Who does also wait 18 months or longer for his Zenhandpan?

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Re: Who does also wait 18 months or longer for his Zenhandpan?

Postby hango_django » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:55 pm

tuscanwellies wrote:Hi all,

I would like to share a little something about my own experience with Zens. I have not communicated with Manny or Char about this in advance, I just felt moved to say something positive after all the negatives I've read here...

I am the proud owner of a Zen D minor (my very first handpan)... and she was worth the wait :)

It took a while and the pan I was originally sent was slightly different from what I ordered (it had a concave/innie ding and I asked for a convex), but they had no hesitation in apologising and sending me the right one as quickly as Manny could build her (with no extra costs apart from the extortionate Italian customs - not their fault!). Furthermore, they allowed me to play the first one until it arrived, and paid for its return shipping costs as soon as my big blue baby arrived. In no way did I hold this mistake against them (actually I felt bad they were out of pocket for it), because who here hasn't made mistakes? And in no way did I get annoyed or suspicious about the waiting time (about two years from initial letter to unboxing my baby).

Char communicated with me the entire process. She has some quite major health problems (some of which inhibit her ability to write/respond quickly), but besides having health problems myself, I understand and sympathise with this. I was happy to wait, sometimes a few weeks, for her to respond to my emails (a wait she would always apologise for). It doesn't make her any less professional. I found her to be a wonderfully kind, honest, humble, brave, caring and compassionate person. In fact, over the months waiting and chatting, she became like family to me. I miss our conversations :) While they could hire an administrator, as someone here suggested, (a) this is extra cost/responsibility, which most small businesses cannot afford and (b) it takes away the personal, family touch, which is part of the magic.

And if Manny needs a holiday after all his hard work (seriously hats-off to anyone who makes handpans - the most physically exhausting job!), plus the theft of his stock which means more work, besides what that must have done to him psychologically, can you really blame him? That news would have crushed my soul. He had absolutely no break from making pans in the years I was in touch. I repeatedly invited them to my home in Europe for a rest and they just never had the time to get away because of the order list. They are fully committed to their orders. But after years of relentless work, plus stolen stock, you surely need time-out or you will just collapse (either physically, mentally or both). Being mean about this says more about you than him.

I think part of the beauty of the handpan world is the waiting, saving and anticipation for your instrument. We live in a world where everything is available immediately, where we can quickly become demanding and cynical. While I fully understand that it's hard to wait for something we are passionate about (I waited nearly 7 years from hearing/falling in love with the handpan to being able to afford/find one I loved and then actually receiving it), particularly something we've paid in advance for, please remember that the Zen is a one-man handcrafted piece of art versus a large workshop or machine-made one or one from a maker with a substantial workforce. Manny's soul, energy and love go into each handpan and I think you can actually hear that in the warmth and resonance when you play... thus it is worth every second of thumb-twiddling. I appreciate that there are a lot more makers now and some have big, efficient business operations, or perhaps they are just quicker at what they do, but you can't compare waiting times between makers (if the times + any honest delays are communicated, which they have been by Manny/Char) - each is unique. For example, I've recently fallen in love with Yhonatan's low scale Yishamas which I had the opportunity to play at HONA (and to meet the lovely Yhonatan)... again, as a reputable and individual maker with a long list of orders (and a backlog due to injury), I'm sure I'll have to wait at least a year just to be put on his list. Frankly, I will wait until I'm old and grey to get one :)

Of course, when there are real con artists out there, this community provides an invaluable heads-up. And of course everyone is entitled to their opinions. But to me, it's wrong to accuse someone genuine of being a con artist just because you've had to wait a bit longer. If we stop being compassionate about illness and difficulty, we stop living in the spirit of these wonderful, healing instruments. If we lose our patience, we are not true to this handpan world. If we damage the reputation of a maker who has - up until now - been one of the best and most reputable, if we tell others its a scam without doing our research or without waiting for the full story from the maker themselves, or bad-mouthing the maker's response, then we become part of that horrible, demanding consumer world - wanting to sue everyone and complain about everything and hurt small businesses who rely entirely on word of mouth... and that is not what this community is about.

With all that in mind, I found Manny and Char to be wholly trustworthy, kind and professional even in the face of adversity/unexpected delays. I don't think our experiences are that different, but perhaps our reactions are. I chose the Zen for many reasons, as I am sure you did. And I was more than happy to wait that bit longer for such beautiful resonance and colour.

I ask you all kindly to try to put yourselves in their position - stolen stock, health problems, a young family to support, no fancy factory or big work force... unless they have changed dramatically since my experience with them, I am sure they will get in touch when they can with anyone who has ordered/paid for a Zen. And I am sure they will honour all your orders (or offer a refund if they physically can't).

This is a handcrafted piece of magic that stirs the soul. My Zen is still one of the very best handpans I've ever played. And I don't, for a second, regret choosing it as my first instrument.

I hope my words (sorry there are so many!) can provide reassurance and understanding to those who need it.

With love to all, and gratitude to the admins behind this amazing website and forum.
Juliet x


Congratulations, dear Juliet! At least some people seem to get their handpan. Others don't. I received dozens of e-mails containing apologies and explanations over the last 18 months. "I had to go to hospital", "I have much work at the moment because it's tax time", "I am having health problems" and so on. Of course, I am very compassionate concerning illness and difficulty. On the other side, it was not so easy for me to afford the prize of the handpan I ordered. When I paid for it, I didn't know what it would be like to wait for so long. At the moment, I am losing my patience and trust. Three months ago, I was told "We will send your handpan home to you till August". I kind of believed them just to find myself in the same situation as before, spending my time writing e-mails like "Could you please let me know the state of affairs", ""I would be grateful if you could give me some information" and so on. I feel very exhausted and depressed about it. Over the months, I received several photos of the handpan. "Here is a photo of your handpan", I was told, and in fact, there was some handpan on the picture with my name written on it. Oh, how great. Then I was told my number on the waiting list, which was number 3 sometimes, or number 5 later or whatever. I was told "It is great that you are a member of the Zen family", and most of the e-mails were combined with "best whishes" and "blessings". Well actually, I don't feel blessed at all. Thus far my experience, dear Juliet. I would not recommend them to other musicians. If you feel compassionate with the makers, you might also feel sorry for musicians like me who are going through this awful and energy-sucking experience, not knowing when they will get their instrument, and if they will get it at all.
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Re: Who does also wait 18 months or longer for his Zenhandpan?

Postby csfrost » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:04 am

Zen has had my $2k for a year now. No communications since February. Even though Char has told me that I am up to receive one very soon.

Char appears to be stringing me along, and when I ask Manny, he invites me to talk to Char who “runs the company”. That, after Char has told me she was going to hook me up with Manny for dialogue over a year ago.

My last message said ‘please either give me a target date or a refund’. Crickets. They have inspired ZERO confidence in an intention to deliver. If they would simply go on record publicly and state what their targets and intentions are, that would go along way. Meanwhile not only am I not impressed, I have a real sinking feeling in my heart whereas handpans used to seem the magical instrument that I always wanted, now I feel taken. Foolish. Cynical.

As somebody else pointed out, on FB Manny looks like he’s living a nice sweet quality of life ON OUR DIME, while he is not delivering the things that we paid for a long time ago.

When is the last time ANYBODY actually received an instrument from Zen?

It feels like these guys had a truly beautiful thing going, and now... well, I’m considering legal action.

Bless our hearts. Theirs too...

Sf
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Re: Who does also wait 18 months or longer for his Zenhandpan?

Postby bq » Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:07 am

In the group of facebook : swap and sale (only for 2 hand handpan). A guy called Laurent Pujol have published that sells his zen handpan recently sended and he have waited two years and four months for obtaining it.

But the better is that other user ask him how its posiible if he has not gotten his own zen after 3 YEARS of waiting.

I never thought this kind of stories could happen in the handpan world.

I,after one year,ask politely for a final date or a refund and there is no answer.

I encourage you guys to give your opinion in this post of facebook.
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Re: Who does also wait 18 months or longer for his Zenhandpan?

Postby Miguel Carvalho » Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:46 pm

JoolsB wrote:Just a thought, but shouldn't this thread now be moved to 'buyer beware', to help people make a more informed decision on buying a handpan?

I think you're right! Their lack of communication and explanation is unacceptable, as the constant delay justification... :?

EDIT: Done! :|
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Re: Who does also wait 18 months or longer for his Zenhandpan?

Postby tuscanwellies » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:26 am

Dearest Elis, Hango_Django, csfrost, JoolsB and all who are experiencing troubles with their Zen orders,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share and respond. You're right - I feel blessed that I had no problems with mine and I also feel terrible for you guys. I can only imagine how it must feel to part with your hard-earned money and have no handpan (and probably worse, no full explanation) after such a long wait. Of course it must shake your faith and leave you feeling negative, even angry.

They do indeed seemed to have changed since my purchase. I wrote to Char, copying her in on my original message here and asking her for an update... and have heard nothing back. This is the first time I've received no response from her. It's all very baffling and out-of-character.

I can only say that I'm very sorry and send you my positive vibes that this will be resolved promptly in your favour, either with delivery of your Zen or with a full refund.

In the meantime, if you find yourself in Italy, you are more than welcome to come and play mine... not a solution, I know, but perhaps a little consolation. Or, if you're put off Zens altogether, at least I can offer you some prosecco and another handpan to play :)

With love and big hugs, Juliet x
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Re: Who does also wait 18 months or longer for his Zenhandpan?

Postby Yuedar » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:18 am

So I came here to post my horror story with them. I am slightly comforted that I am not alone in this but I feel like we were all took.

The only update I've gotten in 2 years was that the bottom half of my pan was done. Oh. Good.

For a little while I was able to get replies back and got this story Char was sick and would get me an update when she returned. She even emailed me letting me know she returned an I would get an update within a week. Well 6 months later I emailed back figuring I was patient enough and now I get no replies back. I feel like i've been scammed.
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Re: Who does also wait 18 months or longer for his Zenhandpan?

Postby david » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:10 pm

Hello everyone.

I am of the opinion that today more than ever, all craft work, in addition to money, is charged in pride and paid with the heart.

Is Zen Handpan a scam? Isn't it precisely the ways that distinguish the thief from the swindler? Will we end up getting our money back, or handpans delivered?

Both Manny Guerrero and Char have shown me on countless occasions that they don't know the words, "simple decency".

https://www.hardcasetechnologies.com/handpan-makers/

Over several days now, every point on this map is receiving this message*, which in turn I forward to ZenHanpan, (I have already sent more than half of them), and there is no response from Manny or Char.

I wish you all the best of luck, but this looks very bad.

*
"Hello [X]

I am writing to tell you something very serious that is happening, and beyond something personal, has become something that affects the whole community, and therefore it is good that everyone knows.
This same message I will send to all builders, to big players, to specialized centers, forums, and festivals around the world.
And of course any doubt you might have, any question you want to ask me, will be answered immediately, and all the messages you want to read first hand, are at your disposal, (respecting the anonymity of certain people who have asked me).

Your answer, if there is one, will undoubtedly be completely confidential.

This is my personal story:

My name is David and I live in Spain. I have been a player for several years, and currently I have 6 handpans from different makers.
In June 2.016, I joined Zen Hanpan (USA) and i paid 2.000 $ for the purchase of a handpan that at first would be delivered between 4 and 6 months later. This was changed, and I accepted that it would be between 8 and 12 months.
After dozens of messages, time passed, and months later I demanded Zen Handpan to return my money for breach of contract.
Zen Handpan refused to give me my money back, I had to hire a lawyer, and finally Zen Handpan agreed to give me my money back in November 2,017.
Today, two years and four months later, countless messages, lies, and annoyances to third parties, I am still waiting.

And being this serious enough, the absolutely scandalous thing is that there are more than 100 people in the same situation as I am today, several waiting for more than three years.
More than 100 people, and all those I have contacted, talk to me about their discontent and doubts about their instrument being delivered or their money being refund.

Due to the understandable sadness and frustration that a situation like this causes in any human being, i took the decision to get in touch with several on-line media websites to spread what is going on here, and at least, try to prevent other people to go through the same situation. Well, Manny Guerrero, the main builder and owner of the Zen Handpan account, has suggested that, if this info is made public and he stops getting orders, he will declare bankruptcy, and leave all those people without their money or their handpan.

For this reason, and in order to not harm any of the other clients, I am obliged to at least, try to inform the community on a personal level with this email, and let all Handpan lovers know the situation in which Zen Handpan currently is. Something i think it has to be known.

I hope that with this, you understand the seriousness of the situation; and any comments, suggestions, advice, or help you can provide will be welcome.

If you don't tell me otherwise, I will keep you informed.

Thank you very much.

David"
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Re: Who does also wait 18 months or longer for his Zenhandpan?

Postby Afinfas » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:37 pm

david wrote:Due to the understandable sadness and frustration that a situation like this causes in any human being, i took the decision to get in touch with several on-line media websites to spread what is going on here, and at least, try to prevent other people to go through the same situation. Well, Manny Guerrero, the main builder and owner of the Zen Handpan account, has suggested that, if this info is made public and he stops getting orders, he will declare bankruptcy, and leave all those people without their money or their handpan.


That really shows his caracter....not caring at all about the persons he put into this mess. And, declaring bankruptcy doesnt require you to show your bank accounts and possessions, etc?

It actually sounds like a threat from him...im not involved on the sittuation and I feel sorry for the ones that are but....I would exactly go open with this so he stops receiving orders at all and gets black listed and gets his name out there as a big scammer that doesnt really care about others. Thats what he deserves in my oppinion. I hate persons who take advantage of others without caring at all!
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Re: Who does also wait 18 months or longer for his Zenhandpan?

Postby Samsony » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:36 am

Afinfas wrote:
david wrote:Due to the understandable sadness and frustration that a situation like this causes in any human being, i took the decision to get in touch with several on-line media websites to spread what is going on here, and at least, try to prevent other people to go through the same situation. Well, Manny Guerrero, the main builder and owner of the Zen Handpan account, has suggested that, if this info is made public and he stops getting orders, he will declare bankruptcy, and leave all those people without their money or their handpan.


That really shows his caracter....not caring at all about the persons he put into this mess. And, declaring bankruptcy doesnt require you to show your bank accounts and possessions, etc?

It actually sounds like a threat from him...im not involved on the sittuation and I feel sorry for the ones that are but....I would exactly go open with this so he stops receiving orders at all and gets black listed and gets his name out there as a big scammer that doesnt really care about others. Thats what he deserves in my oppinion. I hate persons who take advantage of others without caring at all!



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Re: Who does also wait 18 months or longer for his Zenhandpan?

Postby broussel2 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:09 am

If he stops getting orders? Didn't he moore or lesse say a while ago --in answer to the situation-- that he wouldn't be taking orders anymore (so that he could catch up with the situation)? Hundreds of thousand dollars involved, that's turning into a Ponzi scheme. The most stupid thing in all this mess being that he is actually able to produce quality instruments... What a waste!
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