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Mystery Shopper: Hickies Music Store, Reading

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Mystery Shopper: Hickies Music Store, Reading

The latest Guitar Jar Mystery Shopper finds us at Hickies Music Store, Reading.

Hickies isn’t a full blown guitar store, it retails a range of instruments and musical accessories for a wide audience.

In truth, this is the second time I visited Hickies in so many days, but despite visiting the store a couple of times to gather impressions for a Mystery Shopper review, it’s likely to be the shortest Mystery Shopper I’ve written.

Guitar wise, the store retails a “standard” range of lower-priced electric and acoustic guitars and accessories. There’s nothing out of the ordinary here with regards to their selection in relation to similar stores who cater for a similar spread of musicians.

The point I want to get across in this review is customer service. When I was employed in retail, the first (cliché) rule was: “The customer is always right, even when they’re wrong, they’re right”.

Today, I was fortunate to be in such a situation where I feel the shop assistant could have been slightly more accommodating to the following situation:

I’ve been curious about purchasing a relatively inexpensive overdrive pedal and I’ve had the Digitech Hardwire Overdrive in mind. I’ve also been tempted by the Digitech Bad Monkey as a much cheaper alternative.

To my delight, the young shop assistant at Hickies promptly guided me over to a Digitech display stand that was setup with both the Hardwire and Bad Monkey ready to plugin and play. Great news. Even greater news is the fact the display price on the Bad Monkey pedal was cheaper than the actual RRP.

After mentioning this to the assistant, he politely informed me the pedal cannot be sold for the display price, as it’s also priced more expensive elsewhere in the store. At this point I mentioned that Hickies may be obliged to sell me the pedal at the discounted price displayed in front of us.

Summary

Hickies is a nice store with a good range of lower priced guitars and accessories. Perfect for quickly grabbing strings, budget pedals and amps.

With regards to the pricing issue, I’m no legal expert and to be honest, I couldn’t care if Hickies are obliged to sell me the pedal at the cheaper display price or not (I would have paid the full RRP in any case).

My point is “The customer is always right, even when they’re wrong, they’re right”…

To be fair to the assistant, he was very polite and friendly, and he did a great job of forwarding me to the pedal display stand and setting me up with a guitar & amp. I was just annoyed that I had to stand in the shop, debating obligations about incorrectly displayed prices on the products they were selling. That wasn’t his fault, it just stresses the fact stores need to be aware of these potential discrepancies.

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About the author:

Sam is passionate about talking all things guitar related and started GuitarJar.co.uk to help encourage all guitarists in their guitar playing journey.

1 Comment

  • Purchased a Fender Jaguar from Hickies. Talking to the young shop assistant, asked if they would do a better price he said yes; asked if it came with case or bag – he said bag. Thought it over went back. Turns out they were not willing to supply bag or shift on price. Looked online – sale price I paid was price minus case with everyone else. So look online first.

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