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Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service #2744561
06/14/18 10:03 PM
06/14/18 10:03 PM
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Minneapolis, MN
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DDobs Offline OP
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I'm thinking of traveling (driving distance) to get different quotes on Yamaha C3x's. In other words, if a dealer in my city quotes me one price, I may get a different price if I drive several hours to a nearby state. First, has anyone been successful in playing offers off each other? Second, assuming I bought from a dealer in a neighboring state, are the Yamaha warranty areas so limited that I would have difficulty getting service in my owns state?

Thanks for any input you can give.


DDobs
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Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2744571
06/14/18 10:17 PM
06/14/18 10:17 PM
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New Hampshire
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You can end up creating "bad blood" when you make price the final and only factor. I suggest creating a good relationship with the nearest dealer (unless of course there is already a problem). You will usually (repeat USUALLY) get better service when a good relationship exists.

When prices start getting cut, something ultimately gets sacrificed.

That's my .02

Pwg

Last edited by P W Grey; 06/14/18 10:19 PM.

Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
(Best way to contact me privately)
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2744576
06/14/18 10:41 PM
06/14/18 10:41 PM
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Georgia, USA
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I agree with Peter. Plus, the Yamaha dealer in a bordering state or different region is supposed to honor certain territorial service area agreements. But I know for a fact that not all dealers do. I've had piano dealers in another state to give me a price quote on a certain brand piano with territorial agreements and then tell me not to tell the local dealer they gave me a lower price quote.

If you bought the piano from a dealer out of your service area, it would be very awkward, to say the least, to ask the local dealer to service the piano and provide warranty service if needed. But stranger things have happened, I suppose...

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2744584
06/14/18 11:34 PM
06/14/18 11:34 PM
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New Orleans area
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If you purchase from a dealer in a neighboring state and the dealer delivers and sets up the piano in your home, why would that same dealer not be able to provide warranty service in your home?

If you go the out of state route, my guess is the manufacturer or dealer will send a factory authorized tech to work on the piano. If the problem can not be resolved you will end up negotiating with the out of state dealer.

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Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2744586
06/15/18 12:03 AM
06/15/18 12:03 AM
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Minneapolis, MN
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Thank you, all. Those were helpful comments and I'll take them into consideration.


DDobs
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2744631
06/15/18 06:57 AM
06/15/18 06:57 AM
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Posts: 482
In the Ozarks of Missouri
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I do not see such a problem here. What happens when I buy a piano in Texas, then shortly afterwards move to Missouri? A warranty is still a warranty. Will the Missouri dealer not honor any warranty work? Just food for thought.

Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: Rickster] #2744635
06/15/18 07:55 AM
06/15/18 07:55 AM
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New York City
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Originally Posted by Rickster
If you bought the piano from a dealer out of your service area, it would be very awkward, to say the least, to ask the local dealer to service the piano and provide warranty service if needed.
The local dealer doesn't have to service the piano or provide warranty service.

Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2744637
06/15/18 08:14 AM
06/15/18 08:14 AM
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Georgia, USA
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Originally Posted by NobleHouse
I do not see such a problem here. What happens when I buy a piano in Texas, then shortly afterwards move to Missouri? A warranty is still a warranty. Will the Missouri dealer not honor any warranty work? Just food for thought.

I see this scenario as a totally different scenario than buying from an out-of-territory dealer. The piano was purchased from the local dealer initially; no territorial agreements were breached. The owner of the piano moves to another locale. The piano now needs service, and I'd think the nearest dealer would be the proper contact/source for receiving warranty service.

On the other hand, the local dealer might not be so accommodating, even though the piano owner bought locally initially and then moved to another area. It could go either way.

Piano dealers are private, individual business people. They have a lot of latitude to make their own decisions, to an extent, which includes selling to out of service area customers, and whether or not to provide service to anyone who did not purchase a piano from them. Also, sometimes, disputes arise between dealers and the manufacturers regarding warranty issues.

In other words, there are no absolute guarantees either way... (except death and taxes:-)

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2744649
06/15/18 09:24 AM
06/15/18 09:24 AM
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Chicago
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Then the warranty that comes with a new piano can have very limited value if you end up moving or you sell the piano to someone out of state even though the manufacturer says the warranty is fully transferable. I’m not sure I buy this. If I buy a Ford I can take it to any Ford dealer for warranty work, they have to honor the warranty regardless of who I bought the car from. I would think that an authorized dealer would be obligated both by the manufacturer and the law to honor the warranty regardless of where the piano was purchased.


It’s never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2744663
06/15/18 11:08 AM
06/15/18 11:08 AM
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Georgia, USA
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Originally Posted by John305
If I buy a Ford I can take it to any Ford dealer for warranty work, they have to honor the warranty regardless of who I bought the car from.

Not to dispute your comment, but I'm not so sure this is absolutely, 100% correct. Automobile dealers are also private business people who own a franchised dealership. For example, my dad and brother worked for and retired from GM. We've always got the family GM employee discount on new vehicles (which is not as good of a discount as it used to be). A GM dealer, any GM dealer, does not have to honor this GM employee discount.

By the same token, if a particular dealer did not want to service your vehicle under warranty, they do not have to if they so choose. Of course, I could be wrong, and I hope I am. But I'm from Missouri on this one...

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2744665
06/15/18 11:20 AM
06/15/18 11:20 AM
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I tuned a piano that someone bought from Costco recently. It has a string with a broken winding, which is an obvious manufacturing defect. I tried contacting the distributor, or who was the distributor, to see if it was under warranty and I could get a string. I got no response.

I would not count on a warranty from anyone but a reputable dealer.


Semipro Tech
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2744673
06/15/18 11:53 AM
06/15/18 11:53 AM
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Georgia, USA
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Originally Posted by BDB
I would not count on a warranty from anyone but a reputable dealer.

And even that may well be a little iffy.

In my view, products warranties sound great until you need them...

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2744676
06/15/18 12:09 PM
06/15/18 12:09 PM
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Atlanta, GA
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In the auto industry, service and warranty work is a profit center for dealerships. In the piano industry, it is not. At the car dealer level, profit is driven by volume, service and used car sales. The manufacturer's reward car dealerships on the back end. At the piano dealer level, profit is sales driven, restoration is lower profit, and service is often an expense or neutral.

It's not uncommon for a customer to purchase a piano in your market and then move to another while within the warranty period, and I don't think we've ever had an issue providing service under those circumstances. I think that is an attitude shared by most if not all dealers I've spoken with, so your warranty, transferable or otherwise is still valuable. If a customer does shop with us, but we cannot earn the sale for whatever reason, then that customer does not have access to our considerable service resources. If a customer purchases privately, they service is offered at normal rates and at our normal discretion - we like to work on good pianos in our area.

Further, I've not seen "convenience" as a requirement to honor a warranty, but a benefit to having a local provider. I think it is a mistake to think of Authorized as obligated. The seller is obligated to honor their warranty under their agreement with the manufacturer. I have seen attempts to adjust this model by some brands, but never industry wide to change the business model.

Generally, the reason to leave your local area is because there is either a lack of options (rural or piano desert) or because you want something specific (brand not in your area) or hard-to-find (special finish) or because you've found a good pre-owned version that saves you a substantial sum. I'm not surprised when a customer cross shops to check for competitive pricing, but when pushed too far, service (either prep or after-sale) is the first value-added element to go. There is a very strong correlation between after-sale service and customer satisfaction...even moreso than initial price and customer satisfaction. Keep that in mind while shopping for a common model on a widely available brand.

We have many customers that shop with us regionally because we have several uncommon brands and a good selection of pre-owned pianos that may also be harder to find locally. We work to build relationships regionally with skilled, independent techs to be our front line for regular service or minor issues, but if something more involved happens, then we step up to satisfy the client and maintain our reputation. There are other dealers like us, but the vast majority are focused on their local market for good reason. All things to consider as you venture out.


Sam Bennett
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Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2744731
06/15/18 05:37 PM
06/15/18 05:37 PM
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Wisconsin, USA
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I hope warranty service isn't ever necessary. Who has had to have their piano serviced under warranty?


Bösendorfer 170
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2744738
06/15/18 06:20 PM
06/15/18 06:20 PM
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Posts: 602
Melville Saskatchewan
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A couple of years ago I had a one-year-old water heater where the heat exchanger cracked (and started leaking carbon monoxode!)

Turned out that the plumber had installed the water heater in accordance with the instructions in the manual, but the manufacturer had subsequently changed the manual (without notifying anyone) and the installation had to be modified and a new heat exchanger installed.

Now for the interesting part: The plumbers billed me $700 for labour for making the changes and installing the new heat exchanger!

They told me that the manufacturer had provided a new heat exchanger that would otherwise cost $450 at no cost but they weren't getting paid for their labour so I should pay.

I said tough luck, I don't know who's responsible for those labour costs but I do know that it's not me.

Eventually I got them to not charge me for that but it was a hard-fought battle, and I'm still bitter about it, as you can see.

The plumbers maintain that they really do stand behind the products that they sell. I disagree and I've told them that but since it's difficult to get a good plumber around here that will actually show up and do the work I still deal with them and they still do my plumbing.

So even a written warranty and work by the original dealer doesn't necessarily mean that you'll get what you think you get when a problem arises.


If you're a zombie and you know it, bite your friend!
We got both kinds of music: Country and Western!
Casio Celviano AP-650
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2744742
06/15/18 07:01 PM
06/15/18 07:01 PM
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Georgia, USA
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Originally Posted by FrankCox
So even a written warranty and work by the original dealer doesn't necessarily mean that you'll get what you think you get when a problem arises.

Interesting story, Frank. I'm glad it worked out in your favor after all was said and done. I teach HVACR (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration) at a small community technical college, and have for the last 25 years. In the last few years I've gotten more calls from more HVACR related companies, bigger profile companies, manufacturers, etc..., looking for entry level HVACR technicians than I ever have before. My program has a 97% job placement rate for graduates. The other 3% are students who don't want a job and are in training for other purposes.

I remember when I was working as an HVACR service technician myself about 30 years or so ago, there were times when I was on the other end of the rope. I'd have to be on call 24/7 one week out of each month. I'd get calls in the middle of the night to got out and do repairs if the customer deemed it an emergency and was willing to pay the additional after-hours service fee. I remember once that a lady called on a weekend about a newer unit the company had installed that was under warranty. Thing was, the warranty service calls were only during normal business hours. An after-hours fee for service calls on warranty related issue was not part of the warranty. So, I explained this to the lady over the phone. She still insisted that I come out immediately and fix her A/C. So, I did. On the invoice I stated that the parts and materials were covered under warranty, but there was a fee owed for the after-hours emergency service call fee that was not covered under the warranty. The lady signed the invoice and I left for the next emergency service call.

That Monday, the lady called the owner of the company and complained to high-heaven about the emergency service fee, which I clearly explained to her, because it was a warranty call. The owner gave in and waved the fee. That lady took unfair advantage of me and the company I worked for. So, like I said, I've been on both sides of the coin.

I know that story wasn't related to pianos, but it easily could be. If I were playing my piano at 3:00am and it broke under warranty, I'd want the dealer to send someone out right then, even if he had to come out himself. smile

I'm looking forward to some of the dealer members here jumping in Kurt's thread about piano warranties, and who pays for things the manufacturer doesn't.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2744754
06/15/18 08:52 PM
06/15/18 08:52 PM
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Florida
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In the case of Yamaha, the chances of needing warranty service is very small. Any technician can contact Yamaha directly and resolve any warranty issues.

Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2744851
06/16/18 10:06 AM
06/16/18 10:06 AM
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Georgia, USA
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Originally Posted by Bob
In the case of Yamaha, the chances of needing warranty service is very small.

I'd say the chances of any newly manufactured acoustic piano nowadays needing serious warranty service is very small. And, what the dealers may not tell customers who buy new pianos and brag about the warranty pre-sale, is that the warranty does not cover things like tuning, regulation, sticky keys, sticky dampers, bobbling hammers, or squeaky pedals. This is where establishing a good relationship with the local dealer is important. The better, more reputable dealers would likely take care of things like this on their own dime in order to maintain their good reputation and have satisfied customers.

On the other hand, if the issue is not covered under the manufacturer's warranty (defects in materials or workmanship), they (the dealer) are not obligated to do anything.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2744880
06/16/18 12:51 PM
06/16/18 12:51 PM
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Rick,

Especially is this true if customer went to dealer A (local), didn't like the price, then went to dealer B (out of area), noticed a price difference and went back to dealer A and plays one dealer against the other to try to negotiate the best price...then dealer B "wins" the price battle, but later there is a warranty issue and customer now goes to dealer A to fix it. Hmmm...not a fun situation.

There are some people (and certain cultures) that seem to have an emotional need to get the absolute lowest price possible on an item. They forget (or don't seem to care) that pianos are not like blenders or vacuum cleaners...pianos need loving attention from people who care in order to perform at their peak potential. When you "sour the pot" by being OVERLY concerned about price to the point of nausea, you likewise sour the pot when it comes to service.

Unfortunately, the same people who "have to get the lowest price" are also the same ones who WILL NOT follow through on the recommended service schedule and therefore create a neglected instrument that now needs extra service...etc, etc.

Bummer.

Pwg

Last edited by P W Grey; 06/16/18 01:00 PM.

Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
(Best way to contact me privately)
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: P W Grey] #2744887
06/16/18 01:20 PM
06/16/18 01:20 PM
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Posts: 21,260
Victoria, BC
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Words worth repeating:

Originally Posted by P W Grey
Rick,
[...]
There are some people (and certain cultures) that seem to have an emotional need to get the absolute lowest price possible on an item. They forget (or don't seem to care) that pianos are not like blenders or vacuum cleaners...pianos need loving attention from people who care in order to perform at their peak potential. When you "sour the pot" by being OVERLY concerned about price to the point of nausea, you likewise sour the pot when it comes to service.
[...]
Pwg


Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: P W Grey] #2744892
06/16/18 01:42 PM
06/16/18 01:42 PM
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Posts: 23
Minneapolis, MN
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DDobs Offline OP
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Hi Peter, I'm not someone who prioritizes lowest price above all other aspects of a purchase. However, I do think dealers should expect that if a customer reasonably believes one dealer's price is too high, he may seek a better price through a different dealer. Tying service to product sales may have some benefits for buyers and sellers alike. But it's unquestionably a means of obtaining higher prices.

My two cents.


DDobs
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: Lakeviewsteve] #2744895
06/16/18 01:59 PM
06/16/18 01:59 PM
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The Heart of Screenland
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Originally Posted by Lakeviewsteve
I hope warranty service isn't ever necessary. Who has had to have their piano serviced under warranty?


I did. The lip to the music desk came out when my son was leaning his wrist on it to write in the book and it broke the teeny tiny screws out of the "end grain" of the MDF (Korean piano). I asked the dealer for a referral to a cabinet guy and he sent his out to look at it. The tech decided that the screws were too small with almost no threads so the repair was one size bigger screw of a higher quality, better cut thread, set into a plug of super glue. No charge and the repair has held up for about 6 years despite holding several books at a time.

Kurt


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Co-owner (by marriage) and part time customer service rep at an electronic musical equipment repair shop.
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: BruceD] #2744899
06/16/18 02:13 PM
06/16/18 02:13 PM
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New York City
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Words worth repeating:
Originally Posted by P W Grey
Rick,[...]There are some people (and certain cultures) that seem to have an emotional need to get the absolute lowest price possible on an item. They forget (or don't seem to care) that pianos are not like blenders or vacuum cleaners...pianos need loving attention from people who care in order to perform at their peak potential. When you "sour the pot" by being OVERLY concerned about price to the point of nausea, you likewise sour the pot when it comes to service. [...]Pwg

But why would someone who didn't buy locally go to the local dealer for warranty service?

I think dealers generally know reliable techs in other areas who they can contact(and pay) to do whatever work is needed. Or they will allow the buyer to choose their own tech as long as they know the tech is reliable. So I think the buyer can contact the non local dealer and get any problems solved.

Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2744905
06/16/18 03:18 PM
06/16/18 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
But why would someone who didn't buy locally go to the local dealer for warranty service?

I think dealers generally know reliable techs in other areas who they can contact(and pay) to do whatever work is needed. Or they will allow the buyer to choose their own tech as long as they know the tech is reliable. So I think the buyer can contact the non local dealer and get any problems solved.

Another story... (all of which are true experiences:-).

There was one, small piano dealer in the largest nearby town (Griffin, Ga) in the rural area of Ga. where I live. I'd stop by to chat with the lady who owned the store, which is now closed. We talked about music, pianos and people in general. She was a Kurzweil dealer, as well as Story & Clark and Young Chang. Being such a small dealer, she rarely had many new pianos in stock on the floor of the small building she leased; they also sold sheet music, music books and taught music lessons.

She told me a story once about this Asian family who came into her store one day looking at the Kurzweil digital pianos she had in stock. They did not buy anything from her, but bought a Kurzweil digital piano from an online seller. She said they came back to her store one day, several weeks after their last visit, and had their Kurzweil digital piano in hand, and all boxed up in the original box. Something had happened to the Kurzweil piano they ordered online, and instead of sending it back to the seller, they brought it to her and wanted her to take the defective unit and exchange it for a new one, which she had in stock. She politely told the family that there was no way she was going to exchange the piano for them since they did not buy it from her.

She said they began to argue that she was a Kurzweil dealer and was obligated to honor the Kurzweil warranty. She said after 30 or 45 minutes of back and forth, the family finally left her store irate, disgruntled and unhappy.

I've been accused of being anti-dealer here on PW, but this is one time I side with the dealer. I guess it just goes to show that some customers can ask too much of a dealer they have not actually done business with.

Heck, I should write a book about my piano adventures... smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: Rickster] #2744912
06/16/18 04:07 PM
06/16/18 04:07 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,260
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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BruceD  Offline
Gold Subscriber
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,260
Victoria, BC
Originally Posted by Rickster
[...]
Heck, I should write a book about my piano adventures... smile

Rick


I would read it! smile

Cheers!


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: Lakeviewsteve] #2744915
06/16/18 04:25 PM
06/16/18 04:25 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,502
Georgia, USA
terminaldegree Offline
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terminaldegree  Offline
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Posts: 4,502
Georgia, USA
Originally Posted by Lakeviewsteve
Who has had to have their piano serviced under warranty?


me.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: Lakeviewsteve] #2744957
06/16/18 06:33 PM
06/16/18 06:33 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 23,523
New York City
pianoloverus Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
pianoloverus  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 23,523
New York City
Originally Posted by Lakeviewsteve
I hope warranty service isn't ever necessary. Who has had to have their piano serviced under warranty?
Me, although it was only for a string that broke in the first week.

Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2744966
06/16/18 07:05 PM
06/16/18 07:05 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,885
R
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R
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,885
Pianos are incredibly complicated machines with huge numbers of moving parts. All the quality control in the world cannot prevent all problems.

I have had warranty work done (through the dealer) and I have also had the dealer who sold me the piano come and fix the minor non-warranty issues that always crop up as a new piano settles into its new home. I have not paid for either type of work.

One of the many reasons for buying a piano from a reputable dealer is precisely this need for follow-up. It’s like insurance. You may not need it, but if you do it is great to have it! And you cannot know in advance. You don’t need insurance until you do.....

Incidentally, be careful about buying across state lines. It may look tempting to try to avoid sales tax, but state governments have figured out this tax dodge, and a growing number of them have statutes requiring reciprocity in taxation across state lines.

Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2745086
06/17/18 11:48 AM
06/17/18 11:48 AM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,316
New Hampshire
P
P W Grey Offline
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P W Grey  Offline
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P
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 1,316
New Hampshire
Originally Posted by DDobs
Hi Peter, I'm not someone who prioritizes lowest price above all other aspects of a purchase. However, I do think dealers should expect that if a customer reasonably believes one dealer's price is too high, he may seek a better price through a different dealer. Tying service to product sales may have some benefits for buyers and sellers alike. But it's unquestionably a means of obtaining higher prices.

My two cents.


DDobs,

I am not accusing you of this practice (not would I, since I don't know you), however your statement in your OP about "playing offers off each other" was a bit of a "red flag" to me. Of course there is a difference between what might be considered a "reasonable" profit and an "outrageous" one.

I would agree that if a truly significant price gap existed between two or more dealers on the exact same model piano, I would first want to find out WHY this exists, as there coukd be a good reason.

However, the practice of (not with you in mind) "nickel and diming" competing sellers simply to find out who is the "hungriest" I find distasteful and disrespectful. If I were one of the sellers I would not even participate since that mentality tends to be an indicator of problems down the road.

Just an opinion...not to be taken as an accusation. There may be some reading this who DO have this inclination and I hope they can benefit from the discussion.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
(Best way to contact me privately)
Re: Bargaining with Dealers and Warranty Service [Re: DDobs] #2745095
06/17/18 12:15 PM
06/17/18 12:15 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 758
中国
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中国
I think it is important to find a great dealer and also to build a great relationship with that dealer.

That makes the buying experience more enjoyable both for you and for the dealer. Also, I find that treating people with the highest level of respect pays natural dividends. Mediocre customers receive mediocre service. First-class customers receive first-class service.

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