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May 13, 2024 - 3:20:11 PM
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EJCB

USA

18 posts since 10/15/2008

So what is the deal with Pisgah banjos? Deposit a year ago, no banjo, thank goodness I didn't give them the full amount. Had an email in March it would be started on soon. Deposit was made in May 2023. Follow up email from me last week wanting another update, no reply, no return call from my phone message. Of course the deposit is non refundable, Scam?? I know they make the damn things, I've seen them, heard them. And I know I ain't doing business with them again!

I just read this archive:
banjohangout.org/archive/339681

May 13, 2024 - 3:34:50 PM

676 posts since 2/8/2003

Sorry to hear. They’ll get it done eventually though. Hopefully it’s right. I’d say if the wait is longer than 12 months, it’s time to either slow things down or grow production instead of non refundable deposits. I’ve had a couple Pisgahs, but not anymore.

PS: There's an OT jam at Patch Brewery in Gordonsville last Sunday of the month 2-5 if interested.

Edited by - JollyRogers on 05/13/2024 15:36:29

May 13, 2024 - 5:13:45 PM

364 posts since 2/22/2019

Thanks for the information on Pisgah. I am not surprised.

Good to know that 99.9% of banjo makers are stand up people and honest as the day is long.

May 13, 2024 - 5:38:12 PM
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3547 posts since 4/7/2010

They are a victim of their own success & can't keep up with orders.

Bob Smakula

May 13, 2024 - 5:55:12 PM
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528 posts since 4/27/2013

I can totally understand why you're frustrated but I just want to caution you against suspecting anything nefarious here - Patrick Sawyer (Pisgah owner) is a friend of mine and a great guy. He built Pisgah from the ground up and (as Bob said above) their backlog is both a blessing and a curse - I personally hope you get your Pisgah in the end; they're great banjos!

May 13, 2024 - 7:14:44 PM
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3880 posts since 10/17/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Bob Smakula

They are a victim of their own success & can't keep up with orders.

Bob Smakula


Not sure about "victim"

These are hand made; by very small staff of craftsmen... so limited output. Opting not to go into larger mass production (expanding, becoming a big company, spending more time managing a factory, employees and such). They want to spend their time hand making a good banjo; and happy with that level of output/profit. Isn't that hand-made limited production seems what folks are paying for (not mass produced in larger factory)? 

Their web site is pretty upfront... 

Orders require a $250 non-refundable deposit with full balance due upon completion of the banjo.

All orders require an approximate 16 – 20  month estimated wait. Wait time is estimated and is not guaranteed, but please know we are working as quickly as possible to complete your build. Your patience is appreciated.

Pretty common from what I can have seen. Because they are hand made, with limited production. Even longer time if wanting some custom shop or boutique/individual maker... can be 5-year wait list, and as custom; no guarantee of that.

Not sure where the scam comes in? May 2024 is 12 months from May 2023; by math.

Worth the wait? For may yes, the value of that maker hand made. But this hand-made limited productions route (or custom) is not for every consumer... esp if used to get it now, Amazon/Sweetwater... some factory or pre-made, mass produced, in stock (or experience a slight back order due to labor/part shortage)... generally expectation is place order it and it arrives in weeks. There are lots of good options for those.

May 13, 2024 - 7:16:02 PM
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240 posts since 12/27/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Bob Smakula

They are a victim of their own success & can't keep up with orders.

Bob Smakula


"Victim"?  They've been over-promising and under-delivering for years now -- all while making excuses and not adjusting their practices.

May 13, 2024 - 7:36:25 PM
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3613 posts since 12/31/2005

Definitely not a scam. But Pisgah went from a garage to a full-blown factory operation, and there definitely have been some growing pains. I visited the factory when they were expanding. Think about changing a wheel at 50 mph. And then deal with the staffing and other issues it takes to run a business in a low-margin area. It seems that all hands are on making banjos and maybe not enough attention is getting paid to the back office end of the business. You have a right to be upset, but no reason to suspect that you've been ripped off. Patrick, Melissa, and crew are great folks. And you'll end up with a great banjo.

May 14, 2024 - 5:49:56 AM
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KCJones

USA

3058 posts since 8/30/2012

18-24 month wait isn't the mark of a 'success story'. It's a sign that a company can't handle their workload and isn't being managed properly. They're building openback banjos, not naval warships.

You don't have to be a scam or nefarious or dishonest to run a business poorly.

We've got a saying in the construciton industry: Most contractors die from overeating, not starvation.

May 14, 2024 - 7:50:01 AM

5563 posts since 5/9/2007

To the OP

I waited 8 years for delivery on my best banjo. -  A custom open back with an 11-1/2 inch rim.

The resultant instrument and continuing friendship with the builder were well worth the wait.

Banjos are a luxury item. Money spent in such pursuits are by definition, expendable.

So hang in there friend you, most likely, will have completely different feelings once the banjo is in your hands.

My 8 year wait involved, and still involves, good natured ribbing of the builder whenever the opportunity presents itself.

MrP

May 14, 2024 - 8:04:51 AM

3613 posts since 12/31/2005

They launched a new model today on the affordable end of the scale. So a lot going on. I met Patrick and Melissa after I won the Arnold Schultz raffle. Again, he puts a lot of time and effort into that and raises over $20K per year for the IBMA charities. I We can add a link here to his account so he can see the discussion and hopefully respond to OP. pisgahbanjos

May 14, 2024 - 8:17:45 AM
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Players Union Member

Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

30182 posts since 8/3/2003

I have hidden a political post and any that quoted it. Please, leave controversial political posts OFF the Hangout.

Edited by - Texasbanjo on 05/14/2024 08:17:58

May 14, 2024 - 8:34:06 AM
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45 posts since 5/27/2012

Wow!! interesting thread...if you want to find out more on how we scam people please contact us directly

patrick@pisgahbanjos.com
828-768-3488

Patrick David Sawyer

Edited by - pisgahbanjos on 05/14/2024 08:34:32

May 14, 2024 - 8:47:51 AM
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364 posts since 2/22/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo

I have hidden a political post and any that quoted it. Please, leave controversial political posts OFF the Hangout.


Since the information I posted was taken from Pigash's  website I feel it is important information for the readers.

That said I do respect your decision.

May 14, 2024 - 9:05 AM
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812 posts since 4/28/2012

quote:
Originally posted by pisgahbanjos

Wow!! interesting thread...


 

How can it be interesting???

Commensurately with 100 other threads

that begin and end the same old tired way!

Customer complains about unacceptable 

service from a banjo builder. Then, friends

and admirers come out of the woodwork 

saying "Oh, no.... You are mistaken. He's a 

great guy and an amazing human being. Just

give him time and you will be quite pleased!"

 

Did I miss anything?

Oh, yeah one more thing....

The folks telling the OP that his

complaint can't be valid because they  are 

friends/good buddies with the banjo maker

and "how dare you insinuate that he is even

remotely dishonest! "

 

And, of course the obligatory warning about

being careful before you sully someone's 

good reputation!

YAWN!!!

Edited by - Mark Douglas on 05/14/2024 09:06:21

May 14, 2024 - 9:31:47 AM
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54 posts since 2/12/2023

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

18-24 month wait isn't the mark of a 'success story'. It's a sign that a company can't handle their workload and isn't being managed properly. They're building openback banjos, not naval warships.

You don't have to be a scam or nefarious or dishonest to run a business poorly.

We've got a saying in the construciton industry: Most contractors die from overeating, not starvation.


I have to disagree. In the world of lutherie -- violins, lutes, classical guitars, etc -- waiting lists of 2-5 years (and much longer for the best) are common, and build time once they start your instrument is at least 12 months. It's hard to scale, because the brand is usually the master craftsman himself. I would have thought banjos were much easier, given that there's no carving of soundboards, etc, but it still boils down to one guy with assistants.

May 14, 2024 - 10:07:29 AM
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45 posts since 5/27/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Texasbanjo

I have hidden a political post and any that quoted it. Please, leave controversial political posts OFF the Hangout.


I see!  So you hide posts that stand up for women and women's rights but don't delete threads like this with mis-information.   

May 14, 2024 - 10:12:39 AM
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KCJones

USA

3058 posts since 8/30/2012

Misinformation is one thing, but at a minimum it's seems like starting a thread with the word 'scam' in the title is just asking for trouble. Even if this issue is resolved, or if it turns out to be a misunderstanding, that title will remain. And what's described here doesn't sound like a scam at all, by definition.

To me, it seems like 2 years wait is simply too long and indicates a problem with an OEM. If the wait is truly that long, they shouldn't be taking orders. There's a lot that can happen in 2 years. Material costs change drastically, labor pool fluctuates, natural disasters happen, people are born and die. Just seems like taking deposits/orders that far out is inevitably going to result in this type of issue. Some builders take custom orders only for a short period every year, and once it's that period is over you have to wait until next year if you want to get on the list. That seems like a better solution to me and carries much less risk for both the buyer and builder. 

All that said, the terms are upfront and in plain language. When someone says 16-20 months and nonrefundable deposit, don't be surprised when it takes 16-20 months and the deposit is nonrefundable. If you don't like those terms, don't place an order. This is not a complex thing to understand at all. The literacy levels in this country are concerning to say the least.

Edited by - KCJones on 05/14/2024 10:22:55

May 14, 2024 - 10:28:15 AM
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45 posts since 5/27/2012

quote:
Originally posted by EJCB

So what is the deal with Pisgah banjos? Deposit a year ago, no banjo, thank goodness I didn't give them the full amount. Had an email in March it would be started on soon. Deposit was made in May 2023. Follow up email from me last week wanting another update, no reply, no return call from my phone message. Of course the deposit is non refundable, Scam?? I know they make the damn things, I've seen them, heard them. And I know I ain't doing business with them again!

I just read this archive:
banjohangout.org/archive/339681


Hey Judd!

Sorry for the slow reply....my admin assistant has been on vacation the past week and is just now catching up on emails....you should be getting an update soon.  Patrick. 

May 14, 2024 - 10:34:58 AM
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45 posts since 5/27/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Bob Smakula

They are a victim of their own success & can't keep up with orders.

Bob Smakula


Hey Bob!

Sorry, this is simply not true...we can keep up with orders now and our current wait time for custom builds is 3-6 months....we just got though are COVID backlog which is why the wait time was so long.  Please contact me in the future to confirm correct information before posting comments like this.  Patrick

Edited by - pisgahbanjos on 05/14/2024 10:35:11

May 14, 2024 - 10:37:27 AM
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45 posts since 5/27/2012

quote:
Originally posted by KCJones

18-24 month wait isn't the mark of a 'success story'. It's a sign that a company can't handle their workload and isn't being managed properly. They're building openback banjos, not naval warships.

You don't have to be a scam or nefarious or dishonest to run a business poorly.

We've got a saying in the construciton industry: Most contractors die from overeating, not starvation.


It is true that we had a long backlog due to COVID however we are through that now and our current wait time for custom orders is 3-6 months or you can pick one up immidiatly from one of our fine retailers. 

May 14, 2024 - 11:07:33 AM
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45 posts since 5/27/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Silver_Falls
quote:
Originally posted by Bob Smakula

They are a victim of their own success & can't keep up with orders.

Bob Smakula


"Victim"?  They've been over-promising and under-delivering for years now -- all while making excuses and not adjusting their practices.


Im sorry....this is simply not true.  We HAVE been improving our production to keep up with demand....our current wait time for builds is 3-6 months.  Please pay us a visit and would be happy to personally show you our production.....we are currently building and shipping 2 banjos per day and 500+ per year.

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