Order, Shipments, and Comments on the Situation: End result? I’m stunned.



  • First, I have to believe that PG’s comments and statements about the “challenges” (Please read that PC verbiage as “massive f***ing problems“) of bringing an innovative award winning product like Spark to the music market are true. More specifically the guitar players market. Think about it, it’s an unexpected hit; the design, form, features and price, all combine to hit a niche in a market where new gear is practically like crack to a crackhead. Among the issues I see that contributed heavily to the problems of satisfying demand are ones of timing and coincidence, e.g. trade issues with China, tariffs, shipping, customs clearance backlogs following container arrivals, etc. Not to mention production and logistical issues their Chinese OEM contractor would have to deal with to meet the higher than expected demand. You might think oh hell its China they just snap their CCP fingers and it’s dealt with. Well no, it doesn’t Work that way even in Communist China. I can absolutely state that shipping containers from China to the States is now more complicated. Then once cleared at the port of entry (Los Angeles) the Sparks have to be transshipped and stockpiled at newly acquired shipping warehouses. Then in the middle of all of THAT this tiny critter we come to know as SARS-CoV-2 comes along and adds its own particular brand of mayhem in both the States and China. Christ. Situation Abnormal All...well, you Can fill in the rest.

    I’m pretty sure Positive Grid could not foresee a few of those issues. I don’t know enough about marketing to even begin to understand how a company forecasts demand on a product. However It seems to me that guitar players, of any caliber and/or ability, comprise a mass of junkies who will simply devour gear if it strikes their fancy. I should know because I definitely have an acquisitive gene when it comes to my passions. In that I suspect PG missed the boat.

    As a long range offshore fishing enthusiast I spend thousands of dollars on tackle that may or may not improve my chances of boating that elusive 250# plus yellowfin tuna. Amongst the breed of long rangers we call ourselves Tackle Ho’s. We joke amongst ourselves on forums similar to this one that It’s not a matter of “want”, it’s a matter of want that turns into “need”. Frankly I don’t see a lot of differences amongst most guitarists, they’re simply Guitar Ho’s. Looking at my collection of amps, pedals and guitars, I’ll proudly and unabashedly claim that title for myself.

    I’ve seen a few comments here about people who had had a few (cocktails) and spontaneously purchased. Now I don’t drink so it was purely the sober act of a Guitar Ho..Had I been drinking, as I did at one point with as much passion as gear collection, I would likely have ordered two. In fact I’d bet the vast majority of purchases were spontaneous, whether substance driven or simply the appeal of a product with an astounding number of features at an even more astounding price point. I should do a poll, or someone should as I’m likely to be too busy to do that after the next day or so. “Why is that Keoki?“, you might ask. Because...

    I placed my order for one on August 4th. Of course having read all the tales of woe and frustration over repeated delays and pushed dates, I settled in for a nice long wait, but still made sure all my account info was Solid, and of course periodically checked Track Order, about four or five times a day. Yeah I could tell I was definitely being patient. Seriously. Then of course last week we all got the shipping update from the CEO, (poor bastard, his life must be hell) Long and short I got this today... “Scheduled delivery: Tuesday 8/11/2020 by end of day“. Damn the guy appears to have been telling the truth. I sincerely hope everyone who has been waiting so long ends up with the joy of waking up to a similar email.

    Post Script: I need to add that I dozed off after cheerfully posting the original thread text above but woke up with a jerk, gasp and in a cold sweat after a nightmarish thought worked it’s way into my subconscious. That delivery might simply be “the Bag“...They ship separately!!!! Okay so I have to laugh if that’s the case, or the bag, as might be a better term. Never fear I’ll post again, I know there are people who hope it is the bag, a vicious state of small mindedness I completely, understand, and then there are those that hold this post up as if it were the Holy Grail of Hope. Me? I’m just going login 4 or 5 times each hour to both FedEx and PG Tracking hoping that somehow, miraculously, I missed something, or that additional imformation will reveal the true identity of the delivery.



  • I ordered in july hapily expecting it to come around xmas but posts like this make me salty >.<



  • It's not the bag I have a friend who also ordered end of July and is getting his today. I don't know if anyone has actually gotten the bag yet. I have yet to receive mine. I waited 3+ months for the amp.



  • @shadowdwpp

    I’m now sorting out how pissed I should be about the bag...Ah! Okay...NOT MUCH! 😎



  • @keoki All that you say about the challenges of bringing a new product to market while needing the income from advanced sales, combined with the logistics of finding supplies and the whole marketing process in China is so very true. And the logistics of shipping the completed units around the world, that's also very true.

    What sucked for many of us isn't the wait -- that was expected. What truly sucks is that they got the ordering paperwork in such a cock-up that they couldn't ship the units that arrived in a country/region in the proper sequential order according to order number. When I ordered in mid-May and was still waiting and learned of people who ordered in mid-July receiving their amps in a week or two in my same country, while I didn't even have a tracking number, that is inexcusable.

    That has nothing to do with manufacturing problems, supply problems, added hassles of shipping container from China, nothing to do with Covid19 since I have not read anywhere that one of the symptoms is the total inability to read order numbers sequentially.

    And the stupid "we're so sorry we shipped a few hundred orders out of sequence" apology from the CEO was pure BS -- it was a lot more than a "few hundred." And to read his statement that they had resolved the issue while still waiting for a tracking number and also reading that shipping times were down to a week for new orders only confirmed the fact that their office was in total disarray and couldn't send the proper shipping addresses and shipping labels to the distribution warehouses.

    Right now UPS has my package (7 pounds it's listed at, so I'm hoping it's the amp) ready to load onto the truck for delivery tomorrow. And my long wait will be over.

    But I feel sorry for those who ordered back in January and February and March and April who are still waiting, as if PG can't yet get the shipping schedule right.

    All that you said about the manufacturing, shipping, etc. is true, and the sheer numbers of amps sold is amazing. But the inability to have a computer program spit out shipping labels properly in sequence within the same country/region scares me since so much of the Spark is computer-based! What else haven't their computer "experts" been able to do right?



  • @dhbailey

    DH,

    Lol, love the Covid bit. Clever! Your reply on the part of the many who found themselves in similar circumstances is on point. It may be that part of the issue is what I take to be PG's learning curve as it relates to servicing orders when there significant demand on a hardware item vs their typical software product which can be downloaded immediately following purchase. I'll simply say, yeah, I get your point. How and why that SNAFU came about may well remain unanswered, or at best answered Unsatisfactorily.

    At least the firm came clean about the FU even at the risk of losing orders. That's to their credit but I doubt that made you or others in the same situation feel any better. I am however very glad to see PG putting some bullets in the head of that beast and converting long suffering customers, such as yourself, to satisfied owners.

    Now that aspect of being a satisfied owner remains to be seen if there are product issues. I've no doubt there will be more than we've seen to date. How they handle those issues will speak volumes to their commitment to customer service. Were I them, I'd not hesitate to rapidly evaluate the issue as being one of hardware and not operator error and send a new unit (quickly).

    Got my fingers crossed for your 7 pounds there Doc, Hope its a healthy delivery!

    Keoki



  • I ordered in Februrary and received my Spark six months later. The PG website today states orders now take five to seven days. If that's true getting a Spark could be faster than getting an answer from Support or the replacement power supply needed to fix noise and sustain problems. It's good PG is making progress. I hope they will correct the problems in my amp.
    FYI, the PG CEO doubled the warranty. Its now two years. I'm glad I purchased the $200 amp



  • @rexlarsenphoto I'm definitely glad I ordered it and am looking forward to digging deep into creating tones and using the amp to demonstrate to students (and their parents) what a great investment the Spark is as a first amplifier for young guitarists. They will be able to investigate various types of amps and the use and the settings for various effects without spending the thousands of dollars necessary to have all that hardware to play around with. I've looked at other modelling amps and they all seem to have very steep learning curves. I've got multi-effects pedals which are find as far as they go but I'm planning on putting them all on ebay and simplifying things. But the chance to show students just what happens when a particular effect is changed, without having to drag out a million patch cables and search for the effect pedal and such is well worth the price and well worth the wait. I have no quibble with PG as an innovator -- just with the shipping problems. And if they're all resolved, fantastic!



  • @dhbailey

    DH, Tried to send you a private message but I don’t think notification of those are readily apparent. I just checked my shipping notification and package weight. My carrier out of LA to my place here in NorCal is FedEx, they indicate the package I’m getting from PG is slightly over 15lbs...you said your carrier was UPS? and the package weight was 7lbs? Weird.

    Keoki



  • @keoki I'll find out today what the real deal is -- I've checked the tracking and it's on the truck for delivery. The shipment details show "7 lbs" -- that would make it too heavy for just the bag, I think. But also too light for the amp itself. Oh well, by 9 this evening I'll know, and I'll post it here.



  • @dhbailey Mine said the same weight for shipment it is the amp and the amp is lighter than I expected for a 40 watt amp.



  • @dhbailey

    DH, I thinking its fair to say the group here is hoping for the best!!

    @shadowdwpp

    Shadow, if thats the case, then perhaps my 15# package on FedE is both case and bag, but that runs contrary to PG's statement of them being shipped separately...another puzzlement!

    Keoki