FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Lonely, depressed Sweetwater sales engineer Hank Grenell texted a former shopper to see if he was awake and curious about pedals, according to transcripts.
“Hey man, u up? We got some new transparent overdrives from MXR called the Duke of Tone, curious to try one out?” stated the disturbing early morning text from Grenell, who is one of the music retailer’s longest-serving employees. “I was just thinking about you and that K&M telescoping boom mic stand you bought a few months ago. How’s it working out? Do you have a band? I’d love to listen to any demos you have. If you’re near Fort Wayne, Indiana, you should come over. I miss you. I miss us.”
Mark Thompson, the former Sweetwater customer and recipient of Grenell’s upsetting messages, is weirded out by the whole experience.
“It’s such a bizarre customer service strategy—you buy one mic stand and they start calling you like you lived in a college dorm together,” said Thompson, who barely plays guitar anymore. “I used to get annoyed at how standoffish Guitar Center employees could be. But I much rather have some elitist dickhead ignore me than call when I’m home eating wings or text me in the middle of the night. Also, why would I want a transparent overdrive? I fucking suck at guitar, so I need a Boss DS-1 or Big Muff Pi to mask my mistakes. The world does not need another boring transparent overdrive.”
Sweetwater’s chief marketing officer recently unveiled plans to unleash even more invasive customer retention strategies.
“Sweetwater is about to disrupt the music gear customer service experience yet again,” explained CMO Dorothy Taffer. “Our plan is to have undercover sales engineers move next door to our highest volume customers and start bands with them. They can then suggest new gear daily—our valuation is going to go through the roof. You’re going to miss the days we only called and emailed you, because now we’re going to be at your daughter’s Bat Mitzvah.”
At press time, Grenell was reportedly offering unique Sweetwater coupon codes to Tinder matches.