePiano,Ravenscroft275,TrueKeys American,Galaxy Vintage D,Ivory II,Alicia's Keys,CFX Concert Grand, The Grandeur
#2691134 - Yesterday at 10:13 PM Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy]  
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No... re-read the posts.

I don't think you should have to play read between the line games when purchasing a keyboard - there is enough to think about like specs, warranty, etc. - without having to worry whether you are being told the truth by the salesperson - no matter what it is.

If you are told you are getting free shipping - you should be getting FREE shipping.

How can anyone even begin to argue with that?

The reason they tell you that they are giving you free shipping is because they want to make themselves look better than their competitors - which puts their competitors at a competitive disadvantage - all because of a lie.

That is the very definition of false, deceptive, and misleading advertising.



Looking to purchase: Kawai MP11(SE), or Kawai VPC1(2), or Kawai Novus NV10, or something Yamaha...
Current: Yamaha Synthesizer
Previous: Kawai CP205, Kawai CP207, Yamaha Synthesizers
#2691135 - Yesterday at 10:41 PM Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy]  
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Originally Posted by Pologuy
No... re-read the posts.

I don't think you should have to play read between the line games when purchasing a keyboard - there is enough to think about like specs, warranty, etc. - without having to worry whether you are being told the truth by the salesperson - no matter what it is.

If you are told you are getting free shipping - you should be getting FREE shipping.

How can anyone even begin to argue with that?

The reason they tell you that they are giving you free shipping is because they want to make themselves look better than their competitors - which puts their competitors at a competitive disadvantage - all because of a lie.

That is the very definition of false, deceptive, and misleading advertising.



I don't get it.

When I calculate the cost of a product being shipped to me, I include the cost of shipping with it.

Then I decide if that total cost (product + shipping) is better than what I can get it for somewhere else.

It doesn't matter to me if the shipping is 50$ and the product is $100 for a total of $150 or if the shipping is free and the product costs $150.

The total cost of the product to my door is $150.

If the salesman tells me I am getting free shipping I hardly even notice.

It matters not to me what the shipping cost is. All that matters is the total cost for me to get the product to my door.

So, personally ... I am not offended if the salesman says I am getting free shipping .... It is just a game that is played in the business world.


Cars are sold with "deals" where you put no money down and zero interest for 5 years on a 20,000 dollar loan.

Do you really think you are getting that money and not paying any interest on it ?

Of course you are not. They just jack up the price of the car to cover the interest. It is a game.


Furniture companies sell furniture with No payments and nothing down for a year and zero interest after that. Are you kidding me. No interest ?

They jack up the price to cover the interest. It is a game.

You have to judge things on what it costs you to your door compared to a competitor.

Forget about which bucket it goes into .... shipping, interest, down payment, etc .... . It does not matter.

All that matters is the final cost to you.


Are they being a bit deceptive ? Not to me they aren't because I know the game.

Now you do too.


Don

Current: ES8, ProFX8 Mixer, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors, Pianoteq 5,TruePiano,Ravenscroft275,TrueKeys American,Galaxy Vintage D,Ivory II,Alicia's Keys,CFX Concert Grand, The Grandeur
#2691137 - Yesterday at 10:50 PM Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy]  
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Sweetwater is an excellent retailer with a very strong reputation.

With the greatest respect, I think the topic you have raised is a storm in a teacup.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
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#2691139 - Yesterday at 10:58 PM Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Kawai James]  
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Sweetwater is an excellent retailer with a very strong reputation.

With the greatest respect, I think the topic you have raised is a storm in a teacup.

Kind regards,
James
x



I totally agree. I have worked with them on numerous occasions and found them to be very professional and fair.


Don

Current: ES8, ProFX8 Mixer, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors, Pianoteq 5,TruePiano,Ravenscroft275,TrueKeys American,Galaxy Vintage D,Ivory II,Alicia's Keys,CFX Concert Grand, The Grandeur
#2691140 - Yesterday at 11:03 PM Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: dmd]  
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Originally Posted by dmd
I don't get it.

When I calculate the cost of a product being shipped to me, I include the cost of shipping with it.

Then I decide if that total cost (product + shipping) is better than what I can get it for somewhere else.

It doesn't matter to me if the shipping is 50$ and the product is $100 for a total of $150 or if the shipping is free and the product costs $150.

The total cost of the product to my door is $150.

If the salesman tells me I am getting free shipping I hardly even notice.

It matters not to me what the shipping cost is. All that matters is the total cost for me to get the product to my door.

So, personally ... I am not offended if the salesman says I am getting free shipping .... It is just a game that is played in the business world.


Cars are sold with "deals" where you put no money down and zero interest for 5 years on a 20,000 dollar loan.

Do you really think you are getting that money and not paying any interest on it ?

Of course you are not. They just jack up the price of the car to cover the interest. It is a game.


Furniture companies sell furniture with No payments and nothing down for a year and zero interest after that. Are you kidding me. No interest ?

They jack up the price to cover the interest. It is a game.

You have to judge things on what it costs you to your door compared to a competitor.

Forget about which bucket it goes into .... shipping, interest, down payment, etc .... . It does not matter.

All that matters is the final cost to you.


Are they being a bit deceptive ? Not to me they aren't because I know the game.

Now you do too.




If you don't mind being told that you are getting "free shipping" even though that is not true - and that doesn't bother you - that is up to you.

If you don't care if you are being lied to - that is all on you.

However, you are in the VAST minority.

And the 'everyone else does it" excuse (It is just a game that is played in the business world) - stopped working for most of us in the 5th grade.

And no, "not everyone else does it" - there are many decent, honest, ethical people who own businesses out there - that don't lie to their customers just to get them to buy something from them.

And the fact that businesses like Sweetwater make you think that "everyone else does it" - proves my point - they are putting other honest, ethical competitors at a competitive disadvantage.

And I am glad that you "know the game" - many people are not as smart and worldly as you - and they don't "know the game".

There are reasons we have consumer protection laws - they are to "protect the gullible as well as the shrewd" and the "least sophisticated consumers" among us.


Looking to purchase: Kawai MP11(SE), or Kawai VPC1(2), or Kawai Novus NV10, or something Yamaha...
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#2691143 - 10 hours ago Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy]  
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If you want free shipping, go to your local dealer, buy a piano, and bring it home yourself.

There is a rule enforced by all of the manufacturers called "Minimum Advertised Price." You cannot offer the piano for less that IN ADVERTISING, which means websites as well as newspaper ads. This is to prevent a race to the bottom that will force some retailers out of business.

By saying that the shipping is "free," places like Sweetwater can beat the prices of local stores (who have to add on sales tax).

Now, any store at all can sell things lower than MAP, but they cannot ADVERTISE lower than MAP. So if you ask Sweetwater, or your local dealer, they can probably beat that price.

I have no trouble with Sweetwater saying that the shipping is "free." It just means that the price they give you is the price you pay upfront. And they're telling you that they will need to subtract return shipping if you send it back. They operate on thin margins, and that's how all of the mail-order places work.

So, if it bugs you, shop local.


Rodney Sauer
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#2691177 - 5 hours ago Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy]  
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It's all about being pragmatic. And about having the proper expectations.

The word "free" is always a lie. Always. Someone is lying to you. And you cannot control that.

Believing in "free" is also lie. But it is a lie you make to yourself. You ought not do that. You have control. So don't do it.

#2691181 - 4 hours ago Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: MacMacMac]  
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
It's all about being pragmatic. And about having the proper expectations.

The word "free" is always a lie. Always. Someone is lying to you. And you cannot control that.

Believing in "free" is also lie. But it is a lie you make to yourself. You ought not do that. You have control. So don't do it.


On the deeper, more profound levels you are quite right of course. You make unarguable points I think. Shipping can't be free. There's always a cost.

But if Sweetwater says shipping is free but then they recoup their 'shipping' costs on a return I feel that is wrong. And for everyone to accept and tolerate (and even defend) the practice is a sad indictment of the situation. If you buy a product from someone you are entering into a contract and the most important principles that should underline every contract are honesty and transparency. If we all give up on honesty, believing there's an inevitability about being lied to, then I don't see much point in anything.

Perhaps ironically, from what I can tell from this side of the Atlantic, Sweetwater is one of the very best retailers. They don't need to use these practices because their reputation seems so good. They just need to make it clear they will deduct shipping costs on any return (unless it's faulty). Their headline product pricing just needs to state not "free shipping", but, "includes shipping". Compete transparency is a worthy objective, surely?

#2691203 - 2 hours ago Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy]  
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The "Price" a company charges for an item includes all sorts of things associated with being in business.

Storage costs in the warehouse. Handling by each employee in getting it ready for shipment. Advertising. Salesmen. Etc .....

Are those things free ? Do they have to spell out each of those things ? Of course not.

It is all bundled up in the sale price.

The shipping TO YOU is free. That is not a lie. It is included in the price as are a multitude of other things I mentioned.

Now .... after you get it and decide to ship it back that is on you.

You want it to be free ? They can do that too. Then the price would have to be that much higher. You want that ? Probably not.


Don

Current: ES8, ProFX8 Mixer, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD598 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, JBL LSR305 Powered Monitors, Pianoteq 5,TruePiano,Ravenscroft275,TrueKeys American,Galaxy Vintage D,Ivory II,Alicia's Keys,CFX Concert Grand, The Grandeur
#2691219 - 9 minutes ago Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: EssBrace]  
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Originally Posted by EssBrace
But if Sweetwater says shipping is free but then they recoup their 'shipping' costs on a return I feel that is wrong. And for everyone to accept and tolerate (and even defend) the practice is a sad indictment of the situation. If you buy a product from someone you are entering into a contract and the most important principles that should underline every contract are honesty and transparency. If we all give up on honesty, believing there's an inevitability about being lied to, then I don't see much point in anything.

Their headline product pricing just needs to state not "free shipping", but, "includes shipping". Compete transparency is a worthy objective, surely?


Exactly.


Looking to purchase: Kawai MP11(SE), or Kawai VPC1(2), or Kawai Novus NV10, or something Yamaha...
Current: Yamaha Synthesizer
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#2691220 - 7 minutes ago Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy]  
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Don is right. The shipping to the final customer is free, though the shipping back is not, which then results in the original free shipping being revoked.

We can ask, why is that, and is that fair? When you buy something, you make a deal with the seller. That deal has certain terms, like rights and obligations for both parties.

When something that has been bought, is returned, the deal that was made, is off. That means the terms of the deal no longer apply. It's like that deal was never made, in a way, at least for the seller. Since the gain he was promised in the original deal, has been taken back, it seems fair that his expenses are also nullified.

Hope I'm making myself clear, though I maybe shouldn't be getting all excited about this. I never thought I would defend the seller, since I'm in the same boat as Pologuy, in that I sometimes feel I've been treated unfairly by sellers, though not when buying a digital piano, only other smaller things.

Though finally, I decided just to swallow my pride and resentments, and just move on. As long as the dealer is not breaking any laws, like consumer laws, one can't really complain. They also have to make their share, as they're offering services that make life easier for us as consumers.

Most of them strive to please the customer, especially if they remember, a happy customer comes back, and a dissatisfied one may not. My two (or a bit more) cents.


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#2691221 - 3 minutes ago Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy]  
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Gombessa  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 1,107
IMHO there's a BIG difference between "you pay for return shipping" and "we deduct the cost of the original shipping to you if you choose to return it."

The former is expected, the latter is NOT industry practice anywhere and it definitely raises a red flag to me. I think it's a matter of clear disclosure, and I'm OK with that if it's made known to the buyer ahead of time and not just buried in fine print.

That said, I would fully expect a retailer to eat the return shipping cost completely if there was something wrong with the item purchased, and if they didn't honor that, I'd start a chargeback claim with my issuer.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50 || Kawai MP11
#2691222 - 2 minutes ago Re: Any honest, ethical, dealers out there - NOT Sweetwater. [Re: Pologuy]  
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 391
Duke of Dunning Online content
Full Member
Duke of Dunning  Online Content
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 391
Chicago
Sweetwater clearly discloses its shipping terms and conditions on its website. It is one the best written disclosures I have seen from a major on-line retailer. If merchandise received is defective, it will cover the shipping costs for 30 days subject to compliance with their product return procedure. This is also explained.

If the buyer has not bothered to invest a few minutes to review terms and conditions before putting down a couple of thousand dollars, that is his or her problem. Trust me, I have litigated a few of these consumer matters.thefirst thing the judge looks at is any written contract and any written terms and conditions published. When the claimant states he did not read them or “assumed” something different, the case is over with judgment for the seller.


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