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#2137874 - 08/23/13 05:16 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: custard apple]
Anne'sson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/25/12
Posts: 142
Loc: El Paso, TX
If I were in the market for a new piano, I doubt that the knowledge that I'd have to pay $ 25 to $ 40 to get precise information about the date and place a model of a particular brand was built would be a major factor in my decision.

That said, I think high-end piano makers could learn from the art world. My wife and I recently purchased a serigraph by an artist which came with a certificate of authenticity, detailing the procedure used and the dates of printing, the number of prints in the edition, and the disposition of the materials used upon completion. While it would be impractical to attach this to a piano, it would be easy to create a computer file of a certificate for each serial no. of piano that could be accessed by the dealer, printed on good quality paper, and given to the customer upon delivery.

Should I contact Matinna Blees with this suggestion? laugh


Edited by Anne'sson (08/23/13 05:17 PM)
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#2137899 - 08/23/13 06:13 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: custard apple]
Retsacnal Offline

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015


Registered: 10/11/12
Posts: 477
Loc: Northern Virgina
Wow, lots of thoughts crossed my mind while reading this posting...

Someone above mentioned that German correspondence is direct and to the point and so can seem standoffish. Definitely some cultural differences. I lived in Germany as a kid, and also worked in Switzerland as an adult. When I lived there, there was no such thing as a "free" refill. Americans take them for granted. When you ask for ketchup in the U.S. they hand you a wad of too many packets. In Germany they asked how many you want and charge per packet. What's normal in one place is not always normal in another.

I agree with the point made once or twice above that it takes time to research these queries. I chuckled at the idea that you should then call your technician--doesn't it also take up the technician's time? But that does get close to the gist of the matter: who's responsibility is it? The "head office" in Berlin is doing what it does best (as was also pointed out above): planning the production and sale of their product. And their product isn't a generic widget sold by the millions at Target by kids who don't "know" anything about the merchandise (which then might necessitate a call to some central service desk). It's a high-value, low-volume product, with a specialized distribution network. They have contractual relationships with dealers whose job it is to sell and service them.

Even though your individual purchase may be significant to you, it has almost no impact on the producer. They don't sell to you--they sell in large quantities to entities like the "BechsteinUSA" mentioned above. BechsteinUSA in turn has a distribution network. The producer and distribution centers are not set up for customer service. They're set up to produce and distribute.

This is no different than with automobiles. If you buy a BMW, are you going to write to BMW's corporate headquarters in Germany to ask a question about it? No; you go back to the dealership.

People also establish fees for nuisance work that they don't want to be overwhelmed with. Each time a Bechstein hits Craigslist, does the home office want to get dozens of queries as to what year it was "really" produced? Charge a nominal fee for the answer and problem solved! Also, with the cost of labor in Germany, 26 euros probably only covers about 15 minutes, so it's not like it's a profit center for them.
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#2137945 - 08/23/13 08:00 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: custard apple]
Caowner2013 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/13
Posts: 79
Retsacnal's post comes closest to explaining the cultural differences; it is the most useful and informative.

It has been interesting reading the posts here. It seems there is a group of "jaded" dealers or professionals who cannot help but jump all over the OP. Then there is a group of consumers who are hoping for "better" service from a "premium piano maker".

What is clearly lacking is a bridge that educates the OP until Retsacnal's post.

For the dealers and pros posting here, what you deal with everyday, 12 hours a day, 356 days a year, is NOT what a consumer deals with once or twice in a lifetime. It takes two to "tango" and if you treat us with some courtesy and respect and explain where we did wrong, most of us will accept and learn. If you simply bash us around because you are the "experts" and we are the "dummies", then it does not help consumer's views of dealers of any product, including fancy expensive piano dealers.

My own personal experience is that 99% of "premium" companies charging "premium" pricing are out to make a buck just like Walmart. All the glitz and marketing are just that, marketing. For us to expect certain "special" treatment is unrealistic. Once the cash changes hands, we are often on our own regardless of what the marketing material claims.

Buyers beware.

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#2137975 - 08/23/13 09:43 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: Allan W.]
Amaruk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 802
Loc: New England, USA
Originally Posted By: Allan W.

From their website, it sounds like they have lots of random people who come across old Bechstein models email them to date their piano and the fee could be reasonable there. Their website says they only do this for pianos 10 years or older. I presume the dealer could tell you the information about new pianos.


+1. That makes complete sense to me too.
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#2137983 - 08/23/13 10:10 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: custard apple]
Norbert Offline
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Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14120
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
From my own perspective:

Outside perhaps Steinway, none of the German dealers are too big to answer questions from the public.

Any.

If companies like Miele, Volkswagen and Bosch have published customer service lines, so should they.

I know that in case of Sauter, Ulrich himself handles things - Grotrian, August Foerster and Steingraeber is also very good.

The last a company should come across is being ABOVE their customers - to me this is plain poor business.

Other may beg to differ and see things differently.

Norbert
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Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
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#2137990 - 08/23/13 10:29 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: custard apple]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10349
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Well, Norbert, we've found something on which to agree … smile
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#2137992 - 08/23/13 10:37 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: custard apple]
Norbert Offline
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Registered: 07/03/01
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Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
Well, Norbert, we've found something on which to agree …


Not a problem.

The other issues just taking more time...

Norbert wink
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Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2138005 - 08/23/13 11:07 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: custard apple]
Retsacnal Offline

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015


Registered: 10/11/12
Posts: 477
Loc: Northern Virgina
Just for the record, I emailed a German company (schaller-electronic.com) about some guitar hardware a couple years ago, and the owner himself replied to my questions. Probably also depends on the company's corporate culture too. My experience is that people in modern and/or smaller companies, tend to be very responsive, especially if the founder is still around and passionate about the business. In other words, it's not just a job. Bigger and older companies tend to be more "old fashioned," and in that context the cultural differences will also be more pronounced.


Edited by Retsacnal (08/23/13 11:08 PM)
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#2138011 - 08/23/13 11:14 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: custard apple]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Registered: 04/12/05
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Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Assuming Bechstein's non-service in this case is real, and not a groundless figment of the original poster's vindictive imagination, the many examples of great customer service from German companies suggests something to me. One should be very wary of broad cultural generalizations about Germans, or about any other people.
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#2138021 - 08/23/13 11:39 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: custard apple]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2297
Loc: Sydney
Thanks to everyone who has made interesting and informed comments on this thread.

I emailed the thread to Ms Blees of Bechstein HQ Berlin who then replied, without charging 26 Euros, informing me my piano was built in 2011 and the country of origin is Germany.

This is a good example of the power of the Piano Forum.

@ Ando: The piano is A175.

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#2138036 - 08/24/13 12:11 AM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: custard apple]
ando Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3520
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: custard apple


@ Ando: The piano is A175.


Ah, very nice. So it's the Academy series. I played an A190 the other day and was very impressed. Too expensive for me to buy, but a very classy instrument. Is your A175 a similar instrument to play as the A190? (Excluding the bass, of course). I can understand your quest for information on the origin of this line because I was curious too and got quite a complex picture. In the end I was satisfied that it was an excellently constructed piano made with premium parts. I'm sure you'll be very happy with your new piano.

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#2138043 - 08/24/13 12:40 AM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: custard apple]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 629
Loc: Leicester, UK
very well done custard apple. very very well done!

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#2138046 - 08/24/13 01:24 AM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: Mark Polishook]
custard apple Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 2297
Loc: Sydney
@ Mark: Thank you very much !

@ Ando: I'm glad you got to try out this series. I tried the A190 too but I didn't want it to take up too much space in my room, and its sound would have been too loud for my neighbours. Also I didn't want to increase my budget again.

Yes I believe my one is the same as the one you tried, only smaller.

Did you try the piano in Melbourne or Sydney ?

I'm encountering the same problem as you, there is no clear information distributed by Bechstein on where parts are sourced and assembled.

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#2138206 - 08/24/13 10:47 AM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: Philm35]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1201
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Originally Posted By: Philm35
If I had spent tens of thousands of dollars on a piano, I too would have been offended to be nickled and dimed in such a way by the manufacturer. When purchasing a premium product at a premium price point, we expect a level of service that goes beyond what you get when buying a $40 tank of gas and a lotto ticket at Chevron.

--Phil


Well, here's a bit more about the cultural differences that precipitate this kind of customer "service".

Americans are used to and expect free and friendly "service" as part of the retail experience at every level. Not so in Europe, although that attitude is slowly changing. There are still shops in France that charge retail customers to look at their wares. "Entrée gratuit" is a sign you see on many shop window; you see "tarrif d'entrée" less and less, but it's still there in a few places. And you can't get the help to "help" you either, once you're in the shop.

One of the most frustrating things you can waste your time on is trying to get a French postal clerk to help with anything more complex than selling you stamps. It's not because they're unionized, and they don't hate people on general principal. Rather, they are all acculturated not to help customers. One learns to dread every trip to the post office. Same thing with the stereotypical Paris cafe waiter. Don't annoy them, or you'll just plain never get your coffee. Oh, and they don't smile at the customers. Ever. One learns not to expect it.

It reminds me of how McDonald's had to train Russian employees to smile at customers in their first store in Moscow. This is not a culturally important value to them, and they saw no reason to do it. It took months and months of nagging before before the staff could do it without being told.

I've run across that kind of thing in Spain and Italy as well.

So I'm not surprised to hear about Bechstein. After all, they are a very old school company. They've probably been charging customers for that kind of information for well over 100 years.

And if PW is not a place to air concerns about the piano industry, where would one vent? It's not as if this would go over at all on Yelp.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2138223 - 08/24/13 11:21 AM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: laguna_greg]
terrell Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/10
Posts: 71
Loc: Georgia,USA
Soon after my Grotrian was delivered I sent an e-mail to the Grotrian factory thanking them for producing such a superb piano and how much I appreciated that there were still people who take so much obvious care in their work. I received an e-mail back thanking me for thanking them. A reply wasn't necessary but my respect for those Germans grew immensely.

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#2138272 - 08/24/13 12:56 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: custard apple]
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14120
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
Soon after my Grotrian was delivered I sent an e-mail to the Grotrian factory thanking them for producing such a superb piano and how much I appreciated that there were still people who take so much obvious care in their work. I received an e-mail back thanking me for thanking them. A reply wasn't necessary but my respect for those Germans grew immensely.


Stuff like this should go without saying.

Is it any wonder that companies that operate like this have [often] full order books and are doing very well?

It shows a different kind of commitment by smaller makers: bigger ones are often busy hashing things out in boardrooms, are travelling or what have you.

Try Estonia and few others, it's exactly same...

[No, am not *hyping*...]

Norbert smile
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www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2138323 - 08/24/13 01:49 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: custard apple]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21303
Loc: Oakland
I am still wondering what difference the information makes. Either you like the piano or you do not. If it was made a few months earlier or later should not make a difference. Nor should where it was made.
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#2138331 - 08/24/13 02:08 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: BDB]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1201
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Hey, they wanted to know. Those are very legitimate questions.
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Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2138460 - 08/24/13 07:30 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: Norbert]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19230
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Stuff like this should go without saying.

Is it any wonder that companies that operate like this have [often] full order books and are doing very well?

It shows a different kind of commitment by smaller makers: bigger ones are often busy hashing things out in boardrooms, are travelling or what have you.
*:
Try Estonia and few others, it's exactly same...

[No, am not *hyping*...]

Norbert smile
Of course you are.

You need to review the definition of "hyping" that I've explained(quoted from the dictionary)to you several times. You seem to think hyping only means exaggerating the truth.

Here's the first listed definition from the first definition given when googling "hype":
1. Excessive publicity and the ensuing commotion

So unless you think your literally many thousands of posts about the brands you sell don't qualify as "excessive"....

Here's the first listed definition that comes up when googling "hype definition":
1. Extravagant or intensive publicity or promotion.

In addition, you continually ignore that if a compamy only produces a few hundred pianos each year, it's not some miracle that they can sell them all. Pointed out to you a few times also.



Edited by pianoloverus (08/24/13 07:57 PM)

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#2138500 - 08/24/13 09:08 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: custard apple]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8422
Loc: Georgia, USA
Hey, Pianoloverus… In all honesty, I think you would have a lot less stress and anxiety in your life if you just left Norbert alone. You continuously hound him and accuse him of hyping. At some point in time, we all hype something or other here on Piano World. Sometimes, yea, he may be hyping one or more of the brands he sells, but most of the time his comments reflect his passion for pianos.

I suggest you ignore his posts if they bother you so much.

Enough is enough…

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#2138503 - 08/24/13 09:12 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: custard apple]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10349
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
PL is also very good at making threads …. disappear. Inside joke.


But he is right about Norbie's irresistible urges. smile
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Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#2138506 - 08/24/13 09:20 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: laguna_greg]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21303
Loc: Oakland
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
Hey, they wanted to know. Those are very legitimate questions.


They would be more legitimate before the sale. After the sale, they are needless worry.
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Semipro Tech

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#2138510 - 08/24/13 09:26 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: BDB]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7239
Loc: Rochester MN
Originally Posted By: BDB
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
Hey, they wanted to know. Those are very legitimate questions.


They would be more legitimate before the sale. After the sale, they are needless worry.

There is nothing wrong with healthy curiosity.

"What, me worry?" Alfred E. Newman had it right!
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It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2138574 - 08/25/13 12:33 AM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: Minnesota Marty]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1201
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted By: BDB
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
Hey, they wanted to know. Those are very legitimate questions.


They would be more legitimate before the sale. After the sale, they are needless worry.

There is nothing wrong with healthy curiosity.

"What, me worry?" Alfred E. Newman had it right!


Exactly!
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2138640 - 08/25/13 05:19 AM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: ando]
Withindale Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 1923
Loc: Suffolk, England
Originally Posted By: ando
I can understand your quest for information on the origin of this line because I was curious too and got quite a complex picture. In the end I was satisfied that it was an excellently constructed piano made with premium parts. I'm sure you'll be very happy with your new piano.

Bechstein may be sensitive about moves within the European Union to label consumer products with country of origin.

At present they will be able to put "Made in Germany" on their "Bechstein" brand (B models replacing the A-Academy series, as I understand it) because they are assembled in Germany.

There is now a suggestion from some quarters that the country should be the one contributing the most value to the product. As a significant element of Bechstein's strategy is to reduce the cost of parts, those same "Bechstein" pianos might have to be labelled "Made in China" one day.
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#2138675 - 08/25/13 07:44 AM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: custard apple]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1752
I don't think that Bechstein is unusual in not listing the countries of origin of all the component parts in its pianos, is it?

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#2140352 - 08/28/13 05:30 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: laguna_greg]
Tweedpipe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 423
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg


Well, here's a bit more about the cultural differences that precipitate this kind of customer "service".

Americans are used to and expect free and friendly "service" as part of the retail experience at every level. Not so in Europe, although that attitude is slowly changing. There are still shops in France that charge retail customers to look at their wares. "Entrée gratuit" is a sign you see on many shop window; you see "tarrif d'entrée" less and less, but it's still there in a few places. And you can't get the help to "help" you either, once you're in the shop.

One of the most frustrating things you can waste your time on is trying to get a French postal clerk to help with anything more complex than selling you stamps. It's not because they're unionized, and they don't hate people on general principal. Rather, they are all acculturated not to help customers. One learns to dread every trip to the post office. Same thing with the stereotypical Paris cafe waiter. Don't annoy them, or you'll just plain never get your coffee. Oh, and they don't smile at the customers. Ever. One learns not to expect it....etc


Difficult to believe what I'm reading here.
Having lived and worked in France for more years than I care to remember, and also having widely traveled within France, I can honestly say I have never, ever seen a store with a Tarif d'entrée sign outside or inside. In the largest cities, Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse etc, the very high-end stores, exclusive jewelers, or antique dealers may have an outside security device to press which allows entry, and once inside, one is fairly quickly greeted by a sales-person. However, purchases are not compulsory, a tip is not required, and there would be no charge for entry - don't let others convince you otherwise! There may be a store which is an exception to the rule, but I wouldn't know where. Even a specialist store which may not be open during regular hours, and where one may have to make an appointment would not generally demand an entrance fee - with the exception of the Pigalle area after hours of course.... blush
A number of stores do indeed still display an "Entrée Libre" sign, but this traditionally for many years has signified that one is welcome to enter and freely (librement) browse around the store, normally without any intervention from sales staff.

French postal clerks can be very helpful, especially if as a visitor one makes a little effort to speak French. Over the last few years the PTT or La Poste, have met with more and more competition from the private sector, and most employees in a customer-facing role now have clearly defined sales targets and are monitored in providing improved customer satisfaction. As Dylan would say, "Times they are a changing."

I do however, generally agree with the above remarks on the stereotypical Paris cafe waiter, devoid of a smile or a pleasant greeting. If I am ever greeted with a "Passer une bonne journée" (have a good day) from a French waiter, I will immediately donate my piano to the local thrift shop! I'm on a safe bet here, I know it will never happen.

IMHO piano salesmen tend to be very similar the world over, France being no exception. To the neophyte piano buyer/player, they may come across as knowing everything, but like beauty - is only skin deep. Finding one who really knows his stuff is the exception rather than the rule. Frequently a brand that is not sold by the store is talked-down upon, and another (often inferior) is promoted as being better. If one asks to speak to the boss things can improve, but not always. French cowboy piano operators do exist. Believe me, I've met a few, and they shoot from the hip!
_________________________
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We could have sworn you said the ark wasn't leaving till 5.
Yours sincerely,
The Unicorns



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


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#2140386 - 08/28/13 06:39 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: Tweedpipe]
AJF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1601
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: Tweedpipe
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg


Well, here's a bit more about the cultural differences that precipitate this kind of customer "service".

Americans are used to and expect free and friendly "service" as part of the retail experience at every level. Not so in Europe, although that attitude is slowly changing. There are still shops in France that charge retail customers to look at their wares. "Entrée gratuit" is a sign you see on many shop window; you see "tarrif d'entrée" less and less, but it's still there in a few places. And you can't get the help to "help" you either, once you're in the shop.

One of the most frustrating things you can waste your time on is trying to get a French postal clerk to help with anything more complex than selling you stamps. It's not because they're unionized, and they don't hate people on general principal. Rather, they are all acculturated not to help customers. One learns to dread every trip to the post office. Same thing with the stereotypical Paris cafe waiter. Don't annoy them, or you'll just plain never get your coffee. Oh, and they don't smile at the customers. Ever. One learns not to expect it....etc


Difficult to believe what I'm reading here.
Having lived and worked in France for more years than I care to remember, and also having widely traveled within France, I can honestly say I have never, ever seen a store with a Tarif d'entrée sign outside or inside. In the largest cities, Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse etc, the very high-end stores, exclusive jewelers, or antique dealers may have an outside security device to press which allows entry, and once inside, one is fairly quickly greeted by a sales-person. However, purchases are not compulsory, a tip is not required, and there would be no charge for entry - don't let others convince you otherwise! There may be a store which is an exception to the rule, but I wouldn't know where. Even a specialist store which may not be open during regular hours, and where one may have to make an appointment would not generally demand an entrance fee - with the exception of the Pigalle area after hours of course.... blush
A number of stores do indeed still display an "Entrée Libre" sign, but this traditionally for many years has signified that one is welcome to enter and freely (librement) browse around the store, normally without any intervention from sales staff.

French postal clerks can be very helpful, especially if as a visitor one makes a little effort to speak French. Over the last few years the PTT or La Poste, have met with more and more competition from the private sector, and most employees in a customer-facing role now have clearly defined sales targets and are monitored in providing improved customer satisfaction. As Dylan would say, "Times they are a changing."

I do however, generally agree with the above remarks on the stereotypical Paris cafe waiter, devoid of a smile or a pleasant greeting. If I am ever greeted with a "Passer une bonne journée" (have a good day) from a French waiter, I will immediately donate my piano to the local thrift shop! I'm on a safe bet here, I know it will never happen.

IMHO piano salesmen tend to be very similar the world over, France being no exception. To the neophyte piano buyer/player, they may come across as knowing everything, but like beauty - is only skin deep. Finding one who really knows his stuff is the exception rather than the rule. Frequently a brand that is not sold by the store is talked-down upon, and another (often inferior) is promoted as being better. If one asks to speak to the boss things can improve, but not always. French cowboy piano operators do exist. Believe me, I've met a few, and they shoot from the hip!



I think sometimes people visit a place once or twice and then decide they've got the whole culture and its people figured out based on minimal experience. What's that called again? Oh yeah--stereotyping (although they would never use that word. They use the word "culture" instead)

To the OP. I'm glad you got the info you desired. However I think feeling entitled to that info is in error. You paid for A PIANO, and possibly the warranty that came with it. Just because we give $1 or $100,000 to a company for a product doesn't mean we're entitled to anything after the transaction. Oh I know we can all sit here indignantly complaining about customer service feeling entitled to have our derrières kissed because we were kind enough to purchase a piano from THAT company, but when it comes down to it, IMO, you made a TRADE: Your money for their piano (and warranty). After that, they don't owe you anything.

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#2140399 - 08/28/13 06:55 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: Rank Piano Amateur]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10349
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
I don't think that Bechstein is unusual in not listing the countries of origin of all the component parts in its pianos, is it?


No, Bechstein is not unusual in that department. Most products today do not list country of origin of all components.

But as a high end maker, they have a bigger perceptional issue defending against charges of cheapening the brand if they source parts. Though one could easily argue the case, it's easier not to.

Firms usually report the sourcing of parts if they think the information offers an advantage in marketing, or if they are required to do so by law.

Look on the window stickers of Toyotas or BMWs, for instance. Everyone knows that autos are world products, so it's not a shock for people to discover that cars are sourced from everywhere. In the Toyota case, you will often see American content percentages posted so that Toyota can convince anti-trade consumers that their cars really have a lot of American content. German makers often want to convince buyers that although some of the content may come from the US, the engine (or whatever) still comes from Germany. It's a perception game.

_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#2140401 - 08/28/13 07:00 PM Re: Disappointing post-sales customer service from Bechstein [Re: custard apple]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10349
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Quote:
Oh I know we can all sit here indignantly complaining about customer service feeling entitled to have our derrières kissed because we were kind enough to purchase a piano from THAT company, but when it comes down to it, IMO, you made a TRADE: Your money for their piano (and warranty). After that, they don't owe you anything.


You are absolutely right. No one has a right to expect any service that is not explicitly written into a legally enforceable contract. Boy am I glad I worked with people who were generous toward purchasers, and who did not at all share your attitude.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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