Duke Of Uke - Not a store I can ever recommend - review

11 May 2010

Duke Of Uke - Not a store I can ever recommend - review

Sorry, not posted for a while - been away.

But in that time, I am afraid to say that I have been badly let down for a second time by the famous Ukulele shop - Duke of Uke in the UK.

This is a store in London that specialises in Ukuleles - so is the sort of shop that a uke fan should support - sadly though, if such a shop cannot offer good customer service, I am a big believer in telling people of the problems, and suggesting they think twice.

NOTE - my complaint lies with their web service - never been to the shop - but they have a funky looking web store... that fails.

On 30 April I placed an order for an instrument that would be a present to give to somebody on the 11th May at the VERY latest.  The item showed as "in stock", and the order went through and my money taken.

On Tuesday 4th, my order was still showing as "processing", so I emailed the store asking when it was despatching.  No reply...   I therefore called the store and spoke to a helpful chap who told me the item was out of stock... erm? sorry?  I ordered it and it said in stock?  Nope, sorry, not in stock....

I therefore explained that I needed to know if it would be in stock that week and despatched because I needed it for very early the following week - I explained that if that was not possible, not a problem - I would cancel and order elsewhere...  The helpful chap took my number, and said he would check and call me back. I got a call back in about 30 mins saying that the item would be with them on Thursday definitely, and that they could then despatch it earliest that Friday.   hmmmm, I thought - thats a little tight, but I was assured that this would mean it would be with me by Tuesday at the latest...  I agreed that we would do that, but I needed his assurance it would be sent on Friday.  I was promised.

I then went away for the weekend, returning on Monday with no net access - checked my mail on Monday to see that it was still showing as "processing".  I emailed the store - no response.

Tuesday morning post and no delivery, and on checking the site, I now note that it has despatched, today, Tuesday.  I needed it today, Tuesday. I  was promised it today, Tuesday, AT THE LATEST.

I have emailed them again with my complaint.... no response.  The gift I was supposed to give today is now late.  I look like a mug.

I think part of the problem lies with their website not being updated, and their emails not being checked.  But you know, that would explain things a whole lot better (whilst not absolving blame) if it wasnt for the fact that I  actually SPOKE TO THE SHOP last week and was PROMISED it would be sent for arrival this Tuesday at the latest.

This comes on the back of an order I tried to place a few weeks ago, again showing in stock, only to be told several days later that it wasnt - (plus a fairly uninterested chap on the phone when I phoned to cancel)

Maybe I should have known better..

A sad tale - plenty of shops I like, and a real shame that a shop that gets such good Google results, and SPECIALISES in Ukes just cant deliver a  mail order service.

I also think they are a touch expensive, but that is another story.


(Sorry Duke Of Uke - if you read this and have any queries, do get in touch - but all of the above is accurate - i was promised delivery last week, you failed to do so....)

Go with Eagle Music, Highly Strung, or Southern Ukulele store - those guys care, despatch on time and respond to emails!! (also cheaper!)


  1. Hi, I agree with you. I have never ordered from them so I don't know, but I agree that when a famous shop can't understand the basis of customer service, it is pretty disappointing. There is a famous hip knitting shop in London (knitters will know who I am talking about), they have great selection of materials, but failed to deliver a good mail order service. I have only ordered with them once (fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice...), then I made up my mind to avoid them. Very similar scenerio. They said in stock, then it was not in stock. I emailed, no one answered to tell me it was not in stock. So I called long distance to try to figure out what's the story (I thought one of the point of the invention of emails are that we don't have to call long distance anymore, but hey), then been told out of stock and that she wasn't doing mail order, so she can't answer ANY questions regarding to that. I called few days after when the person doing mail order came back saying it would be in stock the coming week. Just like you, nothing happened. It dragged on for one month, I am not joking. I was losing myself so I snapped and told him the material I bought was to use to make something to make a Christmas gift to send to Canada. That's the very reason why I order it in early November. But I didn't get the material until early December. Deadline for Christmas gift to Canada was well passed!
    To be fair though, they did send me extra stuff when they did finally dispatch my order.
    But like I said, when a famous shop failed to live up to the expectation, that sucks.
    Can you call them and complain? Maybe you can get some extra stuff like what happened to me with that famous knitting shop?

  2. gonna wait for delivery, see if they respond to emails, then call them. No response, I will send them the link to this blog article - the blog is shooting up the uke charts, so they may sit up and listen.

  3. I second Southern Ukulele Store, great service every time.

  4. great store i have had good experiences with. Eagle and Highly Strung too - real shops with real people who care.

  5. I've only used Duke of Uke instore, have to say they were absolutely fine then. Obviously doesn't involve any stock issues and delivery stuff though!

  6. A fair comment - I did strive to point out that my complaint is relating to their web service. To date 3 emails now sent over course of 7 days with no response whatsoever. Not good.

  7. I spent a LOT of money (for me) a few years back at the Duke of uke and made a good journey to get there. They were happy for me to browse round and play a lot of instruments, and take time. However 'Laconic' would be too energetic a title to give the service I received whilst there!!

  8. In the interests of fairness, Duke of Uke emailed me today to advise they had refunded my postage. No apology or comment at all on the service, but it's something I suppose.

  9. Duke of Uke will, or at least should, learn a hard lesson about the online world.

    I say "should" because of the ukulele manufacturer who came on with a big splash -- you heard about them daily if you were following the online uke scene -- and then earned a reputation for poor customer relations. Now you hear about them once a year.

  10. Heh, this mirrors my experience, only I emailed them first, and actually got a reply. I asked if the Brand X Concert was a stock photo, because the ukes that brand sells currently have changed a bit. They replied that they didn't have the uke in stock, but that I should try a Brand Y Concert.

    So then I asked if they actually have Brand Y in stock. No, they didn't have it in stock either.

    I asked about a few others and those weren't in stock as well. I guess the website is just there as Internet Decoration. At least every ukulele article written in the UK mentions Duke of Uke as the go-to place!

    Man I miss theukuleleshop.co.uk :(

  11. I always buy my strings from them and service is very prompt, once they were out of stock but when they came in the next week they called to see if I still wanted them which I thought was nice.

  12. Is that by visiting the store or online? I'm sure they do fulfill a lot of orders online - in my case, they cocked up badly on two occasions.

  13. Actually i've bought a few things online and in the Duke Of Uke shop in London over the years and i've only ever had a reliable and friendly service - The whole experience is infinitely nicer than going through those faceless corporate webstores. Anyway Sorry to hear about your trouble mate - But great to hear they've set it straight. Keep up the uke playing!

  14. I have not tried the online service, but dealing with them face to face is a pleasure. Knowledgable staff that care about the product and their customers.

    Maybe they just need to set aside more time to administrate the online store.

  15. Hi, I just thought I'd post my experiences buying a ukulele from the Duke of Uke, since many of the reviews here are a few years old.
    I decided to order from them as they are ukulele specialists. I chose my ukulele based on their reviews. I placed my order on-line and almost immediately was e-mailed to say my order had been received and I was given the name of a member of staff who would deal with any queries I might have. When it looked like delivery was going to be late, I contacted that member of staff by e-mail and got an answer within an hour. I placed my order on 6 October and it arrived on 10 October, one day later than promised which is no big deal.
    So in summary, I was happy with the service I got from the Duke of Uke and would certainly use their on-line shop again.


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