How I got thrown out of Tweeter! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 01:28 AM - Thread Starter
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I was browsing in Tweeter last weekend when I noticed that the room with their front projector had the door closed. I just had to take a peek inside, and I heard a female voice say "come on in". I stepped inside and the young woman was there with a salesman and her young son, obviously interested in the front projector. I asked the salesman if it was a Yamaha LPX-500, and he promptly said "yes". The young lady asked several questions from the salesman, which he promptly answered. It was obvious she was interested, and she commented that her husband wanted to purchase a front projector for their new theater they were going to build in their new house. She inquired about how to align the projector with the screen and said something about trying to use a white sheet as a temporary screen. I couldn't help myself, and I commented that I had a front projection system. Well, that was all it took. She began asking me questions such as, "How long have I had it", "How big is my screen", etc ... I then mentioned that I built my own screen, and I had about $50 in it. Oops!! About that time, the salesman left the room, and we continued to talk front projection. She then asked me to talk to her husband, so I handed her my phone, and she called her husband. He turned out to be an engineer, so we clicked right away, as he asked me several questions, and we continued to talk. About that time, I get a tap on the shoulder - it's the store manager. "Sir, I'd like to have a talk with you." He led me out of the room, and we walked about 3/4 the way toward the exit. He said something like this - "Sir, we don't appreciate you coming in here and telling our customers that you built your own screen for $50. We have over a million dollars in inventory, and we're in business to sell these retail products to the customer. We can't let you come in here and tell our customers that they should shop here, then purchase from the Internet." He went on to say that this was her third visit, and she was probably going to make a purchase. He sure had a frown on his face. I promptly apologized, and left the store. All this time, the husband was on the phone, and I continued to talk with him as I left the store. We talked for probably another 20 minutes and I answered several more questions about the different technology's - DLP, LCD, and CRT. I suggested that he learn as much as he can, and demo different projectors in his price range. I also pointed him to this forum! ;-) Before we hung up, I gave him my phone number and offered him a demo in my home of my X1. Both him and his wife sounded very interested in my offer, so I expect to hear back from them.

Let me say that I know I was out of line, and the manager had every reason to ask me to leave. If I was the manager, I would probably do the exact same thing. I do appreciate the B&M's for the service that they provide, but my HT enthusiasm got the best of me. I guess I won't be going back in there for a while.

Thomas
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post #2 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 01:45 AM
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I think you did the right thing though, and them throwing you out well that shows that they care more for selling expesive stuff instead of providing whats best for each customer. I know that is a hard line to walk on as a dealer, but it usually pays back when you always provide whats best for each individual and not only try to sell whats best for you.

I know many people including myself that dont mind paying a little bit extra for good service and a lot of help. Best would have been them telling her to build her own screen instead of using a sheet, not you ;)

There are some shops that actually do that and they get a really stable customer base and everyone recommend them, so they can keep a good price and are more certain for closures.

Myself I cannot keep my mouth shut when I hear a salesman saying all the wrong stuff, or not answering correctly, or trying to promote a inferior product. Its like a good community around HT and you want to help out new comers to get their best possible experience from it.
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post #3 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 05:03 AM
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From my experience, Tweeter (or Now: Audio Video) is not where one should go to get (1) a fair price or (2) good service. You did the right thing.
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post #4 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 05:12 AM
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Fair price, no. But it is their store. I think you did the right thing in apologizing and leaving. I know that I have had to bite my tongue numerous times while in A/V stores watching some salesman talking to an uninformed consumer. The only times I've ever said anything is when the saleman is obviously trying to rip them off, or doesn't have a clue what the hell he is talking about. Then I wait until they step away and offer to help the shopper. I never tell them NOT to buy something. I simply point out the strengths and weaknesses. Lets be honest, some of the people selling electronics would be better off in the linens department of Walmart.

Someday maybe I'll actually WATCH my projector...
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post #5 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 05:20 AM
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I second Havocsi's comments. Whenever I walked into Tweeter (which has not been for over two years, I am proud to say), I could not shake the feeling that I was being hounded by former used-car salesmen (my apologies to any used-car salesmen on the forum ;) ).

If the salesman did not have the knowledge to take your input and run with it (or try and explain the advantages of the products at Tweeter over the DIY route), then they were not worthy of getting that woman's business.

Education is a powerful tool, and if the manager of the Tweeter was POed--tough. It is really hard to find vendors who are truly knowledgable that you can trust, but when you find one, paying a little extra is worth it.
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post #6 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 05:23 AM
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Did you really tell her to shop at the B&M and then buy off the internet?

RG
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post #7 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 06:30 AM
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Actually, I've had good experiences at Tweeter - with "conventional" TV and Audio stuff. I've, typically, done the Web research and let them (near) match the price. I'm willing to pay some premium for service and occasional expertise.
Home theater, however, they seem clueless and, worse, they've made a bad corporate decision to just show the high-end (no, high-price) stuff.
Poor business decision because somebody else is gonna' eat their lunch. Somebody else is gonna' show folks good value (and choice) and all those folks who (out of ignorance) paid too much for too little will perceive that they got screwed and will never return to Tweeter for anything.
I still believe it's sensible to make a profit - on a lot of stuff, rather than, just tryying to make the big margin on a few sales.
Be well, Jim

Jim Gunther
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post #8 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 06:51 AM
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You have way more will power than I do, congrats.

Unless you said the shop here and buy on the internet line then he was wrong anyways.
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post #9 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
I still believe it's sensible to make a profit - on a lot of stuff, rather than, just tryying to make the big margin on a few sales.

I am not familiar with Tweeters, are the a low volume big ticket type of business?
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post #10 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 07:10 AM
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I believe you did the right thing and you probably gained a new Home Theater friend in the process.
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post #11 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 07:15 AM
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I always have to force myself from giving advice to people at Best Buy, Tweeter, etc. It's especially hard to do so when I hear all the misinformation sales reps are giving out. What is a hobby or obsession to many of us is very complicated turf for many folks, & they don't need misinformation to make things worse.

HD Media Keen Videosaurus
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post #12 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 07:27 AM
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You should also explain to the husband and wife that while DIY screen for $50 is one option, a lot of people also buy screen for a few hundred dollars. It is a legitimate option. Whether they decide to go DIY or buying is their choice. Whether they buy from Tweeter or somewhere else is also their choice. Best information you gave them is about AVS forum.

I also feel that it is not ethical to go to a B&M store to ask all kinds of questions (assuming some of them do know what they are talking about) and turn around and buy the cheapest from the Internet. That's why I do all my research here.

:)
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post #13 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Did you really tell her to shop at the B&M and then buy off the internet?
No, I didn't say that. I guess he just assumed that was what I told her.
Quote:
... are the a low volume big ticket type of business?
They do sell a lot of mass market stuff, but they also carry a few lines from Sonus Faber, B&K, Vienna Acoustics, Martin Logan, and Denon.

Thomas
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post #14 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 11:27 AM
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The local Tweeter chain in Atlanta is called Hi-Fi Buys and it is definately a mid to hi-fi shop. They have recently removed almost all of the direct view CRTs, low end receivers etc. They deal almost exclusively in flat panel and rear and front projectors. They have everything from Yamaha and Dennon up to Meridian and Krell. I buy from them quite frequently for the quality of the service, especially on large purchases. A big step up from Best Buy and Circuit City.

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you
think it means. "
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post #15 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 11:38 AM
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the problem is that these folks had $$$ to spend and while your "knowledge" was appreciated by a hesitant wife, the "$50 screen" and 'buy it on the internet" was really sophomoric. did you stop to think very few people "building their own house" will have a problem forking over $300-600 for a perm wall screen. it's not like you were talking to some college kids.

DVD's are about movies & people watch them in living rooms, how many people actually use their computer drives to sit and watch movies- Bluray's Andy Parsons
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post #16 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 11:44 AM
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Tweeters, I believe was trying to sell them on not some $300-$600 wall screen, but electric screens which costs multiples of thousands of dollars.

Tweeters never shows the low end stuff
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post #17 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
electric screens which costs multiples of thousands of dollars.
The screen was a 92" diagonal electrically retractable tab tensioned screen.

Thomas
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post #18 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 11:52 AM
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Exactly my point :) I believe the cost is somewhere around $3,600/so...
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post #19 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 12:19 PM
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Nice job! I hate seeing people get ripped off due to lack of knowledge withheld by B&M greed mongers. Way to make a couple happy and gain some HT friends in the proces! :)
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post #20 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 12:21 PM
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but if $$$ is a non-issue (which it is not since she came back a few times) can you really build yourself a $50 retractable screen with 100% WAF. Come on.

apples to oranges comparison.

this is akin to sitting inside a Jaguar dealer, snickering and recommending people go check out the Hyundai dealer down the road.

DVD's are about movies & people watch them in living rooms, how many people actually use their computer drives to sit and watch movies- Bluray's Andy Parsons
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post #21 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 12:23 PM
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Unless you were shilling for yourself or another company (which I gather you were not), I don't think it is wrong to provide people with information in a store.

I have done it myself. I must say that I have been careful to have a side conversation so that the sales people don't hear it. Generally, I say things that encourage people to learn more, rather than pointing them to specific products or places to buy. I suspect you were more open than I would have been.

There is clearly a place for high-end products and services, but I would prefer to think that people should be informed before they decide to spend a lot, rather than thinking that their only option is to spend a lot.

I do hate it when stores trade on the ignorance of their customers.
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post #22 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SouthPaW1227
Nice job! I hate seeing people get ripped off due to lack of knowledge withheld by B&M greed mongers. Way to make a couple happy and gain some HT friends in the proces! :)
Although I have no complaint regarding what Thomas did and/or didn't do in the store ... I have a serious issue with what is stated above.

Don't take it personally Southpaw, because I know there are more people who feel the same way you do.

My point, and I will try to keep it short and simple, is that what may be ideal for you ... is not ideal for everyone else. Just because you may want to save every single possible penny for your HT installation ... maybe someone else doesn't want to deal with the hassle. Maybe they have already come to grips with the fact that a HT cost $XXXXX amount of dollars and are ready/willing/able to spend that much on it.
Maybe that one lost sale was the straw that broke the camels back for that sales rep at the store ... so he got fired that night. Now HE is unemployed just because SOMEONE ELSE thought that a THIRD PERSON would be more happy to save a couple hundred bucks.

Again, I am not saying anyone is right or wrong ... just be careful when you are pushing your beliefs, feelings and opinions on others ... they may not be welcome, and may carry adverse effects beyond what you can see.

Again, no offense intended to anyone. Just trying to see the other side of the coin. From a guy who puts service and ease very very close in my purchasing plan next to bargain.
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post #23 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 03:30 PM
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I've always figured that internet research is just too easy, if the consumer was really that concerned about getting the best deal, they would have looked before they leaped. I'll offer up an informative forum, but I won't read it to them. I just have a hard time deciding whether to giggle or be sad for people that spend 10 grand in a B&M store, and are happy when they leave. If it wasn't for lazy consumers (or people who have the money and just don’t care), salesman would starve.:D
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post #24 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Thomas F
I guess I won't be going back in there for a while.
A "while"? If you caused a store, to lose money like that, where I live, I guarantee, you would have no desire to "ever", return to that store.
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post #25 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 06:01 PM
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As much as I love saving every $$$ I can, I also enjoy spending a bit of $$$ for something better even though the price to performance ratio may not be 1:1.

If I had the cash for a BenQ 8700...I would have it already. But, I didn't have that kind of budget, so I went with the Z2 and happy with it. This couple may have the cash for BenQ 8700 and may really like it but you may have use the fabled $$$ to get them to spend less on something may be nearly as good but not as good.

The same goes for a "real screen". I would love a silverstar, but more than likely I'll end up with Carada. I could just by Da-Lite model B/C material on a frame, but there is something about the quality that Carada's show that makes me feel a bit better about their screen vs one I can do.

So, if the couple does lets say make a DIY screen, they may be happy at first with saving the $$$ but in the long run it may stick in the back of their mind of "hrm, what if we bought the pro screen?" Food for thought.

I'm glad though that this topic has stayed very civil considering the range of view points. Sometimes this forum amazes me in the raw intelligence and wisdom of the peeps here.

-tReP

I must be guilty because people say I am guilty because they chose to call me guilty because they refuse to see the truth. Much easier to be part of the mob..
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post #26 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 06:14 PM
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In my opinion, you just tried to help. Not sure about the DIY screen route, but still.

FWIW - I forget the exact figure, but Tweeter did close to $950M in revenue last year.

Get a good deal on the Algorenet? Don't come crying to me when you need it fixed.
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post #27 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 06:31 PM
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Bah! Even if they do decide to go DIY, or cheap pull-down, they might be back to upgrade later on, if the salesman was not an a$%hole. Did you ever upgrade something in your HT?

I can relate, I feel it is my duty sometimes to point out the good and the bad about each PJ. If the salesman is nice though, I can actually help him make a sale, because it is hard for my enthusiasm about FP not to show through.

I recently discussed ridiculous panasonic ae300 pricing with a local shop. I feel it was a service to tell them how much you could save on the net, as they did not seem to know. If my distributor was gouging, and my product pricing was not competitive, I'd like to know.

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post #28 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 07:31 PM
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If i'm reading this correctly Thomas didn't tell the customer she should build a screen herself instead of purchasing one. The lady asked him what type of screen he had and he told her he built his own and how much the material cost. I don't see a problem with that.

I was in Best Buy a couple weeks ago to purchase the DVD "50 First Dates". While in the store I wondered over to the speaker section. There was salesperson talking to a guy about the JBL Northridge series speakers. The guy asked if the E25 was the only center speaker in the series and the saleperson replied yes. When the salesperson left I informed the guy that JBL also has a E35 center speaker and many believe is the better speaker in the series. The store didn't carry this speaker in the store but I believe you can order off the Best Buy website. I also let him know that Best Buy was not the only authorized dealer he could purchase this speaker from over the internet.
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post #29 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 07:54 PM
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You guys are over reacting, this story is obviously a complete and total fabrication. Thats right, I'm calling you out, Thomas F, you are a LIAR! I have proof!

Quote:
She then asked me to talk to her husband, so I handed her my phone, and she called her husband.
There is no man, I repeat this to be clear, NO MAN who would send his wife out to shop for a projector, screen, etc. and sit at home waiting for her to come back and tell HIM what SHE thinks is the best idea for the theater! What a crock!
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post #30 of 102 Old 06-30-2004, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Thomas F, you are a LIAR! I have proof!
No. It's a true story. The woman was checking out the projector and screen, with an eye toward buying a FP system. She probably wasn't going to make the purchase at that instant, but she was definitely very interested. I don't care if you believe me or not, it's true.

The Tweeter store is located at Baybrook Mall, Friendswood, Texas. Call and speak to the manager if you're so inclined.

Thomas
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