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Thread: Swee Lee staff at Star Vista

  1. #1

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    Swee Lee staff at Star Vista

    Hi all,

    I've been a lurker and browsing the buy/sell forum till now. An incident happened to me that I feel others should be warned about.

    I've 'met' a couple of nice people on this forum so far.

    Last Saturday, my family and I went to Bras Basah branch to narrow down on a nylon string guitar. When we decided on a purchase, we we told that there was no new piece and the only other piece was also a display piece at Star Vista. No problem.

    We went to Star Vista at 8pm and the 2 staff - a Malay girl and boy did not bother with us. No problem.

    We found the guitar we wanted - a 'low cost' $500 introduction Ibanez GM600 nylon guitar and asked if there was any new piece, just in case. We were greeted with an unfriendly one word answer - 'No'.

    We looked the guitar over and even though it had scratches, we decided it was acceptable. After we paid for the guitar, the staff simply handled the guitar over to us. When I asked about the box, the lady staff curtly replied that there is no box. I then asked how were we to carry it home without a box - how do they sell a guitar without a box and the girl staff curtly replied they do not have boxes and most people buy a guitar case. The male staff stared at me and said that it was perfectly normal to sell the guitar without the box - that most people would buy a case. I then asked what cases do they have for a classical guitar and they did not reply. There were none on display. The way they replied was nothing short of rude. I asked if they were implying that I was being a difficult customer by requesting for the box - any box to carry the guitar home. They rolled their eyes and curtly replied 'I never said that'. I then asked if they could at least wrap the guitar for protection.

    They wrapped the guitar in cling wrap - I expected bubble wrap for protection as cling wrap would not offer any protection. They handed the guitar over in the cling wrap. I had to ask for a plastic bag.

    I thought I was done with it and just focus on the guitar and forget about their attitude and lack of service.

    When I unwrapped the guitar at home, I found 2 thumb impressions on the soundboard. The guitar's sound board did not have any blemish when we decided to purchase the guitar. These 2 thumb impressions were deliberately left by the staff while they were wrapping it in cling wrap. I only vaguely remember the male staff's name as 'Tariq' or something like that.

    Not providing service is one thing, giving customer attitude is another issue, but to deliberately damage a customer's purchase is not something unacceptable.

    Ps: they also refused to offer new strings to replace the display set. Another store I frequent will even change the strings if I wanted to properly 'audition' a guitar.

    Buyers beware.

  2. #2

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    Re: Swee Lee staff at Star Vista

    Sorry to hear about your unfortunate incident and thanks for sharing. I've been buying from CityMusic ever since sweelee bras basah, in fact I've ever been over-served (by 3 attentive staff at different sections) I almost wanted to request being left alone. lol
    Maybe it is a problem with having a lot of branches then the quality of staff service becomes inconsistent (there used to be a branch at katong sc, went there, also meh, eventually closed. but bras basah service's good)

    Maybe you can take it to the main branch to complain to a "higher" chain of command and I'm sure something can be done. All the best

  3. #3

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    Re: Swee Lee staff at Star Vista

    retail business always problem

  4. #4

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    Re: Swee Lee staff at Star Vista

    Thank you for your comments.

    I didn't want to reply before I received a response from Swee Lee.

    Well, it wasn't much of a response from the Asst Mgr of the branch. He basically defended his staff and said that they do not sell guitars with boxes, so cling wrap is the best they can do. What if I had to take a bus and MRT?

    He did not even addressed the issue about the attitude of their staff and how the guitar was deliberately damaged. No effort was made to make things right.

    I had decent service at Bras Basah, but they only had a pretty dinged up model, with Star Vista having the only other model in stock (display piece as well).

    The only person I know from the past is Alvin at the main branch. Not sure what he can do. I know he has given me very good service in the past - him and that older Malay dude who's at Bras Basah now.

    Issues with inventory level is one thing but attitude of the staff and sabotage of the customer's guitar is something else. Asst mgr not doing much other than a standard reply doesn't help.

    BTW, 2 of the strings broke the next day while trying to tune the guitar - it is that old and over-stretched. The other major store I frequent would gladly change new strings for a proper audition, let alone a purchase.

    Thanks for listening to my rant. Hope you guys will never be at the receiving end of what I got.

  5. #5

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    Re: Swee Lee staff at Star Vista

    Wait a minute, thumb impression? hmm, strings broke may not be a case of 'old' strings, did you not notice they are kind of 'old' in the shop? It seems to me you are the more particular type of customers amongst the already particulared.
    The vision never dies
    Life's a never ending search for the truth

  6. #6

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    Re: Swee Lee staff at Star Vista


    Did not post this to get flamed. What do you know of me and of my experience when you start making such insinuations?

    Are you working for Swee Lee or friends of the staff?

    I did request the strings to be changed, but they refused.

    Would you accept such treatment as a customer?

    Anyway, I didn't bash the company as I mentioned i had good service at the main branch and also at Bras Basah.

  7. #7

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    Re: Swee Lee staff at Star Vista

    Not working for anyone in particular. Why must I be a friend of them to notice something unusual in your rant/post?

    Anyway, I am sure you are not the 1st customer or last to go Swee Lee whichever branch it may be, and if it's a general practise for a customers to get the services you deserved above, then well, life goes on, but if there are others who jump onto your bandwagan, then I am sure they will be losing out to other companies like davis or maestro in the long run,

    Why worry? Let other softies comment
    The vision never dies
    Life's a never ending search for the truth

  8. #8

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    Re: Swee Lee staff at Star Vista

    to be honest it is just seemed like a standard service that you normally get in Singapore, rude under trained staff who dont really know what are they selling.

    Is that your first guitar purchase?
    buying guitar is very different than buying a tv set.

    Normally i will call up and ask whether there is any case that came along with the guitar purchase, if there is not i will bring my own case at home. Dont think they have bubble wrap because most buyers knew about this instance of either you buy a case or bring your own case when buying a guitar.

    On the scratches, can you take a picture of the scratches just to show how bad are the scratches? From what i understand display guitar came with plastic film to prevent scratches from people trying out the guitar. If the scratches are in the film you can just take off the plastic flim

    Can i ask on the thumb impression, can you like just rub it away. Seemed to be a no big deal IMO.

    I mean you are buying a display guitar which what we guitarist normally buy. It just seemed to me that you have a less than stellar first time buying instruments because you come to the shop thinking it will be a car dealership where you are in the mind of trying to negotiate the price and expect a high standard of customer service.

    i am not defending sweelee. i hate some of the staff just because i think they have shitty product knowledge. i enjoy some of the staff there as few of them quite friendly.

    #Disclosure: my band may be playing for their youtube channel soon.

  9. #9

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    Re: Swee Lee staff at Star Vista

    lol, use cling wrap to wrap up the guitar ?? LOL ! That is funny. Haha, at least give a box ma... The attitude sucks la but I also won't demand so much since if I were to buy a cheap guitar but the cling wrap thingy is really what the hell LOL ! Ya, some Swee Lee staff really one kind, esp when I am a girl and shop at the main branch before, some guy staff see me a girl then attitude like they MCP like that. lol So good then shred for me to see la !

  10. #10

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    Re: Swee Lee staff at Star Vista

    Er, not a first time buyer and not particularly picky. I know it's a display model and accepted it. The thumb-shaped impressions are rather, depressions left on the soundboard. I know it was done by the staff as the depressions were not as deep the next day, hence recent.

    For the record, fairly experienced and collect a bunch of rare guitars. So, not a complete moron in other words. It's the 1st nylon string for me, but far from the 1st guitar.

    At least I was expecting a cardboard box. It's the attitude that bothers me. It's a relatively low-cost guitar, but I expected decent service, not bad attitude.

    To Waltz, girls can definitely shed as good as guys. Stupid for any retail person to judge based on gender or looks! Just because my T shirt doesn't have a fancy brand on it and I'm buying a lower cost guitar doesn't mean I can't afford better or am a beginner.

    Thanks for the posts..

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