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Terrible Roland customer support
#2893795 09/24/19 06:14 PM
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My Roland KR-1077 digital grand piano is about 20 years old. It has been a very good piano until about 6 months ago when the sound suddenly cut out. I called a local tech who said it was a bad main board. He ordered a new one. Every couple of weeks, he'd give me an update, but the board did not arrive for 5 months.

This morning, when he came to install it, he found that the replacement was defective. (arrggg).

I'm checking with other suppliers, but so far nothing. I also filed a complaint with Roland, but no reply yet.

Does anyone have a source for parts for old Roland pianos or any tips on how to light a fire under Roland?

It's especially bad timing because a couple of the grandkids are just getting old enough to get interested and one of them can sort of play chopsticks with me.

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Re: Terrible Roland customer support
Cynthia Moore #2893798 09/24/19 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Cynthia Moore
My Roland KR-1077 digital grand piano is about 20 years old. It has been a very good piano until about 6 months ago when the sound suddenly cut out. I called a local tech who said it was a bad main board. He ordered a new one. Every couple of weeks, he'd give me an update, but the board did not arrive for 5 months.

This morning, when he came to install it, he found that the replacement was defective. (arrggg).

I'm checking with other suppliers, but so far nothing. I also filed a complaint with Roland, but no reply yet.

Does anyone have a source for parts for old Roland pianos or any tips on how to light a fire under Roland?

It's especially bad timing because a couple of the grandkids are just getting old enough to get interested and one of them can sort of play chopsticks with me.

My only experience with Roland USA was not positive. A formal service ticket opened with them was not addressed and closed even after 10 months. Normal channels (such as service tickets) do not appear to work with the Roland Corporation.

I suggest your current experience counts toward using those usual channels, and now you consider yourself to be in "overtime" and escalate outside "normal channels."

You might start by calling the Los Angeles service centre @ (323) 890-3771 and pestering until you get a definitive answer. Continue to escalate up the food chain at Roland as necessary. Otherwise, you will end up like me.

Roland's customer service and support is just atrocious, based on my sample of one.


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
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"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Terrible Roland customer support
Cynthia Moore #2893801 09/24/19 06:34 PM
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I, too, was totally dismissed by Roland; on the other hand, Kawai has always been excellent in honoring their warranty; all the way up to giving me a brand new board on one occasion (MP10), and a brand new + installed action for a CA95.

Re: Terrible Roland customer support
Cynthia Moore #2893803 09/24/19 06:41 PM
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On the one hand I'm surprised that parts of any sort might be available after twenty years.
On the other hand I'm not too surprised that their support is substandard. And from reading above it seems that others must not be surprised, either.

But I also wonder whether that replacement board is also twenty years old? Was there a date code on it?
Perhaps the parts depot did not know it was defective, and likely could not ever know.
I think you just need a new piano. You'll find some nicer ones these days.

As for Kawai ... lots of complaints about problems, but lots of praise for the after-sale support.

Re: Terrible Roland customer support
Cynthia Moore #2893804 09/24/19 06:42 PM
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I don't like to be the devils advocate here but how long do you expect support for a digital instrument?

The fact that they even have a motherboard available I think is pretty good.

To be honest, I don't think it is realistic to expect a company to keep parts around for a 20 year old instrument.

The fact that it worked for 20 years says enough about the initial quality.

Time to let go and start shopping for a new piano.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Re: Terrible Roland customer support
Cynthia Moore #2893805 09/24/19 06:49 PM
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Because it is one of the more expensive grand piano form-factor digital pianos, I think it's only natural that owners feel there should be service available for longer. I'm not sure they are wrong. If as a manufacturer, you sell a DP in a grand piano cabinet, how long should you expect that customers will want support for it?

Still, 5 months is impressive for a part. Doubt they custom-made it. More likely they sent a dusty 20yo board found in a long forgotten bin in some warehouse for old dolls, via slow boat from overseas, maybe Japan.


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Terrible Roland customer support
Tyrone Slothrop #2893809 09/24/19 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Because it is one of the more expensive grand piano form-factor digital pianos, I think it's only natural that owners feel there should be service available for longer. I'm not sure they are wrong. If as a manufacturer, you sell a DP in a grand piano cabinet, how long should you expect that customers will want support for it?

Still, 5 months is impressive for a part. Doubt they custom-made it. More likely they sent a dusty 20yo board found in a long forgotten bin in some warehouse for old dolls, via slow boat from overseas, maybe Japan.


Also, it seems reasonable to question the diagnosis.

"Oh, the mainboard's bad, just replace it."
"Oh, the new mainboard's bad as well."

Could be the local tech doesn't have a clue...

Re: Terrible Roland customer support
Learux #2893814 09/24/19 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Learux
I don't like to be the devils advocate here but how long do you expect support for a digital instrument?

I dunno. It seems like you kinda do like it.

Quote
The fact that they even have a motherboard available I think is pretty good.

To be honest, I don't think it is realistic to expect a company to keep parts around for a 20 year old instrument.

My car is also 20 years old. It's in the shop today for a major service. I would not be a happy camper if the tech told me they couldn't get a part. And it only cost a little more than this piano.

The tech who is working on it told me that he has never had a problem like this, either with parts not being available or being defective, with Yamaha or Kawai, but it happens all the time with Roland.

Quote
The fact that it worked for 20 years says enough about the initial quality.

Pooh.

Quote
Time to let go and start shopping for a new piano.

If I do, it sure as h*ll won't be a Roland.

I'm starting to wonder who you work for...

Re: Terrible Roland customer support
Cynthia Moore #2893822 09/24/19 07:51 PM
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Now now, no need to be so snappy with me. Just because you don't like my answer doesn't mean I am wrong.

All i was trying to tell you is that 20 years for electronics is an extremely long time.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you came here for advice and this is what I know/think.

Good luck with your piano, I truly hope you can get it fixed.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

Casio GP-400
Schimmel SP-182T "I wish I had the room to keep you around"
August Forster 215
Re: Terrible Roland customer support
Cynthia Moore #2893841 09/24/19 09:15 PM
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No offense to anyone but I like your spunky vibe Cynthia Moore and I hope this whole string of frustrations leads you to discover a wonderful new instrument that you find exciting to experience.

I would like to add that context has bearing on promises and expectations.

I would not dare eat a 20 year old hamburger but I might drink a 20 year old wine.

Re: Terrible Roland customer support
Learux #2893849 09/24/19 09:33 PM
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Hello Cynthia,

It's perhaps worth noting that I work for Kawai, however I don't believe it's fair to criticise Roland's customer support based on your experience.

Also, I personally do not appreciate the way customers use internet forums as a means to draw negative attention toward a particular company.

With regards to your specific case, it's unfortunate that the instrument is no longer functioning, however given the age of the product, it's not uncommon for components to begin failing.
If you are certain that the main board is the cause of the problem, and that the replacement board is also non-functioning, the next step might be to look online for a second hand KR-1077 that could be used for spare parts to fix your instrument.

I believe digital piano technology has progressed considerably in the last 20 years or so, therefore my suggestion would be to invest in a new instrument that you can enjoy with your grandchildren.

Best of luck!

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Terrible Roland customer support
Kawai James #2893860 09/24/19 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Hello Cynthia,

It's perhaps worth noting that I work for Kawai, however I don't believe it's fair to criticise Roland's customer support based on your experience.

Actually, while it may not be fair for others to criticise Roland's customer support on the basis of Cynthia's experience, it is absolutely fair for Cynthia herself to do so as her experience is the most important to her. If a company wishes to have less negative feedback in public, that company can work harder to ensure satisfied customers. This is like ratings on Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, and the like. Public feedback is like public ratings, and is a two edged sword.

Originally Posted by Kawai James
Also, I personally do not appreciate the way customers use internet forums as a means to draw negative attention toward a particular company.

In the end it doesn't matter if you appreciate it or not, as Cynthia has only shared her experiences in what appears to be a fair way. If it was easy to find the correct party at Roland to solve this issue for her, I suspect we would never have heard from her at all. She posted here because, as she said, it's not clear to her what to do next. Others posting on her thread have also shared their experiences openly.

In my case, TEN (10) MONTHS / THREE HUNDRED (300) DAYS for a formal service ticket to remain open, without a single update back to the customer, is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. A company with such a poor system of service management and tracking deserves all the opprobrium that results. Just be glad that it isn't Kawai that I am referring to. (For the record, although I own a Kawai ES110 and Yamaha N1X, I've had no customer service interactions with Kawai or Yamaha at all, positive or negative.)

Customers feeling negative about their customer service experiences are legitimate reasons for companies to lose repeat customers. I was an Roland FP30 owner. I considered the purchase of a Roland LX708 for $7K. Instead of capturing a lifetime customer, they turned one off through their poor customer service - one who instead spent that money on their competitor, Yamaha's product. As the bible says, "A man reaps what he sows."


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Terrible Roland customer support
Cynthia Moore #2893869 09/24/19 11:07 PM
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I have a 1994 Roland KR4500 digital piano, so it is now 25 years old. It started paying up after 15 years...random loud notes, popping sounds from speakers, functions not working. I paid a lot of $$ to a Roland authorised service technician to fix these issues, as the piano was an expensive investment. Unfortunately the issues kept recurring, and I got tired of throwing good money after bad. The most common finding was that the capacitors on the circuit boards leaked acid which cut through surrounding copper circuits. The way to fix it was to replace the caps, clean off the acid, and solder in bridging wires to jump across the damaged circuit boards. All the best.


1993 Roland JV1000 76 note workstation synth with Pop and VE-GS1 expansion boards ] 1994 Roland JV1080 Multi-timbral sound module ] 1994 Roland KR4500 Intelligent Piano ] 2008 Korg MicroX sound module ] 2015 Kawai MP7 Digital Stage Piano
Re: Terrible Roland customer support
Tyrone Slothrop #2893871 09/24/19 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
If a company wishes to have less negative feedback in public, that company can work harder to ensure satisfied customers.


In this particular case, may I ask what additional steps Roland should have taken to ensure that Cynthia remain a satisfied customer?

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Terrible Roland customer support
Cynthia Moore #2893876 09/24/19 11:21 PM
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In light to moderate home use, I’d expect a quality digital piano to provide 10 years of trouble free service. Perhaps less for an instrument that gets gigged a lot or played heavily. By 15 years in, you’re on borrowed time... rubber parts and electrolytic capacitors don’t last indefinitely.

I understand your frustration about waiting a long time for a replacement part that didn’t work, but it’s best to “cut bait” and move on. Or, get a used “donor” piano of the same model and scavenge parts!


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Re: Terrible Roland customer support
Kawai James #2893878 09/24/19 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
If a company wishes to have less negative feedback in public, that company can work harder to ensure satisfied customers.


In this particular case, may I ask what additional steps should Roland have taken to ensure that Cynthia remain a satisfied customer?

Kind regards,
James
x

There are so many things the company could have done. One is to do better than let the situation fester for 5 months. They could have escalated the issue internally.

Until late last year, I was president of a medium-large IT value-added reseller (VAR) to the US Government - we supplied entire agencies, mostly with computers and networking equipment. Several times, we had to take parts and put them in the FedEx to make sure customers received replacements that were delayed for one reason or another. We sometimes had to call customers and even organised three way calls with the customer, the OEM, and ourselves. In this time, I've had personal experience with manufacturers that worked with us to satisfy customers and those that didn't. If I heard a story that a customer didn't receive a replacement part for 5 months, I'd ask if the customer had been warned in advance of a possible delay. If not, then something likely got screwed up either with us, the distributor, or the OEM. Since Cynthia hasn't mentioned a reseller or distributor, I'm looking at the OEM right now, Roland.


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Terrible Roland customer support
Cynthia Moore #2893881 09/24/19 11:38 PM
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I think it is unreasonable to expect Roland or any DP manufacturer to have replacement parts available after 10 years(let alone 20).

Even if a motherboard was readily available, having a technician to come out and repair the piano does not make any economic sense.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

Casio GP-400
Schimmel SP-182T "I wish I had the room to keep you around"
August Forster 215
Re: Terrible Roland customer support
Learux #2893885 09/24/19 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Learux
I think it is unreasonable to expect Roland or any DP manufacturer to have replacement parts available after 10 years(let alone 20).

Even if a motherboard was readily available, having a technician to come out and repair the piano does not make any economic sense.

Let me ask you a question. The MSRP of a Yamaha N3X is $22,199.00 USD. In your opinion, how long should Yamaha have replacement parts available? In your opinion, for how many years would it still make economic sense for an owner to have a technician come and repair an N3X?

Cynthia's point is that some digital pianos are as expensive, or almost as expensive, as some automobiles. Why should the expectation for such high-end digital pianos be that they last a much shorter period of time than a comparable automobile?


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Terrible Roland customer support
Kawai James #2893888 09/24/19 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
I don't believe it's fair to criticise Roland's customer support based on your experience.

Really? Should I base it on someone else's experience?

Quote
Also, I personally do not appreciate the way customers use internet forums as a means to draw negative attention toward a particular company.

Really? I'm reporting an actual experience accurately and truthfully. If not here, where?

Quote
With regards to your specific case, it's unfortunate that the instrument is no longer functioning, however given the age of the product, it's not uncommon for components to begin failing.

If it was a $200 keyboard, I would agree. But this was a top of the line product. Components fail, but there is no excuse, IMHO, for a company to take 5 months to replace a part without and explanation and then have that part be defective.

Quote
If you are certain that the main board is the cause of the problem, and that the replacement board is also non-functioning, the next step might be to look online for a second hand KR-1077 that could be used for spare parts to fix your instrument.

That's what the tech told me. He has been servicing digital pianos for 30 years, so I assume he knows what he's talking about. Why are you questioning his expertise without knowing anything about him? And what would it benefit him to come out to my house with a part and then claim that it was defective. Incidentally, he did not charge me for the service call.

Quote
I believe digital piano technology has progressed considerably in the last 20 years or so, therefore my suggestion would be to invest in a new instrument that you can enjoy with your grandchildren.

I may well do that, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with my complaint about Roland. If I do buy a new piano, it sure as h*ll won't be a Roland.

Re: Terrible Roland customer support
Kawai James #2893891 09/25/19 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Kawai James
In this particular case, may I ask what additional steps should Roland have taken to ensure that Cynthia remain a satisfied customer?

Really? It isn't obvious to you that they could have delivered a working part in, at most, a week or two?

I have now left both a written message on their website and a voicemail message on the number someone provided to me. There was no customer service number that I could find on their site. If they respond in a timely manner and/or provide a working part, I will report that here. If they ignore me, I will also report that.

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