Grafton Piano & Organ Co. - Bait & Switch pricing tactics

Posted on Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 at 9:11am CDT by unhappy customer

Company: Grafton Piano & Organ Co.

Location: 1081 County Line Road


Category: TV, Music, Video

Grafton gave me a quote on moving my father's piano. After scheduling it, found the guy doubled the price by almost 100%. When I asked why, he started throwing out information that I had already told him when he gave me the first quote, but acting like I withheld those details. When I pointed out that I had already told him these things before he quoted the first quote, he added other reasons - things I had never heard of and did not apply to my piano. I said I did not know what he meant, and asked if he was going to honor his quote. He responded "Maam, a quote is just that. When we came out we would have raised the price then". So basically, he's saying you cannot trust a quote from these people, that they don't honor their quotes, and that they will stick you when they come out to do the job. Never dealt with a company that did not honor their own quotes or at least stay in the range. A quote should never be off by more than 10%. Even if the original quote was an under-estimate, (which it should not have been since these people are in the business of selling and moving pianos), in the past I have seen business people under-estimate in their quotes, but they always stick to their quote because to them their reputation and customer satisfaction is most important. Those are the business owners that have more customers than they can handle because what they did for the customer passes by word of mouth. I have NEVER had anyone blatantly double their quote after the fact and then try to blame the customer for that, as Grafton did. That fact passes by word of mouth too, and certainly does not help the reputation of the business. Obviously these people don't really care about customer satisfaction, its just words on their website to entice customers. On their welcome page they say "Our family focus makes us unique in the suburban Philadelphia area. We like to treat our customers the way we like to be treated?honest advice in choosing an instrument, no compromise service and an organization that is dedicated to your satisfaction". Obviously that statement is far from true. I am very angry that this company wasted my time like this and I would warn anyone willing to try doing business with this company to watch out for bait and switch pricing tactics.

1 Comment

Business Reply  Glenn G., 2014-05-19, 11:15AM CDT

I'm one of the owners here at Grafton Piano & Organ Co. I thought I should respond to this complaint. We are sorry that the person posting the complaint was not happy. Her description however, is simply not accurate. Let me clarify what actually took place.

It has never been our practice to purposefully give a low estimate on the phone just to get work. When someone calls us about moving a piano we give them an estimate on the moving costs. The estimate is based on the accuracy of the information that they give us. We're relying on the caller to give an accurate description of what's involved with the piano move.

It's fairly common for people to not understand that the cost of moving a piano can vary greatly. For example; last week I got the following email. "Could you email me an estimate to move a piano from Harleysville, PA 19438 to Boyertown, PA 19512." I emailed this person back and asked them if they could let us know some details. What size is the piano, are there any stairs involved - if so how many, are there any tight turns, etc. The cost of moving their piano can vary greatly depending on if it's a smaller spinet with only a few outside steps to a large upright or grand weighing 800 - 1200 lbs. with an inside flight of stairs.

The initial call by this woman was to ask us what it would cost to move their piano from one address to another. A typical cost was given to her over the phone based on the information that she gave us. We asked if they could send us some pictures of the piano and of where the piano would be moved so we could give a more accurate price. Another family member involved did send us pictures of the piano and where it would be moved. The pictures showed that:

1. It was not a normal spinet piano with a rectangular case and 3 pedals. It had a separate lyre like a grand piano which held the pedals.

2. The steps turned out to be much more than a few.

3. They were interior steps - not outside steps that can often be ramped.

4. The steps were hardwood not carpeted.

After viewing the photos the second person sent us it was obvious that the move was more involved. The design of the lyre, the additional steps, the fact that they were interior steps and that they were hardwood not carpeted was all new information we weren't told on the first call.

After seeing from the pictures what the move was actually like he was able to give a more accurate price for the move. That price was based on information that was not given to us during the first call. This move would require 3 men, not 2. There would be extra time involved due to the additional steps and to protect the steps and the lyre. Obviously at that point if the price was not to their liking they could opt not to use our services.

Unlike regular furniture movers that hire laborers we have some of the most experienced piano movers in the Philadelphia area. We do some of the most difficult piano and organ moves such as moving the largest 9' concert grands and delivering large 4 manual church organs to choir lofts.

We have a piano in our shop now for repairs. The owner called us and several other companies for prices to move her piano. She got a lower price from another company who she choose to move her piano. The movers she choose left her piano unattended in their moving truck sitting on the piano dolly. The piano tipped over and slammed onto the floor of the truck. The cost of the repairs is over $2500 and she's been without the use of her piano for several months. On seeing her piano in our shop she told me that she was just sick about the whole thing. She told me that she's responsible for paying the first $1000 of the repairs.

And yes, we do care about customer satisfaction. The issue here was about giving us accurate information about the piano and details on the move.

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