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Author: Subject: My Nightmare experience with "Usta" Faruk Turunz
baseelo
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[*] posted on 4-7-2014 at 08:49 PM
My Nightmare experience with "Usta" Faruk Turunz


It is a very long story and I really think that I have to publish it on this forum. I’ve always had great respect for Mr.Turunz through what I read about him and through a previous experience I had with him (I have a double top sapele pommele that I bought from him in 2012). So what I need to make very clear is that I don’t have anything personal against Usta Faruk. As a matter of fact I’ve always considered him the “Best Oud Maker in the World” … This is what I always told everybody who asked me about him. After this experience that I’ll talk to you about, I still think that the Usta makes great ouds, but I also know that if you lose respect to your customers, you lose their respect and when you lose their respect you lose everything regardless of the quality of the ouds that you make.
Since it is a long story, I decided to summarize it in “points” to make it easier for everybody.

1) I ordered my oud in January 2013. I told the Usta that I wanted a MASTERPIECE. He promised to make a masterpiece for me.

2) The oud I wanted was Arabic Tuning, Ebony and Padouk, double top, Canadian cedar and FULL ORNATE ( all options available on the website that I don’t even see any more on the Usta’s website)

3) I also had a special request for (flat fretting on the board dividing it to seven unequal spaces as follows (from the nut to the sound board): 3.3 cm, 3.1 cm, 3 cm, 2.7 cm, 2.6 cm,2.5 cm and 2.3 cm. He used white ebony to make the flat fretting lines. This is for perfection of fretting even for somebody who doesn’t have full oud mastering like me. ( the string length is 58.5 cm)

4) I ordered some extras with the oud (extra picks and extra strings)

5) The total expense of the oud was $5,750.00 after a 40% discount that we agreed on and after a $1000.00 that I paid for the special order fretting.

6) I sent the Usta $6000.00 (I added $250.00 as a thank you token for his staff just to pay special attention to my MASTERPIECE.

7) The Usta received the money on Jan 10 , 2013 and promised finish my oud by May 1, 2013.

8) I told the Usta about the importance of timing. I explained to him that I had an important family occasion on the 10th of May and he promised to send it on time.

9) Before I sent the money , Usta Faruk was very punctual. He would respond within hours and sometimes minutes to my e-mails.

10) When he received the money he thanked me a lot. He said this money came in handy for tax season.

11) Once the money was received, I lost the Usta!!!! He suddenly became so hard to reach…. It was so drastic … it wasn’t even funny .He would let me wait for weeks before he would answer any e-mails. He promised me at the beginning to send me photos showing the progress of the oud making, but he did that once in February then he stopped. As far as I am concerned… there are two Turunzes … Prepayment Turunz and Postpayment Turunz.

12) After ignoring my e-mails for a long time, he sent me an e-mail in June 2013 telling me that the oud was ready!! When I asked him to send me photos , he did send me a photo for an oud that had NO ORNATES on it. I told him that I paid a lot of money to get a FULL ORNATE OUD. He was totally indifferent about it and he told me that he lost his files due to a problem he had with his computer and he didn’t know that I ordered a full ornate oud!!!!!!!!! I was really shocked… I was petrified …… He was not even apologetic about it like a good businessman would be… let alone like a man who claimed to be the only man in history to discover all secrets of the oud.

13) The Usta decided to take my word for it and he decided to order ornaments for the oud. When I asked him how long it was going to take, he told me he would let me know when it would be ready (obviously he wasn’t ready to make any promises)

14) He neglected me for many months… I didn’t believe I had to deal with this… I didn’t believe this was the person I dealt with BEFORE I sent the money. He ignored all my e-mails.. he stopped answering his phone. I really thought that I would never get my oud.

15) Starting the beginning of 2014 the Usta had a new line in his e-mails. I know it is hard to believe but he told me more than ten times that my oud was ready to send “tomorrow” then he would ignore me again or tell me that the oud needed more time to get dry since it was too humid in Istanbul!!

16) As I told you, I lost all hope to get my oud till something happened. My brother was on a touristic visit to Istanbul in March 2014. I e-mailed the “Usta” and told him that I was sick and tired with this situation and I was going to send my brother to get my money back. He then moved again… he became nice again and he told me that the Oud was ready… All I needed was to do him a favor and send my brother to get the oud and send it to me by DHL!!!!!!!! I told him that my brother was just a tourist and it would be a waste of his time to send the oud. I asked him to send it himself. And finally the miracle happened … I received my oud about 1 week ago…. Waiting time: 15 months…. Delay time ONE WHOLE YEAR!!!!!!

17) I did receive the oud, but not the extra strings and picks that I PAID FOR!!!!!!

18) I really wish there was a legal procedure I could take towards such a shameful act. But meanwhile I found myself obligated to tell this story on the forum so that you have an idea what you might go thru if you are about to order a custom made oud from Mr.Turunz.

19) As an objection act I have decided not to play a Turunz oud for the rest of my life. I am selling this oud and the other oud that I have for attractive prices. I live in Michigan and you can contact me at my e-mail baseelo@msn.com (for serious buyers only)
Both ouds look perfect (especially this new one) but I’ve made this pledge not to play any Turunz ouds now or in the future. It is just a simple message that I’m trying to send to the “Usta”… When you don’t show me the respect that I deserve as a customer, I wouldn’t even bother playing your ouds. I don’t care if you are Antonio Stradivari himself!

This story is very summarized so that I don’t waste your time, but the suffering I had was terrible through this “unique” experience. The worst part was the fact that the usta was very indifferent about it. He literally didn’t care. I really have to say he didn’t act like an Usta. Didn’t act like a business man.
Usta Faruk … Please listen to this word…. It doesn’t matter if your are a master in your field…If you don’t respect your customers, you lose their respect and lose everything. Your customers make you who you are… you have to learn to be humble with them.People don’t care how much you know till they know how much you care …. And yoou didn’t care… didn’t care at all!!!!
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[*] posted on 4-7-2014 at 10:20 PM


Hello Baseelo

Iam very sorry for your bad experience with Turunz. I have experienced an almost identical situation with him a few years ago.
I will not go into details with the members of this forum (unless requested), but I will say in short, there are two Ustas Faruk "prepayment" and "postpayment"
This person answers you in minutes before getting the money and then ignores you for months.
Second when I purchased my oud from him he handed to a friend of mine the wrong oud (same woods but different ornaments) He used the same excuse-that he lost his files (that was a total lie because only months ago he reffered to this oud and could identify it threw his files)
All of this is very unfortunate because of the gap between his talent as a luthier and his attitude. I since have been lucky to meet an artist who combines great craftsmanship and high ethics,but this is another story..........
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[*] posted on 4-7-2014 at 10:24 PM


:(:mad::(
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Lysander
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[*] posted on 4-8-2014 at 01:37 AM


Great artists are not always great businessmen... sometimes far from it.

In the reverse, it reminds me of an artist a good friend of mine knew who was desperately trying to get payment from his label for some album artwork. The head of the label disappeared after the work had been done. After the third or fourth email of asking for funds, he just got a reply back saying, "silence means no".

Some people...
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[*] posted on 4-8-2014 at 04:47 AM


Very sad stories indeed.
These, however, affirmed what I've said on this forum before about the relationship between Faruk Turunz and the 'high' prices of his ouds/money.
I think it's now crystal clear.
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baseelo
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[*] posted on 4-8-2014 at 09:40 AM


Thank you so much , Mikhail, for your reply.

In a way it gives me some comfort to know that OTHER PEOPLE TOO had such an experience with this person.

I do ask you though to mention some details because this is one of the benefits of a forum like this. It would make people like this man understand that CUSTOMERS can make a lot of difference , can stand their grounds, and YOU HAVE TO RESPECT THEM... this is mandatory and not optional.

I'm sure that many people have had such experiences with Turunz but didn't have the time to publish them and I invite everybody to say what they have.

I am a person who is very easy to please and willing to give thanks and respect when I get good service. If Turunz failed to please me he may fail to please anybody. You can't rely on the quality of ouds that you make ... Your ethics are way more important.
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[*] posted on 4-8-2014 at 09:08 PM



Sorry to hear about your bad experience baseelo, I was going to purchase an oud from Faruk Turunz, but after hearing your story I decided not to.
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[*] posted on 4-8-2014 at 09:26 PM


Sorry to hear about your problems, I know how you feel!

But, in the past I heard good stories about Turnuz, so what has happened to him?

It would be nice if we can have some explanations from Trurnz?





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[*] posted on 4-8-2014 at 11:43 PM


I had never had any experience with Mr. Turunz or any Turkish makers or ouds. Though I have to point out that both Basseelo & Mikhail are highly respected humans, I have the luck & honor to get to know. Basel is a famous successful pediatrician while Mikhail is a lawyer & a high ranking official. I'd take their testimonies as most reliable and trustworthy. They both have no need of telling any lies or conspiring against anybody, even more so against Master Faruk.
This does not mean Mr. Turunz is less respectful. I had the honor to meet & correspond with, since 2003.
For these reasons, among others, some makers don't accept any orders of any kind. They only make off-the-shelf ouds: take it or leave it.
I am so sad :(
Cheer up fellows
Yours indeed
Alfaraby




alfarabymusic@gmail.com
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baseelo
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[*] posted on 4-9-2014 at 08:26 AM


Congratulations Zakiya and Trirmusic on the right decision that you've just made. I think that you saved yourself a lot of headache and suffering.

I think that one of the best benefits of forums like this, is for people to get together and benefit from each other's experiences. I really feel that if I had to go through such an experience nobody else in this forum has to go through it again.

When we get together like this, bad guys have to make a decision either to correct their behavior, or to go out of business ..... In both cases they become harmless, and that is good for everybody.

I still don't believe that in this age of internet, facebook, twitter etc, some people still make shameful mistakes and think that they can get away with it.
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[*] posted on 4-9-2014 at 02:56 PM


Quote: Originally posted by baseelo  

Usta Faruk … Please listen to this word…. It doesn’t matter if your are a master in your field…If you don’t respect your customers, you lose their respect and lose everything. Your customers make you who you are… you have to learn to be humble with them.People don’t care how much you know till they know how much you care …. And yoou didn’t care… didn’t care at all!!!!


Customer is always right. This is my general respond to those who read this thread.

My dear friend Dr. Basel,

You are completely right what you have summarized in your thread. They are all my fault. I admit what you have said including those words implying that I am a bad guy. I deserved these words, unfortunately.
I apologize for my faults publicly.

I've always tried to stand steep in front of these Forums when I stand up for my thoughts dealing with some issues rather covering technical subjects and/or when justifying the prices of my ouds. Again I am saying the truth. I did not manage the whole process correctly.

I would like to apologize again for a misinterpretation of my negligence as if I ignored you. Not at all! How come I can do it and why? I admire your personality and have a deep respect towards you. You sent me all amount plus tip for the working team in my shop at the amount of $250.-
I am thankful.
I openly criticize myself hereby for all what I've misdone (negligence, mismanagement of the relations, unpunctuality) caused you to lose your trust.

Kind regards.




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[*] posted on 4-9-2014 at 10:49 PM


Dear memebers of the forum,

To my humble opinion this proverb

from Proverbs 28;13 suits this matter

He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,But he who confesses and forsakes them wiil find compassion.

I prefer the new ineternational version

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses them and renounces them finds mercy.

Dear Baseelo

I sent u2u.

Only the last part is relevant now
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[*] posted on 4-10-2014 at 12:32 AM


Usta Faruk

I know how much courage it takes to accept our mistakes. You have accepted that I was right in my post and that all I said was true . You definitely did the right thing and I totally respect that.

My goal was not to affect your business by any means. I just wanted you to admit that you didn't give me the service that I deserved as a customer.. and you've already done that.

I would like to announce with full respect to all members of this forum that I totally forgive you and don't have any bad feeling towards you any more.

The two ouds are still offered for sale and I've already received some inquires about them. I happen to be a sensetive person, and keeping the ouds will remind me of the awful story that I've been through, and I don't want that to happen.

The only thing that is left to put and end to this story is for you, Usta Faruk, to convince, in your own words, all members who have read this thread that they will not have to go through what I have gone through when they order an oud from you. This is totally up to you of course.

Even when I was totally mad, when I posted this subject, I said that I did believe that you make great ouds and I still believe so. I know that first hand.

I wish you good luck and I would like to respectfully thank all friends who replied to this thread.

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[*] posted on 4-10-2014 at 02:52 AM


Quote: Originally posted by baseelo  
Usta Faruk

The only thing that is left to put and end to this story is for you, Ust Faruk, to convince, in your own words, all members who have read this thread that they will not have to through what I have gone through when they order an oud from you. This is totally up to you of course.

Even when I was totally mad, when I posted this subject, I said that I did believe that you make great ouds and I still believe so. I know that first hand.

I wish you good luck and I would like to respectfully thank all friends who replied to this thread.



Thank you Dr. Basel for your forgiveness and sincere advice about my work discipline.

I've already shared this misfortunate situation that has happened with my team and reorganized the supervisors' duty. They will undertake all the responsibility in controlling the processes accurately. The work flow lines have been interlocked to each other. Every section will be in close touch with the others and submit a weekly report to me. If I am away for any reason they will email the reports to me to be followed up.

May I require you to keep your ouds for a while until your frustration ease off. In the future probably I will have a chance to meet you in person. Please enjoy your ouds for the sake of forgiveness.

I wish you all the best.




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[*] posted on 4-10-2014 at 03:35 AM


I'm sure I speak for many of us in this forum -

it is good to see Usta Faruk and Dr Basel come forward and move on from this unfortunate experience in the spirit of brotherhood and reconciliation.
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[*] posted on 4-10-2014 at 08:22 AM


Also I had very bad experience with Turunz. I have commissioned two oud equal to me and a friend, with Arabic tuning, deep sound and Arabic, it has taken two months more than the agreed deadline, and I had to send my friend to her shop to pick them up, when they came to me, they were not tuned like Arabic oud and the strings had noise, I have written to him to correct the error , and answered me after one month (who are you to tell me this?) as these in Europe can not do anything also I do not think that they have noise..... to your question I did not want to reply that I am a medical doctor and lutenist for 50 years, only I am left with their evil ways and poor response, and of course with the defects of the oud.



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Adel Salameh
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[*] posted on 4-10-2014 at 08:39 AM


Dear Friends,
The best way to buy an oud is to see the instrument, try it and if you like it then you buy it....
Best wishes,
Adel
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[*] posted on 4-10-2014 at 12:59 PM


Seeing (and hearing) is believing.
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[*] posted on 4-12-2014 at 06:43 PM


glad everyone is friends again...

personally, if i were buying a $6000 instrument, i would arrange to travel to istanbul and pick it up. make a celebration out of the trip, in other words...

i will do this whenever i buy an instrument - many hours of either driving or flying!
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[*] posted on 4-13-2014 at 01:26 AM


Quote: Originally posted by reminore  
glad everyone is friends again...

personally, if i were buying a $6000 instrument, i would arrange to travel to istanbul and pick it up. make a celebration out of the trip, in other words...

i will do this whenever i buy an instrument - many hours of either driving or flying!


I agree with reminore 100%
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[*] posted on 4-13-2014 at 07:09 AM


I typically try to let situations like this resolve themselves, and thankfully Dr. Basel, Mikhail and Faruk have managed to do this. I want to thank Dr. Basel and Mikhail for their honesty and more importantly for their true spirit of forgiveness. It says a lot about you gentlemen as individuals. You have accepted Faruk's no nonsense apology and have moved on, and that is extremely admirable. I also want to thank Usta Faruk for not making any excuses and for your sincere apology. Also, it seems like you have made modifications to the way you will conduct your business in the future, and that is commendable.

Adel, you know I consider you to be more than a friend, but a brother. I respectfully disagree with your opinion you have offered on this thread. Trying out an oud prior to buying is not always practical. You have just recently endorsed Samer as a fine oudmaker, but I think most folks on these forums aren't going to visit his workshop anytime soon. We depend on guys like you who can vouch for him, and others, to give credence to their work. That would be too bad for them if they were restricted to only customers who travel to them to buy their ouds. We have quite a few extremely talented luthiers who are members on these forums who would be limited if they depended on local customers only.

Now for the members who seem to want to add their useless two cents to just keep this thread active, I hate to disappoint you but I am closing this thread. I have too much respect for a man like Usta Faruk, and for his innovation as a master oudmaker to continue to let that happen. For those of you who claim to have wanted to buy an oud from Faruk, but have changed your mind...that's your loss! I'm confident he will continue to remain successful without your business.




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