Music Direct - Audio Hardware Seller?


First post.

I want to share a very strange exchange (telephone call) I had earlier this afternoon with Jasmine in the support department at Music Direct.

    I finally purchased a Roon Nucleus+ device from the Music Direct website on July 16, 2019 and received emails notifying me that the item would ship on July 17; Music Direct also added California tax to a later receipt. (NOTE: I purchased a Roon Life Membership in May 2016, but have not installed any software yet as I've been waiting for the "roon environment" to improve before wandering aimlessly spending thousands of dollars unnecessarily.)

    Two days later, my account indicated that the item was still “Unshipped” so I called and spoke with a gentleman in Sales who was likewise surprised that the order had not been filled because they have the item in stock – so he transferred me to Support and that’s where I had the opportunity to speak with Jasmine.

    Jasmine happily explained that for first time purchases that they will “email and call” the new customer to make sure they had placed the order. She also confirmed that while she had not emailed me, that she had called me and left a voice mail asking me to call and verify the purchase. I did not receive a voicemail message and my call log does not show any incoming or missed calls. This conversation then went from bad to worse and she offered to just cancel the order all together and I confirmed to cancel the order. I also stated that I hoped to speak with a customer service supervisor because this was a very distasteful exchange. I have received the Music Direct catalogs for a couple of years and their website looks legitimate. I do not know if they were “stalling” because they did not have the item in stock or if I just had a bad experience, so to speak.

    Has anyone else had bad experience with Music Direct? Are they a legitimate audio hardware reseller? I have a suspicion that something is wrong, but I cannot put my finger on it and wanted to share this experience with the hope of helping others or learning that my experience was not typical. Thanks in advance for the feedback. Sincerely, Mark L.

marklet
I bought my Marantz Reference gear and my JBL 4319 monitors from them and had the opposite experience: a really nice one. Sorry to hear what happened.

All the best,
Nonoise
Hi, MusicDirect in my experience has always been first rate.  I'd say give them another chance.
Sometimes employees get the feeling of power and can get quite rude, especially via the telephone.
I had a roofing project, the contact person (supposedly the Project Manger) never visited the job site and became quite rude when I asked questions on the phone. I ended up asking for another Project Manager to be assigned, things went smoothly from there.

Again, some people who answer the phone representing companies are  doing a disservice to those companies. Perhaps it is the pressure, stress or they are in the wrong job.

ozzy
So you're upset that they went out of their way to make sure someone wasn't trying to commit fraud or steal your financial information?

I've bought a number of things from them, mostly discounted interconnects and some vinyl.  All positive experiences.
I spent thousands over the years with Music Direct.  First, on equipment and the last 5 years on records and never a problem.  If they don't have an item in stock, they won't charge your CC until it actually ships.  They are one of the best out there for online ordering.
I've purchased from them for years and always had good experiences.

I own a business and unfortunately not every transaction is perfect no matter how much training and how many controls we put in place.

I recommend giving them the benefit of the doubt on this one.
Not only are they a legitimate first rate audio hardware dealer they in fact now own several brands themselves that they bought out.
I live in Chicago and have actually been to MusicDirect. They are absolutely legitimate. I have purchased a lot of equipment and accessories from them and had them shipped out of state with no issues. However, on your first purchase I think they go through extra steps which I think is to vet you as a legitimate customer and prevent fraud. Although, they don’t mention that. That is my thought. After the first transaction, everything happens a lot faster. I have also bought scratch and dent speakers which are not on their website. I have also attended many of their record sales and have spent time in their listening rooms. I have met many of their sales staff, as well. I think what it sounds like is you went through their first time buyer unspoken process. I would give them another shot especially if you are out of state. I don’t understand the charging of CA sales tax though unless they have gotten on that charge-everyone-sales Tax bandwagon. If so, and you are looking to avoid sales tax their are other vendors who are not on that bandwagon yet. 
Mark next time you call ask for Jim Davis that’s the owner, very nice guy, If Jim is not available ask for Josh or Bes, both will take care of you, I go there almost weekly, I have not dealt with any of the women there, Music Direct is legit, don’t let this strange experience bothers you, they will be there for you....
MD does charge everyone sales tax now including out of state sales.  I have overall had numerous good experiences with them.  They were a little weird recently about possibly returning a cartridge and indicated that if I did that (even within 30 days - I think they state they allow up to 60 days) that somehow I would use up my ability to ever return another item to them.  I ended up keeping the cart but thought that was a weird policy.  Not sure if it only pertained to carts.
I have made multiple purchases from music direct  from $100 to $5,000. They are absolutely fantastic. Highly recommended.
@marklet your poor customer service experience is regrettable as it is unexcusable for a vendor like Music Direct.
I would follow up with some of the people that have been mentioned in this thread.
I have been very happy with Music Direct and had no issues at all with the equipment and cables that I have ordered over the last eight months. I even had to return a Kimber B bus cable that was too short and the return was processed quickly.
I love their open box and close out items as you can save lots of cash and they stand behind them.
Experienced a similar situation with my first purchase from Music Direct. I believe the delay is for fraud prevention.  
If you don't think that they gave you good service - find another vendor.  Most will match price - seems like Music Direct has a lower price.  You may also find a place that won't charge you sales tax if purchased from out of state.
I've also only had good experiences with Music Direct, and they are completely legitimate and above board. Sounds very much like fraud prevention that many dealers have to do these days, including myself.
I have ordered (and returned on a few occasions) many items from Music Direct and I can confirm that on the first shipment, they do reach out to you to confirm the address and your identity.  It slowed down the first shipment.  With that said, I have dealt with Customer Service many times and all calls I have had have been pleasant and they have been responsive.  They are legit and a good vendor from which to purchase.  Open Box items are particularly great deals, too.
Only good things to say here...I've bought all kinds of things from them, including records and equipment and always find them to be pleasant and very helpful. You can't beat their occasional 36 month 0 % financing program through synchrony bank. Their selection is first rate. The only issue I have is that at times, certain items seem to show up on the website even though that particular product is not quite available yet...for example the new pro-ject X2 and classic Evo turntables....still says 6-8 weeks out of stock...otherwise, all I have bought has been great. I don't really like having to pay sales tax though....audio advisor has no tax but not the same selection of products. Lastly, I had to return a piece of equipment once to music direct and was refunded not only purchase price, but also my return shipping costs promptly. 
  Nothing but positive experiences dealing with them for many years.
Only great experiences here.  
Those dudes are cool you bad rapped them big time!!
Too bad about the customer service you had with MD.
I have only bought one item from them which was a few years ago and didn't have any trouble at all. 
Sometimes conversations go the wrong way over the phone and people can get a little defensive. Is it possible you sounded upset on the phone and it may have set the tone of the conversation? 
It happens sometimes. MD is a good online vendor.

I bought numerous items over the years, always a great experience and excellent customer service.
Post removed 
I bought a refurbished integrated from Music Direct which arrived with one channel dead. They immediately shipped a replacement, before receiving my return. When it arrived it was a new unit, not refurbished. I called to tell them I had expected another refurbished amp and the reply was, "We didn't have any refurbished ones in stock so we sent a new one. Happy listening."
I’ve had nothing but good service from Music Direct and I’ve done business with them for years.

Recently, I bought a new desktop computer from Dell online. Even though I'm an existing customer with a Dell account, they insisted on speaking with me before approving the order. And it wasn't enough that we speak, they insisted on calling me - rather than me calling them - so that they could confirm my phone number. It was a minor inconvenience but I'm sure all of these companies need to protect themselves from fraudsters.
Never had a problem with Music Direct`, have bought a lot of music from them and some equipment.
I like others here have had nothing but positive dealings with Music Direct over the years and that is with at least 20+ purchases not counting countless music purchases. They have even surprised me with refunding shipping on power cables that did not work out in my system. Enjoy the music.
Been a customer for many years and I’m a satisfied customer. Once they got an order slightly wrong- they went above and beyond to make it right. I have zero hesitation doing business with them. 
Been a customer for many years and I’m a satisfied customer. Once they got an order slightly wrong- they went above and beyond to make it right. I have zero hesitation doing business with them. 
only good experiences in the 2 times i purchased items. Helpful and courteous
Thank you all, including @nonoise @agriculturist @ozzy @stereo5 @nolacap @jackd @kingbarbuda @jayctoy @three_easy_payments @artsam @idigmusic64 @wturkey @rdk777 @nekoaudio @lcaudle24t @audioguy85 @winoguy17 @grannyring @dougsat @lalitk @elizabeth @sfar @cleeds @68pete @tooblue @zavato @marqmike for your feedback; I sincerely appreciate that you took the time to respond with your experiences, advice, observations, and recommendations. @big_greg I am glad that they are verifying that I am who I say I am in order to reduce fraud; my issue is that I might still be waiting to receive an item that they never shipped because someone thought they contacted me when they had not. @ebm My inquiry was to determine if a company is legitimate, and I received sufficient feedback today from other board members and now agree with you that “Those dudes are cool.”

To follow up, I received an email a couple of hours ago from Seth at Music Direct inquiring about my canceled order. I replied thanking him for contacting me and I shared my experience with the company support staff. He replied thanking me for sharing my experience and indicated that he would work with the staff to provide a better customer experience.

It seems, and I would agree, that my experience was definitely an aberration. I have not decided if I will make the purchase, but I sincerely appreciate the feedback from members who took the time to respond and I am glad to know that Music Direct is a legitimate and quality audio equipment dealer. Peace. Mark L.
I had similar experience with another legitimate vendor on the Internet, except that I cannot say they were unfriendly in any way. It turned out that they wanted to call me and get all the credit card and my own information. Kind of a thing your parents tell you never to do when someone calls you. It was not announced in advance and I was taken by surprise just like the OP was here. Eventually, I cancelled my order ($1200) and they continued being friendly. Some weeks later I ordered something else from them ($75) and it went without any hiccup. I will continue shopping there for smaller items but will avoid anything that requires this "confirmation".

When it comes to collecting taxes in the USA, I believe that relatively recently Supreme Court decided that states can do it. I do not think it depends on the vendor’s mood anymore.
I live in Chicago, a few miles from Music Direct.  Over the past 20 years or so I have bought a few items from them, and brought a few back after a brief audition when I deemed them unsatisfactory. They are so close to me that it is just easier to deal in person rather than deal with freight carriers.  Yes, they are a bricks and mortar facility, but they like like a warehouse, not a showroom, as most of their business is mail order.
  I will say that as they have grown, their Customer Service has deteriorated.  They used to be  responsible and attuned to your needs.  Now the individual customer is just a number and the staff does emanate a Devil May Care attitude, unacceptable to me considering the price tags on the gear.  Therefore I stopped dealing with them a few years ago
Have only one purchase with them, a cdp. Was a new item and would not play. Contacted Music Direct and they had me do a few things while they were on the phone. Anyway they said ship it back on their dime and a replacement was sent. Very good to deal with.