Bad headphone experience with Guitar Center [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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06-30-2005, 09:33 PM
The headphones I was using with my Sony MD walkman recently died and I found myself looking for a replacement pair. The headphones, Sennheiser HD457, developed a wire break in one side of the headset and thus I only got sound in one side. They are under the 2 year warranty and will be sent back. I had a pair of the same headset years ago that developed the same exact problem. Odd, huh? Anyway,after reading many good reviews about the Audio Technica M2X series headphones, I'd figure these 'phones would be one of the best options for my portable use. Guitar Center in Carle Place,NY was the only store in my area that had these in stock, and they were on sale for $19.99. I bought an Audio Technica ATH-M2X (over the ear) headset there this past Tuesday. The salesperson said there was a 30 day "performance" guarantee, that if the headphones were not functioning properly or to my liking, they'd let me return them for another pair or give me a refund. According to them, they claimed "they weren't happy unless I was". Well when I first got the headphones I tried them with my walkman. It seemed something was wrong as there was very little treble or high frequencies and the sound was very muddy, the highs weren't crisp at all, even after cranking the treble up. So 2 days later I return to the store with the headphones back in their original box and my recipt. The salesperson who helped me tested them out and gave them a listen, he
agreed, they sounded terrible. He suggested some other headsets I could exchange them for instead. In the middle of our conversation, the store manager came in and rudely interrupted us. He said they cannot take any headphones back because of a new health law, which states selling any headphones that were used is a biohazard, and more or less told me to "get lost" and shop at Sam Ash instead. Mind you I put them on only ONCE. Apparently a new law was enacted that forbids the resale of headphones, microphones, and other various personal audio equipment because of threat of germs or lice! It was so ridiculous I didn't even believe him
at first. He showed me the recipt which does state a law in the back, but that applied to INTERNAL headphones, so I thought, the kind that would go in your ear. On the back of the recipt it says this:

"due to certain health and legal restrictions, computer
software(copyright legislation mandates no returns on opened
software),books,videos,CD's, harmonicas,INTERNAL earphones, earplugs, and microphones cannot be returned"

Here's a scan of the back of the recipt where I have underlined that part:

Nowhere does it say anything about headphones, but they've stretched the meaning INTERNAL earphones to headphones. I've returned headphones before to other stores in the past and they've always taken them back for exchange. After a lengthy argument someone in another dept came in and said they could take the headset back if I claimed it was defective, in that case they'd just give me another of the same pair. The good news is this one does sound somewhat better, but still not to my LIKING or how I thought these headphones would sound. Still sound kinda flat and weak in high ranges. And I still feel I was treated VERY unfairly at Guitar Center in Carle Place and would urge anyone here not to give them your business.
I am not pleased that they can get away with continuing to mislead
customers about their return policy. Also I am not pleased about their attitude. But this is not over yet. I may sue them if I have
legal ground over this. I deserve my money back just for BEING LIED TO and the agrivation it caused me. They're still lying to people about this.
Even one salesman told me I was making a big deal out of
nothing. EASY FOR HIM TO SAY! I will never shop at Guitar Center again. They claim $20 isn't alot of money to them, so
they should have just taken the headphones back without a problem then. It seems returns in stores are getting more and more difficult. I never remember getting into such arguments years ago. But next time you go out and guy a set of headphones, make sure you speak with a manager to make sure you can bring them back.
As for Guitar Center, I told them they lost a customer and will never shop in their store again. They have very misleading return policies and rude, unfriendly staff. A good store will try to keep customers, by sometimes taking a small loss (a refund to me)to keep that customer coming back. I wasn't going into that store today with getting a refund in mind, I wanted to get another pair of headphones. I was thinking of the Sennhesier 202's. And I was thinking of getting some of my next pro-audio purchases there as they have a pretty good selection of mixers and DJ stuff. They can forget about it now.
I will be in touch with the Better Business Bureau and the Guiter Center head offices over this. I called the police when I was at the store, they came by but this is a civil matter so they cannot get involved. I've head some ppl suggest that route but it's a civil matter.
It's not so much about the money as it is the way I was treated. I hate stores that take your money and refuse to help you once you have problems. :mad:

07-01-2005, 06:08 AM
Sorry you had to go through that. I've dealt with "Guitar Center" before on instrument related matters. They're a bunh of high grading, money grubbing dicks. But hey, they're a chain that won't be around much longer, just like Mars Music. At least those guys were kinda nice. Thanks for helping us all with this story.

Da Worfster :(

Resident Loser
07-01-2005, 06:56 AM what the man said...head south to Old Country Road...make a left and go to long as Richie isn't doing his pompous lookee-me schtick your OK.

Only visited GC once and came away unimpressed...between Ash, Manny's and Terminal we need GC like another Starbucks...

Screw the snotbags...

jimHJJ(...I recently purchased a $4.99 temp pair of Koss 'phones at Wal-Mart, heck it's only a Walkman...)

N. Abstentia
07-01-2005, 09:51 AM
I hate Guitar Center, probably the most useless store I've ever visited. I'll never go in one again. Most of their 'saleskids' could never get a job anywhere else except maybe BurgerKing/McDonalds/Taco Bell.