Terrible buying experience with the Profiler Stage

  • 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.

  • To be fair, your issue is with Thomann, not Kemper. Just because Thomann, a third-party reseller, was running a discount on the product, doesn’t mean that Kemper are obliged to do the same. Yes, you had a very unlucky experience with Thomann and the Stage, but that can happen to anybody purchasing any piece of gear from a giant retailer overseas and shouldn’t have any bearing on the manufacturer’s own retail service and practice. Sure, you getting two defective units in a row reflects badly on the build quality and quality control at Kemper, but after the first unit was a defect, Thomann really should have checked the replacement before sending it out.
    I feel sorry for you, I do, but your anger towards Kemper for anything other than shoddy build quality/quality control is misplaced.

  • To be fair, your issue is with Thomann, not Kemper. J

    Not agree. have a hardware problem is the seller if the damage is related to transport.
    here it is not so.

    Kemper sells machines that I think are not finished properly, just see the number of returns on the Stage.
    the lack of test, the number of bugs of their O.S. is just steadfast coming from a big box like Kemper (because we are far from the small business).

    At the same time, we should not be too surprised by such a practice: asking customers to test a machine to see if it works properly (because internal tests are in principle null) is in the continuity of asking to test their bones to find the bugs.

    At one point, Kemper, you really have to think about reviewing your inner workings: making a machine that works will be more beneficial for you than a series of customers who are moving ...

  • Abene777, I'd tell you to try to relax with this. If you go on, when you finally get a properly working Stage, in a short time you'll forget about that horrible experience.


    I had a problem with the Tap Tempo function until I was explained the way it works (not the same way that every other gear I've had). It took like 2 months and some confusing info until the man himself explained it to me. Now I'm very happy.


    I understand your frustration but, hey, things not always go the way we'd like. Give them another chance, because, at the end, you'll be very satisfied.

  • Not agree. have a hardware problem is the seller if the damage is related to transport.
    here it is not so.

    Well, one arrived dead. I doubt that it left the Kemper factory that way. Something has gone wrong between the factory to Thomann and from Thomann to the destination. There’s nothing to say that the first one wasn’t damaged in transit, either.

    Thomann, as a reseller to the end user, carries full responsibility legally, regardless of the reason of the defect. It is up to them to take it up with Kemper. If I buy a pair of cheap Adidas trainers from an online warehouse like amazon who happen to be running a sale, yet send them back because of a stitching problem, I wouldn’t expect to go to the Adidas online store and be able to get the same deal.

  • I feel the pain man. I have to say though, the option of buying oversea should be last resort. You were in Canada thinking it was cheaper buying in Euros from Thomann but... at best, you get shafted with import/custom taxes/shipping costs you didn't even know existed and at worst, you have to send it back and forth oversea like you just did. Kemper and plenty of other brands sells at over twice the US/Europe price in some parts of the world and unfortunately buying at the crazy local retail price still usually ends up being better option than buying oversea. That was an expensive mistake but I suggest just make peace with it in your mind and try getting a KPA head locally or wait a year or so until the new batches of Stage get more reliable.

  • Well, one arrived dead. I doubt that it left the Kemper factory that way. Something has gone wrong between the factory to Thomann and from Thomann to the destination. There’s nothing to say that the first one wasn’t damaged in transit, either.

    There's nothing to say that all devices are tested at the end of the assembly lines, either.....

    If Thomann receives well packed up cardboard with no damage, i don't see why they should open it and see if it works well....No dealer do so ! It would prove that THIS device is really not reliable and they have to test it themselves everytime :wacko:. I assume they don't have time to. I believe that if the case is too frequent they gonna say to Kemper team ; "you are gentle but we won't sell your device anymore ; too much returns...."

    Of course, the OP wanted to save money and took the risk to buy it far from his country but Stages are sold and sent all over the world.

    I hope you don't agree that we have to be carefull, this is a fragile and delicate device. It would be built like a tank, it's gonna bear many gigs, rehearsals, transportations....I hope it will resist :rolleyes:

    Mine has just gone back (to my web dealer) and i have to admit i'm a little disappointed. I've bought pedals between 200€ and 800€ before and have never had any issues. With the stage, the cost is not harmless, i had to add a pedal ?( to control stuffs and this problem of disfunction forced me to pay 70€ moreover to send it back.....I hope i won't do it many times ! :cursing: . I think i'm not going to be serene for a while....It's not normal.

    At the end it will taint Kemper reputation, Thomann (and others) will sell other stuffs....

  • To be fair, your issue is with Thomann, not Kemper. Just because Thomann, a third-party reseller, was running a discount on the product, doesn’t mean that Kemper are obliged to do the same. Yes, you had a very unlucky experience with Thomann and the Stage, but that can happen to anybody purchasing any piece of gear from a giant retailer overseas and shouldn’t have any bearing on the manufacturer’s own retail service and practice. Sure, you getting two defective units in a row reflects badly on the build quality and quality control at Kemper, but after the first unit was a defect, Thomann really should have checked the replacement before sending it out.
    I feel sorry for you, I do, but your anger towards Kemper for anything other than shoddy build quality/quality control is misplaced.

    I do not agree. Kemper is selling the units to Thomann at a low-enough price that they can then put it on sale and still make money. Kemper has no obligation no, but it would have been the right thing to do, and they would have made more money than if he buys another from Thomann. If even one person reads this and does not buy a Kemper because they also agree, then it was very foolish of Kemper to not work with the customer.

    Disclaimer: When I post demo clips for profiles, there will be some minimal post-processing, unless stated otherwise. I normally double-track hard L/R, and add to the main buss a small amount of EQ and a limiter/comp set pretty light as well. Sometimes I get test profiles in advance of release, though 90% of my clips will be from packs I have purchased.

  • If I buy a pair of cheap Adidas trainers from an online warehouse like amazon who happen to be running a sale, yet send them back because of a stitching problem, I wouldn’t expect to go to the Adidas online store and be able to get the same deal.

    to compare a kemper with socks, is not it? By cons compare the Stage to a car brand you buy from a seller, yes, it works. If at the first start you realize that the power steering is broken, your dealer can repair it as many times as you want, you always keep in mind that this brand is not reliable. This will influence your next purchase by telling you that we will not take you twice ...

  • That really sucks, man. I bought my first Kemper from Thomann and it was rock solid, But the Stage... Hmm, they really need to review their testing and quality purchases, this is like buying from a Chinese company, so hit and miss.


    And actually, the Chinese have got it right now, the quality is so good that people are setting up tariff barriers to keep out their goods.


    Personally, I'd hate to be out $250 for taxes on what is essentially a non-purchase. I do understand that Kemper can't offer you a discount themselves.


    But the Stage should not have so many issues, there are still OS issues and every now and then someone says that the knobs fell off...


    Come on, Team Kemper. German made means something, or at least it used to. Premium pricing at the very least.

  • After consultation with the corresponding music store, there was no pre-sales offer.

    The Stage was subsequently taxed by the Canadian customs which is not the case when you purchase as an european customer in an european online store. Maybe the fact that the price for noneuropean customers appears without tax in the online store caused the customer to believe that he was getting a special price when in reality he just paid the price without VAT when he placed his order.

    We have acted correctly and have been very accommodating to the customer.

  • We have acted correctly and have been very accommodating to the customer.

    ...and not a word about the 2 dead Stage units? Because here, he had to pay taxes hoping to have a Stage that works. Receive a machine that does not work, it can happen (whatever ...) but two machines defective, it should NEVER happen. Even if you are not responsible for these taxes, providing machines that work is, I think, of your responsibility. Obviously, we can put this on the back of the trader but given the number of SAV for this Stage, we can, we customers, ask real questions about the tests when leaving the factory.

    I put myself in his place, I will hate.

  • It's a shame that the OP had troubles with 2 units, but man get over it. There's no way Kemper is not going to make it right, but how can they be blamed for your attempt to parallel import a product that you can buy in Canada?