Hey everyone. I’m sad and disappointed to have to say this, but the experience I had surrounding my Kemper Stage purchase has been the worst purchasing experience of my life. I posted this on Facebook, but I think Kemper customers and people considering buying a Kemper (especially a Stage) deserve to hear about it, so I'll put it here as well.
It’s a long story, but I’ll make it as short as possible:
I’ve wanted a Kemper for years, but I’m a student trying to work myself through college. This summer I decided to save up for a Kemper. I had to sell most of my gear (acoustic guitar, backup electric guitar, pedals, and main amplifier) and work all summer. Luckily, the Stage came out, so finally I could afford a Profiler that also has the foot controller functions. So I happily bought a Stage on the first day it was released. I live in Canada, but I got it from a music store in Germany because they had a presale offer for a good price (it was around $200 savings - again, I am a student with a limited budget, and that's a lot for a student).
The first Stage arrived after a few weeks, and it had a serious hardware defect (it kept shutting itself off after ~20 minutes of playing, and it showed a weird pattern on the screen). To Kemper's credit, they were very helpful with tech support and troubleshooting here. After 2 weeks of troubleshooting, I sent it back to Germany for a replacement. A few weeks later, the replacement arrived – it was completely dead. At this point, I’d been chasing this for 2 months, I’d payed over $700 in taxes (I got the taxes returned only a couple of months later, at the time I couldn’t afford to pay taxes again on the import), and it was taking about a month each time there was a problem because it kept getting stuck in customs. It made no sense to keep sending units back and forth between Canada and Germany, and really I couldn't afford it anymore. This was more than I had bargained for.
Because I knew that Kemper has an amazing reputation for customer support and put their customers first, I had a lot of faith Kemper would make it right. So I decided to get a refund from Thomann then buy from Kemper directly so that I don't have to keep shipping units back and forth between Canada and Germany.
It took about a month until the unit arrived back I Germany and Thomann refunded me. I then went to Kemper and asked to buy the same product I originally purchased for the price I originally payed. I thought this was a very reasonable and fair request, given the crazy situation and the fact that it occurred because I received two units with serious manufacturer defects. However, Kemper flat out refused to give any discount whatsoever on the Stage. So I asked them then, if they can't offer me the same product at the original price, could they offer a comparable product (Profiler with footswitching) at a similar price?
All they would offer me was a 15% discount on any other product except the Stage. But doing the math, buying an unpowered Head or Rack would have cost more than I originally payed, and I would still have to buy a foot controller later. Together, the discounted Head/Rack plus any decent foot controller (not even the expensive Kemper remote) would have cost more than just buying a Stage at full price. So no matter what, I would have lost $250, gone through all this trouble (by this point it was almost 4 months of chasing around after this purchase), and in the end I would have to pay full price for a brand new Stage, or even more than that for an unpowered Head/Rack plus a foot controller. To be blunt, that is absolutely ridiculous.
I hate to say this, but with this incident, plus the recent issues with Kemper, it looks like Kemper just doesn’t care about their customers. I was completely sold on the product, on the sound, and on Kemper’s reputation for quality, reliability, and amazing customer support. I had absolute faith in this company. I was patient through 4 months of hassle, I was kind and understanding in every interaction with Kemper's staff. Now I’ve lost $250 (which is a lot for a student trying to work his way through college), and I’ve got absolutely nothing to show for it. To say I’m sad and disappointed about this outcome is an understatement. I really hope Kemper gets their act together, because they really do have an amazing product, and it’s a shame that this is how they are behaving.