Degritter failure/Music Direct service, the good, bad and really ugly

Even the best things can fail once in a while. My Degritter started leaking, the drying fan started drying during the wash cycle. It was an unhappy puppy. That was the bad.
I contacted Degritter directly and they responded immediately with two choices: return for replacement or try repairing by replacing some o-rings and rebooting the firmware. I opted to try the later. NG
So I contacted Music Direct for a replacement at Degritter’s direction. The pleasant lad on the phone told me that once they get my defective unit back, I’ll have it a week later, did I want to stick with silver or try a black one this time? Nice.
I sent it back, nestled in the factory packaging to Music Direct. Six weeks later, Music Direct’s customer service lady told me that they fixed it and I’d be getting it back but the plastic water tank is very cracked and I’ll have to buy a new one at $150. I told her that said water tank had never been subject to any impacts or stresses and how do we know that they didn’t crack it? I got back a very self righteous, frankly adolescent email.
I got the machine back loosely packed in a very old, very oversized box which was soaked inside still leaking, still not working, with a preposterously cracked water tank. I suspect that a foot was involved.
That was the ugly.

I contacted Degritter again and got an apology and a machine sent out immediately–no waiting for the defective unit first, cutting out Music Direct. I also got a prepaid UPS shipping label and a home pickup.
It’s working perfectly.
That was the good.

10 Likes

To a degree your experience reinforces my preference for dealing eye ball to eye ball with a brick and mortar store. Direct shipping when things go well is perfectly fine. The telling is in how the dealer resolves issues post sale, especially when they attempt to re-write the story.

I am glad to learn ultimately you ended up with a working Degritter unit.

4 Likes

Glad it worked out in the end. On the subject of MusicDirect customer service/technical support, a number of years ago, I bought a headphone amp from MusicDirect that arrived with a wobbly volume pot that was obviously defective. I called to request an exchange and was given the third degree regarding the volume pot issue. A MusicDirect manager said to me, “You know the old adage, ‘the customer is always right’? In our experience, the customer is almost never right.” (Long story short, I sent the headphone amp to MusicDirect for evaluation and the volume pot was deemed defective.)

3 Likes

Their disappointing customer service was finally underscored by the slovenly way they packed the unit to send it back to me; it and all the plastic and paper sopping wet.

1 Like

I purchased a DeStat III from Music Direct. It didn’t work out of the box. I went round and round with the customer service person who couldn’t wrap their head around the fact that I was home when the box was delivered and it went from the UPS driver to me, to the living room where I opened it, put in the supplied batteries, swapped the batteries thinking they were defective, to me immediately calling them to file a return. In their mind I was still most likely the cause of the failure. I finally got escalated to a manager who grilled me again and finally after going back and forth for ten minutes processed the return. It took six weeks for the return payment hit my CC.

I haven’t purchased anything from them since. I do however like getting their massive catalog when it comes out. It’s nice to flip through seeing things I won’t purchase from them.

8 Likes

In the age of instant world wide messaging the vendors who abuse their customers or consider them ignorant have just signed their epitaph and dont yet realize it.
Bitching because you broke it is a different and also very sad story too (in a different way) but goods arriving damaged or DOA products should be immediately compensated for in one way or the other.
A simple apology goes a long way in customer relations and retention. I have had a couple of cases where I had DOA products or short lived products and got treated like you did. And the same as you they will never get any more of my money or a good recommendation from me. I wont stand on a pulpit and try to beat them out of business as that is simply immoral but if asked I will give my experience and advice. I have also had a few of the opposite where a vendor bent over backwards to try and make it right. They still have my loyalty today.

4 Likes

Exactly how I feel. I don’t have time or energy to go on a rampage. But I will comment when asked or here where the contribution makes sense.

Now thinking about it, I am certain I have had more positive experiences then negative.

1 Like

Same here. Probably over 90% are good companies but the ones that cause pain stick out the worst.
Our best supplier has always been centered on a good customer experience at all costs. They don’t have the lowest prices by far but also dont sell any junky imported crap if there is a high quality domestic piece available.
They also offer “next day air at ground rates” so if you order by 6:00 PM it shows up the next morning for usually a $10 bill or so instead of the $50 you would expect.
They also have the best return policy on the planet. No RMA or permission is needed. Just send it back and they will make sure it is still in new condition, figure out what invoice it was on and restock it for a full purchase price credit.
We ordered some material from them for Friday delivery to use on a weekend job for a very good but demanding customer. On Friday morning the box showed up with the end blown out and nothing inside. I called them to report the issue and they sent another order out for Saturday AM delivery. We got our weekend work done and on Monday the UPS driver showed up with most of the material that had escaped the box on Friday. When I called the supplier to report they said to keep the material and just pay the original invoice. And they did not charge for the Saturday delivery or material. I have been a customer of theirs since the mid '80’s.

3 Likes

I won’t go into the details of delivery damage again. I’ve detailed it in another thread. But in that case, the manufacturer, Pass Labs, treated me like I was their brother. They cemented a life long champion.

10 Likes

Plus the catalog cover with the bitchin’ photo of Eddie Van Halen makes a great coffee table piece.

2 Likes

That’s so true! I think my copy was mysteriously moved just a few weeks ago.

It is a great photo.

I had some bad luck with Music Direct with regards to a Degritter purchase, too. The good news is it’s currently in action. MD wanted me to send back everything when a 2nd reservoir performed poorly. It was during that ridiculous cold spell, and some stuff probably froze and made a mess somewhere. MD blamed me after questioning everything MD instructed me to do. Oh well. New machine is maybe very slightly strange with regards to the buttons, but Degritter has been pretty dog-gone nice to work with. They had me remove the two knobs hoping to find loose screws, but I didn’t see such looseness. They might be seated better now.

Question: Does your Degritter blow on the left side and up regularly? The fan/sonic-motor is clearly on the left and there I can often feel it blowing upwards usually. Can’t recall if the former machine did the same. Also does the screen flicker quite a bit when you’re looking at it? Say during ‘hello’ and ‘good-bye’. Cheers

Luckily for me, Aleks at Degritter decided to bypass Music Direct after their embarrassing performance.
He sent me a new one directly and it works flawlessly.
One fan does blow up out top, left. The purpose is to keep the water temp below a setpoint.
The ultrasonic generators do create considerable heat. In fact, if you clean enough records in a row, the unit will pause, run the fan to reduce water temp and then resume.

2 Likes

Yeah, I told MD to just send me back the stuff and Alek helped make things better.

Just cleaned up this beauty:

2 Likes

I was at the High End Munich and Degritter folks there told, they will release an additional more expensive luxury version. They also showed the prototype.

More ultrasonic generators, 120 and 80 kHz combined, 2 tanks, better cooling to be able to clean more records after another.

It will still take some time and they couldn’t guess a price.

3 Likes