Apologies for the long post but a little story in recognition of a good gear experience.
TLDR: Faulty Speaker replaced, excellent customer service in doing so, one very satisfied customer!:
So a few months ago I bought my first 'real' rig. Up till this year I've been using various combos as I've never had the need or ambition for more but I've got a new itch to join a band so I thought I'd get myself a capable head & cab. After much research & consideration I plump for the Laney Nexus SLS head, with the R210 cab (might do a separate NAD post on this if anyone's interested, or even if not).
Pleased as punch with this combination, looks great, all the bells and whistles, loads of power, lightweight and doesn't break the budget. Until...
Farting noises. Not from me for a change, but coming from the amp while I'm playing.
Like most of us when something appears to be wrong with an expensive purchase, I try to ignore it. Convince myself it isn't there. It's not that bad. Isn't it? Yes it is quite bad. I can't ignore it. It is definitely not supposed to sound like that. That is not the sound of a preamp tube, or the tweeter. It sounds like my signal is being fed through a very quiet fuzz pedal alongside my clean signal. But I don't have a fuzz pedal, and if I did, what would be the point of playing one quietly?
So I try to eliminate the possible sources of the noise: effects pedals, leads, speaker cables etc. I narrow it down to the cab, or the amp. My first instinct is to contact the retailer, but both items were bought online from foreign based retailers (because apparently its cheaper to ship Laney gear to mainland Europe and back to a UK consumer than to buy from a UK dealer - who knew). So returning would be tricky.
So to avoid the tricky conversation with a non-English speaking retailer I contact Laney. I don't know about anyone else but I have had distinctly mixed results contacting companies through websites so I wasn't expecting much from the technical query contact form on their website. But I described the problem and my attempts so far to identify and solve it, not hoping for much, but who knows, its worth a try.
Anyway, I receive a reply within a day, asking further questions and suggesting other ways to investigate. A series of messages follows, checking one thing then another, and we locate the fuzz in one of the speakers. Via email I confirm that I'd bought the cab this year, and before I knew it a replacement speaker was on its way. Received within 1 more day, fitted to the cab, and problem solved from inital contact to satisfied customer in less than a week, and without a penny spent.
So I am very grateful to Laney, who although I am a mostly bedroom bass playing nobody they didn't have to keep happy, and although they of course should rectify build faults in their products, they have got one very happy customer who took a gamble on their gear and has now become a fan of the company. Much appreciation for excellent service (especially Pete in the Service Department) and a further glow because its a British company who I think are making some genuinely innovative and standout products, both for guitar and bass.