To summarize, because I have an inability to construct pithy content, here’s my argument:
PS Audio should partner with someone like CEVA Logistics or other “white glove” carrier for speaker delivery and stop using FedEx or any other “drop on your porch” carrier. OK, here’s the long version.
There has been various threads about the new PS speakers and how a direct to consumer speaker sale might work. Especially for those of us who must hear before we buy. And then I started thinking about how I stopped looking at TVs before purchase some time ago. I don’t know anyone who buys a TV from a “videophile” store anymore. Of those I know who have purchased TVs over the past few years they got their TVs in 1 of 2 ways: 1) Amazon 2) As part of a full home theater designed and installed solution by a local shop that specializes in such things.
Now, most TVs Amazon sells are dropped on your porch by UPS, FedEx, etc. but the larger and more premium sets they actually have a scheduled white glove service or you can pay extra for “Enhanced Delivery” on almost anything. A few years back I had ordered TVs from Amazon with this service and Ceva Logistics was the carrier that handled the delivery. I had to replace one of the TVs because of a “poor” delivery and I wanted to share my experience.
I ordered a 65" Panasonic Plasma television that included white glove delivery. This set comes in a giant box and its heavy. The delivery crew that arrived really wasn’t qualified to handle such a large set and when they left I noticed the stand wasn’t built properly as well as some other issues I was unhappy with. I contacted Amazon who put me in touch with the regional CEVA team. CEVA took my complaint and worked directly with Amazon to get me a new TV. CEVA arrived, took down and re-boxed my old TV then proceeded to do an excellent job setting up my replacement TV. I was a happy customer.
Looking back on this experience I do not hesitate buying TVs from Amazon. However, when I ordered my BHK 300’s I actually had to file a complaint with FedEx because PS Audio has no recourse with the shipper when something isn’t right. This makes me hesitant to order anything “heavy” from PS Audio. I certainly don’t want tower speakers sitting in my driveway, in the rain, because the delivery driver cannot be bothered to put them under my covered porch and obtain a proper signature.
So, for me, I think I can easily get over the “hear before you buy” hesitation. I did for TVs. I can do this for audio. It’s the logistics of it when something goes wrong that has me hesitating.
The resolution here, or what would make me feel comfortable buying tower speakers from PS, use one of these “white glove” logistics companies. These companies already have teams of people who are trained to come in your home, haul heavy things up/down stairs, and will work directly with the manufacturer to “fix things” for the customer when something goes wrong. Just the ability to schedule delivery within a window provides huge confidence my purchase isn’t going to be destroyed because FedEx decided “delivery” meant kicking it off the back of the truck into my driveway. I shouldn’t need to understand logistics to get an issue “fixed”. I just want to call the place I ordered from and let them handle it. This is what occurred with my TV. It’s what I expect should happen with a tower speaker order. If PS is going to continue using FedEx for these things then I won’t even entertain a home listen. It’s just not worth the risk of me having to fix the logistics when something goes wrong. I don’t even want to put the thing back in the box if I simply don’t like it. Heck, every direct to home mattress company will come get their goods if you don’t like them. Why can’t this happen for speakers?
If you got this far… thanks for reading. I look forward to PS’s new “logistics program” when they launch their new speakers. Without it, at least for me, I’m going to pass.