Weifang Datang – Our Experience

The information below is a summary of Guitar Kit World’s experiences in partnership with Weifang Datang Musical Instruments.


History and terms of contract

Guitar Kit World approached Weifang Datang Musical Instruments in June 2016 as the business required a new supplier. I was particularly interested in discussing this with Weifang Datang as they were part of Ali Baba’s Trade Assurance Program which has been put in place to protect business owners such as myself from being taken advantage of.

All negotiations were conducted with Mr. Jason Han (customer service representative for Weifang Datang Musical Instruments).

The details of the proposed terms were discussed and agreed to, including acceptable delivery times and quality of workmanship. * Please note this was a ‘dropshipping’ arrangement. This means the supplier would ship directly to the ‘Guitar Kit World’ customer.

Guitar Kit World ordered three separate sample instruments prior to commencing the partnership and were impressed with the quality of the product.

A contact was developed outlining the terms required and was agreed to by Weifang Datang Musical Instruments in June 2016.
To see a copy of the contract please click here.

  • Please note specific references to:
    •  Late orders (section 2.3)
    • Provision of tracking numbers (section 2.1)
    • Production and despatch time of 40 days (section 2.2.3) *I verbally agreed to extend this to 60 days when it became clear the company was incapable of delivering within 40 days despite the terms of the contract.
    • Required standards of workmanship.(section 3.0. This included:
      • All drilling of bridge and tailpiece holes to be completed
      • Correct alignment of tuning peg holes
    • Failure to meet required standards (section 3.1).
      This included an agreement that ‘In the event that the manufacturer produces a guitar kit that is not exactly in accordance with the order placed by the client or is not of an acceptable standard of workmanship, including the specified minimum requirements listed in section 3.0 above, the Manufacturer will be liable in full for any compensation that may consequently be payable. Compensation may include full or partial refund of the total order amount including shipping, or the provision of replacement components.”

* Late orders were especially problematic throughout. (as detailed below)
* Tracking numbers were never provided unless requested multiple times and were just the tracking numbers supplied when sent to Ali Baba logistics and not the customer’s address.
* Standard of workmanship including, drilling bridge and tail piece holes were problems on multiple occasions (as detailed below)


Our Experience

While the evidence presented below should speak for itself, it is also important to add that the point of contact for the company (Mr Jason Han) has indicated on several occasions he intends to address all issues we have faced as a result of doing business with Weifang Datang Musical Instruments. Unfortunately when presented with photographic evidence he has up to this point completely ignored repeated requests.

*Please note, through Ali Baba Trade Assurance, Weifang Datang have been forced to address some of these issues. The compensation provided in many cases, however, has been insufficient to properly address each issue, despite the terms of the contract (section 3.1) outlining compensation requirements that were far more substantial.

I have included the details of the compensation received beside each order where applicable in an effort to be completely transparent.


Summary

I would strongly urge anyone considering doing business with Weifang Datang Musical Instruments to look over the information below and make an informed decision. The problems faced cannot simply be blamed on details being lost in translation or a difference in culture. It became very clear after the first 1 – 2 months that Weifang Datang’s workers did not appreciate my orders as they were custom orders and could not be mass produced.

I am aware that many of the Chinese guitar manufacturers greatly prefer mass production and in an effort to avoid any problems relating to this I raised the potential issues that could be caused by my business model before commencing the partnership.  Mr Jason Han gave every indication that this would not be a problem for his workers and did not anticipate any issues. *I would be happy to provide evidence of this email exchange by any interested parties if requested.

Despite having a legally binding contract that outlined very specific terms, my business has lost over $50,000 in income through 2016 due to refunds and lack of income as the store was forced to close due to the number of unhappy customers. The damage to the reputation of the business is also significant. Although impossible to measure, I belive it has been substantial. I have published this piece as a warning to anyone else who may potentially be affected in the same way if doing business with this company.

In total Weifang Datang Musical Instruments received 106 orders from Guitar Kit World. … orders had issues with either being extremely late or had missing parts, had the wrong parts or the workmanship was unacceptable and not up to the standard outlined in the contract between both parties.


Below is a detailed list of orders with issues requiring either full refunds, compensaiton or replacement parts.

John Kelso order: #3638

– Order delivered much later than agreed terms (73 days)
– Wrong parts sent, right handed routing on left handed guitar.
– Refund provided to customer from Guitar Kit World: $150.00
– Compensation received from Weifang datang Musical Instruments: $0

Customer comments received:

9/10/2016
OK Marty, I’m getting a bit upset here, and questioning this transaction. Reference your previous email, you still can’t tell me where my guitar is or give me tracking information?

12/10/2016
Marty,
The guitar arrived today, wood looks fine but I got a white pick guard with white knobs and plate, I paid for black and gold. I can send a picture if you like.
How do I get what I ordered and where do I send this one.
John

14/10/2016
Marty please see attached pictures.
We were doing mock fits and discovered the bridge to be right handed , that was better than figuring the route was wrong.
Checking further it seems the tuners are also right handed not left .
Marty this has not been a good experience for me, I ordered from you specifically because I wanted a lefty.
I do not mean to be disrespectful to you but since we’ve bought kits previously from your fellow countrymen
at Pit Bull with excellent results, we find yours severely lacking in quality.

kelso-1 kelso-2 kelso-3

  • Click to see enlarged image.

James Chickering #3665

– Order delivered much later than agreed terms (90 days)
– Unusable neck (misaligned tuner drill holes)
– Binding sanded through with no effort to repair
– Refund offered to customer from Guitar Kit World: Replacement Neck
– Compensation received from Weifang Datang Musical Instruments: None (despite assurances to the contrary from Mr Jason Han).

Customer comments received:

1/11/2016

Hi Marty, I have received the kit and have an issue: the neck is not usable because the peghead has been routed crooked. If I sight down the fingerboard from the peghead end with the fingerboard level, the peghead tilts to the right. The FB binding has also been sanded/routed through at the end of the fingerboard extension, but I think that it would be invisible since it’s so close to the neck pickup. Can I return it for a replacement?

 

CrookedPeghead1

  • Click to see enlarged image.

Randall Lewallen #3652

– Order delivered much later than agreed terms (90 days)
– Customer ordered 7 string guitar and received 6 string guitar
– Right handed nut, despite being for a left handed guitar
– Refund offered to customer from Guitar Kit World: $60
– Compensation received from Weifang Datang Musical Instruments: $0

Customer comments received:

1/11/2016

Hi. I just opened my new guitar kit. (order #3652). I was disappointed to see that it isn’t an SG7, and the nut is formed for a right handed guitar, when the body is drilled left handed, as I ordered. I can replace the nut, but I can’t make this a 7 string guitar.

Please let me know what can be done to fix this issue.

Randy Lewallen

1

  • Click to see enlarged image.

Cathleen Webster #3675

– Order was not delivered within agreed terms of 60 days.
– Customer cancelled order.
– Refund offered to customer from Guitar Kit World: $246.50 (full refund)
– Compensation received from Weifang Datang Musical Instruments: $246.50


Robert Voss #3688

– Order was not delivered within agreed terms of 60 days. (82 day delivery)
– Bridge and tailpiece holes not drilled, despite the contract clearly stating this as a requirement.
– Customer was not heard from again.

Customer comments received:

22/10/2016
Hi Marty, I just noticed that there aren’t any holes drilled for the bridge and the neck placement. The pictures on your site do show that these places have been marked/ drilled.
So how do I know where I need to place the bridge and the screws for the neck.
Greetings, Robert Voss