I would like to report a business that consumers should be aware of and that should not be allowed to continue doing business. The business is The Piano Experts in Naperville, Illinois. This business is guilty of misleading advertising, deceptive selling practices, and non-delivery of goods.
The Piano Experts
1163 E Ogden
Naperville, IL 60563
Listed below are the events that took place during my experience with The Piano Experts:
11/11/07 – After seeing an ad in the paper advertising Baldwin pianos I visited
The Piano Experts store. I purchased a Baldwin piano from Jerry Webb, a salesperson at The Piano Experts. I also wrote a check for the full sale price since by doing so they offered to drop the price by $2000.00 verses financing the amount or using a credit card. I was told by Jerry that it should be delivered to my home in about 4 weeks. Sales Receipt read 4-6 weeks.
12/07/07 – Left message inquiring about delivery – message was not returned
12/08/07 – Called again and talked to Jerry Webb. Jerry said that I would get a call on Monday 12/10/07 to schedule delivery. He said that the piano would be scheduled to be delivered between 12/10/07 and 12/18/07.
12/10/07 – No call from them
12/11/07 & 12/12/07 – Store closed
12/13/07 – Left a message at store number – message was not returned
12/17/07 – Left a message at store number – message was not returned
12/18/07 & 12/19/07 – Store closed
12/20/07 – Called over a dozen times throughout the day until finally someone answered. I was told that they had a truck at Baldwin that was being loaded at that moment. He even said that Baldwin was holding the truck because they wanted to add a few more pianos that they were installing players on to the truck. He said that he could not tell me for sure if my piano was on the truck until it got back to their store. I was told to call back the next day to find out if my piano had made it on the truck or not. I do not recall the name of the man that I talked to this day but it is the same voice that is on their answering machine.
12/21/07 – Left two messages – messages were not returned
12/22/07 – Went to the store in person. I spoke to Walter who told me that my piano would not be in until sometime between 1/20/08 and 1/30/08. When I asked why my piano was not on the truck that just came back from Baldwin, Walter said that Baldwin sent the truck back empty because they didn’t have any of their pianos ready. When I asked why I was told two days ago that Baldwin was holding the truck until they finished a few more pianos Walter said that is what Baldwin had told them. Walter told me that Baldwin has guaranteed them delivery between 1/20/08 and 1/30/08. I also complained that I could never get a hold of anyone at the store. Walter told me that they only have one phone line and that he has around 70 other people calling also looking for their pianos and that he is returning calls as fast as he can. He then gave me his cell phone number and told me that I would be able to get a hold of him there.
1/03/08 – Left a message on store phone and on Walter’s cell phone – messages were not returned
1/05/08 – I went to the store and demanded a refund. I talked to both Walter and Peter Biasco. I told them that I had had enough of their lies and lack of customer service. I told Walter that I had left him a message on his cell phone and he had not returned my call. Walter said, “I guess it’s possible that I may have missed your message, I’ve been getting a lot of calls from people in your same situation”. I told them that I would like to cancel my order and get my money back. Peter Biasco told me that Baldwin was not giving them any pianos and offered to deliver another brand of piano (Kohler & Campbell) to my house by Friday. I told him, no thank you, and that I preferred not to do business with his company anymore. Peter told me that he would cancel my order but that I would have to come back on Monday and see Paul Biasco, the president of the company, to get my money refunded.
1/07/08 – I went back to the store to talk to Paul. When I arrived at the store Walter told me that Paul was not there yet but that he was on his way and would be there soon. After waiting about 30 minutes Peter came out of the office and told me that Paul got held up at the Tribune and would not be in until later in the day. After again offering to deliver a different piano, Peter told me that he would cancel my order but that it would take 10 days to get a check printed from their accountant. I questioned why it takes 10 days to write a check and told Peter that I wanted my money right then. Peter told me that there was nothing that he could do and if I wanted to make a big deal out of it we could get into the argument that my order was nonrefundable. In the interest of just getting my money back I agreed to pick up the check on 1/17/08.
1/17/08 – I went back to the store to pickup my refund check. Probably because there were other customers in the store, I was greeted at the door and quickly taken to the back office by Paul Biasco. Paul apologized for the situation and told me that he currently had over $750,000.00 of open orders on Baldwin pianos that he has been unable to fill because Baldwin has been unable to delivery. He told me that Baldwin had taken in more orders than they were able to fill and that he did not know when he would receive any pianos from them. Then as I watched, Paul opened his checkbook and wrote me a check for my full refund. This was the check that Peter had told me 10 days prior that it took that long to get a check from their accountant. As Paul handed me the check he again apologized and told me that when he does finally get some Baldwin pianos in that he would sell me the same piano that I had ordered for $2,000.00 less than I had originally paid in an effort to make up for my inconvenience.
Since the day I purchased the piano on 11/11/08 I have learned several things.
I was told by Jerry Webb that Baldwin pianos are made in the United States unlike many of the other brands out there that are being made in China. The piano that I was shown in the store and told that was the exact piano I was purchasing even said Baldwin on the front of it. I have since learned that the piano that I had actually ordered was a line sold by Baldwin under the name Hamilton that is manufactured in China. The word Hamilton was never even said by Jerry and the only place that I ever saw it printed was on my sales receipt as the model name.
I have also learned that the Biasco brothers then under the name Biasco Piano Company lost a lawsuit in 2003 in which several other local piano dealers accused them of deceptive advertising.
The Biasco family has been at this for years. The original Biasco Musical instruments went bankrupt in 2002. Then Biasco Piano Company went bankrupt in 2005.
Baldwin has actually removed The Piano Experts from their website as a Baldwin dealer and from what I have been told by another dealer is that Baldwin is no longer doing business with The Piano Experts because of their deceptive sales practices.
Now it appears that The Piano Experts, owned by Paul Biasco, has closed their doors once again as of 2/2/08.
Based on what I experienced and what I have learned about Paul Biasco and The Piano Experts I believe that they are intentionally ripping people off. I have also learned that Paul Biasco is the CEO of KBS Lending, a mortgage company that is located directly next to The Piano Experts store in Naperville. I suspect that Paul may be using the money that people paid him at The Piano Experts and investing it through KBS Lending. I know that he was at the least making interest off of my money for 10 weeks.
From the beginning of my experience I believe they have committed the following acts:
-Advertised Baldwin pianos at a price that only the smallest and cheapest Hamilton piano could be sold for.
-Mislead me to believe that I was purchasing an actual made in the United States Baldwin piano. I suspect that they even removed the Hamilton name on the front keyboard cover and replaced it with Baldwin.
-Enticed me into paying the full amount upfront knowing that they had no intention of ever making delivery.
-Never once returned a phone message
-Continuously led me on with false information and proposed delivery dates in effort to keep my money long enough to close shop.
-Lied about it taking 10 days to get a check so that they could continue to collect interest on my money.
I was lucky enough to retrieve my money in time but I am sure that there are dozens of people who were not so fortunate.
Review about: Baldwin Hamilton Piano.