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Horrendous Paradigm Demo Experience (long post)


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#1 of 29 FrankieD

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Posted May 17 2003 - 12:41 PM

Hey all, let me apologize first before I continue; I’m sorry for venting. My story…..
For weeks I have been reading and posting for ideas about a new speaker system. I finally decided to go with Paradigm speakers. Well I kept switching between all three of their lines, one day it was their Monitor line, the next their Reference, and then combos between fronts and rears with a mix of Performance and Monitors, etc. It was time for the all important demo to solidify my system. Armed with several CD’s, a list of tracks I wanted to hear, and questions, I found my nearest dealer, an outfit in South Florida. I walked into the place. The guy behind the counter, (either the store owner or a top manager), looks and me and says “What do you want?” I explained my story and asked to demo some speakers. He stood up and walked towards the back, I followed, (no “come on, this way” just turned and walked). Over his shoulder he said they don’t have the “cheaper” Paradigm speakers for demo, just the Monitors and Reference lines. We arrived at a nice setup with all Monitor speakers, I handed him my CD and told him I wanted to listen to the Mon 7 without any subwoofer. I explained that I will be buying one in the future and didn’t want it to interfere with the speakers. He asked which one I was looking out and I said an SVS. He made a comment about a “no name brand” and I should get all Paradigm speakers including the sub for a “true” system. My stomach began to sink. I then asked him a question about the center speaker and his answer was another smart A@# response about choose your fronts first and get the center to match. That was NOT my question. He then put on my CD. As I listened I walked about the room, looked at the speakers, rear connectors, sat down, etc. He followed me like he thought I was going to stuff a speaker down my pants and run out. Just before the first track ended, of the first song of my demo tracks, he turned the sound down and announced if I was ready to listen the Studio 60’s. I was dumbfounded. He popped the CD out and headed into a different room. He all but tossed a chair into the middle of the room, and put the CD on, didn’t point out the 60’s or anything. No joke, within the first 20 seconds of the music track he began saying how much cleaner, crisper, and better these 60’s were compared the Monitors. At this point I couldn’t tell if I was listening to the music I brought with me or one of my son’s Wiggles CD’s, I was so pissed off. I tried to ask about Paradigm’s ADP surrounds or using their 20’s as rears with my room configuration and the Son of a B#@$ laughed and said the 20’s would sound terrible and that “you have to go with the ADP’s for a true matched system”. At this point his cell phone rings. He pops my CD out, hands it back to me and walks out of the room. There was a mirror in the hall; I looked myself over, (clean cut, shirt, shorts, sneakers, deodorant, etc….), and thought “What the Hell just happened”. Here I was willing to drop probably over $2k for speakers and this clown treats a customer like dirt. Maybe he thinks $2k is chump change for his “usual” clients, but $2k is $2k. I guess he has so much business he doesn’t need to try, (needless to say I was the only one in the shop on a Saturday afternoon). Oh well, there is another dealer some miles north of me. I’ll try it again the next free Saturday I get, (3 weeks or so). Again, sorry for venting and the long post, but I am still in shock.

Frank…

#2 of 29 Khoa Tran

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Posted May 17 2003 - 01:32 PM

should have responded with smart ass remarks...that's how i would have done it...tell him he just lost a costumer and you'll be giving it to someone else who deserves it, even if he's the only dealer around, i would never want to deal with someone like him....

#3 of 29 George Pappas

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Posted May 17 2003 - 03:45 PM

Hey Frankie,

I once went to a place in the city where I lived and wanted to here some nice speakers. The fellow asked me what my equipment is an I said I was using an NAD preamp along with a pair of Carver M1.0t amps in bridged mono. I was looking to upgrade in speakers. He actually said that Carver is really "shit" and that a real system is Krell. I should be looking to get into Krell.

There are too many guys selling home audio when they should be looking for a girl to settle down with and get a life.

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#4 of 29 Doug BW

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Posted May 17 2003 - 04:06 PM

Wow, what a story. I guess they do business that way because there are people they can intimidate into buying using those techniques. Very sad. Walking out was the perfect thing to do.

The good news is that most dealers are NOT that way. Some dealers really go out of their way to make sure the equipment is set up right and that you get to listen to whatever you want for as long as you want. Auditioning speakers should be FUN, and it usually is.

The only advice I'd give you is to make sure you audition several brands of speakers. Paradigms are fine speakers which clearly are the right speakers for many people. But not for everyone. I've found that auditioning speakers is half about learning about speakers and half about learning about yourself: what you like and dislike and what's important to you in a speaker. You can only learn so much reading reviews on the internet, so make sure you listen to LOTS of different brands before you let yourself decide.

In any case, I think the worst part of your speaker buying experience is behind you. Best of luck!

#5 of 29 Chu Gai

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Posted May 17 2003 - 04:08 PM

Obviously a graduate student of the Jacques Chretien school of diplomacy. So did it piss you off enough that you're going to look elsewhere or buy something else?

#6 of 29 Joe Hsu

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Posted May 17 2003 - 04:55 PM

have you considered calling Paradigm about it? I don't know if you'll have any effect, but I would imagine that a company like Paradigm would be selective about the type of dealers they allow to sell their products...the dealer should be a reflection of the company's faith in putting their products in that store.

Or, I'm just naive, and blessed with a good dealer 3 miles down the road. Posted Image

#7 of 29 Chu Gai

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Posted May 17 2003 - 05:34 PM

I think that's a spectacular idea Joe. I'd try to find the highest person up in the Paradigm food chain and write them a letter indicating what happened.

#8 of 29 Susana Anderton

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Posted May 17 2003 - 06:42 PM

Was this the dealer in Coral Gables, or the one in Ft. Lauderdale?

I kind of know how you feel. Although I was never treated rudely by my Paradigm dealer, I felt they offered no "service" for the high prices they demanded. Paradigm should hear about what happened to you.

I'll stop here. The last time I discussed Paradigm on this board I was labeled a Communist.

#9 of 29 HienD

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Posted May 17 2003 - 09:00 PM

My HT buying experience has been more pleasent then I thought it would be. Most of the salemen were honest and didn't try to sell me things that I wasn't looking for or willing to pay for. The two paradigm dealers in my area are more HT and home automation places. Their demo speakers were very limited. The only bad experience was with the nuance speaker dealer. Trying to sell me way.........over price nuance speakers when they knew I just bought new speakers and all I wanted was a sub.

#10 of 29 John F. Palacio

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Posted May 18 2003 - 03:17 AM

Susana says:
Quote:
Paradigm should hear about what happened to you.


Amen to that!!!!!!!!!

I would go further. I would demand an apology and would not stop till I got one!Posted Image
Best regards.

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#11 of 29 John Garcia

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Posted May 18 2003 - 05:01 AM

I would have walked out also. I've been in the same situation before as well, though never with a Paradigm dealer.

You could also ask him if there are any salespeople who actually want to make a SALE that you can talk to from their store.
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#12 of 29 ChrisDixon

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Posted May 18 2003 - 05:31 AM

Believe it or not, I had an even worse experience, though so many of the the attitudes that you described were very similar. I went to a local dealer with a friend who wanted to buy a set of reference speakers. Let's see... where to begin. First, my friend called ahead to tell them that we were coming, and we ended up having to wait about an hour to even go into the listening room. The guy (owner, by the way) was with an older couple, and literally spent the whole hour with them (the last 10 minutes or so was just making small talk at the door). Well, I thought, maybe we'll at least get good service. Wrong! He knew we were there waiting too, because he came by at one point and my friend told him who he was. Did he say, "I'll be right with you" or "Thanks for waiting"? No, he yelled at us for turning the channel on the display TV to watch a football game.

When we finally got our turn, he asked my friend what was going to be driving the speakers? He said he'd ordered an Outlaw Audio amp and pre/pro. The guy said, "I have serious doubts about anyone who would mix and match like that." Like what?? Was he supposed to buy a Paradigm amp and processor? He also asked about the sub, and he told him that he was ordering an SVS. Well, this pretty much made the guy lose any small interest that he may have had. He pretty much just sniffed at us and scoffed at the idea of not buying everything from him. Like Frankie's experience, he also thought it was foolish to use 20s as surrounds. At this point, I actually spoke up and listed about 5 reasons why they fit his needs better. His only retort was, "Well, the reps at a conference I went to said that you should use the ADPs". Oh, ok. His whole attitude was smug and disinterested. Meanwhile, we are both over 30 and presentable. I thought my friend was going to hit the guy, but we just walked out.

The only other Pardigm dealer near me is mostly staffed with people that know NOTHING about their product and hardly budge an inch on pricing. Funny thing is, I found a place that is an hour and a half drive away that is great. They get to know you, treat you well, know the product, and are more than fair in their discounts. In the past six months I've purchased a Marantz 8200 and a set of Paradigm Studio speakers there... glad to make the drive rather than support the poor dealers that are in my own neighborhood.

Chris

#13 of 29 Richard Travale

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Posted May 18 2003 - 05:48 AM

I would have walked out the second he asked "what do you want?"
What do I want? Some respect dickwad!!!

Quote:
Obviously a graduate student of the Jacques Chretien school of diplomacy

Who is Jacques Chretien, Chu?

 "Cock your hat - angles are attitudes. "
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#14 of 29 Kwang Suh

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Posted May 18 2003 - 06:05 AM

Quote:
Who is Jacques Chretien, Chu?
That's Jean Poutine's first cousin Posted Image

#15 of 29 Everett A

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Posted May 18 2003 - 06:16 AM

I think that's the child that Jean Chretien and Jacques Chirac had.

#16 of 29 Chu Gai

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Posted May 18 2003 - 08:49 AM

Ooopss!! Jean it is!

#17 of 29 Brett DiMichele

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Posted May 18 2003 - 12:07 PM

The really sad part is that these dealers act like Paradigm
is gold and they are far from it. Sure Paradigm makes a
good speaker but high end? Please.... HAH that's damn
laughable..

2K is not a lot of money for speakers. Yes it is a fair
amount to spend but when there are speakers out there that
get up into the 6 figures and these dipwad dealers act like
Paradigm is thier "reference" *shakes head*

If any dealer treated me that way I would flat out tell
them I am leaving and taking my 2K to someone who will earn
it with respect.

What do they think you should drive Digms with Krell? HAH!!!


Yeah that would be a real proper budgeting.. 2K for speakers
and 15K for an amp and processor..
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#18 of 29 gregD

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Posted May 18 2003 - 12:59 PM

The really sad part is that these dealers act like Paradigm is gold and they are far from it.

Agreed... after my own auditioning, 'digms aren't even on my list anymore... I've heard a lot more intriguing music out of similarly-priced speakers from Totem, Monitor Audio, Triangle and others that don't get much mention in the forums... 'digms sound boxy and congested compared to any of these... and the search continues.

Paradigms are hardly bad speakers, but they're certainly not worth putting up with a snotty retailer... besides, the alternatives are fun to hunt down.

Think different.

#19 of 29 Jamey F

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Posted May 18 2003 - 02:36 PM

"sound boxy and congested"? The studios sound very forward, transparent and wide open to me. I do agree there are other brands out there that compete well with 'digms, but it does take effort to get a better value IF the paradigm dealer is willing to discount and give good service.

#20 of 29 Scott_lb

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Posted May 18 2003 - 04:32 PM

Frankie,
I think you are forgetting one thing when talking about that dealer losing $2,000 on a sale. After my experience in working in an a/v specialty store, I don't vies any sale as the stated amount. If you were truly impressed with the equipment you purchased, chances are you would show it to your friends and family. In turn, they might come in and spend some hard earned money as well. Further, you just might come in later on a spend more as well. I always believed that treating people with respect, regardless of the amount they are spending (not that $2,000 is a small amount mind you), increases the chances of you being referred to by friends and family. My mother feels the same- she sells real estate and cannot believe how many referrals that she gets (and consequently, more money). However, I did not work directly in sales and no longer work at that store. I apply those same principles to clients now, however, and strongly feel that it is the right thing to do from both an ethical and financial perspective.
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