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Victoria accordions

Sisu

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I live in Silver Bay Mn. located on the north shore of Lake Superior. I play a variety of music, but my favorite style are the jazz standards. After hearing Frank Marocco playing the Victoria accordion, I was very much attracted to the Poeta line. I discovered this forum while researching Victoria accordions. I ordered one in early July of 2021 and as of this posting have heard nothing about when to expect to see it. I have contacted Elke, but I hesitate to make myself a pest, so I'm reluctant to be persistent. Does anyone out there have any advice? I'm not used to Italian business norms, is this acceptable practice by their standards, or have I just spent a lot of foolish money? Thanks for any advice any of you might offer.

Sisu
 

Scuromondo

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When you contacted them before placing your order, I assume you exchanged messages or phone calls to decide on all of the various options such as reed configuration, tuning details, etc. Were they as unresponsive during that time? Before placing the order, they should have given you an approximate date of completion. Has that date passed?
 

Walker

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If it were me, what would I do?

It's stressful, but I would think that Victoria are a well established name. You have selected a beautiul instrument. I would think that many Italian accordion makers are slow to finish the job, especially if they are made from scratch by the maker. But Victoria are endorsed by a number of high caliber musicians. By the way, great choice of instrument the Poeta! Did you go for maple or spruce?

If it were me I would not panic, just politely ask again when the instrument will be ready. The expected completion date might be detailed on the original invoice. If it were several months late already, just be nice and maybe you can use it as leverege to ask for EXTRA SPECIAL reeds.

Seriously, be light, ask again about the process for completion. Ask them what reeds they are selecting for you. Ask if there are any EXTRA SPECIAL ones they can fit, seeing as it is a long wait and it is a very important accordion to you. Maybe they will fit you out with Binci or Voci Armoniche Blue Star reeds.

I would not see reason yet to get too annoyed. Bottom line is you want them to finish it for you in good humour and as perfect as possible.​
 

debra

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If it were me, what would I do?

It's stressful, but I would think that Victoria are a well established name. You have selected a beautiul instrument. I would think that many Italian accordion makers are slow to finish the job, especially if they are made from scratch by the maker. But Victoria are endorsed by a number of high caliber musicians. By the way, great choice of instrument the Poeta! Did you go for maple or spruce?

If it were me I would not panic, just politely ask again when the instrument will be ready. The expected completion date might be detailed on the original invoice. If it were several months late already, just be nice and maybe you can use it as leverege to ask for EXTRA SPECIAL reeds.

Seriously, be light, ask again about the process for completion. Ask them what reeds they are selecting for you. Ask if there are any EXTRA SPECIAL ones they can fit, seeing as it is a long wait and it is a very important accordion to you. Maybe they will fit you out with Binci or Voci Armoniche Blue Star reeds.

I would not see reason yet to get too annoyed. Bottom line is you want them to finish it for you in good humour and as perfect as possible.​
Asking for any changes (like different reeds) might be a cause for further delay, and perhaps even some difficulty when the size of different reeds is not identical to what you initially ordered. The Poeta comes with excellent reeds (I don't know whether Binci or Voci Armoniche a mano reeds, but one of these in any case.
Finishing an accordion can be delayed by a very innocent problem such as a missing part or set of parts. Accordions contain many parts not made by the accordion manufacturer and there have been shipping delays with many products. If something simple like bass buttons are missing an accordion cannot be completed.
The lead time for an accordion depends on brand and model. Bugari tends to be reasonably fast unless you ask for something highly unusual but Pigini for instance has delivery times exceeding 2 years even for fairly standard models. It used to be a bit better (from ordering to delivery of my Basson C39 bass accordion for instance took only about 4 months). With Victoria too it can vary, but anything between 6 and 12 months is pretty normal not just for them but for other factories as well.
 

Sisu

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When you contacted them before placing your order, I assume you exchanged messages or phone calls to decide on all of the various options such as reed configuration, tuning details, etc. Were they as unresponsive during that time? Before placing the order, they should have given you an approximate date of completion. Has that date passed?
Yes we did discuss all of the above, and Elke was very responsive through all of the planning and ordering process. The accordion was supposed to be delivered within 4 to 6 months. In each of the subsequent emails I was informed that my accordion was almost ready, just waiting on final tuning and bellows. This process began in June, and money was sent to them the first week in July. Any suggestions? Thanks
 

Sisu

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If it were me, what would I do?

It's stressful, but I would think that Victoria are a well established name. You have selected a beautiul instrument. I would think that many Italian accordion makers are slow to finish the job, especially if they are made from scratch by the maker. But Victoria are endorsed by a number of high caliber musicians. By the way, great choice of instrument the Poeta! Did you go for maple or spruce?

If it were me I would not panic, just politely ask again when the instrument will be ready. The expected completion date might be detailed on the original invoice. If it were several months late already, just be nice and maybe you can use it as leverege to ask for EXTRA SPECIAL reeds.

Seriously, be light, ask again about the process for completion. Ask them what reeds they are selecting for you. Ask if there are any EXTRA SPECIAL ones they can fit, seeing as it is a long wait and it is a very important accordion to you. Maybe they will fit you out with Binci or Voci Armoniche Blue Star reeds.

I would not see reason yet to get too annoyed. Bottom line is you want them to finish it for you in good humour and as perfect as possible.​
I ordered the maple. And thanks everyone for your sage advice. It is well noted.
 

Siegmund

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Asking for an update is certainly reasonable. (And I would have expected an estimated delivery date when I placed the order -- though this year I can see that slipping unexpectedly in response to covid surges and other crises.)

I would not panic, however. Especially if you requested custom features on a high end model.

I hope you'll keep us updated -- and post lots of pictures and recordings once your Poeta finally arrives!
 

debra

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Yes we did discuss all of the above, and Elke was very responsive through all of the planning and ordering process. The accordion was supposed to be delivered within 4 to 6 months. In each of the subsequent emails I was informed that my accordion was almost ready, just waiting on final tuning and bellows. This process began in June, and money was sent to them the first week in July. Any suggestions? Thanks
The bellows is one of the components not made by Victoria... And throughout the Covid period shortages in wood and cardboard (and even paper) have been increasing... Tuning is done with separate halves of the accordion and does not require the bellows, but "final" adjustments may still be needed afterwards as there may be slight tuning deviations when the accordion is in the playing postion (vertical) versus the tuning position (horizontal). Try contacting Elke again with a polite question about the estimated shipping date. (You can call her or try a private message on facebook.)
 

Dingo40

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Sisu,
Agreeing with Paul, I would suggest you politely and calmly contact them saying you're just keeping in touch to see how things are traveling (no pressure), then listen to where things are at: keep it cool, commiserate with any diffulties they're experiencing and simply update the new ETA, thanking them for the information and their helpfulness.
You've made them aware of your concern, don't add to their woes!🙂
It's the same everywhere: I recently had the timing belt replaced on one of our cars (they had two weeks advance booking to order parts).
It was going to take one day: it was 7 days before I got it back
Smile, pay up and be sure to thank them for their help!🙂
 
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Sisu

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Well folks, as of today I have payed for the entire accordion, and have no instrument. In late May I received an email from Elke stating that my accordion was finally ready, complete with pictures. I was informed that it would be out of customs and that I would receive a tracking number within a couple of days, and that I should receive my accordion the following week. Last week I contacted Elke again and she said she thought I had gotten it already, yet she had never sent a tracking number. Friday I sent her a last email stating that I would no longer be inquiring about my accordion as I doubted if it even exists. Lesson learned. I am retired on a fixed income so this was quite an expense for me. I am sending this post as a warning to other would be buyers. Perhaps one day I'll be surprised with a wonderful accordion, but it will be a surprise.
 

Skari

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I had a similar experience with the same company. I had returned an accordion for some warranty repair. Lots of unmet commitments and then no communication whatsoever. I finally filed a police report for a stolen accordion and submitted a claim with my musical instrument insurance company. i received the payment and started looking for a replacement. A few month later I noticed an alert from UPS that a package was on it's way from Ancona, Italy. Luckily, I still had the money so I could repay the insurance company. All in all it was a very frustrating experience.
 

Ventura

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personally, for me the most annoying part of dealing with Italy
and a few other countries, is the apparent culture regarding
business dealings with foreigners

re: always tell them something nice, something they want to hear,
whenever the truth is inconvenient

it is not that the people themselves are dishonest.. they go to
Church and take Communion in droves and are great and wonderful
in person and can be trusted with a handshake on many levels

it is just the normal culture of doing business in their country

time and events have convinced me of this
 

Ventura

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>> Silver Bay Mn.

ahh.. i have friends from Thunder Bay, a bit further up the coast

brought back an extra Excelsior 960, tuned 440- 440 chamber 440+, for Al Lord many ages ago..
talk about an amazing Jazz sound ! the sound of fine Accordions has echoed
over that Lake for a long long time

(960's are LMMMH)

have my fingers crossed that you yet receive your Victoria
 

Siegmund

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I will keep fingers crossed for you - and think it's more likely that the package is delayed, than that Victoria tried to do you wrong.

The instrument I had shipped from Europe last year (used, and not from Victoria) was "expected to take 3 weeks" but in fact took 7 weeks for the treble half and 10 weeks for the bass half, with a good portion of the delay due to US customs and a USPS warehouse in New Jersey. Interestingly I was given one (bogus) tracking number right away, and a two different (good) ones when I sent a "where is it?" mail a few weeks later.
Aside from the bad tracking number (or perhaps it was an overseas number that applied only to the transit from the dealer to some export center), wasn't the seller's fault that it took far longer than advertised to be delivered.
 

debra

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Well folks, as of today I have payed for the entire accordion, and have no instrument. In late May I received an email from Elke stating that my accordion was finally ready, complete with pictures. I was informed that it would be out of customs and that I would receive a tracking number within a couple of days, and that I should receive my accordion the following week. Last week I contacted Elke again and she said she thought I had gotten it already, yet she had never sent a tracking number. Friday I sent her a last email stating that I would no longer be inquiring about my accordion as I doubted if it even exists. Lesson learned. I am retired on a fixed income so this was quite an expense for me. I am sending this post as a warning to other would be buyers. Perhaps one day I'll be surprised with a wonderful accordion, but it will be a surprise.
I'm still hopeful for you that the accordion will eventually turn up. World-wide shipping can be a disaster, especially since the past few years. First there was Covid to blame, and then material shortages, shipping problems, etc. I'm pretty sure your accordion exists (and you apparently already saw pictures). When you are on another continent, going through a reputable dealer is the best idea even though you pay a premium. People from Europe can do ground travel to collect their instrument and when buying direct (not through a dealer) I would highly recommend to always do so. I have known Elke to be trustworthy so I'm hopeful the delivery problems will eventually be resolved.
 

Sisu

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Thanks to each of you for your replies, and the hopeful encouragements. This forum is a wonderful resource and connection for us lone accordionists. Should I ever receive my accordion, you all will be the first to know. Again, thanks for the support.
 

knobby

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Friday I sent her a last email stating that I would no longer be inquiring about my accordion as I doubted if it even exists.
@Sisu why are you going to let them away with this? If it was me I would hound them to the ends of the earth! They have your money, you want your accordion or you money back. If they say they sent it ask for the tracking number (repeatedly until you get it).
Don't let them get away with it - maybe it is just very poor customer service, but maybe it is something more deceitful. Whichever it is I feel you have a right to know!

@Victoria Accordions are members of this forum. Maybe they can come on here and give you an explanation?
 

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