[Update May 29, 2007: The title of this post has been changed to reflect some developments since I wrote the post in December 2006. The original title was: “Recommendation: Donâ€™t buy from Dolphin Music.” Read on to see why I’ve changed that title.]
In the five months since I wrote this post, quite a conversation has developed in the comments, below. That conversation included contributions by Jake Seabrook, the Customer Services Manager at Dolphin Music.
The negative experience I had with Dolphin Music that I reported in this post clearly resonated with a number of other people who posted information about their own experiences. Not all negative, though – others reported positive experiences.
What impressed me most was the entry into the conversation here by Jake Seabrook.
From Jake’s first comment – in which he says “I would like to try to address a few of the key issues discussed above and although not offer excuses, offer some explanations” – it is clear that here was a man who had been listening and paying attention to a blog post and the comments to it that were distinctly unflattering about his company.
While listening and paying attention were great to see, what made it especially impressive was Jake’s continuing contributions to the developing conversation. He lived up to the words in his first comment by providing explanations and addressing some specific issues.
Last week, Jake and I had a phone conversation. With Jake’s agreement, that conversation will be available here as a podcast (link as soon as it’s posted).
My conclusion from all this is that this post no longers warrants such a negative title. While it pretty clearly summed up how I felt about Dolphin Music at the time I wrote the post, my feelings have mellowed substantially in light of what’s happened since then.
And while I haven’t purchased anything from the company since before I wrote the post, I would consider doing so again if I needed to buy some equipment right now.
If you’ve arrived at this post as the result of a Google search, please do read the post and all of the comments in order to make your own informed judgement about Dolphin Music.
Now to the original post…
Finally – I have a working Microtrack 24/96 portable digital audio recorder once again.
Nearly three months ago, I returned the device for repair under warranty to Cimply Solutions, the UK company who does warranty repairs for the UK distributor, Dolphin Music.
And what a saga. Weeks went by with no word. At the end of October, I asked Dolphin customer support what was happening. No reply. More emails. No reply.
Eventually, it arrived back on November 17.
While the problem with it – display not working – was fixed, the device wouldn’t recognize any compact flash card I inserted, not even the M-Audio card that came with the device when I bought it from Dolphin Music in June. All that happened was a ‘No media found’ message on the display screen no matter what card was inserted into the device.
More emails to Dolphin. Silence. Then, on November 24, Dolphin agreed to exchange it for a new one. A straight swap.
And it finally arrived yesterday via UPS.
This experience of pretty useless customer service and support by Dolphin Music has not put me off M-Audio products. On the contrary, I still think the Microtrack 24/96 is an outstanding portable audio recording device.
But I’ll think twice before I buy anything ever again from Dolphin Music.
My first purchase with them (back in Apr/May 2006) also left me unimpressed. In my case, the package I received from the courier (Initial Citylink) was a large green plastic bag full of wet recording equipment, and perished, wet cardboard and paper. I imagine that Initial had left the package in the wet and then hastily thrown the contents into a handy green bag and taped it up. I challenged Initial who said that they never repack things, and there was â€œno report on the systemâ€ of any mishap with the package. In fact they even said â€œPerhaps Dolphin Music shipped it like this.â€ They said that they would investigate, and report the results to Dolphin Music, but they would not tell me the result since I was â€œnot the customerâ€.
So I called Dolphin Music to tell this story, and to ask them to investigate and let me know what had happened to the shipment. As the end customer, I believe it is in my interest to have companies like Dolphin using reliable couriers, and I expect them to be interested in the performance of their couriers, since this is part of excellent customer service. Also, since couriers do not generally consider the receiver as â€œthe customerâ€, the only way to put pressure on them is through the package sender.
Anyway, the goods werenâ€™t damaged; most of the water damage had been to the packaging, but of course this is pure luck on the part of Initial, since everything could easily have been destroyed. What dumfounded me was the guy at Dolphin Music, who basically said that because the goods were ok, there was no need to talk to Initial about it. He did not share my concern for future packages shipped with Initial. He was not phased by Initialâ€™s suggestion that Dolphin had shipped it like that, loose and wet, in a green plastic bag. He did not propose to take any action, and didnâ€™t even thank me for calling with the information.
I did later receive a call from a manager at Dolphin, who told me that his underling was wrong, and that they did care, and in fact he had told the guy off for his negative customer service attitude. However, I heard nothing more from Initial or Dolphin, so the cosy ecosystem of bad delivery services has been maintained.
For me the damage is done, and I donâ€™t feel I can deal with a company that doesnâ€™t share my concerns as a customer. Also, if they choose bad partners to work with, and donâ€™t try to raise standards, then this also reflects badly on them.
Luckily, there are many other Internet/mail order suppliers for musical and recording equipment, so I have a choice and I have already exercised my choice several times since May, and this is Dolphinâ€™s loss.
I’m commenting here just to provide an alternative experience. I’ve actually had extremely good service from Dolphin and prefer them to Digital Village or Turnkey for example.
Service has been good. For example, I ordered the wrong mic for a piece of recording I was doing for a client. Only realised the day before the recording was due to take place. I phoned Dolphin up and they immediately got on the case (this was at 3.00pm) and turned around an exchange which was delivered the following morning.
Not to diminish your experiences Neville and Martyn, but just thought I’d chip in. I’ve nothing to do with Dolphin btw, other than being a happy customer.
I found myself doing quite a few interviews lately and began poking around for a decent digital audio recorder to replace my aging Sony analog tape recorder.
Being a Mac man, ease of use and aesthetics counted heavily, so it was perhaps no surprise that I ended up buying an 80gig video iPod with a handy device that effortlessly turns the player into a sleek recording instrument.
Excellent audio, even at ‘low quality’ setting.
Simple to use – as soon as you attach to the bottom of your iPod, the player switches to voice record mood.
Download ease – just hook up your iPod to your Mac or PC and Voice Memos are automatically added to your iTunes library.
Wow factor – a great way to get the conversation rolling.
80gig Video iPods ain’t cheap (EUR 400), but the recording device is reasonably priced (EUR 60).
Recordings use up lots of memory: 90min = 240 MB.
Others have complained about battery drain but I think that you could easily leave it running for up to 4 hours at a stretch.
Of course, Video iPods do lots of other fun things too (music, movies, games, file backup…), so I’m pretty happy with the ROI so far.
That’s quite a tale, Martyn. Dolphin had an opportunity to fully rescue the situation and failed. That’s how I see my experience, too, so I would not recommend them.
Buying from Dolphin was great in my experience, as I mentioned in my glowing post about the Microtrack back in June. Their support is a total cock-up, though, in my view.
I wish I’d had your support experience, Alex! I suppose I did, sort of, in the end – but it took 3 months!!
David, that add-on for iPod recording looks interesting and you’ve clearly had a good user experience. Yet I wouldn’t use an iPod for audio recording primarily because that’s an add-on function.
Devices like the Microtrack are designed for portable audio recording and give you a ton of flexible options, eg, different file formats, expandable storage memory via standard compact flash cards, external mic connections, phantom power, etc. Plus it’s not tied to iTunes.
Horses for courses, perhaps. I like the wow factor, though ;)
I just came across your comments about Dolphin, and would like to air my irritation with them as well!
I ordered a fender american tele (for Â£600) and was told it would come in 1 week as they had to order it in (I emailed before ordering to make sure). The week went by and no actions had occurred on the online order tracker so I chased them. They said it was just about to come to them so it’d be with me in three days. 3 days later- guess what- still nothing. Again I had to chase them. Rang and rang and rang. Emailed and emailed and emailed. Finally I got through to a guy to said it’d be one to three months! That’s a nice accurate estimate.
Anyway I cancelled the order, I hope I get my money back quickly.
Moral of the story-
AVOID DOLPHIN LIKE THE PLAGUE!
If I’d had your experience, David, I’d feel the same as you. By the same token, if I’d had Alex’s experience, I’d be as positive about Dolphin as he is.
I’d much rather be saying good things about Dolphin. But what I went through has coloured my feelings about them to such an extent that I honestly can’t, and couldn’t recommend them.
I had an email from someone yesterday asking about where to buy a portable recorder in the UK. I did include Dolphin among the names I suggested – but pointed to this post as a caveat from the support point of view.
You’re too diplomatic Neville!
I am the Customer Services Manager at Dolphin Music and I hope that you do not feel my posting here is intrusive but we always like to respond to criticism where possible.
I would like to try to address a few of the key issues discussed above and although not offer excuses, offer some explanations.
It appears that we have let ourselves down with how we dealt with Neville’s return but there are a few points worth mentioning. Firstly, Cimple Solutions are not our authorised warranty repair centre. They are not endorsed by us or affiliated with us in any way. They were M-Audio’s repair centre but as you can guess by the use of the past tense, M-Audio now do all their own repairs in-house (due to a number of long waits similiar to Neville’s). We do not in fact carry out any of our own repairs and always use the manufacturers receommended/authorised repair centres.
Although I completely understand Neville’s frustration with waiing for a repair for almost 3 months for it to not be repaired there were a couple of positive points with Neville’s return. The day after he first registered the problem we had organised the return with the service centre and advised him of where and how he needed to send it. Once he got the faulty one back, we had sent out a brand new unit within a fortnight.
This is not an excuse for what happened. At times we were slow in responding to Neville, it appears that at least one email did get missed and we should have helped him get the problem fixed quicker. However, over the past 3 months we have had some staffing issues in our returns department which we have only sorted out this month. This should improve the returns side for our customers massively. We have also developed a more automated returns system for certain types of return making it easier for customers to get returns authorised and goods back to us.
With regard to Martyn’s complaint there are a couple of issues. They way that the sales team member dealt with him when he first contacted us was completely acceptable and action was taken at the time to ensure it never happened again. We take our customers views, concerns and opinions very seriously and this was reiterated to the member of staff.
The City Link issue is seperate. I have a numebr of points to make on this so I will try to keep them brief.
We monitor and record all of the issues and problems we have with our couriers. I personally keep this and bring them up with our Account Executive at City Link where appropriate (as in Martyn’s case). I received a response from City Link at the time which was that the driver has been spoken to about leaving things out. I did not consider this a very satisfactory answer and certainly not worthy of occupying my customers time with. I apologise if this was a misjudgement.
Over the past 6 years we have used many of the majot domestic courier firms including DHL, PrcelForce and Parceline and what we have found and would probably be borne out by your experiences is that they are all very similiar. Lots of people have a horror story of how they were treated by a specific courier firm and the names are always freely interchangeable.
When we first started using City Link over 18 months ago they had the highest percentage of first time deliveries of all of the courier firms we considered. That was the most important thing to us.
However, our monitoring has show that this level has dropped over the past 6 months and this is something we are sitting down with them about after Christmas is over. We are a very large customer for them and as such we do carry some weight and you can rest assured that if our concerns and problems are not dealt with and actioned then we shall seriously consider our options.
Anyone who becomes a part of our service and therefore our business is incredibly important to us. Ahe idea that we accept sub-standard levels is innaccurate. We know as well as all of you that anyone who is a component of our service, from our website engineers, to our sales staff, warehouse staff and the person who delivers your goods reflects on us and represents us.
We take customer feedback and opinion very seriously and what I have read here has been very constructive for us. However, I am glad that the things you have highlighted as problems are things that we are already working on improving and had recognise as requiring this.
I would be very eager to hear what you think of my reply to your issues however I would like to once again emphasise that this is not meant to be a rebuff to your opinions or experinces but an attempt to offer some explanations and get some constructive discussion.
Not only would I be interested in your opinions but I would love the opportunity to turn around your opinions.
I would like to offer both Neville and Martyn a chance to test us again. If you need anything in the near or distant future then please let me know and I will try and do you a really good deal and provide you the service levels that made Alex a satisfied customer.
I look forward to your respones.
I obviously meant unaccepatble rather than accepatble re
With regard to Martynâ€™s complaint there are a couple of issues. They way that the sales team member dealt with him when he first contacted us was completely acceptable and action was taken at the time to ensure it never happened again. We take our customers views, concerns and opinions very seriously and this was reiterated to the member of staff.
Jake, good on you for monitoring what the blogosphere is saying about your company, and for taking the time to respond. I welcome your comments, and it’s good to hear from you.
Jake, thanks for your comments which are certainly not intrusive. On the contrary, most welcome.
I appreciate the explanations you’ve provided on events surrounding the poor customer service experiences you’ve read here. Hearing your side of the story, as it were, clearly is very helpful to understanding what was behind the service failings at Dolphin Music.
Interesting to read what you said about Cimple Solutions. I expect you’d understand that to me, as a customer, it wouldn’t matter much whether that firm was affiliated with you or with M-Audio or not. All I know is that’s the firm I was asked to return my Microtrack to but the only point of contact I had was Dolphin.
So what’s my feeling about Dolphin now, having read your post? Well, the experiences I recounted here represent the only dealings I’ve had with your firm. I wouldn’t fault my purchase experience; that was excellent. Yet where things really count – when something goes wrong with a product after purchase – Dolphin blew away all the positive impressions accrued from that purchase experience.
It’s good of you to offer a good deal as a way of testing you again. I think what would make me really pay attention to Dolphin again as a potential repeat purchaser is hearing what you’ve put in place to resolve all the various issues you spoke of. Then I might call you and take you up on your offer or recommend you to others.
Firstly, a Happy New Year to you all.
Thanks to both Martyn and Neville for responding to my post and allowing us the opportunity to continue this discussion.
We have done a number of things and are implementing more both internally and with our suppliers about how to improve the service that we provide.
We have taken on a new member of our returns team and are currently recruiting for one further position. This should mean that we can monitor and chase all of our returns with our suppliers much more than we have been able to up to now. We are always looking at ways to improve our processses and systems. Since both Neville had to set up his return we have developed the system. For instance, customers returning goods within 14 days of receipt for a refund can now self authorise their return. The development of this is continuing.
After pressure from ourselves and other disgruntled resellers M-Audio have started to do their repairs in house and not use the services of Cimple Solutions anymore. The quick resolution of broken items and the fast supply of replacements is also something that we are starting a dialogue with all our suppliers about. We have some standards that we are looking to get them to all agree to in terms of how long they should take to get units repaired or replaced and we hope to have these implemented with all of them in the first quarter of this year.
We have also implemented some Customer Service Training for our sales staff although the member of staff involved in this instance has now left although not as a result of that incident. We like our sales people to be friendly, attentive, helpful, quick and knowledgable. All of our sales team have these qualities and if anything all we would need to do is re-focus them on what you as customers want and deserve.
With regards to City Link the future is a little more murky. We found that their was a sharp increase in problems over Christmas although as outlined in my previous post, by and large we find their service acceptable as the final part of our service. We are having a meeting with them in the next fortnight and all of our concerns will be raised with them. How they respond to these will determine to how we move on from here. We certainly appreciate that their is room for improvement and will be making this clear to them.
I hope that you find this acceptable as a response but once again I would really appreciate your responses or feelings on what I have written.
I am having problems with Dolphin music. I recieved a faulty piece of equipment so I signed into my account on there website and filled in the returns section. They go through all this stuff about the reason why you want to return etc etc then you get a window that comes up asking your method of return. Which they have auto set to you post it back not they come and collect when replacing. Already sounds like they dont want to take responsibility for there merchandise right?
Anyway I filled it in and got an email confirming sending it back and they would replace it and take the other one away at the same time. I thought this is a good service they are going to send a replacement and take the faulty one with. Well I then get an email saying the item was out of stock until the 10th and did i want a refund or wasI prepared to wait? I decided to wait and they even phoned my house and spoke to my partner at the same time and said they would get stock in on the 8th so it will be with me by the 10th and that they would collect the faulty unit when the courier delivers the replacement. Later that day I get a new email fromdolphin saying that I had 10 days to return the item to them??????? So I emailed to say thats not what was agreed or what you confirmed to me after I filled in the returns form. No reply.
Email number 2 NO REPLY
EMAIL NUMBER 3 NO REPLY
GET THE PICTURE?
PHONE CALL NO ANSWER AND IT WAS DURING WORKING HOURS POSTED ON THE WEBSITE.
LEFT AN ANSWER MESSAGE NO REPLY
HOPE YOUR ALL GETTING THE PICTURE HERE????
ANYWAY ITS PAST THE 10TH I HAVE NO REPLACEMENT AND NO RESPONSE FROM THE COMPANY JUST WHAT I LIKE TO CALL A FOB OFF CONTRADICTION EMAIL SAYING I NEED TO RETURN THE ITEM WITHIN 10 DAYS EVEN THOUGH THEY SAID OTHERWISE!
My opinion of dolphin is they are quick to reply if your buying if your returning you wont get a good service and most probably they send faulty items from one customer to the next just hoping that someone just sends it back to the manufacturer and not them if they mess you about enough.
Thanks for the great service Dolphin.(sarcasm) Id like to see what you say about this problem? The guy from dolphin? probably get a faster reply than contacting your in house mail??? Or write some fake stuff and then send out another faulty item to me???
well here is my update to the situation. They finaly agree to collect the item when they deliver a replacement. So I was thinking maybe I was a bit harsh on the company for thinking bad things about them. But then its all agreed the delivery guy comes while im at work and im on the phone to my partner and he goes heres the new unit and you have one to go back right. She replies yes and gives him the box clearly marked in the order return number on the box. He makes her sign a sheet saying she recieved the replacement and a delivery sheet saying she sent one back. Then the guy goes. The following day another guy calls asking if a package was taken from the day before my partner says yes. Now a week later dolphin send me an email saying the courier overlooked taking the return when he deliverd the replacement. This company is definetly the worste company in the world. I tried calling them and they dont answer always answer machine. This is because they must have lots of complaints on the returns line. I WILL ADD SOME MORE WHEN IT HITS THE NEXT PHASE OF I HAVE NO IDEA RANDOMNESS FROM DOLPHIN RIP YOU OFF MUSIC
A comedy of errors would probably be the kindest view of your experiences, John. I can well understand how you feel.
I think, though, that what Jake has said here so far clearly shows that he is making major efforts to address issues such as everyone commenting here has described.
Small comfort for you, though, with what you’ve actually experienced.
It now seems as though the dust has settled on this one and appropriate for me to represent ourselves in this latest twist. I am not going to go through the whole event as with the previous time but there are a few points I would like to make.
Mr Wilkinson ordered a product which he had in his hands less than 48 hours after placing the order.
11 days later he had a brand new replacement. This would have been sooner but we had to wait for stock.
Unfortunately, Mr Wilkinson did receieve some conflicting evidence as to what was happening. At one point due to our new member of staff making a mistake and at another point because our couriers inexplicably misinformed us about having collected his goods.
We are very sorry that these problems occured and I would extend the same offer to Mr Wilkinson as I did to the other people who have not received the sort of standard of service they deserve. If there is anything you need in the future then I would appreciate the chance to make it up to you with a good deal.
Also, it seems worth mentioning that yesterday myself and Patrick finished two days of interviewing for two new returns assistants. They should be starting the week after next and will hopefully make an immeadiate impact on the service that customers returning products receive.
There is one further point I would like to make and that is regarding Mr Wilkinson’s accusation that as a company we recycle faulty goods to customers. I very much hope that this comment was made in the heat of the moment and has been taken as such. This is obviously not something we do.
Too late. I found this too late. I think the neg feed-back on here is completely false and unfounded.
Look, I have proof that I placed an order for a mixing desk on Monday the 12th of Feb 07 and they delivered it on the 19th of December 2005. How’s that for service.
I checked out web sites for my item and Dolphin Music came up trumps time and time again. Four items in stock, ten pounds cheaper than anyone else, six pound delivery charge, what more could you ask for.
I called their shop to check for stock (like they tell you to do) yes sir we have four here in stock , I went ahead and placed my order about 12.20hrs. Stayed in all day Tuesday waiting for my desk to arrive. Waiting, waiting, and still waiting.
Late Tuesday received an email thanking me for the order and the mixer should be with you Thursday or Friday.
Having just seen City Link pass the door I guess it will not be today. I then emailed a cancel notice as they are in breach of contract and also I have checked with my card company and they confirmed they took my money out on Monday…naughty, naughty. I thought they could not process until goods are about to be sent.
Dolphin sent an email after my cancellation notice saying that the mixer has been sent out and gave me a tracking number and sure enough, they sent it out in December 05. (according to the tracking number).
Come on Dolphin get your act together, I do not deal with cardboard box shifters, I can do that myself, what is your problem, please don’t blame your staff, a company is only as good as it’s staff.
I am very sorry to hear of your dissapointment with the service you have received.
I have had a look at your order and what has gone wrong with it and would like to respond to your post.
I am making the assumption that the reason the tracking information was incorrect was because you were trying to track the parcel when you received the email and the tracking information does not work until after 18:30 as advised on the email. The tracking information you were viewing will have been for a parcel with the same reference from 2005 and has now been superceded by your information which I have checked. It appears the goods are out for delivery today.
The main issue with your order has been the delay in shipping it. I’m not going to blame our staff as we are very proud of all our staff member and fully appreciate we would be nothing without them. I am going to blame the toe-rags who broke in to our warehouse a fortnight ago forcing us in to a lengthy stock take and as such a shipping backlog.
The good news is that we are all working over this weekend to clear it and shipping times should be back to normal next week.
With regards to when we charge your cards, it is a legal grey area. Our advice has been that as long as we clearly state that the card will be charged when the order is placed we are allowed to do so. For a business like ours that relys on cash flow to survive it is essential for us to do it this way which is why we try to make it as clear as possible that we are charging your card.
I am sorry that we missed your email request to cancel the order before it was sent. Would you like me to cancel the delivery and get the refund processed for you? I can get the pacakage returned by City Link.
Let me know what you would like to do and we can take it from there.
Hi Jake and thank you for your reply……
The tracking information you were viewing will have been for a parcel with the same reference from 2005 and has now been superceded by your information which I have checked. It appears the goods are out for delivery today.
nope, I checked this morning and it was just the same so I was unable to track. If I could of done I would of left well alone.
The sound desk arrived today thank you and no, I will not be returning it because it is something I want and I have ordered a case from Flightcase warehouse. I would of liked it for last night but we used a soundcraft mixer and left 2 mics out.
Thing is I run my own business but I offer a service, not goods and if I need anything I need it now so next day is a must. O.K. you had a problem with toe-rags which I can accept.
I see where you are coming from with stock/money, thing is a lot of companies out there say they have stock just to get a sale knowing full well they have to use customers money to buy in before they can sell. Cash flow……
Thank you anyway I am now happy again we will test the desk out tomorrow night, just had a quick play, seems a good buy for the money.
I needed a few other items but I have placed the order with my usual supplier Studiospares.
matter now closed thank you.
Well I am glad to hear the desk is with you safe and sound and that the you are keen on it.
I would like to assure you that, although aware of the nefarious stock practices you talk about, we certainly do not practice them. All of our stock figures are real time (place an order and see!) and our business model relies on holding stock and delivering it next day – thats the gold standard we set ourselves and we want out customers to be able to rely on.
We are sorry for the inconvenience caused with the delay and would like to make it up to you somehow so if there is anything you need in future then email me at email@example.com and we will do you a great deal.
I just came across the comments here and just to say,I am considering purchasing an item from Dolphin Music this month and as this will be my first purchase,I am concerned about what I have read,although I must say that I have phoned Dolphin Music last month about the availability of the product and received a polite and helpful response on the phone.
I wonder if these occasions of bad customer service have been improved on at this stage and if I should go ahead with my order.I also live in Northern Ireland and reading the issues with delivery,I am concerned about what condition the product would arrive in across the water?
This is Jake Seabrook from Dolphin Music, I am the Customer Service Manager who has been involved with this post.
We have made some really big steps with some of the issues we have been having since these posts were made.
We have more sales staff to answer emails and more customer service staff to deal with after sales and returns issues.
With regards to shipping to Northern Ireland, although City Link do occasinally have their problems, last month saw them hit a year high of 98.78% of deliveries being made on time and without an issue. As such your goods are highly likely to arrive with you in perfect condition and when you expect them.
We did have a few problems towards the end of last year to do with managing our rapid growth as a company but we have managed to consolidate over the past 6 months and make sure are service levels are high again.
I woudl urge you to give us a go and see.
If you have any further queries then please feel free to post them on here or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or our sales team on email@example.com.
I appreciate your reply Jake and consider it as good customer service.I have been swayed and hope to make a purchase soon.
With regards to your comments on delivery,in general I am a patient person and can deal with delays with good reason no problem,as long as the item arrives in tip-top shape,no one should really have reason to complain.
Thanks for making this issue clearer Jake and I look forward to making my purhase!
Well I am glad you feel reassured and pleased you feel confident enough in us to purchase from us.
If there is anything else that I can do to help then please do not hesitate to contact me.
This is a very cosy exchange. I hope for both your sakes that the patience Frank speaks of is congruous to that of a saint, as he will need it if Dolphin push him to the same limits of irritation and eventually despair as they did me.
Having had a look through this post it has occurred to me that your comments towrds the beginning were never really investigated.
I am slightly unsure whether or not you would be interested at all in me looking in to what happened with your order and trying to offer some explanation. I feel from your tone that you may no longer care be interested.
However, if we have messed you around then I would like to offer our sincere apologies. If there is anything I can do to help then please do not hesitate to contact me.
I am sorry to hear about your despair David and appreciate your comment,however your experience in the past shouldnt really determine what consumer decisions I myself make.
Everyone has their different experiences with retail companies,good and bad,but please look at the facts David and note that unfortunatley your experience was in a small percentage of incidents ,as explained.You really have to get over it I think….
I feel I have to counter some of the comments here. I recently became a Dolphin customer and so far have received two multiple item orders exactly as stated next day deliver and am greatly impressed with the service. I have having to practice patience on my main order however but I apprecaite that it is buitl to order and so far the service on this item has been ok – Save for some frustration with the original advertising on the site which has now been changed. I still await a delivery date but have received follow up information from Dolphin. So all in all i am a hppay Dolphin customer and I’m sure I will continue to be so.
Since dolphin seem to reply to this.
I have also rang n rang n mailed with no reply,
firstly i agreed a 50 quid discount with one of your sales people due to the item being less on soundslive (top customer service from them btw), but yet was charged the full price with a lousy my line manager said were not making money on them so we cant excuse (ive worked in a musci shop so dont ever try that with me).
Secondly the item i ordered didnt come with the footswitch as described (breaching sales act 1979), i rang and rang and messaged and rang and emailed yet you dont respond or pick up, funny how that only started once the problems did.
So now i have a fallen angel head with no footswitch, a footswitch that costs 44pound and a 50 quid overpay.,, So on a should of been 400 pound item im meant to pay out 500 quid? a 25% dolphin neglegence payment..
Please sort this out for me and that’ll be the end of it, otherwise i plan to take this as far as i can for as long as it takes.
Can i also have your direct line and email.
I responded to Matt’s email this morning before seeing this post. I did not receive an email notification taht a new post had been made so I don’t know if you want to look in to that for me please Neville.
I have copied the email I sent to Matt earlier today in below so we can see what our response was.
For the record my email is just firstname.lastname@example.org. I would prefer not to put my direct line in such a public forum. Already, most people who have a problem contact me through having seen this but please feel free to email me.
Here is a copy of the email that was sent at 10:29:00 this morning.
Dear Mr ***********,
Thank you for placing an order with us and thank you for taking the time to contact me.
We have investigated what has happened with your order and why and I would like to take a little time to explain what we have discovered.
Having spoken to Mark who did the original quote for you, it transpires that one of the prices he gave you was based on inaccurate information. He says that he subsequently spoke to you about this and explained the situation. We make every effort to provide accurate information to customers and it is always disappointing when there are mistakes and for that we apologise.
With regards to the foot pedal, Ashdown have had some issues with the correct supply of the foot pedals with their amps. We have apparently had a number recently where the appropriate foot pedal has been missed. Having contacted Ashdown they have asked that we apologise on their behalf for the mistake but they have also advised that they will send the pedal out to you direct from their warehouse today. As such it should be with you tomorrow. If for any reason that is inconvenient then please let me know and we can make alternative arrangements.
With regard to your unanswered telephone calls and emails, due to the fact that you had contacted our returns department about the missing pedal, the emails were all forwarded to the gentlemen dealing with the initial phone call. Having spoken to him, he was under the impression he had arranged to call you back once he had heard back from Ashdown which he had not. We are sorry if there was any confusion over what was happening and I have spoken to the person concerned about making sure they are clear in explaining to customers what is happening next.
We are very sorry that you feel your order has not been dealt with very well. It does appear there have been some slip-ups on our part and for that we apologise. However, we should have the remaining part of your order with you tomorrow and we will chase this up with Ashdown to make sure later on today.
If there is anything else we can do to help or if you have any further queries or issues then please do not hesitate to contact me or any of my colleagues.
If you have any questions, please contact us via e-mail
(email@example.com) or by phone (0870 840 9060).
See how Dolphin Music helped pimp a Transit van for MTVs Pimp My Ride UK
Had a few hurdles on the way but the pedal arrived promptly and the confusion surrounding this issue has been fully resolved thanks to Jake, whom i’d advise anyone with problems to get in touch with, as in my experience things get resolved quickly.
The problem with the pedal was down to lack of/mis communication, but as i said this issue has been resolved.
With regards to the quote i recieved, it seems that it was not first cleared with the manager and when they realised they wouldn’t allow it. As a customer i dont think i should have to literally pay for mistakes of dolphin’s staff but in this case i have and can only hope that things can be put right if i make any orders in future.
I wouldn’t want such a small issue as this to completely put people off purchasing with Dolphin as i know most orders go through fine, however if your getting discounted items pay over the phone so that your more in control of the deduction.
Also i think its fair to say that phone support is at times lacking, and i hope a structure is put in place to sort this issue, which seems to have been very frustrating for numerous customers.
I’m having a similar problem to David. I recently bought a guitar for Â£400 from Dolphin Music and it was an “ordered on request” situation. I placed the order in late April and was told the guitar would arrive in Dolphin’s warehouse by the 6th May. Well, it’s the 24th and so far, nothing. The status of the order still tells me Dolphin is “awaiting stock”. I was hoping for it to have arrived for the 17th. I’ve tried e-mailing and ringing them up but no response. I’m not too concerned yet, but I am slightly worried that David eventually got an estimate of 1 to 3 months. I won’t even be living here in 3 months!
I just hope someone can resolve the situation or at least tell me what is going on.
[…] Last December, I wrote a pretty scathing post about Dolphin Music in which I vented my anger at the company’s poor customer service. I entitled that post “Recommendation: Don’t buy from Dolphin Music.” […]
I ordered a piano from Dolphin in August 2006 as my wife’s birthday present and it still hasn’t arrived yet!!!!!
However believe it or not I’m going to defend Dolphin. Firstly I understand that there was a significant delay initially as the piano was a new model from Behringer who took pre orders but only delivered to Dolphin in Jan 2007. During this period a lady from Dolphin called Steph answered promptly any chasing emails that I sent and kept me informed of developments. This went a long way to reassuring me as I had paid a significant amount for the piano up front and had not dealt with Dolphin before.
When the piano finally arrived there was a major problem with the delivery which I won’t go into in detail but my take on it was that Dolphin used Citylink who are a courier company not a specialist piano delivery company. Think of Laurel & Hardy and a bad packaging decision which meant that the piano arrived at the courier depot without any packaging at all!! The piano had to be returned and I began to get nervous.
To be fair to Jake Seabrook was very polite (even with my increasing irrate calls) and gave me his direct number which reduced my frustration as I could at least get through to the person dealing with the problem.
Jake also kept me informed and agreed to return my money until the replacement piano arrived There was a hiccup with the return of our money which when Jake was made aware of the problem – he sent a courier with a cheque the following day.
Currently I feel that Jake has addressed our frustrations and has kept us informed of the revised delivery situation.
My summary on the whole saga is that Dolphin haven’t delivered pianos before and this has been a steep learning curve for them but they seem honourable and whilst I am not happy about the delay I understand that these things happen. Most importantly they are keeping me informed which is a major way of reducing customer stress levels.
The piano is now due for delivery this Friday.
Have I had to be patient….yes
Does my wife have a birthday present for last year yet ….no
Would I use Dolphin again….I’ll let you know Friday!
Jake can i have a reply to the last email i sent you please.
A quick update – it looks like no piano I’m afraid
Dolphin have just told me that they need a further Â£110 for delivery (to the door) or Â£150 (to set up) and no it won’t be Friday (the date we agreed yesterday) It will be sometime the week after next (why do delivery companies never know where they are going to be until the day before? – do they not realise the hassle it causes at work). I must admit I wasn’t expecting them to set up the piano for me but I did think that delivery included bringing it at least to the house if not the actual room. Apparently if my wife helps the guy unload the piano then we could have it for the price we agreed yesterday. As my wife has trouble walking that isn’t very likely. It was even funnier last time they tried to deliver when they asked us to go to the courier warehouse to pick up a broken baby grand piano in our car!!
My wife’s on the internet now looking for a better deal. The guys she’s found so far say only Â£10 for delivery but is this the first time that they have sold pianos too and will we get a call in a few months saying there’s been a mistake and they want more cash to deliver?
I apologise for not responding to some of these comments sooner but I have been very busy.
With regard to Matt’s request to respond to his email that has all now been sorted to your satisfaction I guess Matt.
With regard to Steven who is having to wait for his guitar – could you contact me directly or if you would rather feel free to do it here but I need some extra information to be able to find your order and look in to for you.
With regard to Mr Brookes the story is a little more complicated and revolves around an increase in courier costs and some missinformation from our purchasing department. I was given an incorrect buy price and based a price on this for the piano a stool and including delivery.
We then also had a significant increase in shipping costs as we decided to use a specific piano courier rather than a standar pallet courier. This meant a significant increase in the cost. We have offered Mr Brookes everything at cost but understand that due to this further delay and the eventual increase in the price he may not be keen on going for it.
I am sure we will keep you posted on what happens but as always we would be keen to see what the feedback is from everyone.
I’ve waited patiently for 10 months for the piano (it’s become an in joke with all my friends) so I think you guys could have established the delivery costs a little earlier than two days before delivery. Its the change of information at the last minute which has become the biggest issue resulting in my loss of confidence. It’s a shame because had accepted your explanations and assumed a positive outcome when I made the original post. I think we have been pretty tolerant of Dolphin but to change the delivery date (again) and the price at such a late stage is not on.
I think that you are a genuine guy but you need to sort out the information flow in your office. At the same time I was getting calls from you saying all is fine my wife is getting calls from somebody else at Dolphin saying everything has changed!! Your delivery is also clearly letting you down and there’s only so many days I can book off work.
You’ve now given me a fixed price which you say won’t change (but you said that yesterday with the previous price – I even confirmed it in an email with my credit card details). I also note on the website that the delivery price for your piano still isn’t clear. The other firms we have contacted have said that the price you see is the price you pay which seems fairer.
You probably don’t want a public a debate on this issue so I’ll email you directly. The others reading this can probably work out for themselves whether I would now recommend Dolphin Music!
I’ve read this post with interest – not being a regular visitor to the blogosphere.
However, I have to say, my limited experience of Dolphin has been good. I ordered a keyboard a week or so ago, and despite my complete inability to find an address where someone would be at home to recieve the package, we did eventually manage to get it delivered.
I’m grateful to Dolphin for their patience and was impressed at their concern that the package be delivered – including regular e-mail contact.
Clearly Jake takes this blog seriously and it seems to show in terms of Dolphin’s customer service.
This is only one experience, but it was a good one and I’m encouraged to use Dolphin again.
and would you belive it our man Jake has sorted it out again.
I’ve just heard that Dolphin will stick with the price quoted which means that the delivery of the piano is still on!!! I’m back to my original position which is that I think that Dolphin are basically an honourable company which makes the occasional mistake but certainly has shown that they want to address things.
I haven’t seen the piano yet – but I’m feeling alot happier than yesterday and best of all my wife is still talking to me!
Best result of all if your wife is still talking to you, James!
I entirely agree with you re honourable company. One reason why I changed the title of this post and added the intro explanation.
Anyway, good luck with the piano.
Having left my last post, I do have one slight beef. The Yamaha PSR-175 I’ve just bought for my daughter doesn’t come with a power adaptor.
Now, although the website says ‘NO PSU PROVIDED’, to the uninitiated like me, (who’s more used to ordering this kind of thing from Argos), this doesn’t mean an awful lot. ‘PSU’ doesn’t stand out as meaning ‘Power Pack’.
It leaves me with the dilemma of buying a non-standard/non-Yamaha power adaptor, or paying more for the delivery than I will for the product. i.e. a KPA3 adaptor is Â£4.95 from Dolphin, with delivery at Â£6.99. Its a little bit galling, when a) I could have ordered the 2 together, and b) If you go to Argos the power supply comes with the keyboard.
Yours, mildly miffed,
Jeremy, I can see that Chamberlan Music (http://www.chamberlainmusic.com/) have the same thing for Â£7 including P&P.
A search on the web reveals that the Yamaha PSR-175 uses power supplies with 12 volts, 700 mA, tip positive. You might be able to pick up a generic power supply that would work, e.g. from Maplin or Argos, that provides the same voltage & current.
I have tried to do a little something for Jeremy to try to soften the blow. As he said it does say on there that the ‘PSU’ is not included (now changed to be a bit more explicit) but nevertheless we sympathise with his predicament.
I am sure there are generic options out there but as a certified Yamaha dealer I think im obliged to say that they would not be as good as the real thing!
Jeremy, that’s a manufacturer issue not a vendor one.
You see that with other products too. For instance, I just bought a new Epson all-in-one printer, scanner, etc. It doesn’t come with a USB printer cable. I have plenty of those so no worries. But I think most people wouldn’t think twice about a cable. You’d think there would be one in the box.
Then I notice that no vendor includes a printer cable. Not, HP, not Brother, not Lexmark, you name it. No cable.
That seems totally illogical to me. It’s a pretty essential part of the kit!
But little point getting upset with the folks at Staples or whichever vendor you buy the equipment from. Not their fault. So unless you have a spare one, you have to cough up an extra ten quid for a cable.
You take that extra cost into account when you shop around on price.
Just my two pence,
I ordered on the 1st of June some kit, over the interweb, which was on order.
I’ve sent several emails to their info address and others, just to find out a vauge eta on my equipment.
Unfortunatly they have yet to reply.
In my professional work, I am expected to reply to any email on the same working day, just to at least let clients know that I am aware of their issue.
I am quite concerned about the status of my order, or even if it is being processed.
It could be that they have had the website created for them and dont have any actual rep responsible for day to day upkeep (other than their products).
My order No is
Order Reference – 20117397
Hopefully I’ll get a reply here.
Firstly, the good news is that the iAxe has come in this morning and your order has been moved in to a confirmed status to be sent out for delivery tomorrow. You will receive confirmation the order has left us later on today.
With regard to your email correspondence that was not responded to, I have had quick look in to what has happened.
You sent an email on the 7th which does appear to have been accidentally filed by the member of staff who received it and we have brought this up with them.
However, the second email you sent was replied to on the 20th by my colleague. I can only assume that this response was either stopped by a judicious spam filter or sent to your junk. Unfortunately, some of our email addresses do get seen as spam or junk.
That email was advising you that we were expecting them in within 7 to 10 days so that actually turned out to be spot on.
Sometimes our eta’s can take a while to get from our suppliers for various reasons so we apologise this took a little while to get to you. We have recently instigated a system where by as soon as we get a customers eta request we send an immediate email response to let them know we are investigating and I have made sure that this is still being followed.
With regard to the creation of our Website and its day to day upkeep, the Website was built from scratch by one of the Directors of the company and we have a team of 25 people in our head office working on Sales, Customer Service, Accounts, the Website, a technical department, HR and our marketing!
As advised you should have the order tomorrow but please do not hesitate to contact me either through this Website or directly at Jake@dolphinmusic.co.uk if there is anything else we can do to help.
Customer Service Manager
Some time around my first post of complaint I did order an m audio octane on the site it still says pending. Even to this date. No contact from dolphin or appology. Im still waiting. I think that says enough??
I will add that dolphin do have great prices. I will also say that if the product works you have a bargain.
Its like playing russian roulette. And the length of time i have waited for this octane I think I could have got a hip replacement on the NHS.
Thank you for getting back to me.
Strange the emails did not reach me as I use only a standard Hotmail account.
Regardless, Im glad everything is all on its way.
It’s good to hear that your email/site is well monitored, but perhaps looking to see why your email server isnt getting through to standard hosts like hotmail. (Oh i always check my spam/junk just in case hotmail dumps anything of import there.).
It may be a problem with the way hotmail is configured but they do have many many users and one has to adapt to the mean.
Judging from the above comments, it does look like communication is a bit of a problem.
This is the reason why “we”, the customer, get irate and jump on the conspiracy bandwagon.
I’m sure your outlet has made many happy customers over its time, but as you know a happy customer will tell one or two people about thier purchase, whereas an unhappy one will tell 10 (or thanks(?) to the net 10000!)
I’m sorry to stick my nose in, but perhaps a Message Board on your site will help problems like this occourring as there will be a definate point of contact, and as you have many staff using the site, it can be monitored and controlled.
Anyhow, it’s good to see you are monitoring sites like this and are concerned about your public image. Thank you again for posting, you could have easily just shipped the product to me and not bothered to let me know.
oops, sorry, sent that a bit prematurely!
if rogot to say…
With regard to Mr Wilkinson having to wait for your Octane, we are very sorry about the long delay with this product and any inconvenience caused. You right, you may just have had a hip by now!
However, I did refund for the unit back in January and agree to recharge for the unit when they arrived in and get it sent as we were aware there could be a delay.
There has been a specific problem with Octane. M-Audio have never made RHOSS compliant units and this is why they have been held up and we have not had any for some time.
Unfortunately, a number of eta’s we have had for these units have come and gone without any materialsising and we are still unfortunately waiting.
Maybe we could offer to exchange the unit for an alternative? Some alternatives would be the Focusrite Octopre, or the Presonus Digimax. I could see what deal we could do on these to make up for the delay on the Octane.
If you let me know if you are interested and we can take it from there, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With regard to LoK, I completely understand where you were coming from and having not heard anythign from us you were perfectly entitled to be worried about the status and processing of your order, I certainly would have been.
I have asked the technical department to look in to the issue with the emails not getting through and if they advise me of anything I will let you know. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
If anyone has any further queries then please do ont hesitate to contact me at email@example.com.
Read all the above with interest having had dolphin recomended by a friend, despite some of the adverse comments I decided to take the plunge and order some equipment for my son’s birthday. I placed the order on evening of the 27/6, got a phone call on the 28th to say that one item ( a line 6 amp) wasn’t in stock but they’d offer a discount on an upgarded amp. After a phone call to someone who knows about these things I decided to go ahead and upgrade, phoned dolphin to confirm and all the items were shipped that day and delivered the following afternoon.
All I can say is my experience was first class and no doubt I’ll be back again in future, just hope that it’s always going to be as good!
Boy, am I pleased to find more Dolphin Music customers who are hacked off with Dolphin. I’ve had two problems with them, one of which is still on going. My first issue was getting a replacement for for my NEW Event monitors. after countless e-mails they said they would send me a shipping number to return BOTH monitors to the supplier and get a replacement. Funnily enough, that never evolved. No number or reference ever came through. I ended up going to Absolute music for advice who gave me the contact number for Event/Rhodes Distribution where I got the replacements I required.
Then Tuesday 24th July I had a word clockk sync. problem with one of my Behringer ADA 8000. I called Dolphin and they went through some basic fault finding, they too found that the unit was at fault. I had an urgent session comming up on the following Friday and requested something in the meantime to “get me through”. After much conversation with Callum and Jake, they could only offer me an item if I chose to purchase it and then return it at a later date, well, bearing in mind the Event Issue that I had I was not going to give dolphin yet more money. They’d had well over a thousand pounds of my cash within the year and if they can’t “loan” a unit, it just shows what kind of a “Customer Orientated Company” they are. I was told that a replacement would be out by the middle of the next week for me as soon as they had new stock.
Well, the next Thursday roled around and guess what, “sorry we’ve not had our Behringer stock in yet”. They promised again for the next week. I called the Friday after and found that it had been shipped direct from Behringer to my address and it had been signed for by a Mr Pindon. A Mr Who? I seem to remember my last name as Armstrong! Callum told me they had shipped it to what was my previous work address. He tried “passing the buck” saying that I had that address on my account details, but as I pointed out, if he’s checked with me the delivery address, I could have told him that that address is no longer used. At no time was there any address confirmation involved. I was then told that they would arrange a collection from that address to my address and it should be with me in a couple of days. Well, not long after this conversation, there was a knock at the door and a delivery/collection company had come for my faulty unit. I was so shocked as AGAIN I had not been informed of any collection, especially as not so long ago I was on the phone to Callum. As the faulty unit was not “prepped” for shipping, I sent the company away empty handed and appologising to them for a wasted journey, but I was not informed of this collection.
It is now 16.20 on the 16th of August and still NO SHOW. I’ve just finnished on the phone with Callum asking for an update and apparently it WILL turn up today. I’ve lost faith completely now. This small Warrenty replacement ahs taken 3 weeks so far and many a buck has been passed. I’ve had one appology from them in regard to the monitors and that’s it! I’ve had to turn away countless oppertunities and projects due to not having both ADA 8000s and Dolphin just take my money and F*** it up. They do not have a clue on customer service. i often wonder if the quotes on theur site are genuine “satisfied customers” as I’ve not had one positive experience with them yet.
I’m taking my business elsewhere from now on and I strongly advise any other people to as well. I’ve come accross “Absolute Music” (as I Mentioned earlier). They put every music store to shame in every possible way : Customer Service, Product Support, Enquiries AND believe it or not PRICE!
I told Dolphin Music that I would not be using them again and they did not seem to care, so that highlighted their “service” even more. I have access to a lot of new comers and Pros in the industry and Dolphin can be sure that Me or anyone else I know will be using them.
With regards to my previous message, I was PROMISED my ada 8000 would be delivered today. Guess what, It’s 19.00 and no show!! Can Dolphin even organise a p*** up in a brewery?! I doubt it, unless you give them at least 12 months in which to find the alchohol!
So here I am, 14.25 on Monday after being promised the replacement item would be here the previous Thursday. I’ve just had a call back from Callum who has said that “we’ve just changed our delivery company and they’ve messed up”. There goes another buck! Apparantly the new company re-delivered it to the same previous work address. Dolphin now have it back at their depot for shipment TODAY (How many times do I have to hear this one!!). Again, Callum told me they’d pick up the faulty unit tommorrow, however I’ve re-stated that the faulty unit will not go back until I’ve received the replacement. I’ve been messed around so much by this useless company, I highly recomend not to use these useless money grabbers of a company. If I’m lucky, Jake may respond to these posts after some time, but at the end of the day, he’ll only pass the buck and use “tactical phrasing”. The reason for all these posts is to give other people an insight as to how awfull they really are when it comes to anything except taking money. I’ve noticed that I can call a Direct line, customer service line or any of the stated numbers on their contact details and, most of the time, all of them go to voicemail. If you call the Sales Line, it’s picked up within seconds! Steer well clear of DOLPHIN MUSIC unless you want to go down with a stress related illness. I only wish I’d found Absolute Music before I’d found these bunch of time wasting, buck passing fools!
Ben, you’re pretty angry, it’s clear to see that.
As you know from reading all the content here, this site isn’t anything to do with Dolphin Music. The post I originally wrote, together with all the comments, have served a number of purposes, not the least of which being a place for people to vent and a place for Jake to endeavour to engage with people.
I think he’s done a terrific job even though some people still are not happy. Sorry to say, but not everyone will be happy in these circumstances.
What this place isn’t is a formal channel to Dolphin Music’s customer support. So it’s time to take your issues directly to Dolphin Music.
Notwithstanding your issues, Ben, about which I do understand your anger, I’ll be closing the comments at the end of today.
Thanks to everyone for all your comments and opinions here.
Neville has very kindly re-opened the post so that I can quickly just explain that we are going to very shortly open a Customer Service Messageboard/Blog on our website so that customers can use that to not only communicate directly with us but raise issues, concerns or problems.
As Neville points out, the best way to contact us is always directly and we are broadening this channel of communication so it is easier for our customers to do so.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to make posts on this thread and although some was not positive it has provided us as a company with invaluable feedback to what our customers feel about our systems and processes and been responsible for helping us with our direction.
As always, I am contactable at my personal email firstname.lastname@example.org and hopeully you can start to use our new blog/messageboard shortly.