HiFi Amusement -

Some... Unbalanced Customers We've Dealt With

Over the years here at Upscale Audio, we've had our share of customers... both good ones and bad. Most of you are an absolute joy to work with... but there's always one or two bad eggs...

Below are some examples of the craziest people who have ever called or emailed us.

We do not post these to gain sympathy for what we have to put up with sometimes... but rather to let you know this: No matter how crazy you think you're being with your question... there's always someone crazier!

Crazy about Cary

Before you listen to this recorded voice mail message, let me give you a little back-story..

Cary Audio had given us preliminary information about a new model was going to retail for $2500. They had a change of heart and decided to make it $2,000. This whole scene below happend before Cary announced the price change to their dealers.

This fellow calls us to see if we have this product in stock. I was in the South of France at the time, so he spoke with Jared, my right-hand man. This guy who... uhm... faces some "personal" challenges, somehow got the new lower price from Cary before they announced it to dealers. So he calls to try and ambush us. He is adamant that the price is $2000. Jared (remember we still have the $2500 price in our books) tells him that is not what we show in our price catalogue. He says to Jared "Wanna bet?" Jared responds "I'm sorry sir but according to my price sheet it's $2500..."

"I'll bet you your entire inventory I'm right!" replies the customer. This elicits a chuckle from Jared who replies sarcastically "Yeah... sure... listen I have to go I have another call coming in from overseas..." and the conversation ended. About a week later I return from France and the customer calls back. By this time Cary announced the price change, and we posted the information on the website. He is furious! He claims that Jared bet my inventory that the price was $2500, and demanded I "pay up." He just would not let it go! As calmly as I could, I asked this gentleman to seek business else-where... after he went on a tirade telling me how I should run my business.

The next morning we get this voice mail. (wav file - 278kb)

Here's an email regarding our online ordering.
We get about 4-5 emails like this per year, but this is probably the most entertaining one yet...

-----Original Message-----
From: Raymond [mailto:*deleted*@hotmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 18, 2006 12:31 PM
To: kevin@upscaleaudio.com
Subject: RE:

where to get cookies? what kind the cookies?, how to call this cookies?


>From: "Kevin Deal" <kevin@upscaleaudio.com>
>To: <*deleted*@hotmail.com>
>Subject: RE: Date: Thu, 18 May 2006 11:20:13 -0700
>Just like any other online ordering website. Choose what tube you want, select the grade, then hit add to cart. If it does not add to cart, that means you need to enable cookies on your web browser.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: *deleted*@hotmail.com [mailto:*deleted*@hotmail.com]
>Sent: Thursday, May 18, 2006 11:11 AM
>To: kevin@upscaleaudio.com
>first_name: Raymond
>address: *deleted*
>city_state: Canada
>comment: How to buy the Tubes
>Submit: Send

Now... I have nothing against our Canadian friends... but it seems that I get the vaguest emails from our friends to the North. This is the email that Norman sent to us in its entirety...

From: Norman [mailto:*deleted*@rogers.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2006 9:17 AM
To: kevin@upscaleaudio.com
Subject: canada

i am in toronto
what is the shipping cost
thanks norman

You all know we sell lots of tubes. We pride ourselves on having the coolest stuff. This gentleman from Connecticut purchased some GE 5751 tubes... by far not a super rare tube. Note that I do not make any comment about the tube, other than its sonic characteristics. I mention it's a good tube, it's solid, but not to the extent this gentleman believes I did (the listing has not changed since he purchased the tubes). When he bought the tubes, he did not do so on my recommendation as I typically recommend the Mullard CV4004 for his application...

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mike [mailto:*deleted*@optonline.net]
> Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 8:16 PM
> To: kevin@upscaleaudio.com
> Subject: Pardon the bevity...and the angst....
> ....but I tried to convey this message 3 times via your website and each time it errored out......causing me to retype.....No other recourse than to send direct to you.
I recently received a pair of your GE JAN 5751's, and there is no other way to phrase this....they suck really, really bad!

Your web page (as well as a few others) wax poetic regarding their virtues, also stating that in a simple circuit there is nothing more needed. Are you folks deaf?
[I don't see where my website waxes poetic about the GE 5751... do you?]
> FWIW, I've run used Raytheon 5751's for about 2 years and love 'em when I can get 'em. The GE's versus the Raytheons are roughly AM vs. FM. NOT subtle by any measure. In my CAL Alpha (simple cathode follower, as you (should) know) your 5751's don't sound bad....they are horrific, disgusting and downright unlistenable! No bass, mushed mids.......A simple substitute of JJ's or Sovteks show this to be true. My SO was bitchin' about how thin the stereo sounded.....Christ, I even moved the speakers in an attempt to help. You gotta trust me on this.
> I suggest that it's in your best interest to immediately stop selling your "stash" of GE JAN 5751's cuz, if my pair are any indication, you are really pissing people off! However, if you're confident that they're the "cat's ass" please send along another pair and I'll return the crap I'm presently holding and give it another shot.
[I never said they're the "cat's anything." I never say that about any tube... if I said that to someone I'd be lying. I will say that I love the tube... but that doesn't mean you're going to love it too.]
> So, where does that leave you and me? Got a matched pair of JJ
> ECC803's? I'll GLADLY return the GE's and spring for the shipping both ways and buy you a cocktail if and when I see you.
> Trust me, this email is not over the top. [Riiiiight...] The two tubes you sent me suck atrociously!
> Yup! It's just audio.....but these tubes your sent me really do suck by an incredible margin.
> Regards,
> Mike
> Stamford, CT

Some of our NOS military stock tubes come packed with a little black plastic pin protector. This pin protector slides over the pins to keep them from being bent. Most folks see that little disc and pull it off the tube, but some people send gems like this one below. This is not an isolated incident. I'd say we get maybe one guy a year with this sort of complaint:

-----Original Message-----
From: John [mailto:*deleted*@yahoo.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2006 2:31 PM
To: kevin@upscaleaudio.com
Subject: RE: Just received my tubes

Sorry Kevin I did not realize that's what those were.

> From: "Kevin Deal" <kevin@upscaleaudio.com>
> To: <*deleted*@yahoo.com>
> Subject: RE: Just received my tubes
> Date: Wed, 03 March 2006 08:33:23
> Did you remove the black plastic pin protector on the bottom of the tubes?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: John [mailto:*deleted*@yahoo.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2006 12:26 PM
> To: kevin@upscaleaudio.com
> Subject: Just received my tubes
> I just received my tubes. The EL34s are working great, but I have to say that I am disappointed by your company's lack of quality control regarding its small tubes. The mullard 12AX7s you shipped me are missing their pins!

I would like to return this pair for some with pins so I can use them in my amplifier. Please send me a new pair with a return label today. I don't want to have to call my bank and start a chargeback over this matter.
> John
> White Plains, NY


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