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05/10/2004 Entry: "Why I Love Northern Kingdom Music"

So there's this online music shop that claims to be a friend to musicians. Well let me tell you a little story.

I receive an email every week from this place, and they tell me what their specials are. So 3 weeks ago or so, they have this special on drum bags. And since my bass drum case for Big Pink succumbed to the weather, I needed a set. So I check out the special, and they're what I need. But remembering a vow I made to my good buddy Harvey, I called my local store first. About 95% of the time, Northern Kingdom's prices are right in line with the big guys. But this time, the friend to musicians had a special deal, and NKM couldn't even buy them for what the other place was selling them for. So I placed an order with the competition. Here's why the local guys are muy better.

The cases show up on the Friday before my cruise. Great. I get home, and they're not the right sizes. I call customer support. They ask me to open the box, and double check the sizes--they're thinking maybe it's just the wrong sticker on the box. Nope. Wrong thing. So they offer me a return label free of charge through FedEx. No dice--there isn't a local drop off point. So then they say UPS. Not so good, as I'm leaving for the cruise, and won't be able to send them back for a week. So they give me a UPS Priority Mail label via email. I print it off, and drop the return shipment off at the post office the next day.

(A week goes by where I'm on the cruise.)

So last Wednesday, the replacement cases haven't shown up. I call a rep. He looks up my order. "The replacements have already shipped" he says. "They should be there by the end of the week."

Of course, they're not here. So I called this morning. Megan answered right away, and looked up my account. "Hmm," she said. "That order's been canceled. There's no reason why, but there's a note here that they called both your home and work number, and neither of them worked. So a credit has been placed on your account."

Hmm is right! My office phone has voicemail, and my home has an answering machine. No word on either of those. And more strange, if, as the other rep said, the bags had already shipped, then how could they have canceled the order? Have they got some way of calling back orders once they've left the warehouse? And just when did they plan on letting me know any of this? They've been sending me email, confirmation numbers, return labels, etc. Were they planning on emailing me that the order had been canceled?

Anyway, she re-placed the order for me. And as of this week, they're $10 cheaper. And they threw in free 2-day shipping for the problem. So we'll see how it goes. Still, I prefer dealing with the guys I know: Harv, Mack, and Jarred.

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