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Disappointment with A/V salespeople (1 Viewer)

anth_c

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jul 17, 2002
Messages
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I am in the process of upgrading my receiver to separates. I walked into a specialty home theater retailer and told the salesman that I was looking for a pre-amp/controller. He showed me the Rotel RSP-1066 Controller, a component that I have read about in magazines and online. He gave me a brief rundown of the features and specs. I told him that I read a review on the unit in The Perfect Vision magazine (September/October 2002 issue). He was unaware of the review and made a comment to the effect, “I’m glad to see that it is being featured in the magazines…”

I politely thanked him, took his card, and went on my way. As I got in my car, I got angry because I seemed to know more about the unit than he did. I’m sure the store subscribes and probably even sells many of the home theater magazines. I would expect the salespeople to be more familiar with the gear that they sell. Was this guy really knowledgeable about home theater, or was he just a salesman that read the bullet points on Rotel’s brochure?

It is experiences like this that make me gravitate towards buying gear on the internet.

Anyone else care to share their experiences?

By the way, he was offering the RSP-1066 for 10% off MSRP. Is this a good price? In general, what kind of price can you expect to pay from a specialty retailer?

Thanks,
Anthony
 

Vincent_S

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 29, 2002
Messages
450
I know what you mean, when I was asking about the Denon 2803 about two weeks before it came out, the salesman said it was a 6.1. I told him to check again it should be 7.1. He said "Oh, you're right." :rolleyesThen he was started showing me a 2802 and couldn't get into any of the menu's! And this was one of the better higher end stores in town.
 

Dave*WB

Auditioning
Joined
Mar 8, 2003
Messages
10
By the way, he was offering the RSP-1066 for 10% off MSRP. Is this a good price? In general, what kind of price can you expect to pay from a specialty retailer?
From what I have heard, 10% is a standard discount for Rotel stuff. I have heard of some people getting 15% when purchasing a combo such as the 1066 with 1075 amp, but never more than 15%.

If you go back to look at the 1066, ask the sales rep if he knows anything about "Bass management issues" with the 1066 - this will let you know if he really knows what he is talking about or not.;)

Later, Dave
 

MatthewJ S

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 27, 2001
Messages
584
You should expect more from a specialty retailer, however ,consider these thoughts;
1.) he may not be representative of the store's salespeople as a whole...
2.)He may be new
3.) He may not care for the particular brand enough to learn much about it...
4.) He has to keep up with dozens of newly introduced items per week, while your focus is much narrower
5.)while in the past good salespeople in A/V could make 6 figures, it is becoming harder and harder to do so, so it is harder and harder to keep a knowledgable and dedicated sales staff...
......As can be seen with cc's decision to let their best people go in order to compete with the lower profit margins that bb deals with ; we all are starting to see the effects of what happens when we are unwilling to pay for good service....we don't get it!
On a daily basis I get calls from and encounter face to face people who bought their product from bb,cc, or on-line and need help to which I respond why are you asking me?..the response is always "'cause when I first came here you guys seemed to know what you were talking about."....
Apparently, they didn't think it was important enough to shop with us....
I lost an incredible salesman last week to the real estate buisness......
 

Alan M

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
Messages
454
I was searching for a new sub recently,and walked into 1 of the cc stores for a demo.After asking and waiting almost 20 minutes,I finally got a salesman do a demo.
When he turned the volume up loud enough to be heard in the neighboring state,I mentioned that the bass sounded boomy.His reply was "ya,isnt it great".At that point,I said thx for the demo and left the store.
Its a sad day when an audio salesman doesnt know good sound.
 

Evan M.

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 26, 2002
Messages
910
Very well said Matt. You took the words right out of my mouth. I think too many times we tend to think we know so much about HT that it may go to our heads. Yes I know that people in the HT business should know a ton about waht they sell but lets not forget that this (for most of us) is a hobby and one that we are pationate and love. Things tend to get different in the workforce because now you have much more items to learn as well as having to deal with customers, a boss, delivering companies, speacial orders and keeping the sales floor orderly and well labled, plus a countless more odd jobs. They have to do all of this with the ever decreasing pay-check. I used to work commission sales and It was the most difficult job I had. So much more goes on behind the scenes than just keeping a smile on your face and selling merchandise. We are always going to have a bad experience with sales people but I think we need to cut them a little slack every now and then. They do offer a great service and local businesses is what really what gives our economy a strong backbone.
 

Eduardo Ma

Grip
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Messages
23
Just happened to me too

When I buyed my Onkyo TXSR 700 last week, teh salesperson bringed the Onkyo brouchure of home theaters and I had to "explain" to the differences between the 600 700 and 800 models! and teh reason I wanted teh 700 modles all he said was ohh! OK!
Then I payed my reciver, and walked away with my box on the shoulder plus my free brouchure on teh mouth ??
Sales perosn gave it to me for free! for my great effort explaining

Ed
:D
 

DanaA

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 21, 2001
Messages
1,843
I get so much pleasure when I run into a sales person who isn't arrogant, yet really knows what they're talking about and shares a true enthusiasm for all things audio. These are the ones I end up buying from. Once you strike up that relationship, they usually are more than willing to give you a fair price and you feel pretty comfortable going back with any questions you have.

Unfortunately, so many, the majority in my experience, don't fall into this category. When I was shopping for my Rotel 1066 pre/pro, I brought up with the double bass issue. The sales person working with me immediately responded, "Well, that's a good thing. Never can have too much bass." The owner of the shop jumped right on in and agreed. Didn't matter that the whole callibration of your system would be thrown off. No siree. That there is good. The next shop I went into was a true pleasure. The owner knew what the positive and negatives were about the goods he carried. We just sat around and talked and listened to equipment, even if he knew I wasn't going to buy that particular gear. It was a very comfortable, enjoyable experience. I bought my Rotel there and have been back to purchase more gear from the shop since then. Each time, he gives me an outstanding deal and each visit is a joy.
 

Adil M

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 21, 2001
Messages
922
As a semi-salesperson (I'm really a clerk now) when a customer comes in w/ reviews and Consumer Reports. I tactfully make my suggestion and sell them what they want. They are the "enlightened" ones now and not worth the hassle.
Now that I am not on commission I sit back and watch. If they ask what I think, I give it to them straight. If they want technical support I inform them that we have people who come to your house and take care of that for a minimum of 150. Oh, the pleasure. I dont even think "I don't know" can cut a conversation that short.
I do a lot of reading and I copy lots of cd's and generally take lots of "me" time.
I know it sounds like a bad attitude, but as long as the customer is getting a good price they can whine all day about the help they are getting. It's wrong, but if you come at your salesperson w/ the wrong attitude they will drop you like a bad habit in the new economy. Unfortunately, that's how far the dollar is stretching for nowadays.
Also, I think it's pretty damn arrogant to think you know more about the product then all the people in the store. If one person doesn't know, get another person or ask for someone who does know. If you do all of your research on the internet and that makes you buy w/ confidence, then good for you b/c a happy wrong purchase is better to most then a neutral correct purchase.
 

MatthewJ S

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 27, 2001
Messages
584
I have stopped trying to keep up with camcorders, analog t.v.'s, vcr's, portables, boomboxes, shelf systems, and even most of the low-end sattelite systems.....these are commodity items, they aren't worth my time, you don't need me for that kind of equipment and I will happily hand you off to someone in my store who knows about these items...They will (hopefully) hand you off to me when your questions are about whole-home audio, Home Theater, Speakers, rcvrs, Pre-Pro's, Amps, Structured Wiring, Pronto programming, X-10, Crestron, etc., etc......I will say that I know m,ore about these things than the vast majority of my customers, but I garuntee if you research one particular product to death you can learn as much as I have, or more, about it , with one caviat....You probably would benifit from the fact that I have had some real world applications in so far as integrating it with other components and the wealth of experiance that goes along with hooking up hundreds of differant ,complicated, systems....If you are afraid that a salesperson in a store will not know enough to help you , lay your cards on the table when you come in...tell the salesperson what you already know and what you want to know and ask if there is someone in the store who knows a good bit about this particular product...if he tries to take it on as a challenge and proves to be less than knowledgable then politelty ask him if there is anyone else who knows more .....if he is difficult, ask the manager the same question.....
 

RobCar

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 27, 2002
Messages
201
Yes, it's nice to be able to rely on the knowledge of an experienced salesperson. But as always, you get what you pay for. Which means, generally, that you should know which stores to visit and which not to, if knowledge is what you're looking for.

But let's not forget that ultimately it's your money and you're responsible for the decisions you make. Caveat emptor. All the information is available to you on the Web, at your fingertips.

If I've spent a month obsessing about an upgrade, reading everything I can find about a particular product before I pull the trigger, I'm not going to hold it against a sales guy if he needs to look at the manual.
 

Victor Chan

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 10, 2002
Messages
79
As MatthewJ S said, I think a lot of the value that comes from visiting a specialty A/V vendor (I'm talking about the proprietor run establishments, not the Magnolia Hi-Fi and Tweeter-type stores) is the service and experience that they offer, not necessarily their ability to remember the feature sets of each one of their products to the tiniest minutia.

For example, when I visited the shop I purchased by Rotel RSX-1055 from, I arrived with my pair of Ascend Acoustics and he was willing to set up a demo for me on the spot -- bringing in the various Rotel pieces that I was interested in for comparisons, swapping in speaker stands of varying heights, A/Bing with the Paradigm speaker lines.

Then we sat down and talked about HT setup arrangements, what he thought of the Rotel pieces in general in terms of performance and reliability vs. competing lines that he carried such as Arcam etc. He was also a certified THX technician and was more than open about asking me my room dimensions, how to best set up my surround speakers etc., whether to go with dipole or monopole surrounds, etc.

For that kind of service, information, and establishing a good rapport with a local dealer, I was willing to buy from him even though I might have been able to get a better deal elsewhere. Sure he may not have known about Rotel including higher bandwidth video switching in their newer receiver and pre/pro units, but frankly, I think anyone who researched their potential purchases like I did (read every magazine review and virtually every report of the piece that's available online) can stump the salesperson in terms of feature sets.

As exemplified by DanaA's experience, it could be hit or miss. Why deal with a salesperson or store you aren't comfortable with? Hopefully your area will have enough stores that if you find a store where you do think the staff incompetant or unknowledgeable, move on to one where you do feel more comfortable purchasing from.

By the way, to answer Anthony's question about pricing, I purchased the Rotel RSX-1055 for 14.7% off when taking sales tax into account. I offered to purchase for that much and he agreed -- no haggling.
 

Adil M

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 21, 2001
Messages
922
Unfortunately, Victor many customers will take that information for granted and walk right out the door and buy from where it's cheapest. That's the sucker punch.
 

MatthewJ S

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 27, 2001
Messages
584
Don't sell the Magnolia's and others short...I used to work at one and that' where you get good...Sometime the mom and pop's or custom instalation stores can't consistantly offer a good salesman enough money...the mid-fi mid-size companies get enough foot traffic that a knowledgable person, on commision, can earn good money...some mom and pops don't pay much more than best buy .....and stores that live by the "big custom deal" have salespeople starving (and leaving) during hard times......
 

Rob Rodier

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jul 11, 2002
Messages
538
is the service and experience that they offer, not necessarily their ability to remember the feature sets of each one of their products to the tiniest minutia
Thank you.

If you were misguided and made a wrong purchase, that would be one thing. A rep not knowing everything off hand, is completely another.

In addition, specs and "feature sets" are considered secondary to the majority of consumers who keep these places in business.

-rob
 

terence

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 8, 2002
Messages
985
When he turned the volume up loud enough to be heard in the neighboring state,I mentioned that the bass sounded boomy.His reply was "ya,isnt it great".
This also happen to me(LOL):laugh: :laugh:

My biggest problem with these guys is there is no excuse for not knowing about the product you sell. If this is how you make a living or whatever they use the money for you should know your craft! My second biggest problem is the sales guys that are arrogant!:angry: This burns me up when ever i run into a guy like this, they take the snob factor to the max. If you live in the Atlanta area go vist one of the Hi-Fi Buys chains (Tweeter) and see if i'm wrong some of these guys treat like show me the money first then i will be more helpful and nice to you.

I use to work in sales as well and know what it is like but there is know excuse for not treating a customer as if he or she were you. So what you having a bad day, week it is not the the customers problem, all they want is what they suppose to get, good service! So i ask

WHAT IS SO WRONG WITH GETTING CUSTOMER SERVICE?!
 

ChrisHeflen

Supporting Actor
Joined
Sep 9, 2002
Messages
912
Yes, it's nice to be able to rely on the knowledge of an experienced salesperson. But as always, you get what you pay for. Which means, generally, that you should know which stores to visit and which not to, if knowledge is what you're looking for.
Unfortunately this can't be done sometimes. There is only one store where I live that carries all the stuff I'm interested in. The next is 200 miles away. I used to travel an hour to avoid this store to get what I want, but they never had anything in stock and I didn't wanna wait three weeks for it to come in. So I suck it up and buy from the "bad" store. I have heard the sales people laugh at me behind my back, make fun of how I describe things and charge me full list even though I have spent about $4000.00 of my own money and have recommended friends to them who have purchased another $5000.00 in equippment from them.

I look at it this way. I have more that established myself as good customer, I have shown that I bring money to them, I am not stupid about this "hobby" so I know I'm not a burden customer.
When do I start to get the benefit of being a good customer? Meaning a price break, no behind the back scoffing, feeling good about my experience, being told I would be getting a new product TWICE only to find a floor model was being given to me instead and assured that I was getting them same thing as new and being charged the same price and new and hussled out the door cause it was closing time?
Should I report this store? :)
 

MatthewJ S

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 27, 2001
Messages
584
Terrance asked " what is wrong with getting good customer service?"
........
A friend and I orderd from Reliable and we had a great experience with them. We both got ours for 700.00 shipped back in August. Their shipping was top notch, the ES came in a x-tra box with the little popcorn shipping stuff all around it. The must important thing was the customer service was great.

I would order from them again in the future should i need to, so give them a shot.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tee

"Enjoy movies & music."

_______end quote_________

Pay for it by buying from the HI-fi buys store you clearly USE for demoing gear............
Salesmen learn when they are being used.....
 

BenK

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 27, 2002
Messages
205
Chris, that is just horrible customer service! If I was you I wouldnt even step foot in that store even if it was the only store in the state. I hate to say it but its almost like you let them treat you this way since you keep coming back to them. Its one of those getting smacked and saying "thank you sir may I have another". I would do whatever I could to seek out alternative means of getting equipment.
 

Justin Lane

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2000
Messages
2,149
Chris,

Don't put up with crap like that. It sounds like you are in a sick abusive relationship out of necessity with this A/V store. Take your dollars elsewhere, or buy used for cheaper if all they do is pass off floor models at new prices.

J
 

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