buyer beware

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buyer beware

Post by MissyHPhoenix »

I am so angry over this story that I wanted to share it as a warning for the flute community!

I have friend who wanted a really good hand made instrument. She had purchased a gold headjoint from a very well known flute maker (I will not slander his name here but if you want to know who he is, PM me). She was so happy with it that she decided to order a new flute from him. She saved up for a couple years, then contacted him. Was told he would have her flute ready in 3 months. She gave him a $9000 deposit! After 3 months she called and was told he was busy making a flute for"XXX" big star, but her flute would be ready in another 3 months. Another 3 months, still wasn't ready, wait another 3 months ..... etc etc. This went on for THREE YEARS! In the meantime he'd been making flutes for stars all over the world and actually taken an extended vacation where he toured several other countries! My friend finally lost patience and asked for her money back, and he LAUGHED at her, saying he wasn't giving her a dime. She found out that the statute of limitations had expired and she therefore had no recourse to get her $9000 back!

She probably would never have received anything if she hadn't been able to have her teacher help (friend was enrolled in graduate school for flute performance and teacher there is a rep for this crook). Crook finally sent her A flute -- not THE flute she had ordered, but just A flute, probably one that was supposed to go to somebody else. This one didn't even match the serial number of the receipt he sent her ..... and had an off set G that she hadn't ordered, but he said was his gift to her. Ok. Then she sends him the solid gold headjoint to pay the balance and was supposed to receive about $1000 back from him. When she didn't get a check, she contacted him AGAIN and was told that he didn't owe her anything because the difference paid for the off set that she had NOT ordered and he had said was a GIFT. He finally ended up sending her a check for around $200!

The flute is beautiful but not worth the headache she went through to get it. Lesson learned -- NEVER put more deposit down than you have to, and ALWAYS be aware of the statute of limitations so that you are not made into a victim like my friend was. Also -- probably a good idea to investigate the reputation of the person you are dealing with before you slap down cash. My friend found out after all of this that this guy has a reputation for doing this type of thing. She actually turned out to be one of the luckier victims -- at least she got something! She plans to save her money again for a few years and then buy another flute, probably a Powell, and then she'll sell the one Crook gave her so she can put the whole sordid mess behind her.

I want SO badly to just put his name here but decided not a good idea. Hint: his flutes go by just one name ..... I would never buy anything from this jerk. What an ass. I hope none of you ever do business with him. Another hint: name starts with E.

End of rant.

Why Be Normal????

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Re: buyer beware

Post by Phineas »

Hey Missy,

Any time you order ANYTHING custom made, the trade off is dealing with the builder's weirdness. Usually, builders will take more orders in a given time period than they can realistically produce. These same people/builders also have a bad habit of spending almost all of money that comes in, then wind up having to produce something with what little they have left. Which forces them to have to rob money from the next person's deposit.

Been there, seen/been through that! In general, if I have to have it, I will just find a flute that is already made. This definitely avoids hard feelings, and I get to play on it when I pay for it!!

Good to see on onboard Missy!!!


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