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Mystery Shopper: PMT in Bristol

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Mystery Shopper: PMT in Bristol

I was recently made aware of the new PMT store in Bristol by a tweet posted by Total Guitar magazine. After Googling the location of the store, it turned out it was under 0.5 miles from where I was based for a work assignment.

I just want to put into context the week I had prior to walking to the shop. Monday was a stressful day at the office, and Tuesday was twice as worse. The whole week at work was a stressful rollercoaster and I was longing for Friday afternoon to come. Even after that, I was still faced with the 2.5 hour drive back from Bristol, trapped behind tractors, caravans & tourists. I was seriously highly strung, but come 4:30pm on the Friday afternoon, I left the office and proceeded to walk the half mile trip in the glorious sunshine to the new PMT store.

It was very easy to find. I don’t even know Bristol that well but if you head through the Broadmead shopping centre, you end up right by the shop entrance. That could prove to be fatal for future work assignments in the Bristol area!

Walking into PMT on the back of a very stressful week I was ready for a serious retail therapy session. You are greeted by a 20ft giant pink Stratocaster which towers above a nice selection of Marshall and Orange amps. After eyeing up the 100W Marshall JVM stack, I found myself drooling over Blackstar and Mesa Boogie combos but it was the Gibson Les Pauls hanging on the wall that really caught my attention. It turns out the shop has a good selection of Gibson, Fender and Ibanez guitars, with literally 100’s of additional electric guitars from a variety of manufacturers that will suit your playing style and/or budget.

The shop is large and I was quite impressed with the vast selection of electric guitars for sale but it was the impressive range of acoustic guitars they had for sale that was the icing on the cake. I’m not really an acoustic player by heart, but lately I’ve been wondering about acquiring a nice Taylor or Martin to strum on in the lounge at home.

Despite the impressive size of the shop with the equally good range instruments on offer, I spent around 25 minutes browsing and not once did a member of staff ask me if I needed any help. I could see some staff assisting other members of the public, one staff member in particular bending over backwards in helping a customer to choose a new amp. I finally left the shop disappointed with the lack of interaction with the staff and what highlighted the problem even further was that when I walked into the shoe shop over the road the staff approached me instantly asking if they can help in any way.


PMT Bristol has a good selection of instruments, at prices that seem reasonable. I was really impressed with the acoustic guitar selection but my overall experience was clouded by the lack of interaction from staff. This could be a freak incident though and being 4:30pm on a Friday probably didn’t help. I can’t get over the fact that even though PMT were unaware that I had just finished a very stressful week, I was actually ready to lay down some plastic as part of my retail therapy right there and then. Their lack of customer service meant they didn’t get a sale out of me that afternoon when they easily could have.

Have you visited PMT in Bristol? If so, please give your Mystery Shopper comments below.

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


  • PMT is staffed by dis-interested and down right rude, commission chasing, guitar-snobs.

    I miss having TrebleRock in broadmead (now in clifton) and the DrumBank Guitar Store which is now sadly closed 🙁

    • Your an idiot, they don’t work on commission!!

      If you act like you write maybe its you who is rude!!

  • Visited PMT on a Sunday not even knowing this place was in Bristol,
    Staff were great left having purchased guitar case and a few accesories total spend £70.00 and saved around £40.00 compared to local guitar shop, would rate staff as good listened and helpful.

  • Similar story really – I went in looking to purchase a bass, and although was chatted to for about 5 mins by a guitar guy, was informed that they were in the middle of a stock take, and that it wasn’t the best time to be there. He then went on to ask “is there anything I can do to get you to buy one today” after only a few mins of me attempting to play an non-plugged in bass, and when I responded in the negative lost all interest and went away. Sorry – not overly impressed guys.

  • I’ve had problems with gear bought from PMT Bristol.

    Regarding Guitars – All they seem to do is shift boxes.
    None of the guitars seem to be set-up. All the ones i’ve ever tryed in there are out of tune.

    Had two guitars from them , both had to go back because of finishing defects.

    Staff however have that old ” look at me i work in a music shop and aren’t i great attitude” ie, not interested in customers, only the’re ego.

    Some staff are ok though, but lack knowledge in some areas.

    I’ve been in they and the only way to get some service is to go up to “members” of staff and ask and that’s not as easy as it sounds.
    Seems to be a lot of posing going on at PMT Bristol.

    Had a guitar set-up in store … I best not say here what i thought of the result.
    Lets just say i had to go elsewhere.

    However the manager is a very sound & fare guy, but seems to be tied by the company owners, in what he’s able to offer customers etc.

    So SorryPMT Bristol … Over All a BIG Thumbs Down.

  • Some things never change ( Well at PMT Bristol that seems to be the case ) .

    Been trying to contact Those Bristol PMT’ers via Email to see if they have a few products in stock ( to save a journy into Bristol ) .

    Just a simple Yes or No answer is all that’s required for my 2 questions .

    * After sending said email 3 times now and after a 10 day wait …
    * Have i had a Response of any kind ? …
    * Have i Hell ! ! !

    Guess the’re to busy Posing, Tweet’in & a Facebook’in themselves to reply.

    Ah Well, gonna be going elsewhere from now on.

  • Had my kit ‘fixed’ by the technicianb- he became quickly rude and aggressive when I came back after the ‘repair’ explaining that my kit had come back with 3 new problems – the whole thing has been a joke – time wasted – money wasted – kit ruined.

    They are saying I brought it in like that, and that its my word against theirs, end of, I was also told that there was no one above the technician that I could speak to complain and that I shouldn’t be making a complaint anyway and ‘going behind his back’ ?? The worst customer service ever.

  • PMT Bristol … Really??? Have any of you ever actually been and spoken to the team??? They don’t work on commission!!!

    Andy the manager from the first time I went in with my 64yr old father we were greeted offered coffee great conversations with all the guys, who recognise my dad, my son and myself being a drummer everyone we go.

    I always dress down on days off and always from the first day were spoken to with respect and professionalism, to date my father and myself have spent a small fortune, and won’t go anywhere else.

    If you have common sense PMT Bristol is the only place to go!!!

  • This is a large retailer which has advantages and disadvantages.

    A great selection of guitars in this place. I have bought several effects and items including two guitars.

    It is a great place to try things out and I have always found the staff friendly knowledgeable and patient. Most prices are competitive.

    Definitely worth a visit if your after new rather than 2nd hand gear.

  • Well personally, not being approached followed or pestered when I am browsing would be a big plus in my book.
    The chap who sold me the guitar was charming and so was the guy who fixed it until it became clear that I was being charged. Not his fault, I expect the store is run on very tight rules, give nothing away even if you are going to lose custom. I fear that I have bought the mug’s own brand guitar, I hope I am proved wrong. At £185, so far it is not standing up well to the £39.99 C Giant I got from Aldi five years ago and they would have replaced the whole thing in the same situation or given a full refund. See my Review below:
    Bought an Ex display (last one in shop) classical guitar and they did give me £5.00 off for no box but stated it was unmarked. (I would have preferred a boxed one, had one been available). Two days later the D string snapped so I took it back and also pointed out a chip in the lacquer They replaced the string then asked for £6 as they had opened a sealed packet and strings are never under warranty.

    The difference in customer service here between purchasing and returning with a problem is vast.

    I would recommend that you buy a guitar from a Super Market or Department Store as they will put things right for free or give you your money back no questions asked.

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