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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Hilo, Hawaii: Hawaiian Ukulele & Guitar & Ripoff Shop

Hawaiian Ukulele & Guitar
308 Kamehameha Avenue, Suite 105
Hilo, HI 96720, USA
(808) 315-2919
Prices: $$$$
When we visited Hilo in February of 2019, my initial impression of Robert Yates and Hawaiian Ukulele & Guitar was positive, so I took his advice this past January and ordered a handmade, solid mango baritone ukulele ($599) to be shipped to our home in Portugal ($802.27 including ukulele, bag, tax and shipping). I also wanted a pickup installed so I could eventually perform with the instrument, assuming that the electronic device would be of a similar quality to the ukulele. Having also assumed that for the $99 shipping charge, Robert would ship via Fedex, UPS or DHL, I figured that my new ukulele would arrive post haste.

I waited and waited and waited, but no ukulele had arrived almost a month later. Finally, I got an email from Portuguese Customs in Lisbon telling me that it had been sent through the US Post Office and they wanted another $300 in customs taxes and fees before it could be delivered in the end of March, more than two months after I ordered it. So, in the end, I paid $1,100 for a $600 ukulele. Would it be worth it?
I bought a small amplifier and cord from Amazon while waiting for my uke to arrive, but when I hooked it up to my brand new ukulele, there was nary an electronic sound that came out of it. I took a photo of the pickup and found it online, being sold for just $11, figuring out that it needed a battery that Yates did not bother telling me about. There were no instructions in the shipment and no humidifier, as Robert had promised he would include, so I was on my own. OK, battery installed, cord plugged in, amplifier on and ... all I got was static!

I noticed that the female input for the cord on the ukulele was loose, so I tried to tighten it, but still nothing. I adjusted the small dial on the tiny, cheap, plastic pickup and, still, nothing, so I wrote to Robert for help. 

I told him what the problem was and asked him what he could do to help me, but I was ignored. Here it is a year later and not a word from Robert. The 'nice guy' who took time to educate me in his shop dropped me like a hot potato once I figured out that my new acoustic/electric ukulele was not electric after all. He got his $800, so I was on my own and $1,100 poorer thanks to the crook Yates!

CombatCritic Gives Hawaiian Ukulele & Guitar 1 Bomb Out of 10 And A Spot On My 'WALL OF SHAME' ... More Bombs Are Better! 
One Bomb Equates To:
Translation for Civilians: "Fucked Up Beyond All Repair"

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Title: Hilo, Hawaii: Hawaiian Ukulele & Guitar & Ripoff Shop

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