Questionable numbers and integrity

  • I placed my order (220***) on 27 May with the expectation that there would be some delay due to the preorder status. I've been monitoring the progress of my order and following the forum with the expectation that all issues would be resolved. The CEO letter promising to resolve shipping issues was a temporary relief but the more recent changes in shipping information and preorder numbers is causing some concern. My order status went to "In Transit" on 1 July 2020 as did many others. The additional explanation for the "In Transit" status was reassuring but now less information is being provided on the actual order status. I can only assume that my order remains in transit and will reach a local distribution point within the next 7 days as previously identified on my order status. Now it simply predicts shipping between 12-20 August 2020. I can only guess those dates refer to the Amp. Given the shipping delays addressed in this forum and the new notification on the order status page stating that bags and headphones will be shipped separately I'm starting to wonder if this company has the integrity to fulfill its promises. Electing not to provide detailed shipping information seems to be contrary to the CEO's promise and not in keeping with any type of transparent or honorable business practice.
    I began tracking the numbers for the last chance preorders on 27 June 2020 and have noted the numbers continue to rise. On 27 June at 01:00am they had supposedly sold 33,026 Amps of 33,070 available and 13520 of 13580 amps w/bags. As of today they are showing 41,047 amps of 41100 available and 15343 amps w/bags of 15440 available. That indicates that they are promising an additional 8030 amps and 1860 amps w/bags than they were in June yet they have been unable to fulfill the orders that have already been placed and paid for in advance. This seems very odd. Isn't the idea of the preorder opportunity to sell a limit number of products as an incentive to buy early. I'm beginning to wonder if this was ever intended to be a bargain/introductory offer or just a con to get more orders. Even if they eventually ship the amp, which is now questionable, how long before the bag is received? How poorly run is this company anyway?
    I also noticed that some forum posts questioning the companies honesty in communicating with customers have been removed. Are they now censoring those who question their integrity? That alone would justify every customers concerns.
    Since I placed my order much later than many on this forum, I remain somewhat optimistic however, I must say that optimism fades as each day passes. I will continue to monitor the progress of my order and watch this forum to with the hope that the CEO will keep his promises. A little honesty and transparency goes a long way.

    Update: AMP received 29 July. Delivered via UPS with no notice that it was coming. Just a pleasant surprise left on the porch. Did not receive the bag that was included in my order. Order status still says expected shipping between 12-20 August. Same hum as others have noted. Support says they will send a new power supply. Hopefully the bag and power supply will arrive relatively soon. Maintaining optimism as it is a cool little amp and so much more.

  • @cmcwillieb There's no first-come-first-serve.
    Where you live in the world impacts your delivery date. Shipping status often changes suddenly. Some orders arrive without notice. Try to relax, it's just a $200 amp. You'll get it.

  • @cmcwillieb
    Yes, we are shipping Sparks in the order they were received, and based on their location in the world. We did make an operational mistake and shipped a few hundred units out of order. We’ve fixed that and it won’t happen again.

    This was 7/16/20 now there are many posts on the forum of people who have received their amps that were purchased in May!!! FedEx only takes 2-3 days to cross the country, USPS can do it in 5 days. These were shipped AFTER Calvin's CEO letter! I'm sure tomorrows update (if there is one) will be one filled with truth and integrity....sorry, you can polish a turd to a high sheen but alas it will still be a turd!

  • @prismaddict Shipping is based on location only as we've seen. The bigger priority is all the features functioning as described, and sound quality.

  • @prismaddict FedEx ground is just as slow as UPS. They're not shipping the amps through the express FedEx service -- they're using the ground service.

  • @cmcwillieb I ordered in February, and just received mine yesterday. Have a couple hours to play with it, and I'm glad I waited.
    A little frustrating? yes. Some of it is Positive Grid's fault (especially their lack of clear and consistent communication) but I have had three OTHER companies who have just never delivered items, at all, because production and shipping was so delayed with ANYTHING coming from Asia. The shipping and transport times are through the roof on EVERYTHING (or nearly so) coming across the ocean. So, added to a huge influx of orders (internal logistics) and Covid (an act of God) and work stoppages/shipping delays due to the international conditions (science and politics) I sort of get it.

  • Relax. Mine showed up last week with a May 2 order. Yours is coming soon. It's probably already at a distribution point and in queue to get picked, at which point there will be a tracking number sent to you.
    You're getting 25% off, NO tax, FREE shipping.
    Increasing the 'available' and making it constantly look tight is a marketing gimmick to make you pull the trigger NOW. Another reason to keep selling at this price point is they have so much volume now, it's simply fair to pass along mfg savings.

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  • @guitaroholic I'm happy you got your order from May 2nd, under the circumstances I would have to say you were treated fairly well. I ordered March 9th almost 2 months before you and I don't feel quite the same love from the company that you do. I did get my tracking number on 6/30 and it's been pending ever since. I have been patient and I have trusted but in the past few days there has been a steady flow of users like yourself who ordered in May receiving their stuff. It's getting old, real old. I waited a long time for my amp just to be put on the row boat from the Chinese mainland and then started getting delivery promises before you even ordered yours. I've been told mid May, mid June, mid July and mid August is looking likely. UPS, FedEx, USPS all can ship ground around the country in less than 10 days therefore the CEO was blowing smoke up our ass saying they we're handling shipments in the order they were received. That's BS, an absolute lie! I don't know the criteria behind their shipping but it damn sure IS NOT order received!! From today's update:
    We have added a clear estimated shipping date (No you didn't, there is no estimated shipping date!!!) for each customer’s order.
    You can simply click the tracking number on your confirmation to track your order once it’s shipped. (No you can't)
    We simplified the information in our order tracking system (removing in-transit and local warehouse) to avoid confusion. (Yes, you simplified it and it just says Shipped)
    AND IT STILL SAYS PENDING!!! CEO said that wouldn't be the case back on July 14th!
    And yes, at this point I'm pissed

  • @dhbailey umm, yea, that's not how taxes work

  • @prismaddict yea, that sucks. Especially since I ordered a second in June and it got a tracking number today. Still waiting for UPS pickup though. I would think all orders in first quarter were impacted by demand outstripping expectations. Supply chains take months to react. Then Covid easily added a month (or two) for Q2 orders.
    However, it sounds like more than the 'few hundred' mentioned were shipped out of sequence.

  • @dhbailey The Spark is an inexpensive amp made in China. Nearly all of us paid $224 or less. Taxes and shipping are included. The practice amp costs less than many pedals.
    It won a major award at NAMM. When is the last time a $200 product from China caused so much conversation and concern ?

  • @rexlarsenphoto I'm not saying it's anything other than an excellent product (when there aren't problems). It's a great bargain. I'm not saying it isn't. I'm just questioning the "25% off" claim -- yes, it's a $242 product. That's what the claim should be -- "You get all this sonic capability in a great sounding amplifier for ONLY $242!" That by itself would have been enough to get my attention and eventual order, once I had viewed the demos online and learned more about the capabilities of the amp. But the "Last Chance" special has been going on for many months -- so how is it really a "Last Chance" if months later that same chance is still available? It's like all the furniture stores who claim "Going Out Of Business -- All Items Must Go!" and keep those signs (and the supposed sale) going for years, with new merchandise being delivered all the time and the company not really going out of business. I guess in an existential sense one could claim that every business is always having a "going out of business" sale since eventually all businesses do go out of business. And in that regard PG's "Last Chance" sale is really a last chance since most of us won't be buying a second Spark amp, so the one we have already ordered is the last chance we'll take on buying one. It's all in the language used. If companies could just be honest and claim that they have a great product for a great price we could all trust them much more. PG raising the number of units available for purchase in the "Last Chance" special reeks of dishonesty -- it makes a person think, when they see numbers like "14,157 out of 14, 520 sold!" that they'd better act soon or they won't be able to order at that great price. But checking that same page weeks later they see something like "15, 650 out of 15, 800 sold!" So that "out of xxxx sold" is a blatantly false claim that's designed to trick potential customers into feeling they have to act fast or lose out, when in fact there appears to be no cutoff date or quantity of amps sold, as there were in the earliest specials.

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  • @dhbailey good job doubling down on your nescience.

  • @guitaroholic I will admit that I may be wrong on the specifics. Since it sounds like you must be an accountant to know that I was wrong, I'll bow to your expertise. I will delete my offending replies.

  • @dhbailey You make good points and express them well. I paid for my order during the beginning of February and received it two days ago. A half year wait. My frustration with PG’s puzzling customer service and public relations shifted to amusement over time. I didn’t spend much and had other amps so I’ve watched the Spark roll out with popcorn in hand. I’m trying to learn it now and sort out a few glitches.
    So far it seems cool and imperfect. With this new technology I wonder how much can be tweaked and fixed with software and firmware.